Chapter 2: Party House

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 86


The living room floor squeaks with each step I take into the house, and my flip flops stick to the boards.

We cross the room and pile my stuff on the stairs that rise from the middle of the far wall.

I can see the kitchen through an entryway on one side of the stairs. And a closed door—maybe a bedroom—on the other side.

"I'll get your crate and see if I can manage another box," Blue says, heading back outside. 

I start to protest. I really should be carrying my own stuff in. But he's already disappeared out the front door.

While he's gone, I look around in amazement. 

In a corner of the living room sit two beer kegs. The kegs are surrounded, as if in homage, by dozens of red plastic cups that are in various stages of the typical red-cup life cycle: some are crumpled or smashed, others lying empty on their sides or still standing, half-full.

With the unscreened windows that line two sides of the room open and a hot wind blowing through, I can smell the stale beer left in the cups and, obviously, all over the floor. 

There's nothing else in the living room. 

Blue, loaded down with my overfilled crate and another box, kicks the front door closed and walks toward me.

"So, you had a party in here last night, I guess?" I ask, pulling off my sunglasses and tucking them into the front of my shirt as he sets what he's carrying on the stairs. "You moved the furniture somewhere?"

He looks at me a second, then crouches to pick up a drum stick lying on the floor. Then he slowly stands, sliding the stick into his pocket. 

"We don't have any furniture in this room," he responds. Makes it easier for the bands to set up."

He laughs when my jaw drops. "You do know we have parties here most weekends, with live bands, right? We're known all over campus for our parties. You have to have known that."

I run a distraught hand over my face. "Uh, no. I didn't know that. This is the first time I've been on campus, except for my interview last spring."

I sound less than thrilled. I am less than thrilled. I fought too hard to get into Ikana's top-notch journalism program to screw it up now. And I took a full load of classes my first semester.

How am I going to get straight As and put in the kind of hours I'm planning on putting in at the newspaper if I'm living in the 21st-century equivalent of Animal House?

"Last night's band was really a good one," Blue goes on, as if that makes a difference. "The lead singer's kind of a douche, but he's got a great voice. We must have had 100 people, just in this room."

"C'mon, Keegan," he adds, reading my expression, "it's not that bad. You'll meet a lot of really cool people."

I don't say anything else. I just shake my head and look away.

When I return my gaze to Blue, he's yawning. 

"Only problem with the parties is cleaning it all up the next day," he says, rubbing his muscular abs as I get a sudden and vivid mental picture of me running my tongue over that stomach.

Jesus, what is happening to me?

Blue grins again, almost like he knows what I'm thinking. Then he turns toward the stairs. "Let's get you up to your room. It'll probably be hours before the other two lazy-asses are awake. You can meet them later."

He starts up the stairs as I follow. 

"Just don't get your hopes up," he adds over his shoulder. "Hunter's a Grade-A asshole, and Kendra. . ." He shrugs. "Well, you can form your own opinion of Kendra."

There's a landing halfway up the stairs and a window that looks out over a back deck. I see more red cups and bottles all over the deck and a couple of lawn chairs. 

Over the window, a huge, if ragged, Canadian flag hangs on the wall.

I pause on the landing and stare up at the flag, then gaze out at the weed-choked yard below that holds even more lawn chairs, and dozens more cups and bottles.

"So why is there a Canadian flag on the wall?" I ask Blue.

"No idea. It's been there since before I moved in." He shrugs. "Hunter might know. His stepdad owns the place." 

He takes a couple of steps back down to the landing and yells out the open window. "Max! C'mere, boy!" 

He is staring intently at something in the yard. "Wait. Corey? Is that you? Man, what the fuck are you still doing here?"

I crane my neck to look around Blue in time to see the dog sniffing around a form that slowly rises from the ground. It appears to be a grubby-looking male with bushy, dirty-blond hair. The guy is rubbing his eyes and blocking the sun with his hands as if it hurts him.

"Corey!" Blue is yelling again. "Go home!" 

He laughs and continues up the stairs. "He's a member of the band. Still sleeping it off, I guess. Idiot."

I'm looking everywhere but right in front of me, trying not to stare at Blue's taut backside. 

"So is Max your dog?" I ask, just for something to say.

"He's kind of the house dog," Blue replies, "although I seem to be the one who takes care of him most of the time. He showed up here one day, mangy and starving."

We reach the top of the stairs, and I look from right to left. Three bedrooms, all with their doors closed. And one bathroom, door open. I spot an old-fashioned, claw-foot bathtub inside.

A long, hot bath would be nice right now.

Blue sets my possessions in front of the door directly across from the bathroom. "You're the last one in, so you get the smallest room," he says apologetically. 

Then he points at the door next to mine. "That's Kendra's room. And I'm next to her. Hunter's got the bedroom downstairs, the only one with its own bathroom." 

He turns the knob and pushes my door open, then steps aside to let me pass. "Here we are."

I walk into the tiny room and stop abruptly, gasping at the sight of a naked couple passed out on my bed.

Submitted: December 20, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Emily Blaze. All rights reserved.


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