Piercing Chill

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Chapter 10

When I got to school, I saw Jason waiting for me by my locker. He looked wonderful as always. It had been almost two weeks since the food festival. I hadn’t been in touch with Craig. I had tried to call him and message him but he never replied. I finished his portrait and submitted it in and got an A-. I wondered if he had finished my portrait.

On the brighter side because of Craig’s absence, I became closer to Jason. I didn’t tutor him because we both knew he didn’t need it. Hence why we studied together. Tina occasionally joined us but she always managed to leave early. Over the two weeks Jason and I developed a ritual. We either met at my locker or his before walking to class together.

"Hey." I said when I reached my locker.

"Hey, Kate. How are you?"

"Good." I pivoted to open my locker.

"Are you excited?" Jason asked.

"Yes!" Of course I was excited.

It was the last day of school before going on Christmas holidays. There was only one week left until Christmas and I was really excited because my father was coming home. I missed him dearly. Here in Amoris, people valued school and decided that the end of year term should be a week before Christmas. After that we got a four week holidays until the next term.

"Anything planned today?" Jason asked.

"No, I don't think so." I said after a few seconds of thinking.

"Awesome, because I ended up buying lactose free milk and gluten free flour. Will you be willing to come over to my apartment and help me?"

"Of course." I had suggested it and it was time I fulfil my idea. I wondered what his apartment was like. Was it clean? Dirty?

"Well I will meet you here after school then?" Jason informed. I nodded. “I’ll be going now. I have to take care of something before class.”

“Ok.” I replied before he whirled around towards the end of the hallway.

"Hey Mary-Kay." A voice sounded pulling me out of my thoughts. It was Tina.

"Tina." I said giving her a big hug. "How are you?"

"I'm good." She grinned, “I am so happy it’s the last day. You don’t know how long I’ve been looking forward to this.”

"Trust me, I know." I laughed while getting my books from my locker. In spite of today being the last day of school, we still had to attend classes. "Are you looking forward to your holiday in London?" I continued.

"Of course!” Tina squealed. “I’m going to have a white Christmas this year.”

"Oh, yes. I’m going to have a wet Christmas. Lucky me." I replied sarcastically. "I’m going to miss you. I’ll be all by myself for the next two weeks."

"No, I'm not leaving you by yourself." Tina paused. "You have Jason, remember?"

I felt myself blushing.

"You guys have been pretty close lately. You are always together during school and sometimes after school." Tina turned her full attention towards me, a huge smile tagging on her lips. "Are you guys like a thing now?"

"What? No. We're just friends."

"Everyone thinks that you two are together though." Tina said frankly.

My breath got caught in my throat. I stared wide eyed at Tina. Everyone thought that? Even Brittany? She was probably boiling somewhere and getting ready to pounce at me when she got the chance.

I had imagined what it would have been like dating Jason but I didn’t want to rush into something that I couldn’t handle. "You like him though." Tina states overtly folding her arms over her chest.

It was true and I couldn’t deny it. Part of me felt comfortable and happy with Jason. However, another part of me warned me to stay away from him because he seemed to be hiding something from me. Tina chuckled before dragging me towards the first class.

***

After lunch, everyone gathered in the gym. I was sitting next to Tina on the fifth bench in the gym. I looked around and everyone was just as excited as I was. On the last day of every term, school houses – blue, red, green and yellow – versed each other in a specific sport. Each colour had a given name but I couldn’t recall. This term basketball was the sport being played. Not everyone was to participate, but anyone who wanted to participate was welcome. I decided against it. After falling face first on the first day of PE class in year one, I never attempted to play sport with an audience around me again.

I felt Tina nudge my arm. I looked at her curiously. She pointed down at the courts. Jason was there in a blue t-shirt, bro-hugging other boys with the same coloured t-shirt on. He turned his head towards me and smiled while waving at me. I waved back. I didn’t know he played basketball. He was full of surprises.

"Aw, so cute." I heard Tina say next to me. I looked down covering my cheeks, because I knew I was blushing again.

I decided not to reply Tina. I heard the whistle being blown by Mr Candace, who was one of the sports teachers. He was a tall and medium built man. He was wearing shorts that barely covered his thighs and a t-shirt that showed his belly every time he raised his arms. It was quite a disturbing sight but he didn’t seem to mind.

