Chapter 25, Stolen Kisses
On friday night, Tyler parks in Noah's driveway, and we hear the music booming through the open windows of the house as we get out of the car.
Ty comes to stand next to me, putting his arm around my shoulders, just like he did the first time we all came here.
"Why do you always have to make me the third wheel, Tyler?" Sienna asks annoyed as we all walk towards the front door.
Tyler rolls his eyes and brushes her comment off, changing the subject "Oh, I forgot to mention. I can't drive you home tonight, I'm staying here with the rest of the guys." he says.
"That's okay, I'll just ask my dad to come pick us up later. You can stay at my place if you want to S." I say.
"Really? Yay! We haven't had a sleepover, just us, for the longest time." Sienna replies clapping her hands, getting a little bit too excited and I laugh.
With his free hand, Tyler knocks loudly on the door so that it can be heard over the blasting music.
We hear shuffling coming from inside and a few second later, the door swings open and there stands Noah, looking as good as ever.
He's dressed in all black, form his sneakers, to his joggers, to his shirt. I'm not gonna lie, with his tall, broad frame, and dressed like this he looks pretty intimidating. Why do I kind of like it?
God, the fact that I'm such a sucker for stereotypical bad boys is so painfully cliché.
I see Noah take a brief glance at Tylers arm around me and I notice his jaw clench. Thankfully, he takes a deep breath and puts a dashing smile on his face, hiding his reaction.
"Hey guys, come on in." He says gesturing for us to go inside. "Everyone is chilling in the living room so make yourselves comfortable."
After closing the door behind us Noah leads the way through the corridor into a lounging area where all the guys are.
In the living room there's a big couch where Logan, Jackson and Mason are sitting. They're all facing a giant flat screen TV and playing a video game. The coffee table in front of them is filled with liquor bottles, chips scattered all around, and cigarrette buds. To the side there are two empty, individual couches next to a window, and I know I'm going to be aiming for one of those as soon as I gather up the courage to separate myself from Tyler.
As I take in this sight and the trap music pierces my eardrums, I wonder for what is probably the hundredth time since I've gotten involved with these people,
What the hell am I doing here?
We greet everybody and Sienna and I head for the individual couches, while Tyler joins the boys in the large couch and grabs himself a playstation controller to join their game. As soon as I sit, I can feel both Noah's and Mason's eyes drilling holes into me.
Since I kissed them both on that bus, every situation involving us three has been so awkward that the tension is palpable in the air. I can tell this night will be no exception.
So trying to spare us all from that, I pull out my phone and text my dad to come pick Sienna and I up in and hour and a half. That will end our suffering sooner than later.
Suddenly all the guys get up and I see them go gather round in the kitchen. Sienna and I glance over to see their tall, dark figures, and we look at each other confused.
"Why do I feel like we just walked into a brothel, and like they are all our pimps now?" Sienna asks.
"Sienna! Why would you even say that?"
"C'mon Amber, that right there is next level sketchy. Don't tell me that thought didn't cross your mind."
"Well it hadn't. Until now!"
"Why didn't you tell me we were going to be the only girls here, anyway?" She asks.
"Because I knew that if I told you you wouldn't come. If you looked on the bright side though, you'd actually be thanking me." I reply.
"And why would I thank you?"
"For being your wingwoman. A little birdie told me Jackson has a bit of a crush on you." I say with a suggestive look.
"Really?" She asks raising her eyebrows at me. "Okay, I'll go along with it. But if you think for a second that I don't know I'm actually here so that you can spend some time with Noah, you're deeply mistaken my friend." She says laing back on her chair. "Who's whose wingwoman now?" she winks and gets up, heading to the bathroom.
I'm not even surprised at this point. I know she's always ten steps ahead of me, and that she can read me like a book. I love her and hate her for it.
