Bex's version of Who's With Who? | The Champion Party
WHO? WHAT? STATUS? HOW LONG?
Lance and Aly: Perfect
James and Me: Engaged!
Alex and Lizzy: Alpha love
Seth and Wren: BFFs=bad.
Cassie and Ben: Couple with issues.
Brittany and Michael: Back together.
Chapter Two | The Champion Party
Around seven Mark came downstairs barely awake to cook breakfast. My movie was almost over. His slippers gave a soft slap against the floor. It was hard not to laugh at his flattened hair. He walked down the stairs muttering something about coffee and doughnuts.
"Hey, Lauren. How are you doing? Up early aren't we," he mumbled when he caught site of us on the couch. Mark didn't know about our regular movie marathons. I waved to him. Mark saw that as a satisfactory greeting, walked into the kitchen, and began banging pots and pans around. When he was occupied in there, I woke up Aly and we moved to walk upstairs. Liz felt our movements and woke up.
"Go to sleep, honey," I said and pulled the blanket up over her. I was almost expecting her to get up and object, but she just sunk into the couch. Aly put her hand over her forehead. Liz was blazing with fever, and it had nothing to do with shifting. Her eyes closed and Aly and I walked silently out of the living room.
"Alex has to come home now. I don't care what she says," Aly muttered softly. "She doesn't know what's good for her." She pulled out her Blackberry and typed in Alex's number.
Whenever people saw a North Clarke resident, they always assumed we were rich kids. We were never caught for speeding, we drove nice, fast European sports cars, and we always had the best of the best in phones and electronics.
That's nothing more than a perfect cover. We just can't have people messing around our homes, so we just act untouchable. Surprisingly, the humans believe us, but in reality, we hold our families and Midwest values at the top of our priority list.
Aly turned off at her bedroom, but I went up to the attic. I stayed over at this house so much Lisa and Mark gave me my own room for my birthday. It was brilliant pink, orange and yellow. The colors assaulted my eyes. Sometimes I wish I made it mellower like the bathroom: earth tones and simple decorations. I turned on the shower to it was hot as it could go. I slipped off my pajamas and stepped into the warm stream of water.
I took a long shower, letting the boiling water relax each muscle in my body. I couldn't get riled today. It was the most important major basketball game of the year tonight, and I didn't want to lose it, figuratively and literally.
I generously squeezed my citrus shampoo on my hand and lathered my hair. Heat was the easiest way to calm me down. After I had rinsed all the shampoo and conditioner from my hair, I turned the handle on the shower causing the stream of hot water to cease. I immediately missed the heat.
From my dresser I grabbed a pair of sweatpants and a large sweatshirt. We always wore comfortable clothes the day before a game. Nobody really cared about appearance the day of a game. The day before, we dressed up in skirts and nice tops, but it is all about comfort the day of game. Makeup felt pointless today, so I didn't even attempt it.
I walked downstairs only to find Aly sitting downstairs eating eggs and hash browns. Mark and Lisa had already left for work, leaving Aly and I to drive the Escalade.
Liz was still sleeping on the couch, so we assumed she was staying home. Poor thing. At least there were a few people that were in the neighborhood.
We lived in the Northern Clarke District of Black River Valley―a group of large houses that is splattered around the hills. We weren't your average group of suburbanite families like the rest of the student body at St. Xavier's High School. Most of the North Clarke District was abnormal―inhumanly abnormal.
Most of us are shape shifters. Myths and legends call us werewolves. Unlike modern beliefs thought we blended in quite easily―the whole howling at the moon thing is ridiculous.
We all attended St. Xavier's High school, but there was only one rule we must abide by. Secrecy. Things would be infinitely bad if someone found out about our secret.
We don't really mix with the normal humans. It wasn't only because of the secret, but if any one of us lost control, we could seriously hurt someone, which Aly looked like she was about to do when she walked downstairs.
Liz was still sleeping uneasily, a simple relief. She obviously wouldn't want the pack to find out how much pain she was in. If any one in the pack, other than the elders, saw what was happening, things would be very chaotic, very quickly.
"He left us nothing! Not even on strip of bacon," Aly fumed when she was the empty dishes on the counter. "How inconsiderate!"
"Your mom probably ate all the bacon," I said and began looking for something edible in the pantry. Aly just grunted in agreement.
