Paradise Threatened Ch. 04bylostangelkira©
Six months have passed since Dana's Change and she couldn't be happier with her new life. Not long after she came to live with Malcolm and his family, Malcolm helped her get a job at the local tailor's shop as an assistant and her own place right on the edge of town. Jason visited her everyday and they went out on a date once a week, on his days off. Nobody judged her by her life before coming to the valley and if they felt anything for her, it was sympathy.
He whistled a little tune as he walked with a spring in his step to Dana's place. Things had been going well between them and they hadn't slept together yet. He was actually connecting with someone and he loved it; he loved her. When he got to her place, he stopped on the stoop and knocked. A few minutes later, Dana answered the door. She smiled at him. Jason returned her smile and kissed her.
"How are you, baby?" he asked as they went inside, shutting the door behind him.
"I'm doing great," she told him. "With this being a three day weekend, how do you feel about taking a trip?"
"I'd love it," he replied, "Where did you have in mind?"
"Well since it's my birthday this weekend, my boss gave me two gift certificates to the new hot spring resort at the northern end of the valley."
"Yeah, I'd helped my dad with the construction," Jason said, "It's supposed to be fantastic, but being so new and popular, you can't get in there without a certificate or a reservation. And you've worked so hard...you deserve it and I'm honored you want to take me."
"I love you, Jason," she said, hugging him. "And I love spending time with you."
"I love you too, Dana," he purred, kissing her again. "So when do we leave?"
"Our check-in time is at five-thirty," she told him. "So, we got...three hours. The bus ride's an hour and it leaves in...thirty-five minutes. Why don't you go home and pack and I'll meet you at the bus stop?"
"Sounds like a plan," he said, pulling away from her. "See you in a little bit."
Once he was gone, Dana went to her bedroom and checked her bags one last time. She had everything; including a special surprise for Jason. She loved him very much and she felt ready to take the next step. After she zipped her bags back up, Dana picked them up and set them out on the doorstep. Locking her door and grabbing her keys, she shut it and walked up the hill to the bus stop.
Jason was out of breath by the time he got home, but he ran inside and into his room. Wrenching his closet open and taking out his bag, Jason started pulling pants out and tossing them on top of the bag. Once he got those folded and packed, he went to the bathroom he shared with his siblings and grabbed his toothbrush and toothpaste. Some shampoo, soap and a couple of other things he might need went into the bag.
"Oh! I almost forgot..." he said to himself as he went over to his desk. Opening the bottommost drawer, he pulled out a carefully wrapped gift and put it into his bag.
"You're in a hurry, huh?" a voice asked. Jason turned around to see his dad standing in the doorway.
"A little," he panted. "Dana got a trip for 2 to the hot spring resort for her birthday and she asked me to go with her. Our bus leaves in a half hour and I don't want to miss it."
"Wow," his dad whistled, "sounds like somebody's in for a romantic weekend."
"I don't care either way," Jason said, making sure his stuff was neat in his bag. "All I want is to have fun with her, spend time with her. I love her."
"That's a bit of a surprise. You two haven't..."
"No. And I'm glad. I'll wait for as long as she needs."
"Come with me," his dad said, walking down the hall.
Jason followed him into his parent's room. His dad reached into his closet and pulled out a kilt. It was made of black silk and was longer than what his dad normally wore. He held it out to him. "Take it."
Jason took the garment.
"Thanks...but I don't know if this is me," Jason said.
"I want you to have it anyway," his father told him. "It's the same kilt I wore for your mother. I had just proposed to her a couple days before and to celebrate our engagement and the conception of you and your brother, I'd made a romantic dinner for the two of us, danced with her, gave her a massage. It was a beautiful evening and every year, we celebrate it the same way. And besides, you look so much like me, it'll look good on you."
"I think I'll at least try it on then," Jason said, heading for the bathroom.
"Just change right here," his dad said. "What's the matter? Embarrassed to change in front of your old man?"
