tagRomanceA Gray Area Ch. 04

A Gray Area Ch. 04


Jason was singing in the shower. His deep toned voice was humming through the walls as he belted out the final note of a song he recently heard on the radio. The smell of his soap had floated through the crack under the bathroom door into the rest of the room filling it with a smell that reminded Caden of the men's cologne department in Macy's. In the mirror, she saw that her nose had taken on a reddish color from all the sneezing she had just done. She was allergic to cheap smelling stuff like that and he knew it but he continued to wear it despite her constant pleading.

Jason had come home in a rush, busting into the room, barking orders for C.K., at the time lounging in her favorite chair, to get dressed. He had rushed into the bathroom and as he undressed and turned on the faucet to the tub, he explained that Beatrice was having a black and white party. While in the shower he continued to tell her random things that happened to him. Random, unimportant things like how he had met some photographer she had never heard of. Every time he finished his story he would add an 'isn't great, baby Cay' just to make sure she had really been listening

"Yeah, that's great." She replied once he ended his third uninteresting story. Then he had begun singing, which brought C.K. to where she was, standing in front of the mirror staring at herself. Her hair, as usual, was an un-kept nightmare that she adored. She was entertaining the thought of not even combing it through for the party. She was already dressed, wearing the same black dress she wore to Collins get-together and this time she sported a black bejeweled flower on the side.

Caden didn't even notice when Jason turned the water off until he was standing behind her drying off his skin with a hand towel.

"That's a hand towel, J," she said. Jason looked down in mock surprise and smiled. The white of his teeth was a stark and scary contrast to his Mediterranean colored skin. She could tell from the look in his eyes that he was hoping she would ask him to remove the cloth that covered all the major parts.

She didn't.

"I know," he said slowly. "You wanna grab me a big towel from the hallway?" There was a pause before Caden walked past him to the hallway and returned shortly with a big blue towel. When she outstretched her hand to hand it to him, he pulled her in, turning her around so her back was pressed to the front of him. His damp arms wrapped tightly around her waist, and C.K. fought off a bout of annoyance as the sides of her dress stuck to her skin from water droplets.

His breath tickled her neck as he whispered "I missed you today."

Caden couldn't help but smile. His familiar Macy's scent tickled her nose.

"I missed y—"sneeze "too."

His smile pressed against her neck. "I forgot you were allergic to this stuff." She let her head lull back against his shoulder as his body fell back onto the wall behind him. They stood there in silence, Jason's face fitting nicely in the crook of her neck leaving small kisses. C.K. felt her skin begin to heat and knew it was time to pull away from him and when she tried he tightened his grip turning her around quickly to face him.

"What's wrong with you," he asked softly. Forehead touched forehead so that when Caden looked up at him she was met with dark handsome eyes. "What's wrong, baby Cay?" His big hand went up to smooth out the back of her hair.

"I don't know what you mean," was her answer, as she tried to avoid his grooming. She had hoped to keep her hair untamed for the party but had a feeling Jason wouldn't allow it. That was an unspoken rule.

'When your out in public with Jason Maldonado, then you'd better look like a million bucks'

Caden looked like a million dollars.

But only when she felt like it and right about now she didn't feel worth anything.

"You know what I mean,' his perfect lips, met hers briefly. "You have barely said a word to me since I got home. I thought you would be going on about how great your breakfast with Collin was. Speaking of which, how'd it go?" Another kiss

"It was alright," her eyes were closed in expectance of another kiss. "I'm just...I don't know, baby. I just got a wake up call today."

Jason gave her a confused look and shifted his stance, spreading his legs a little and releasing his grip on her till it was just his hands on her waist. He held away from himself a little so he could look at her directly. His face had taken on a hard edge letting her know that he was serious. A heavy atmosphere had settled in the room.

C.K. was becoming increasingly uncomfortable and she had no safe place to put her eyes. If she looked to her left or right it would seem that she didn't care about the situation. If she looked up, she would look like she was about to cry or say something equally dramatic and if she looked down she would be staring face to face with a different part of Jason's anatomy that she wasn't, at that time, in the mood to meet.

'Maybe later,' rang in her ears and she couldn't help but smile. "Your naked," she stated, looking down at him unashamed. His black eyes followed hers looking down at himself, half erect and proud.

