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About Digital Art / Hobbyist Member MrsSquarepants. ♥21/Female/Germany Group :iconkamiho: Kamiho
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Christmas time had come around pretty fast. Coming to think of it…it actually had a habit of doing that. Maybe that was the actual miracle of Christmas. How quickly it was over in what seemed to be the blink of an eye after weeks of preparation and anticipation. How all of this felt like it had been for nothing. The sudden emptiness that came over you after the last present was unpacked and the last person was thanked with a tight hug. Not that Alec had ever been excited for Christmas in the first place. Maybe he’d been years ago. When a pair of sneakers that lit up with every step you took had felt like the best present ever. Not anymore, though.

His younger brother and a bunch of other kids – friends of the family – had been the first one to get up on Christmas morning. They had been told to wait with the presents until everyone had gotten up, but of course they couldn’t resist having a sneak peek into the brightly coloured boxes that surrounded the giant Christmas tree in the living room. Family and friends of the family that hadn’t spent the night at the house were arriving one after another. They brought the cold into the house with their necks safely wrapped into turtleneck sweaters and scarves. Soon the coat stand was hung with clothes to the point where it was on the verge of falling over. Even though they all had seen each other last night, there was still so much to talk about and the voices and laughter were increasing with every new person that joined the group of family and close friends. The kids were impatiently waiting to open up their presents and racing each other through the hallway while doing so. Meanwhile the grown ups were enjoying glühwein and eggnog in the kitchen, warming up their frozen bodies. Everyone had agreed that this was the coldest winter they’d had in years. But, then again, it was the one thing they agreed on every year.

Alec was at that weird age where he was too old to join the kid’s play, but too young to converse with the grown ups. Well, that’s what they thought anyway. He would’ve been happy spending the morning talking about taxes and jobs. Or whatever grown ups were usually talking about. Maybe he wasn’t ready after all. His older brother was, though. He had come home from college for Christmas and, of course, everyone was deeply interested in his new life. Everyone, except Alec. Maybe that was what really bothered him. But soon enough he’d be going to college too. And he’d do a hundred times better than his brother had done.

Henry had disappeared sometime during the last week of school. He hadn’t returned for Christmas either. Now there was nobody of the same age as Alec and that’s what really sucked. It sucked even more than his best friend not being here. Someone else at least remotely likeable would’ve made it a tiny bit more bearable to be here this Christmas morning.

There was a huge uproar among the kids as it was finally time to open the presents. Alec was probably the only underage person in the room who didn’t run to the Christmas tree straight away. In fact, he hadn’t left his spot on the couch ever since the first guests had arrived. It was a comfortable position to watch everyone pick up their rightful presents; glowing eyes and bright red cheeks. Even the grown ups couldn’t hide their own inner child upon holding the colourfully wrapped boxes. Alec thought the whole concept to be so pathetic that he almost wished to find no present for himself underneath the tree. Then again, he probably would’ve been pissed at that too. And, of course, someone had thought of him. In fact, pretty much everyone had. Just like they had thought of everyone else in the family. His presents were the last ones remaining, though. Everyone else was already busy thanking each other and hugging it out while he was still piling the boxes up around himself. He checked the labels on them and sorted them by importance. The last package he picked up was also by far the smallest. To be honest, Alec couldn’t imagine anything being inside that could’ve been of any use to him or to anyone, really. But everything made a little more sense as he realized that the package was from Henry. He, himself, had refrained from getting a present for his best friend. It would’ve been too big of a hassle for nothing. He wasn’t here after all.

At first, Alec was tempted to carelessly throw the box into a corner, but he ended up choosing it to be the first one that should be opened. As expected, the box was mostly empty, except for a little note saying Come up to the roof in tiny, scruffy letters. Alec rolled his eyes. He briefly gazed over the rest of the presents he hadn’t opened up yet, pondering. After a little while he eventually decided to follow the brief instructions anyway.

Nobody actually saw him leaving as he grabbed his coat and a random scarf and threw both on as he was taking the stairs. Alec’s parents owned a rooftop terrace and he suspected this to be the place Henry wanted him to be. He didn’t keep his hopes up too high about what was going to wait for him up there. Eventually, as he opened the sliding doors to the terrace he found Henry, dressed in nothing but underwear facing him, his arms spread wide open. He kept the pose up for just about five seconds until he wrapped his arms around himself, shaking uncontrollably.

“For Christ’s sake, Alec, what took you so long?” His voice was shaky from the constant vibration of his already blue-ish lips. “I’ve nearly frozen to death up here waiting for you”

Alec honestly didn’t know if he should laugh or push Henry off the roof. He did neither of these things. Instead he crossed his arms and watched his best friend closely while slowly shaking his head. His lips parted slightly, but closed again as he couldn’t think of anything to say that expressed just exactly how he felt.

“Merry Christmas…?!” Henry exclaimed, wiggling his eyebrows.
“What even is your present?” Alec frowned.
“I’m back, duh”
“I can see that” Alec took a few steps towards Henry while slowly stripping off his coat. “And I am delighted”

Of course Henry noticed the sarcastic tone of voice, but he was happy enough to ignore it. He hadn’t expected anything else. Yet, he remained untypically silent.
Alec stopped right in front of him and carefully covered Henry’s shoulders with his coat. He was way too cold to object. Secretly thankful he wrapped the coat a little tighter around his naked body. “I must say, I am a little disappointed that you’re not happy to see me”

There was a hint of a smile in the corner of Alec’s mouth. “I am, though” He paused for a split second that held a lot more meaning to it than it seemed. “I really am” His voice was sincere. He urged Henry to follow him inside, using only hand gestures. “Now, where the hell have you been?”
Henry laughed and shrugged. “Oh, you know…here and there…”

Alec nodded gravely. Every time he tried to picture Henry out and about in the world…he just couldn’t. He didn’t know where he was going, he didn’t know what he was doing…and it bothered him. Not being in control. Not knowing everything.

Henry took Alec’s continuous silence as pouting and playfully punched him in the side. “Come on, Ally, it has only been a week”
“Three” Alec corrected him immediately. “It has been three weeks”
“Has it?” Henry frowned. He started counting with his fingers like a third grader that couldn’t quite figure out a basic math problem. “Oh”
“What are you doing on New Year’s Eve?” Alec was expecting a certain kind of answer and was not to be disappointed.
“I don’t know…New Years celebrations in Asia sound like a lot of fun”
Alec huffed. “Asia? I hope you’re kidding me…”
“Yeah…” Henry shrugged. “I am”
But he wasn’t, really.

Christmas at the circus was always a crazy celebration. There were a bunch of completely different cultures clashing against each other. There was more food from various countries than anyone could eat in their whole life time, decorations of all sorts and colours in every room and you could hear the singing of at least five different Christmas Carols in ten different languages all at once.

In short, it was crazy and confusing for an outsider, but comforting and familiar to everyone who grew up surrounded by these kinds of people. There was a smell of exotic herbs and freshly baked cookies coming from the kitchen. Flavio had already spent a lot of time in there yesterday, preparing traditional Italian dishes for the rest of the circus. He had also gotten a hold of some Spanish recipes. Now it was someone else’s turn in the kitchen and Flavio had just shoved a bowl of tiramisu into the fridge before he turned to leave.