I averted my attention from Mr Candace to Jason. At least he was great to look at. I shook my head at my wild thoughts again. As the game progressed I was amazed at how incredible Jason was at basketball. I watched him as he dodged and dribbled the ball towards the goal posts. He was super-fast, in comparison to anyone else in the team. No wonder they kept passing the ball to him. He could take a shot anywhere and get it through the net in one scoop. I clutched my hands together as I watched him shoot another basket for the sixth time in a row. Everyone in the blue house cheered, including me, even though I was not part of the blue house.

“Jason, Jason, Jason!" I heard people chanting. I joined in the chant.

How did he become so popular in a month?

At the end of the game everyone cheered for Jason and the blue house for winning again. Four years in a row. Shortly after, the principal gave a small speech, different activities and courses were going to be held over the holidays and most importantly he warned us about being safe and responsible individuals. As soon as he was finished, everyone cheered and rushed out of the gym. Some lingered to congratulate Jason.

"Come on. Let's go and congratulate Jason." Tina pulled on my arm before I could reply.

"But I'm going to meet him later." I interjected trying to get out of her grip.

"It doesn't matter." Tina continued. "Come on." I let Tina drag me down the steps towards the mob crowding Jason.

"Where is he?" I asked Tina worried. I was shocked by myself. I had just told Tina not to drag me to Jason but now here I was worrying where he was.

"He is over there." Tina replied pointing at a huge crowd. The advantage of being tall, I thought. I lifted myself onto my toes to glance where she was pointing. I managed to get a glimpse of Jason's hair among the group. People were giving him handshakes and hugs. Girls were definitely flirting. I could see it.

"We are never going to get through." I tugged at Tina’s hand.

"Come on Mary. We will get through." Tina urged, determination in her voice. We walked towards the crowd. "Excuse me." Tina tried to squeeze through the crowd, but no one gave her a chance. She stomped her foot on the ground complaining, "Ugh, these annoying people."

I looked at Tina, with an 'I told you' look. A small smirk formed on Tina’s lips and I knew all hell was about to break loose. "Excuse me. This is Jason's girlfriend and she would like to see her boyfriend. I’m sure you have heard from all the rumours. They are definitely true." Tina informed a young girl, who looked as if she had just been told that favourite celebrity had left the building. She turned her attention towards me. Her eyes shooting daggers towards me. I cowered behind Tina. A few people must have heard because they glared at me as well. Tina didn’t wait for their response. She pushed through and continued her mission. I glanced at the young girl as I was passing her. Her mouth hung open and her eyebrows were drawn together. I whirled around to face Tina, scared of what the girl would do to me.

"Tina!" I shouted.

"What?" Tina paused. "Don't you want to see Jason?" I opened my mouth to say something but closed it again. "Exactly, that's what I thought."

Tina continued saying the same line to people and I kept on apologizing afterwards. Within a few seconds we were standing in the middle of the crowd, with Tina in front of me.

"Congrats Jason." Tina said first.

I could hear whispers around me – "That's Jason's girlfriend.", "I'm much better looking than her." "That bitch." "She is so lucky.”

What did Tina do? She was going to get me murdered by people. Even worse, what if Jason rejected me in front of everyone. I would become the school’s laughing stock for being a liar and also a boyfriend stealer.

Tina moved from my view before pushing me towards Jason. I bumped into his chest and he caught me by my waist before falling. My hands were resting on his chest and I could feel the firmness under his shirt. I looked up at him and he was smiling at me. His smile made my knees weak. Luckily he was holding me tightly otherwise I would have been sprawled into a heap on the floor.

"You were amazing out there." I breathed nervously. I tried to get out of his embrace, but he held on to me tight. I could feel his hands resting just above the small of my back.

"Thank you." He continued, "How about a hug?" I heard Jason ask, but his lips did not move an inch.

Puzzled, I just shrugged it off and gave him a hug, resting my head on his chest. His shirt was damp from sweat but I didn’t care, he still smelt good – mint and lavender. He broke the embrace. Disappointment stung me like a bee.

I heard someone say to Jason, "Is she really your girlfriend?”

