Read Red Flags Online

Authors: C.C. Brown

Tags: #romance, #love relationships, #love romance, #adult and young adult, #sex and relationships fiction

Red Flags (2 page)

“Don’t lower your face. I wasn’t saying that
to embarrass you. It’s the truth.”

I grinned awkwardly, not sure how to handle
this interaction. He smiled but must have sensed that I was feeling
like a complete pile of mush, so he let my chin go but asked, “Can
I walk you home? I really don’t want you to have to walk home this
late at night alone.”

I quickly answered, “Oh, I don’t walk alone,
my roommate Chelsea is also in class and we walk home
together.”

He eyed me again and smiled. “Well, I could
be a gentleman and walk you both home. My mother would be ashamed
of me if I let two ladies walk home alone, and, my Southern manners
wouldn’t allow it.”

What could I say to that? I emphatically
nodded, and told him yes.

The rest of class was filled with smirks and
giggles. I can’t recall taking very many notes, or learning much of
anything, besides the fact that Jason Bradley thought I was hot
when I was filthy, and that he wanted me. I’m not sure that I would
classify him as Mr. Fuck Me Eyes, as Chelsea called him, but he had
a magnetism to him that had gotten under my skin in the most
uninvited, yet sensual way.

When our class ended, I gathered my things
and headed for the door, with Jason right behind me. Chelsea came
walking up with a smile so big I thought her face was going to
split in half. Right behind her was our friend Chase who came with
a look of inquiry.

“Hi, I’m Chelsea and you are?”

Jason flashed his boy next door smile and
politely answered, “I’m Jason… Jason Bradley.”

Chase reached out to hug me and Jason stepped
in front of him and shook his hand. His demeanor had changed and he
was no longer the friendly, boy next door, but instead a cold, and
aggravated alpha male. “Hi, I didn’t catch your name. I’m Jason.”
His tone was so dry I felt like the Sahara desert had more
moisture.

“I’m Chase, Chase Donahue, I am friends with
Cara and Chelsea.”

I nervously glanced over at Chelsea, hoping
she would end this stalemate that had somehow developed right
before my eyes, but instead she smiled and shook her head. I was on
my own.

Chase continued to speak, and I was inwardly
relieved because I felt the urge to just walk away. “Well, it was
nice to meet you Jason, but it’s late so we should get going
home.”

Jason burned Chase with his gaze, almost
accusatorily. “No need to worry about the ladies, I’ll get them
home Chase.”

“It’s okay man. I live three doors down from
them, I can walk with them.”

“Well, Cara has permitted me to walk her
home, so I want to make sure I do what the lady requests.”

Just before Chase could respond, his cell
phone rang and he took the call. He turned back to me and gave me
the thumbs up, asking if I was okay with that, and I nodded my
approval giving him the green light to leave this extraordinarily
uncomfortable situation.

We started our walk home, when Chelsea,
feeling the need to be Chelsea, took over the situation.

“So Jason, that’s a handsome little accent
you have there. Where are you from?”

“Texas. Heath, Texas to be precise.”

“Oh wow… why did you choose to come here for
school? Besides the fact that it’s California and at the
beach?”

“I just wanted something different.
California is California and has its appeal, so I wanted to check
it out.”

“Well, you certainly fit in here. That tan is
to die for.”

At that moment, I cringed. Chelsea was known
for being rather crass, but there really was no filter on her
mouth.

“Well thank you Chelsea. Back home, I lay out
by the lake, boat, fish… so I can keep this up and still look like
a California dream beau.” He laughed as he made the comparison.

“Well, you certainly have that part down.

Was Chelsea flirting with my guy? She had a
boyfriend of her own, but because I wouldn’t do it, she felt no
hesitation to do it for me. You’ve got to love Chelsea; she was
never one to stand for a dull moment. Her line of questioning
continued, on to a topic I would have rather forgotten.

“So what was up with Chase? You didn’t seem
to like him very much.”

Without even hesitating Jason looked at her
and smiled.

“What do you mean? We introduced ourselves
like gentlemen, and he went on his way.”

Chelsea looked at me, and as I shook my head,
hoping to get her to leave this alone, but she grinned and
continued. “Right Bradley, you two met like gentlemen my ass. That
was a machismo fest, and I rather enjoyed watching it.”

