A meaty, sweaty hand latched onto my shoulder. A loud, slurred voice came with it.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa, sweetcheeks. Where are you goin'?"
Great. Some jerk-ish drunk dude. Just what I wanted to deal with. I spun around to find a face to put with the voice. Greasy brown hair, squinty eyes, and that permanently stupid expression; Derk, the class a-hole from school. I shrugged my shoulder and let his hand slide away. He was smiling at me in a way that suggested he was aiming for smooth and charming. The smell of illegal beer on his breath didn't help any.
I put on the snottiest tone I could muster, hoping it would warn him away. "Hello, Derk. What can I do for you?"
He winked. "Plenty of things. You're pretty cute you know, for being an emo bitch." He really tried to emphasize the word bitch, and spit gathered at the edge of his mouth.
"See? Right there. Bitchy and pale." He looked me up and down. "But I think I can put some color into those cheeks of yours, if you know what I mean." I let his words sit there, angered by what they implied.
"You know what I think? I think you can go to hell." I glared, and shoved him in the chest, hard, to get him out of the way.
"Oh, no you don't!" Derk swung his arm out in front of me, and wrapped it around my waist to pull me in, and in doing so spilled his beer all over me. He grabbed my hair, forcing my head back, and slammed his lips onto mine. I could taste the beer, and the spit covering his lips made them slide around. I balled up my fist and took a swing at his head. It connected with a thud. He pulled back, startled, and it gave me a winning chance. Sure, it was fighting dirty, but the guy had 200 pounds on me. A below the belt hit, literally. He grunted, and fell to the ground, his face turning purple.
I heaved a great sigh, and turned back around. The crowd stood there, drinks in hand, wide eyed and silent.
"What?" I shrugged my shoulders, smiling.
Some happy-drunk guy yelled from the back of the room. "Woo! That's how you do it!" Everyone laughed and went back to their business. A deep voice cut through the noise.
"Anna!" Ethan rushed up behind me and took in the scene with wide eyes. "What the hell happened?"
"Oh, nothing," I rolled my eyes. "Just having a friendly conversation with Derk here." I watched as Ethan kneeled down next to Derk, face to face, his expression almost vicious.
"I swear to God, if you ever come near her again-"
"Ethan," I shook my head. "Don't." I grabbed his arm and pulled him onto his feet. "Just follow me." With Ethan tethered to my hand, I slowly weaved through the partiers, and the smokers, and the drunks. They seemed to completely pack the house, corner to corner. But I knew this place like the back of my hand from all the sleepovers when we were little, and all the parties thrown now. I was taking Ethan to one of the guest rooms that Rae lets me have whenever I spend the night. It always stayed locked, and I had the only key. I dug it out of my pocket, unlocked the door, and led him inside. It was a basic room. A closet to the left, bathroom and shower to the right. You could see the moon through the only window above the bed and night stand. The walls were painted a pale blue, the carpet was plushy and white. I let go of Ethan's hand, heading for the bathroom.
"Welcome to my humble abode." I waved my arm towards the bed. "You can sit down, if you like. I just need a few minutes." He chose to follow me instead.
"Are you okay?" I saw worry flash through his eyes. "What happened?"
"Long story short, Derk got drunk, decided to hit on me, did a poor job of it, and I wasn't very happy about it."
"I'm sorry," he looked down. "I should have been here sooner."
I pulled him into a hug. "It's okay. You're here now."
He was silent for a few seconds. "Anna?"
"You smell like beer."
I pulled at my shirt. Beer soaked it in dark spots. My tank top too. There was even some on my jeans. I grabbed a chunk of my hair and pulled it in front of my nose. Beer. "Ethan?"
"There's a drawstring bag sitting by the bed that has some extra clothes in it. Can you get it for me?"
"Sure." As soon as he walked away, I pulled off my T-shirt and threw it into the large basin sink. I turned the water on cold and let it fill. I shoved back the curtain on the shower and turned that on too, testing the heat of the water with the back of my hand. Ethan walked in behind me, setting the bag on the floor.
"I'm going to take a shower, if you want to wait for me."
"Okay," he grinned mischievously. "Need any help?"