Chapter 12: "I Only Know How To Punch The Starfish"
“Ok.. let’s go through the plan once again” Julian says nervously.
“Geez, would you chill. It’s easy-peasy. Plus I’m a great actor” Max smugly replies.
Julian stops walking and holds Max in front of him by his shoulders. We were all going into their house. “Your sister used to play lacrosse in school. She still keeps those sticks in her bedroom. If she even gets a whiff that we are fooling her, I swear every ball present in the house will be in danger” Julian says seriously.
Ian and Alex laugh nervously.
“Okay, now I feel, I don’t mind starving” Dylan says.
“Oh shut it, I am telling you she makes the world’s best Tacos. It will be all worth it in the end” Julian waves us all to follow him.
Everyone’s stomach rumbled on hearing the word ‘tacos’. Max marched up to his door with a determined look, “Let’s do this bitch”.
Julian nods his eyes shining with hero-worship for Max. I am anticipating on how this whole evening will turn out.
Ian and Alex follow and I turn to look at Dylan, only to find him staring hard at Julian. Then he shakes his head as if to get rid of his thoughts and joins us all.
See, the thing is that none of us had enough money to eat outside. The few dollars that we had put together, Dylan used it to buy a stupid laser gun, which he playfully, may I also add painfully smashed onto Alex’s head after getting bored with it.
None of us knew how to cook and we were left without a dime. So Julian suggested if we play our cards wisely, we can get a scrumptious meal made by Lia. Only problem was that she could be really lazy so we would have to trick her to cook.
“I am telling you Lia knows how to make Tacos!” Julian exclaims loudly as we all enter.
“Haha... No way” Max says leading us into the dining room, where conveniently Lia was sitting and eating Nutella with a spoon.
“I mean look at her. I bet she can’t even crack an egg much less make Tacos” Max says pointing and laughing.
She raises a cute little eyebrow and gets up.
She’s wearing shorts....
Holy Moses, those legs.....
I get a quick flash of those luscious legs wrapped around my neck.
“I happen to be very talented big brother” she says with a sarcastic smile.
“No way, even I can look and tell you can’t cook anything” Ian butts in. Julian gives him an impressed look.
“Can we stop this and look for something to eat” I say my part.
Her eyes flash with something that vanished, before I could decipher.
“You know what, all of you sit down. Once you taste my food you will forget your own names” she says flipping her hair.
“Ooooh... can we please get Tacos” Julian pleads in.
“Tacos it is” Lia decides and marches off to kitchen.
Julian turns around and whisper-yells, “We did it bitches!”
“I am sorry, I ever doubted you. This truly is the best meal I ever had” Max says stuffing his face.
“I am leaving my house and living in your kitchen. Call me fucking Cinderella but I am not leaving your kitchen” Alex declares.
“I want to marry you” Dylan says.
“Nope, she’s mine. I’ll be taking you to my home princess” Ian winks at her.
I know these two morons are only joking but I want to strangle them with bare hands.
“Luke, did you not like the Tacos? Your expression is filthy” Lia asks.
I quickly mask my face, “I am sorry, I was thinking something else. The food is great.”
Lia smiles at me unsurely.
In all seriousness, this girl can cook. I had closed my eyes when I took the first bite. It was that good.
Boys were watching TV in living room. I being a gentleman, had offered to help Lia out with the dishes. She refused saying it was her job as the hostess but I just stacked the plates and took it to the sink ignoring her speech about being good hostess.
I was washing plates in the sink. She silently came and joined me.
“Stubborn bitch, aren’t you” she says after a while.
I can’t help but throw my head back and laugh out loud. I shake my head and look at her, only to find her staring at me in fascination.
“What?” I ask smiling.
“Nothing” she says turning to the dishes.
“Where did you learn to cook like that?” I ask.
Did I just initiate a conversation?
That got to be a first.....
“I used to work as chef at a Mexican restaurant. The head chef was a good teacher. I learnt quickly” she replies scrubbing a plate.
“Ask her why she got fired?” Julian says coming into the kitchen to borrow cups.
Lia glares at him while he leaves laughing.
“You got fired?” I can’t keep the amusement out of my voice.
“Yeah that...” she shifts uncomfortably on her feet.
“Well..” I prod.
“It’s nothing actually. Not important” she waves her hand around. “So, did you hear Rita Ora’s new song” she quickly tries to change subject.
“Yeah, I heard. It sucked” I quickly answer. “Now if it isn’t important why won’t you tell me.”
She puts her arm over her eyes. “You won’t let it go, would you?” she asks peeking from underneath.
