A Gray Area Ch. 12


"I'm supposed to be that push but look at me. I make even worse decisions."

"I don't see that. I think you make great decisions and you're brilliant."

Caden's broad smile returned, full watt. "What make me so brilliant?" She sat back up, this time leaning forward on her leg, wholly interested in his analysis of her. "Well, for one thing, you made some very good financial decisions. Look at you. You're pretty much a millionaire. You don't even need to go to college." Caden laughed. "I have never made a financial decision that was more difficult than ordering from the dollar menu or the regular one. My parents make all my 'financial decisions' and the only reason why I have money, that I can't touch by the way, is because my dad left it to me in his will."

"But you don't need to go to college." He added, trying to catch her on something. "Yeah, only because I have a job that pays me enough to just sit around and do nothing for the rest of my life."

"Sounds fair enough" Caden kicked him playfully. "Yeah, you would think that." Jon grabbed her as she went in for another kick. His grasp on her ankle was firm, yet startlingly comforting. The warmth from his palm radiated like radio waves from an antennae and Caden's whole body caught the signal. They held each others gaze for a long while, allowing the awkward perfection of the whole situation to set in.

"Your hands are warm," she whispered, feeling her whole body heat up. He didn't answer. He just watched her. His hazel eyes doing that that thing they did. That thing that made it seem like he was looking at her soul or her thoughts. She kept her mind carefully blank. "I used to love looking at you like this," he whispered. It was loud in the silent confines of the car. "Especially at night while you slept—" he gave a small smile."—and when I was inside you. You looked so beautiful. You still are." As if the present tense brought her back, C.K. cleared her throat. Jon released her ankle gently, allowing her to pull it under herself again. Skillfully, Caden avoided his gaze. She let a tense silence settle between them before speaking again. "I'm sorry I never called you back," she whispered. Her gray eyes found his then diverted again. "I got your message as soon as I got off the plane in New York but...I-I don't know." She shrugged. Her eyebrows knitted together in frustration again. "I was scared. I knew that you would want me to come back and then what could I say? No?" She laughed, but there was no humor in it. "I'm just sorry." Her head lulled back on the glass again. She tilted herself upward to look at the lamp that lit the small area of the parking lot.

"It's alright," she heard him say and she couldn't help but smile. Her heart had been pounding since she got in the car and for the first time in a long time she felt a sense of ...nothing. Instead of her chest being burdened by the weight of every day life, she could breathe. She could sit back and smile to herself knowing that when she got home she could laugh for all the crazy things she wanted to laugh about before. She could be herself without having to impress a stranger that she had let romp and play through her life. She could go back to the high-yet-ironically-low maintenance life she had lived before her move from California. Caden missed it all from the semi-bohemian lifestyle to the thrill of getting caught. C.K.'s smile widened. The thrill of getting caught with Jon. Like now.

And she realized it then. Almost as if someone had removed a blindfold from in front of her eyes. She had missed Jon and all the recklessly addictive emotions he brought with him.

"It's alright," he had assured. "You did nothing wrong."

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