For what had to have been the seventh time that evening, Victoria rolled her eyes so hard that her eyeballs actually hurt. She savagely kicked Nathan underneath the table.
“Ow, fuck!” he roared. “What the fuck was that for?”
Victoria released a low, shallow breath. Their waitress quickly grabbed the last of the empty glasses and then scurried away, red in the face up to the tips of her ears. “Because you were being a fucking douche,” she retorted.
Nathan narrowed his eyes. “Since when did that matter to you?”
Victoria sharpened her gaze in return, but she felt the ghost of a blush at her skin. Clearing her throat, she shot her gaze over to their waitress again. “Because you are all being gross. She isn’t even that hot.”
He watched her for a silent moment, and then Nathan bent back and laughed raucously. He turned to Warren—who was sitting beside him and taking shit with Luke—and slapped him hard on the shoulder. “Dude, hear this! Vic is fucking jealous!”
Victoria bristled. “Nathan, I swear to fucking god—” but Nathan wasn’t listening, already re-absorbed in his gross discussion with the others.
“She’s so cute though,” Warren said, casting nervous eyes towards their waitress. “I think she’s really into me.”
Nathan laughed. “Come on, mega dork. She’s too much of a freak. I bet she’s into me though, not that I’m interested.
“Nathan, all you care about is your pretty hair,” Zachery interjected, snickering when Nathan shot him a glare. “But I agree. She’s a little cute, but definitely too much of a dork. Will probably be a virgin till she’s fourty.”
“Hey, wasn’t there a movie like that!”
And so the boys began another gross topic, and Victoria was left to stare at her menu. She didn’t particularly enjoy hanging out with these idiots. But Nathan had asked her to go with, and Nathan was her only real friend. Of course he would bring his dumbass friends with, and of course he would beg her to stay and not bail, like she had been about to do two seconds after seeing the group at the table.
“Oh shit, here she comes!” Warren hushed, signalling for the guys to quit the conversation. Nathan’s head snapped up, and a bright, sly grin spread over his face. Victoria knew that look. It usually meant that something amusing or tragic would happen. Though, Victoria realized, she wasn’t much in the mood for it. Especially when their waitress returned, fidgeting and eyes cast downwards. Victoria was by no means a nice person. But seeing her group of friends treat their waitress like this was pissing her off. Not that she cared. Of course she didn’t think the waitress was cute. Internally Victoria scoffed.
“H-have you figured out what you’d like to eat?” Max asked, eyes almost glued to the floor.
Nathan snickered and turned to whisper something to Warren. When he was done, Warren’s smile had turned sly too. He turned to relay whatever nonsense they had come up with to Luke and Zachery, and Victoria simply sat back to observe.
“Hey, what’s your name?” Nathan asked.
“Um, I think I should just take your orders,” the waitress responded.
“No really,” Warren interrupted, leaning back in his chair to stare up at the girl. “You must have a pretty name, right? To match that pretty face.”
Zachery snorted into his palm, but the others kept their cool. Victoria’s eyes narrowed into slits, but she remained silent, not up to intervening.
“Max,” she finally answered in a puff, like she was caught between irritation and anger. “Now can I get your orders, please?”
Victoria leaned forward, pressing her cheek against her palm. An expression passed over Max’s face, one that Victoria knew well. It plainly stated oh my fucking god, these guys are idiots. It made Victoria smirk.
They each gave their meal orders in between horrid flirting, sexual jokes and badly delivered pick-up lines. At the end of it Victoria was embarrassed for being at the table. But she was amused to see that Max didn’t enjoy the attention at all. When she walked off to do whatever waiting staff did with their orders, she held a look of intense concentration. Like she was doing her best not to turn around and slap a bitch.
The boys continued their rudeness. They started a bet, to see who could get Max’s number first, despite all of them—besides Warren—not actually being interested. Victoria thought it was amusing at best, even if it was deplorable and embarrassing. She kept to herself most of the night, only commenting here and there when her tongue wouldn’t stay. Nathan tended to be such an idiot with the things he said, and the opportunity to contradict or correct him was too great.
God, she loved Nathan, but sometimes he made her question why.
Their food finally arrived and another bout of flirting ensued. Warren insisted that Max was pretty, to which Max would stammer a ‘thank you’, but would bite her lip, as if withholding something that she wanted to say. The longer this went on, the more agitated Victoria became. Finally, after her food had been half consumed, she excused herself to the bathroom. Victoria made a beeline to the exit, in need of some fresh air. The boys would assume she was re-applying her make-up, so that gave her some time to have a smoke before they realized she had lied and slipped away.
Puffing out smoke, Victoria leaned against the brick building and sighed. She closed her eyes, taking in the burn at her throat, the thrill of the nicotine in her blood, and the chilling air licking at her skin. And then a soft, hesitant voice brought her back into the moment.
“Smoking is unhealthy, you know.”
