"Yeah, and Ash whenever she gets back from Champs le Sims!" Jason added.
Liz made a face. "And Ashley," she said grudgingly.
"Come on! Let's get your stuff inside!" Jason said, pulling Liz's arm towards the truck.
Liz set down another heavy box near the stack going inside. "NO!" she said testily. "I just brought some clothes, some books, some of my posters, my protest signs, and..."
"I was kidding!" Jason said with an eye roll. "But wait until I give you the tour of the house! You're going to flip! Come on!"
"Wait!" Liz called when he headed for the stairs, "We have to get all this inside! I can't just leave it out here in the driveway!"
Jason glanced at her over his shoulder. "Come on, Liz. This is Sunset Valley! Nobody's going to take anything!"
"I'm sure!" he said confidently, pushing open the door. "So, this is the livingroom!" he announced proudly.
Jason grinned sheepishly. "Oh yeah, that was from breakfast. I guess I forgot to clean up."
Jason shrugged. "Yeah. My family has a thing for pictures," he said, obviously embarrassed.
"Alrighty then, moving on," Jason said, tugging her from the memory wall.
Liz turned around and faced him. "Your tia?" she asked. "I didn't realize you were multi-lingual!"
Jason rubbed the back of his neck. "I'm not really," he said. "My Mom and her friends, Rachel and Maritza raised us. And Rio, he's like my older brother... he always called Mom and Maritza tia. And I guess I always wanted to be like Rio, so I did too," he explained.
Liz was staring at him with her mouth dropped open.
"What?!" he asked tersely.
"Nothing!" Liz said, "I've just never really heard you talk about growing up. I'm learning so much more about you!"
Jason rolled his eyes. "Come on!"
Liz glanced at the painting on the wall that had been left behind. "I can tell. Pretty!"
Liz glanced at the crib in the room then to the bathroom door. "Dibs!" she said quickly.
"Hey! That's not fair! I didn't know we were going to be picking rooms yet!" Jason protested gruffly.
Liz peeked back out in the hall. "I don't get it, Jas. Where was your room?" she asked.
Jason pointed up the stairs.
"But I thought you said that was the attic."
"You lived in the attic?" Liz asked, dumbfounded.
"Well, it wasn't this crowded. We can take the tables and chairs back downstairs," Jason told her.
"But, you lived in the attic?" she asked again, looking around. "I'm so sorry, Jason!" she said, reaching out to touch his arm.
Jason glanced back at the room. He'd always thought he and Rio were lucky. But, maybe that's not what other people thought.
"You don't still want to stay up here, do you?" she asked worriedly.
Come to think of it - now that other rooms were empty, why would he? He shook his head. He couldn't believe his Mom had stuck him up in the attic!
She glanced up at Jason to see if he'd caught her flub. By the size of his smirk, she would say he knew exactly why she dropped the bottle.
"Why? Does it make you horny to see me in all my glory?" Jason teased with an eyebrow waggle as he walked up and grabbed one of the drinks.
Jason shrugged. "Doesn't matter. I've got a girlfriend," he said. "Man, I can't wait for Ashley to get here!" He took another drink and glanced across the bar towards Liz. "So what's up with Moudy? I haven't heard from him lately."
Liz busied herself with the drinks, not meeting Jason's eye.
"Liz?" Jason pressed curiously. "What's up?"
Liz straightened and put her hands on her hips. "We're taking a break, okay? Geez!" she blustered.
"Aw, crap, Liz! I'm sorry! I didn't realize!" Jason said with concern. "Do you wanna talk about it?"
Liz rolled her eyes. "No! It's not the end of the world! Let's just not talk about it again, okay?" Geez, she'd forgotten Jason's penchant for talking things to death! Just because she wasn't in a relationship didn't mean she was missing out on anything!
"Yeah okay, I'll drop it," Jason promised, eyeing her over his glass.
Jason found himself watching Liz and not the game.
When she noticed him watching her, Liz blushed to her roots. "What? I get into the game," she admitted, alittle embarrassed.
Liz rolled her eyes. "Stop looking at me!" she said, turning her gaze back to the game. If he didn't stop looking at her, she might do something ridiculous, like throw herself at him.
He didn't stop watching her, merely quirking his eyebrow up and he gazed at her, as though he were trying to puzzle her out.
She squirmed in her seat...
Jason popped up and went to answer the door.
Rio clapped Jason on the shoulder, pulling him in for another hug. "You, too! Look at you all grown up! You've been beefing up!"
"It's all those green-egg smoothies!" Jason said with a grin. He smiled at Nadine. "Come on in, guys. Make yourself at home!"
"So? How was college life?" Rio asked curiously. He'd joined the military right out of high school and married his high school love, Nadine. He didn't regret a moment of it, either.
Liz laughed. "What about the time you kissed the wrong girl?" she asked.
Jason frowned. "Ah man, that was awful! I can't believe you would even bring that up!" he said, clutching his heart and making a face.
The room fell silent as Liz and Jason shared an awkward glance.
"So when does the season start?" Rio asked, turning the topic away. He was pretty sure everyone sighed with relief when Jason started talking about tryouts and starting bonuses.
Jason shook his head. "Yeah, I don't know why people keep doing that!"
"Omigod! Other people have assumed we're dating? Who?!" Liz asked with surprise.
Jason scowled. What was so weird about people thinking they were dating? She was acting like he was a total dud! "I dunno," he said testily, "My mom, for one."
Liz closed her eyes and leaned back in her chair. "I'm never going to be able to meet her eye again!" she declared dramatically.
They headed up the stairs without talking.
"Jason! What did you barge in here for?" Liz was demanding with her hands on her hips.
Jason shook his head and squeezed his eyes shut. "SORRY!" he said quickly, now that his mouth was working again. "I... TOWELS... I... wanted to tell you... they're in guest bath. If you need them." He reached behind him, trying to locate the doorknob without opening his eyes. He finally succeeded in grasping the doorknob and backed out into the hallway with his eyes firmly closed.
Since he eyes were so tightly shut, he didn't see Liz's bemused expression. Which was just as well. The whole night might've ended entirely different if he'd known she were the slightest bit interested.