Jason looked at me and asked "What do you want me to tell them?"

I looked around and every pair of eyes around was on us. I looked at Tina and she gave me thumbs up.

What should I say? Of course I wanted him to be my boyfriend. But I didn’t want to lie to anyone.

"Ok, I'm not going to say yes or no." Jason retorted teasingly.

I smiled at him, both disappointed and happy at the same time. "Excuse me please, my girlfriend needs some space."

I looked up at him shocked but he just glanced at me with a smirk plastered on his lips. This is what he meant by not saying yes or no? I thought he was just going to ask for us to be let through without saying anything.

At least he didn’t embarrass me.

Everyone made a path for us to pass through. I glanced at the ground, afraid of what people around us would think. I could feel Jason's hand at the small of my back guiding me towards the exit of the gym. I hung onto his other hand as I felt unsteady on my feet. Tina followed next to me and she winked at me.

When we got out of the gym, Jason spun towards me. "So are you still coming tonight?" Jason asked.

"Of course." I replied. I would not miss it for the world.

“Good, because I don’t really know how to turn on the stove.” Jason confessed. I laughed at his statement. Didn’t his mother teach him how to? "I will meet you at your locker in ten?"

I nodded. He waved at us before jogging towards the boy’s locker room. "You guys make a cute couple." Tina blurted next to me after Jason left.

"Really?" I asked.

"Yes." Tina said looking at me with her honest expression. I smiled at her and then looked down at my hands. They were shaking. I quickly hid them in my jean pockets. This was an after effect that Jason always left me with. I was surprised in chemistry I was able to hold a pen normally with the amount of shaking my hand went through.

"So, where is he taking you?" Tina nudged me on my shoulder as we made our way to my locker.

"His apartment.” I sighed.

"Ooh" Tina cooed nudging me on the shoulder and winking.

I scoffed at her innuendo, “He just wants me to help him cook gulab jamun that is gluten and lactose free. Poor guy is allergic to both.”

“Aw. That must suck.” Tina sympathised. I nodded in reply. “Well, I hope you will enjoy it! If he tries any funny business, call me and I’ll rescue you immediately.”

"Yes ma’am." I replied before saluting to Tina.

"Pinkie promise?" Tina laughed holding out her right-hand pinkie finger towards me. I connected my own pinkie finger with hers. I let go and she smiled at me. Pinkie promises between Tina and I had to be made and not be broken.

"Check if you have your phone right now?" Tina stopped me.

"Ok." I searched through my pockets and held out my phone towards Tina.

"Good. The safety words are ‘hot bachelor’. I raised my eyebrow at the words. “What? We both know that’s exactly what Jason is. Now come on.” Tina took me by the hand and dragged me towards my locker.

I checked my watch and I had three minutes to prepare before Jason greeted us with his wonderful presence. Note, no sarcastic allusion there. "How do I look?" I asked Tina. She looked at me thoughtfully and then fixed something on my hair. Probably some stray hair.

She shook her head. "No. You should take your hair out." Tina said.

"No." I said. "You know how hard it is to keep it out."

"You know what, you’re right. I wish I had my straightener with me." Tina pouted before fixing my hair a little bit more, she held out her little mirror she carries in her pocket towards me. I looked at my hair. She had put it in a bun above my head and left a few strands hanging on the sides. It didn’t look too bad. I nodded my head at Tina and she took the mirror away. I started opening my lock but I felt Tina sniffing me. Shocked, I backed away from her to assess what she was doing.

"A little perfume will do." Tina said spraying some of her perfume on my neck, underarms and wrists.

"What is the point of spraying my wrists?" I asked.

"So you smell nice when he kisses your hand silly."

"Ok." I stammered taking my bag out of my locker. Did boys do that these days? Kiss girls’ hands? I smelt my wrists. The perfume smelled sweet and refreshing. I had never seen Tina use that perfume before.

"Where did you get this perfume from?" I questioned her curiously.

"Oh this?" Tina asked holding it up. "I got it from Paris last holidays. I use it exclusively for dates because it smells divine" I smiled in agreement. I closed my locker and looked at my watch again. Less than one minute.

