Girls of Summer

Finding someone who hated them proved to be easier than expected.

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2. Vodka Shots and A Ride Home

    The concert was, in a word, brilliant. The lights were fantastic, the song selections were magnificent, and the boys were, of course, perfect. Alice was ninety percent sure that her voice was going to be gone by the end of the concert, and if it lasted that long, it would be destroyed in the club afterwards. She had been jumping up and down, screaming along to the songs and dancing with her friends. Cerys had even jumped up onto her chair and started belting out Up All Night in Spanish. As the concert drew to a close, Zayn stepped as close to the edge of the stage as he could.

    “This song goes out to a very special group of girls we met backstage before the concert. One of those girls received something, and we hope she knows the real intention. This song goes out to them, and it will be our last song for the night!”

    Alice could have sworn the singer had looked directly at their group. She turned to Cerys, to ask her opinion. However, Cerys was gaping up the stage, quite obviously aware of something no one else was aware of.

    “What is it?” Alice hissed as the song began. It was Stole My Heart.

    “Don’t flip out, aye?” Cerys replied as she slid a hand into her bra. She removed a slip of paper and unfolded it, revealing a sloppily written phone number. She held it out to Alice, who picked it up gingerly.

    “Is this--”

    “What I found in my shirt, yes,” Cerys replied, inspecting the group on the stage with incredible scrutiny. “He’s made eye contact three times, and we’re only a minute into the song. He’s quite stupid, isn’t he?”

    “Sure,” Alice said as she tapped the phone number into her phone. She reached towards Cerys and dropped the number back down into her bra.

    “Oh, go ahead, just use it as a pocket,” Cerys said distastefully.

    “Anytime,” Alice replied with a grin. She tapped out a quick message to the phone number, praying that Cerys wouldn’t see her.

     This is her friend. Wonderland after concert; look for us. ~Alice

    “What did you say?” Cerys asked as the song continued.

    ‘Crap,’ Alice thought. “Nothing, I just saved it.”

    “You’re a shite liar.”

    “Shut up.”

    “Nay, wee lass!” Cerys exclaimed. “Now make stupid faces so they lose their composure.”

    Alice grinned and hooked her fingers into either side of her mouth and pulled as far as she could. She stuck her tongue out and rolled her eyes back in her head. Cerys crossed one eye and rolled the other up and made the derpiest face imaginable. Seconds later, the harmony broke slightly when Niall and Zayn pulled their microphones away from their mouths to avoid broadcasting their chuckles to the entire stadium.

 

~*:*~

 

    An hour later, after fighting their way through the crowd and the traffic, the white Impala was pulled up two blocks away from the club. Delanie and Missy were outside, talking about the concert and who the special group of girls could have been. Alice and Cerys were changing out of their concert attire into more club worthy clothes in the front and back seats of the car.

    “I bet they got a kiss or something,” Delanie said.

    “I don’t think so,” said Missy. “They don’t seem to be the type to kiss and tell.”

    “Maybe they just gave a girl a phone number,” Cerys said as she stepped out of the car. She tugged her corset up slightly and adjusted her boobs accordingly.

    Delanie and Missy scoffed in unison. “They aren’t stupid,” Delanie began. “Every girl at that concert was a fan, except for--oh crap.” Realization dawned on her face. “No...”

    “If you don’t stop gapin’, a spider’s going to start a web in your mouth,” Cerys said. “And I chewed up the paper and chucked it. It’s just a little wet paper ball somewhere between here and the stadium.”

    “Why would you get rid of something like that?! You could sell it, or, better yet, save it and call it!” Delanie exclaimed, flailing her arms about like a maniac.

    “Why would I do that, when he was obviously trying to be discreet when he gave it to me? I’m not quite that mean,” Cerys replied as Alice stepped out of the car.

    “On a scale of teddy bear to angry lion, I rate you an agitated penguin,” Missy said.

    Cerys blinked at her. “Is that like a seven?”    

    Missy nodded. “You’re a little meaner than a frustrated lizard, but not as mean as a grouchy monkey.”

    “You’re weird as hell,” Cerys said blatantly.  

    “I know.”

