Chapter 42: Hideous, Outrageous, Scratch-My-Eyes-Out Ugly?
This time instead of Luke, I am sitting with Ian. We both were talking about the final match. I won’t go over the details, but yeah, the boys won. Ian was explaining how he was almost given a red card. Even though we won Coach was in a horrible temper, because of all the tricks they were doing. He had been calling every known authority and giving them a earful, at how poorly Blue Valley’s conduct the games.
Best part was, we were finally going to the beach. All permissions and money stuff had been sorted out by Max. After match everyone packed quickly, and we were all set to move by three in the afternoon. There was a party tonight, so all the celebrations will be done then. The next day everyone could relax in the sun, and we’ll set back for our homes the following morning.
While putting our luggage in the bus, the chain of Luke’s bag slipped open, and a book came tumbling out.
“Who the fuck brings a novel to a match?” Max had asked picking it up, to which Luke had replied “To keep the boredom away.”
Now Dylan was sitting in the corner sulking and mumbling, “Luke said I am boring,” because they had been sharing a room.
At first everybody tried to cheer him up, but then we lost interest. Now only Luke was left, still trying explain how he’s in the habit of reading himself to sleep.
“So..” Ian smiles shifting closer to me. “I was thinking, you and I.. We vibe really nicely. And we find each other attractive, right?” He brushes his knuckles against my cheek. I look at him in confusion, gradually starting to freeze in alarm.
“Maybe we could.. Give it a go. Maybe just one night.”
“You stinky bastard!” Max pulls Ian up from his seat, by the collar. “You’re making a dirty move on my sister?! I thought you were my best friend. I trusted you, you bloody motherfucker!” Max roars and punches Ian square on his face.
“Max! He was just kidding” I cry out, pushing past him to help Ian. Ian refuses my help. He stands up hatefully glowering at Max.
“I was just kidding Max” he spat out. Max narrows his eyes at him suspiciously.
“You-” he snaps at me, “-sit only beside Julian.” I nod obediently, hoping he would just calm down. I sneak a glance at Luke. Safe to say, he too looked panic-stricken.
Bet, now my idea of not telling Max sounds good..
“You guys need to hear this!” Alex rushes into the bus from outside. “What happened here?” he pauses on sensing the tense atmosphere.
“Nothing” Ian answers sitting back in his seat. “What were you saying?”
“Oh right! The basketball team came third. I just overheard Coach-”
“Young man-” Dylan interrupted. “-what have I taught you about eavesdropping?”
“Bite me” Alex snaps irritated. Dylan laughs and backs off. I think Luke managed to reconcile, because Dylan was lovingly clinging to his arm.
“Like I was saying, Tim and his team came in third” Alex was practically bursting from excitement. ”And, that Blue Valley’s Coach is Tim’s, maternal uncle!”
We all gasp in surprise. No wonder, he was so mean to us.
“Good thing we all won” Julian mumbles from beside me. I look out the window, my mind preoccupied with other things.
“Lia, can I talk to you?”
I turn my head towards Max who was now sitting in Julian’s seat. I nod feeling like, I won’t like what he tells me.
“I want you to stay away from Dylan and Ian” Max says in a low voice. I raise an eyebrow in surprise. “Look, I know they are my best friends,” he continues. “But just keep a distance. When it comes to girls, those morons can only think with their cocks. Alex and Luke are still fine cause they won’t ever do that to me. But I don’t trust those two..”
Wow, if I ever tell the truth, the poor guy will die..
“Okay.. But isn’t this my decision?” I ask casually.
“No,” Max frowns. “It’s mine. I’ll protect you, and at the age of 22, I’ll marry you off.”
“Oh really? Tell me more, Almighty Brother” I request sarcastically.
“I haven’t really thought it through.. But I’m thinking, we can hold an auction, and give you away to the highest bidder” he answers seriously.
“You asshole!” I exclaim, hitting Max where ever I could.
“Sorry,” he laughs shielding himself. “Calm down.”
I sit down, but now before giving him one final smack. “Ow!” he whines.
“You’re such a shit” I mutter, leaning back in my seat.
“Yeah..” he replies, making me smile.
“I’ll send Julian back.” He sighs, “I hope you still trust me and, stay away from my friends. I say this for your own good Lia. They all look mellow and appealing on the outside, but inside they are nothing like you imagine.”