Jason actually blushed as he stopped dead, turning back to his father. Without saying anything, he slowly stripped out of his jeans and pulled the kilt off the hangar.
"Jeez..." his dad said, staring at him. "No wonder your girlfriends screamed and begged for more."
His face feeling feverish, he was sure his dad could see the blush from under his dark fur.
"Um...could you help me with this?" he asked, his voice hoarse from embarrassment.
He looked down and into the mirror beside them, watching his dad clasp it in the back then brought the ends of a sash around to the front, tying it into a neat knot in front.
"You don't need to be embarrassed with me," his father said, lightly squeezing his shoulders. Jason looked up at him. "I love you, son, and I want you to be happy. You've done well with your life so far and I'm so proud of you and your brothers and sisters." He pulled him into a brief hug before moving away from him, looking him over. "Yep, that definitely looks very good on you."
Jason turned to look at himself in the mirror. He did look great in the knee-length kilt. In fact, he looked exactly like his father.
"Thank you, dad," he said. "I better go so I'm not late."
"Alright. And make sure you're safe, ok?"
Jason jogged up to her as the bus pulled up, six other couples waiting for the bus too. When he stopped beside her, she noticed he was wearing a crisp, black kilt like his father and brothers did. He looked better in it than pants.
"Sorry I'm running behind," he said, leaning down and kissing her.
"That's ok. You're just in time. And you look great."
"Thank you," he said, smiling.
They boarded the bus last, taking a seat in the front. The ride was a little bumpy, but quiet. An hour later, the bus stopped in front of a beautiful, Japanese-style resort. Grabbing their luggage, they got off the bus and walked up the stone paved path to the main entrance to the resort. The lobby was huge, the floors pure white marble. Employees walked by in colorful kimonos, guiding guests around.
"Welcome to The Sapphire Dragon Hot Spring Resort and Spa," a young male tiger morph said cheerfully. "May I take your bags?"
"Thank you," they said in unison, handing off their bags. The male just smiled and followed them up to the desk.
"Dana Bridges and Guest checking in," she told the clerk, handing her the certificates.
"Ahh...someone must think you're very special," the girl said, typing something into her computer.
"Why's that?" she asked.
"These are certificates for our Deluxe Suite package," the clerk answered. "Three days, four nights in one of our Deluxe Suites with your own private hot spring bath and our full spa package; access to all the treatments we offer here."
"Wow," Dana gasped. "I had no idea. I got these as a gift from work."
"You must be an amazing employee," the clerk commented. She then turned around and grabbed a set of keys, handing them to the bellhop carrying their bags. "There you are. Enjoy your stay here."
"Thank you," Dana said, Jason leading her away.
"This place is amazing," she said, looking around as the bellhop lead them to their room. "What did you help with during the construction?"
"I helped with making a lot of these sliding doors and laying the marble in the lobby," he answered. "But I prefer making up the plans."
As they rounded a corner, they bumped into Dana's parents. She hid behind Jason, looking around his arm.
"What are you two doing here?" she asked, her voice shaky, "You hate morphs."
"Ahh...Dana," her mother said, disgust dripping from the words, "Surprised to see you here as well. We thought you'd passed on after that run in with those protesters."
Her father looked at her like he wanted to kill her as he cleared his throat.
"We're here on behalf of the senator to inspect the valley for any...suspicious activity. I assure you, we are not enjoying ourselves out here."
Jason growled low, just loud enough for them to hear it. Both of them glared at him, seeming even angrier at him.
"Well, I see you've found a male to further propagate your disgraceful kind," her father drawled, "You'd be doing the world and yourselves a favor if you don't breed."
Jason's growl got fiercer and they backed up a step.
"Watch your mouths," he snarled. "And you better not cause any trouble. My father won't hesitate to ban you from the valley."
Both of them just turned their noses up and went on their way. The bellhop was at the other end of the hall, waiting. They continued on silently around the corner, stopping at the second set of doors on the left.
