|Once Upon a Bet
Author: Nereids PM
She was the new girl in college with a bad temper. He was the conceited prick everyone loved. She stated she could break his heart, and he said he could get any girl he wanted - including her. Can one of them win the bet without falling for the other?Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Chapters: 20 - Words: 160,881 - Reviews: 549 - Favs: 261 - Follows: 250 - Updated: 05-10-12 - Published: 03-16-10 - id: 2786142
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Come with me," Sean suddenly whispered, nudging her.
"Why?" She enquired, her eyes closed, aware that Sean was knelt right beside her deck chair. "The sun's not down yet,"
"It's not even that hot anymore, it's just... pleasant."
"Come on, redhead, come with me." The prick insisted.
Sighing, Alana opened her eyes and stared at Sean. He was smiling, a mixture of wickedness and tenderness – a smile Alana had never seen him wearing. It was impossible to not return the smile, and it was impossible to not get up and follow him when he walked away. "Where are you taking me?"
He didn't reply. Alana just followed him silently, frowning.
The pool area was almost empty, but since it was considerably huge, there were at least thirty, forty people still there. She recognized none of them. She had no idea where Vince and Ryan were, and Patty had left to check on Roxy an hour ago. It was half past seven in the afternoon, which meant it was time to take a bath, have dinner, and set off to Vince's private little party. That is... if he still wanted her there, of course.
They stormed in the hotel lobby, and the students from New Haven that were there eyed them with curiosity obviously, and eagerly followed them until Sean stepped inside an elevator, and the door closed, cutting Alana's eye contact with New Hell's gossipers.
The moment the elevator began going up, Sean's arms possessively pulled her to him. When a hand touched the back of her head and urged her forward, their lips touched and Sean ravished her mouth.
Alana wasn't used to that. Kissing Sean hadn't become a habit until hours ago, when they agreed to forget about the bet for the rest of their Spring Break. Of course that didn't stop her temper from getting the best of her and upset the both of them. Still, they'd forgotten about it and that was why they were in the elevator, kissing as if they were dating, as if they truly liked each other, as if they couldn't tame the abrupt desire that mounted them fast.
His hands went down her back, moving around, exploring under her summer dress, wanting to reach places that would offer her pleasure. Of course Alana didn't do any different either. Her hands searched every inch of his back, of his abs, and chest, adventuring lower, and becoming aware of the physical evidence of Sean's desire.
He chuckled when he realized she was conscious of the plain desire and mumbled, "Have you ever done it in elevator before, girlfriend?"
"Would you like to?" He asked, and Alana knew where the conversation was heading to.
She pulled away from the kiss, struggled to breath, and gazed into his brown eyes as she said, "Yes,"
His wicked grin was there straight away. "Would you like me to fulfil that fantasy of yours?"
"Boyfriend," She started, kissing the corner of her lips in a gentle, yet enticing manner, and regarding him passionately. "As much as I'd like to do it in an elevator with you, I don't want to get caught, especially if the person who stumbles upon us might happen to be someone from New Haven."
"Maybe some other time, then." He said, not even whining. And the fact that the wicked smile was still there, Alana grew wary. "However, that doesn't mean we can't do it in my room..."
When he came forward and kissed her again, luring her into what he wanted to do, she mumbled, "Perv," But she wanted it as bad as he wanted it, and given that they were to forget about the bet for the rest of Spring Break...
"You didn't complain last night,"
"And I think I won't complain this time either," She enticed him, his eyes ablaze with desire and flaring with acknowledgement of the invitation she'd just done.
They reached Alana's floor seconds later. Sean's arm flew towards her shoulders, and when they walked out of the elevator, that didn't stop him from leaning down on her, and giving her another avid kiss, sucking all the air from her lungs. It also didn't stop him from smashing her against the wall and kissing her as they laughed at each other.
"I know," He uttered, as his hands, previously holding her hands, slithered toward her lower back again. Hell, she wanted to be closer to him; she wanted to be in bed with him again. She'd never say it out loud, she'd never let him know how bad she wanted it, and she'd never tell him that she was in bliss for as long as they kept acting like that – as if there had never been any bet.
However, someone's appearance made it clear that there was a bet going on, and unfortunately, they only realized it was too late when a flash drew their attention.
"Well, well," A familiar voice said, "We finally get to take a picture of you two!" When Sean broke the kiss and Alana turned to look at them, she'd instantly known it was the Asian Twins.
She took a step forward and snarled, but Sean immediately positioned himself in front of her. His hands stopped her from advancing towards the sisters, whose grins were like fuel to her unleashed temper. He spoke first, always in that alluring way of his. "Hello, ladies."
"Hi, Sean," Hana spoke, her eyes hungrily raking along Sean's body. It only added more to Alana's anger. Then, she glanced her way. "And, like always, you're too dangerous to be set loose, uh? Even Sean sees it. You're like an animal."
"Now, now, ladies," Sean said, his expression suddenly hardening. "We've had this conversation before, didn't we?"
"Of course we did," Jae replied, her lustful smile inciting Alana's temper. "I never forget our conversations."
The prick's lips curved in a tempting smile. "Good, because then I don't have to remember you that, last time I had the pleasure to speak to both of you, I told you that-"
"We remember," Jae cut him off, glaring at Alana. Hell, she just felt like pushing Sean away and punch the Asian's face.
"Then why do I have the feeling I'm going to warn you two a second time?"
Jae was going to counterattack, as she always did, since she was the most aggressive of the two, but Alana couldn't take it. "Why do you bother? Let them talk. At least then I'll have a reason to screw their faces."
The twins giggled, but Jae was the one who tsked. "Always so aggressive... Do you really think Sean will fall for you?"
"Never," Hana answered her sister. "I'd wager he prefers Taylor. At least she doesn't behave like some animal."
Hell, they are so asking for it. "And I'd rather have myself shut that mouth of yours and kick your asses out of here,"
"By all means," Jae said cruelly, her eyes gleaming with mischievous. "Please try!"
