Behind The Mask

Two bodies. Three people. One relationship.

One of them is hiding behind a mask, holding on to a secret for dear life. Until one day, when it is discovered. Will it ruin them or will it strengthen them?




Cover done by Lexi Wordsmith

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3. 2.

​Jason's POV

 

Jason stood next to Phoenix in the queue at Starbucks. He wished he could afford to take her somewhere more expensive but he had spent most of his money on her birthday present. He could feel the small box leaving a square imprint on his leg. He hoped she would like it, but there was a niggling doubt in the corner of his mind; he was giving her his heart without her knowing the truth. He slipped his hand round her waist, pulling her close, feeling her thin, curvy figure under his fingers, a small stab of jealousy stinging his heart.

 

Jason took their drinks to the last secluded table in the busy cafe, lost in his mental battle, unnoticed by Phoenix. He sat on one side of the table, she, the other. She still had a grin plastered across her face. Her happiness was infectious, causing Jason to grin back, but the smile felt fake. He wasn't who she thought, he was hiding behind a mask, a mask he hated.

 

​Phoenix took a sip of hot chocolate, Jason mirrored her, learning from her, like he had been doing for the past few months. He knew how to apply make up perfectly, the right amount of perfume to spray without it being overpowering, how to paint nails and braid hair, all from watching and helping her. Sadness struck him as he wondered if his girlfriend would accept him for who he really was.

"Are you alright?" Phoenix's soft voice broke through his pondering. He looked her, noticing concern etched on her perfect features.

"Of course," Jason said, attempting to sound happy, but his ears picked up how fake he sounded. Phoenix didn't look convinced, but nodded, accepting his answer.

 

Jason tried to push his thoughts aside, he would not ruin her birthday, not when she was so happy. He would do anything, absolutely everything to keep her happy.

"-score was so high!" Jason realised Phoenix had been talking while he fought with his mind. He smiled at her but she didn't seem to notice. It was then that he noticed the Bluetooth clipped to her ear under waves of fire. As Phoenix talked, Jason began to daydream of telling her the truth but his mind would only conjure images of her being disgusted, being angry or leaving him. The thought hurt him, scared him. All he wanted was to be accepted. To be himself.

 

Suddenly, Jason was brought back to reality by Phoenix snapping her fingers in his face. He jerked his head up to look into her perfect sea-blue eyes.

"Are you sure you're okay? You've been away with the fairies for about ten minutes. You didn't even notice when I shook your arm, you just started vacantly into your tea." Phoenix's face was full of nothing but worry. Jason knew he would have to tell her the truth, but today was not the day.

"I'm fine, honestly. Stop worrying, you'll go grey, babe," he replied, sadness washed through him as he lied. After what felt like an age, she nodded, not quite sure she believed him.

 

They talked about insignificant things as they finished their drinks while Jason wondered whether this was the place to give her the box that was burning a hole in his pocket. He finally decided against it. He was going to keep it until she knew. There was another present from him at home anyway, one less significant but much safer. 

 

As they left, Jason watched Phoenix as she walked, the slight sway of her curvy hips, the way her brilliant red hair rippled in waves down her back, the sexy confidence that she exuded. She was perfect. He was jealous.

 

Jason interweaved his fingers with hers as they walked home to the soundtrack of roaring traffic and screeching pedestrians, each lost in their own thoughts.

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