When You're on Top of the World

Chapter 9: Cordially Invited to the End of the World


Honestly, I didn't get it. It took a couple of hours for anything suspicious to happen regarding Chloe and Tessa. The ringing doorbell had me in a cold sweat, and I had pretty much sprinted in order to get to the door before Nelly. Imagine my disappointment when all I saw was Leighla, Jocelyn, Elise and an unenthusiastic Allyson standing on the other side. The big plan was a girls' night? All the girls had commandeered the large family room overlooking the garden, with their girly drinks and music and gossip, and, really, who wanted to be a part of that?

I did. I wanted to know what was happening more than anything.

It just didn't make sense for Tessa's big plan to be inviting everyone over for girl time. I'd lived with her for over seventeen years, and that just was not how Tessa operated. Something was going to happen, and I didn't want to miss it. After two hours of unbearable curiosity, I had to try to get in. Tessa threw a shot glass at me.

"Why on Earth were you trying to sneak into your sister's party?" Nelly laughed gently as she handed me a cold compress.

"Nelly, the inner workings of the female mind is unchartered territory. Tessa has been plotting all week. It's driving me crazy! What are they talking about? You're a girl; tell me—what are they talking about?" She fixed me with an unimpressed stare.

"It isn't a secret society, Christopher. Whatever they are discussing is their business. Probably discussing themselves, other girls, boys, you know. I didn't think you would be so interested. Why don't you ask the rest of your friends to come over, if you're feeling so left out?" I frowned. Why was it that every time I spoke to Nelly I ended up feeling like I was eight years old. Before I could answer her, though, the door sounded again. At first, I was uninterested, and didn't bother trying to stop Nelly from getting the door, but then it hit me: this was phase two of Tessa's plan. I just knew it.

For the second time that night, I ran past Nelly to get to the door. She just sighed, either out of weariness or fondness, I hadn't decided yet. Probably both. I opened the door and grinned. Lawrence and Danny were standing on the other side, looking a bit confused.

"Uh, Tessa said it was important?" Lawrence said, appearing more confused each passing second. I let them in and led them away from the family room for just a few minutes. I filled them in with everything I knew about Chloe and Tessa's plans, but they had nothing else to add.

"So you just came running because Tessa asked?" I asked doubtfully.

"Well, yeah…you know how she is." Lawrence said, looking a bit uncomfortable. "I think I'm just…gonna join the girls now." I frowned as he hurried out of the room. Danny looked even more uncomfortable in Lawrence's absence.

"Listen, there's one thing." He said, looking nervous. "Tessa would kill me if I mentioned it, but she's working on getting Derek here, too." He fidgeted and leaned forward. "She told me once she'd won Allyson over a bit on the matter, she would call us over and the real party would start. And then…once everyone was well on the way to being just the right amount of drunk, she would get Derek here. I don't how she's going to manage it, seeing as he hasn't willingly hung out with us in two years, but…like Lawrence said, you know how she is." Once he finished he shrugged helplessly.

Joining my friends, I felt a little uneasy and nauseous and I hadn't even had anything to drink yet. All I knew was that once Tessa managed to get Derek to the house, all shit would hit the fan. I didn't know how Allyson would react, or Elise, but I knew it wouldn't be good. And Tessa would manage to get him to come, I was certain of that, too. Sitting and waiting for the world to explode really wasn't how I intended to spend my Friday night, so I joined in the drinking to take the edge off. But no amount of alcohol in the world could have stopped my blood from running cold once the doorbell rang for the third, and final, time that night.

Unlike the last few times, I didn't try to intercept the door. This was one train wreck I would be happy to look away from. I didn't hear Derek come in with Tessa, but when the room went silent, I knew that they had just come in through the door behind me. I closed my eyes, not even wanting to see the reflections in the window.

"Tessa…" Derek growled quietly before, presumably, leaving the room. I opened my eyes. Tessa had left with him. Allyson looked shocked, Danny looked guilty, Elise furious…everything was a whir of emotions. I, for one, was feeling curious again and tried my hand at eavesdropping once more. Being a bit drunk would probably hinder me, but Tessa had been drinking more than me so I stood a chance against her. And with Derek being so frustrated, I doubted he would notice me at all.

"Derek, I just wanted to help. Come on. Be reasonable." Tessa said softly. I peeked around the corner and saw her reaching for his hands.

