I shake off the Sebastian comment. "I am a gentleman. They’re honest, right?"
This earns me an eye-roll. "I think we have cards here. That’s probably all."
I groan. Yeah, I want to play something, but cards don’t sound that exciting. "Eh. I guess."
Then, Priscilla jumps up, as though my words electrocuted her. "I have an idea." Her bare feet carry her to the kitchen and I follow behind. Priscilla grabs a stool and reaches high in one of the cabinets. I’ve seen this kind of scene in a movie before. Usually it’s some woman cooking dinner and she reaches real high and the guy about dies from lust. I used to shake my head and laugh, but right now, I could totally die from the desires shooting through me.
Her shirt pulls up a little, giving me a glimpse of what it’s covering. It’s all dark brown and cinnamon and I’m totally craving something spicy.
Unlike those movie girls, Priscilla steps down with a bottle of Vodka.
"What are we playing?"
She gets down from the stool before she answers. "Go Fish."
"What?" She’s already heading into the living room again and I’m right there with her. "Sort of ironic, don’t you think?"
"That we’re playing a kids’ game with alcohol? Absolutely."
She sits on the floor at the coffee table and I fall in next to her. She’s so freaking down to Earth. That’s what I love about her. The girl could have anything she wants, but she’s sitting on the floor with a bottle of Vodka, no cups, and about to play go fish with a guy with a pierced face who just got a cast removed that he got from punching people.
I wish I could tell her.
"Should we grab Sebastian and Aspen?" I ask her.
"No. I’m sure they’re enjoying whatever they’re doing much more than this."
Yeah. She’s probably totally right on that one.
"What are the rules here, you card shark?" Last time we played, she kicked all our butts at poker. I’m hoping I have better luck at go fish.
"You ask for a card and if the other person doesn’t have it, you draw a card and take a drink." She smiles before she starts to shuffle the deck.
"I think I’m liking this game." I rub my hands together. "We might not like it when we’re in a car all day tomorrow, but for now, it’s bomb."
Once she has the cards dealt I tell her to go first. See? I can be a gentleman.
"Do you have any sixes?" she asks.
I pull my cards down so they’re not blocking my face, wink at her and say, "Go fish."
We’ve played four games and I’m definitely feeling my buzz. Priscilla is smiling into her cards like they’re her best friends or something, which tells me she’s definitely feeling it too.
"Do you have any Kings?" she asks.
"Hell yeah. I am a king." We both crack up laughing. There’s a small part of my brain that knows I just said the stupidest thing in the world, but that’s the thing about drinking, it sometimes makes the dumb things the funniest.
Priscilla drops her head backward so it’s lying on the couch, and she lets out a huge belly laugh. She’s holding her stomach she’s laughing so hard and I suddenly wish for all the stupidest jokes in the world.
When our laughter finally dies down, she holds out her hand for the bottle and I pass it to her. Our hands touch. Hers are cold but somehow they feel awesome. There’s this little cold zap that passes between us. Or maybe it’s just me, but then she jerks the bottle back and I’m totally thinking she felt it too.
Priscilla puts the bottle to her lips and takes a huge drink. I hold out my hand and ask for it back and do the same.
"You didn’t have to go fish," she mumbles.
Does it make me a loser that I just wanted my mouth where hers was? "Nope."
She looks at me for a minute, her eyes suddenly clear despite the buzz. We just sit there, a table between us that feels like it’s an ocean, but nothing at all at the same time.
"You’re wearing the eyebrow ring I got you… You’ve been wearing it for a while." Her words come out of nowhere.
I reach up and touch the piercing. "It’s badass," I say. Someone else probably would have said it better, but I can’t say it any way except my own.
Priscilla tosses the cards to the table. "I’m done." She climbs up on the couch, pulling her legs close to herself.
Since it’s easier, I actually crawl over and then pull myself next to her. She shakes her head when I try to hand her the bottle so I set it back down on the table.
Without looking at me, she says, "I’m tired."
I am too, but I don’t want to go upstairs. "You can go to bed, if you want."
"Lay down here then." I try to stand up, but she puts a hand on my shoulder to stop me. Even if I wanted to, which I don’t, there is no way I could move right now. Her touch has frozen me. Possessed me. And there’s no way I’ll be the one to break the contact.
I settle back into the couch and then without looking at me, she lies on her side and puts her head in my lap. It feels like forever since she’s looked at me, even though it’s only been a few minutes. She’s facing the TV and I’m looking down at her. At the way her hair falls and the way her lips turn and the way her chest rises and falls as she rests.
My hands are freaking begging me to touch her. To kiss her or to do anything but I still can’t make myself move.
"Will your parents notice the Vodka’s gone?" It’s the only thing I can think to say. My head tilts back so I’m looking at the ceiling. I can’t keep looking at her or I’ll do something really stupid.
She’s quiet for a few minutes and I wonder if she fell asleep. Finally I hear, "No. They won’t notice."
"Good. If they do, blame me. Tell them you didn’t know I took it or something." The last thing I want is for her to get into trouble.
