FAGEY McFAGEINGTON THE 5th
Title: Wired Wrong
Written for: Rose Melissa Ivashkov
Written By: celesticbliss
Rating: M for a bit of lime!
Summary/Prompt used: Awkward but stunning escort is hired, he falls for her awkward charms
If you would like to see all the stories that are a part of this exchange visit the facebook group: Fanficaholics Anon: Where Obsession Never Sleeps or add the C2 to get all the stories direct to your inbox.
This is my first Bloodlines/VA venture and I hope I did it justice! I opted for an AH storyline, but tried very hard to keep them in character!
Many thanks, as always, to Vampmama for orchestrating another awesome FAGE and for pre-reading/editing this for me!
Rose- I truly hope I did your prompt justice!
We don't have to fix each other, just come over
You don't have to say forever, come over
You don't have to stay forever, just come over
One look in the mirror and I snorted at the girl looking back. She did not look like a history major. She especially did not look like a girl who had somehow been duped into a stupid social experiment for her roommate's psychology final. She looked confident and secure. She also looked like a call girl.
Oh wait, she was.
Maybe I should back up.
My name is Sydney Sage, and my ex-best friend and roommate talked me into being a prostitute. Maybe prostitute was a bad word. An escort, rather. Jill was a psychology major. We met freshman year when I needed a roommate for the apartment I was renting. Anything to stay out of the dorms, and she agreed. Now, in our senior year, she needed to complete a social experiment, and she dropped this bomb on me only two weeks before it was due.
Something about whether or not paying for your company improves ones confidence, or something. Normally I would have asked her all the ins and outs of the project, but with my own finals approaching, I settled for the cliff notes version. I was confident in my ability to be a completely unaffected test subject. In Jill's current condition, I knew she wouldn't be able to do that.
I pulled and tugged at the short coral colored dress. It wasn't too revealing by any means, but I felt as close to exposed as I'd ever been, apart from my birth.
"Sydney, he'll be here any minute!" Jill's impatient shriek sounded from outside the bathroom door.
"I look like a harlot!" I screamed back, knowing full well it was too late to change my mind. However, I could make her feel guilty as hell until the night was over.
"Good!" she yelled back. I rolled my eyes and triple checked my makeup. Even if it was pretty, I still felt like scrubbing my face and opting for my neutral shades and clear lip gloss. Jill had an unnatural affliction toward pink and shimmer.
My usual straight blonde hair was curled into big spirals, with the top half pinned back behind my ears.
The dress barely skimmed my knees, and had one strap on my shoulder, leaving the other completely bare. I longed for a shawl... anything to cover myself up a little more. Jill rolled her eyes and refused to entertain my body issues.
I drew in a deep breath, gave myself what I hoped was the best look of confidence I could muster up, and exited the bathroom just as the buzzer sounded.
"He's here, he's here!" Jill jumped up and ran over to me, handing me a small clutch bag.
"Remember, just be yourself." I shot her a dirty look, to which she gave me a pointed glare in return. "You agreed to the full evening with him. Your job is to just have fun, and come home and give me a report afterward."
I nodded and waved a hand at her.
"Yeah, yeah I got it. See if he's a pig, come home and let you know. Got it."
She grinned and held down the button to buzz through our expected guest.
I was apprehensive about the stranger picking me up at our apartment, but Jill assured me that with the help of Mr. Mazur, her professor, the man I'd be spending my evening with passed a background check with flying colors.
"Hey Syd?" she asked, in the moments we waited for the knock on the door.
I raised my eyebrow in response.
"Thanks for doing this for me... I know it should be me."
And just like that, I melted. Jill just went through a messy breakup with her boyfriend of four years. Even the thought of this fake-date had her shaking.
My love life, on the other hand, was non-existent. I had a few dinner and a movie nights with guys from my classes, but nobody ever made a lasting impression. Jill often teased me saying that I wasn't built for love, only for books. This was after I threatened her life after a foiled attempt to set me up on a blind date. I laughed along, but somewhere deep inside I was terrified that she was right, and that I had wires crossed. After a while I gave up and wrote of dating until after graduation.
I nodded and gave her a wink.
"You know me, anything for a free drink!"
She giggled, and I knew that we were good.
Adrian Ivashkov was beautiful. Can a man be beautiful? No matter. He was. He had deep brown shaggy hair, stubble across his face and the greenest eyes I'd ever seen. He showed up to the door holding a single lily, and dressed in a suit.
"Hello..." I managed to utter. He smirked and handed me the flower. I momentarily freaked out at the feeling that erupted in my stomach. For a split second, I imagined throwing up all over his shiny shoes.