Not thinking clearly, Alana motioned forward, but Sean gripped her arm and pulled her back effortlessly. With her eyes blazing with unleashed fury, she snarled at him. She knew he wasn't the one she should blame, she knew he wasn't the one she should be angry at, but why couldn't he just let her go for a single moment?
"New Haven will love knowing that their little untamed star threatened and tried countless times to hurt the ones who only try to deliver the interested news to them," Jae said, egging her on until she was bording on violent, so she'd something crazy. That would surely sell them quite a few newspapers. "Wouldn't that drew back some of attention that faded away, sister?"
"Ladies," Sean spoke, his voice louder and firm. "I'm getting quite sick of this game."
Alana rolled her eyes absently. "Only now? I'm sick of it ever since I met those two." She spat.
"Interesting," Jae remarked, her eyes narrowing with cold calculation. What the hell? What had she said to make such a look overpower Jae's earlier expression of someone who was having fun teasing someone?
Swallowing dryly, Alana tried to ignore the fear and suspicion that crept through the deep corners of her mind, but she wasn't successful at all, especially when the other twin gave the impression to read the other's thoughts... and gladly enlightened Alana.
"A month ago, you wouldn't have said that." Hana disclosed, her eyes set on the red haired, tasting that moment. "A month ago, you would've said you were sick of it ever since you met him."
At first, Alana's lips parted to attack them with a sharp reply, but then she took what they said, and... they were right. But the worse wasn't that. The worse was that the Asian twins knew they were right about it.
"I'm sure Alana would've said this a month ago as well." Sean rushed in, realizing their mistake. However, it was too late.
Hana looked pretty satisfied and sure of what she'd just found out. "Would she?"
"I don't think so,"
"I think we're done here, sister dear." Jae spoke after a few seconds in silence, smiling at Alana in such a conceited way that, if Sean hadn't had her secured in his arms, the red haired wouldn't have thought twice about hitting that Asian face. "Shall we go back to our room?"
Giggling, Hana nodded, and both sauntered away.
It was only after they walked in the elevator that Sean finally let her go.
He immediately turned to regard her, intently and carefully, aware that her temper could explode at any moment. "Redhead," He uttered calmly, offering his hand. "Pull yourself together."
"How the fuck am I supposed to do that?" She snapped, her green eyes burning with fury she hadn't unleashed. "Those two got what they wanted again, Sean! So how can you ask me to calm down?"
"Look, it's done. They've got the picture and they will write about what we said." And once more, New Hell's eyes will be on me, Alana chided, furious at herself for committing such a stupid mistake. "People can't doubt the veracity of the picture; however, they are entitled to question the twins' words about it and what we supposedly said."
"They'll believe them." They always do.
"Let it be," Sean insisted, pulling her closer. "People have gossiped about us ever since you challenged me, I'm sure that another rumour – or an article written by Hana and Jae, won't change much about what they believe is happening. New Hell has surely come up with worse rumours about us."
She looked up at him, and felt the fire inside her weakening. "You think so?"
He smiled, "I do,"
Alana knew he wasn't lying, but she knew he was trying to distract from the fact that the article written by the Asian Twins would indeed matter to what New Hell thought about their challenge and how it was going. It'd influence what they thought of her. But like he'd said, people had surely come up with nastier rumours about them, so... if she dealt with what they'll write as just another rumour, well, she could manage. As for the picture, it wasn't the first time it happened, but since it had happened during Spring Break, they had sort of an excuse.
Sean must've seen the change in her, because his faint smile turned into a grin, and he said, "So, shall we continue where we left off?"
When the both of them heard that too-familiar voice, both had distinct reactions. Whereas Sean froze as a response to that voice, Alana just clenched her fists, and turned to glare at Taylor.
"What do you want?" She snarled, unable to control her temper.
Anger flashed in Taylor's eyes, but she quickly pulled herself together, and looked at Sean. Too innocently. Too in control. "I've been looking for you, Sean, I... I just wanted to talk to you."
"About what?" The prick asked, his whole body tensing under Taylor's vigilant eyes.
Alana wanted to slap him.
How could he behave like that, still? Was he that torn between the two of them? Or had he simply lied to her when he said he liked her? He couldn't say he felt something for her and then behave like that whenever his sweetheart got around!
"You disappeared a while ago, and I... I wanted your company."
Her tone was too innocent and too disgusting. "Why won't you just cut the crap?" Alana exploded, but Taylor wasn't her only target. "And why the fuck do you always behave like that? Do you feel that bad, is that it?"
Taken aback, Sean gagged on his answer. "What... Redhead, I don't-"
The situation was revolting. Or maybe her temper was already too in control of her.
"I didn't mean to interrupt anything," Taylor swiftly said, once again in that sickeningly naive tone, which only added more to that hungry fire growing inside Alana's chest. "Maybe I should go,"
Oh, great! Now she's the fucking victim, Alana thought wryly.
"If you want to go," The red headed said, stepping away from his grip. "Just go. It's not like this would be the first time." It sounded like she was whining – and maybe with a pang of jealousy, but she didn't care. She'd rather have him going with Taylor than staying with her and thinking about his sweetheart the whole time.
But Sean didn't move.
Instead, he looked at Alana, then at Taylor, and then back at her, and Alana saw it all. She saw is face screwing up with the lack of confidence that was suddenly eating his insides. It angered her.
"I..." He started, gaining some courage to look at Taylor. He tried to look determined, but it was a failed attempt. "Maybe you should go, Taylor, I... I'm with Alana."
The look on Taylor's eyes almost satisfied her. Almost.
Any other girl would've been happy with Sean's attitude, but Alana wasn't. She wasn't, because she knew what Sean was doing. She could see it in his face. She could see the pity and effort he was making. He wanted to be with his sweetheart. The reason why he stayed with her was that he simply didn't want her to think he was most likely lying to her about liking her. Or that he simply didn't want to lose the challenge and spending moments like these with her were a way to reach his goal.
