The weekend was finally here, and I took advantage of sleeping in late. When I woke I blinked slowly, the blanket of sleep still wrapping itself firmly around me. The room was unbearably warm as the sun streamed in through my open blinds, the sound of laughter drifting up from the garden below. I was about to drift back into a blissful sleep when I heard a rapping at the front door.
Someone please get it....
The rapping continued as I realised whoever was in the garden clearly couldn’t hear the front door. I groaned as I swung my legs out, before padding down the stairs yawning. I pulled the heavy door open and squinted in the bright sunlight.
Ray folded her arms as she gazed at me.
‘The beach? Auroras party?’
I leaned against the door as Ray hovered by the door like a vampire waiting to be invited in.
‘Come in then!’ I exhaled impatiently as she reluctantly walked in, her eyes wide.
‘Is Elijah in?’ She half whispered as she looked around cautiously. I folded my arms then, tired and slightly irritated at the interruption, when I saw the look in her eyes.
‘I haven’t seen him. Why? He doesn’t mean to ignore you, he’s just a little bit odd.’
I offered as she nodded thoughtfully, chewing on her lip. Elijah was one of those dark and broody types, always deep in thought and preparing for a zombie apocalypse or something equally nerdy. I loved him, but he wasn’t the most social of humans. I did notice he seemed to totally blank Ray though, and when I brought it up he seemed genuinely surprised, clearly not noticing having an issue at all. She put her hands on her hips as she looked at me with exasperation, groaning out loud.
‘This is the first party you have ever been to, tell me you aren’t wearing that.’
She teased, her mouth curving into a smile. I was about to explain that I had been rudely awakened when Elijah opened the kitchen door, half naked like he had been in the garden catching some rays. He grinned at me then noticed Ray, who was suddenly studying her fingernails intently.
‘Morning girls. Anyone want any food? Or do you have somewhere more pressing to be?’
He leaned against the stairs whilst I shrugged, walking up the stairs to get dressed. I heard Ray scurrying up after me, hissing at me not to leave her with Elijah ever again. She was so dramatic!
‘He’s my brother Ray. He lives here.’
I explained as I frowned at the clothes strewn around the room. I picked up a black swimsuit, I’d rather die than wear a swimsuit. All that pale flesh on display- nope.
‘He looks at me like he hates me.’ Ray poured as I resisted the urge to roll my eyes.
‘Elijah doesn’t particularly like anyone, don’t take it personally.’
I pulled on my swimsuit before pulling a pair of denim cut off shorts on and slipped a silver kaftkan on top, admiring how the outfit flattered my curves. I bit my lip nervously as Ray whistled.
‘Nice outfit. Is it new?’
It was one of Connies cast offs, but I couldn’t be bothered to explain it so I just nodded. I slicked mascara on and ran my hands through my hair before slipping on some sandals and sunglasses. Done. I opened my door to see Elijah coming up the stairs as he took in my outfit.
‘So that’s two dates and now a party? Who are you and what have you done with my sister?’
His eyes flashed playfully before they came to rest behind me on Ray.
‘Erm, what? Two dates?’ She demanded, her hands on her hips. Elijah smiled softly before turning towards his room.
‘Let’s go. He’s not with it.’
I felt protective somewhat of my pretend date with Bailey, especially the kiss. He was simply teaching me things, and I didn’t want to admit that.
‘Jesus. I was worried for a second there. So anyway, today is going to be amazing. We can laze on the beach, listening to music and maybe even meet a hot college guy or two. ’ she grinned wickedly as she drove towards the beach, her fingers tapping on the wheel to the music blaring from her stereo. I sighed as I watched the view from the window change from suburban to beach life, catching glimpses occasionally of the ocean through the gaps in the buildings as we passed. Twenty minutes later we were heading down to the sea front, hearing the music and shouts from the party. I glanced at Ray with worry and she smiled reassuringly. She grabbed my hand and squeezed it as we neared the crowd that was spilling into the sea from the shore, and I blinked when I realised how busy it was. Luckily I was holding Ray’s hand still as we weaved through the throng of people, bare chested guys with sunglasses dancing with scantily clad girls as they drank from plastic cups, dancing to music that blared from unseen speakers. Eventually we reached the bar where Aurora sat, surrounded by her friends. She saw us and waved enthusiastically and I cringed when the people with her turned to see who she was waving at, especially when I felt a pair of dark green eyes locking onto us with surprise.
I felt Ray freeze momentarily beside me as he gave us a lazy smile before turning back to Aurora. I squeezed Ray’s hand this time as she leaned over and hugged her sister. I stood awkwardly hoping I was blending into the crowd when I felt his voice near my ear.
‘Nice to see you Annabelle.’
I felt goosebumps from where his breath had touched my skin and swallowed.
I tried not to look at him, especially as I felt all the girls around us staring daggers at me. He was gazing at me as he sipped his beer, slipping his sunglasses on. He didn’t seem to be aware of the attention he was commanding, instead watching me with interest.
‘How have I never seen you before, then suddenly I see you twice in one week?’ I opened my mouth to speak when I heard Ray interrupt coolly,
‘Hey Reuben. Excuse us.’
As he nodded softly, she pulled me away into the crowd, pressing a bottle of water into my hand which I took gratefully as I was forced to squeeze past a couple that were slowly becoming one.
‘I can’t believe he totally blanked me.’ She grumbled, flicking her hair with annoyance. ‘What did he say to you?’ She shouted over her shoulder as we finally reached a space near the sea, the water stopping not far from my feet. I slid my sandals off dipped my toes in the cool water gratefully as I shrugged.
‘I don’t know, something about not seeing me before then seeing me twice in one week.’ I stared out at the sea as I spoke, not wanting to see the hurt expression on her face.
‘Clearly he likes you then. I just think you should be careful. He just drops people.’ Her voice was bitter and I nodded slowly.
‘God, I’m not interested in Reuben Fenton!’ I laughed nervously as she smiled.
‘Who isn’t, really? He is a really nice guy. Well. I thought he was..’ Her voice drifted as she lowered her sunglasses, her brown eyes widening.
‘Hey, shall we go and watch the games?’ I looked at her in horror. Games were not my thing, at all. She laughed then and hugged me, whispering into my hair.
‘We just watch, don’t worry.’
We made our way over through the crowd, finally reaching Aurora and her friends. There were about twenty people sitting roughly in a circle, and I blushed when I noticed a couple were kissing deeply, much to the cat calls and shouts of encouragement around us.
‘That’s Melissa and Ryan.’ Ray filled me in on the kissing couple as I frowned. This didn’t seem like much of a game. ‘Truth or dare I guess. Ryan’s her ex boyfriends brother.’ I gasped as my eyes widened and she laughed. ‘Welcome to college life baby.’ Someone had to strip and run into the ocean naked, followed by someone doing ten shots of vodka straight.
‘Wanna play?’ Ray grinned as she sat in between two girls on the floor.
‘Absolutely not.’ I shook my head as I began to back away, walking into someone.
‘I’m sorry.’ I began as I whirled around to see no other than Bailey Fenton grinning at me.