When it was finally midnight a giant chocolate cake appeared from the back, candles blazing and people singing. I blushed and blew out the candles, thanking them.
"Do you want to open your presents now?" Sam asked once I'd gotten some cake for me and her and other people were cutting their own.
"Mmm, please." I grinned through a mouthful of chocolate icing. She chuckled and wiped a crumb from my lips then led the way.
"This is from me." She said, putting her cake on the table and passing a small blue box to me. "It reminded me of the night you danced for me."
She stood twisting her fingers anxiously while I untied the ribbon that held the box together. Inside was a beautiful necklace, silver and very delicate. The pendant was a treble clef, a diamond studded in the centre. I felt the breath I inhaled sharply and glanced up at Sam.
"If you don't like it I can send it back... I mean I got it in Italy... I thought it was good because you were so with the music, part of it and... but if you don't like it..." I had to stop her by placing my finger over her fast moving lips.
"It's beautiful. I love it." She relaxed and smiled at me. "Thank you."
"Help me put it on?" I removed my current necklace and turned around so she could place it around my neck and attach the clasp. I looked down at it and smiled before turning to give her a hug and a kiss. "Thank you," I repeated as we broke apart. Someone coughed and I ducked my head embarrassed.
"Megan's turn!" Anna cried appearing at my side with her friend.
"Oh Megan you didn't have to get me anything." I said, taking Sam's hand and turning to them.
"Anna picked it out." She smiled and passed me a bag. Inside was a beautiful scarf, purple with gold threaded patterns.
"Thank you Megan it's beautiful."
I got some lovely presents, a dress from Ali and Jak, some boots from Liam that someone had obviously helped him pick out because they were incredible and gorgeous, and a whole range of other pretty things. When I had opened everything and thanked everyone the music was turned up again and everyone continued to party.
"Meet me in the back." I whispered to Sam and slipped away, avoiding being caught by some very drunk friends of mine from back home as they swirled around. I hurried in to the back where Sam's office and the store rooms were and leaned against a crate fiddling with the music note. It was beautiful and the diamond glinted in the light from the lamp I switched on.
"Cara?" I heard and then Anna appeared.
"Oh, hey. What's up?"
"Nothing, I just saw you come in here on your own. Wondered if you were ok?"
"I'm fine. Just needed a break is all."
"It's wild isn't it?"
"Yeah." I looked at her and smiled. "I'm wearing the bracelet." I showed her.
"I saw. Looks good on you."
"Sam's necklace is pretty."
"It is. Beautiful." I glanced down at it again. "She shouldn't have spent so much."
"Cara, when are you going to get it? People spend money on you because they love you, not because they want something in return."
I looked up at her and frowned.
"I know. It just makes me feel bad because I can't afford to do the same."
"So get a job."
"I've been trying. You think I want to mooch of Sam?"
"Maybe a little."
"What? Why?" I asked, staring at her incredulously.
"Nothing, never mind. It doesn't matter."
"What doesn't matter?" Sam appeared behind Anna and she jumped a little.
"Oh, Sam. I'll just leave you two alone. Happy Birthday Cara." She scuttled off before either of us could say anything.
"What was that about?"
"She thinks I like mooching off of you."
"You don't mooch. You pay rent, and buy food."
"But nothing. Don't start getting worried about money before you've got a job. Student finance will help you through, and I'm there if you really need help."
"But I don't want-"
"I know you don't but it's an option. Now, that aside, you wanted me here for some reason and I want to know what it is."
"I just wanted to be alone with you for a little while."
She smiled and stroked my cheek.
"How's the party?"
"Everything I could want."
"Good, I'm glad."
She chuckled and leaned in to kiss me. As her lips met mine I sighed and leant in to her. Her tongue wetted the edges of my lips and I groaned, slipping my hands to the button on her jeans.
"Your friends will be missing us." She muttered, smiling against my lips. I groaned but let my hands fall.
"Wait until they're all gone." She whispered against my ear, grazing the lobe with her teeth. I shivered and let her lead me back to the party.