Caden's California Ch. 02byDeeperDown©
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The alarm clock burst into my unconscious mind like a freight train, rudely forcing me awake. I groaned. Every muscle in my body ached from last night's punishment marathon in the gym.
I made my way to the bathroom and turned on the shower. The warm water made my aching muscles feel a little better but didn't wash away the feeling of loss. The spray felt so good that I spent a little longer in the shower than I should have. I got dressed quickly. I didn't have much of an appetite so I skipped breakfast.
I headed for the door and stopped in my tracks. The box of Nicole's stuff sat against the wall waiting for her to arrive and claim it. For a minute I considered staying and waiting for her before painfully abandoning the idea.
Charlotte and Leslie would arrive at the beach in about forty-five minutes. I needed to get going. I took one last look at the box and then locked the door behind me.
The freeway was exceptionally aggravating to me this morning. I knew that the real reason I was so angry was the whole Nicole mess and I made an effort to focus on the road instead of the tall blonde girl who'd so recently broken my heart. The last thing I wanted was to be distracted while driving a motorcycle down the Santa Monica Freeway in morning traffic.
I arrived about five minutes late and very frustrated with the fifty minute commute. I was thankful my real estate broker had lined up three places for me to look at this weekend. It was going to be weird not having Nicole with me offering input on what I hoped would be a place we would share, but now that I owned the beach property it was more important than ever that I live nearby the new restaurant. I couldn't be paralyzed by heartache.
Charlotte and Leslie were waiting for me on the deck and stood when my motorcycle pulled into the parking lot. They'd dressed similarly in loose jeans and tank tops. I pulled off my helmet and made my way up the stairs to meet them.
"Holy shit, what happened to you?" Leslie gasped.
"What?" I looked at her questioningly.
"You look like shit."
"Thanks," I mumbled sarcastically. "I had a rough night."
Leslie laughed playfully. "Did Nicole have a rough night too?"
I turned sharply and gave the tiny Korean girl an angry glare that sent a pretty clear "not cool" vibe.
She gasped, "Holy fuck! What happened?" They were surprised to see me in a bad mood. I'm a pretty positive person in general and especially around the kitchen at work.
I turned and made my way around the deck without answering her, and unlocked the door. Charlotte and Leslie followed behind and exchanged nervous whispers. I stepped inside and disarmed the newly installed alarm system.
"Caden, is everything alright?" This time it was Charlotte asking in a gentle, genuinely concerned voice.
I swallowed my anger. Charlotte and Leslie didn't deserve to be shouted at.
"I'm sorry guys. I don't mean to be grumpy."
"What's wrong?" Leslie probed more cautiously.
"Nicole broke up with me last night at dinner."
Both girls recoiled in surprise.
"What? Why?" Leslie pressed. Her voice had risen an octave.
"She wants to go to Europe and hang around with rock stars."
"Rock stars?" Charlotte asked.
"Yeah, some Brit named Kane Shaw."
Leslie seemed confused but Charlotte seemed to recognize the name.
"Kane Shaw? Like that guy from the boy band?"
"That's the one," I responded flatly.
"Are you serious? I thought he was in rehab or something?" Leslie was puzzled.
"I really don't know," I answered truthfully. "I've never followed his career."
Charlotte's shock had faded and she regained her voice.
"Hasn't he had like two hits in the last ten years? He's a mess isn't he?"
I cringed. "Look, I really don't want to talk about this Shaw guy. He's the last thing in the world I want to talk about right now."
Leslie and Charlotte shared an awkward glance.
"Well... uh. Sorry to hear about Nicole," Leslie stammered.
"Yeah," Charlotte added quietly. "You deserve better than that..."
I smiled stiffly. "Thanks."
There was a short, but awkward pause before I changed the subject.
"Now how about we get to work? The restaurant supply truck will be here in four hours and we've got to clean out that kitchen."
We spent the morning sanitizing and clearing the junk out of the kitchen area. When we were done the room was empty except for the stainless steel prep-counters and a few appliances that were still in good shape. We spent the last two hours giving the entire room a new coat of glossy white paint.
The supply trucks arrived early in the afternoon. Stoves, fridges, ovens, more prep-counters, there was a lot of stuff. Charlotte and Leslie took a break on the beach while I supervised the men bringing the equipment inside. I stole a glance at them while the delivery men were taking a break. The girls looked out of place in their jeans sitting in the sand, surrounded by sunbathers.