While Sienna's gone, the guys come back to the sitting area, and I'm suddenly aware of the spare seat next to me. I look at Tyler, begging him with my eyes to occupy it, but before he can even take a step, Mason jumps up from behind the small couch and sits beside me.
"Hey princess." he says with a shit eating grin.
Oh, come on. You have got to be kidding me.
Every time this guy speaks he makes me want to put my finger through my eye, into my brain, and swirl it around.
He's like a walking, talking, smug looking migraine, that just won't go away, no matter how hard I try. He just keeps crawling his way back into my life and I'm sick of it. So this time, instead of faking a smile and being polite I just roll my eyes at him and try to focus on the TV.
"Don't be like that Amber." He says putting his arm around me.
"Mason, read the room. If you talk to me, and I don't respond, that's not an open invitation to touch me, okay?" I say grabbing him and removing his arm from my shoulders.
From the corner of my eye I can see Tyler trying to hold in his laughter, covering his mouth with his hand, and I look at him with a defying raised eyebrow. He looks back at me and puts his hands up in surrender.
"I'm going outside for a smoke. Anybody wanna come with?" Ty says standing up.
"I'll join you." Noah replies and they both head in my direction, confusing me.
I get whats going on when Tyler goes outside through the window that's next to me. Noah follows him, but stops halfway, leaving him with one leg outside and the other one inside. He leans over to me and whispers something in my ear, lightly brushing his lips against it and making chills run all over my body.
I couldn't make out a single word he said, but before I can ask him, he flashes a smile and disappears through the window, into the darkness of the backyard.
Sienna comes back, sitting beside Jackson and they get lost in conversation. I smile at that. From what I know, which isn't much, Jackson seems like a good guy, and I hope he'll help her get over her ex.
I think Mason got my message because he moves over to the big couch to join Logan in a game of fifa, and I feel like myself relaxing now that he's not so close.
An eternity later, and after a lot of boredom, my phone dings in my pocket and I check it to see a message from my dad, saying he'll be here in five minutes to pick Sienna and I up.
I feel bad for interrupting her conversation, but I let Sienna know we're living shortly and I head to the backyard looking for Ty.
When I get outside I see Noah sitting on a table, smoking, but there's no sign of Tyler.
"Fun night huh?" I ask approaching him.
"Tell me about it." he replies letting out a soft chuckle.
"I came to say goodbye. My dad will be here any minute, so...Bye." I say awkwardly leaning in to place a kiss his cheek.
As I turn to walk away, he stands up and grabs my hand, spinning me around. I end up inches away from him, with a hand on his chest and staring into his bright eyes, speechless.
"Is that really how you're leaving me Rhodes?" he asks with a smirk.
Thinking there's no way he's not stealing these lines from a movie, I smile as he leans down to connect his soft lips with mine. I wrap my arms around his neck pulling him closer for a moment, before getting off my tiptoes and letting him go.
"Better?" I ask.
"Perfect." he replies, tucking my hair behind my ear.
"Goodbye Noah." I say heading to the side door.
"Have a good night Amber." He calls after me and a smile is permanently plastered on my face as I get into my dad's car.
When we get home, Sienna and I set up a mattress on the floor for her, and as soon as her head hits the pillow, she drifts off to sleep.
I get it, it's been a pretty long night.
As I'm browsing my closet for my pijamas I hear my phone ding from my bed.
Already changed, and excited for a text from Noah, I go sit on my bed and pick up the phone. But I'm surprised to see that the text isn't from Noah.
I'm an idiot.
I won't lie, you are. But why are you coming to this realisation now?
Because I know that you're an amazing girl, but I've been an asshole and I've screwed up so many chances with you. I know I fucked up, but I don't want to lose you.
I had been waiting for this moment for so long, for him to say that he felt something, that I meant something to him, but now, as I stare at my phone screen I realise two things:
1) He should've had the guts to say this to my face, because I can't believe him if he's hiding behind a text message.
2) It's too late anyway.
You already lost me a long time ago.