Unfortunately, Celio swooped into the kitchen the moment Flavio had stepped through the doorframe, causing them both to freeze for a second because they didn’t both quite fit into the narrow door frame without elbowing each other into their rips.
“Ouch, Celio! Be careful!” Flavio complained, trying to shove himself between his best friend and the door frame.

Celio just laughed for a little while, still not letting his friend pass. His gaze went upwards and a wide grin spread across his face after he was done laughing. Before Flavio could follow and see for himself what had caused that sort of amusement on Celio’s face – not that he ever needed to reason to smile – Celio had already grabbed his friend’s face with both hands. He stole a very quick kiss on the lips and burst out laughing even harder as he finally moved out of the way and into the kitchen.

“Celio!” Flavio made a face, wiping his lips with the back of his hand. “What was that for?”
“Mistletoe” Celio chanted, pointing upwards and therefore revealing the small green branch that had been hanging above their heads. “I’m sorry, it’s the law” He shrugged, still chuckling.
Flavio was not convinced. “I’ve never seen you succumbing to the law before”
Celio danced off into the kitchen to check the fridge for what his best friend had been making all morning.

“Oh, but it’s my New Year’s resolution” He grinned. “And now you better move away from there. Unless you want to be kissed again”
Flavio snorted, eyeing first Celio, then the mistletoe above him.
He didn’t move.
The car was completely packed. The colourfully wrapped presents probably took up most of the space in the boot. Even more than the actual personal luggage everyone had brought along. Even more than every human being present in this car. They were lucky they could get their hands on a mini van. Now everyone could rest more or less comfortably during the full 24 hour drive that it took to get from New York City to Payne Springs. With Chandley, Hollie, her parents, Matt and his brother all together in one single car, it could feel quite cramped even inside a van. Hollie and her parents had been planning to take Chandley to see his grandparents over Christmas break for a long time. After all, they used to celebrate Christmas together every year when Hollie and Chandley were younger. Over the last few years, though, that habit hat somehow worn off along with the regular contact that Hollie and Chandley used to keep as kids. Now Matt and his brother had been invited to join the kind of family Christmas that they had never been fortunate enough to experience themselves.

Chandley sure hadn’t complained. Even though he hadn’t gotten around following Mitena’s advise yet. Still, he was delighted not only to see his grandparents again after the longest separation they had ever gone through, but also not to be separated from his two best friends while doing so.

While Hollie was talkinh Matt and Shane into playing card games with her and Christmas music was quietly playing from the car radio in the background, Chandley found that after already 12 hours of driving, it was save enough to fall asleep.

That’s how about 8 more hours passed. There were 4 last hours left – they’d been lucky not to get stuck in traffic – that were mostly spent with even more travelling games and joint singing along to Christmas Carols. Not everyone in the car was actually singing along, but it was impossible to resist a smile upon hearing the ridiculous lyrics to All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth.

Unfortunately they had left New York before it had started snowing. The rather mild temperatures of Chandley’s home town weren’t made for snow either. He was also the only one being upset about the absence of the white, soft substance. He had never seen snow before in his life, but he’d seen pictures of it. He’d actually been quite excited about the chance of seeing it this year. Hollie had promised him that most of the snow fall usually happened after Christmas anyway. Still, white Christmas would’ve been nice for a change. Not as nice as being reunited with his grandparents, of course. He only now realized that it was actually happening when the car was already going up the long drive way to his grand parent’s farm. His eyes were glued to the window and he couldn’t stop smiling until he spotted his grandmother on the front porch where she had already been waiting for them. She had a crazy, almost psychic intuition and she had probably known that they’d arrive any minute now.

His grandfather was down in the paddock, taking care of a bunch of horses. Chandley could spot him as nothing but a small dark spot in the distance along with a few bigger spots that he suspected to be the horses. He was the first one to get out of the car as they had stopped. His grandmother was already awaiting him with wide open arms. She drew first Chandley, then Hollie and after that her parents into a heartfelt hug. There was something very motherly and reassuring about her hugs. And even as she reached out to shake Matt’s and Shane’s hands, there was something very affectionate about that gesture that didn’t get past the two boys either.

“You must be Matt…so you’re Shane, right?” She grinned and there was something about her smile that was very similar to Chandley’s. She wouldn’t allow them the time to answer with more than just a nod of their heads. “It’s lovely to have you two here…Chandley goes on and on about you on the phone sometimes” She giggled and was lucky that Chandley was already out of earshot, eagerly running up to the paddock to greet his grandfather as well. “You two do look alike…both very fine and handsome young man” She looked like she was resisting the urge to pinch their cheeks. “I’m Margaret, but you can call me Peggy. It’s what everyone does. That old man up there on the field is Robert, but you might wanna go with Bob if you gonna talk to him” She laughed. Her voice was soft and just a little scratchy. The voice of a woman who had been through a lot, but wouldn’t have it define her. Her hair had already greyed entirely. It was slightly wavy, like Chandley’s and cut rather short like most women her age preferred to wear it. “Now you go help my son empty that car and I’ll kidnap Hollie to set the table ready to have some pipin’ hot apple pie. Ya’ll must be starving!”

And so they did. You just didn’t question the command of a wise elderly lady who definitely knew her way around in life from decades of experience. Once the car had been emptied and the luggage was stored in the provided guest rooms, they had all come to sit down in the kitchen corner for apple pie and sweet tea. Chandley and his grandfather, Bob, had joined them as well. It had been a while since Chandley had looked this happy.

“We didn’t get a chance to set the Christmas tree up yet. You boys should go and get one tomorrow. And don’t forget about the Christmas lights! I want this house sparklin’ like a drop of morning dew in the Texan summer sun, have you heard me?” The ‘boys’ were nodding eagerly. They had their mouths full with apple pie. Chandley had praised Peggy’s talents many a times, but now there was no doubt that this was, indeed, the world’s most delicious apple pie they had ever tasted. “That old man over there wanted to get up on the roof and put up the lights all by himself…ya know what I told him? I told him ‘Bob, you look as handsome as you did the day I fell in love with you, but you’re not as young as you were back then. If ya gonna go up there, ya not gonna get back down unless you slip and fall and the dogs ain’t gonna catch you. Ya stayin’ down here and let someone else climb up there.’ Ain’t that what I said, Bob?”

He nodded, his affectionate gaze fixed on his wife. He was still ready to get her the stars from the sky any time, whether she was asking for them or not. There had never been a second in his life where he hadn’t been in love with her. It was obvious to see whenever they exchanged looks. It was the kind of love Chandley had been growing up around. It was the kind of love he wanted to achieve.

“I can help with that” Matt suggested before he shoved another fork full of pie into his mouth. It was just too good to stop.
“Oh, Matt, you’re a sweetheart” Peggy winked and put another piece of pie onto his plate. “You’re so tall, you gotta eat twice as much as the others”
Matt didn’t refuse. Probably because he knew that there was no way she would let him.

