Chapter 12: Pressure (1/8)

“The sun is up,” Elle thought to herself, opening and shutting her eyes at the sun shining through the thin dark gray curtains.  “What’s so warm on my back but my legs are so cool?” she asked herself.  She lifted her head up and saw that she was arching over JZ’s chest.  “At least his shirt is on.  At least my shirt is on.  No buttons undone.  Yep, shorts are still there.  What about him? Good, still got them jeans on.”  She slowly and quietly got off the bed but a hand grabbed her ankle.  She looked back and saw him lying as he was, with his head resting on his other hand.  He let go of her ankle and tapped his finger on the side of his face.  She smiled and returned to peck the target.  He smiled and she got off the bed.  She went to his closet and retrieved a navy blue dress shirt and black basketball shorts.  He came up from behind, placed his hands on her waist and his hands met on her stomach.

She held up the outfit in front of her and he shook his head.  “Wear the white shirt,” he whispered.  She shook her head.  He nodded his head.  “I’m going to take a shower and wear this shirt and these shorts,” she said softly.

“If you wear that shirt, I will shower with you,” he said quietly, gently swaying her body left and right.

“If I wear the white shirt, you’ll see inside it.”

He retrieved a white undershirt and white dress shirt from his closet.

“It’s too hot to wear two shirts,” she said quietly and went to the bathroom with the navy blue dress shirt and black basketball shorts.  She opened the bathroom door and saw a young guy that worked in JZ’s studio passed out on the toilet, another guy in the walk-in shower, and a guy and a girl in the sauna, all passed out.

“JZ,” she whispered loudly, “come over here.”

He quickly walked to the bathroom and saw the same thing but did not think it was a big deal.  He saw her gently lift the head of the guy on the toilet seat and place it on the floor.  She pointed at his passed out body the pointed at JZ, who happened to stand in the doorway.  He did not take action, so she motioned her hands to “shoo” the guy out of the bathroom.  JZ grabbed the guy’s ankles and dragged him out to the nearest space available in the passed-out graveyard in his suite.

When JZ returned, she pointed at the guy in the shower.  She pointed at JZ then pointed at the guy’s chest, then pointed at herself and the guy’s feet.  JZ nodded.  They got into position and lifted the guy out to the nearest space available.

Now the girl and the third guy.  Elle did not trust JZ to put his hands on another girl, so she pointed at herself and then at the girl, then pointed at JZ then at the guy.  He shook his head.  JZ pointed at himself and at both the guy and girl.  She shook her head.  She pointed at him then the girl, then looked at him in the eyes and put her hands on JZ’s pectoral muscles and shook her head.  Still in front of him, she kept eye contact and put her hands on his butt and shook her head.  Then she quickly rubbed-down his body, still keeping her eyes on him and shook her head.  He was smiling and enjoying his angel’s jealousy, and nodded.  He went and carried the girl in his arms but extended his arms as far as he could, to show Elle that her body was not touching him and his hands were not doing anything inappropriate.  Then he went and got the guy with Elle carrying his feet.

Elle returned to the bathroom and was closing the door when JZ stuck his head inside.  “What do you want?” she asked quietly.  He puckered his lips and she kissed him, and he pulled his head out.  She closed the door, turned on the water, undressed, and stepped in the shower.  She was rinsing her hair when she heard someone enter the bathroom.  “That silhouette looks like JZ but I can’t be sure,” she said to herself, looking through the blurry shower door.  “That’s him for sure.  You’re going to have to defend yourself and your honor, despite him saying that he would shower with you if you didn’t wear that white shirt he wanted.  You need to hit him with…the shampoo bottle if he decides to open the shower door.”  “Alright.  But what if it’s not JZ?”  “Hit him or her with the shampoo bottle until you win.  Then take JZ’s shirts and tie up the intruder.  You can wear a towel until you get another shirt.”  “Alright.”

Elle continued rinsing her hair but kept an eye on the intruder. “He’s opening the door.”  A loud thud.  “AIYA! Why did you hit me?” JZ said in a loud low voice while rubbing the side of his face.

Not knowing how to say, “I have to defend myself and my honor because of an intruder,” she settled on “Why are you in here?” her voice showing that she felt vulnerable and invaded.