Victoria’s eyes snapped open to reveal Max at the door, one hand pressed to the glass, the other rubbing her temple. She let the door shut and then copied Victoria and leaned against the wall. She exhaled warily and rubbed at her eyes.
Victoria frowned. “Oh my god, seriously? I had no idea.” She dripped as much sarcasm into her voice as possible. Her irritation had completely dampened her mood, and unfortunately Max would be her de-stressor. “Don’t you know how rude it is to judge people?”
Max looked away quickly, swallowing. “Sorry,” she muttered.
Victoria sighed. “You don’t have to be sorry. Just don’t say dumb things. You’re Max, right?”
She nodded, eyes still faced away. “Yup, that’s me.”
“Don’t take those idiot’s words seriously,” Victoria warned. “You’re not hot enough anyway.”
Max released a soft chuckle, shoulders slumping. “Yeah, you’re right. This just hasn’t been the best day for me.”
Victoria immediately regretted her comment, which was something she hardly ever did. Max turned to her then, and her eyes swam with emotion. Victoria’s lungs felt constricted, and her chest tightened almost painfully. As quickly as the feeling had come over her, it fled, and Victoria took another puff to clear her head. There was just something about Max that pulled at her. It was starting to piss her off too.
“What, not used to guys hitting on you? That’s something I can believe.”
Max rolled her eyes. “I’m bi, but guys like that remind me why I’m not into them as much. Seriously. How did you sit with them the whole night?”
One perfect blonde brow arched on Victoria’s forehead at the titbit of important information. So Max was bisexual? Huh. Victoria had totally taken her for the cliché nerdy hetero girl looking for a nice guy. She supposed it really was wrong to judge.
“Selective hearing,” Victoria answered, puffing the last of her smoke. She killed the bud under her boot, and then stood to head back inside. “But I agree with the sentiment. They remind me why I don’t like guys at all, too.” She winked flirtatiously, enjoying the way Max’s freckled cheeks darkened, and headed back to the table.
Victoria hoped that the evening would end, but Nathan was insisting on desserts. They were still going on about the dumb bet, and their comments were so amusing that Victoria had to press her fingertips against her lips to stop herself from smirking.
“I’m so going to get laid tonight,” Warren boasted, grinning like he was a slab of gold.
“Oh please,” Nathan snorted. “The only thing you’re getting is a loner boner. Dude she’s totally going to give her number to me. I’ve been flirting all night.”
“Flirting?” Zachery barked out in laugher. “More like blubbering. She’ll totes go for me. I’m the hottie at the table.”
Luke inserted his own special reason on why he would win the grand prize. Victoria eyed them all carefully, and then a brilliant idea hit her like a lightning bolt. More than winning, Victoria enjoyed outdoing. She enjoyed the shocked faces and the envy filled glances when she was better. And so, when Max returned to ask if they required anything else, Victoria reached out and lightly touched her wrist. Warren had been about to say something flattering again, but he snapped his mouth shut and the others followed suit, all staring.
“Max, right?” she started playfully, batting her lashed up at Max. The blush from earlier returned, though a little more under control.
“What can I do for you?” Max asked, voice cracking. Her eyes were fully on Victoria, and it was almost as if she had forgotten the others even existed.
“My name’s Victoria,” she stated, winking again. “So you know what to type in when I call you tomorrow.”
Max blinked. “B-but… um… I don’t have your number.”
Victoria licked her lips. She enjoyed the looks of shock Nathan and the others were giving her. “Well, now that’s a problem, it’s it Maxine?”
Max’s eyes widened. “H-how…?”
Lucky guess, Victoria thought. “One of my many talents,” she said instead. She lightly brushed her fingers over Max’s wrist, smiling up at her. “So? Can I get your number, and then these idiots will be out of your hair for the rest of the evening?”
Max finally seemed to remember that there were other people at the table. She nodded slowly, eventually, and pulled a pen out of her pocket. She grabbed a nearby napkin, scribbled her phone number and name down, and then released a long, shaky breath.
“Can I bring the bill?” she asked.
Victoria’s heart pounded. Flirting was easy. Getting someone’s number had never been an issue before. But Max’s skin was actually really soft, and Victoria felt like snatching her hand away and pulling Max closer at the same time. She cleared her throat quietly, maintaining her cool composure, and smirked like the shit she was. She nodded once and then waited until Max had retreated before she typed the number in on her iphone and hit save.
“Holy shit,” Nathan sputtered, finally. Warren looked like a kicked puppy, and the other guys were leering.
What must have been for the tenth time that evening, Victoria rolled her eyes. “I did say that you’re being a fucking douche. And she’s too gay for you. Now, can we please go? I’ve outgrown this place and all of you.”
They nodded, so Victoria stood and headed for the door. Nathan drifted away to pay, and Max exited the staff room, removing her uniform. When she noticed Victoria staring, she blushed.
Victoria couldn’t help but wink. It was such a great feeling to be the one to get the girl, when all the other guys had been trying so hard.