Peggy had made sure that there was nothing but crumbs left from the pie before she allowed everyone to leave the table. Once she did, there was only Chandley left to help her with the dishes while Bob was quietly reading the newspaper in the kitchen. Hollie had gone outside to greet the animals, nobody knew where Shane and Matt went and Hollie’s parents had driven into town to get some groceries before all the shops would close for the holidays. They should’ve been tired after the long drive, but by now they were over tired and going to bed early seemed like a waste of time.

Chandley was standing by the kitchen sink, his forearms covered in soap water as he was scrubbing the dirty dishes. Peggy was doing the drying, wearing a floral apron.
“Now, tell me about High School. And I don’t want any excuses or short answers…there’s gotta be a lot to tell…even if you leave out the things you’d rather not tell an old lady like me, because I don’t wanna be hearin’ about these things myself”

Chandley laughed. There were a few things he better didn’t tell her…but others he was dying to say, but wasn’t quite sure how. Since he didn’t answer right away, she felt free to just keep going until he would. “Any sweet guys you’ve met?”
“Nana!” Chandley exclaimed, but smiled anyway. He shot a quick look at the door, but they were still alone in the kitchen. “Nobody knows about that” He whispered.
His grandmother gave him a disapproving look. “Not even Hollie?”
He quickly shook his head. Now that she said it out loud, he realized how stupid he was being and felt deeply embarrassed.

“Why not? I thought Hollie was family”
“She is- I just…there was never the right time”
“Oh, darlin’, you don’t have to be afraid of anything, you know that. Hollie is a sweet potato and she’ll love you no matter what, just like the rest of your family”
“I know…” Chandley bit his lip. To be honest, he didn’t even know what he was afraid of anymore. After everything Mitena had told him, a coming out would be no news to the rest of the school…and yet he couldn’t bring up the courage.

“And besides…if you don’t tell ‘em, how is Matt ever gonna know that you like him?”
Chandley nearly dropped the plate he was holding, but instead his grip around it grew tighter. Of course, he could play it off or even deny it, but there was no point. His grandmother knew him better than anyone else. In fact, she had this borderline psychic talent to see through a person whether she’d known them for a long time or had just met them.

“He doesn’t need to know”
“Oh…” She gently took the plate from him, just in case. “…but I think he does”
“And what good would that do?”
She smiled like she knew something so very clear and so very obvious that Chandley just couldn’t grasp. “That’s for you to find out, sweet pea”

He bit his lip frantically. His mother didn’t fling her vague and mysterious, but always wise words out like they were nothing. She always had her good reasons, even if they sometimes didn’t make a lot of sense at first. She would always turn out to have been right in the end. Only this time, Chandley had his doubts. A part of him desperately wanted to believe her. Another part knew that maybe she was getting old and senile. Maybe her mind was starting to play tricks on her. He felt guilty just thinking that and immediately turned to hug his grandmother.

“I’ve really missed you, nana”
She took him into her loving arms. She could barely reach high enough to lift her chin on his shoulders anymore. He had grown so much…or maybe she had just gotten smaller. It happened when you got older. Either way it seemed like just yesterday that he was a little boy who had spent all summer outside climbing on hay rolls and making friends among all their farm animals. “I’ve missed you too, sweet pea”

As she finally managed to reach high enough to look over his shoulder, she saw Matt standing in the kitchen door. He was carrying a towel underneath his arm and had probably waited for the appropriate moment to officially step into the kitchen. But she knew very well that he’d been eavesdropping. And she had a vague idea about what part of the conversation he had heard, even though he tried to play it off with a perfect poker face. She winked at him. A silent promise that she wouldn’t tell Chandley about it. She released her grandson from the hug and turned to Matt, pretending to have just seen him coming in.

“What can I do for you, dear?”
Chandley was startled anyway. He scratched the back of his head as he was turning towards Matt, smiling.
“I just…wanted to take a shower. Where are the bathrooms?”
“Chandley, would you mind showing our guest?” She gently pushed her grandson towards his friend. He immediately did as he was told and Peggy was visibly satisfied as she adjusted her glasses, watching them leave.
Throughout his life Chandley had frequently been shoved into lockers, locked into bathrooms and pushed into garbage cans. Yet, he had never felt as uncomfortable and awkward as he did right now in this second.

He was sitting next to Hollie in a fancy looking, but really not that expensive Thai restaurant and deliberately left most of the talking to her and her companion; a guy with bright red, wavy hair. He was from the drama club and Hollie had introduced him as Lou. He seemed nice enough and as far as Chandley had understood, Lou had just randomly chatted her up in school one day and he’d been charming enough for Hollie to agree to go on a date with him. Somehow she had convinced Lou to make this a double date and – even worse – had also convinced Chandley to be a part of said double date. Long story short, Hollie had spent the past weeks trying to find the right girl to be Chandley’s date with more or less successful results. That’s why, in the end, she had invited a friend – another freshman – that Chandley barely knew to be his blind date. Little did she know that, sure, Chandley could acknowledge the girl sitting in front of him being pretty, but that he had absolutely no desire to date her permanently. Even now as she smiled at him and he awkwardly smiled back, he simply wished to dissolve into nothing right here on the spot rather than finishing this dinner with his cousin and possibly soon to be friends.

He would occasionally watch Lou and Hollie talking busily and he was genuinely happy for his cousin. He just wished that he could also think of something to say to this girl – she’d been introduced as Mitena – that, at the same time, wouldn’t let her to believe that this was an actual date. Already now he felt guilty for maybe accidentally getting her hopes up for something that simply was not meant to be. For now she was too shy to show obvious interest in him…but, then again, Chandley was far from experienced in romance and noticing a girl’s flirting techniques to actually be able to tell.

They had all been in the theatre to watch a movie before finding the nearest Thai restaurant. Hollie had made sure that Chandley had gotten only one bucket of popcorn for Mitena and himself to share. She had also urged him to pay for everything. Because that’s what gentlemen did on a date. Throughout the movie his hand had brushed Mitena’s a couple of times and while he had tried to play it off by laughing awkwardly, he had observed Mitena’s cheeks flushing lightly and her lips curving into a shy smile. The sooner all of this was over, the better. With Hollie and Lou getting along so well, though, he didn’t see the end of it all anytime soon.

“So…what did you think about the movie?” Mitena suddenly had the courage to ask.
Chandley looked at her, almost surprised. He didn’t think about his answer and just blurted out the first thing that came to his mind, because he didn’t want any awkward silence to come between them. “It was a decent comedy, I guess. Some of the jokes were really dumb” He admitted. “But others were actually really great. Who picked the movie anyway?”

Mitena shrugged. “I think it was Lou” Then, after a little pause. “I actually liked it”
“Me too, I guess”
She smiled, because they appeared to have something in common. The waiter came to bring their food and just like that they had something else in common: The young man serving their food was quite handsome and they were both simultaneously checking him out – despite being on a date together. Unfortunately, though, Mitena wasn’t aware of their similar taste (and interest) in men.  

