The Dating Department
7. Teenage DreamI think it was the lack of soft pillows that awoke me on Friday morning, that or the fact that a certain someone was singing horribly along to “Teenage Dream”, either or.
“Shut up…” I complained, moving around on my suddenly uncomfortable bed, and reaching one hand out to smack the person singing upside the head.
“Now, now, Flirt; is that really any way to be treating the guy that’s taking you on a date?”
At the word ‘date’ my eyelids shot
“Where the heck are we?” I asked Aiden, who was cheerfully driving along. “And how did I get out of my pajamas?” I turned in the passenger seat to glare at Aiden.
“Woah, there, Flirt. I promise I did not dress you; that was all Amber and Danny’s doing, I was just the evil mastermind in the plot.”
“You picked this out?” I stared down at my tank top and jean clad self in disbelief. Since when did guys have good taste?
“Duh. No one else knew where we’re going, so they wouldn’t be able to dress you
appropriately.” He rolled his eyes at my apparent stupidity.
“Don’t you think I should know where we’re going?” I questioned, shifting in the seat, trying to find a more comfortable position.
He seemed to consider my suggestion for a moment, before shaking his head. “Nah. I want this to be a surprise. A super secrety awesome surprise.”
“Secrets, secrets are no fun, unless you share with everyone.” I sang, looking out the window.
“Dude! Where the heck are we?! I don’t even know his part of town.”
“That’s ‘cause we’re not in town anymore, Flirt. We’re going to the beach.”
I raised an eyebrow at him. “What happened to the ‘super secrety awesome surprise’?”
“It just flew out the window, along with your brain.” He turned to grin at me for a second before turning back to keep his eyes on the road.
“Low blow, man… low blow.” I admonished, shaking my head mockingly at him and reaching a hand out to change the radio station.
“What are you doing? This song is flippin’ awesome.”
I raised an eyebrow at him, “I never pinned you as a sappy crap kind of person.”
“There’s a lot you don’t know about me.”
“What’s my middle name?” He challenged.
“Wh-how?! How the heck did you know that?!” He practically screeched, completely bewildered by knowledge of his embarrassing middle name.
“Mikey.” I grinned evilly at him and his eyebrows furrowed together at the mention of his diabolical fifteen year old sister.
“Mikey… I should have known…” He grumbled, shaking his head in disbelief.
“Okay, totally my turn now. What do I do every morning before I leave the house?”
“Dance around to Justin Bieber music while getting dressed.”
“I-I do not!” I stuttered, feeling my cheeks flame.
“Then why are you blushing?” He smiled victoriously at me, and I glared at him.
“How did you know?”
“That. Is for me to know, and you to never find out.”
“It was Danny wasn’t it? That traitor…” I muttered, still embarrassed that he had found out about that.
“Like I said, I’ll never give up my source. You might shut it down, and then how would I find out that you enjoy singing along to Veggie Tales songs?”
“Aiden…” I warned, knowing full well that he wouldn’t take me seriously.
“Aw… did someone forget to drink their daily glass of chocolate milk?”
“I’ll have you know that there is nothing wrong with chocolate milk in the morning!”
“Says the girl who watches Sesame Street reruns.”
“What? So I like Ernie and his rubber ducky. Sue me.”
“I think you have a crush on Elmo.” He grinned at me sideways.
“T-that was like, 14 years ago!” I objected, feeling my face and neck go red again. “You can’t take that into account now.”
“Says me.” Grumpily, I crossed my arms across my chest and stared out the window.
“Awww… someone’s not wearing their lucky fishy socks today…”
“For your information: they’re lucky frog socks, and no, I am not wearing them. I didn’t dress myself today, remember?”
“Cranky…” He mumbled.
“No, I’m not.”
“Liar, liar, plants for hire.” He sang, quoting Patrick from “SpongeBob SquarePants”.
“You know, you should probably grow up at some point.”
“I am grown up. Look at me, I’m already on my first date.” Aiden flashed me his signature grin.
