Read Red Flags Online

Authors: C.C. Brown

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

Red Flags (9 page)

“How did you get her number?”

He laughed as if I had just asked the most
absurd question. In all actuality, he was a very resourceful guy,
so this just might have been the most absurd question that he had
ever heard.

“Um, your phone. Not that difficult to get
into.”

I felt my blood start to boil, and I
unleashed it on him.

“Jason!” I was practically screaming. “You
took my fucking phone last night, and then you went in it this
morning without my permission. That’s a total lack of regard for my
privacy.”

“Why are you so mad? He said in a very
condescending tone. “There are no secrets between us Cara. I just
wanted to make sure that your roommates knew you were okay.”

I was seething. He could have very easily
left my phone alone last night and I could have done it myself, and
saved them the panic I’m sure they felt when they got no responses
from me.

“Jason, my phone is off limits. I need this
to make sure I can communicate, and I can’t have you dictating when
and how I use it.” I was actually impressed with myself for
conveying what I was thinking into words.

He had an impassive stare, and swiftly moved
over to where I was standing. I wasn’t sure what to make of his
actions, after yelling at him the way that I did.

He kissed me on the lips, and then stepped
back to look at me, his eyes searching mine.

“Cara, I will try to accommodate your wishes,
but it’s kind of hard for me. And, watch your mouth, it’s very
unladylike.”

How the hell did things get turned
around?

Jason took his phone out of his pocket and
told me that he was going to call his dad. I told him that I was
going to call mine so he stepped out of the room to give me some
privacy – how that word became so taboo, I had no clue.

 

<>

Speaking to my dad was pleasure and pain
mixed into one. He was so comforting at one moment, and the ever
present disciplinarian during the next. He expressed his extreme
displeasure at not being able to get in contact with me -- thankful
that Mila let them know that I was out and that I was okay -- so I
tried my best to appease him. I detailed for him the night I had on
Jason’s motorcycle, and the deafening silence prompted me to move
on to a much more pleasant topic. The details on the Shelby caught
his attention, and incited him to ask a ton of specification
questions that I could not answer. The talk of me learning to drive
the Shelby had my dad’s excitement level through the roof, and he
proceeded to tell me about his first time driving a Mustang back
when he was a teenager. I knew this would happen, so I just allowed
him to ramble. After being MIA all night, I felt obligated. I had
nearly given him a heart attack. Just as my dad started asking
questions about how Jason afforded all of his goods, Jason walked
back into the room; thank goodness, because I knew he didn’t want
to tell my parents just yet, and I didn’t want to be the one to
tell them. I hung up with my dad, feeling relieved that he wasn’t
completely furious with me; the last thing I ever wanted to do was
disappoint him.

“How was your conversation with your dad?”
Jason asked hesitantly. I assumed he sensed my dad’s frustrations
due to my earlier outburst.

“It was good. I told him about the
motorcycle, the Shelby, me driving it…”

His mouth gaped open, almost appalled that I
had spoken about those things.

“What did he say about the death machine?”
His voice was full of sarcasm.

I laughed, “He didn’t say anything, so I
wisely moved on the Shelby and my learning experience. He started
reminiscing about his old days when he drove his first Mustang,
blah blah blah.”

Jason laughed -- his carefree laugh.

“I’ll have to let your dad drive this one – I
bet he would fall in love with it.”

‘I’m sure he would. How was your conversation
with your dad?” I asked, hoping he would open up about his family a
little more.

“It was good. My dad’s a nosy son of a bitch,
so I filled him in on this girl I met, he approved.” He started
laughing again.

“Why are you laughing? Did you really tell
him?”

“Of course I did. He gave me his same line;
If I’m happy, he’s happy for me. I haven’t had a girl make me happy
in a while, so he figures you must a good one.”

I suddenly felt victorious, and I hadn’t even
met his dad. But just then, it crossed my mind that he spoke to his
mom earlier in the morning, and he hadn’t said anything about her.
Any girl knows that dads are okay with their son’s mates – moms are
who you have to go through.

