"Hi, we've just arrived. Ok, yeah that's fine. See you in a minute."
I peered out to see swarms of people separated from the road by barriers. The nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach increased. Georgia had said this was a big event, but I hadn't been expecting such a large crowd.
"We have to wait five minutes, then we'll be on the red carpet. We'll pose for a few photos and then head straight in." Richard announced, beaming at Georgia
My mouth went dry, and I sank my fingers into the leather seats.
"I don't want to do that."
Everyone stared at me, and my eyes watered. My chest was getting tighter as my anxiety increased, but then I felt a hand on mine, fingers circling over my skin.
Nobody could see, our hands were out of view. But instantly I felt safer.
"Yeah, I'm not sure either. Is there another way me and Sophie can go in?" Georgia asked.
"I wanted to arrive together. It's the first big event we're attending as a couple. I wanted it to be a surprise…"
Oh shit, this was getting awkward. Richard was right, Georgia would love to pose for photographers and walk the red carpet.
"You should go, Georgia. I don't mind going in by myself."
Before she replied, Johnny and James both spoke in unison.
"I'll go with, Sophie."
I felt stupid for making a fuss, but I couldn't ignore the frisson of pleasure I felt hearing James offer to come with me.
"James, you need to be on the red carpet with me. We agreed that we would both appear for photos, you can't sneak in." Richard sighed, glaring at him.
"James is the one everyone wants to photograph, anyway." Graham teased, "The UK's hottest playboy."
"Shut it!" James barked, his body tensing.
"It's better if I go with Sophie. Nobody cares about my photo, and I hate that stuff." Johnny said, glaring at James.
"Right, sorted. I'll get the driver to let us out and he can drop you both at the side entrance." Richard exclaimed, shaking his head.
"Is that ok, Sophie?" Johnny asked, his face full of concern.
I nodded, and James snatched his hand away. I wished I could say that I wanted him to come with me, but this wasn't the right time. My cheeks flushed, I sounded like such a brat. But there was no way I could risk my photo appearing in a magazine or paper.
"I'm sorry, Soph." Georgia mouthed, looking stressed.
I shook my head at her. She hadn't known about the red carpet, this wasn't her fault.
As the limo came to a final stop, Georgia gave me a hug.
"Have fun and I'll see you inside." I smiled, not wanting her to worry.
I tried to catch James's eye before he left, but he made a point of avoiding me.
Johnny's hand was on the small of my back as we walked into the club. A woman dressed in tiny white shorts and a white t-shirt smiled as we approached.
"Hi, welcome to Q. Can I take the name of your party and see your passes?"
"Hello. The party name is Graves and here are our passes." Johnny replied, and I could tell he was trying not to laugh.
"Oh, yes. We have a special VIP room for you. My name is Stacey, and if you follow me, I'll take you straight there."
As she turned around, I caught Johnny's eye. He pulled me closer so he could whisper in my ear.
"I didn't realise a white party meant getting your teeth bleached."
"I guess some people take things to the extreme." I replied, smiling at him.
I could hear the heavy bass as we went upstairs. The music was so loud my skin tingled, the beat filling me from head to toe. We were up high, peering down at the dancefloor. The DJ booth was in the centre, surrounded by large speakers and screens. Strobe lighting of every colour lit up the people dancing. It was like being in a kaleidoscope.
"Have you guys been here before?" Stacey shouted, her voice sounding distant.
I shook my head as Johnny nodded.
"That's the main floor, there's a beach bar and second dance floor outside. That has a more of a chilled vibe."
I nodded, but I was in sensory overload. I'd never been a fan of clubs, but this place was incredible. It was impossible to not get caught up in the party mood.
"I'll take you to the VIP area now, wait till you see that!" She beamed, her teeth glowing.
I fought back the urge to laugh, but I knew if I looked at Johnny I wouldn't be able to hold it in.
"Oh my God..." I said, gazing around in awe.
A large window overlooked the dancefloor. The other side opened onto a terrace, filled with plush white cushions and a large glass table.
"This is amazing!" I said, smiling at Stacey and Johnny.
"Your private bar is stocked, and there's a button here if you need any help. Oh, and the bathroom is through that door."
"No queuing for the toilet!" I joked, smiling at her.
"Uh, no. I guess not." Stacey replied, looking at me strangely.
Johnny had headed to the bar and pulled out a bottle of champagne.
