Chapter 4

Ridiculously terrible music bled from the windows of the simple Victorian style farm house, pooling in the gravel driveway surrounding the building. The noise made the ground vibrate right along with each hit of the base. What was that playing anyway? Dubstep? No. That's what should have been playing at a party. What was playing instead? Country. Classic country at that. These people clearly had never been to a real party.

Blue solo cups already littered the lawn and the party was only an hour in, as Skylar had promptly arrived late. Likewise to the cups, people littered the wrap around porch in various fashions, all slightly buzzed if not completely drunk already. Lightweights always amused Skylar. Luckily the farm house was in a rural part of Winter Grove so a noise complaint was far out of the question unless Skylar managed to track down whoever was playing this hideous excuse of dance music, then she was sure to put in a complaint or two of her own. Because come on, who played Randy Travis at a high school party? With a bunch of drunken teens amped up on hormones wobbling around looking to score, how was dancing to Randy Travis going to get them there? That kind of music just wouldn't do. It didn't have the beat you needed to really create the rhythm for a bump and grind with a smoking blonde she had in mind. No, Skylar would have words with the DJ, that was for sure.

People were stumbling around the porch when Skylar passed them, a rather tall gangly fellow nearly plowed her over when he had been shoved by his girlfriend. If it hadn't been for Skylar's ninja reflexes she'd have been pinned under the overweight giant but instead she had made it safely inside while he crashed through the screen door. An amused chuckle was all Skylar offered the guy as rebuttal.

The first thing that hit Skylar upon entering the dimly lit house was the musky heat swirling in the stale air. Heat permeating off the closely packed bodies of probably over half the school jammed into what would normally have been an acceptably sized room. Scattered around the room were two random plastic tables set up where the furniture use to be, now both couches shoved against the far walls for extra room. On one table was the stereo system that was blasting the atrocious music that a slightly hunched back teen was occupying. He would be Skylar's first target. On the other table was a literal pyramid of various kinds of beer as well as bottles of hard liquor being guarded by whom Skylar assumed to be the host of the party. Next to that table were a couple boxes being used to hold the three kegs of what Skylar knew only to be more alcohol. Whoever this dude was must have had quite a bit of money to be able to afford such a variety of different kinds of liquor in such a copious amount. That would Skylar's second destination but the girl made a mental note not to allow herself to drink much, she couldn't come home drunk or both her mother and Ez would never allow her to attend another party so long as she was under their rein. And that just wouldn't do.

Looks of all kinds were raining down on Skylar as she pushed through crowds, soaking her unpleasantly in discomfort. It wasn't so much the fact that they were ogling her body, because come on anyone who didn't was insane, she was hot, it was the creepy grins plastered on their faces. Smiles that could be read as either a threat or a please-fuck-me-now invite. Neither of which she liked. So she didn't allowed herself to slow down until she reached the pathetic excuse of a DJ whom jumped back in shock when she placed a hand on his arm. Maybe he wasn't use to girl's touching him. After Skylar took in what he was wearing, she didn't have a hard time believing that. He looked like something the 80's threw up after consuming far to much suede. The image was making Skylar's eyes hurt but for the sake of this party she had to stay where she stood and talk to this man else wise she be forced to endure more of this shitty music.

"Hi," Skylar all but shouted to be heard, "I'm Skylar and your music is shit!"

Maybe the guy didn't hear her or the fumes of his own rancid BO was diluting his brain because the guy just grinned and kept bobbing his head to the music. Whatever it was, it lead to annoy Skylar further. There were two things one needed to know about Skylar first thing if you were to understand how she operated. One, she always got what she wanted in the endgame no matter what, her swagger just didn't leave any room to fail. Two, you never blatantly disregarded anything Skylar Lombardi said to you unless you were cruising for a bruising. Both things this pathetic excuse of a DJ was about to learn first hand.

For diplomatic reasons Skylar tried again before the Coup d'état neigh at hand was put into action, "Hey! Guy, shut this off and play something I can move to comprende? 'Cause this shit don't fly with me!"

