August 22, 2016

Jason: Week Thirty, Day Five

Liz woke up early the next morning and headed straight to her dresser to get ready.
She passed by Jason's door, letting him sleep.  No way was she going to have a socially awkward morning after waking him up!
Bursting out into the front yard, she headed straight for the garden.  She could tell at one point it had been well-loved, but now it was just a neglected mess of dead plants and weeds.
Grabbing some black plastic bags, she started cleaning up the eyesore.

Jason woke up and winced when the sunlight streamed through the windows.  Dang it! he cursed, The Inter-Office League!

He jolted awake and threw some clothes on before jogging down the steps.
He burst through the door and leapt down the small porch stairs.
"Whoa? Where's the fire?" Liz asked as she put the lid back on the trash can.

Jason grabbed his old bike and hopped on.  "Dangit, Liz! Why didn't you wake me?" he asked grumpily, not even waiting for a reply before he started pedaling furiously. 
He checked his watch as he ran up towards the double doors.  Only 20 minutes late.  It wouldn't be that bad, he thought to himself.
Jason's new coworkers had organized a "casual", fun game for some intramural bonding.  To get to know the team-members and to let the coaches see how everyone worked together.

Good thing it wasn't a real game!

It took all morning, but Liz had done it! She'd cleared the overgrown garden out!  She thought about planting some herbs, but wanted to talk to Jason first. 
"Hey short stuff!" Jason said, jogging up the front walk.  "Looking good!" he told her.

Liz flushed.  She knew he was talking about the garden, but he said it while eyeing her to get a rise out of her. It was so annoying how easy it was for him to tease her!
"So, I wanted to see if you minded if I planted some herbs," she told him, completely ignoring his flirtatious quip.  She knew he was just a big flirt.

Jason shrugged. "Sure. Might as well use the dirt for something!" he glanced at where the garden used to be.  "Thanks for cleaning it up," he told her seriously.  "Mom would've been real sad to see the state of her garden. She sure did love veggies."

Liz beamed, feeling proud of her morning efforts.

"Speaking of veggies..." she said, trailing off coyly.

"Oh man! This is going to be awesome!" Jason said eagerly, turning his pumpkin to the left and right and trying to decide what he was going to make.
"What are you going to do?" he asked Liz, glancing over at her working.
"You'll see!" she said, not even glancing up from her masterpiece.
"Aw come on!" Jason sputtered, rolling his eyes.  "It's like it's a national security threat! Sheesh!"

Liz reached for her little knife, cutting into the pumpkin.  "You wanna push me while I had a knife in my hand?" she asked sweetly, smiling wickedly at her.
"No ma'am!" Jason said quickly, turning back to his pumpkin and reaching his hand inside to pull out the "guts" of the pumpkin. "Ewwwww..." he said, squishing the cold, gooey strands in his hand before flicking them onto the newspaper.

"Jason! You're making a mess!" Liz admonished him.

"Nuh uh! It landed on the newspaper!"
Liz rolled her eyes and stood up.  "Done!"

"Lemme see!" Jason told her, craning his head.

Liz picked her pumpkin up protectively and headed over to the table.  "No way. Finish yours first!"
Just a few more minutes later and Jason announced, "Done!" as well.  He hefted up the pumpkin and set it on the end table.

"What do you think, Liz?" he asked.
Liz glanced up from where she was mixing some drinks.  "Aw, it looks just like you!" she teased.
"Hardy har-har," Jason quipped, heading over and grabbing a drink.  "You're real funny, you know that?"

Liz smiled, clinking her glass against his.  "I know!" she countered smoothly.

Jason phone started ringing and he grabbed it to check the number. 
"Baby!" he answered, stepping away from Liz.

Liz made a face behind Jason's back and downed her drink, wincing as it burned its way down her throat.  Ashley still called once or twice a week, just enough to keep Jason interested.  It annoyed Liz to no end how Ashley seemed to be leading Jason on.

Summer had come and gone and Ashley still hadn't made a trip to Sunset Valley to visit Jason.  First she was in Champ le Sims with her sorority sisters, then there was the visit to Lucky Palms to see her family, and now - finally - was a modeling contract in Sunlit Tides.

Poor Jason had bought it hook, line and sinker.  He'd actually told Ashley she could probably stay with some family friends if she needed a place to stay.  Boy, she would've paid to have seen the look on her face when he said that!

"Yeah, we're just having a few people over. It'll be a real small party," Jason was telling Ashley.

"So I got something I think it going to be pretty cool," Liz told Jason once he was off the phone.  She dragged in the light and set it up in the middle of the room.