“Nope” I smile. I am enjoying this way too much.
“Fine. Don’t tell anyone. The head chef caught me cowgirling the waiter in utility room” she says in small voice.
“You did what?!” I can’t help another laugh that escapes my mouth.
“Hey! Don’t laugh. I really regretted that. The job had good pay” she says pouting.
“Oh yeah, that too. Why did you have to work?” I ask.
I don’t know what I made her remember, but her expression falls. She looked so sad, like she was reminded of a bad incident. But she quickly covers it with a small laugh. “Oh you know, some extra pocket money” she winks. I can see her laugh is fake.
“Natalia” I turn towards her.
She looks at me and her laughter fades away. She’s looking at me with those magnetic blue eyes, that are holding so much pain that my hand automatically reaches up to stroke her cheek. Her eyes flutter close and I want nothing but to hold her. To ask her what happened.
“Guys...” Max calls walking into the kitchen.
We quickly jerk away from each other and start cleaning.
“Haven’t you finished yet?” he asks not suspecting a thing.
“Almost done. I’ll just keep the plates away. Thank you Luke for the help” she says not looking at me.
“No problem” I reply. I walk out with Max giving her space because she obviously wanted that.
“Lia darling, thank you so much. Please cook again” Dylan gives her puppy-eyes. We all were standing at their gate.
Lia laughs and says, “Well next time you guys plan something better to make me cook.”
Julian and Max freezes. “What are you talking about” Julian asks nervously laughing.
“Yeah sure” she rolls her eyes. “You got lucky this time, cuz I myself was in a cooking mood today. Don’t think I didn’t see your little trick.”
“Fuck” Julian says.
Alex and Ian snicker at Max’s grumbling, “I am such a good actor. How the hell did she see through it?”
Dylan, I noticed was smiling at Julian’s dumbfound expression.
“Anyways good night all. See you in school” Lia waves at us smiling.
Her eyes meet mine and her smile falters for a second. But then she gives me a small smile of her own.
She was feeling vulnerable, since she had let her guard down earlier. So without much thought (which is completely out of character for me, since my every move is calculated) I go near her. Since boys were busy saying goodnights to each other I put my hand around her shoulder and pull her into me, giving her a side-hug quickly. Her scent fills my consciousness.
She smells like citrus and wild flowers. So refreshing.
Her expression changes that to a surprise, before she looks at me and gives me full-fledged smiled.
Let me kiss you...
“Goodnight” I wink at her before joining others.
“Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go” Julian says excitedly.
I turn and strike a pose for him, “How do I look?”
“The lads at the party will be drooling” Julian smirks looking at me.
We were sneaking to a party. I told Max I was having a study-night with Julian. I am wearing a dark blue bodycon dress, with a light blue denim jacket, sleeves rolled up. To atone for the plain dress, I am wearing a multi-layered necklace which has tiny stars along with a few bracelets and rings. To polish the whole look, I am wearing high tops because I plan to get bone-drunk and drunk and heels, not a pretty combo. My makeup is light, almost nothing because I have seen girl’s makeup melting off giving them a scary look.
Don’t want that since I am planning to get some action tonight...
In fact, I had to get some action tonight. This whole Luke thing is bothering me. Nothing can happen in that direction, so I had to get my mind off everything.
Can’t believe I let my guard down in kitchen the other day....
Even Julian rarely sees me like that. So, I came up with an effective solution. Hook-ups. I haven’t really done anything since I came here,
Except for imagining Luke in my bed.....
So, I need to get back to my old world, where I just needed sex, alcohol and maybe a few smokes.
Party is in full swing. I was flirting with some guy whose name I forgot. I feel tipsy and relaxed.
I had made sure Max didn’t come to this party. This party was hosted by basketball players, and soccer players, aka my brother’s group don’t come there. It’s not rivalry or anything, just the way it’s always been.
I could see Julian already making out with some guy in the back. This guy was slowly inching closer to me. I made no move, because I wanted to see how he plays his cards.
“Natalia Bree Anderson!”
I flinch. Who the hell knew my full name in this party?
I turn and I wish I hadn’t. I see a very enraged Max with an amused Ian beside him.
“What the fuck are you doing here?” Max growls.
“Ello brother. Nice to meet ya” I say in a british accent smiling.
“You lied to me about going over at Julian’s! You should not be here” and Max continues to sprout all shit about not going to parties and all.
“Look I knew you won’t let me go to a party. But you have to stop being so over-protective. I can look after myself” I say trying to make him understand.
Obviously it floats over his head and he scowls at me.
“Why are you even here? Isn’t this basketball dudes party” I ask. No point in arguing with him.