"Reasonable. Help. Chloe had something to do with this, too, didn't she. God, you two—you just don't know when to quit." He said, shaking her off him. "This isn't your problem. It shouldn't matter to you."

"I just want you to make up, okay? Is that so wrong? Derek, you can't keep shoving everyone out of your life." She argued, this time opting to rest a hand on his shoulder.

"I don't—I'm not. I have friends."

"You have three friends, Derek. And if you continue like this, you'll lose one of them. That girl deserves an apology. An actual apology." Derek shook his head and turned away from her.

"This isn't exactly breaking news to me, Tessa." He replied dully. I heard the door to the family room open and close softly. Quickly, I looked for a place to hide, and darted across the hall, to a powder room, and waited for the person to pass me by. "You think I haven't realized—Bishop." Derek stumbled over his words. I felt my heart stop. This was about to get so good. And nuclear. I stepped out of the powder room to get a better look. I nearly jumped out of my skin when someone poked my side. I looked behind me, ready to chew out whoever had almost blown my cover, only to see Elise, looking at curious as I was feeling. And just as annoyed.

"What are you—" She poked me fiercely and shushed me. I frowned at her before turning my attention back to the three in the next room.

"Tessa, you didn't have to do this. I mean, I sort of had a feeling…but he's right. This isn't something you can solve. But thank you for trying. You're very sweet." Allyson smiled genuinely at Tessa. I could see my sister melting into goo. Jesus, was this girl a god? I had never seen Tessa react that way to anyone ever. Allyson had reached forward and had taken one of Tessa's hands between the two of her own.

"I just…I know I don't know you very well, but I really like you. And Derek is my best friend. I love him to bits. I didn't want you guys hurting." Derek looked extremely baffled. It was almost comical to see him standing there, eyes darting between the two girls, completely lost.

"I know." Allyson squeezed her hand and laughed a bit. "C'mon. We have a party to get back to." She looked uncertainly at Derek fleetingly before fixing her gaze strongly on Tessa, and heading back toward the family room. Elise and I shared a moment of sheer panic, not knowing how to hide in this situation. If we ran into the powder room, Allyson and Tess would see us, for sure. We could stand still and hope they walked by and didn't notice us standing in the dark. As they drew closer, I started to feel flustered. Not knowing what else to do, I turned us into the corner and kissed Elise, pressing both our bodies against the walls.

"Bishop, wait! Uh…I just…please." I was shocked and my lips froze against Elise's. I heard someone turn around and head back in the opposite direction, and when a throat cleared behind me, I knew that Tessa had not returned with Allyson. I pulled away from a mystified Elise and faced Tessa bashfully.

"What are you doing?" Tessa whispered fiercely.

"Yeah, that's what I'd like to know." Elise followed, equally fierce.

Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place.

"I want to hear what happens." I complained for the thousandth time.

"No. They deserve their privacy." Tessa insisted as she stole one of my cookies from Nelly. I scoffed.

"Says the girl who just tried to put herself in the middle of it—literally. You were standing between them." Tessa raised her chin and ignored me. "I've never heard Derek apologize ever. For anything. I don't think he knows the words."

"Don't be ridiculous. He just…has trouble admitting when he's wrong. But he's a nice guy, really. Deep down. To people who deserve it." Tessa explained between bites.

"I'm surprised you're not trying to eavesdrop." I said, hoping to appeal to her mischief.

"Allyson wouldn't be comfortable with that."

"Why do you care what Allyson's comfortable with?"

"Because she's a nice girl?"

"Uh-huh, is that all? Plenty of people are nice."

"What's your point?"

"Well, I just think it's weird that she bats her eyelashes and suddenly you aren't meddling anymore."

"Don't be ridiculous."

"I'm not."

"Except, you really are."

"C'mon, just say it."

"Say what?"

"Why'd you back off?"

"Because it was the right thing to do!"

"That's never stopped you before!"

"What are you saying?"

"I'm saying that I think you think Allyson is more than nice." Tessa gasped and reached for the cookies. "What are you doing? Put those down!"

"You—are—so—stupid!" She punctuated each word with a tossed cookie. It was bad enough when they hit my face, but seeing them on the floor was just sad.

"You two are insane! You're acting like children." Elise said as she watched us in horror. "Christopher, we shouldn't have been eavesdropping, Tessa is right, it is none of our business and they deserve privacy. Tessa, you cannot attack people with baked goods just because they call you out on your hypocrisy. Now, come on, I think I heard a bottle breaking." She left in a whirlwind of authority and flaming curls.

