I stare blankly at the t.v. screen, as the video switches from a recognizable B.O.B. to...Bruno? I shake my head, thinking I'm seeing things, but I know that voice anywhere. I slowly walk closer to the t.v. I kneel in front of it, studying the screen. Brown eyes. His brown eyes. That gray fedora. I remember throwing that same gray fedora at him all the time as he would rush out the door. And the leather jacket, that he would, and apparently, still does, wear all the time. I watch as he emerges from bits and pieces of different girls' faces, smiling, showing his dimples that I used to love so much, singing his heart out. There's a quick few seconds where he's in a red plaid shirt playing the drums and..is that Phil? It is indeed Philip Lawrence playing the piano. The video ends with Bruno's distanct background vocals still echoing in my ears. "Nothin On You B.O.B ft. Bruno Mars" It's been 3 long years since I've set my eyes on Bruno. Nor have I talked to him. I have no idea what or how he's doing, how his career has been taking off, if things are good or bad. And than, just like that, I see him, on MTV, in a music video, with none other than B.O.B. My phone rings from it's spot on the couch where I tossed it. I snap out of my daze and spin around, snatching it. Donnie. "Heyyyy" I say, trying to sound light. "Lena, I've been sitting here for almost an hour, are you standing me up?" he says humor in his voice. I laugh nervously. "NO!.. I'm sorry I'm late, I'm on my way." I tell him, pressing END. I look around, forgetting where I set my keys. I spin in a circle. I look under the cushions, all the shelves, behind my DVDS.. but nothing. I put my hands on my head. Where did they go?! I spot them, in the most obvious spot a pair of keys could be. Hanging on a small hook by the front door. I sigh, and grab my purse and roughly snatch the keys as I breeze out. I'm still trying to wrap my head around what I just saw, as I speed my way to the restaurant Donnie's waiting at. I spot Donnie as soon as I step out of my car. I will admit, he is looking pretty scrumptious. What?! Lena, contain yourself. I take a deep breath in, than let it out, to calm myself and all my nervous awkwardness. He sees me, and smiles. I immediately feel relaxed and at ease. It's just Donnie. From work. He stands up to meet me halfway, gently taking my hand. "My.. Don't we clean up nice?" he says, his eyes hungrily taking me in. I push him, laughing. "Shut up." I tell him, as we sit down. I fidget uncomfortably. I don't know how to put my arms or what to do with my legs. I cross them both, than unfold my arms in a relaxed positon over my lap. There. I look.. okay?.. I think. I hope. Ugh Lena, stop talking to yourself and just be normal for once! Luckily Don interrupts my crazy thoughts and grabs my hand. I look at our entertwined fingers and blink. Feels weird. A bit off even, to be holding someone's hand. Someone who's not Bruno. "Lena?" His voice once again pulls me out of Lena Land and into reality. "Huh?" He smiles, his blue eyes sparkling. "Stop thinking so hard, you're gonna hurt yourself." he says, squeezing my hand reassuringly. I let out a small laugh. His reddish brown hair isn't messily laying across his forehead like it usually is. He has it spiked up in kind of a quif. His blue button up shirt matches his eyes, and his jeans aren't too tight, but not super loose either. He looks completely different than his usual work attire. He's actually cute. More than cute. Why did it take me so long to realize just how gorgeous he really is? "So, what are you getting?" I ask, eyeing the menu. To be honest, I don't know how to pronounce half of the stuff on there, and the other half is too expensive and doesn't even look appealing. He frowns at his own menu, thinking hard. "Ummm." he scratches the back of his head. I stare at him, waiting. He leans foreward and whispers "I don't even know what any of this shit is." I bust out laughing, than quickly cover my mouth, avoiding the glares I'm getting from the table next to us. "Than why did you bring me here?" I ask. He looks down and plays with his napkin. Is he nervous? "I just...wantedtosjfdlfh.." he mumbles. "What?" He scrunches the napkin. "I wantedtoimpressyou.." he says. "What?!" I say, straining my ears. "I JUST WANTED TO IMPRESS YOU!" he yells. I cover my mouth to keep from laughing as he looks around at all the eyes staring at us. He grabs my hand. "Come on." We run out of the restaurant, giggling. We walk down the street, hand in hand. He rubs the back of his head. "Well.. that was a bust." he says, looking kind of sad. "Says you." I say, pushing him with my hip. "What do you mean?" he asks. "Fancy places aren't really my thing." I say, making a face. "Really now?" he asks. I nod. "So.. Lena Osvala, what exactly is your thing?" he asks curiously. I look down, not really sure what to say. I haven't been in this postion in a long time. I kinda forgot what to do on a 'date'. I look up at him. "I really don't know." I tell him truthfully. He stares at me, smiling softly. "I think I got something." he says. We make our way to his truck. He opens the passenger door for me. Such a gentlemen. He gets in and