“If you could’ve chosen…which movie would you have picked…or, well…what kind of movie?” Chandley pulled his gaze off the waiter and proceeded to look at Mitena.  
“There’s this romantic comedy…it’s been on for a couple of months, but I haven’t had the chance to see it yet…I forgot the name, but the trailer wasn’t too bad”
Even though she hadn’t mentioned the name, Chandley knew very well what movie she was most likely talking about. “I’ve seen it, actually” He admitted and a bright smile flashed his face as he briefly retreated into the back of his mind. Back to the day he’d almost had a date with Matt.

“Was it any good?” Mitena tilted her head. She wasn’t quite sure what to make of Chandley’s sudden happiness, but she definitely wouldn’t complain about it either. “Because you look like it was”
Chandley chuckled softly. “It was, actually. But, more often than not it’s all about the people you’re watching a movie with”

“That’s true” Mitena nodded and Chandley couldn’t help but wonder if this particular movie they had just watched would’ve been better with some other company. It wasn’t like he disliked Mitena. Not at all. He would’ve been glad to talk to her as a friend if all of this hadn’t been set up as a date in the first place. But he had never gotten a say in this and that was probably his own fault too.

“What would you have chosen?” She asked.
Chandley shrugged. “Probably whatever the majority of the group would’ve wanted. I’m really not that fuzzy. Terrible movies are much better to make fun of”
Mitena agreed again and as they started listing off the worst movies they had ever seen and recollecting fun memories about said movies, they were actually laughing heartily. Hollie could not have been prouder and more satisfied.

They kept talking about the food and Chandley told her about how his grandmother had taught him to make the worlds best apple pie. She asked him to bake it for her some day and – in the heat of the moment – he agreed. Maybe next time. It was a phrase that they repeated several times throughout their conversation. Even though Chandley was hoping sincerely that there wasn’t going to be a next time. Not like this. They could meet another time. Maybe for a coffee. But never again as a date. He just wasn’t quite sure how to make that clear to both Mitena and Hollie.

Later that evening, Lou and Hollie had decided to separate themselves from the group and were going their own ways. Hollie had suggested that Chandley would bring Mitena home and she had seemed so relieved by that suggestion that Chandley could hardly decline. It turned out that she didn’t live too far away from him anyway. So it was quite convenient, actually. Sure, Hollie wasn’t here anymore to give him advice – he knew that she only meant well – but he still felt like he was expected to not only wave Mitena goodbye from the inside of the subway, but actually walk her home. Also, Mitena might tell on him later, in case she was going to discuss the date with Hollie.  

It was a roughly five minute walk from the station to her house. Ten minutes, if you were walking as slowly as they did. Yet, they spent most of the way in silence. Darkness had taken over. Even though the sky was quite clear tonight, providing perfect view of millions of twinkling stars, they didn’t shine quite as bright as the white street lights that were leading the way. It was a pity.

Chandley was close to telling Mitena about the clear Texan sky and how there were no street lights at all. How you could just walk a mile and be surrounded by nothing but wild grass and stars. He didn’t, though. For one, because they had reached their destination right this second. For another, because he didn’t know why it would even matter to her.

“That’s it. That’s where I live” She explained, stopping right at the door. “Thanks for walking me home” She fondled her skirt and Chandley could see her smiling at the ground even with nothing but the dirty lights illuminating only half of her face.
“It’s okay…that was…” He cleared his throat and wrapped his arms around his chest in a defensive manner. “Nothing, really”

“I had a great time” She was still smiling, but somehow refused to directly look at him.
“I did too…” He hesitated, but felt the need to clarify that he had, in fact, enjoyed this evening. “I really did”

And then it happened. Just like that Mitena gathered all the courage that she could find in that tiny body of hers, grabbed Chandley by his shoulders and pulled him into a rushed kiss. The very first thing racing through his mind was short and simple.

His first reaction would’ve been to push her away, but the kiss luckily didn’t even last that long. She must’ve felt his body tensing up and the way he stood there completely frozen, unable to return the affectionate gesture. Sure, her lips were warm and soft. Quite pleasant, actually, but Chandley just couldn’t shake the thought off that there was something missing…it just didn’t feel right. It wasn’t what he wanted at all.

She immediately took a huge step back once she had released him from her grip. “Oh God” She covered her mouth. “I-I am so sorry…I didn’t mean to…I just thought…” She couldn’t get one straight sentence to actually leave her mouth and her cheeks were glowing bright red.

Chandley bit his lip, feeling terrible. If he had had a choice, he wouldn’t have reacted that way. But the kiss had been so sudden and he had been so unprepared that his instincts had simply taken over. “No, stop it…I am sorry…it’s actually pretty…brave of you” He laughed, rubbing the back of his head. “I’d never dare to do that”
“So…” Her eyes were suddenly full of hope again. “…you liked it?”

Chandley shook his head slowly and watched her shoulders sink in return. “But it’s not because of you!” He quickly added, but that was just something you said to not hurt someone’s feelings and Mitena was clearly well aware of it. “I mean, it kinda is because of you, but it’s equally because of me. What I am trying to say is that…if you looked different…” There was no way he could talk himself out of this, but he would be damned if he didn’t try. She didn’t stop him, so he just kept on rambling, even if the words leaving his mouth made little sense. “I mean there’s nothing wrong with the way you look! It’s not about that…it’s more like…if you were a different person…wait…that sounds wrong too. Your personality is fine. I really like talking to you. So it’s just-“                                                    

“Is it true?” She suddenly interrupted him. Her forehead was wrinkly as she was trying to put together his confusing trail of thoughts in order to make some sort of sense out of it.
"What?" Chandley was completely at a loss.

There were at least 30 seconds of complete silence between them. "...yeah...I was getting to that" He admitted, his voice very quiet and insecure.
"It's okay, I kind of...stumbled upon this rumour before, but then you asked me out on this date...well, Hollie did, but she supposedly did it in your name, so I thought everyone was just being...idiots"

"Rumours?" Chandley frowned.
"Yeah, it's been going around school for a didn't know?"
Chandley shook his head. For once all these words had gone completely over his head. Maybe, because this time they hadn't been meant to hurt him. People had just been...curious and so they had made up their own stories rather than straight up ask him. Nobody had ever thought there was something wrong with him. According to Mitena at least.
"I'm sorry, I led you on"

Mitena chuckled. "As far as I understood, it wasn't your fault" The pure relief of having come out to someone else other than his grandparents, made him automatically join her laughter.
"It was...I should've told Hollie" He sank down to the ground, leaning his back against the cold wall. Mitena did the same.

" that other thing true as well?"
"Hm?" Chandley looked up at her. His confused expression alone provided a pretty clear answer for her. There was another rumour? How could he not have heard about any of them?
"Do you like...Matt?"

This one was heavy. He swallowed hard before he had the courage to nod slowly. "Who's been saying that?" He asked quietly, his mouth suddenly very dry.
Mitena shrugged. "...the football team...the cheer squad...everyone who's got eyes in their heads"
"Does he know?" His voice was nothing but a mere whisper. He felt tears building up behind his eyes, but resisted the urge to set them free.

