Golden boy Taylor lived in a castle befitting his golden boy status. And for somebody who never threw parties, he threw a pretty good one—massive amounts of alcohol compensated for any inexperience he had in merrymaking.
Taylor lived on a hilltop, and his house was surrounded by golf-course quality grass, which, in turn, was surrounded by a wrought-iron fence. His closest neighbors lived similarly, on personal countries, and there was little risk that the noise generated by inebriated, impaired teenagers would warrant a house call by the police.
Taylor's father had an extensive collection of alcohol, but Taylor was good enough of a son to only take the cheap stuff, the slop in plastic, not glass, bottles that he was certain the old man wouldn't miss. A football friend had gotten his brother in college to supply them with a keg. Another friend with a fake ID acquired a few racks of cheap bear. Cole arrived five minutes early with a bottle of Coke for chaser. The hard liquor was the kind of vodka that came in plastic jugs. Officially, it was BYOB, and they sourced a great variety of cheap drinks.
As was typical of the gentry of the community, Taylor's property had a pool, a tennis court, a basketball court, and a pool house, where the majority of the debauchery took place. The main house was relatively untouched, which Cole thought was very clever, though he was certain that some lucky boys would be taking their catches upstairs as the night wound on.
Cole hadn't gone inside the pool—he would have, normally, because there were many, many beautiful boys in there, but being with Perry had made him acutely aware of the stretch marks on his beer gut. He went in for the alcohol, once the party was well underway, and watched a girl from his English class try to twerk on the table. Another girl, one of Taylor's church friends, joined her and the boys hooted with approval.
Nothing. Two hot babes skanking it up on a table in a sea of horny guys didn't do it for him. At all. Cole grabbed the nearest drink he could find (a shot glass from the Chris-the-queer's hand) and threw it down his throat. A tingle (from the drink) but nothing else.
On the kitchen counter, some dudes were doing body shots off of a girl with sequined booty shorts. Nothing.
Cole shook his head. He needed Perry.
Just a few hours before, Cole had been in his room, tying his shoes, getting ready, popping breath mints by the handful. And he had sworn to himself, "I will not go looking for Perry. That fairy is dead to me. He's a messed up, manipulative, crazy guy. You heard what he said."
Besides, Cole figured, he probably wouldn't be going anyways. Facebook was blowing up over the fight, and while he hadn't talked to Perry since, Cole understood that neither of them would divulge the details of their conversation or the context of their fight.
Another shot and another, then a beer and some poorly-done mixed drink that may have been spat in. Cole, sloshed, staggering around, blinking away the bright lights and the boom boom boom of the bass of the music, went on searching.
All around him were moving bodies—guys, girls, grinding against each other, couples making out—and it was difficult to search. A flash of platinum blond hair jerked Cole's attention towards the kitchen, but it was only Castle's bitchy cousin talking to some chick about her hot shoes.
"Hey Cole, have a drink." Someone shoved a red cup at his chest.
Cole took the plastic cup and put it to his lips. Beer splashed down onto his shirt and people cheered. He chugged the rest of it and let out a primal roar of triumph—somebody gave him another and he did the same, this time roaring louder and mightier.
"Come on, Castle, join the fun!"
Somebody sat Cole down on the couch, and across from him sat Castle, silent as a funeral.
Cole wiped his face on the back of his hand. He was vaguely aware of the Dixie cup in front of him. He was also somewhat aware of the fact that he was throwing down too many shots—vodka, and he was already drunk—and that sitting down, doing shots with Castle was getting him nowhere closer to fucking Perry.
"You're not being productive."
Cole distinctly heard Castle's voice, but he wasn't talking. From behind that sentence crept up an elated laugh, Shawn, and then, "He's right, he's right!"
Somebody slapped down another shot in front of each of them—not vodka, something else, Jack, probably—and Castle picked it up, holding it to his lips. He'd lost track of how much he'd had, and how long he'd even been there. Cole was reeling, but even drunk, he saw Castle staring at him intently with eyes the same color as the whisky in his cup.
He wasn't sure if anything was really happening. He saw Castle knock back his drink and then point towards the door, still staring with Jack Daniels-colored eyes, boring through to his soul.
"Go get him."
Cole staggered to his feet and scanned the room for anything blond. It was dark, and the lights were weird, but surely, that Perry's hair would be bright as a beacon.
He brushed past Castle, who didn't even look a little bit buzzed, and walked out of the pool house, staggering deliriously after a dark shape towards the main house, up a staircase—glorious marble, made not so glorious by vomit on the third step. A high-heeled shoe was thrown across the floor, and Cole fought through the crowd.
He wanted to vomit, and he needed to sit down, have a drink of water, but Cole was on a mission, Castle sent him on a mission. Cole tripped his way upstairs, following the rabbit into the house. And then there it was—a beautiful blond head at the end of the hallway. Cole shoved his way through the moving bodies and practically sprinted up the stairs, shouting, "Hey! Get your ass over here, glitter-boy!"
"Come and get me," Perry said. Not the real Perry, but the Perry inside Cole's head. Stark naked, he was, though Cole had never seen Perry unclothed, only imagined him that way. "You know you want me."
"I want you," said Cole to imaginary Perry. He was on the second floor—all the lights were off, but there was no more chase. Perry stood at the end of the hallway and was not running anymore. He slipped through a door.
"Then come find me."
"Are you sure you want to do this?" Seth interrupted, suddenly at Cole's side.
"Get the fuck out of my head, Castle." Cole leaned over the balustrade of the stairs. Castle was downstairs still, saying something to his girlfriend. The Castle next to him snapped his fingers in front of his face. "Yeah, you're not even real."
"If he's not real, then can I be real?"
"Shut up, Shawn. You're not real either."
"You're no fun."
Cole opened a few of the doors—closets, mostly, with coats and linens and shit—and wiped the sweat away from his face.
"You smell," said imaginary Perry. "When you find me you can take that stinky shirt off. Isn't that perfect?"
He darted around, hiding behind Shawn, tossing his blond hair. Cole looked around wildly, mouth open like a trout.
"Second door to the left," said Taylor. "My room."
Cole leaned on that door, which swung open easily, and tumbled into Taylor's room. It was completely dark and it took a while to see the figure standing in front of the bed. Naked, bare-bodied, naked, gorgeous, naked.
It happened very quickly. Cole football-tackled him to the bed and they kissed. Sloppy kissing, but kissing, all the same. Cole's clothes found their way onto the floor, and Cole found himself on the bed, on top this time.
It was messy sex. Cole had never topped a boy before, and he was drunk. They were both sweating, and there was a fumbling of condoms and lube Perry had fished out from Taylor's nightstand. Neither of them seemed to mind, though, and fucking was the only thing that mattered.
"Why so quiet?" asked Cole, but it came out as a garbled bunch of words.
"Fuck me harder, Cole!"
That's more like it.
Cole complied, and, drunk as he was, he finished, and then collapsed, and sweating like a hog, on Taylor's sheets. He felt arms around him, and then kisses on his neck. The party was roaring on downstairs, but, just as long as Cole was there in bed, it was all gone. The hangover would be killer in the morning, but that'd be fine.
Cole looked to his right, only to see a ridiculously sexy back, and figured that he was already out.
Take that, you little bitch.