zooms down the street. I notice the turns he's making. "Are you going to the shelter?" I ask him, referring to our work place. He grins at me, but keeps driving. Why on Earth would he be going there? Sure enough, he pulls into the parking lot of the humane society. "Be right back." he says. "What--" I watch him as he tries to sneakily make his way to the back door. He fails miserably. I chuckle as his 5'10 heavy set frame glances around to make sure no one's around to see him. He pulls out a key and unlocks the door. This crazy man! Stealing keys from the shelter. He's gone for about 5 minutes, than re-emerges with something in his arms. No. He didn't. He jumps in the truck, handing me the bundle. I smile as I lift the blanket. "Hi Geronimo." I say. He sniffs my face, than gives me wet doggy kisses. I laugh, than look at Donnie and hit him. "OWW!" he yells. "What's wrong with you?! We could get fired!" I yell. He laughs. "Lena, lighten up. I'm on weekend duty. That's why I have the key. Nobody will know he was ever gone!" I stare at him, and all his gorgeousness, than relax a little. I look down at Geronimo, playfully sniffing and trying to get down. My heart feels so full, just looking at the pup. I never thought something else besides... him.. would ever make me this happy again. Donnie pulls into another parking lot to some apartments. His apartments. I get a little uncomfortable. He notices. "Lena, I'm not that kind of guy." he says. Oh how I've heard that line so many times before. He shakes his head, grinning. I reluctantly get out of the car, holding Geronimo safely in my arms. "It's not much but.. it's home." Donnie says, holding the door open for me. Not much? It's beautiful. And way bigger than mine. I set Geronimo down and he runs towards the kitchen, his ears flopping. I slowly walk in, looking up and around. I slowly turn in a circle, til I'm facing him again. He's staring at me, smiling. I instantly feel dumb, and hold onto one of my arms, crossing one of my legs over the other. "What?" he says, tilting his head, looking amused. "Why are you staring at me?" I say, trying not to look at the ground, but failing. "I wasn't staring, I was observing." he says, with a smirk. "Well.. could you not observe me please. It makes me nervous." I tell him. He walks towards me. I smell his cologne when he stands in front of me. Nothing like his. Not even close to Bruno's. But.. it's still nice. He tilts my chin up. "Why are you nervous around me? It's just me." he says, smiling a little wider. My thoughts exactly. I shrug. He looks deep into my eyes, trying to read me. I glance down at his full lips. His deep blue eyes roam my face, as he leans closer to me. His thumb lines my bottom lip gently. All of a sudden, I feel soft paws on my legs and a puppy whine. We break apart and look down at Geronimo, looking up at us with his tongue out, panting. I laugh, and sit down cross legged on the floor. "Hey boy." I scratch his ears and kiss the top of his head. I glance up at Donavon and his face is a little pink. His jaw is clenched slightly. "Donnie?" He snaps out of it, and gives me his usual big lovin life smile. "What do you want to drink?" he asks, walking towards the kitchen. I let Geronimo chew on my finger, as I lean back on the other hand. "Whatcha got?" I ask. He opens is well stocked fridge. "Alcoholic, or non?" He asks, looking in my direction. I think for a second. The last time I drank was when I was in L.A. that was a long time ago. I'm 23 now. Why can't I drink every once in awhile. "Alcohol please." I tell him, smiling. He chuckes and opens a cabinet. He waves his hand in front of the many bottles lining the shelves. I jump up, Geronimo following close behind me. When I stop, he stops and sits next to me. I stare at the bottles. Patron. I snatch the bottle and he gets a wild smirk. "What?" I ask defensively. "Didn't take you to be a Patron kinda girl, I thought you were gonna go for this stuff." He points to some fruity shit that I would use as a chaser or not touch at all. I raise my eyebrows. "That's for the weak." I tell him as he pours the Patron into some cups. I pick mine up and him and Geronimo follow me to the living room. Donnie plops on the couch and motions for me to sit. I slowly sit next to him. Geronimo jumps on my lap and growls at Donnie. "Hey! I'm the one that broke you out!" he yells. Geronimo lays down on my lap, keeping his eyes on Donnie. I laugh, stroking his soft head. I take a sip of my drink, and hold back my cringe. It's been so long. The burn travels to my nose, and I breathe out through my nostrils, not my mouth. A trick I've learned over the years to subside the burning a tad. He takes a big gulp of his and easily swallows it back. He raises an eyebrow. Is he...challenging me? I give him a look, and throw my head back, swallowing the remainder of the clear liquid. The burning kind of stings my eyes but I ignore it. I look at him with a smug smirk. He chuckles, and gulps back the rest of his. Well, those didn't last long. It's been so long since I drank, that it immediately affects me, and I feel tingly and numb all over. He stares at me, watching me move my hair from my wet sticky