The next four hours was a blur. Carla got caught up in a whirlwind of introductions. Some of Sam’s friends from the dance team who all looked alike with thick lean muscles and beautiful curves that made Carla seem like a twig. Ridian introduced her to people on the Lacrosse team with him who all appeared meaty and ape like to Carla.
Dancing with Sam was crazy. The DJ had started playing old school jazz and pop music including almost all of Michael Jackson’s songs. When thriller came on they even did the whole routine. They’d been obsessed with him in middle school and learned all his dances back then. Soon people joined them and they were all popping and locking and laughing together.
Dancing with Ridian had been nerve racking. He took her out to the dance floor for all the juke music, body grinding hip hop songs and a couple of slow dances. She didn’t mind the body grinding songs because at least then she didn’t have to look at him and could just lose herself in the bass beat. For the slow songs she awkwardly shuffled from side to side trying not to make eye contact until she burst out laughing at the silly faces he was making towards her.
At one moment he made a monkey face that was fugly and ridiculous Carla broke away from his grip so that she could find a wall to support herself while she laughed. She was gasping for air and gilled with giggles before he found her and whisked her away for another song.
Dancing with strangers hadn’t been so bad. Nobody questioned her or gave her disapproving looks or judged her or even forced her to smile. Just because of that she found herself smiling more and more until every one nearly reached her eyes. Everyone around was nice and energetic so when the club and electronic music started coming on they were all fist bumping together. Leaving Carla breathless, sweaty and heart racing but thirsting for more.
Playing beer pong for the first time was interesting but it was even more of a surprise for Carla when she started winning, and all her opponents ended up passed out wasted. She competed with the football captain in dance dance revolution who’d lost to her in beer pong and ended up kicking his ass in that too. Mostly because it used to be her only form of exercise so she was a master level at every song.
There was even a scavenger hunt that took place before they came inside to dance some more. She’d originally teamed up with Sam but she’d lost her in the darkness of the woods and didn’t bother looking for her. Sam knew the woods better than her so there was no worry of her getting lost and since Sam had been drinking, she’d been slowing them down anyways.
Carla hummed quietly to herself as she searched for the last thing on her list; wedding ring. She’d already found the sports jersey, the alcoholic drink, the frisbee, the red rose, the yellow flag and the hawaiian lei. The forest was quiet around her as she searched for a glimmer of metal that would alert her to the presence of the ring.
A rustling of leaves and the sound of a twig snapping pulled her up short and she shined the flashlight from her phone into the trees. Her heart was pounding in her chest even though the shining light revealed nothing. She took a deep breath and calmed down before turning back towards her original path, only to let out a blood curdling shriek and successfully dropped all her items onto the ground before a hand clamped over her mouth.
A pair of familiar gray eyes appeared in front of her green ones and her heart rate slowed slightly as Carla realized she wasn’t about to murdered Cabin in the Woods style. It was just Ridian. She ripped his hand from her mouth and gave him a light shove to which he responded with laughter.
“What the hell is wrong with you?” She hissed at him. Now that her fear of losing her life was gone she had room for anger at the one who caused it. He continued to laugh at her.
“That reaction was absolutely priceless cupcake. Truly gold,” He doubled over in laughter as his whole body shook from the force of it. She wish’d she’d hate heat vision so she could incinerate the cold bastard on the spot.
“You are truly a prime example of an asshole,” she muttered before she turned around and began to pick up all her fallen items. Ridian finally sobered up his laughter gone.
“Did you get everything?” he asked while leaning on a tree trunk.
“Nope,” Carla said shortly. He chuckled at her curt response.
“I’m sorry,” he said stepping forward. “Did I make you mad?” he teased lightly. Carla threw him a glare over her shoulder as she bent down to pick up the frisbee that’d gotten stuck under a tree trunk. Ridian let out a low whistle.
“Hot damn. Nice view babe,“. Carla immediately sprung upright and whipped the frisbee at Ridian’s head. He ducked just in time, narrowly missing some cold hard plastic right in the middle of his face. He stared at the dent in the tree where his head had just been and turned wide eyes towards Carla. “My bad,” he whispered.
She huffed and made to walk away but he ran after her, easily keeping pace with her short legs with his long ones. It aggravated her and she tried to walk faster but only succeeding and tripping over a root. Right as she was about to hit the ground smack on her bum he caught her with one arm, dance dip style and hovered over her with his face close to hers.
She could smell the soda on his breath and feel the heat emanating from his body. Heat ran through her showing itself in a blush on her cheeks. Slowly he stood her back up on her feet. He reached into his pocket and held out what looked like a ring.
