"Damn it." I threw my phone on my bed, unwilling to call Harry. I told Siri to call Steph. "I'm going crazy. We gotta go do something."
I waited a good 35 minutes for Steph to arrive and another hour waiting as she sat on the bathroom counter and played with her makeup. I say played because once she was done she wiped it all off. "I think I'm gonna go all natural." I wanted to strangle her.
"So, what are we going to do?"
I looked at her and she collapsed on my bed. "I thought you knew!" I picked up a pillow, not knowing whether I wanted to smother her or pelt her senseless. I pressed my face into the pillow and screamed.
"Oh my god. You need to get laid."
I hadn't told Steph about the kiss at Starbucks. I just told her that he wanted his space. In case you've never experienced it first hand, Steph swears a lot. I was torn between being touched by her being so protective and guilty for the fact that I lied to her.
"Oh, I know. There's a party. Chloe Hart's parents won a weekend getaway in Bermuda. Chloe was acting like she won it. She's such a bitch. Anyway, she's throwing a party. A few close friends she said, so you know like everybody is going to be there."
I rolled my eyes. It's not that I didn't like parties. I loved parties. I loved parties too much. Parties loved me; especially parties with vodka.
"Steph, you know how I get."
She nodded. "If anybody needs to let loose and have a drink, it's you, mon ami. Have a drink, find a hottie, and have your way with him. Do a little drunken house cleaning upstairs." She tapped me on the temple. "Forget that fucker."
I winced. It was obvious Harry Styles was on Stephanie's shit list. Not a great place to be.
"Come on," Stephanie was prone to whining. "Steph needs to party tooooo."
"Fine. But you're driving. And we're having Taco Bell first. And you have to buy."
"Oh Niall, you're the best date ever. Don't expect me to put out." She twirled back to the mirror and grabbed one of the thirteen shades of red lipstick she carried in her purse.. "Oh! Cherry Mango." She dabbed her lips on a tissue. "What do you think?"
"They look the same."
"It's lip-gloss you Neanderthal. Here..." She leaned into me and held my by the back of the neck and proceeded to gloss my lips. "That's better."
"Better than what? My lips are just fine, thank you." I started to wipe the stuff off.
"Stop. Stop." She slapped at my hands. "Nobody wants to kiss, just fine." She handed me a tissue. "Here. Just dab. I said dab! Don't wipe. Are you sure you're gay?" I took another proffered tissue and mimicked Steph dabbing her lips. "Okay, I take it back, you're definitely gay."
I wadded the tissue and threw it at her.
We arrived at the party and had to park almost two blocks away. Getting out of the car, we could already hear the music. I cringed as Steph did a little happy dance then looped her arm through mine and proceeded to skip alongside me. "Come on. Turn that frown upside down." She poked herself in the cheek rotating her hand to produce an overly animated and somewhat creepy smile. "We're gonna have some fun if it kills you."
"It just might." She bumped me with her hip, her curls bouncing as she skipped. The girl needed a pill. Or maybe I did.
We threaded our way in and out of party-goers dancing to Avicii's Hey Brother. Steph squeaked, then smiled abashedly as someone groped her ass. "I like this party already."
"Harlot," I joked.
She seized my hand and dragged me to the kitchen. She grabbed a bottle of cheap vodka and a red Solo cup off a table and poured. "Drink," she commanded. The vodka went down rough and almost came back up. She took the cup again and poured. "Drink." She held it out to me expectantly.
"Can I at least smoke first?" I pushed my way past a group of drunk jocks and out to the patio. A group of emo guys were perched on the patio furniture enveloped in a thick plume of smoke. I knocked a cigarette from my pack of Marlboro's and slammed the vodka.
I was already feeling it by the time I finished my cigarette. It was warm and I was pulling at the collar of my V-neck when the reverse-skunk-haired emo sat down.
"Where'd your friend go?"
"Huh?" My head felt heavy and I grinned. I looked around but didn't see Steph anywhere.
"Can I have one?" He lifted my pack of cigarettes.
"Sure." I fumbled in my pocket for my lighter and saw Steph behind the sliding glass door giving me a double thumbs-up gesture. I flipped her off. She kissed the glass leaving a smear of lip-gloss. I couldn't help but laugh.
"What?" He looked back and I caught a glimpse of the back of his neck. He had a beautiful neck. I had a thing for necks. I wanted to touch it; to kiss it. I leaned in and inhaled the scent of him. He turned back around, puzzled. I shook my head, and then upended my cup, getting nothing but a couple of drops of vodka. Skunk emo boy pulled a flask out of the pocket of his black hoodie. He offered it to me. I took a tentative sniff: Grand Marnier.
I handed it back to him after taking a drink. He had long thin pale fingers, which lingered on mine. I leaned in and kissed him. He tasted of clove cigarettes and orange liqueur. I licked his lips and kissed him again.
"What the fuck!"
Harry stood in the kitchen. Steph stood behind him, her arms crossed triumphantly.