It's Angel's birthday and she has already told AJ not to get her anything for it. But, will he listen?
“I’m sick,” came a soft whimper as Angel pulled her pillow over her head, hiding herself from the lamp AJ had turned on to bring light into the room.
AJ chuckled softly as he kissed her shoulder and molded his body against his girlfriend of two years. “You’re not sick baby girl, you just don’t want to go to work. Am I right?” He smiled as she pulled her head out and laid it on the soft pillow, nodding slowly without looking back at him. “I know you don’t want to Angel, but if you don’t want me paying your way for you, you have to keep your job.” He laughed when she slid away and got up, walking to the bathroom.
He knew that would get her up since she hated it when he spent his money on her. She never let him pay for anything, she had to pay her own way. And when she bought things, it was only stuff she needed, very rarely things she wanted. He loved how practical his girlfriend was. He just wished that she wouldn’t work herself so hard for such a small and lousy job that although it paid her 8.25 an hour, pushed her harder to where she earned more than that; but it was never delivered.
He sat up on the bed and went about the room gathering her work clothes from her side of the closet and from various places her bra and socks had been thrown when she finished her laundry and said fuck it. She was tired as Hell from another night busting her ass for nothing, and she kept dropping things on the way to the room so she gave up. He’d laughed and it got him a glare before he softened her up with one of his patented smiles that made her snuggle into the arms he had held open to her.
He set everything on the bed and looked up when she came out of the bathroom, drying herself off from her quick shower. He smiled when she looked up at him and gave him the look of hers that said everything in one look. He turned his back to her to give her the privacy she sought.
“Thanks for waking me Aje,” she said as she pulled on her shirt over her bra, adjusting it. “I appreciate it.”
When he felt her arms snake around his waist and her head lie on his shoulder blade, he smiled and entwined their fingers. “Anything for you baby, you know that.” She pulled away some and he turned in her arms, hugging her close. “Want me to give you a ride to work or are you gonna drive yourself?”
“Can you drive me so I can get a little nap in?” She smiled sweetly as she giggled and looked up at him when he chuckled deep in his chest.
“You lazy little kitten,” he smiled and kissed her softly before they left their bedroom and made their way downstairs, where he grabbed his keys and she grabbed her smock. He led her outside and out to his truck; she automatically curled up in the seat and closed her eyes. As I said, he thought, lazy little kitten. He chuckled softly and began the drive to her work.
The two had actually met at her job, when his credit card was eaten by the gas pump and she had to come out and get it out of the slot. After that, a time he went there for the first time, always avoiding it since the gas was highest there, he became a regular, at night of course. He might as well have worked the third shift hours. Finally, after seeing the way she blushed when he was in the store, and the way her co-worker teased her when he when he was pulling away from the little store, he decided he would offer up hanging out one night. He played the whole he had movie tickets and his friend cancelled on him, but he didn’t want to waste the ticket his friend wouldn’t be using.
Her co-worker got her to say yes and when they went out they had a good time, then another good time a couple days later, and again the next week. Pretty soon, anytime she had the day off they were inseparable.
He honestly didn’t care that she worked at a gas station, it was just a job to him, nothing to look down on. Yeah, she was 27 working a low grade job, but he didn’t care, because she loved him, he loved her, and that was all they needed.
When he pulled into the parking lot, he parked to the side and turned off the truck, looking over at her sleeping form. “Baby, wake up... We’re here,” he said as he gently shook her shoulder. He smiled when she groaned and unbuckled her seatbelt. “I have to come up for gas later, anything you want me to bring you from home for a dinner break?”
She opened the door and got out, stretching before she pulled her smock on. “If I give you the money can you bring me something from Checkers?”
“How about you let me treat you to a birthday dinner? Please?” AJ smiled sweetly, batting his eyelashes at her, making her giggle. “Let me buy you dinner.”
Giving a sigh of resignation, since she knew it was fair after she said he couldn’t get her anything for her birthday, she nodded and smiled at his suddenly big smile. “I don’t care what sandwich you get me, just get me the biggest fry size they have,” she said with a smile as she shut the door. She walked around to his side as he got out of the truck and wrapped his arms around her, hugging her tightly. “I love you Aje.”
“I love you too Angel,” he said by her ear before kissing her cheek. “Now, work your butt off, I’ll be in around two-ish.”
“Alright Aje...” She gave him one last look before she walked inside where a grinning Kelley and a grinning Sara awaited her with light teasing ready.
He chuckled to himself as he watched her go inside and flip off the two girls with a blushing laugh before he backed up and pulled out of the parking lot. As he drifted away from the normal route home, he dialed Nick’s cell phone, waiting a couple of rings, hoping with each ring Nick didn’t forget about their plans.
- - - - -
“So, when’s the wedding?” Sara grinned as she poked her head in the cooler where Angel was restocking the beer.
Angel yelped and jumped, almost dropping the 4-Pack of Natural Light she was putting up on the shelf, and in the process nearly falling off of the milk crate she was standing on. “Fucking Christ Sara!” She yelped, holding the beer in one hand, her other hand going to her chest. She looked at Sara who was laughing and leaning in the doorway for support.
