The Party

Today was the big day, the day she got to see Randy for more than just a couple hours in the morning. 

Tugging the fluffy bristles of her brush through her red locks, Kaitlyn all but twirled in front of the large mirror standing tall in the bedroom. She was adorning a slick mermaid style dress, the gray and black buttons accentuating her curves as they traversed down the sides of her hips. She felt pretty and comfortable in her shoes as she slipped on flats instead of her usual heels. 

Today was their annual office party, and as Randy's future spouse, she always showed up to support his endeavors. 

This year would be no different. 

Her pink lips upturned into a smile, just as the bedroom door creaked open. 

"Hi." She breathed, perking up as Randy entered the room. She waited to hear what he'd say about her attire. A soft blush painting her face as she twirled the edges of her hair around her freshly painted nails--a glossy Sakura petal pink. 

Her lips parted and she waited with a baited breath. 

"Hey, are you ready to go?" He greeted back, but he wasn't even looking at her as he said it. His hands grappling around as he searched for his work bag. 

Kaitlyn faltered, her confidence in her appearance all but plummeting to the ground. Dropping her hand back to her side, she coughed once into her hand. Embarrassed as the blush on her cheeks faded away into her usual cream complexion. As if she was embarrassed to have ever blushed to begin with, her skin hiding the traces of the evidence faster than she could blink. 

"Just about, let me just grab my purse and make sure Jackson is ready as well." 

"Okay, sounds good." Randy replied. 

And as it became apparent he wasn't going to say anything else, Kaitlyn excused herself. Pivoting on her foot, the woman snatched her purse from the doorknob and continued down until she was face to face with Jackson. 

Those long lashes were bowed in concentration, and his slender fingers were messing with his tie as she descended the last step. A tug, and that bright blue tie slid through his digits like silk and out of impulse, her dainty digits extended to help him adjust his tie. 

The blue was stark against her skin tone, and she only paused to admire it for a second before looping it together with practiced ease. 

Randy never used to be able to tie his own. 

"There you go." She said softly as she finished up, and under her touch, Jackson seemed to stiffen. But she paid it no mind as she gave his shoulder a quick tap and a bright smile, stepping away. 

"We're leaving in a minute, we're all going to take the same car to save on gas." She informed him with a chirp, and emerald fell on her slowly. 

The attention kept her standing there, her eyes giving a slow blink as he nodded at her with one of his unreadable expressions. It would be a lie to say she had gotten used to them, but they didn't surprise her as much anymore. 

"Got it, got it. I'm all ready now thanks to you, Miss. Kaitlyn." He said the seemingly polite title with a smirk, and she knew instantly he was teasing her. 

With a roll of her eyes, she smiled. Giving his arm a shove as they waited by the door for her fiancé. "Oh hush up, you. You were struggling." 

"Oh really? I think you were just impatient with my expert tie skills." 

Letting out a giggle, Kaitlyn watched as Randy finally appeared from the stairway, and as he gave them both a glance, he jerked his chin toward the door. "Shall we?" 

His lack of enthusiasm made a small pit form in the center of her stomach, but she ignored it. Giving her love a smile, she hoped it caught his eye as she reached out to take his hand in hers. 

She was grateful when he didn't pull away, giving her hand a soft squeeze that made her nerves soften considerably. 

"Well, let's get this over with." Kailtyn was surprised as Jackson shoved past them, and his lithe form disappeared into the car the minute Randy unlocked it with a beep of his keys. 

"Does he not like parties?" Kaitlyn couldn't help but ask aloud, and as Randy glanced at her, he had a mysterious smile on his face. 

She had known him all his life... and yet the smile seemed foreign to her. She frowned. 

"No... but whatever has him upset, he'll get over it." The words were said with so much sunshine, but they were unlike the caring man she loved. Staring at him in shock, she was silent as he pulled her easily to the car by her palm. 

"Let's go, K." 

"O-okay." She slipped into the passenger seat, tense as they entire car ride to the party was filled with deafening silence. 


Jackson took a small swig of his drink, the alcohol pooling over his tongue with sharp delight as he stood off in the corner of the banquet hall. The lights dim as researchers, executives and guests alike filled the room with relative ease. Jackson had to admit, the place was cushy, and quite big for a firm. 

It didn't really beat sitting on the couch though, antagonizing a certain red head. Smirking to himself, he took another sip of his drink--courtesy of the little cute bartender they hired for the event. It was hard to believe that she was so easy to mess with. When he had first arrived, he had been annoyed at the prospect, at their bright white couch that he had assumed would resemble the relationship he would be privy to seeing for weeks on end. 

However, now? Well, it just amused him because it was so contradictory. Ironic, really. That they only vibrant part of their home was their furniture. Everything else felt neglected. From the lack of noise in the dead of night, to the woman who occupied the home itself. Everything was ridiculously untouched, almost sad. 

