Read Red Flags Online

Authors: C.C. Brown

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

Red Flags (27 page)

We made our way down to the lobby and stopped
in the attached café to grab bottles of water. I looked at my
phone, wondering if I should text him back. Chelsea must have read
my mind because she snatched it and sent a text back to him.

 

 

to Jason Bradley

*Who the hell are you telling you love them to? I
never sent that to you.*

 

A minute went by and my phone buzzed
again.

 

from Jason Bradley

*OMG. You need to calm down. I’m coming to see you.
That was my MOM!*

 

I immediately felt petty. He was allowed to
text his mom, since he didn’t see her much. Chelsea on the other
hand wasn’t buying his story. She took out her phone and texted
Hunter, since he was in the truck with Jason. She quickly got a
reply but still wasn’t satisfied.

“Hunter says he doesn’t know who Jason is
texting. It’s all by voice, he thought he was texting you.” She ran
her fingers through her long hair and rolled her eyes. I didn’t
know what to think. I knew he was coming all this way to be here
with me, but the text didn’t make sense. Then he said it was his
mother, so I resigned myself to just accept it.

We hurried to the meeting room to go over
curfew for the night, meeting time in the morning, game time, and
pre game procedures. My and Chelsea’s parents had made it and
dinner had been planned at a steakhouse not far from the hotel. I
wondered about Ryan, but my mom told me that he was coming with the
Nakamura’s, since he got off work late.

The meeting ended and we raced back to our
rooms. My excitement for Jason to be there had just about
diminished. I just wanted to stay focused for our upcoming game,
and his latest slip had my attention all but where it should have
been.

In the lobby, my parents, the Peters, Hunter,
and Jason were all waiting for us. Chelsea hurried to hug her
parents, and then buried herself in Hunter. Jason grabbed me in his
arms, lifting me off the ground. He kissed me softly, probably
because my dad’s eyes were burning through us, and I half-heartedly
reciprocated it. We began the short trek to the parking lot, when
Jason stopped, threw the keys to Hunter, and held me in front of
him. Chelsea walked with a half grin, but kept walking to the
truck. Jason turned me to face him, his face stern, and anger
brewing under his skin.

“I drove all the way out here to see you and
this is what I get?” I looked down, but he caught my chin in his
hand and brought my eyes to meet his. I could see anger, and worry
in his beautiful brown eyes. “I don’t want anything throwing us off
while we’re in Vegas Cara, so knock it off. Your dad was blazin’ my
back side when I went to greet you. Do you want to spend the entire
time we’re here having to explain shit?” I shook my head, and he
took my hand and led me to the truck.

The drive to the steakhouse felt like an
eternity due to the enormous amount of tension filling the truck.
Jason and I were dealing with our nonsense, Chelsea was boiling
inside at Jason, and Hunter was simply trying to enjoy the
ride.

Ryan and the Nakamura’s had finally arrived
and Mila was floating on cloud nine. Her incessant public displays
of affection with Ryan were making me queasy and not wanting to
finish my dinner. The table was light hearted, with quick wit,
storytelling, and joy filling every inch. My earlier angst with
Jason had subsided, but in no way diminished.

We left the steakhouse and drove back to the
hotel with plans to meet up at the pool. I slipped into the
all-white bikini that Jason had bought for me. Chelsea and I went
down to the pool, leaving Mila up in the room. She and Hunter
jumped into the pool, while Jason and I dipped into the spa. I
could smell whiskey on his breath as he threw himself all over me.
His eyes were gleaming with excitement at the sight of seeing me in
the bikini, so I figured if he was drunk, and enamored, then now
was as good a time as any to pry into his dealings.

“So you love this bikini huh?”

“Love it? Shit, I can’t wait to rip it off of
you, I have a mind to do it right here.” His eyes lustful while his
voice filled with southern drawl.

I laughed, but pushed his hands back, because
in his inebriated state, I was sure he would try to make good on
his promises. He kissed me hard, so hard in fact that our teeth
collided and I had to shake him off. He grabbed me -- splashing
water, and thrust his hand down into my bottoms, cupping my butt,
while circling his tongue all around my mouth. Out of fear of
someone seeing us, as well as my dire longing to talk to him, I
found the strength to push myself away from him, which only
irritated him.