Mitena didn't have an answer for that one. She shrugged. As the automatic lights of the front porch were fading out, silence came over them, the distant traffic remaining the only constant noise you could never escape. Not even out here in the suburbs.
Within the secure isolation of the darkness Chandley's whole body involuntarily started trembling. Mitena could feel the slight vibration even from her position and caused the lights to turn back on as she carefully reached out for him, gently grazing his knees with her hand.

Chandley kept staring off into the distance. He bit his lip until he tasted salty blood and still didn't stop. His eyes were red and soaked with tears he wouldn't allow himself to cry.
Then, suddenly a desperate laughter shook his entire body and Mitena quickly drew her hand back, not knowing what to do or say.

“It’s stupid, I know…” He wiped the tears out of the corners of his eyes.
“It’s not that stupid” Mitena shot back immediately. The fact that she hadn’t hesitated for even a second to say that caught Chandley’s attention.
“Of course it is…It’s like trying to force me to date a girl…and we saw how this went” He laughed again, but it was by far no happy laughter. He was ridiculing himself for being so desperate and stupid.

“Yeah, but has Matt ever had a girlfriend?”
Chandley was kind of taken aback by that question. “I don’t know…I never asked. Has he?”
He had to admit that he was a little disappointed as Mitena shrugged again. “Of course, I don’t really know him…but no rumour ever gets past the cheer squad…so as far as I am concerned…he hasn’t”
“But he’s never had a boyfriend either” Chandley argued.
“No…but have you?”
Chandley shook his head.
“Well, there you go…”
Chandley went silent, thinking her words over.
“Just tell him and Hollie. You know…what’s the worst thing that could happen?”
“That Hollie is going to try to set me up with a guy next time”
They both started cracking up.
“Thank you for the talk…I’m still sorry”
“Don’t worry about it” Mitena chuckled.

Chandley crawled over to her and gave her a tight hug. He got up first, then helped her to do the same, before they said goodbye.
It was getting late and he had an emotionally big day ahead tomorrow if he was going to take Mitena’s advice.
Mean Wolves - Chapter 14
You don't really want to fall in love~
You don't really want to fall in love~
'Cause falling in love just breaks your heart~

It's only gonna go downhill from here :icongodwhyplz:
The house party had long been coming to an end. It was way past 4am and most people were either staggering home or just taking the easy way by occupying the couch or even one of the empty bed rooms upstairs. The really bad cases didn’t bother with a proper place to sleep and had just blacked out on the floor between empty paper cups and sticky bottles.
Faint voices were emerging from the kitchen. It smelled like cold food and alcohol and the kitchen table as well as the counters were covered in the leftovers of a rich buffet and half emptied bottles of booze. Two boys were still awake, one of them leaning against the kitchen corner, the other standing in front of him.

“I’m not drunk” Flavio pointed his finger right underneath Celio’s nose. “Just a little tipsy” The obvious slur of his words proved their meaning wrong.
“Not…yet…” It took Celio at least three attempts to reveal an almost empty bottle of Tequila. He lifted it up between his friend and himself. “Hold up!” He narrowed his eyes, his vision getting blurry. “Someone’s been drinking from our Tequila” He announced, slurring his words just as much as Flavio had before.

Suddenly they both burst out into incontrollable giggles, neither of them really knowing or caring what exactly was so funny about the situation.
Flavio blindly grabbed for a shot glass somewhere behind Celio that might or might not had been used before. It was sticky either way. “We drank all of that, silly” Flavio lectured him, but couldn’t stay serious as he giggled, trying to stop himself by pressing his hand on his mouth.

Celio seemed rather confused by that information. “But I thought you weren’t drunk” He argued, his face looking like a first grader who tried to do maths without using his fingers to count.

Somewhere along the lines the whole point of the conversation had just gone lost and they both went silent for a moment while Flavio poured some of the Tequila into the glass and started to frantically search for a salt shaker. “I’ll show you something” He announced, his expression suddenly grave and solemn. Without any warning he pushed Celio’s head maybe a little too forcefully aside to reveal his neck a little bit more. Celio huffed, but didn’t resist.

“If I were drunk…” Flavio continued and gave Celio’s neck a quick lick. Celio reacted by flinching and giggling. “That tickled…” He protested, but Flavio kept ignoring him.
“…could I do this?” Flavio was concentrating really hard as he shook some of the salt onto the wet part of Celio’s skin.
“I can’t even see what you are doing” Celio whined and felt Flavio gripping his shoulders tightly.
“Hold still” Flavio scolded him and proceeded by licking the salt back off, biting him teasingly before he drew back to chug the Tequila all at once, shaking his head from the bitter taste right after.

“Ouch!” Celio exclaimed, rubbing his neck. “Did you just bite me?!” He didn’t even seem to be shocked or angry…he was just sulking. “That really hurt…” He pouted and once their eyes locked again, they started chuckling, so hard that they could barely even catch their breaths.
“I did” Flavio admitted, his words almost not understandable from the giggling and slurring.
“You can’t go around biting people, silly tiger…” Celio was thinking for a moment. “You’re not an actual tiger”
“You just called me one…”
Celio covered his mouth with both hands. “Did I?” He whispered.
Once again, they were bursting into laughter until Celio suddenly cut them off. “Now me” He announced.
Flavio’s blurry mind couldn’t follow. “Now you what?”

Celio took the shot glass from Flavio, poured the Tequila in, prepared the salt on Flavio’s neck and licked it off with the same little bite that he had been given. Even though Flavio should’ve seen it coming, he was still taken by surprise and flinched as an involuntary moan escaped his lips. Feeling exposed by the noise he hadn’t been able to hold back, a faint blush spread across his cheeks.
“What was that?” Celio wondered, while chuckling uncontrollably.
Flavio held up his hands in defence immediately. “Nothing” He claimed.

Celio narrowed his eyes and suddenly grabbed the Italian by his shoulders just to prove him wrong. For science, basically. He continued nibbling and biting Flavio’s neck who immediately started struggling and trying to push Celio away. “Stop it! Get off me” He whined, but couldn’t stop giggling either as he tried to get a hold of Celio’s wild curls.
Celio had different ideas and kept pushing his friend harder until Flavio felt himself being pressed against the kitchen table. To avoid losing his balance, he had to hold on to the edge of the table, sweeping off a whole bunch of bottles and paper cups while doing so.

Once his two feet were steady on the ground again, he managed to grab Celio’s head and actually push him off. He didn’t let go as they locked eyes for just a little too long leading Flavio to instinctively pull his friend into a deep kiss that tasted like salt and alcohol.

Even more bottles came falling from the table as Flavio was pushed harder against it, running his hands all over Celio’s body, starting with his cheeks and stopping right above his hips.

