Genesis: Part 2
Jason spent most of the night searching for Keesha. He went to their favorite spots, hoping for a glimpse of her. As the sun started to rise, he slowly made his way back the Quartermaine mansion. He promised Mary Mae that he wouldn't stop until he found Keesha and he meant it. He would keep looking, but he needed to rest and rethink some things. Keesha wasn't the same. Her memories had been stripped from her, so he'd have to dig deep to find the right way to search for her. As he closed the door behind him, one question came to mind...
Where would a woman without memories go?
With measured steps, he turned his exhausted body towards the staircase. The faint clink of crystal drifted from the den and he followed the sound. In the back his mind, he knew he shouldn't. He knew who was in there before his gaze fell on AJ at the bar. A burst of rage slammed into him and pushed his exhaustion far from his mind. Looking at his brother, he was filled with fury. Although Ned drove the car that changed Keesha's life forever, he couldn't help but blame AJ. It was his damned disease that brought Keesha to the Q estate that fateful night. Damn him!
Jason grabbed AJ by the collar and threw him onto the sofa. He slapped the glass from AJ's hand. Shards of glass scattered across the carpet as the crystal hit the floor. AJ grumbled, "Aw, Jason. Mom's really gonna be pissed now."
"Shut up!" Jason yelled. He grabbed AJ's collar again and shook him violently. "Look at you! You're a mess!"
"I was okay until you broke Mom's glass," AJ mumbled, slurring his words.
"Forget about that damned glass!" Jason released him and stepped back. The urge to beat AJ to within an inch of his life soared through him and scared him. He shoved his hands into his pocket and looked down at his brother. "You're pathetic, but I guess underneath all that crap, you're happy. You finally got what you wanted, didn't you?"
"What?" AJ asked, struggling to sit up. He rubbed his eyes and winced. "What?"
"Keesha's gone from me," Jason said bitterly. "You took her from me, but it won't last. I'll get her back and when I do, we're getting far away from you."
All the color drained from AJ's face. He looked sick and guilt-ridden. "Jason! I-"
"No!" Jason yelled. "I don't want to hear it. No more excuses. No more promises. You did this, and I'll never forgive you!"
Jason stormed from the room, slamming the door after him. The force of the door shook the walls and made AJ's stomach turn. He clutched his abdomen and fell to his knees. With tears in his eyes, he reached for the broken glass and piled it into a stack on the carpet. As he did so, he wept and repeated over and over, "I'm so sorry, Jason. I'm so sorry."
Keesha worked Jake's like a pro within a matter of days. She learned that a faint smile and swivel of her hips would earn her extra dollars, and she worked hard to more than triple the money she had in her pocket when she first arrived at the poolhall. Jake couldn't be more pleased with Keesha's performance and the two women formed a friendship.
"Keesha!" Jake beckoned with a finger.
"Yeah?" Keesha said, setting the tray of empty beer mugs on the counter.
Jake frowned at her. "Why don't you ever take a break?"
"Because I don't get tired." Keesha finished removing the mugs and grabbed the empty tray. She turned to move, but Jake's hand closed over her shoulder. "What is it now? The tables in the back need cleaning."
"They can wait," Jake informed her as she pulled the tray free of Keesha's hand. "I want you to take the rest of the night off. Mandy is here now. She can take care of it."
Keesha nodded slowly. She didn't understand why Jake was being so weird about her taking a break. She wondered if she'd done something wrong and was about to ask when Jake smiled.
"You haven't done a thing, yet. The other girls are getting mad about the tips," Jake explained, "so I want you to sit out the rest of tonight and tomorrow. Once their wallets are stuffed, they'll stop bitching at me about you."
"They're mad at me?" Keesha questioned. "I don't make those guys leave that money out there for me. They do it because they want to. Maybe the girls should be mad the guys."
Jake chuckled. "I agree. We're too reasonable this bunch, I'm afraid. Don't sweat it. I'm sure you'd like some time off anyway. Don't you have a boyfriend or something?"
An image of Jason's concerned blue eyes flashed before Keesha's eyes. She heard his voice in her head, and squeezed her eyes shut to block it all out. He pestered her nonstop and was glad to be rid of him. So why was she thinking about him? She released a low grunt and opened her eyes. "No, I don't have a thing."
Jake nodded, but the look on her face said that she didn't believe Keesha. "Sure. A pretty girl like you is without a man. Sure, Keesha."