He'd duped her into thinking that this was something real they were having, but instead... well, he was a player, right?
"You know what," She abruptly spoke, starting to walk away from the prick. "If you want to stay with me just because you're feeling sorry for me or because of the fucking bet, just don't."
Then, she spun over her heels.
"Redhead!" He called her, but she didn't stop. "Alana, come on!"
Who did he think he was? He couldn't toy with her feelings like that! Hell no! If he wanted to be with that bitch, then so be it! Alana didn't care.
You know you do, that disgusting voice spoke inside her mind. You know you're eating your insides as you walk away.
She shook her head, ignoring both her conscious and Sean's shrieks.
You know you'd love if he came after you and left that bitch behind.
I don't give a fuck about what he does.
That's where you're completely wrong, her conscious said, and Alana heard a nasty and mischievous laughter loud inside her mind.
Lips pursed and fists clenched, she strode away and found her way to her hotel room. She didn't care if Sean hadn't followed her. To hell with that! It only proved he'd been lying to her, it only told Alana that he didn't care and still liked that freaking bitch, who was freaking well-aware that she still held that leash around the prick's neck.
The atmosphere on the room wasn't any better.
Kate was back and she seemed to be in a grim mood. Maybe it was because Roxy had probably told her off a second time and kept herself locked away from everything and everyone. And then there was Patty, who was innocently watching TV, but they all knew she was pretending. Patty wasn't that good in Spanish and there nothing interesting on. But pretending to be watching TV was a way to escape Kate's black mood and Roxy's sobs across their room.
Sighing, Alana sat beside the girl.
"Spring Break's ending and it shouldn't be ending this way,"
"I know, right?" Patty agreed, her eyes still on the TV screen. "If Ryan hadn't done what he did, Roxy would be okay now and the four of us could be at the beach or by the pool or... I don't know, just having fun."
I doubt I could have some fun as of now, Alana mused wryly. "We need to do something,"
"I heard Vince's throwing some party back at his hotel room,"
"Aren't you going?"
Am I really going? She pondered. Vince was mad at her. Well, she'd still decided to go to his party nevertheless. Hell, she'd do anything to have avoided that stupid argument now that she thought of it. If she hadn't lashed out at him, it would've been one less guy-problem to deal with. And then there was Sean. Who was probably with that bitch. Hidden away. Making out.
Rage flashed through her. "I have no fucking idea."
At last, Patty turned to regard her through narrowed eyes. She could sense the innocent girl growing wary. "Something happened?"
"Yes, I've met Sean and challenged him." Which was my biggest mistake ever.
"Great," Patty sighed, "Another one in a really good mood!"
Alana just stared and felt her temper fizzling.
Hell, Patty was right! It was Spring Break! And it shouldn't end that way!
"No, I am not in a bad mood!" The red haired suddenly said, rising to the balls of her feet. "And neither is Roxy nor Kate. In fact, we're all going to Vince's party. We're all going to take a nice relaxing bath and then we're going to get dressed! Spring Break's fucking ending and we're here?"
Patty gaped at her, utterly caught by surprise. Well, even Alana was surprised at herself.
They should be having fun! They shouldn't care about others and what they've done! They should only worry about having some fun! Spring Break was ending for God's sake! They couldn't just spend their last days locked up inside their hotel room, thinking about how boys could be surprisingly stupid!
"I'm going to talk to Roxy and you're talking to Kate, okay?" Before Patty could even respond, Alana dashed away.
Roxy was locked in the bathroom, but Alana made no case of it and darted inside. Anger immediately flashed through the girl's grim blue eyes. "You need to stop whining about Ryan. This is fucking Spring Break, Roxy, we can't just stop having fun because guys are some motherfuckers who just want to screw our brains out!"
The reaction she got from Roxy was one she wasn't expecting. "I actually think you're right,"
"Oh," Okay, I wasn't expecting this... "You do?"
"Yes," Roxy nodded, wiping off the remaining tears from her still tear-streaked face. "Ryan fucked up. He got the best of me, I admit it. It hurts, God, it fucking hurts, Alana, but-"
"You can't let him ruin what's left of Spring Break,"
Exactly, her nasty conscious agreed. But you're not capable of that, are you? You can't stop thinking about him.
Alana took a deep breath and ignored her consciousness. "It's ending, Roxy, and the last thing we should do is to allow the boys to get the best of us, so... let's have some fun tonight?" The blue-eyed girl grinned at her, but her eyes were still puffy and red. Well, it was nothing that a bit of make-up couldn't hide, right? "Vince's throwing a party tonight in his room, so I thought-"
"Alana, Ryan's going to be there, I-"
"No, he's not." She interrupted her, "Sean assured me he wouldn't be there, because he knew I wouldn't go if you didn't, so he assured me Ryan wouldn't be there."
"Are you sure?"
The red haired nodded, and smiled to set her mind at rest. "Well, shall we order something to eat so that we can finally get ready? We're going to kick some asses tonight!" She didn't know about Roxy, but she was definitely going to beat the crap out of Sean if he approached her and tried to apologize for the fact that he'd indeed wanted to be with that bitch.
It was so... so plain in his face! Everyone would've easily seen how bad he wanted to be with Taylor!
Hell, he'd said he liked her! He'd had sex with her! He said he'd meant everything he said but then Taylor comes along and puts an end to it?
I definitely need to drink, Alana thought, walking out of the bathroom with Roxy and meeting Kate and Patty outside.
The oldest of the four looked at Roxy. The other held the gaze without flinching. "I'm sorry," Kate gave in, "I shouldn't have acted the way I did when you were hurting like that,"
"That's okay," Roxy shrugged a shoulder, saying nothing more. Even though she'd apologized Kate, Alana knew the girl hadn't completely forgiven her friend.
Patty, however, seemed to be utterly oblivious to it, and began shrieking. "Oh my God, I can't wait to get dressed and go to that party!"