I turned around and burst out laughing. She was standing on the counter, straining to reach a jar of honey that was sitting on the top shelf. Her philosophy was simple: when there is no food, toast and honey. It was a good one, too.
"Do you want me to get that for you?" I said mockingly. Aly was so tiny that you had to laugh.
"Don't mock me, miss I'm-twenty-feet-tall." She had a scowl imprinted on her face. It was a common occurrence to see her teased her about her height, but every time she considered it a low blow.
"I'm five-eleven, and you are five-two. That is only seven inches difference." Despite Aly's little size, she was the best long and high jumper in the school.
"Ha!" She hopped on the counter and grabbed the jar. Turning around, she stuck her tongue out at me. I was going to swat at her but waves of crippling pain washed over my body. They forced my body to the floor where I doubled up, almost vomiting.
"W-what's hap-pening?" I was gasping for breath. Aly jumped down beside me and kneeled, putting her hand against my forehead.
"I don't know! You are freezing!" Her eyes were wide. Neither of us moved for a moment when we realized that the pain probably wasn't my own.
Then her screaming began. It filled the silence like water does a hole. The flood of pain intensified with every one of her piercing cries. Aly almost dropped her jar of honey. "What do I do, Wren? What do I do?" Her voice was close to hysterics.
"Call Alex, now!" I panted. She sprinted from the room. I tried to stand up, but was forced back to my knees. I needed to get to Liz. Quickly, red was filling my vision making my head reel.
Aly's voice carried through the hallways. She was talking fast, and I didn't even have to hear the conversation to know what Seth was feeling. Her pain was his pain.
I slowly crawled over to where Liz was thrashing on the couch, her limbs flailing wildly about. Her eyes were rolling around wildly beneath her closed eyelids. I shook her shoulder hard, but she didn't wake up. Reaching over her, I grabbed her lashing hands and held them down; it was the only thing I could do. Aly came over and held her feet so she didn't fall off the couch.
Slowly, she began to calm down, and I regained control of my body. My heart was beating erratically, but compared to Liz I was a walk in the park. The dark circles around her eyes were more pronounced, and she was breathing heavily. Things were getting worse—then again, night it darkest just before the dawn.
"Seth?" I asked. I slumped against the couch. Aly gave her a heavy dose of sleeping medicine and joined me. Both of us were exhausted from her little outburst.
"Shifting and running here now. He was going to call Mark and Lisa and tell them to come home and watch her." Her voice was small and scared.
"You know she'll be okay, don't you?" I tried to reassure her. The Beta engrained in me knew that she would be okay, even if it took a while for her to feel that way.
"It sure doesn't look like that. I don't know what Blake would do it he lost her." I nodded thinking of her brother. Liz was the only thing he lived for, but she specifically told us to make sure that he stayed in the dark about her transition.
"I wonder if we should tell him." I mused.
"I don't know about any of this anymore."
"Trust me, I know."
"We won!" someone screamed. Everyone was jumping around the sweaty gym. We had just defeated East Columbus in the biggest game of the year; we had always been rivals after they trash-talked Coach Henderson.
Ryan scored the last three pointer fifteen seconds before the end of the game pulling us ahead 64-8. It was a sweet victory. All of the boys team was high-fiving the Columbus players. The anger and tension was apparent among their team. Our team, on the other hand, was smiling and laughing.
At the end of the line after we had shaken hands, the team enveloped Aly and I in a hug. It was sweaty to say the least.
"Get off guys, come on! I can't breathe! The BO and sweat are choking me," I cried. Instead of just leaving us be, Seth picked up Aly and Lance grabbed me, and put us piggyback style on their backs.
"Get your eyes off my girl, you ass. I don't care how amazing she looks. Her short little skirt won't be staying on long, but it is mine to take off. That includes you, Michaels," Ryan gave a short laugh but looked at Aly's long legs unabashedly. "You're going to die once I set this basketball star down."
Rather than setting me down, Lance threw me into Seth's open arms. Seth gave a grunt but managed to keep us up without trouble. From a bystander view, this would look hilarious. Seth had me bridal style and Aly piggyback.
"Ugh. So childish," Aly muttered. "Not an ounce of respect of women's rights. In the least. Let him see what that gets him." Seth and I smirked. It was so Aly; she wasn't about to be stepped on by any man. I shifted so I was facing Seth.