    “Great, Cerys is a penguin, not a lizard or monkey. Can we go now?” Delanie asked. Alice nodded and locked the car via the open passenger side door. She closed the door with her hip, and the group began to walk towards the club. Just as they started walking, Alice felt her phone vibrate. Slightly confused, she removed it from her pocket. She had one new message. She unlocked her phone and blinked when she realized it was from Zayn.

        Our ETA is 10 mins. -ZM

        We’ll be there ~Alice

    She bit her lip as the message sent. She was finding the ability to process the fact that she was texting a celebrity rather difficult. Not as difficult as it was to believe that she would be hanging out with a group of celebrities in ten minutes, but difficult just the same.

    They each paid their entry fee at the club door, and walked inside. Delanie and Missy made a beeline to the dancefloor, while Alice and Cerys walked casually to the bar. Alice had ended up as the designated driver, since she was the only one of the group still underage However, she not only wanted a Shirley Temple, but she also owed Cerys a drink.

    The girls slid into barstools, and Cerys smiled flirtatiously at the bartender. Cerys had learned after spending time in bars in the UK that if you could get the bartender to flirt back, you could almost always get a free drink.

    “I’ll have an English Lager,” she said, thickening her accent slightly. Alice rolled her eyes at the bartender’s flustered appearance.

    “She only wants you on her good side so she get a free shot later on. I’ll have a virgin Shirley Temple, please,” Alice replied. She smirked at the dirty look Cerys shot her. However, the dirty look turned into one of confused shock seconds later.

    “What are you staring at?” Alice asked as she turned in her chair. She nearly choked on the air in her throat when she saw Zayn, Niall, and Louis walking towards them. They had changed since the concert, but it was them. Holy freaking crap.

    “Alice, right?” Niall said with a toothy grin as they came closer. Alice nodded, forcing herself to act normally.

    “And you were who? N something?” she asked with a playful smile. Niall grinned and gestured at the seat next to her.

    “May I?”

    “By all means,” Alice said enthusiastically. She jumped when she felt Cerys stab her in the side with her index finger.

    “Dè tha thu a dèanamh?!” she demanded in Scottish Gaelic.

    “Sorry?” Alice replied with a grin. She knew exactly what Cerys was asking (“What did you do?!”), but she felt no reason to play fair.

    “You. Suck,” Cerys muttered as their drinks appeared. The bartender took Niall’s, Zayn’s, and Louis’ drink orders before leaving to prepare said drinks. Alice leaned forwards to look past Cerys, to see where Zayn and Louis were seated. As she had guessed, Zayn was right next to Cerys, and Louis next to him.

    “The concert was fantastic,” Alice said with a smile. “This numpty was singing Up All Night in Spanish,” she said, jabbing a thumb at Cerys.

    “Oh, shut your gob, why dontcha?” Cerys muttered as she took a sip of her lager. Alice grinned and plucked a cherry from her drink.

    “Did you travel far to get here?” Louis asked.    

    “Two hours from New York,” Cerys said.

    “Where in New York do you live?” Zayn asked with a small smile. Alice had to keep herself from aww-ing out loud. He looked like a child trying to make a new friend.

    “Alice and I share a flat in the Upper East Side,” Cerys replied. Already, she had gotten halfway through her lager. Alice knew, however, that it would take three or four more for her to get buzzed. After that, it would probably be shots until she could hardly walk in a straight line.

As the bartender brought over the boys’ drinks, Cerys downed half her remaining lager.

“You have a drink?” Niall asked over his half pint. Alice shook her head.

“I’m the driver, and I’m underage,” Alice replied. She took a sip of her drink and took a sideways glance at Cerys. The Scot’s face was all but buried in her beer, and she was completely ignoring poor Zayn’s attempts.

“Oh,” Niall said, eyeing his own drink. He made a mental promise to not drink anymore alcohol that night, once the glass in front of him was empty. “How underage?”

“Four months,” Alice replied.

“Legal then,” Niall murmured to himself.

“Hmm?” Alice looked up.

“Nothing,” he said quickly.

“I’m going to find the loo,” Cerys said suddenly and decisively. She slid down from her stool and looked over to Alice. “Coming?”

