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   Chapter 7 Hit Me, Baby, One More Time

Cuddle Application By Anna Rae Characters: 16281

Updated: 2018-01-09 13:20


"If somebody hits you with an object you should beat the hell out of them." ~Charles Barkley

~~~

The thrum of people around us pushed against my brain. Bodies against bodies, noise on top of noise. Everyone was laughing, it seemed. Happy, drunken people conversing or flirting or arguing. The whole room was getting smaller and smaller, and my chest started to flutter with anxiety. The smell of sweat and heavy perfume and alcohol wafted in the kitchen, pushing out into the backyard through the open slider door. A faint breeze was coming through the opening, but not enough to calm the sweat that beaded my palms.

Oliver must have noticed my trapped expression, because he grabbed my arm gently and started pulling me towards the hallway. His hand on my arm sent a wave of electricity through my veins. I made a fist and tried to shake it off.

"What are you doing?" I asked because it seemed like an appropriate question. Frankly, I didn't care what he was doing as long as we were going somewhere else. Somewhere I didn't have to watch Josh ogle another girl.

Say something, part of me commanded. Confront Josh. He's yours.

But then another part of me said no, he's not yours. You didn't make him yours and now he's leaving you for someone else.

My heart pinged with a message. "You're not good enough."

But a year - a full year was how long Josh and I had been at this on-again-off-again-What-Do-You-Mean-They're-Still-Not-Dating train. That was a lot. Our rocky romance had been, surprisingly, one of the only stabilities in my life when we'd started seeing each other.

It just didn't feel right to let it all go, no matter how much we didn't mesh. In Cinderella, the glass slipper didn't fit the stepsisters, but that didn't stop them from slamming their big feet into the thing.

I just wanted us to fit, to be what we used to be.

The sharp tug of Oliver's pull on my arm pushed me back into reality. "Where are we going?" I asked, observing that we were in a hall I hadn't been in before. Past the kitchen and deeper into the house. Oliver didn't answer, just tugged me along in silence.

We entered a large room with a huge ceiling. A sparkling chandelier hung from the highest point, glinting with the sparse amount of light in the leftover rooms of the house. The party seemed to be concentrated in only the living room, hallway, kitchen, and backyard.

We headed towards the large staircase covering the full length of the wall to our left.

"People might be having sex, by the way, " Oliver mentioned, his face nonchalant. He pulled me up the stairs.

I climbed the sleek, white steps and gagged at the thought. It was a characteristic high school party, but still, I wouldn't ever think of dirtying a random person's room like that.

"Um, why are we going upstairs?" I asked, my voice oddly high pitched. Suddenly I wondered if the reason we were going upstairs was because he expected us to have sex. I tried to tug my arm back from Oliver's grasp.

"We're not going upstairs, " he said, looking forward.

We were almost at the top of the staircase. "Um, do you see this?" My voice was getting higher and higher as I pointed at the steps below us. "This right here, what we're doing, is us going upstairs. And if you think I'm going upstairs with you because you want to-"

Oliver whipped around, and my body slammed into his. We were at the very top of the stairs now, standing on the landing. The chandelier was sparkling right above our heads.

"I told you we're not going upstairs, " he said. His voice was stern all of a sudden, as though he was offended that I'd even implied what I did. "I would never take advantage of you like that." Shadows shaded half of his face, but I could see his thick eyebrows drawn, his lips forming an angry frown.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to imply--"

"We're not going upstairs, " he said, interrupting me - even though we were on the second floor, classifying us as upstairs. "We're going to the roof."

He began walking down the hallway to our right, not taking my arm this time. I stood frozen for a second, confused and - if I admitted it to myself - hurt that he'd looked at me so angrily.

I played the scene again in my head. Why had he been so offended? Sure, what I'd implied hadn't sounded flattering, but it hadn't been far fetched. I knew him, but I didn't really know him. It was completely reasonable that you'd be wary to let a random guy take you upstairs.

But then why did I feel so ashamed for thinking it?

The dampened laughter from the party downstairs was the soundtrack as I followed Oliver further into the house. We passed three doors before he stopped, knocking on the forth one, and listened.

"Hopefully no one's in this one, " he murmured. When nothing else happened, he opened the door. He stepped back and motioned for me to go insid

ted in the doorway instead. People spilled out onto the lawn to watch the fight that had arisen.

"Good lord, " I murmured. "Can't go one freaking party without drama."

I pushed past people, knocking shoulders with wide-eyed girls and ducking under the big arms of whooping jocks.

"Yeah, Josh, kick his ass!" One guy screamed in my ear.

Nope. I thought. Nope, please don't do that.

I finally pushed my way to the inner circle, rolling my eyes at the events that were transpiring.

Normal. Why couldn't I just have a normal relationship?

Because this isn't a relationship, part of me said.

I looked to the fight scene. Gone was the circle of boys, replaced by two going head to head instead - Josh and another guy I didn't recognize.

Everyone occupied the massive circle around them. Doing nothing to stop it, they watched as the fight progressed from one side of the lawn to the other. Both boys were muscular and athletic, throwing fists that could have crushed a small girl like me into the ground.

"Go Logan!" A girl screamed. "Kill him!"

Oh god, where are the cops?

Logan rolled on top of Josh, getting a single punch in before Josh punched him in the gut. Blood dripped it's way onto the disheveled grass.

Josh hooked his hands in Logan's shirt, spinning him around until Josh was on top. His fists moved like bullets, pounding punch after punch into the other kid's face. The look on Josh's face made me close my eyes, nausea churning in my stomach.

He was enjoying it. Whatever had caused the fight, Josh didn't care. He was living for the attention and the crowd.

Things were moving in slow motion. There was a distinct cracking noise, Logan's body crumbling on the ground like a stale cookie.

He was motionless.

In the very back of my mind, I was screaming.

Sirens filled the air in place of the whooping crowd.

"Run!" people yelled, escaping down the dimly lit street or disappearing in cars. My body was stuck to the floor.

The tell-tale red and blue flashing lights of a police car turned the corner onto the street.

Josh paused, still on top of the other boy, and swung around to face me. His chest was rising up and down as he struggled to calm his breathing. The blood was gushing freely from a wound on his forehead. A red veil of blood nearly covered his entire left eye.

The police car was getting closer.

Thick arms scooped me up and carried me across the yard. Lights flashed, people screamed, and the wind whipped through my hair.

"You need to leave, " Olivers warm voice whispered in my ear.

"I'm not drunk-" I tried to protest - the cops couldn't arrest me either way - but he rounded a black car, opening the passenger door with me still in his arms, and dropped me in. The smell of leather was the only thing I registered in the pitch black vehicle until Oliver got in, turned the keys, and the headlights flashed on. With renounced fever, he sped through the grass and onto the road, passing the approaching cop car and rounding the corner out of the neighborhood.

My chest was still heaving even as we sped miles and miles from the scene.

Oliver drove silently.

I picked at a fingernail.

Rain started to fall, throwing drops at the windows.

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