"I'm going to hurt you if you don't put us down, Seth. I will. Just try me," I threatened. His black hair was shiny with sweat, and his deep brown eyes were filled with amusement. I had seen this look so many times before, but this one sent shivers up my spine. Despite this, I still managed to give him a spiteful look. Aly was punching his toned abs in a hopeless attempt to convince him. Seth was completely unaffected.
"You are so frustrating!" I hit him one last time on the chest, and then Coach Henderson noticed us.
"Gather up. Now. Put them down, Ryans. Lance, you should protect your girlfriend more from these meatheads. Ryans might take her and Abrams away to some closet. And men, he's Lance's girlfriend, so if you're looking at her, he has every right to punch you," Coach hollered over the gym. "Settle down, Ryans, you don't need to go screwing our manager unless you have opportunity to date her, which you should."
"You can all worry about getting laid later and with girls other than our managers, please. You all think you're irresistible, so that shouldn't be much of a challenge. Let's go. Bring it in." The few remaining people sniggered; Coach had a blunt way of saying stuff that made you instantly like him.
Seth dropped us, gave me a long sweaty hug and ran over to Coach. Aly and I followed smiling and laughing at them; our boys could be such idiots.
I tugged on my skirt; I missed my comfortable sweats. We had to change before the game so we'd look professional and intimidating—AKA uncomfortable. I was a pants type person.
The large gym was finally beginning to empty of spectators, the Columbus fans shooting evil glares at the Valley's cheering spectators.
Once we had all run over to coach, he made us stand in a circle―a post-game ritual. The gym was completely empty now, and the Rob, the school's janitor, was sweeping up discarded popcorn and candy.
"You played a good game, men, and good bookkeeping, ladies. For the record, we aren't going to let this go to our heads, though. Off the record, I am glad we kicked their scrawny asses.
"However, we will not trash talk like them, and you will treat them with respect and sportsmanship like any other team. They are your opponents, and you will treat them as such," he said glancing at all of us before continuing.
"Lance, you have to be sure to watch the back left corner during the double drive play. Forty-four almost stole a shot. It goes to you, Ryan during the forty-niner play. There was some good playing all around though men. It was a great game; our fans got their money's worth. Columbus', not so much. There's no practice tomorrow. Consider it a Christmas present. Go get cleaned up. You reek like ball sweat." Coach gave us a hard grin. Vulgarity was one of his weaker attributes. Normally he toned it down for us girls, but he was too satisfied today.
The guys stood around stretching and passing the practice balls, another post-game ritual. It was nine o'clock, and there were rumors of a champion's party on Fourth Street. Champion's parties are legendary. It wasn't like your average party—no drugs or booze—but there is a lot of loud music and tons of food. If the male seniors are in a good mood, they'll cook Starlight—the werewolf's equivalent to alcohol.
Nobody really dressed up. It was just like a campfire—if you count out the dance floor and DJ. Okay, so maybe it isn't quite like a campfire.
Aly were heading over to her house to shower and change, not to mention check up on Liz. My dress shirt was clinging to my back from the humidity in the gym. The senior girls in our grade, and Hailey, walked into the gym. Hailey was a junior, but the grade below us was incredibly petty, so she just hung out with us because she really couldn't be more different from them.
Aly and Lance were leaning against the bleachers, and he had a sheepish look on his face. "You know I'm sorry, baby, but you do look absolutely gorgeous. And I'm just expressing my opinions out loud. You know I want to get you out of that skirt and anything else you may be wearing," he said quietly. He put his hands her hip, but she just cocked her head and glared at him. Immediately, he dropped his hands.
"I know you do, but you aren't going to get it. For a long, long time." She loved to toy with him. It isn't as if he was being hormonal. They had been going out since eighth grade. He already knew everything about her, and that included her angry, playful moods.
"Don't baby me, Lance."
"Let's go, Soto. We have a party to get to, and you have a relationship to fix," Seth called out and gave me a dazzling grin before disappearing into the locker room. Lance gave Aly one last puppy dog look and disappeared inside.
"You are such a bitch, honey. I'm guessing tonight?" I called out. She just laughed and nodded. She loved toying with him so he thought she was mad.
"You're coming to the party tonight, aren't you Liz?" Vivianne asked me. She, like the entire girls' basketball team, was tall, slender, and toned.