Maybe the guy was drunk because for the second time that night he brushed off what Skylar-Skylar Fucking Lombardi I.E. Badass of the year-had said with a low chuckle. The dumbass just stood there swaying to Patsy Cline like the idiot he was. Little did he know he just stirred up a whirlwind of Skylar furry he was now standing directly in the middle of.

His eyes nearly bugged out of his skull when Skylar kicked the backs of his knees effectively knocking him to the ground with his face level to the table. From there Skylar used a fist full of his greasy hair as a handle to push her nose against the stereo playing his poorly chosen music. Then the rebel goddess leaned down so she could speak in proximity of his ear.

"Smell that?" When the man tried to shake his head, for Skylar still had a death grip on his hair, Skylar went on, "That is the smell of shit. Which your music is giving off. I don't know if you actually been to a real party but they don't play this at any kind of parties I know of. We need to do something about that don't we?"

DJ Handlebar Mustache gurgled on whatever he was trying to say so Skylar spoke for him, "Your right Sky! There's a cord right there you can use to hook up your ipod to! Thank you for saving this party!"

And she answered herself, "Your very welcome DJ Handlebar Mustache. Now go get me a drink while I work my magic." As he scrambled off towards the other table Skylar whistled loudly when she remembered something. He turned back briefly, "One more thing. Don't ever ignore me again. I don't like it and it's not going to be good for your heath if you do it again. Got it? Good. Go." For extra measure she shooed him off with a flourish of her fingerless gloved hand.

Grinning to herself she dug her ipod from her pocket and searched for a play list that would best suite this situation. Finally she found one, the one. The perfect mix. God she was good.

While Skylar had been harassing the intoxicated DJ for the party, Annabelle had been getting out Jessie's black SUV outside. The cold night air turned her bare thighs into goose flesh and sent a jolting shiver up her spine. It wasn't pleasant. That's what she hated about skirts, she almost always froze to death in them. That and skirts usually forced her into a pair of heals. And she loathed heals specifically for the same reason she hated the ones she was in now. Each time she put her foot down the heal sunk into the lawn making the task of walking in the damn things twice as hard. By the grace of god she managed to get herself onto the porch without snapping the heels or her ankles.

Not until Annabelle was standing on the porch among her fake friends, smoothening out her skirt, did she notice the absence of Kennedy's country music. The only sounds coming from the house were belligerent shouts and the buzz made from groups upon groups of people chattering to one another. Now Annabelle may have never been to a party like this one before that didn't mean she had never attended a party thrown by the teens of Winter Grove. On numerous occasions Annabelle had been at this very house laughing along with the other jocks after a winning championship game or the after party after a Gallia. Each and every time Annabelle could remember Kennedy being the DJ for the evening with his various assortment of country oldies. Perhaps she had been a bit presumptuous to assume he would also be the one to DJ these types of parties.

"That's weird," Jessie's voice beside her disturbed Annabelle's thoughts whilst gathering her attention from where she had been fussing with the short length of the skirt.

"What is?"

The ginger girl twirled a loose strand of hair around her pale finger, scrutinizing the house with narrowed eyes, "I don't hear any music. I wonder is Ken finally died?" The dark chuckle that followed didn't escape Annabelle but the blonde swallowed the discomfort lodged in her throat born from Jessie's sadistic humor. Behind Jessie McKenzie along with Bethany and Alexei sauntered up the steps dressed very much like strippers. All three girls face's were scrunched up in confusion while their heads swiveled on their necks as if looking for something lost.

"What's up? No music?" Alexei's tiny voice chirped. The head of the group, Jessie, hummed a response though she didn't once remove the glare she had transfixed on the doorway of the home.

Bethany began to say something snarky but the words were drown out when music fired up, the house immediately began shuddering with each note struck. All five girls eyes nearly bulged from their skulls not just from the culture shock of such new music but the lyrics being smoothly sung overtop the techno music. Risqué, crude, dirty, lustful words that made Annabelle blush upon hearing them. The beat mingling with the velvet soft lyrics was foreign to the blonde's ears . With each surge of the synthesized sound her blood pumped harder, fleeting faster to her legs so she could move all night long. It was nothing like what she heard around Winter Grove, it was wild and senseless. Bells rang, a man screamed vulgarity that seemed to harmonize with the woman singing of the way sex tastes on her lovers skin, a bass thumped and kicked while more sounds of grinding, buzzing, beeping, and other unidentifiable things all blended together to make some kind of song. The sensation of feeling the music reaching inside her thrilled her beyond words, made her feel like she never had. Without words she rushed inside to see whom it was that had chosen this new kind of music to play here.