I nod and give a watery smile. Max pats my head and leaves. A chill runs down my spine, as I remember the seriousness and coldness of his voice.
Max has always given me advises and what he calls, his pearls of wisdom. To be honest, they have always turned out to be right, saving me from a hell lot of trouble. Though, this time, I want him to be wrong. He said ‘Friends’, not pointing at anyone specifically. So that meant, even Luke is bad?
Am I really making a mistake?
I turn my head and take a quick look at Luke, playing some game with Alex.
No.. He’s good. Even from inside he is good..
I take a deep breath and close my eyes. This is so stupid. I feel like that heroine from a movie, who has all the advises and warning, but still makes mistakes. My jaw clenches in irritation.
Worst comes to worst, Luke cheats on me, or he dumps me without any warning just for some sadistic pleasure. I’ll be sad for two days, then I’ll be back to normal, because this is me. I have faced darker shit than breakup. My heart calms down and I feel better and more confident. At present I’ll just enjoy, what the day brings me.
Jovinier Beach is a white sand beach, with a lush green forest. The sea was very user-friendly. It was shallow in the start, deepening only after few miles, allowing the people to play water volleyball.
Sun had set, by the time everyone was sorted into their rooms. The resort was filled with us and some other travelers. There were 2-seater rooms as well as 3-seater. To save money, I shared rooms with Julian. Max and Alex were together again, while Luke, Dylan and Ian settled into a 3-seater.
After taking off my shoes and socks, I was walking around in my room. Through the window, I caught a glance of Luke, going towards his room from the lobby. He had a water bottle in his hand.
“Woah..” Luke catches himself from falling down. I close the door of my room, quickly checking for any witnesses. Julian was in the shower.
“Lia, what happened?” he asks turning me around.
“Luke you saw what happened on the bus.”
He nods gravely. “Max, talked to me and he was telling me to stay away from Dylan and Ian. He went on to say, you and Alex were trustworthy, etc etc. But he wants me distant from you all.”
Luke’s face falls, as if he was cursing himself on the inside. “Luke, I think we should tell him. You are right, the longer we hide, the more hurt he’ll b-”
“Excellent decision” Luke had me in a hug. “Now, when do you want to tell him?”
“I was thinking once we get back home. If we tell him right now, everyone’s stay will be ruined, because I have a feeling that Max won’t be reacting positively.”
Luke is nodding eagerly, “Perfect!”
“For a guy who’s going to be beaten up, you look awfully confident” I remark dryly.
“Well, I know what’s going to happen.. I might as well face it like a man” he grins. His attitude, towards the whole thing, let me at ease.
I quickly scan the corridors, “Go now, Julian will be out any second.” He sneaks out, but not before brushing a kiss on my forehead.
“Another Dirty Martini please” I say to the bar-tender. The party was in full swing with a decent amount of crowd. It was under the open sky, about half a mile away from the resort, with a dance floor and lots of food and drinks.
Julian and I were the first ones there. We spotted some boys from the team, but they were playing in the sand. Julian left me to say hello to them.
“You look good.”
I raise an eyebrow at Ian who had sneaked up to me. Max, and Dylan had also arrived.
“You are very brave” I lift my Martini at him, looking at Max.
“No no.. We are cool” Ian smiles, glancing at Max. He steps closer to me, our arms brushing gently. Tilting his head towards my side, he says, “By the way, I was not kidding earlier.”
“Alright..” I laugh, trying not to feel concerned.
“Natalia, I’m serious,” his smile drops replaced with a thirsty expression. “I always found you very enthralling. But I stayed back, because of Max. I don’t think I can anymore” he whispers huskily.
My eyes are glued to the Martini glass, thinking, “Where the fuck are Luke or Julian, when you actually need them?!”
“We don’t have to be a couple, maybe just lovers, ravishing the night” he tucks my hair behind my ear. I force myself to not, slap his hand away.
I lick my lips, thinking of an answer. “Ian, I-”
“Ian! How are you bro!” Julian jumps in between us, energetically patting his back.
“Julian! Didn’t see you there” he forcefully chuckles. “I’ll get back to Dylan and Max.”
We give him a thumbs up. I relax and turn towards the bar, planning to order something stronger that would calm my nerves.
“Think about what I said” Ian suddenly whispers in my ear, making me jump in surprise. I turn around in my seat, but he was already gone in the crowd.