“This is your first date?” I marveled incredulously. I couldn’t believe it.
How could this only be his first date? I mean, seriously. He was good looking, fun, he had a great sense of humor, what girl wouldn’t want to date him?
“Yep!” He replied cheerfully, not noting the obvious wonderment in my voice.
“Erm, well I’m sorry that it had to be with me, and all because of my friends…”
“I’m not.” He peeked at me sideways. “I honestly couldn’t think of someone I would rather spend my first date with. Who knows? Maybe there’ll be more to come.”
Slowly but surely, a deep crimson color crept up my neck and face, reaching my hairline and staying there to broadcast to the world that Aiden Drake had just made me blush like a schoolgirl. “Uh, yeah, maybe…” I agreed quietly, tilting my head down and hoping with all my might and main that he hadn’t seen my tomato red face.
“Well, here we are.” The car stopped abruptly and I looked up to see the shining white sand of the beach littered with colorful umbrellas and swimsuits.
Suddenly excited, I clambered out of the car only to remember that I wasn’t wearing a bathing suit.
“Don’t worry, I had them pack you a swimsuit. It should be in the blue bag in the trunk.” Aiden called from the other side of the car where I couldn’t see him.
“Thanks!” I called back, making my way to the back of his car and pulling the trunk open.
Just as he had said, there was a blue bag. I pulled it out and slid the strap over my shoulder, then looked around the beach for a place to change.
Luckily for me, this beach still had those changing tents. I hurriedly slipped into one and pulled out the worst possible choice of a bathing suit Amber and Danny had ever given me.
“Seriously?” I groaned, unwillingly slipping out of my clothes and into the floral printed bathing suit.
Thankfully, the girls had also remembered to pack me a pair of swim shorts to wear over it, but I still wasn’t completely comfortable.
“You coming out of there, Riley?” Aiden asked, presumably standing right outside the changing tent.
“No.” I grumped, not wanting to step out of the tent in so revealing of an outfit.
“Aw, come on, it can’t be that bad.” To my horror, he reached a hand into the tent and started groping around in the air blindly.
“Don’t you dare pull me out of here!” I squeaked, cowering against the opposite wall of the tent.
“Riley, if you’re not out of here in five seconds I am coming in after you.” Aiden warned, still feeling around the tent with one hand.
I didn’t answer, hoping that his threat would be an empty one.
To make a long story short: it wasn’t.
He threw open the flap and marched right in, eyes searching for me in the small tent.
As irrational as it sounds, I tried to make myself even smaller that I had, and curled into an even tighter ball. Unfortunately, it didn’t work. He spotted me, grabbed my arm, and hoisted me to my feet, running his eyes over me once appraisingly before letting out a grunt.
“It’s not that bad. Certainly better than some of the suits out there.” Still not letting go of my hand, he towed me out of the tent into the nearly blinding sunlight.
I breathed in sharply as the sun burned my eyes with its intensity.
“Here.” Aiden said, shoving something into my hands gently.
I opened my eyes a crack and saw a pair of sunglasses. Gratefully, I slipped them on and over my eyes, feeling its soothing effects almost instantly. “Ah… thanks, Narcissus,” I sighed.
“Anytime, Flirt.” He winked at me and squeezed my hand before letting it go. Oddly, I was slightly disappointed when the contact ended.
Don’t be stupid, Riley. I scolded myself. It’s just Aiden.
A lightly tanned, slightly muscular, shirtless Aiden… but sure, just Aiden.
As if it knew I shouldn’t be thinking those things, my legs chose that moment to distract me from such thoughts by tripping over absolutely nothing, sending me sprawling on my stomach in the hot sand.
“You okay?” Aiden asked, taking my hand and pulling me back again.
“Yeah, but your catching skills obviously still need some work.” I teased weakly, silently praising my clumsiness as, because I had fallen, I was once again holding Aiden’s hand.
