“What’s cooking in that head of yours?”
I clear my throat just to annoy him by taking my sweet time.
“Thea!” My heart jumps in my chest simply from the way he growls my name.
Even if it’s the opposite of sweet, I can’t help the smile that slides on my face.
I clear my throat again. “You see that guy there? He’s responsible for making sure nobody underage can access the shots.”
Xavier follows my pointed finger and his eyes land on the man with shaggy hair that’s pulled up in a ponytail who is bobbing his head to the music.
I raise a brow at him. “Well, he’s bisexual.”
“How do you even know that and even if he is, so what?”
“I’m hot and you pass the brooding, mysterious vibe check. So, obviously, we seduce him.”
His cold gaze lands on me, blank of any expression. I stare right back, not willing to back down.
A minute passes. Two. Two and a half.
“I’m going home.” He turns around abruptly and starts walking in the opposite direction.
I clutch onto his arm and use my entire body weight to make him stop but even then I end up digging my feet in the sand to stay upright.
Seriously, what does this guy eat? Stones?
“No.” He tries to take another step back and by this time I seem like an annoying kid he’s dragging around.
“Xavier! Come on!”
“Xavier! Come on, at least think about it!.”
“It won’t be that difficult.”
“Please?” My voice comes out unexpectedly soft compared to the way I was yelling a moment prior.
He stops. Confused, I stare at his form before hesitantly loosening my grip but still not letting his arm go.
“I swear we’ll be fine. We’ll just sneak a couple of shots each and nobody will even notice. They’re too drunk.”
He stays silent. My eyes scan his face for any indication of an answer but who am I kidding?
Finally, he turns around again and starts walking but this time towards the line of shots.
I’m afraid my face is going to split in half with the huge grin I’m sporting as I follow.
“I’ll go first,” I declare when it’s obvious he won’t utter a word.
I know from my observation that he likes shy, timid girls who will look up at him in wonder and all that gooey shit.
I comb my fingers through my hair to smooth it out and carefully make my way to the bartender, gently tapping on his shoulder to get his attention.
“Um, hi!” I fidget intentionally with my hands clasped behind me. “I’m Thea.”
“Ben. Pleased to meet you.” He gives me a crooked smile, showcasing his perfect set of teeth, and offers me his hand. I hesitantly place my hand in his and he brings it to his lips. Oh boy. “I don’t think I’ve seen you before. A beauty like you is hard to forget.”
“It’s actually my first time here.” I lie and bat my lashes, looking up at him shyly, offering him a sweet smile. “Lovely place, isn’t it?” The guy gobbles up the attention like a hungry wolf.
Discreetly, I peek behind him to see Xavier making his way over to the alcohol, however, his eyes are transfixed on mine.
Unfortunately, Ben notices my stare and moves to turn around. On instinct, my hand shoots out to clutch his in hopes of distracting him but he takes it the wrong way. It stops him dead in his track.
Ben’s gaze turns to me in wonder and he looks down at our intertwined hands. I sneak a quick look at Xavier who downs his second glass and slams it on the table forcefully, too forcefully.
Then I watch him pour another one. Cheater.
He downs it in a second.
“Shall we dance?” Ben’s question brings my eyes back on him in time to notice his other hand trying to sneak up on my waist. I jump back.
“Sorry. Not in the mood.”
Without further explanation, I leave his sight.
“You done?” I question Xavier as I reach his side. He gives a stiff nod. “My turn to drink. Go flirt his pants off.”
He releases a grunting noise from his throat but moves anyway. However, unlike me, Xavier doesn’t tap on Ben’s shoulder and instead, he talks in a calm yet resounding voice.
“We need to talk.”
Ben furrows his brows and turns with confusion etched all over his face. I hurriedly move over to the shots glasses and start pouring, not sure how long Xavier can manage to keep Ben distracted.
As soon as the liquid hits the back of my throat, a burning sensation spreads causing me to grimace. I pour another one and let my eyes move towards Xavier only to find him...
Xavier’s hands are grabbing the sides of Ben’s face, their lips pressed together. I watch as Ben’s hands flail at his sides for a second before he relaxes and closes his eyes. That’s not talking!
Xavier’s eyes are dead set on me.
My jaw drops six feet underground. Holy fuck! They’re kissing! I gape at them like a fucking fish out of water. I don’t know whether to be jealous or angry or laugh my ass off.
Instead, I pour the second shot down my throat, and immediately Xavier pushes the bartender away, gives him a nod and speed walks the opposite way.
Even in the dim lighting from the bar, I watch Ben blink repeatedly, trying to recover from what just happened.
“Are you gay?”
“Shut up. We’re never speaking of this again. Ever. Clear?”
I nod immediately.
We stand side by side, watching people dance on the makeshift dance floor, music beating in the background.
“But you kisse—”
“Thea.” A delicious shiver runs down my spine at his husky whisper. “Shut up!”
We stand in silence but I keep fidgeting. My entire body is buzzing with excitement and the need to dance.
So, without thinking, I pull on Xavier’s shirt...again.
“Dance with me.”
He looks down at me as if I’ve lost my marbles. Lucky for me, I never had any in the first place so I ignore his stare.
“I don’t dance.”
“You did yesterday.” I give him an innocent look.
Being offended should have been an appropriate reaction but me being me, I decided to feel flattered. A warm sensation consumes my entire system.
Maybe, it’s the alcohol. I’ll blame it on the alcohol and not the heated gaze with which Xavier is eyeing me.
So, I shrug.
“Now, come on before I announce to the entire school that you kissed Ben.”
I can hear the sound of him gritting his teeth and smile up at him cheekily.
He inhales deeply and holds his breath before releasing slowly, trying to calm the rage within.