Author: Dreamers-Requiem PM
Sophia's whole life changes on the night she throws a house party, the night she first talks to Hunter Law.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Drama - Chapters: 32 - Words: 92,117 - Reviews: 46 - Favs: 18 - Follows: 28 - Updated: 05-17-13 - Published: 04-25-11 - id: 2910332
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The wake was held in the pub where Mum and Dad first met. My relatives had come together, putting on a bit of a spread on tables around the edge of the function room. The room which, usually, was used for parties and weddings. We only filled half of it.
Mattie drifted around, looking almost in a daze as he went from table to table, thanking people again and again. At times, Cassie was with him, when she wasn't keeping an eye on Tobias.
I turned away from watching my brother and his wife, turning to my friends instead. We'd grabbed a table at the edge – Faye, Olivia, Aiden, Hunter, Holly and I. Holly had insisted on getting me a drink and, when I sipped at it, I realised it wasn't just coke she had given me.
The taste of vodka stung sharply.
Hunter had mentioned the party to the others, and they'd all looked to me.
"I'm going," I muttered, before sipping more at my drink. "Might as well. The house will just be depressing."
I glanced once more at my brother; he was now deep in conversation with Uncle Matt, while Cassie sat with some of my aunts, most of them keeping an eye on their own children. From where I sat, the conversation looked half hearted, all of them with their eyes fixed on the kids.
I turned away again.
"Are you sure it's the best idea?" Olivia asked. "I mean, if you're drinking...Sophia, it..."
"It's fine," I snapped.
"It might help," Holly muttered, and when I looked at her it was to see her gaze fixed on my brother. "You don't have to drink too much, either. It'll just be a distraction, won't it?"
"I'll go," Aiden stated, his eyes landing on me. "If you want me to, anyway."
"Of course. It'll be fun," I said, as a few people stood and began to make their way to the tables laden with food. "Come on, let's grab something to eat. I'm starving."
X X X
Faye and Olivia reluctantly agreed to come to the party, and I knew they had said yes for one reason; to keep an eye on me. Knowing Mattie wouldn't like it, I just told him I was going to Faye's for the night, before I set off. The house was in walking distance for all of us, and we met pretty much halfway there.
In his hand, Aiden clutched a large bottle of vodka his sister had got for us.
"Told you she would," he chuckled, as we began to walk down the dark street. This time of the evening, the streets were quiet. Most people were either off at the pub or settling in for the night, putting the kids to bed or setting up a film to watch. Hunter told us the party 'started' at seven, so it was best for us to arrive around nine.
Faye carried a plastic bag with her, a couple of bottles of coke poking out the top with a few snacks in the bottom. For some reason, the four of us tended to get very hungry when we were drinking. After the first time, in the field where Aiden had kissed me, we'd made the decision to always make sure we had some sort of food around when we were drinking.
It was better than rummaging through kitchen cupboards and trying to make a bacon sandwich pissed.
And it had, sort of, become our own little thing.
As we walked, I told them about the other parties I had been invited to.
"I'm not surprised," Olivia commented. "I mean, you've gained legendary status, Soph. You should hear them at school – everyone wants to be our friends, now, because it'll mean hanging out with you when we're back."
"Was she really that hated?" I whispered, suddenly feeling very, very sorry for Jessica. Okay, so the girl was a total bitch but...no one deserved that amount of hatred.
"Less hated, more feared," Aiden muttered. "She's had her hold on us for years, and now...now we're finally fed up of it. Plus, well, as weird as it sounds...people saw you last week, didn't they? Hardly any of them can imagine losing one parent, let alone both." His voice grew quieter. "When my mum died, people...they just seemed to have more respect. It's odd, but it's almost like they see a strength they don't think they have."
"Losing a parent isn't something to be admired for. It hurts..."
"More than they can imagine," Aiden finished, as Olivia and Faye gazed at the both of us. "But the truth is, they realise you didn't have to come straight back. Even the kids who don't live with their mum or their dad..."
"At least they're still alive," Faye sighed. "Aiden's right; people want to be there for you, Sophia, but they don't know how. Not really, not if they don't know you. It's...almost, in a way, it's kind of brought people closer." As we turned the last corner, we spotted the house, pretty much halfway down the street. It was easy to see. Faye reached out, placing her hand on my shoulder as I marvelled at how bright the house looked, with its lights on and all the others around it in the dark.
