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   Chapter 3 NO.3

Haden Merrick By athrhteera Characters: 12899

Updated: 2018-03-22 12:40

Chapter Three - Drunken Encounters, Perfect Encounters

Have you ever being dragged to a party you dread not going? It feels exactly like being dragged to church when I was younger but instead of going to a place where you'll seek for forgiveness, now it's rather like going to a place where you'll commit sins but Joanne gets very ambitious on wanting me to attend. No matter how annoyed or angry Seth and I might be.

''Why are we here again?'' Seth asks, running his fingers through his dark brown hair before looking down at me.

''The adrenaline rush?'' I raise an eyebrow as we both laugh.

''Guys, come on. Let's party!'' Joanne shouts through the music, grabbing onto our hands and literally dragging us towards the dance floor; dancing to the music and swaying our hips with mostly strangers in the room but positively viewing it, Seth, Joanne and I get to spend some fun together and it feels like we're bonding rather than stressing out about exams, tests and even projects. For once, it feels like our problems are slowly pushed away.

My eyes wander around the crowd to find people losing themselves to the music, letting themselves drown and for some reason, no one seems to be thinking about unsolved issues or dreadful problems. We're all young and craving for the sensation of adrenaline rush in our veins.

Without me realising, we're already jumping up and down to the music as we hold the bottle of alcohol up high in our hands. Just like that, everything around me starts to move in slow motion and even the music feels more soothing rather than something damaging my eardrums. ''Why are we here again?'' Seth shouts, causing me to laugh before wrapping my arms around his neck as his hands hold me by the hips—swaying our hips side by side to the music.

I immediately look up into his blue eyes to find them looking down into my own as well, making me smile.

To my surprise, Seth pulls me closer as I turn around and letting him run his hands down my arms. It's nothing bizarre or unusual with him leaning close to my neck and with our bodies leaving no space in between, only dancing to the music because we both know where we stand. His arms begin to wrap around my waist from behind as we sway our hips, purposely leaning my back closer to him which causes him to turn me around, our faces are inches apart.

Our eyes meet in an instant and immediately, I don't know who or what to blame. Maybe, it's the alcohol in my veins or the beautiful ocean blue eyes he possessed. Everything around us begins to slow down or so I thought before he leans his forehead against mine—our eyes closed and our fingers entwined, seconds before our lips brush against one another. ''Belle. . . ''

''Huh?'' I frown as I feel him placing his hand around my neck.

Seth and I have never been in this kind of situation before because as far as we know, we realise our boundaries. No matter how close or how much we know about each other, it feels impossible to develop this kind of attraction especially when his own attraction leads to men but everything about that is somewhat forgotten as our lips meet. One thing or more precise, one person begins to appear in my mind which causes me to pull him closer towards me, letting him run his hands down my back.

As I open my eyes, I find Haden kissing me with his hands on my waist to pull me close which leads me to run my fingers through his hair as I inhale his scent.

We break apart and the person in front of me begins to change from Haden to Seth which makes me squint my eyes in confusion, trying to focus onto something or someone more realistic than a drift. The familiar blue eyes change to brown and quickly changing back to blue, making me look around to find the crowd suffocating me as I walk away, pushing through and ignoring a familiar voice calling out my name. My heart starts to beat in an unstable motion as I quicken my pace, immediately stepping out of the house.

''What the hell?'' I mutter under my breath, feeling my head aching.

I walk towards the back of the house where it's more quiet before sitting down on the ground, ignoring the stares I'm getting from people passing by as I look around, finding a familiar figure not quite far from me. ''You there! What are you doing?'' I point at the stranger which causes him to turn around and look at me, his eyes widening a little before his lips begin to curve up into a smile. ''What are you smiling at, huh? Is it funny? Did I say something funny?''

The figure stays still at his spot which causes me to feel frustrated, making me stand up and immediately walk towards him. Just as I'm about to reach him, I stumble onto something and it feels as if I'm losing my balance but his hands reach out for mine, preventing my fall. ''Why are you touching me?'' I pout, pulling myself away from him.

He laughs, ''You're drunk.''

I squint my eyes at him, leaning close. ''No, I'm not.''

''Yes, you are.'' He replies, leaning even closer before leaning back. ''Can't we have a nice encounter where you're not falling or drunk?''

''I'm not drunk!'' I scoff, raising the bottle to my mouth but only to find it empty; upsetting me in the slightest. The blurry figure in front of me continues to look at me as he smiles, both of his hands are shoved into his jeans' pockets, letting me eye him down—finding him standing tall, probably around 6'2 and casually just hovering down my height. ''You find me entertaining?'' I ask, my eyes droopily closing for a few seconds.

''I find you adorable. Why did you drink so much?'' He takes away the empty bottle from my hand, putting it down on the ground.

For some reason, the person in front of me seems oddly familiar with his eyes staring back at me. The way his features are highlighted in the dark under the dim light, it makes me wonder if we might have met before. Probably once or twice. As I continue to stare at him, he takes his time to do the same without being bothered to hide it away and it's no doubt I look like a miserable drunk at the moment—not that I'm admitting I'm drunk but it sure does feel like the world is moving slow.

''You look really familiar, '' I squint my eyes, using my index finger to poke onto his cheek before dragging it down to meet his lips. ''Eh, have we met before?''

He pays no attention to my hand touching his face, ''What do you think? Have we met before?''