“Well then, let’s practice.” Without warning, my legs were swept out from under me, and I was sailing high up into the air before coming plummeting back down to earth.
If you ever have the option between landing on the soft, white sand of the beach, or the hard arms of a teenage guy, I would definitely recommend the sand. My landing was neither the most graceful, nor the most comfortable when Aiden caught me after he had thrown me up into the air.
“What the heck was that for?” I asked breathlessly, struggling to remove myself from his restraining arms.
“Why Riley, there’s no need for thanks for catching you!” Aiden mocked, hazel eyes glinting mischievously.
“You’re the one who threw me in the first place.” I grumbled, finally giving up my struggle.
“You said my catching skills needed some work, I was merely practicing.” He winked at me and unceremoniously dumped me on my butt into the sand.
“What the beer-battered rhinoceros was that for?” I demanded, standing and brushing myself off.
“Beer-battered rhinoceros?” Aiden questioned, raising an eyebrow at me and resuming his walk down closer to the edge of the water.
“Yes. You got a problem with that?”
“No, no, not at all…” He chuckled, shaking his head vigorously. “I’ve never heard such a…unique exclamation before is all.”
“That’s me,” I grinned, “Totally unique.”
“Y—wait a minute… doesn’t certifiably mean crazy?”
“Maybe….” Aiden replied innocently, laying out the beach mat and setting up a large, rainbow umbrella.
“I am not crazy!” I objected, huffily pulling and tying my hair back.
“Whatever you say, Flirt, now whe—what are you doing?” He asked, running after me down to the water.
“I’m going for a swim; what does it look like I’m doing?”
“It looks like you're going somewhere littered with hormonal teenage guys in a very flattering swimsuit.”
“Look who's talking. What did you eat today? A whole, big bowl of hotness?”
“Did you just say that I'm hot?” Aiden asked, raising a dark eyebrow at me and his lips turning up at the corners slightly.
“Oh come on, dude. You honestly can't tell that all these girls are practically drooling over you?”
“I don't see any saliva.”
“Ew, dude, gross.”
“You're the one who said they were drooling.”
“Yeah, but I meant it figuratively, not literally.”
“What were we arguing about again?”
“The fact that you were about to go somewhere alone when any teenage guy here could very well snatch you up like a puma pounces on a baby rabbit.”
“Where do you come up with those things?” I asked, shaking my head in disbelief.
“It requires a very fast mind.”
“Or a very weird one.”
I shook my head and rolled my eyes at him and continued my walk down the sands towards the water, now feeling much more self-conscious than I had before. I kept glancing this way and that nervously, looking for any signs of puma-like teenage guys.
“Hello-o there, beautiful...” One guy called at me, his hair bleached blonde from its constant exposure to the sun and a surfboard under his arm.
“Hello yourself.” I called back, smiling at him flirtatiously, just to get on Aiden's nerves.
“What's your name?” He asked, walking over to me, an actual smile stretching across his sun-tanned face.
“Tell me yours, and you might just get to know mine.” I replied, winking and tossing some hair over my shoulder, only momentarily wondering if I was overdoing it.
Evidently not, because he set his surfboard down and sat cross legged in the sand, patting the sand next to him, signaling that I should sit as well.
I looked quickly over my shoulder to see how Aiden was taking this. Instead of the anger I was hoping for, he was shamelessly flirting with a group of girls. He looked over his own shoulder and saw me looking at me. He winked at me and smirked, as if saying: you flirt with him, I flirt with them. I narrowed my eyes at him before smirking back and sitting down next to the surfer-dude.
“The name's Levi. Let me guess, you're name must be Angel.” He winked a warm, brown eye at me and I pretended to be flattered.
“It's Riley actually.”
“Riley, 'courageous'. I think it suits you.”
“How so?” I asked, tilting my head slightly to the right.
“Well you're over here flirting shamelessly with me, while your boyfriend is not twenty feet away from us.”
Shocked, my hand flew to cover my mouth and I felt the blood rush to my face. “H-how...?”
