I woke up with instant regret. The sun filtered in through the cracked curtains causing the pain in my head to worsen. I knew the hangover would be strong but I hadn’t even moved yet! Last night's party seemed bigger than normal. I thought my toleance was greater or did I really over do it that much? I tried to think back through it- Noah and Stavo said they’d show up later, Emma said she couldn’t, and- Audrey. We played kings cup and took way too many shots after someone mentioned last week...
I squinted at the brightness, trying to move away from it but someone was wrapped around me. Their arm under my head was pale and from where their body met mine probably around my height. So not Stavo. I wracked my brain trying to think of someone, Noah? Gods no, not even in my drunken state plus he’d be too tall to fit around me like this.
The arm under my head started to move "Oh shit."
Ah, I’d know that voice anywhere. Well this was a first. I waved my hand around "Just hush would you, I'm not ready to face reality."
The body relaxed, throwing an arm around my waist and pulling me a bit closer "So is that a No to talking about this?"
"How about later, after the hangover passes." Fully awake now I could feel skin to skin contact. How drunk must I have been not to remember how we got like this?
"I don't think that's going to be anytime soon, considering the week you've had." The chuckle vibrated through my back. Oddly comforting.
"You're one to talk, I think you kept up with me drink for drink last night."
"What else was I supposed to do? You kept flirting-I'm awkward and alcohol helps with that."
"Hey you flirted back, I think." I actually wasn't sure but to end up like this there had to be some shared chemistry.
"I need coffee." It was a mumble right by my ear making goosebumps erupt across my skin.
I huffed but moved just enough for Audrey to move out from under me. I startled myself when I had to stop myself from reaching to pull her back. She was warm and the bed seemed too big with her out of it. I watched as she slipped on boxers and looked for her shirt.
"Just use my robe, I think your shirt...is on the stairs." I laughed lightly as I remember clawing at her clothes as we made our way to my room.
"You better hope no one else stayed the night Maddox." Audrey warned tying the pink silk around herself. "Want anything?"
"Hmm coffee sounds nice." This time not stopping to bring her in for a good morning kiss. She obliged but I could see questions forming “Hush. Later, please?” I kissed her again which seemed to be a good way to shut her up. I'd have to remember that for later.
“Fine fine. Later.” Audrey rolled her eyes before leaving me.
I stared at the ceiling. I didn’t do one nightstands- that was a Nina thing. So what does this thing with Audrey mean? Does it have to mean anything? I guess it can mean nothing if that's what we decide. I slipped out of bed and regretted it as I rushed to the bathroom and heaved up everything from last night. Okay not drinking again anytime soon. I reached for the mouthwash and started the water for a hot shower. I’ll think about everything later.
The bedroom door slammed open “Brooke?!” Audrey's voice was panicked.
"Who died!?" I yelled meeting her in the bedroom. It was an instinct I wish didn’t exist.
"No one...yet." Her demeanor changed when our eyes met, a blush took over her face before turning away " Er, it might be nothing but the rest of the guys are searching the house. Noah and Stavo got a weird video sent to them and well with everything that happened last week. Better safe than sorry."
Why was she being weird? Oh! I stepped back into the bathroom “Well that’s great! Another day in murderville.” I huffed while shutting the water off and grabbed at towel. "So... They saw you in my robe?" I smirked.
Audrey groaned “Yes and Noah will never let me forget it.”
“Wanna borrow something?”
She opened her mouth probably to protest but one look in the mirror changed her mind “Don’t make me look like a Barbie.”
The others were down stairs around the kitchen, someone had the good sense to make coffee and the smell was heavenly.
“You two have a fun night?” Stavo smirked as I walked by to get two mugs.
“I don’t kiss and tell.” I winked not missing the way Audrey was pointedly not looking at anyone. “So this video?”
“Right so-” Noah over explained what they were doing last night before getting to the point and pulled the video up on his phone. The sound was distorted and the video was just black at first but then whoever had it started moving showing some familiar faces, the usual bunch that showed at my parties. Stavo jumped in at the part where he noticed it was my place. Then there we are- Audrey and I on the couch. My back is pressed to the arm and my legs are thrown over her lap. We are engrossed in whatever it is we were talking about when the frame freezes and red letters flash on screen reading "Never Have I Ever".