forehead. It got super hot in here! "It's hot in here." I tell him. He leans foreward and takes off my leather jacket. I sigh as cool air hits my arms and I feel relief. He lets his hand slowly run down from my shoulder to my fingertips. Geronimo snaps his head up, and hits Donnie's hand with his paw. I laugh. "Look buddy, I've had my eye on her way longer than you have." He gets up and grabs a chew toy from the coffee table. I stare at him strangely. "What? Sometimes I forget to take them out of my pocket." he says, shrugging. I laugh again. He leads Geronimo towards an open door. He turns the light on and throws the toy in. Geronimo happily leaps towards it, and Don shuts the door. He grins. "Now where were we?" he asks, putting his hands on the back of the couch. He leans towards me, hesitantly. Our eyes lock. His ice blue eyes travel down my face, and his tongue slowly sweeps across his bottom lip. Am I ready for this? I finger the collar of his shirt, tilting my head up more. He smiles and his mouth softly come down on mine. It starts off slow, the both of us trying to get to know each other's lips. He gently runs his tongue across my teeth, causing me to open my mouth wider. I let him in and he immediately explores. Our tongues dance with each other, and I let out a small moan. His strong hands grab the back of my neck, twisting my hair around his fingers. I grab both sides of his face, pulling him towards me. He lays down so I'm straddling him, and puts both hands on my hips. He leaves my lips and softly kisses my neck, swirling his tongue in circles. I bite my lip, trying to supress the moans that want to break free. My whole body is numb and I feel fearless. There's no nervousness, or unsure feeling with him. He sucks softly underneath my jaw, and I start moving my hips. He groans, and I smile. He runs his fingers up my shirt, slowly taking it off. He digs his face in my chest, kissing one breast, than going to the other. I let my fingers get tangled in his quiff of reddish brown hair. So soft. I fumble with the buttons on his shirt, while his work on the clasp of my bra. I give up and rip the shirt open, breaking the buttons off. He looks down, than up at me. Oh shit. Is he mad I ripped his shirt? He attacks my mouth again, ripping my bra off of me. I giggle at his roughness, loving every second of it. He stands up, holding my legs around him. He walks towards one of the bedrooms, never taking his lips off some part of my body. He gets to the room and kicks the door shut, dropping me on the bed. He has his pants off in seconds and before I have a chance to unbutton mine, he's pulling them down, kissing and sucking on my stomach. I arch my back, letting him know that he's hitting the right spots. It baffles my mind that I denied him for 2 years, and played hard to get, yet look, how fast were both naked in his bed. What have I turned into? I guess 3 years is a long time. I didn't realize that I craved, attention, affection, and intamacy this much. He runs his tongue from the bottom of my stomach to my neck. I wrap my legs around him, and flip him over so I'm straddling him again. I suck hard on his neck, leaving a bright red hicky behind. He groans, holding me tighter against him. I kiss my way down to where the band of his boxers are. I pull them down slightly, swirling my tongue just above where his prized possesion is. I feel his manhood twitch a little and I come back up, crashing my lips onto his. All of a sudden, he pulls aways. I look at him confused, the both of us panting and out of breath. "I'm sorry Lena." he says, sincerely, looking a little sad. My body freezes. Did he really just say that? This can't be happening. Why? Why?! Why do they always say 'I'm sorry'? "For what?" I say, puzzled, my heart wanting to come out of my chest. "I told you, I'm not that kind of guy. I brought you here to play with Geronimo, cause I know how much he makes you happy and than maybe watch a movie or something. This--" he motions to a nearly naked us "wasn't supposed to happen." he says, rubbing his forehead. I stare at his troubled face in a whole new light. What other man would stop a naked girl sitting on top of him? I smile. "Donnie, if I didn't want to do this, I wouldn't be." I tell him. He looks at me. "I know, but this was supposed to be a romantic first date. I've liked you for 2 years, and I didn't want our first time out together to end in sex. You're the kind of girl guys wait for. You're the ones we bring home to our mama's. You're wifey material." he says. My insides melt at how sweet his words are. That's really how he saw me? To know that he thinks of me like that, turns me on more than I already am. I lean down and kiss him softly. "I love that you think of me that way. But I'm a big girl. If I didn't want to do this, I wouldn't be sitting naked on top of you." I tell him. He stares me in the eyes. "You're sure Lena?" he asks, searching what might as well be my soul. I nod, my hair slowly falling on his chest. "I probably need this more than you do." I say softly. He touches my face. "I've wanted you for so long, I wanted this to be special." he says. I laugh a little. "Shut up Donnie." I tell him, pulling