Close as Strangers // LH

Summary

After some long over due thinking, Nikki decided to transfer to a new university to get a leg up on the competition of teaching. She's slightly socially awkward and is not the typical college type of girl. She mainly keeps to herself most of the time, studying or zoning out to music. And since transferring as a senior, it won't be easy to "fit right in". Cliques have been made, friends have become sisters and enemies may be in a ditch somewhere. Her plan of staying on the down low is quickly interrupted by a tall blue eyed beaut and she's not sure if it's for the good or not!

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4. A Night to Remember?

The rest of the afternoon I can't help but to think how tonight will go. The thought of Luke and Kelsey being there scares me. The thought of being set up scares me. The thought of this entire thing scares me. Christ am I overreacting or what? My last class for the day comes to an end and I'm left with just about a hour to kill before I'm to meet Calum. I freshen up my make up and change my black t-shirt to a white one underneath my flannel. I give myself a final look over before grabbing my keys and clutch and setting out the door to the front of the building. My stomach flops as I patiently wait.

"Hey Nic!" I hear Calum call from a car parked just beyond the sidewalk.

I smile, waving and walk over to the passenger side of the car.

He rolls down the window and looks over his sunglasses, "Jump in."

I open the door slipping into the passenger seat, buckling my seatbelt.

"This bar is like 15 minutes away. Is that cool?"

"Oh yeah," I wave him off.

Calum pulls out of the parking lot and sets course for the bar. A pop punk band plays over the radio. Sounding very similar to what I heard the other night at the frat party.

"This is my band, if you were wondering."

"Really? You guys sound great. What's the name of your band?"

"5 Seconds of Summer."

"I like it."

"Yeah, Luke is lead and guitar, I'm bass and vocals, Mikey is lead guitar and vocal and Ashton is the drummer and sings when he wants."

"Ashton, like shaggy hair Ashton?"

"Yes," he laughs.

"Wow, would never guess he was a drummer."

"Are you kidding me? He fits the drummer persona like no other."

"Because I know what that persona is," I laugh.

"Well, if things between us take off, you'll soon find out."

My hands clam up at the idea, but arriving at the bar doesn't give me much time to dwell.

"Alright," Calum says pushing his phone into his pocket, "the gang is all here. Shall we?" He sticks out his hand with a smile.

I cautiously take it and we walk into the bar.

****Luke's POV

"Luke, seriously? What the fuck is Calum doing bringing her?"

"I don't know, babe. I'm wondering that myself."

It's throwing me off guard seeing Calum with Nikki. I mean I know what I said but I didn't think he was actually going to do it.

"Hey mates," Calum waves, "hope you don't mind me bringing a friend along!"

"Nikki! Hey!" Ashton smiles

"Hey!" she smiles at Ashton.
Her gaze shifts to me, giving me a smirk. I can imagine hearing her say some smart ass remark but she won't because of the girl clinging to my arm like I'm going out of style. I watch on as Calum order her a drink. He flashes me a pompous smile, moving in closer to her.

"And Mikey just bailed on us," Ashton frowns looking down at his phone.

"Where's Bryana?" I ask

"She's running a tad late but she'll be here."

"Thank god," Kelsey huffs.

"Um, so, our next gig is at The Pit on Friday, right?" Calum asks.

"Yes, it is."

"Nic, you should come down. Check out the band."

"Yeah, definitely. You guys sounded pretty good at the party. Luke you have an awesome voice."

I feel Kelsey tense up. Good lord, why is she so jealous?

"As do you Calum."

"That's right," he sticks out his chest, "so much better than Luke."

"Don't kid yourself, mate."

"Quiet, Ashton. You're just the drummer."

"A fucking good one," he nods.

The bickering between the two carries on to an annoying level. I stand on the sidelines, watching the quarrel trying to keep my eyes off Nikki. She looks slightly uncomfortable, as if she's hoping to just blend in with the surroundings.

"Will you two give it a rest?" I groan, tired of hearing them spat.

They both finally end their feud with a hand shake and a laugh.

"I'm buying a round!" Ashton exclaims, "because my beautiful woman is here!"

"So sorry," Bryana shys, got caught up in studying.

"Mmhmm, suuuure," Calum harasses her.

"Oh be quiet, Calum," she laughs.

Ashton passes out the drinks, lifting his up, "Cheers to friendship and love."

"Christ, Ashton. Please be more soft," Calum groans.

