“ALRIGHT EVERYONE, LISTEN up!” Cameron announces from the top of the staircase. “Welcome to Dion’s nineteenth birthday extravaganza. Outside I have four ubers waiting to take us to our first destination. We’ve got four places to go, and at each one we have a different event to play. Each event is worth ten points. The team with the most points will win the grand prize, which will be revealed once the night is over with. Sound good?”
Everyone erupts into clapping and cheers as I pass Cameron on the staircase and join the rest of the group. There’s around twenty of us in total. Some people I’ve met in passing at parties, and some people I’ve never seen before. Leila ended up coming tonight, and before I even reach the bottom of the staircase she’s glued to my side like a lost puppy. “Hey.” She grins. “Miss me?”
She’s wearing a hot pink mini dress, and a part of me can’t help but remember the way Elena looked so much better in the red one she wore the first night I met her. What the fuck is wrong with me?
“How was France?” I ask her.
“It was alright. I missed a lot of people back home though. Especially you.” She runs her fingertips down my arm and arches her perfectly plucked brow up. Lelia and I were friends with benefits the first semester she stayed here. We weren’t ever a thing, but everyone on campus thought we were since she’s one of the only girls I’ve slept with more than once. I couldn’t turn her away though. She’s hot, she gives amazing head and she’s flexible. What’s there not to like?
I would never say I missed her too, so instead I just nod my head and let her keep touching my arm. When she gets to my wrist though I pull away and focus my attention on Cameron again.
“Before we leave everyone has to take a shot. They’re in the kitchen on the counter. Oh, and did I mention your partner has to be of the opposite sex? That’s going to make things interesting.”
More laughter erupts in the hallway as they all make their way into the kitchen. Leila gives my arm a squeeze and follows quickly behind them as I linger back to let them all have their shot.
Every single time I see Elena I feel like I get all nervous. I think it’s because she knows my secret. She knows just how vulnerable I am and can see right through me. She’s leaning against the wall as she stares at me, one foot propped up.
We’re the only two people in the hallway since everyone else is taking shots, and as the echoes of laughter follow into the room I can’t help but clear my throat. I hate silence.
She’s wearing a pair of high waisted skinny jeans with a budweiser t-shirt, a black satchel across her shoulder with a pair of vans on her feet. She looks really good, and I don’t think I’ve said that about a girl just wearing a simple t-shirt before.
“This party should be loads of fun.” She exclaims sarcastically, her eyes filled with humor. “I can’t wait to be around drunk Amelia all night.”
“You and I both.” I mock. The way she’s twirling her fingers around that long ponytail of hers is oddly distracting. I find myself staring too long before she clears her throat. We must both hate silence.
“Looks like you’ll be having fun with goldilocks, so your night shouldn’t be as bad as mine.”
“Goldilocks?” I question but then quickly remember Leila. I can’t help but laugh. “Leila? What, are you jealous or something?”
The normally witty Elena has nothing to say. Her eyes dart down towards the floor before they meet mine. “No.” She giggles, but then bites the inside of her cheek. “Why would I be jealous of somebody who’s with a grade A asshole?”
“I’m not with her.” I try to explain. “We just... well, we fuck every once and awhile. That’s honestly it.”
Her lips press together in a firm line before she lets out a loud breath. “Oh.” She says. I can’t help but wonder if she’s thinking of what it would be like if she were the one sleeping with me. “Cool.”
Before I can say anything more, the cars start beeping outside, which causes everyone to come back from the kitchen into the hallway. “Grab your partners!” Cameron shouts.
Leila makes a beeline towards me, but before I even realize what I’m doing I step over towards Elena and slink down onto the wall beside her. I can tell that Leila is hurt because she widens her eyes before she steps back. Cameron takes the opportunity though and snakes his arm around her waist. I don’t care if he fucks her. It’s not like she’s special to me.
Why did I choose to partner up with Elena? I could have easily chosen Leila and could have been guaranteed to have sex tonight, but it was the look on Elena’s face when she thought I was with Leila. It’s a look I almost can’t refuse.
“Wow.” She smirks, clearly amused. “I feel like the luckiest kid in gym class.”