Jason laughed out loud and looked down at me.
“Did you think that was a machis whatever? I don’t think I have
ever heard that word.”

I looked at him, and smiled queasily.

“I’m not really sure.”

Chelsea, not one to listen to nonsense,
butted in again. “Come on Cara. If that wasn’t an awkward mess of
an introduction, I don’t know what was. Bradley here was staking a
claim.”

I looked at her with wild embarrassment and
wished that she would for once, just shut her mouth. Jason laughed
and looked at Chelsea snidely. “Maybe I was. I think Chase got the
message.”

At that moment, Chelsea beamed me her
biggest, I-told-you-so smile. I wanted to run from the both of
them, but Jason stared at me with a hungry gaze.

A few uncomfortable minutes later, we made it
to the steps of our apartment. I had never been so happy to be able
to walk into my home, my safe spot -- my comfort zone.

 

<>

When we stepped into the foyer, Mila, our
roommate was baking cookies, and listening to some atrocious hard
rock music. Chelsea walked into the living room, turned the radio
off and called for Mila.

Mila came walking into the living room,
wearing a bikini, which really shouldn’t have even been called
that. She was tall, half Japanese, and gorgeous. Her long, lustrous
black hair came down past her butt, giving her a hint of covering
that her bikini failed to do. She eyed Jason, smiled, and held out
her hand. “Hi handsome. I’m Mila, and you are?”

He took her hand, and in a very suave voice
responded. “I’m Jason… Jason Bradley.”

Chelsea witnessed my look of horror, and
couldn’t resist the urge to chime in. “Jason here wanted to escort
Cara home. I’m just the sidekick.”

Mila eyed me, and with a wink, went on
talking to Jason. “Well I figured you were here for Cara, since
Hunter wouldn’t love for you to swoop in on Chels.”

Jason gave a perturbed look and I finally
chimed into the conversation. “Hunter is Chelsea’s boyfriend. He
doesn’t go to school here, but he comes around often.”

Relaxing a bit, Jason nodded his head.
Chelsea spoke again, and gosh I wish she hadn’t. “Mila, you should
have seen Jason and Chase getting to know one another. It was quite
the show.”

Mila’s eyebrows rose rapidly showing her
intrigue in this newfound information. She was suddenly inclined to
speak as much as Chelsea. “What happened?”

Chelsea walked over and threw her arm around
my shoulders. “Jason was staking his claim. Chase didn’t know what
to make of it. And of course, our little Cara here was bashful
bear, and stayed silent the whole time.

All eyes shifted to me, as Mila began to
laugh. “Well, Jason, then you should know you did a good thing.
Chase has been pinning for Cara for the past two years, and just
doesn’t seem to get it that she isn’t interested.”

At that moment, my eyes darted to Jason, who
had gone from carefree to angry in a matter of seconds. Chelsea
sensed his mood shift and tried to ease the tension. “Nothing to
worry about there. Chase is a great guy, just not the guy for
Cara.”

For once in my life, I was glad that Chelsea
couldn’t keep her big mouth shut, because her words seemed to have
soothed Jason.

Mila gave me a look of approval and turned
back to Mr. Charming. “Well, it was nice meeting you Jason. I have
to finish my cookies and get in the shower, hot date tonight.”

Jason smiled and turned to me. “Where is your
room?

I blushed terribly. I wasn’t expecting that
question after my roommates and their shameless interaction with
him. “It’s right this way,” I said, as I led him down the hall
way.

I walked past Chelsea who playfully slapped
me on the ass yelling obscenities and whistling vociferously. I was
mortified so I hurried Jason into my room and shut the door.

 

<>

Jason roamed the room, taking in all of my
décor on the walls. Above my bed was a picture of a softball
diamond, with a ball in the pitchers circle. I had pictures of
myself, and a few with Chelsea and Mila. My family photos were over
by my desk in the left corner of the room, and eyeing them, Jason
got inquisitive. “Who is this in your photo?”

The picture was of me with me a slightly
tanned, beautiful Hispanic woman, standing in front of the Seattle
Space Needle on a beautiful, but rare, sunny day. “That’s my mom.