Were these butterflies in my stomach? I'd never experienced the feeling, and I often chalked it up to being some over dramatic expression for lust.
"Shall we?" he asked, shaking me from the trance.
I nodded and took his arm.
I shot a nervous look towards Jill as we walked away. She only grinned and offered me a small wave, then closed the door.
Any words I thought to say on the way to the elevator seemed stupid and immature when walking with him.
"You look stunning, Ms. Sage," he commented on the descent, breaking the silence. I freaking blushed at his words. Blushed!
"Thank you, Mr. Ivashkov, but do you think it's wise that we are so formal with each other?" I asked. "I mean, according to you, we've been dating for a few months now."
He cleared his throat and glanced at the floor.
"Right... yes," he replied before taking my arm again when the elevator dinged open.
On our way to the parking structure, I learned that we would be attending the wedding of a Rose Hathaway to a Dimitri Belikov. Not only were they friends of the family, but Rose was Adrian's ex.
The butterflies were quickly replaced by the overwhelming urge to back out, the thought of pretending to be an escort who was pretending to be his date? A tangled web indeed.
I insisted upon driving, and much to his dismay he had to send his driver to the location without us in the back seat. I didn't think it was safe to rely on a stranger for a ride home afterward. I knew I'd be able to relax more knowing that I had a quick escape.
"This is your car?" he asked, a smirk playing at his lips.
"Hey, no knockin' on the ride!" I nudged him and went to the driver side. He held up his hands in surrender.
I shot him a look and unlocked the doors.
Truth be told, I had enough family money to buy something a little nicer, but when I perused the car lot, the old beater station wagon looked like an abandoned puppy to me. I couldn't resist.
The drive to the church wasn't too painful. We filled the silence with a re-hash of the story I was paid to play along with. Little did he know, I had no intention of accepting payment after the night ended. I cringed internally when I anticipated letting him in on my little ruse. I didn't feel right about accepting payment, and I couldn't very well turn it down without being honest with him.
"Please don't feel like you need to entertain anyone here, Sydney." My stomach flipped when he used my given name for the first time. "A lot of people here will be curious about you. I will be at your side to prevent anyone from pestering you too much."
I put the car in park and turned toward him.
"I can assure you, I can handle myself," I told him, at the same time I was reassuring myself.
He gave me a nod, and then looked toward the church entrance. Guests were filing into the doors slowly.
"Shall we?" I asked, snapping him back to attention. He took a deep breath and reached for the door handle.
"As I'll ever be..." he muttered under his breath. For a tiny moment, I saw a glimpse of this man that I doubted he intended for me to see. He was nervous. Terrified even. His cool facade was transparent to me. At moments he almost seemed guilty.
The brief slip was over by the time he reached my side of the car. His cool smirk was back with his hand extended out to me. I took it, and took my own calming intake of air. It was showtime.
The ceremony was stunning. We were one of the last to arrive, so thankfully we skirted around any small talk. We took a seat near the back and I took in the crowd silently.
The groom stood in the front, and I could see what the bride saw in him. I doubted that I'd ever seen someone look so... manly. I guessed that he stood over six and a half feet. He was broad and defined. He had hair long enough to be tied back at the nape of his neck.
That is what love looks like. Wires crossed or not, I recognized true love when I got a glimpse of his face, as the bride took her walk down the aisle.
I also couldn't help but take notice at Adrian's expression either. Though it was nowhere near the admiration in the groom's face, I could see an obvious look of affection. I may not be the expert in love, but I didn't see it in Adrian.
I was sick with myself when I felt relieved.
Rose Hathaway was a vision. Her face mirrored her future husband's. Though, she did make brief eye contact with Adrian, which had him gasping almost silently. The look on her face almost broke my heart for him. She was thankful that he came, but there was a flash of something else. Something that looked something like a mix of regret and pity.
The small exchange between them had a small part of me thankful that maybe I wasn't built for love. I wasn't sure I could survive through the kind of devastation that led to the looks I saw on their faces.
Without thinking, I moved my hand the few short inches to Adrian's and gave it a small squeeze. He reciprocated and let out a breath I hadn't realized he was holding.
"Can I ask?" I inquired in a low tone, close to a whisper. I half hoped he wouldn't hear me. But, of course he did.
We were in my car again, making the short drive to the reception hall.
"I suppose I owe you that much," he replied as I parked the car. He nodded toward the outside of the car.
Even though I was unable to see how he owed me anything, I didn't argue.
