Episode 14

Episode 14
Changes On The wind

The house awoke to the smell of bacon, sausages, eggs and French toast the next morning. Emily stirred and wondered who it was cooking. Kiara had probably left to avoid any contact with Caitlin or JC and Lexie rarely cooked at all. Emily sat up and looked around her smiling. Cory had left at three in the morning after they had decided it would be nice to see where things went. Cory had been cool about stuff and Emily felt a sense of excitement as she looked around her room. Standing up she collected her things for her morning shower and headed into the free bathroom.

Kiara was laying in bed afraid to move. She had come across the wrong kind of person and how could she ever look Caitlin in the face again. She didn’t hate Callie, she was the nicest of them all but then why had she yelled at the poor dog then? Tossing and turning all night Kiara knew the man who had held her by the throat with one hand could have easily killed her if he had so desired to. looking out of her window, she knew everyone was still here, even the guy she was eternally afraid of.

Lexie listened to her ipod in the darkened room she felt safe in. Her phone had rang three times but she hadn’t heard the repetitive ringing. Her caller ID read Dan but Alexia did not care. She was determined to stay in her room all morning and wait for the others to go about their usual Sunday rituals before escaping to Hollywood and the world she felt like she belonged too. Closing her eyes she drifted back off to sleep.

Caitlin stirred from under her blue quilted comforter to find JC had gone. Sighing sadly, she climbed out of bed and headed to her dresser. His car keys were there as she felt for her phone. So he hadn’t left? Feeling at the side of her, she couldn’t find Callie in her bed.
“Callie?” she called but the blonde dog did not appear to be in the room. “Shit!” She breathed, panic spreading rapidly. Opening the door, clad in blue pyjamas, Caitlin hurried down the hall toward the smells of breakfast? Raising her eyebrows in confusion of who would be cooking this early on a Sunday morning, Callie hurtled toward her with the pink bear clutched happily between her teeth.
“Morning beautiful!” He turned and smiled at her confused face. “Sit down, breakfast is almost ready.”

“Breakfast?” Caitlin’s voice wavered as she pulled out the metal high chair from the breakfast bar. “For me? You cook?”
“One question at a time, shortie,” He kissed her forehead as he lay a plate of French toast, sausage, bacon and a cup of coffee before her. “Your other roomies still here?” He smelt fresh as though he’d already showered and Callie was settled. Caitlin wondered if he’d taken Callie out.
“I’ll just go and potty the dog,” she said standing up quickly. “And she’ll be wanting her breakfast.”
“Well,” He smiled as he plated up two other plates. “I took her potty but she might love her breakfast.” He had a happy smile on his face and Caitlin felt settled and calm knowing he was there.
“Thanks, jC,” she said walking to Callie’s food bag.

“Not a problem,” he finished plating up and as she poured the food into the pink bowl he called loudly. “Lexie, Emily, breakfast!” Caitlin turned and beamed with a shocked expression on her sleepy face.
“You made my roomies breakfast too?” She asked warmed by the idea.
“Yeah,” He lay the plates on the breakfast bar with cutlery and walked to her pulling her into a warm embrace. Sighing happily, she nestled her face into his shirt.
“You are the best thing to happen to me in a long while,” He confessed in husky tones. “I ain’t fucking this up for shit!” Releasing her, he walked back to the breakfast bar and took his seat, drinking deeply from the mug of coffee. Caitlin stood listening to the dog eat from her bowl, her guide dog tag clanking happily against the plastic and then turning to where JC was sitting, she took her seat and began to eat her breakfast.

Lexie stirred as she heard a yell from a male’s voice. She jumped out of bed, putting her robe on and headed down the hallway with determination coursing through her body. Whoever it was they had better leave her and her friends alone. walking barefoot onto the cold tiled floor, Lexie saw JC and Caitlin eating and two plates of food waiting in empty spaces on the table. The smells of the cooked breakfast filtered around their house and a smile crept onto Alexia’s face.
“What’s all of this?” she asked in her sweetest voice, her eyelashes fluttering suggestively. JC turned and smiled gently at her.
“Breakfast, Lex,” he informed her pulling out her chair for her. Alexia took her seat and focussed her green eyes on him for a second. For a hip hop guy, he wasn’t bad looking she concluded picking up her knife and fork and beginning breakfast.
“Who cooked?” She asked tasting the doughy goodness of the French toast.
“Me,” JC replied finishing a mouthful of eggs. “Is it OK?” Lexie nodded having forked another mouthful of toast into her mouth. So he could cook too? How more perfect did this guy get?

