Saturday. Night. With. Xavier.
A crowd of us were sat on the sand around the flaming fire in the middle while most of the other half were laughing away and playing in and by the water. I was sitting in between Kendra and Brittany. Xavier was sitting with me few minutes ago but Alexis and some other boys called him and he left for a while.
He’ll be back though.
Hunt was also with them. Simply watching the fire burn and listening to it crackle as the woods break and lose to the fire, somehow without any reason, made me feel good. I’d never been to a bonfire. Well... actually I’d never done anything fun and teenage. Xavier took me to a beach party and it felt awesome... To be doing something new. Besides, everyone was here. Mostly people from Greenwood. The boys kept cracking jokes and telling crazy ghost stories which had us laughing instead of screaming. Well, there were parts to where we kinda screamed. I didn’t. I just felt my pulse starting to race.
“Where are the guitars, Matt?” Scott asked. “We need some music here to loosen the hips,” he winked.
Some rolled the eyes. Some said, “Oh yeah.”
“It’s still in Hunt’s truck, I guess,” Matt stood up and went to get it.
Suddenly, I felt someone wrap me up in between the legs from behind as two strong arms came around my stomach, pulling me close to the body that was enveloping me. I gasped a little at the sudden intimate position and snapped my head back only to meet the mesmerizing pair of brown eyes that never fail to daze me. Had it not been the brown eyed boy, I would’ve kicked him away and unscrambled myself from his hold in a blink of an eye the moment I see the unfamiliar face.
Our gazes locked and he slowly presented a dim smile, his eyes lighting up like a Christmas Tree. Something fluttered wildly inside the secret folds of my heart. I forced down a lump of saliva down my throat. He smiled wider and lightly tipped his nose to mine. Dropping my gaze from his eyes, I smiled down.
“Did I ever tell you that I like that nose?” He asked.
“Yeah. That nose,” he tipped again, “It’s cute.”
I laughed, saying, “A nose is the least expected but...” I continued to laugh.
“But?” He smiled.
“Pay attention here, lovebirds,” Scott called us back to his stories.
We looked up to him and he smirked roguishly like he’d caught us doing... Umm... Doing things. Xavier just pulled me even tighter and hugged me close to his warm body.
“So are you two a thing already?” Matt asked, sitting down on the sand with guitars in both hands.
That was one question I had no answer for at that time. Xavier and I were not dating yet. We were....
Xavier sighed and answered, “I’m ever ready for that but she’s too hard to get.”
A low hum of oooohhs and aaaahhhs followed.
“I might have to probably trade my narcissism for her.”
At that point, we all laughed I was very pleased with what he said. He understood me and he hit all the right nail with a bit of humor. I didn’t want to uncover anything about us just like that like it was just an easy deal. Because it wasn’t. Every little thing that had happened between us and about us counted like a million millions times.
But he somehow gave the most pleasing respond by telling just how much he like me and he even spoke of my worth (that I wasn’t some easy girl anyone could get) and in the end, he humored us so that none of us would go on thinking about us further... all the while, never speaking a word about the opinion I have about us. He left it for me because it was my opinion. Not his.
I just couldn’t believe how he could handle everything so perfectly because I was... Well, my tongue just went numb the moment Matt asked us the question.
“But that doesn’t mean any of you guys stand a chance either. You approach her and I’ll bake your testicles into meatballs,” he warned the boys too.
He had me laughing at it and some others even applauded.
Scott put up his arms in surrender mode and sighed, “I have no interest in messing up our brotherhood with my face in the picture. I know, you wouldn’t appreciate your girl falling for me so take your chance.” He grinned victoriously.
“Neither do I,” Matt nodded and agreed.
Xavier made a face and smirked, “Go fuck yourselves.”
Grandkids of Narcissus, I thought.
Xavier had his hands fondling mine as I sat in his cuddle. Somehow in the process of listening to the jokes and songs that the boys were singing, Xavier and I ended playing with our hands. We were competing who gets to hit whose hand the most. He got to hit my palm a great deal but every single time I tried to hit his, I always ended up hitting my own. He was too fast for me. I tried to grab his wrist from getting away, but the way we were fighting with our hands had us bubbling up laughter from our stomach.
In the process of laughing away crazily, I looked back to take a look at how his face was looking as I felt his chest shake with laughter against my back. But I was completely taken aback when my face almost crashed into his which, furthermore, might have had my lips crashing onto the place I wasn’t at all prepared for. Nervously, I moved my gaze down from his intent eyes and eventually landed to his full lips. I swear this wasn’t intentional. But the situation was already getting much much muchier and wasn’t helping my heart in any way.
Holy heaven, earth, river, water, wind. What do I do?
They were so close to my lips and my mind, immediately, flew back to the very instant he kissed me... My First Kiss.
