Standing at the window, staring out over the city view, I hold a glass of water.
After Kaid brought me into the kitchen, he showed me where the Aerobe Coffee Press was. He pointed out other stuff I’m prone to using in a kitchen and then decided to change out of his suit before cooking. Instead of standing there. I got some water and looked over his “place” once more.
Technically Kaid was right. It wasn’t anything ‘fancy’ really. It was obviously well built, and it had gorgeous flooring, but nothing extravagant. It was an open square almost. The partial kitchen wall, created one side of the entry hall, and the bathroom wall in Kaid’s room, created the other half of that five feet of entryway. Then, one big square.
Kaid’s furniture, while definitely modern and very chic, was not at all in the ridiculous price ranges he could afford. One of my housemates sisters has the same living room sofa. Perhaps the large painting on the wall could hold value, but it wasn’t a masterpiece of renaissance pricelessness. Keen, crisp, and colorful is how I’d describe Kaid’s home. Kaid was right, it wasn’t fancy. But as I walked through the living area, I also saw ho it damn sure wasn’t like his Michigan house.
The view itself, IT made sense to me. Completely. Even the view wasn’t a prime location view often found in wealthy home sections. It was a nice view. Not downtown epic, but stunning and it made sense that this view is why Kaid lived here, because I could very much see Kaid spending a great deal of time, looking out this ceiling to floor wall of windows.
This view could be your silent buddy, letting you know you weren’t alone, while keeping you safely tucked away by yourself. THIS was just like Kaid’s blessed, back porch on his house in Michigan. Suddenly it hit me. As I stood there, I realized the back porch in Michigan was a sad attempt at re-creating this buddy, this view. This place, this city, this life is what he loved, and that porch – he tolerated because of who he loved, his Grandmother. If I didn’t understand much before, I understood this symbolic fact, now.
I shook my head at my reflection. How could I have not known, not realized any of this before. Why did it all make me so deeply sad.
Suddenly Kaid’s reflection appeared in the large window, and i watched it as he walked through the dining area, to the kitchen, his phone in hand as he typed rapidly. His hair was damp, finger combed only. He wore a white tank top and a red, black and yellow plaid pair of pajama bottoms and he was barefoot. Something he rarely did.
Kaid, or his reflection, finished his email, and he set the phone down on the counter. His muscular arm stretched out and started to open a cabinet. Instantly he froze. “Crap!” Kaid gasped. I turned to face very surprised eyes.
“I…” Kaid shook his head then smiled awkwardly. “That was odd. I looked up just as I was wondering what you were doing at your house, and you’re right there!”
I couldn’t help but smile. I knew what it was like to be alone, then suddenly discover you’re not. “I’m here.” I assured him. Kaiden nodded as he leaned a hip against the counter. Instantly his arms crossed over his chest and he scrutinized me.
“I know.” Kaiden uttered in questioning awe. He thought something. Almost said it, and then turned, and extracted whatever he sought from the cabinet. he went to the fridge, he started to pull something out, he paused. He inhaled slowly, forced himself to get what he needed and shut the fridge door a bit hard. All at once the items were set down very harshly and he sighed in a gush and turned to me.
Kaid’s hands went right to his hips and he shook his head. “There is so much for us to talk about Ria.” he began instantly. “I don’t know where to start. I’m exhausted and in pain. Quite frankly, I’m blown away. You look like crap, and I mean that in a medical way. I can see how tired you are, how hungry and how dehydrated. I’m worried. And neither of us is on the same page as the other.”
For some reason, I smiled. Kaiden saw my smile and he nearly winced. He inhaled slowly, held it a moment and exhaled; relaxing muscles in his body as he did such. He looked at his table set. “When did you learn to do that Ria?” he asked in defeat.
“Do what?” I asked, looking to the table then back to him.
Kaiden’s eyes stayed on his table. “That look. The way your standing. That whole….” Kaid looked at me, shook his head again and held a hand outward, palm up. “THAT”
I looked down and made sure my buttons hadn’t popped and my boobs weren’t hanging out. Nope, the continental divide(What I call my boobs) was secure. “I don’t know what you mean.” I said with a tiny laugh. I looked at Kaiden and he fought to keep a smile from his lips. “Heaven help me.” he whispered.
Turning to the cheese, he reached for it slowly. “First thing, food. Then we’ve got to establish some kind of rules, because this is too much Ria.” Kaiden announced, glancing my direction without meeting my eye.
I saw it. Right then as he picked up the cheese and set it down and said my name, it flickered up enough in his eyes, his facial expression and his taut frame. Kaiden was nervous. Immediately I needed to quash his nervousness. Not wanted, not hoped to, but NEEDED to; and I didn’t know why.
“Food would be good.” I said as I purposely looked back to the windows and the view. Spying on his reflection, I saw his mouth drop and Kaiden turning to gawk at me. Then he gathered his wits and went to work. I waited a moment and asked if he needed help. Kaiden damn near tripped when I did. But to give him credit, he kept his voice calm and collected.
“No I got it. I uh, threw a t-shirt on the bed for you. There’s towels and everything int he bathroom.” He suggested as he eyed my back. All the while I watched his reflection, realizing he might not know I was doing such.
“Thanks. Do I have time for a quick shower before grilled cheeeeeese” I asked in a much more typical tone of voice. Kaiden’s reflection smiled brightly as he worked. He shook his head happily. “Yes, go on. Hurry though, I’m starving.”
I set down my glass and quickly started towards the bedroom door. I was just walking in as I heard Kaiden’s low voice. “Shit. Now she’s naked in my shower.”
It took everything in my power to quickly enter his room so he didn’t realize I’d heard him.