‘I’m coming over in 10.’ You unlocked your phone, reading the text from Laura and sent back a smiley face. You looked in the mirror and surveyed your outfit. You paired a nice tank top with some jean shorts. Even though the party was at night it was still the middle of summer and you knew you’d be needing the shorts and tank top.
“Sis, you ready?” Jack called.
Grabbing your phone you slid it into your shorts and walked towards the stairs, “Yeah, Laura’s almost here. Is E on his way?” Jack nodded, looking at his phone. You went to the kitchen to get a bottle of water. The doorbell rang and you walked over to get it.
“Y/N! You ready?” Ethan smiled down at you.
You smiled back, “Yeah, Laura should be here soon.”
“She’s in the car.” Ethan stepped to the side and you saw Laura in the front seat. When she caught your eye she started to wave but then flipped you off at the last second. You rolled your eyes good-naturedly.
“He had to run an errand. He’s meeting us at the party, though.” You nodded as you walked out to the car, Jack following and Ethan leading the way.
When you arrived at the party music was blasting and people were mingling outside on the grass, “Who’s house is this?” You asked to no one in particular.
“Megan’s older sister. She’s out of town for the week and she told Megan she could have friends over.” Ethan explained. You nodded in understanding as you got out of the backseat. Laura linked arms with you and marched you up to the steps.
As soon as you walked in you were greeted by Megan’s smile, “Laura! Y/N! I’m so glad you guys are here! Want something to drink? There’s alcohol and other drinks in the kitchen.” She hugged you before walking off to greet other guests.
“Let’s get this party started!” Ethan yelled, coming up behind you. You smiled as he went to greet his friends with a handshake and a side-hug. Laura pulled you to the kitchen and got a beer and handed you a can of lemonade. You smiled appreciatively and surveyed the people hanging around the kitchen and the connected living room. Some people were already drunk, some were getting there, you could tell. Laura had mentioned to you earlier that she wanted to get drunk at the party and you agreed to keep her from doing anything embarrassing.
It’d had been a few hours since you had arrived and Laura was sufficiently drunk. You had stopped her from dancing on a table without a top as well as stopping her from jumping in the pool. You were getting tired of watching her when Ethan came up to you and told you that he’d watch her for a while. You gave him a hug as thanks and wandered off to find some food and water.
“Having fun?” A voice behind you asked. You turned and saw Megan smiling at you.
“Yeah. It’s nice. Great music choice, by the way!” Megan laughed and gave you a warm hug.
“Hey where’s Grayson?” Megan turned to grab a drink from the bar in the kitchen. You had seen her with a drink in her hand all night but she didn’t seem drunk, or even tipsy.
“Um, I’m not sure. E said he had some errands to run. Shouldn’t you know?” You hoped that you weren’t coming off as rude.
Megan raised an eyebrow, “Why would I know?” She took a sip from her cup.
“Well…” you trailed off uncomfortably, “you two are together, aren’t you?” You scratched your arm, avoiding her eyes.
Megan coughed. When you looked at her she was smiling and holding her hand up to her mouth, “Oh my gosh, no! I have a boyfriend. Grayson is so not interested in me!”
“You… a boyfriend?” You stuttered out.
“Yeah! Harrison! He’s great! We’ve been together for three years!” She pulled out her phone and showed you her lock screen that showed a picture of a handsome boy kissing her cheek.
You let go of a breath that you didn’t know you were holding, “Oh.”
“Anyway, I think I heard a door close upstairs and there aren’t any bathrooms up there so that can only mean one thing. Talk later!” With that, Megan walked out and towards the stairs. You watched her until she disappeared upstairs, mind still reeling with what she had said. Grayson was single. It upped your chances with him, if only minutely.
“Hey, how’s the party treating you, babe?” You jumped when a hand snaked its way around your waist. The guy who had sidled up next to you was unfamiliar. You moved to your right, away from him. He followed, “Want something to drink? I made it myself.” You rolled your eyes, knowing that he probably did something to the drink.
“No I’m alright, I have some lemonade, thanks though.”
“Aw come on, cutie, that’s no fun, loosen up a little. I’m Dean, by the way.” He winked at you and you felt an uncomfortable shiver down your spine.