“Damn Cara. You’re such a tease.” He dropped
his head under the water, and then came up, wiping the excess water
from his face. I decided that I wouldn’t back down and proceeded
with my questions.

“Jason, stop. I need to know who you were
texting earlier.” Aggravation filled his face, and he took a deep
breath.

“I told you, it was my Mom. Mama, mother,
mommy, mamaw, how many ways do you want me to say it?” He threw
more water over his face.

“I just don’t know if I buy that.” I moved
slightly as he moved swiftly in front of me, close enough for me to
feel his warm, whiskey filled breath.

“I came to Vegas to be with you. Why do you
think I want anyone else?” The flood gates of my mind opened, every
thought I had been harboring came boiling to the surface, and I
could no longer contain my constant frustrations.

“Well, for starters, you are the most
secretive person I know. You leave me, go home, don’t call, come
back and expect everything to be fine. I find out about your ex-
fuck buddy, girlfriend – whatever she was to you, and then she says
you two saw each other while you were home.” He listened,
impassively. “She is all over the place with your family, I still
have no fucking clue why you went home, and now, you text me with I
love you too, even though I never initiated the I love you…” I
stopped to catch my breath, yelling was so out of character for
me.

He stared at me, with a look that could burn
holes through my body. I didn’t look away, adrenaline coursing
through me and I started up again, this time trying to contain the
yelling that was sure to draw unwanted attention. “I don’t give a
shit that you drove out here Jason, there is something going on, I
feel it, I feel it in my bones. If you want Stacey, why are playing
these games? Just let me go and go back to her. She is more than
willing to have you.”

I sat, panting as the jets turned on and hot,
steaming water began to bubble around me. It matched my mood
perfectly. Jason stood, saying nothing, and walked over to me. He
grabbed my hands kissed them, then got out of the spa, and walked
over to the cabana. He wrapped himself in his towel, and pulled out
a flask. He turned to look back at me, taking a long sip from the
flask and said, “Watch your mouth,” then walked out, leaving me
alone.

 

<>

I barely slept a wink the night before. I
tried desperately to keep the tossing and turning to a minimum, so
as not to wake Chelsea; I didn’t need her interrogation on top of
everything else. I checked my phone to see if Jason called, or
texted throughout the night -- no such luck. I was expecting a
groveling apology from him, but of course it did not come.

We dressed and headed down to the vans to
make our way to LVU for our allotted practice time. I planned to
throw every ounce of anger and energy that I could find into these
two hours, and rid myself of the disaster that was last night.

Mila was in the best of moods, on the phone
at eight in the morning, laughing and speaking quite animatedly.
Chelsea had her ear plugs in, and sat back, trying to ignore the
conversation that Mila was desperately wanting all of us to hear.
The conversation was all one-sided, but at the end I heard her say,
“love ya too,” and she hung up. I tapped her on the shoulder,
speaking directly to her for the first time really since we had
been in Vegas.

“Have you talked to Jason at all?” I asked,
hoping she would be honest. Their budding friendship had left me a
bit squeamish.

“No. Why?”

“Just wondering,” I lied, “I know you guys
have become friends -- that’s all.”

She looked at me inquisitively, but shook her
head, and turned back around. Things couldn’t get any weirder with
her.

Practice was exhilarating. My bullpens were
exceptional, my sprints were timed the fastest that I have ever run
them, and my cage hitting was superb. I kept imagining Stacey’s
face as the ball, when in all actually, it should have been
Jason’s. I kept telling myself he was the one in a relationship
with me, not her, but I couldn’t bring myself to want to physically
hurt him. I checked my phone again, but had no messages from Jason.
I really didn’t want to ask Chelsea anything about Hunter because
she would start asking questions, but my curiosity got the best of
me and I did it anyway.

“Chels, have you heard from Hunter this
morning?”

“Yeah. I was waiting for you to ask me.”

“So…” I allowed her to provide an answer
before I could even finish the question.