"I will leave you guys to get started. Enjoy your night!"
"Glass of champagne?" Johnny offered, once Stacey had left.
I nodded and sat down, watching the dancefloor below us. Johnny joined me, handing me a generous glass of champagne.
"It's pretty cool, isn't it?"
His arm moved behind me as we stared out of the window and I shifted forward.
"Yeah, it really is."
I cleared my throat, trying to find the confidence to tell him I wasn't interested.
"Uh, Johnny. I-"
"Well, doesn't this look cosy?" Graham exclaimed, barging into the room.
James appeared behind him and my breath caught in my throat. He looked pissed off, but that just made him sexier. He walked straight to the bar, not even acknowledging us.
"Oh my God, Sophie! How incredible is this place?" Georgia squealed, tottering over to me.
I stood up and hugged her.
"I know, it's amazing."
As Georgia released me and went to get a drink, Richard gestured for me to come over to him.
"I hope you don't think I was mad at you in the car. I'm sorry if I was rude."
I waved my hand at him,
"You weren't rude! I'm sorry I was being such a pain, it's just a red carpet is my idea of a nightmare."
"Me too. It doesn't get any easier, but thankfully James gets most of the attention. I'm glad you came to visit, Georgia always talks about how important you are to her. If I'm honest, I was nervous to meet you."
I grinned at him.
"I was nervous as well! You guys are great together, I've never seen her this happy before."
Richard's face lit up,
"She's all I could ever want. I really do-"
"We have to go and dance, Sophie! Come on!" Georgia interrupted, pulling me into an embrace.
Richard and I exchanged smiles, and he sighed.
"Be careful, there's a lot of people down there."
"We'll be fine, don't worry so much. What you say, Soph?" Georgia said, her eyes pleading with mine.
I normally needed to be drunk to visit a dancefloor, but I was desperate to let off some steam. Although, I doubted that dancing would give me the release I really needed...
"Ok, come on."
She squealed, grabbing my hand.
"See you later, boys."
We walked through the VIP area and towards the dancefloor.
"Oh my God, is that Orlando Bloom?" Georgia shouted, pointing in the least discreet way possible.
I pulled her arm down,
"Yes, it is! Don't be so obvious."
She laughed, leading us through the crowd of people as we walked to the middle of the dancefloor.
I couldn't make out anything apart from the music. The bass thumped in time with my heartbeat, as though they were one. Warmth rushed through my body, and we both started dancing energetically.
I couldn't remember the last time I'd felt this carefree. It was so easy to forget about everything else when I was having fun with Georgia.
After a few tracks I was going to suggest going back for a drink, but Richard appeared. He pulled Georgia into his arms and her face lit up. They were so in love, and as they kissed, I felt a pang of jealousy in my chest.
God, was I a bad person for feeling that way? I hurried away, pushing through the crowd. I'd just fought my way to the edge of the dancefloor when someone grabbed my arm.
Adrenaline flooded my body, and I turned to see a man grinning at me.
"Hey, sexy!" He shouted, "You're dancing with me."
I tried to pull away, but he tightened his grip. My eyes searched the crowd for Georgia or Richard, but I'd lost them amongst the sea of people.
"Let go of me!" I yelled, trying to hide how shaken I felt.
"Don't go shy on me! I've been watching your dancing." He slurred, kissing my cheek and running his hand down my back.
My body felt hot as I tried to break free, oxygen flooding in and out of my lungs. I was staring into his eyes, my fear increasing, when he went flying backwards.
He looked furious, and I watched in stunned silence as he grabbed the guy by his collar and slammed him into a wall. Two security guards came rushing over, moving him back, and I hurried over.
"I want this piece of shit out of the club." He barked, his fists clenched at his side.
My heart did somersaults in my chest, because it was sexy as hell watching him defend me. The guy started laughing, staggering to his feet.
"She was asking for it, fucking slut!"
Before security could do anything, James had punched him to the ground again. Breathing heavily, he turned and put his arm around me.
"Are you ok?"
I nodded, looking at the guards nervously. Surely they would kick us all out?
"Come on, let's go somewhere private."
He grabbed my hand and hurried us away from the dancefloor and VIP area. We walked up some stairs, coming to a stop outside a black door.
"It's a private room, we're ok to be in here." He muttered, yanking it open and pulling me inside.