Chapter 7 - The Birds and The Bees
I drop my bag at the foot of the bed, peel the hobo hoodie off me and fling it into the far corner of the room. I flop myself onto my bed with a resigned sigh.
I’ve been to several job interviews in the last few weeks. Today was my seventh but I could tell right away that they’re not interested in hiring me.
I'm not being ambitious or anything. I’m not aiming for a high flying job at all, more like flipping burgers and stuff. Initially, I had been searching for jobs on the web. Yesterday and today, I just walked around town and went in whenever I saw a help wanted sign on the window.
Hobo hoodie is lying in a heap on the floor like an old rag. I glare at it for a full minute, then I sigh in frustration. We have a love-hate relationship. Hobo hoodie and I. It’s complicated. I wanna break up with it but then I need it. I want to burn it but then I don’t. See? It’s complicated.
The trouble is, I don’t think I can score any job with hobo hoodie on. I wish I can ditch it but I think I saw one of Loup Noir pack members on campus on my very first day of school during lunch, a few weeks ago. It was just for a split second. Like a coward, I took off. I didn’t stick around. Call me crazy but I didn't feel like getting re-acquainted and talk about the weather or exchange contact information with the guy. No, thank you. Jonah confirmed the night after that they were here. So, love it or hate it, hobo hoodie is keeping me safe.
Jonah keeps telling me not to bother looking for any jobs yet because it’s not safe but I can’t go on sponging off my cousin. He keeps buying me food. I also learned that this house belongs to him and he refused to take my rent money. A week before, he drove me to school and gave me a bus pass for the whole semester. Last week when he offered me money after another failed interview, I almost had a melt-down. He shook his head and called me abnormal. He stated that he never met anybody who had a melt-down after being offered money. Then he slipped the money into my swear jar and left.
It’s not really about the money. It’s about not having my life controlled by Loup Noir Pack anymore. I want to be free of them. Why can’t they just leave me alone? I just want to be normal. Werewolves and those other creatures are trouble. They make my life hard and sometimes I can’t deal, no matter how many times I keep counting my blessings. Jonah and Jorden are the only two “not normal” people that I can allow in my life right now.
After a shower, I put on a baggy t-shirt and pajama shorts and wander into the living room. It’s already after eight but nobody else is home. The house is very quiet and in total darkness except for the light from my bedroom. So I turn the lights and the TV on and plonk myself on the sofa and try to read.
It’s no use, really. My mind keeps drifting back to a certain non-human golden god. I learned that his name is Caspian. Lord, even his name is sexy. I hear girls talking about him all the time. It’s been a few weeks since the first time I saw him. I still see him once a week in that lecture hall. I’ve seen him around campus a few times since then too. He’s almost always in the company of these three stunningly beautiful girls, turning heads wherever they go. Not one of them is human. If he’s not with any of them, he’s always surrounded by human girls who compete for his attention. Some of them look so desperate, it’s embarrassing. There are times when he seems to ignore their attention and looks so bored but there are days when he seems to be enjoying it. His eyes linger on the breasts almost spilling over the top or the legs under the shorts and skirts so tiny they might as well be invisible. Uggh...it’s disgusting.
Maybe it’s my own fault. I should stop watching him. I feel like a creeper watching him like that but I can’t help it. I vow not to be one of those girls who fawn over him and make a fool of myself no matter how fvcking gorgeous he is.
I can’t seem to get him out of my mind and it’s driving me crazy. Why am I so drawn to him? I know that he’s gorgeous but this is stupid. I don’t want to be drawn to him.
Wait. Is my book upside down? I throw the book on the sofa in frustration just as Jonah’s Jeep pulls in. The lights from his Jeep flare into the living room through the slits of the blinds. He kills the engine and not a minute later he walks in.
“I’m going to order Chinese. What do you want?” he asks, walking past me across the living room. Just like Jonah. "Hello" and "how are you" don't exist in his vocab.
