42 | The Cabin

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I woke up for the second time today to the inescapable sound of footsteps clamoring down the wooden floorboards of the hallway. The sound was so loud that it lulled me out of my most recent nap, but I squeezed my eyes shut in a lame attempt at ignoring the sound, which was only coming nearer. 

Seconds later, the door swung open with a force so strong that it hit that wall with a resounding thud. I sink deeper into my bed and shield myself with my sheets, but my comfort is only temporary before someone rips the blanket out of my grasp. A load groan of protest escapes my lips as my eyes finally peel open. 

"Wake up!" I hear Asher cry, very near to my face, and I sit up in slight alarm. When the haziness in my vision passes, I see a grinning Asher and Nathan staring at me in amusement. "It's fun time."

I stare at them blankly before I glance back at the digital clock resting on the bedside table. The neon letters indicate that it's 8:26 at night and I managed to sleep for two hours despite the nap I took in the car ride. What can I say? I value sleep. 

"You have spent entirely too much of the day sleeping," Nathan tells me in a mock disappointed tone, but the dimple on his cheek as a result of his half smirk half smile gives him away. 

"I'd have to agree," Asher adds with a boyish grin. "Drink this and you'll wake right up."

With a wicked smile, Asher shoves a red cup in my face. I lean back hastily to examine it and shortly realize that there's about a shot worth of something brown in the bottom of the cup. Slowly, I lean forward to get a whiff of the mixture, and my nostrils are filled with the sweet smell of cinnamon whiskey. 

"Whiskey?" I ask in slight skepticism of his preferred method of waking up. "Is it fireball?" 

"Yep," Asher grins and repeats: "It's fun time, remember?" 

Because of his compelling argument, I pull myself up into a sitting position and tip back the cup to let the whiskey trickle down my throat as a trail of fire follows. When the initial burn fades, I look up at the boys and give them a sleepy smile. 

"Okay," I announce as I run a hand through my surely messy bedhead. "I'm ready now." 

Asher chuckles a little and turns to shoot Nathan his famous grin. "You got yourself a keeper, man."

The residual sleepiness that fogs the corners of my mind keeps me from overanalyze the sentiment behind Asher's words. Instead, I glance out the window and see that the sky hung low in the blue green sky, near where the horizon was glowing an orange color. 

"I just turned the grill on," Asher informs me, effectively taking my attention off the remnants of the sunset. "We're going to go swimming after we eat."

I raise my eyebrows slightly. "Isn't it going to be cold at this time of night?" 

Asher and Nathan share a look and a grin before they settle their gazes back on me and Asher repeats, just as confidently, "It's fun time."

I can't help but laugh at the excuse of an argument before I concede. "Okay, fine. Get out of my room so I can change. I'll meet you guys downstairs."

Asher nods and promptly walks to the door to exit my room, but Nathan lingers by the door with a mischievous smirk planted on his lips to match the playful sheen in his eyes. Even though merely being close to him makes my body stand at attention, I can't help but feel slightly relaxed by the playfulness in his expression, because that meant he wasn't acting like a cold bad boy. 

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