Chapter 4

WAIT, where’s the virgin going?” he mocked.

“The virgin’s gonna look for a place to sleep.” She went straight to the exit and went out of the hotel. The beer she had didn’t help with the cold weather that she had to put her sweater back on.

“Why don’t you just accept my offer? It’s late, Astrid. Do you think you can still find a transient at this time? And look at you, you can’t even walk properly!” he added when she almost bumped a man standing at the entrance.

But she just kept on walking, trying to keep her balance until she reached the taxi bay. The queue was still long given the late hour and she had a feeling that she’d be waiting there until sunrise.

“Come on, stay with me.”

She shook her head. “I’d rather sleep on the street than sleep in a room with you.”

“Fine,” he nodded agreeably. But instead of leaving, he just stood next to her, which made her frown.

“So why are you still standing there?”

“Do you think I’d leave you waiting here all by yourself? Call me a playboy, call me rude, call me whatever you want, I’ll accept it but I still have a conscience, miss. Whatever happens to you now is my responsibility. You are now my responsibility.”

This guy is something, she thought. “What do you really want from me?” she insisted quite loudly, which caused the others look their way. She smiled at them apologetically, turned to him and whispered - “I’ve told you that I don’t want to sleep in your room. I haven’t slept with any man, ever - even with my boyfriend - I mean, ex boyfriend,” she corrected. “So what do you think would make me sleep with a stranger like you?”

“Hey, I was just tryin’ to help.”

“Sorry, not buying it.”

Bullet let out a deep sigh. “Whatever,” he said calmly. “I’ll just wait here until you get a ride and you can’t do anything about it.” He took his phone out of his pocket and put his earphones on. But before walking away, he took off his jacket and put it over her shoulder.

She was about to argue but she was too stunned to say anything. She couldn’t help but be moved by the gesture. He probably have noticed her shivering since coming out from the hotel. Astrid glanced at him and saw him sitting on a wooden bench under an adjacent Acacia tree. Why is he so concerned about her? Was he really worried about her or is there a reason behind his kindness.

Shaking her head, she checked the queue and counted - she’s tenth in line and estimating that a taxi only arrives every half hour, she’d probably be sleeping there tonight. Again, she took a quick look at Bullet who was still sitting there, one foot stomping along with whatever music he’s listening to.

She’s not sure whether she’s just brokenhearted or she’s way too drunk but the guy was starting to grow on her. Though a bit conceited and vain, he’s actually easy on the eyes. He’s got this shoulder-length hair which seemed soft to the touch. Not that she’s paying too much attention or anything but she noticed how his eyes light up every time he talks to her. And the way he bites his lips when he’s kidding around takes her breath away. He’s charming and seems fun.

It’s not that she didn’t like him. What she didn’t like is the effect he has on her. It scares her, just thinking about it.

As she stared at Bullet, she weight in the circumstances, of what might happen if she agreed to his offer. Would it actually help her or just make matters worse? Saying yes to Bullet means having a place to stay but it also poses a great risk. God, she’s just a virgin but she’s not a saint. What if he seduces her? What if she could not resist his charm?

“Hi, Miss.”

An unfamiliar voice which came from a man behind her interrupted her contemplation. He’s got weirdly huge eyes.

“Are you alone, Miss?”

She almost said yes but so glad she didn’t. “N-no,”

His smile was strange and so was his stare. “Are you sure? It’ll take you hours to get a taxi here. Why not come with me instead? My car is just parked right over there.” The man pointed at the parking lot nearby. “I can take you home, if you want.”

Her heart started pounding hard and when the man got even closer, she almost jumped. “No, thanks. I have someone with me…”When she turned to Bullet for rescue, he was already walking towards them.

“Problem?” Bullet probed the man as he got the bags from her hands.

The stranger smiled nervously. “I’m sorry, bro. I thought she’s alone so I offered to accompany her. I was just worried about her because you know, it’s dangerous for a girl like her to be alone at this time.”

Bullet just nodded, moved closer to Astrid and put his arm around her. “Thanks, man but she’s with me.”

Astrid was relieved when the man said goodbye and left. When she looked at Bullet, he was all smiles, his arm still resting over her shoulder.

“See? I told you you’d be needing my help, didn’t I?”

“Yeah, yeah. Thank you.”

“My offer’s still open if you’re interested.”

It took her a few seconds before agreeing because at that moment, she didn’t have any other choice, did she? “But how can I be so sure that you’ll behave?” she hesitated, making Bullet smile even more.

“Here.” He took his driver’s license from his wallet and handed it to her. “Keep it for the meantime. There’s my name, address, my picture. If I do something that you didn’t like, just hand it over to the police so that they can easily track me down. I’m even willing to come with you to the precinct. Would that be enough for your peace of mind?”

She looked at the license he had given to her, nodded and smiled.

“Now, how can I be sure that you’d behave yourself around me?”

“Don’t be a smug. You’re just not my type.”

He laughed in response. “Well, let’s see about that.”


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