Mark would agree to drink with Kayla. That much was obvious. Adam would probably ask too, and Mark would say no way. Wouldn’t he?
“Can I have some too,?” Adam asked, hesitantly.
“I don’t care. Just don’t let mom know,” was Mark’s brotherly response.
That, was not what I was expecting to hear. Suddenly, my plan was out the window. I was expecting to tell Adam that it’d be fine, and that I would not drink, so he didn’t have to feel left out. Instead, I had to come up with another plan, quickly.
It’s really not my place to decide if Adam should drink or not, but for some reason, I didn’t want him to. I can’t explain it, but I was really against it for some reason. I decided to try and voice my opinion, without sounding like a party-pooper.
“You can drink my champagne with me Adam. That other stuff will probably just get you sick. I’m not gonna drink any.”
Adam didn’t respond to my comment, but both Mark and Kayla gazed at me with obvious disappointment. I’m sure they had a vision of all of us getting drunk and having a jolly good time. They didn’t see the other possibilities of people drinking too much, and puke, and hangovers. I knew the risk I was taking, of being seen as lame, but it was worth it to me, to protect Adam.
What if all of us started drinking, and nobody was paying attention to how much Adam drank? He’s young, small, and completely inexperienced. Well, it’s not like anything of us are exactly experienced. He could get really sick, really fast, and none of us would know what to do.
Adam turned it over in his head a few times and decided to play it safe. He compromised, “one sip? I want to see what it tastes like.”
That was agreed upon with a few nods, so I made a quick dash to the kitchen to get dishes ready for our feast. I thought busying myself with host duties might deflect any further interrogation. After everything was in order in the kitchen, I went into my parents bedroom to grab the TV. I hauled it out into the living room and set up the DVD player.
Adam came over while I was hooking everything up.
“I was wondering if you had a TV in this house.”
“Yeah. It’s my dad’s. He’d kill me if he knew I took it out of his room hehe.”
“Really? Why don’t you have one out here? Like, for the family.”
“I don’t know…we’ve just, never had one.”
“Yeah, well,” I stood up and announced, “let’s eat!”
I got them all thinking about food instead of the fact that I wasn’t going to get drunk with my friends. Mark did uncork one of Kayla’s bottled, and poured two full glasses and two half glasses. We had a ceremonial salute to start off our evening.
“Ugghh! This stuff is nasty,” I offered after my first sip.
“Wow! Bubbly,” was Adam’s contribution. Not too revealing, actually. I wasn’t sure he was happy about joining my sober side of the fence. I was starting to feel guilty about how I tried to manipulate the situation earlier. He should be free to do as he likes, without pressure from me.
Mark and Kayla both thought it was pretty good. At least they wanted to convince themselves of that, as it was their only available path to drunk town. We had a nice meal, and I suggested we relocate to the living room couches and watch a movie. Adam thought that was a great idea. Mark and Kayla told us to get started without them. They wanted to sit at the table and drink a little more. They could see the television clearly from where they were, and they wouldn’t have to worry about being too loud, and ruining the movie for me and Adam. I couldn’t argue with their logic, so I begrudgingly agreed to the plan.
I set up the movie, stoked a few new logs on the fire and dimmed the lights. All the while, Adam sat at the edge of the couch and watched me get everything ready. As I was about to sit down, Adam suggested he might be more comfortable in less formal clothing. I saw his point, and agreed wholeheartedly. I suggested we go upstairs to change into more suitable attire, so we did. From along the upstairs railing, I could see that they had already downed more than half of the first bottle of champagne. If they weren’t careful, they could end up pretty wasted. Something I don’t think any of us want to see.
While we were changing into our new clothes, Adam asked, “why didn’t you want to drink with them guys?”
I tried to play it off with a simple “I don’t know…just don’t feel like it I guess.”
“What’s it like? Being drunk I mean.”
“Ah…I’m no expert. I’ve only drank once, but it was nothing special. I do know it can be pretty dangerous if you’re not careful though.”
“Oh yeah. That’s part of why I’m not drinking tonight. So I can watch Kayla and your brother to make sure they don’t drink too much.”
“Kayla sure is hot. Is she the same girl we saw at the mall?”
“And she’s moving away?”
“Yeah. Back to Canada.”
Adam threw on a t-shirt and a pair of basketball shorts, so I decided to copy him. Maybe a little underdressed, but we have lots of warm blankets downstairs. As we made our way back out of my room, I asked, “what does hmm mean?”
“What was the hmm for?”
