A/N: So, a while ago I posted a poll on my profile about what to write next, and romance came out top. So, here is my newest romance story, Crash. As always, I'd love to know what people think, so please leave a review; critique is always welcome, and I'll return reviews that are of a decent length. The poll will remain on my profile until I finish Fallen Leaves, at which point I'll see which genre came second and write something with that. For now, hope you enjoy this story of a teenage girl coping with, well, being a teenager, among other stuff (if I told you more, it'd ruin the story.) Enjoy!
The first time I spoke to Hunter Law, I was drunk.
The walls shook with the sound of music, the thump thump thump echoing around me as I moved through clusters of drunk teenagers who, barely a few hours ago, had been gathered in my garden, eyeing each other wearily. Because, no matter who you spoke to at school, the rules changed at a house party. Girls became scared that guys would think they'd like them if they approached, guys tried to act all cool and aloof. Plus, well, there were a fair few people here even I didn't know, friends of friends from out of town who had been drawn by the promise of an awesome party.
My parents had been gone only three hours; they wouldn't even be on the plane yet. Instead, they'd be on the motorway, driving to London to catch it for their once in a lifetime trip to the USA. They'd wanted to do it for years, and now their dream had been achieved.
I leant against the wall, clutching my plastic cup of vodka and coke, sipping from it as my eyes roamed around.
It only took a few drinks before everyone was mingling, chatting to each other or dancing in the front room.
Hunter appeared at the top of the stairs, a bottle of Stella clutched in his hand. He looked so damn cool standing there, a leather jacket clinging to him, a simple black t-shirt underneath. He moved down the stairs as I wondered who had invited him.
I knew that, the following week in school, it would be his name that would be thrown around, almost like it was proof that I knew that, the following week in school, it would be his name that would be thrown around, almost like it was proof that yeah, this party was worth it. Hunter Law didn't even go to our school, now anymore. But he was the coolest guy in our town, and not in the bad boy kind of way. Well, not really.
He glanced around, eyes landing on me.
"Sophia!" he greeted, winking at me. I gulped.
How the hell did Hunter know who I was?
Let's get one thing straight; I am not popular. None of the seemingly popular kids were even at the party because, let's face it, none of my friends wanted to invite them. I didn't either. Hunter never hung around with the popular guys in his year, either. From what we'd gathered, he stayed away from them. But they tried to be his friends, and it was kind of pathetic, really.
Hunter knew my name.
Hunter, who was so cool it was unbelievable, knew who I, Sophia the wallflower, was.
"Great party," he told me, leaning against the wall beside me.
"Thanks," I slurred, forcing myself to smile.
Don't get me wrong; I had friends at school. It was strange; the popular kids didn't care about me, but then again, they didn't really care about any of us. There was a group of us who were close, and the others from my year at the party, well, they were people I knew and talked to a bit. We all got along. Counting the people I was friendly with, then on a technicality, I was more popular than Jessica Holmes or Richard Drive. I just didn't fit in with the in crowd, that was all.
"You got an older brother, right?"
"Yep," I replied. "Mattie. He moved out a while back though."
"Cool...I think I used to skate with him." A thoughtful look came on his face as he glanced around. The music grew louder as the door to the living room opened and Aiden, one of my oldest friends, came tumbling out. He flashed a bright smile at me before holding up his empty cup and shaking it.
"Need more drink," he slurred. "You want one, Soph?"
I shook my head, holding up my half full glass. "I'm fine," I shouted over the music. Aiden nodded, his eyes glancing to Hunter. A look of surprise flitted across his face.
"Law, how's it going?"
"Not too bad, err..."
"Aiden," I explained. "Aiden, meet Hunter."
Aiden stuck his hand out, and Hunter shook it.
"Right. Alcohol!" Aiden cried, pushing past us and making his way through the kitchen.
"You have...interesting friends," Hunter drawled, shaking his head. "You guys drink often?"
"All the time," I lied, watching something flicker in his eyes. Clearly, he didn't believe me. Still...what did it matter? He was talking to me. Hunter was talking to me!
"What about..." he glanced around, before inching closer to me. "Smoking?" There was a strange emphasis on the word, but my eyes drifted to his jeans pocket to see a packet of cigarettes poking out.
"Sure." Another lie. Whatever.
I was past the point of caring.
His grin widened, and he reached forward, gently taking a hold of my wrist. "C'mon," he whispered into my ear, and I felt a tingle spread through my body as he led me through the hallway, through the kitchen where Aiden was sloshing coke into a cup, and out into the garden.
My parents loved this garden.
It was huge, with various flowers all along the one side. There was even a rose bush at the back, and a bench. I loved the summer, purely because it meant I could sit out here with a book and a drink and stay warm until night-time. Me and Mattie used to take turns with the mowing, and I'd even helped mum plant a few of the flowers throughout the years.
Hunter led me to the bench, and took something small and round from his pocket. I frowned down at it as he opened it and stared inside. A strong, sweet smell filled my nostrils, a smell I recognised vaguely but had no idea what it was. It reminded me of my brother, of him coming home from skateboarding and the smell he brought with him.