“Anything you’re having.” I know that I won’t be paying and it feels wrong to ask for anything. Besides, I’ll eat anything on the menu. Food is food. I’m easy like that.
Jonah disappears into his room and I hear him making his order on the phone before he closes the door. Twenty minutes later, he joins me on the sofa. His hair is damp from the shower. He looks relaxed in his tan shorts and a grey short sleeved t-shirt. He reaches behind me for the remote control and starts to change the channel.
“Jonah, do you think they’re gone by now?”
He doesn’t answer me. He just keeps changing the channel. Sometimes I think changing the channel is his hobby. He doesn’t really watch anything, he just changes the channel. Sometimes he stops when he sees something interesting and just when I start to get into the show, he changes the channel again. He’s crazy like that. Sometimes I suspect that he’s doing that just to annoy the crap out of me.
“Jonah!” I tug his arm. “Do you think Loup Noir Pack trackers are gone now?”
Still, he ignores me but he stops at ESPN to watch the sports news.
“Jonah. Jonaaah! Jonaaaah!!! I start poking his arm with my index finger.
“Goddess, you are annoying!” he says.
Of course, I am. What’s with him stating the obvious now? “If you just answer my question like normal people do, then I don’t have to be too annoying now, do I?”
He just grunts, scowling at the TV now. He starts changing the channel again and I’m getting impatient, so I pluck the remote from his hand.
“Are they gone? Yes or no?” I ask him. “Jonah, just say yes or no.”
“Just keep wearing the hoodie,” he says, snatching the remote from my hand.
“But it stinks and it's ugly and I can’t get a job wearing it,” I protest. “They’re gone now, aren’t they?”
He grunts again and keeps changing the channel.
Is that a yes or a no? This is so confusing. He refuses to answer the simple question. He even refuses to look at me now.
Suddenly dawns on me. They’re gone! They’ve probably been gone for weeks now. Jonah just wants me to keep wearing hobo hoodie.
“Why didn’t you tell me they’re gone? Why d’you let me keep wearing that ugly *ss hoodie?” I ask him. “Jonah?”
“That hoodie will keep you out of trouble. It will keep those college pricks from looking at you. You don’t know what they are like. They’ve got one thing in their minds when they see girls like---”
“Really? For real, Jonah? Are you going to teach me about the ways of the birds and the bees now?”
I am slightly mad that he made me wear hobo hoodie for longer than necessary but never have I seen Jonah more uncomfortable than he is right now. His face pulls back into a painful grimace when I mentioned “the birds and the bees”. It’s so comical and payback is a bitch, so I innocently say, “Nana sat me down for the birds and the bees talk once. She told me about how they make babies. Daddy part goes into mummy part, then they go---”
“Enough!” he says, springing up from the sofa. His face is slightly red. I slap my hands over my mouth to muffle my laugh. Oh, god, that’s the funniest thing ever!
Jonah looks so relieved when the doorbell rings. He can’t get away fast enough to answer the door. The food has arrived.
He should be thankful that I didn’t give him the real version of Nana’s birds and bees talk that happened when I was eight. She left me quite shaken and made me look at boys suspiciously and pregnant women with sympathy for the next couple of years after the talk.
We spread the egg rolls, shrimp low mien, chicken fried rice, honey garlic spare ribs, beef and broccoli, and Kung Pau chicken on the coffee table in front of us.
“Wow, this is a lot of food,” I comment.
“Are you complaining now?” he asks me.
“Nope, never,” I say quickly, shaking my head vehemently. “Nana used to say, when it comes to food, a lot yes. Never enough,” I tell him.
He grunts in agreement, then we eat in silence. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the thought that I’m finally free of hobo hoodie. So all this time, Jonah just wanted to stop me from meeting men...or rather men from seeing me. I can’t help but plan what I’m going to wear to class on Monday. I suspect that Jonah is just relieved that I’m no longer bugging him about birds the bees...and daddy part and mummy part.