"Have fun tonight. I know I will. Darren is coming over because mum and dad aren’t home." Tina winked.

“I will try. You have fun as well, but not too much fun.” I warned her before giving her a tight hug.

"Make sure you tell me all of the deets when we go shopping." Tina winked at me again.

I heard someone clearing their throat. I turned and immediately met Jason’s alluring eyes. He was in a simple grey dress shirt and navy blue jeans. "Are you ready to go?" Jason enquired, I nodded. "Do you need a ride Tina?"

Tina shook her head. "It's fine. You two have fun."

"Suit yourself." Jason said waving at her.

"Bye." I said to Tina. She gave me thumbs up and a giant grin.

When we arrived, Jason unlocked his apartment door and motioned me to go in. I hesitated before stepping in. I looked around the studio, a spacious living and dining room, a kitchen next to the dining room. A Flat Screen TV was perched on a wooden cabinet. Two leather sofas faced the TV. A small wooden dining table stood tall in the dining room. The walls of the house were bare, no pictures or paintings. There was a door that probably led to what looked like a bathroom and another door, I assumed led to Jason’s bedroom.

“Make yourself at home,” Jason said behind me, making me snap my head towards him. He was shrugging his jacket off. I unbuttoned my own before Jason helped me to shrug out of it. He took it and placed it on the dining table before turning towards me. “If you need anything, I have water in here and orange juice.” He retorted motioning towards the fridge. “Glasses can be found up there.” He pointed to a white kitchen cabinet.

I nodded walking towards him in the kitchen. “This is really nice.” I whispered to no one in particular, grazing my fingertips on the marble benchtop.

“Thanks,” Jason replied eyeing me. “Would you like a drink?” Jason asked opening the door to his fridge.

I was shocked to discover that his fridge was close to empty. All I saw was a tub of butter, a jug of water and a carton containing orange juice.

“Sure, OJ sounds good.” I replied as I watched him retrieving a glass from one of the drawers. “Do you eat?” I questioned him as he worked his hands around opening the carton of orange juice. It was new?

“I told you before, I’m too lazy to cook.” He replied, pouring orange juice into the glass. He pushed it towards me before returning the carton back into the fridge. He grabbed the jug of water and poured some for himself. I watched him as he took a sip of his water. I followed suit with my juice. He eyed me curiously. This was the first time I was with him alone in a non-public place. I felt shy all of a sudden.

“So, I bought the ingredients for the gulab jamun. I hope that you know how to work the stove because as I said before I don’t. If you don’t know as well its ok. We can google search it.” Jason smiled placing his empty glass on the marble benchtop.

“I should be able to work it. After all my mum loves cooking. A lot.” I divulged before sipping more orange juice, “There isn’t a week that goes by without her cooking something exquisite.”

“I wish I lived at your house because your mum sounds great.” Jason chuckled before opening the food cabinet. “Here they are.” Jason continued grabbing things from the cabinet. Ingredients for the gulab jamun, I assumed.

“Do you have a recipe for it?” I wondered loudly before setting my glass of orange juice on the benchtop. I followed him to the food cabinet and helped him to get the ingredients out.

“Yes,” Jason spoke proudly, “I googled it and printed it and laminated it so that I will never lose it.”

I laughed at his joke before placing the ingredients I had just picked up on the benchtop. There was nothing left in the food cabinet. I assumed that Jason only bought ingredients for the gulab jamun and filled his otherwise empty food cabinet. Jason grabbed the recipe from the coffee table in the living room before showing it to me. I grabbed it from him and scanned the writing. It seemed easy enough.

“Let’s do this.” Jason smiled next to me. I nodded placing the recipe where we both could see it. I reached for the flour but Jason stopped me. “I forgot something. Wait here.” Jason retreated behind a door. His bedroom I assumed. He emerged holding two aprons in his hand. He held up a small bib apron towards me with a huge grin on his face. It was floral with two red ribbon-like strips to tie at the back and another red strap that went around the neck. Two pockets were visible in front of the apron.

“Jason, it’s beautiful.” I whispered eyeing the apron.