Jason looked at it questioningly.

"Hold on, let me get the lights!" she said, hurrying around the downstairs and turning off lights.

"Liz! What are you doing! I can't see anything!" he told her.

Liz grinned. "I know! That's perfect!"

Liz flipped the switch on the black light and turned it on.

"AWESOME, isn't it?" she asked eagerly.
Jason looked around the room.  "Damn Liz! That's crazy cool! You really have the best gadgets!" he said excitedly.  "This party is going to RULE!"

Liz and Jason headed upstairs to slip into their costumes.  As they came downstairs, Jason grabbed out his cell and snapped a picture of them. 
"Hey! August!" Jason waved at his old high school friend, and current teammate.

August waved back, looking a little bored.
Jason made eye contact with a sexy feline in the kitchen.  "Hey Liz, what don't you go over and chat August up. He's a real nice guy!" 

Liz glanced over her shoulder and bit her lip. "I don't know, Jas," she said wearily.

"Aw come on! Do it for me!" he said, pushing her towards his buddy as his kitty cat headed his way.  "You should tell him about that time we added ginseng to our pizza. I bet he'd get a kick out of that story!" He pushed her a little too forcefully and she stumbled over towards August, who reached out to make sure she didn't fall on her face.
"Hi!" Kitty Cat purred.  "Nice party!"

"Yeah, it's pretty awesome, isn't it?!" Jason said. He peered under the make-up.  "Have we met before?" he asked.

Liz glanced over across the room and saw Jason with the lady in body-hugging tiger stripes.  No wonder he'd been in such a hurry to get rid of her! she fumed. 
She turned back to August with a huge grin.  "So, you wouldn't believe how scared Jason was when we went through the haunted house.  He actually screamed like a little girl!" Liz laughed.

"Oh man, I'm going to have to razz him about that at practice tomorrow!"  August chuckled.  "So, you're his friend from college right? Liz?"

"Yeah. We really hit it off."

August shook his head with amazement.  "Man! Jason gets all the hot girls!" he said, a little in awe of Jason.
Liz laughed lightly while inwardly preening. Did he just call her hot?  "Yeah, well, Jason and I really are just friends," she emphasized, tucking her hair behind her ear.

August grinned, looking her over with new appreciation. "Oh yeah?" he asked with interest.  "His loss, my gain!" he teased.

Emboldened by August's attention, Liz kind of let the juice go to her head.  It wasn't very long afterwards that she was letting some guy she didn't know hold her up for a keg stand.  As many parties as she'd gone to with Jason and Moudy, she'd never done a keg stand!  Man! She hadn't known what she was missing! she thought.
And then he dropped her.
"Oh, I wonder if your friend is okay?" Cheri said, cringing as the EMS worker helped Liz up from the floor.

"No, no, I'm okay!" Liz was saying, waving off the help as she staggered around.
"Huh?" Jason asked, sipping on his drink and appreciating the view.
Cheri glanced up and caught Jason ogling her.  Jason quickly averted his gaze and nervously rubbed the back of his neck.  "Oh, er... my friend?"

Cheri raised a feline eyebrow.  "Your friend that just did a face plant after drinking too much?" She glanced over at Liz.
Jason turned a concerned look towards Liz.  He pulled her aside.  "You okay?" he asked her.

Liz nodded emphatically, reaching for his hands.  "You know what I've always wanted to do?" she asked him in a slurred voice. 

"What's that?" Jason asked, pandering to her now that he knew she was drunk as a skunk.

"Promise you won't laugh?" she asked.

Jason did a quick X over his heart.  "Cross my heart."

Liz leaned forward, giving him the stink eye with one eye squeezed shut. "Promise!"

"Liz! I promise! What?!"

"Are you sure this is a  good idea?" Jason asked, following behind Liz.

Liz stumbled forward.  "You promised, Jason!" she told him as he reached out and grabbed her elbow to keep her steady.  Man, he'd never seen Liz this wasted before.  "You know, we could just go home, you know."

Liz shook her head.  "Nuh uh. I'm getting my fortune read!" she told him determinedly.
"Wait here," Liz told him, as she tapped on the gypsy caravan window.  "Helllllo?" she called out, a little loudly.

"What if they're sleeping?" Jason whispered furiously.  He wondered what mad gypsies did to trespassers.

Liz rolled her eyes. "They're not sleeping!" she said testily, just as the door opened.
Jason stood outside by himself, feeling more than a little stupid.  They could have been back at home, but nooooo.... they were out in the middle of the night on Spooky Day at a Gypsy Caravan.  

