SL #43: Care for romance?

"I .. uh, what is that?"
He looked at me with a come-on-look. "Any bets?"
I fidgeted on the sofa and couldn't help but lean away from Jake.
"Got cold feet?" he asked, his eyes sparking in a weird way in the dark, leaned on the back of the sofa and took a sip.

I bit my lip. "I .. just don't..."
"Ah, ole c'mon, I'm just kidding," he smiled at me brightly.
I, on the other hand, smiled unsteadily in aswer.



As all Caroline's girl friends were still on the floor, I didn't think she had gone wandering somewhere. She wouldn't have done that as they would have started looking for her. So she had to do something they had approved.
Jake, a thought came into my mind. Oh no, why?

After scanning the dance floor blow-by-blow, I realized that previously mentioned person wasn't there either, though he had impressed everyone with his break dance skills.

Could Caroline have gone somewhere with Jake? Jake could be a player, though, but...
And then I saw some movement upstairs of the "club". Thanks to the lenses, I could easily see that those I was looking for were there.
And Jake handed Caro a can...

So we just can't go without being criminal, huh?
However, I couldn't do anything bad. I had to admit that despite everything, Jake was quite good and important part of the mafia, so I couldn't lay my hand on him. Moreover, getting rid of him would cause quite a few problems...

Okay, let's take the easier path.
I had to get Zack's phone. Trust me, in a situation like this it was easier than taking a candy from a baby.
'Specially if you look at those children nowadays...

And as called, Zack was there. You could see he had been drinking and arm-in-arm was someone from the other class. In his other hand I could see the wanted IPhone.
Ugh, over rated.

Zack sank on the sofa next to me, pulling the blonde bimbo on his lap.
Please don't tell me they're gonna... Thanks. I love you so much.
By itself, the view wan't exactly nice, but it freed both of Zack's hands, so the phone slipped next to me, unnoticeable to him.

Only ask and you'll get anything.
Luckily, Zack was busy enough not to notice how I sent Jake the message - I asked him to go to the farthest part of the ship aka as far from Caro as possible -, delete it from the phone and put the phone back. I looked up and saw, for my pleasure, how Jake more likely tried to explain to Caro that he has "things to do".
Just like me last year, I recalled. You my poor girl.

After some time Jake skipped down the stairs - doing these weird bouncing steps of his - and disappeared in the door.
Mission completed. Nice job, Jason.

Only that when I looked up again and saw Caroline pouting, her elbows on knees and head resting between her hands, I felt bad and slightly guilty as well. I hadn't had any intention to make her sad. Even if she didn't know how not healthy Jake was for her.
And who do you think you are to judge who is right and who is wrong for her? Like you are some kind of saint, who never hurts her. Already forgot her face when she saw you with Analeigh in the hallway?

The depression kicked in for me, too. Hurting Caro would always cause that. I turned face with a sad face at her and noticed that she didn't sit alone upstairs anymore, but came down the steps to exit the hall.
Being the bastard you are, hurting her through other people, go after her at least, something whispered in my mind. It could have been subconsciousness or clear thinking, for instance.  I'm not sure. But I'm sure enough it was right that time.



Sick bastards. Why would always those I have zero interest in - even going down the scale to negative - hit on me and want to date? Some kind of bother it is...
I needed fresh air as soon as possible, though, stepping on the deck at night, I felt goosebumps on my arms as the on the sea the breeze is strong.
I should have taken a jacket with me... Ah, doesn't matter much.

I climbed on the bench, setting the legs underneath and looked in the night sky, where for my big pleasure, full moon shined. I know it was weird, but after watching a TV show "h2o - just add water" I had this full moon - and just moon - cult. It was just so amazing! That magical bright disc in the dark night sky and...


Third person point of view

"Are you following me?" So nice, Jason. Firstly, it sounded totally hostile, moreover, like a total bullshit.
You really can't leave me alone, huh? I'm an eyesore for you even here?! "Hello to you, too, Jason. What do you mean?"
"Well, I just was to go for a walk and you happened to be in the exact place and..." Facepalm, Jason. You're just such a loser.

