The bigger group of girls was breaking up, but Jade rounded the four of us back together.
She tightened her hold on her backpack straps and leaned in. “Okay. Here’s the deal. This is not my first rodeo. I’m sure it’s not yours either, and my brother’s warned me about these parties. They can get rowdy and crazy, and we can’t be dumb bitches. That’s why I brought our drinks with us. This isn’t always going to happen. I heard they usually charge, and you have to buy a cup, but whatever. We’re in the door, so if someone starts being an asshole, just go ask for an empty cup. Say your friend is a moron, and her beer is going to spill, and you want to save the beer. They’ll give it to you. So, can we figure out the rules, and yes, we should’ve had this meeting before we left, but we didn’t.”
“Rules?” Angeline looked ready to faint. “What do you mean rules?”
“Rules for us. Like, we never leave someone behind. We keep an eye on our buddy. Like that. What do you think?”
“I like those rules.” Veronica bobbed her head. “Let’s go.”
“No.” Jade caught her hand, wheeling her back. She glared at her. “I’m asking what the rules are.”
Veronica frowned. “My personal rule is to find a guy, climb on him, and stay there all night. If he becomes my boyfriend, that’s cool. If he’s my tree stump for a night, I’m okay with that too.”
Angeline started giggling. Again.
Jade gave her a dark look. “Seriously?”
“Yeah. I don’t get roofied. I don’t drink shit other guys give me, and I’m a black belt in karate. Guys here aren’t scared of me yet. I gotta strike while the iron is hot, because they’ll learn real fast. You know what I’m saying?” She held her hand out. “Give me one of the bottles, and I’m good for the night. I’ll see all you bitches at home.”
Jade glowered, but pulled out the bottles. Veronica took the whiskey. I was kinda envious, looking at Veronica in a whole new light. I think my appreciation morphed into a girl crush. She marched off, her head high and her shoulders rolled back. The confidence alone was inspiring.
Angeline continued giggling.
Jade met my gaze. “We’re on babysitting duty, I think.”
I opened my mouth. Should I say anything?
Then a pair of arms wrapped around me. I started to scream as I was lifted off my feet, but then I heard the voice boom (we had another boomer) and instantly relaxed.
“THERE’S MY GIRL! HELL YEAH! FALLEN CREST IN THE HOUSE!”
It was Zeke.
And the butterflies took steroids, along with the knots, because I knew who else I was about to see.
Zeke lowered me, and I turned.
He wrapped his arms around me again, and I got a good hug instead. “Man. Hey. I was with your fan club last night. Shit got weird. Did Blaise tell you?”
“I—” choked. I choked. He doesn’t know?
Jade and Angeline watched me intently.
“Hi, Zeke.” I tried not to look, but I couldn’t help myself.
Zeke chuckled, throwing his arm around my shoulders. He turned to my friends. “Hey. I’m Zeke. Who are you hot things?”
Jade’s mouth snapped shut and she beamed, raising her chin in a flirty way. “Hi. I’m Aspen’s roommate, Jade.”
“Jade. Hmmm. I likey.” He looked at Angeline. “Who are you?”
Angeline flushed all over and gripped her wine cooler with both hands. She used both hands to take a drink from it too. Then when she was done, she giggled.
Jade shook her head. “That’s Angeline. She’s one of our floormates. Her roommate is around here too.”
“Floormates.” Zeke clasped me tighter. “That’s right. You’re doing the dorm thing. Have you checked out Blaise’s apartment yet? It’s almost right next to the soccer complex. Our boy’s got it going this year.”
“What are you—” Jade’s eyes bounced from Zeke to me. “How do you know Aspen, and where are you staying?”
His grin turned proud. “We went to the same school, and I just got clearance. I’m here, like, here here. I’m rushing. My pops was a legacy, so they just moved me right in already.”
Angeline’s eyes got wider as Zeke spoke. Then she looked at me. “So cool,” she said, just before she drank the rest of her drink.
Jade had another ready to go before she could resort back to her default setting. Her laughter had been funny at first, then endearing. Now it was getting annoying.
Zeke grinned. “She’s funny. She could be a drinking game. Everyone do a shot when the girl starts giggling.”
