The Watcher Ch. 03bySecondCircle©
Jenna sighed as she pulled into her driveway. It had not been a good day. Lethargy had hung over her like a swollen grey cloud, dampening her mood and hindering her efforts at work. Time had seemed to drag along, and the weather itself did nothing to help her spirits. The sun had taken refuge behind a mass of ominous clouds, and it seemed that a storm was on the verge of bursting forth the entire day.
She glanced up at the darkened sky through her windshield. Jenna usually did not mind a good thunderstorm, nor did she mind being shut inside her house on rainy days. It would usually serve as a good time for her to read a book and relax, or snuggle up on the couch with....
Jenna rubbed her eyes. She had lost a substantial amount of sleep the previous night. She had spent the day at work trying her best not to think of the events that had taken place. Still the thoughts and worries gnawed at the edges of her mind, and she hoped to have nothing more than a simple uneventful night, without stalkers or strange sexual impulses to distract her.
Climbing from her car, Jenna couldn't help but feel weary of her daily routine, and with the new routine she had followed the past few days. She went to work, ran errands, came home, and then cleaned or found some other chore to keep her busy until sleep found her. Of course, she had added the neighbors into that mundane set of events recently. As she heard the voices from the house next door, she knew today would be no different.
Jenna listened, realizing that the voices were definitely coming from outside the house beside her own, most likely from the back porch. An angry heat enveloped her skin and her lips became firm. Without thinking, Jenna stormed across her driveway and into the small grassy alley between her house and the one next door. The voices became louder as she approached, and just as she had suspected, she found the three brothers seated at the small patio table on their back deck.
It was Matt that spotted her first, and he turned a questioning look at his brother beside him. Blake craned his neck and saw Jenna, and a slow smile spread across his face.
"Hey there, showgirl!" He called. "How's it going?"
"Which one of you tried to break in last night?" Jenna demanded.
For several seconds, the brothers were dumbfounded. Matt turned a wary eye on his brother, though he remained silent. Jenna glanced at Danny, who sat hunched over and fidgeting in his chair, facing away from her. Finally, after his smile faded into a confused expression, Blake spoke up.
"W-what do you mean?" He asked.
"Don't play dumb with me guys, someone tried to get into my house last night!"
Jenna was surprised by her own blatant forwardness, but she was too upset to care.
"Jenna, whoa, hold on," Blake said, rising from his seat. "What are you talking about?"
"You're telling me you didn't notice the police at my house last night?" She said motioning toward her driveway. "None of you were out on the deck last night? None of you were watching me?"
Jenna noticed the look that Matt gave his brother. Blake leaned over the railing and bit his lip.
"Well... well yeah," Blake said nervously. His voice was a bit hushed, as though the fact embarrassed him. "I guess you saw me out here didn't you?"
Jenna shook her head. "You could have at least knocked before you tried to break in my damn back door."
She turned and began to walk away, feeling a knot begin to form in her throat. Jenna wasn't sure what had come over her, but as she tromped back toward the front of her house, she felt angry, scared, and frustrated all at once. Blake was calling her name, but Jenna did not stop. She heard his footsteps hurrying after her, and she tried to blink away the burn in her eyes before he appeared in front of her.
"Jenna, wait," he pleaded. "C'mon talk to me."
Jenna stopped walking, but she refused to turn her eyes to meet Blake's. She stared instead in the direction of her front door, feeling a swell of pain in her upper chest.
"Jenna, what happened last night?" Blake asked.
Jenna scoffed. "You're asking me?"
"I don't know what you're talking about. You said someone tried to break in?"
Jenna turned a glare on him. "You said yourself you were watching me, Blake."
He licked his lips and turned away. He rubbed the back of his neck and stared down at his feet.
"Uh... yeah, I was," he admitted.
Jenna's face flushed hot as she could feel herself blushing. In her anger, she hadn't thought of how shocking it was too actually have her suspicions confirmed. Of course she had always assumed that one of the brothers had been watching her, to hear Blake admit it embarrassed her more than she realized. She was talking to the person who had watched her strip down, lotion herself, and....
"Look, yes I... I was watching you," Blake said. "I... don't know, I couldn't resist...."
He paused for several seconds, apparently trying to gather himself and search for the correct words to say.