Can the air get any thicker?
How do I breath?
When I forced back my gaze to his eyes, I found him staring at my lips too. His lips then slowly curved to a dim, knowing smirk as his eyes met mine.
What do I do?
The sudden loud call snapped us out of our trance.
“Yeah, yeah. We know,” Matt rolled his eyes, handing out a guitar. “Your turn, lover boy,” he said.
I moved out of Xavier’s cuddle and instantly missed his warmth. Xavier reached out for the guitar and then positioned it on his lap. His fingers fell on the strings like they belong there.
“For you, Mongrel. Listen well,” he whispered in my ear and smiled at me, his eyes reflecting the smooth glimmer of the fire.
I smiled back.
With every strumming of his guitar, he began making good music. The calm melody filled the space and quietened down everyone (only the sound of the crackling woods and distant noise audible) like we were all anticipating for something miraculous to happen.
And then he was just about to sing, he had just pulled in his breath when he suddenly stopped and started laughing, his face flushed red and facing towards the ground. “I can’t,” he laughed embarrassedly, “I’ll sing to you when we’re alone.”
Everyone of us joined him in laughter at how nervous he suddenly was. Just moments ago he looked like he was really going to sing and now he probably was about to die laughing. He handed back the guitar to Matt.
“He’s got an humongous crush on you, Alana. He’s crazy ’bout you,” Matt commented with a tease towards Xavier, “He won’t stop dreaming about you.”
And he began to sing.
I’m gonna wear you down
I’m gonna make you say
I’m gonna get to you
You’re gonna give in to me
He smiled down on his guitar as the song pause and he stringed the instrument. A low hum of oooohs and aaahs followed. I bit down on my lip and smiled.
I’m gonna start a fire
You’re gonna feel the heat
I’m gonna burn for you
You’re gonna melt for me
Come on, come on
Into my arms
Come on, come on
At this part he made his amazing voice sound more hoarse and seductive and nodded his head to me temptingly, in jest. He had me and the rest of us giggling.
Give in to me.
He winked at me teasingly as he said the words. I giggled again.
I liked the song. I gazed and fell in love with the way he was singing and playing the guitar. He was perfect. I never thought he would do this well in singing slow songs because his genre is Rock. Add to that, the lyrics. Hell, there was no way I wouldn’t get butterflies in my stomach.
Another round of hooting and whooping followed.
From the corner of my eyes, Kendra smirked at me naughtily. She was sitting with Connor (on the other side), one of his arm slung lazily over her shoulders... as always.
You’re gonna take my hand
Whisper the sweetest words
And if you’re ever sad
I’ll make you laugh
I’ll chase the hurt
He looked up from the guitar to meet my eyes. The teasing grin was replaced by a smoldering look of sincerity. I felt my heart squeeze inside.
My heart is set on you
I don’t want no one else
And if you don’t want me
I guess I’ll be all by myself
The amused grin on my face slowly faded and I found myself seeking into his flaming eyes, flaming words, flaming along with the symphony. He wasn’t just singing now. He was communicating with me, with my heart, with my soul. I put my arms around my body and braced myself to steady my heartbeat, my pulse as his singing kept overwhelming me with intense emotion.
Only did the loud cheering and the clapping of hands brought me back to Earth from getting lost in Xavier’s Universe. Xavier had handed back the guitar to Matt.
“Damn. Alana. Marry my cousin. He’s crazy ’bout you,” Matt commented, “He won’t stop dreaming about you. He’ll die without you. If anybody can kill him, then it’s you.”
“And I’ll sue you both to court if you don’t make me the God father of your kids,” Hunt said, slumping down on the sand with Alexis to join us.
Chuckling, Xavier put an arm around my shoulders.
The singing of choruses along with wild and rhythmic clapping continued until we heard a male voice shout at the top of his lungs aloud (too loud that it silence the crowd’s noise) ‘HELL YEEEAAAHHHH’. We all turned to look towards where the exceptionally excited holler came from. Sadly, we all had turned our curious heads only to witness him pull down his underwear until he was stark naked under the romantic glow of the silver moon, his white butt facing us mockingly. Almost romantic with the moon and all but it didn’t quite make the cut.
Why, God? Why?
A lot of girls and boys who were playing and laughing away by the water like innocent little kids earlier were now all naked and running into the water; their screams of excitement more piercing that seagulls’. But I thank God that it was already dark and luckily I didn’t get to see anything I wasn’t supposed to see. Besides, our bonfire was lighted far from the water. Hallelujah.
What followed that unlucky witness was the hasty stumbling and loud whooping of other adolescents who were sitting with us around the fire just few seconds ago, now stumbling along the sand and tripping over almost anything as they sprinted towards the water to join the naked crowd. Soon, much to my displeasure, many people were starting to strip naked to skinny dip.
