“Kat! Get over here right now!”
“Yes mom,” I groaned in reply. Reluctantly placing my book back on the table, I slipped her square-framed spectacles off my face and sidled to my mother’s room.
“Mom? What’s going on?” I asked, eyebrow furrowed as I took in the scene before me.
There stood my mother, arm-in-arm with Lucas; her current boyfriend, who gave me a wink and a smirk when I looked his way. I could feel the horror slowly dawn on me when I realized what it might have meant.
“We are getting married!”
“Oh my god! I can’t believe this! Even after everything you told her?” Caroline asked exasperatedly, her arm around my shoulders.
“I don’t know what he’s done to brainwash her,” I mumbled just as the door to my lavender shaded room flew open.
“Kat?” both the twins’ voices echoed together and I cracked a tiny smile.
“What’s going on?” Hunter asked concernedly, walking towards us.
“Kat’s mom is getting married to that pervert she calls her lover,” Caroline complained.
Hayden frowned and sat on my other side, pulling me from Caroline to his arms. I burrowed my head into his chest, loving the comfort his familiar scent always brought me. Hunter reached for me from behind and wrapped his arms around my front in an awkward but gentle bear-hug.
“Where’s Ryder?” Caroline asked.
“He said he’s on his way,” Hunter spoke up.
“You know what we should do?” Caroline suddenly burst out after a moment of silence. We all looked at her with questioning glances, urging her to go on with a roll of our eyes. “We should get away! Go to a trip together. We all need a break in someway, what with our finals coming up. This is it! This is the opportunity.”
“Actually, that doesn’t sound so bad,” Hunter commented and Hayden nodded his head in reply.
“Why do you guys sound like you expected it to be bad?” Caroline huffed, offended.
“Because that’s how your ideas usually are, CareBear,” Hunter teased, flicking her nose. She wrinkled her nose up at him.
“Ew, get away from me.”
“You still haven’t passed the ‘boys have cooties’ stage,” I laughed.
“I have, okay?” she pouted. “I wouldn’t be friends with these idiots if I had not.”
“Hey! Watch who you’re calling an idiot,” Hayden spoke up, narrowing his eyes playfully at her.
“When was the last time you got laid?” Hunter challenged her.
“Uh,” she paused. “A few months ago,” she sheepishly admitted before defending herself. “It’s not my fault! The guys I was with never lasted more than 10 minutes!”
“Tell me,” Hayden smirked at her, leaning over me. “Have you ever even had an orgasm?”
“I have!” she immediately answered, a little too quickly to be true.
Hayden smirked in truimph and began playing with the strands of my dark hair.
“You have never had an orgasm,” Hunter started, his voice entirely serious. “Because you haven’t been with a real man.”
“Oh? And she has?” she shot back, pointing at me.
“Sure,” I said, disregarding the slight stiffening of muscles beside me.
“Really? When was your last time?”
“Two days ago,” I said truthfully.
“What?” Hunter asked suspiciously. “Who?”
“Drake Fellony,” I shrugged. They all stared at me open-mouthed. “What? He is good-looking.”
“He’s a huge jerk! What the hell, Kat? Now he will go around school gloating about how he had you on your knees.” Both Hunter and Hayden winced at that.
“I was drunk,” I said exasperatedly, raising my hands in the air. “And I was pissed. I needed a distraction.”
“Why were you pissed?” Hayden asked me curiously, his voice a little harder than normal.
“Because the love,” she almost corrected it to ‘loves’ but wisely chose not to when I shot her a glare. “Of her life didn’t like her.”
“Love of your life?” both Hayden and Hunter echoed together, eyes narrowed at me.
“You guys should really stop doing that,” I whined uncomfortably. “It’s creepy.”
“What love?” Hunter demanded hotly.
“Who?” Hayden shot back at the same time.
“Oops,” Caroline said, sensing me glaring daggers at her. “It’s a secret among us girls.”
“You never have secrets from us,” Hayden nearly growled, shifting me onto his lap so that I was straddling him.
“Yeah well, I can’t tell you guys everything,” I chuckled uneasily, avoiding his eyes and instead accidentally clashing with his brother’s intense blue ones.
Hayden gripped my chin to force me to look at him. “Who?” he asked again, his voice hard.
“Am I missing somethin’?” a voice came from behind me and I nearly sighed in relief. Caroline squealed out loud and immediately launched herself on him.
I turned around in Hayden’s lap to meet Ryder’s familiar messy bed of ash-blond hair. He laughed and caught Caroline around the waist, twirling her about for a bit before releasing her. She giggled like a little school girl and moved away as I walked over to give him a hug.
“Hey Kathie,” he smiled. “I missed you.”
“I missed you too,” I grinned back and kissed him on the cheek.
“You never kiss us on our cheeks when we get back from a trip,” Hayden muttered grumpily as I returned next to him. Hunter was now on my other side so I was sandwiched between the two.
“Well, you two don’t have Ryder’s chubby cheeks,” I teased and both of them frowned.
“So what’s up? How was your trip?” Caroline asked Ryder.
“Eh, it was shape. You know how it is with the parentals. They get on your ass on every single thing you do,” he shrugged, slinging an arm over the back of Caroline’s seat. “What’s going on anyway?”
“Kat’s mom is marrying Lucas,” Caroline filled him in. “You’re on for another trip.”
“That sucks,” Ryder told me and I nodded, leaning back and resting my head against Hunter’s shoulder. “But heck yeah! I’m ready for another trip.”
We chuckled at his enthusiasm. Chatter continued around the room for hours as we finalized on the details of our trip. We were to leave the next day morning and return a week later. We were heading to a recently built island where the twins’ had already acquired a chalet overlooking the Pacific Ocean with golden beaches.
