Octavia's First Party

93 11 33

Multicolored lights strobe and bounce off the disco ball hanging in the center of the blacked-out room. Beats pulse in the air. Men and women wearing short, flashy outfits dance around to it. Some partiers are sober, but most are drunk off the not-so-mini bar tucked away in a corner.

She's incredibly uncomfortable. There are too many people here for her.

A group of familiar people dance in a corner near the bar - one person more familiar than the others. The girl wears short, shiny, silver cloth around her body in a way trying to pass as a dress and dances with a Martini glass in hand. Her thick hair corkscrewed in countless curls bounce and sway to her movements. Mindy's shimmery eyes meet hers. She leaves the dancing group to meet her.

Meeting her friend, Mindy says, "Do my eyes deceive me? Is that the Octavia Rhinehart?"

"Unfortunately," Octavia says. She crosses her arms across her half-naked chest. Gold shapes the dressed half in a heart and hugs her body down half-way to her knees. Fishnet covers her exposed legs crossed at the ankles. She teeters from standing like this in silver platform shoes she's still learning to walk in.

"Look who's smoking tonight!" Mindy says. "I never took you as a glitter girl." She playfully flicks a lock of Octavia's black, glitter-coated hair back behind her shoulder.

Octavia teeters, again. "I'm not."

Mindy hooks arms with Octavia and walks her to the bar. They sit in mix-matched barstools.

"What are you doing here, Octi? I know this thing is definitely not your style. Especially the whole people thing."

Mindy places a now-empty martini glass on the bar and flags the bartender. "Another, please."

He swipes the glass on command. The bartender pauses for a moment when he notices Octavia but hurries to fill Mindy's drink.

Octavia sighs. "My parents found out about the party-"

"What!" Mindy almost screams.

A few partiers look in their direction. Octavia snaps her face away from them and hides in her straight hair like a curtain until she feels their eyes off of them. She waves at Mindy to quiet and calm down.

"Don't worry, Minty," Octavia tells her. "They didn't rat anyone out and won't talk about it unless the media finds out about it. At least that's what they told me. My parents actually told me to come to meet other politicians' kids and make 'friends'. Plus, they said if I didn't go, they would rat out everyone involved. So, I came."

The bartender puts a frosted, pink-filled martini glass in front of Mindy. She slides it to Octavia. Mindy raises her fingers. "Another, pl-"

"On it Miss Winters." The bartender nods and zips away.

"A Rhinehart with a heart? Surprising... if it wasn't you of course. And since you're here, why not let loose?" Mindy watches the man prepare her drink. "And enjoy such friendly service." Her eyes hang low and her tongue sticks out the slightest bit.

"Must you stare at every guy like that?" Octavia says.

Another pink-filled glass is presented to Mindy.

A soft, giggly sound rises from Mindy. "You have to at least admit this guy isn't bad. I wonder just how friendly the service is..."

Octavia rolls her eyes as she sniffs the drink. She takes a tiny sip of the pink martini mix. It's tangy and bitter but not horrible, yet not good enough for a second sip. Octavia scoots the drink away.

"Don't like yours?" Mindy asks.

"No."

"More for me then." Mindy pulls the drink towards her. "But promise me you'll order something because I didn't ask the bartender's IP when he gave me my drink."

"Fine." Octavia raises her fingers.

"And don't order anything lame," Mindy adds.

The bartender, dropping the drink he had been preparing for another person, flies over to Octavia. The person glares at the bartender but softens when he sees who he ran to.

"What do you wish, Miss Rhinehart?" the bartender asks.

"A mojito and your IP address for her." Octavia points her thumb at Mindy.

"Octi!" Mindy says.

"What? You said you wanted it."

"I was going to ask for it!" Mindy pouts.

Octavia shrugs. She turns to the bartender who stands there awkwardly. "Just get the drink for now. We can deal with the IP address later."

"Y-yes, Miss Rhinehart." The bartender stammers before stumbling away.

Within a minute, a pristine mojito and a scribbled-on napkin are delivered to Octavia.

Octavia slides both down to Mindy. "I know you like and want."

Mindy pulls the things closer to herself. "You're so sweet."

Before Octavia can retort her kindness, the man who lost his drink comes behind them and slings his arms around her and Mindy's shoulders.

"Hey, Minty," he says to Mindy. "Man... Long time no see, Ova," he says to Octavia.

A smile flashes across Mindy's face. "Hey."

A glare glazes over Octavia's eyes. "Go away, Xander."

"Why a party killer, Ova?" Xander says in a drawl. His brown eyes have taken on a gloss and dark skin little beads of sweat.

Octavia can smell the alcohol in his breath and his lime blazer. "First, because you keep calling me Ova..."

"Aww, lighten up, Octi. He's only calling you that because he wants yours, am I right?" Mindy nudges Xander in the side while the two chuckle.

Octavia doesn't laugh. She scowls. "Gross." She shoves Xander's arm off her and stands to walk away.

Xander grabs her arm. "Come on. Can't I tease you anymore? You're such a buzz kill."

Octavia snatches her arm from him. "I didn't even want to be here in the first place."

"But you're here now, so enjoy it," Xander says.

"Sounds like familiar advice to me," Mindy says with a wink.

Octavia sighs in submission and sits back down.

Mindy smiles, and Xander hoots.

"Now you have to drink something," Mindy says.

"So, you're going to sample every drink until you find one you like," Xander says. "Or get drunk out of your mind."

Octavia opens her mouth to say something but gunshots ring through the room. Disco ball pieces come crashing down on the floor. Music screeches to a halt.

Octavia's heart skips a beat. Gunshots were only ever something she heard from the NetNews. He could not really be there. "No..." Octavia says to no one. She grabs Xander and Mindy's wrists and rushes to a nearby exit. "We gotta go. Now."

Xander and Mindy don't hesitate to follow her as the electricity powers down. Other partiers, screaming, are steps behind them, threatening to push past them. They make it to the door when it opens up on them. Octavia rams herself into a Chromy. The rebel man wearing camouflage and a filtered mask doesn't budge despite the force of the impact knocking Octavia over. Xander and Mindy catch her before she falls to the ground.

When Octavia is standing on her feet, the Chromy presses his machine gun into her gut.

"Center room," he barks.

They follow his order and are mushed into the center of the room as more Chromies flood into the party area.

Octavia, Mindy, and Xander turn their attention to the stage where they see Shard.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This is the kind of music I imagine playing at the party.

ShardsWhere stories live. Discover now