A Month In Sin
02. Starting An Adventure
It wasn’t surprising that Claire noticed what hung me up at the bar. Ori did, too, but she was in a state of shock. She didn’t have it in her to move from the table and approach us.
Claire wanted her booze, so with a smirk, she took the bottle from my hands. “Alright, bitch. You could at least bring us the bottle before you leave.”
I rolled my eyes. “Here I thought I was getting myself some shots.”
When she looked at Luke, wearing a far too smug smirk as her blue eyes shimmered, she held the bottle up. “You’re welcome to join us. My sister gets so much more fun when she gets alcohol in her.”
I was glaring at my sister so hard I almost missed Luke smirking down at me again. “Now that I have to see.”
I let out a breath and ran my fingers through my much shorter hair than I was used to. Even straightened like it was now, it wasn’t the length it used to be. Right now, it didn’t even touch my shoulders, and that was horrifying.
I knew, in that moment, that I had a choice to make. If I was going to enjoy this night, I had to let myself go. If I didn’t want to get wrapped up in Luke only to lose him tomorrow, I had to hold myself back and push him away.
But I felt so alive around him, in ways I couldn’t even understand. Just standing next to him, seeing the way those blue eyes looked at me, as if I was more than just a prey for him to devour for the night . . . he didn’t see that earlier, and that wasn’t what he saw now, even as I stood here dressed in a dress that didn’t leave much for the imagination.
I hated dressing this way, but it was Claire’s party. It felt right to wear what she wanted.
My greatest fear was ending up alone, but I couldn’t let that stop me from taking chances. If someone like Luke Hemmings saw me, it was a positive sign for the future, right? So it was time to stop holding myself back, stop letting my fear keep me from living.
I wanted a good life. I wanted a life worth living. I wanted some fun.
This was the best chance for all of that. A night of partying with Luke Hemmings? It could give me the confidence I needed to move forward, the real confidence. Maybe I could find someone on my own, someone who at least cared enough to remember where I get my hair cut.
So before I could second guess myself and hold myself back anymore, I let myself smile. “Well then come on.”
Claire let out a far too eager squeal as she grabbed ahold of my wrist and literally dragged me back to the table. “Someone found a friend!”
“You know what?” I turned back towards Luke and raised my eyebrows. “My sister is going to be absolutely unbearable. She gets sentimental when she drinks, so why don’t we go somewhere else? Like back to where we were?”
Luke’s eyes actually shimmered at the idea, but he didn’t get a chance to respond. Claire let out a groan that caught both of our attention.
“Eris! It’s the night before my wedding! At least do a few shots with me. Then I’ll let you go off with your boy toy, alright?”
I looked over at Ori with a scowl, but she wasn’t much help. Right now, she was just trying to breathe as she stared at Luke. Out of everyone else at the table, she seemed to be the only other one to recognize him.
And she was beyond words, or movement. Admittedly, I was shocked she hadn’t started squealing yet.
“I’m gonna need alcohol to put up with you.” I took the vodka from her hands and began pouring shots into all the empty glasses. There were more than enough for everyone, so I grabbed two and handed one to Luke. “What do you say? Still think I’m the one you want?”
Luke laughed and took the shot from my hand. “Embarrassing friends won’t change that, Eri.”
Claire declared everyone drink upon hearing that, but I was frozen in place. Even as Luke downed the shot without flinching, I couldn’t do the same.
No one had called me that before. It made sense; my name was Eris, but Luke was the first one to actually do it.
As his eyebrows rose, a small smile pulled across my lips, and I, too, downed the shot without flinching. Vodka was easy to get down. If we were doing shots of moonshine, that’s a different story entirely.
I liked hearing him call me that.
Ori choked on the shot, as she wasn’t a big drinker, but she took it like a trooper. Luke looked genuinely concerned for her. “Are you alright?”
Ori’s eyes popped wide open again as she looked at him. “Uh, yeah. Thank you.”
Luke looked back to me and held his shot glass up. “Let’s do a shot in celebration. It seems today is a good for all of us.”
Claire held her empty glass up in agreement. “Here, here. My baby sister finally got rid of that tool. Everything is in place for my wedding tomorrow, and this is my last night of freedom, baby! Let’s keep the shots going!”
When Ori held her glass up, my eyes widened. “You know? I can drink to that.”
I didn’t like feelings. Usually, Ori would say nice things to make me uncomfortable, but tonight, it was a night to celebrate. I was free, and freedom meant the ability to decide how my life was going to play out. For once, I didn’t have to be afraid of being alone because right now, I wasn’t alone.
Luke would be gone in the morning, but right now, he wanted to stay by side tonight. I was not going to stop him either.
Four rounds of shots later, Claire and all of her friends were dancing together on the dance floor. Ori was trying to contain her laughter, and Luke and I were just enjoying the way she seemed so fascinated with everything.
“I take it you don’t drink often?” he asked her, and he laughed.
Ori’s eyes widened in horror. “Oh no. Hardly ever. I’m just glad to see my sister so happy.”
I knew she wasn’t talking about Claire, but I hoped that Luke didn’t. Instead of lingering and giving him a chance to realize she wasn’t talking about Claire, I turned to him and raised one eyebrow. “Did you know Ori and I are two-thirds of triplets?”
