I stare at my closet, as though if I waited long enough, a new outfit would appear.
I had been dating Luke for a little over a year and I knew his family well; I had pretty much grown up with him. But if I was honest, part of me still wanted to impress them. I settled on a black roll neck with my tight jeans, sweeping my curls into a loose clip. I applied my usual mascara and lip gloss, deciding to just go casual. I packed a bag with a few things in case Luke got lucky and I did decide to stay over- toothbrush, deodorant and some clean clothes. I pouted at myself in the mirror and decided I would do. I skipped downstairs where my parents were drinking wine and playing scrabble; how idyllic.
"You look good honey, where are you going?"
My Dad sips his wine as he smiles at me. He was a silver fox, with deep green eyes framed with long lashes that I had inherited from him. My Mom was the typical Californian blonde- waist length blonde hair, sparkling blue eyes and tanned skin. We shared the same full mouth, naturally cherry red. She was often mistaken for my sister-although I wasn't sure that was too much of a compliment for me...
"I'm off to Luke's. Remember the dinner I told you about? I may be staying at his house after- in the spare room, obviously..."
My voice trailed off as I began to blush as my Dad smiled reassuringly.
"Honey it's fine. You are seventeen now, as long as you tell us where you are going to be, we totally trust you. Just be good, and keep us informed. Oh and Gretchen? It will always be the spare room, capiche?"
My dad raised an eyebrow at me, as I cringed. I blew kisses at them both as I slipped on my trusty black boots, hearing Luke's car beeping its familiar horn. I called goodbye and left.
Luke whistled as I got in his car.
"All this effort for me babe?" he winked. I noticed he looked super smart, and I began to worry I hadn't dressed up enough.
"Am I ok in this?" I asked anxiously, looking pointedly at his clothes.
"More than. How am I going to be able to concentrate on anything but you tonight?" he murmured as I blushed deeply. I knew what he was referring to. We had been together long enough to take our relationship to the next base- but for some reason I was just holding on.
He pulled away from the curb whilst I fiddled with the radio to find some music.
"So Clara can't make it apparently- she has cheerleading practice."
He smiled at me as he said it, knowing I had no tolerance for the cheerleaders in our school. They were all airheads, the absolute example of stereotypical cheerleaders. I glance at him as I frowned.
"Clara? Is this your entire family?"
I started to worry. I wasn't the most social of people at the best of times, I didn't want to spend the entire evening downstairs with every member of Luke's family. They were nice enough, but they liked a drink more than most people; which could become awkward.
"Yeah pretty much babe. You'll be fine."
He squeezed my leg, as he swung the car into his driveway. Luke's family were quite well off; his dad was a successful writer and his house proved as much. Luke parked the car and I got out, smiling nervously as we approached the house. His mother Bella opened the door to greet us, a wide smile on her face when she saw us.
"Gretchen! How lovely to see you, how are you?"
She embraced me, smelling of expensive perfume and air kissing each side of my face. I started to peel off my boots as Luke went off to get us some drinks.
"Go get settled in the lounge darling."
Bella fussed as she indicated the large room behind the stairs where I could hear laughter and music coming from. I walked in to find a very elegant lady sitting on an armchair with a glass of champagne in her hand, smiling as her gaze fell upon me.
"Ah, Luke's little girlfriend has arrived, how sweet. Hello dear, take a glass of champagne."
I felt the champagne thrust into my hand by Luke who smiled at me encouragingly.
Luke's little girlfriend? Gah!
I sipped my champagne, if nothing else just so I didn't have to reply.
"So that's Nanna, as you know. Pops is over there with the whiskey," began Luke, as a ripple of laughter broke out from the man sitting beside the whiskey cabinet looking rather red faced.
"You've met Aunt Sally and Uncle Brett," he continued as he nodded in the direction of the couple sitting looking bored on the other sofa beside the window. "My brother Sam and his girlfriend Nancy."
I looked up in confusion as the last time I saw Sam he was dating a woman called Clare. Immediately he made eyes at me in desperation and I laughed quietly.
"Hey guys, good to meet you, Nancy,"
Nancy checked her nails and barely glanced at me in response. She was immaculate to look at, every blonde hair strand was perfectly in place on top of her head in a very well styled bun, with bright red lips and a sleek black playsuit.
"Hey Greta," she says in a bored tone.
I glare at her as a small smirk played on her lips.
Sam coughed as he spoke.
"Then the new guys in town."
He raised his glass in the direction of a woman dressed in a beautiful silk dress, her caramel coloured hair gathered to one side of her head with a diamante clip, dark lashes framing the greenest eyes I thought I had seen somewhere before.
"I'm Alice lovely. Nice to meet you. Drink up, you'll soon lose those nerves."
I immediately liked her, warming to her instantly. She smiled warmly as she continued.
"My sons are on their way, I'm sure they won't be long. We moved here literally last week. It is a lot smaller than New York but at least we are closer to family."