“Oh God I’m sorry Angel,” she laughed out as she pushed hair from her face. “I didn’t mean to scare you that bad.”
Angel put up the beer and got down from the crate to grab more beer. “Once you’re done laughing, you wanna tell me what you said when you came in here?” She chuckled as she grabbed what she needed and stepped back onto the crate, putting it up.
“I said, so when’s the wedding?” She asked when her laughter died away, leaving her smiling.
Angel rolled her eyes and smiled as she shook her head. “I thought I escaped the teasing when I came into the cooler.”
“Aw, Angel, you know I have to tease you since you always tease me about my husband,” Sara said as she leaned back, when the doorbell went off, to see who was coming in. “Don’t they ever stop coming in?”
“Want me to take them?” She ask as she got back down.
“Would you mind? I’ll work on the beer for you while you’re up there,” Sara said as she walked in the cooler and Angel walked out.
Angel walked up to the front of the store where a guy was at the second register, taking money from his wallet. She shook her head slightly as she walked behind the counter, walking up to her register, the first one. “I can get you over here hon,” she said. When the person lifted his head she noticed he looked familiar, but she couldn’t place his face. He almost looked like a young Kevin... Almost.
He gave a smile, laughing softly as he came over to her register. “Sorry about that,” he said as he counted out his money again and looked out the window on the door at the gas pumps. “Um, I need forty on... I think... I can’t see what pump number that is, I’m sorry.”
Angel smiled and leaned back, looking for his car, finding it to be the only one out there, making it easier. She had to keep her jaw from dropping when she saw the 1965 Mustang sitting at the gas island. “Your gorgeous car is on pump six... Wow... She’s fucking beautiful man.”
He grinned from ear to ear. “You like her huh?”
“How could anyone not?”
He chuckled softly. “Thanks. I might be back in for the change. If not, then maybe I’ll catch you later.”
“Alright. Please drive safe with that beauty.”
“Trust me, I’ll get killed if I’m not careful with her.”
- - - - -
Angel yawned softly as she snuggled into the cab seat, too tired to care that AJ wasn’t there to pick her up. After waiting a half hour she called the house, then his cell. When she got no answer at either place she called a cab company. She wasn’t mad since it wasn’t the first time. Besides, he didn’t need to live by her hours, no one should except for the fellow third shifters.
When the cab pulled into the driveway she got out and paid him before she went up to her door, looking at the note taped to it with a puzzled look.
Lock busted hon, go in through garage. Love ya.
Angel groaned and went to the garage where she lifted the door, went in, and let it fall shut behind her. She stared in confusion at the 1965 Mustang that sat where her car was. The same Mustang from the store. She looked up when AJ walked into the garage, smiling at her. “AJ, who’s car is this?”
He smiled and hugged her, kissing her cheek. “Happy birthday baby,” he said as he pulled away and she faced the car. “So you love her huh?”
“Alexander James McLean, did you buy this for me?” She asked, looking at him.
“In all honesty, I bought her as a self project. But then I realized, as she came together, I could picture you in her more than me. So I made her for you from frame and shell.”
Angel looked at the car, completely puzzled. “But when did you have the time?” She asked, her brows furrowing.
He chuckled and slid his arm around her. “Anytime you were at work?”
She shook her head and looked at the car, then looked at him. “Wait... Who was that, that brought her in to my work?”
“Aaron, wearing green contacts with black hair.”
“Tell me it was a wig...” She looked at him.
“Nope, he dyed it black. Nick convinced him to.”
“Was it for my surprise?” She looked at the car again, unable to believe the car she was gawking at was actually in the garage; and that she could get in it if she wanted to.
“I’ll remember to call him and thank him when I wake up today.”
“Do you work tonight?” He asked as she went over to the car, running her fingertips gingerly across the side of the car, staring at it still. When she shook her head and walked around back, staring at the car with total awe, he smiled. Not only was he proud of his hard work since she obviously liked it, but he was glad his girlfriend loved his birthday present to her. When Aaron had told him she gushed over it he wasn’t sure if he was being nice or if she had actually gushed over all his hard work. “Since you’re off, would you want to have a little get together of everyone?”
“On such short notice could any-... AJ you planned for them to have this day free incase didn’t you?” She looked up at him.
He smiled sweetly. “I love you Angel.”
She shook her head at him. “I should have known better than to ask you... The door’s not really broken, is it?”
“Nope. I wanted you to see your birthday present,” he said with a smile.
She went over to him and looked up at him for a moment before she lightly slapped his cheek and then buried her face in his chest, hugging him tightly. “I hate you and love you, you bastard.”
He laughed and held her close, kissing the top of her head. “Was it really necessary for you to slap me?”
“Oh like it hurt... And yes. I told you no gifts...”
“Hon, I’ve been with you for two years, did you honestly think I wouldn’t get you anything?” He looked down as she looked up, their eyes meeting. His eyebrow was lifted and a small grin was twisting his lips. “Come on now,” he said with a soft chuckle.
She smiled and shook her head, kissing him softly. “Thank you AJ. I love her.”
“Good.” He smiled.
She smiled and slid her hand down, rubbing, his eyes closing slightly. “Now let’s go upstairs and I can show you how much I really appreciate her.”