“What about your mom?”

He looked up, almost startled. “My mom is
happy. She said she can’t wait to meet you.”

He gave me a reassuring smile, and then told
me that he was going for a swim, and that I was free to join
him.

I didn’t really feel like swimming so I put
my swim suit on, but decided to layout while he swam.

Jason insisted that he rub sunblock all over
me, and I insisted on doing the same for him. He looked amazing in
his trunks, and had excellent dive form as he dove into the pool. I
smiled, put my sunglasses on, lay back, and just enjoyed the sweet
San Diego sun.

I must have fallen asleep, because when I
woke up, Jason was lying next to me, soaking in the rays. I batted
my eyes, trying to adjust to the sunlight, and smiled innocently at
him.

“I could have drowned and you would not have
known,” he said, smirking at me.

“Well, then you shouldn’t swim alone.”

“I tried to get you to swim with me, but you
would rather fall asleep on the lounge chair instead.” He was
pretty playful, and I wondered where it was coming from.

“What’s up with you? You’re in an
exceptionally good mood – this didn’t come from your swim,”

“Well, if you must know. I’m excited because
I get to take you shopping.”

I looked at him utterly confused. “Why are
you taking me shopping?

“Because, we’re going out tonight, and you
don’t have clothes here.”

“Well, we are only 20 minutes from my
apartment, let’s just drive there, and I can get dressed.”

“No. This is a special occasion for me, and I
want to take you shopping – end of discussion.”

The tone in his voice signaled an endgame on
the conversation. He was set on taking me shopping and arguing my
point would be an utter waste of time. I went along with whatever
he had planned.

“What are these plans? Where are we
going?”

He smiled while standing up to stretch. “We
are going out with your friends tonight to Wranglers.”

A smile spread across my face. Wranglers was
a cool, little trendy country nightclub in San Diego. For some
reason, I had only been a few times, but I really enjoyed myself
each time.

“When did you plan this?”

“Well, while you snoring on my lounger…” I
sneered at him, “Mila texted me and asked if we wanted to go out
tonight, so we thought of this. I love Wranglers, so off we go."
And with that, he swooped me off of the lounger, and briskly walked
me into the bedroom to put some clothes on.

 

<>

The Shelby felt very different from the
passenger seat. Jason was an expert in that car, and he was very
much in his element shifting the gears ever so fluidly. The top was
down, and the wind was blowing through my messy hair. I felt so
carefree, but still had no idea where we were going for
clothes.

Our first stop was to a small little boot
shop. Jason peered over to me as we pulled in, and smiled his ever
so beautiful All –American boy smile. Leave it to the Texas boy to
know exactly where this place was. He unfastened my seatbelt, and
then, without even opening his door, hopped out of the car and came
around to my side to open my door. He was overly excited, and I
couldn’t help but match his enthusiasm.

When we entered the store, we were greeted by
an overzealous young male salesman. He was about Jason’s height,
blond hair, green eyes, had a killer smile, and looked to be right
around Jason’s age. He beamed his smile in my direction and I saw
Jason’s face immediately go cold.

“Hi, welcome to Boot Farm, anything I can
help you find?”

Jason glowered at him and coldly answered,
“No.”

The temperature in the building dropped to
artic levels, and to cut the tension in the air, I tried to
reciprocate the warm greeting from the salesman.

“Um… we’re just browsing, but I’ll let you
know if I need help with anything.”

“No problem. My name is Dave if you need
anything.”

“Thank you Dave.”

I turned to Jason, who was squeezing my hand
and pulled him in the direction of the women’s boots. His sudden
and erratic reaction to other guys being around me was starting to
make my head spin.

“Jason, I have boots at home.”

Still in his sulky mood, he huskily answered,
“Ok, but we aren’t going down that way right now, so just pick out
some since we’re already here.”

I turned to look for something that caught my
eye, but there were so many, I didn’t even know where to start.

“Do you want black or brown?” He asked, aware
that we would be in the store forever if it were left up to me.