“Flavio” Celio suddenly whispered, breaking the kiss, but his face so close that their lips were still grazing. “Flavio…” He repeated, a little louder this time. “There’s a bedroom upstairs…”
Flavio frowned as the movements of Celio’s lips and his words began to mismatch. In fact, the voice wasn’t even coming from his mouth anymore, was it? Then he felt himself being shaken.
“Wake up”

Flavio opened his eyes. His head was lying on his arms that were resting crossed on the kitchen table he was sitting at. As he lifted it, a lemon piece was sticking to his cheek. Celio kindly removed it. His best friend’s eyes were glazed, his cheeks a little flushed and he seemed to be just as drunk as he had been in Flavio’s dream. The party was over too. “What time is it?” He mumbled, trying to wrap his head around his dream, because he didn’t quite remember what it was about. He had a terrible headache too.
“Too late to go home now…I found an empty bedroom upstairs, though…” Celio turned to leave. “You coming?”

Flavio nodded slowly and his tired gaze got stuck on an empty bottle of Tequila for just a little too long, before he followed his friend.
“Anyway, here’s Wonderwall” Lou strummed the strings of a guitar – Lord knows where he had found it -, not really knowing which accord he was playing or if it even was an official accord at all. It didn’t seem too wrong to his drunken ears and neither of the guests seemed to mind either. He hardly knew the actual words to the song and whenever he didn’t, he just replaced them by oohs and yeahs. His singing voice could’ve been a lot better too, but even if he hadn’t been drunk, he wouldn’t have cared.
From across the room Finn was the only one cheering. He pulled out a lighter and waved its flame above his head.

That’s how everybody knew that it had to be already way passed midnight and that at least half of the provided alcohol had already dissolved into the blood of Alec’s party guests. Even Alec himself was far from being sober by now. This time he would be careful not to wake up with another blackout the next morning, though. He had gotten quite a few compliments for his party and that had encouraged him to have a few drinks for himself. It was getting late and there wasn’t much more to go wrong. If they had managed to pass the last few hours without having the police knock at the door, they’d manage to pass the next hours just the same. As long as he kept an eye on Henry, of course. Some idiots from the drama club weren’t to be underestimated either. He had seen Cassie only once this evening at the very beginning of the party but, naturally, they hadn’t said a word to each other. He wasn’t sure if he could trust her to watch over her own people.

Just when he was debating about whether to trust his own body and brain with another drink, Henry was taking the decision from him by showing up with two shots in one hand and two beers in the other. He handed one of each over to Alec without further comment, nodded three times as sort of a countdown before they both gulped down the shot. Alec shivered from the bitter taste and made a disgusted face that had Henry laughing loudly.
“You’re a wuss” He said and raised his bottle. “Cheers” He took a quick sip, then seemingly randomly asked. “It’s not that cold outside, is it?”

Alec shrugged. He really hadn’t been paying attention to the weather. There were a lot more important things to worry about. “Go outside and you’ll see” He suggested dryly.
“I already have…it’s just…” Henry’s gaze went towards the glass walls of the winter garden that provided perfect view to the backyard of the property.
“…I was thinking…”

Alec interrupted him. “You shouldn’t be doing that”
Henry frowned. He didn’t know what Alec was getting at. Had he missed something? “Do what?”
“Thinking. It never ends well. People get hurt, things get damaged. Not good”
Henry just laughed it off. “Anyway…where was I? I’ve been thinking…you’re parents haven’t covered up the pool yet. And we never got around throwing a pool party in summer. But we both know that everyone would’ve loved that”

“Henry, it’s November” Alec argued, but there was a spark lighting up in Henry’s eyes that immediately let him know that there was no way of talking him out of this idea.
“Yeah, that’s why I’ve been saying that it’s pretty mild outside…for November”
Sure. Maybe it was. For November. But it was still decidedly too cold to go for a swim if you’d ask Alec…or any of the other party guests…possibly.

Yet, half an hour later, Madeleine, Lexi, Leonora, Lou, Cassandra, Finn and Elena were standing alongside Alec and Henry by the pool. They had all stripped down to their underwear, wrapping their arms around their bodies, because already now it was freezing cold. Leonora was the only exception. She’d been holding on to the fact that they would all catch a cold and would miss school next week. She wasn’t going to be a part of that…but she somehow couldn’t stay away entirely either.

“You guys have to move a little…it’s going to be less cold” Henry encouraged his friends, but the only ones actually taking his advice were Lou and Finn who actually looked like they were ready to jump in. Henry was bouncing up and down and suddenly grabbed Alec by the shoulders. “You too” He chanted and pulled Alec with him as he leaped into the water. Alec cursed loudly until his mouth was full of chlorous pool water. He was coughing once his head popped back up. His black hair was covering his face nearly completely, heavy on his head, until he combed it back with only one slick movement of his hand. His skin was even paler than usual in the silver moonlight and his lips were already blue, trembling slightly.

The two boys jumping into the water completely unprepared had also gotten everyone else pretty wet. There was really no point in bailing out now.
“It’s actually less cold in the water” Henry announced and just when Alec was about to disagree, there were two more splashes and Finn and Lou had joined them in the pool. Next was Lexi. Alec suddenly felt her weight on his shoulders as she had to cling to him to keep herself above the water. He felt her whole body trembling and the warmth of her body pressed so tightly against his was actually quite pleasant in the cold water. So he let it happen.

Last but not least Madeleine and Cassandra joined them, leaving Leonora still fully dressed and watching them from the outside. She had decided to sit down in a little garden chair that was standing a few metres away from the pool, so she wouldn’t get splashed with cold water. She had a kind of distant expression on her face as she was watching her friends having fun. She had made her decision. She wouldn’t join them. But as she watched Henry jumping on Alec’s back to try and push him under the water and the girls screeching as a huge wave of water hit them right across the face, she couldn’t help but smile. After all these years it still amazed her how different Alec was whenever he was with people he really cared about. And how she had never been able to get this kind of reaction from him. It was almost as if he had a set number of smiles and laughter he’d be giving to only well-chosen people in his life. And she just wasn’t one of them. Watching it from a distance was all she could do…and most of the time it was enough.

Actively moving inside the water was actually helping a lot with the cold and between all the screams and laughter they had soon forgotten about the very likely possibility of getting sick tomorrow morning until their fingers had turned wrinkly and their lips had turned a light shade of blue. Their trembling bodies were impossible to ignore and their fingertips felt like they were going to fall off any minute now. Even Henry, who had refused to admit to the cold, was shaking visibly.

Leonora was still there. As she noticed the state her friends were in she went into the house to get enough blankets and towels for everyone, so they wouldn’t have to expose their naked skin to the cold air for too long. Everyone was thankful for her thoughtful help, but she just waved it off with a smile.

There was still a pretty good crowd inside. Some had started playing beer pong, others were drinking for no reason at all. The majority of freshmen had already gone home. Others had passed out on the couch, but the party was clearly still alive even if the numbers were dwindling. The short beach party had mostly gone unnoticed among the other guests. Only now, as everyone was stumbling back inside, all wrapped up in blankets, the girls naturally cuddling up to the next guy they could grab and Henry holding on to Alec despite the fact that he wasn’t a girl, some people were lifting their heads. They didn’t really care about having missed the fun outside, though, because there had probably been plenty of fun inside as well. The still ongoing music and the general mood inside the living room spoke for themselves.