Everyone laughs lifting their glasses. I watch as Calum leans into Nic saying something that clearly makes her blush. Her cheeks were already tinted red from the alcohol but crimson nearly takes over her face now. She pushes hair behind her ear laughing at whatever Calum is saying or doing.

"Luke?" Kelsey's voice snaps me from my trance.

"Sorry, babe. What's up?"

"Can we go to the club down the street?" she flashes her green eyes at me.

"Well," I kiss her gently on the lips, "I suppose we could."

She smiles up at me, lacing her fingers through mine.

"Uh, mates. We're heading to the club down the street. Care to join?"

"Yeah!" Calum nods, "how about Nic?"

"I don't mind," she smiles.

"Ashton, Bryana?"

"We're totally in."

The group all exits together out into the sidewalk. A cool breeze dances trough us, chilling my warm skin. Kelsey walks close to my side chatting away to Bryana as Calum and Nikki lead the way. The slight sway in hips has me staring. Her jeans hug every curve just right, almost teasing me. Whoa. Snap out of it, Hemmo.

As expected, the club is packed, but we find a spot near the bar to claim.

"Let's go dance!" Kelsey tugs on my hand.

"I don't know, babe," I mess with my hat, "the floor is a little crowded."

"Just the way I like it," she smirks grabbing ahold of my belt loops.

"Oooh," I laugh, "let's go then."

***Nikki's POV

The bar was okay but this club is a little out of my comfort zone and Calum's lips against my cheek is out of my comfort zone too. But alcohol has my mind in a cloud and any attention I'm getting is feeling pretty damn good.

"Want to go dance?" Calum asks taking my hand.

"Sure. I feel like looking like a fool for a while."

He laughs, "The only fool will be me."

I follow Calum out onto the dance floor. His hands immediately gravitate to my hips, pulling me in close to him. Some song by the Weeknd vibrates through the speakers as I lift my arms up, swaying my hips. I close my eyes allowing the music to take over me. I feel free from all the drama so far this school year. I literally do want the song to end, luckily for me, the DJ knows what he is doing and slides right into a song with similar beats. Before I know it, we surrounded by a growing group of grinding and swaying bodies. The DJ continues to play bass heavy songs keeping people mindless. Calum grabs my hand, leading me back out to the bar.

"I need a drink," he huffs, "would you like one?"

"Please."

I wait as Calum puts in an order for our drinks. As I do, I scan the dance floor for Luke. His hat is what makes him stick out in the crowd, oh and that piercing too. I watch as Kelsey dances in front of him makes me want to vomit but at the same time I'm slightly jealous.

"Here ya go, babe," Calum says handing me a drink.

"Thank you," I smile taking the glass.

A few more drinks, more dancing and chat and it's not long before I'm starting to really feel the effects of alcohol.

"Uh, Calum, do you mind if we, um.." I try to keep my words coherent.

"Do you want to leave?" he asks.

"I mean, if it's alright with you."

"Sure. No problem."

Calum informs Luke and Ashton that we are leaving. The commotion and music of the club prevents me from hearing anything they say though.

"Okay, babe."

The car ride back to my dorm is quite entertaining. Calum sings and digs on Ashton the entire time.

"I had such an awesome time tonight," I smile taking his hand again.

Calum walks me into my building.

"I know where to go from here," I laugh

"I'm sure you do, but I'd like to walk you to your room. That way I know you won't be sleeping on the lounge couch."

I give him a glare, "That was an accident. I forgot my keys."

"Mmhmm," he smiles as we stop in front of my door.

"Thank you for tonight."

Calum takes my hands into his, "Thank you for coming out with me."

He frees one of his hands and places it under my chin. Our eyes meet for just a second and before I know it, his lips are on mine. I close my eyes, leaning into him. I feel him smile.

"Goodnight, Nic."

"Goodnight."

I stumble into my room, kicking off my shoes. I toss my phone and clutch on my desk and flop back on my bed. Sleep quickly takes over me but not for long as all the alcohol I've consumed turns my stomach. I rush to the bathroom, heaving over the toilet.

"Oh god, kill me now," I pant, my stomach in knots.

I try to slow my breathing but every time I feel like I'm okay to sit back, I'm heaving over the toilet again. Tears spill from the corner of my eyes, wishing this torture would end.

"I'm never drinking again," I stutter.

 
Luke Is Getting Jealous. Hope You Like It. Tell Me What You Think. ~Karen 
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