Allison sat on the couch, sandwiched in between Sarah and Derek, facing the table that Jared and Sam would have their little show down on… and she was having a meltdown of sorts. That moment kept replaying in her mind, over and over, nonstop, on loop … and it was beginning to drive her crazy. Making the fiery blush on her cheeks refuse to die down. She could still feel his arm, as it snaked around her waist.
She could still see his face as he pulled her closer, until their bodies were in line with each other … was it stupid for her to have thought that he was going to kiss her at that moment? Yes, the epitome of stupid Allison, she berated herself. Maybe you had a chance earlier … but now he probably regrets inviting you here ... he probably thinks you’re a phony who can’t open her mouth.
The train of thought that she was on then was killing her … but it was necessary. She was right, he most likely didn’t want much to do with her after that awkward conversation they’d had. Or … hadn’t really had. But then accented words, whispered in her ear, danced across her mind, “… watch me.” She shivered, involuntarily. Could he have really meant to be done with her … after a move such as what he’d pulled? In front of the whole party no less.
But then she thought, it didn’t matter because she really was a phony and there was nothing attractive about that. She could put on a face, and pretend to be a leader, but underneath that wasn’t the case. Is he going to give up on me … and so soon? She may have been expecting and maybe even wishing for too much, but she knew deep down that part of her had wanted him to … take the challenge of knowing her. The real her, no pretenses.
Ally decided that she’d stop wallowing around in self pity, and focused on what was happening in front of her. Beer pong, a game she was very familiar with. She had known Max and yes he was quite awesome and like a big brother to her and her friends. He had started, as Andrew had so kindly informed them, the Beer Pong Tournament. Which took place once every season, summer, fall, winter and spring.
That was the way it’d been happening for years. She had been to the first one when she was around fifteen, and the game couldn’t have been called anything else but a hit. Leaving many a bit tipsy, but having had a blast as well. She was surprised to hear that Jared was a champ competing that night. He just didn’t seem like the type to drink excessive amounts of beer, even while playing a game.
After Andrew had hopped off the table, a few people had swooped in setting up the table with cups filled with what Allison knew were various types of beer before Jared and Sam. She had to smile looking at Sam, happy at seeing her friend again. He was still probably the hottest nerd she had ever met, the tallest but also the kindest.
He wore those signature, thick framed, hipster glasses, though his were actually for seeing, and not in any way for fashion. He was blind as a bat without them. His face was starkly planed, his eyes a beautiful shade of dark green and his hair wavy and coffee colored. So yes, Sam was hot, but she had never been attracted to him in that way. At that moment, Sam was obviously pumped. He was bouncing on the balls of his feet, resembling a boxer. Ever the energetic one …
Derek looked over at her at that moment. He frowned curiously.
“What?” She asked, confused.
“Umm … I’ll be right back.” But he was smiling then. Derek then got up, and jogged over to where Andrew was standing, speaking animatedly with someone. Once Derek reached Drew, he said something to him that made him look over at her, grinning like Derek had a few seconds ago. Uh oh … seems like they’ve remembered.
Andrew then called Sam over and said something to him too. He looked disappointed at first but then Derek said something and Sam brightened, smiling over at her like Andrew had. Crap … Andrew made his way over to the table again, microphone in hand, and carefully made his way on to it. Watching out for the cups that were on top of it then.
Andrew spoke into the mic, “We seem to have a sudden change of plans. I’ve heard word of a certain person that we all know well, missing out on their chance as Champ in a past BPT.” Allison considered, getting up and out of there, but before she could move, Drew spoke the next, damning words, looking directly at her with mischief in his eyes, “Ally, my dear, care to claim your rightful place as one of tonight’s Champs?”
The cheers started up immediately, until they became a sort of chant, “ALLY! ALLY! ALLY! ALLY!” She knew that she wasn’t getting out of it, so she stood up, the cheers increasing in their excitement, until the volume became almost deafening. By then, having learned how to walk in the “shoes” she was wearing, she made her way to the table, managing not to spill onto the floor.
