Cunning. It’s the most fitting word to describe Georgia.
She has somehow managed to get a group of Alex’s friends to gather in a round table. Kian, Cain, and Dan from our class join her in her little game. Alex is seated in front of me, with Diane to her left and Georgia to her right. Needless to say, I’m not very fond of this arrangement. It’s a good thing Max and Kristina are on my side—literally and figuratively.
“What are you waiting for?” Georgia prompts Kristina. “Spin it.” She gestures to the empty bottle of beer in the middle of the table.
We’re currently playing a game of Spin the Bottle with a mix of Truth or Dare. The person who spun the bottle points gets the chance to ask a question or dare the person the bottle points to. We’re allowed to abstain, but that’s two shots in penalty.
Kristina spins the bottle weakly. It takes four and a half spins before stopping and pointing to... me.
I internally weigh my options. If I choose truth, she might ask me something about my love life—which is very likely—that I don’t want to answer, especially since Alex is here. If I choose dare, she might ask me to do something embarrassing. I have to drive Alex after this, so drinking too much is not an option.
So I go for the choice that is less likely to make me lose my dignity. “Truth.”
“I’ll give you an easy one since I don’t want to stir up any trouble,” she says, eyeing Alex. “Who do you find most attractive in this circle? Excluding you, of course.”
I give the group a once-over. Surprisingly, I find the question hard to answer.
Cain and Dan are out of the question; none of them strikes me as attractive. Max is cute. Kian Kostov is one of the most popular guys in school for good reason. However, he doesn’t fit my taste. So I’m left with four choices: Kristina, Georgia, Diane, and Alex.
Kristina is charming. With a single bat of her eyelashes, she can make any guy swoon.
One of the things I find attractive in a woman is confidence. And Georgia, despite being annoying, is someone who walks with the confidence of a woman who owns multiple businesses—which she does. I also hate to admit that she definitely has the looks—auburn hair, blue eyes, and a cunning smile that reminds me of Alex.
Next is Diane. As much as I hate to acknowledge her stunning looks, there’s no denying she’s a cut above the rest. If someone were to enter a room with every one of them inside, she’s definitely the first face you’d notice. After all, it’s hard to miss the tall, blonde, gorgeous lady who can make anyone blush just by looking at them. Also, I’ve seen her play. I’ve watched enough of their games to state that she’s a skilled player.
Finally, my eyes find Alex. She’s staring back at me, the corners of her lips turned up, waiting for my answer.
Did I really even have a choice?
That stupid smile is enough to make me look away to hide my flushed face. If Kristina asked who’s the most beautiful, I would’ve answered Diane. Good thing that’s not the case.
I return my gaze to Kristina. “Alex.”
“Did anyone else notice how she quickly dismissed Kian and Cain from her choices?” Kristina chuckles. “You are so gay.”
The group watched our brief exchange in amusement. Even Kian Kostov who normally doesn’t care seemed intrigued. Now he knows I’m gay.
The game continues and the next player to get victimized is Cain. “Dare,” he says confidently.
“Twerk in front of the person you find most attractive in this circle.” Dan orders.
“Piece of cake.” Cain stands without another word. It seems pretty normal for him to do this kind of thing, considering he’s part of the school’s dance troupe.
What I didn’t expect was when he stood in front of me and turned around. I watched in a mix of horror and delight as he bounced his ass up in down in sync with the song “Twerk it like Miley” Dan played. After 15 long seconds, all of us were laughing and he was already posted on Dan’s Facebook page.
“Next!” Cain spins the bottle and our game continues until everyone has had their chance to answer except for Alex.
Each of us has been called at least twice yet the bottle still hasn’t pointed to Alex. “Dude, that’s unfair,” Kristina says.
Alex shrugs in a very Alex way—the one with matching smirk and sarcastic eyes.” I’m lucky.”
Her luck ends as Georgia spins the bottle and it points to her. “Ha! In your face! Truth or dare?”
Alex doesn’t seem fazed. “Dare.”
Georgia’s eyes gleam as if she’s been waiting for this moment. “Body shot on Alexis.”
Alex’s eyes widen in panic. “I take it back. I’ll drink two shots,” she reaches for the shot glass in the middle of the table.
“Or,” Georgia catches her by the wrist, a challenge in her eyes. “Do it on me. Pick your poison.”
She shifts uncomfortably and removes her hand from Georgia’s grip. Alex holds my gaze for a moment as if considering something. She rubs the back of her neck. “To her, then. But only if she’s comfortable with it.”
“It’s fine,” I say too quickly. It’s better than seeing your lips on someone else’s skin. “I’m cool with it.”
A hint of a smile plays on Georgia’s lips. Diane scowls, undoubtedly displeased with the idea.