Emily left her shower dressed and headed into the kitchen. smiling at the scene before her, she petted Callie who had just taken a drink and was heading off to her bed to have her morning nap.
“Morning,” Emily called taking a glass from the drainer to get some water.
“Em, that’s yours,” Caitlin smiled proudly as she cut up some sausage. “JC decided to cook us breakfast.” Emily’s smile grew and she glanced over at Alexia who seemed deep in thought and then to Caitlin who couldn’t have been happier if you’d magicked it. Finally, she glanced at JC who between mouthfuls of food was watching Caitlin with an adoration Emily had never witnessed before. It was sweet and the fact that he was trying to impress them too meant a lot.
‘Thanks, JC,” She pulled out the chair, sipping gratefully from the cool water glass. She had such a dry mouth due to the amount of alcohol she had consumed the night before. Beginning her breakfast, Emily wondered if JC had bothered to make Kiara any but looking around the kitchen it seemed to be obvious that he hadn’t and had no intention to do so. She had stepped over the line the previous evening as far as JC had been concerned. Emily who was on the whole the more laid back of the friends, hadn’t seemed to be concerned with Kiara’s constant criticism of the other girls’ life styles. But she knew if she had been in the room when Kiara had got up in Caitlin’s face, she may have flipped too. True, Emily wasn’t at all violent but she would never stand for anyone disrespecting her friends. JC had grown up in a completely different way of life and was taught to deal with situations differently to most of them. Emily appreciated it and a part of her suspected that there was way more to how he had behaved the previous night than any of them knew. Maybe Caitlin knew but if she did she wasn’t letting anything slip. As Emily watched them, glancing at each other briefly and quietly enjoying the moment they were both sharing, her heart warmed and Emily realised that whether or not he was what she suspected he was, he wasn’t going anywhere in a hurry and he’d be a part of Caitlin’s life for a while.

Kiara heard them all talking and without showering she changed quickly into some jeans. Throwing some clothes into a bag and a few toiletries, Kiara quickly put the bag on her back and checking she had her cell phone, charger, wallet and keys, she headed down the hallway as quietly as she could. As she peeped around the corner, she saw Emily and Lexie with their backs to her, eating breakfast while Caitlin petted callie on the floor beside her and the man that sent shivers down her spine stood with his back to her at the sink. As quietly and as quickly as she could, Kiara headed for the front door and turning the handle, she headed outside, closing the door behind her. Once out in the already hot day’s air, she began to run as fast as possible down the street. Her feet pounded hard on the heating asphalt and her heart raced with apprehension. She hoped none of them would follow her and as she reached the bus stop, she looked back down the long quiet suburban street and realised none of them would come. Kiara leaving just meant she’d be gone over night too not just during the day time. Something had clicked within her the night before. He had sent chills down her spine that she’d never knew could exist and now Kiara knew with all of her heart that her time with Caitlin, Lexie and Emily was over. she’d go back tomorrow when he had left and collect her things and leave them the money for rent but the less contact she had with her roommates the better. as the bus pulled up beside her and the doors opened announcing which bus it was and where it was heading too, Kiara paid the dollar and took her seat, ready to return to a place she never contemplated of returning until now.

The day was a lazy one. Emily was working on some work related stuff while Alexia headed out to the stables. JC and Caitlin snuggled on the couch, taking advantage of the cool air conditioned house while Emily worked in her room and Alexia was out.
Pulling away from an infectious kiss, Caitlin caught her breath and giggled gently as JC watched her ocean blue eyes dance with enjoyment.
“Sup, ma?” he kissed her neck as she trembled with anticipation.
“Nothing,” She lied knowing the familiar feelings of excitement beginning inside of her. “Let’s do something later?” She suggested pulling him closer to her as he showered her with kisses again.
“Anything you want, baby girl,” he kissed her again seductively.
“Let’s go out,” She suggested even though it was a Sunday and Caitlin knew that this week would be even crazier than usual as the hip hop festival was the following weekend. as she thought about it, she knew there was probably a hundred and one things she should be doing but right now all she felt like doing was chilling with JC.
“Aight, but no where fancy, OK?” he kissed her cheek and leaned back into the couch with a sigh of happiness escaping from his chest.
“No, I was thinking club Tropica,” She told him taking his huge hand into her small one. “It’s a salsa club,” She went on realising he probably wouldn’t have a clue what she was talking about. a smile crept onto his lips as he licked them with satisfaction. “What?” She laughed nervous of the sudden silence from him.
“Nothing,” he laughed back bashfully and hugged her tightly. “We’ll do that then.” he told her as Emily entered with a glass ready to be refilled.
“Em, you and Cory wanna come to Club Tropica?” Caitlin asked glancing at JC to get a reaction if he minded them coming along. He gave her hand a squeeze to demonstrate his compliance with the situation.
“Yeah, I’ll ask him,” Emily poured herself a glass of water and took a seat on the chair by the window. Callie stretched lazily and the house felt quiet and peaceful.

