Darren sent me a look when I walked in, no doubt curious about what I'd had planned. Nick was helping with the music side of things. Michael didn't have to be here to help with the backgrounds and stage set-up. I suspected Zack convinced him to stay so he could hear him sing. Darren wanted Zack and Gareth to do their scene first. Gareth was from another drama group and had nabbed the spot of Roger. It was a song near the end of the play, 'What you own'. But I knew from the first note that Zack was going to pull it off perfectly as always. Gareth did a good job as well though his acting was a bit stiff compared to Zack. I watched from backstage and tapped my foot impatiently, wondering where Amber was. She was always naturally late, but this was pushing it even for her.
“I'm going to find Amber,” I said to Nick and left to auditorium. Darren didn't stop me, too busy scrutinizing Gareth. The school corridors at night had an added creep factor. I heard shuffling nearby and whispered voices. I turned the corner quietly and saw the Danny guy. He and Amber were making out again. I rolled my eyes and prepared to announce myself so Amber would get to rehearsal when she shoved him back.
“Hey, I told you. I'm not going to do anything more,” she said, pulling her skirt back down. I hadn't even noticed him hiking it up. He frowned at her and opened his mouth to say something. I sensed it wouldn't be pleasant but he spotted me and his mouth snapped shut.
“Rehearsal,” I said, so that Amber noticed me as well.
“Right,” she muttered. Grabbing her stuff and following me. I looked over my shoulder at Danny. He was openly glaring at me.
“Your new boyfriends weird,” I said the moment we were back in the safety of the auditorium.
“Jealous?” she asked, checking her make-up in her hand mirror. I bit back a non-caring retort. Starting over I reminded myself.
“I have no reason to be jealous. You're not into guys,” I said. Amber's eyes bugged out and she looked around quickly.
“Don't say that out loud,” she whispered at me.
“Why not? You have pride in yourself, right? So why do you hide this part of you?” I asked. I didn't wait for her to configure a response. I walked backstage to get ready quickly. I pulled on the coat and buttoned it up. My top had low cleavage before so she shouldn't notice anything different until I removed the coat. I walked onto stage, the boots clomping loudly. Amber walked out, looking nothing like she usually did. Though I'd be lying if I didn't think Amber in ripped jeans and a vest top wasn't hot.
The upbeat music began and Amber moved closer. Her husky voice easily carrying across the auditorium. I tried not to let her perfume mess with my head and she moved closer. She left me as the second stanza started, acting alongside the words brilliantly. The music changed and she moved so our bodies were pressed together. I knew it was getting close to when my part began and started singing. I looked right in her eyes when I sang the line 'but I love you' and started to undo buttons, careful not to show the dress too. I waited until my next line and removed the coat.
I saw the surprise register on Amber's face. Her cheeks flushing a beautiful shade. I moved closer now and pressed my body against hers. She almost missed her cue to sing back. And I didn't miss the unsteady way her voice hitched as she sang. The end of the song approached and we both stormed off stage in opposite directions. I didn't give her time to think things over and circles round backstage to where she was.
“Lily, you look-” I cut her off with a forceful kiss. Aware I was using bruising force but not caring as it grew deeper and I felt her breathing hitch. When I pulled away her expression was flustered and it her a few moment of opening and closing her mouth before she could form a sentence.
“I don't understand,” she finally said with a defeated sigh.
“Neither do I. But I can't help who I like. So how about we forget all the crap in the past? And this time, we tell people,” I said. I clasped both her hands in mine, desperate for her to agree. She licked her lips and lifted both her hands free, running them through her hair.
“Does this mean you'll come with me around Europe now?” she asked after some pacing. I felt a weight lift and laughed.
“Of course,” I said, pulling her into a hug. She returned it then her lips were on mine again. It was soft and perfect.
“That's a relief. I need someone who isn't afraid of bugs to get rid of them for me,” Amber joked when we pulled apart. I shook my head at her and kissed her again.