Chapter 14 - When It Rains
He leaves me alone after our last conversation a few days ago. He’s not in any of my classes anymore, nor is he hounding me in the hallways or on the sidewalk.
I find myself feeling anxious about it. My eyes keep scanning the campus for a sign of him. Sometimes I feel his burning gaze on me. Sometimes I feel the heavy crackling of electricity in the air and I know he’s nearby and it takes everything in me not to look up and search around just to drink in the sight of him. Sometimes I see him at a distance, looking like he’s totally oblivious to my presence or maybe he’s totally ignoring me.
Sometimes I see him smiling and talking to some human girls. I don’t know if he’s flirting with them but it’s clear that the girls are more than offering themselves to him.
Sometimes he’s with three other women, the same redhead he’s always with, in one of my classes, a honey golden blonde, and a Latina. The three women are breathtakingly gorgeous, and not human.
I’ve watched them enough to know that there’s nothing going on between him and the three goddesses. They treat each other like close friends or siblings rather than people who are into each other.
I’m a creeper, I know. I told him to stay away but when he did, I seek him out. I told him to leave me alone but I still watch him obsessively.
Once, our eyes met and the fire in his eyes robbed my breath away. The hurt is evident. He’s the one who tore his gaze away first. His jaw was clenched tight and his whole body was stiff anger. Twenty minutes after the encounter, my body was still shaking and my heart was still pounding hard in my chest.
All the time now, he leaves me alone. He really leaves me alone. Just like I asked him to.
I feel hurt, miserable, dejected, and hollow inside. I’m confused by my own feelings and I don’t know what to do about it.
My mood doesn’t improve during the weekend. If anything, it gets worse. On campus, at least there’s a chance for me to catch a glimpse of him even briefly. At home, I feel trapped, lonely, and restless.
Layla is away the whole weekend, visiting her family in her old pack territory which is about half an hour away from here. I have no clue where our other housemates, Isaac and Lana have gone to.
I see Jonah briefly on Saturday morning before he takes off somewhere. I hear him coming home late at night while I’m already in bed, counting all the positive things in life instead of counting sheep. Trying to sleep.
I count all the positive things I have in life to make me feel better, and my cousin Jonah is one of them. But when it rains, it pours, people say. I guess the saying is true for me this time because, on Sunday morning, I find a note waiting for me on the breakfast table. A cell phone and some money are sitting on top of it. I pick it up and Jonah’s bold handwritten scrawl is staring back at me.
I won’t be home for a while. Don’t need to worry. The phone and the money are yours.
I palm the phone and the money and I wish I could throw them at his head. Idiot! My cousin is an idiot. Don’t need to worry? Really? Of course, I’m going to worry. When people tell you that you don’t need to worry, that’s exactly what you’re going to do: you worry!
Jonah said he “won’t be home for a while”. Just how long is “for a while”? A few days? A couple of weeks? Months? Why didn’t he tell me where he is going?
Is he in trouble? It’s not that improbable that he’s gotten himself into some kind of trouble. He was always in trouble back in the pack. He’s the poster child for trouble. I remember how girls were into him back then. He’s THAT bad boy. Ughh!! I could kill him now! Just when I thought my mood couldn’t sink any lower.
I count the money as if it could give me a clue of how long he will be away for. A few hundred dollars. That really doesn’t tell me anything.
Then I pour out the content of my bag on my bed, frantically searching for the piece of paper that holds Jonah’s number. I give him a call using the phone he gave me but only to be sent to the automated voicemail. After a few tries, I send him a text.
Hey, where are you? Are you okay? When are you coming back? Call me.
I know I sound like a nagging, clingy girlfriend but he’s my cousin. He’s the only family I have that I care about, apart from Jorden and I’m worried.
My mind keeps alternating between constantly thinking about my confused feelings for Caspian and how he’s leaving me alone now and worrying about Jonah.
As much as I try to deny it, there’s this connection between us. Caspian and I. Something is anchoring me to him. Pulling me to him. The constant warring of my head, my heart, and my body is draining me. I miss him so much, it’s like a physical pain. I wake up Monday morning, feeling exhausted. I didn’t get much sleep last night...or the night before.
He’s usually in my first class on Monday with that beautiful redhead. I look forward to seeing him there as much as I dread it.
I wait to catch a sight of him in the auditorium. My eyes keep wandering to the door but he doesn’t show up for class. I don’t even see him around at all for the rest of the day.
I bet he doesn’t even care if he ever sees me again at this point. He must have lost interest in me. He’s probably paying attention to some other more willing girls by now. Well...good! He’s bugging someone else with his crude, inappropriate comments. It’s great, really. It’s awesome! I hate it when my allergies are acting up. My heart hurts and it makes my eyes water.
My classes end at noon and my shift is in the evening at the cafe today. It’s not a particularly busy at this time of the day, but we have a steady stream of costumers who are mostly students coming in at all times. Cat, as a barista is always busy. She blames it on students and their constant need for caffeine.
I'm passing my customers’ order to Alex who is making sandwiches when all of a sudden my body tenses up and my breath comes up in hitches. My heart starts to pound faster and a familiar knot starts to form in my stomach. I feel that familiar heaviness and crackles of electricity in the air.
“He’s here,” breathes Jenna, sounding excited as she breezes past me with a big eager smile.
Yes, he’s here. I peek out from behind a corner near the espresso machine, trying to stay out of sight, even though I know he’s well aware that I’m here. For some reason, I'm very sure that he can sense me as I can sense him.
He’s here by himself...and he’s sitting at my table.
I click my pen rapidly several times and stare at him from behind my hiding place.
