Dying for hips, gasping for ribs, starving for attention. Not too much of the story's core drama in the first chapter, but trust me, it's on it's way!
You know that good kind of pain? The kind you feel the morning after a particularly strenuous workout or a long night of rough, scream-infested sex? The kind that gives you a sick kind of satisfaction to feel your abs wound so tight or your thighs throbbing with low-lighted memories. Yah, well just for the record: This was NOT that kind of pain. Close, but no cigar mister. /This /was a shit-list worthy, 'I want to vomit from the sheer crapiness' hangover. Head throbbing, throat dry like Vegas in August, muscles like rusty metal, stomach eating itself, and some bastard of a beast clawing around at your insides and clearly intent on ripping apart your guts. Ugh...
'Damn alcohol...fucking jell-o shots...God damned boys...fucking party...God, I'm gunna kill /Spence...Just as soon as I can move.' /My mind was screaming obscenities for the sheer sake of outletting the shitty condition of my body. This was because I was utterly incapable of doing anything else.
For example: I wanted to flip over onto my back. It wasn't happening. I squeezed my eyes shut even tighter and willed my muscles to work, if only for a second, on their own. No such luck. Who was I kidding, I could barely breathe, let alone flip the fuck over. Ugh...I felt like a God damn beached whale.
My ears pricked up when I heard metal clanging down the hall. It was loud and it did /not /agree with headache. Male laughter followed, "Dude, that egg shit is never gunna come off her linoleum! She's gunna kill your ass!" Fuckers didn't realize that if they didn't shut up I really /was /gunna kill someone. When their noise failed to let up my body was finally inspired to move. I found the strength to flip over, groan, glare at the ceiling and very quickly come to the astoundingly annoying conclusion that I wasn't getting any more sleep.
"Fuck me sideways..." I grumbled, throwing the covers from my body and stumbling up from my twin sized mattress. Sighing, I ran my hand over my face and through my tangled hair about twenty times as I flicked on the bathroom lights at their lowest setting and proceeded to undress. After stripping from my tank top and flimsy, draw-cord cotton skirt I nearly tripped into the shower, mind busily amused with the boys' fascination with how short my skirt had been last night. Pervs. Not like I could talk though. Las Vegas, after all, was no place for straight laces.
I pulled the sliding glass door shut, groping around to make the water even hotter on my already feverish skin. As I nearly fainted from standing up, my mind tried to recall last night. All that resurfaced were bright blue and green jell-o squares, some really sloppy kisses (the recipients of which ranged from Brendon to a bottle of Jack Daniel's) & the smell of rose water...though maybe that was just my bathroom since Brend had brought home roses for me at the airport and I'd set the vase in the bathroom.
Why had we decided to celebrate the boys' homecoming by getting smashed? /Why???/
Why? Because it had been a lonely three months all on my onezies in Vegas. Although, it really wasn't /so /horrible. I loved this city for all it was worth, I couldn't deny that.
I'd never thought I would. If you'd told a 16-year-old moi that I was going to fall in love with the L.V. after one summer family vaca I'd have told you to get real and get a life. I was a yankee girl, a product of the Northeastern yachting society & rather proud of it. I liked my chilly mornings, foggy harbors, purple mountains and northern lights just fine, thank you very much. 'The desert can suck my ass.' I would have said. I /did/ say it when my family announced that our annual summer vaca was going to be spent not in Rome as I'd proposed, but the fucking desert- in the middle of July no less. Apparently my brother and father had decided on impulse that they /had /to see Las Vegas, and of course my mom wasn't about to grant them free roam of an adult playground. Nor was she going to baby-sit them alone. I could kiss summer camp and yachting ventures with my friends arrivederci- I was going with, end of story.
Let's break down some facts here: People should naturally be attracted to areas of abundance in which it might suit them to live, were they in the market. This is a simple fact of nature, it's the way our minds are designed and it makes perfect sense. We're drawn to bright, sprawling forests, abundant with color and water and soft, rich soil. NOT THE EFFING DESERT. I simply could not, for the life of me, comprehend why anyone would willingly venture into a desert. Who is attracted to a desolate wasteland?
Who? My father, that's who. Apparently he wasn't just into Vegas for the strippers, he was living out some romanticide dream by visiting the landmarks he had idolized in his childhood. His Wild West straight out of movies about Cowboys and Indians; the Rat Pack hangouts like the old Stardust and Aladdin. He was living out a fantasy, and I was stuck along for the ride. Though my father had passed his love for such Sicilian wonders as Sinatra and Dean-O onto his kids, Westerns were beyond me. Therefore, after much bitching and complaining, I was abandoned to the Venetian to shop among cool tile and Italian Ice while they drove off into a sunset somewhere and stared at rocks. Wooh.