Could she say she was surprised to see Skylar lounging against the stereo on the table, legs crossed as she sipped at her drink and smirked at the crowd? Not honestly. But seeing Skylar there did do enough to stop the blonde mid step so she could stare on with her mouth agape.

When did it get so damn hot in here?

Skylar was hardly wearing anything. There were so many more tattoos on display Annabelle could feel her fingers fidgeting in their own anticipation to trace each mark. There was just so much of Skylar's delectable skin on show case-god it was really hot in here! Annabelle allowed her eyes to hungrily roam over every curve of Skylar's lounging body. Repressed Annabelle was the commentary of the probing, commenting on the sex lines the dipped into Skylar's shorts, the soft womanly curves of her legs, the midline down her toned stomach that stopped just above her navel Repressed Annabelle fantasized about sticking her tongue in, the way Skylar's chest was barely fitting into that half shirt and the way the teen was staring back at her with a lustful gaze. Fire was crawling all over her, leaving her flushed for all to see. Something akin to pressure was coiling tight in her abdomen as each second passed with Annabelle raking her eyes over Skylar as the raven haired girl did likewise to her.

It wasn't until Repressed Annabelle nudged her to go take Skylar then and there on that table that Annabelle finally came hurling back to reality. Her features hardened instantly yet that pressure in stomach remained. No problem, she turned on her heels to make for the table opposite of Skylar where Dylan sat waiting, she knew how to fix that.

"Hey baby!" The boy shot out of his seat to collect his still blushing girlfriend in a crushing hug. She wrinkled her nose that was pressed tightly against his hard chest. He smelled terrible. What was that? Some kind of exotic flower and definitely beer. Perfume maybe? Why would he be wearing perfume?

Then the pressure crushing her ribs relaxed and she felt rough lips being crushed against her own. Now she was tasting what she smelled ten fold and it made her gag a little. That was definitely no perfume. Finally he pulled away, leaving her room to breath and wipe his vile taste from her lips.

Dylan re-joined the group of guys Derrick, the host, also seemed to be in. The smell of that weird flower seemed to be coming from their general direction though she couldn't see what it was that was causing it. Nor did she have any guesses. For all she knew it could have been some gross party food or drink, she had zero experience to draw from in this department. So she just scrunched her nose up to prevent most of the acrid smell from entering her lungs.

"I want in on this." Annabelle jumped at the sound of Jessie's voice so close to her ear. The girl in question scoffed at her reaction before strutting into the circle of boys and plopping herself down on one of their laps. Not her boyfriend's lap. Her boyfriend's best friend instead. Rolling her eyes Annabelle turned to find a place to sit but instead found herself pressed against the hard body she had run into.

"I'm so sorry-"

"I knew you wanted me but damn chicka." The hair stood up on Annabelle's neck when she felt Skylar's breath the words in her ear. Satanic tingles spread all over the spot where Skylar's hands were rested on her hips, probably put there out of instinct to steady the teetering blond. Pleasant vibrations racked Annabelle's body when she realized just how close Skylar was to the blonde. They were basically pressed against one another, all but their hips and breasts touching. Their bare thighs were touching and even Annabelle couldn't ignore how amazing that felt. Plus Skylar smelled so damn good! What was that smell? Wild cherries. That's what she smelled like. With a hint of lime. It was utterly intoxicating.

Skylar glanced over Annabelle's shoulder, her once light smile now a thin line and beautiful eyes set in a glare. Annabelle tried to turn to see what was upsetting her but Skylar grabbed Annabelle's chin and held it firm. Butterflies took flight in the depths of Annabelle's already knotted stomach.

