Salvation #2

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Jacquie leans against Scott's muscular body. She tilts her heavy head and rests her chin on his broad shoulder. He winds his arm around her tiny waist and shouts above the music. His words slur together in a tangle of syllables.

Jacquie draws in a mouthful of warm vodka. It seers her throat in an exhilarating rush. A numb cloud is thick over her mind. The stormy cloud darkens with every plastic cup of alcohol.

Her sharp green eyes dart over the brim of the white cup, searching lazily for Ella. "Has anyone seen Ella?" she mumbles.

Scott frowns and glances down at her, "Hmm?"

"Have you seen Ella?" Jacquie's head spins and gravity threatens to drag her to the floor. Scott shakes his head, "I thought she left."

Confusion tightens around Jacquie's foggy mind. It creases her forehead and twists her slow thoughts. "I better call her." Jacquie wriggles out from underneath Scott's arm and staggers down the hall.

Her red stilettos shift awkwardly beneath her weight. They slap loosely against the wooden floorboards. Beads of sweat trickle down the back of Jacquie's neck. Strands of her dark hair cling to her face and curl around her jaw.

She wanders drunkenly into the kitchen. Plastic cups are strewn across the small room. Streamers lie limply over the counter and graze the floor.

Swaying, she tugs her phone out of the pocket of her tight skirt. Her vision blurs before focusing on the small screen. Stumbling back against the counter she manages to dial Ella's number.

She shifts her weight from impatiently. Her fishnet tights constrict around her legs with the shift of movement.

Chewing her lower lip she raises the phone to her ear. "Hay I can't answer the phone right now-," Ella's voicemail leaks through the air. The sound is barely audible above the heavy music. The monotone beep buzzes inside Jacquie's ear.

"Ella where the hell are you?" Jacquie groans, "Scott said you left and I can't find you anywhere. You seriously better still be here because there is no way I'm walking back by myself. Please just give me a call or find me or something."

Sighing Jacquie hangs up. Frustration ebbs inside her chest like a thick poison polluting water. She forces her phone back into her pocket and walks out of the kitchen.

Scott swoops over her, slinging his arm around her thin shoulders. "You get a hold of her?" he asks. Alcohol is sharp on his breath. The scent swarms around Jacquie's head. "No. She never answers her phone," she whines.

"Relax she's probably just gone home," Scott breathes.

Jacquie nods, "If she has I'll kill her."

"You want another drink?" Scott murmurs. Jacquie shakes her head. Hesitation and impulses bite at the ankles of her rationality. "Actually yeah," she mumbles.

The corner of Scott's lips pull into a crooked smile. He lifts a fragile cup off of the table and hands it to Jacquie. She sculls it quickly, wiping Ella from her mind.

"Hay Jacquie give us a dance!" a boy shouts from down the hall. Jacquie nearly chokes, forcing herself to swallow the vodka. "I'm good," she mutters.

"C'mon Jacquie," Scott pleads, smiling wickedly. She shakes her head and rolls her chrysolite eyes.

A squeal slips between her lips as she ushered into the living room. Scott easily hauls her up onto the table amongst a small group of girls already dancing.

Her nails dig into his arms and she trashes against his chest. "Scott!" Jacquie screams. He releases her and gently shoves her forward on the table.

Heat rushes through her face, surging beneath her cheeks. She lifts her arms limply above her head, twisting on the heels of her stilettos.

Boys cheer and hover on the edge of the table. Jacquie's laughter fall into wild squeals. She's easily eluded into the soft delirium fuelled by the vodka.

Music races through her vanes and beats against her body. Time fades and blurs around her. The room spins around her violently.

Her body is dragged backward. She slams against the table. Shock and the drunken haze block out the frail throb of pain. Giggling she drags herself up. Her dark hair falls across her face and she sits splayed over the table.

She drags herself onto her hands and knees, flipping her hair back. She crawls across the table top and stretches out toward Scott. Jacquie walks her fingers across his shoulder.

"I think you've had enough to drink," Scott laughs, wrapping his hand over Jacquie's. She nods and sits on the edge of the table. "Probably," she sighs, dangling her legs over the side.

"I should find Ella," she moans. Scott helps her off of the table, staggering back. Jacquie tears away from him and stumbles out of the room. "Awe Jacquie," a boy whines from across the room.

A sickening sensation rips through her stomach. The hall jerks and tilts around her. She clings to the stained wall and grips the side of her head. Groaning she wobbles on her heels and collapses against the wall.

Jacquie's head throbs and pain swells against her skull. Clicking her jaw tight she pulls her phone out of her pocket. She dials Ella's number and raises the phone to the side of her face.

Jacquie's head falls back against the wall as Ella's voicemail echoes inside her head. "Hay Ella where are you?" Jacquie moans, "God why don't you ever answer your phone? Look I'm going to start walking home. I'm not feeling too good. If you're still here I guess you'll have to get a lift with Scott or something."

Wincing Jacquie forces her phone back into the pocket of her tight skirt. Sighing heavily she walks clumsily out the front door. The cold air sweeps over her, encasing her body. A shudder rips over her shoulders and crawls down her back. It spreads chills across her skin.

Scott trails behind her and stands in the narrow doorway. Blinding strips of light pour over his broad shoulder, blinding Jacquie. "You OK?" he asks.

"Yeah. I'm just feeling a little sick. I think I should probably go home," Jacquie says.

Her warm breath forms clouds of vapour in the dark air. It swirls into thin fog, caving in on itself.

Scott hesitates, glancing back inside at the still thriving party, "Did you find Ella?"

Jacquie shakes her head, "No. She's still not answering."

"I'll walk you home. It's probably not a good idea for you to go by yourself this late," Scott breathes.

Jacquie lets a small smile pull at the corner of her lips. "You can't leave your own party."

"Sure I can. And it won't take long," Scott shrugs. Jacquie's heart flutters inside the strict confinements of her chest, like a bird frantic for escape. She can feel her cheeks flushing with colour and heat swarming inside her temples. She silently prays the cloak of night hides the thrill washing over her features.

"Um...OK," she smiles, shifting her weight anxiously. Scott leaps down off of the porch and wanders over to her. He slings his arm around Jacquie's slim shoulders and ushers her down the cracked footpath.

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