"You know it. How could I pass up what could easily be the biggest after party of the year? Especially when the Buxfort boys are in town," I said earning a laugh from Vivianne. The Buxforts were an incredibly handsome set of Irish twins that attended St. Xavier's before they moved to Seattle.
"Where did you hear that?" Brittany asked. She looked at me, green eyes lighting up at this. Michael and Brittany had started going out at the end of sophomore year, but when they moved away, they both agreed that it would be better if they saw other people. Ben told me later that Michael didn't have eyes for any girl. Brittany was the same way here at home; it was as if she lost part of her when he left.
"Ben called me last night asking when the game was because he was bringing Michael, and they were driving in for the after party. He also told me that his mom hates living in Seattle and they are hopefully going to move back over break next week," I said to Brittany.
Viv and Brit high-fived. They were polar opposites physically, but they were practically sisters. Vivianne was like an ice princess, pale, blond and blue eyed, whereas Brittany was all Californian, sandy hair, tan, and green eyed.
"Oh, and Ben was asking about Cassie. Finally, he got some sense and stopped wanting to date Brianna. I'll never forget how heartbroken she was when he told her he was dating your cousin. She will take some convincing from him to make sure that he is really over Brianna. You know she would do anything more him though. It's just a matter of how long it takes for him to get his head on straight.
"She has high standards in any guy, including the ones we date. He had really better be over Brianna though if he wants a relationship with her. The last thing Cassie would want is drama with Brianna, or anyone for that matter. I just hope she can move past his idiocy though; they'd make a great couple," I said. We all looked over to Cassie. She was beautiful even in sweats and without a speck of makeup on.
"Finally! God I was so ready to slap…" Brittany elbowed Vivianne warning her that Cassie was approaching.
"Hey guys. From what I hear the party is going to be huge!" Cassie was so excited. She kept telling all of us that she would find her next boyfriend at one of the parties, but no one believed her. We knew the truth even if she didn't.
"Let me guess, you are going to find your dream boy tonight," Vivianne said sarcastically.
"Shut up, Vivi," Cassie said. It was hilarious to try to see Cassie be mean. She was too nice to have malice in her voice.
"Lauren, can you bring Ryans and come here for a minute?" Coach hollered right as I was about to walk out of the gym. In honesty, I don't remember a single time Coach had called Seth anything other than his last name, even at the freshman intro four years ago.
I looked at my friends, and they just shrugged. Even though they tried to hide it, their smiles poked through. I shot them a questioning look and began walking toward the locker room. They just laughed and shook their heads.
Aly was talking to Hailey near the main office, and they both smiled at me when they saw where I was going.
"What do you know?" I hollered to them. My heels were echoing in the big gym, so I slipped them off and walked barefoot.
"Oh, nothing," Hailey called back. I gave them a mock glare. I was curious. I looked toward Aly and she was just as confused as I was. As I neared the locker rooms, I debated knocking, but they wouldn't hear me anyway. Quietly, I slipped into the doorway.
"Seth! Coach wants to see us," I hollered into the locker room. A few exclamations and choice words were said when they heard me. "Relax, I can't, and I don't want to, see you guys."
"Are you sure, Wren? We do have really big…" Someone called from in the locker room.
"Shut it!" Seth called cutting off Jared, one of the other players. I laughed. Some of his friends could be so raunchy.
"Let me put on pants!" Seth called. I leaned against the doorframe. "Okay, okay, I'm here. What's the big deal?" He walked with me into the gym wearing only boxers and a clean pair of basketball shorts.
"I honestly don't know what's going on." The rest of the guys all filed out of the locker room.
"You'll need this," Aly called and threw a shoebox at me. "No peeking." She was pressed up against Lance. I wondered what changed her mood. Then it hit me. The three white bars on Lance's shorts and his jersey were a giveaway. Captain results were in.
Seth was going to be ecstatic. I told him he would get co-captain with Lance, but he didn't believe me.
"Can you wait for me, Aly?" I asked her. She smiled when she realized I had figured it out. I walked into Coach's office a few feet behind Seth and sat down in one of the plastic industrial chairs. Coach was sitting behind an ancient computer, the top of his grey-haired head barely visible behind the huge monitor.
When he heard us enter, he gave the monitor one last whack and angrily turned it off.