Yeah, they were hella rich.
“Let’s go by car, together! So it’ll be like a real road trip,” Caroline said excitedly, clapping her hands together. I nodded along with her, leaning forward with the same ardor.
“Jet would be so much faster,” the twins counteracted.
“Stop ruining our fun,” Caroline whined. “We are going on a trip to refresh ourselves, not a business meeting!”
“I agree with her,” I nodded. “We should get the full experience.”
“Ha! Two against one,” Caroline stuck her tongue out at the twins and we all looked at her strangely. “What? They’re twins! They count as one,” she defended.
“We definitely don’t count as one,” both of them said together before glaring at each other.
“I rest my case,” Caroline smiled, satisfied.
“It’s settled then!” Ryder chuckled at the death glares that the twins shot Caroline who stuck her tongue out right back at them. “We’ll meet at Kat’s and travel from there.”
“Are you staying over?” Hunter asked me. Hayden tugged on my hair lightly to turn my attention to his brother. I scowled at him and slapped his hand away before answering Hunter.
“I wish,” I sighed. “Mom wants me home to spend some time with Lucas and improve our relationship.”
“We are staying over then,” Hayden immediately said, pulling out his phone from his pocket.
“That would be great but I don’t think my mom will let you.”
“She loves us,” Hunter said with a smirk. “Of course she will.”
“I’m not so sure...” I said, unconvinced.
“Here,” Hayden said, flashing me the screen of his phone. It showed up a series of texts with my mother and the final message being,
“Of course dear. I know how hard it gets for you two. You know you’re welcome any time.”
I rolled my eyes. “I don’t know how she falls for it every time.”
“Cause she’s just as naive and gullible as you are,” Hunter chuckled, his arm around my shoulders.
I gasped. “Oh you did not!”
“Just did,” he smirked, that playful crooked smile that always had my heart fluttering, playing on his lips.
“I am not naive and gullible!” I glared, turning around to face Hayden. “Am I?”
“I have to agree with my brother on that one,” he smiled sheepishly, reaching out for me as I slapped his hand away and stood walking over to where Caroline sat.
“Am I naive and gullible?” I demanded.
“Sometimes?” Caroline asked, holding up her hands in surrender. My glare hightened and I turned to Ryder.
“Well, you just tend to be more understanding than the standard human and it’s hard for you to believe that someone has a purely evil motive for doing something,” he shrugged and I nodded, accepting his answer.
“That’s the same thing we said!” the twins exclaimed together, exasperatedly. Ryder smirked.
“Well,” Caroline interrupted the possible startings or WW3. “We have a lot to do! Let’s head home and pack up! Meet you guys tomorrow!”
Hugging me goodbye, she gave a parting wave to the guys and left.
“Well, I better go too,” Ryder said, scratching the back of his neck. “My mom will be ballistic if she doesn’t hear from me before tonight.”
“We know,” I chuckled, recalling the one time that Ryder had forgotten to ring her after having spent an entire day with his friends. Well, let’s just say that he would never try doing that again.
After Ryder was gone, I felt Hunter’s eyes burning into my back as I moved around the room, picking up fallen newspapers and whatnot.
“Come here,” Hunter suddenly said, patting the seat I had previously been seated in. Hayden looked up from his phone, glanced at where I stood awkwardly and returned to whatever was so interesting that had caught his attention.
I hesitated but sighed and walked over to them, gasping when Hunter’s arm wound around my waist and pulled me flush against him. I slapped his arm away and wiggled around, settling in the seat beside him as he reached over and grabbed the remote.
I peeked at Hayden’s phone as I watched Hunter switch through channels like he was flipping eggs. My eyebrows furrowed together when my eyes took in the familiar body shape and texture of the girl he was ogling.
“Beatrice? Seriously?” I asked him, an unintentional scowl on my face.
“Yes,” he said, without even a glance towards me. I felt my temper spike as Hunter leaned over, finding interest in our conversation.
“The head-cheerleader? The one who tormented me my whole childhood, really?”
“Drake Fellony, really?” he parroted as his brother leaned over me to take a look. I scowled and pushed him away, causing him to chuckle.
“This is about Drake?” I asked in disbelief.
“No, this is about her being a chick and me being a man with needs,” he said, scrolling through more pictures of her half-naked with her boobs nearly falling out of her transparent tops. “If you could fuck Drake, then I can fuck Beatrice.”
“I was drunk!”
“And that makes a difference?”
“Oh because you have never done something you regretted when you were drunk?” I shot back, mind veering back to that one night that I wasn’t sure if it was only a figment of my imagination.
“So you regretted it?” Hunter asked suddenly, pulling me around to face him.
I paused. “Yeah, I guess I did. I don’t even remember if he was any good.”
“So you were shit wasted and let him have his way with you?” he growled out.
“I consented to it, alright?” I said, hands thrown in the air. “Why are you so uptight about it anyway? It was only a night.”
“It’ll be only a night with Bianca as well, won’t it?”
“It’s Beatrice,” I dead-panned, unable to hide my chuckle.
“Yeah whatever,” he grumbled and just like that, the tension in the room evaporated. I snuggled in between the two and sneakily grabbed Hayden’s phone from his hands as Hunter went back to flipping through channels until he landed on Finding Nemo. Hayden groaned but wrapped his arms around me, pulling me back to his chest as I played with the collar of his brother’s shirt.
Hunter dragged me so that I was still pressed up against Hayden but now my legs were tangled with his as he pulled my favorite comforter over us. I yawned and nuzzled my head on his chest, curling up around them to watch the movie, forming the perfect sandwich that kept me warm and toasty.
I loved being squashed in between them.