Episode 44

Episode 44 Settling In

Caitlin stretched luxuriously in the king sized bed beside a sleeping JC. Her alarm hadn’t activated yet but she could hear the birds singing outside. Callie was gently snoring in her bed across the other side of the room and she heard someone up and about. Throwing her legs across the edge of the bed, she padded toward the bathroom and turned on the shower and began to prepare for her day. She knew exactly what JC would say. “You need to rest. You don’t need to go back to work just yet.” But the truth was, she wanted to and she needed to for her own sanity.

“Mama?” JC called from the doorway as the warm water cascaded around her in a mist of refreshing goodness. “Sup?” she smiled turning her face toward the frosted glass door. “Come back to bed, baby girl,” He said rubbing his eyes. “I need you!” His tones were filled with seductive vibes. She giggled gently and began to shampoo her hair. “Going back to bed will never get the new club off of the ground,” She said warmly and he laughed his rumbling laugh with an edge of disappointment. “You, Caitlin Dawson are a blasted workaholic.” “I make you money, don’t I?” She retorted, good naturedly. “OK, OK! I get the point,” He said with mock exasperation in his voice as the shower door opened and he stepped in beside her, wrapping his muscular arms about her. “I love you, mi Reigna! Do you know that?” His kisses were hot and she felt the beginnings of passion stir within her.

Emily awoke to find Cory gone. She sat up and glared accusingly at the glowing radio alarm clock beside her bed that read: 7:30. She groaned and got out of bed to the smell of coffee brewing. Grabbing her clothes, she headed to her new bathroom which she already was in love with and began to undress. “Em?” Cory’s tones were fresh and contented. “Yeah?” she replied, stepping beneath a hot stream of water. “Wanna grab some breakfast before heading to work?” He asked warmly and she grinned. “Sure!” She smiled to herself as she heard him walking away from the door. Looking around the marbled bathroom, she wondered if she was actually dreaming or had this actually become reality?

Satiated, caitlin and JC sat at the breakfast bar eating some pancakes and chatting to cory. He was already dressed and was preparing one of Emily’s favourite dishes, Eggs Benedict. “Are you purposefully trying to make my best friend fall in love with you, even more than she already is?” Caitlin joked happily as she forked some more pancakes into her mouth. “He’s taking care of his girl,” JC smiled at her. “Like all good boyfriends do.” “Yes, like you do,” She stated contentedly as she drank her coffee. “Can we stop by Starbucks on the way to work? Pumpkin spice is in my near future,” She laughed and he beamed happily across the table at her.

“Morning,” Emily walked in, her hair straight and dry, clothes pristine ready for the day’s work.

“Baby, you can have whatever you want on the way to work,” JC’s smile was filled with innuendoes as he stood from the table and began to washing his dishes. Caitlin grinned playfully as she stood and walked to join him. He placed a warm arm around her waist and kissed her cheek lovingly.

“Do you guys wanna head out for dinner tonight?” Emily asked as she accepted her breakfast from cory. “Thank you, ” She smiled up at him. His eyes were filled with affection as she bent her head and breathed in the aroma of her favourite breakfast dish. “Where?” Caitlin asked picking up Callie’s leash and harness along with her macbook bag. “Not sure, Hard Rock ? Seen as we’re celebrating.” Emily suggested. “Or Delsini’s,” Cory offered. “That the Brazilian place on Rodeo?” JC asked grabbing his keys. “Yeah,” cory smiled drinking his coffee feeling like finally, he may be feeling a little more comfortable. “Sure,” JC walked toward the front door, followed by Caitlin. “I’ll make reservations,” The blond girl called over her shoulder and with a click of the front door, they were alone in the airy kitchen.

“Does this feel real to you?” Emily’s eyes shone with happiness. “Hardly,” cory beamed back at her. We a look of joy pass between them, Cory and Emily headed to start their mornings.

“This needs a lot of work,” Caitlin sighed deeply as JC gave her the guided tour around the dump he’d bought. “I didn’t think it’d be this bad.” JC sighed heavily and nodded despite the fact she couldn’t see it. “You’re not going to like the reason why.” “I think I know,” She leaned against the dilapidated bar and smirked at him. “It was raided. It was a bloody dive, wasn’t it? So not only does this place need a physical make over, but a reputation make over to. Am I right?”

“You’re right!” He laughed gently. “You are always right where this kind of thing is concerned.” “Yes,” she turned and placed both hands on the bar. “Well, Lets get started. What’s the budget?” “What do you need to get this place up and running?” He asked walking toward the DJ booth that was a pure wreck. “Looks like nearly everything will need to be stripped in here.” “Yeah,” She said walking behind the bar. “Jay, this will take a lot more capital than the club in Compton. We have to boost this place beyond the clubs within the vicinity . I know some of the clubs well in this area of town. If we want the cliental, we need to go beyond what they have. Let me do a few pieces of research and get some quotes and I’ll have a design plan and cost sheet by the end of the week.” “This means clubbing for you and Emily, doesn’t it?” He groaned. “You got it,” She laughed happily, walking with Calie toward the ladies’ bathroom. “Unisex bathrooms are definitely the way forward,” she commented. “I’ll leave all that detail up to you.” He kissed her neck as he pulled her into his arms from behind. “Listen, you wanna work here or back at the house? There’s power but no internet yet.” “The house then,” She said gently. “Or Viva, as I could do with checking on things there.” He nodded and picking up his keys walked with her to the door. Turning suddenly, he grinned and asked, “So what do you think of the new car?” She pulled a face that was full of mock disdain. “It’s awful!” She lied playfully. “What is it?” He locked the door behind them, pulling down the shutters and walking toward his black, shiny, new, Lexus. “Only a Lexus baby,” he opened the door for her as she passed him an exasperated look. “Men,” She huffed as she pulled Callie into the footwell and he laughed and retreated to the driver’s side.

