When You're on Top of the World

Chapter 1: Leather Pants


It was Monday. It was September first. It was the last day of summer after two months of nothing but the best beaches in Spain, Greece, Australia, Mexico, Bermuda and St. Lucia. Eight weeks of endless shitting around. Five best friends—plus someone's particularly annoying sister—spending the summer before junior year living the life off their parents' money.

Five best friends—and a sister—hanging around just like any others in paradise without the drama and bullshit high school guarantees to offer come September. The six of us, not thinking about anything other than the moment at hand; not a worry for the future. It was a dream. It was reality. It was the best summer of our lives. It was love. It was hate. It was truth. It was lies. It was everything in between.

They called us Les Redevances. French for The Royals, though it unmistakably sounds much better in French. There's a short story to go with the name, but it's irrelevant at the moment. However, it's mildly important that the reason they chose French is because the six of us are Lindale's—a small town—socialites. Our first appearance was at the age of thirteen and fourteen.

You guessed it, in France.

We were just your average group of abnormally close friends. In France.

However, to escape confusion, here is a brief introduction:

Daniel Marquez

He wasn't exactly what you'd call 'normal'. He lived with his aunt, her husband, and a boy they adopted—Rafael. He stood at just under six foot, and was lean thanks to soccer, stereotypical as he was. He had dark hair, dark eyes, and tanned skin. The epitome of what my sister would call "tall, dark, and handsome". He was seventeen, a senior student at Lindale Collegiate.

Christopher Threnshaw

Me. I was a spitting image of my twin sister. Tall, blonde hair, blue/green eyes and a seemingly permanent tan. Also a senior student at Lindale Collegiate.

Tessa Threnshaw

My twin sister. Tall, blonde, blue-eyed, and infuriating. She was a student at Brooksview Academy of the Arts, because she was some sort of prodigy or something. Whatever.

Jocelyn Pavlovich

One word: statuesque. Jocelyn was stunning. Think Scarlett Johansson stunning, and you've got Jocelyn. She had ice blonde, pin straight hair that went down to her hips, ice blue eyes, and alabaster skin. She came from a proud Ukrainian family and had a bad habit of swearing at me in Ukrainian. A senior student at Lindale Collegiate.

Leighla Matthers

Tiny package with a lot of punch. Literally, she would not hesitate in punching anyone. She had Middle Eastern background and it showed in her cinnamon coloured skin and thick, black hair. She was literally the toughest chick I had ever come across. Also a senior at Lindale Collegiate.

Lawrence Caldwell

Lawrence came from a family with roots as old as the country itself, and they were a pretty big deal, not that Lawrence had any interest in that. He had the traits of his family, dark blond hair, steely grey eyes, tall and proud. He was a senior at Lindale Collegiate, but only because his parents refused to send him to an arts institution. He was a little bitter and a lot level-headed.

There are so many more things I that haven't mentioned—but that's a given. A description cannot be given for every one of our flaws and perfections. Anyway, we've been friends since the beginning of forever, practically. Best of all, it's been smooth sailing the whole way up. Well, no, that's not entirely true. All but one glitch, that is. And it isn't that big of a deal. Or, a least, we didn't make it out to be one.

You see, Tessa—my sister if you haven't already guessed—is separated. No one is exactly sure when it happened, but the general estimate is about three years ago. We were thirteen. It was about the same time we became The Royals when she began to branch out. Tess suddenly had other people to meet, to talk to.

She wasn't solely ours anymore. At first, none of us were exactly comfortable with the idea of sharing her with others. Sharing; it was a revolting concept once spread to others excluded from our little…clique, if you will. I got over it the easiest; that much was apparent. It was like, she was still my older sister, I still saw her more frequently than I'd have liked. It wasn't as though she'd completely ditched us, either.

Tessa was still around. Most of the time, she was there; and she wouldn't miss the important things if her life depended on it. She was still Tessa. Everyone's big sister. We had long forgiven her for finding others; not that there was much—if anything at all—to forgive. Part of this was because I usually kept my mouth shut.

For my friends' sake and hers.

You see, the last two years have consisted of sleepovers with Tess and her friends. Those not part of The Royals, that is. She was never keen on having Leighla and Jocelyn over since the whole situation had begun.