"Me neither," Alana agreed, but in no way her excitement was a match to Patty's. "Anyway, I'm taking a bath first!" Before the other girls had time to react, Alana ran towards the bathroom, having only enough time to grab a towel. She seldom was the first to occupy the bathroom before a night out, but this time she definitely needed to cool down.
After she stripped herself off her clothes, she stepped inside the bathtub and stayed there for what it seemed to be an eternity.
There was nothing better than a shower whenever she needed to put off that fire inside her.
Almost an hour ago, a different fire had burnt inside her, the fire of desire, lust, but now... it was only anger and nothing else. She was angry because Sean hurt her. Hell, it was hard to admit, even to herself, but he was hurting her. He said he liked her. He seemed to like her, but then Taylor comes along and... the world just shatters and she's then hit by the brutal reality that she's probably being played. She wanted to believe she wasn't. She'd never let anyone know how bad she wanted that. If someone asked her – if Sean asked her, she'd say she knew about it, because the last thing she wanted was for the mass to think that she'd been played and that she hadn't even considered.
It was already humiliating enough to choke back her pride when she was all by herself let alone in front of Sean or someone else from New Hell.
When Alana thought she was sufficiently calm, she got out of bathroom. The others girls also wanted to take a shower and she still needed to pick what she was going to wear that night. Vince's party would be private, but the most important person would be there, which meant she had to dress good enough to make his mouth water.
This time Sean will be looking at me while she's trying to make him look at her.
Kate had already arrived with some fast-food, so after Alana dried her body and her hair, she ate, and then, finally, she rushed to their room and stared at her clothes, assessing which one would attract the prick's eyes without an effort from her part.
With that heat, she'd definitely wear something light, and holding onto that thought, that tunic with a purple, pink and yellow print caught her eye. Along with some short jeans, she could be pretty, yet simple, and wouldn't be obvious that she'd dress up to impress Sean.
With that on her mind, Alana dug for one of her short jeans, and when she found them she put them on. Since her legs had that tasteful brownish colour from tanning the whole time, they were delicious in those short jeans, not to mention those short jeans favoured her buttocks. Then, she grabbed the tunic. It was an almost see-through kind of fabric, so her black underwear stood out just a bit against those extravagant colours. Since it was a tunic with an empire waistline and with a wide V-neckline, Alana knew she'd definitely draw some attention. She also grabbed one of her necklaces. It was a long one, and the pendant, which had springy blooms sprinkled with shining stones, came down until under her breast line – another detail that would draw attention. As for the hair, she pushed it back into a ponytail and, last but not least, a little eyeliner and eye shadow made wonders to her green eyes.
Simple, Alana considered as she looked at herself in the mirror, but appealing, nevertheless.
Almost two hours later, the four of them were ready.
Flooded in confidence and determination, Alana knew she'd definitely kick some asses tonight.
Vince's room, which he shared with Ryan and Sean, was packed when they got there, which somehow explained why three more hotel rooms were opened to anyone that wanted to wander inside. It wasn't that private, but it was only allowed to enter those who knew the guys.
No one questioned Alana or her party when she sauntered inside Vince's room.
"My God, I didn't know so many people could fit in one single room!" Patty gasped, her eyes wide-opened as she looked around.
The beds were occupied – not with couples having sex, but with people drinking and having pleasant conversations. Alana knew most of them – New Hell students, but there were some she'd never seen in her whole life.
"Are you sure Ryan isn't here?"
Glancing over her shoulder, Alana shook her head. "He's not, Roxy, relax." Unless the prick tricked me... again. And that wasn't surprising at all.
"He should be here," Kate suddenly said, in that arrogant and conceited manner of hers, as if she was the only one who'd ever be right about anything. "Just so he could see how gorgeous you are and what an ass he was for doing that to you."
Now that caught not only Alana off guard, but also Roxy. Maybe that was Kate's way of really apologizing for what she said.
"I actually agree with her," Alana uttered, avoiding the girls' eyes so they wouldn't understand the meaning behind her next words, "He should be here, so he could see what he's missing. He'll regret it, Roxy, you'll see. That girl isn't half of what you are."
Roxy giggled, and Kate nodded in agreement.
What she'd said concerned Ryan... and the prick himself. In that moment, Alana hated him as bad as she hated Ryan.
The four of them were able to reach the furthest corner of Vince's room, where the drink was stored. Just like the first part Alana had attended in New Hell, Vince was one the other side of the table, presenting people with liquor.
When he saw her, those blue eyes didn't even flicker.
"Hi," Alana said coolly, hating the indifference stamped on Vince's face.
"Hi to you too," He replied flatly. If Sean had been in his place, Alana would have seen something on his face, but on Vince's... What a fucking poker face.
The atmosphere around them was too much and because Vince was vital to her, she gave in the towel. "Can I talk to you?"
His expression was utterly blank. "Sure," Then, he turned to call someone else and jerked his way towards them. "Can you replace me for a second? Need to take care of some business."
Some business? What the fuck? Her temper flared at that, but she kept it chained... and tried not to show how obvious she'd hated the way he'd referred to the conversation they were about to have.
They had to leave his room to talk, because the music was too loud for a conversation and New Hell's students trying to probe into their business was too annoying for Alana and Vince knew it. They walked down the corridor until Vince brought her to a halt when he finally considered it to be a safe place to talk.
Frigidly, he leaned against the wall, and waited.
"I guess this is the part I apologize, uh?" She said, forcing out a smirk, but with Vince's frigid blue eyes set on her, they set in motion a cold sensation that pinched her every nerve. Not even the typical Mexican heat could melt the ice in his eyes.
He remained silent. Frustration twisted her insides.
She sighed heavily. "Okay, I'm sorry!" She said impatiently, hating him for putting her in that despicable position. "I didn't mean to say those things to you!"
"But you did," He said steadily.
"I know, and I'm sorry, I was angry."
"The way you acted... You weren't that angry just because Ryan did that to your friend." Vince narrowed his eyes a bit, assessing her in that moment, and probably pondering about how she'd acted hours ago. "What did he do?"
