Read Red Flags Online

Authors: C.C. Brown

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

Red Flags (5 page)

Jason told me to stay put and that he would
bring the truck to me. When I looked up, I saw a very large, silver
F-150 Raptor Edition. The truck looked like it was worth a million
bucks with the massive lift job, the dark tinted windows, and
chrome strategically placed on the exterior. For someone who only
got what he worked for, and only being a student, I had to go with
Chelsea and call bullshit on Jason doing okay. He was doing more
than okay, he was living it up. He jumped out of the truck, took my
gear, tossed it in the back, and went around and opened my door. I
took notice of my dad watching Jason's every move, like a hawk. He
seemed impressed because he had a slight grin on his face, which
was normally non-existent when potential boyfriends were
around.

"Meet you up there dad," I casually said,
just to show him that I still somewhat needed him.

The inside of his truck was equally as
impressive as the outside. There were temperature controlled seats,
numerous television screens, rear view cameras, and many more
gadgets that I was sure required tutorials to operate.

"Impressive truck!" My voice was so full of
excitement I could hardly contain it.

"Oh this old thing?" Jason said, playing coy.
He knew full well that his truck was an impressive piece of
machinery. "Where do you want to go and eat?"

"I have no clue, wasn't planning to go out to
eat after the game."

"Well, there is no way that your family is
here and I don't take advantage of getting to spend time with
them."

His cell phone rang, and a picture of a blond
female popped up on the screen. He immediately ignored the call,
and my curiosity piqued.

"Who was that?"

"No one important," He ran his hand over his
face. "What kind of food do you like? I have a few places in mind
as far as food, but I want to know what you’re interested in."

I took a minute, and decided on Woody’s
Pizza; it wasn't far from campus, and it wasn’t some overly
expensive place to eat either.

 

<>

Back at our apartment, Mila strolled in with
Ryan following closely behind. He asked her if she wanted to come
out to eat with us. I shot her the look of death, hoping she would
pick it up and decline. Luckily, she did. I love Mila, but her need
to be totally inappropriate at the most inopportune times had me
nervous and sketchy with my parents. Chelsea came walking through
the door with Hunter. I’m not sure where he came from since he
hadn’t made it to the games this morning. Jason was much friendlier
with him this time around, but still eyed him cautiously.

My mom, being the woman she is, asked Chelsea
and Hunter if they’d like to join us, and I gave her the same stare
that I gave Mila. She picked it up and made up some story about her
and Hunter going out on a date. Whew! I felt like a couple of
bullets had been dodged with Mila and Chelsea staying out of the
way. Those girls were all sorts of inappropriate and they’d have no
problems displaying their atrocious behavior when they deemed
necessary. I wanted to keep my rendezvous with Jason a secret from
my parents, and somehow, having those two around, I was certain it
would come out.

I showered, got out and tamed my mop with
some mousse and hairspray--making sure to keep my hair curly
because I knew how much Jason liked it. I wandered into my bedroom,
praying the conversation in the living room was one that was
amicable. Skinny jeans, my red strapless top, and Rainbow sandals
seemed appropriate for Woody’s -- after all, it was a college
hangout. A spritz of perfume and a light touch of lip gloss and I
was ready to go.

Me excitement to ride in Jason's truck
bordered on juvenile, but I couldn’t contain it. The truck excited
me in so many ways. Not only was it brand new, but Jason looked
even more delicious driving it—as if that were even possible. My
parents and Ryan followed behind us, and I had questions about what
took place while I was in the shower and getting ready to go.

"So, what were you and my family talking
about while I was showering?"

"Some secrets can't be told Cara," he gave a
wicked grin while keeping his eyes on the road ahead.

"Jason! Seriously! As you can see, having you
around my parents is nerve wracking for me. What did you guys
discuss?"

"Well, if you must know, we talked about
y'all. They were telling me how long you’ve been playing ball, why
you chose SSDU, and just them. Nothin’ to get rattled about." He
paused for a moment and glanced over at me. "Why are you so nervous
about me being around your parents? Do you think I’m going to tell
our big secret?"