''I don't know. Let

me think, '' I frown, massaging both of my temples. My eyes continue to wander up and down his figure, the look on his face shows just how much he's interested in me as I am interested in him but as soon as my eyes land on something in his hand, I immediately point at it. ''What's that? Can I have it?''


I cut him off by immediately raising the bottle near my lips, letting the liquid travel down my throat which causes me to frown in disgust. ''Yuck! It's water.''

''That was what I was trying to tell you, '' He chuckles.

''Well, this is boring. You're a very boring person, do you know that?'' I look up at him, both of my hands are on my hips before running towards the nearest bench—finding interest in it. ''Come here. Come sit with me, '' I pat onto the empty space beside me as I find myself smiling at him as he makes his way towards me; slowly sitting beside me, both of his brown eyes turning to look at me.

''Don't you think you should head home?'' He asks, making me scoff.

''What? Do you think it's past my bedtime? I'm not a child, Mr. Mind Your Own Business.'' I reply, earning myself a chuckle from beside; letting me close my eyes for awhile, letting my body float as the alcohol continues to stream in my veins. It feels as if my body is being supported by something light. ''Hmm, hmm. Hmm, hmm.'' I begin to hum my favourite song with my eyes closed but moving side by side.

''What's your name?'' I immediately open my eyes to look at him, wondering why would this stranger beside me would want to know my name. Does he have bad intentions behind it? Does he want to stalk me down? All of the thoughts begin to wander in my mind, wanting an explanation of its own as I think of a name, a name where he won't be able to trace me. A name where he'd believe it's mine but not really.

''Mulan.'' I answer, putting on a straight face.

''Mulan?'' He grins, revealing his perfectly straight teeth. Huh, looks like someone got braces.

''Yeah—wait, no. It's Ariel, ''

''Okay, which one is it then? Is it Mulan or is it—''

I cut him off by shaking my hands, ''—you caught me. Fine, fine. Jeez, it's Jasmine.''

The beautiful stranger beside me starts to lean his head back, laughing before turning to look at me again. Our eyes meet in an instant, ''Okay, Jasmine. Who did you come here with? Let's get to them so you can go home, '' He begins to stand up but I stop him by grabbing onto his hand, causing him to look down at his hand. ''What's wrong?''

''That's not fair. You haven't told me your name, '' I look straight into his brown eyes, my hand still gripping onto his.

''It's Aladdin, '' He replies, seconds before we both burst into laughters.

Even in my drunken state, there's no denying the fact that this man in front of me is beautiful. The way his lips are curved up into a smile before he laughs, revealing his pearly whites and when he leans his head back with the sight of his Adam's apple moving up and down or when he moves his head to the side, giving me the perfect view to his profile. It's like I've seen this man in details before but I can't exactly recall when or where especially underneath the dim lights. There are only little details I can comprehend, details that is attracting.

''Very funny, Aladdin.'' I cross my arms, leaning on the bench.

''Why, thank you, Jasmine. You're not so bad yourself, '' He smiles. Just like that, both of his eyes begin to focus on me once more, ''Seriously, tell me your name. How can I look for you if I don't know your name?'' He asks, making me look down at our hands; it appears that my grip on his hand is not loosening any time soon and it also appears that he doesn't seem to mind.

''How can I know you're not a bad guy, huh?'' I raise an eyebrow.

''Duh?'' I roll my eyes, making him laugh.

''Fine, fine. Come on, you need to head home before you wander off to God knows where, '' He stands up and this time, I don't bother stopping him but as soon as I stand beside him, I begin to tug onto his shirt—letting him turn around to look at me. ''Yes, Jasmine?'' His lips curve up into a smile once more, making his way towards me.

''Is this the end of our fairytale?'' I ask, pouting. ''Aren't we suppose to end it with a kiss before our happily ever after?''

Both of his eyes wander down to my lips for a few seconds as I make my way towards him, nearing him with every second passing. Our eyes are never leaving one another and as soon as I run my hands up to his face, I feel him clenching his jaw underneath my touch but he doesn't bother to move. It feels like I'm possessed and there's this braveness surrounding me, making me stand on my tiptoes, only to near his lips.

I close my eyes at the sight of his lips, leaning my head to the side and to find him leaning forward towards me as well.

''Which reminds me, '' He says, causing me to open my eyes. ''I don't exactly want this to end. So, '' Both of his hands slowly move up to grab onto my hands, turning it around to kiss the back of it before slowly letting them go. ''you're going to have to see me again. In fact, this is only the beginning. I'll find you, Jasmine.''

I smile, ''Oh, is that so?''

As soon as he turns his head to face the light, my eyebrows furrow in confusion at the sight of his face; making me blink a few times, trying to get a clearer vision. For a few seconds, I find myself staring at a familiar someone. A familiar special someone: Haden. The beautiful brown eyes, the defined jawline, the gaze and for some reason, I begin to look away. It's twice today, seeing his face on someone else which causes me to look back up at him.

''There you are!'' Joanne shouts from afar, a bottle of beer in hand.

''I'll see you, '' The stranger leans forward, whispering near my ear before walking away; leaving me to stare at his back, feeling somewhat confused—wanting to run after him and get a better look but all I can think of is, why would Haden be having a conversation with me or bother? It's clearly someone else.

Joanne wraps her arm around my shoulder, ''Where did you run off to, silly pumpkin?''

''I was just—I was here and there, '' I frown, feeling my head aching in pain due to consuming a lot of alcohol.

''Come on, don't wander off.'' She adds as I turn to look at the exact spot where I was sitting.

Where we were sitting. Maybe it was a perfect drunken encounter.

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