It felt good to see the kitchen coming together but I was still deep in a rut. The girls noticed it and respectfully kept their distance for the rest of the day. I caught both girls stealing glances at me as they cleaned, but for the most part they just whispered amongst themselves.
I was busy fixing a faucet in the men's room when the girls knocked on the bathroom door.
"It's five-thirty. We're going to go and catch the bus," Charlotte spoke quietly.
"Oh sorry, I didn't realize it was so late." I wiped the sweat from my forehead. The bathroom windows didn't open and the ventilation system needed a visit from a repairman.
"Same time tomorrow?" Leslie asked hopefully.
"Yeah, that would be great. Thanks again."
I turned my attention back to the sink. Leslie and Charlotte shared a concerned glance and then turned to catch the bus. I spent the next two hours washing the bathroom floors before calling it a day and locking up.
The ride home was faster than usual. I was thankful for the less congested streets. It was eight o'clock and the heat was still oppressive. The breeze felt refreshing. I made a note to call the ventilation guys first thing tomorrow morning to work on the air conditioning.
Nicole's box was gone when I opened the door. I stared at the spot on the floor where it had been for several minutes. I'm not sure why I was surprised it was gone.
I considered calling Nicole. The thought crossed my mind that maybe I should drive over to her building. Then I realized that I didn't even know when she was leaving, or if she was gone already.
If this had been a movie I would have dashed off to the airport, bought a ticket and stopped her at the gate and begged her to stay. But I didn't. Nicole hadn't asked me to go with her, or wait for her while she was away. She'd wanted to break up. Life wasn't like the movies.
My stomach growled and I realized I hadn't eaten all day. What kind of chef forgets to eat for a whole day? I made my way into the kitchen and made myself a crepe. I could eat breakfast any time of day - Nicole used to tease me when I made strawberry pancakes for dinner.
I curled up in front of the television and watched the news. Nothing will make you feel better about your own life, when you feel like shit, than watching the local evening news in L.A.
Usually the weather report is the only good news in the evening report but tonight even the weather sounded ominous. Tomorrow was going to be a scorcher; it would be brutal if I couldn't get someone in to get the air conditioning working.
I slipped off to bed around ten after changing the sheets and managed to fall asleep pretty quickly.
I woke before my alarm the next morning. I felt much better with the extra sleep but still a little sore. I quickly made myself a waffle with fresh fruit and was on the freeway in record time.
It was already warming up and I could tell today was going to be pretty unbearable even with the breeze coming off the ocean. I was already starting to boil in my protective motorcycle jacket every time traffic came to a stop and the wind disappeared.
I arrived at the empty parking lot ten minutes early but drenched in sweat from my ride. I lumbered up the steps in the heat and disarmed the security system. The temperature inside was stifling and I opened all the windows hoping that the breeze off the water might cool things down.
I turned my attention to the yellow pages and gave our ventilation company a call.
The news was not good. The earliest a technician could make it out would be first thing tomorrow morning -- and I was lucky, the dispatcher told me, they were bumping me up because Cravings was a valued customer, otherwise it would have likely taken a few days. I swallowed my disappointment but thanked the dispatcher before hanging up the phone.
I started to consider that maybe today would be better spent in the air conditioned staff room at Cravings than in this oven of a building, but a quick glance at the to-do list suggested that wasn't a possibility. The electrician was scheduled to drop by this afternoon and there was still a lot of cleaning left to be done.
I turned as I heard the girls come through the door and was taken aback with surprise.
The girls had skipped the loose jeans and tank tops this morning and decided on short skirts and heels. Leslie wore a loose fitting top that looked fantastic and Charlotte was sporting a light button up plaid shirt that showcased her cleavage wonderfully.
"You like?" Leslie asked playfully.
They'd caught me staring and both girls sported matching grins from ear to ear.
"Yeah," I stammered. "Not very practical though, for cleaning that is."
"Probably not for cleaning," Leslie teased. "Don't worry we brought a change of outfit so we wouldn't get these dirty."
"And flip flops," Charlotte added.
I cleared my throat before continuing sheepishly. "Look I'm sorry, but the air conditioning probably won't be fixed until tomorrow morning."