I looked deep into his eyes, and could see
the hurt. "No. Of course not. I am just…" I struggled to find the
right words, trying desperately not to offend him. "… just hoping
to always have my parents' approval, so I want to make sure things
go smoothly, that’s all."

"Cara, you can't always seek out your
parents' approval, especially at 21." His voice was laced with
irritation.

"Well, I know that, but it's not that easy
for me. They worry about me, and I want to do my part to alleviate
that stress for them. Can you please understand that?"

He looked at me with wearisome eyes, and I
knew he thought my reluctance to have him around my parents was
personal.

A few moments later we arrived at Woody’s.
Jason took my hand and looked deep into my eyes.

"Cara, I know we are very new, but I don't
want any secrets between us. You need to trust me, and I need to be
able to do the same."

I sensed tears welling up in my eyes, so to
lighten the load I referred back to his earlier statement.

"I thought some secrets couldn't be told?" I
gave him a smile, and he kissed my hand.

 

<>

Woody’s was buzzing with people. It was a
Friday afternoon, and the college scene was out in full force.
There were televisions broadcasting baseball and basketball games,
beer flowing and pizza being inhaled by the slice. We took a table
near the back and Jason immediately ordered three pitchers of
beer.

Ryan and Jason seemed to have warmed up to
one another, and I learned something new about my Southern gent; he
was the same age as my big brother. Call it backwards dating, but
that was exactly what it was -- fuck first, learn miniscule things
about one another later. Jason told my family that he had no desire
to go to college straight out of high school, so he waited a few
years, and now, at 26, he was finally going to graduate with his
Bachelor of Arts in Business Accounting. My dad stared
inquisitively while downing beer and I feared that the machine was
about to be turned on – and sadly, I wasn’t wrong.

"So Jason, what were you doing in the
meantime, while you were out of school?"

Jason finished his beer, and without batting
an eye, calmly answered, "I worked for my family's business.
Learning from the ground level. That’s what pushed me into
accounting."

I stared at him in pure amazement. He had
managed to give an honest answer, without revealing too much about
himself. On the other hand, he hadn't been completely honest with
my dad, but I knew he didn’t want to throw who he was in my dad’s
face, and since my dad seemed to be clueless about it, it was fine
as it stood.

"So what do you plan to do with your
degree?"

"I’ll be going back to work for my dad on an
accounting level."

My dad nodded in approval, but that didn’t
stop the barrage of questions he seemed to have lined up for
Jason.

"You said you are from Texas…"

"Yes sir."

"So does that mean you plan to move back to
Texas at the end of the school year?"

Holy shit! In our wild, lustrous pursuit, I
had failed to ask any real substantive questions.

"I’m not really sure sir. I can pretty much
do that job from anywhere, so wherever I’m at in life at that point
is where I’ll go and make home."

He looked at me with a big smile on his face,
and I could see Ryan gag. My mom was just gazing at Jason with a
preposterous look of delight in her eyes.

Our pizza arrived at the table and everyone
dug in. I was actually able to relax, now that we seemed to have to
made it through my dad’s inquisition. The table talk definitely
reminded me that I needed to find out more about Jason, but in the
moment, I was finally able to breathe.

Chapter 3

I was excited that dinner went well, but was
still a bit puzzled as to why Jason was so vague with my dad. I
knew in order to answer my dad the way I would have liked would
have meant that Jason would have had to speak about his excessive
wealth, and I knew he wasn’t comfortable with that. I guess I
should have been satisfied that the conversation actually took
place. On the other hand, I was lectured just before dinner about
not keeping secrets. I thought Jason should be held to the same
standards.

I loved spending time with my parents and
even though they didn’t live that far away, I didn’t see them as
often as I would have liked. I hugged my mom, Ryan, and my dad. My
dad had me in what felt like an eternal hold. “Cars, good seeing
you love… Jason is a nice guy, but we still need to talk!” He
emphasized the word and I knew there was so much that he wanted to
say, but refrained. My dad was not a man to take things at face
value, and when he said it, I knew he meant it. I gave him a quick
kiss on the cheek, and turned back to Jason, waving goodbye to my
parents as they drove away.