“I'm not blind, Riley, babe. I saw that little smirk fest you guys had going on two seconds ago. I can put two and two together.”
“You, uh, saw that, did you?” I mumbled, taking a piece of hair over my shoulder and twisting it between my hands.
“I certainly did.” He grinned and stood. “Tell you what; whenever you get tired of Mr. Narcissus over there,” he nodded over at Aiden and I stifled a giggle at his unknowing use of my nickname for him, “you give me a call.” He whipped a sharpie out of his pocket and grabbed my wrist, writing his number on my forearm.
“You know, I may just do that.”
“You'd better.” He winked at me and ran a hand casually through his dark blonde hair. “You really want to mess with Narcissus’ mind?” He asked, smiling slightly as, what I imagined to be, a devious plot began to form in his mind.
I glanced over my shoulder at Aiden quickly to see that he was still flirting with the group of bikini-clad girls.
“Yeah, sure. What did you have in mi—“ I was cut off abruptly, when Levi crashed his face into mine, causing our lips to collide roughly.
Now, this was the part that I was supposed to feel fireworks as I twined my fingers through his thick, silky hair while simultaneously realizing that he was ‘the One’. So, I did what was to be expected of me:
I punched him, square in the jaw.
“Uh, ow!” Levi complained, rubbing his jaw in circles, trying to alleviate the pain that I had, proudly, caused him. “What the heck was that for?!”
I didn’t answer, but glared at him doing my best to burn a hole straight through his attractive head, all the while rubbing my lips and trying to get rid of the feel of his.
“Riley, you’re acting as if you’ve never been kissed before.”
“…you have been kissed before, right?” He asked, searching my face desperately for any signs of affirmation.
Finding none, he pulled at his hair awkwardly. “Aw, crap. You’re telling me that I seriously just stole your first kiss? Dangit.” He ran a hand down his face, a frustrated groan escaping his lips. “Look, I’m sorry, Riley. I didn’t mean—“
I sighed, “It’s fine, Levi. It’s just a kiss, ya know? No big deal…” I shrugged and tried to sound unaffected, but inside I was kinda freaking out.
Like quite a few other girls, I had always imagined that my first kiss would be something magical, something to be remembered forever. Instead, it was stolen by a guy I had just met at the freaking beach.
“Are you sure, because—“
“I’m sure, Levi. Now you’d better go, before my date decides to murder you for kissing me.”
“Right. I’ll catch ya later, Riles.” He winked at me, scooped his surfboard up and ran off towards the waves.
I watched him surf for a few minutes, marveling at the obvious ease with which he handled the board.
“Well, that was fun.” Aiden commented in my ear, surprising me into jumping.
“Don't do that!” I hissed, lightly elbowing him in the stomach.
“Aw, you're no fun...” He complained, chuckling softly in my ear. “So who was that?”
“Levi...” I said as casually as I could, trying to look like I had fallen head over heels for him in such a short span of time.
“Do you have sand in your eye?”
I stopped momentarily. “No, why?”
“Because you're blinking like crazy.”
Darn. There goes my 'act like I'm in love' plan. “Uh, no, it's just... you know, the wind and...stuff.” I finished lamely with a sigh. “Come on, I'm hot and--”
“Yes you are...” An unfamiliar voice affirmed, as he walked by.
“Hey, back off buddy.” Aiden growled, taking my shoulders and moving me behind him.
“Jeez, dude, it was just a compliment, no need to get territorial.” The guy who had said I was hot raised his hands defensively in front of himself and backed away quickly.
“Okay…” I muttered, hurriedly taking Aiden’s hand and pulling me with him to the edge of the water. “You need to cool down, buddy.” I towed him further into the ocean, until I was standing in chest-deep water, and he was standing in stomach deep water.
Why yes, I am short compared to him, thanks for noticing.
I quickly dunked myself into the cool water and resurfaced, smoothing my now wet hair back into a ponytail. After I had wiped the salt water away from my eyes, I opened them and looked for Aiden, but he was gone.
