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“Guys, we’re playing a game,” Georgia hollered from inside the house, poking her head around the door.
“I don’t think...” I started but she cut me off.
“No excuses. Get you’re a*ses inside now,” She left no room for debate. I turned to Lazarus and sighed. He shook his head in disbelief. I could only imagine what he was thinking right now. I bet it was something along the lines of ’bossy Georgina is at it again’.
Inside, everyone was sat on the floor in a circle. A circle of cards was placed in the middle, along with an empty glass. I already knew what game we were playing. We used to play it a lot a few years ago.
“King’s cup?” I remarked aloud to anybody.
“Yep,” Matt chirped back.
Lazarus and I sat in the empty spots. My eyes floated around the circle. Marianne already looked bored and Dexter was quite skittish. It was so unlike him. I frowned, wondering what made him like that.
“What is this game?” Lazarus asked, having no idea what this is. The others stared at him with faces of surprise. Most teenagers knew this game—at least, everybody here did. Of course, they didn’t know Lazarus wasn’t from this era. To them, he was a normal, extremely handsome teenager who moved here a few months ago.
Georgia glanced at me and then turned back to him.
“The game is pretty simple...” She began, slowly. Whilst she explained it, I watched his face, fascinated. Lazarus was smart—he would pick it up very quickly.
The game was designed to get you drunk, quickly. All the cards were face down. Everyone would take it in turns to pick a card up. If you picked an ace, it meant waterfall. Everyone would drink at the same time the person who picked the card did. Two mean you. Three meant me. Four was girls drink. Five was jive. Six was men drink. Seven was heaven. Eight was mate. Nine was rhyme. Ten was categories. Jack was make a new rule. Queen was question master and king meant you had to pour your drink into the king’s cup.
The game started and as I suspected, Lazarus caught onto it very quickly. Nothing very exciting happened at first. But once the alcohol started to kick in, it became fun. Matt was yelling at everyone because they kept picking on him. He was the first to go.
After that, the rest of us got tipsy. A few of us swayed side to side. I was one of them.
“I can’t believe you are making me check the clock every five minutes,” Matt complained, pouting.
Georgia shrugged her shoulders, apathetically. “What can I say? I’m evil.”
“You can say that again,” Matt muttered, loud enough for us all to hear. Georgia narrowed her eyes at him whilst Matt visibly gulped.
It was my turn next. I picked up a Queen.
Biting my lip, I pondered who I should ask this to. I could never think of a question for anyone.
“What did you get?” Ellie asked me whilst the others chatted.
I flipped the card over and showed her.
“Ooh, you get to ask one of us a question.” She clapped her hands. “Who are you choosing?”
I had no idea.
Sammy, who was sat next to me, leaned into me. She smelt of Vodka and peaches. A weird combination that somehow worked. “You should ask Wilder. He wants to ask Ellie something,” She whispered into my ear. My eyebrows shot up as millions of thoughts crossed my mind.
Jerking back, I stared at her with wide eyes. I had a feeling I knew where this was going.
“Seriously?” I mouthed to her whilst the others were busy messing around with each other. It had been like this for a while. We all got distracted easily. There was always too much happening.
She nodded her head, her eyes deadly serious.
God, I hoped this didn’t backfire. It would only make things awkward.
I cleared my throat loudly, catching their attention. “I have decided.” I paused and then shifted my gaze to Wilder. “Wilder, what is your question to Ellie?”
He would have heard what Sammy whispered to me. He would have known this was happening.
Wilder swallowed and attempted to mask his nervousness. This might be the first time I have ever seen Wilder nervous.
“Els, we have known each other for a while now and I know we are still young. I just...I want this to be a pro—”
“The answer is yes,” Ellie interrupted him quickly, guessing where he was going with it.
She threw herself into his arms. He fell back slightly but quickly recovered. They both had gigantic and electric smiles on their bright faces. Happiness surrounded them.
“Oh my god, you guys are going to get married then!” Georgia screamed, leaping to her feet. I had never seen her so happy for someone.
We all started clapping and saying our congratulations.
“Thanks, guys,” Ellie said, gratefully and sat next to Wilder again. That enormous smile was still on her face. “But as Wilder said, it’s more of a promise right now. I don’t think my parents will allow me to get married whilst I’m still in high school.”
“I’m truly so happy for you guys,” I told them, honestly. They had been together for a long time now and I always knew they would get married someday.
“I think this calls for a celebration,” Jamie announced, rising to his feet. He sauntered over to the bar and grabbed a bottle of champagne. “I know you said your parents were saving this cous but I think our news is more important than theirs.”
“You’re right. Screw them. They have plenty of money to buy another,” She replied, joining him at the bar. She grabbed several champagne glasses.
Jamie popped the lid off the bottle and an explosion of foam erupted. We all joined them around the bar. Jamie poured the drink into the glasses and handed one to each of us. We all stared at the happy couple.
“Who wants to do the toast?” Jamie asked.
“I will,” I said before Georgia could. Thankfully, she didn't fight me.