"She's got such a nice ass." I mumbled to myself. Tessa slammed a cookie onto my head and left me alone in the kitchen with crumbs falling into my eyes.


I knew Tessa was planning something. Why else would she have asked me to meet her at her house? But when she had called and told me frantically that I had to come over, that something horrible had happened, I didn't really question it. Tessa was a great liar. But no, what had shocked me was that she had brought me in front of the people I'd spent two years distancing myself from to do what was hardest for me. What the hell was going through her mind?

But then, I didn't have too much time to dwell on that. Once I'd seen Allyson—and I mean, really seen her, and had a chance to look at her, away from everyone else, I felt my guilt really slam into me. What was worst was that the guilt wasn't even the first thing on my mind. I had never seen Allyson dressed in her own casual clothes. I mean, sure, there was the morning she came by to pick up her school bag, but that hardly counted. Now, though, I was noticing. She was wearing just a regular, dark pair of jeans and a large, thin white sweater. Not large in the way that her uniform was. This looked more intentionally loose, with the way it fell off her shoulder, exposing a lacy bra strap, and the way the extra fabric fell gently into the space between her breasts.

And then she had turned Tessa to mush and the guilt slammed back into me. I was brought back to reality, watching the most stubborn person I knew be brought to shambles by a smile.

When she turned to leave, I hadn't expected to call her back like that. And I definitely had not expected her to actually turn around to talk to me. Well, it was less of a conversation and more of me stumbling for words, and her standing in front of me unimpressed and silent.

I thought about the amount of times I'd seen her get treated unfairly in the past couple of weeks. And then I started thinking about all the times I hadn't seen, but was sure had happened. I had stopped a few assholes in their tracks, but God knows how many I missed. It wasn't fair. And it was my fault. I had never felt so guilty in my life, yet I couldn't figure out how to say that out loud without sounding pathetic. But then, there was little about my situation that wasn't pathetic. I had been the highest level of douche known to man (thank you, Henry, for that particular insult), and had done little to help Allyson as others followed in my footsteps.

Maybe the worst part, though, was that I had even doubted her in the first place; that I never even gave her a chance to explain. Even when I'd seen her tear down the hallway in tears, I turned my back and walked away. The more I thought about it, the crappier I felt. And then I realized that I had been focusing entirely on how bad I felt about this entire thing that I'd completely overlooked that whatever I was feeling, Allyson was probably feeling worse twentyfold. And if that didn't make me the biggest prick on the planet after George Bush, then I don't really want to live here anymore.

We must have been standing here for ten minutes and I'd made zero progress. She was getting impatient and annoyed, and I couldn't blame her. She shouldn't have even given me the time of day. If it were me, I wouldn't. I hadn't. I had tried and failed about seventy times so far, but I just couldn't come up with words. I had tried to use actions to forgive what I'd done, but I was too cowardly to do so in front of Allyson because I just couldn't face her after all I'd said and put her through. I had everything I'd wanted to convey ready in my thoughts, but when it came to actually saying the words, something was lost in translation and all that was left was a mumbling idiot.

Finally, with a sigh, Allyson started to leave.

"Wait, no—I-I can. I mean, I want to. And I've tried about three million times to get it right, but I just…can't." I tried desperately to explain to her what I meant, but she just looked more disappointed than ever. Well, fuck.

"Fine. It was a stupid idea, thinking that anyone could make you do anything you don't want to do. I get it." I caught her by her wrist before she could leave again.

"No, you're wrong—I mean, you're right," she took offense to that one, and shook my hand off her arm, "but not—not right…?"

"What the hell are you even saying?" That was a really good question.

"I'm saying that I want to…do something—say something to try and make this—us okay. Obviously, you know, I don't think a simple 'my bad' will fix anything but I'd at least like to make things a bit better, you know? I just don't know how. You were right, that Saturday after the party, when you said I hold myself above everyone, you were right. Christ, you were so right. I can't admit when I'm wrong. And I don't think I've done anything more wrong than what I did to you, fuck, Allyson I don't know what to say. All I know is that you're one of my only friends, and it's been so long since I've felt comfortable around someone, and I don't want to jeopardize that, though I think I pretty much shot that horse in the face.

