Rhea stared out of the classroom window, then up at the clock. 10 more minutes, she thought. Her class sat in front of her, finishing their final exam. She was a history teacher in a small school in the middle of Los Angeles. She pushed her long, dark hair out of her eyes and checked her appearance in the pocket mirror on her desk. Her olive green eyes shone brightly, as round as almonds, set like gems in her tanned face. Her face was oval-shaped, with miraculously high cheekbones and full lips. Once she finished inspecting herself, she sighed. Just look at my desk, she thought. Her desk was a complete mess – a mixture of children's homework waiting to be marked, teacher-assessment forms, and nestled in the middle, a picture of her 2 best girlfriends, Adeline and Charlotte. In this picture they were sitting on a bench in Yellowstone National Park, where they had gone recently on holiday. Also in the picture were her 3 best guy friends, Phil, Stu and Doug. It was with those 5 that she was going to Vegas with, for Doug's bachelor/bachelorette party, in 10 minutes – now 7. In the picture, Adeline was squished in the middle of the bench, Charlotte and Rhea to either side of her. Stu and Doug where standing behind the bench, and Phil was on the floor in front of the bench, supporting Charlotte's and Rhea's legs on his shoulders. They were all smiling widely, the result of a joke cracked by Phil seconds before the photo was taken. It was a beautiful sunny day, and all 6 of them sported brown legs and faces.
The school bell rang loudly in her ears and she jumped. Swiftly switching back to reality she stood up from behind her desk and quickly gathered in the exam papers.
"Well done in your exams! Have a nice weekend guys!" Rhea shouted after her class. She smiled to herself. She loved being a teacher, she couldn't think of a better job. A knock on the door made her swivel around on her heels, and she came face to face with Phil Wenneck.
"Hello, Miss Rivers! I thought you might like to get a move on, seeing as we are now 5 minutes late?" his eyes glanced up to the clock on the purple-painted wall, and then looked at her again.
"Well, Mr Wenneck, I was just about-"she grabbed her bag from underneath her desk "-to get my bag and come and find you!" She poked him in the centre of his stomach, like she used to when they were little, meeting his hard abs. "Owww!" She pulled back her finger and clutched it, pretending to be in agony. "God Phil, you need to stop going to the gym, or my finger's going to get seriously hurt!" She smiled up into his handsome face, meeting his blue eyes.
"I'm so sorry, Rhea's finger. I don't mean to be so fit and have such good abdominals." He said arrogantly, taking her finger and pressing it to his lips. Rhea laughed at his arrogance – it was a thing you got used to over time. His eyes met hers as he moved his face upwards, skimming the soft hairs on her arms with his lips, until he reached the base of her neck. His hand moved expertly to the small of her back and guided her into an embrace. "I hope the whole of Ri Ri forgives me too." He bore deep into Rhea's eyes and she cracked at the sound of her childhood nickname. Grinning, she tapped his nose gently and leant forward until their faces where almost touching.
"She forgives you." Their lips met, and Rhea felt Phil smile against her lips. He wrapped both his arms around her small waist, and pulled her body even closer to his. She felt his hands move lower, and lower -
A loud horn sounded from outside the classroom window. The two jumped apart and, without looking at each other, ran out of the school to see where the others were waiting impatiently.
"COME ON! WE'RE NEVER GOING TO GET TO VEGAS BEFORE CHRISTMAS IF YOU DON'T HURRY UP!" Rhea heard Adeline shout from the back of a Mercedes-Benz. Phil had already jumped into the seat next to Adeline, ignoring the protests from Doug. Rhea was confused. Phil was always messing about with her, but it never meant anything. He was just a big tease, everyone knew that. But he'd never done anything like that before. And she'd never let her guard down like that and let him kiss her. She was annoyed with herself. It doesn't mean anything Rhea, she told herself. Although, as much as she'd hate to admit it, she'd had awful butterflies in her stomach when he'd pulled her close. I don't like him in that way; we're both just massive flirts, she spat inside her head. Or maybe I do...
"RHEA! GET YOUR ARSE IN THIS CAR BEFORE I DRIVE AWAY WITHOUT YOU!" Now it was Doug's voice that had piped up, over all of the commotion in her brain. Sighing loudly, she made her way to the car, as quickly as her tight pencil skirt would let her.