"They won’t notice, Jay. They don’t notice much of anything."
There’s a sadness in her voice that I don’t understand. A sadness that makes me open my mouth and say, "My dad f**king hates my guts. Well… I guess he’s not even really my dad." It might be the wrong thing to say, but she gave me a piece of her, so I want to give her a little bit of me too.
I feel her head turn on my lap and know she’s looking at me. Know she wants me to talk, but I can’t, so I let myself be the loser I am and just shake my head without letting myself turn away from the ceiling.
There’s more of a pause… I can almost feel the seconds tick by as I wonder if she’s going to ask. As I wonder what made me even say what I did.
"He’s an idiot," she finally says. "Anyone would have to be stupid to hate you." And then she rolls over again, almost like she’s trying to burrow into me. Like she wants to be a part of me and I totally want that, too.
I don’t even try to open my mouth because I know I can’t say anything. My throat is closed, so instead I put my hand on the side of her head. Automatically, my fingers tangle in her hair.
"I’m glad you came, Jaden."
"I’m glad I came, too."
And then my world goes black.
Something pokes my cheek.
"Goldilocks, wake up," someone says in my ear.
Sebastian’s voice is not what I wanted to wake up to today. My eyes struggle to open. I know it’s early. We planned to head out at a decent time, but the sandpaper behind my lids also has to do with the bottle of Vodka sitting on the coffee table.
"Open your eyes before I pour water on you."
That makes my eyes jerk open. I wouldn’t put it past him to do it. Amazingly, I manage not to move because I don’t want to wake Priscilla. Her head is still in my lap, but she’s facing my stomach now, her arms tucked up underneath her and against me. I feel bad she slept on the couch all night. I should have woken up and brought her up stairs.
"Psst. Are you paying attention to me, Romeo?" Sebastian is whispering, I assume, so he doesn’t wake her.
"Romeo?" I rasp. Ugh. My mouth is totally dry. Why did we think it was a good idea to play Vodka Go Fish?
His eyes shoot toward Priscilla and then back at me. He’s got that cocky look on his face that says he’s not only jumping to conclusions, but he’s up to something, too.
I shake my head. "It’s not what you think, Cupid." If he’s going to play the name game with me, I definitely have some stored away for him. "Where’s your bow and arrow?"
"I’m about to shoot your ass with it."
Just then, Priscilla starts to stir on my lap. "Be quiet before you wake her up. She’s not going to be feeling too hot today and needs to get some more sleep." My fingers itch to push the hair off her face, but I hold myself in check.
"Aww, aren’t you sweet. Bet you weren’t thinking about Woodstock and me like that when you guys drained that bottle." He stands up straight and crosses his arms.
I don’t bother to reply to that. "What time is it?"
Which means we’re supposed to leave in an hour. I know we need to clean this place up before we go. My head pounds at the thought of doing anything today: cleaning, sitting in a car, or even standing up.
Slowly, I put my hand under her head and scoot out from under her. Once I’m able to stand up, I softly set her head on the couch. Sebastian follows me into the kitchen. "Where’s your girl?"
"Upstairs getting ready. I would ask you where yours is, but I already know."
"Ha ha.” I run a hand through my hair. "I’m going to clean up a little and then I’ll wake her up in like half an hour. That way she only has to jump in the shower real quick before we go."
Sebastian’s looking at me with a big ole shit-eating grin on his face.
"Welcome to the club, man. Welcome to the club." He holds out his fist for me and I bump it, trying to figure out what he’s talking about.
The twelve hour drive is not cool. Sebastian and Aspen play the music a little louder than normal and I’m pretty sure it’s because they know mine and Priscilla’s heads are killing us.
I wondered if things would be awkward with us, but she’s acting normal, and if she can do it, I know I definitely needed to man-up and just go with the flow. It’s what I decided about this trip. All those thoughts crowding my brain, I want to shove in a back corner, lock them away, be like the rest of them. Like Priscilla, Sebastian and Aspen. The way they’ve always thought I was until recently.
Kind of hard to hide getting picked up at the jail and a busted up hand.
Around seven we pull up at a hotel in Grand Island, Nebraska. Tomorrow we should only have around ten hours to go and we’ll be in Chicago. I can’t freaking wait.
Sebastian kills the engine and turns to face Priscilla and me. "We’re gonna get our own room. Cool?"
I look over at Priscilla and when she shrugs, I tell him it’s all right. A few minutes later, we’re in our room while the others are next door. It’s one of those rooms with a connecting door and our room has two beds. If this had been a movie, they would have been full so we would have had to share a bed. Why doesn’t stuff like that happen in real life?
Priscilla goes into the bathroom to take a bath, so I start screwing around with the DVD player. It’s easy for me to get it apart and mess around with all the bits and pieces inside. It’s close to an hour later, when she finally comes out smelling all clean with wrinkly fingers. I have the urge to kiss them, which is really strange. I’ve never wanted to kiss a girl’s fingers in my life.