"And, also, what you said about building you up in my head as some make believe person, that's not true, and the last thing I want is for you to think that's what happened, because it's not, and I don't have to make you more than what you are because you're great, you know? Well, no, I guess you don't, because I haven't really told you that, but you are. I don't know what I can say, and as far as apologies go, I'm pretty damn clueless. What I do know is that I've never felt guiltier or more consumed with making amends than I do now. I don't know what to say. I'm giving you everything I have here."

A beat of silence.

"Oh! I'm sorry, of course I am, I can't believe I forgot the actual apology, but shit, yeah, I'm sorry. I'm really fucking sorry; I don't think I ever actually knew what that word meant before now. I know it doesn't mean much, but I am, honest—whoa." I stumbled back as Allyson threw her arms around my neck and hugged me tightly. "Are you…confused?" I asked, feeling stupid but unable to stop speaking after that whole spiel. She laughed into my chest and shook her head, still hugging. Finally, regaining some sense, I wrapped my arms around her waist and hugged her back, wondering how I'd managed to pull this off, but not stupid enough to question it, in case she realized just how big an idiot I had been.

"I can't believe I just heard you apologize." She squeezed tighter briefly as she laughed. I felt incredibly happy and relieved to have her forgive me, but it felt premature. I couldn't understand how my stupid rambling had been enough.

"You can't possibly forgive me after that. I'm not complaining or anything, because, Christ, I've missed you, but…" She looked up at me from under her lashes. I forgot how to breathe for a second or two.

"Derek, I know how hard it was for you to apologize, and even without your tack on addition at the end," she teased with a small smile. For a horrible moment I thought I would actually blush, "that was the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me. I know how hard it is to open up like that, and lay it all on the line. And I know what you've been doing at school, when you thought I wouldn't notice. I would forgive you in a heartbeat; I was just waiting for you to forgive yourself enough to actually talk to me." She smiled sadly, as if knowing that I could never actually forgive myself entirely. "You're my best friend," she admitted with a deep blush, "my only friend, really." Unable to stop myself, I brushed my thumb across her pink cheek before she rested her head against my chest again. We stayed like that, silent, for a little while.

"Are you two done making out yet?!" Someone shouted from down the hall. I frowned as Allyson pulled away laughing. "I mean—making up. Ow, did you really have to hit me?"

"You can come out, Chloe. And bring Tessa with you." Allyson called back. Instantly, the two girls stumbled into the room, holding onto each other for support. Great. Just what I was missing in my life: the permanent memory of my baby sister piss drunk.

"Allyson, I told her we couldn't eavesdrop, I did! I tried to stop her…I didn't hear though, because I plugged my ears. Chloe didn't, though. She listened. To you, not me. Never to me." Tessa nodded and kept explaining herself to Allyson.

"Wow, you are a lot drunker than the last time I saw you." I mumbled, mystified at how she could have gotten so much worse. Allyson and I hadn't been that long, had we?

"You two have been talking for, like, eighty minutes." Chloe supplied helpfully and unintelligibly.

"Hours." Tessa amended with lots of nodding. Chloe looked at her and nodded with her.

"Yeah, like, days—"





"What's after decade? I don't know, I shouldn't have had that last tequila shot. Allyson looks cute today, doesn't she?" Allyson blushed deeply. Tessa giggled. Chloe hiccupped.

"Isn't there a party you should be at?" Allyson said with a raised eyebrow. She started to move Tessa and Chloe back to the blaring music and laughter.

"Yes, we came to get you. We need you, we're playing games and Derek needs to be there." Tessa slurred while Chloe giggled. "He doesn't like games; that's why we play them." Tessa whispered loudly before glancing back at me to see if I'd heard. I figured it was probably easier to act like I hadn't. "Danny wants to play spin the bottle but I said not everyone was drunk enough yet." Had I been transported back to the sixth grade? Then again, Danny Marquez was immature and looked for any reason to kiss a girl.

Naturally, Tessa insisted they play Never Have I Ever because, apparently, she was twelve. Also, she was very impatient and extremely keen on getting everyone drunk as soon as possible. The thing about Tessa is that no matter how gone she is, she's still devious, and I blame myself for not seeing another one of her fabulous plans at work, but it was a little difficult to concentrate when Danny and Lawrence kept singing Bohemian Rhapsody as loudly as humanly possible. It also didn't help that Tessa had pushed Allyson into my lap. Literally, she pushed Allyson so hard she'd fallen over and onto my lap.