Keesha shrugged and looked around. "You don't see anyone with me, do you?" She glanced at the back tables. Mandy still hadn't cleared them. "Are you sure about me taking the night off? I don't mind helping."
"I know you don't, but Mandy can take care of it. She's slow, but she'll get it done. Eventually. Why don't you play a game of pool? The first game is on me. " Jake reached underneath the bar and pulled out a rack of balls. She handed them to Keesha. "Go ahead."
"But I don't know how to play," she said, looking down at the balls with uncertainty.
Jake grinned. "Look around. Anyone of the guys would sell his soul to teach you. Go on. Have fun. I won't take no for an answer."
Keesha gave her pushy boss a half-smile and headed towards the empty pool table in the back. She set the triangle in the middle of the table as she'd seen the others do and then she started setting the balls inside the table. Before two balls touched the green felt, a shadow crossed over her and she looked up into a pair of shining brown eyes. She gave the guy a brief glance and then she went back to the balls.
"Let me do that for you," he said, taking the tray of balls from her. "My name is Johnny."
"I know," she said. She folded her arms across her chest and watched him as he lined the balls up inside the wooden triangle. "You've been here three nights out of the past five."
He chuckled. "You're observant. Your name is Keesha, right?"
She chuckled this time. "You're observant."
"Only when it comes to a beautiful woman like yourself," he complimented. "What are the stakes for the game?"
"I don't know. I've never played before."
One eyebrow cocked at that response. "Oh, no? Well, we'll have to do something about that." He went to the rack of cuesticks and grabbed a couple, testing the weight of them. When he found two to his liking, he returned and handed one to Keesha. "This should be right for you."
She looked at the stick in her hand and shrugged.
He laughed. "You don't say much. The quiet type, huh? That's okay. I like that."
"So how do you play?"
"I'll do the break," he said, applying chalk to his stick. "Then, we can take it from there."
Johnny grabbed the white ball and lined it up. As he leaned over the table, Keesha couldn't help but notice the fit of his jeans around his backside. The expensive denim hugged his thighs just right, too. Her pulse began to race just from looking at him and when Mandy sashayed by, she asked the other woman to bring her a beer.
The stick hit the ball with a firm click. Johnny stood up with a wide grin on his face. His chest puffed out, emphasizing contours and planes of his muscles. Subconsciously, Keesha licked her lips and his grin widened. He strutted towards her and said, "Your turn."
She drew in a deep breath and went to the table. Setting the stick on the edge of the table, she bent forward and aimed. "So all I gotta do is the ball and make it go into the hole?"
"It's a little more complicated than that," he said. "Let me show you."
He moved just behind her. His front brushed against her backside as he reached around her. Taking her hand, he placed it on the stick and said against her ear, "You have to hit the ball gently but with enough force to get the balls where you want them to go. Which do you want? Solids or Stripes?"
"Solids," she murmured, breathing heavily at his close proximity. A need she couldn't quite put a name roared inside her. She closed her mind to it as best she could and tried to focus on his instructions.
"...So you move the stick like so," he said, sliding the stick back and forth between their entwined hands. "Just enough and then you hit it."
Together, they pushed the stick and it hit the white ball, which struck the solid green ball. The green ball sailed into the back corner pocket as if it was guided.
"Very good," he told her. "You get another turn."
Mandy returned with Keesha's beer. She swallowed mouthful of the cool liquid before making her first attempt at the pool table without assistance.
The game between Johnny and Keesha remained friendly even when the novice won. Johnny accepted the loss with a shrug. "You're a fast learner, Keesha. Is there anything else you'd like for me to teach you?"
"Yeah," she said, wracking up the balls again.
He perched his backside on the edge of the table. "Yeah?"
Her thigh brushed against his as she sat beside him. "You have a bike. I wanna learn how to ride it. Will you teach me?"
Johnny laughed. "You're something else-"
A shrill ring came from his pocket and he pulled out his cell phone. "Sorry. Just a sec," he told her. "Johnny here," he said into the receiver. The laughter left his face as he nodded and stood up. "Yes, Mr. Corinthos. I'll be right there."
He flipped the cellular closed and shoved it back inside his pocket. He lightly covered Keesha's hand with his. "I'll have to you give you that lesson later. That was my boss. He has some work for me. Will you save your next game of pool for me?"
Keesha shrugged. "Sure."
"Okay," he said with a tight smile before he left.
She watched him leave, oddly excited by the prospect of another game of pool with him.