I guess it came from Kentucky. When will I learn to say “No” to whiskey? Ugh. Mark slipped the flask back in his pocket. I wasn’t sure if I was going to retch, so I set my red cup next to Katie on the railing and quickly went inside to find the toilet.
The party was in the backyard with the keg on the deck, but the bathroom was inside, naturally. I slurped some water from the tap and checked myself in the mirror. My tummy settled down.
It wasn’t until after I came out of the bathroom that I heard grunting noises coming from an open door to a bedroom.
“Hello?” I called out, stepping over a spilled red cup.
“Angel? Is that you?”
I recognized his voice. Brett Hammond. Not only his voice, but also he is also the only one that calls me Angel. His one constant last year had been flirting with me – every time he saw me. Whether walking the hallways between classes, or weekend parties like this one, it was always the same: There’s my Angel, with a smile. I didn’t mind of course, he was my boyfriend then. My first.
Although I knew I was drunk, I didn’t realize he was drunk, too. I should not have been alone with him.
“Where are you?” I stepped into the dark room, my shadow crept up the bed and I could make out his figure. He sat on the edge of the mattress. His elbows braced on his knees, he was hunched over and rubbing his head. As he swayed, the chains from his wallet clinked like a wind chime. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah,” he tried to stand, but staggered. He reached behind, feeling for the bed and I helped him sit again.
“I stumbled coming out of the bathroom. I think I hit my head on the door frame.” He pointed at the door I had just come through.
By instinct, I moved to him as if he were a little kid and had just fallen off his bike and needed a bandage.
“Where does it hurt?”
“Here.” He ran his finger through his hair, just above the ear. I reached out. He tilted his head away and guided my fingers to a raised spot above his ear.
I was surprised at how his touches made me feel. His fingers were warm and gentle, moving my fingers through his hair. It took me a second to snap out of it.
“You want me to get you some ice?” I asked.
“Naaah,” he exhaled.
“Could you have a concussion?” I asked.
He just looked up at me, standing over him. The light from the hallway was silhouetting my form. His eyes seemed to trace the entire glowing outline of my body.
“Maybe I died, because all I see is my Angel.”
His hand slid up to my wrist and he tugged me to the bed next to him. I wiggled in objection, but he eased me back on the mattress. I was on my back now and he rolled to his side facing me. As he rolled into me, his knee crept up my leg and wedged my knees apart. He kissed me. I was so shocked and excited that all I could do was kiss him back.
It felt primal, like he might drag me back to his cave. I wanted him to.
That’s when my beer-numbed brain woke up. Reality.
His hand had already explored every inch of my stomach, he teased my belly button piercing before continuing down to the waistband of my cotton capri pants.
I shivered as I felt him slide into my panties.
I tried to speak, but he locked my lips with hungry kisses.
I knew this was not what I wanted. Brett was not even on my radar this year. My junior year had goals that he would only get in the way of. I will not allow myself to earn the “slut reputation” at the first party of my junior year. No drunken-easy-girl here.
Startled that he had actually said my real name, for the first time in a long time. I turned my face away, looking out the open door to the hallway. I tugged at his wrist, but his fingers were engaged.
He kissed my neck and repeated, “Oh, Angela.”
I could have gone with it. It did feel good. That kind of attention is what daydreams are made of. But, at least at this moment, it’s not going to be with Brett Hammond.
I heard the back door open and shut. Someone was coming.
“I can’t,” I had found my voice.
“Brett. Please. Stop.”
This time, he let me pull his hand out of my pants. I was woozy. He righted his head to look at me, my saliva glistened on his lips. I squirmed out from under the weight of his leg and stood up.
“Angela?” he said in a cracked voice.
I wanted to tell him that under different circumstances that, I don’t know. He’d never understand.
Instead, I straightened my shirt and left him there.
I emerged onto the porch and found my cup where I had left it. Katie was so engrossed in conversation with Mark that she hadn’t noticed my absence. I wanted to offer to get her another beer, thinking she’d join me. But as I stepped beside them, I noticed that their cups had been freshly filled. My brain was frozen.
I took a deep breath and tried to smile as I retreated to the keg, alone. Once the beer had reached the top, I dropped the tap back to the ice around the keg. I sucked in some foam and scanned the crowd.
Over my shoulder, I heard someone pumping the keg. I spun back around to find Brett smiling at me saying, “There’s my Angel.”
He pumped the keg with intensity, and winked at me very sweetly. What a goofball.
I couldn’t help myself. I smiled.