“We’ll be back,” Alice said, flashing the boys a smile. As soon as they were gone, Zayn groaned and covered his face with his hands. Louis was grinning like an idiot, most likely amused by Zayn’s predicament.

“She ignoring you?” Niall asked. Zayn nodded, his face still covered.

“This has never happened before. Normally a girl at least says something back. She just sits there, and sips her beer,” Zayn complained.

“I think he should challenge her to a round of shots. If he drinks more than her, she has to be cooperative with his advances for the night. If she drinks more than him, she can do whatever she wants,” Louis said with a small smile.

“You’re decent at drinking,” Niall said, nodding in agreement. “I think you’ve got a decent chance.”

“What, so she comes back, and I just say ‘I bet I could drink more shots than you’?” Zayn asked sarcastically.

“Or I could could,” Louis offered.

“You’re all mad,” Zayn muttered. “And if you’re so interested in Alice, Niall, then why didn’t you give her your number?!”

Niall cracked a half smile. “I was distracted by her, and I didn’t know how to give it to her. I didn’t feel like dropping it down her shirt, unlike you.”

“Shut up,” Zayn muttered.

“Who’s shutting up?” Cerys asked, suddenly reappearing on her stool. Alice climbed onto her own stool.

“If you can drink more than Zayn, Zayn will shut up,” Louis said quickly. Cerys quirked an eyebrow.

“Like a round of shots?” Cerys asked.

Louis nodded. “Whiskey.”

Alice scoffed. “You’re setting yourself up for failure.” Zayn turned and shot Louis a glare worthy of the devil. Louis flashed a cheeky grin and waved the bartender over.

“What can I get you?” he asked, sounding rather exasperated.

“A round of shots. This git thinks he can out drink me,” Cerys said, nodding at Zayn. The bartender sighed.

“What type of drink?”

“Vodka,” Zayn said, ignoring the eye roll Louis supplied. The bartender nodded and removed twelve shot glasses from beneath the counter, six for each of the contenders. He filled them up to the appropriate level and set them in front of Zayn and Cerys. Once he was gone, Cerys shot Zayn a devilish smirk.

“Prepare for failure, sweetie,” she said as she picked up the glass closest to her.

“Unlikely,” Zayn replied. In unison, they dumped the first round down their throats.

“Exactly how well can she hold a drink?” Louis asked, as the pair began their second round.

“Takes four beers for her to get buzzed,” Alice replied with a smirk. “This will put her just inside the boundaries of drunk.”

“So bad luck for Zayn,” Niall said. Alice shrugged.

“She’ll probably pity him,” she said. “End up flirting back anyways, after she’s done gloating.” As she finished speaking, Cerys tossed her final shot down. She shook her head quickly, as though she was trying to clear her addled brain. Zayn was staring down at the final shot, looking utterly defeated.

“C’mon,” Cerys mumbled, the alcohol obviously rushing through her blood system. “Don’t be a kicked puppy about it. Jus’ cause I drank ye under the table don’t mean ye’ve got to be all sad about it all,” she said, her accent thickening tremendously.

“Twenty minutes into the night, and she’s already drunk,” Alice said, shaking her head. “Can’t say I’m surprised.”

“Clam up, Alice,” Cerys said, stabbing a finger into Alice’s face. “I’m going to go dance with this numpty so he’s not sad anymore.” Cerys then slid off her stool and paused to get her bearings. She grabbed Zayn’s hand and pulled him along behind her. Alice cracked a grin as she saw the size comparison. Cerys was a good foot shorter than Zayn, and her petite frame made her look even smaller. She smiled even wider when she saw Missy and Liam dancing just within the the crowd. Harry and Delanie were nearby, and Delanie seemed to be acting like normal person, dancing with another normal person! Delanie acting normal was a stretch in itself, but acting normal with one of her celebrity crushes? That was nothing short of a miracle. Suddenly, the club was filled with a familiar Italian voice. Even from her distance and the volume of the music, Alice could hear Cerys whoop at the song playing.

“She a fan of Yolanda be Cool?” Louis asked, raising an eyebrow.