After we eat, we clean up and watch tv for a little bit. Then Jonah disappears into his bedroom. A few minutes later, he comes out of his bedroom wearing the same grey t-shirt but with a pair of black jeans and biker boots.
“Where are you going?” I ask him.
“Out? Are you going out to a party? Can I come?” I ask him eagerly. “Please? Can I come? I’ll be good, I promise. I’ll be super good. I’ll be super suuuper good. Please? Please?”
“I can be your wingman...or wingwoman.”
I smell food even before I open my eyes. The morning sunlight is filtering through the gaps in the blinds. Saturday. How I love Saturday. The clock on the wall shows that it’s just after eight in the morning. Too early to get up, but the smell of food is making my mouth water. Hmmm...food or bed. Such tough decisions so early in the morning. The struggle. Life is unfair.
I’ve finally come to a decision after ten minutes of debating. That’s it! My stomach is growling.
Layla is standing by the stove making breakfast. Scrambled eggs and hash browns. The smell of coffee in the percolator is heavenly.
“Good morning, sleepyhead!” says Layla cheerfully.
“Morning, Layla. God, woman, you’re making breakfast! I could marry you,” I tell her. “If I swing that way.”
Layla laughs while Isaac, who is tucking in his breakfast at the small breakfast table gives me a wink. Mainly because his mouth is full. Lana who is popping the bread into the toaster just ignores us.
I get along better with Isaac these days. He doesn’t flirt with me as much anymore. I think Jonah might have something to do with it. Lana mostly ignores me, which I don’t mind at all.
“It would be better if you cook us bacon as well,” Isaac says, looking at Layla hopefully.
“I don’t eat bacon. You want bacon, you cook it yourself,” replies Layla.
Layla is plating our food near Isaac when the door to Jonah’s bedroom swings open and a girl about my age comes strolling out. She’s wearing a red and white flannel shirt, tied at the waist, Daisy Dukes, and cowboy boots. Her dirty blond hair looks stiff and stuck to one side of her head and she has a bit of eyeliner and mascara smeared underneath her eyes. If this is not a walk of shame, I don’t know what is.
“Hello,” she says with a big happy smile. Very friendly, this girl.
“I thought he had a different girlfriend last weekend,” I whisper to Layla as the strange girl peeks at the food on the stove.
“He has a different girl every week,” Isaac whispers to me with a smirk. “None of them is his girlfriend. Oh uh, drama. Watch.”
“Why are you still here?” asks Lana. “He doesn’t offer breakfast for an easy lay." Her eyes shooting daggers at the girl. The girl reels back as if she’s been slapped and I can see that she’s struggling to come up with a comeback.
I think there’s something close to jealousy and hurt in Lana’s expression when she looks at Jonah walking out of his room with a set of keys dangling from his fingers.
“Ready, Lisa? I have someplace else to be,” says Jonah.
“It’s Abby,” replies the girl. “My name is Abby.”
“Sure,” says Jonah with a shrug as if it doesn’t matter.
“I’ll go get my purse and my phone. They’re still in your room,” the girl, Abby answers with a pout.
Isaac, Layla and I just sit silently watching with our mouths wide open. Suddenly, a realization sets in. My cousin is a manwhore! I can see that it’s not hard for him to find willing girls in this college area.
I run a critical eye over my cousin for the first time, try to see him the way other girls see him. He’s not bad looking in that rough around the edges kinda way. Tall with shiny dark hair, piercing dark brown eyes, chiseled features, golden tanned skin, a muscled body with tattoos, pierced ears, a lip ring. I guess some girls might even say that he’s hot...but he’s my cousin, so, Ewww.
“Hey, do STDs only affect humans or do they affect...errr...other creatures too?” I ask Jonah when he steals a bite of my scrambled eggs. By other creatures, I mean werewolves.
“What’s with the judgy question?”
Judgy question? I thought that was a legitimate concern. “Somebody’s touchy,” I sing.