Inhaling, my lips stretched into a bright smile. One that would hurt my cheeks. “Ellie, Wilder, I cannot think of anybody else who is more in love than you guys. For a long time, you were my only hope of true love. You are two completely different characters yet you work so well. The love you have for each other is otherworldly. No matter what happens, you will always have each other’s backs. I’m so glad you are doing this. You both deserve so much happiness."
I paused for effect. Ellie had a tissue in her hand and was dabbing her eyes carefully.
“Some people will judge you. Rumors might go around school. But as long as you two have each other, you can get through this. I can’t wait to see you walk down the aisle, Ellie. You are going to be the most gorgeous bride ever. You are both so lucky to have found each other.
“So, let’s raise our glasses to these two incredible, kind-hearted people. May they be happy forever!”
We all cheered and clinked glasses. I threw the drink back and laughed at Sammy’s disgusted face.
“Let’s f*cking party!” Matt yelled. He turned the music from the speakers up and started dancing like a lunatic.
He climbed up onto the sofa and bounced up and down. His dancing was atrocious, as usual. We all watched it in amusement. He was going full out.
Georgia snorted and looked down in disgust. She always hated it when Matt danced. She found it embarrassing.
I didn’t feel like dancing so I slipped outside and leaned against the railing and stared up at the night sky. It was a beautiful night. I released a long breath and tuned the loud thumping music out. Instead, I focused on the environment around me.
Calmness washed over me. This evening was turning out to be great. Ellie and Wilder were engaged, I was away from the scarred man; me and Lazarus were sharing a room.
Everything felt okay until the heavens opened. The rain didn’t trickle, it poured. Yelping in shock, I rushed inside and slammed the doors shut. Everyone snapped their heads to me. My eyes immediately found a pair of alluring green eyes. Concern swirled in them. He thought I had seen something dangerous.
“Heavy rain,” I explained, smiling awkwardly. Despite being outside for a short amount of time, my hair got soaked. Sighing, I fisted my hair and squeezed. There was no doubt in my mind my make-up would be ruined.
Lazarus approached me, “You still look stunning.”
He managed to make my smile turn real.
“Do you want another drink?” It was only then I realized I had left my drink outside. I refrained myself from facepalming.
“What would you like?”
I tapped my chin, mentally running through my options. “Surprise me.”
He arched an eyebrow and smirked. I had a feeling I was going to regret being spontaneous.
Lazarus went over to the bar and hid my glass. Shaking my head with a smile still on my face, I watched every one. Sammy and Jamie had disappeared. I didn’t need to think about where they were. Wilder and Ellie were on the sofa. Ellie was sat on his lap and her face was snuggled into his chest.
Marianne and Dexter were playing a card game at the card table. And Matt and Georgia were in the corner of the room, dancing together intimately. For now, things were good between them. I was hoping it would stay like that for a while.
“Here you go,” Lazarus said from behind me, startling me.
Spinning around on the balls of my feet, I blinked at him in shock and placed a hand over my racing heart. “Jeez, you scared me.”
He apologized and handed me the drink. It was a clear color and smelt of gin and lemonade. I flickered my eyes up to his and grinned.
His ‘mystery’ drink wasn’t very mysterious.
Slowly, I took a sip of the drink and let it flow down my throat. Instantly, my throat burned and I started coughing violently.
Lazarus reacted and patted my back whilst firing multiple questions at me. Any satisfaction he felt for tricking me vanished. It was replaced with guilt.
“I’m so sorry, mi amore. I didn’t think it would be that bad.”
I waved a dismissive hand. I didn’t want him to think he had basically killed me.
“It’s fine. It’s my partly my fault for being so cocky.” I countered, wiping away the tears under my eyes. I no longer cared if my mascara was smudged. I was around people I trusted. “God though, what on earth did you put in that? I could smell gin and lemonade.”
He rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly, “It’s mostly gin. I thought you would be fine with it. I’m so sorry it hurt you.”
“You’re acting as if it was acid. I’m honestly fine,” I comforted him, curling my fingers around his bicep. “You worry so much about me.”
He opened his mouth, ready to explain why he does but I already knew everything.
“I know, I’m your mate and you feel like it’s your job to protect me. I just want you to know that if something happens to me, it won’t be your fault. Don’t put it on yourself.”
His eyes hardened and he clenched his jaw. The lightness in his green orbs went out. Even I felt cold at the emotion in them.
“Nothing is going to happen to you,” He declared, determinedly. His eyes were concentrated on the wall in front of him.
“I know but I’m just saying if something did, I would never think it was your fault. I don’t want you to blame yourself for something that was unpreventable.” I elaborated, running my hand up and down his arm.
He shifted his gaze to me momentarily and noted the expression on my face.
“Amore, I don’t want to be talking about this. It sets my wolf on edge,” He pleaded with me, finally looking more like the Lazarus I knew and loved.
“Okay, I’ll drop it,” I relented, seeing he was uncomfortable. “Just remember what I said.”
He exhaled dramatically and dragged a hand through his glossy hair.
“Do you want to do something? We could join Dexter and Marianne’s card game?” I suggested, wanting to change his train of thought.