She spluttered an apology, blushed and scooted off onto the floor next to me. Tessa was unbothered. She had gathered everyone into a large circle and placed a bunch of shot glasses and a bottle of vodka in the centre. She slapped Lawrence and Danny on the backs of their heads to get them to shut up before she grinned and sat down next to Chloe.

"Okay, we'll start off easy." Chloe said. She pouted for a moment in thought. "Never have I ever kissed a girl—with tongue." Allyson squeaked.

"That's easy?" I smirked at her. It was clear that this wasn't really her game. Or was. Depending on how you looked at it. It was never clear to me what winning meant in this game. I leaned forward and took the bottle from Danny who seemed to have accepted his inevitable defeat tonight. Everyone save Chloe and Allyson drank. Chris was torn between frowning at Elise and glaring at Tess. There was something to be said about the fact that Elise wasn't the first girl both Chris and Tessa had kissed. Then again, there were few people Tessa hadn't made out with. Tessa put her glass down as she hummed.

"Okay. Never have I ever kissed the groom right before his wedding." Tessa grinned and shot a triumphant grin at Chloe. I gawked at her.

"Hey! That was a secret!" Chloe shouted indignantly as she poured herself a shot. "This isn't fair." She grumbled before knocking the glass back.

"Whose wedding?" Jocelyn asked, leaning forward and wiggling her eyebrows. Chloe pouted and shot me a side glance.

"Uh, my cousin Michelle."

"Chloe! You were the maid of honour!" I stared at her in disbelief. Everyone started laughing but I was significantly scandalized and Chloe had buried her face in her hands. Tessa calmed everyone down and nodded at Elise to carry on with the game.

"Okay, um…never have I ever…slept with someone?" The room filled with grumbles as people passed the bottle around. I glared at Chloe, daring her to drink. Thankfully, for my sanity, she didn't and passed the bottle along to Tessa. Danny, Lawrence, Jocelyn and Chris also drank. The bottle was handed to Allyson who looked at it, utterly baffled. She moved to put it back in the centre.

"Uh, actually, I need it." I mumbled, taking it out of her hands. Allyson's mouth fell open around a silent "oh" as her hands went limp. I was semi-aware of Chloe gagging in the background and talking about how disgusted she was, which was valid, and under any other circumstance I would have felt embarrassed, but Allyson was staring at me, watching intently as I swallowed, her lips still parted.

"What—who…" Allyson started to ask before turning bright red and shaking her head. "Never mind." She mumbled and fixed her eyes on the floor in front of her. "Chris?" She pushed, obviously uncomfortable with the silence.

"Oh, yeah, right…uh…never have I ever felt someone up within fifteen minutes of knowing them." I leaned back and watched as everyone drank, with the exception of Elise, Allyson and I. I pretended to forget Chloe was in the room.

"Derek, you most definitely need to take a shot." Tessa said, but she was so drunk I doubt anyone could understand her with ease. I rolled my eyes.

"For the last time, Tessa, I did not feel you up. I tripped over your matt in kindergarten and landed on top of you. We were four." Tessa harrumphed and pouted. Allyson laughed a bit as Tessa complained.

"I didn't know you two have been friends for that long." She said, no longer blushing or avoiding my eyes.

"Well, sure, but I use friends as a very loose term when it comes to Tessa." I smirked across the circle at her but she just narrowed her eyes before sending me a sweet smile. Uh oh.

"Allyson hasn't had anything to drink yet!" Tessa said, scooting closer to the centre of the circle.

"I haven't done anything." Allyson admitted with a shrug. Tessa grinned wickedly.

"Okay…I have one then." This was going to end terribly. "Never have I ever liked anyone in this room." The room went silent as Tessa poured herself a shot, she and Chris clearly the only ones not reluctant to admit it. Elise followed Chris with a slight blush. Lawrence drank, ducking his head and careful to avoid anyone's eyes. Leighla did too, and punched Danny when he woo-hooed. Chloe drank. That wasn't surprising to me. She'd had a fleeting crush on Lawrence a couple years back. Tessa and Allyson were staring at each other. Allyson had slowly grown pink, and when the bottle presented itself to her, she ducked her head and let her hair fall around her face. Quickly, she poured herself a shot and downed it.