him up to kiss him, sucking on his tongue. He groans and carefully lays me on my back and gently kisses his way back down again. He pulls my lace blue panties down my leg with his teeth, and kisses my inner thigh, softly and painfully slowly. I open my legs wider, hoping he'll go where I want him too but he kisses my other thigh instead. I let out a frustrated moan, and I feel him laugh against my skin. Finally, after what seems like a lifetime, a surge of pleasure runs through me, and I grab the blanket, biting my lip and moaning. His tongue does amazing things that I've only ever felt with one other person before. I grab his hair as he works his magic, his hands holding my hips down. I can't take it after awhile and my legs start to shake. I try to squirm away from him, so this amazing feeling can last, but he holds me down tighter. Right when I feel like I'm about to explode, he stops. My eyes snap open and I look down at him, panting. He wipes his mouth, smiling and comes up to kiss my neck. I can feel how hard he is through his boxers. These need to go. I hastily pull them down, and he laughs at my rushing. I lock my legs around his waist as he leans down towards my ear, breathing heavy. I bite my lip in anticipation. I hold in my moan when he enters me, but not for long. He moves his hips slowly, causing me to moan in pleasure as he hits the right spot every time. He gradually picks up speed and it's all I have in me not to scream. I dig my nails in his back, pressing him closer to me, wanting him to go deeper. He obeys and pins my arms, making me defenseless. I let him for a little while, my moans and screams getting louder. He smiles against my skin. I wrap my arms around his neck and forcefully turn us over, so I'm on top. He grabs my hips, moving me up and down. I bite his bottom lip, and pin his arms back the way he did mine. I don't need help. I got this. He grins at my assertivness. I grab his headboard and move my hips in a circle. His eyes roll back and he lets out one of the sexiest moans I've heard come out of a man. I go faster, than slow down and I can see in his eyes that I'm torturing him. "Fuck you Lena." he says, throwing his head back, and letting out a moan. "I think I got that covered." I say, moving my hips up and down. He sits up slightly, wrapping his arms around me. He moves his hips in a rhythm with mine, causing us both to scream out. My legs start shaking, and I don't know how much longer I can take it. I pull him closer to me, if it's even possible. He bites my neck, pumping in and out. I grab his hair, biting my lip. I feel myself tense up, than a wave of pure pleasure and ecstasy washes over me as I reach my peak. I let out a satisfied moan, and he follows not to far behind me, releasing himself, moaning and breathing heavy in my neck. My whole body feels warm and relaxed and I collapse on top of him, trying to catch my breath. He covers my face in soft kisses. I lay my head on his chest, as he softly plays with my hair. Whoa.
* * * *
I wake up to Geronimo's puppy whines coming from the next room. I look down to see Donnie's strong hands firmly around my waist. I turn to face him, and smile. His hair is laying across his forehead like it usually does, and he looks like innocent Don from work, not sexy Donnie from last night. I prefer innocent. I carefully slip out of bed so I don't wake him, and throw on his blue button up. I finger the thread where the buttons are supposed to be, and I bite my lip in slight embarrassment. Guess I got a little desperate. I feel my face a little hot remembering last nights events. I hear scratching and more puppy whines. I rush towards the noise. When I open the door, Geronimo bounds out of the room, and jumps up, scratching my legs with his puppy claws. I pick him up, and he licks my face. "Bad Donnie, he had you locked up all night." I tell him, and he lets out what he probably thinks is an initimidating growl, but it sounds like a cat's purr. I bury my face in his soft fur. "It's not all his fault. Lena was bad too." I tell him, laughing softly. He licks my nose and puts his paw on my cheek as if to say 'It's okay'. He struggles to get down, but he doesn't leave my side, following closely at my ankles as I walk to the kitchen. My stomach rumbles, and I pat it. Alright, alright, I'm working on it, I mentally tell my tummy. I open his fridge. What doesn't he have? I spot bacon and snatch it. I could just eat this whole pack and be fine, but not only will that give me a heart attack, I know Donnie will wake up famished like I am. We did hard work last night. I laugh outloud at myself. Okay, get out of Lena Land and start cooking. I pull out eggs and the ingredients to make pancakes. I don't know about him, but I want mine chocolate chip. I rummage through his cupboards, and bingo. I see a bag. Geronimo whines at my feet for some scraps of something, anything. I throw him a piece of bacon from the pan, and he paws at it from being so hot. I smirk at his adorableness. He looks up at me, wanting more. "No." I say firmly, not wanting him to get used to table food so quickly. He lays on his paws looking sad, and whines more. I shake my head. I turn back