I'd never had to endure any of these people, so I didn't mind. But it was awkward, walking downstairs on Labour Day to the kitchen and finding a tiny redhead sitting at my usual spot, with a mug and wearing one of my sister's sleeping shirts. It was obviously too large for her petite figure. Not that Tess was fat, or anything. She wore size five, and for a tall woman, that was hardly anything.

However, that was obviously enough to drape over this tiny person's body. What was she? A size zero? Double zero? It didn't sound healthy. I then thought of Leighla. Not exactly the tallest thing around, but she was a size three.

That was pretty damn thin.

I envisioned her standing beside No-Name girl and shuddered as I noticed how terribly frail the creature sitting before me looked. She had pasty white skin that rivalled Jocelyn's, and that was most definitely saying something. And she had freckles. Lots of them. The last thing I noticed was her utterly green eyes. It was frightening; eyes couldn't possibly be so vibrant. I thought of my own. Well, maybe they could be.

I wondered if she was of Scottish decent.

"…Hi." I muttered stupidly, standing in the archway to the kitchen. She looked up absently from her mug. Awkward. The ultimate defining word for this moment. Where was Tess when you needed her?

"Hello." She didn't have an accent. "You must be Christopher. I'm Elise Philips, Tessa's friend." I nodded and shook her outstretched hand. "It's nice to meet you."

"Likewise." I mumbled before sitting in any random seat. Perched atop her nose were glasses with a thin, black frame. Her seemingly unruly hair was thrown into a claw, though a few curls seemed to escape its bounds. She looked…sexy. Dishevelled appearances had never really gotten far with me, but damn, she was pretty cute.

"Are you Scottish?" I couldn't help but blurt. She looked amused, though she flushed.

"No." It was abrupt, her answer; and it didn't help that she hadn't elaborated. I watched in silence as she wrapped her small hands around her mug and shivered before bringing the mug to her lips and taking a dainty sip. I couldn't help but to notice that the hairs on her forearms were standing on end, and that her lips were a pretty pink against her skin, and looked predominantly full. I shook myself from this thought.

The people Tessa tended to hang out with weren't usually up to par with the people I surrounded myself with. Still, from some of the pictures he'd come across—computer screens, frames by bedside tables, etc.—Elise seemed to be the most attractive.

"Sorry; I was just curious." She looked up at me with the tiniest lopsided smile, her eyes peering up at him from under her long and thick eyelashes.

"I don't mind." Her voice came breathy, and unlike the low and sweet voice I usually found appealing, her own was alto-borderline-soprano. Not annoying in the least though, it went well with her stature. "Many people ask that question." I suddenly asked myself why we were talking. This was weird, talking to Tessa's friends without her being there.

"I guess it becomes aggravating." She shook her head calmly and slowly while her index finger traced the tip of the mug.

"No; they're only curious." When she looked at me from under her lashes again, her eyes were laughing, and her small half-smile had grown. Contrary to his efforts, I gave her my special crooked smile. She flushed again and he laughed internally. Seemingly different, yes; but she was still female.

And I was still very good-looking.

"So, um, where's Tess?" She was mid-shrug when a voice interrupted her own answer.

"Tess is right here, and is asking you to stop flirting with Elise." A hand came in contact with the back of my head. Tessa laughed at me, and he heard a small giggle from Elise. This is where the borderline-soprano half of her voice was kept, apparently. Her laugh carried out and rung sweetly in my ears.

She just managed to keep getting cuter.

"Hey! I'm a man," Tessa scoffed loudly, "who simply woke up to find a sexy," completely unintended, I swear, "redhead sitting in my seat." I smirked up at Tess who was rolling her eyes at my chosen words before looking pointedly at Elise. Her chin was resting on her hands—neatly folded on the island's surface, mug pushed aside, and she was flushed from the neck up. I grinned at this.

"Look what you did, you scared her!" Tessa scolded me as Elise descended in her blush, her wide eyes watching us blankly.

"I'm not scared." She protested. She laughed quietly as I stuck my tongue out at Tessa, and she stuck up her palm in retort. "Sceptical; yes. A bit flattered, if you'd believe it." A smile pulled the corner of her lip up. "Maybe even a little embarrassed." She whispered theatrically. I chuckled as raised her head from her hands and grinned.

"Fine; but tell me if he tries to molest you. I'll beat down his ass." I raised an eyebrow at her.

"And I'm the one who scared her." I directed my attention to Elise. "I'm not going to molest you." She giggled lightly before nodding and reverting back to chewing on her bottom lip.

