Twisted Roses

Page 107

We hang up with me glancing at the calendar on my phone screen. I hadn’t even remembered my birthday was today, though it doesn’t matter. Birthdays have never been something I gave a fuck about. They’re nothing more than a dumb, made up occasion for people to celebrate and make themselves feel special.
But I do find it difficult concentrating. For the rest of the afternoon, I attempt to get more work done while my thoughts have other plans. I can’t keep my mind off Delphine. She’s been doing so much better, the idea of another intimate dinner sounds appealing.
Even if my birthday were used as an excuse as to why.
I end my time at Nirvana early and head to the loft. I walk through the door to Delphine and Stitches in cone-shaped party hats, jumping out at me, yelling, “Surprise!”
I halt on an invisible dime and drink in the nauseatingly festive sight. Balloons float across the floor. A banner hangs from the brick wall with rainbow-colored words that spell out ‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY’. Salt and Pepa wait for me, a part of the scheme with their own cat-sized party hats perched atop their little furry heads.
I should be pissed. I hate birthdays and I hate surprises even more.
But Delphine’s smiling and teeming with excitement. She bounces over to me and kisses me on the lips. How can I possibly be a dick when she’s in such a good mood?
There’s even a cake. One Delphine claims she baked herself. After we’ve sat down to a few slices, I find a bakery receipt in the trash, and grin to myself. What’s even more amusing is that Stitches is covering for her. Two birthday plotting schemers.
“Now that I’ve got Psycho in a party hat on his birthday, my work here is done. I’ll show myself out,” he says after his third slice of cake. He’s taking a fourth on a paper plate to go.
The door snaps shut, and I round on Delphine. She catches her bottom lip between her teeth and backs away from me.
“Jon,” she says with a nervous giggle. “I don’t like that look in your eye.”
I stalk toward her. “How many times have I told you I don’t like surprises and I don’t like birthdays?”
“You say that, but you still ate the cake. ThatIbaked all by myself, by the way—JON!”
She breaks apart in wild laughter as I pluck her off her feet and spin her around in my arms. I drop her onto the sofa and cover her body with my own. I claim her mouth with my own too. Our lips fuse together in a deep kiss.
My hands wander, mapping out her beautiful curves. She’s soft and supple underneath me, like heaven to touch. I grip her hips and press myself into her, pushing her flush against the sofa cushions as I kiss her deeper.
My tongue wastes no time. It sweeps into her mouth against hers and teases the hell out of her until she’s moaning. She tugs her fingers into my hair and shudders. I could do this all day—kissing and feeling up Delphine.
I grope her breast and consider it. My bedroom is only a few footsteps away.
But I manage to regain half my wits about me and decide to be even more spontaneous. I pull away, ending our make out session almost as quickly as it began.
“Want to go for a ride?”
Her eyes gleam with desire. “On your dick? Always.”
I bark out a laugh and grab her hand to pull her up. “I meant my bike. But save that other thought for later. C’mon.”
It’s unplanned and nothing I originally had in mind, but the moment crackles with spontaneity, as though we’re half our age again. Just some bored teenagers with a summer evening to waste away, like old times.
We rush down the elevator into the underground garage. I dress her up in gear as I always do, taking pleasure in seeing her wearing what’s mine.
Tenfold when she slides onto the bike and wraps her arms around me. I can feel her trembling. Not from fear but from an uninhibited sense of thrill.
Delphine’s grown to like our rides. She enjoys going out with me on my sports bike.
We blast off into the city streets. The night hangs over us, a plum-shaded canvas that’s endless. The glittering streetlights guide our way. I weave us between cars and soar ahead when we traverse the highway. The city becomes our playground as we speed through.
The summer air whips against us, fresh and warm. The closest thing to flying without flying.
She shrieks with delight when I whip us around a sharp corner, or accelerate down a long, empty stretch of road. Her arms band tighter around me, her front flush against my back. I can feel every time her heartbeat aligns with mine.
Which becomes often. We might as well be melded as one.
I bring us to Rose Hill. The park grounds have a sloped incline leading to a garden known for its roses in bloom. It’s not so late that nobody’s around—plenty of people, mainly couples, wander the grounds, exploring the romantic scenery.