Despite my bitching however, I'd become rather taken with the L.V. The lights, the warm air, the mountains in the distance that had a way of reminding you that despite the neon monstrosity around you, you were indeed still on Earth and in the desert. The palm trees, the luxury, the superb customer service everywhere you turned, the never ending list of things to do. The way the pool at our hotel (the Luxor) made you feel as though you really were in Egypt or lounging around some Saharan spring. The way the entire place (a dying ember of an oasis in the middle of a crater dustbowl), though rushed and chaotic, seemed to be taking its time and encouraging you to do the same. The time difference was heaven too. I could go to bed whenever and be guaranteed not to wake past noon. It was awesome- even if it did make me feel like Mr. Rogers- cause hell, it was a beautiful day in the neighborhood.
It was that particular day at the Venetian that turned out to be the most beautiful yet. It was that day that I met the boys, that day that I met Brendon. I'd been walking near the indoor river built especially for the Gondola rides when I realized I needed a piece of gum really bad after eating Chinese for dinner. As I stopped to fish around in my purse my dark hazel/green eyes glanced up just in time to become glued-stuck to a beautiful pair of brown orbs lined with kohl that were staring me down across the canal just as a Gondola passed by, the captain of which was belting "That's AmorÃ© " .
I smiled sheepishly at the boy before going back to my purse. We met again later at sunset as I was leaving the Venetian. I'd been having a hard time carrying all of my shopping bags to begin with but as I exited the double doors some bitch ran into me, knocking the lot of it all over the Italian styled terrace. Whore didn't even say she was sorry, just walked away.
Glaring after her I bent down to gather my things when another set of hands joined the cause. Looking up I noticed the same brown eyes form earlier. I stood as he handed me my bags. Doonie & Burke, Banana Republic and Ripa de Monti bags looked funny between his fingers as he handed them to me.
"Thanks," I smiled, extending a hand for him to shake, "I'm Bailey, I saw you earlier at the"-
"At the canal, yah." he smirked, his dark eyes alight with the setting sun. God he was beautiful.
"I'm Brendon, this is Ryan and Spencer." I smiled broadly at both, shaking their hands as well. "So, we were thinking of grabbing some gelato over at the Bellagio, you wouldn't be interested in coming along would you?"
"I..." I bit my lip as I glanced up at the tower clock clearly visible from the terrace. It read 8:40 and my curfew was 9pm. I looked up at Brendon and my heart caught in my throat. "I'd love to."
Across the street the volcano in front of the Mirage erupted with the same ferocious frenzy of lust surging through my young veins.
The boys had been walking to their destinations all day and were amazingly relieved to discover that I had been driving around in the black SUV my parents had rented for me, which offered plenty of room for all of us. Though, after experiencing my driving, I wondered if they didn't prefer walking.
I smiled at the thought, turning off the hot spray of the shower & groping around for a thick, dark blue towel. I loved those towels. They were Brendon's and saturated with the scent of him.
We'd ended up talking at the Bellagio for two whole hours and we never even got gelato. I talked to Ryan and Spence too, loving their stories, their witty banter, and the way Ryan laughed through his nose. I was falling for Brendon's theatrical, flirty manor hard and fast. Enamored with the way he acted out his stories with big, brown eyes, spot-on accents and a vocabulary more decorated than a war hero. We watched the famous Bellagio water show so many times that I lost count of the number. My feet were sore, my parents had called twice to yell at me and I'm pretty sure that ended up being the first (and only) time I drove my date home. But it was a long bus ride back into the suburbs and I didn't ever want to give these boys up.
Finally reaching Brendon's house last, I parked the rented SUV in his driveway, watching how the flickering bulbs of his front porch lights threw seductive shadows across his pale skin, full mouth and dark hair. I asked him what it was like, living in Vegas. He replied it was tired, like a joke heard way too many times. He was sick of city light drowning out the stars, he was sick of the mountains in the distance, sick of the way everyone in town was trying too hard.
I told him about my home up North. About a world that engulfed you in cool moisture, bright blue waters, scattered showers, faded harbors and more stars than he could fill his eyes with- even if his eyes /were /adorably large.
Chuckling lightly he leaned forward, pecked my mouth with the softest lips I'd ever experienced and scribbled his number on the back of my hand, reminding me that he still owed me some gelato. I could only offer him a breathy laugh in return as I nodded. We stared at one another for a moment, desperately desiring to talk and share laughter for the rest of the night while wrapped up in closed eyes, sweaty skin, thrusting hips and swollen lips. I blinked and he got out of the car, jogging around the side of his house and climbing through his bedroom window.