"We're still going to that party tonight, right?" Tessa asked and Elise nodded.

"I endured an hour of being sat on; you bet your ass we're going." She sighed. This shocked me; the prospect of my sister sitting on the remarkably small person was mind boggling. I was surprised Elise didn't have any broken bones.

"Excellent; you said that just as we practiced!" Elise laughed before hopping off the stool. She couldn't possibly have been over five feet tall. She looked miniature standing beside Tessa, whom had a good ten inches on her. Elise sighed again.

"Though I wish you would have warned me about this yesterday." Tessa waved a dismissive hand before dragging Elise away to her headquarters. "I have nothing to wear." She complained.

"You can borrow something." Elise stopped dead in her tracks and raised an eyebrow pointedly at her large t-shirt and baggy shorts. "We'll figure it out." Tessa began towing her away again, paying no heed to Elise's objections.

Twenty minutes later, Elise came bounding down the stairs, completely red-faced and shocked.

"Absolutely not." She was muttered loudly and repeatedly. "No way in hell, Tessa." Tessa walked into the room, looking calm. "I cannot believe you bought those!" Her eyes widened comically. "You did this on purpose! You didn't tell me because you planned it all out!" Tessa nodded, unashamed.

"You're wearing them." Elise wrinkled her nose and crossed her arms over her chest stubbornly. She looked like an angry kitten.

"No, I'm not. Return them." Tessa sighed.

"Please, Elise? I can't return them! I took the tags off so you wouldn't freak over the price." Elise gawked at Tessa.

"Price." She spluttered. "How much is enough for me to freak?!" She looked absolutely terrified. I'd say she was freaking now. Tessa rolled her eyes.

"Ten dollars is enough for you to freak." I chuckled. Their attention locked on me. "Aha! Ask Chris. There is nothing wrong with leather pants for a party." That's what they were fighting about? I blinked stupidly at Tess.

"Leather pants?" She nodded.

"Tell Elise how completely fine they are to wear." I shrugged.

"They're fine." I said. Tessa threw something at me; I expertly dodged it.

"Thanks a lot, Chris." I grinned.

"Forget it. You wear them." Tess huffed.

"They're a size double zero. I'm a five. Besides, they're for petites." Double zero. That couldn't possibly be healthy. "Please." I could see Elise's resolve loosening.

"But…" She bit her lip furiously. An exasperated breath erupted from her. "Okay." Tessa squealed and hugged her around the shoulders.

"Thank you, thank you, thank you! I promise you will look so hot!" She looked like an annoyed kitten now.

"I don't want to look hot." She complained, before muttering a quick, "as if it's possible."

"Go try them on!" Tessa cried enthusiastically. "I'll even get my perverted brother to tell you how great you look." The image of Elise in black leather pants and a green satin tube-top popped up at the front of my mind.

It was like an internet ad, no matter how many times you clicked the X, more would just pop up.

Elise's eyes flashed with panic and landed on me. I remembered what Tessa said and realized it probably wasn't normal that I hadn't protested.

"I am not perverted."

"Elise, go." Another frightened glance.

"Um, I'd rather not."

"Please?" I added a mental 'please' to go along with Tessa's for another reason completely. Her shoulders were probably sprinkled with freckles…

"Why can't you just come up with me?" She asked through her teeth. No! My mind screamed. Don't make me wait until tonight!

"Because—Chris, are you alright?" Tessa raised an eyebrow at me. I blinked. "Whatever." She turned back to Elise, only to find she'd already gone. Damn, she was fast. "Strange…so, what do you think of Elise?" I blinked again.

"Uh…I mean, I don't really know her…she seems okay, I guess. Timid, and maybe a little under confident; but…yeah. Why are you asking me this? It's creeping me out." She shrugged. And it was. We didn't ask opinions of one another; if it was important, we just said it. This wasn't important, and I hardly wanted Tessa to know about my not-so-wholesome thoughts about her friend. She nodded absently before walking across the hall and into the living room. I followed.

"You're going to McGavern's party, of course?" I nodded, I didn't really care, and I hadn't been thrilling over the idea—Cole McGavern was a little more than an acquaintance who occasionally threw mediocre parties. Though, now, the party seemed so much more exciting. I looked up at Tess, wondering why she'd suddenly become silent. She was watching me with innocent eyes and smiling sweetly. "Christopher…" I groaned.