“Er…Aiden?” I called, doing a 360 looking for him.
I looked towards the beach but still didn’t see him.
“You called?” He laughed from behind me making me jump…again.
“Would you quit doing that?!” I complained, splashing water at him.
“Only once you quit flirting with random strangers at the beach, Flirt.”
“Psh. No. That’s, like, been the highlight of my day.”
“Oh really?” He raised an eyebrow at me for what seemed to be the millionth time that day.
“Then what say we do something more fun?”
“Like what?” I asked skeptically.
“Like…this!” He grabbed me by my shoulders and shoved me under the water, spluttering all the way down.
“I would say that wasn’t very fun at all.” I coughed, just as soon as I resurfaced. Salt water tastes gross. Just saying…
“For you, maybe. But for me, it’s all the fun in the world.”
We both turned to see Levi floating nearby on his surfboard looking at us amusedly. “What? I figured if we were saying things that were true about ourselves I might as well join in.” He chuckled and slipped off of his surfboard, holding a hand out to Aiden. “Levi.”
“Aiden.” They did that weird dude-handshake-thing.
“Riley.” I chirped, smiling bemusedly and wondering if they would get the joke.
“Er, what?” Levi turned to me, dark brown eyebrows furrowed together under his shaggy blond bangs.
“I thought we were all just randomly saying our names.”
“You’re such a weirdo, Flirt.” Aiden chuckled, shaking his head at my antics.
“Flirt?” Levi looked at me confusedly.
“It’s the nickname he gave me.”
“Ah, well if he gets to give you a nickname, I think I’m entitled to do so as well.”
“Go right ahead.”
Levi crossed his tan arms across his chest and tapped his chin in mock thought. “Totally going with—drumroll, please—“ He paused a minute while Aiden made drum sounds. “Sharkbait.”
“Sharkbait?” I grimaced slightly at the bizarre nickname he had chosen. “Why Sharkbait?”
“Because you’re bleeding.” He pointed at my arm where a small trickle of blood was flowing down it steadily.
“Dude! When the alien brain snot did that happen?” I demanded, twisting my arm to get a better look at the source.
“Er… ‘alien brain snot’?” Levi looked at me curiously while Aiden explained to him about my random—but epic—exclamations.
“I, uh, think that may be my fault…” Aiden said slowly, rubbing the back of his head with his hand.
“How so?” I asked, crossing my arms over my chest in a fashion similar to Levi’s.
“When I was…er, putting you in my car, I may or may not have accidentally scraped your arm against the door…”
“And so it just randomly decides to start bleeding now?” Skeptically, Levi looked at Aiden then back at my bleeding arm.
“Uh no… that would also be my fault. It had already scabbed up by the time we got here, but when I dunked you, I kinda…ripped the scab off accidentally.”
“Lovely…” I sighed, using some salt water to wash off the blood. “Well, I guess I’ll just go sit on the sand and hope I don’t get eaten along the way.”
“Here, get on my board, you’ll get back faster.”
I looked over at the shore and saw that we had drifted much farther away than I had realized. “Does that thing even hold two people?”
“Uh, well, no. But I can tow you if nothing else.”
“Okay…” I tried to clamber up onto the board, but almost instantly slipped back off again, mostly due to my dripping wet swim-shorts.
“Here, let me help.” Aiden took me by the shoulders and lifted me with a grunt onto the smooth surface of the board.
As Levi towed me back to shore, I absently traced the Hawaiian floral pattern that decorated the board.
“So how long have you been surfing?” I asked, still tracing the pattern.
“For as long as I can remember.” Levi replied, grinning at me brightly. “I grew up on this beach. I practically lived on the surfboard.” He chuckled and I slipped off of the board and into the shallow water.
“Are you any good of a teacher?” I raised my eyebrows at him challengingly and—if possible—his smile grew.
