It was hotter than hell when I got back in my apartment. I turned the air conditioning on full blast before I did anything else. I needed another shower, bad.
I hadn't sweat this much since my interview with Wolfe House and in that heavy old suit I had. A cold shower was the only solution right now and I refused to get out until the air in my apartment was a little cooler. I stood with the cold water pouring down on me until I heard pounding on the door.
I shut the water and wrapped a towel around my waist to go answer it, knowing it was Harry.
"Jesus it is hot in this building." he exclaimed when he walked through the door.
"I think the air is broken, I'm dying." I sighed.
"It's days like these when I want to shave my hair off." he said pulling his hair back into a bun then laying back on my couch. "And I fucking hate that they make me wear long sleeves at work, you know? Sorry I have tattoos on my arm, oh how unprofessional that is."
"I know that's bullshit sorry about it."
"At least now my arms can be free." he said wiggling them in front of him.
When Harry wasn't at work he wore the flimsiest shirts that were always too big on him. Today was the pink one with white polka dots and he always had it unbuttoned so you could see the swallow tattoos clear as day.
"Alright I'm gonna put pants on and fix my hair." I told him then went in my room.
I put on my boxers and grabbed a pair of skinny jeans and a patterned short sleeve button down and went out into the room with Harry. It was too warm in my room, I couldn't take it.
"Wearing just that out tonight huh?" he asked.
"Yeah I think half naked is the best way to go." I laughed and put on the rest of my clothes. "Did you drive here?"
"Nah, took the subway, I plan on getting slightly hammered tonight after this week so want to split a cab tonight? You can stay at mine after."
We were watching a Cardinals and Giants preseason game and before I answered Harry I cursed at the screen, Giants had just made a touch down and the Cardinals were my team.
"Uh yeah that works, you're closer to McKinley's anyway. Pretty sure I left a shirt over there last time I crashed." I said and winced when the Giants made the kick.
7:30 struck and we left my apartment and walked to the nearest subway stop. When we got off all we had to do was walk a block to the bar.
It was already getting busy with the Friday night regulars at the bar but there were a few people from working trickling in. Harry spotted Nate over in the corner and I followed his point over to the booth. I told him I'd get the first round for the three of us and went up to the bar. I grabbed three Saranacs and walked over to meet the boys.
"Hey Nate." I said sliding into the booth and setting down the brews.
"Thanks." he nodded at me.
We sat around and continued watching the football game we were watching at the apartment. I was in the minority here seeing as the city was home of the Giants. I just prayed the Cardinals could get this one back, but it seemed unlikely.
"God damn it. If this is how they're playing in preseason we are not gonna have a good year." I cursed while Nate was screaming his head off as the Giants scored another touchdown.
"How does that one feel Niall? Huh?" he taunted me, he was a diehard Giants fan.
Liam and Louis came in to join us after that ordeal and the bulk of our agency was finally showing up.
"Hey guys." Liam said sitting down while staring at the screen. "You know I've been in this country for so many years now and I still don't know how football works."
"God I feel like it's Beatle Mania over here where in hell are all the Americans." Nate laughed to himself.
"I've gotta take a piss I'll be back." I said standing up frustrated at the game.
I stood up and walked into the bathroom where it was surprisingly much cooler. When I was done I stood in there a little longer just to cool down and psyche myself up to go back out into the stuffy room. When I heard booing outside I took my chance hoping it was because the Cardinals made a touchdown.
I walked back up to the bar and grabbed another couple beers for me and Harry. My team did in fact score and I watched them kick the extra point and smiled while the rest of the bar swore at the screen.
"What are you so happy about?" I heard a voice next to me.
I looked over to see Kaine looking up at me. Her face was incredibly close to mine while standing next to me at this crowded bar and but I took her in. She smelled wonderful and she looked comfortable, finally. Just a thin, airy black dress and a pair of Adidas sneakers. She looked at ease here. She was a total opposite of Kira.
"Cardinals scored." I responded simply. "Want a drink?"
She nodded and leaned up against the counter.
"A lager or something works."
"That's what I'm drinking so you're in luck Kay." I smiled.
Kira never would ever drink beer. She believed she was far too feminine and was worried about gaining beer weight, she only drank vodka tonics or wine and that was the end of it. I respected Kaine more than I did before.