"Oh no." She obviously wanted something. "Please, no. What do you want?" She pouted.

"My car's in the shop, and I need a ride to the party. I asked Leighla, but she and Jocelyn are going with Daniel. You know how Danny is at parties! And Lawrence is still refusing to go anywhere near Cole after the dog incident." I made a strange complaining noise from the back of my throat. "And, of course, you'll have to bring Elise." I perked up at this, unwillingly. I'd been too preoccupied with my worries for the car ride, I'd forgotten.

Short attention span, sorry.

"Yeah, sure. It's reasonable, we do live together." Tessa grinned mischievously.

"I thought I saw you over-analyzing her. Just a hunch, but you just proved it." I looked at her and narrowed my eyes.

"I proved nothing." Her confident smile made me nervous. "You're just delusional." Of course, I'd never let that actually show.

"Admit it. You even said to her face, you think she's sexy." I shook my head; that was a stupid thing to say. But, admittedly, it was fun watching Elise get so red.

"I'll admit nothing." Just then, a quaff of red hair poked from behind the archway. Tess grinned.

"Elise! Come, come, let me see." I kept my face passive, Tessa read me through and through—one of the only people that could—and didn't need anymore information to fuel the fire with.

"Um, I think there's a slight problem." She admitted; a pink flowing into her cheeks. Tess furrowed her brows.

"Are they too small?" Elise bit her bottom lip. Tessa's eyes widened in a split second. "Are they too big?!" She asked frantically. I put all my effort into not allowing my own eyes to widen. Double zero couldn't possibly be too big. It was insanity.

"No, no. Not at all. In fact, I think you should have got a size bigger." Oh, a size bigger. From a double zero to a zero, that was so much better.

"Can you breathe?" Tessa asked, completely relaxed now.


"Then they're good." Elise's face fell, and she looked as though she were about to make a complaint. "Come here." Elise's eyes flashed to me again.

"I don't really—" Tessa walked over to her and dragged her into the room by a fistful of the too-large sleeping shirt. Tessa's look stopped whatever she was going to she next. Tess raised the shirt to the brim of the pants and inspected her from every angle. She turned Elise around to look at the back and made sure all was in order. I swallowed.

"They're perfect." Tessa said simply, ending the conversation. Elise huffed adorably, still looking like a peeved kitten. I gave an inspection, myself. The pants hugged in all the right places—everywhere. They were perfect.

"I don't know." She bit her lip again and looked down at herself. "Are you sure?" Tessa nodded without hesitation. I didn't listen to anything else they had said, or why they'd left the room. I was watching Elise's butt walk away. Are you sure? The question hung in the air.

You bet that ass, I'm sure.

The rest of the day was—sadly—spent in anticipation for the coming night. Lawrence laughed at me every time I looked at my watch. I'd been getting irrationally impatient.

"Man, what's got you all worked up?" He asked for the umpteenth time.

"Never you mind." I snapped at him. He laughed.

"Whoa. Someone's PMSing." I practically growled at him. "Seriously, what's up?" I sighed.

"My sister brought a friend over." He raised an eyebrow and stared at me.

"You gonna elaborate, or should I wait for your biography?" I rolled my eyes and gave him a look. He chuckled. "I don't know, man. Is she cute?" I sighed.

"Exceedingly so." His eyebrow rose higher.

"I'm not seeing an issue." I scowled at the wall behind the large television set.

"She's Tessa's friend. You've never met some of the people she hangs out with." Lawrence sighed.

"You're acting like a stuck-up prick."

"That may be so; but I have first-hand experience." Lawrence shook his head slowly, trying to comprehend something.

"With what? Tess hangs out with us, so what's so bad about the others she hangs around with? So they don't have designer labels sprawled across their closets, or three-hundred grand in their everyday bank accounts." Out of my four friends—excluding Tess, that is—Lawrence was, admittedly, my favourite. Though he tended to be hard-headed, he was also level-headed and down to earth.

He was big on equality, minding not what you owned or how much money you had to your name, or your inheritance. I was shocked when it was Tess who'd ventured off instead of him. I actually found it a bit hypocritical, the way he didn't care, yet he was always surrounded by the richest of those around him.

