Episode 30 Clouds over the Heart
Emily awoke under her comforter alone. The skies were unusually grey outside and the clock told her it was already eight-thirty. They were leaving for the airport in less than two hours. She robotically stood, grabbed her things and headed to shower. There were no other noises in the house. Callie’s bowl was washed and on the drainer but Callie and Caitlin must have already headed to work. No cory. No JC. And Alexia’s door stood open and the room was empty. Sighing, Emily took her huge white, fluffy towel to the shared bathroom and closed and locked the door. As the water fell, so did her tears. The numbness that had engulfed her slowly seemed to eb away and pain enveloped her heart. Had Cory left her then? After offering to take her with him? After being here for her? The tears fell harder and the emotional rock in her throat grew. Sobs shook her petite frame as she attempted to shampoo her hair. A small knock at the door announced other human life forms in her little house. “yeah?” She sniffled, trying to sound as though it was merely an allergy attack. “I brought us some breakfast. Are you OK, babe?” It was the concerned tones of Cory. Relief flooded her and the cascade of tears erupted down her cheeks again.”Em?” His voice shook with anxiety. “I’m oK, just dealing,” She said, a small, relieved smile creeping onto her lips. “I’ll be out in a few, Cory. Thanks.” She sniffed hard and felt the headache of emotion creep into her temples.
The sun beat down on a tall, muscular figure as it walked down the busy street, a bag slung over his shoulder. Hood up, head down, JC was heading for lock up. He knew that kicking the shit out of the guy who had just tried to screw him over would release some of the anger building within him. His chest shook with anger as he remembered her cold words that morning. ‘”I’ll call you when I’m ready to talk”‘! How dare she! How dare she tell him what to do! How dare she be calling the shots! This was not how it was supposed to be. He was high ranking and he would be damned if he let a bitch tell him what to do. Kicking the gate, peeling with red paint and caked in rust so hard the hinges creaked in protest under the force, Jc vowed to be through with her. But as the heavy metal door swung back into the door jam with an echo that erupted and reverberated off of the walls, he knew two things for sure; she was no bitch and he couldn’t just walk away from her. Why? Because the simple truth, no matter how he tried to mix it, change it up, was that he, Jay Carter was in love with Caitlin dawson and he’d do anything in his power to make her happy. It must have been the morning for vows because at that very moment, he made his second of the morning. He would only stay away from Caitlin if that was what she truly wanted. Good, his mental state was balanced as he walked into the main room where Alexia had been bound and gagged the previous night and found Rico and some of his other henchmen crouching around gossiping about their different sex lives, conquests, baby mama dramas and a whole bunch of other shit JC could not be fucked with. Slamming the hold all down, kicking the metal door behind him closed, he glowered around appreciatively at the guys who had realised his presence and obediently had silenced their conversations immediately. “Morning, jC,” Rico watched him with cautious light eyes. JC shrugged and sat down on the chair laid out for him beside Rinaldo Dickson. He was the asshole that had dared to screw him over. The rage that burned within JC from all the screw overs he’d ever endured, the betrayals of family and friends alike and the recent events with the woman he adored burned brighter than any beacon of light was capable. His rage was redder than the fire-engine red bandanna on his waist. “So?” His gruff voice started in on Rinaldo. “What’s going on then? You not do it? Come on, puto, what bs are you going to spill?”
She lay her head on the cool desk in frustration. The second cancellation had just come in. Why were these workmen such assholes? Tell her they could make it, do the work and then not even show. Her brow furrowed with anguish. The tears threatened to burn her eyes as she heard the shrill ring of the telephone on the desk beside her. Snatching up the receiver and patting Callie’s head who had stood up at the sudden movement of her mistress, Caitlin boomed her normally light and pleasant voice into the phone. “Caitlin dawson,” The voice on the other end started the ‘I’m sorry’ speech. Something in her snapped and she interrupted the smarmy sounding foreman at once. “Do you have a clue who you are dealing with, Mr Olman?” He replied a confused I’m sorry? “Does the name Jay Carter ring a bell?” She retorted harshly and after a few beats the response she’d hoped and prayed for kicked in. “I’m sorry Miss, of course we’ll be there at two this afternoon.” “Good,” She smiled a satisfied smile and hung up. “I guess, Callie,” She sighed, leaning back in her chair, stretching her athletic figure in its full glory in the empty office. “You have to ensure these people know who they are dealing with.” and with the knowledge of her power, caitlin began calling the cancellations and suddenly the project was more than underway. By the next morning, the club was filled with carpenters, plumbers and electricians afraid to take even a scheduled coffee break. She was always cordial to them and they respected her more than any woman they’d worked for previously. Most of them would have degraded her, made her feel uncomfortable while taking advantage of the fact she was a woman and give her the run around but knowing she worked for a guy whom’s name most of them knew and feared, they treated Caitlin better than most men they’d worked for. She knew the reason and as long as the club opened on the scheduled date, she did not care their motives one iota.
The airport was busy as Emily and Cory walked up the escalators into LAX. They’d left emily’s car at home and had got a cab to the airport. She looked around the bright and bustle of the Los Angeles international Airport and felt a feeling of forlorn. She was leaving home. And in her heart, she did not know if she was going to come back. Things had been hard and she did not foresee them getting any better. Why did life have to do this kind of thing? She knew the answer was to try us but that did not make the pain any easier. She clutched Cory’s hand as they were in the check in line. The sun streamed down on them. The cloudy morning had been soon burned out by the powerful sun and something deep inside of her knew that soon, one day, the clouds would move from her heart and the sun would reappear. Cory looked down on her, his green eyes flashing with concern but she looked up at him and smiled.”I think I’m going to be OK,” And with a step forward she finally believed her words.
