tagRomanceA Gray Area Ch. 05

A Gray Area Ch. 05


"Kitten, what's wrong?" Collin banged on the door for the third time in one minute. He had been one of the many people to see Caden walk into the house with tears rolling down her cheek and followed her when she ran to the bathroom. He knocked again. "Caden Kristoff, if you don't open this door right now, I'm gonna-"

The door swung open. C.K. stood in the door frame, her little brown nose reddish and her cheeks shiny from old tears. "Your gonna what?" she asked. "Break down the door? The wood on that door alone probably cost more than the rent for my condo." She walked passed him and took a seat on the bed. Collin followed, sitting next to her.

"What happened?" he asked. His arm snaked around her shoulder, pulling her closer to him.

"Did you see that girl Jason walked into the house with?" She asked, looking at the ground. The arm that had been around her shoulders went slack.


"After I came home from breakfast, I took a long nap, I read, I took a photo or two from my window. I just needed some quiet. Some time to think, you know?"


"But, Jason came home in a frenzy. He was so eager to come to this party. 'Put some nice clothes on, baby. Please fix your hair.'" Collin laughed at C.K.'s imitation of him. She cracked a smile before continuing.

"And he could see that I was stressed out about something and we all know the Maldonado Stress Reliever—"

"Sex," they said at the same time.

"So naturally after what we talked about at breakfast, I'm not in the mood for it. And then WHAM! He hits me with this 'hey baby, can we go pick up this chick from my work," C.K.'s eyes found Collin's and he could see that they were fresh with tears.

"He said I was overreacting and that I was being a bitch, which I was, but he didn't have to say that to me. So needless to say...I let him pick her up."

Collin's mouth hung open. "I'm sorry. Can I speak to Caden because the Caden that I know would never let Jason pick up another girl and go to a party— what are you smoking?" C.K. shrugged. She ran a hand through her hair and sniffled.

"And I asked him about my photographs, if he liked them or not, and you know what he said just because that girl was in the car? He said they were 'alright'. What the fuck is that? 'Alright?'" She started crying again. And Collin reached for her, pulling her into a tight hug. "You don't think I'm overreacting, do you?" She said in between sobs. Collin shook his head and kissed the top of hers. "I think you need to take a Pamprin or a Midol and take a long nap. You've had a rough day, Kitten. I understand." The two of them sat in the silence listening to the hum of voices from behind the door.

"What does she look like?" Collin asked after a while. C.K. got up from the bed and grabbed one of Beatrice's bra's that had been hanging from the mirror on her dresser and put it to her chest. Her small body looked ridiculous with Beatrice's over stuffed water bra.

"She's like this except it's not water, its silicone. Her lips are nice and red and full of collagen." Collin laughed so she continued. "Her hair is perfect and perky and blonde."

"Hair extensions," Collin said in a high pitched voice. This time it was Caden's turn to laugh. "Her hip bones stick out so far, they could be classified as weapons."

"She's had so much botox that her face would have a chemical reaction is she stayed in the sun to long." Collin lay back on the bed laughing so hard he thought is stomach would burst, and Caden had fallen to the floor curled up laughing. She could only imagine what people outside the room were thinking about all the noise they made, but she didn't care. She would have rather been there on the floor, about to pee her panties than outside listening to rich people talk about nothing.

There was a quick knock on the door and both of them sat up and looked at each other. Caden nearly jumped off the floor, fixing her skirt and hair while Collin straitened out his shirt and hand ironed the bed. "Come in," Collin said. He cleared his throat. The door knob turned and gave way to the door as Jon walked in. Looking around his eyes passed over Collin and landed on C.K.

For a second, Caden thought her heart was going to explode from the rate it was beating. Jon met eyes with her as he closed the door behind him. Collin visibly relaxed and took his seat back on the bed but Caden stood on her side of the room, shoulders back and chin up.

"I can hear you guys from outside," he pointed his thumb behind him to the door. "What's going on?" he asked, his eyebrows furrowed together.

"I thought you were Beatrice, coming in here to tell us to get out," Collin said. He went back to his laying position on the bed, letting out a sigh of relief. Jon closed the door and leaned against it, folding his arms. Through his black shirt Caden could see muscle flexing as the arms intertwined together. "Why aren't you out there with Jason?" Jon asked. He watched her intently as she tore her vision from his arms to his face but still said nothing.

In response, she simply shrugged. Collin sighed and stood from the bed. He brushed his hands over his jeans loudly. "Well, I'm gonna head out and see how everything is holding up out there." Caden practically jumped at the opportunity to leave. "Yeah, me –"

"No," Collin stopped her. He opened the door stepping through halfway then turning back to look at her, then Jon. "You two need to talk and that's what your gonna do." He slid the door close, leaving an awkward silence to waft in the room. Jon stepped forward, opening his mouth to begin but Caden held her hand up, stopping any words that would dare spill out.

"I don't want to hear your excuses. I don't want to talk. I don't want to make amends with you. I don't want to be friends. And I—"

"Don't even wanna be lovers? Secret lovers?" C.K. looked at him. She knew he was kidding but still took it to heart, storing it some place where she could reflect on it on a night when she couldn't sleep. "I definitely don't want to be that." Jon walked over to the bed taking a seat and looking up at her. A small smile played on his lips at the thought of how she must have felt. When he said that her eyes had met his directly and she had been looking for something. Hoping that maybe he was serious about his question.