Outside in the bright sunshine, Alexia’s truck pulled into the stable yard. She spotted Dan and groaned outwardly. He had to be here when she would have rather seen Hitler in the Flesh more than him. Parking the truck and stepping out, she glanced at him, smiling sheepishly as she crunched her way to the stables. The shade from the palm trees kept the beating sun from her head and looking over at Dan who had only moved his head to watch her, she realised she’d have no problems with him today. Opening the weathered stable door, she took some reins and placed them around Blackstar’s neck. Walking him out of the stall and closing the door behind her, she lead him to the bridle room where she saddled him up and lead him into the arena. Mounting him to ride him western style, She fixed her hat on her head took the reins , gently squeezed the horse’s sides and they began trotting around the empty arena. The sun blazed down on them as they trotted calmly around the huge outdoor arena. They grass was beginning to show the tell tale signs of summer, its usual green colour yellowing ever so slightly. By September it would be more of a yellowy brown no matter how much they sprinkled it. Giving the command to canter, Lexie increased the Horse’s exercise. He had recovered but now needed to build up his racing strength and Lexie knew she was the only one half near dedicated to ensure his training would be back on his peak within a reasonable amount of time. As she turned a corner where a huge sequoia tree shaded a patch of the arena, Lexie spotted Dan smoking a cigarette on the bleachers. she ignored him and feeling the horse move comfortably beneath her, she rose in the stirrups and set him into a gallop. The previously still air now whipped through her hair as she and Blackstar galloped elegantly around the empty arena. The distant sound of traffic was blocked out by the pounding of hooves on the earthy ground.

“Woa!” Lexie called pulling on the reins and the horse instantly slowed and stopped. “Good, boy!” She patted the side of his neck and gently stroked his mane as she sat back in the warm, heavy saddle and allowed him to trot gently for a few moments.
“You think he’ll be ready for the derby?” dan’s voice echoed around the walls in such vibrations that Lexie jumped slightly in the saddle.
“No,” Alexia took in the fresh smells of the outdoors. despite the heat, the sweet scent of the grass rose to her nostrils with little effort. “He’s still too weak. We can’t push him too much.” She avoided Dan’s eyes but knew something about him was apologetic.
“I’m sorry,” he finally spoke as she was at the furthest point of the arena. Turning as the horse continued to canter gently and evenly around the perimeter, she looked at him and shrugged. “No, it’s not OK, Lex. I behaved appallingly and you know what? Dude, I’m just so stressed out!” He exhaled a sigh that conveyed built up tension.
“If you’re going to tell me your wife is stressing you out, don’t!” Lexie snapped harshly as she stood again and sent the horse into a galloping pace. “Dan, if you’re not happy, do something about it! But please don’t take crap out on my roommates. They never asked to be brought into this shit. And as for you and I, it has to stop now!” Her voice lacked conviction or any trace of remorse whatsoever. What did Alexia have to be sorry for? She wasn’t in the wrong! She didn’t have a boyfriend! So her conscience could be clear, right? Sighing as she slowed the black horse down, the heat was taking its toll on him now, she turned and glowered at dan. He smiled in return and something inside him told him that she would come asking for it before long.

Caitlin was sitting on the couch while Emily sat on the chair. Both girls were deep into the movie playing out on the television. Callie lay lazily in the middle of the floor and no one spoke. A buzzing noise came from the cushion beside Caitlin and she picked up her pink cell phone and read the text message.
‘Hey sexy, I’m just going to shower and change, big mama’s makin me some dinner so I’ll come pick u up in lil bit. x’

