Chrystal woke up late the next day, she could tell it was way past three in the afternoon. She stretched out her stiff limbs with a pleasurable moan, considered going back to sleep and then changed her mind, all within ten seconds. She felt considerably better today, and the sun was still shining. She smiled and rolled out of bed. The clock read 4:34. She decided she was going to have a productive day, clean out the flat, organise everything. She yanked open her bedroom blinds and let the light fill the room. Standing at the window awhile, she let the sun bask her in its warmth, again she found herself smiling. This was the most at ease she'd felt since she'd met that abominable Ashton. At the thought of his name, she frowned slightly, but it didn't stunt her good mood.
What am I going to do about that man? She was at a loss for once. Chrystal always knew what to do; was always right; was always in control, but not with Ashton. For the first time in a long time, she felt like she was out of her depth, out of control. No man had ever managed to get under her skin, not ever! Well, except from when- No! Don't think about it! STOP! Chrystal gasped and slapped her head a few times, trying to banish the memories from her thoughts. Think of something else, think, think! She thought desperately. No matter what she could never think of her past. She hummed and paced her room, exasperated and terrified. Pictures, memories flashed in her mind: his blue lifeless lips, fire, the wind caught in her mother's hair. "STOP IT!" She screeched, she was trembling now. Half blinded by her tears, she ran to the bathroom, turned on the shower as cold as it went and threw herself in it. The sheer cold of the water knocked the air from her lungs, she gasped breathlessly, trying to fight the urge to crawl out from its merciless stream. Her chest tightened and she hugged her arms around her still clothed body. It hurt everywhere but the memories stopped, her head was clear of that evil.
After a few minutes she changed the stream to a warmer setting and pulled off her soaked clothes and disposed of them in the sink. Her body was numb. She tilted her face up towards the constant stream and let it soak into her face, washing away the bad thoughts, slowly calming her down. Her breathing was almost back to normal when she regained feeling in her toes. She stayed in the the shower for over thirty minutes, being extremely careful with her thoughts. Once she was sure of her sanity, she stepped out the shower and wrapped a towel tightly around her. Chrystal had often had panic attacks like these when she first moved to LA. In the past year they had got less frequent- this was her first in four months. They always came unexpectedly, and were always just as crippling. No one knew about it. It was one of Chrystal's many secrets that even she wouldn't allow herself to think about. Once she was dried and changed, Chrystal went about her day exactly the way she had planned upon waking. Her earlier good mood was regained, and it would seem like the whole break down episode never happened.
Chyrstal was in full swing with her clear out operation by six o'clock. She had her music blaring through her Sonos system in every room and she had on her "clean up" outfit- her father's grey holey t-shirt and baby pink unicorn briefs. She was in her element, singing along to Shania Twain's "Man I Feel Like A Woman." She had her long hair braided down her back, which was still slightly damp from the shower earlier. She was just about to clean out her very large book shelf when the flat buzzer sounded. Without thinking twice, she buzzed whoever it was in. Would probably be Kelly, coming to annoy her about something unimportant. She danced back to her book shelf, continuing with the task at hand. Then the door knocked. Odd, Kelly never knocks. Annoyed, she stomped towards the door and about took it off it's hinges. "Why the fuck are-" Chrystal's mouth slammed shut immediately as she looked upon her visitor. Every muscle in her body froze. This definitely was not Kelly. "Oh...hello," Ashton said, slightly stepping back. "Expecting someone else?" He asked, smiling down at her. He looked nervous and amazing. He was standing in her doorway, looking nervous and amazing. God, he's amazing. She still hadn't said a word. She still stood frozen in the doorway, mouth half hanging open, trying to swallow down her earlier sentence.
He chuckled and then seemed to notice Chrystal's attire, or lack of attire so to speak. He cleared his throat, and looked down her body suggestively. This seemed to spark some sort of response from Chrystal who then looked down at herself. "Oh fuck!" she squeaked, she could feel her cheeks burning already and pulled down on her t shirt, wishing it were longer. He laughed heartily and looked away. "Nothing I haven't seen before Miss. Winters," He said, wiggling his brows at her. This only made her blush more furiously. Get a grip! She told herself. She was an erotic dancer for Pete's sake! She was used to wearing less clothes than this in front of grown men. She took a few moments to recover herself before she smiled widely at him. "Forgive my lack of clothing," she said sweetly, "I wasn't expecting company." She opened the door wider, exposing the other leg that had been hiding behind it. He glanced only fleetingly down before looking her straight in the eye. "I came to drop off these," he stated, producing a clothes bag. "Your clothes from the other night, I had them washed obviously." She took them, thanking him gratefully.
"I'd invite you in for a coffee, but I'm in the middle of cleaning and the flat's a mess- I'm a mess," She said laughing nervously, rubbing the back of her neck.
"I'd love a coffee," he quickly said. They smiled shyly at each other.
"Ummm, okay. Well, please do, come in."