What was happening to her? No boy had ever had this effect on Annabelle. Not Dylan who was suppose to be at notorious ladies killer at Winter Grove High. He hadn't so much as managed to turn her on and that had to be saying something considering she was very much a virgin. In every sense of the word. Feelings like lust, desire, want, need, yearning were things she was still untouched by. Until this very moment.

The moment Annabelle turned and collided with Skylar changed that. Since Skylar's hands shot out to steady herself by gripping onto Annabelle's slender hips, their bare thighs pressed as their legs intertwined like they were dancing, and Annabelle herself had reached out to grab both of Skylar's shoulder she had felt it. Just a hint of desire. It felt warm. Warm low below her bellybutton and tight in her stomach, making her shiver and melt at the same time. Now with Skylar's soft thumb and forefinger gently gripping her chin so that they could stare into one another eyes, that feeling intensified.

"I don't want you to go over there Bell." Something about the way Skylar said it made Annabelle think it was a little possessive. The sharp edge in the otherwise quiet sentence. It made Annabelle shiver. Not to mention to nickname. No one had called her that before. Bell, it sounded lovely coming out of Skylar's mouth.

Shut up, shut up, shut up! What was she doing! What was she thinking! No she shouldn't be thinking like that. No nick name Skylar could give Annabelle would be lovely. Skylar wasn't making Annabelle feel like a hot gooey mess that sorely needed to be kissed. No.

Jesus. She was so fucked.

"And why not? Who died and made you god? I came here to spend time with my boyfriend and he's over there so-"

Skylar interrupted Annabelle before the blond even had a chance to finish, "Your boyfriend," and it didn't go unnoticed that Skylar put just as much emphasis on the word as Annabelle had even if for a different reason, "you seem to love oh so much is busy getting high of his ass with his buddies over there. But I mean if that's your scene princess, then please, by all means, go!" Along with her words Skylar released her grip and stepped away from Annabelle, her arms folded across her chest which caused that half shirt to expose the underside of Skylar's bra. Sweet Jesus.

Even more disturbing though was when Annabelle turned to confirm Skylar's accusations, she was welcomed to the sight of her boyfriend choking out billows of off white smoke. Something cylinder shaped in his hand-she really didn't know what it was-was passed over to Jessie whom pressed her mouth to the top of it-oh.

That explains the weird flower smell then. Dear god. That explained a lot of things actually. Why Dylan always seemed to be floating above everything else and why his eyes were usually bloodshot after coming back from one of his friends houses. That possibility also explained why her mother had loathed him from the day she met him.

Truth be told, she hated Dylan just as much. Now she hated him even more.

"God."

"Hey don't worry about it Bell." And like that Annabelle found herself in another tantalizingly torturous position with Skylar's arms wrapped around her waist from behind and her chin rested on Annabelle's shoulder. Little stray hairs that stuck out from Skylar's bangs tickled Annabelle's cheek.

God she smelled good.

"Dance with me?" Like in math class Skylar had pressed her hot lips against Annabelle's ear before husking out the question. It took a lot of internal strength to not whimper at the potent mixture of the two.

"Dance?" Her voice cracked just trying to mutter one word.

"Yes," Skylar was purring now like a cat playing with the mouse it had caught between its claws, "that thing two people do when there is music and they are feeling moved to move? Come on. Pretty please with me on top?"

"Skylar I don't-" The blonde found herself being twirled around and held at arms length, the visible azure eye peering at her.

"Just one dance? Please?"

"It just wouldn't-"

"Come on! What would one dance hurt?"

Well for starters I could give into Repressed Annabelle's demands and let you drag me upstairs and fuck me into the mattress, "I'm not a very good dancer." That was a lie, Annabelle had been in dance classes since she could walk. Dancing was one of her favorite things in the world and if her father hadn't chosen her profession already then she would be a dancer. Dancing in Carnegie Hall. Dancing until the day she died.

Skylar raised a pierced brow, stepping back to leer at Annabelle's legs, "Liar. These legs?" This time Annabelle couldn't stop the whimper that wanted to be known when Skylar ran her palm from Annabelle's knee to her hip, "These are the legs of a dancer."

