An hour later, all hell had broken loose. Craig was behind the cabin puking in a snowbank with his buddies, faithfully clutching his bottle of Captain Morgan to his chest. At one point I caught Damon and Matt trying to slide down the stairs on couch cushions, hooting and hollering the entire time. I had given Mark some space, aka I was tired of being introduced to important people who didn't care about me and were just going to forget who I was. I grabbed a red solo cup and hastily filled it with water as a desperate attempt to fit in. I made my way into the huge living room, where there was a familiar Kanye West song pulsing through the speakers. There were girls close to my age, also holding red cups, standing and dancing on the coffee tables, and guys trying to jump around to the beat but miserably failing. Normally, I loved dancing with a passion. At school dances I was usually the first one to hit the floor and start jamming out. This however, was a completely different story. I didn't know these people, and I wasn't intoxicated like they were. I was an outsider. I began to turn and walk back to the kitchen, when a familiar body ran into me and stopped me in my tracks.

“Oomph!” I mumbled, hitting a muscled chest with great force. I muttered an apology, keeping my eyes down and planning to just brush it off and scurry away. The other member of the collision had different plans.

“Oh hey Liz, what's good my homegirl?” I familiar lazy voice slurred at me. I quickly glanced up, thinking it was Mark. I was close, but not quite correct. The drunkard that I had run into was Craig.

I couldn't help but laugh when I said “Hey Craig. Did you manage to clean yourself up a bit? You were looking pretty rough a few minutes ago!”

His response was a loud and off-key chuckle, but it still drew no attention from the crowd of people. His behaviour was the current norm. “Nothing a 15 second jump in a cold shower can't fix, is there?” Still smiling, he threw an arm around my shoulders and steered me towards the centre of the room.

As much as I tried to maintain my composure, there was just something about Craig's energy that was infectious. I couldn't stop a small, bareley noticeable grin forming on my face. “I guess you're right Craig.”

He let out a woop, saying “I know I am girl. Now, keep that smile on your pretty face and let's have some fun!”

I didn't resist as he grabbed my hand and hoisted me up onto the nearest table. However, as soon as I was up, I panicked.  My eyes scanned the room, hoping to find a sign of relief. Finally my gaze rested on Mark, in the middle of a conversation with Damon and Matt upstairs. They were leaning over the balcony that rose above the lower floor of the cabin. I gave him a look that clearly said “help me”, but instead Mark laughed and gave me a thumbs up. So much for my knight in shining armour coming to rescue me from an embarassing situation. I tried stepping down, but Craig tightened his grip on my wrist.

“Not so fast little lady. Let's dance!” He pulled me closer to him and began a drunken waltz. I felt my face turn hot, which meant it was most likely tomato red. Craig was side stepping, moving forward and back in our tiny radius, and ocassionally dipping me like the hopeless romantic he thought he was. After a few minutes of being completely mortified, I realized that nobody was staring or laughing at me. In fact, everyone else was doing pretty much the same thing.

Hmm. I thought. Maybe letting go wouldn't be such a bad thing. I let Craig spin me around to the music, and eventually I threw my head back in a great laugh of joy that I had been holding in for months. These McMorris boys were bringing out the best in me.

Baby Steps (Mark McMorris FanFic)Read this story for FREE!