“I’ll wait here, for you,” Mae said. “You shouldn’t walk alone.”
“I had a cup of tea and a glass of water. I don’t see why I should be this messy.” I could feel myself weave as I turned and aimed back towards the Waldorf. I really needed to pee.
Mae tilted her head to the side. “Don’t get distracted.”
I ambled back through the stained-glass doors of the Waldorf, fully intending to just go to the bathroom, but I knew this phone number thing wasn’t going to work for me. I looked around the bar, but Matheus wasn’t behind the counter; he was out bussing tables.
I walked over to the bar, grabbed a pen, pulled out the receipt, and scribbled on it. I took a deep breath. There was only one way I was going to be able to deal with this. It would drive me crazy if I just went straight home. I would just sit thinking about it.
This was a much better idea.
I walked up behind Matheus where he was clearing an empty table. I tapped him on the shoulder and when he turned around. I stood up on my tiptoes and reached up, putting my arms around his neck and gave him a solid kiss on the lips.
It was like melting into warm butter. I wanted to do so much more with him, but no, I just needed to make sure that we were on the same page. That we liked each other.
His eyes opened wide and he grinned down at me. “That was surprising,” he said. “But I liked it.”
He glanced around the bar quickly before reaching for me again. I put my hand against his chest, holding the receipt in my hand.
“There is my phone number,” I said.
I turned and walked back out of the bar, completely forgetting that a moment ago I had to pee. Now I just wanted to put as much distance between me and Matheus as possible before I fell through the floor in embarrassment.
I burst out of the front door of the Waldorf; hands raised in the air. “Oh my gosh.”
“What did you just do?”
“I kissed a boy.”
Mae raised an eyebrow, looking at me. “You were pretty quick.”
“I had to.” I gushed the words out still feeling the rush of adrenaline. “I didn’t want to spend the next few weeks wondering if I should call him or if he was going to try. Now it’s clear. I like him, and he likes me. If he doesn’t like me then he shouldn’t call, but he does like me.”
“You’re gonna be completely neurotic about this, aren’t you?” Mae asked. “Now you’ve given him your number, you’re going to sit by your phone and wait for him to call.”
“Oh my Gosh, I am the oldest teenage girl I’ve ever met in my entire life,” I moaned.
“Let me walk you home,” Mae said.
“Okay,” I agreed. Mere minutes later, it seemed, I was home. Mae didn’t come in and I didn’t invite her. I wasn’t sure what was affecting my energy, but I needed to be alone and maybe have a hot bath. That sounded like the perfect idea.
I drew the bath and filled it with some lavender infused bath salts and a lemon grass essential oil. I fetched myself a glass of wine from the kitchen and by the time the bath had filled, my stomach had settled down . Mae and I had had an interesting night. I might have been a little crazy, but what was the harm in that at our age?
Mae hadn’t seemed shocked by my behavior, so maybe we were going to become friends after all.
I suddenly buckled forward. A hot flash started from the core of my chest and undulated through my entire frame. At first it felt like a harmless flush of warmth, but suddenly I was embroiled in the heat as it was ripped through me.
Oh, my fucking God.
I gripped the side of the counter as waves of heat and sweat poured over me.
I squinted my eyes closed. Every bone in my body was aching as if they were going to tear and break apart. My eyes flung open wide as I felt something sprout from my hands. I gripped the counter and screamed.
There was hair growing out of the back of my hands!
They were changing shape. Bony, knobby, my fingernails extending sharply forward.
What in Heaven’s name was happening to me?