Alana didn't need to ask to whom he was referring to. "He was with Taylor."
"You didn't use to get jealous when he was with Taylor. You used to be angry because it might get in the way of winning the bet." He paused, and she knew right there where he was heading to. "What changed?"
"You know what changed," She said tiredly, moving so she'd be side-to-side with him. At least that way she wouldn't have to look at his eyes and see pity or disappointment. "He likes me."
Was he really going to make her say it? "And I like him."
He said nothing for a while.
"I hate it, Vince."
"I... I hate knowing that we like each other. Can you believe we practically spent the whole day hiding and making out?" Finally, he glanced at her and something showed through those crystal-clear blue eyes – surprise. "Yeah, I know. I promised myself this would only happen while we're here."
"But you're not sure if you're be able to stick to that when we get back to New Haven."
And that was why she liked the prick's best friend. Because he saw the whole picture and she knew he'd never criticise her for anything, unlike her friends. "I have to," Well, now it'd be easier, wouldn't it? He'd already made her angry again. "It'll be easy," She lied, "Taylor just has to keep showing up when she shouldn't and Sean just has to go with her and leave me when he shouldn't either, and... that's it. I'll hate him for that and, hopefully, that hate will help me win the bet."
"In that case," Vince started, lifting his arm to point somewhere. "Look who's arrived."
What a fucking timing, Alana thought wryly, knowing that Vince was referring to the prick. She looked past his sturdy body, saw Sean and, of course, the bitch trying to get past the swarm of people to go to his room.
Sean wouldn't have noticed her, which Alana would've been glad for, if Vince hadn't whistled and waved a hand at him. At first, the prick had only seen his friend, but then... he saw her, and Alana easily saw how quickly he'd hidden away the surprise.
Almost immediately, he approached Taylor and leaned in. Her stomach twisted with disgust. Well, at least until she saw the way Taylor's face got screwed up, and Sean didn't even care. He just left her and walked towards them.
"You're an ass," Alana muttered to Vince.
But the blond only said, "I'm awesome," And grinned. "Until you work out things with him, this party is going to suck for all of us." And then, just like that, he stepped away from Alana, greeted Sean with a few words, and walked away.
What the fuck...?
"You didn't ask him to do that, did you?"
"Of course not," She blurted out rather irately. I'd never do that. And Sean knew it.
He didn't flinch at her tone. He never did, did he? Instead, he leaned his shoulder against the wall, his back turned to the horde of people behind him. "You're such a bitch, redhead."
Had he really said that? "As always, although I wouldn't mind knowing what the fuck I did this time."
"Don't pretend you don't know,"
"I really don't," She said wryly. She did know what he was talking about, but she had no idea why he was calling her a bitch if he'd been the one who'd acted like a freaking prick.
He sighed and closed his golden brown eyes for a brief moment until he began talking. "You had no right to flip when Taylor showed up hours ago."
"You have got to be fucking kidding," She laughed wryly, and felt the urge to punch that attractive face. Hell no, she wasn't about to get into a quarrel with him about that. "You were a fucking coward, Sean, and a liar. And I don't need your fucking pity."
She stepped aside so she would get past his claws and avoid another stupid argument, but Sean gripped her arm effortlessly, "What the fuck are you talking about?"
"I'm talking about the way you acted, Sean." She hissed, shoving his hand away. "I saw the pity in your eyes when Taylor showed up. I saw the way you looked at her, I saw it in your eyes!"
He just stared at her, looking completely puzzled. Of course that was just a way to dupe her, but this time he wouldn't be as successful as last night.
"You wanted to be with her, Sean." And to hell with her if she'd appear to be hurting.
However, it was his turn to look quite angry. "I told you I liked you!"
"You played me!"
"Did not!" He hissed, restraining to keep his voice low since the two of them together was already enough to attract people's nosy eyes and ears. "I wanted to be with you!"
"No, you didn't, Sean, and it was fucking plain in your face!"
He shook his head and laughed rather humourless. "You still don't trust me, do you?"
"You never gave me reasons to trust you."
When Sean processed those words, his face was streaked with anger, and even though his voice was rather calm, Alana acknowledged the effort he was putting to not lose his head right there. "Almost two months, redhead. In the first weeks, I may have given you reasons not to trust me, but you have no right to complain now." Of course, Alana thought sarcastically. Did he really believe she didn't know he'd probably got off with Taylor numerous times? Even after he'd promised he hadn't? And he was a freaking player! How the hell did he want her to trust him when she knew that? "I said I liked you, but maybe I was the one who was played!"
"You did not say that," Alana said flat-out. "As far as I know, you're the player here!"
"As if you didn't try to play me!"
"I had every right to," She almost yelled, "Just like you had!"
"I still have, but I don't anymore!" He yelled, and for the second time ever, Sean was the one who was drawing attention upon them. And he didn't seem to care about it because he vented some of his temper in sheer volume. "I've helped you whenever I could, I've apologized for whatever shit I did up to now, I tried to be there for you, I tried not to lose my head when you got furious at me for no good reason, I didn't pressure you to tell me your secrets, and even though I could've been with Taylor just to get you off my mind, I didn't, regardless of what you might've thought."
Alana didn't know what to tell him.
Or maybe she simply didn't want to throw in the towel with him, and tell him that he was probably the guy who'd had an infinite patience to put up with her explosions and that sickening temper of hers. But she'd never admit any of it, and Sean was damn well aware of it. But, damn, why did he have to screw with her mind and heart? Why?
"So yes, Alana," He held out his voice to a whisper after he glanced towards the crowd. "You do have quite a few reasons that allow you to trust me." The hurt and the anger in his voice equalled hers. "But I guess you'll never give me that chance, uh?"
Her heart tightened in her chest when she felt that painful stab of guilt. "I-"
"And, just so you know, that pity you saw, it wasn't for you. It was for Taylor. I wanted to be with you, but watching Taylor there, looking so fragile and knowing she likes me, made me feel sorry for her, because I didn't want to be with her, I wanted to be with you."
