27. Frozen hearts

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I closed the door behind me as I entered the living room. Everyone sat around the café table, whether on the sofa or on the floor. I walked towards an empty armchair, letting my body fall on the wine red pillow. Shoving my phone into my pocket, I looked around for another can of beer. Despite my obvious annoyance, Gloria sat right next to me.

''My turn now!'' Diego put his fingers on the empty bottle of vodka and spun it. ''Gaia,'' he said. ''Truth or dare?''


She was sitting on the sofa, right in front of him. Her legs were crossed, her chin lift up and her eyes staring at him with provocative challenge.

''I dare you,'' Diego said, ''I dare you to kiss someone in this room.''

She rolled her eyes and scoffed. ''Fine.''

The others howled with enthusiasm as Gaia stood up and examined the room. She glanced at me and without moving her gaze away, she walked towards the armchair I was sitting on. With every step she took, my eyebrows furrowed more and more. There was no way I was going to kiss her. I would never do it, even if it was just truth and dare. As I opened my mouth to say that, she moved her eyes on Gloria and sat on her thighs.

It happened so quickly it took me a few seconds to realize what was going on. The most awkward thing about their kiss wasn't the fact that it was a little too long or that everyone whistled and seemed to enjoy it a little too much. The most awkward thing about it was me, uncomfortably sitting right next to them and trying to avoid looking at how their tongues swirled. That armchair might have been large, but it wasn't large enough for this kind of situation.

When Gaia finally leaned back, she glanced at me and wiped her mouth. The look in her eyes, that I once found captivating and charming, repelled me.

She grabbed Gloria's arms and pulled her up. The vulnerable and nervous Gloria seemed ecstatic to be dancing with her, although her happiness didn't last long. Gaia grabbed a bottle of whiskey and started dancing on the table with another girl. It looked like she was having fun, but I highly doubted it. This wasn't the Gaia Monforte I knew. She was wild, not desperate. Yet that's exactly how she looked: messy hair, sexy moves and a crop top tainted with alcohol. She seemed to have no dignity nor pride, flirting with Diego's friends that she had just met and licking vodka off their lips. She seemed to crave for attention, something she didn't need to since everyone's eyes were always on her.

I watched her, wondering if she was okay. She never looked at me though, I could almost say that she avoided my eyes. If Virginia was here, she would have stopped this nonsense. She would have shaken her out of her dizziness and forced her to look at her own reflection in the mirror. It wasn't a pretty picture. It was a sad one.

The music stopped. Who dared to stop the party? Everyone looked at the laptop connected to the columns – Gaia and Diego were standing next to it.

''What the hell?'' she yelled. ''Why did you do that? Turn it back on.''

''No.'' He closed the laptop and glared at her. ''Why do you have to act like this?''

''Like what?''

''Like you don't care! Like we're not even dating.''

''Oh God, are you serious?'' She rolled her eyes. ''What do you expect from me? Soft kisses and I love you's? You promised, remember? You promised you wouldn't fall in love. So fuck you, Rodriguez. I don't owe you shit.''

Diego sighed. He seemed genuinely hurt. No arrogance, no cocky smirks. I think it was the first time I had ever realized he could have feelings too. Everyone else seemed to be as shocked as me.

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