to my pancakes, when I hear Geronimo growl. "Hush it." Donnie's deep voice says. I smile when I look down to see his hands wrap around my waist. He breathes in my neck and leaves behind a soft kiss. "Good morning beautiful." he says. "Morning." I say, turning to face him. Our noses touch and he presses his lips on mine. "Are those.. chocolate chip?!" He asks excitedly, turning from me to the stove. "Yeah, but if you don't like them, I can make you some plain ones." I tell him. "Hell no! These are my fave!" he yells, grabbing one off the pan. "Dude it's hot!" I tell him, as he throws the pancake back and forth in his hands, looking like a fool trying to bite it. I shake my head. Goofball. After he hounds it, he takes my hand and leads me to the table. I looked at him confused, but he just gives me a kiss and tells me to sit down. I obey, and watch him serve me a plate, pour orange juice in a cup and bring it to me. I smile at him. Wow. "I'm sorry you had to cook, next time, leave it all to me." he says, running his fingers through my hair. "I don't mind doing it." I tell him. He shakes his head. "I do." he says. Well, alright than. I was super hungry not even 10 minutes ago, but now sitting here across from him, I can't really eat. Why? I pick at my food. He looks up from his plate, and smiles at me. Butterflies flutter in my stomach. Wait. What? I smile back, watching him tear up the pancakes. I try and force down some food. Butterflies. The corners of my mouth twitch up. I haven't felt those in a long time. "Lena, you done?" he asks, eyeing my full plate. I snatch the bacon. "Now I am." I tell him, taking a bite. He stabs my pancake and devours it. After he's done, he throws our plates in the dishwasher, and flops down on the couch. I walk over by him and he pulls me down on top of him. He brushes the hair out of my eyes, and just stares at me. "What?" I say, feeling uncomfortable. "Nothing." he says, his sky blue eyes twinkling. "Than why are you staring at me?" I say. "Cause I can." he says, raising his eyebrows. I roll my eyes. He laughs and pulls me down to kiss my lips. He sighs when I pull away. "Did last night really happen?" he asks. I smirk. "Obviously." I say, pointing to myself, wearing nothing but his shirt. He trails his fingers slowly over my stomach. "You're more perfect than I ever thought you would be." he says. I play with his brown strands of hair, and clear my throat. "What we did last night-- I don't-- Uhm." I stutter. He looks at me, waiting. "I don't want you to think I'm a whore, or anything. I just haven't had sex in a long time." I blurt out. He stares at me stunned, than busts out laughing. I cross my arms. "Well, I'm glad I amuse you." I say, grumpily. "Oh Lena." he pulls me down again, wrapping his arms around me. "I would never think that of you. You're an amazing beautiful woman, that I'm privileged to even talk to, let alone be here with you right now." he says. Oh no. I feel my face get hot, and I cover it quickly, the sleeves of his shirt hanging over my hands. "What is that?" he asks, amused. He moves my hands. "Lena Osvala, are you blushing?" he asks. Lord, if you only knew kid. "No, sometimes my face gets red for no reason." I tell him, smirking. He laughs, loudly. "Awe Lena." he pulls me down again, burying my face in his chest. All of a sudden I hear growling. I look down to see Geronimo pulling Donnie's pant leg. "Hey!" Don tries to shoo him off, but the puppy isn't giving up. I giggle, covering my mouth. Geronimo leaps on the couch, stumbling over Donnie's legs, barking and growling. "Down!" he tells him. The pups ears go up, and I know he knows what that means, but he doesn't move and stares at Donnie instead. "Lena, can you tell your demon dog to get off my couch." he says. I hit him. "He's not a demon dog!" I pull myself off of Donnie, and snatch up Geronimo. "Come on boy." I say, burying my face in his soft puppy fur. I take him to the backyard so he can run around and use the bathroom, when I notice I'm not really wearing clothes. Reluctantly, I leave behind my pup and snatch my clothes from Donnie's room. I get dressed than go back downstairs. I look at the clock. Almost noon. I sigh, and let Geronimo back in the house. Donnie sees me and immediatley looks sad. "You're leaving.. already?" he says. I nod. "I spend every Sunday with my mom. I haven't missed a day in 3 years." I say proudly. He sighs, and pulls me to him. His lips kiss my forehead, my nose, my cheeks, than finally my own lips. I smile into the kiss. When I pull away, his strong hands pull me back and I laugh. "I'll see you at work tommorrow." I say, giving him one last kiss. He keeps hold of my hand as is slips away. "Take care of my dog!" I say, pointing a finger at him. Geronimo stands by Donnie, his ears down and whining. When I get to the door, he lets out a bark. I turn around and he puts his paw in the air, swatting at me. I pat my leg and he comes running. I kiss his nose and he licks my face. "I'll see you tomorrow my love." I tell him, than slip out with the both of them looking at me like their world is going to end. I shake my head, smirking as I get into my car. What have I gotten myself into?