“Oh dear God,” I gasped horrified.
Kendra was like, “Whoa. This wasn’t a part of the menu.”
Never did it cross my mind that people would actually skinny dip this very night when I came with Xavier. Xavier and the others behind me chortled.
“Let’s get outta here,” Xavier said, standing up and laughing.
He took my hand and pulled me up too.
By the time, we reached the slightly lifted part of the sand, close to the road, where we parked the cars, we were all a laughing mess. It was actually funny when I did think about it. People were skinny dipping like they were on top of the world and here we were running away like it would scar us for life. Just hilarious.
“Xavi, where’s Charlie?” Alexis came with Matt and Scott; their faces red with laughter; not less redder than ours, only more. They looked like they were boiled tomatoes and definitely cooking up something mischievous.
Xavier motioned his head, “Over there.”
“You brought crackers, right?”
“Yeah. Why do you need it now?” he paused and Alexis winked at her. “God, don’t tell me you’re serious,” he guffawed even harder losing his breath.
“Just gimme the keys,” Alex let out her palm, her excitement nearly getting out of control.
Xavier pulled out the keys from his jean pocket and tossed it to her. She caught it in a very expert jap of her hand and then she raced off towards his car with the two boys.
“Who’s Charlie?” I asked Xavier.
“It’s my car,” he smiled, “She named it.”
“Oh. She really got mad at me the other night,” I stated lowly, still wondering why.
He scratched the back of his neck nervously, “About that... Yeah. Just forget about it. It’s not a big deal. It’s just Alex being Alex.”
“I hope I didn’t mess up anything.”
“No. Don’t worry.”
“You guys seem to be close.”
He smiled, “Yeah. She’s the twin sister I never had. So you know her personality. She’s the only one I’m scared of,” he laughed.
I laughed too. She did seem to be dangerous and if Xavier himself said that, I expected no less.
“How’d you guys know each other?”
“Me and the guys used to perform at Brother Bear when we first started. Alex came as the new DJ and that was where we got to know each other. Her mixes kinda blended in with our music and eventually she became a part of us.”
“So what’s she cooking now?”
“Just watch,” Xavier smirked.
Some time later, I found myself unable to stop laughing that I had to bury my face into Xavier’s chest to muffle my snorts and the unending train of laughter which kept bubbling up from my stomach, almost like a torture. And he secured me in his embrace with his strong arms, all the time as I laughed unendingly.
God, they are so unpredictable!!
Alexis, Scott and Matt had set off all the fireworks towards the beach. The crackers were now blazing all over the sky, illuminating the beach that the naked bodies now looked like white dots dancing on a purple page. Watching that was impossible to not be a laughing mess. What made it even more funny and awesome was that, Xavier was also laughing his lungs off and I could feel his chest rumbling against my body, as he kept me in his arms, sending electric bolts throughout my body, not sparing a single nerve. I had never heard him laugh this hard, this good and the sound of his deep laughter simply made me delighted.
Kendra, Connor, Brittany and Hunt had also joined the three of them in lighting up the sky while I stayed secured and warm in Xavier’s embrace, watching the beautiful explosions and laughing away without any care.
“Are you having a good time?” Xavier looked down at me and asked, his eyes gleaming under the beautiful lashes.
“I’m having a great time,” I answered emphasizing on the word ‘great’ as a genuine smile spread across my face, “I haven’t had this much fun in a long time.”
A glowing smile broke on his face, the bright gleam of the smile in his eyes instantly illuminating the night more than the fireworks did and warming the air around me.
He caressed my neck as his thumbs stroked my jaw line and said, “This is the best night of my life so far. With you here with me, nothing can ever be better than this, you know. You’re all it takes to make me happy, Alana. You’re everything to me. EVERYTHING.” His voice was soft and deep and they hit me right to the core of my soul.
It didn’t hurt. Only it felt too good that it made me afraid that they might be mere words but I could almost touch the sincerity in his words and it soothed me immensely, warmed me all over again like no fire could ever do.
Xavier was the blazing fire and I was only helplessly melting in his heat.
I had never seen him look at me with this much emotion and softness. Even every single blink of his eyes as he gazed down on me seemed to put more assurance in the words he said. His finger played with a strand of my hair as he leaned in and pressed his forehead against mine.
“God, I wish this night would never end,” he said huskily and embraced me even tighter, pulling me closer to his chest while planting a sweet kiss on the tip of my nose and forehead.
Taking fistful of his shirt in my hands, I closed my eyes and nestled into his chest. And the feeling of his heartbeat beating against my cheek was all too well. I heard his heartbeat, Xavier’s heartbeat and felt mine beating along with the rhythm of his. And it became a song. Our song.