Emily sat at her desk, typing up some financial reviews when she got a text. “Em, clubbing with me tonight? Gotta do some research. You in? C”. She text back and smiled to herself. Caitlin didn’t usually need an excuse for clubbing but it looked like the boys were having a night in together. She glanced across the office to the glass panel through which she could see Cory working at his computer and giggled. He was going to love that. Spending the whole night with JC.

Closing her macbook, Caitlin leaned back on the leather couch and stretched. The house was so quiet! Picking up her iPhone, she text a number she never thought she would. “Hey, was wondering if you and Jazmine wanted to hit a few clubs with Em and I tonight? Your new roomie too, if you want. Caitlin.”

Setting her phone and macbook down, she stood and walked to the kitchen. She would have never considered herself domesticated and was shocked in what she was about to do.

Opening the refrigerator, she pulled out some juice and then taking a moment to reflect, sighing deeply, some tomatoes, potato salad, and other salad things. Slicing up some ham and putting two baked potatoes in the oven, she rubbed her temples with agitation.

“What are you doing?” She scolded herself and then returned to the couch with her juice. Opening up her macbook again, she started writing the addresses of the clubs she and Emily were going to in her address book and then plugged in her phone and waited for it to sync. A text came through as the phone finished its operation and it was from Kira.

“Sure, we’d love to. Where?” “Meet for dinner at Tonios about seven?” “Sure.” Smiling to herself, she shut down the computer, let Callie out to pee and headed for the shower.

JC arrived home from visiting with his grandmother to the smell of food cooking. He knew caitlin was heading out that night and also knew she’d be dining out, so had plans changed?

“Baby?” He called, putting down his keys and stroking a happy Callie. “I’m in the bedroom,” She called, poking her head around the door. He grinned and walked to the door where she was now emerged in the closet, in a white bathrobe. “You’re still heading out?” He asked, feeling a sliver of disappointment cross his heart. “It’s purely research,” She informed him, pulling off her robe to reveal a simple bra and thong set. He was relieved it wasn’t any of her Victoria secret’s stuff she usually reserved for their nights out together. Pulling some jeans on and a plain but cute pink and silver shirt, she turned to him and he took her into his arms. “You know how to carry yourself so well, mamita. It’s almost like I’ve trained you how to be my girl. How I want you to be when you’re with me and how I want you to be when I’m not around.” “In lamens terms,” she smiled at him. “I know how to keep you sweet and not piss you off. I’m not going out to get hit on by other men, I have you and you are who I want. So why bother pulling out all the stops. This is business, after all.” He smiled as she turned from him, putting on some perfume and walking across to her shoes, placing some silver sandals onto her pedicured feet. “Who’s cooking?” He asked, remembering his initial take on the situation when he had arrived home.

“I am, for you and cory,” He stifled a laugh as she turned to him. “I know, I know. Go ahead and laugh. I have no idea what is coming over me. This is not me.” She punched him lightly on the arm. “See what you’re doing to me, Carter? Do you see?” He laughed and pulled her to him. “I appreciate the thought, baby girl, I really do. But Cory and I are big boys, we can order take away ourselves, y’know?” She laughed and walked to the kitchen. Putting her hand on the oven door, he gently pulled it away. “I’ll see to that, where’s Em?” “I’m here,” emily called, looking pretty tired. “Why do I let you talk me into these things on a work night?” she grumbled, checking her purse for her keys. “Made dinner, JC?” she asked looking up as he put the crisp potatoes on the side. “Caitlin started it for me,” He grinned at the blonde girl who was petting callie. “You can keep JC and cory company,” she tried to sooth the dog. Callie sat and stared at her mistress as they all laughed. “Lets go,” emily called walking to the front door and caitlin quickly followed her after a lingering kiss with JC. “Have a good night,” she mused as she walked toward the front door? “Thanks,” He laughed, unwrapping the plates of salad that she had carefully prepared and beamed. His heart warmed at the thought that his girlfriend had done this for him, not because she wanted something but because she loved him.

Kira, Jazmine and their new roommate Ebony were sitting outside at Tonios. Kira had been here a few times both with her former and current roommates. She liked it here, despite some of the awkwardness she had experienced. Ebony was glancing around. She had never been here before and was super excited to meet Kira’s friends. “So, they hicks?” She asked in her loud voice. Jasmine burst out laughing. “Hardly, Caitlin is dating a nigga,” She informed as she smiled at Kira. “Emily seems down to.” “Sweet,” Ebony’s bright chocolate chip eyes shone as they spoke at the table they were waiting at. The door opened and Kira smiled as Caitlin and Emily walked in, arm in arm.

“Hey, Ladies,” emily grinned, looking young and lovely, unlike the last time Kira had seen her. “Hi, Jasmine, isn’t it?” “Yeah, hey Emily, how are you? And you Caitlin?” Jasmine looked a lot friendlier toward the girls than she had on their last encounters. “This is Ebony, our new roommie.” “Hi,” Everyone greeted and slowly settled into comfortable chitchat. The night was shaping up to be a success, before the real work began.

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