"If you do want go to any of those parties," Olivia said, "then we'll come with, if we can. I'm sure at least one of us will be able to make it..."
I knew why she said it; they wanted to keep an eye on me, like they were doing tonight. They wanted to make sure I was okay, that I didn't go too overboard. But, at the same time, like the good friends they were, Olivia knew I wouldn't go unless I had at least one of my best friends with me.
Because no one wanted to be a loner at a party.
"Yeah, thanks," I muttered, grinning at them. "You guys are the best."
We reached the house, near enough around quarter past nine. Olivia knocked. Moments later, the door was opened, and both Olivia and Faye took a step back, gaping before they realised what they were doing and then, quickly closing their mouths.
"Hey," the guy drawled, an easy going, drunken smile on his lips. "You must be the mates Hunter was telling me about, right?"
"Yeah," Aiden replied, when none of us did. No one could blame us, not really. "I'm Aiden, this is Sophia, Olivia and Faye."
"Pleasure," he replied, winking. I'm pretty sure the reactions of my two friends were the same as mine; if we were living in a Jane Austen novel, we would have swooned. "Come in." He stepped back, allowing us entry into the house. "Name's Nick. It's my house – don't worry about making a mess, just try not to break anything, yeah?"
He was hot. Personally, I didn't think he was as hot as Hunter, but I knew the other two would have argued that point. He was wearing a black Blink 182 t-shirt, quite tight, showing off his muscles underneath. His hair was jet black, and a couple of tattoos peeked out from under the sleeves of his top. In his hand, the one not holding the door, he held a bottle of Budweiser.
"Beers in the fridge if you want one," he said, nodding towards a door at the far end of the hall. "There's a couple of spirits and mixers on the table, too." He eyed the bag Faye carried, and the vodka in Aiden's hands. "But I see you came prepared. Put it on the table if you don't mind sharing, no worries if you do. That's the front room; most people are in there, for now." He shut the door, head inclining towards the nearest door to us before he gave another wink and slipped through it.
The four of us headed to the kitchen.
We were the only ones in there; the table against the back wall was heaving with bottles of various drinks and mixers, with plastic cups sitting nicely on the side. There were even a few bottles of wine. Aiden let out a low whistle as he placed the cheap vodka on the table and opened the fridge, helping himself to a beer.
"You don't drink beer," Faye commented. "Well, not Budweiser..."
A light blush appeared on his face as he shrugged. "Sure I do."
"Oh, my God," Olivia sighed, glancing at the hallway. "Did you see how hot he was?"
Faye grinned, as she glanced over the drinks. She grabbed a bottle of Smirnoff vodka – much better than the Imperial we had – and opened it, pouring a fair amount into the bottom of a glass. She followed that with coke, before gesturing to it. I nodded, and she poured out two more.
"Yeah, gorgeous," Faye replied, glancing at Olivia. "But more...more my type, right?"
Her voice was undercut with the subtle tone of someone really not wanting to beg. A soft smile appeared on Olivia's face, and she nodded slowly. "Yeah. Of course." And she sounded like she had thought it all along.
Christ, would we really trip over our own feet for each other like that?
"Well...shouldn't we get to the front room, say hi to Hunter?" Olivia said, glancing at me and nudging my side. Under the gazes of the other three, I felt my face burn bright red.
"Drink in here, first," I mumbled, eyeing the plastic cup in my hand.
"Yeah, Dutch courage before we meet a bunch of new people," Aiden chuckled, grabbing a magnetic bottle opener from the fridge and opening his bottle. He lifted it to his lips, taking a huge gulp before withdrawing it and pulling one hell of a face. The three of us began to laugh and, before he could protest, Faye had poured out another vodka and coke, taking the bottle from his hand and placing it on the side, passing him the cup.
"Dutch courage works quicker as a spirit," she commented. "Have your Bud after a few of these."
Aiden flashed her a small smile, before nodding. "Sure."
The four of us began to drink, tilting our heads back and allowing the alcohol to slip into our mouths and down our throats. The vodka, like it had in the pub, stung; the sharp taste of it couldn't be ignored. When we were done, Faye poured out more drinks. Aiden shook his head, discarded his cup and grabbed his bottle.