As we all begin to pile out into the different ubers, I hold the door open so that she’ll step ahead of me. I don’t want her to see me laugh from her stupid - but somewhat funny - joke. She may have a smart mouth, but she’s certainly got a nice ass.
“So, this is our first stop.” Cameron announces as we walk into a restaurant. I haven’t been to this place before, but it seems to be some kind of burger joint. I can smell the grease. There’s neon signs everywhere with bright teal paint plastered on the walls.
“For this challenge, each team must get a Harvey’s Biggie Burger and finish it within twenty minutes.” He grins. “After all, we need to have full stomachs before we get wasted, right?”
“Um, what if we’re vegetarian?” Leila asks.
Elena snorts beside me, and I nudge her with my elbow so that I don’t laugh too.
“I guess I’ll be the one eating it then for our team.” He smirks. “Alright guys, let’s eat!”
After we place our order in, Cameron goes up to play a song on the jukebox. Elena and I take a seat at the bar away from everyone else as they all order a drink of some sort.
“I can easily win this challenge.” Elena says with confidence. She straightens her back and puffs her chest out like she’s some big wrestler getting ready for a match.
“You?” I laugh. “Where are you going to put it?”
I let my eyes rake over her body and appreciate how toned she is. I like the way her jeans hug her hips and how she’s so short that her legs don’t touch the ground while she’s on the barstool. They’re just swaying back and forth.
“Don’t let this body fool you.” She shakes her head and pats her stomach. “This baby can pack it in.”
“Oh, really?” I question. “I guess we’ll have to wait and see then, won’t we?”
The burger lands in front of us and it’s fucking huge. It’s gotta be at least four pounds. I feel myself get nauseous just looking at it.
“Alright everyone!” Cameron grins, pulling up the timer on his phone. “Three...two...one...go!”
I’m taken aback by how quickly Elena lunges for the burger. She completely dives into it, taking off the bun and going for the patty first. She’s not even using silverware. Just her hands.
“Jesus!” I laugh hysterically, trying to get a piece of the patty myself. “The prize is probably going to be lame as fuck, Elena. Don’t make yourself sick.”
“Did I ever tell you...” She stops to take a breath, ketchup and mustard on the sides of her mouth. “That I’m super competitive?”
“You didn’t need to tell me.” I nod and pass her a napkin. “I’m witnessing the shit right now.”
I help her eat it and try to keep up with her. I find myself smiling the entire time though as she keeps glancing at everyone else’s plate to see if they’re doing better than us. I’ve never seen a girl throw down food as much as she is. She has no shame in it either. I love it.
“We’re done!” Elena shrieks, throwing her hands up. There’s mustard, ketchup and even a little bit of onion on her cheek. “We win!”
Cameron claps his hands when Dion lets out a sigh of relief and sets his fork down. Amelia is his partner and it looks like she hasn’t eaten anything. She’s just chewing the side of her thumbnail from being so nervous. Why is Dion even interested in her?
“Damn!” He checks his phone and lets out a laugh. “That’s record time. Fifteen minutes. You guys even beat Rodney.”
Elena looks over from her seat and beams at me, sticking up her hand for me to give her a high five. “We won the first challenge!” She says. I’ve never seen a girl more excited in my life than right now.
“Alright, well we’ll let everyone finish up and then it’s destination numero dos.” He sticks two fingers up and goes back to eating his burger, Leila turning to look at Elena in disgust.
“So gross.” She says in disapproval, eyeing the stains on her face.
“Oh, I’m sorry.” Elena clears her throat and places her hand over her heart. “I forgot you were a vegetarian.” Then she turns to me and sends me another cheesy grin. “That fat cow was the best thing I’ve ever tasted.” It’s loud enough for Leila to hear, and this time I end up laughing with her.
“You’re a mess.” I tell her. “You’ve got ketchup all over your face.”
“Where?” She grabs a napkin and tries to get it but she’s failing miserably.
“A little more to the left.” I say, but she ends up going the opposite direction.
“No, fuck.” I laugh and take the napkin from her, swiping it across the corner of her mouth to get it. She looks at me oddly before I toss the napkin down onto the plate and relax more into my seat. “There. Got it.”
