Teaser #2 FLASHBACK....Jake
She was every thought in my mind…every dream. My Kaye.
“Jake, want to go out dancing with us tonight?” Kaye pulled me out of my sick thoughts of smothering Rob in his sleep.
“Maybe. Who else is going?” I didn't want to be their third wheel again. It would piss me off and I’d end up going home with some random girl, just to make me feel like less of a loser around Kaye.
“A few of my girlfriends and their boyfriends. It’ll be fun! Come go with us.” Didn’t sound like fun.
“Um, Kaye…am I going to be the only dude there without a date? ‘Cause if that’s the case, then fuck no!” She laughed and slapped my on the arm.
“No. I think Rob was going to ask a few ‘dudes’ to join us too. AND, not all of my girlfriends are coming with a guy.” She elbowed me in the ribs, winked and said, “You never know. You might meet the girl of your dreams tonight.” Not likely.
As much as the thought of watching Rob and Kaye dance together made me feel ill, I wanted to go. I really liked hanging out with both of them.
“Fine, but, if I end up being the only ‘single,’ I’m out!” That made her laugh again and she reached up, hugged me and kissed my cheek. I instinctively wrapped my arms around her waist.
That night, we piled into my birthday present, a new black Shelby Mustang and took off for Grahams, a local bar. It was a popular place that had a huge dance floor and played all sorts of music. They also sold cheap-ass drinks that we could all afford. Win-Win!
Kaye looked beautiful, as usual. She was dressed in jeans, boots and a black satin, sleeveless shirt that fit close to her body. I tried not to stare, but shit…I was a dude, after all! It’s in our DNA to stare! And, my cock was twitching in my jeans as soon as she climbed in the car smelling of some flowery perfume that I’d become accustomed to associating with her. It was going to be a long night.
We pulled into the parking lot and immediately found a few of Kaye’s friends lined up at the entrance. And, as girls do, they all screeched, screamed, complimented each other on their outfits and discussed how ‘slutty’ some of the other girls in line looked. I didn’t see anything too slutty. Hmm…
We paid, got our hands stamped and made our way inside to find another set of friends holding a table. Kaye leaned into my side and tried telling me everyone’s name over the loud music. I wrapped one arm around her waist to steady her since she had to stand on her tiptoes to get to my ear. Yeah, I didn’t bend down on purpose. And, I have to admit, I heard her just fine, but pretended not to hear several of the names just so she’d have to repeat them and stay close to me, leaving her breath and lips barely touching my ear.
We ordered drinks and I sat back watching Kaye laugh hysterically with her girlfriends. She was incredibly beautiful. Rob was off playing pool with some of our friends, but I opted to sit out. I didn’t feel like listening to any bullshit that was sure to be flying around Rob and our buddies.
We'd been there about an hour when a hot blonde walked up to the table and started hugging some of the girls. She apparently knew several of Kaye’s friends, but not Kaye. They were being introduced to one another as I sat there watching. She was a little shorter than Kaye, had soft, brown eyes and a perfect smile. I couldn’t stop myself from memorizing everything about her. Kaye turned to me and caught me staring. A huge smile stretched across her face and she reached down, grabbed my hand and pulled me out of my seat. I knew that look. She was about to play matchmaker. Fuck!
“Jake, this is Claire. Claire, this is one of my best friends, Jake.” I tried not to react to her description she gave. I was happy I qualified to be in the ‘best friend’ category, but devastated at the same time. I needed to get over Kaye. I felt ridiculous.
“Hi, Jake. Nice to meet you.” Claire was practically screaming over the music.
“Rob is my boyfriend...Jake’s roommate and best friend.” I hated when she called Rob her ‘boyfriend’ even though it was true.
“Cool,” Claire said, nodding her head. She seemed nice, not over-the-top bubbly and ‘handsy’ like some of Kaye’s friends.
She sat in the only empty chair, which happened to be next to mine. I was good with it, though. She seemed pretty ‘low-key’ like me. I started to lean over and ask her a few questions, make conversation, when Rob and the guys came back to the table and started picking off the women for a dance.
A few girls walked away toward the bar to get more drinks, leaving Claire and I sitting alone. I leaned over and asked all the stupid questions most college guys asked…what is your major, what year are you, where are you from, blah, blah, blah….
Claire answered and threw the questions back at me. I laughed and said, “Did I miss any of the usual questions?”
She threw her head back and laughed with me. “No!” She was quite beautiful and her loud laugh made her even more so.
I decided to take a leap. “Claire, let’s go dance.”
She smiled and said, “Okay.”
I stood, held out my hand and led her to the dance floor. Most of our friends were still out on the floor dancing to a country song that everyone in the place apparently knew....as evidence by the loud singing surrounding us. I wrapped my arm around Claire’s waist and started moving. She was a great dancer and fit perfectly next to her. I smiled down at her and we stared at each other for the entire song. I was mesmerized by her kind, loving eyes and gently smile.