“Because I said I would shower with you if you did not wear the white dress shirt, and here I am.  Besides that, this is my bathroom.”

“You think you’re right to come in while a miss is bathing?”

“Why do you have to say it like that?”

Frustrated that she does not have the words to respond, she settled on, “Aiya, get out! You’ve already seen enough of me!”

“I can’t see with this tie over my eyes and I can never look at you enough.”

“Why does he have to say something so sweet right now?” she asked herself.  Lacking the words to say what she wanted to say, she got out of the shower, being careful not to step on him or accidentally kick him, since he was doing an Asian squat in front of the shower’s opening.  She got the towel and wrapped it around herself.  Then returned to him and untied the simply tied tie around his head.  She looked at his disappointed face, then bent down and kissed the side of his face where she injured him.  “Go take a shower,” she gently said to him, smiling a small smile, hoping to appease him.

He stood up and put one foot in the shower, but then took it back out, faced her, held her tightly in his arms, lifted her up and brought her back into the shower.  She laughed loudly.  “Aiya! What are you doing?!” she asked loudly.

He let her down then used his body to push her body up against the shower wall.  She smiled and looked at him with her big brown eyes.  He bent his neck down to whisper in her ear, “Yesterday was my birthday,” and he slowly kissed her with passion, and slid his hand up her thigh then under the towel.  She pushed him back and whispered, “Can’t,” and stepped out of the shower.  She took the clothes she chose and made sure he could find her with the trail of water she left behind.

A few minutes later, he followed her trail but also left a trail of his own.  He found her in his bedroom dressed and drying her hair.  He closed the door behind him.  “Hey,” he said real cool.

“Hmm,” she replied, focused on drying her hair with the towel.

“I have something special for you,” he said, continuing in his cool voice.

“What is it?” she asked, still not looking at him.

“Look at me.”

She turned to look at him and saw him completely naked again.  She quickly covered her eyes with one hand, threw the towel at him with the other, and turned back the other way.  “Why are you not wearing clothes?” a little embarrassed, but laughing.

“When I’m with you, I don’t like to wear clothes.”

“Why is this guy making me so embarrassed?” she asked herself.

He walked closer and closer.

“I’m not supposed to look at a naked man, especially if he’s not my husband,” she reminded herself.

He was right behind and still she did not turn to face him.  He stepped in front of her, and she looked up into his face.  His bedroom eyes were looking at her soft, big, brown, vulnerable eyes.  “Why does he have to look so sexy when he’s wet?” She bit her lower lip.  He took her hands and placed them on his strong and toned pectoral muscles, and her eyes moved there.  Then he slid her hands down his 8-pack abs, and her eyes followed, her breathing more shallow.  He saw that she was mesmerized by his body, so he began unbuttoning her shirt.  “One, two, I see a couple of things,” he said to himself and smiled.  She returned to the present and removed his hands from her shirt, and buttoned them back up.

“My pur-…” she began to say but stopped when he took her hands again and placed them on his pectoral muscles and slid them to his abs.  Her eyes were drawn to his body again.  Then he slid her hands down the front of his hips and his toned thighs, and her eyes followed.  He was confident in his best feature.  He put his finger under her chin and led her face to his.  He kissed her slowly and passionately.  Then he bent down and wrapped his arms around her thighs and lifted her up.  She wrapped her arms around his neck and her legs around his body, and he sat on his bed with her on his bare lap.

He continued to take the time to kiss her passionately.  Then he unbuttoned the top one, then the next one. “One more is all I need, yes!” He separated her shirt from the front and slid it off her shoulders, then off her arms.  “Knock, knock, knock, knock,” coming from the other side of his door.

“Who is it?” he asked, strongly desiring to resume what he was doing.

“Mom and dad,” his mother answered, sounding apologetic.

They stopped kissing immediately, held their breaths, and froze.

“Are you decent?”

“Not yet,” he said, trying not to sound panicked.  With a serious look on his face, he pointed at her and then the closet.  Holding her shirt to cover herself in one hand, she pointed at herself and then the floor by the bed.  He shook his head then pointed at her and the closet again.  She glared at him for a moment, then opened the closet and tossed a pair of jeans and a T-shirt at him, then hid in the closet.