I waved down the bartender and grabbed another round for our table and Kaine and told her to follow me back.
"So you're a Cardinals fan, really?" Kaine said sarcastically while she sat down next to me.
"Yeah something wrong with that?" I asked taking a swig of beer and looking over at her.
"You mean the Arizona Cardinals who have lost 45 games to the Green Bay Packers, the best team in all of the NFL?" she challenged me.
"You're a Packers fan too?" Harry asked his ears perking up at the conversation.
"Was Aaron Rodgers the 24th pick of the 2005 NFL draft?" Kaine said getting all serious and excited while looking past me and at Harry confirming she was in fact a fan.
They started talking excitedly about the upcoming season while Liam stared at them incredibly confused. I laughed at him while Louis tried to explain some basic rules to him but I swore he just got more confused. We all took turns going up and grabbing the next round of lagers and grabbed food to pick at on the table.
After a while Liam and Louis went off to talk to a few other people and Nate was slowly getting more and more drunk. Kaine was getting there herself and she kept talking and talking. Harry moved to the other side of the booth next to Nate and I stayed in my seat next to her.
"Harry I did not realize you had all these tattoos." Kaine said taking his forearm to turn his arm around so she could see them all.
"Yeah Rhodes is a real arse about tattoos, he won't let me wear short sleeves to work ever." he said showing off his other arm.
"Well I don't understand why, it's not like you're seeing clients everyday or anything." she said.
"You're telling me, I almost got in a fight with him for the cross on my hand that you can see, he wanted me to cover it with makeup everyday, I said fuck no that's not happening." Harry laughed.
"Are those swallows on your chest?" she said trying to peer past the flimsy pink polka dot shirt.
"Yeah and then I have this butterfly here and some vines here." he said placing his hands on his torso and hips.
"Oh so you have a ton wow." she said.
"Yeah including a Green Bay one." He smiled pointing it out on his arm.
Nate had gotten up to grab another round a little while ago and when he came to sit back down he was clearly drunk.
"So, Kaine, let's talk about something." Nate slurred.
"What do you want to know." she laughed at him.
"Who in hell names their daughter Kaine?" he exclaimed.
I stared at Nate and Harry nudged him under the table and she noticed what we were doing.
"Oh don't apologize for him, I'm sure you guys all wanted to know." she smiled.
"Alright then, what's up with it why do you have a guys name?" Harry teased.
"Okay, so my mom lost her dad when she was really young and my dad had recently lost his mother about two months before I was born. So I guess they wanted to honor them in someway so I got named after them." she explained.
"So why did they name you after your grandfather and not your grandmother?" I asked.
"So my Papa's name was the same as my first name but spelled C-A-I-N, and then my Gram's name was Astoria. And they chose his over hers, but Astoria is my middle name." she said.
"But like, Astoria is at least a girl's name." Nate commented.
"But my name would be Astoria Westbrook. I'd sound like I had the biggest stick up my ass if that was my name." she said scrunching up her nose.
We laughed at her, hard. But she had more jokes about the name in her arsenal.
"Oh that Astoria Westbrook rides a fucking horse to her private school." she continued babbling on. "Astoria Westbrook, the cheer captain who's a fucking slut but everyone thinks she's a virgin. Are you understanding my point?"
She was drunk, but she was a funny drunk. She looked at each one of us in the eyes to make sure we understood.
"So, Kaine Astoria Westbrook, anything else we should know about you?" Harry asked.
"Yeah, you can call me Kay, like I said already." she sighed loudly.
"How old are you again? You're giving off the attitude of my sixteen year old sister right now." Nate teased through his slow words.
"22, just like the Taylor Swift song." she nearly yelled.
We continued on with our banter for a long time, and Kaine was nearly wasted. She was giggling at every little thing and had this smile plastered to her face. Harry had finally gotten incredibly drunk himself, like Nate, but I was holding my beer well. I was definitely drunk but also cohesive. Kaine kept nudging me and making contact and I was enjoying it. Kira and her lousy attitude were long forgotten with all my friends around me.
"It's late, the bar is clearing out we should get going." Louis came over and said to us.
It was nearly two in the morning, and it was slowing down for the night.
"Want me to get Nate home?" he asked me realizing I was the most aware.
"Yeah I'm headed to Harry's tonight and we'll make sure Kaine gets home alright. Thanks man." I smiled at Louis who was helping Nate's drunk ass up.