Jason nodded in approval then held up a
picture of a tall, well-built, blond male, holding me up on his
shoulders at a San Diego Padres game. “Who is this?”

“That’s my dad.”

He continued looking at my pictures, but
stopped at a photo of me and a tall blond hugging. He picked up the
picture, and with a look that screamed disapproval, and asked the
same question. I noticed his sudden mood shift and answered quickly
to alleviate the tension. “That’s my brother Ryan. My dad was
married before and he’s from his previous marriage.”

I’m not exactly sure why I had to provide
that explanation, but given the look of jealousy, I felt inclined
to make sure that Jason knew who Ryan was and that he was no
threat.

He continued skimming the walls of my room,
asking questions, and making small talk. I was suddenly
painstakingly aware that I still needed to shower so I grabbed my
towel, and tried to make Jason feel at home. “Um… the remote to the
TV is in the drawer on my night stand, and the remote to the radio
is on the desk. Feel free to make yourself at home.”

He smiled, grabbed the TV remote control, and
turned the TV on to a sports channel. He lay back on my queen size
bed, and nuzzled himself into the plethora of pillows that took up
a significant amount of space near the top. “What do you need this
incredibly large bed for; it’s just you sleeping in here.” I turned
cherry red and answered as quickly as I could.

“Well, I need space, so I need that large
bed," then I immediately grabbed my night clothes and rushed off to
the shower.

As I walked to the bathroom, Mila was walking
down the hallway, in a too short skirt, and a red halter top
hugging her very snugly. She stopped me to give me some friendly,
Mila advice. “Pinks… take the bull by the horn, and fuck the shit
out of this guy. He is HOT!”

I shook my head at her, and gave her my
consequential look, silently pleading with her to let it go. “Mila,
I just met him tonight. You’re bat shit crazy if you think I’m
going to sleep with him.”

“Well, I don’t know… that southern accent
might just charm you right out of your pants. “ She winked at me
and walked out of the apartment.

I made my way to the bathroom, got my shower
going, hopped in, and once again lost the ability to enjoy a bit of
privacy when Chelsea came barging in.

“Cara, I think you may have found a
winner.”

I tried to stifle my irritation with Miss. I
Need to Know Everything about You. “Why do you say that Chels?”

“Because, look at him. He is AMAZINGLY HOT,
“she yelled as if it was necessary, “and he is totally into you. I
told you he had been eyeing you with that come-fuck-me look.”

“Chels, I just met the guy. You and Mila are
crazy.”

“No, you are crazy if you think I am going to
watch you let this one slip through the cracks because you want to
let that shy personality of yours win out. Cara why can’t you see
how much of a catch you are and just go after him?”

I sighed loudly, and tried hard not to let
the exasperation come through in my voice. “Well, we’ll see what
happens, but I am not going to force anything. He is cute.” I
wanted to scold myself for that lie, because I knew he was more
than cute. “I’m just going to take my time… you and Mila have known
me long enough to know that I’m going to take my time, -- not rush
things.

Chelsea was awkwardly silent, and for a
moment I began to feel like she left the bathroom. I pulled the
shower curtain back to see her sitting on the counter, with a
devilish grin on her face. “Okay Cara, whatever you say. Like Mila
said, his southern drawl might charm you right out of your pretty
prudish little pants.” And with that, Chelsea made her exit.

I quickly shaved, washed my hair, and washed
the rest of my body before standing under the hot water --
thinking. What if this is the guy I have been waiting for? I’m
incredibly picky because I want a man like my dad: hardworking,
headstrong, loyal, compassionate, and incredibly handsome. I don’t
know if I’ll ever find that, and I am quite content to wait until I
feel like I’ve found a man with all of those qualities. I was only
21; did I really need to settle? I started to realize that I was
overthinking a very simple situation. Jason and I had just met. Who
was to say that we were even going to date? My kinky roommates just
wanted me to sleep with him because it was a notch in the
proverbial belt that they kept hidden away. I had only slept with
one person, and I had no intention of making it two, especially not
with a guy I barely even knew.

I shook my head and snapped back into
reality. I turned the water off, got out of the shower, and dried
off. I threw on a pair of black SSDU mesh shorts, and a white
camisole top. I grabbed whatever spray was readily available, only
caring that I no longer smelled like the softball field.

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