“Where did you find it?” Carla gasped. It was the last thing she needed on her scavenger list.
“Let’s just say I’m really good at scavenging,” Ridian said with a wink before sliding the ring onto her finger. Carla stared at him blankly.
“Um okay are you implying that I’m not since I didn’t find it or?” Ridian held his hands up and shook his head furiously, his gray eyes wide and earnest.
“No no no! That’s not what I meant it’s just...” he trailed off as he saw Carla’s blank expression. Whatever he was trying to say was obviously not coming across clearly. He sighed in defeat. “Never mind,” he muttered before walking off with this hands in his pocket, in the general direction of the lake house.
Carla shrugged and followed him. When she arrived it turned out that she was the last person to come back from the scavenger hunt which was slightly embarrassing but she was the first one to bring in everything on the list so she wound up winning anyways. She got a $25 gift card to Barnes and Nobles and a book full of love coupons for her and her boyfriend.
Even if she did have one there was no way she would ever be cashing in on something like that. One free body massage. One free make out session. One free piggy back ride- they all sounded ridiculous and made her face blush. It didn’t help that Ridian kept sending her suggestive looks the whole time she received it.
Not once did she take a drink, she was already drunk on the amazing time she was having and when she did manage to take a break she contented herself with water. This was nothing like the crazed, drunken and druggy parties she’d assumed all teenagers in high school threw. Perhaps because it was Sam’s and Ridian’s.
At last the fatigue kicked in slightly and she excused herself from the group to go to the bathroom. She accidentally took a wrong turn and wound up in what looked like Ridian’s room. Curiosity got the best of her and she started looking around. Her first impression was it was huge.
Even though it was just his lake house room it still had a couple of posters on the wall of Coldplay and Greenday which scored him major points in music loving Carla’s book. There were a few pictures of Sam’s family and some with Sam and Ridian on the nightstand. A soft cream carpet laid over the floor and in the center of the room was a large queen sized bed.
Kicking off her shoes Carla lay back on the bed, loving the way she sank into the soft mattress. The comforter was cool to the touch which her hot skin was grateful for. Maybe I’ll just take a quick nap, she thought before shutting her eyes and drifting off.
She awoke to the feel of someone gently brushing her hair off of her face and scrunched up her nose slightly before opening her eyes. Ridian was laying beside her on the bed leaning on his hand head propped up on his elbow, as he stared at her his eyes dark a hidden emotion inside of them.
Carla immediately sprang up and backed up to the door bleary eyed and apologizing profusely for falling asleep. Music still drifted up from downstairs so she breathed a sigh in relief realizing the party wasn’t yet over so she couldn’t have been asleep for long. Her mother might just kill her if she stayed out all night again.
“I am so sorry,” she breathed out. “I was just really tired from all the dancing and stuff and I accidentally walked into here instead of the bathroom and the bed just looked so comfortable and I couldn’t help but sit on it and before I knew it I was asleep but the party is still going on right so I couldn’t have been asleep for long so thats good but anyway I’m sorry and oh goodness I’m rambling right now aren’t I I’m sorr-” Ridian cut her off with a finger on her lips. He laughed lightly at her distress.
“It’s okay cupcake, really,” At the sound of her nickname Carla’s shoulders relaxed but she frowned up at him slightly.
“I told you not to call me that,” she mumbled into his finger. She pouted but she her eyes were smiling.
“But it fits you so perfectly,” he teased back as he removed his finger from her mouth. “Remember? Super sweet and with-”
“Just the right topping I’d melt in your mouth,” Carla finished waving one of her hands about. “Yes, yes I know you little pervert,” she said in mock seriousness. They both laughed before falling silent and simply staring at each other as tension surrounded them. Just when it looked like Ridian was about to say something the door burst open and Sam exploded into the room.
“There you are!” she exclaimed as she grabbed her wrist and began tugging her away. She was panting, her eyes brown eyes were wide and her blonde hair looked slightly mussed which completed the whole frazzled look. “I’ve been looking everywhere for you!”
“Why?” Carla asked in confusion while trying to look over her shoulder at Ridian. An easy smile was on his face but it didn’t quite reach his eyes while he waved at them.
“Bye cupcake,” he said and then the door slammed shut hiding him from view. Carla’s shoulders drooped in disappointment and she turned tiredly to Sam, wrenching her arm from her grasp.
“What is it?” she asked slightly annoyed at the interruption of...well of what could have been. Sam gave her a worried look.
“Your mother is looking for you,“.