. . .
The summer breeze blew through her long blonde hair as Lucy Heartfilia leaned against the hood of her little red convertible. The waters sparkled in the sun’s rays and for the first time in a long time, Lucy let out a sigh and smiled. Leaning back, she stretched her arms over her head, her fingers touching the windshield. “For the first time in a long time I think something might actually work,” she said aloud to no one in particular.
A puffy white cloud passed overhead and the blonde placed an arm over her eyes to block out some of the sun. She thought about what she wanted to do with her last day of freedom. “Mr. Wills said I need to be at the estate by two p.m. Which means I can stay out this evening and still have plenty of time to spare,”she reasoned with herself internally.
Lucy had always been a planner. Even when she was a child, she’d written herself schedules, lists and daily tasks to keep herself organized. And while it had become a bit more difficult to control every aspect of her life as an adult, that didn’t stop her from trying.
Sitting back up, she took another deep breath of the salty air before jumping off the hood of the car and hopping over the driver side door. Starting up the little Italian car, she placed it in first gear before zooming off towards her hotel, her hair blowing wildly around her face.
A few miles of winding roads found her at the little white cottage. It wasn’t a hotel as much as it was a toned down version of a bed and breakfast. This area of the bay wasn’t built up much and besides the extraordinarily expensive resort in town and a heaping of equally upscale B&B’s, Lucy was thankful to have found something within her budget.
Hoping back over the driver side door, she walked around the car to grab the small suitcase that had been her traveling companion. The little cottage was picturesque, with bright flowers lining large stepping stones up to the wrap around porch. The steps creaked slightly under her weight as she walked up to the front door, the little place clearly showing its age.
Grabbing the small brass knocker, Lucy tapped it three times and waited patiently for her host. “Coming!” an elderly voice sounded from behind the door. “You must be Lucy,” the woman said as she welcomed the blonde inside.
“Yes, thank you ma’am,” Lucy responded politely.
The woman matched her house perfectly. Her gray hair was tied back in a loose bun atop her head with not a hair out of place. She wore a delicate blouse and loose skirt and a pair of sneakers and had obviously lost a few inches over the course of her life. Lucy imagined she must have been a true beauty when she was younger. The house itself was the perfect beach cottage, with sea shells and little knick knacks strategically placed throughout the entranceway.
“Did you make it out of the city okay?” the woman asked as she led Lucy through a tour of the home.
“I hit a bit of traffic but you know what the city is like,” Lucy laughed.
“Thankfully, it’s been over a decade since I’ve had to go there,” the woman replied.
“I look forward to the time I can say that!” Lucy responded and the two women shared a smile.
The woman led Lucy down a few steps before handing her a key and opening the door. “Here is the attached suite where you’ll be staying,” the woman said, ushering Lucy through the door. “The bathroom’s just through there,” she said, pointing at a little door to the corner of the room. “And that door there is the private entrance if you need to come back or leave after hours.”
“Thank you,” Lucy said with another smile as she placed her suitcase onto the bed. “It looks wonderful! I only wish it were for more than one night!”
“Come back and see me any time. Guest or not, you’re a part of the family now,” she said and Lucy couldn’t help the warm feeling that sprung up in her heart.
“That means a lot to me, thank you.” The woman nodded and turned to exit but Lucy stopped her. “I was hoping to go out and explore a little tonight. Do you have any suggestions on where I could go that’s in walking distance?” Lucy didn’t expect there to be a large uber presence in the area and she did want to have a few drinks on her last night of freedom.
“The resort area is pretty much the only commercial area around,” the woman explained. “It’s about a three block’s walk. Most people your age go to the restaurant there. They’ve got a bar and some sort of dance club on the upper level that starts up after my bedtime.”
Lucy giggled lightly as the woman winked at her. “Thanks for the info. I’ll have to check it out.”
“Just remember if you come back late, that key will only work on the side entrance.”
“Got it, thank you!” Lucy replied.
“Well, let me know if you need anything else. I’ll let you get settled in,” the woman said with a waive as she closed the door.
As soon as the door clicked shut, Lucy flopped down on the bed, the springs beneath her creaking in agitation. She squeezed her eyes shut, trying not to let her anxiety about her new job get the better of her. “This is a new start. I’m not going to let old things hold me back anymore,”she promised herself.
Shaking her head she rolled over and unzipped her suitcase. Rummaging through her few bits of clothing, she found the perfect outfit for the evening. She laid it out on the bed before heading into the bathroom to take a quick shower. As much as she loved her little alfa romeo, driving with the top down wasn’t the best for keeping one’s hair in order.
Within an hour she was dressed and ready to hit the town. She twirled in front of the dresser mirror and smiled at her reflection. It had been a long time since she felt this good. She loved this mini dress and so rarely had a place to wear it but it was perfect for tonight. The polka dot pattern coupled with its long sleeves made up for the fact that it cut quite low in the front and quite high on her legs. She paired it with leather strappy sandals and a pop of red lipstick before pulling her long hair into a messy bun on top of her head.
She stuffed some cash, her phone and the little key ring into her cross body bag before looping it over her arm and heading out for her last night of freedom. Her walk into town was mostly deserted in the beginning but as she got closer, more and more people began to appear until finally she was in the center of everything. The resort overlooked the bay and restaurants and boutique shops crowded the two street blocks that made up this area’s commercial district.