“I’m DD tonight.” You lied. Ethan was actually the DD but you wanted this guy to leave.
“I’m sure your friends will understand.” He kept trying to put his hand on your waist.
“It’s fine, please leave.” You asked, walking towards the living room where there were more people. You breathed a sigh of relief when you didn’t hear Dean, and looked behind to see if he was following you, he was. When you went to turn back you ran into something. You stumbled back into Dean and rubbed your nose. It was stinging from whatever you ran into.
“You falling for me, princess?” Dean smiled down at you. You tried to wiggle out of his grasp but he held on tight.
“Hey! Let go!” You looked up and saw Grayson standing there, a cup in his hand, glaring at Dean. Dean’s grasp slackened and you scrambled away from him and stood next to Grayson. You didn’t necessarily need Grayson’s protection but he made you feel safer.
“Whatever man, maybe you’ll have better luck with the prude.” Dean waved dismissively. You flinched at the insult but you were glad that he was finally leaving. Grayson stepped forward to say something but you grabbed his arm to tug him back. You couldn’t say anything when he looked back at you but he stopped and turned back to you.
“You okay? Did he do anything to you?” He put his hands on your upper arms and rubbed them.
“I- yeah,” you avoided his eyes, “he didn’t do anything, tried to slip me a drugged drink, I think, but I’m fine.” Grayson’s hands tightened when you told him about the drink.
“You didn’t drink it, did you?” He touched your cheek, looking into your eyes to make sure they weren’t glassy or dilated from whatever drug might have been in the drink. You shook your head at him, “Okay, okay. Do you want to leave? We could go get ice cream.” He suggested.
You nodded, “I’ll go get E and Laura.”
“I drove, we can just go right now.” You looked up at him, he was smiling softly at you. You nodded and he grabbed your hand, pulling you to the front door. “I parked down the street.” He pointed and you followed his finger, seeing the teal on his Bronco. He led you to the truck and opened the door for you.
“Grayson,” You said when he got in. He looked at you expectantly, “Haven’t you been drinking?”
“No, E and I don’t drink, it was water in the cup. It’s easier to have something in my hand so that people don’t push drinks on me.” You nodded, it was smart, you had to admit.
Grayson parked his truck in a space outside your favorite ice cream shop. You didn’t know how he knew, or if it was just a coincidence that he chose that particular one. Grayson ran around to your side and opened the door for you.
Once the two of you had ordered you sat at a small table outside and started eating. You so badly wanted to say something but you were frozen. You had talked to Grayson more in the past twenty-four hours than you had in the past four years combined. Quicker than you had anticipated you had become more comfortable around him.
“Did you finish your errands?” You asked into your ice cream.
Grayson looked you “My what?”
You swallowed the bite you had taken, “Eth said you had errands to run and that was why you were late to the party.”
“Oh. Oh yeah! Yeah errands. I finished them.” Grayson smiled at you and you looked away quickly. Grayson’s phone buzzed and you looked down to see a text from Ethan. He picked it up and unlocked it, reading the message, “Some people are going down to the beach right now, wanna go?”
You contemplated going. You didn’t really want to go to another party but you and Grayson were having a really nice time and wanted to continue to spend time with him. You were unsure if you’d still be able to talk to him after the night ended, “Who’s goin’?” Grayson was looking down at his phone, typing something, immersed in his conversation, “Gray?” You asked quietly.
Grayson’s eyes snapped to yours, “You’ve never called me that before.”
You blushed and looked down, “Oh, I’m sorry, it’s probably just a family nickname, isn’t it? I won’t-”
“No! No, I liked it.” he smiled gently at you, “What did you ask? Sorry, Ethan was bugging me about something…”
“Um, I asked who else was going to the beach.”
“Oh!” he looked down at his phone, “Jack, E, Laura, Nate, Alex, and Meg might meet up with us later, whenever the party ends. Do you want to go? If not I can just take you home.”
“Let’s go.” You finished your ice cream and stood up, he stood up with you and started walking to the car. As you reached his car he was standing on the passenger side, holding the door open, waiting for you to get in. You whispered a quiet thank you as he closed the door behind you before walking around to his side and climbing in. He started his car and made his way to the beach.