A Gray Area Ch. 03byDeity©
The ride to Benji Ashton's music store had been a dead one. Whatever Collin through into the air as a question or a comment would fall like a brick to the ground with an embarrassing crash.
"Are you okay, kitten?" he asked for the twelfth time since she had gotten into the car. Incessantly, he would ask her if she was ok and if she was feeling all right and she would simply nod her head looking out the window. When another silence passed he would ask if he had offended her and she would shake her head no. He would ask again in a couple minutes.
In the five minutes it took to get from the café to Benji's music store, now apparently called 'The Place', C.K. had thought about her life in its entirety. Everything. From the reason why she had the scar on her chest to her father's death to her flight to New York up to now. She had changed, not just in age but in personality. When her father died she had been some heartbroken teenager crying him and a guy that didn't care about her. Her rebellious abandonment of the high class life had been her escape from it all.
She thought she had gotten away from everything. All the drama and imitation kindness. The hatred, the cheaters, the liars. 'Everything will get better now' Had been her thoughts on the plane.
Obviously that had been a lie. Not a lot of things had gotten better and now she had another problem.
Mr. USA, whatever anybody wanted to call him.
He was the issue now. How deep into him was she? How much did she need him and crave him to get lost in him like she had.
He had suffocated her. Suffocated her creativity, like a bug in a jar with no holes.
And she had let him. She had handed him the knife to stab her with and now that she was bleeding to death she realized what was going on.
"Might as well have done it," She mumbled under her breath as Collin parked in front of the poorly painted building. Awkwardly he removed the keys from the ignition and opened the door, stepping out. It was evident the car was too small for him. The day he bought it she had told him that. His reply had been 'its not the size that matters, kitten, it's all about the motion of the ocean.' The memory brought a brief smile to her Caden's face as he opened the door for her and she stepped out. Even she had an issue getting out. He closed the door; turned to her and stopped when he saw the look she was giving him.
"What?" he asked.
"You need a new car,' was her reply as she walked past him and towards the door.
He scoffed as he fell into step behind her. "I told you, its not the size that matters, its,"
"The motion of the ocean, I know."
Collin jogged ahead of her making a grab for the door before she could do it. He held it open as she walked through, his body following right after.
Caden smiled at the sight before her. He hadn't changed it at all. The same odd plastic smell wafted throughout the room. The same guitars still lined the wall, each with a signature scribbled on the side. The same mess of CDs was still in the right corner of the room. The same Benji stood behind the counter, looking extra bright with his black and green hair.
"No. Fucking. Way." Echoed through the room. Benji was smiling at her. , his blue eyes shining. "So when I heard that C.K. was back in town, I don't know what I was thnking but it definitely wasn't you, kiddo."
Caden walked through the store, making her way towards the front. When she got there she put her hands flat on the see-through counter, as if ready to talk business. "Maybe you were thinking...stuck up, snobby, selfish bitch from a ridiculously rich family?"
The multi-color haired man scrunched his nose up as if thinking then shook his head, his longs spikes not moving an inch despite the constant movement.
"Nah, if I wanted to think of that I would probably think more Beverly Hills not here." With that he leaned over the counter and hugged her generously then pulled away looking at her up and down.
"You look hot," He stated. His words came out as if he were saying the day of the week or the temperature outside. Behind her Collin cleared his throat. Benji looked at him then back at Caden. "In an intelligent, and very non provocative way." He added
"Uh huh," was Cadens reply, not believing a word he said.
It was then that she felt it.
She felt his presence in the room before she even saw him walk out from the back. She smelled that familiar cologne that he always wore. When she was younger she thought it had smelled horrible, like a weird person that you stand next to in a line, and you couldn't tell if they smelled good or bad. But now. Now she could really smell it and analyze it and she remembered it.
She looked past Benji with his green and black spikes and saw him walking out from the storage room, holding a cell phone. His face was lowered so all she saw was his dirty blond un-kept style of hair. He was still tall, towering over her height of 5'2 with his height of 6'3 and he wasn't skinny like he was when they were younger. He had been a stick with legs, head, and arms. Now, as far as she could see, he had filled out quite nicely and there didn't appear to be any belly peeking from under his shirt so it was probably muscle.
Caden looked back at Collin to see if he saw what she did but he seemed unfazed by the whole situation that was going to play out in a matter of seconds. He kept a straight face and met her gaze when she turned to him.