"Look, you said that someone had been watching you," Blake explained. "I don't know what came over me. I sat outside to see if any prowlers would come around or anything. That's... when I saw you."
Jenna's eyes found his, though something them made her glance away. She could feel herself growing warm with embarrassment.
"I thought it was harmless," Blake smiled. "I felt like a little boy again. Anyway, I came to my senses, if it makes you feel any better. I know I'm an asshole."
Jenna glanced up at him suddenly.
"Wait, what did you say?"
Blake gave her a weak smile, shrinking back a few steps in defeat.
"I know I shouldn't have been watching you," Blake said, "especially when you said someone's already-"
"Whoa, wait a minute," Jenna interrupted. "You said you came to your senses. What do you mean?"
Blake stared at her. "Well... I saw you take off your top... and when you started to take off your panties... I-I guess I felt guilty. I went inside."
Jenna felt her insides grow weak and numb. Her mouth hung slightly agape and her eyes wandered away from Blake's concerned expression as she stared off in thought. The image of the shadow at her window, as well as its frightening silhouette behind the curtain of her back door, flashed in her mind. Jenna had thought she had put a face to that figure, but now her mind raced to process the idea that it was not Blake.
She glanced up at Blake again.
"You didn't... see anything else?" She asked.
He shook his head, studying her with a measure of worry.
"Jenna, what happened? You said someone tried to break in?"
"What about your brothers?" She blurted. "Could it have been one of them?"
Blake balked for a second. "I-I don't know. I was pretty sure they were asleep when I went inside."
Jenna blinked, trying to erase the images from her mind. She remembered how frightened she had been when the hand had slapped her window.
"Hey, what happened?" Blake persisted. "Why did you say the police were out here?"
"I called them," Jenna said. "Someone was at my window last night, the same as the night before. I thought it was just you...."
She stopped short before she went into any detail of the things she had done. Again she blushed at the mere thought of it all.
"They tried to open my back door," she told him.
"Seriously?" Blake said.
Jenna shook her head in frustration. "Look, if it was one of your brothers, just keep them the hell away from my house okay?"
She turned and headed up the steps to her front door, leaving Blake bewildered behind her.
Jenna lifted the lid to her washing machine, and then reached down to open the door of her dryer. As she transferred her laundry from one machine to the other, she tried to keep her mind clear of any events from the previous nights, as well as her conversation with Blake. Though she did well not to think of the incidents, she could not rid herself of the feeling.
It was on her skin, the feeling of exposure and vulnerability. She had changed clothes, and was wearing her most comfortable pair of blue jeans and a plain, white, spaghetti strap top. Still, she felt somehow naked, as though the very walls within her own house were watching her. She had felt the exact sensation the night before, and she remembered how wonderful and sexy it had been.
Jenna only felt uncomfortable and fearful now. Though her skin felt smooth and warm, she imagined it sticky and contaminated. She had allowed prying eyes to invade her privacy, to bear witness to her in her most intimate form. She felt somehow infected or penetrated, and therefore ashamed.
She shut the door to the dryer, set the time, and started its cycle. As she walked out of her laundry room and into her kitchen, she realized that she had not eaten anything since she had been home from work. Jenna sighed when she glanced over at her stove. There had been a time when she enjoyed cooking, but those were memories she did not care to think of either.
Deciding that she was not hungry, she wondered what she should do next. Over the past year her home had become quiet and uneventful. She considered calling her friend Kelly and asking her over for a visit. Such as her mood was, however, she did not feel like entertaining a high spirit like Kelly. She wondered if she had become a bad friend. It seemed she was never up for keeping up with her wild friend anymore. Glancing at the clock on her stove and realizing it was half past seven o'clock, she headed into the living room. She hated that she settled with watching television every night, but there was a decent program soon to come on that she was content to watch. Jenna decided that anything would be preferable to dwelling on the disturbing occurrences of the past several days.
Just as she found her remote and switched on her television, there came a knock at the front door. At first she was startled, and placed a hand over her chest above her fluttering heart. Again the image of the shadow at her back door flashed in her mind. Jenna shook her head and walked to her front door. It was not often that she had visitors. She wondered if her mother had decided to pay her a surprise visit, or if Kelly had coincidentally shown up.