"So I am," his mouth tugged at the sides. "I'm worried," They're eyes met again. "You're resisting me tonight. The hand towel thing and this is kind of a ploy, if you hadn't noticed.

Despite Caden's semi dark skin, Jason could tell she was fighting off the color that threatened to over flow her cheeks. "We only have thirty minutes to get there and you, sir, are not even dressed. We don't have enough time for extra curricular activities."

"Thirty minutes is plenty of time."

She didn't know what to say to that. It was plenty of time to do what he had in mind, but like she was going tell him that. Instead she pushed away from him after a brief yet satisfying kiss and a quick slap on the butt.

"Get dressed."

She returned to her spot in front of the mirror disheveling her hair until she saw Jason return to the bathroom. She let a small sigh pass through her lips and closed her eyes rubbing her temple. How close had she been to telling him about her encounter with Jon? The words had been right there, threatening to spill over like an overfilled water bottle. And if she had told him...dear God, that would have been a train wreck.

"Hey C.K.?" Jason called from the bathroom.

"Yeah?" Caden's answer was quieter and she saw through the mirror that Jason poked his head out to see if she was still even in the room. "Baby?" He asked again, obviously not hearing her before. Instead of answering she turned and faced him. "Eh, baby, I want you to think about this before you answer me ok?" his whole body emerged from the bathroom and she saw that he was fixing the collar of his shirt.

The word 'no' was already playing heavily on her lips.

"I invited a friend from work-"

"A girl?" C.K. interrupted him.

"A friend...that just so happens to have a vagina, yes — but not one that I am interested in though. I love only yours, b—"

"You invited her to the party?" She hated it when he went off on a tangent like that.

When Jason nodded slowly she felt her blood heat. "And...can we just stop by her apartment and, you know, give her a ride?"

The shocked look that super glued itself to her face came faster than the understanding of his words. Had her boyfriend seriously just asked her to allow him to pick up a 'friend from work' and take her to a party with them? Was she seriously losing her mind?

"You're joking."

Jason cocked his head to the side a little and gave her a look that made her prepare for the excuses ready to come.

"Baby Cay, she is a nice girl. I work with her, its nothing. She's just looking for fun and new people. Nothing serious."

There was a thick pause in the air before Caden blinked a few times then said, "I'm sorry, I was just losing my mind for a second there, did you just ask me to let you pick up another women, and let her come to a party with us?"

"Baby-" he began.

"No no no no no no no. Are you serious?"

"Caden, you're overreacting. It's a friendship. Stop acting jealous. It doesn't suit you."

C.K. opened her mouth to say something but closed it and covered it with a sarcastic smile. "I'm gonna go wait in the car, okay?"

He didn't answer and she knew he wouldn't have even if she had stood there for twenty whole minutes staring him down. On the way out she grabbed her black pumps and proceeded to the car.

"This is unbelievable," she told herself. "I can't believe I'm allowing him to do this." She scrunched her nose. "I'm acting jealous? I can't believe this."

As he got into the car and drove out of the lot she still spoke to herself in her head.

'I bet she is blonde. He loved blonde girls. With blue eyes and fake tits.'

They pulled into an apartment complex, parking the car in front of Apartments 400- 600. When Jason shut off the car he turned to look at her. His hand snaked up her shoulder into her hair, rubbing her scalp. He knew her weakness.

"She is just a friend. Just treat her like you do Collin or someone else. You like her."

"No, I wont."

"Why do you say that?" He stopped his ministrations.

"Because I never like the people you associate yourself with," her eyes refused to meet his but she knew he was looking at her. She knew his face was deeply set with a hard look and a muscle pulsed inside his jaw.

"Why is that?" he asked. His large hands began rubbing her scalp again but this time more aggressively.

She waited a beat before answering. The breath she took in before beginning was loud. "Because. Your people and me don't click. Your people," she pointed to him. "Look at me as if I'm a hippie, just out with my camera and my film strolling along the street taking pictures of obscure things like lady bugs and homeless people," She pointed to herself. "I look at your people like narcissistic crack junkies puking up last nights chicken and walking down a runway with clothes that, nobody is going to wear."

Jason pulled his hand out of her hair and faced forward. His hand gripped the steering wheel like a lifeline and his tanned knuckles turned into an off-white color. "Is that what you think of me? I'm a crack junkie doing nothing but exercising my legs down a strip of wood?"