“Lia, I saw this incredibly cute..” Julian starts saying excitedly. I pretend to listen, my eyes darting around cautiously.
“Wow, he looks yummy” Julian suddenly stops his narration, looking dazed at someone behind me. I turn around in my bar stool and find Luke, looking like an absolute balm for the sore-eyes. He was wearing a white billowy shirt, his chest muscles peaking out from the open collar. Glasses were missing from his face. Due to the hot weather, he wore navy shorts.
He stood out from the others, because rest of the boys opted for bad boy looks. Among their dark street style, he looked like a fucking angel. He was surveying the party, as if searching for someone. His scan stops at me. I had just popped in the cherry from my drink. Luke’s eyes widen looking at me in wonder. In the background, Julian was flirting with some boy.
Luke mutters something to Alex, who nods and turns to talk to someone else. Then he starts coming towards me. I hold back my squeal, and turn towards the bar counter. He comes, standing next to me, “One Caipirinha,” he says to the bar-tender. We say nothing, just being next to each other. I draw circles on the counter, the knuckle rings on my hand reflecting the bright lights.
I turn my gaze upwards. Luke actually looked spellbound, making my lips twitch. I was wearing a silky, wine colored, short jumpsuit that had tribal design printed on it in white. Usually I go really funky with jewellery, but tonight I had limited myself to a layered collar necklace and thin cuff bracelet. Behind my, perfectly styled loose curls, were tiny drop earrings. Yep, I was totally trying to look cute.
“..hideous, outrageous, scratch-my-eyes-out ugly?” I raise a delicate eyebrow. I had thrown in one layer nude lipstick, some blush and eyeliner.
“Yeah right..” Luke smiles, taking his drink from the bar-tender and going back to his friends.
Music was pumping loudly. Mostly everyone was grinding on the floor. Luke and I despairingly make eye-contact, wanting to dance with each other. Since that was not going to happen, Julian and I were playing tag among the crowd, yelling and screaming above the music. After each tag, we would down a drink. The sea breeze was cool, almost chilly.
“Woah, enough..” the Gin and Tonic was snatched from my hand. I glare at the person who dared to interrupt me. Luke was giving the drink back to bar-tender.
“Lia, don’t get drunk” he whispers to me. “I need you sober.”
“Why?” I was two glasses away from drunk.
“Just please, stay sober” he says urgently and goes away. The boys were very tipsy, staggering and joking on the floor. They all had managed to charm some girls, but their intoxicated selves drove them away. Luke was sipping his drink, looking the only sane person, sometimes stopping Max from throwing punches on a stranger.
Soon they drifted and settled near the counter, mixing different cocktails. Many people had left, making it easier to spot people. Some boy was laughing with Julian, and I was looking around. A guy, littler taller than me, was at the other end of the party, and he was walking right towards me! Shit! I turn around quickly and listen to Max’s garbled talk.
The DJ plays ‘Despacito’, making me roll my eyes. Someone nudges my shoulder. “Can I have this dance?” the guy from before asks me. Before I could respond, Alex, Dylan and Julian chant, “Yes!”
I turn towards them in horror.
My eyes look at the guy now standing on the counter, giving me his hand invitingly. I was about to refuse, but Julian picks me up and places me on the counter.
I need to put on weight!
He starts dancing, like professional tango dancer. Everybody around us start hooting and cheering. I bite my lip and start swaying to the music. I do my best, trying to copy his moves, he nods at me looking very impressed.
“I knew you were a dancer” he comes closer. I step back. He keeps coming forward, and I kept dancing backward like in a dance battle. Then on reaching the end of my side of the counter, I put a hand on his chest pushing him back and he complied dancing and twisting around. I sneak a glance at Luke, to see if he was boiling mad but he was just enjoying my dance, looking at me with frank admiration.
Thankfully the song gets changed, and I hop down.
“My friend is not gay” the guy says, standing next to me. “I made him flirt with your friend, so that I could have a chance” he admits.
“I’m sorry, I have a boyfriend” I tell him in a hushed voice. He nods in understanding and goes away, but not before slipping me his number. I put it into Julian’s back pocket. Mostly, I make Julian my boyfriend, live-in partner and sometimes even fiancé to make guys back off. Never in my life I thought, I’ll be using this line and actually meaning it.
I am laughing at Dylan and Alex’s couple dance. They were twirling and falling down in their drunken form. Alex slaps Dylan’s ass screaming, “Ride me baby.”