I followed him out and he produced a silver case and lighter from his suit pocket. I'd never been a fan of cigarette smoke, but something about watching him wrapping his lips around the filter and take a pull, then releasing the smoke had me mesmerized.
"Dimitri is older than Rose. Nothing major, but there's a big enough difference that it worried him. Not to mention that he was a teacher, and she was a student."
I nodded, and leaned against my car, waiting for him to continue.
"Nothing much happened until they graduated, but even after they started dating, Dimitri had his doubts. He was scared of taking advantage of her and broke it off."
"That's when Rose and I got close. Needless to say, he realized the error in his ways and wanted her back."
I knew he was skimming over the top of the story, but I didn't dare press for more.
We both saw the limo that carried the new Mr. and Mrs. drive up and stop in front of the hall. When they stepped out and walked into the applause of their loved ones, Adrian's face went soft.
"Those two, Sydney..." he waved at the now closed doors while taking another drag from his cigarette, "Those two were made for each other. I was merely an obstacle set in their path. They needed something to help them realize the severity of their love," He said on his exhale. His voice was soft, and pained.
I felt a sting behind my eyelids. The day had already gone past Jill's stupid project. This was all hitting too close to home. How they hell was I supposed to support someone who was heartbroken, when I was convinced that my own heart didn't even work? I briefly toyed with the idea of Jill being psychic. This was exactly the kind of situation she would throw me into so that I could face my insecurities.
I reached forward and plucked the cigarette from Adrian's hand, and put it out with my toe.
He gave me a quizzical look and the smirk returned.
"You mentioned an open bar, didn't you?" I asked, firmly placing my game face back on and pushing my emotions into a dark spot in the back of my mind.
"You, my dear Ms. Sage, are a woman after my own heart," he replied and held an arm out for me to take.
"Nice to meet you as well," I shook hands with another girl. Lisa? Something like that. She was a girl who looked to be around my age, and I recognized her from the ceremony. She was the maid of honor and was practically buzzing with excitement.
"So where did you and Adrian meet?" she asked, genuinely interested. I took the last gulp of my drink and started to answer her when my mentioned date returned with another glass and cut in before I spoke.
"Ease up, Lissa. Don't scare her away before I've had at least a dance." Adrian lifted my hand and placed a kiss on my knuckles then pressed the new drink into my palm. I grinned up at I had to admit that he was quite the charmer.
Lissa looked surprised, but thrilled at the same time. I gathered that this might be the first time the group saw him with someone new. A small voice inside of me relished that it was me.
"My apologies," Lissa said to Adrian before shooting me an apologetic look. "I'm sure we'll be meeting again and I can get to know you better!" She sauntered off to mingle with another group.
"Careful," I whispered up at Adrian, "I think you're cutting off the interrogation line." I laughed and gestured to the curious eyes surrounding us.
Adrian's smirk transformed into a full blown smile. I practically swooned. I wondered if he could possibly know the feelings he was creating in me? The sensations were both foreign and exhilarating.
The evening was surprisingly easy. I'd made small talk with anyone who approached and Adrian was true to his word and provided answers that I wasn't sure of. He was charming, and suave with the group and with the hint of vulnerability that he showed in small doses, I was reluctant to admit that I'd easily forgotten the true nature of our date.
He made it easy to believe that we really had met in a coffee shop just off campus. I imagined him sitting on the patio of my favorite caffeine pit stop, smoking too many cigarettes and sipping on something warm. I almost believed his story of insisting to buy my drink every time we saw each other, and it was just like me to only agree so that he'd leave me alone.
The romantic-comedy storyline he built for us was well thought out and entirely possible in another reality. I longed for that reality. After he told it enough times, I started to give in to the illusion.
Twilight fell over the sky, and many of the guests had wound up on the wrap around deck. White lights donned the trees that surrounded us, and candles inside of mason jars hung from the branches casting a soft glow on the party. The music was soft now, and after the bride and groom threw the bouquet and garter (Adrian and I stayed away from that particular event), they made their exit into their happily ever after- while their guests stayed behind to celebrate the nuptials and the witnessing of such true love.
Couples were giddy in their champagne buzz, and dancing close. I'd found a group of people that I genuinely enjoyed the company of. Lissa, her fiancee and a few other of their school friends had known each other so long, and I was a little jealous. I could see Jill and I fitting into this group so easily. Every so often, I remembered that Adrian would probably hate me by the end of the night, and I'd probably never see any of these people again.