Caden faced him and smiled sweetly. "I haven't seen any needles or vomit, so I think your safe."

J's knuckles gripped tighter and Caden shifted in her chair nervously. She was having an out of body experience. Since when did she talk to Jason like that? Since when was she so mean like that? Since when was she so honest like that?

"You're being a bitch tonight. If you want I'll drop you off at home."

Caden sank low into her chair, embarrassed by being called a bitch. "I just had a bad day," she whispered. "I didn't meant to take it out on you."

She felt his eyes on her again but he made no attempt to comfort her.

Just stared.

Then slowly he loosened his grip on the steering wheel and ran a hand through his gelled up hair. "She's coming. Please just act normal." His voice was tense.

He was scared.

Scared that she would embarrass him.

Caden sat up a little to get a good look at the woman approaching the car. 'Of fucking course,' she said looking directly to the woman's blond hair. It bobbed nicely as she walked towards them. Her boobs on the other hand, didn't.

"I heard fake boobs don't bounce," She couldn't help but say. Jason didn't say anything. He didn't make a movement as if he had even heard her and she was glad. He would have said something really mean to her if he had. Something like 'hey maybe you are a hippie and your jealous.'

Maybe she was.

Unconsciously, Caden looked down at her chest. Her boobs were normal. Not big and not small. Nothing extravagant. And definitely nothing fake.

The left backseat door opened and the weight in the car momentarily shifted. The air in the room was overtaken for a second by more Macy's cologne.

"Hey, J. Thanks for the invite" her voice was high pitched and Caden couldn't help but jump when she heard it. Jason shot her a warning look before looking to the back seat and smiling. "Chasidy, glad you could make it." He said backing up and taking off out of the parking lot. A silence hung in the air before C.K. lost her patience and turned to the back seat. "Hi, Chasidy was it? I'm Caden Kristoff, Jason's girlfriend."

'I just want to let you know that if I had my way your ass would be waiting outside your apartment all night,' was what she wanted to say but held her tongue and extended a hand. Chasidy took it graciously and shook once. "I've heard of you. I've never seen your photographs but I've heard they're very..." her words hung in the air before Jason filled it in. "Abstract"

"Yeah! Very different and random from what I've been told. Why don't you take pictures of Jason? I'm sure he would make a decent work of art." She laughed as if it was funny and Jason joined in too. It took all of C.K.'s strength to pull a smile from her depths and when it came, she was sure it was horrifying. A perfect window shopper's display of falsified happiness.

"Well, I don't take pictures of Jason because I'm not that sort of photographer. I take pictures of...well, of the simpler things in life. Like a rainbow behind a field of sunflowers or an old gypsy woman with multi colored beads around her neck and odd colored eyes. Things that people wouldn't normally stop to look at." Caden could almost feel the coolness of the intellectual winds blow right passed Chasidy's head. Nothing that had just come from C.K.'s mouth was processed into the little blonde brain and she couldn't help feel that those breathes it took to say all that could have been used for more useful things.

'Like giving myself CPR after I drown myself in Beatrice's pool'

"Oh," The blonde girl in the backseat finally said. Caden assumed everything had at least touched surface but not sunk in.

"Tell her how good my photographs are, baby." Caden nudged Jason. Out the corner of her eyes she saw Chasidy's mouth set into an attitude shape.

'Jealous?' Caden wanted to ask.

"They're alright." Jason said. C.K. felt her heart stop. There would have been a silence had Chasidy not coughed in the background, seemingly holding in sudden uncontrollable allergies.

This wasn't normal.

Normal would have been: 'Tell her how good my photographs are, baby.'

'Oh wow, I love them, especially the one with the girl with the ladybug on her face. Brilliant.' And then he would have leaned in and given her a kiss.

Caden sank back into her chair, as they pulled into Beatrice's mansion driveway. Expensive cars lined the grass and Jason decided to take a spot next to a Ferrari. When the car was turned off Caden unbuckled her seat belt and got out sped walking to the door and letting herself in. She didn't bother waiting for Jason so escort her. Chasidy would help him.

The tears that had threatened to spill in the car were now flowing freely down her face as she walked through the crowd.

She needed to find a bathroom to lock herself in.

Or maybe a pool.

Drowning was always an option.

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