“Yeah, I actually work at my dad’s surf-shop. Sometimes he has me teach the tourists that show up around this time of year. Are you thinking about taking lessons?”
“Maybe… it depends on who’s teaching.” I smiled at him and glanced over at Aiden through my peripheral vision.
Okay, so maybe this was a little evil considering that I was supposed to be on a date with him, but I still had to get back at him for the bleeding and the dunking.
“I would be happy to give you lessons, if you’d like.” Levi offered, picking up his surfboard and following me back to mine and Aiden’s spot on the sand.
“Yeah, I’d like that.” I picked up one of the towels and wrapped it around myself using one corner to squeeze the water out of my hair.
“You ready to go, Riley?” Aiden asked, drying off himself.
“Hm? Yeah, sure. It was great meeting you, Levi.”
“Likewise, Sharkbait. Don’t forget to call.” He winked at me and tapped my forearm where his number was still faintly visible.
Aiden and I walked back to his car in silence, uncomfortable on my end, because I was feeling guilty about flirting with Levi right in front of him.
“So, where to next, captain?” I asked, faking cheerfulness.
“Well, what would you say to lunch?”
As if in response to his question, my stomach gurgled, earning me a laugh from Aiden. “I guess I’ll take that as a ‘yes’.”
I giggled as he started the car and I looked down at my forearm thoughtfully. Gently, I began to trace the ink that spelled out Levi's number.
“Would you quit that?” Aiden demanded angrily, jaw suddenly hardened and hazel eyes showing no traces of their former humor.
“Aw, is somebody jealous?” I teased.
“Yes, Riley, I am. How would you feel if you were on your first date and your date started flirting with some random stranger and got their number, hm?” I supposed the question was hypothetical and didn't answer, but merely sank down into my seat.
“I’m sorry…” I finally murmured, feeling very, very small.
He sighed and turned the key in the ignition, “Where do you want to eat?” He asked.
I looked up in surprise. That was it? I glanced over at him, he was no longer completely tensed, and he was looking at me full on.
“Where do you want to eat?” He repeated, looking at me expectantly.
Seriously, this guy was way too sweet for his own good, but I still didn’t feel right.
“Yes, Riley, I forgive you, now tell me where you want to eat, I’m hungry.”
“Wherever you want is fine…and thanks.” I added, and, before I could reconsider, I quickly leaned over and kissed his cheek.
“Let’s go then…:” He mumbled, turning away from me, but not before I had seen the faint blush coloring his cheeks.
The iridescent sphere floated gracefully through the air before landing on my nose and promptly exploding.
I wrinkled my nose and turned away from a laughing Aiden quickly, using one corner of my shirt to get the soap out of my eyes.
“Dude, what the heck was that for?” I laughed, blowing a bubble of my own at him.
“I felt like it, got a problem with that?” He raised a dark eyebrow at me and blew another bubble, this time aiming it at a nearby tree.
“You’re not going to hit it; it’s going to pop before it even reaches it.”
“Wanna bet?” His hazel eyes twinkled mischievously as he turned to face me.
“Sure, I’ll bet you ice-cream that that bubble will pop before it reaches the tree.”
We both turned to face the bubble that was being blown left and right by the gentle summer breeze. It went up and down, before hitting its target and popping.
“Dang….it.” I muttered, standing from the green park bench we had been sitting on, and twisting the cap of the bubble formula back on the container.
Aiden was grinning from ear to ear, so widely, that it looked as if his face might split if he smiled any wider. “So, Flirt… how about that ice cream?” He laughed and stood, taking my hand in his, making it seem very small indeed.
We strolled through the park, hand in hand, talking, until we reached an ice cream stand. We ordered, and as I was about to take out my wallet, Aiden stopped me.
“Yes?” I asked, smiling up at him, expecting him to—despite our bet—pay for the ice cream.
Instead, he asked for another scoop. So much for chivalry.
I paid for the ice creams and we continued to walk through the park.
“Yeeees, Narcissus?” I asked, fluttering my eyelashes at him teasingly.