“Definitely brown,” I answered
enthusiastically.

He pointed at some, but none of them caught
my eye – until he picked up a pair with a leaf pattern stitched
into the front. My eyes lit up when he pointed to them.

Before I could say anything, Jason walked
over to get Dave. His icy gaze was back, and the two of them were
walking back together, in a very awkward silence.

I handed Dave the boot I was looking for and
informed him that I needed a size seven. He nodded, and quickly
scampered off to the stock room to get my boots.

“Hey, why are you being so rude to Dave?”

He looked at me with a look of surprise.
“Dave? First name basis now?”

“That’s his name, what do you want me to call
him?”

“I don’t know – the salesman.”

“Jason, that’s ridiculous. He already told us
his name, so I’m using it.”

He ran his hand over his face then looked at
me.

“Fuck that guy. He was eyeing you from the
second we walked in here, acting like I wasn’t even with you. I
wanted to punch him.”

I was shocked and a little appalled at how
angry he was at the salesman for doing his job. Not once did I feel
like he was inappropriate, but Jason was in a mood, so I didn’t
even go any further with the conversation.

Dave returned a few minutes later with my
boots. I tried them on, and after staring at my booted foot in the
mirror at every possible angle, I decided they were the ones.

“Will these be all?”

I nodded and smiled. For some reason, being
friendly was irking Jason’s nerves, but I didn’t care, I was not
going to be rude on the premise that this guy wanted me.

“Ok, your total is $161.29.”

My mouth dropped to the floor. Who in the
hell pays this for a pair of boots? Without hesitation, Jason
pulled out his credit card and driver’s license and handed them to
Dave. He bagged up my overpriced boots, handed them to me with a
smile, and I returned the act. Jason rolled his eyes, and led me
out of the store.

I was beyond annoyed by his behavior in Boot
Farm, and I contemplated making his mood worse by expressing my
feelings. After a few silent minutes, I decided it was best to say
what was on my mind. “Jason,” I had to yell over the roar of the
wind being blown as we drove down the highway. “You were ridiculous
in there.”

He looked at me through the top of his
sunglasses, and then turned back to the focus on the road.

“Jason, that was so rude of you, what
happened to your Southern manners?” I knew that would get his
attention.

“I kept my manners, I didn’t punch that
fuckin’ guy did I?”

“Jason, that’s not keeping your manners,
that’s…” and then words failed me.

“He might as well have asked you for your
phone number, and shit, you probably would have given it to
him.”

I gaped at him, shocked by the absurdity of
what he'd just said.

“Cara, its one thing if these fuckin’ guys
flirt with you, but don’t flirt back.”

"I did not flirt with him; I was being
courteous, since you were making the entire situation completely
awkward.”

“Good, he should have taken the hint.”

He just didn’t get it, and I wasn’t going to
yell my case to try and make him figure it out. We continued the
drive and stopped at a cute little boutique. I didn’t wait for him
to come around to open my door, which bothered him, but he took my
hand – gently, anyway.

“How do you know about this place?” I asked
curiously.

“I get my hair cut a few doors down, and I
always see it, figured you’d like this stuff.”

His obvious lack of knowledge on women’s
clothing made me smile – this stuff.

The store, Fiona’s, was very welcoming. The
walls were a light shade of pink, with dark brown stenciling of the
boutique’s name. A young blond girl greeted us as we walked in and
after telling her what I was looking for; she led us in the right
direction. Jason was noticeably happier in this store.

I picked out a pair of frayed denim shorts, a
sheer lavender top, a brown leather belt, and a white tank top. I
wanted to vomit when the blond girl told us that the grand total
was $221.16. I would never purchase four things for that price, and
was a bit uncomfortable with Jason doing it. He didn’t think twice
about it.

Once we were in the car, my phone beeped with
a text message from Chelsea.

 

from Chels

*Hey, we will be at Jason’s around 6… again, I’m
sorry about last night.*

 

They would be at Jason’s? I immediately
texted her back.

 

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