“Yup. I chose it specifically for you.” Jason grinned again unwrapping the apron. “I’ll help you to put it on.” I nodded. Jason moved towards me and lifted the apron above my head. My heartbeat increased, fully aware of his closeness. “Turn around so I can tie it.” I did as I was told. I could feel Jason’s fingertips brushing on my back as he tied the straps together. I turned around to face him when he was finished. “Perfect.” He retorted before unfolding his own. It was red throughout, matching the flowers on my apron. I smiled at the thought as I watched him put on the apron.

“Would you like me to tie it for you?” I wondered, unsure of myself. He had done the same for me and I had to return the favour.

“Sure,” Jason smiled before turning around. I was in full view of his back again. Lean muscle bulging under his shirt. I wouldn’t have been surprised if under that shirt he bore scars, tokens from street fights due to his reckless behaviour after his father’s passing. I could see black ink protruding from his shirt collar. Does he have a tattoo? I wondered. I shook my head and focused on the task at hand.

I hesitated before reaching for the straps. I secured the straps before informing him, “All done.”

“Thanks,” Jason replied, turning back to face me. I smiled back at him. “Let’s begin.” He instigated rubbing his hands together.

An hour and a few fails later, Jason and I had successfully produced six gulab jamun. We removed the aprons and placed them on the benchtop.

Jason and I walked to the living room each holding a plate containing three gulab jamun. I took a seat on the sofa and Jason sat next to me right after. I took a bite of the gulab jamun and hummed in satisfaction. It tasted better than I expected. It still didn’t compare to the normal gulab jamun since it didn’t contain the fullness of the full cream milk and gluten in the flour.

“These are not too bad.” Jason interjected next to me.

I hummed in response. After a few minutes of silence, I began. “Jason.”

“Mhmm.” He replied munching on a gulab jamun.

“That night, when you got drunk. I saw a picture of you and an older man.” I paused, not sure how to formulate my words, “Was he your father?”

“Yes.” Jason replied before dropping the folk on his plate. “That day was his one-year anniversary. I thought I could manage it but I found myself in the bar. I couldn’t stop drinking. I wonder how my mother is coping.” He whispered, more to himself but I heard it.

“What does your mum do?” I asked placing my own folk on the plate. One gulab jamun left.

“She’s a doctor in Romania.” I could see admiration in his eyes.

“Really?” I exclaimed. “My goal is to become a doctor.”

“No way!” Jason retorted while I nodded my head furiously. “I see you as a lawyer or a business owner not a doctor. But it’s a great career you’re aspiring to become. It just shows that you’re a kind person as well as smart.” Jason replied tapping my nose. I smiled, shy all of a sudden.

“Do you have any tattoos?” I blurted before I could stop myself.

“Wow! that was an instant change in subject.” Jason laughed, “Why do you ask?”

I couldn’t tell him that I had seen black ink showing above his collar. Hence, I just shook my head and said the words that came into my head first, “I’m just curious.”

“Well, kind of.” Jason replied after a few seconds of contemplation.

“What do you mean?” I questioned turning my full attention towards him.

“Well. It’s a tribe thing. I got it when I turned eighteen. It is a symbol of our status in the tribe.” Jason divulged glancing at me, waiting for my reply.

“Can I see it?” Jason was taken aback by my question. He sat there eyeing me for a few seconds. He opened his mouth and closed it again. He placed his plate of goodies on the table before removing his shirt. I suppressed a gasp. He was muscle everywhere. He had the kind of body that showed he hit the gym at least four days a week. I willed my eyes to avert from his body but I couldn’t I was drawn. I mean, this was my first time seeing a man’s chest. Before I had only witnessed scrawny and fish ribs of my male classmates.

“You’ve to promise me that you wont touch it.” Jason’s husky voice caused me to drag my eyes from his chest to his face. I gulped when I was level to Jason’s eyes. I nodded slowly before he turned around. I scanned his back for the tokens I had imagined. However, non were visible. Only bulging muscle and the symbol of his status in his tribe. A cross with a handle replacing the usual top straight line was plastered between Jason’s shoulder blades. The symbol was defined by dark ink. It extended from just below the nape of his neck to an imaginary line that joined the inferior angle of his scapulars. My hand ached to touch it. Or maybe my body just ached to feel the skin underneath it.

“What is it called?” My voice came out barely a whisper.