Caden gave him a desperate look, her eyes screaming 'can we leave?'
"Yo, Jon look who is back in town." Benji said. He slapped a hand to the taller mans chest to get his attention then pointed to C.K.
Jon glanced up from his cell phone in mild interest, looked back down and then back up, his hazel eyes meeting her grey ones. He tucked away his cell phone into his back pocket and folded his arms in front of his chest.
Silence loomed in the room before Collin's voice cut in. "I didn't know you were gonna be here, Jon."
Caden didn't have to turn around to tell that he was lying. It was in his voice. That slight sound of mockery played in his words like a child on monkey bars. She didn't know whether to feel betrayed or grateful. Jon had been on her list of people to see, but not now. Not so soon. She hadn't been ready yet. And she was sure she looked like shit. Instinctively she brought a hand to her bangs and smoothed them out. The action brought a smile to Jon's face.
"C.K.," she felt a chill go down her spine at his voice. Her name rolled of his tongue like ice cream on a hot surface. "It's been a while. You look..." his eyes roamed her body, searching for the word that would best compliment her. "Good," he said, finally finishing.
'Don't. Say. A word.' She told herself.
And she didn't. She simply stood there, nodded once, then looked at the ground. Inside she was screaming from the awkwardness of the whole situation. This was not what she planned. She wasn't ready to see him yet. He was always so dam—
"Are you not gonna talk to me?" he asked softly. "Or are you still mad about that whole sit—"
"I told you before that I was over that. We don't need to bring it up again!" Cadens raised voice was like a snap of electricity in the air. Benji took it as a sign to leave and he did, disappearing into the back of the store, leaving the three alone. Collin cleared his throat, breaking the silence that was lingering after C.K.'s outburst. "Well this is unexpected," he began. Caden looked at him.
"You don't sound to surprised," she said. Collin shook his head incessantly "Oh, no. I'm just as surprised as you are. If I had known you two would meet up I would have brought popcorn and gummy bears." She rolled her eyes and then mouthed the words 'that's not funny.'
When she turned back to Jon he was leaning against a wooden box of records that was connected to the wall. His arms were folded and his eyes were intently watching her. He was studying her. Getting to know her again without having a conversation. He was good at reading body language.
Even better at hiding his own.
She was beautiful. He didn't know how else to put it. She was a goddess and even though she stood in front of him with her face twisted into an attitude, he still had to stop himself from walking over and stealing a kiss.
He could tell just by her eyes not meeting his that she was uncomfortable. Her mind and body wanted to leave but her heart wanted to stay with him. She wanted to talk out their problems, work out their differences. Fix everything and anything that caused conflict between them (which was a lot).
But something stopped her.
Even when she was younger she never wanted to be the one to say sorry, and in this particular situation, nothing was her fault. The only thing she had done was fall in love with the wrong guy.
And Jon? He had fucked up royally by ignoring the signs. Instead of being there when she needed him he had broken away from his fathers wishes. He had lived the party life; going out every night, drinking, fucking, doing drugs. The typical rock star/rich boy life. And when he finally came to his senses about Caden and how he really felt, she was already gone. Taking a one-way trip to New York to pursue her photography career.
"Can we go, please?" Caden asked. It took Jon a few moments to realize that he had been staring at her. The whole time while he had been daydreaming, his light hazel eyes had been holding her gaze intently.
"Yeah, we should head out. I cannot look at you for one more second in all that white." Collin held his hand out to guide Caden to the door. She followed not bothering to look back until she reached the door. He gave a quick wave not expecting one in return and proceeded to walk into the back of the store.
He heard the door open then close but didn't look behind him. She was angry with him. He didn't blame her. A continuous beeping sounded off through out the room and Jon gave himself a quick pat down to find his cell phone.
When he flipped it open it read 'One Message Received.'
He pressed the accept button.
From Collin, 'Go To Beatrice's Black And White Party Tonight. I'll Get Her To Go.'
By her, Jon assumed, he meant C.K. Hesitantly he pressed the reply button. The ringing in Jon's ears told him that this was a bad idea. He would regret even thinking about meeting up with her at a party but he needed to talk to her.
He needed to sort things out with her. Jon pressed to buttons on his phone then closed it. He paused where he was momentarily then began walking. He took the back door out of the store and couldn't suppress a smile when a thought came to him.
'Tonight is going to be interesting. I can already tell.'