“Flirt…” He said, in a whiny tone.
“Fliiiirt…” He whined.
“What?” I finally hissed, frustrated.
“You’ve got five minutes to get rid of it!” Aiden crowed proudly.
“Dude, that is so childish, man…” I laughed.
“Oh? And what are you going to do about it?”
“Oh…I don’t know… this maybe?” I took my ice cream cone and shoved it onto his nose, leaving a pink splotch of frozen dairy products on it.
“Cold! Cold! COLD!” He shrieked, waving his arms up and down like some kind of crazed flamingo.
A little girl and her brother stopped for a moment and stared at Aiden like he was mentally unstable, and a grandmother stopped talking with her adorable grandson to glare disapprovingly in our direction.
“Dude,” I hissed, smacking his arm, “Calm down!”
“Why? What I was doing?”
“You’ve got five minutes to get rid of it! Oh, and I think you owe me an ice cream…” I observed, turning my cone this way and that, looking at the Aiden-nose-shaped hole in the strawberry cream.
“Psh. No.” He said, waving his hand dismissively. “You’re the one who shoved your ice cream onto my shnoz, if anything you owe me.”
“This was all your idea.”
“Would you two quit that, you’re setting a bad example for my children!” A nearby woman screeched, herding her children away from us.
“There. You see that, Aiden? You scare small children.”
“Uh, no. I think that was you, Flirt. And your ice cream assaults.”
“It was an assault. One. No plural.”
“What kind of terrible grammar is that?” Aiden scoffed, licking his own ice cream happily.
“Well that explains it.”
“And just what is that supposed to mean.” I challenged, stopping in my tracks and glaring at him.
“It means you’re stupid, love.” He explained in a “Mrs. Doubtfire” voice.
“Gee, really feeling the love here, man.” I muttered sarcastically, rolling my eyes and eating my ice cream, careful to avoid where Aiden’s nose had touched it.
“'Its not poisonous, you know...”
“My nose. It's not poisonous.”
I pretended to examine his face before shaking my head concernedly, “I don't know, dude, that looks pretty toxic to me...”
“Shut up...” he muttered, bumping me lightly with his shoulder.
I laughed, “You're fun, Aiden.”
“You're not too bad yourself, Riley.” He acknowledged.
We finished our ice cream in the park, bumping shoulders the whole time.
“That was fun, Narcissus.” I said, as we walked up to my door. “I hope that this was an enjoyable first date?”
“The best.” He grinned down at me, showing off square, white teeth.
“Uh... would you like to come in?” I asked, my hand on the door handle.
“Are you sure it's okay?”
“Yeah, sure, why not?”
I pushed the door open and he stepped in after me.
“Riley, you're home!” My mom's voice called out to me.
I started in surprise. She wasn't supposed to be home this early...
“Riley bear!” My dad called from the same general area.
Okay, what was going on here, he was supposed to be sleeping after a long night at work...
Both of them walked out into the entrance way, with smiles that froze in place once the caught sight of Aiden standing beside me, our fingers interlocked.
I quickly let go of his hand, “Mom, what... what are you doing home so early?”
Ignoring my question, my mom eyed Aiden appraisingly, as did my father.
“Riley...who is this?” Mom asked, eyes still on Aiden.
I glanced over at the boy beside me. He looked incredibly uncomfortable with all the attention he was receiving and for a moment the thought that he looked cute when embarrassed flashed through my mind.
Not knowing how else to explain it, I said, “Er, Mom, Dad, this is my boyfriend, Aiden.”
“Boyfriend, eh?” My dad grunted, “Then who is this fellow right here?” He took a step to the side and Paul stepped into the hall.
“And this boy, too?” Mom asked as number 19, Charles, stepped into the room as well.
“Riley Jane Noble, you have a lot of explaining to do.” My mother warned, arms crossed threateningly over her chest.
“Uh, hi guys...” I said, forcing out cheer. “What's up?”