When Lissa was whisked away for another dance, I glanced around for my own date. I found him quickly, across the deck, leaning on the banister. He'd been watching me, while sipping on his drink. The lights were barely bright enough for me to see him clearly. We held each other's stare for longer than necessary. I wondered what he was thinking, while I was internally battling for the strength to walk away from him at the end of the night.
He set his drink down and tilted his head slightly toward the staircase that led down into the tree line. I set my own drink aside and started towards the stairs at the same time he did. He reached them first, and waited with his hand extended to me.
I took it without a word, and let him lead me down. It was near silent down there, the music barely reaching us. The light was even softer, but still enough to see where we were going.
Adrian stopped and took my hand and placed it on his shoulder, then put his hand on the small of my back, gently pulled me into him and started to sway to the soft music.
I sighed and gave in, laying my head against his shoulder.
"Adrian, I have to tell you something..." I managed to speak around the lump in my throat.
"Ditto, babe. And I can assure you that you'll be far more upset with me, than I you..."
I couldn't make sense of the words he spoke, and started to retract, but he held onto me.
"One dance first, Ms. Sage... Just one dance."
I let him keep the space between us closed, and agreed. Just one dance.
I knew that I had to tell him that he'd been set up. But worst of all, I had to admit to myself that I wasn't not in fact wired wrong. I was wired just right. But my biggest fear was starting to bubble to the surface. What if I was wired only for him?
Adrian's fingers were dancing in slow circular patterns across my lower back. The feeling of his firm chest against me between the thin layers of fabric produced an entirely new feeling in me.
He let one of his hands roam free, and it continued its dance over my hip, up my arm and finally to my neck then jaw.
He pressed lightly, angling my face towards his. His breath smelled of whiskey with a hint of cigarettes. A scent that you'd normally find in a bar, but on him it was intoxicating.
"Just don't hate me..."
My eyebrows knitted together in confusion as his words. It's like he was speaking what I was actually feeling. The notion of ever hating him made me feel sick.
But again, before I could inquire, he stopped my train of thought. This time it was with his lips.
It wasn't my first kiss by a long shot, but it might as well have been. Every other kiss in my life had been an action I felt was expected of me. I went through the motions, and enjoyed them enough to gain a small understanding as to why people did it.
But that kiss? It trumped them all. It turned every other kiss into a fogged memory. The other guys became faceless beings. Adrian's lips were soft and timid, until I whimpered into them, then they became frantic to match my own.
I dared to use my tongue first. I needed to taste his lips. I was only granted one swipe across before his mouth opened and his own tongue came out to meet mine. His teeth nipped against my bottom lip, my breathing became labored and short. I wasn't sure if the dizziness was from his kiss, my lack of oxygen, the champagne, or all three.
He walked forward, backing me against the trunk of a tree, and pressed his body against mine. Suddenly the thing layers between us felt like they were too much. I had enough sense to not start peeling them away, but I couldn't stop myself from wrapping my arms around his waist, grabbing a hold of his shirt in my fists and pulling him harder against me.
The dam had been busted. Years of fearing that I'd never have this, combined with my unexplainable pull towards Adrian gave me a sense of inhibition and lust. Yesterday, I'd scoff at a couple who couldn't keep their hands off each other. I'd internally fume at them, and wish they'd find a room and leave the rest of us to our appropriate hobbies.
But if all of those couples felt an ounce of what I felt in that moment? I applauded them for having the willpower to stop at all.
Adrian had one hand playing in my curls, and the other was on my thigh, inching up and pulling my dress with it. When I gasped out a moan, he gripped my leg at the knee and pulled it up until it was resting against his hip. The angle opened me up for him to press himself against a part of me that was practically aching. He was hard and flush against me, rocking up and down to the rhythm of our kisses. The thin layers between us did little to block the sensations he was creating. The hand that was in my hair trailed down.
He made a light pass across my collarbone, then traveled down to my breast.
"Oh!" I gasped out, when his thumb brushed over a part I never knew could elicit such a feeling from merely a touch. My skin erupted in goose flesh while simultaneously felt like it was on fire.
I desperately wanted to forget about the crowd one story above us, and let him show me just how much he could make me feel.
The butterflies were gone, a fire in their place. Only one fleeting thought instantly extinguished it.
This is exactly what I was supposed to be anticipating. Did I let the night get away from me? Was I still an escort for him? And, oh God... Was he pushing to get something he paid for? My gut told me no, and that he was just as surprised at our eruption of lust as I was. It also reminded him that I needed to be honest before we went too far.
"Adrian... Wait..." I managed to speak into his mouth, and pushed, unconvincingly, against his chest.