“Oh. Nothing. Never mind.”
When we came back down the stairs, I could see Kayla and Mark were having a very animated conversation with a lot of laughing and hand gesturing. It seemed like the alcohol was starting to take effect. I couldn’t help but feel a little bit jealous of them. It felt like there was an inherent us and them divider wedged into the room. The suspicious smiles they wore, and the outburst of laughter that followed, after they spotted me at the bottom of the stairs, didn’t help either. I was not enjoying being the butt of some joke. It was starting to feel like this night could go a bad direction.
I swallowed it all back down and told them I was going to start a movie. They said to start without them, but they’d come over later. I sat on one side of the couch and brought a blanket up to my chin. Surprisingly, Adam sat at the other end of the couch. I couldn’t help but wonder if that meant something. I couldn’t avoid the sinking feeling. It was pulling me down.
Adam and I sat silently, watching the movie, as Kayla and Mark continued to drink in the kitchen. The more they drank, the louder they got. At one point Mark called Adam to come over. The three of them talked and giggled for a few minutes, until Adam came back with some Doritos and two Mountain Dews. He plopped down next to me and offered me one of the pops.
“Something wrong Daniel? You seem sad.”
“Huh? Nah. I’m fine. Thanks for the pop.”
“Can I sit here? It’s cold way down there.”
I smiled and opened my blanket as an invitation for him to join me. “No shit, huh? Maybe shorts and t-shirts wasn’t the best idea. Anyway, I was wondering what you were doing way down there.”
“Oh. I don’t want to like crowd you or anything.”
“Nonsense little bro. How are they doing back there?”
“They’re crazy. I think they might be drunk.”
“Yeah. That’s what I was thinking, too.”
Just then, Mark blurted out Adam’s name again. Adam put up a little protest, but Mark insisted he get his ass back there. This happened two more times in the next twenty minutes.
“Adam dude. You can stay back there if you want to, ok? I won’t mind.”
“Why don’t you go back there,?” He quizzed back.
“They’re not asking for me.”
“Is everything ok Daniel?”
“I don’t know. Why?”
“It…I don’t know. It just seems weird. Like this night or something.”
“Yeah. I don’t know. They just don’t want to hang out with me or something. I don’t know what I did wrong,” I confessed to Adam. I didn’t want to create any drama, but my feelings were hurt, and I was confused by how things were going.
“Adam! Get back here!”
Adam looked at me, concerned and I could tell he wasn’t sure what he should do or say.
“Go. Go. It’s okay Adam.”
He rolled his eyes and promised, “last time Daniel. I swear.”
He got up again and returned to the kitchen. This time he was gone a good five minutes and he didn’t return until after I heard a loud coughing attack. He walked up and more or less fell up against me on the couch, still coughing.
“You ok,?” I asked.
“Yeah…I…I’ll be fine.”
He slouched into me and placed his head on my shoulder. After another minute, he had his coughing under control, and seemed to settle in.
Sheepishly, he inquired, “Daniel?”
“Don’t be mad.”
“Mad,?” I asked, sensing he was serious.
“I think I’m drunk.”
That’s why Mark kept calling me. They were making me drink. Well, I could have said no, but the last time was a lot. I feel weird.”
“Don’t be mad. They didn’t want you to get mad at them. I’m done now. Can we just watch movies now?”
I was more concerned for Adam, than I was angry at them. I felt stupid that they felt they needed to hide it from me. I placed my arm over Adam’s shoulder and assured him, “dude. I’m not mad, but if you feel sick or need anything, just tell me, ok?”
Adam wrapped his arm around my waist and gave me a tight squeeze. “You’re the best Daniel. I love you.”
I kissed the top of his head and stroked his shoulder. He purred and melted even deeper into me. Then he whispered, “Daniel?”
“Come closer,” he whispered again.
I moved my head down so I could hear his soft voice.
“What is it,?” I whispered back.
He planted a long, soft kiss on my check. “I just wanted to kiss you.”
“Ok. Thank you.”
“Did you like it?”
“Yes. Very much. Let’s watch the movie now.”
“I want to kiss you again.”
“So? I always want to kiss you.”
I didn’t say anything back. Maybe he would just drop it.
“Do you ever want to kiss me Daniel?”
He wasn’t going to drop it. I was not prepared for this, at all.
“Yes. Sometimes,” I said truthfully.
“Cool,” he responded, more to himself than to me.