Georgia sprinkles salt at the base of my neck and I think that maybe this wasn’t such a good idea. Finally, she makes me bite on a lime wedge. The crowd outside our circle gathers around, curious about the commotion and anticipating action.
Alex walks around the table and stops in front of me. Georgia hands her the shot of tequila. “Are you sure you’re okay with this?” She asks for the last time.
I nod. I’d rather it be me than anyone else.
Without warning, Alex downs the shot in one gulp. She pulls me by the waist and doesn’t give me any time to prepare myself as she licks the salt off my neck. Her tongue laps on my neck, sending a wave of pleasure throughout my body.
Just when I thought it was over, she manages to sneak in a soft bite. I gasp. My hand finds its way to her neck and I pull her closer to me. Then she was gone.
Alex steps back, then leans again as if to kiss me. She bites on the lime on my mouth and sucks on it without taking it away from me. I close my eyes to prevent them from seeing things. Dangerous things. This was a very bad idea.
Through the music, I hear the crowd cheer.
When I finally open my eyes, Alex is still standing very close to me, her chest heaving, her eyes drunk in passion. I want more, I can almost hear her saying.
“Okay, that’s enough.” Diane pulls Alex back. Her light brown eyes flit to me and I’m once again reminded of my dogs. They have the same innocence in them. But this time, her eyes do not show kindness at all. I see the pain in her eyes as she forces to keep her expression neutral. She’s still in love with Alex.
Alex blinks. “Sorry,” she says but she licks her lips like she doesn’t mean it.
The next two spins fall to me and I’m starting to think this damn bottle is rigged. I always pick truth and all they ask are personal questions. They all seem too intrigued by my personal life, probably because this is the first time I hung out with them—or anyone at all for that matter.
The first question was from Cain and it was easy enough to answer, so I didn’t have to force that hellish liquid down my throat. However, the second question comes from Georgia.
“Do you want to sleep with Alex?” She asks casually.
“Georgia!” Alex’s face flushes in embarrassment.
“Good question.” Kristina muses. “I’m also curious.”
I roll my eyes at Georgia. “Mind your own sexual business.”
I reach for the shots in front of me. Before gulping them down, the smell hits me first. It’s enough to make me gag. What is this drink? If it smells as bad as this, how much worse does it taste like?
I get my answer after I take one shot. I get a thousand visions of hell after the liquid made its way into my mouth, almost making me puke. I was never good with alcohol. When my brothers were still in high school, they threw a lot of parties in our house whenever dad wasn’t around. Oftentimes, they would force me to come out of my room to drink with them, saying it would be good practice for when it was my time to throw my own parties. It didn’t work.
The others laugh at my reaction. Now I know why they have the same reaction after tasting this. This is what they’ve been drinking after all this time? How come they can still smile after drinking that?
I eye my second shot skeptically. While I’m contemplating whether to take it or just answer the question, Alex grabs it. “I’ll take it for you.”
The gesture makes me raise an eyebrow. It’s obvious she’s already drunk. There’s this rule Kristina improvised: Alex is mandated to take a shot every time the bottle points to her. She’s had at least ten by now. “Don’t push yourself, I’m the one who’s gonna have a hard time taking care of you later.”
“Good luck, then,” she smiles at me with a hint of weariness in her eyes. After it, she inhales through her teeth, visibly flinching because of the taste.
Most of the guests have gone home and only a few people remain. Some are sprawled on the couches. Alex told everyone earlier that they can stay here if they can’t drive themselves home. She even offered to shoulder their Uber if they insist on going home.
By the time we’ve finished two bottles, Cain and Dan are knocked out cold. Max left in the middle of the game because she has a curfew. Kian also decided to go before he gets hammered and he offered Max a ride. Georgia and Kristina are talking in slurry voices about something to do with pretty girls being gay.
Alex is trying her best to stay awake, but her head dips to the side, resting on Diane’s shoulder. The latter is also not in the state where she could take care of herself. Basically, I’m the only one sane enough to remember all of this by tomorrow.
“Baby,” Alex murmurs, her eyes closed. “I’m sleepy. Let’s go home.” At first, I thought that maybe she’s talking to Diane, but she opens her eyes and lifts her head. She looks at me with eyes half-opened. It takes me a moment to realize she's waiting for my answer.
A warm feeling spreads in my chest. “Okay, baby.”
She stands up and stands in front of me, holding out a hand. I take it without hesitation.
“How will you guys go home?” I ask Kristina and Georgia.
“My driver’s on his way,” Georgia says. “I can drop cutie off at her place.”
“The name's Kris, but yeah, cutie will do,” Kristina says.
Georgia turns to Diane. “How about you?”
“No, thanks. I’ll take sleep somewhere else, not here.”
Alex straightens up. “You’re not going home?”
“My dad’s at home.”
The atmosphere changes. A look of understanding passes between the two of them. “You can stay at my place.”