“We call it ankh. It was used by the Egyptians to represent eternal life. However, in our case, it represents our dedication to pursuing our identity as an individual.” He responded. My hand was only a few hairs away from kissing his tattooed skin. He suddenly turned around to face me. “Would you like to dance?” Jason suggested throwing his shirt back over his body. I was surprised when a ping of disappointment emerged in my body.

Jason didn’t wait for me to reply. He shifted from the sofa and reached out for the remote. He hit the play button and soft music I didn’t recognise emitted from the radio that was balanced next to the TV. Jason dropped the remote on the coffee table before extending his hand towards me. I took it with a small smile on my lips. I was ok at dancing. Jason wrapped his arm around my waist and drew me close to his body. My heart jumped to my throat. He lifted my right hand to his shoulder before securing my left hand in his. We swayed to the music slowly side to side. I could feel heat roving from Jason’s hands into my body. I loved this feeling. It made me feel safe and protected.

Suddenly Jason stopped. I opened my eyes I hadn’t realized I closed and looked up at him. I found myself under the scrutiny of the sapphire eyes that I have grown to love and adore. I wanted to dive into them and uncover all the secrets and the adventures that lied deep within their depths. The way his blue eyes searched my soul was oddly comfortable and intriguing.

"You are really beautiful. You know that right?" Jason divulged after a few seconds of unbroken eye contact.

I looked down suddenly feeling shy again. Butterflies increased in my stomach. Actually judging by the backflips and tugging I felt in my stomach, a whole zoo must have been in possession of my stomach.

I felt Jason’s finger trace my jaw line before lifting my head. His eyes, soft and curious, searched for mine. I had never noticed it before, but his eyes were pools of blue speckled by gold flecks and surrounded by a dark blue ring. For a minute there, they looked unhuman.

"Kate." Jason breathed out my name.

"Yes?" My eyes flattered.

"This might sound crazy but I really want to kiss you right now." Jason confessed.

I snapped my eyes open, shocked by his revelation. I felt a small tug in my heart. Never in a million years did I ever think Jason would say those words to me. I had only imagined and dreamed of what his lips would feel like against mine. My heart was nagging my brain to respond accordingly. I was already lost in my own trance debating on what I should do next. I was brought back to reality by his fingers brushing stray strands of hair from my face. His thumb traced my face until it paused on my lips. I sighed at the thought of his lips against mine. I opened my eyes and saw him leaning his head towards mine. Was it really happening? Was he really going to kiss me? I couldn’t look away from his eyes.

I felt Jason's warm breath hitting my lips. My eyes flattered shut as I anticipated Jason’s lips to meet mine. The zoo in my stomach erupted into fighting animals. Jason seemed to sense my nervousness because I felt him caress my neck with his hand which calmed me. After what felt like eternity, I felt Jason's warm lips touch mine. They were soft and gentle but with enough firmness. The sweetness of his lips mingled with the sweetness of the gulab jamun. How could a boy’s lips taste so good? My heart throbbed due to the increase in my heartbeat. Poor heart of mine, I felt like I was suffocating, but I was not running out of breath. For a moment I lost sense of where I was or what day it was. How could a single kiss leave someone feeling so dizzy and confused?

His lips were addictive. I couldn’t bring myself to detach from them. I think I had just found my new addiction. When Jason moved away. I wanted to kiss him again. My lips tingled and felt raw from the passionate kiss I had just experienced. I bit my lower lip trying to relive the moment. When Jason’s lips didn’t cover mine again. I slowly opened my eyes. I watched his lips curve into a smile before moving towards mine again. My head was once again spinning uncontrollably.

This time when our lips detached, we were both breathing heavily. We both started giggling.

“I think I should stop here otherwise I won’t be able to control myself.” Jason breathed tracing my lips with his fingers.

He quickly released me before reaching for the remote on the coffee table. For a few seconds I nearly lost my footing. I steadied myself before glancing at my legs. Yes, they were still there. I touched my lips trying to bring back the feeling of Jason's lips on mine. My lips felt naked.

Jason and I spent the rest of our time drinking orange juice and watching random TV shows. A few stolen kisses were shared here and there.