As the plane took off and headed north, she said a silent goodbye to the city she loved and the city where her dreams had been shattered.
Caitlin sat in the office the Saturday before they were due to open. She had not spoke to JC, Alexia had gone awol and emily was recovering in San Francisco with Cory. Callie and she had the place to herself. She rubbed her eyes with exhaustion. The workmen were still busy at six PM. The fact she’d promised them over time if they agreed to work until eight had been a good move for the club but not such a great one for herself. She’d not been sleeping well and every time she reached for the phone to call JC, she stopped herself. She was uncertain why but something inside of her knew not to deal with the problem just yet. As much as she knew she didn’t want to talk to him, she knew she would have to before the following Friday launch date. The posters were up all over town, local media had been in, and social networks were buzzing about the upcoming opening. Inside the club, things were looking great. The bathrooms were all kitted out. She’d opted for unisex. After all, most of the time, men went into females bathrooms in clubs and any guy who said they didn’t were a liar in her opinion. The DJ booth was all ready and the sound system had been finished a few days earlier. The dance floor was being laid and the carpets and stair carpets were being laid. The black bar top was being fitted and the various fridges were being installed. There was a plumber currently fighting with a dish washer and a huge sink in the kitchen area and Caitlin smiled to herself when she remembered how much he flirted with her until his foreman told him who she was working for. If he had only known who she was dating he may have actually had a coronary.
“Anything funny enough you wanna share?” A husky voice spoke from the doorway and raised her head and smiled at him. Something in his voice roused something inside of her. A flutter that felt nice and warm in her stomach. Standing, she walked to him and closed the door behind him. “Business first,” He’d smoked a blunt, that much she could tell. His tones were very scratchy yet full of the softness of velvet. It was like having her eardrum tickled by a feather duster. “Good,” she took her seat and he softly sat into the chair opposite hers. “looks great out there,” he commented, hands on the desk. She shuffled in a drawer and pulled out some paperwork. He nodded and smiled at her as he flicked through the pages of information. “I knew hiring you was the best thing I’d ever do,” He flattered. She shrugged nonchalantly and her hair shimmered beneath the florescent light in the office. He admired her beautiful features and frowned at the shadows forming beneath her eyes. “You could have called me,” he said kindly, knowing she was alone. His heart hovered in his chest, waiting to drop or rise with disappointment or relief. Or was Alexia home and shit had gone bad between him and her? He felt the sweat beads forming on his dark face and wiped his face on his sweater sleeve. “I wanted too,” she exhaled and felt relief fall over her as they were about to have that conversation.
“I’m sorry for being such a…” He began but she raised her hand to silence him. “JC, I know what you are. I haven’t called you because I didn’t like what you did. I didn’t like it but I know it’s you. And I also know that you care about me a great deal and therefore I know how you are and how you’re going to react to someone disrespecting me.” She sighed heavily. “I needed the time because, I can’t help feeling the way I do about you and if I stay with you, there are things I have to accept that I probably, never would have previously.” He murmured his understanding. This was where his heart had to drop right? She was going to dump his ass. He looked down to his black converse and felt his shoulders slump but he continued to listen to her as she continued. “And despite everything JC, I wanna be with you. I love what we’re doing with this club and I wanna be with you. You excite me. You make me happy. But there has to be some ground rules.” His heart lifted as he looked into her beautiful ocean coloured eyes. “What are the rules?” He could not believe he was even asking. Anyone else, anyone would have caused him to get up and walk at the mention of their rules or their terms but Caitlin was different. She was straight up. She was real and honest and he wanted her by his side.
“Let me deal with alexia. And before you object, it’s non-negotiable. I know what you think of her but she was my friend before all of this and I want to make sure she gets back on the right track. I’m going to try once more, if I can’t help her then she’s gone. You have my word. If you ever try to hurt me JC, god help me I will ensure something bad happens to you. I’m no gangsta bitch but I’m slowly learning a thing or two.” It was his turn to interrupt. He stood from his chair and walked to where she sat, putting both arms around her and kissing her neck lovingly. “Listen to me, mamita,” His kisses were urgent and she felt the feeling of weakness begin inside of her. “I will never, ever, hurt you again. I was a fucking ass for doing what I did in the beginning but if I ever hurt you again, you have my word, you can saw my balls off with a blunt sword.” She giggled as he kissed her neck again and wrapped his arms around her tightly. “Caitlin,” His voice was huskier than ever and had a feeling of desperation in it. “I love you. I’m freaking in love with you girl. Tu es mi corazon. Te adoro. Crea Eso mi amor!” She gripped him to her as she whispered. “Te quiero mi cholo. Tu es mi corazon tan bien. Crea eso tan bien.” They both laughed and kissed passionately as the banging of the workmen in the club beyond the office door seemed a mere distant memory.
A dark truck pulled up outside the house and Lexie got out. Her short, spiky hair was a draggled mess. Her eyes red rimmed, her expression vacant and her posture defensive. Slamming the truck door she stormed across the street. She knew what she had to do. Walking down the path, seeing the living room light was on, she walked in and pulled the matches, gasoline from her bag and set them on the counter while she hurried to the bathroom. She’d teach them. They would learn never to fuck with her ever again!