“Dylan had an issue with some guys. We came to sort it out” Max shrugs.
“What issue?” I ask suspiciously.
“Nothing much” Max replies nonchalantly.
Now that I notice, I spot Ian’s shirt was torn a bit near the sleeve. Right on cue, Dylan, Alex and of course Luke walk in.
“C’mon let’s go” Dylan says in a serious tone. This is the first time I am seeing this guy serious.
As they near Max I see Dylan has a busted lip, Alex had a faint bruise near his left eye and Luke looked fine.
He looked more than fine in that blue beanie, with brown bangs hanging over his eyes...
“Holy shit! What happened to you guys?”
They turn towards me in surprise.
“Oh yeah, look who I found?” Max says still scowling.
“The one and only” I smile cheekily at them.
I notice few guys dragging some other guys outside.
“I’ll take that’s your handiwork” I say pointing towards the groaning bunch of guys leaving the party.
“Yep” Ian says proudly.
“Not gonna ask” I say raising my hands.
“Let’s drink a few beers. Houston had politely asked us all to stay and enjoy a bit. Let’s oblige since we crashed his party” Alex chuckles.
Everybody hums in approval.
“Where’s Julian? He must be with you” Dylan asks me handing bottles to everyone.
“He’s busy with some guy in the back” I reply taking a bottle. I notice Dylan frowning for a bit.
We all sit on stools near the table. Luke comes and sits in the only vacant seat, which is beside me.
He’s holding a beer bottle and I see his knuckles bleeding like he was punching someone. My eyes widen and I open my mouth to ask,
“It doesn’t hurt” Luke interrupts me.
I close my mouth. The rest of the boys get busy drinking and playing amongst themselves. I dig out a handkerchief from my jacket’s pocket, and takes Luke’s hand. He makes a sound of disapproval. I just shush him.
“It’s bleeding pretty badly, you have to tie it up” I say keeping his hand in my lap, and expertly tying the cloth around.
“Where did you learn that?” Luke raises an eyebrow impressed.
“Julian used to get in fights in school, because he used to be teased about his sexuality” I explain. “So, I was his personal nurse. First I would tie him up and then go kick some ass of whoever touched him” I smile innocently.
Luke chuckles slightly, “You used to take down, big bullies?”
“Hey! I am pretty strong. And I have my lacrosse sticks with me” I grin at him.
He smiles taking a sip of his beer.
‘Wild’ by Jonas Blue starts playing. I love this song.
“C’mon let’s dance” I say to Luke. I guess all the alcohol I’ve been drinking tonight is kicking in. Also the fact that my brother and his friends are way too absorbed in playing drinking games.
Luke looks at me quizzically. I grab his hand and drag him with me into the crowd of dancing bodies.
This is so not how I planned my night to go....
I take his hands and slide them around my waist, resting them over my hips as I sway with the music.
His breathing fastens a bit. My body is buzzing with electricity as the heat from his palms, warm my body.
“I wanna get wild with you” I mouth the lyrics looking at him dead in the eyes.
His hands pull me closer into his body, as he slowly starts to move with the music.
Holy Shit! He can dance!
Is there anything he can’t do.....
As the chorus music comes, I turn around and dance with his arms caging me from behind. I grind against him and he rolls his hips tightening his hold around my waist.
“I love this dress” he whispers huskily in my ears. I feel goose bumps on my arms.
I close my eyes loving the feel of his body and sway with the music. I lean my head on his shoulder as he rests his chin on top of my head.
“Lia, we have to go. Their games are almost over” he leans down and says in a restrained voice.
I was far too comfortable in this position. Then I register what he said and straighten up. His hands fall away from me and we walk back with a respectable amount of space between us, completely contrasting our earlier positions.
“I have to find Julian. Tell them I’ll be back” I say to Luke.
He nods and goes towards the guys.
I weave through the crowds calling his cell phone, which I knew was a long shot. I check rooms and bathrooms. Damn, this house is huge.
I stumble a bit since I am a little tipsy. I finally find Julian by the pool laughing with some guys smoking something.
“Julian!” I wave at him.
He spots me and signals me to come over.
I make my way to him and he grins at me.
“Here, try this” he says excitedly giving me a joint.
“Not a good idea honey. My brother is here. We need to go now” I urge him.
He completely ignores me and still looks at me expectantly. I sigh. Never argue with a high-Julian.
I comply and take a drag.
“Wow, it’s pretty strong. What is it?” I cough a little. I take a few more drags feeling more and more relaxed.
“No idea” Julian grins and takes back the joint.