"It's not that; they're nerds. Dorks. Geeks. She wears glasses and she had flaming red hair that's all over the place and she has freckles and she's really short and shy and she blushes a lot and she has vibrant green eyes but she's not Irish." I listed in one breath. Lawrence was grinning moronically at me. "Other than for her ass, she wouldn't even have gotten a second glance from me."

"Damn. Wish I'd have met her." He grumbled. I couldn't help but laugh lightly. "But, she did get a second glance, yeah?" I nodded.

"She got many." He smirked. "She's going to McGavern's party, you know."

"Figures. You're a lucky bastard, you know that?" I grinned. "Now get your silly ass out of my house, or you'll be late." I glanced at my watch and revelled at the time. I was walking to my car when I heard Lawrence call after me. "And for your information, I think glasses are sexy!" I grinned lopsidedly before driving off.

You and I, both.

"Tess, I think I'd rather go home," was what I heard as soon as I walked into the hallway. And then a loud grunt.

"You get your cute ass out there and into my brother's car. Now." Tessa scolded. Go Tess.

"But I'm not feeling up to a party tonight." Tessa sighed impatiently.

"You never feel like a party. C'mon." Tessa was pushing a very reluctant Elise out from the living room. I chuckled.

"You may want to hold on to someth—whoa." Elise looked up from struggling against my sister and blushed as my eyes wandered. I couldn't be blamed, though. As I'd imagined, she was in a green satin top, except it had straps so thin they looked useless that went up to her neck and criss-crossed along the otherwise bare back of the shirt.

She had on black high-heels that elongated her legs. She was about four inches taller, now. Her unruly hair was sleek and fell to her waist, the eye make-up she was wearing was smoky and nice against her skin and made her eyes pop, there was a sheen coating of lip-gloss across her already-pink lips. She did have freckles splayed across her shoulders and I allowed myself not to wonder where else she had them.

I swallowed hard and almost cringed as it made its way through a dry and constricted throat. Her lips were parted as she caught her breath from trying to fend off Tessa. Damn; she'd been doing a good job for someone so small, and in high heels.

My eyes aimlessly wandered to her chest and immediately darted back up to her eyes. I had enough dignity not to be looking at those. Or, at least, not to get caught looking.

"Where are your glasses?" I asked stupidly. I tried to regain some form of speech. It wasn't working.

"I have contacts." Her voice was breathy and sweet. Her flush had lightened into a gorgeous pink that just lightly touched her high cheek bones. I couldn't think of anything else to say. Her eyes were engulfing. They were like infinite pools of liquid emerald. I was vaguely aware that Tessa clucked her tongue.

"Could you two stop having eye-sex just until we get to the party?" We looked at her simultaneously. Elise breathed a sharp intake of breath before turning red. I just looked at her in shock. Eye-sex; I suppose that was description enough for what I'd been doing. It didn't help that her breathing was ragged and sexy. Tessa walked out the front door and to my car, while Elise and I followed, dumbstruck.

"You look great." I somehow managed to say. She looked up at me from under her lashes.

"Thanks; you do, too." I smiled crookedly because I was only wearing jeans and a button down over a t-shirt. She, however, was still looking gorgeous in her leather pants. I allowed her to walk in front of me—mostly to get another look at her behind—to get in the car. She pushed my seat forward and climbed into the back. Tessa shot me a disgusted look as my head tilted on its own accord.

"You're nasty." She said as I climbed in. I grinned at her before glancing in the rear-view mirror, seeing that Elise was looking bemused. As I drove Elise regarded Tess and I.

"Why is he nasty?" I grinned again. She was so adorably clueless. Tessa shot me a disgruntled look but dropped it as she turned her attention to Elise.

"I live with him; the list is endless." Elise seemed dissatisfied with this, but let it slide. She shrugged and blushed again.

"I don't think he's nasty." I sent her my crooked smile once I pulled to a stop at the red light.

"You're not so bad yourself." I winked at her; she flushed, and I continued to drive.

"Ew." Tessa's face was contorted with disgust. "Stop flirting with her." I raised an eyebrow.

"I believe Elise initiated the flirting." Tessa glanced back at her, and decided she wasn't listening to us. She leaned forward and spoke in hushed tones.

"In case you haven't noticed, she isn't like all your bimbo groupies. She's got more than air in her head." She glared openly at me. I was flustered by this, because—like any other pair of siblings—we weren't perfect, and we had our arguments; but we never really were angry with each other so forwardly, and about another person, no less! "You can't just use her and leave her out to dry."