Dylan screams back in his ear, “Okay daddy!”
Then they would stand respectfully in front of each, and once again start twirling. I had stopped recording since, they were repeating the same thing again and again.
Luke grabs my hand and leads me outside the party. I look back and see no one noticed us leaving. Well, all of them were hardly conscious.
“Will they be alright?” I ask feeling a little worried.
“Absolutely” he laughs. “It’s not the first time, they are getting drunk.”
We stop in front of the forest. Luke looks at me and grins. “Why are we here?” I ask.
“Come on” he says, entwining our hands and stepping into the forest.
“Luke, if a panther jumps on you, I swear I’ll leave you and run.”
“Wise decision” he mutters, not pausing for a moment. I extend a hand and brush away a bug from his shoulder.
“Careful” he says, and I obediently duck my head under the branch.
Suddenly he stops and I bump into his back. “Close your eyes” he says eagerly, turning around.
“Luke, if you show me a fucking unicorn, I’ll scream and die” I mumble closing my eyes. I hear the sound of water.
“Shh..” he says leading me forward by my hand. “Okay, now you can look.”
I open my eyes and my jaw drops in surprise.
“Surprise, darling,” Luke says hugging me from behind. The stupid, moronic, sweet sweet boy had arranged a bloody date in the middle of the fucking woods. There was a table, with white cover and two chairs. A cute little waterfall on the side, with magnolia tree shadowing it. The flowers had fallen on the ground among the ferns and climbers. Moonlight generously shone upon the whole scene, adding to the dreamy look.
“You are mad” I whisper in disbelief. Luke laughs softly, kissing my hair. He leads me to the chair and seats me, proceeding to his own chair. I can barely focus, as I try to take in everything.
“How?” I ask turning towards Luke, only to find him clicking pictures of me from his phone.
“Oi!” I protest placing a hand up to stop him.
“But you look so pretty” he almost whined. My eyebrows raise in surprise. He seemed in a very bright mood, having a playfulness going on.
“Luke, please tell me how?” I gesture wildly at everything.
“It was actually, pretty easy” he shrugs, making my vision of Luke cutting tree, to make a table for our date vanish. “I knew some guys around here, and called them up asking for a favor. They easily arranged this table and chairs. When you pulled me in your room, I was just returning after setting everything here.”
“I don’t know what to say” I sigh helplessly. “This is all so... Wow.”
“You like it?” he asks tentatively.
“Look at me, do I look like someone who’s not blissful?”
Luke smiles like a small child.
“I wanted you to like it. This maybe our last date, and I wanted to make it special” he admits. A lump forms in my throat.
“You should have also arranged a bed” I tease, swallowing the lump. “We might have, gone through the whole thing.”
“I don’t know about the bed, but I did have second thoughts about two chairs” he responds truthfully making me laugh. He had thought about everything. We talk nonsense, laughing and eating and drinking.
“Don’t tell the other, but I come here every time we visit this beach. I bring a nice classic book, dip my feet in the waterfall, and read till I fall asleep under the sun.” I find myself smiling at the relaxing scenario.
After desert, I stand up, “Let’s dance.”
He complies. I place my hands on his shoulder, the soft crispy material of his shirt making me think of how easily I could tear his shirt apart.
He went through all the trouble, to arrange a magical date. And all you can think of, is tearing his clothes off? What’s wrong with you! my subconscious scolds me.
“What are you thinking?” he brushes his lips against my temple, his hands holding my hips.
“Tearing off your shirt” I blurt out. I freeze in my tracks, realizing what I did. Luke gives a slow amused smile, not stopping the dance.
“I was joking.”
“Uhmm.. Then why are you blushing?” he whispers in my ear.
“I’m not blushing, I’m just Red” I mumble. He bursts out laughing at my Angry Birds reference.
“You’re awesome” he grins. We were just swaying around with no music. DJ was faintly audible in the background.
“I’m jealous of your hair” I smile, running my fingers through them. “Do you get some Keratin treatment or anything?”
“What?” Luke asks confused. “I just shampoo it...”
“Really? Which one?”
“I don’t know” he shrugs. “My mom buys it. I think something with Apples?” he frowns trying to remember.
“You’re such a Mama’s boy” I chuckle. He gives a shy smile, not even looking offended. We continue our slow dancing.