He wanted to tell her that he was but he didn't. She was already uncomfortable enough. "Look," he began. "Kitten—"

"Don't call me that."

Jon sighed then started over. "Okay, Caden. I know you don't want to be friends. I know you hate my guts. I guess I can see why. I was a prick to you but you have to understand."

"Understand what?" she asked. She took a few steps back and leaned against the back wall, folding her arms. Jon looked up at her and saw her gaze already piercing his. She was waiting for something good, and Jon had nothing prepared. He should have been more prepared for this. Collin had told him to be. Both of them had planned this out perfectly and on the way To Beatrice's the two of them did a quick run down of everything. Jon thought he had it. By the look Caden was giving him now, it was obvious he didn't.

"I was a loser. You know me and my dad were having problems. My family was breaking apart and I didn't know what to do."

"So what? You go out and drink and party and sleep till evening and neglect everyone else because of that?" He opened his mouth to speak but she continued. "My father died, Jon. He died. And you never saw me pick up a single bottle or walk into any club. I didn't try to throw myself into anyone's arms but yours. And what did you do?"


"Oh yeah, that's right. You kicked me to the curb, Jon. Not even the curb. You kicked me to the goddamn street. And it took me moving to across the country for you to figure out how you felt? You're pathetic. You really are, and everyday when I wake up in the morning I wonder what I was thinking, if I was thinking at all." She looked at him. Her eyes were hard and passionate and Jon felt his heart stir in his chest.

This was the full extent of her pain.

This was how she felt.

He had hurt her, made her feel like this and he couldn't help but feel guilty.

"I know I screwed up," Jon said quietly, looking down at his hands. "That's why I'm asking for something. An 'I except your apology' maybe? A 'maybe we can work it out'?"

"No. No I don't except your apology and no, we can't work it out." Caden sat up from the wall here arms were no longer across her chest; instead one was limp at her side and the other as tangling itself in her hair. A tell tale sign of her distress. "I don't want to be your friend, Jon. I don't want to be your friend, your neighbor, your girlfriend, your secret lover. We aren't even acquaintances." She shrugged, her hand falling loudly to her thigh. "I don't know what you were expecting from this conversation." She began walking to the door, slowly, and Jon waited to see if she would change her mind and stay a while.

She didn't.

She turned the knob opening the heavy wooden door and exited. As the door closed behind her,

the dirty blonde haired boy felt a part of him leave with her. He had tried once again to fix things he'd failed. Jon cracked his knuckles and sighed. His and Collins plan wasn't working.

'In fact, I think I actually made things worse.' Jon couldn't help but think. Tonight she was probably just going to go home, tell Jason what happened, and he presumed by about three tonight he would be in the emergency room.

'What mother fucker? You lock my girl in a room and try and patch up some old sores? How fucking dare you? Stay the hell away from her...' He could already hear the tanned model yelling that in his face and Jon almost wiped away some imaginary spit that flew from imaginary Jason's mouth. Even for a second he though there was an imaginary bruise forming where Jason would probably punch him.

Instinctively, Jon reached up and touched his cheek but nothing was there.

There was no bruising.

At least not on the outside. The only place he was bruising was inside. In the same place he had bruised C.K.

The heart.

She came up to him so fast that his drink almost fell out of his hand. "I wanna leave." Caden stated plainly. From the other side of him, Chasidy looked at her. "I don't want to be here at all." Jason looked nervously at the man he had been talking to, gave a quick nod then pulled his girlfriend off to the side of the room. "I am very upset at you. I don't know why you're acting like this."

"Acting like what?"

"Caden, stop it. You know what you're doing. Can you imagine how embarrassed I was walking in here with a woman that wasn't you? People looked at me as if I had an axe sticking out my head."

"Well, I can really put an axe in your head so they can look at you for that reason, if you want."

"Caden!" his voice was a harsh whisper. "I'm serious. From the apartment to the car to hear and now."

"I have done absolutely nothing wrong. You're the one that has changed –" she made her voice go deep to imitate him "— from the apartment to the car to here and now. In the apartment you were such a sweet heart. In the car you were a total dick and now you look like an abusive boyfriend—you can let go of my arm now." He dropped her arm and looked around to make sure no one had been looking.

"Look, Baby Cay... I know I was mean in the car but Chasidy could be really important for my career—" Caden sighed. "This has absolutely nothing to do with her or your career. This is us. How YOU were acting in the car and how I was acting in the car is not what THIS is about. I want to go home. I want to talk to you about us. I want us to talk because right now we are having a communication problem." Caden reached up and touched the stubble on his cheek.

"I hate it when we get like this and argue."

Jason looked at her for a long while before sighing and taking her wrist from his face. "We'll go home in an hour. Is that alright? I'm getting to know these people. Besides, didn't you grow up with half of them?"

Caden nodded slowly. She was hiding her disappointment. An hour? That was to long and she couldn't take another minute in the same house as Jon. If she stayed she already knew more than one run in with him was guaranteed. Caden looked around the room. She needed to find Collin. If she begged hard then she knew he would give in and give her a ride home. She just had to find him. Her eyes scanned over he throng of people and she began to cut in and out of people looking for him.

Some people stopped her to say their 'hellos' and 'how are you's?" but she kept going, ignoring them.

She wanted to go home and she wanted to go now.

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