His gaze was caught by the bush near the front door with a whole bunch of jelly beans clustered like grapes. 
He grabbed a nice, juicy orange one and popped it in his mouth while he waited.
Oh God, what were they doing here, he freaked as a terrified feeling coursed through his body.  This was such a bad idea!  He had to get Liz and get out of here! Now!

Jason took a few calming breaths through his nose that seemed to help.  He was left with a vague sense of discomfort.
Liz opened the door and stepped down the steps, avoiding his eye.  "Are you ready to go?" she asked.

"Everything okay?" Jason asked, tensing.
Liz smiled a sad smile.  "Yeah, everything's fine," she said tiredly.  "Can we just go home?"

"What'd they say?" Jason asked, falling into step beside her.

Liz shrugged.  "Just stupid stuff," she told him.  "Why'd you let me blow my money on that baloney?" she asked.

Jason released his pent-up breath.  For some reason, he'd thought that Liz was upset from whatever they gypsy told her. But apparently she was just mad that she wasted her money on a charlatan! Throwing his arm around her shoulder, he gave her a half hug.  "Sorry, Liz.  I told you it was a bad idea!"

Liz nodded, resting her head on his shoulder as they headed back to the street.  "Yeah. It was real stupid," she told him.

Jason: Week Thirty, Day Four

Liz rolled out of bed first thing in the morning.  She was a bit of a morning riser.
Getting dressed, she headed down the hall, pausing at Jason's door.  She chewed her lip.  Would he be awake?  She still felt a little weird being in the house alone. 
Taking a breath, she tapped on the door.  "Jason?" she called quietly.
"Ughhh," Jason said groggily, his face buried in the pillow.  "Come in..."
Liz stepped in the room just as Jason rolled over, sprawling on the bed.  "I'm sorry, Jas. You're still sleeping!" she apologized, turning to leave.
"No, no. I'm up. I'm up!" he said with a huff, rolling over to sit up.  He squinted over at Liz, standing in his doorway.  "What time is it?" he asked, glancing at the covered window and then back at Liz.

Liz made an apologetic face.  "7..." she said, cringing.  Not everyone liked waking up as early as she did...

Jason made a face.  "Aw, man! Liz! Why'd you wake me up so early?" he asked, collapsing back on the bed.

"Sorry!" Liz told him.

"I can't believe I'm awake before 10 am!" he moaned, pulling the pillow over his head.

"Go back to bed?" Liz suggested, opening the door.

"No, no. I'm up. I'm up," Jason groaned.

"Okay, I'll meet you downstairs for breakfast," she told him, making a quick exit.
"Stupid, stupid, stupid!" Liz berated herself as she dashed down the stairs.  She should've just come downstairs on her own!

Jason stepped into his shower and let the cold water spray his face.  Man, he couldn't believe Liz had woken him up so early! 

Liz was already eating her yogurt by the time Jason barreled down the stairs and grabbed some cereal.
"So, what do you want to do today?" Liz asked eagerly.  It was weird moving to a new town.  Jason was the only person she knew right now!  She hated feeling dependent on him!
"I read there was a fall fair..." she trailed off when she saw the incredulous look on his face.
"Nevermind," she sighed, grabbing her empty bowl.  "I'm sorry!"

Jason watched Liz walk away and sighed.

"Wait a minute! Let's do it. I bet it'll be lots of fun.  I don't think I've ever gone to one of the town fairs before..."

"Really?!" Liz asked excitedly.  "This is going to be so much fun!"

"Oooh!" Liz cooed, pressing her face against the window.  "Look how pretty it is! The leaves didn't change color where I grew up!" she told him. 

Jason didn't even have to say anything.

Liz grabbed his arm, pointing, "Is that the park?" she asked, pointing across him to the park entrance.

Jason smiled, her enthusiasm was catching.
When the taxi stopped, they both hopped out.  "Oh Jason! This is awesome!" she told him.  Grabbing his shirt, she tugged his sleeve and pointed to the photo booth.  "Let's take a picture! For your memory wall!"
Jason groaned, but allowed Liz to lead him to the photo booth.  "I hate taking those pictures!" he complained. 

Stepping from the booth, Liz showed Jason their picture.  "I bet generations from now, they'll be asking who that weird chick with the purple hair is!" she joked.  "I'll have to start my own memory wall!"

Jason laughed along with her.  "Come on, let's bob for apples!"

"You're going down, Liz," Jason said, channeling his competitive spirit.