"Right," he said, taking a deep breath. "Let's go."
We left the kitchen, heading down the hallway to the living room. From it, we could hear music – I identified it straight away as The Middle, Jimmy Eat World, and the familiar song made me smile. So there was decent music, along with a bit of laughter. I glanced nervously at Faye and Olivia, as both girls ran their hands through their hair, before we slipped inside.
The room was huge, almost twice the size of my living room. Decoration wise, it was pretty bare, but there were light shades on the walls, indicating that photos or paintings had hung there previously. I wondered if Nick had taken them down for the party. As well as being big, it was pretty full. The armchairs and sofa had people already sitting on them, and quite a few others sat around on the floor, some against the walls while others leant against the furniture.
Almost all of them turned to look at us as we came in.
Hunter was on the sofa with a couple of other guys, and a large grin lit up his face when his eyes locked with mine.
"Hey, Sophia," he called. "Oh, guys, shift up." The guys did as they were told, making just enough room for me to squeeze between one of them and Hunter.
"Thanks." I couldn't help how meek my voice sounded as I sat. Nick, sprawled across one of the armchairs, stood, grinning as he gestured to it, eyes on Faye and Olivia.
"Girls," he drawled.
"Oh, thanks," Faye gushed, before sitting down with Olivia on the arm. Aiden sank down in front of them, clutching his beer as he glanced nervously around. A girl at the far end of the room, against the wall with her legs stretched out, locked her eyes on Nick.
"Oh, thanks, bro."
Nick rolled his eyes as he sat in the space between the chairs and sofas, shrugging. "You live here, they're guests."
Hunter chuckled, shifting in his seat. His hand brushed against my leg, and I felt a tingle shoot through me.
Keep calm, I told myself. Don't act like an idiot.
Easier said than done. Always.
They began to talk, discussing gigs and music. From their conversation, I gathered Nick, with a few of the others, played in a band. At the revelation, Faye's eyes practically lit up.
"What kind of music do you play?" she asked, eyeing Nick with a soft smile.
"Punk-rock," Nick explained. "Maybe a bit...punk-pop now and then. But not like All Time Low or You Me At Six. Not that kind."
My drink was soon finished.
"How about a game of drink while you think?" one of the guys suggested.
The others agreed, and soon they were quickly explaining the rules for those of us – including me – who didn't know. It sounded easy enough. One person named a celebrity or fictional character, and the next took the first letter of their last name, using it as the first letter of the next person's name.
In cases where the celebrity or character were known by three names – first, middle or last, or double-barrels – the next person was missed. If both the first and last name started with the same letter, the game went backwards. Single names – like Cher – weren't allowed.
To top it off, while you were trying to think of a name, you had to drink. Hence the name of the game.
"You get it?" Hunter whispered, smiling softly at me.
"Cool." He took the cup from my hand before standing. "What you drinking?"
"Err, vodka and coke, please."
He winked, before the other guys began to offer to get other girls their drinks. They disappeared through to the kitchen, the music still playing, now The Used. Faye and Olivia were chatting to a girl in the other armchair, while Aiden was in discussion with one of the guys on the sofa about some film. I sank down in my seat, patiently waiting for Hunter – and my drink – to come back.
The game started when the guys returned and everyone made sure they had at least one full drink. I clutched mine in my hand, eyes darting nervously around the room.
"I'll start," Nick stated. "Seeing as it's my house."
"Why don't I start then?" his sister cried, grinning at him. He ignored her, and began.
"James Franco." Faye looked pleased with herself as she said the name straight off; Aiden had to drink, just a little, to think of the Mayor of London.
The names came quick – I knew it would soon dry up, as people struggled to think of names that hadn't already been said. To top it off, it wasn't a game where you could think of the name in advance; I guessed that was the point.
Soon it was the go of the guy sitting on the floor, the other side of Hunter to me.
"Dusty Springfield." He grinned, as the guys in the room jeered and laughed.
Hunter began to drink, a thoughtful look on his face. He was taking longer than anyone else but, eventually, said, "Stewart Francis."
Great. Now I had to come up with a F. I began to drink, searching through mind and memory for a celebrity or character whose name began with F. There had to be one, somewhere. Book characters, film characters, actors, musicians...