"Had it been two days ago, the answer would have been likely or I guess so,"
Jason opened his mouth and then closed again - he hadn't expected an answer like this from Caro.
Bracing up, he asked: "And now?"
"Now everything has changed,"

"You don't seem very enthusiastic,"
"It's just that .. ah, forget it. You wouldn't understand,"
The guy furrowed his brows. " Did you just do it on purpose?"
Caroline raised a brow. "On purpose .. what?"

"You know what," he growled.
"Jason. It's very not likely that I would understand you usually. Moreover, when you talk with some kind of hints, I don't understand you even slight a bit, ," Jason's very peculiar habit to talk tentatively and not straight out would drive Caro insane, 'specially when boy tried to pretend he's speaking clearly.
"How would you know how to sting me?"

Of course Caro still didn't understand anything. But she didn't plan to say anything to him. Instead, she narrowed her eyes on Jason. "Maybe my subconsciousness just knew how to protect itself. here had never wanted to hurt you. You're the one here, who always stings,"
"What do you mean by it?"

Caro snorted and shrugged. "Nah, dunno .. one moment you're all Mr. Perfect, and next you're back to that I-don't-want-to-know-you mood of yours. Just a couple of days ago you-" she silenced her , "hugged me. And the next day you acted as nothing like this had ever happened,"
"I've told you I can't socialize with you in public"

The girl shook her head. "And you wanna know what I think of that? B-U-L-L-S-H-I-T. It's the most nonsense thing I've ever heard. It's like .. you're not popular, after all, why would you care if anyone sees you with me? Like for real - whatever,"
"You don't understand, Caro,"

"See? You're the one who says that all the time,"
The lad looked at her half-angrily, but didn't say anything, so the gal continued: "You know, we really are very different. And our major difference is, I never hurt people on purpose, because I care about them,"

"I don't hurt people on purpose," Oh really?
Caro looked at him ambiguously. "You really are that stupid?" she asked, not feeling any compunction at all.
"In my opinion it was on purpose,"

"Even Zack would have been more good-hearted,"
"You don't know him," Jason growled.
"I don't know you either. I thought you know exactly what I feel towards you. One moment you are so perfect - talk to me, make me laugh, make me happy, being cute and caring and .. all. And then something happens. Like someone replaces you. You look me straight in the eye and hit on Analeigh,"

"I don't hit on Analeigh,"
Caroline gave him an I-so-believe-you-glare. "Sure you don't,"
"No, really, Caro, what the hell? She's the one who hangs herself on me,"
"Well, it's not like you don't like it or anything,"

"Listen, I can't just tell her: 'Hey, leave me alone, okay,"
Girl turned her eyes in the farawayness. "You act with me this way. Only that you don't say it out straight, you just..." She shook her head, not seeing reason to continue. "Of course I understand no one can make your heart like someone, but you prefer not to sacrifice yourself for anyone. But say it out loud then. Ugh, I'm so tired of that,"

"Hey, listen, seriously," Jason leaned closer to the girl and she forgot how to breathe. Guy looked her deep in the eye. "I'm sorry, alright. I truly don't want to hurt you, but I can't help that. I mean, yeah, that's a stupid excuse and you don't understand how it's possible .. Analeigh is coverage. I don't want..." Jason would have almost said: "...you to get hurt by Zack,", but wasn't sure whether it was right.

You gotta give her an explanation. Try at least a bit tell her the truth. "Anyway .. I can't tell you, but some people, after getting to know we are socializing .. we would make the wrong conclusions and it would be dangerous to you,"
"What kind of danger?"
Jason shook his head. "It's hard to explain. Just trust me, okay,"

Caroline smiled dryly and looked at the sea.
Jason doubted for a second, but plucked his courage together eventually, took girl by the chin and turned her to face him, so she had to look into his eyes.
Lad looked at her full yummy lips, but knew that if he kissed the girl, he wouldn't be able to capable of handling with the consequences. Nevertheless, he allowed his lips to glide over her cheek.

She wanted to hide her eyes, but he still held her by chin, so she couldn't hide her rosy cheeks.
"Do you trust me?" Jason murmured and felt his own cheeks warming up.

And when gal whispered that in response, looking deep in the boy's eyes, he understood that he still has hope to be saved.


