The dance floor wasn't usually the first place I went to when I arrived at a party. It was amazing how much two cups of hard liquor could do to a person. I was halfway wasted and the music was flowing perfectly, every melody and rhythm forcing my hips to sway and shout every chorus. Michael kept up with me until the liquor had gotten to him too soon and he was now upstairs puking in the bathroom. I had asked him if he needed help, but he claimed he was perfectly fine. Why were men so stubborn, and bad? Sooooo bad. And sexy. Very sexy.
I held onto the mantle right above the fireplace when the room started to spin and found a pair of strong hands holding my hips steady. The second I looked up to thank the person, I stepped back and spilled my drink all over the place when I saw it had been Freddy. I glanced back and forth between what was left of my drink and his stupid and handsome face, and the anger that had been bubbling up inside me since I heard he was engaged made the decision for me. I threw my drink in his face and tried not to laugh, covering my mouth when people started to look our way.
I pushed through the dancing crowd and took deep breaths as I blinked the tears away. The stupid memories were beginning to take over and I couldn't breathe. The air was being sucked out of me. So I ran out of the house, stumbling along the way as my vision blurred, and I fell on top of a patch of grass near the corn fields. The sobs started escaping my mouth one by one until I felt a pair of arms embrace me. I didn't care who's they were, I was just thankful they cared enough to let me sob into their shoulder.
As soon as I felt I couldn't cry anymore, I looked up to find Serena taming my messy curls. I sniffled and pulled away as she handed me a napkin to blow my nose with.
"You're married," I mentioned randomly, my brain slowly turning to mush due to all the liquor. She didn't look too surprised that I knew. Maybe Danny told her?
"I know. Trust me, I'm paying for it. Are you okay? I saw you running out of the house. Is it Freddy? I heard about the church incident," She answered, and I felt the air being taken away from me again. All the harbored and unresolved feelings I held over him had been exposed the moment I threw that drink in his face and I felt like a complete idiot. I never wanted him to see the mess I'd been keeping inside all this time.
"I want to go home" was all I said, and that was all the explanation she needed. She helped me up and held onto my waist as we headed back toward the house to find my car. I was close to passing out when Serena stopped walking, forcing me to do the same.
"If you want to live to see another day, you need to go back inside that house," she threatened. I looked up to see Freddy standing just a few feet away from us, Danny and Michael not too far behind, urging him to come back inside. The agony hidden behind his gaze told me he was sorry, but I couldn't even begin to forgive him for leading me on until my mind was completely clear and my body was liquor-free.
As soon as I tried to open my eyes, I quickly shut them when a bright light made me flinch. My head felt like a bowling ball of pressure and I wanted to die in this bed. Wait. Bed? Who's bed was I in? Oh god, what have I done?
"You're okay. You're at my place." Michael's voice registered through the severe migraine consuming my head at the moment and I sighed in relief as I opened my eyes again. He looked like he'd been up all night, but his hair was damp, which let me know he just finished showering.
"What time is it?" I asked him as I sat up in his bed and he handed me some aspirin and a glass of water. I chugged down the pills with the water and placed my head back onto the pillow. I looked down and noticed I wasn't wearing my costume anymore, but an over-sized t-shirt and sweats instead.
"Serena helped you out of your costume," he started, reading my mind and glancing at the watch on his wrist before continuing, "and it's almost eight. She's in the kitchen attempting to make breakfast with Daniel. And guess what?"
"They're not yelling and my house hasn't gone up in flames. I feel like hell is about to freeze over," he joked and I whimpered as I laughed, holding my head tightly between my hands.
"Stop," I begged, my head pounding with every word I spoke, "I'm dying over here. What exactly happened that I ended up here?" I asked, and grimaced when I saw him make a face.
"I'll let Serena handle that one. I have to get some errands done but you guys are welcome to stay as long as you need to," he offered and leaned in closer to kiss my forehead and give me a warm hug. He lingered when I melted into him and added a kiss to my cheek before he pulled away.
"I'll see you later, doll face," he said, sending me a wink before he exited the bedroom and left me to my hangover.
After I took a quick shower in Michael's bathroom and found a spare and unused toothbrush, I finished cleaning up and found some fresh clothes for me to wear laying next to a note. I picked it up and smirked when I saw it was signed by Serena, who had let me know she was waiting downstairs whenever I was finished with my mental breakdown.
Fully dressed and almost migraine free, I met Serena downstairs in the kitchen, who also wasn't wearing her costume, and was busy sipping on some very expensive looking wine. Michael's very expensive wine.
"How can you even drink after last night?" I asked the weirdo as I sat next to her, and she pushed a plate full of food I know she didn't cook towards me. These were definitely Danny's pancakes.
"I barely had time to drink in between snooping and cleaning up your vomit." she countered, sending me a grin as I winced at the mental picture.
"How bad was it?"
"This kind of bad." she replied, handing me her phone as she showed me an Instagram post of Freddy's engagement being called off. It looked like it came from his fiance's account and I felt like throwing up all over again as my heart sank.
"I have to go apologize." I hopped off the stool but her hand stopped me.
"She broke it off. Not him."
"So? Obviously, he told her what happened."
"Yeah, but apparently she's been stepping out on him anyway. So that was sort of the last straw," she explained and I settled back onto the barstool and continued to eat my scrambled eggs. Of course, I felt horrible about the whole thing. But if I wasn't the root of the problem, then talking to him held no value. After last night, it was pretty clear it was in my best interest to stay away from him.
"There's one other thing I need to tell you."
"Oh god, you're not pregnant are you?"
"Umm, no. But now I know what kind of godmother that baby would have. It's about Gabe."