I gave her an aggravated glance, my hands tightening on the steering wheel.

"And if I like her?" I asked bluntly, but quietly. Tessa looked to make sure she wasn't listening, again. Her eyes were fixed outside the window, and her fingers were drumming to whatever song was on the radio.

"You don't know anything about her; you only like her, because you think she's hot." Well, she was; but that was hardly the point.

"You don't know that. Maybe she intrigues me because she isn't like everyone else around here." I stomped on the break, just in time, before I ran a red light. Frustrated, I pushed my hand roughly through my hair. I subconsciously looked back to check on Elise. Her eyes were wide and she was rubbing her collarbone, where I guessed the seatbelt had impacted her. I winced for a reason unbeknownst to me.

"Sorry." I mumbled through gritted teeth. I caught a glimpse of her small closed-lip smile from the rear-view mirror.

"No blood, no foul." She said quietly. Tessa elbowed me to indicate that the light had changed to green; I noted that she applied more pressure than necessary. After my extremely brief exchange with Elise, I'd felt my anger deflate. Apparently, Tess felt the same. She sighed and rested her head on the window.

"Just…don't go prying where it isn't needed." I looked at her, trying to understand what she'd meant by that; but her eyes eluded my own. I pulled up next to a familiar looking black Jaguar. Tessa and I climbed out at the same time, but she closed her door and walked around to my side just as I was pushing my seat forward. As Elise climbed out, she stumbled and collided with me.

I heard Tessa heave in exasperation as she began to tap her toe against the blacktop. I saw pink rush to Elise's face under the dim light of the street lamp. She'd somehow managed to land herself in a way where her hands lay gingerly against my chest, and—incidentally—my own had gripped her hips. Strangely narrow, as she was, my hands curled around from the front to the back. Her head tilted almost all the way back, as she looked at me.

"If we're going to revert back to the eye-sex, I'd prefer we did it without actual contact. Also, warn me before you two go all completely 'hormonal teenagers' on me." Elise had practically jumped away from me, the moment Tessa had begun speaking. Her eyebrows were way up there, and her arms were crossed as she tutted at me. I shoved my hands in my pocket, disturbed by the sudden lack of heat I felt.

"Sorry." Elise squeaked to no one in particular. I grinned as she walked alongside Tess, though she looked far less angry, and much more uncomfortable. "Tess…"

"You're coming in." Elise's shoulders slumped. "Don't make me sit on you again." Tessa chuckled amiably at her—I guessed she made a face.

"Fine. But I'm going to complain and whine throughout the whole forsaken experience." Elise said defiantly. Tessa shook her head.

"I can't believe you've never gone to a party before." I raised my eyebrows—though they couldn't see me, as I was behind them—at this bit of information.

"Even if I'd been invited to one, I'd never have gone." What kind of person refrains from asking her to a party? "And I'm sixteen; it's not like I've had a lot of time to get invited to one."

I sort of left them as soon as I got into the large hallway and went looking for my friends.

A couple of hours later I was walking to the washroom, only to be ambushed. I stumbled backwards and looked to see who's bumped into me.

"I'm so sorry." It was Elise; though she was too preoccupied looking at the drink she'd spilled on the carpet to notice who she hit. "I—oh, Chris. Have you seen Tessa? I can't find her anywhere." She turned around so fast from apologizing to asking questions I had to think about what she had said before answering.

"You came in with her; when did you last see her?" She huffed and looked annoyed and aggravated.

"An hour and a half ago." I raised an eyebrow in amusement.

"I take it you aren't enjoying yourself." Her nose scrunched with distaste as some drunken moron downed a beer and laughed loudly.

"Not in the least. First, Tessa ditches me on the sofa with her drink—and I know she lied when she told me it was only Coke—then, some moron making out with his girlfriend, or date, or maybe it was just some random girl sits on me, apologizes, then starts making out with her right next to me; I practically got molested on my way up these stupid stairs, because of these damn pants—let me tell you, if one more person touches my butt, I. Will. Shove. Their hands. Up. Their. Nose." I amused myself briefly with the mental image of Elise threatening some drunk, nose wrinkled and all.