I see her cheeks turn rosy in the light but I don’t say anything. I just cover my smile with one hand and grab a clean napkin to mess with on the countertop with the other. It’s cool to hang out with someone and not have to be drunk to have fun. I haven’t laughed or smiled this much in I don’t know how long.
“Alright, let’s go!” Cameron shouts to everyone. He lays a couple of bills down onto the counter and escorts everyone to the ubers. I don’t even want to think about how much this is costing him.
I open the car door up for Elena as Cameron climbs into the passenger seat. Leila slides in behind me, her head falling down onto my shoulder. She’s already drunk.
“Mmm.” Leila whines as her hands find their way to my stomach. She drags her hand along the edge of my t-shirt before she brings her fingers underneath it. I shift awkwardly at Elena’s gaze on us. “Can I please stay in your room tonight? I haven’t had you in so long.”
I want to say yes. I want to tell her that yes, I’ll fuck her into the morning, but I can practically feel the anger radiating off of Elena. She won’t admit it, but she’s jealous. I know that she can’t admit it, because that wouldn’t be fair to me. We wouldn’t be able to work with her addiction and we both know it, but just the thought of her actually wanting me is enough to shrug Leila off of my shoulder. “Not tonight.” I tell her.
She huffs in defeat before she slinks back into the seat. We don’t say anything for the remainder of the drive. I just feel Elena’s body relax next to mine, her knee sometimes touching my thigh when we go over bumps. I want to feel her thighs wrapped completely around me. No barriers of clothing in our way.
“Here we are.” Cameron grins.
We’re outside of a nightclub that I haven’t been to. I haven’t been to any night clubs since this is my first time actually going out with everyone since being at Florida State. I’ve heard the clubbing scene is crazy here though.
Leila drunkenly gets out of the car and I hold the door open for Elena for her to step out too.
“I’m not dressed for a club.” She says awkwardly, looking down at her vans. “I didn’t know what he had planned on doing tonight.”
“You look good.” I tell her, which catches her off guard. It makes her tug on that fucking bottom lip.
“I like this on you.” She replies and tugs on the leather jacket I always wear. “It makes you seem like a bad boy.”
“That’s because I am a bad boy.” I tease. “Don’t you know this already?”
She doesn’t respond. Instead she tugs on the sleeve of my jacket and pulls me through security when they check our ID’s. For whatever reason this club is only eighteen and up. Either that, or they just don’t give a fuck how old we are.
The bass is thumping loudly when we step inside and it’s almost pitch black. I see different cabanas set up in the far left of the room. There’s a bunch of leather couches placed around the sectioned off area, and when Cameron leads us to it Dion smacks him on the head. “You dipshit!” He laughs hysterically from already being piss drunk. “This must have cost you a fortune!”
“I have my connections.” He shrugs.
A bunch of neon lights are illuminating the dance floor as I take a seat next to Elena on the white couch that looks almost too perfect to sit on. Cameron pops a bottle of champagne and begins to fill glasses for everyone, glancing up at the two of us. “You want one?” He asks.
“No thanks.” I say, Elena nodding in agreement.
“Lame!” Cameron shouts over the music.
Dion and Amelia head off to the dance floor, a couple of the other teams going out to join them. I feel so awkward sitting next to Elena because I don’t really know how to act with her. I can’t hit on her because I don’t want to provoke her addiction, and clearly when I tried to do that before it didn’t work. I don’t want to do something that will set her off, so instead I have to sit here and be practically friend zoned. Unbelievable.
“I’ve never seen Amelia like this.” She laughs as she watches them dance. “I mean, look at her! If you knew her when she’s sober then you’d understand what I’m talking about. All she wants to do is study half the time.”
“Dion has that effect on people.” I lean in closer to her so that I don’t have to shout over the music. “He’s kind of like that guy that’s just so nice you can’t say no to him. He can convince anyone to do anything.”
“Clearly.” She nods. The rest of the couples go to dance, and to try and get rid of the awkwardness I fumble with my thumbs on my lap.
“Did you want to dance or something?” She looks up at me and almost looks nervous.
“Um, only if you want to.” I tell her. “I don’t want to like, force you into doing something you aren’t comfortable with.”
She stands up from the couch after a couple of moments and sticks her hand out to me. “And you say you’re a bad boy.” She rolls her eyes. “Come on. Let’s go.”