“Jason went back to the room last night, with
a new bottle of Jack in his hands. Hunter said he was pissy drunk
by the time he got to the room anyway. He was going on and on about
women and the bullshit that comes with them, yada yada ya.” She
sighed heavily, sounding overly annoyed with the story. “He said
after he finished about half of that bottle of Jack, he passed out
on the bed, and when he woke up this morning, Jason was gone.”

I gasped. “Gone? Like, he left Hunter
here?”

“No, his stuff is still there, but he was
gone, and he hasn’t seen or heard from him at all. What happened
when we left?”

I rolled my eyes. This was so typical of him.
Things get rough, and he leaves. I tried to bite back the wrath in
my voice, but it’s wasn’t easily containable. “He didn’t want to
talk last night; he just wanted to have sex. I made him listen to
me, and he got mad, and left.”

“Ok Cara, you are going to have to be a bit
more specific. What did you say?”

This was exactly what I didn’t want, to have
to lay out the details. I sighed and told her anyway. “I told him
he’s too secretive, too much goes unanswered and that I needed
answers. I laid out everything, and he had nothing to say in
return.” My irritation was growing and I rolled my eyes. “He got
out of the spa, and left me there.” She shook her head, but her
face gave off the impression that she wasn’t surprised. I
continued, “I even brought up Stacey. I told him if he wanted her
to just let me go.” This perked her interest.

‘What did he say to that?”

“Nothing,” I yelled, and immediately covered
my mouth, for fear of everyone around us hearing our
conversation.

“What a prick. I don’t know Cara, I don’t
want to tell you to leave him… but you need to figure out if you’re
cut out for this. I miss my shy little carefree friend. Chase is
waiting, food for thought.”

I didn’t even protest. I just sat back in the
van and took the ride back to the hotel in silence. Chelsea did
have a point, not about Chase, but about me and handling this
situation with Jason. My eyes began to burn as I tried desperately
to fight back the tears that were trying to escape. I sniffled, and
closed my eyes, hoping it would all fade away.

Chapter 13

Later that evening, we all split and went our
separate ways. Chelsea and Hunter went off to sightsee with her
parents, but I was stuck with Mila, and her parents. Our families
decided to take in a magic show. We all piled into my dad’s SUV and
headed out, sans Jason. My parents looked around with mild
curiosity on their faces when I came down without him, but kept
quiet. I was grateful, because I was in no mood to answer any
questions. He and I had still not spoken, or even communicated
since last night after I yelled at him and he left. The thought
crossed my mind that he could have left and left all of his
belongings here. He was worth millions, what was a few hundred
dollars worth of clothing. I shook my head, trying to get the
depressing thoughts out. My parents were excited about the show so
I was determined to have a good time.

Just as we were entering the venue, Mila
grabbed me by the arm and ushered the rest of our families in. “Why
are you so down in the dumps Pinks?” She smiled brightly; I assumed
trying to cheer me up.

“What? I’m fine, what makes you say that?” I
lied.

“Um, let’s see. You were restless last
night…” my eyes grew big, and she smiled, “yes, I noticed. And, you
were an animal at practice. Don’t get me wrong, I love that part,
but it was in overdrive. And now, you’re all mopey. In case you
haven’t noticed, you don’t hide things well.” She was absolutely
right, but I wasn’t about to let her know that.

“Well, I’m fine Mila.” I tried to rush by
her, but she stopped me.

“Don’t get carried away about Jason. He
hasn’t done anything wrong. He was wakeboarding all day -- needed
to blow some steam.”

I was fuming. Why did Mila know this and I
hadn’t even had the courtesy of a phone call?

“Why do you know his whereabouts? Why are you
two all of a sudden so close?”

“Excuse me? He and I have been friends and
you know that. Furthermore, he was so angry at himself last night,
that he pushed you to the brink that he just wanted to give you
some space.”

“So calling you was the way to go. Wow, you
two are unbelievable.”

“Us two? He texted me and told me you two had
a fight and that he was pissed with himself.”

“So why are you asking why I’m so down in the
dumps. Apparently, you know more concerning my relationship than I
do.” I pushed past her, bumping arm as I walked by. I stomped into
the theater and took my seat next to Ryan, Mila joining on the
other side. Ryan looked at me with concern, but I shook him off,
and focused on enjoying the show.

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