Chapter 2: Kaia and Zoe

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: General Erotica  |  House: Contemporary erotica

Reads: 54

"Holy shit Kai, did you see this mornings paper?" Zoe Terrence asked her sister in awe.

Kaia shook her head as she studied the paint samples in front of her.

"That fucking rapist Brandon Salinger was found dead this morning. He had a tape with a full confession on it. I knew that son of a bitch did it." Zoe fumed, scanning the pages.

"Listen Zo, as much as I would love to care, the fact is I don't. I'm on a deadline here and I really need your help." Kaia said, giving her sister the side eye.

Zoe rolled her eyes.

"Yeah, yeah. I forgot where art is involved you can't be bothered."

"Right. So let's get on this please."

Kaia was so used to her older sisters sarcasm that it didn't even phase her anymore.

Without another word Zoe grabbed a few of the paint swatches and flipped through them.

"How about this?" she asked holding up one of the cards.

"Ugh. That's just not quite right. I need more teal in the blue."

"Come on Kai!" Zoe nearly shouted. "We've been looking through these colors for almost two hours! How many fucking shades of blue do we need to see?"

"As many as it takes to get the right shade Zo. Please be patient with me. This piece is going into Nando's gallery tomorrow night. I need it to be perfect. Besides, I can't copy the color until I see it, otherwise it will be all off."

"Why can't you be a regular painter? Someone who just slaps paint on the page or invents their own colors?"

Kaia gave a laugh.

"Because I don't work that way."

"God, you're such a perfectionist." Zoe retorted with a heavy sigh.

Kaia gave her sister a look and went back to burying her nose in paint samples.

They thumbed through them in silence for a few minutes before Zoe spoke again.

"That's the third body in the last 2 weeks." she commented simply.

Kaia grunted a half response.

"Kai, I'm worried."

The concern in her voice caught Kaia off guard and she looked up at her sister.

"It's okay Zo. I promise." Kai assured her with a weak smile. "We're safe. Nobody is coming to hurt us."

Zoe still looked concerned and there was fear in her eyes.

Kaia put the samples down and scooted closer to her on the couch. She put her arm around her and squeezed gently.

"It's a big city Zo. We should be worried but is it productive to always be looking over our shoulders? Don't go anywhere alone. Make sure Joey or I are with you, ok?"

"But what about you?" Zoe sniffled.

"I'm fine, silly girl. I hardly ever leave. Besides, I've got my own big bad bodyguard."

They both glanced to the corner of the room where her goofy German Shepard lay, snoring quietly.

"Yeah," Zoe laughed. "The bodyguard who would lick you to death."

Kaia shrugged.

"You know what they say. Kill 'em with kindness."

After a good laugh they went back to the samples. Not five minutes later Kaia jumped up with glee.

"I found it!" she shouted enthusiastically, doing a happy dance. "I found it Zo! This is the one!"

"That literally looks like the other five hundred shades we've looked at today."

Kaia shot her a displeased look.

"I'm just sayin. They all look exactly the same to me."

"Shut your whore mouth, you uncultured swine!" Kaia huffed, teasing her sister.

"Excuse me!" Zoe said in an exaggerated gasp. "I have ever been so insulted in my life!"

"Not even the time grandma told you that you looked ugly in brown and threw a slipper at you because you wouldn't take it off?" Kaia asked, cocking her brow.

"Okay, maybe that tops this."

Kaia was ecstatic about finding the shade that she'd been searching days for. It was one of those things that genuinely made her heart happy. Art was her life. She'd been good at it since she was a child and when her parents realized it, they nurtured and encouraged that passion.

She'd had an eye for color and proportions. It came easy to her and to say that she loved it would be a huge understatement. In Kaia's eyes, as an adult, she had it all. Money, wealth, success. A sister who was her absolute best friend, a loyal furry companion. She couldn't ask for more. Well, except maybe a life partner but that wasn't high on Kaia's priority list.

"How about we go out and celebrate with a drink?" Zoe offered, already putting her coat on.

Kaia smiled at her.

"I think we should." she agreed, grabbing her own jacket.

It wasn't often that Kaia went out for a drink. She detested getting drunk and feeling like she wasn't in control. Part of the perfectionist lifestyle, she supposed. It only ever happened every once in a blue moon but she figured that this was a reason to celebrate with a drink or two.

Zoe looped her arm through Kaia's and led her out the door. When they exited a blast of chilly wind hit her in the face and she shivered a bit.

"I'll grab my car and come grab you. It's like half a block down. There was no parking when I came and of course now there's a thousand spots open." Zoe griped, putting her hood up and taking off in the direction of her car.

Kaia chuckled to herself at her sisters impatience. Even in their 40's, it was cute.

Zoe pulled up a few minutes later and Kaia was happy to be getting in the vehicle, even if it was only a tad warmer than the air outside.

"Should we go to Bruno's?"

"Sure, I could get down with Bruno's"

Zoe guided the car expertly to her favorite bar.

It was a little hole in the wall. Nothing fantastic or flashy about it. Kaia found that those were the best kind. No music blaring so loud that you can't hear. No drunk and obnoxious early twenty-somethings running into people or spilling drinks on you. No bass thumping so hard that it vibrated in your chest. Just a classic, dimly lit bar that had a jukebox and smelled like beer and stale cigarettes.

They entered the building and everyone shouted Zoe's name like she was in an episode of Cheers. Kaia found it quite comical.

They sat at a little table and ordered a round of beers, which Zoe offered to pay for.

"Drinks on me this round!" she said happily.