The girls took the bad news in stride.
"That's ok, we'll survive -- and if it gets too hot we'll just take a break and take a swim!" Leslie was happy for the excuse to get in the water. "What would you like us to do first boss?"
I turned and picked up my list.
"This morning it'd be helpful if you two would focus on the bar area while I finish rearranging the kitchen appliances so that I know where to tell the electrician we need outlets when he drops by."
"Sounds good. We'll take care of the bar." Leslie gave a mock salute. I turned and made my way back to the kitchen.
I felt like an idiot. Being in a relationship for a year and a half had dulled my flirting instincts. I was so used to ignoring the bevy of beautiful women I was surrounded with that now that I was single I felt like I was struggling not to seem like a jerk during simple interactions with Leslie and Charlotte.
I paused for a second; I was single right? Yes, of course I was, I admonished myself. Nicole had ended it; she'd picked up her stuff from the apartment. The sooner I moved on, the better.
I spent the better part of the morning dragging appliances around the new kitchen. Charlotte popped her head in the doorway a few hours later and announced that the electrician had arrived.
"Thanks Charlotte, can you tell him to come on back?"
"Sure thing boss," she chimed emphasizing the last word. "If you're looking for us, Leslie and I are going to take a break to cool off."
I nodded and wiped the sweat from my forehead as Charlotte disappeared around the corner again.
The electrician appeared a moment later, grumbling about the heat. I spent the next hour pointing out places where I wanted power drops while he checked the power ratings on the appliances and dutifully took notes.
When he was finished we shook hands and he left through the kitchen loading door to schedule an installation appointment from the comfort of his air-conditioned truck. Ben would handle those details for me.
I stepped into the staff bathroom at the rear of the kitchen and wiped the sweat from my forehead with a paper towel before I was interrupted by the sound of glass breaking. I headed quickly for the front door, worried someone on the beach might have thrown something at a window.
I turned the corner from the kitchen to the dining room and stopped in my tracks.
A few feet from the front door, Charlotte was kneeling on the floor picking up glass from a case of broken Corona bottles. I only spent about a second thinking about the mess because my attention was captivated by what Charlotte was wearing.
The skirt, loose fitting top and heels had disappeared. Charlotte's well-tanned petite body was on full display covered only in a very small bright red bikini tied with string. She looked amazing; her dirty-blonde hair was damp from her break on the beach and clung to her cheek.
I stood in the doorway stunned as she stretched across the floor to collect the larger pieces of broken glass off the floor -- oblivious to my presence and the view her movements were affording me of her gorgeous figure.
"Not bad hunh?"
I spun around, surprised to hear the soft whisper beside me.
Leslie stood behind me grinning with a broom and dust pan in her hand. She was wearing a dark blue but equally stunning bikini - she gave me a wink as she walked past and made her way over to help Charlotte with the smaller pieces of glass.
I was speechless. Leslie exaggerated the swaying of her own hips as she made her way over to Charlotte, her Asian complexion seemed exotic but her ass was the most captivating. Leslie was a professional dancer and her ass was perhaps the only thing in the world that could compete with Charlotte's figure for attention.
I dodged back into the kitchen as Leslie leaned over to whisper in Charlotte's ear.
I felt mortified that I'd been caught so openly ogling Charlotte. I chose the cowardly route and instead of stepping back into the room to apologize, I retreated to the storage room and made myself busy installing a shelving unit.
I didn't hear from the girls again until Leslie knocked on the storage room door a few hours later.
"Sorry to interrupt," Leslie poked her head inside the door.
"No problem at all," I tried as best I could to sound casual.
"It's 6:00 and I was thinking of calling it a night," Leslie started.
"Oh yeah, sure, sorry. I didn't realize how late it was. Thanks for all your hard work today and sorry again about the air conditioning."
Leslie smiled awkwardly. "No problem boss," she paused. "Are you planning on staying much longer?"
"Ah, no," I stammered. "I suppose not. I should probably get home and take a shower."
Leslie perked up. "Oh, awesome. Could I ask a huge favour then?" She bit her lower lip in an exaggerated way.
"Of course," I answered over my shoulder as I packed up my tools.
"Could I bum a ride home?"
I paused and turned around.
