Don't I Know You?

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"Oh my god!" I leapt from his lap with a shriek. "That little shit!" I spun to face the outdoor speaker pouring out Ryan's disembodied voice and pointed at it in outrage. "You little shit! I can't believe you told your fucking friends my nickname!"

I turned back to Brian who sat there chuckling.

"Don't you laugh!" My finger of accusation was pointing in his direction.

He dialled the full on grin back to a smirk, tipped his glass at me in acknowledgment and took a sip managing to avoid the grimace this time. He rolled the Pastis around in his mouth for a moment before swallowing.

A memory washed over me of a much younger, cockier, drunker, Brian with his face streaked with the remnants of some truly woeful make-up. I'd finally worked out why he looked so familiar.

"Holy shit! You're Syn!" I dropped back into my chair and looked at him in amazement. I swear he preened, like a peacock ruffling up his feathers.

"I am," he offered in a smooth, smugly confident tone.

"You tried to kiss me at a party at Ryan's place years ago!" Wow. That had been some night.

"I did?" Was it just me or had some of his self –satisfaction just melted away?

"You did," I confirmed before continuing with an evil grin, "I told you that I didn't kiss guys who wore make-up than I did."

Truth be told I'd thought that Brian was hot, even back then, but Ryan had threatened me with dismemberment if I'd touched any of his friends. If Brian had been a bit more sober I might have risked it but he'd been wasted and I'd already faced down a bunch of death glares from some groupie looking girls that had arrived trailing in the wake of Brian and his friends. Ryan had confirmed they weren't girlfriends so their shitty little attitudes had pissed me off but then Kelly and I were essentially hangers on as well so I'd tried not to judge them too harshly. I was only in Los Angeles for a couple of days on my way to London, I really hadn't needed the drama.

Kelly had been talking to one of Ryan's bandmates Taipan, Taipan Venom, yet another shitty stage name; while I'd done shots with Brian and his friend Jimmy, when Brian had made his not so smooth move of trying to feel me up and stick his tongue down my throat Kelly and Taipan were trying to eat each other's faces off like a bad zombie movie. Clearly Ryan's policy of non-fraternisation only applied to me, his little sister.

Brian gaped at me. "That was you? Didn't you have blonde hair?"

I twirled a lock of my now natural golden brown hair around my finger. "Yes, that was me. I may have undergone a brief flirtation with the bleach bottle."

"Shit I was hammered that night. I was so offended by what you said until I realised you spent the night calling King Maybelline." He began to laugh until he was doubled over and tears were streaming down his face. Finally he looked up at me and said, "Man, Jimmy gave me some shit about that comment. He thought it was one of the fucking funniest things he'd ever heard, the high and mighty Syn, blown off for sub-par make-up skills. He kept that joke running for years, busted it out whenever he thought I was getting above myself. He thought you were fucking awesome."

I grinned at him. Jimmy his friend had been a great guy who'd stuck by my side and discussed all kind of weird and wonderful shit with me when Brian had wandered off to find sluttier pastures. Jimmy was the one who'd come to help me later that night when I found Brian asleep in the bathtub tangled in the shower curtain. It had been Jimmy who'd helped his friend Matt wrestle the drunk but still prepared to give it a red hot go Brian from the bathroom toward the front door where the rest of their friends had been waiting. And it had been Jimmy who'd hugged me and placed a smacking kiss goodbye on my cheek when Brian had waved a gameshow hostess hand over his own body saying, "We can't leave yet, she could have all this!" Jimmy had shown up the day after the party laden with beers, after party beers were law in the USA he'd claimed, to come to the beach with me and Ryan. It wasn't hard to tell that he and Ryan were close and I wondered if he'd been at Ryan's funeral.

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