"Frank Iero?" I muttered, lifting my head and glancing at Faye. She grinned – having been the one to introduce me to My Chemical Romancein the first place – and the game continued, with the guy next to me mumbling about how hard it was to come up with someone whose name began with I.
X X X
We'd had a couple of rounds of the game before more people started drifting in. A few moved to the kitchen or the middle room, which we hadn't yet seen. More girls arrived, a few dressed in much more...revealing clothes than me, Faye or Olivia. With each hot girl that came in, I could tell the other two were feeling pretty much the same as me.
A few greeted Hunter and the other guys with friendly calls and waves.
Questions plagued me. How did he know them? Had he dated them? One of them squealed when she came in and saw him. The girl was wearing a plain black tank top and denim shorts, revealing super long legs. She came over, leaning down and giving both me and Hunter a great view of her cleavage.
This was exactly what I wanted.
"I'm going to get another drink," Faye announced, standing and turning, uncomfortably, away from the girl greeting Nick.
"I'll come with," I said, standing, too, and following her through to the kitchen.
In there was a group of people we hadn't yet met. A guy had hoisted himself up onto the counter, a few girls sat around on chairs and more guys lounged against the other counters. We mumbled 'excuse me's as we squeezed past to get to the drinks.
Some of them glanced at us, but most paid us no mind. Not until we were about to leave the kitchen, anyway.
"Hey," one of the guys called. "You're Mattie Leafe's little sister, right?"
I turned around, to see one of the guys leaning against the counter staring at me. He grinned, tilting his head to one side.
"Name's Dale – you don't remember me, do you?"
"Yeah," I said, unable to hold back a smile. "Actually, yeah, I do."
Dale was a few years above me in school, younger than Mattie but that hadn't stopped them skating togetherr before I'd even got to the comprehensive.
"Matt's sister?" one of the girls said, glancing over at me. She grinned. "Christ, you've grown."
The girl I didn't know, but I didn't think I could ever have forgotten Dale. He was the one who had first stopped Mattie from excluding me from my brother's bedroom when they gathered around to play Tony Hawks. I'd known him before I was really interested in boys, but that hadn't stopped me from having a slight childhood crush on the guy. He must have only been thirteen at the time, playing with the big boys, while I was just a little ten year old girl who wanted to hang out with her brother and his friends.
Faye stayed close to me as I began to talk to Dale.
"What you up to, nowadays?"
Back then, he'd had light brown hair, and always complained about the school making him keep it short. Now it had darkened to a deep brown colour and, out of school and its restraints, he'd grown it just a bit longer. It fell over his ears, a slight fringe above his green eyes.
"Just doing my A Levels," I explained, before glancing at Faye. "This is my mate, Faye."
"Hey," Faye said, smiling at him. He greeted her, before I asked what he was up to.
"Not long started at Uni – doing History."
"Sophia's thinking of doing History." Faye's voice contained all the hints of the sly side she sometimes let out. "Aren't you, Soph?"
"Cool!" He seemed genuinely pleased at my interest. "What parts are you interested in, then?"
"I quite like the local history," I explained, shrugging. "Medieval, especially. All the Welsh Princes and that...and the Victorian Era. But more like...the worker's rights surrounding it and stuff."
"The radical side?" he chuckled. "Let me guess – you got miners somewhere in your family?"
I felt myself blushing as I nodded. "Yeah, my great-granddad, on my dad's side. I just think...well, in both cases they kind of fought for things they believed in, didn't they? And that's just not there anymore."
"You're right. People don't fight for what they believe in anymore. How do you know Nick, anyway?"
"Oh, Hunter invited me and my mates."
A strange look crossed his face. "Ah, I see." He glanced at the doorway before his gaze returned to me. "So, what A Levels are you studying, then?"
We continued the conversation. It took a while for me to even realise Faye had gone.
A/N: So, any thoughts? What do you think of Nick and Dale? Like them? Hate them? Prefer Hunter? As always, all decent length reviews are happily returned. If you can't wait for the next chapter, feel free to check out the other stories I have posted up here. In the meantime, if you have a spare minute, please have a look at the poll on my profile page – would love to know thoughts on what to work on next. Thanks.