Liz scoffed. "No way! This is going to be a piece of cake!"
"Ready, set, GO!" the announcer called out.  Immediately, four heads began bobbing in the water.
Liz managed to grab an apple between her teeth and spit it out on the ground next to her.  She glanced across the way, smiling when she saw Jason's head buried under the water.  She was totally going to beat him.
"And the winner is... Jason Black-Wolff!" the announcer announced, waving his hands towards Jason.

"Yes!" Jason hooted, sending a triumphant grin Liz's way.
"Whatever!" Liz fumed slightly.  She hadn't even seen him grab one apple.  Game must've been rigged.

They headed towards the haunted house.  Jason elbowed Liz. "Come on, don't be a spoil-sport!" he told her playfully.

"I'm not!" she pouted.  "I totally beat you, though!"
"JASON!" Coach Powers called out, waving his hand in a bid to get Jason's attention.
"Hey Coach Powers. Good to see you!"   Jason said, shaking Coach's hand.

"I've been trying to get a hold of you!" Ken said, nodding towards Liz.  "Ma'am," he said absently in greeting.

Jason frowned and pulled his cell phone out.  "Oh man, it got busted somehow. I'll have to get it fixed!" He looked at Coach and asked, "What's up?"

"I've got some good news," Ken told him.

Liz nodded towards the pumpkin patch.  "I'll let you two talk," she said, making an exit.  Jason didn't need her hanging around while he was working.
Wow, I've never picked an actual pumpkin before, she thought as she tried to decide which pumpkin to pick. 
"So?" Jason asked nervously.  "What'd they say?"

Coach Powers smiled widely and shook Jason's hand.  "You're in, kid! You made the cut!"

"YES!" Jason fist pumped.  "The Gnashing Gnomes were my first choice!" he said with relief.  "I would've hated having to leave Sunset Valley - no matter how hard my stepdad was trying to get me to join the Spitting Llamas!"

Coach Powers heartily pumped his hand again.  "We're real glad to have you, kid.  Don't forget to check in for practice tomorrow morning.  Bright and early at the stadium!"

"I won't! Thanks Coach!" Jason called out.

Jason hurried to Liz's side. "I did it, Liz! I made the team!"

Liz grinned. "Awesome! I'm so happy for you!" she told him.

Jason glanced down at the pumpkins she'd set aside.  "Planning on doing some baking?" he asked.  "You do realize you can get it canned, right?"

Liz rolled her eyes.  "Come on, let's go to the haunted house!"
"If you get scared, you can hold on to me!" Jason teased, following Liz into the haunted house. 
"Liz?" he asked as he stepped into the inky darkness and felt something brush up against him.
Jason stumbled through the darkened rooms, waving his arms in front of him in an effort to stave off anything creepy or ghoulish...
"Jason?" Liz called out from another room, sounding more than a little scared.

Jason turned in that direction.  "LIZ?!" he called back, heading in the direction he thought he'd heard her and feeling spiderwebs across his whole body.  He immediately cringed, backing up and feeling a shiver violently work up and down his body.  "EEK!"
"Jason? Was that you?" Liz called out, sounding somewhat closer.

Jason took a giant step to the side to avoid the spider web, calling out, "No! Must've been some girl towards the front of the house!"
Liz staggered from the exit and shuddered, wiping the fake cobwebs from her body.  Ugh, she thought.  Haunted houses were not for the faint of heart!

Just then, she saw Jason catapult from the exit, running as though his life depended on it.  When he was finally a good distance away, he stopped, bending over and panting.
He turned back and saw the look of surprise on her face.  "Not. Another. Word," he told her sternly.
Immediately they both started cracking up.  "You should've seen the look on your face!" she told him, doubling over with laughter.
"Shut up!" Jason said, playfully smacking her shoulder.  "Something grabbed my ankle!"

Wrapping her arms around her middle, Liz tried to take deep breaths.  "Oh God. I'm going to die!" she wheezed with laughter, unable to stop.

"LIZ!" he protested, chuckling at how out-of-control Liz was acting.  "Come on, let's go home," he grumbled. 

Back home, Liz was still chuckling as she grabbed a few bottles of liquor.  The look on Jason's face had been priceless as he came tearing out of the haunted house.  She wish she could've taken a picture of it!
"Any way we can just forget tonight ever happened?" Jason winced when Liz began chuckling again. 
Liz shook her head as she handed him a drink.  "No way, Jas. This is blackmail material for years to come!" she laughed.

Jason rolled his eyes as he took a long swing from his drink.  "That's what I was afraid of..."