Beauty and the Feast

Chapter One

“Jesus Christ, Jason! What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

“Ah…ah…ah…” The teenager wiggled a finger. “You know how my mom feels about cussing.”

“Who cares how your mom feels about cussing? This is the fifth week in a row you’ve gotten me wet.”

Jason stood grinning at her, a hose with a spray nozzle in his hand. He waggled his eyebrows.

“That’s not the kind of wet I mean and you damn well know it,” Eva grumbled. “What are you doing home anyway? Aren’t you supposed to be in school?”

“I’m a senior,” Jason replied with a shrug, “I’ve already got my college acceptance. I’m free to do what I want.”

“Yeah, well, why does what you want have to include drenching me every Monday morning?”

“Because it’s a wet tee-shirt contest in my own yard. I mean, c’mon Eva, you’re hot. I’m eighteen years old and horny and you’re like, my fantasy.”

“Why can’t you look at me as more of a big sister?”

Jason snorted, “I don’t think so.” He waved the hose in Eva’s direction.

Eva jumped sideways. “Look, Jason, we’re going to have to come to some sort of arrangement.”

Without hesitation Jason replied, “I’m open to that.”

Eva rolled her eyes. The kid was quick and he had a one-track mind. “Not that sort of arrangement. Do you want me to complain to my bosses about this? I will and you know what they’ll do? They’ll send out Miriam. You want them to send out Miriam?”

Jason’s grin was replaced with a look of flat out horror. “Hell no! She’s old and blows her nose all the time and she cleans under my bed and her food tastes like crap.”

“Okay then,” Eva began, “If you don’t want Miriam, stop soaking me.”

Eva walked into the garage and opened a cabinet. She knew where Mrs. White kept her worn towels. Jason trailed behind her. Eva noticed the young man watching her as she toweled off. He grinned at her, unrepentant. She saw his eyes focus on her black bra beneath her white, now transparent, tee shirt.

Eva pointed an accusing finger at him. “Knock it off. Don’t you have a girlfriend?”

“Yeah.”

“So how come you don’t turn the hose on her?”

“Are you kidding? She’d smack me up one side of the street and down the other.”

Eva gave the young man as stern a look as she could manage. “Then why would you treat me so disrespectfully?”

Jason pretended to consider her words for a moment. “I don’t know,” he answered with another shrug. “Like I said, you’re hot. And you put up with me.”

Eva sat down on a step to remove her shoes. Even her socks were wet. She decided it would be better to just work barefoot.

“Jason,” she said to the young man, “Get out of here. Go back to school.”

“Yes ma’am,” he replied agreeably. “Hey, leave my bed alone and don’t clean beneath it.”

“I never do,” said Eva with a sigh. “You want anything special for supper tonight?”

“Oh, yeah,” answered Jason. “Some of that spaghetti, you know, the stuff that takes all day to cook. The red stuff.”

“Bolognese?”

“Yeah, and I’ll eat a salad as long as you make it with real lettuce and creamy Italian.”

“Since when are you so picky about food?” asked Eva.

Jason winked at her. “Since you started cooking for us. And garlic bread. Remember the garlic bread. Like you made it last time, with lots of butter and parmesan cheese.”

“Anything else, your majesty?”

Jason ignored Eva’s sarcasm and he thought for a moment. “Brownies would be good. A big batch. The cream cheese kind. I can take some of those to practice this afternoon. Everyone on the