That had been the most calming, fulfilling night I'd had in a very long time. I felt like I'd just taken a delicious, luxurious drink of cool oasis spring water. I was refreshed, full, relaxed. And even though I got shit about it from my parents for the rest of the trip, the smile that constantly permeated my features was impossible to repress as memories of that night resurfaced on a regular basis.
I toweled off and threw on a pair of Ryan's boxers, my bra from last night and Brendon's black, zip-up hoodie before trudging out to the kitchen. A feast of over-peppered, grayish-yellow eggs, half burnt pancakes and bacon simply oozing fat awaited me. /'Welcome home boys.' /I rolled my eyes at the thought, reaching in the fridge and grabbing an orange.
"Bail!!!" A pair of arms which clearly belonged to Spencer greeted me. I shrunk away from him as he rocked me back and forth, arms still firmly around me. Ugh, that was not good for my hangover.
"Morning sunshine." Ryan smirked from the counter top as he dipped some burnt pancake into the puddle of chocolate sauce spreading over his place. Ew.
"Hey boys." I smiled at them as Spence let me go, "Where's the aspirin?" I immediately began searching cupboards.
"There she goes with those drugs again." Brent clucked his tongue, shaking his head while exchanging a glance with Ryan.
"Oh fuck you, I'm gunna /need/ drugs if you lot are back in town."
"Judging by your hangover I think it's pretty safe to say we are." Spence said between bites of scrambled egg.
"No shit, I got so fucking trashed last night. Thanks a lot jack-asses." I sneered over my shoulder, still going through my cupboards.
"Hey, I didn't hear you complaining last night when you were drunk, now you have a little headache and it's bitch, complain and whine all over the place." Spencer handed me a bottle of Naproxen and I smirked, kissing his cheek. As I leaned forward, I noticed Brendon snoring on the living room couch.
"Hey, what's he doing out here?" I frowned as I popped a large, white pill, washing it down with water.
"Oh, don't you remember? You guys got into one helluva fight last night. You passed out in the bathroom and Brendon took you to your bed before crashing on the couch."
My heart sank with guilt and warm, fuzzy sympathy. "What'd we fight about?" I asked as I began peeling my orange.
"You wanted to go out but you were /so/ trashed and it was like 3am, so Brend took your keys away but you ran after him and tackled him in the bathroom, so he ended up dropping them in the toilet bowl. Then you started screaming at him because he wouldn't let you out of the bathroom until you calmed down. And then, and this is the really great part by the way, I seriously applaud you on this one, you took the vase in your bathroom and dumped all the flowers and water over his head. His face was /so/ Kodak moment, babe. None of us could stop laughing." Ryan recounted.
I rolled my eyes, pissed off at myself for having given my boyfriend so much trouble his first night back. "Of course you found it funny, you were piss drunk."
"Dude!" Spencer chuckled, "You have to admit, that's pretty fuckin' funny."
"Mainly because he's the one who got you those flowers." Brent leered.
"Guys..." I whined, "God, I feel like such a bitch now! I mean it was your first night back and I gave him so much shit." I threw my orange away, suddenly having lost my appetite.
"Brendy's a big boy, he'll be fine." Ryan mumbled through some bacon. I half-heartedly hoped he got fat from all the grease as I rolled my eyes, turning to pick up my phone as it rang.
"Hello?" I sighed into the receiver.
"Hey Bails, we need you over at Maitland's house for some last minute polishing before the next issue of /'Fantastic' /goes out." Davey's voice was clearly recognizable over the phone, even as she munched on what sounded like chips.
"Davey! The boys are back in town, it's their first day back." I childishly protested.
"Great," she took a rather loud bite of chip, "I hope you all have fun when you go out partying /tonight. /But this work needs your attention /now/." I could hear her typing away at a computer, probably already at Maitland's and probably had been for hours. Davey worked as co-editor and a writer for the webzine we had been putting together for about a year now. She was the biggest work-aholic I'd ever met, but also one of the most talented writers. Alas, I loved her. She was one of my closest friends in Vegas and I technically owed her my job title as a journalist for "Trip the Light Fantastic", our zine, as it had been her idea.
"Alright, alright. I'll be right over."
"And don't forget your disks this time." she jabbed in at the last minute. Though I resented her remark, she had a point. I was notorious for being forgetful and it had proved a shitty quality to posses many a time.
"Guys," I sighed heavily as I hung up my kitchen phone. "My life just called, it wants to do lunch. I probably won't be back until like 6ish."
