Changing Beats (Book 1)

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Chapter Fourteen

Cortney

Here went nothing. My mother would either commit me to a mental institution or send me away for good. Honestly, I was hoping for both in this pink lace, asymmetrical sheath dress. The shorter end was around my right hip. It was just short enough to give my mother a heart attack. The high, silver beaded neckline was perfect with the silver bracelets and earrings that Trent matched with it.

The dress was only temporary, but I was keeping the hair. Instead of my normal soft layers, Sophia had cut it into much shorter layers. It was styled straight, but messy. It would be so easy to keep this style if I wanted. I liked it and if my mother didn’t like it, that would make it even better.

My mother and father were talking to someone when I descended the stairs, but since I hadn’t seen my father today I had to say hello, at the very least.

When Jason came into full view, standing next to my father, my heart stopped. My throat went dry.

He was here.

What did he think of all this? If he hadn’t run before, he would now.

Crap.

“Well, hello beautiful,” my father smiled widely, “Have you seen my daughter by any chance?”

“Daddy,” I smiled back, giving him a hug, “Don’t be silly.”

If I focused on my father and mother I wouldn’t freak out about Jason’s eyes being directed towards me.

“That’s not what I had in mind, Brittany,” mother scolded.

“Trent and Sophia did exactly what you asked for, mother. Platinum blonde bob and a pink dress,” I smiled widely at my mother, trying to ignore Jason’s eyeballs that were about to fall on the floor.

“That is not a bob, Brittany,” she hissed.

“Yes, it is.” We got her good and I dazzled in the thought of it, smiling widely, “It’s a shoulder length bob, razor cut for more volume and ease of styling.”

My father cleared his throat, “Ladies, please. We have guests this evening.”

“Sorry, Daddy,” I smiled at him.

“That’s quite alright, angel.” He turned to Jason, “Jason, this is our daughter Cortney. Cortney this is Jason Chandler, our neighbor on the hill.”

“I um, already know Jason, Daddy.” I smiled at my father, ignoring my mother when her jaw hit the floor, “We met through my work.”

“Oh?” My mother wasn’t able to keep her smile now.

“Yes,” he smiled devilishly at me, before turning to her. “I had broken my hand while at the studio and I need my hands for work, obviously. We’ve sort of been seeing each other since that night.”

“What is it? About two months now, Jason?” I smiled widely. “We just recently found out that you all are neighbors.”

“And you are now just telling us this?” My mother was upset. Oh well. I sighed heavily.

“It’s just a little casual dating, Mother,” I winked at her, “Nothing serious. I was just his nurse after all.”

“Honestly, I think I’m more serious about it than your daughter is,” Jason said as his eyes roamed over me, “I have a very keen liking for this woman.”

“Cortney is very likable young woman, with a great head on her shoulders.” My father spoke adoringly, “The fact she likes you, makes me like you all the more.”

“She does?” My mother asked, nervously ringing her hands.

“Oh, Darling,” my father turned to my mother, “Have you said hello to the Beckets’ yet?”

Interference 101. My dad was a pro.

“Oh. Hmm, no. Not yet, dear.” So obviously fake. “We should!”

“Please, excuse us,” My father smiled genuinely at Jason, “We must make our rounds. I’m sure that Cortney can introduce you to our other guests and show you around. You wouldn’t mind introducing your friend, would you, Angel?”

“No, Daddy.” I bit my cheeks, holding my laughter in.

He leaned into me, pretending to give a kiss on the cheek, “Make sure you introduce him to your sister, I would love to see her face.”

There was no covering the laugh that escaped me now. My father loved pushing buttons, just as much as me.

“Have fun.” He gave a wink and was off.

“Your drink, Miss Cortney.” Ross handed me my usual Thursday evening drink, “Extra rum.” He smiled wolfishly.

“Thank you, Ross.” I gave him a warm smile and leaned in to whisper, “How is Gretchen tonight?”

Gretchen was my parent’s cook. An older woman, in her sixties, that loved her job, but I liked to think she loved me too.

“She’s good,” he whispered, “She’s a little sour that you didn’t visit her the last two weeks, but I told her you’re here tonight.”

“I better sneak down, before she fillets me.” I winked and he moved away.

“You get along better with your parent’s help than you do with your family, don’t you?” Jason asked with a cocky smile.

“Yes. I do.” I smiled, thinking of what Gretchen would think of Jason, “Come on, follow me. They’ll think I’m showing you around the house.”

“You can take me anywhere you want in that getup.” His eyes roamed the length of me.

I moved in really close, not to be overheard, before whispering, “Then it’s a good thing I’m not wearing any panties.”

His smile was gone instantly, lust taking over, “Seriously?”

I gave a nod.

I was serious. I hadn’t worn a thong tonight and panty lines would have been visible through the fabric of my dress, so I had to make do with what I had, which was nothing.

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