Fuck. It wasn't meant for her. He wanted to be with her. "Sean..." She watched him turning around to leave her, but she reached out for his hand. In a cruel gesture, he shoved her away right there.
"Let me go, redhead," He said, his tone of voice rather menacing. "This time, I'm the one who's about to lose my head and the last thing I need is to look at your face."
And then he left her, and for the first time, he was downright entitled to it.
For moments, she didn't move. She just watched him storming his way through the crowd. He didn't go to any of the rooms. He didn't speak to no one, even though a few guys addressed him. He just shook his head, and even shoved one or two out of his way.
Was he that angry?
Vince's timing was the worse in the world, especially when Alana's temper was still running wild.
She watched coming out of his room again, drinking from a bottle of vodka that was still full. At first, he was grinning, but when he saw the dark shadows in her face, that elated grin disappeared. When he drew closer, he asked slowly, "How did it go?"
"I screwed up." And hell, I really did screw up this time.
"Tell me what happened, Lana." Vince insisted, shielding her from New Haven's noisy eyes and ears. But Alana wouldn't lash out at them. She was the one who deserved to be slapped in the face. "What did you tell him?"
"The question should be what he told me."
"Okay, let me rephrase it, then." He paused, his crystal-blue eyes trying to read through those shadows dancing in her green eyes. "What did he tell you?"
She didn't answer. She didn't want to tell him what he already knew – that she was a bitch and that when Sean was probably telling the truth, she had chosen not to believe him, not to trust him. And that was the problem, wasn't it? She didn't trust him, and that hurt him because, maybe, after two months, he did deserve to be trusted, didn't he?
Without a word, Alana snatched Vince's vodka from him. The blond didn't say a word. He knew her. He knew that she needed to drink to forget about that both drastic and dramatic conversation. He also knew that she'd need to be alone. So when she turned around, mutely, and sauntered away, he said nothing.
Alana didn't know where to go or what to do.
She simply walked up to the elevator, and went for the roof.
It was a sizzling hot night
Above her, she had a starry sky, and down there, she could see the wild students making the most of their nightlife. She came closer to the edge, and as she did so, she drank a few mouthfuls of vodka. It felt good. Her throat burned every time, but it didn't matter. Alana didn't mind. In a few, it'd be a familiar sensation, and she'd be so numb that she wouldn't even feel a tingle.
That was her goal – numbness.
At least then she wouldn't have to feel so fucked up.
Sean liked her.
She liked him as well, but she refused to believe him, refused to trust him when he showed her he was probably the one person who had most taken care of her. And he was hurt because she'd told him she really didn't trust him in spite of everything.
Alana drank again.
He told her wasn't playing her anymore. How could that be? How could he tell her that? Did he really expect her to believe him? They had a freaking bet going on! She should doubt him, not trust him! He couldn't ask her that!
She was so taken up in her messed-up thoughts that she didn't realize she wasn't alone.
"Drunk, looking fucked-up, and at a roof top." She heard a husky voice, attracting her, but at the same time having a repelling effect on her. There was only one guy who she felt attracted to, but loathed him at the same time for various reasons – Ryan. "You're not going to kill yourself, are you?"
"Do I look like a fucking suicidal?" She retorted, looking to her left. Ryan stood about 30 feet away from her.
He chuckled, "A bit."
I so don't deserve to put up with this shit. "Just go away,"
"Sorry, baby, but I got here first."
"I'm sure there are a ton of sluts waiting for you down there,"
"Probably," He responded, but Alana didn't look at him. She had her eyes set on the moon as she drank again. "But they're not as interesting as Sean's crush looking so messed-up."
The red haired spit at the term Sean's crush. "Sean's crush is Taylor, and she's probably looking for him, and if she's already found him, they're probably fucking in her room."
Her voice rippled with hate and disgust. And when she envisioned Sean and Taylor, getting it off in a bed, kissing, saying they liked each other... it revolted her.
"That's not true,"
"Right, as if you'd know."
She sighed, and clenched her free hand. The knuckles in her hand turned white. "Why don't you go the fuck away? Roxy's at your party, you could apologize to her instead of taunting me when you really shouldn't."
If he thought she'd forgotten about what he'd done to Roxy just because she was getting pissed drunk and was out-and-out furious, he was wrong.
"You never liked me, did you?" It was only when he spoke again that Alana realized he was right by her side. She looked at him, and those bright green eyes captivated her straight away.
"Why would I?"
"You don't know me,"
"I know your reputation," She attacked him, holding his gaze easily. "And you hurt Roxy."
"My reputation doesn't say a thing about me,"
"What you did to Roxy does," She hissed, considering the idea of hitting that eye-catching face with her bottle of vodka. However, that would be a waste, and she wouldn't get drunk like she wanted to. "She didn't deserve it."
"I also don't deserve the reason why girls want to date me," He snapped, and for the first time ever, Alana saw those eyes holding something else other than pure charisma and magnetism. Anger, maybe? Frustration? "If they want to date me just because I'm popular, pretty, or because it'll give them status, why shouldn't I date them, just because I'll probably get laid with everything single one of them? At least that way we're fucking even."
Alana gaped at him. "You don't think one of them might like you? Roxy-"
"Roxy was just attracted to me,"
"It wasn't enough. I've been going out with her for over four, five months, Alana." Ryan revealed, bringing up the frustrated and irritated side of him. "Not once I noticed she really liked me. And, of course, I never really felt something for her. When she started asking for more, well, there was no more for us, because we never had it in the first place, even after all of those months together."
"You could've told her that,"
That conversation was exasperating. Alana tried a different approach. "Why did you do that to her?"
To her amazement, Ryan was actually pretty honest. "Well, I never really felt I owed her something and since we weren't really dating... Besides, the girl I was with was attractive, enthralling, I liked her." He admitted. As she drank more, she wondered why he was being so opened with her. "Still, I admit I could've done things differently, because I care about Roxy. She's a good girl, and I know she didn't deserve any of it."