Hunter winked at me.
"Can I...have a cigarette then?" I asked, hesitant and unsure as he closed the object and started to twist it.
"Ahhh...yeah, sure," he chuckled, balancing the object on his knee and taking the cigarettes from his pocket. He handed me one, and I placed it between my lips like I'd seen people do before. He sparked up a lighter and put the flame to the end, watching me as I breathed in.
Almost immediately, I felt a scratching at the back of my throat. Taking the cigarette away I began to cough, turning away from Hunter so he didn't see how red my face most likely was. He laughed.
"I thought you said you smoked?"
"Errr...I've tried it," I muttered weakly, clutching the cigarette between my fingers. "Once or twice."
"You didn't inhale," he commented, taking it from me and putting it to his own mouth. "Watch," he whispered, inhaling and holding the smoke in for a second before blowing it out. He handed it back to me, before turning his attention back to his lap.
"What are you doing?" I asked, watching as he took out a small packet of thin, white papers and laid two on his knee.
"Rolling," he explained, and I found myself fascinated by his hand movements as he sprinkled something brown across the papers, followed by something green that he'd taken from the round object. He placed the ends of the papers together, and using his fingers, rolled them until it looked like one long cigarette. His lighter flared up again, igniting the end, and we were once more surrounded by that strange, sweet smell.
He brought the end up to his lips and inhaled deeply, eyes half-closed as he did so.
"What is that?"
"A joint," he muttered, blowing the smoke out and smiling at me.
"As in...weed? But that's a..."
"A drug? Well, yeah. But so is nicotine, and alcohol. This is just like the third part of the pyramid. You want to try some?"
Sophia, no. A small voice piped up at the back of my head as I stared at it. Underage drinking, underage smoking, how many laws did I want to break tonight?
"I won't push you," he muttered, putting an arm around the back of the bench. "But there's more than enough here if you do want to."
He likes you, Sophia. You need to impress him!
My mind was already feeling fuzzy from the drink. My eyes darted from the joint to his face. His eyes were still half-closed, a smile tugging his lips upwards. Well, it looked like he was enjoying it...
"Go on then!"
* * *
I wasn't sure how we got to my room.
When I searched my brain, all I got was a fuzzy memory of moving through the corridors and Hunter leading me upstairs. He'd asked which room was mine, and opened the door, drawing me inside. Now, I was sitting on the edge of the bed as his eyes roamed over the bookcase, fingers trailing along the spines of books there.
"You got a lot of decent books," he remarked. "Nice case, too."
"My granddad made it," I muttered. "It's older than me – mum said he made in 1976."
"Whoa," he chuckled. "Kept it in good order."
I nodded, shifting back on the bed and crossing my legs. Down below, I could still hear the music, still hear the sounds of the party going on. My head felt light, and I leant against the wall as Hunter crouched down, looking now at my collection of DVDs and games.
"How do you afford all this stuff?"
I shrugged. "Mum and dad give me an allowance for helping around the house. Twenty quid a week, but they said I need to get a job during A Levels."
He nodded, half-turning to me. "You staying at school then?"
"Yep, then going to University."
"I don't know." I smiled, closing my eyes as he stood up and crossed to my desk.
"Mind if I turn your laptop on?"
The sound of it turning on filled the room, and I half-opened my eyes to see him clicking on my username. My desktop appeared on the screen, revealing my background.
"You like Supernatural then?"
"Yep," I nodded. "Great show."
I paid no attention to what he was doing as I stretched out on the bed, closing my eyes. Minutes later I heard the click-click-click of the keyboard, before music filled the room.
"That's not on my laptop..." I commented, frowning as something I didn't recognise started to play. Hunter moved away from the desk and came to the bed, sitting near my legs.
"Nah, I put Grooveshark on." He glanced over to me, as I forced myself to sit up, struggling against the wave of lightness that hit me.
My mouth felt dry, and I struggled to keep my eyes open as I stared at Hunter. He flickered in and out of my vision as he leant towards me, lifting his hand and putting one finger under my chin. I couldn't help but notice how red his eyes were as he stared into mine. The whites had turned red, but it was still Hunter's deep hazel eyes that looked out at me.
"Are you feeling okay?"
"Mm-hmm," I lied, trying to ignore the sparkling sensation that spread from the spot where his fingertip touched my skin, filling my body. I took a deep breath, tongue lashing out and licking my lips as his face moved closer to mine.
"You seem to be handling it quite well," he chuckled, stroking his finger along my jaw-line. "You know, considering it's your first time."
I smiled, feeling my cheeks heat up as my eyes darted downwards. "T-t-thanks," I stammered, wondering if he could even tell what I was saying.
Suddenly, before I could say anything else, his lips were on mine, his tongue gently prising them apart. I fell into the kiss, lifting one hand and wrapping my fingers in his hair as, slowly, he pushed me back onto the bed.