"And," Oh, God, there was more. I was going to have to kill someone, "people kept trying to give me drinks, I almost got beer spilled on me approximately nineteen times—and I still can't find Tessa!" I couldn't help but smile crookedly at her. She looked so harmless, yet her words were lethal. Before I knew it, she'd be stomping her foot and pouting. I chuckled.

"Whoa, relax. First off, you didn't take any of those drinks, right?" She rolled her eyes and crossed her arms over her chest.

"Yes; why, yes I did. And while I was at it, I asked them for some E. Moron." I chuckled again.

"Just making sure. Stick with me until we find Tess, I promise no one will need to get any hands up their noses." She nodded and followed me with a small 'well, that's a shame'. "Did she tell you where she'd gone when she left?"

"Yeah; she said she had to use the washroom." Elise paused. "She lied." My lip twitched in amusement as she harrumphed. Once we reached the hall where everyone was dancing, Elise gasped and latched onto my wrist. She was dragging me through the crowd and gaining appreciative glances from the guys. Their dance partners weren't too happy with that.

"Where are you taking me?" I asked over the music.

"You'll find out soon enough." I raised my eyebrows.

"Kinky." Her elbow dig into my side sharply, but not without another furious blush. I'd been missing that, though her anger was a nice substitute. I chuckled; aw, she thought she could inflict pain with her tiny arms. She stopped abruptly and pulled a lip-locked blonde away from her partner. "Ah!" I cried as Tessa turned from a guy I recognized from my sophomore gym class. "Oh, God, make the burning stop." I muttered loud enough for only Elise to hear.

"Shut up." She muttered back, though she looked amused. "Where the hell did you go?" The amusement passed rather quickly, apparently. "I can't believe you left me for some…some…"

"Tongue whore." I supplied willingly.

"Thank you." She said sarcastically.

"Sarcasm is a bad habit." She elbowed me again.

"I'm sorry, Elise. Really, I am." Tessa said to her, looking ashamed.

"I never win." Elise said as she flopped down on a sofa with me. Somehow, Tessa had managed to convince Elise that she was sorry enough for Elise to leave her with her new…friend. She frowned and her bottom lip jutted out—I was sure it was unintended, but it was still unbelievably appealing. I grinned at her.

"I'd be mad at her." Her lip jutted out further.

"I can't." I chuckled as she let her head fall against the back of the sofa.

"You're too nice. You give her everything she wants." I leaned in next to her ear theatrically. "You're gonna spoil her." She laughed lightly, making my insides squirm uncomfortably. She looked at me and went serious before giving me a 'come hither' motion. I swallowed hard as she leaned up next to my ear—she smelled like a combination of vanilla and orange—because her breath was brushing against my jaw and neck.

"She already is." She giggled quietly as she back up. She seemed to be playful now, though her blush was still in place from when I'd whispered in her ear. The hair on the back of my neck was standing on end. She bit her lip when I remained silent. She looked uncomfortable; probably wondering if she'd gone too far.

Of course, she hadn't. I had, however.

She was turned towards me now; all I had to do was move forward. Only a little, and we'd have been kissing. She hesitantly moved forward, demolishing the most insignificant amount of space; but she made it easy for me to move the rest of the way; now that I'd known it wasn't a one-sided attraction. We were so close; I could feel her sweet breath moving across my own lips. My arms were placed on either side of her, and we were milliseconds away from contact.

"Ugh, I am so ready to get out of here." Elise gasped and jumped, causing out foreheads to bump. I cussed out Tessa mentally. Even worse, Elise was now a stunning shade of pink.

"Um—yeah. Me too." I handed Tess the keys so they could get in the car. As Elise stood up to follow her, her warm fingertips brushed over my hand and my jaw clenched. I watched as the two of them left. Sighing, I stood and made my way to leave.

"Damn. Redhead's got one hell of a fine ass."

It may not have been as painful as Elise's threat; but a broken nose was enough.

A/N: ok i started this story like 47535891 years ago and im sorry but my writing has changed probably quite a bit idk i think the tone changes a bit in the later chapters but the story and characters are the same so thats good yay

Im including a chapter song with every chap bc i love music and i think every story in the world can be improved with the right soundtrack so ya

The Brightest Green, Anarbor

Anyway im not looking for any awards here i just want to write a cute story that i and others can enjoy also ive been accepted into the English programs at various universities and need some serious practice with my creative writing so here we go

Thanks for reading i guess and i hope you enjoy the rest of the story