The party was in full swing but started to deteriorate as parties do when they are a barely controlled chaos. Music roared from the speakers, the bass shaking everything like a sustained rhythmic earthquake. I followed Harry; weaving through the mash of people in the living room who danced and swayed and grinded to the music. Bursts of laughter shot from different directions. The aromas of alcohol, cigarettes, and pot permeated the air commingling with the tangy scents of body odor and lust. I called Harry's name but lost sight of him.
I was going to kill Steph.
I found her sitting with the skunk emo boy. He rolled his head, which was propped on her shoulder and looked up at me. His arm rose like a puppeteer controlled it. "I'm Michael, by the way."
He dropped his head back on Stephanie's shoulder but kept eye contact. "How do you know Stephs?"
"Oh. Stephs and I go way back." I looked at Stephanie. "Stephs, can I talk to you for a minute?" My smile was tight, my anger barely controlled. I took her hand and yanked her up. "We'll be right back." I dragged Stephanie under the dark bows of a giant Eucalyptus tree. "You set me up."
"What? He's cute. And he thinks you're cute." She leaned into me. "He said you're a great kisser." All I could see of her smile was her white teeth.
"He did?" I blushed in the dark. "Wait... don't try to change the topic. You set me up!"
"You're welcome." She hugged herself against the cold.
"NO. Not you're welcome. I didn't need to be set up. I didn't want to be set up and, and, and..."
"And what?" She was feeling triumphant.
"And you showed Harry!" I shouted.
"He asked where you were. What was I supposed to do, lie to him?" Her voice feigned innocence.
"YES!" I yanked one of the big Eucalyptus leaves from the tree. "I can't believe you did that."
"What's the big deal? He's straight. Not to mention he's got a girlfriend. It's not a happily-ever-after story with him."
I knew she was right. Anything with Harry was going to have drama written all over it. I peered back through the leaves at Michael. He had lit another of my cigarettes, trying to blow smoke rings. I watched his lips working, his tongue darting out. "So, he said I was a great kisser?"
Stephanie followed my gaze to Michael. She smiled. "Yes. His exact words were: "the best kisser."" She rolled her eyes. "I probably shouldn't tell you but he's got a huge-"
"Stephanie!" I covered her mouth with my hand. "And how would you know?"
She pulled at my hand. "A girls gotta eat."
I covered her mouth again. "Nope. I did not hear that." I shook my head as Stephanie laughed.
She pried my hand away again. "I'm kidding, I'm kidding. Not about his huge," she leaned in, "cock, but about the other thing. He loves the Skittles. I mean, we did make out once, but that's it. He wouldn't even grab my tits." She sounded almost offended.
"Then how do you know?"
"Calum told me."
I nodded. Calum Hood was... what's the word... a big ol' hoe. "So he and Calum..."
"No, no, no."
"Seriously Steph, just tell me already." I rolled my eyes as we came out from under the tree and headed back over to Michael.
"Oh. All of the sudden, you're all about someone besides Harry Styles."
"Well now that you've screwed everything up between me and Harry..." I found myself absently searching for his face.
"He has a girlfriend!"
We stopped in front of Michael. He was lying on his back, blowing smoke rings into the air, oblivious of his surroundings. He opened his eyes. "Stephs, you're back." He had an adorable drunken lazy smile. He held his hands out blindly. Stephanie grabbed them and pulled him upright. He reached into the pocket of his hoodie and pulled out his little black flask. He took a short nip, grimacing as he swallowed then offered it to Stephanie. He turned to me as she shook her head. I reached for the flask, but he took my hand instead and pulled himself up. "Hi Niall." He draped both arms over my shoulders, leaning into me and pressing his forehead against mine. His nose was cold and I could smell the orange liqueur on his breath. He licked his lips. "You're not gonna run away if I kiss you again, are you?"
Both our heads slowly rolled one way and then the other, as I shook my head. Steph was right. Harry had a girlfriend. He was straight.
"Good." He shot his tongue out for a quick lick across my bottom lip. I held his face in both hands as he tried it again. I captured his tongue in my mouth, and kissed him hard. He crammed a hand in my back pocket and pulled my crotch tight against his own. The other hand was at the back of my neck. He suckled my tongue, nipped at my lips, biting softly, while taking great gasps of air. His kisses were hungry. "God," he moaned in my mouth.
"Ahem." Stephanie cleared her throat, hands on her hips.
We both looked at her. She threw up her arms in frustration then disappeared inside the house.
I smile mischievously. Michael gave me a quick kiss and then a flurry of kisses. His hands traveled under my shirt then down to my crotch. He grabbed one of my hands and shoved it down the front of his jeans.
"Come on." He led me through the house, staggering. I hooked a couple of fingers through one of his belt loops.
In the bathroom, he slapped off the lights, hopped on the counter, legs wide, leaning against the mirror. I heard him working his zipper. Then he kissed me.