Jason opened my door and just as I was
getting into the truck, my cell phone rang.

“Hey Chels, what’s up?”

“Hey, how was dinner with Jason and the
fam?”

“We’re just leaving, and it went well.”

Jason knew I was speaking about him meeting
my parents, and he gave me the inquisitive eyebrow.

“Who’s that?” he whispers.

I placed my hand over the mouth piece and
whispered back, “Chels.”

He told me to put my phone on the phone dock
so that she could be heard on speaker.

“Hey Chelsea, dinner was good, her parents
love me. What else can I answer?”

“Um, nothing Bradley. I was asking Cara, but
since you jumped on the phone, I guess I will tell you too.” She
paused because Jason was laughing at her bothered attitude.
“Anyway, Hunter and I are going to Gaslamp to have a few drinks and
wanted you two to tag along.”

I immediately lit up. “Sure, we will be back
in about 10 minutes.”

“Ok, perfect! See ya in a bit.”

I hung up the call and turned to a stern
faced Jason. He was all of a sudden very quiet and the only thing
keeping a sense of normalcy in the truck was the radio playing in
the background.

“Gaslamp?” He finally moved his lips to
speak.

“Yeah, why not? What’s wrong?”

“I don’t really want to share you tonight. I
wanted us to have a night alone.”

“Well, we have the whole weekend Jason, why
can’t we go and hang out tonight?” I was justifiably perturbed that
he was sulking.

“Cara, I just wanted to spend some alone time
with my girlfriend tonight, that’s all.”

I stopped and stared at him -- my mouth
dropped. Did he just call me his girlfriend? How did we get here so
quickly?

“Girlfriend?” I asked silently.

He looked at me, eyes full of worry, “Yes.
We’ve gone as far as a couple can go, and I met your parents – what
else would you be to me?

I didn’t answer right away. This was moving
rapidly and it scared me a bit. I looked over at him, weary of what
to say, and how to say it.

“Um, I just didn’t know we were on this path
so soon.”

He looked at me, eyes wide and full of panic.
“Cara, when it’s right, its right – and tonight, I’m just not
interested in sharing you.”

I’m wasn’t really sure what to say, so I
didn’t say anything and we just rode in the truck in silence,
nothing on except for a sweet melodic country song playing on the
radio.

 

 

 

<>

We arrived at the apartment, and Jason came
around to my side to open my door. I stepped out of the truck, and
without looking at him, walked up to the door. He came running
behind me, and put his hand on the small of my back.

“Hey, why are you so quiet?”

I turned to look at him, not exactly sure of
my emotions at the moment.

“I just don’t know what to say.”

“Why don’t you say you are going to make me
happy and spend the night with me?”

I turned and unlocked the door, walked in,
and found Chelsea and Hunter sitting in the kitchen laughing.

Chelsea turned to me, with an empty bottle of
wine next to her and gave me her biggest, brightest
I’m-already-drunk smile. She was unbearably inappropriate when she
had been drinking, and I could feel the temperature in the room
rise.

“Hey Cara,” she yelled. “Go get your heels on
so we can go.”

I looked from her to Jason, who had a stale
look on his face.

“We won’t be joining you tonight, but thanks
for the invite.”

Chelsea turned to look at me, then back at
Jason. I started to fidget; she sensed her moment and pounced.

“What do you mean you aren’t joining us? Cara
said you guys were. What happened?”

Jason didn’t back down to Chelsea’s alcohol
fueled tantrum.

“We have our own plans; Cara will be staying
with me at my place tonight. Go and enjoy your night Chelsea.”
There was authority in his voice, and Hunter stepped in.

“Chels, let them have their night, we will
hang out another time.”

She eyed Jason, then looked back at me.
“Thanks for ditching me Cara.”

I looked at Jason who gave nothing away in
his expression. He walked into my room and left me in the kitchen
with an angry Chelsea and an antsy Hunter.

“Chels, I wanted to go, but Jason insisted
that we have a night to ourselves. You understand how that is.”

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