Chapter 8: This isn't Tag

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Chapter 8: This isn't Tag

I threw back another shot. The burning cleansed my body from the rough night I was having. It felt nice to finally relax after the long day. The house was spinning around me, but I didn't care much. I was having fun and that was all I ever wanted.

I tumbled into the den to see everyone dancing. Aspen stood in the middle by himself. He held a red solo cup in his hand and bobbed up and down. He no longer had on his flannel; now it was just a black tee. His flannel hung over his shoulder. When I reached Aspen he began holding my stomach as we swayed from side to side. It didn't matter that we were sweating; we were close, and that was all I needed.

"What's got you like this?" Aspen shouted the music.

I didn't hear him that well. My head was consumed in the thought of Becca. None of it made sense. How could she just go to my sister? Sam's done absolutely nothing for her.

Aspen rubbed my elbow and I finally turned towards him. Our chests were now touching and his hands had fallen lower to my hips. He looked so cute with his worried eyes. They were glistening like the stars, and that made me want him even more. Not even thinking, I leaned into him. I wanted his lips on mine. No, I needed them on my lips.

Aspen watched as I inched closer and closer to his mouth. Before I got the chance to even lightly brush his lips, he turned away and my lips landed on his cheek. It was definitely not what I wanted.

"Why are you acting like this?" Aspen asked.

"Acting like what?" I snapped. I was mad that he didn't let me kiss him. Didn't he like me? Weren't people who liked each other supposed to kiss?

"You're usually shy and conservative." He shook his head; his hair bounced as he did so. "This isn't the you I like."

I stumbled backwards. What was he saying? "I'm sorry, so you don't like girls who want to kiss you?"

"No, that's not what I'm saying, Ella." He let out a large breath. "I just like you better when I have to chase you. When you're throwing yourself at me, it's not fun for me."

I wasn't thinking at that moment. My hand reached for the closest cup. I lunged the cup at him and whatever was inside drenched Aspen. My body was sweltering then. I was furious. People around us wooed and booed. Some people enjoyed seeing the most popular guy in school get a drink thrown at him; others saw it to be harsh and unnecessary. I didn't care what people thought; it needed to be done. My anger needed to be released.

I headed for the door. I couldn't be around Aspen. My headed pounded from the drinks and music.

"Branson, wait!" Aspen shouted behind me, but I continued out the door. When I reached the grassy lawn outside, I realized something. Quinn drove me to the party, and she was no longer here anymore. Her car was gone. Crap.

I had no choice but to stay and either call someone or walk home.


"What do you want, Aspen?" I shouted at him. Turning around I saw how wet I actually made him from the drink. It made me feel a little bad, but not much.

"Why are you so mad? Did I say something?" He threw his hands to the side. Aspen genuinely looked confused.

"I'm not a game, Aspen. This isn't a fun game for me." I pointed between us. "I wanted it to be the real thing. Clearly though, you just like to think of me as a new video game, but I don't date people who think of me as a toy."

"I-" Aspen searched for words.

I crossed my arms. "I want to go home."

"Okay. I'll take you home." He nodded and shoved his hands into his pocket. I shivered and approached his car. "Cold?" He asked. I remained silent, but then felt his flannel cover my shoulders. I mumbled a thanks and after Aspen opened the passenger side door for me I slid in.

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