That made Angeline snort into her wine cooler.
He turned to me. “So, we’re outside. Your boy’s in a mood, and I’m thinking it’s because he needs to get laid. What do you say? Come put him out of his misery?”
I closed my eyes. “Zeke.”
“Come on. I’m pushing your buttons. He told me the whole deal, but you’re here. He’s here. It’s time, little Monson.”
Jade and Angeline (now recovered from her snorting/giggling spell) were following all this with extra interest.
Zeke didn’t wait for a response. He led the way.
We fell in line, but it took a while. Zeke kept stopping to bump fists with guys, talk to people, get hugs from girls. It was like Fallen Crest. He was already the big man here. During one of those pauses, Jade leaned close to me. “You have a boyfriend?” She cursed. “Usually that’s the first thing girls ask each other. I’m kicking myself now. The first thing I asked was whiskey or rum?”
I laughed. “I love that you asked me that.” I took a breath, because she was giving me a pointed look. “And the answer is complicated.”
Her eyebrows shot up. “Seriously, I want to hear all about this.”
Angeline pushed in from the other side. “I think Veronica is outside. I can hear her.”
We stepped onto the porch, and Veronica yelled, “Bitches!”
A guy yelled back, “Shut her up, Korchack.”
Zeke glanced over his shoulder and winked at me.
“Zeke, don’t make a big deal—”
He hollered over Veronica, “Found someone for you, Blaisey boy.”
Then he stepped aside, and there was Blaise, standing in a group of guys, his arms over his chest as they talked. He’d been mid-conversation when Zeke spoke up. He turned and looked right at me. His eyes widened, he stopped talking, and a second later he was coming for me.
The hunger, the desperation, the yearning—I could see all of that on his face, and I told my butterflies and knots to take a hike.
The next second, Blaise had me in the air, and he was walking backwards, taking me far away from everyone else. I could hear Zeke laughing behind us.
“I’ll watch your girls for you, little Monson.”
Blaise’s mouth was on mine, and I ceased thinking.
Home. Home. Home.
I was home. I wanted to go to his home. Blaise was my home.
I chanted that in my head and wound my arms around his neck. People tried to say things to him, pat him on the arm. I could feel them, but Blaise ignored everyone. His mouth was on mine and then his hands were on my ass, urging my legs up. I wrapped them around his waist, and he dug in his pockets.
There was a smattering of laughter on the front lawn, and Blaise lifted his free hand. The laughter stopped, but one guy yelled after us, “Have fun, soccer star.”
“Who’s that?” I heard a girl ask.
When we reached Blaise’s Wagon, he groaned, lowering me to my feet. “Holy fuck.” He pressed me against the door. “Can we just—can we go to my place? I need to be inside you now, and we can do the talk afterward?”
I was shocked he was asking. “Hell yes.”
He peeled himself away from me and opened my door. He helped me in, darted to his side, and we drove a few blocks to an apartment building. He had underground parking. Nice.
Then we were in the elevator, and Blaise had me pressed against the wall, his mouth on mine. I stopped paying attention to our surroundings.
He picked me up and a little while later, he dropped me on a bed and climbed on top of me.
Blaise whisked my jeans off, grabbed my underwear, and they vanished. Then he slid inside. We were like animals. Too long, way too fucking long. He went in hard and fast, and then slowed, panting in my ear. “Holy—I can’t—”
He was trying for control.
Hell to the no, no, no.
I grabbed his ass and pulled him into me. “Harder.”
I moved my hips, slamming back against him, and that’s all the response he needed. Blaise took me, pumping furiously. I came, and then he flipped me over and pounded me from a different angle, his hand bringing me to another orgasm right before he came inside of me.
Birth control is my friend. Thank you, reproductive prevention plans.
Yes, that was my thought. I couldn’t move. I could only pant, gulping for air, sprawled out, and then he fell next to me.
His hand swept down my back, cupping my ass, and he moaned. “I have seriously missed you.”
All those nerves and fear? Stupid.
I turned my head, but the muscles in my back weren’t strong enough. I could only see him from one of my eyes. “Therapy was good?”
He swallowed, nodding. “Real good. I got the green light. I’m still a dick, but I’m not going to hurt anyone.”