Tessa was smiling proudly when she turned her attention to me and looked at the bottle pointedly. I didn't pour myself a drink, much to the disappointment of Tessa. My mind was still reeling at Allyson. No one seemed terribly surprised. Allyson had once again fixed her gaze on the floor, and she was still infuriatingly flushed.

"Who?" A beat of silence. It took me a couple of seconds to realize I was the one to speak. Though, it was more of a growl than an actual human sound, but what are you gonna do.

"Uh, I don't think that's a part of the game." Allyson mumbled.

"She's right. The fun's in the mystery, Derek. You know all about that." Tessa supplied rather unhelpfully. "Besides, we need to move on. More drinking!" A cheer went up in the room and the game continued. "Danny, your go."

"Never have I ever kissed a guy." His gaze was fixed on Allyson, curious. She was oblivious as she ran her fingertip along the edge of her shot glass. The girls drank. Lawrence and Chris shared a pained look before each taking a shot. Tessa and Chloe snickered. There was probably an interesting (and disturbing) story there, but they were eager to move on. "Allyson, you've never kissed…anyone?" Danny asked, shocked.

"Uh, not so much, no." She admitted, looking embarrassed and uncomfortable. Even Tessa looked surprised. I wasn't surprised to hear it, only because I knew that Allyson was a bit of a loner. It was a little surprising that no one at that premiere party had tried anything, but then, maybe she hadn't let them. What was most surprising to me was the feeling of relief and satisfaction that I felt immediately. But everyone else was surprised. In fact, they were all talking at once, asking Allyson questions and demanding that she kiss someone. I felt bad for her. I knew she hated that kind of attention, and she seemed so tense that I wanted to help her. So I leaned forward and poured myself a shot. Everyone went silent.

"What?!" Tessa screeched as I downed the vodka. "Um, no, you see, I've known you since you were, like, a sperm cell, and you do not keep secrets from me." Chloe had gone green but I was pretty sure that was because of the alcohol. Allyson was both stunned and happy. She was watching me with a sort of curious gratitude.

"Yeah, Henry kind of…we were kids." I left it at that. I didn't think the party would recover if the reactions of its goers were anything to go by, but Tessa wasn't going to allow that. She glared at me before reminding Leighla it was her turn.

"Never have I ever had a more-than-platonic dream about someone in this room." Danny, who had been lying on the ground whispering the lyrics to Bohemian Rhapsody, sat upright so quickly I felt a head rush. Once again, Chloe drank, and I had a feeling it was about Lawrence. Tessa drank, but then, when doesn't she. Chris and Elise, obviously, Leighla drank and punched Danny unprovoked; though I was sure he'd done something at some point that warranted it. Allyson drank. Jocelyn, Danny and I were looking around the room either in curiosity or disappointment. I couldn't decide if I wanted to know who Allyson had dreamt about, or save myself the discomfort and unreasonable anger. I didn't have to think about it for much longer, though, because Tessa started yelling about Allyson's turn.

"Okay…never have I ever been with someone significantly older." A wave of "oohs" went through the room. Jocelyn was the first to drink. Chloe drank with a toast to the now-divorced groom she'd kissed. Danny drank, though no one was too surprised. Tessa drank, and a couple of people were surprised by that, but I knew the story there and as much as I was annoyed with Tess, I knew that it was a sensitive topic, and if she hadn't told these people by now, she probably didn't want them knowing. Danny opened his mouth, ready to pose a question, but I interrupted before he could.

"Never have I ever been aroused in public." I blurted. Allyson stared at me, jaw dropped and laughing. I shrugged and took my shot. Hey, we were all thirteen at some point. Everyone was considerably more drunk than when we'd started—myself included but I prided myself on being able to hold my liquor, so while I was feeling a little fuzzy, I was still in control of myself. Not so much could be said for everyone else in the room. Allyson looked a bit tipsy, but she'd only had a couple of drinks.

"Can we play spin the bottle now?" Danny whined. I'd hoped he'd forgotten, but apparently not. Jocelyn bounced excitedly on her knees and eyed the small amount of alcohol left in the bottle.