"No problem, I'll text you if I can get him home in one piece." he joked.
I nodded and helped him get Nate up.
"See you guys Monday, yeah?" I said.
"Yeah see you then." Louis said.
"Hey, Niall." Nate slurred as I released his arm from my grip.
He beckoned me to come closer to him so he could whisper in my ear and I laughed at him.
"Make sure that pretty girl gets home alright." he said motioning to Kaine.
"Don't worry mate, me and Harry will get her home." I said.
"Alright good, there's weird people on the streets at this hour." he said as seriously as he could before a fit of drunk laughs came out.
"Come on Nate let's go." Louis said tugging at his arm.
"Thanks again Lou, you didn't know what you were getting yourself into with him."
"Yeah guess not. See you later." he said with a laugh.
I looked over to Kaine and Harry again and Kaine could not stop her drunk giggles. Harry was telling jokes as they finished off the last of their beers and I made eye contact with him finally.
"You guys ready?" I asked.
I was still pretty drunk but by far the most coherent.
"Yeah, yeah we still splitting a cab?" Harry asked.
"Yeah, uh Kaine where do you live so we can get you home safe?" I asked her.
"Oh I'm just a couple blocks down I can walk no problem." she said standing up and then sitting back down automatically in a fit of laughter.
"Doesn't look like it." I teased. "I'll walk you back. Harry are you coming?"
"Uh I'll wait I don't think I can walk that far without puking right now." he said.
I was much better at holding my beer than Harry was but the thing he was good about was gauging whether or not he was gonna puke everywhere, something not a lot of people I knew could do.
"I took a few shots with Nate earlier." he added for emphasis.
"Alright well, I guess wait here or out on the bench and then when I get back we can head to yours." I suggested.
"Yeah I'll meet you out front in like 20 minutes." he confirmed.
"Ready Kay?" I asked.
"Yeah yeah help me up." she said holding out her hands.
I grabbed them and pulled her out of the booth to stand up.
"Goodnight Harry, see you Monday." she said and patted his shoulder.
I started walking forward but she took my upper left arm in her hand and held me back.
"Sorry I don't see myself walking without holding on to you." she said shyly.
"It's fine let's just get going before Harry throws up on your shoes." I smiled.
She grabbed firmly onto my arm and started walking next to me.
"You're pretty strong huh?" she said making conversation as we walked along the nearly empty streets.
"Yeah Harry makes me work out with him a lot." I told her.
"So are you guys like best friends?" she asked again.
So she wasn't just a funny drunk but also a curious one. Good to know.
"Yeah we are." I said as she brought her other hand up to my arm.
"Can we stop a second?" she asked.
I halted my walking even though there was a crosswalk we were gonna have to wait at less than ten feet away. She let go of my arm and instead put her arm around my waist.
"I need some more balance I'm sorry." she said.
"Don't apologize it's okay." I said placing my arm around her shoulders.
In the back of my mind I was beginning to get a little nervous, what would Kira think if she saw this? I blamed it on the alcohol coursing through my veins. But I pushed that out of my thoughts and just embraced how natural this felt with Kay.
"Alright sorry." she smiled.
We continued walking on when we turned the corner her apartment building was right there.
"Thanks for walking me Niall. I appreciate it." she said after we stood there for a little while.
I took my arm off of her shoulders and she let go of my waist, her hand lingering. We stood in silence in front of one another. I just took in how she looked with the light breeze making her hair and dress ruffle.
"No problem." I said after a while.
We stood there outside her building a little longer just looking at one another. Her hand came up to my chest to rest a while. The alcohol was clouding my thoughts and all I could think of was Kaine. I started to lean toward her a little but the pressure of her hand increased on my chest signaling me to stop.
"Niall, don't do anything you'll regret here." she said clearly even though she was completely drunk. "Remember you've got Kira, and well, I have a boyfriend. We can't."
Her hand dropped from my chest and I nodded, glad she had a second of clarity.
"Goodnight Kaine." I said and stepped back from her.
"It's Kay, remember?" she smiled.
"Yeah, yeah whatever you say." I teased to lighten the mood.
She took a step toward me and pressed a kiss to my cheek.
"That's the lager talking." she said and blushed then walked into her building.
What was I gonna do about her.