Annabelle didn't remember agreeing yet she still found herself on the makeshift dance floor. The song had changed since Annabelle's arrival, now it was something that sounded Hispanic based though still heavily laden with synthesized sounds. Naturally born with rhythm Annabelle's body was already swaying to the beat, her hips pivoting in a classic samba fashion while she shimmied her torso like a belly dancer with her arms above her head. She went on like that for a while, dancing by herself with her eyes closed shut and a huge smile on her face. She really loved dancing. Dancing was one of the only things in her life that made her feel like she was doing something right. Something that was all her own and Ryan couldn't touch nor take away no matter how hard he tried.

She shimmied around for at least two different songs until finally she felt a body press into her from behind and arms loosely encircled her hips. At this point Annabelle was so into her dancing she was grateful for the dance partner because that only meant twice as rigorous the dances she could perform. Feeling a nose press into her neck as Annabelle continued to gyrate her hips Annabelle reached behind her to bury her fingers into Skylar's silky hair. Thankfully Skylar took the hint by placing the flat of her hand against Annabelle's abdomen while the other traveled down to rest on Annabelle's exposed thigh.

"What's this?" Skylar felt a slight protrusion beneath Annabelle's shirt right where her navel should be, "A bellybutton ring? Oh Bell, you naughty, naughty girl. Bet daddy hates that."

Annabelle let a little smirk cross her face, purposefully grinding into Skylar when she answered, "Daddy doesn't know."

"Is that so? Wonder what other little goodies you have hidden from me."

This time Annabelle laughed, "Goodies? And what would that entitle?"

Skylar allowed Annabelle to move them around the floor a bit before answering, "Things I can lick and suck on. You have anymore of those kinds of things Miss Taylor?"

Knowing full well what Skylar was trying to get out of her Annabelle left the question hanging in the air for a very long time. Instead she focused on their dance that had somehow become a highlight of her night. They had worked themselves into a nice rhythm that Annabelle set the pace for with her hips, Skylar remained behind her moving with the girl instead of against her. Skylar wasn't a bad dancer, Annabelle admitted that to only herself, she sure as hell beat Dylan. That boy not only had two left feet but two enormous left feet that crushed her poor toes every time they tried dancing with her. Unlike that, Skylar seemed to understand the flow of motions Annabelle's body demonstrated as well as keep up with fluid movements of her own. Still Annabelle wanted to test Skylar to see how good she really was.

When the song changed to a more classic tune the blonde actually knew, Livin' La Vida Loca, Annabelle had turned to face her partner. Slowly with a glint in her eye the blonde drug her calf up Skylar's leg as an invitation that the other girl took immediately. Skylar hooked a hand under Annabelle's knee to wrap Annabelle's leg around her hips while also effectively pulling them flush against one another. The two girls shared a competitive smile just before they whirled around the floor in a fast paced nuance salsa that they performed almost effortlessly.

For Annabelle it was a breath of fresh air. She hadn't ever danced with such a talented partner before nor one that could keep up with the petite blonde. Yet Skylar managed to match her step for step performing as the male lead for the dance while Annabelle danced all around her, on her, even sliding down Skylar's leg while she drug her hands along the full length of Skylar's torso at one point. As the last note of the song died out Annabelle found herself hoisted on Skylar's hips with her back arched and Skylar holding her tight with strong arms encircled the small of her back. Not that this was an abnormal way to end a salsa, however they made it abnormal by remaining in the position.

Skylar's hair had become tousled in the dance now exposing both of her hungry eyes to an equally starving set of hazel ones. The feeling from before was back with a vengeance in Annabelle, now making itself known from the intensified heat bellow Annabelle's skirt. Heat that seemed to be growing hotter with each second longer that Skylar held her and staring up at her with those eyes.

Then, almost as if she had been electrocuted, Annabelle became extremely tense. Skylar noticed and let the blonde down but not without circling around her and wrapping her arms around Annabelle's waist from behind.