Ryan's honesty was disconcerting. Or maybe she was already slightly drunk, but the fact was... she never really thought Ryan would be that frank with it. He was always so mysterious, so puzzling, as if he never really trusted anyone about the way he felt and what he wanted... Well, in a way, Alana was like him. She didn't have that sex-appeal that allured men the same way Ryan attracted women, but... she understood him.
That thought made her drink again while Ryan stood beside her, gazing at the sky, looking quite thoughtful.
She sighed, and approached the edge a little bit. She wasn't that drunk, or so she wanted to believe so, but she did trip on her feet twice. She heard Ryan mutter something, but it wasn't until he grabbed her to push her back that he said, "You shouldn't do that. You'd break Sean's heart."
"I wish I could."
"You have to, remember?"
I know, and the reality of it is fucking excruciating. When she drank after that thought, the bottle of vodka was half empty. She watched Ryan regarding the bottle. "What? Never saw a girl get drunk?"
He paid no heed to her question. Instead, he stated, "You had a fight with Sean."
"I always have a fight with Sean." She said, rolling her eyes.
But Ryan's eyes didn't flicker. "But this time, it was bad. You only drink when you're pissed off at him. Everyone knows that."
"Everyone should stop..." She paused, thinking about the term she wanted to say, but failing completely. "...following me and go fuck themselves. It's my fucking life and I do with it whatever the fuck I want."
"I didn't know you swore this much when you're drunk," Ryan pointed out, and she saw that tight-lipped smile on his lips, so puzzling, so... attractive. "Do you want to talk about what happened?"
She shrugged a shoulder drunkenly and didn't care about the object Ryan was taking out of one of his pockets. "Sean is mad at me because I don't trust him."
"You can, you know." Ryan pointed out the obvious. She knew that now. "As far as I know, Sean's probably the one guy who can put up with you. Well, him and Vince, but we both know Vince doesn't spent half the time Sean spends with you, putting up with that temper of yours."
"Totally agree with you," She even raised the bottle at him. She couldn't disagree with that affirmation. Vince was definitely her best friend, but Sean... Hell, Sean put up with her more than anyone!
He didn't move nor smile. "Why don't you trust him, then?"
"Because I'm afraid," She blurted out, just wanting to slap herself. She couldn't believe how easily Ryan was having the answers he sought after. "Because I don't want to... be played, I don't want to get hurt, I don't want to... fool myself, and... then have my heart broken when... when his heart's the one that should be broken!" She yelled that last part, and it was evident the resentment in her voice. However, she resented herself for being so stupid.
"But, in spite of that, Sean has given you every reason to trust him, uh?"
She nodded, and drank again to sink that bitterness that was consuming her. She wanted to be numb. "I... Shit, I should've never challenged him."
Ryan laughed at that. "So the two most stubborn persons in the world were put together in a challenge where both have even odds. What they didn't expect was that they'd actually fall for one another."
"I haven't... I... I'm not in love with him!" She exclaimed. Hell, she could like him, but she wasn't in love! "Fuck, not that!"
Ryan didn't say a thing. He just gazed at her with those captivating eyes and that puzzling tight-lipped smile. His silence was intolerable, and she drank in the hope of hearing that annoying buzz. But nothing happened, nothing changed. The guilt she felt, the disarray in which her feelings were, Sean's face in her head, his voice echoing through the corners of her mind... everything was excruciating.
Not even that nearly empty vodka could ease the havoc inside her.
"Do you want to trust him?"
The red haired shook her head. "I can't,"
"Tell me again why you don't want to trust him, Alana." Ryan insisted, stepping backwards.
Not being able to look at those green eyes, Alana just stared at the overwhelming sky above her, and felt that sizzling breeze fondling her flaming red hair.
"Hell, I want to, but..." She paused. How could I? How could I trust him when everything is against that? "He's a playboy, he... he still likes Taylor, and getting my trust is just a way to make it easier for him to win the bet, I... I'm afraid I'll be fooled, I'm afraid I'll get hurt, and... I don't know, I..."
"I like him, but... Hell, I know he'll hurt me!"
"I know he says he likes me too, and that he's not lying, but how can I believe him? How can I trust him? I know he's given me every fucking reason, but... what about my reasons to doubt him? I can't just... trust him, I-"
"Redhead," When she finally heard that nickname, every muscle in her body froze.
She felt a hand in her shoulder. She felt that hand squeeze her shoulder in a tender way and then she found herself being spun around, only to face those brown eyes under that twinkling sky. She wanted to slap him, she wanted to say she hated him.
However, Alana did none of that. Instead, she let him pull her closer, and when his arms took her in, she felt safe, she felt calm. He remained silent, even as he reached for the vodka in her hand and put it on the ground.
"Come on," That was the only thing he said when he urged her towards the fire door at the centre of the roof top. Ryan wasn't there anymore, but Alana was too drunk to wonder about it.
She was too drunk to care, to ask where he'd take her, and how he'd known she was there. She was too drunk to say anything at all. If she opened her mouth, she knew she'd say more than she wanted to, so she allowed him to take her silently, calmly, tenderly.
It was only when they walked in the hotel room that Alana realized he'd taken her to her room.
"Ryan texted me," He finally spoke, too soothingly, as he steered her around the room. "He only needed to say two things, that you were drunk and on the rooftop." Great. If she'd known somehow that Ryan had texted Sean while he was speaking to her, she would've pushed him off the edge at once. "I went to my room first to ask Kate for the key. I had to explain her what had happened, because otherwise she wouldn't have given me the key, and since my room's pretty occupied..."
He helped her sat at the edge of her bed and then joined her.
"We have to stop arguing before a party," He realized, not even looking at her. Maybe pity was finally showing through his eyes. "Not only do you get pissed drunk, but I spend the entire time worrying about you. When Ryan texted me, saying that... You can't possibly imagine what went through my head."