A smile crept across her soft pink lips as she leaned back happily onto the cream leather couch. Emily turned her head and caught the smile on her friend’s face.
“What you smiling about?” She asked in a curious tone. She half already knew the answer but knew Caitlin loved to tell her all about how happy JC was making her feel.
“He’s coming after he’s had dinner,” She sighed gently as she thought of his touch and the way he smelt. She had always sworn she’d never get all soppy over a guy and here she was doing just that. Screwing up her face at her own disgusting behaviour, she burst into fits of laughter and Emily joined her. “When did I become all lovy dovy?” She asked picking up a box of pepperjack flavoured cheesits.
“I don’t know, Cait but you sure seem happy,” Emily observed pulling her feet from her white flip flops and nestling her toes into the deep carpet. “I’m happy for you. But Caitlin?” A tremor of nervousness swept through Emily as she pondered how to put the next question carefully.
“Mmm?” Caitlin looked over toward Emily, her blue eyes questioning her friend’s sudden change in tone. Caitlin had a suspicion of what Emily was going to say but she hoped she wouldn’t ask her the one question she really didn’t want to answer.
“Is he really a gangster?” Emily’s thin eyebrows furrowed with concern as she watched Caitlin’s expression closely. Caitlin however had been anticipating the question and almost knew what reaction she would give. Laughing gently, she bent low to pet Callie who had now rolled onto her back to be fussed. Taking the dog’s paw in her hand, she glanced up at her friend, composed completely.
“What makes you say that, Em?” Caitlin felt inside of her that JC had told her to ensure she wouldn’t freak out when it had to come out about his true life style and choice of making money. She had to know if he was going to be in her life but Caitlin knew that her friends did not require the same information. He was a good guy, he’d always defend her and even though she may not always be able to justify the things that he would do, she’d always defend them to anyone else. Caitlin was already in too deep with her loyalty and she knew it.
“I, I don’t know,” Emily struggled to put her finger on her suspicions but a feeling of something that unease her entered her stomach. Had Caitlin already begun covering for this guy? And if she was, what exactly was she covering Up?
Caitlin smiled weakly and felt a sense of betrayal flow through her. Why was she being loyal about Jay’s secret and not telling Emily his complete identity. was she ashamed? No, she didn’t think she was because Caitlin wasn’t the type to shy away from any controversy. Was she scared? In truth, yes she was. she was scared of what JC was capable of. He had proved what he could do just by being pushed a fraction the previous night and Caitlin knew from the little knowledge she did possess, that gang members like loyalty and by betraying that loyalty equalled disrespect and Caitlin knew those consequences. That was obviously beside the fact that she also really liked him. His kisses sent electric impulses through her to an extent she had never experienced before. A hand lay upon her leg would stimulate sensations she didn’t think were possible. And to top it all off, she wanted more.

Emily’s phone rang a melody that made Caitlin dance on the couch. Laughing at her roommate, Emily pressed the green button to receive the call.
“Hello?” She said calmly but Caitlin knew from the excited tone in her voice that the caller ID had read Cory.
“Yeah, we’re going to Club Tropica, you coming?” The silence didn’t fool Caitlin as she knew Cory was telling Emily he’d love to join them. As Emily clicked the red button, a grin grew across her face so big that you’d think her cheeks would hurt from grinning so wide.
“He said yes,” She said, a giggle escaping her normally cool tone. Caitlin jumped in the air melodramatically and whooped and hollered loudly.
“I knew he would!” She laughed as she fell back onto the couch with just as much zeal as she had in the air. Callie ran to grab her bear, not wanting to miss out on the game and nuzzled Caitlin’s legs to encourage her to play some more. Caitlin merely petted the dog’s soft, velvet-like ears and smirked. “Emmy’s got a date!” She teased in a sing-song voice.
“Emmy’s–got–a–date! Emmy’s–got–a–date!” A small cushion flew in the air and slapped Caitlin in the face.
“Hey, Bitch!” She jumped off of the couch and began hitting Emily with the cushion. The girls laughed so hard that tears rolled down their cheeks.
“Man!” Emily panted with the exertion. “We’re crazy!”
“Ain’t dat da truth!” Caitlin laughed and stood up heading to grab water.
“Caitlin?” Emily looked up at her friend with the beautiful, long, blonde, wavy sheet of hair and sparkling, ocean blue eyes. “Just be careful, make sure he takes care of you!” And a moment passed between them of pure understanding.
Alexia walked into a deserted house around seven PM. No one was home. Emily’s car was gone and Callie’s harness was not hung in its usual place. Lexie didn’t care if Kiara was home or not but she was hoping Caitlin and Emily would be around so she could vent about Dan and his pathetic ways. She had only hoped she could have resisted him but something in Lexie refused to resist any man. That made her feel cheap and dirty especially when her friends were no where in sight to make her feel contrary to the matter. Taking off her boots and heading into the kitchen, she began to make some dinner. Pulling her cell phone from her jeans, she called Caitlin. Her phone went to voice male and so Alexia tried Emily’s. No answer! Where the hell were they both? looking around her, Lexie searched for anything that would tell her where Caitlin or Emily were. she needed to talk to one of them, if not both of them. Stuffing a potato chip into her mouth, she wondered what to do. No one was heading into Hollywood on the count of it being a Sunday so it looked like Lexie was in for the night, alone. Raising her perfectly shaped eyebrows, she contemplated the change of events. Caitlin and Emily weren’t hard at work on their macs and Lexie wasn’t out partying with her friends. Instead, something on the wind had changed and Lexie wasn’t sure she liked the taste of bitterness in her mouth.

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