Just then the curly haired twins that had supported Ricarda at the election stormed out of the kitchen, giggling hysterically. One of them was holding an empty bottle up and it wouldn’t surprise anyone if they had emptied it all by themselves. “Who’s up for a round of spin the bottle?!” One of them asked loud enough for everyone to hear.

Of course Finn and Lou were joining the game and so did Elena and Cassie. Alec would’ve had doubts about it, but everything was blurry and funny and Henry was dragging him to the centre of the living room where the game was going to take place, according to the twins who had already sat down on the floor. Everyone else who’d been outside joined them, but neither of them could be bothered to put their clothes back on when the towels felt so soft and warm on their skin. At some point Alec had ended up sharing a blanket with Lexi, but it was – surprisingly – okay. Maybe he’d regret it in the morning. Maybe it would just be a small detail that he’d forgotten about soon enough. Maybe it didn’t matter. In fact, nothing mattered that much anymore. Not even the fact that the girl from the karaoke bar – Enya was her name – had joined them as well.

One of the twins - Cade or Caleb, Alec couldn’t tell them apart - started with the first challenge. “Let’s start this simple…whoever gets chosen by the bottle will have to tell all of us about their recent crush and – don’t lie to me – everyone has got a crush. Always. Even if it’s just a tiny one. However, if the crush is present in this circle, you’re not going to simply tell us…you’re going to show us. By kissing said crush. On the lips” Thus, he gave the bottle a good spin.

Elena’s face lit up as the bottle stopped, pointing at her. She didn’t hesitate for a second and gave Finn, who was conveniently sitting next to her, an affectionate kiss. “Well, that was boring” Finn grinned into the kiss before they both drew back, the familiar butterflies in their stomachs as always whenever their lips touched.

“I’ll think of something better then” Elena announced with the bottle already in her hand. She didn’t think about it for long, though. “Now, with most of us wearing a minimum of clothing…exchange one article of clothing with the person on your right…in front of all of us, of course” She smirked and spun the bottle, hoping it would stop at someone wearing nothing but underwear and…it did. To Alec’s misfortune, it stopped in front of Lexi and, thus, affected him as well, because he was sitting to her right. Luckily they had the giant towel wrapped around them and therefore covered themselves for the most part while doing their duty. Lexi was lucky with Alec’s underwear hanging loosely from her waist, but Alec wasn’t really the kind of guy who could pull off apricot coloured lingerie. It was the game, though. And Alec hated losing just a little bit more than wearing lingerie. At least when he was drunk enough. Apparently.

“Be tickled by the player opposite to you” It was the first thing Lexi could come up with from the top of her head. Everyone was already making eye contact with the person opposite to them, just in case, but in the end, the bottle stopped at Leonora. She was embarrassed, but out of all the possible people she was kind of glad that it was Cassandra who sat across from her. She wasn’t very ticklish, though, and the challenge ended pretty soon.

Leonora wasn’t good at thinking about really embarrassing or, God forbid, sexual challenges and stuck to something more innocent. “Talk in a fake accent for the rest of the game…it’s up to you which one it’s going to be…but it has to be recognizable…”

Cade was the victim, but he naturally had great fun spending the rest of the night talking in the worst and probably offensive British accent anyone had ever come across. “Bloody hell” He said for no reason at all. “Spin the bottle again after it has stopped and ask the second person that is chosen to marry you. But I demand an honest and sappy proposal. I’m talking tears of happiness here, guys!”

The bottle chose Caleb. His beautiful soon to be fiancé was going to be played by Enya. What an honour. He threw himself down to his knees right in front of her and was barely able to hold back fake tears. “Ireland. Land of the potatoes, green hills, sheep and – evidently - land of the most gorgeous woman on the entire planet…the entire universe! I’ve known you ever since you came flying here on what I can only imagine was a pink heart shaped cloud of love…a couple of weeks ago and I can’t stand to look at you…” He sniffed, drawing a key ring from his pocket. His gestures were overdramatic, just as his brother had demanded it. Enya played along in exactly the same manner. “…without also seeing a ring on your finger. My ring. I’m asking you, my sweet potato, with all these people surrounding us being our witnesses…do you want to marry me?”

Enya was sobbing by now and threw herself into Caleb’s arms. “Of course I will” She said and patiently waited for him to put on the key ring. “It’s beautiful” She gasped, but soon enough both of them burst into laughter.

Caleb quickly thought about another challenge. “Go upstairs and play dress up with whatever you find in the bedroom wardrobe…the only rule is: You have to crossdress”
The bottle stopped at Cade – again -, but he was super happy to run upstairs. It took him five minutes until he came back down, dressed in a long, purple silky dress, a feather boa and an over the top hat. He’d even put on make up. “My name is Cade Wrigley and I am a lady. I do all kinds of lady stuff” He announced while coming down the stairs, still talking in a ridiculous British accent the way he was supposed to.

“Now, I really need to see some action, guys. Full on French kiss a random person that will be chosen by the bottle as well”

The bottle stopped at Madeleine first. It didn’t seem to matter where the bottle would stop next because most of the people in this room surely wouldn’t have minded being kissed by Madeleine…even the girls could’ve done a lot worse. Unfortunately, there was one person who was probably praying to God that she wasn’t going to be the one…unsuccessfully. Leonora was about to give the bottle a slight kick as it stopped in front of her, hoping that maybe no one would notice. But it was too late. All eyes were on Madeleine and her. Especially the guys were very interested in what was going to happen next. Only then Madeleine’s and Leonora’s eyes met as well. Leonora’s features had hardened. If Cade was wearing drag and Alec was wearing lingerie, there was really no excuse for why she couldn’t just get this over with and kiss not just another girl, but especially Madeleine. She wouldn’t have minded if it had been anyone else. But it just had to be the person she disliked the most. Madeleine was as hesitant and doubtful as Leonora, but their choice was sort of taken from them as someone started cheering and clapping. Soon everybody else joined in and the two girls were drawn closer to each other by pure pressure of the group.

They were still kneeling on the ground, now so close that their knees were nearly touching. A deep breath. An intense stare down. Then suddenly a kiss, filled with so much passion for anger and hatred that it left everybody speechless, including Madeleine and Leonora themselves once they had broken the kiss. They were breathing heavily now, their cheeks flushed, shoulders slightly trembling. They hardly noticed everyone around them clapping as they quietly returned to their places. It went without saying that they both avoided looking at each other for the rest of the game.

“Spin the bottle again and then sit on the lap of the person the bottle is going to choose.  For the rest of the game” Madeleine gave the bottle a good spin once she had come back to her senses.

Finn was the first victim…with Cassie being the second. The two of them were close and even though Finn was quite heavy on Cassie’s lap, there was really nothing that awkward about it. It could’ve been way worse.

“Kiss the most attractive person in this room” Finn winked. “I know it’s going to be me, so don’t be shy”

The bottle stopped at Enya. She thought about her choice for a long time. Sure, Finn would’ve been right on top of the list, but she knew about him and Elena and she really didn’t want to cause trouble…even though there was no female force that could’ve dragged Finn away from his girlfriend. Of that she was sure. Then, of course, there was Alec. She’d kissed him before. She remembered that well and as her gaze met his…she knew that he remembered too. She smiled at him seductively and did her best not to giggle as his shoulders relaxed deeply satisfied with himself. He thought he had won. God, he was so full of himself. Still, she crawled towards him until she nearly sat down on his lap – which angered Lexi visibly – and cupped his face. Their lips were already almost touching, but she changed her mind last second. A twinkle in her eyes gave away that this had been the plan all along. She stole a quick, but longing kiss from Henry and returned back to her place.