"Damn computer." He muttered. "You played a good game. I haven't seen too many people that can play point that well, and Abrams, that was some organized management especially with their coach bitching at you the entire game. But that's not why I called you both in here. The captain requests are in. It will be publicly announce tomorrow at the school assembly, but you and Lance are the next official captains. It was unanimous. The team is already at the door waiting for me to finish. Get in here," he hollered. "Wren has your stripes."
I handed him the box and he wrapped my in a bear hug. It wasn't long until Vivianne, Lauren, Brittany, Cassandra and Bex―the senior werewolf portion of the varsity Warriors girls' basketball team―and the boy's varsity team all piled into the cramped office. The juniors were all standing outside the door, but Hailey somehow managed to slip into the office. She was our favorite of all the juniors.
"Told you would get it," Bex said, her ebony hair falling into her face. Her gold eyes were bright with excitement and smugness―another fact about werewolves, we all have brilliantly colored eyes.
"You're always right, Bex," Seth said jokingly. He couldn't stop smiling. Being the team captain in any sport was the largest honor you could receive. Basketball was an important part of my life. Outside the pack, basketball was everything to Seth and me. Other than Liz and Aly, it was my venting source. Anyone who tried to challenge me on the court ended up feeling my wrath—not figuratively of course. I just scored on them. A lot. It was the same way with Seth.
"Please save it, Liz. You deserve it. Don't be modest, or I will slap you," Aly threatened. She most likely would, too. I just stood in the background. I would talk to him later, and besides, I had to give him the captain's stripes.
"Good job, man. It's all going to go to that big head of yours though. Don't forget I can still beat you at horse or pig any day of the year," Ryan joked. They had competition going about the old playground game. Their tallies ran all the way back to first grade.
"Bull. I can beat you easily."
"Good job, Sherlock," Lance said. They were like brothers.
"Good job, Holmes," Seth said. I would never understand how those nicknames started.
"I told them, and they almost didn't believe me. They didn't think that I knew about it, and Lauren, you are the hardest person ever to find. I was going to tell you, but I couldn't find you," Cassie said apologetically.
"It's okay," I told her. She gave me a huge smile. Cassie was a sweetheart, the listener of the group. She was first generation American, both her parents, Carlos and Miranda, were immigrants from Mexico. Her cousin Lance had also moved here with them, but for different reasons.
I gave Lance a hug. "Good job you big buffoon." He laughed at me and ruffled my hair.
"Go get Set hand celebrate. In the bedroom. I can't take you two much longer, seriously little chica." He just stared at me with his dark eyes and gave a suggestive eyebrow waggle.
"Aly's right. You are a disgusting pig." I couldn't scowl. My mouth was upturned in a big smile.
"A correct disgusting pig." He gave me a dazzling white smile. Werewolves were blessed with perfect complexions and stunning teeth.
"If you are going to make it to your party on time I suggest you all leave and shower now. You reek like ball sweat, men." coach said, "Anyways, I have a date with Miss Thompson. I've had this date planned with Trisha for weeks, and you are making me miss it."
We all stared at him in shock. Coach always told us that she was too old to date―even though she was barely thirty. Moreover, the fact it was Coach Tommy was a shock; she was the girls' gorgeous soccer and basketball coach. That was the only reason most of the guys went to the games―the minority actually went to watch soccer and support our teams.
He laughed at our reaction. Coach Henderson—everyone knew him as coach, even if you didn't have him in any sports—was like the school's athletic genius. You could see him at almost every sports event.
"Can you believe it?" Hailey asked. It was only the seniors left now. All of the juniors had already left to go get ready for the party. Appearance wasn't exactly high on our list of priorities; the juniors, not so much. For the seniors, t-shirts and jeans were our main clothes of choice.
"No, I can't really believe it, but I think it's great they finally dated. I was getting sick of all the looks they shared during gym. Anywho, we have to get going though. I am all for fashionably late, but I don't want to miss our party," Bex said, taking a swig of lemonade. I wondered where she found that, but knowing Bex, I probably didn't want to know. Bex had attitude and an easily manipulative personality. It was hilarious to see her James interact. Her boyfriend was super complacent and calm. They balanced each other.
"I second that. Let's go! Hut hut!" Aly said and began dancing out of the office hallway. We all looked at each other and laughed, but of course, we followed. Her larger than life personality made us all feel good. It was hard to be around her and feel sad.
Okay, here is a super long chapter, over 5,000 words! There's more, but it might take a little while to do this next update because of crazy stuff. :P Any-who, reviews make everyone happy. :)