* * * *
"Mmmmm, is that menudo I smell?" I ask, walking into Mami's house. She doesn't hear me. She's dancing around, singing to the radio. I smile, and watch her, standing by the kitchen table. She does a spin, and when she sees me, she lets out a scream and holds her chest. I erupt into giggles. She hits me with a tortilla. "Alena Michelle! No me asustas asi!" I pull her in my arms. "I'm sorry. I said something, it's not my fault you're deaf." I tell her. She pushes me and I laugh harder. She stands at the stove, flipping tortillas. I look into the humungous pot on the stove and I was right. Menudo. I get this giddy feeling in my tummy, and I feel like I did when we were little. When Papi used to make menudo. I sit cross legged at the table and she hands me a full bowl and puts a plate down of freshly homeade tortillas. I take one bite and I hear Joe run down the stairs. "Menudo?!" His eyes are all big and bright, just like when we were little. "Ay, que grande estan, pero siento que todavia tengo chiquillos." Mami says, but she still serves him a bowl. Me and Joe both bounce in our seat, taking in the amazing taste of Mami's cooking. How much I miss it, even if I eat it every Sunday. Joe nods at me. "Why you so happy for?" he says, with a mouth full of soup. I throw a piece of tortilla at him. "I could ask you the same question." I say. "I'm eating." he answers, diving back in the bowl. A glass full of ice cold Pepsi is sat in front of me, and one full of fruit punch is sat in front of Joe. We both chug it like we've been thirsty for days. Mami stares at us, beaming. 23 and 25 years old. But to her we'll always be her babies. My stomach drops as I think of my sister. She should be here. I miss her so much it hurts. I spend the day being lazy with Mami. Well, mostly me being lazy. She never sits still, up and cleaning or catering to my brother. I go upstairs to my old room. It's still the same. I curl up under my old blue comforter and call Ahmity. She answers on the third ring. "Hello?" "I have so much to tell you it's not even funny!" I say. She lets out a shriek. I spend half an hour telling her about last nights events. She bust out laughing. "Lena what the fuck? 'I'm not a whore or anything'! Who says that?!" She makes fun of me. "Shut up! I do!" I say, wishing I could throw something at her. "Okay, so than what happened?" I tell her about his magical tongue, and magical *ahem*. She laughs again. "Damn! I'm so glad this happened. You're uptight ass needed some butt." she says. I throw my head back and laugh. I can't even be mad at her for saying that, cause it's true. I finish my story, more screaming and laughing, than ask about her and Phred. It seems like it's been years since we've talked and I need to know every single detail. Apparently, she was on the set of 'Nothin On You' "MTV LENA!" She yells. "I met B.O.B.! It was bananas! There were so many cameras, and lights, and people! It was amazing!" she gushes. A pang of jealousy hits me, but I shake it off. "I bet it was amazing." I say, trying to sound light. "Oh yeah! And you know how the video has all these girls' faces on what looks like paper and stuff?! If you look really hard, my face is in there! MY FACE!!!" she screams. I laugh. "I miss you so much." I say. She gets calm and says "I miss you more." "I miss you more!" I hear in the background. I smile. The phone shuffles and Phredley Brown's deep voice sings back to me. "Hi Phred." I say. "Hello Lena." he says. "How are you?" I ask. "I'm okay." He pretends to cry. "It's just so hard not seeing you!" I laugh. "I'm gonna visit.. one day." I say. "Okay.." He sniffs. He hands the phone back to Ahmity. "So.. you're gonna visit?" she asks, hopefully. I sigh, and push back the pain. "One day." I say. She sighs too. "Yeah.. one day."
