Chapter 3: Believe

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A/N: Thanks to DarkWriters for making the awesome book cover! =) 

CHAPTER THREE

There's a smell of stale fear that's reeking from our skins

The drinking never stops because the drinks absolve our sins

We sit and grow our roots into the floor

But what are we waiting for? What are we waiting for?

So give me something to believe

Cuz I am living just to breathe

And I need something more to keep on breathing for

So give me something to believe

~"Believe" The Bravery

I heard it before I saw it: the deep, thumping bass of loud party music, which I could feel vibrating my seat even though we were halfway down the road.

"Oh, come on, move!" Venice grumbled, pressing down on her car horn. Hard. She narrowed her eyes at the line of cars snaking up the street, all waiting for their chance to park and party.

"I think this is a sign," I announced, running a hand nervously through my hair. Though it usually had a hint of wave to it Venice had flat-ironed it to sleek perfection earlier. "Maybe we're not supposed to be here tonight."

"No…Stan's parties are always like this," she answered distractedly, trying to maneuver around the Mercedes in front of us, to no avail. "It's the first party of the year! Of course there's going to be a lot of people."

"Great." I slumped down in my seat.

"Remember what you promised me earlier?" Venice asked pointedly. "You said you were going to keep an open mind and not be such a Debbie Downer."

"I know, I know." I sat up straighter. "You're right. Even though I despise the person throwing this party, don't know anyone else here, and completely disagree with the way things work in this town, that does not mean I can't have a good time!" I paused. "That came out a lot more sarcastic than I intended."

Venice laughed. "You're ridiculous." She eased off the brake as the line inched forward a little. "You've been in such a cranky mood lately I think tonight's the night."

A chill ran down my spine. "Uh…the night for what?" I asked slowly, knowing what she was going to say but dreading it nonetheless.

"The night to find you a guy!" she exclaimed, in a duh voice. "You are 17 years old and you've never even had a real boyfriend, which is…well, it's not normal, especially since you're gorgeous, girlie."

I blushed, muttering something about how I wasn't, really. Compliments on my looks always make me feel awkward. I really don't even think of myself as pretty. I mean, yeah, I know I'm not ugly or anything, but when I look in the mirror I just see a regular teenage girl.

Venice groaned. "You kill me. Do you even realize how all the guys stop to stare at you whenever you walk into a room?"

"They don't."

"They do!" She gazed at me calculatingly. "But don't try to change the subject. There'll be plenty of hot guys here tonight and even if you won't date any of them you can still hook up, can't you?"

"You're the one who brought it up in the first place," I huffed. "And I'm not really a hook up type of person, V."

She ignored me, distracted by a parking space on the edge of the road. Granted, it didn't look large enough to even fit one of those tiny cars they drove over there in France, but it was a space nonetheless. Luckily, Venice's car was pretty tiny too, and by some miracle (or lack thereof, in my opinion), she managed to ease into the spot.

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