Jenna opened her door and immediately froze. Blake was standing on her front porch. He was dressed as casually as ever, wearing jeans that were slightly splattered with paint and grease and a grey shirt. His hair and shirt were wet, and looking past him, Jenna could see that it was raining harder. His soft but piercing bluish eyes studied her kindly.
"Hey," he said.
Jenna's eyes wandered down his slender frame.
"Hey," she replied softly in kind.
"Look, I think I've figured out what all of this is about," Blake began.
Jenna bit her lip and leaned on the edge of the door. She reflected on her earlier actions.
"I'm sorry for acting like that earlier," she said. "It's been kind of a bad day for me."
Something in the way his wet dirty blond hair glistened and how his small bright eyes glittered when he smiled excited Jenna.
"I don't think you were out of line," Blake told her. "I'd be pretty pissed, too, if I were you."
Jenna nodded nervously. "Um, do you... wanna come in for a minute?"
An alarm sounded in her mind even as she spoke the words, but she kept her composure. She couldn't leave him in the rain, even if he was under her porch. She opened the door wider and allowed Blake to enter. As he stepped into her living room, Jenna closed the door behind him. He examined the house briefly, his gaze eventually drawn toward the television. He motioned toward the screen.
"You watch this stuff?" Blake chuckled.
Jenna glanced at the television to see that a reality show that she had never heard of was currently playing. She shook her head and smiled.
"No, I just turned it on. Do you want to sit down?"
"Sure," Blake said.
He took a seat on Jenna's leather sectional sofa. She did likewise, taking care to sit a reasonable distance from him, but not so much as to raise question.
"Sorry about all this, Jenna," Blake started. "I didn't mean to make things weird by coming over. I just wanted to let you know what's been going on."
Jenna nodded. "It's fine. Like I said, it's just been a long day."
As Blake cleared his throat, she allowed her eyes to drift down his tight slender chest that was displayed nicely by his small shirt. She blinked and looked away, amazed at her own lack of constitution in such a situation.
"I told you that I saw you last night," Blake said. "I shouldn't have been watching, but I saw you walk into your room, and I assumed you didn't see me so I got carried away."
Jenna crossed her arms over her breasts. "You saw me look out the window?"
"Yeah. I just thought that since it was so dark that you couldn't see me."
Blake did his best to hide a sheepish grin.
"I saw what you were wearing, and there was no way I could turn away," he admitted.
Jenna shifted on the couch and adjusted her glasses. She couldn't look at Blake when he spoke of her in such a way.
"And yes, I did stick around for a bit of a show," Blake said. "I knew it was wrong, but I just had to see more. I was paralyzed. I saw a lot more than I should have. I'm sorry."
Jenna bit her lip. A warm sensation filled her body from her face to her feet.
"Like I told you though, I saw you... you know... taking it all off... and I went inside. I felt like a creep." Blake paused for a few seconds. "Anyway, I'm apparently not the only one in my house who wanted a look at you."
Jenna looked over at him. "One of your brothers?"
He nodded. "Danny's a good kid, but he is a bit weird. He's always been kind of a loner."
"H-he was the one watching?" Jenna asked.
"Yeah, I had a good talk with him."
Jenna tensed. "What all did he say?"
Blake chuckled. "He doesn't usually say a whole lot, but he did admit to spying on you. He tried to open your back door, too. From what I gathered, he thought you wanted him inside for some reason. I guess that's his idea of making a move or something."
Jenna considered what Blake was telling her. She remembered Danny peeking at her through the window next door, and as Blake described him, it did make sense for him to act the way he did if he was the person spying on her. A strange thought entered her mind, and a disturbing image flashed yet again in her head.
"Wait, what about the hand?" She asked. "A-and the eyes?"
Blake furrowed his brow. "Huh?"
"Last night," Jenna said, "before someone tried to get in, I saw this... this creepy hand or something on my window."
Blake's expression relaxed into one of understanding. "Right, that sounds like him, too. Danny's kind of a... geek. He has all these collectables and comic books and stuff. I'm betting you got a good look at one of his goblin gloves or Star Trek masks or something like that."