“Woah, are you dumb? Enough, you are not smoking anymore” I take the joint and crush it beneath my feet.
“Why would you do that” Julian pouts.
“C’mon” I take his hand and lead him to my brother.
By the time we reach there, we can barely stand. We both are laughing so hard, I have no idea why.
The boys look at us strangely. I faintly register Dylan holding Julian up as he stumbles.
Someone grabs my hand and I am now looking into forest green eyes.
“Are you high?” Luke asks.
I shrug whereas Julian yells, “Like a freaking kite!”
I laugh at him.
Why isn’t anyone else laughing? It was so hilarious....
“They both are high. I can barely see the blue in her eyes” Luke sighs pinching his eyebrows together.
I decide that I don’t like it and press my thumb between them to smooth it out.
“Don’t frown” I pout at him.
“Max....” Luke calls despairingly.
Max comes to hold me but I spot a cartoon character running behind his head.
“Unicorn!” I cry out happily.
I did not even open my eyes but I can feel the killer headache forming. I groan and crack one eye open.
There’s a heavy weight on my stomach. I push it off, kicking it. I hear a loud thud, which makes me wince. Somebody groans out loudly.
I squint my eyes and see a shirtless Julian struggling to stand up.
“Is that how you wake up your one-night stand lovers?” he asks scowling at me.
I whimper because of the loudness in his voice.
“Stop shouting” I cover my ears.
“I can barely get my voice outside my throat” Julian raspily says looking at me in anger.
There’s a moment of peace as no sound is made.
Then suddenly the door flies open and Max comes in smiling.
“Wake up stoners” he yells.
I cry in pain as my head pounded. I notice, we are in my room. Julian also lets out a strangled cry.
I get you buddy....
I feel more people enter. I open my eyes to see Ian, Alex and Luke standing, Dylan was missing. Luke had a bottle of water.
I get up and snatch the bottle, gulping the water like a camel.
“Uh hello! Do I even exist!” Julian looks at me in disbelief.
I am in way too much agony to care about anything else. Alex chuckles and throws a bottle at Julian who immediately follows my suit.
“What happened yesterday?” I ask rubbing my head.
“Well you LIED to me and went to party. Then we found you. We were drinking a bit when you left off to find Julian. Next thing I know, you are coming to us baked” Max summarizes.
I glare at Julian. Then I notice I was wearing Julian’s shirt.
“Why are you wearing my shirt?” Julian notices at the same time.
“I don’t know” I say, slowly panicking as I think the worst.
“Julian, did we have sex last night?” I ask dreadfully.
To my surprise, Julian snickers.
“Babe trust me no amount of anything could make me have sex with a girl. I only know how to punch the starfish, which I am aware no girl is fond of” Julian replies smirking.
The guys start laughing on hearing his answer nodding in approval.
I am relieved I didn’t do anything regretful last night.
“I highly doubt that” Ian replies trying to control his laughter.
Did I say that out loud....
I look at him confused. Max shakes his head in disapproval as I see even Luke is biting back a smile.
“Check your phone” Alex says as if he knows something I don’t.
I pick my phone from the nightstand and unlock it. I check the messages and social media to see if I did something stupid. All clear.
I have actually posted a stupid picture once, when I got high...
“Check the gallery” Ian says hardly stopping his laugh.
Julian climbs and sits near me as I open the gallery. There are thousands of selfies. Julian in a purple wig. Me in huge yellow sunglasses and a fake moustache.
There’s a video and I play it, already feeling nauseous. In the video Julian is bent over laughing while I am behind him, like in doggy style. I am recording with one hand as I laugh and take him from behind.
Man, I can move like champ.....
We look at each other in revulsion.
“Why would you do that?” we ask each other in unison.
“You did it!” we again reply at the same time.
We are about to have a full-blown argument when Max interrupts, “You both had managed to run away. We had found you, recording this.” Even he is struggling to keep his laughter inside.
“Yep, we got a live show. It was so worth it” Alex says laughing like maniac. Ian and Luke also started cackling as they remembered it.
There were more videos. In one of them Julian was recording and singing ‘Baby Shark-a-too-toodle-too Baby’ while I was twerking in the background.
I put my head in my hands battling whether to laugh or have a little dignity and feel embarrassed.
“We do rock whenever we get high together” Julian chuckles. “Man, I sing like an angel!” Julian says impressed, replaying the video.
‘Have you ever been with somebody that makes you feel wild......’
I love Jonas Blue!
Luke and Lia can barely control themselves. My hands are literally itching to write the coming scenes of Luke and Lia. Pheww.....