He uttered a low groan and begrudgingly pulled his lips from mine. His eyes stayed closed, his forehead rested against mine.
His hand stopped where it was on my leg, but he didn't let go. If anything, he gripped it harder. His other hand moved up, only slightly, and traced a pattern on sensitive spot where my neck met my chest.
I had to fight with everything in me to clear the fog from my mind. I couldn't keep going until I knew for sure that it would go past the night. I couldn't be his rebound when he was the reason I was beginning to have confidence in the idea of love. Not that I was falling in love with him, but there was now faith inside of me that felt the possibility of it.
Please... God, please don't let him destroy me.
"Adrian, I'm not who you think I am..."
He groaned again, this time sounding like he was in physical pain.
"You mean you're not Sydney Sage: Coffee addict, history loving, loyal friend to the one and only Jill who set you up for this entire evening?"
He spoke quickly, under his breath. Rushing the words, probably in hopes that I wouldn't catch them all.
I almost laughed, and told him that of course that's who I am. But I caught myself.
"How do you..." I pushed him away from me forcefully, and tried to steady my breathing. A million scenarios went through my mind. Was he a stalker? But then surely he'd know I wasn't really an escort. Where had Jill found this guy?
He stumbled back, and steadied his footing. I wondered how much he really had to drink. The few glasses of champagne I had were dissipating quickly.
"Sydney, I can explain..." he said carefully, holding his palms up to me as if I were a rabid animal.
"You'd better start," I spat back, one wrong word away from hightailing it to my car.
"I know Jill," he began, talking slowly. My entire body trembled, waiting for him to say something... anything that would allow my body and mind to go back to five minutes before. When everything that was wrong, was unimportant.
He continued, sensing my impending departure.
"I'm in her human science class... I've seen you... Did you know that I actually do go to that coffee shop right outside of campus? I see you all the time. I see you go in, get your drink and leave again without another glance. I wanted to know you so bad... Do you remember that party, the one at Cappa a month ago?"
I shrugged. I'd gone to the party with Jill, after she insisted that we both needed to let loose and wound up leaving after an hour. I was uncomfortable and Jill decided she wasn't ready to try and date again after all.
"I was there, and when I saw you with Jill.. I had to know you." He groaned and ran his hands through his hair, then over his face.
"I sound like such a goddamned stalker right now," he muttered, mostly to himself.
"So Jill... She set this entire thing up?" I asked quietly, trying to make sense of the time line in my head.
He nodded in return.
"I asked her about you at our next class, and she immediately jumped on board but made me swear to go along with whatever she planned. My mind was consumed with getting the chance to know you, so I agreed. When I mentioned having to come to this wedding, she started planning. Always saying how perfect it would all be."
I shook my head; tried to shake the tears away before they fell. I didn't dare let him see me cry.
"I have to go..."
Before Adrian could stop me, I was running to my car, dodging other guests in the parking lot. By the time I had the door unlocked, my tears were flowing steadily.
My anger went from a raging fire, to a dull ember on the drive home. My tears fell silently. My mind picked apart the evening, as well as the previous weeks. Upon further inspection, I was an idiot. Jill was all but completely transparent about tonight, and I blindly went along with it.
I wasn't even truly mad at either of them. I was mostly furious with myself. My best friend couldn't even set me up on a date. She knew me, and I should have trusted her.
I moaned and let my head fall against the steering wheel.
I was parked in my apartment lot, too scared to go upstairs. If I hadn't been so committed to the idea of being broken, Adrian and I could have started this right.
I already regretted my instinct to run. Was it too late now?
I didn't go this far to realize that I wasn't actually wired wrong to only lose it after one screwed up night.
After a glance at the clock, I decided it was late enough that I could probably sneak into the apartment without waking Jill. In the morning, I'd ask her for Adrian's number and do everything I could to fix it.
Once safely into my room, I ditched my heels and before I could lose the dress and drown in my comforter, a sound erupted in the silence.
I looked in the direction of the sound. My window. My window which was also the fire escape.
I pulled the curtain to the side, briefly forgetting everything my dad taught me about self-defense, and found a crouched down Adrian on the other side.
I couldn't help my instant smile. I wouldn't have to wait.
"Hi," he replied, short of breath after his climb.
I laughed. It was the only reaction I had left inside of me.
He closed the distance between us and muttered a few words before he captured my lips with his.
"I won't ever give up so easily, Sydney."
A grand scheme to introduce the notion of love... such is my life. It fit. It happened so fast, too fast for most to understand.
But sometimes it only takes a moment to understand where your life had always been leading you.