monday - july 4: keiko missed so much over june that she wants to catch up with everyone all at once so she's throwing a sleepover for the girls since her father will be out of town for the week. with keiko expect fun snacks, chick flicks, and homemade spa treatments. hopefully some boys will stop by and elevate all the estrogen that'll be in the air.

“So it’s set, we’re leaving on Saturday,” Abi said, digging her hands down deep into the sand. 

I stretched my legs out in the sun, watching as Javy lazily buried his into the beach. “Yup.”

“And we’re taking Justin’s tent and Tay’s dad’s car...”

“I still don’t see why we couldn’t take my car,” Javy whined, pouting like he was offended.

I rolled my eyes. “Because your car is a shi.tbox, Javier.”

Sighing, I turned over on my towel, and Javy began sprinkling sand onto my bare back. The five of us were spending the waning afternoon at the beach, planning our upcoming camping trip. Justin, Taylor and I sharing a tent. It would be interesting, to say the least.

“We should go,” Tay suggested, shaking the sand from her towel. “We have to get to Keiko’s.”

Javy grinned. “Can’t wait.”

“You, in a room full of girls? That is an awful, awful idea,” she retorted.

“If I’m driving you there, I should at least get to look through the windows while you have pillow fights in your underwear.”

“Okay, but once we all start comparing boob sizes and making out, you have to leave,” I informed him.

“As if I would ever want to see your ti.ts, Lakeman.”

“Oh please,” I laughed. “You look at them all the time. In fact, I’m pretty sure you perfected your sneaky side-glance by spending time at my place.”

“What are neighbours for?” he grinned.

We all eventually piled into his car, the girls getting out at Keiko’s place as the sun dropped down into the west and the boys rode off into the darkness for their ‘guys night’. 

“I’m so glad you guys are here!” Keiko gushed, hugging us all in turn. “I was afraid nobody would show up.”

“Why wouldn’t they?” Taylor asked flippantly, stepping inside and peering around Keiko’s house. “Your house is so... cute...”

I looked at Keiko apologetically, and she mustered a smile, leading us to the living room. “I have plenty of unhealthy food and tearjerker movies, everyone else should be coming soon... I hope...”

“Got any vodka?” Abi asked, looking under pillows, as if she expected a flask to magically appear. I nudged her, and she got the message, looking up with a smile. God, I was responsible for a drunkard and a prissy bit.ch for the night. I almost felt bad for their behaviour.

But people did start to arrive, and my friends didn’t look like such idiots. Though I barely paid attention to them, instead distracted by my phone.

“Who do you keep texting?” Abi asked, jumping on the couch next to me as Keiko served us some dinner. 

I stuffed it in my pocket. “Nobody.”

She raised an eyebrow. “There’s only one person you’d be ashamed of texting, Lauren.”

She knew it was Mat, I knew she knew it was Mat. He was trying to get me to go to dinner with him later this week, and I was doing my typical resisting act. Though he was starting to win me over. “It’s nothing, Ab, I promise, he just wants dinner...”

“Oh yeah, one minute it’s dinner, and next minute it’s...” she trailed off, but made a thrusting motion, causing raised eyebrows from the girls among us.

“God, do you guys talk about anything but sex?” Taylor asked, rolling her eyes and scoffing way too dramatically.

I held my tongue as best I could. “We weren’t, actually.”

“But we will be soon,” Abi murmured into my ear.


thursday - july 7: 1776 steakhouse is having a special tonight for couples so bring your boyfriend or current boytoy and dine in style.

I’m sorry. I faltered. It’s bad, bad, bad. Mat just got under my skin. He always gets under my skin.

I sat, just one, at a table for two. Our reservation was for 7, and it was now 7.15. Around me, couples were already lost in the world of each other, nobody noticing the lonesome blonde at the table by the window.

I was about to call and abuse him, because he’d made me come here. He’d made me give up on everything that I thought I /should/ do, and think with my heart. Or maybe not my heart, but my sex drive. He’d made me go out on the one limb I’d said I’d never stand on again.

“I’m late, I’m sorry.” A voice in my ear made me start, and I closed my eyes for a few seconds, returning my heartbeat to normal. I was sure there was a flush of anger rising in my chest.

“Damn right you are.”

Mat sat down across from me, leaning his elbows on the table and looking at me intently. “My roommate borrowed my other jeans and I had to wash these. I’m sorry. I didn’t want to turn up in dirty clothes.”

“Who are you?” I asked, laughing.

He ran his eyes down the menu, and grimaced, obviously looking at the prices. “I need a second job.”

“Don’t complain, this was your idea.”

The dinner went by uneventfully. We were never the type to have amazing conversations. But I knew what was coming afterwards, we both knew.

“Do you want to come back? We’ll watch a movie. Promise.”

A movie, right. I bit down on my lip, looking at the empty table. What did I expect coming here, really? I was well aware of the suggestion that would be made.

“Okay.”

He rested his hand on the small of my back as we walked from the restaurant to his car. And as we drove, his hand lay on my thigh, as it always used to when we did this. It was a short ride to the dilapidated beachside building that housed his apartment, a short run up the stairs, a short greeting to his roommate who was stretched out on one of the couches, stoned or drunk out of his mind.

“Oh, hey bro,” he grinned, looking up at Mat with squinty eyes. “You brought home a live one.”

“Fuc.k off,” Mat replied, smacking him around the head. “Get the lady a drink.”

The roommate – whose name I never remembered – disappeared to the kitchen, and Mat dropped down on the couch, patting the space next to him. I took it tentatively, and he wrapped his arm around my shoulders, pulling me close. We were handed beers, and settled in to watch whatever movie it was that was playing – some high-testosterone high-impact action flick. The alcohol and the comfort of Mat’s grip lulled me into a false sense of security until the credits rolled, and we were in his bedroom before I knew what was happening.

I stood there, statuesque, not wanting to make a move. After all this time, I wasn’t going to be the one who gave in first. He stood a few inches away from me, our noses almost touching. “Do it,” he murmured.

“No.”

“Kiss me.”

I let out a tiny sigh, closing my eyes for a split second. His hands skimmed my hips, and he pushed his crotch into my stomach. I gasped slightly. How did he get so hard, so quick?

As if it were his cue, he grabbed my hips and pushed me back into the wall with a loud thud. Our lips fused together in the most desperate, aching kiss, and he lifted me onto the bed, letting me down gently. His hands raced up my sides, pushing my dress up past my hips, tearing off my underwear.

I felt his warm breath on my skin, kisses on the inside of my thighs. 

I felt myself going under again.
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