"All drinks are on you Zo. One beer and I'll be good with soda."

"Come on Kai!" Zoe pleaded in a full out whine. "We're celebrating! Don't give me this one beer shit. Have at least three."

Kaia knew that by the time she finished one Zoe would have been far ahead of her already and was hoping her sister would forget how many drinks she had promised to drink.

"Okay Zo. But only three."

Zoe clapped and gave out a squeak.

One beer went down incredibly smooth so Kaia decided to have that second drink. And the third. She promised herself no more and maintained that decision. After three she switched to soda as she watched her adventurous sister flit around the bar and talk to almost everyone there. Kaia had always been the quiet sister where Zoe was the extrovert. Always seeking attention and the spotlight when she could. It made her happy so it made Kai happy. Zoe was not only her sister but also her best friend.

As Kaia looked around she saw familiar faces. Some she'd gone to school with; some who had been friends with their mom; some who Kaia really didn't care for. It was a hodge podge of different ages, personalities, and ethnicities. Being in public was a funny thing to her. She'd never had any desire to be noticed or recognized and just kind of floated in the background. She liked it better that way. She generally didn't have much to talk about anyway unless the other person was an art nerd like her.

However, to Kaia there was an up side to being in public. The muse generally hit her to paint backgrounds, portraits, or sometimes just auras. She was in tune more with the setting than the people. Except every once in awhile she would cross paths with someone who just needed to be put on canvas. It called to her like a siren the second she lay eyes on them.

But there was nobody here tonight that spoke to her like that.

Bored with her surroundings Kaia pulled out her phone and started scrolling social media. Every photo, every new article, all revolved around the murder of Brandon Salinger. Memorial posts, sympathies flooding her feed with respects to his family.

It was funny because they all knew what he was. They all knew that despite lack of evidence that he'd done it. He'd actually even bragged about it and how he got off. They couldn't try him again for it because of double jeopardy laws. It was truly reprehensible. Now the keyboard warriors were coming out to play and faking their sympathies just to feel like a good person. It made Kaia gag.  She and Zoe had gone to school with the guy. Kaia had never really been friendly with him but he had once asked Zoe out on a date. She declined because he was creepy, even then, and he got upset at her.

Kaia decided that if her sister didn't come back within 10 minutes she was going to leave. It was chilly outside but the walk home wasn't terribly long. Suddenly she heard a voice next to her.

"Hey beautiful. My darling girlfriend stealing everyone's attention again?"

Kaia sipped her drink and nodded.

"Of course. Do you really think she would do otherwise?"

The both laughed.

"Yeah, she does have a way with people."

They both watched Zoe as she worked her magic on everyone. When she looked over at them she saw Joey and almost ran back.

"Baby!" she cried throwing her arms around him. "I miss you!"

Zoe showered Joey's face with kisses.

Kaia was uncomfortable with the display of affection but it wasn't her life so what did it even matter to her.

"I think I'm going to head home Zo." Kaia said, standing and shrugging her coat on.

"But we just got here." Zoe pouted.

"Sorry doll. I've got a few things to finish up before I go to bed. Big gallery showing tomorrow, remember?"

"At least let Joey drive you home Kai. With everything going on..."

Kaia put up a hand and stopped her.

"I'll be fine. However, if Joey wants to drop me off, I'll relent."

Joey gave her a warm smile and nodded.

"Yeah, for sure. You can never be too careful these days. Come on Kai. I'll be back in a few love." he gave Zoe a kiss on the lips and put his own coat on.

He had parked fairly close and they were in his still warm car in no time.

"Hey, thanks for driving me. It really wouldn't have been a big deal to walk though."

Joey shrugged.

"It's good. I would never forgive myself if something happened to you or Zoe. You're my favorite girls."

They arrived at her place in no time and she gave Joey a smile and a wave after she got out. He honked and made sure she got in before taking off.

When she got inside of her place, she shrugged her coat off and hung it on the coat rack. The chill still clung to her but she rubbed her hands together to warm them some and grabbed a sweater she always kept out for occasions like tonight. She sang under her breath as she gathered her supplies and entered her studio. She needed to get the color for her painting right before she could put the finishing strokes on her canvas.

She eyed the unfinished product with a critical stance. It was a scene from the Bayou. Pretty and delicate. Spanish moss hanging from the branches of old twisted cypress trees, an egret in the background. Just the top of an alligators head peeking out from the water. She had needed the blue teal to help haze the sky, barely visible in the corner of the swamp. She could see so many things she would change if she had the time but she didn't change a thing. It really was a magnificent piece.

Standing in front of the canvas she eyed the color scheme. The murky grays and rusty reds weren't drying as quickly as she had hoped so she brought a heat lamp in to set the picture in front of as she worked on finishing the rest. Once she pulled out her acrylic paints she went to work on the sky, then tweaking and perfecting a few small details so they blended perfectly. When Kaia was finally done, she looked at the clock and realized that three hours had flown by.

"I'm getting too old for this." she joked as she cleaned the paints and brushes. "I should have been in bed a couple hours ago."

Showering was short as she was actually very tired and needed to be fresh for the gallery showing tomorrow.

She crawled into bed and turned off the light next to her bed. She felt Ollie, the dog, climb up and snuggle against her like he did every night.

"Goodnight Ollie. My good boy."

Kaia gave him a pat on his furry head and closed her eyes, quickly falling into a deep, dreamless sleep.

Submitted: November 21, 2022

© Copyright 2022 Angelica Jai. All rights reserved.


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