Annabelle was unaware of the effect she was having on Skylar. Since the moment the blond had entered the house looking gorgeous Skylar knew that things would be different with Annabelle. Because when she had seen that beautiful girl she had lost her breath. And no girl had ever stolen Skylar Fucking Lombardi's breath away before. When she had seen the girl go over to where all the guys were getting baked a strange sense of protection had welled up in Skylar. The feeling was alien to her. Sure Sky had been with other girls before, dated them, but she never gave a shit about them. They had been there for sex and sex only. Skylar had never actually cared about them, she didn't allowed herself to. Feeling things were far to close to getting yourself hurt. Trust equaled nothing in this world but pain. Furthermore you had to trust someone if you were to feel something for them and Skylar just couldn't do that. Yet the teen couldn't deny that sense of urgency to protect the little blonde from her stupid ass boyfriend.

Then they had danced together. What a dance it was. They must have been on the floor for little over an hour before Annabelle made a move. Testing the limits of Skylar's skill only to find Skylar a formidable partner. Yeah that's right, Skylar had some sick sweet skills when it came to moving the body. Both in bed and on the floor. Their dance had been erotic, romantic, overzealous, and maybe even a little bit of a learning experience for both them as far as how they could move was concerned.

That dance was the best dance of Skylar's life. So it was only natural that Skylar had suddenly found his compulsively need to have her arms around Annabelle at all times. It just felt right. Even though that thought alone sounded wrong. Far to full of emotions. For someone else.

"Wouldn't you like to know." Skylar heard Annabelle mutter after a few minutes of them just swaying, Annabelle's hands resting light over the ones sitting on Annabelle's hip bones.

"What?"

"I was answering your question from before."

Skylar smiled, ducking her head into the crook of Annabelle's neck to hide it, "Oh."

"Oh? That's is? That's all I get? Oh?" Skylar decided she liked the tone Annabelle's voice took on when she was teasing Skylar.

"What can I say? You wore me out with those crazy hips of yours dancing all over the place like some kind of Dancing Queen." They both laughed at that.

Again they settled back into their rhythm, this one slower than all the others as they just swaying in place, complacent to be near one another. That is, until Skylar decided to push it.

She hadn't meant to do it, it had been a natural reaction with how close her lips had already been to Annabelle's exposed neck. Honestly it was only a light kiss. Maybe two. And Skylar may have let her tongue taste the sweet strip of flesh below Annabelle's ear. But she had never meant to do it purposefully. She had decided hours ago that she wasn't going to try seducing Annabelle. Old habits, they sure die hard though.

At first Annabelle didn't do anything except freeze up. The swaying stopped and her entire body went ridged. Then just as quick the blonde whirled on Skylar and before she even saw it coming, a white hot string burned across her cheek.

"What the fuck do you think your doing!" For some reason the words Annabelle were spitting at Skylar hurt worst than the slap had. That was saying something because Annabelle had managed to snag one of her lips rings and, she couldn't be sure, but was nearly positive it had been ripped out. A hot copper liquid was beginning to coat her tongue and dribble down her chin was her clarification. She ignored the pain, ignored the blood because the fear that filled Annabelle's eyes at having been kissed on the neck like that by a girl, Skylar no less, had done that. Put that fear in those gorgeous hazel eyes. Fear and malice.

Those eyes widened a bit at the sight of blood now steadily drooling down her chin to drip onto her chest since she made no effort to wipe it away. Just like that the angry fear disappeared to be replaced instead with sorrowful regret. Annabelle's hands flew to her mouth in hopes of stifling the shocks gasp that she let out. It did no such thing.

"Skylar I'm so-"

"Forget about it." Skylar voice sounded wounded but only to herself. To anyone else it sounded cold, dead, rough. To Annabelle it just sounded like the voice of a girl she had just hurt badly.

"Sky-"

"Look I'm sorry okay? I was out of line Bell. I didn't mean to take advantage of you like that. Even if you liked it I still shouldn't have-"

"Hey! What's that suppose to mean!" And the anger was back.

Skylar furrowed her brows, running her tongue tentatively over the new wound in her lip, "Exactly what I just said."

"I didn't like it at all! I'm not fucking gay like you! When will you get that!"

"Annabelle-"

"Fuck you Skylar!"

And like that Annabelle stormed off in the direction of her boyfriend, hell bent on proving to Skylar but more so herself that she wasn't gay. She knew just how to do it too. Coming here tonight Annabelle had been a virgin but Annabelle wouldn't be leaving as one.

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