Luke looked genuinely surprised. “There’s another of you?”
“He’s a boy, so he’s not pretty like we are,” Ori disagreed, and she giggled again. “But there are three of us, all born on February twenty-ninth.”
Luke quickly added that up. “Huh. You know, I didn’t realize you were only twenty. I didn’t figure you were twenty-one, but you look . . . I don’t know.”
“We’re five and a quarter, actually,” I said, and a devious grin pulled across my lips. “So if you are thinking any naughty thoughts, you’re technically a pedo.”
Luke laughed. “Oh, is that so? Well, you might wanna arrest me because I just can’t seem to help myself.”
Ori slammed her shot glass down on the table and gasped. “Luke, are you alone?”
Luke looked over at her in surprise. “What? No. I’m here with you guys.”
She shook her head. “I mean did you come alone?”
“Oh, no,” Luke said, and he immediately began looking around. “Actually, I have no idea where the lad is. Niall’s around here somewhere, probably at the other side of the bar turning girls down and getting rather frustrated.”
I held my hands out towards Ori and helped the poor girl stand to her feet. “We should go help him.”
“Sounds like fun.” Luke held one arm out for me to latch mine onto, and I grabbed ahold of Ori’s hand as well. Together, the three of us went on a hunt for Niall.
It didn’t take long to find him. He was exactly where Luke said, but he had pulled his hood over his head and was drinking something straight, on the rocks. Boy was Irish, so I imagine his taste for liquor was far superior to mine.
I hated drinking anything straight, but I could do it easily.
When Niall saw me, he nearly choked on the drink in his mouth but swallowed it instead. A large smile pulled across his lips, and he gestured for the three of us to sit down.
“He wouldn’t shut up about ya, lass,” Niall informed me, and Luke’s eyes widened.
“You know? Maybe this was a bad idea.”
As Luke started to get up, I held his arm down and laughed. “No, no, no. Remember my drunk older sister? ‘I’m so happy my sister is finally gonna get laid.’ This, I wanna hear.”
Niall laughed. “She said that? Wow. Sounds like you guys are having fun.”
“We are,” Luke agreed, though I could tell he was a bit nervous about what Niall might say next. That made one of us because I wanted to know what else there was to say. “We figured you should have the same fun instead of drinking your sorrows away.”
Niall scoffed. “I’m not gonna be much fun tonight, I assure you.”
“I thought the same thing, yet here I am,” I said, and when Niall’s eyes met mine, I gave him a little smirk. “Come on. You’re Niall Horan, which probably explains most of the girls who are staring at us right now. The rest of them are just after your good looks, but my point is, have some fun.”
Niall let out a breath, but he did smile, so it was an improvement. “It’s . . . not that simple.”
I sat down next to him and leaned a bit closer than I realized I was. Honestly, I nearly fell over on him without noticing, but I held myself up and laughed. “Sure it is. I can see the loneliness in your eyes, and I understand that entirely. You could be surrounded by people and more alone than you are when you’re physically alone.”
Niall looked over at me and raised his eyebrows. “Didn’t we meet you after you broke up with your boyfriend?”
I shrugged. “Like I said, you can be surrounded by people and more alone than when you’re actually alone. Don’t be alone tonight. I’m not either, and to be honest, it’s pretty fucking exciting.”
Something changed in Niall’s eyes when he looked over my shoulder at the other two with me.
I didn’t know what it was, but I saw the hope in his eyes that matched the hope inside of me.
The moment I realized Luke was here, a part of me knew I wasn’t going to be alone tonight.
And suddenly, Niall seemed to realize the same thing as he saw Ori.
With a wry grin, I slid out from the stool beside him and moved Ori to my spot. “This is my sister. We’re triplets, and she’s the baby. I think you two can help each other out. See, you’re trying to get the girls to leave you alone, and Ori just . . . she just doesn’t know anything about liquor. Maybe you can help her find some good drinks.”
Both were well aware of what I was doing, but neither really cared to stop me. Ori was immediately flustered by his presence, but I couldn’t tell if it was because he was Niall Horan or if it was because she noticed the way his eyes sparkled when he looked at her.
“Well,” Niall said, and he straightened up his shoulders. “I can definitely do that.”
With the two of them taken care of, I turned to Luke with a smirk and folded my arms over my chest. “Alright. Now our friends are gonna have fun as well. Do you wanna dance, or are we just gonna stand here and look pretty?”
“As easy as that sounds, I think dancing sounds like fun,” he said, and he held his hand out for me to take. It was surprising; usually when I danced with people, we just sorta walked to the dance floor. It was such a simple difference, but it was big enough that I noticed.
Luke was offering me his hand to lead me to the dance floor. That . . . meant a lot, and I didn’t hesitate to take it.
On the way to the floor, I couldn’t stop my smile. In a moment’s decision, I decided to be free tonight, and it had turned out to be the night I was waiting for.
The party scene was dead to me, but this? This was what it was supposed to feel like. It was supposed to be fun.
This was more than mere fun. This was an adventure I would never forget.
An adventure with Luke Hemmings of all people.
The lyrics are from Alive. :)
Sorry it's been so long on an update. I've been SUPER busy with work. Hope you guys enjoy. My sister's chapter is coming up next. :D
Time to get some of Ori's point of view up in here. :)