"Thank you," Dana told the bellhop, handing him a twenty. "This will be all for tonight."
"Wow," the bellhop breathed. "Thank you very much, miss. Dinner's being served in all five dining halls in fifteen minutes."
"Do you happen to know which hall the couple we ran into earlier will be eating in?" she asked.
"No, but I could find out for you, if you'd like," he answered.
"I would appreciate it," she told him. "Thanks again."
"It's my duty, miss," he said, bowing as he shut the doors.
Dana turned around and looked at the room. It was spectacular; a spacious living room sat before her, no TV. The carpet was soft underfoot and a grass green. Another set of sliding doors to her left, behind the couch, opened onto the bedroom. A king size bed sat against the far wall, a small table sitting on the left with the room phone on it.
A bathroom equipped with a simple shower, a toilet and a sink was on her left, no door. Yet another set of doors to the right opened to the outside. Stepping out onto the small porch, Dana looked out at the small, stone paved path to their private bath, a small rock out-cropping surrounding half the bath. A twelve foot tall wooden fence went around the very back of the small spring well and back to both sides of their porch.
"Look at this place," she said as Jason came out to stand beside her. "It's amazing."
He put his arm around her and pulled her against his side.
"Are you ok?" he asked. "I know it had to be hard for you to run into your parents right now."
"I'm ok," she said, hugging him. "I hated how they talked to you." Tears stung her eyes and she held onto him a little tighter. "I hate this. Why can't they leave us alone?"
Jason turned and held her tight. She started crying, her whole body trembling. He kissed the top of her head.
"It's alright," he told her, stroking her hair, "Let it out. Don't let them ruin our weekend. I won't let them hurt you, I promise."
Dana wept for a few more minutes before she was able to stop and look up at him. He was smiling as he gently brushed away her tears.
"I'm sorry I'm such a mess all the time," she told him quietly. "It's so hard..."
"Shh," he hushed, kissing her forehead. "I understand. Now...how's about you go wash up and we go have a peaceful dinner?"
She smiled back and pulled away from him. Grabbing her bag, she sat it on the bed.
"Would you mind waiting in the living room?" she asked. "I'd like to change before dinner."
He nodded and went into the next room, closing the doors behind him.
Jason paced in the living room while waiting for Dana to get dressed, unable to stop himself from worrying. Those parents of hers were trouble, it wasn't hard to see that. To see her so upset and sad, it broke his heart. It had taken her six months to piece a new life for herself together and she was happy.
Now her parents were here, lying about the reason just to destroy what she worked so hard to achieve. He wasn't about to let them get near her. He would rather die than let them hurt her again. Hearing the door slide open, Jason stopped and looked up. His jaw dropped open as she walked in. She was wearing a beautiful emerald green silk kimono, specially tailored for her. Her hair was down, a lily braided into her hair on the right side of her head.
"Wow," he breathed, stepping up to her. "You are stunning. Now I feel underdressed."
"You're just fine," she replied, her blush visible through her bright red fur. "You really like it? Ms. Kalani made it for me in exchange for a little housekeeping work."
"I like it very much. You look like a princess."
"Thank you," she said as he put an arm around her waist. As they opened the door to their room, the bellhop from before was on the other side.
"Miss, I suggest avoiding Dining Hall 2," he told her. "And you look fantastic."
"Thank you very much," she told him, her blush still brightening her face. The bellhop then went on his way.
"You know," Dana started as they walked down the hall, "I've never seen you wear a kilt before. Where did you get that one?"
"My dad gave it to me before I left," he answered. "He told me he'd first worn it when he and my mother celebrated their engagement and the conception of me and Charlie with a romantic evening. Every year, they've celebrated that day in the same way. He decided that I should have it. I'm still not quite sure why he wants me to have it, but it looks good on me and I figured maybe it'll bring me good luck with all of the good memories attached to it."
"Maybe he believes that you've found someone to spend your life with," she responded, looking up at him. "Have you?"
"I think I have," he replied. "I truly think I have."