He agreed eagerly.
“Hey guys,” I greeted them in a chirpy voice. “Can we join you?”
“Sure, we’re about to play poker,” Marianne said, pulling out the seat next to her. I slid into it whilst Lazarus sat opposite me.
“Can I just say that I’ve never played poker before,” I warned them.
“Don’t worry about it, you can team up with me,” Marianne came to the rescue, shuffling her chair closer to me.
It turned out she was very skilled at the game. She—we—won easily.
Dexter threw his cards into the middle in a fit of rage and stomped away, angrily. Marianne shook her head, expecting this reaction from him. Lazarus seemed unfazed.
“He always loses,” She revealed, taking the money from the middle.
“I’m going to check on him,” I told them and followed after him quickly. He had sneaked out the front. I found him standing under the porch, watching the rain hammer down. There was a distant look in his brown eyes.
“Dexter,” I called out to him, hesitantly taking a step closer to him. His shoulders tensed and he twirled around. “You okay?”
“Yeah, why?” He replied, stiffly.
I crossed my arms over my chest, suddenly feeling cold.
“You just look stressed and angry, that’s all,” I shrugged my shoulders and met his eyes.
He was the first to look away.
“You really are good at reading people, you know that?” He commented, dryly.
“I guess. I mean, it’s obvious you are angry. I only picked up on the stress thing because I know what it’s like to constantly feel stressed. You bottle it up like me. Right now, you’re on the verge of exploding. And boy, it’s not going to be pretty.” I told him, cautiously.
“When did you turn into a psychologist?” He joked and attempted to laugh. We could both tell it was fake.
“I know it’s none of my business but I just want you to know that I’ll listen to you. If you need someone to talk to, that is.” So often I was the one in his shoes but this time, I could be the one to help and advise someone.
He pondered over what to do.
“If I tell you, you can’t say anything. You have to promise,” He eventually said, darting his eyes around the area, making sure nobody else was around.
My body went on alert. I was now worried about what he was going to say.
“I swear on my life,” I promised, maintaining eye contact.
He exhaled in relief and moved closer to me. “I—um—I don’t know how to put this. I found my mate.”
I faltered. My mouth was agape. What were the odds Dexter would find his mate too? When did this happen?
“You—oh wow, really?” I stammered.
He nodded his head, certainly.
“Who is it?” I tried to not seem desperate; I’m sure he could detect the curiosity. Who wouldn’t be curious? Dexter was one of the kindest souls I had ever met, he deserved a mate.
“Well, you see, here’s why I was worried about revealing this. Especially to you.” He chuckled, anxiously.
“I won’t get mad,” I offered.
“I hope not,” He muttered and then lifted his eyes back up to me. “It’s Marco. The police officer.”
Silence ensued. Deep down, I had always known he was gay. And there was definitely nothing wrong with it. I was just shocked his mate was Marco. He seemed to act fine around him earlier. Or perhaps I was just oblivious.
Either way, I was extremely happy he found his soul mate and stunned it was Marco.
Dexter pinched his lips together and stared at me skeptically. “You’re not mad, are you?”
“No, of course not,” I nearly shouted. “Why would I be mad? I’m so happy for you. I’m just shocked it's Marco. Who would have thought it was my bodyguard?”
“And you’re okay with me being gay?” He asked, nervously.
“Of course, I’m fine with it. I would never not be okay with it,” I answered, sincerely. His expression softened. “So, you were stressed because you thought I would be mad? Or were you worried about people’s reaction?”
He scratched his arm, “Both I guess. You’re the only person I’ve told. Lazarus and Marianne know I’m gay so they would be fine with it. I guess I was worried you would not want us to be together because you wouldn’t want him to be distracted.”
“You can be so stupid,” I laughed, punching him on the air lightly. He chuckled, easing up. “Marco is a great guy and I’m glad he’s got you now. The guy needs to loosen up a little bit.”
“Just a tad,” He teased, nearly pinching his fingers together.
“So, the others don’t know?” He bobbed his head up and down. “And he’s human so he doesn’t know what mates are?” He nodded his head again.
“Are you going to tell him?” I questioned.
“I don’t know. I think I might ask him out when we get back. I don’t want to make things awkward.”
“And you’ll tell him about who you are later?” I queried.
I hoped he knew what he was doing. “Good luck then.”
“Thanks, I’ll need it.”
“You should tell Lazarus and Marianne,” I stated as he passed me. He paused and glanced over his shoulder. “They are your best friends and as you said, they know who you are. They deserve to know. They only want what’s best for you and will be able to help you more than I can.”
He smiled, genuinely. “Okay.”
“I’ll see you in there.” He said, swinging the door open.
Sighing, I leaned against the pillar. At least I was sheltered here. The rain was still fiercely drizzling down.
Unlike last time, I didn’t feel like I was being watched. However, there was a horrible pit in my stomach. Anticipation for what was to come flowed through me.
I had a horrible feeling that over this week, something bad was going to happen.
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed this chapter! Remember to leave a review. My next update will be on Wednesday.