"I'd love to but I brought the bike and even though you're both tiny I don't think we could get all three of us on there unless one of you wants to sit on the handlebars," I joked.
"No, it's just me. Charlotte took the bus home an hour and a half ago. She wasn't feeling all that well..." she paused. "You know, because of the heat."
I was surprised.
"Oh. Ok." I paused a second. "Charlotte didn't go home because of the staring thing this afternoon did she? I really didn't mean to make her feel uncomfortable; I mean the sound of the glass breaking just caught me by surprise..."
"No, no no," Leslie interrupted. "She's fine, don't worry about it. She didn't even notice."
"Well... um ok, then. If you don't mind taking the motorcycle I can give you a lift."
"That would be fantastic," Leslie beamed.
"Give me a few minutes and I'll meet you outside after I lock up."
"Great!" Leslie's head disappeared from the door. She was already gone from the kitchen by the time I closed the storage room door behind me. I stopped in the staff bathroom and changed out of my soaked shirt into a dry one for the drive home.
I turned off most of the lights and armed the security system before walking down the deck stairs to the parking lot.
Leslie was leaning against my bike. She was again wearing the skirt and heels. Her bikini top and B cup cleavage was visible beneath the loose fitting shirt buttoned up only about half way.
Her outfit wasn't really ideal for riding on a motorcycle, but it looked pretty damn hot.
"So, have you ever ridden on a motorcycle before?" I asked playfully as I approached.
"No, never," she responded with a smile. "Do I have to do anything?"
"Nope, you'll just have to hold on tight. But I have to warn you, it could be a little difficult to get you home in that outfit."
"Oh? Got plans to kidnap me?" She flirted.
"No," I couldn't help smiling. "But it's going to be difficult to sit on the bike without hiking up that skirt and showing the world your bathing suit."
"Bathing suit?" She smiled. "What makes you think I've got a bathing suit on under this skirt?" She laughed and then put her hand on my shoulder. "Just kidding, but seriously I don't really care if people see my ass; its out there for the world to see on the beach anyway."
"Ok then, but you're paying any tickets if we get pulled over for indecent exposure," I flirted back.
"Don't worry, the cops never give me tickets," she purred suggestively.
Leslie gave me directions to her apartment in a neighbourhood I wasn't very familiar with as I was helping her lower my helmet over her head and adjust the chin strap. The large helmet looked pretty funny on her tiny frame. I swung my leg over the bike and pulled it upright.
"Ok, your turn. Swing your leg over the bike and put your butt right here." I patted the small saddle space behind me.
Leslie hesitated for just a second before hiking her skirt up around her waist, exposing her bikini covered bottom. She swung her small leg over the bike and scooted forward until her breasts pushed softly into my back. I could help but steal a peek at her toned thighs during the maneuver.
"Now hold on tight." Her small arms encircled my waist and she gripped tightly.
"All ready?" I asked over my shoulder.
"Yep!" Her voice was muffled by the helmet visor.
I pushed the ignition button and the engine burst to life. I gave the engine some gas, revving it quickly for affect.
"Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God." Leslie panted.
"What is it?" I asked worriedly over the engine noise. "Are you alright?"
"Yes.... Oh my God... I didn't realize it would vibrate," she shouted.
I was confused for a moment until it dawned on me that she was talking about. It felt like my cock instantly grew another three three inches and I'm sure she could feel the movement in my pants with her arms around my waist.
"Are you going to be alright?" I stammered.
"Oh yeah, this is great. Let's go!"
Without any more encouragement I put the bike in gear and we coasted out of the parking lot and onto the street.
Sitting on a motorcycle in L.A. traffic at six in the evening is not somewhere you want to be on the best of days, much less on a scorcher. By the time we pulled up at the first stop light the fresh shirt I'd put on was already drenched with sweat under the heavy motorcycle jacket.
Leslie loosened her grip on my waist momentarily as we idled at the light. I could feel her shift her position forward on the bike, bringing her pelvis forward and her breasts pressed firmly into my back.
"Comfy?" I shouted back. She gave me a squeeze in response.
Some cat calls from the men in the 1980 Ford Grand Marquis beside me at the light reminded me that Leslie's skirt was hiked up around her waist and the world was getting a great view of her amazing ass. I thought I could hear a moan coming from the helmet behind me when the light turned green and the bike lurched into gear again.