* * * *
I stare at the people surrounding Geronimo's kennel. A heavy feeling settles in my stomach. I know he's not mine. Technically. But I have a special bond with him, and to see people that will potentially adopt him, breaks my heart. I feel a pair of strong hands wrap around my waist. "You okay?" Donnie says in my ear. His breath tickles me. I shake my head. He kisses my temple. "I'm sorry babe." he says. The people thin out, but this elderly couple remains. No good. I'm in no way judging the people themselves, but I've worked with animals long enough to know that a rott and this couple are a horrible match. They won't know what to do when Geronimo gets to full size. They eventually walk away to the smaller dogs more suitable. I rush to his kennel and kneel down. "Hey boy." He chews on my finger, and paws at the lock, crying for me to get him out. "You gotta stay in here." I tell him. He whines, and lets out a low bark. I see Dr. Pearce and rush back to my spot at the front desk. He's showing a family with children Geronimo. The kids rush up to his kennel, and as fast as they go to him, that's how fast they scream and run away. I stand up, alarmed. Geronimo has his teeth bared and he's growling and snapping. Dr. Pearce stands between his kennel and the family. "I'm sorry about that. He's probably just moody cause of all the people gawking at him. He normally has a very calm demeanor and he's a sweet dog." The mother of the kids, nods, but clearly she wants nothing to do with him. When they walk away, I kneel in front of his kennel again to see what's wrong. He licks my hand, and waves his paw in the air at me. I stare at him confused. "What are you doing boy? Nobody's gonna want you if you act like that." I tell him. He swipes at the lock. I sigh and give him a kiss through the kennel. 2 days go by with Geronimo doing the same thing. Growling, snapping and barking at potential owners that want to adopt him. He even tried to bite Dr. Pearce. "Everybody but Lena." he says, looking at me. They take him outside with the trainer to test his agression. But he passes with flying colors. They evaluate him, but find nothing wrong. They examine him, but he's perfectly healthy. They even switch his kennel to see if that makes a difference. But everytime those doors open, he does the same thing. I shake my head watching him turn into Cujo at the innocent people. It's almost 6. I stretch and crack my back. Time to go home. I say my usual goodbye to Geronimo, when I hear voices. I thought doc went home. I watch him and Donnie talking. "I honestly don't know what it is. Everytime we try to find something that could be bothering him, we come up with zilch. The only thing I can think of, is he's stressing himself out, but for what, I don't know." Dr. Pearce says. Donnie nods. "I've been there through every agression test and he passes every one. Except when Lena's around me. He doesn't seem to like me much than." he says with a smirk. Dr. Pearce shakes his head. "I'm giving him one week. If we can't come up with a reason for these agression fits, he's gonna have to be put down." he says. I cover my mouth to keep from crying out loud. Donnie nods, looking grim. I run out the door to my car when I see them walking towards me. I sit there, staring at my steering wheel. Don opens the passenger door and slips in. He holds my hand. "I'm sorry." he says for the 80th time in a week. I shake away tears. I hate that word. "Stop saying that word please." I say, with a lump in my throat. "Why do we even have that stupid rule?! Why aren't we allowed to adopt?!" I yell, causing my tears to fall. I hated that rule since I started. Employees are not allowed to adopt from the shelter. It's to give the community a fair chance at finding a great animal to give a home to. I hate it. I sniff and wipe my tears away. Donnie holds me in his arms. "I know, it's the dumbest rule in the book. But he's going to be okay." he says. "How do you know?" I ask him. He shakes his head. "Because thinking otherwise isn't allowed." "Says who?" I ask. "Says me." He kisses my forehead.
** A week later**
I can literally feel my heart cracking in half when I hear Geronimo's distinct growl and bark. Today's his last day. I see Dr. Pearce's face as he hold his chin in his hand, studying Geronimo. He sighs, than proceeds to walk to his kennel. I hold in my scream. He puts the leash on him and starts to take him to the back. "No!" I yell. Doc stops and looks at me. I run from behind the desk. "I don't know why he's doing this, but you can't uthinize him." I tell him. He sighs heavily and shakes his head. "Lena, he's not a safe dog to be put in the community. Lord knows why he's only like that to everyone but you, but bottom line, he's too aggressive and I have no other choice." Tears start to fall down my cheeks. "Let me adopt him!" He shakes his head again. "Lena.." he starts to reprimand. "I know! I know the stupid rule. But if he has a chance, why would you deny him that?" Dr. Pearce stares down at Geronimo, quietly sitting next to him. He shakes his head. "No, I'm sorry Lena, I know you love this dog, but I can't break any more rules. I need my shelter up and running." he says, walking away. "Dr. Pearce!" I scream running after him. "Please!" I beg him, the tears running down my face. Geronimo sees me upset and starts to struggle to get