Jenna stared blankly at her neighbor. She pictured Blake's brother lurking outside her window, dressed in some insane costume while she gave him the show of his life in her bedroom. As unsettling as it still seemed to her, Jenna could not contain the laughter that burst forth from her. Blake snickered as well, his beady blue eyes shining brightly.
"Are you serious?" Jenna gasped between breaths.
Blake simply nodded and leaned back into the sofa with a wide smile. Jenna laughed anew, picturing the eerie eyes and deformed hand in a new, more comical light. She felt a large blanket of fear and uncertainty slip away with her every gasping breath.
"Wow, I'm not sure what to say," Jenna said finally.
"Well, all I can say is I'm sorry, and he shouldn't be bothering you anymore," Blake assured her.
Jenna could feel herself start to blush. "I, um... hate to say this, but I think your brother got the better show."
Blake's brow raised in amusement. "Really? What all went on in your bedroom last night?"
She shook her head with a smirk. "I can't believe he didn't say anything about it to you."
"Why? What happened?"
Jenna glanced at him and a sheepish smile spread on her face.
"I... I don't think I can say," she admitted.
A sly expression formed on Blake's face as he studied her with his small bluish eyes.
"Uh... I turned away when you were taking off your panties," Blake grinned. "That means that you were completely naked when he saw you."
"Well, yeah," Jenna said, "but that's, um... not everything that he saw."
Jenna remembered the feeling of wild ecstasy she had experienced the night before. She remembered how wonderful it had felt to shove her toy inside of her, and how naughty the exposure had felt under the eyes of her peeper, who she now knew to be Danny. It didn't matter who had been watching at that moment. The idea that someone wanted to watch, that someone lusted after her, that she had made a man hard and sexually aroused... it was incredibly addicting.
Jenna looked over as Blake sat forward on the couch. She knew that she had his full attention.
"What... what d-did you show him?" Blake stuttered.
She couldn't look him in the eyes, not those tiny, playfully sweet eyes; however, she couldn't resist answering him. Jenna felt as though she were losing her mind, like she was under some sort of spell when she was near Blake. She couldn't quite put her finger on what it was about him that had her so enthralled. She wondered if all the time that she had been alone and single had finally dimmed her reservations and sharpened her sensuality and curiosity.
"I... showed him my toy," Jenna said.
Cutting her eyes over at Blake, she could see the comprehension on his face as his eyes lit up.
"Oh," Blake said. "Wow, uh... wow, you really gave Danny a show, didn't you?"
Biting her lip, Jenna turned a nervous gaze toward him.
"I thought I was showing you," Jenna admitted.
Blake's eyes locked with hers, and there was a decent measure of shock hidden therein. He blinked several times, and Jenna's skin tickled when she saw his eyes flitting down across her chest.
"Really?" Blake mused. "Did you want me to watch you?"
Jenna nodded, hiding her grin by pretending to chew her fingernail.
"And all this time I thought you were trying to dodge me," Blake said.
He adjusted himself on the couch, and looking down, Jenna spotted a bulge in his jeans. A hot bubble of excitement burst in her chest and swiftly turned to chills that tingled her insides from head to toe. Her bottom lip fell open and a shuttering breath escaped across her slick tongue.
There was a silence between the two that seemed to last for an hour. Blake appeared to be struggling to decide what he should do. He looked as though he was braced to flee, yet something magnetic held him firmly in place, even threatening to pull him closer to Jenna.
At last, Blake rose from the couch and cleared his throat.
"Well, uh... I should probably go," he said. "I've probably made you pretty uncomfortable."
Feeling her heart sink a bit, Jenna stood beside him, her legs weak and her breath a cold pocket in her chest.
"Um, it's fine," she told him. "I'm sorry for overreacting earlier."
"No, no, I'm sorry that all of this happened."
Blake headed for the front door, and Jenna followed him tentatively. He turned and looked at her, and she thought that she might crumble beneath the weight of his misty eyes. She ran a finger through her hair, brushing a black strand behind her ear. As she did, Blake's gaze fell to the tan skin of her neck. He licked his lips before his words escaped them.
"I guess... in a way, I'm not that sorry that this happened," he admitted. "It's no wonder at all that someone couldn't keep their eyes off of you."
Jenna smiled and glanced away. "Well, I'm uh... not exactly telling you that you have to."
Blake swallowed. "Well, do I have to leave?"