Jackson hadn't meant to notice, but he was observant. He could see how most days Kaitlyn got up whenever Randy did, just to try and spend some time with him. It was always small talk too, as if he was watching a bad sitcom. Randy left each morning, sometimes never returning until the late hours of the night. Jackson hardly heard him speak any words to Kaitlyn or even himself when he was home, and if he did, it was over a quick bite of food.

To be honest, it kinda pissed him off. The brunette he remembered was pretty chatty, but since he's lived with them, he might as well have been their new bookshelf. He always claimed he was tired from work, and it was fucking annoying.  He also had a feeling it was a crock of shit. 

But Kaitlyn? She hung on his every word, never even a hint of suspicion in those large blue eyes. 

Jackson wondered how long they could stay that way. 

Speaking of Randy... 

Jackson let his gaze fall on the brunette, watching as he hovered in a circle of old geezers, talking with heavy animation about academics and their latest research goals. Joshua--he recalled from the picture Kaitlyn showed him--was standing next to him, shaking his head at the heated debate. 

He was half tempted to go join in, he had quite the bit of knowledge under his belt too, despite no one giving him the time of day... 

But as his emerald eyes traced the group--he noticed the little red head missing. 

Clicking his tongue, he decided academics would have to wait. 

Scanning the tables, he finally spotted her. His footsteps started on their own, watching with interest as the beautiful woman conversed with another lady across the table. They seemed to know eachother, based off how smiley she was at the moment. 

He liked watching her, he liked when she didn't look like a lifeless doll. 

And as he stopped by the table to order another drink, just a few paces away, he would swear he hadn't meant to easedrop. 

"So... how have things been going with you two?" The taller girl murmured, sounding concerned. 

But Kaitlyn, of course, took it in stride. Jackson could hear her faux enthusiasm from where he stood, and it made his eyes roll. 

"We're doing good, Olivia! We almost have a date set!" 


The girl, Olivia? Sighed. "K, you've been saying that for years now. Are you sure...? Is everything okay?" 

The silence at the table was made even louder as the bartender gave him a flirty smile and handed him his next drink. She was cute, and for a moment he thought about taking her home... 

But the princess' reply quickly caught his interest, as he gave the girl a short wave and turned away, pretending to be sipping on his drink.  

"I... I don't know." She admitted, her voice strained. Jackson immediately decided he didn't like the tone. 

"K...have you two been, intimate at all?" 

The blush on Kaitlyn's face was cute but immediately it concerned him. That was not the appropriate reaction for a relationship that long. He watched over the rim of his glass as she shook her red lock back and forth, fiddling with her thumbs in that weird habit she had. 

"No, not for a long time... I don't think he finds me attractive anymore, Oli..." 

Blue eyes looked like they'd fill with tears any moment, and without thinking, Jackson's cup was being discarded onto an empty table. The brush of his slacks carrying him until he was leaning over her frame with a tilted simper. "Hey girls." 

Kaitlyn postivley jumped in her seat, and Jackson almost laughed. 



Olivia seemed to stare at him in surprise, straightening in her seat. "Who's this?" 

The little red head dipped under his chin, and reached up to smack his arm with vengeance. It was cute, that she thought she was scary, and he simply waited for her to introduce him. 

Curious what she would say. 

"This is Jackson, he's our new roommate, Randy invited him." She said it simply, and Jackson felt oddly disappointed. 

Well, that was lame. 

He always liked a little spice. 

Leaning his elbows down over her chair, with arms cradled innocently on either side of her silky strands, he cooed. "Don't let the princess fool you, I'm also her very, very, best friend. Why, we're almost inseparable now." 

Olivia's eyebrows shot up, and Kaitlyn groaned. "No, we are not." 

"Princess, huh?" Olivia was giving Kaitlyn a grin, and he could practically feel the woman's glare from beneath him. But he just snickered.  

That snicker was cut short though, surprise filtering his system at her next words. 

"Mm, that's just what he calls me. But all jokes aside, yeah he's my friend."

Olivia was practically beaming, "my, I guess you're lucky he moved in. You seem happy." 

He waited for the rebuttal, a denial. 

He didn't hear one. 

"I am, he's," Kailtyn glanced up at him, her freckled nose, and thick lashes brought an uncomfortable heat into his stomach, "been so much help. I don't really know what I'd do without him by this point." 

Warm. Entirely way too fucking warm. 

Jackson outright coughed, ignoring the way Olivia seemed to laugh at his reaction and Kaitlyn looked clueless as always. 

He had way too much to drink, apparently. 

Leaning off the chair, he turned away. "On that note, I have some more people to mingle with. Don't go telling her any weird stories, princess." 

"I'll only tell the good ones!" 

Grumbling as he walked away, Jackson completely missed the way Kaitlyn was smiling sincerely at his back. Or the way Olivia seemed to be watching Kaitlyn, intrigued. 

Comments (1)
goodnovel comment avatar
Anne Marie Joachim
love this story line

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