Again, I didn’t say anything back. Nor did he. We did settle in and watch the movie, but I couldn’t even tell you what it was. My mind was somewhere else. Adam was sinking slowly down my chest, until he finally came to rest on my lap. I craned my head forward and confirmed that he was indeed sleeping. Or passed out as it were. Nine o’clock on New Years Eve, and Adam was already down for the count.
I sat there alone while my other guests continued to act obnoxiously in the kitchen behind me. I heard a bottle hit the floor and roll, followed by the sound of chair legs sliding along the floor. Next I heard Kayla scream, and a chase ensued, with both of them running, and laughing, and trading insults. After a minute, Mark ran for the staircase.
“Where are you going coward,?” Kayla jabbed.
“I gotta take a piss,” Mark shot back.
“Oh! Me too,” Kayla agreed. So up the steps they both went. Neither of them acknowledging me, sitting only ten feet away. My heart sank. I couldn’t think of anything I might have done to deserve this kind of treatment. It was like I don’t even exist.
I continued to sit there with Adam sleeping off his buzz, peacefully nuzzled on my thigh. I twirled my fingers through his unusually soft, messy hair, looking down at him more than the TV screen in front of me. An hour passed, but there was still no sign of Mark and Kayla. I hadn’t heard a sound from upstairs, since the two toilet flushes from earlier. Perhaps they were doing the same as Adam. Sleeping off their intoxication.
I didn’t want to disturb Adam, but I really needed to take a piss, myself. I’d held it for as long as I could, but I reached my limit. I managed to get away without waking him, and slipped into the downstairs bathroom, by the kitchen. I thought about running upstairs to check on my other guests, but decided I would do it later.
When I got back to the couch, I wanted to lay down, as I’d been sitting the whole night. I pulled Adam to the edge of the couch just enough to slide my legs behind him. I set a pillow in front of my chest, under his head, and we were nicely spooned up. With a blanket thrown over us, and his warm body, I was toasty and comfortable. His soft, naked legs rubbing against mine, felt good too. We fit together nicely. I just hoped it wouldn’t get awkward if he remembered what he said to me before he dozed off.
I started to watch some New Years Eve countdown show from New York with a lot of bad pop music and hyper, annoying hosts, when Adam jolted awake. He took a quick inventory, before making a few adjustments. His hand reached back and found my thigh, and felt around, until it found my hand, resting on my hip. He grabbed my hand at the wrist and carried it over the top of us, placing it on his tummy. He draped his own arm over the top of mine, locking me in place. He shifted and wiggled a bit more, as I felt his butt slide up my thighs and come to rest at my center. This was going to be a real test for me. I just hope he falls back asleep, before I have a reaction. He flexed his butt muscles a few times and scooted back a little deeper. His hand guided me to just over his belly button and he let out a long sigh. Less than a minute later, I could feel the rhythmic cycle of his sleeping body. With my nose buried in his soft locks, inhaling the scent of coconuts and vanilla. Combined with the firm grip I had on his warm, naked torso, I found myself making involuntary, subtle pushes from my center. Drawing us closer, even though there was no closer to be found. I was definitely falling in love.
I dozed off at some point, and woke to the sound of some craptacular pop song on the TV. The crawl on the bottom indicated it was fifteen minutes until the new year. My bladder had betrayed me once again, so I reluctantly crawled out from behind Adam. I did my business, and decided to sneak upstairs to check on Mark and Kayla.
I could see that the desk lamp in my room was turned on, and my door was partially open, but I couldn’t hear any sound coming from inside. I tiptoed to the door and peaked inside. Mark was laying on his back, on my bed, sleeping. When I walked in a little further, I saw Kayla beside him, curled up on her side, with a blanket wrapped around her. Looking closer, I could see Mark didn’t have a shirt on. His entire bare arm was outside of his blanket, thrown across his body. His naked shoulder was visible on his other side. Looking closer yet, it didn’t look like he had any underwear on either. His near leg was uncovered, almost to his hip.
I hesitantly walked to the side of the bed, keeping my eyes locked on his peaceful face. I grabbed the edge of the blanket and slowly lifted up, revealing his pale white midsection. Sure enough, he was completely naked. I gazed at his private form longer than was appropriate , before I let the blanket drop and slowly backed away from the bed. I could feel the heat building up in my head, and a familiar shortness of breath in my tightening throat. Kayla was too well cocooned for me to investigate further, and confirm my suspicion. But the pile of scattered clothes on the floor, by the foot of my bed, was confirmation enough. I backed all the way out into the hallway, turned, and walked toward the staircase, my defeated head, resting on my aching chest.