Henry laughed at Alec’s misery and received a light punch from him in return. “You didn’t really think I was going to lose this one to you” He laughed.

“Seduce the person on your left…by using your lips…only! You are not allowed to touch the other person’s lips, though” Enya winked and gave the bottle a spin. It stopped right in front of Henry who could hardly have been happier about this random choice. He was already rubbing his hands as he turned to his right where, of course, Alec happened to be sitting. Already now, Alec was a hundred percent done with this challenge. He was a hundred percent done with this whole game, to be honest.

“Oh, this isn’t really fair, is it? You’re already seducing me with that lingerie” Henry sighed dramatically while Alec was shifting uncomfortably once Henry got near him.
“I didn’t drink nearly enough to have forgotten about all of this by tomorrow morning”
Henry laughed. “You won’t want to forget this” He lifted his hands to demonstrate to everyone that he was not going to use them and put them behind his back afterwards. He was anything but shy and hesitant as he started out by full on sucking and nibbling his friend’s neck with such determination that it would sure as hell leave a mark in the morning. Alec would remember…even if the alcohol got the better of him. Alec squirmed and stretched his neck, in hopes to get out of Henry’s reach, but only ended up making the sensitive skin on his neck more accessible to his best friend and his mission to win this challenge.

“Am I allowed to use my hands?” Alec wined. He was about to push Henry away when he felt him shaking his head and someone else from the group denying his wish out loud. The sweet scent of already consumed alcohol reached up his nose as he felt Henry’s tongue wet against his skin, his soft lips working their way down his chest. He tried to be disgusted and oh Lord, he would’ve been for sure…under different circumstances. If he hadn’t witnessed a kiss between two of his female friends just a few minutes ago, for example. Or if Lexi’s underwear hadn’t been this revealing.

He gasped as Henry left a bite mark on his shoulder, but the sensation of the light pain quickly died down as he felt Henry’s hair brushing against his skin as well as further teasing kisses all over his torso.

Suddenly, Henry broke his eager concentration by laughing out loudly and throwing his hands up in the air once he’d drawn back from Alec. “Clearly, I won” He cheered, but Alec’s response was decidedly less enthusiastic. He was just glad this was over, even though his skin was still burning up like fire where Henry’s mouth and tongue had been just a few seconds ago. Just the chemical reaction of skin on skin. Something he couldn’t control…unfortunately.

Henry, however, was still laughing with satisfaction about his success.  
“Well, this wasn’t even a game” Alec complained, but clearly couldn’t overshadow Henry’s glee.
“Who cares? I’m obviously just winning at life” Henry returned to his place, still cackling to himself while Alec demonstratively covered his body entirely with the blanket.  
Once Henry had gotten over himself, he was ready to announce the next challenge. “Someone’s going to put on the cheesiest song we can find and I want the next person to slow dance in the middle of this circle with another person that’s going to be chosen by the bottle”

He could not have been happier as the bottle pointed at Alec who was already trying to figure out how to wrap the blanket around his body in a way that would stick, so he wouldn’t have to be exposed entirely when he got up.

It turned out that Leonora was going to be his lucky partner. Sure, it could’ve been a lot worse. For both of them. Still, Leonora could physically feel the awkward silence between them once they were standing right in front of each other and the soft piano started playing. She kept telling herself that this was just a game. That Alec was gently placing his hands on her hips, because it was expected from him. For the same reason, he had abandoned his regular dress code. For the same reason she had kissed Madeleine and for the same reason he had just helplessly allowed Henry to seduce him. Just a stupid game and, yet, she couldn’t help her racing heart. He smelled like alcohol and chlorine, but there was still his very own scent underneath all of it. The scent that she would’ve recognized anywhere. She rested her chin awkwardly on his shoulder, but it didn’t quite seem to fit as perfectly as it was ought to be. Just like everything else about this situation. Her hands were wandering off, trailing up and down Alec’s back while she tried to keep her distance…emotionally as well as physically. The latter was a little harder to accomplish, since their bodies were pressed against each other so tightly that she could feel his hip bones against her body. Waiting until all of this was over and enjoying what would never be was all she could do until this damn song was finally over…

We’re so close to reaching
That famous happy end
Almost believing
This was not pretend
Let’s go on dreaming
For we know we are
So close…
So close…
And still so far

The music was playing quietly in the background. Crumbs of chips and popcorn were the only thing left inside the empty bowls on the table along with three emptied cups that used to hold tea inside of them. Hollie was curled up in the armchair. She had been asleep for the entire last movie. Chandley and Matt had occasionally passed out while watching as well, but they’d never been asleep for longer than ten minutes. The movie wasn’t over yet and it probably would’ve been better to just turn off the TV entirely, but Chandley and Matt were too lazy to get the remote control. The calming voices of Princess Giselle and Prince Edward remained a soothing background noise.

Right now Chandley once again awoke from a twenty second nap plus the five second confusion that followed after. He had sunken deep into the couch, his arms wrapped around his body, because he was feeling a little chilly. Unfortunately, Matt had accidentally occupied the blanket in his sleep.

“Matt?” Chandley whispered, but didn’t get any visible reaction. He tried again, a little louder this time, but Hollie was the only one reacting now, slightly shifting in her sleep. Chandley didn’t want to wake her up and he didn’t like the thought of actually waking Matt up either. But it was getting cold and he was tired, so he just grabbed the blanket and wiggled himself underneath it, even if that meant having to cuddle up to Matt. At least it was a lot warmer here…and so much cosier with his body leaning against Matt’s.

Chandley fell asleep with Disney princesses in mind and the way they had fallen in love so quickly. It seemed ridiculous to fall for someone so hard so fast…until it happened to you. Until it had happened to him. Maybe it was going to be the same with happy endings. They happened when you least expect them…or when you didn’t expect them to happen at all. Because you were in love with someone who could only love you back if you’d live in a different universe…if you were lucky.

Or maybe a Disney marathon just didn’t do him any good.
Mean Wolves - Chapter 12
The return of Spin the Bottle! (Almost all characters randomly chosen!)
This was a wild ride.
Also, I don't really know how to do any of these characters.


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MrsSquarepants. ♥
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Erleuchtete Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
vielen lieben dank für den watch :la:
Feuerchen Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Kein Problem :3
Kawaii-Nekochara Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2014   Digital Artist
Happy B-day~ :iconcakechocplz: :iconsnugplz:
Feuerchen Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you :3
savasrule Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
happy bdayHave your cake and eat it too 
Feuerchen Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you :3
savasrule Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
CrabbyThe2nd Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2014

Happy birthday! :iconcakeplz:

Feuerchen Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you ;3;
CrabbyThe2nd Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2014

You’re welcome! :D

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