"That I was going to kill myself?" He looked at her when she spoke. No pity there, she noted.
"I... Yes," He smiled faintly. "I care too much about you not to consider those options. I... You're drunk, Alana..."
She listened to just a few words and ignored all the rest. I care too much about you.
When she felt his arm skidding over her shoulder, she leaned forward, and hid her head in her hands. She wanted to cry. Hell, how she wanted to cry! But why?
"I'm sorry," She mumbled, her voice faltering. "I'm so sorry, Sean."
"That's okay," He replied, his arm pulling her closer to him. "That's okay."
"You deserve my trust, you-"
"You're entitled to have your doubts about me too," He said soothingly. "After all, I am a playboy, we have a bet going on, and... although I've given you reasons to trust me, you do have your own reasons not to do so, and I was selfish when I thought you were a bitch when you refused to trust me."
So they'd argued for nothing. Or maybe Sean just didn't want to quarrel with her again, especially when she was in that deplorable shape! Perhaps, in a few days, they'd argue again, and both would regret having disclosed that they liked each other. But the truth was that they couldn't change it. They'd said, and they wouldn't forget it. How could they just... say that so lightly, not even thinking about the consequences? They were playing with their hearts and didn't even have the decency to care!
"God, who are we to play with hearts and throw it all away, Sean?" When she leaned backwards and her hands fell, tears had welled in her green eyes, and Sean saw them. "We... we don't have that right!"
She squeezed shut her eyes and tears fell. Sean just regarded her rather surprised, but when that surprise faded away, he drew her closer and hugged her.
"And... w-who are we to be e-emotional?" She sobbed, feeling so pathetic, so fragile! Yet, she knew that if Sean hadn't been there, her state would've been much worse. And that reality stroked her hard and cruelly.
She wasn't supposed to feel so good in his arms. That was never supposed to happen.
"Who are you... to make me feel so-o good?" And who are we to fall for each other as if we're always in the dark?
His silence was more welcomed than words he could've said. His serenity was enough to calm her down. His arms, pressing her tight against his broad chest, were what she was so desperately craving for. And the way his hand tenderly fondled her flaming red hair, the way he rocked her ever-so slightly and gently, was everything she needed.
For a while, all they could hear were her sobs. For a while, all Alana wanted was to freeze time and get back to her first days in New Haven and undo the way she'd dealt with Sean. But what would be of her, if she'd never challenged him?
"What do you think... would've happened, if we... if I'd never challenged you?"
Sean was quick to answer, as if he'd been considering the same question himself. "I think... one way or another, something like the bet would've happened, something... would have brought us together."
"You really think so?"
"I do," She looked up at me, but didn't pull away. That smile on his lips was peaceful. "And I know you're probably thinking that I'm saying this just to play you, but... I'm not. Eventually, I believe our paths would've crossed, because I'd love to mess with you and you wouldn't have bared the thought of not evening the score."
Regardless of the amount of alcohol hindering her reasoning, Alana had a question that had clung to her mind ever since she'd spoken to Roxy at his swimming competition. "Do you think that... if we fell in love, we'd know?"
This time, he wasn't so quick to answer.
"Roxy said... I probably wouldn't know if I'd already fallen for you, because... I've never been in love." And why the hell was she telling him that?
"I believe that, the only reason that would stop us from knowing if we'd fallen for each other, would be the fact that we believe religiously that it is impossible and can't happen when, in fact, it might've already."
The implications of his words made her pull back and gape at him.
Sean held her gaze, and stayed put as she dealt with the shock and surprise of what he'd disclosed.
Questions and doubts flooded her wasted mind but, in that shape, Alana couldn't utter any of them. In fact, what could she say? There was only one thing that could change their lives if they'd be willing to talk about it, and that was the bet. She wanted to question him, what about the bet? But she couldn't. She didn't want to.
You're afraid of the answer, every single word roared through the dark corners of her mind and her temples almost exploded with the pain that swiftly assaulted her. Because, either way, you're fucked.
What kind of answer was she looking, anyway? Or maybe, what kind of answer was she yearning for? Those questions might look the same but, even drunk, Alana could tell the difference and, even if she hadn't been that drunk, she knew she wouldn't be able to answer truthfully to any of those questions.
Her head wanted her to be cruel and ruthless and her heart wanted her to give in.
"Anyway, let's not deal with this now." Sean whispered, and through the corner of her eye, Alana watched him take his shoes off. He did the same to her, but he didn't motion to undress her. Instead, he slowly fell backwards, and brought her down with him. "I'll stay with you until you feel better."
Even though she leaned on his shoulder and held onto to him, the implication of his earlier words unleashed havoc.
So what was she supposed to do now? A new set of doubts swirled in her mind but Alana couldn't come up with anything to solve the problem. Not when she was too tired, too drunk, and too overwhelmed.
There was only thing Alana could do now and that was to hope for the best once they got back to New Haven because, eventually, they would have to deal with it.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I know, I know... It was about time, eh? So Spring Break ends here. You think it'll go back to the same old drama? Oh no, because now, Alana is very well aware of her feelings and the implications of it. She is officially tired, mentally exhausted, and I can't wait until you guys see how that plays out. Also, Alana will have a visitor! Can't wait until you guys meet the person. Vince will be delighted! Sean will see it as an advantage. Ryan... Ryan will make fun of it all as always.
Having said that, I can't say when the next one will be out, but hopefully it won't take me another three months to update. However, if I do update soon, it won't be OUB, it'll be WHB's sequel – Behind Closed Doors!
Anyway, I hope you guys found this one entertaining! I deeply apologise for making you wait though because you guys are awesome. Let me know what you thought of it! :)
hezja – Haha, glad you like it either way lovely! ;)
touchekarma – Well, that's Alana! Not your usual lead female character, eh.
Jae – Can't tell you who's going to win! You'll have to keep reading. Haha, poor Vince! Does he really deserve it? ;) I'm sure that at some point, Alana will realise she has some advantage now that Sean has also said he liked her!