She was aware of Jared’s eyes being on her the whole way, making her nervous. She glanced up at him once, quickly, and she noticed that he was grinning, surprise and mischief in his own eyes.
“You’ve surprised me, luv.” He said, that grin likely higher in its intoxicating substance, than the beer she was about to drink. “But know, there’s no way that I’m going to let you win this.”
She contemplated that for a second, then decided that she didn’t like it, “You don’t have to let me win anything, thanks. If you were surprised before, you should hold on, because you’ve seen nothing yet.” She said this, hands on hips, warming up for the competition to come and quite possibly, the battle of wills.
“That’s right!” Someone yelled out. “Show him who’s boss!” Ally smiled out in the direction of the voice. But was called back by the deep, melody of another’s.
“Yes, Ally. Please …” he paused. “Show me.” Her blush started to rise up again, but she wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of knowing that he had gotten to her in the little game they had begun to play, and she wasn’t talking about the stupid beer pong.
At some point she had slipped into the shoes of that other Ally, the one that owned her smile because that’s what she did then. She flashed him a grin she somehow knew could bring any lesser guy to his knees.
“Oh don’t you worry, I intend to just that.” She said and he arched an eyebrow, obviously as surprised as she was at her sudden change in character.
“I’m looking forward to it.” He said, but there was a certain gleam in his eyes, that suggested that there was deeper meaning to his words than what it seemed. But she dismissed it, he’s just trying to trip you up, she thought to herself.
The microphone was tapped again, and a slightly self satisfied voice came over the speaker, “Okay … yeah, we’re all ready when you two are.” Andrew said sarcastically, but Ally wasn’t ashamed. She’d put her game face on. She broke eye contact with Jared to give Drew a short nod. When she looked at him, he raised his eyebrows, questioningly and she knew he was silently referring to her and Jared’s little spectacle.
She gave him a bland look and glanced back at her opponent.
“Then let’s get started. As I always say, ‘ladies first’, so Ally you can start us off.” The cheers started up again, along with the chanting. She swore that when she glanced around, she saw money being passed between hands. Oh wow, she thought. Were they placing bets on them? Ally looked down at the table in front of her. There were six cups placed in a triangular shape in front of her and Jared both.
Her job was to get him to drink all of his beer before he made her do the same. The game required quite a bit of skill and some luck, to be able to lob or bounce a ping pong ball into one of the various cups of beer at the far side of the table. Two balls per person and per round. If a ball landed in one of the cups, that cup had to be drained by the opposser and thus, removed from the table.
The thing was, if your opponent was good enough, it became pretty hard to see straight and stay standing long enough to do any good. The winner was the person who had successfully made all of their opponent’s cups disappear.
There was a conveniently placed bowl of ping pong balls by her elbow. She reached in and pulled out two, one in her left and another in her right, her throwing hand. Positioning herself, she eyed the cups in front of her hard. She breathed in, and releasing that breath, she lobbed the feather light ball. There was a satisfying, “plop”, as the ball came to rest on the liquid in the cup. Cheers erupted but her turn wasn’t over yet. She positioned herself yet again and aimed.
Right before she released a deep and teasing voice said, “Don’t miss.” Allison glared up at him, just barely stopping the ball from leaving her fingers again.
“Keep quiet, would’ya?” She said, aware of her sardonic tone. “Trying to play here, if you haven’t noticed.”
“Oh I’m well aware. Just trying to have a little fun, luv.” He replied. She looked at him a last time, before she released the ball. It thunked inside the cup and she grinned.
“Looks like it’s time to drink up, Brit.” She said, arms crossing over her chest.
“With pleasure.” He said, and his ringed fingers … fingers that had held her close not too long ago, reached down for one of the cups. He downed it quickly and chucked the cup into a trash can near him. The second one he drank … slowly, eyes on her over the rim of the cup, and the look he was giving her with those blue, blue eyes, warmed her from head to toe.
The blush came on strong, with there being absolutely no chance of stopping it, and though his mouth was hidden from view and she couldn’t tell for sure … she knew he was laughing at her ... through those eyes of his.