I found my voice at long last and managed to squeak out a response as Luke sank into yet another sofa, indicating for me to join him. The drinks flowed and I felt myself relax until I heard a commotion at the front door, and Luke squeezed my knee.
"Looks like the brothers decided to make an appearance at long last," he says drily. A man entered the room with the same green eyes as Alice, framed with dark lashes and messy dark chocolate hair in a mass of waves around his shoulders.
"Hey everyone, I'm Drake..."
His voice had a slow, confident drawl to it and I noticed Nancy perk up and flutter her eyelashes at him.
"Hey Drake, I'm Nancy."
His eyes flashed over her as he gave her a smile. Sam frowned and looked annoyed but he still nodded at Drake.
"Alright bro? Finally made it then...?"
Sam put his arm possessively around Nancy, as Drake laughed then rubbed his neck awkwardly.
"Yeah sorry about that guys. Car trouble."
More drinks were poured and I excused myself to go to the toilet. I climbed the stairs and tried to remember which way it was; this floor alone had two large bathrooms and three bedrooms. I strode down the mirrored corridor and found the bathroom. After using the toilet, I checked my reflection and picked my phone up from my pocket, texting Rosie to tell her I missed her and that I was getting bored. The champagne was making my head hurt- surely it's not usual to get a hangover before experiencing any of the fun right? My phone pinged back immediately.
But maybe it will be worth it later ;)
I rolled my eyes when suddenly the bathroom door opened, and I was met with an intense green gaze.
"Jesus!" I yelp, as I jumped.
It was him, the guy from school. He strode into the bathroom and closed the door behind him.
"Excuse me, I was just..." I stammer, unable to peel my eyes away from his gaze. He walked up to me and stared into my eyes.
"Why are you everywhere I go?" he murmurs, his voice making my heart skip about fifty beats. What was it with that damn accent of his?! He was close to me now, and I couldn't help but notice that his breath smelt of a mixture of alcohol and cigarettes, but oddly that just attracted me more. I turn my head slightly; anything to break eye contact with him.
"Hey- I was the one in the toilet. Luckily I had finished!" I retort.
He doesn't move a muscle and I felt myself leaning closer towards him, my heart pounding in my ears. His eyes move down to my lips, his hands either side of me on the sink, his body now pressing against mine. I should tell him to move, but I simply cannot- every part of me was screaming for this man to touch me in any way possible. Then, without saying a word he moved back and leaned against the door. I felt myself glowing red as his eyes trailed down my body hungrily. I didn't know what to say. He was absolutely beautiful in every way, his mouth was full and he had a habit of biting his lip when he was silent. My heart raced as I walked towards him and reached for the door handle.
"I need to go, I'm-"
He smiled at me lazily and moved away from the door. He pulled a hip flask out from his jacket pocket and as he swigged from it he suddenly frowned at me.
"What are you staring at?" he asks quietly.
I could hardly tell him that I was staring at his lips as he drank, wondering what they would feel like on mine.
"I don't know..." I confessed, my voice coming out like I was unable to breathe properly; which was fairly accurate. "Sorry."
He raised his eyebrows, muttering softly.
It wasn't a command, but my body responded like it was; moving closer to him as he reached up and pulled my hair clip loose, making it tumble around my shoulders. He ran his hand through it, then ran his finger over my lips as I felt myself moan ever so quietly.
"Stop apologising. Man, I've gotta piss."
He unbuckles his belt, walking over to the toilet, and I take the opportunity to grab my stuff and run out of there. I try to calm myself down- nothing has happened, except- well... He had played with my hair. Totally normal bathroom behaviour. I felt immense guilt as I thought of Luke waiting downstairs for me. I took a deep breath and walked down the stairs and into the lounge where everyone had clearly forgotten about food and had just continued drinking. I needed to speak to Rosie urgently- if anyone would know what to make of this situation it would be her. Luke put his arm around me and whispered I was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. I felt a little bit sick and asked him if we could skip the meal and just go to his room for a little bit. His eyes widened and a cheeky smile came upon his face.
"Guys can you give us a shout when food is ready? Gretchen and I are just going to my room for a bit."
He stood up, pulling me up to him as the adults continued on as though we hadn't moved at all. We made our way up the stairs, as I noticed someone coming down them; someone who gazed at me intensely.
"Cal, this is my girlfriend, Gretchen. Gretchen, this is my cousin, Cal..." Luke mutters as we meet on the stairs awkwardly.
It was him. Cal. Luke's cousin?! Cal looked at Luke and then to me.
He laughed softly, as he shook his head, smirking at me as I swallowed nervously.
Luke frowned and glanced at me. I wanted the floor to open and swallow me up and I couldn't look at either of them.
"Happy fucking then," Cal mutters, pushing past us into the lounge. Luke squeezed my hand and laughed awkwardly.
"I am sorry-he is a bit of a prick."
My phone vibrated and I checked it quickly. Rosie.
Any better? Hope it's got more interesting ;)
I follow Luke upstairs and into his room, deciding not to answer.