"It could be nothing." Emma supplied but her tone was less than convincing
"We couldn't be sure." Noah added shutting his phone off “So we asked Emma if she was here and... um you know the rest!” He stuttered as Audrey gave him a death glare.
I poured Audrey and I coffee while everyone settled down.
“Probably is something.” Audrey sighed “Again.”
"Here I thought everything was going uphill." Noah shook his head.
"What, the attempts on our lives last week gave you that impression?" Emma snapped, biting the skin around her thumb nail.
"Ease up Sidney it's not his fault you had a crazy stalker." Stavo defended.
I set a mug in front of Audrey and leaned slightly against her “Well come what may we’ve got to be prepared I guess. I really can’t handle another…” The word caught in my throat but everyone knew what I was going to say.
"Technically he isn't a killer. No one is dead. So, all we have is a creepy video." Noah sighed, pulling himself onto the counter.
"No more parties." Emma, ever the voice of reason decided, looking right at me. "And just to be safe let's try not be alone."
That’s something everyone could agree on. We worked out the next week- when was Emma working, what about Audrey, Stavo already spends all his time with Noah so they just decide to work at Grindhouse on Emma’s days there. It all sounds solid and well enough, I guess we’ve had too much practice with this kind of thing.
Emma had a shift in an hour so she and the boys headed out. Audrey and I promised to not leave each other alone gaining a smirk and knowing glances from the leaving party.
Audrey poured herself another cup, idly swirling a spoon in it. “Is it later yet?” She asked quietly.
I stared at her for a moment. Is it later? Is this something I can talk about now? I honestly don’t know. It hits me, there may not be later if we have another psycho on the loose. I can’t leave things unsaid if… I nod. I don’t know what I want to say but leaving it for a time which may never come is far worse.
So I let the words tumble out “I don’t know what got into me last night, or what really happened. I don’t do one night stands but I don’t know where that leaves us. Is there an us? Should there be an us? I guess I kissed you sober this morning and you kissed me back. That has to mean something, probably.” I wrapped my hands around the mug, something solid- real. It was lukewarm.
Audrey sounded amused “Is thee Brooke Maddox admitting to crushing on me?’ She teased, taking a few steps toward me.
The ease at which Audrey just stepped back into a normal tone took me by surprise but I met her the rest of the distance also trying to meet her tone. “Is thee designated goth girl trying to escape telling me how she feels?”
I gripped my hoodie she had on, her hands landed on my hips “Who’s trying to escape anything?” her voice was deep and once again sent goosebumps across my skin.
Our plan of not being alone doesn’t last. As Monday rolled around Maggie tells Emma she wants her home everyday if she isn’t at school or work. An effective grounding which seems so weird when we are so close to graduating. Emma told us during lunch. Audrey huffed a ‘me too’ but didn't elaborate.
We still hadn't put a label on what we were, but it didn't stop the nudge of sadness at the fact she didn’t tell me she was grounded. I guess she feels my gaze because she looks up and as the others start talking about something and mouths a later.
I camp out in Noah's nerd cave. He actually still worked there. Stavo liked looking at comics for inspiration. We were helping Noah close up when I got the answers to my questions on messenger. Four messages came in right after another.
Big Titty Goth G:
Dad thinks I’m sneaking around with a new girlfriend.
He took my door and phone
Probs will shut down the wifi before I’m home
Sorry for the lack of explanation.
Legally Blonde But Deadly:
Don’t be sorry, how long is the sentence?
Wait how are you messaging me?
Big Titty Goth G:
Until he thinks I’m straight?
The latter will come first
Talk tomorrow I gotta close up
Before I could start typing out a response she went offline. “Howards a dick...” I groaned, plopping down on the couch.
“What happened?” Noah asked from behind me somewhere.
“He took her phone and door and shut down the wifi.” After everything that has happened I couldn't understand taking her phone. What if some murder was around again?
All of the TV monitors turned to static before turning black.
“Noah?” I asked standing without thinking.
“I don’t know.” He picked up his laptop doing Gods knows what when black and white security footage came up. It was the front of the theater. The move posters had been replaced- A Prom shot of Nina and Tyler, Will and Jake together after a game, we couldn’t see any other ones but I would bet they were changed to other victims as well. Each poster had an X slashed across them and the doors were tagged with "Never Have I Ever". Audrey came rushing out looking around like she was expecting to see someone running.
“Oh my gods” I covered my mouth. This was not happening, not again.