"Where are you going?" Brent asked, slipping his dish in the sink.
"Maitland's." I explained, "The new issue of 'Fantastic' comes out Monday and we've still got some work to do. I'm really sorry guys, I know you wanted to hang out. I'll drive one of you with me though if you want so you guys can have my car for the day."
"I'll go." Spencer volunteered and we went our separate ways to get dressed. A dirty pair of destroyed jeans and one of Brendon's band shirts later I was ready to go, shoveling all my floppies and computer chips into my bag. As I went to leave my room I was caught off guard by Brendon standing in my door way. He still had on his jeans and the light blue polo from last night. My heart melted at the sight of him looking so sleepy and worn out, but having gotten up anyway to say goodbye to me. I went over to him, a 'baby-I'm-sorry, I-know-you-want-to-forgive-me' smile on my face.
"Hey baby," I murmured, kissing him softly, "I am so so so sorry about whatever happened last night. I seriously didn't know what the fuck I was doing and if I could take back the fact that I was a complete bitch to you on your first night back, I totally would."
"Don't worry about it," he wrapped me up in a sleepy, strong-armed hug, "We were all drunk off our asses." I looked up at him, kissing him again quickly, then smirking wryly as I reached up to 'pop his colla'. He smiled at me with drowsy eyes.
"Pop tha' colla, pimp." I mumbled playfully, giggling after looking up at him.
He chuckled. "Where are you going? And in /my/ shirt?" he asked playfully, running his hand up and down my side.
"Mmm, Davey called, she needs me today."
"Hey, /I /need you today too."
"I know, I'm sorry. I told her that too. But it's okay, we'll go out tonight and do something, I promise."
"How long are you going to be gone?" he murmured, leaning down to nibble on my ear. My eyes fluttered closed and I swallowed, barely able to talk.
"I'll be at Maitland's until at least 6, maybe longer." I told him breathlessly. Suddenly he let me go. Bastard loved to tease me like that. But I wasn't going to lie: I loved it.
"Alright, have fun, I'll see you later."
"Oh, Brendon darling, I'll miss you so!" I sighed dramatically in an English accent, clutching to his shirt. He chuckled, but played along, not missing a beat as his hand came around my waist to grab the small of my back & overdramatically yank me against his chest.
"I know darling, but it's a cold dark world out there," he turned his gaze sideways across the hall to glare at my bathroom before looking up at me. "And it's no place for lovers like us."
"Maybe..." my breath caught in my throat as my eyes shined up into his, "In another life?"
"How about dinner at the top of the Mirage tonight instead?" he asked casually, his voice normal again. I grinned, kissing his cheek.
"Sounds like a plan, bye babe." and with that I traipsed away down the hall.
As much as I hated to leave Brendon for my stupid job, I had to admit that I was lucky to /have/ my job at all. Few working girls in the L.V. had jobs they liked, let alone ones that didn't mean dealing with hot grease or getting greasy, old guys all hot and bothered. Same scene really, just different lighting.
As Spencer and I jumped into my car my thoughts drifted back to my first trip to Vegas. Somehow I managed to see the boys a few more times in between family time and all the shows my mom had booked us tickets for. If we weren't together we were most likely on our cell phones chatting away like squirrels that wouldn't shut-up. By the end of the week I was really pissing my parents off, but I was too enamored to really care. We kept in touch across the miles after I left and we even visited one another the Christmas and Spring breaks of our senior years. I was dead set on going to college in Vegas and much to the dismay of my family achieved this goal easily. I had just finished my sophomore year at the local Uni and was currently suffering from a lovely bout of summer vaca.
Through school I met Davey and Maitland. The three of us originally met from all having applied for our school's newspaper committee. When political BS kept us from the positions we felt we deserved we kissed the popularity contests good-bye and started our own webzine: /Trip the Light Fantastic!. /It ended up being a lot more work than any of us had anticipated, but if we were honest with ourselves, we knew we loved it. (Even if it did rape our social lives).
"Alright, see ya later Spence. Go have fun today!" I kissed him on his cheek as I made to scoot out of my car. My silver hybrid was the only remnant of rich girl life I retained. My parents hadn't exactly disowned me or anything upon my move to the Vegas suburbs, they just hadn't been thrilled in the least. They wired me money when I absolutely needed it (and there were plenty of times when I did), but never just because or for frills. It helped that they were in no way crazy about Brendon and the boys. They thought of my boyfriend as "Nice, sure, we don't have to actually care, right? No shotgun weddings, right?"
No mom, no weddings to the love of my life. /Never. /Whore.
Spence drove off in my car and I jogged up Maitland's front steps, ringing her doorbell.