“You know,” I say recalling. “Ian made a move on me. Again.”
“At the party?” I nod. Luke bites his cheek, thinking something.
“Does it bother you too much?” I ask in concern.
“No.. Not that much” he admits. Then as if remembering the last time, “No! It does! It very much does. I am so jealous.” He possessively pulls me into him. I laugh hugging him back. His shirt was so thin, it was almost as if I was clinging to a naked Luke.
“Where did you get this dress?” Luke asks, toying with the silky cloth.
“You wanna get one too?”
“It just looks so pretty on you,” he sounds fascinated.
“Max, got it for me,” I swallow with difficulty. Max, was like our Voldemort. His name struck fear in both our hearts.
“Luke, I’m scared” I whisper, looking at his face.
“Me too” he replies.
“I’m more scared for you” I admit.
“Me too” he replies again, his lips twitching. I slap his shoulder.
“Relax, baby” he spins me. “Just be here for now.” He kisses my palm and leads it over his heart.
Luke and I stop laughing as we see reach the party, and look at the disaster. Julian had his head on the counter, drool falling on the floor while he was asleep. Ian was on the counter, his head hanging in the air, an empty beer bottle dangling in his hands. But the worst was-
“Oh my God!” I exclaim terrified.
“I know..” Luke laughs, taking pictures. On the floor was Max, Alex and Dylan. On top of each other, like layers. Max was at the bottom. Alex’s face in front of his crotch, while Alex’s crotch in front of Max. Above Alex, Dylan was in reverse with Alex’s body.
“What on earth, were they trying to do?” I cry in revulsion.
“I’ll say, a 6-9-6” Luke mutters, taking pictures from every angle. “Man, today is a good day for pictures,” he pockets his phone.
Many other people were spread around, passed out.
“Do we have to get them inside?”
“Yep,” Luke replies. “You can go back. I’ll handle this.” He bends down and starts removing Dylan, from the three-tier human pancake. I feel pity for the poor boy, not willing to leave his friends in cold, uncomfortable environment. I step forward to help Luke, but Dylan suddenly wakes up.
“I’m a Barbie Girl, in the Narbie world..” he starts singing, twerking like a drunk Mammoth. “Life in plastic, it’s fant-banta-lastic” he squeals, and then passes out again.
“Don’t ask,” Luke mutters at my confused face. We then remove Alex, who just held onto Luke’s legs and started rubbing his face on it. “Yeah baby..” he slurs out. Luke shakes off Alex and shivers in disgust.
“We need a car or something, to get these idiots back to resort” he says, hands akimbo. I am momentarily distracted comparing him to a cute sailor, with hair falling on his forehead. Then I see it, like a miracle from heaven.
“Luke look! There’s a van” I point excitedly. Before he could say anything, I run towards it. The keys were in the engine. The driver probably went to take a piss or swim in the ocean.
“I still don’t think this is a good idea” Luke grumbles from his seat.
“Shush, desperate times call for desperate measures” I stop in front of the resort. Ignoring Luke’s protests, I had ‘borrowed’ the van and coaxed him to place everyone inside it.
“Now quick, let’s get ’em inside” I open the passenger seat, and Julian came tumbling out. He wriggled a little and got comfortable in the sand.
“I’ll see you in the morning?” Luke asks. We were standing in front of my door.
“Yes” I smile back. “Thank you for the lovely date.” I step on my toes and press a kiss to his mouth. We break away, hearing Julian throw up.
“I should go..” I smile guiltily. Luke nods and leaves, giving me a sweet smile.
I enter my room to find Julian’s head hanging over the bucket, that I gave him to puke.
“Julian wake up. Let’s get you to the bathroom,” I put away the bucket and, help him towards the bathroom.
I close the toilet seat, and place him there. He swayed like a weed in the wind.
“Now stay still” I take some water in my hand, and clean his hair. Then I wipe his face with a wet towel. He kept looking at me.
“It’s such an honor, to have you here” he finally says, looking star-struck. I roll my eyes, smiling. He must have confused me with some actress.
“I really can’t believe, it’s you. Marie Lloyd” he whispers in awe.
“Wait what?!” But he was already asleep. His head resting against my stomach, wet hair soaking my dress.
How was Luke and Lia’s date? I spent so much time deciding their clothes. Do they look as good as I described or was it just blah blah blah..
Anyways, hope you liked this one too!