"Allyson, you drink it. You had the least." She said as she slid the bottle across the floor. Allyson let out a small "oh" and picked it up. I knew I'd had a bit too much because I was extremely interested in the way she pressed the bottle to her lips and the way her throat moved as she swallowed it down. She leaned forward and placed the bottle in the centre, on its side. Danny was the first to leap forward and spin it. Allyson giggled at his enthusiasm and leaned back against me. I felt warm. I tried my luck and put my arm around her shoulders, pulling her closer against me. When she didn't object I felt myself relax. It was weird for me to be acting like this, but I figured it was because I'd missed her. It'd been a few weeks since I'd been with her. I made all these excuses while Danny kissed Jocelyn.

"I think we should just call this 'Danny kisses people'." Allyson said quietly as Jocelyn spun the bottle.

"He wishes." I whispered back, maybe pressing my mouth against her ear. She shivered lightly—definitely pressing my mouth against her ear. Tessa was watching us with raised eyebrows. I shrugged her off. Tessa always looked way too deep into things. A cheer went up from the guys when Jocelyn's bottle landed on Leighla. Allyson laughed when Leighla flipped them off and leaned forward to give Jocelyn a quick peck. It looked entirely platonic to me, but Lawrence and Danny were wolf-whistling like crazy. Danny must have been having a lucky night, because Leighla's spin landed on him.

"Your dream is coming true." He told her cheekily. She smiled at him but when she kissed him, he jumped back with a yelp, rubbing his side. "Did you have to pinch me?" Leighla pretended like she had no idea what he was talking about. He continued to grumble and complain as he spun the bottle again. I thought he was going to cry when he landed on Christopher. "Redo, c'mon. Dude's like my brother." Uproar followed his plea, and he'd clearly gotten the idea, because he leaned toward Chris who wasn't trying to hide his glare.

"I swear to God, if anyone ever finds out about this…" Tessa whistled loudly as Danny quickly kissed Chris and all but jumped back to his spot on the other side of Lawrence. Eager to move on, again, Chris spun the bottle. Apparently all the luck in the room had turned sour, because he landed on Tessa. They shared a blank look before Chris grabbed the bottle and pointed it at Elise. She laughed quietly and leaned forward to meet his kiss.

"Well, that was disgustingly cute." Tessa said before grabbing the bottle. "You don't mind, right?" She asked. Elise shook her head. "You're a doll." She mumbled as she spun it. For a horrible moment I thought it was going to land on me, because I did love Tessa but it was like I loved Chloe except with less worrying involved. Instead, it landed on Allyson. And that made me feel about three thousand times worse than I had felt when I thought it was going to land on me. I wanted to protest, move the bottle, throw the bottle, whatever. But Tessa was sliding on her butt until she was in front of Allyson, looking at her questioningly, like she didn't want to overstep any boundaries.

I wanted to yell at her and tell her she most certainly was overstepping a boundary. Allyson wasn't objecting, and I wanted to ask why she wasn't because this was Tessa and Allyson and I was sitting right next to her watching as she gave the slightest nod of inclination towards Tessa, but maybe that meant more to me than it did to her, because before I could manage an intelligent "uh" Tessa was on her knees and leaning into Allyson. And Allyson wasn't pulling away. Tessa's hand was on Allyson's neck and Allyson wasn't pulling away. This wasn't a peck like it had been with Leighla and Jocelyn, and I didn't know why I had assumed it would be, because it was obvious that Tess had a bit of a crush on Allyson, but I didn't think Allyson would have wanted this to be more than a peck.

How long had it been? It felt like an hour, but it couldn't have been more than a few seconds because no one else was complaining. They were still kissing. Finally, Tessa pulled away slightly, and I almost rejoiced, except that Allyson had followed just barely, to which Tessa smirked before tilting her head and resuming the kiss. A low whistle sounded through the room. I had no clue who did it, but it finally registered that my arm was still around Allyson's shoulders and I was much too close to this than I would have liked to be. After a lifetime, Tessa pulled away enough for everyone else to notice and went back to her spot in the circle. Allyson's cheeks were pink, and Tessa looked much too pleased with herself.

a/n: wah wahwahhhhhh I think ive gotten worse as a writer is that supposed to happen as you get older idts anyway ya this chapter was super super super super super duper long so I have to split it but that's ok bc now I can elaborate idk how to write chris anymore he gets three pages and Derek gets six how is that fair poor guy idk I like Derek and Allyson a lot I think that's p obvious idk what im saying


tess is great chloes great since starting this story ive become really close with someone named chloe and now its weird bc im writing about a chloe idk w/e


I think that's it

Ya next one comin at ya these are actually all written already so~~~~~

go me