I could feel some sort of connection between us, but had no clue what it was. It wasn’t like the other girls I usually ended up dancing with at Grahams. Most of those girls were just convenient replacements for who I really wanted. We always had fun and I usually stay friends or at least friendly with them, but Claire was different. I could tell she wouldn’t allow my bullshit moves to affect her.
As the song ended, I leaned down and said, “You’re a great dancer. Save me another?”
“Yeah, sure.” She patted my chest and said, "You’re not so bad yourself” before walking off the dance floor and back to the table. I stood there for a few seconds watching her fine ass walk away. I took a step and was halted by someone grabbing my arm.
I knew who it was. I could smell the familiar perfume. I turned to see Kaye smiling at me. “Let’s dance.”
I usually didn’t dance with Kaye when we were out. For one, Rob was pretty possessive about anyone dancing with her…understandably. And, two, I wasn’t sure I could handle being that close to her even for the length of a song. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to walk away, but the idiot in me said, “Sure. Okay.”
I pulled Kaye next to me a little more forceful that I intended and she laughed. We began to dance and she leaned back a bit, looking me in the eye and asked, “So, what do you think about Claire?”
I knew she was going to ask me that. She desperately wanted me to have a ‘somebody’ but I didn’t really know why. Maybe she felt sorry for me.
I pulled her closer so that she couldn’t see my face and because I wanted her as close as possible. “She’s nice.” That was all she was getting from me.
Kaye tried to pull away again, but I held firm and she had to speak right into my ear. “Oh, come on, Jake. She beautiful. Look at her!”
“JAKE! STOP IT!” She pinched my side, making me laugh.
“Okay, Kaye. What do you want me to say? Yes, she’s hot. Yes, she seems really nice. Yes, I enjoyed dancing with her. Anything else?” I liked annoying her.
“Thank you! I just wondered if you liked her.”
This time I pulled back to look into Kaye’s eyes. “Why?”
She didn't let too much show, but there was definitely something going on in her head. She softened her tone, leaned next to me and spoke into my ear again. “I just want to see you happy. You know, find a really nice girl and have what Rob and I have.”
FUCK! KNIFE STRAIGHT TO MY HEART!
She kept talking and I tried not to show any tension in my body as we continued to dance. “You’re such a nice guy and I like hanging out with you, but I know you hate feeling like a third wheel. You need a girl so we can all do things together.” She was so naive. I didn’t have a girl because I was crazy about her.
I felt myself getting really pissed, for no reason….well, for an unreasonable reason.
“Sure, Kaye. I’ll get right on that.” I was done. I needed space. So like an asshole, I stopped dancing and walked off the floor, leaving Kaye standing there with her mouth wide open.
I was nearly to the table when I heard her yelling my name. “JAKE! WAIT!” I stopped and turned to look at her. I shouldn’t have taken it out on her, but I was angry that she was so oblivious to my feelings.
“Hey, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to upset you.”
“Well, storming off, leaving me standing on the dance floor in the middle of a song sure seems like I upset you or pissed you off. So, which is it?” Her hands were on her hips, demanding an answer.
“Look. I just don’t like the whole matchmaker thing. Claire is nice and IF I decide to ask her out, it will be because I want to ask her out….not because you want to be able to go on a ‘double date’ with me and some girl.” That came out a little harsher than I intended.
I could see the hurt in Kaye’s face. “Right. Well, I’m sorry, Jake. I won’t interfere in your love life ever again.” She turned to walk away and I hanged my head feeling like a total shit.
“Kaye, wait!” I grabbed her elbow, spinning her around and said, “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done that. I just…I have feelings for someone….and I haven’t quite….well, I'm not over her.” Sort of true.
What she did next was totally unexpected.
She threw her arms around my neck and let out a soft sob. I wrapped my arms around her as she said, “I’m sorry, Jake. I didn’t mean to upset you. You are one of the kindest people I know and I love being around you. I don’t want you to be mad at me. I just want to see you happy.”
I felt stupid. I hugged her back and said, “Hey. You don’t need to apologize. I overreacted. I just really don’t want to date anyone right now. But, if I did, Claire seems to be a pretty great girl. Okay?” I wanted the ugliness and awkwardness to go away.
Kaye let go of my neck and stepped back to look at me. I was surprised to see a tear run down her face even as she smiled and seemed to pull herself together. “Okay.”
I scrunched my eyebrows and said, “What’s all this about?” as I wiped the tear off her cheek.
“Sorry. Just stupid girl stuff.” Okay, strange.
“Come on, Kaye. Let’s go find everyone and forget this ever happened, yeah?”
She smiled her gorgeous smile that told me she was okay and I shook my head and let out a huff of a laugh as I took her hand and walked us back to our group.
I wanted to get over Kaye. I needed to get over Kaye. Maybe dating someone would be the best way to let her go. Only time would tell.