to me. Dr. Pearce lets him go, and I pick him up. He's gotten so heavy and big so fast. I bury my face in his fur. "Lena, you're making this more difficult than it has to be." he says. I don't give in. "You're shelter is about giving abandoned and injured animals second chances. The damned community saw him, they had their chance. And he didn't want them! I'm not trying to sound conceited, but I'm going to anyways. Geronimo doesn't want any of those people. He wants me. Anyone with 2 eyes and a brain can see that. But because of a stupid fuckin rule, A RULE! nothing more, you're going to end his life?!" He stares at me intently. I struggle to hold Geronimo up. I'm not letting him go. Dr. Pearce runs his fingers through his hair, than squints his eyes shut. He's cracking. "You know this dog and I have something doc." I tell him, pushing it. "Alright!" he yells, throwing his hands in the air. A smile creeps across my face. "Don't make a habit of this shit Lena!" he points his finger at me. I hold in my squeel. He shakes his head, upset, but than he starts to crack a smile. "You give me hell kid. Get em out here!" He says, walking away. I squeeze Geronimo and he lets out a yelp. "Let's go home!" I yell, setting him down. I call Donnie on the way to my car, Geronimo happily trotting by my side. "Hey babe." he answers. My stomach flutters. I'm not used to him calling me that yet. "Guess what?" I say, leaning on the car door. "Chicken butt." he says, maturely. I laugh. "In 10 minutes, I'll be at home, with my new dog." I say. "You got a dog?" he asks. Geronimo barks as if on cue. "Is that...? Lena!" he yells. I laugh into the phone. "He let keep him Don! He cracked and he let me keep him!" I start jumping out of excitement. I hear an unsatisfied "Hmmph" on the other end of the line. "Are you really gonna rain on my parade?" I ask. He sighs. "Nooo." he finally says sadly. "I'm just upset that I have to share you, especially when he hates me!" he says. I giggle. "Well deal with it.. I got two men in my life now." I say. He pauses than "Does that mean..? Are you saying what I think you're saying?" he says. I smile, looking down at my pup. "Uhm.. yeah." I say. I hear the phone drop and a loud, muffled "Whoooooooo". I laugh, shaking my head. "I'm back." Donnie says, calmly. "Are you okay?" I ask. "I'm fuckin fantastic! I got a beautiful, amazing girlfriend!" he says. My heart lurches. Girlfriend. He's my boyfriend. I have a boyfriend. I'm deep in thought when he says. "Lena, I promise you, I will NEVER be like him. I'm never going to hurt you." I swallow. I've heard those words too many times before. "I'm going to have to prove it to you, I know, but I've wanted you too long to fuck this up." I clear my throat. "Donnie, it's kind of too early to be making promises like that." I say. "Okay, I'm sorry, I know I'm coming off too strong. You just make me so happy." he says. I fidget. I'm not used to hearing stuff like that anymore. I've kept my guard up and been protecting my heart for years. Am I ready for this? I let out a shaky breath. "Lena, you're an amazing woman, you just don't even know. People should be honored and privaleged to talk to you. I'm not gonna mess this up." he says. My face turns red at his words. Geronimo paws at my leg and whines. I pat the top of his head and he licks my fingers. "I hope not." I say, truly meaning it. "I would be a fool to lose something so precious and amazing." he says. My face feels a little hot and it's threatening to turn red. "I'll see you tomorrow at work Don." I tell him. "Okay, see you later my precious angel." he says. I hang up, with my cheeks kind of hurting from smiling. I look down at Geronimo. "He's kind of amazing. Why don't you like him?" I say. Geronimo bares his teeth, his pink tongue flicking in and out, growling low in his throat. I laugh. "Okay, okay, I won't push it." I scratch his ears and open my car door. He looks at me, than the car. "Let's go home." I tell him. He barks once and doesn't move. "Come on!" I urge him. He whines and waddles his pudgy belly self over to the passenger side. He barks again. I walk over and lean my head to the side, looking at him. He gets impatient and runs and pushes me with both paws. I can't help it and bust out laughing at his adorableness. I open the door, and he happily jumps in the front seat, laying down and getting comfortable. "If you think this is how life is going to be, you always having your way, think again Mister." I tell him, pointing my finger at him. He yawns, because I'm obviously boring him, and lays his head on his paws. I close the door laughing. I honestly could not be more happy than I am at this moment in time. Donnie's stirring something inside me that I thought would be lost forever. It might take some time for me to open up mentally with him, but I'm willing if he is, to take the journey. I realize now that Bruno and I were young and naive, and let's be honest. How many teenage relationships really last untill adulthood and beyond? I'm not saying it's not possible, just saying me and Bruno weren't that fortunate. I'm 23 and have moved on from my past. I'm ready, and willing, and EAGER to start opening my heart again, and something deep in my soul tells me that Donnie is the perfect start..........................................................................
**End of Part 1**