As soon as the bell rang, signalling the end of class I turned to face Candice.
'What are we doing tonight then?' I noticed my voice came out slightly desperate and I did my best to control it.
Candice arched an eyebrow.
'Well, what do you suggest?'
I don't care, just so long as I don't have to go home!
'Why don't we all chill at yours?' I asked.
'That's a good idea actually,' her face lit up. 'Mum's away for the night so we'll have the place to ourselves. I have alcohol too.'
'Fantastic. Just the gang, yeah?' I started to feel better already.
Waiting in the corridor for the others to show up, I wondered why Ben was late out of his class until I saw him. He was deep in conversation with a new girl, Pheonix I think her name was. I couldn't help the pang of jealousy that shot through me and Candice obviously realized.
'Wait Zoey,' she grabbed my arm, just as I'd started to make my way over to them. 'They're just talking.'
'I know,' I smiled. I pulled out of her grip and headed over to them.
'Hey babe,' I made a show of snaking my arm round Ben's waist and kissing him on the cheek. I turned to face the new girl.
'Hi, who are you?'
'P-Pheonix,' she seemed to stutter. Her cheeks flushed red ever so slightly.
'Beautiful name, I'm Zoey.'
'Um, nice to meet you.'
'Yeah, isn't it just. Listen,' I turned to face Ben who was looking uncomfortable. 'We're all hanging round Candice's tonight. Hope you are too.'
'Yeah, that sounds great. Hey why doesn't Pheonix come along?'
'What?' I demanded at the very same time Pheonix did.
Ben seemed to realize his mistake.
'It just...might give her the opportunity to make some friends, ya know...'
'I don't think so-'
'I have stuff to do.' Pheonix interrupted me. 'Thanks though. See you tomorrow.'
I waited until she was out of earshot before turning to face Ben.
'What was that?'
'What?' he scoffed.
'So!' Candice came over, Taine in tow, obviously sensing trouble. 'You both in for tonight? Char, Taine and Jack are.'
'Jack's coming?' We heard Char's irritated voice before we saw her.
'Sorry, didn't know you didn't want him there.'
'Urgh,' she sniffed. 'Whatever.'
'Come on,' I smiled at her.
'Yeah okay, he's just like a lost puppy you know?'
'Who's like a lost puppy?' Sure enough, Jack rounded the corner seconds later. Wow, talk about bad timing. I stifled a laugh at Char's expression.
'Come on,' Taine chuckled. 'We're all here, let's go.'