He looks hot. Hotter than I remember. He’s in a casual white button-down shirt and a pair of dove grey chinos. The leather loafers on his feet probably cost more than everything that I have to my name. His hair isn’t as impeccable as usual today, though. A few strands of that silky golden lock has fallen over his eyebrow as if he’s been running his fingers through it so many times.
Oh, god, I’m feeling nervous. I haven’t seen him in days. It feels longer than that, though. I just want to stand here and watch him. All night.
I'm such a creeper. I sigh and reluctantly step out from behind the machine when Alex grabs my elbow.
“Yeah, you don’t need to worry about that table,” she says, tipping her head towards the object of my obsession. “Jenna called dibs on that sexy Russian candy cane. It doesn’t matter whose table he’s sitting at, as soon as he’s in it, it becomes her table. Trust me, honey, you don’t want to be in Jenna’s shit list.”
Alex gets back to work and Cat comes sauntering out from the back, carrying a bag of coffee beans.
Her eyes light up with amusement when she spots our new customer and sees Jenna fussing over her appearance near the counter. “He’s hot, isn’t he?” says Cat with a naughty tilt to her voice.
“So...he’s always flirting with Jenna?” I ask Cat as I watch Jenna taking off her apron and starts undoing a few buttons of her top. Okay, I’m feeling jealous. I’d never admitted it out loud to anyone but everything in me is screaming that he’s mine. He's mine!
I watch her sashay over to his table with a flirty smile on her pretty face. I hate to watch it but I can’t seem to take my eyes off the scene either.
“Nope. I don’t think he ever flirts with her. He noticed her, maybe, but not for good reasons,” says Cat with a comical smile. “He’s usually here with three other girls. All gorgeous,” she sighs. “From what I notice, none of them ever bothers much with people around them. They just talk to each other. Never wants anything to do with us mere mortals more than they have to,” informs Cat.
“Mere mortals?” I feel my breath stuck in my throat. Does Cat know that they’re not human?
Cat laughs. “Yeah, I mean, look at him. Normal people shouldn’t look that good. How is that fair? Do you think he rolls out of bed looking like that?”
I breathe out a sigh of relief. Okay, she doesn’t mean it literally. I’m way too tense.
We are now standing behind the coffee grinder machine, Cat: working on the espresso machine, me: hiding, while we both watch Jenna talking to him. She’s standing so close to him as if she’s telling him a secret or saying something intimate that only he should hear. I can tell that she would rub herself all over him if he just gave her a little bit of an encouragement.
“Anyway, back to Jenna,” says Cat as she continues working. “He mostly just ignores her. Only this one time, he asked her to bark like a dog and now she thinks that they’re in a relationship. Now, she would say “woof, woof” every time she goes to take his orders. It’s ridiculous.” Cat shakes her head. “Jenna is being desperate and let me tell you, desperate is never attractive.”
Sure enough, he’s not even looking at Jenna when she leans down to pour the water into his glass. Her breasts almost spilling over her wide gaping top showing off her red lacy bra. He’s too busy scanning the area behind the counter. His intense gaze stops when it reaches my hiding spot. I almost stop breathing.
“Honestly though, I’d do him. Heck, I’d do all four of them,” says Cat with a naughty smile.
“Hey, Quincy,” says Alex behind me. I forgot she’s even there for a while. “The sandwiches for table 11 are ready.”
“Okay, thanks Alex,” I tell her. I guess there’s no point in hiding, really. He knows exactly where I am.
I pick up a tray and place the sandwiches along with a cup of iced chai latte and a single espresso prepared by Cat, and walk out to a table by the window with my back straight and eyes carefully avoiding his table. I know he’s watching me as I cross the room.
“One vegan sandwich, a smoked salmon and capers on rye,” I recite, trying to sound as cheerful as possible as I transfer the food from the tray onto the table in front of two girls sitting at my table. My hands are slightly shaking but I hope nobody notices it. I set the drinks as well and they thanked me.
I can feel his eyes on me the whole time, intense and searing, willing me to look at him. My heart is galloping so fast in my chest, it’s hard to breathe. It takes everything in me not give in and steal a glance his way.
It’s crazy but I missed him.
“Quincy,” he calls out quietly as I walk past his table and I stop on my track. The sound of my name on his lips sends a quiver down my body. The tone of his voice sounds like he’s starving for me. I look up and our eyes locked.
The look on his beautiful face almost makes me cry. The fire, the yearning, the desperation and a lot more. All the feelings I’ve been battling and bottling inside.
“Please,” he says. He lifts his hand and touches my wrist. Very lightly. His touch sears my skin. Our connection pulse through my blood to every nerve and every cell in my body. He wants me to feel it.
The expression on his face hardens. His jaw set to determination and stubbornness when he says, “I’ve left you alone long enough. You don’t want to go on a date with me, fine. But it’s time we talk.” His tone is clear. He won't take no for an answer this time.
Unbeknownst to him, I would have agreed to a date...anywhere and at any time at this point. Whether he’s a player or not or if he has a mate out there and he’s going to break my heart beyond repair eventually, I just got to have this time with him. Just this once.
I look at Jenna who’s standing at a table not too far away, taking an order. She has stopped doing whatever she’s doing and now she’s just standing there glaring at me.
“I finish work in three hours,” I tell him softly.
“Then I’ll wait,” he whispers in my ear as he gets up and brushes past me to sit in the furthest corner of the cafe.
*This chap obviously still needs a lot of work but I don’t want to keep you waiting for too long. My next update will be on Thursday. Have a great weekend, everybody!