Caroline, the next day

He gave me one of these looks, which I could understand only like: "Girl, I wanna she what you got there. On you,"
My god.
"It seems someone's turned on,"
"What?" I half-yelled, shocked.

Cassie giggled. "Look at him. It looks like he's gonna rape you as soon as we get on the ship,"
And instead of talking about Jason, with who I had some small eye-rape, she was talking about Jake.
My god, once again. This guy had really .. murderous glare. "WTF, Cassie? How can you talk about raping me as it's nothing?"
She laughed again. "Don't worry, we won't let that happen to you. Unless you want it..."

"No one knows,"
"So it's a question,"
"I don't know what I'm feeling towards him. Some kind of sympathy. Maybe,"
"And the other one?" She gave Jason a look and then quickly looked back. "Who are glaring at us, you like crazy?"

"About 5 minutes already," I added matter-of-factly. I still hadn't told anyone about what had happened the previous night.
"Hmm .. interesting. So you have like two crushes who both are staring at you hungrily,"
"Maybe they're staring at you," I suggested.
She gave me a yeah-sure-look.

"Okay, okay,"
"I wanted to say that I love one and the other is a crush,"
"Doesn't matter. If you love him, he's still a crush. Though..."

"..you doubt if I love him,"
"Not that, but .. you know. It's strange,"
"Or just one-sided love,"
"You are the most lovable person I know, or however they call it. I don't understand how you can be so drawn to him, when he's being such a fool,"

"It's just my love story. Besides, we don't know whether..."
"..he loves you back. Yeah right,"
"Only that..." I let the words hang in the air.
Cassie almost grabbed my arm. "What?"
"Well, yesterday..."

"Yes, exactly, yesterday. One moment you were chilling with us, next we sent you to Jake and then you were all gone. Three of you. Threes..?"
"Oh god, Cas. I won't do anything like that," I didn't mention to her that I actually had for a moment, just for a moment thought of that. Hey, we all have these kind of thoughts, now don't we?
"So?" she asked enthusiastically, putting her hand on my arm and slowly dragging me towards our group.
"Yesterday .. mm,"


Caro, the evening before

What is happening? It's like someone has heard all of my prays and dreams, and fulfilled them.
Jason had suddenly given up - not in that meaning, okay - and we were walking on the deck. It wasn't exactly a romantic walk, but .. yes, okay, I admit: it was romantic. At least for me.

The night was starry and we just .. talked. It was like he'd suddenly forgotten that someone may see us or whatever, and just did what he really wanted to, not caring about others' opinion.

We talked and I was happy again. I was hoping for never being disappointed in him. In him I didn't.
Jason stopped abruptly and I guess I heard him growling. Slightly. I turned my eyes there and...

"Oh," I couldn't help but say, but silently enough - or he just didn't notice -, for Jason to detect.
On the other side of the deck I could see Jake and someone from the parallel class. Making out a bit. I mean, when the girl is pushed on the railing and the guy is really close, kissing her neck and stuff, then you call it making out, right?

That was how I thought of it later. At that very moment I couldn't help it, even with the love of my whole life standing by my side - everything I could ever dream of, right? -, but seeing these two there .. coldness went through my heart. Very cold. As ice. And I knew, even if I loved Jason with my whole existence, the truth was that Jake meant something to me, too.

But I mustn't have concentrated on it. I couldn't have shown anyone it meant something to me. Fewer I wanted for Jake to notice that.
So I just nerved myself, looked at Jason and said: "Let's continue our walk?"
For a second I thought I saw a weird shadow on his face, but when he looked at me and smiled, I realized I could have been mistaken. "But of course,"


Caroline, back to the next day

"We finished with stargazing," I said dreamily and my eyes became misty as I remembered it. "You know, they have these things like benches on the decks? They had plaids on them, so it was so wonderful to lay there and stargaze..."
Cassie smiled. "The way you speak, it makes me feel like you're already together and it's kinda sorta honeymoon,"

I snorted. "Oh my, Cas. I told you,"
"And I find it kinda bullshit, ya know. But you know. I understand that you do love him. It's just so strange,"
"I know. However, sometimes we do crazy things for love, now don't we?"


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