“She’s a fan of how perfect this song is for dancing,” Alice replied. She folded her hands over the chair’s back and rested her chin on her hands, silently pleading that Niall would ask her to go dance. Her thought process was quickly interrupted by the bartender clearing his throat.

She turned around, and almost whined when she saw the bill in his hand. She held her hand out for it, and picked up the pen to sign her name. However, a pale hand grabbed the receipt and took the pen. She looked up, and saw Niall signing his name (which was so different from his autograph, it was incredible) on the receipt. He handed the bartender the bill, and told him to use the debit card for the shots, and his and Louis’ drinks. Once the card had been returned, Niall quickly tucked it into his wallet and stood.

“Do you want to...” he trailed off, as though he wasn’t quite sure how to ask. But Alice knew what he was asking. She smiled, inside and out, and jumped down from her stool.

“I’d love to,” she said. Niall grinned and took her hand in his. Alice felt her hand twitch at the contact, sending a shiver up her arm. The pair worked into the sweaty crowd of dancers, eventually ending up in the same vicinity as Liam, Missy, Harry, Delanie, Zayn, and Cerys. As Alice had expected, Cerys was batting Zayn’s hands away from his attempts to move her hips into a position that would allow for grinding. If she were a guy, however, Alice figured she would be making the same attempts. To put it generally, Cerys had hips that belonged on a Latina dancer. Missy and Liam were both doing all the very best dance moves (The Sprinkler, The Shopping Cart, Stop the Traffic, and Go Crazy), while Harry and Delanie were grinding. Since Delanie was grinding, it could only be assumed that she had gotten alcohol to some extent into her system. Most likely, from the bar on the other side of the club. Louis joined them a few moments later, joining in on Missy and Liam’s personal dance party.

Alice turned to face Niall and applied her usual dancing technique: Jump up and down, flail your arms, and pretend like you have an idea of how to dance. She felt that her stand-up seizure was one the higher end of the skill scale when compared to the other intoxicated inhabitants of the club.

 

~*:*~

 

    An unknown length of time passed before the two groups decided to leave. Missy and Delanie were both tipsy, but not too drunk to walk or have a conversation. Cerys, however, was stumbling along, giggling at anything and everything. Out of the boys, Liam and Niall were the only ones left sober.

    “Are you driving back tonight?” Niall asked Alice as they left the club.

    Alice nodded as she held up Cerys’s little body. “Yeah. We didn’t make hotel reservations, and we didn’t think we’d be out quite this late.” She yawned at the end of her sentence. Niall exchanged a wary glance with Liam. He knew his bandmate had heard Alice, and seen the yawn.

    “Driving when you’re tired is just as bad as driving drunk, you know,” Niall said. “Why don’t you all stay the night with us, in the hotel? We can get you home in the morning.” He glanced over to Liam, who quickly nodded in confirmation.

    “It’s no problem. I can drive the lads back, and Niall can drive your car,” Liam said, stumbling slightly as he caught Zayn’s stumbling body.

    “Oh--um, are you sure--” Alice stumbled over her words almost as badly as Cerys was stumbling over her feet.

    “Absolutely,” Niall said. He took Cerys from Alice and held her steady while Liam and the rest of the boys made their way to the van they had driven to the club.

    “Time to go?” Missy asked.

    “Time to go,” Niall confirmed. They began to walk back towards the Impala. At least, Alice, Missy, Delanie, and Niall did. Cerys was more so dragged along. As they reached the first crosswalk, Niall stopped and tossed Cerys over his shoulder. Since she weighed barely ninety five pounds, the effort was virtually nonexistent.

    “I’m going to laugh if she throws up on you,” Alice said with a smile.

    “I’ll only hand her over to you,” Niall replied. They reached the car with no incidents, other than Missy and Delanie’s endless babbling about Liam and Harry, respectively, and Cerys announcing that there was blood in her alcohol system.

    Once the three intoxicated members of their party were safely tucked into the backseat, Niall and Alice climbed into the front seats, with Niall in the driver’s seat. Alice had confiscated Cerys’s keys upon their entrance to the club, and so she was able to hand them over without wrestling her friend for possession. Niall pulled the car onto the street, and Alice settled into the seat. Little did she know, the short journey that had just commenced was the spark that would start a blazing fire.

 
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