Lucy took her time to wander into a few stores to look through their trinkets. But just as she was about to walk into the last shop, her stomach growled, reminding her that she had neglected it for some time. Looking around, most of the restaurants seemed fairly busy—and expensive. She cringed as she looked at a few of the menus. “Fifteen dollars for a side salad? Yikes,”she thought internally. It must have been later than she expected, because she could hear music pouring out of the resort nearby.
“Well, grams did mention that the resort bar was where people my age went. Maybe the food is more reasonably priced there,”Lucy reasoned with herself as she walked towards the music. When she reached the downstairs bar, she looked at the menu incased in glass outside and smiled. “Eight dollar drinks and food during happy hour. Score!”she said as she entered through revolving doors and took a seat at the bar.
The place was busy but not so busy that it was hectic. Most of the people sitting at the bar had their eyes glued to the televisions. Lucy looked up to see the America’s Cup race. The blonde chuckled a little at how fitting it was that everyone here was watching yachting. It just kind of fit.
The bartender approached and Lucy ordered something to eat and a glass of white wine to match. As she waited for her food, she turned around in her chair to watch the bustle of people moving about outside. A few people looked at her oddly, likely not able to understand why she wasn’t watching the race but she didn’t care. She wanted to get the full of experience of this place tonight, not watch television; she could do that any night.
The low hum of an engine caught her attention and her eyes widened as a black Alfa Romeo 8C pulled up in front of the resort. She watched with rapt attention as the car’s owner stepped out of the driver’s seat. Lucy tried to suppress a moan as she got a good look at the man. He was exactly her type: tall, muscled, with a face that looked like it scowled often. His dirty blond hair was faded on the sides with the top longer and slicked to the side. He was a beautiful specimen.
One of the attendants came running up but the man shook his head before throwing the keys to another valet that was standing a few feet back. Lucy could hear the last few words the man said as he made his way through the rotating door. “You’re the only one I trust with her, Michael.” His voice was a deep baritone and sent shivers through Lucy’s entire body. The attendant Michael raised a hand up in a mock salute and the man chuckled as he entered the room.
“Your drink, ma’am,” the bartender said, startling her out of her ogling. She turned around, cheeks red and thanked the man before taking a long sip. The bartender looked at her with a bit of a furrowed brow. Lucy knew he was likely sizing her up to be a problem but she couldn’t be bothered with that right now.
“Gary, good to see you,” the deep voice sounded behind her and she kept her eyes fixed on the television, even though she so desperately wanted to look at the man that was presently coming up behind her.
“Wasn’t expecting to see you here,” the bartender responded, coming over to shake the man’s hand.
“Got some business to handle tomorrow,” his voice washed over Lucy from just to the right of her.
“Four roses?” the bartender asked and the man nodded. He stayed standing, waiting for his drink and Lucy finally couldn’t resist the urge any longer.
“Were you driving an 8C?” she all but blurted out.
The man turned to look at her with wide eyes. She met his gaze briefly before having to break eye contact; his stare too heavy for her to meet for long. It was as if the man was sizing her up before deciding to respond. Finally he spoke, “Not many people would know that,” he said simply, answering the question by not answering it.
“I’ve got one of my own is all,” Lucy said a little sheepishly. One of the man’s eyebrows lifted and Lucy suddenly realized she needed to clarify. “An Alfa Romeo,” she said. “Not an 8C,” she said with a small chuckle.
“Dammit, I am totally messing this up,”she internally chided herself. She hated herself for being so awkward right now. This was supposed to be her night and here she was making a fool of herself to the most gorgeous man she had ever seen.
The man shrugged, his black tee stretching across his muscled shoulders. “Considering that there were only ninety shipped to the US total, it’s possible,” he paused. “Just improbable.”
Lucy smiled a fake smile. “Sorry, just had to ask is all,” she said before turning back to take a drink of her wine.
She could feel the eyes of the man still on her and she kept her gaze forward, pretending to ignore his intense stare. Thankfully, the bartender returned with his drink and her food to break up the awkward silence.
Lucy began to idly munch the vegetables on her hummus plate, keeping her mouth shut for fear of humiliating herself again. The man took a seat next to her at the bar, turning to face her, his long legs spread on either side of her body the only way that he fit in the small space. “Question for you,” he said and Lucy had no choice but to turn and face him.
He was so much closer to her now. She could smell his cologne and it had her brain short-circuiting. “Come on, Lucy. Concentrate.” She looked up into his eyes and immediately became distracted by their interesting pale blue, almost gray color. “Question for you,” he said but someone calling out to him from the other side of the room had him turning towards the sound.
Lucy looked herself to see an older man in a suit waiving at him from across the lobby. “Excuse me,” he said, leaving his seat abruptly, taking his drink with him and heading towards the new arrival.
Lucy let out a breath she didn’t realize she had been holding in before taking another long drink to finish her glass of wine. “Another?” the bartender said as he noticed her set down the empty glass.
“Please,” she said with a smile.
The bartender gave her a knowing look. “He has that effect on everyone,” he said. “If you hang around here long enough, you’ll eventually get used to his intensity.”
“Who is he?” Lucy asked before shoving a bit of pita and hummus into her mouth.
“That’s Laxus Dreyar.”
END CHAPTER 1
This one should be fun. Modern AU. Mixing in bits and pieces of my own life in here so if you don’t like something, blame the universe cause that’s what it dished out to me.
Hope you enjoy this new adventure. This one’s been bugging in my head for a long time and I’ve tried starting it multiple times and it never worked right. But tonight it just flowed so hopefully that keeps up!
Love you all! Oh, and don’t worry. This is me writing. So it will have all. the. fun. *wink