He quickly put them on and opened the door, “Hi mom, hi dad.  I hope you’re well,” he said in his normal voice.  “Please come in and take a seat.”

“Why are you talking to us like we’re strangers?” his mother asked, as they stepped in.

“What brings you by?”

“Your father talked to me and made me reconsider…that girl you were dating.”

“Really?”

“Yes.  He said that the media looks for the worst in people then broadcast it, so I shouldn’t prejudge her despite how she appears on TV.”

“Really?”

“Yes.  Why are you so stunned? I want what’s best for you.  If she makes you happy, you should continue dating her, but make sure she doesn’t end up badly on the news anymore.  I don’t plan on defending her until I know she’s worthy of you and makes this family look better,” and gave JZ an evil eye as a warning.

“She’s fantastic, mom.  She’s such a hard worker.  That’s the reason why you saw me carrying her to the ambulance.  She was working on a song for me, and hadn’t eaten anything in four or five days and she was dehydrated, so she fainted.  She even spent the night in the studio to finish the song for me.  I can show you her work on the walls in the studio.  I also have a recording of her singing her song.  She wrote the song in about three days, despite not knowing much Mandarin in the first place because she was born and raised in America and only came here a few years ago.”

“If she was born and raised in America, why is she here?”

“She applied to a school in the U.S. but they didn’t accept her, so she took the opportunity to come here and teach English to first graders.  Isn’t she wonderful? She did not let failure stop her from doing what she wants.”

“She wants to be a teacher?”

“Yes, she does.  She’s going back to teach first graders in two weeks because regular schooling starts then, but she will also continue to write songs for me in her spare time.  Do you see how hard of a worker she is?”

“Buddha was a teacher.  Confucius was a teacher,” his father calmly contributed.

“I see your point that she made a good career choice,” said his mother.  “How else is she fantastic?”

“She’s a vegetarian.  Buddha was a vegetarian,” JZ answered eagerly.

“Alright, what else?”

“She’s different from the other girls I’ve dated.  One Word can confirm this.  When One Word and I were discussing what she would be getting because she wrote an album-quality song, we offered her the same things we offered our other workers.  We offered her an intern, but she refused to have one because she knew the media was after her, and by getting an intern the record label and album sales might be put in jeopardy if the intern leaked her songs.  She is a loyal employee that protects the company she works for, even when it’s only been a week.”

“Are you trying to tell your mother that the girl has traditional charms that are refreshing, that our society has forgotten?” his father interjected on JZ’s behalf.

“Yes,” JZ answered, excited to have words that fit his angel.  “She is the smartest and most intriguing person I’ve met so far, and she continues to excite me.  If she were a bad child, I wouldn’t introduce her to you and dad.”

“Wow, she’s quite something.  Um, how about taking it slower? She’s only been working for you for a week, and you’ve only known her for a week and a few days.”

“I really don’t want to.  The more I know her, the more I think that I don’t deserve her.”

JZ’s mother looked at her husband’s face, and seeing the expression, “No, you can’t stop him.  The more you stop him, the more he wants her.”

“Do you really feel this way about her?” his mother asked.

“Yes,” JZ said solemnly, looking his mother straight in the eyes.

“How about all four of us have dinner together.  That way, I can get to know her better and feel more comfortable knowing you two are together.”

“That’s super! You both will like her. I must tell you that since she doesn’t know much Mandarin, she uses my phone to translate, so it would be a little awkward.  If you don’t want to wear your reading glasses or type, I can type for you.”

“Yes, you can type away.  Oh, what happened to your face? Did she do this to you?” his mother asked in a concerned voice, examining his face.

“She hit me.  Don’t look so worried and shocked.  I deserved it.  I knowingly went in the shower when she was showering.”

“Aiya, act more like an adult.”

“I’ll try.”

“I don’t want you to try.  I want you to do it.”

“Ok, mom.  Let me escort you and dad to a taxi,” he said, taking his parents to the door.

“Have someone wipe all the water on the floor.  Do you want someone to slip and fall?” said his mother, knowing where Elle was hiding from the beginning.

“I’ll take care of it,” he said.

When JZ returned to his suite, the trail from his bathroom to his bedroom was gone.  He entered his bedroom and saw Elle sitting on his undone bed with the buttoned up shirt.

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