Diane arches her eyebrows, surprised by the suggestion. “You sure about that?”
“Yeah,” Alex rubs the back of her neck. “It’s not safe for you to sleep someplace else at this hour.”
Diane seems to consider it for a moment. She briefly glances at me, then back at Alex. Finally, she shakes her head. “I’d rather not. I don’t want to ruin your birthday.”
She stands up from her seat and the moment she does, she staggers backwards, almost falling down, but Georgia catches her by the waist. “Careful,” she says. “You can stay at my place.”
Diane pushes Georgia away. “No, thanks. I barely know you.”
“Sorry, I meant at one of my places,” Georgia corrects herself. “I have an apartment near here. You’re free to stay.”
“I said no thanks,” Diane says firmly. She turns to Alex. “I’m heading out.”
Alex lets go of my hand to grab Diane’s, stopping her from leaving. Diane sees this, but she doesn’t say a word. “Dee, it’s not safe. At least stay at Georgia’s place.”
“You actually trust this woman?”
Alex scratches the side of her face. “Yes.” When Diane raises an eyebrow, Alex adds, “I’ve stayed at her place once, nothing happened.”
“Actually, we made out and almost had sex.” Georgia butts in.
“That’s not the point!” Alex holds out her hands, shaking them frantically. “Look, I’d feel better if you stay with someone I know.”
Diane purses her lips. “I told you I can handle myself.”
Finally, she sighs. “You never change, do you?” Another deep sigh. “Fine. Whatever you want.”
Ever since I found out she cheated on Alex, there’s something that’s been bothering me. It’s clear as day she’s still madly in love with Alex. Which begs the question, why cheat? Why didn’t Alex forgive her? Why not give her a second chance? I know their relationship is none of my business but I just can’t help but wonder. They’re perfect for each other.
Alex smiles in relief. She looks at Georgia. “Please take care of her.”
“I’m known for taking good care of pretty girls.” Georgia winks. “Let’s get going ladies. My driver’s outside.”
We leave shortly after them and by the time we get to Alex’s house, she was basically asleep. She walked with her eyes closed while I guided her to her room. It’s a good thing she can still manage to walk because I have no idea how I’m going to carry her into her room if she passed out.
She lies down on the bed, not bothering to remove her socks nor change clothes. “I’m so sleepy,” she mumbles.
“Then you should sleep,” I tell her. “I’m gonna go.”
Her eyes snap open. “What go? You’re staying.”
“I only said I’ll bring you home safely. I didn’t say anything about staying over.”
“It’s late, baby,” she says, finally sitting up. “Stay over.”
“Please,” she says again for the second time tonight and now I understand why Diane couldn’t bear to tell her no. Those puppy eyes should be illegal.
I roll my eyes at her. “You’re so annoying.”
Alex smiles, knowing she gets what she wants. “Come here.” She holds out a hand and makes a motion for me to come. I take it. She pulls me towards her in a quick motion and rests her head in my stomach. “You have no idea how much I want to kiss you right now.”
But I do. I know because I’m feeling the same way.
I brush her hair lightly, the brown strands flowing between my fingers smoothly. She leans back and stares at me, her sea-green eyes piercing. I could stare at those forever.
Before I knew it, I found myself leaning down until my face was an inch away from hers. Our foreheads touch.
“Happy birthday, baby.” Then I bring my lips down to hers.
The feeling of her lips on mine is familiar yet different. It’s unlike the first time I kissed her at Dan’s party, nor the time at the office when I was trying to prove something to her. Not the time I kissed her cheek goodbye and the time I tried to do it again but ended up kissing her lips. This time, it feels... real.
Alex doesn’t need to be told twice. She kisses me back instantly. She tilts her head to the side, allowing an easier access to her lips. She grabs my waist, pulling me closer to her. I feel her hands travel down to my butt, then to the back of my thighs. She tugs on them until both my knees are on the bed I was practically sitting on her lap.
When she breaks the kiss, I find myself gasping for air. I thought it was over, but her lips travel to my jaw, then to my neck. An unsolicited moan escapes from my lips. In an instant, she was pinned under me, my hands clutching the front of her shirt, my knees on either side of her torso.
Realizing what I had done, I jump off the bed as fast as I pinned her down. We were both breathing heavily. “Sorry,” I manage to croak.
Alex sits up. “Don’t be.”
“I’m going to the bathroom.” To calm myself down.
The corners of her lips tug upwards. “You’re already turned on?”
I turn around and head to the door before she could see the heat rising up to my face. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“I didn’t even use my tongue yet.” I can practically see her smirking from behind me.
“Shut up, Alvarrez.” I turn the knob.
“We can pick up where we left off!” I hear her shout before shutting the door behind me. Knowing she can't see me, I roll my eyes and chuckle right after. So cute.