Chapter Thirty-Five - Bittersweet Eighteen

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Chapter Thirty-Five – Bittersweet Eighteen

It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine.

-R.E.M.

For my eighteenth birthday Donna insisted I throw a party at home. I was pretty shocked that she had offered to let me invite dozens of teenagers into her beloved house. She said that she and Mark would stay at a hotel for the weekend and that on Saturday after the party we would have a cleaning company take care of the mess so that Donna would never have to see what we'd done to her precious home. It was a very generous offer.

At first I'd refused but then Terry and Ashton had called me insane and forced me to accept the party. So I created a Facebook event and invited seventy or so of my closest friends... Ashton's closest friends. The only people I really cared about were Rick, Judson, Pierre, Christine and Emily.

Speaking of Emily, I asked her why she hadn't told us she was having sex. She'd blushed and admitted to feeling embarrassed. Even though I'd done it, she felt awkward to talk about it. It was odd seeing confident Emily act so embarrassed and insecure. Christine and I were supportive and told her that as long as she cared about him and thought it was the right thing to do, we were happy for her. It had seemed like a weight had been lifted from her shoulders after our convo and I was glad.

"Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday dear, Samantha, happy birthday to you!" The Charlens' sang as Donna placed a chocolate cake covered with eighteen candles in front of me.

I blew the candles out, wishing for my parents to be happy wherever they were. Everyone clapped, and Donna kissed my cheek. "Happy birthday, honey." She said in my ear.

It had been over a month since the triplets' birthday and over a month since Roman and I had really talked. I glanced at him from across the table and he smiled at me softly. I hadn't seen much of him around lately. I didn't know whether he was avoiding me or if something else was going on in his life. I was partly concerned that he was back selling drugs or fighting. But he came home safe every night and he didn't have any bruises or cuts anywhere so I kept myself from confronting him.

"Here's something from Mark and me." Donna grinned giving me a package.

I looked at the beautifully wrapped box in my hands. "You shouldn't have." I was too excited to wait for a response as I tore the package open. It was a tote from Michael Kors. I pulled it out and stroked the leather exterior. "It's beautiful." I breathed.

"I'm glad you like it." Donna said excitedly. "It's big enough for a laptop so maybe you could use it next year in college."

"I will." I promised holding the purse firmly against my chest. I'd never owned a bag this expensive before.

"Okay my turn." Ashton grinned wickedly handing me a gift-wrapped box.

I took my time with the wrapping paper before opening the white box itself. I blushed crimson once I saw what was inside. "Ashton!" I squeaked, taking out push-up bras from Victoria's Secret and matching panties.

"You got me underwear for my birthday! I'm returning the favour." He replied laughing. "Christine helped me pick them out."

I looked around the table to assess everyone's reactions. Donna was shaking her head but there was a slip-up of a smile on her face. Mark was laughing. Terry was eyeing Ashton with an unfathomable expression on his face. And Roman's eyes moved from the underwear to my eyes where I saw fiery, hot lust in his gaze. I gulped hard.

"Okay, my gift." Terry said to my relief, pushing us all past Ashton's present. He handed me a gift bag. I pulled out a pink track jacket from Puma. "You promised you'd work out with me. Now you have to." Terry winked.

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