I glanced at the clock unconsciously and gasped. It was already nine o’clock. I had promised my mum to be home by seven o’clock. I lifted myself from the sofa in panic. “I need to go home now.” I informed Jason who was watching me in confusion.

He didn’t question me but followed suit before grabbing my jacket and his car keys from the dining table. He helped me dress into my jacket before opening the door for me.

It was probably around quarter past nine when Jason pulled into the driveway. I reached my bag from the back seat. I heard Jason opening his door and then followed by mine. I got out of the car and wrapped the strap of my bag over my right shoulder. We walked side by side towards the door. I stole a surreptitious glance in Jason’s direction. I couldn’t ignore the gnarling feeling that reminded me that this tall and handsome boy walking beside me was starting to mean more to me. The sensor light illuminated making me snap my attention away from Jason. When we reached the porch, I turned towards Jason.

"Thank you for tonight." I paused. "It was amazing. I enjoyed cooking with you."

"No problem." Jason said smiling. “Thank you for agreeing to help me.”

Jason smiled and took my right hand and kissed the back softly. Why did he kiss me on my hand? I wanted him to kiss me on my lips. I heard Jason chuckle and then he placed his right hand on my neck before gently pulling me in for another kiss. His lips touched mine for the twentieth time tonight. I didn’t mean to count. I just remembered. I could feel my heartbeat increasing again. I felt Jason slowly moving away but I didn’t want him to stop so I pulled him closer to me.

Just when the kiss was getting good. I heard the door opening. I quickly removed my lips from Jason’s and turned my head towards the door. I met my father's furious eyes. Jason's hand was still on my waist. I gently pulled it from my waist.

"Hey daddy." I said smiling. I jogged a little towards him and hugged him really tight. "I missed you."

"Hey baby, I missed you too." Dad said kissing me on the forehead.

I quickly let go realizing that Jason was still standing there. "Oh dad. This is Jason." I said gesturing at Jason then at my dad. "Jason this is my dad."

"Nice to meet you, sir." Jason said extending his hand towards my dad. My dad just left it hanging there until Jason pulled it back. I looked at my dad with a frown on my face.

"What are you doing here?" Dad asked anger radiating from his voice.

"Dad!" I half whispered and half yelled. "How can you be so rude to Jason?"

"What do you want with my daughter?" Dad continued ignoring me. "You know what, I don't care. Just stay away from her."

"But dad." I started but I was cut short by my dad's angry voice.

"I don't want to see you or your kind anywhere near my family again!" Dad continued his eyebrows pulled downwards in an angry notion. He grabbed my arm. I tried to get out of his grip but he was too strong.

"Jason." I called his name.

"Kate." He said trying to walk towards me, but something seemed to block his way.

"Jase." I said after dad banged the door closed. I angrily pulled myself out of his grip and fell onto the ground. "Dad, why did you do that?"

"I want you to stay away from that boy and trust me it's for your own good." Dad retaliated furiously.

"Why?" Frustration fumed in me. Why did he treat Jason that way? After he had just met him.

"You will understand soon." Dad finished looking away.

"What's all this commotion?" Mum questioned entering the living room wiping her hands on her apron.

"Nothing to worry about honey." Dad said pulling mum into a hug.

I couldn’t believe my eyes. I felt my eyes stinging with tears. "I hate you." I said to dad while standing up. "You sent away the best thing that ever happened to me."

"I thought you said there was nothing wrong." Mum pointed out glancing at dad, a worried expression on her face.

"It's fine honey." Dad said kissing mum on her cheek before turning towards me. "Go to your room now.” Dad motioned towards the stairs. "Go now!" He repeated in my head.

I groaned before climbing up the stairs. "By the way, you are grounded for the whole month." Dad yelled from downstairs.

How dare he do that? I slammed my bedroom door behind me before jumping onto my bed. I took my pillow and screamed in it letting out all of my frustration. Why did dad chase Jason away? I walked towards my window to see if he was still there, but his car was gone. My eyes started to sting again and I could feel the tears falling down my cheeks. I slid down on the ground next to my bed and cried to myself.

Today, I saw a boy who was sincere and passionate, not the one who scared me the other night. He even opened up to me. But, dad had to come and ruin everything.

Why?

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