“You’re very annoying,” he says. That’s true but what’s with him stating the obvious?
It’s Monday morning and I’m humming to myself as I get ready for class. Most people hate Mondays, but I don’t mind it even though I do like Saturdays better. I’m actually looking forward to this one especially since today, for the first time, I’m no longer wearing the abominable hobo hoodie to college.
I have on a cute little white sundress this morning. It has pink roses print around the hem and the neckline. I put my hair into a loose side fishtail hair braid, smooth some lipgloss on my lips and wear a pair of strappy tan sandals on my feet. I adjust the tiny white gold chain around my neck. A small round pendant engraved with the letter Q is hanging on it. It was a gift from Nana and it’s been around my neck for as long as I can remember.
Layla’s bed is already made. She is already up this morning even though she doesn’t have morning classes today. I try not to call myself a sexy beast again after that first day just in case Layla is listening.
Jonah looks at me disapprovingly when I step out of my room. I try not to roll my eyes. Jonah is acting like such a dad and he’s not even old enough to be my father. He wants to keep me covered in that hobo hoodie so that I will stay hidden from men. He wants me to stay away from parties. He probably would have liked to keep me locked in my room till I’m eighty if he could.
Too bad I have other plans that include normal hot human men....lots of them. I don’t have a mate like werewolves, so I have to kiss lots of frogs and toads before I find my Prince Charming, right?
The image of the golden blond god flashes in my mind. Oh, no no no...he’s no Prince Charming. He’s exactly the type to stay away from. I hate that I can’t keep him out of my mind. I even dream about him some nights. I’d rather poke my eyeballs with a spork rather than admit this to another living soul.
My first class without my hobo hoodie is going well so far. I haven’t made any friends yet but a few girls smile at me and I catch a couple of guys checking me out. It feels good because I felt invisible when I was in my hobo hoodie. Call me vain but I’m not used to feeling invisible. I know I’m not a sexy beast but I know I’m not ugly. Besides, I’m a very friendly person...despite being a tad annoying.
“Hi, I’m Evelyn,” whispers a girl sitting beside me at the end of the lecture. She has an open friendly smile and kind but mischievous eyes. Her short dark brown hair brushes her shoulders.
“Quincy,” I tell her.
“Nice to meet you, Quincy. This is my friend Travis,” she says. “He’s been bugging me to talk to you.”
I raise an eyebrow and lean over to look at the guy sitting beside her. He kicks her leg and she laughs. “Owww...Sorry, I wasn’t supposed to tell you that. Owww...” I think he kicks her leg again under the table.
Travis is really cute in a nerdy type of way. He’s skinny with dark-rimmed glasses on. He could be Clark Kent if Clark Kent was skinny and had blushing red cheeks. Totally adorable.
Both Evelyn and Travis are totally human. Just what I need.
Evelyn and Travis are best friends since high school and now they’re my first two friends at college. How awesome is that? I spend time talking and making plans to join their study group and now I’m a bit late for my second class. Well, not really late but I'm usually very early for it. Today, I'm actually just on time. I run to the next building and nearly sag in relief when I join the large group of students rushing to get in through the door of the lecture hall.
My eyes are automatically drawn to the magnificent figure lounging lazily and carelessly as usual on the chair in the middle of the auditorium as I enter the hall. That golden god. How my heart squeezes and my stomach clenches every time I see him.
He’s wearing a white polo shirt that stretches tight across his chest. His golden locks perfectly in place as usual. The wind blows in through the open doorway and suddenly he’s sitting up straight. He lifts his face up like he’s sniffing the air and his nostrils flare. Like a predator smelling its prey. He turns his face and his eyes scan the crowd. His intense, searching eyes stop when they land on me. Dark and fierce. I feel the air shifts around me.
*Sorry to leave you on that note. I have a hectic few days and a bit of traveling to do this week. I hope you like the chapter, though. My next update will be next Tuesday if not sooner. Have a wonderful week, my dearies!♥