"Where am I going to sit, Doug?" She said in a slightly exasperated tone. Adeline, Charlotte and Phil were all squished in the back 3 seats, and the passenger seat beside Doug was occupied by Alan, Doug's fiancée's brother.
"On Phil's lap for now, just until we get to Stu's house. Then some of us will go in Stu's car." Doug replied. "Just hurry up!" Phil smirked.
"Ok, ok! Calm down, for god's sake!" She climbed expertly into the back of the car and landed softly on Phil. She could feel his grin without looking at his face. "I hope my bum is bony, so it hurts you." Rhea said spitefully.
"Oh no, it's very nice and soft Rhea. I'm quite enjoying this!" Phil was back to his old self. His hands snaked around onto her hips. "I'm really enjoying this..." Rhea pushed her shoulders back so she slammed into his face. Phil shouted in protest but the sound was muffled by her body.
"So, Adeline, Charlotte, how are you?" She turned to her two best friends, who had tears running down their faces in laughter. "What?" Rhea rolled her eyes. This weekend was going to be too much like hard work.
The party arrived at Stu's house, with Phil complaining that he had lost all feeling in his legs.
"So who's going to go get him?" I looked round at Charlotte, who blushed.
"Not me! Melissa hates me!" Charlotte protested.
"Why?" Phil questioned.
"It's none of your business." Charlotte replied harshly. Phil looked shocked at Charlotte's tone, but then summoned Stu by himself.
"Paging doctor faggot! Doctor faggot!" Phil smirked as Stu stormed out of the house, looking like death. Rhea elbowed Phil sharply in the stomach.
"Phil, why did you do that?" Stu complained. "I didn't get to say goodbye to Melissa properly!"
"Ha! Why would you want to say good bye to that bitch? She's horrible!" Charlotte fumed.
"Whoa, Charlotte, calm down!" Phil looked uncertainly over his shoulder at Rhea, asking her with his eyes what was wrong. Nothing, I'll tell you later, she signalled. "Sorry Stu..." Phil looked sheepishly at the older man.
"It's alright Phil. Just don't do it again. Now who's coming in my car, and who's staying in yours?" Stu smiled at Doug.
"Bagsy staying!" Rhea and Phil shouted at the same time. Charlotte and Adeline chuckled and slid out of the Mercedes and into Stu's car.
"See you later Adeline! Have fun Char!" Rhea winked discreetly at Charlotte.
Rhea moved off of Phil's lap and onto the middle seat. "Rhea, I was enjoying you sitting on my lap." Phil said quietly. Rhea pulled a face.
"No you didn't, for the last half-mile you've been complaining!" Rhea laughed loudly and tickled Phil's side.
"Stop it!" Phil attempted to bat her hands away as they both collapsed into a fit of giggles. Phil took the opportunity of when Rhea stopped to sort out her hair to tackle her and start tickling her waist. She screamed out, but they were both laughing so hard that it went unnoticed.
"Phil, Phil please stop! Ahhh! Please Phil, I'm begging..." Rhea felt tears of laughter falling down her cheeks. Phil's nose was almost touching her's...
"Never!" Phil continued to tickle Rhea, until she said something about wetting herself. Phil moved away quickly, which made her snigger.
"I was kidding Phil, I'm not actually going to wet myself. I just know you like the back of my hand. But, Doug," she shifted in her seat, "if there's a toilet nearby I wouldn't mind going."
Doug pulled up at the nearest rest station, and they all rushed over to the toilets. The girls reappeared about 15 minutes later, clothes changed and make-up replenished. Adeline wore tight denim shorts that showed off her long legs, and a yellow vest top. Her red hair was tumbling over her shoulders, and her almost-black eyes shone out from behind lashings of mascara. Charlotte had replaced her nurse uniform with a maxi dress, which was pink and had beading across the straps. Her golden locks fell to just short of her shoulders, and today was straight. Her baby blue eyes twinkled in the shop's light.
Phil greeted the two girls by ruffling their hair. They both smiled up at him, and Stu caught Charlotte's eye. She turned a shade of scarlet as she saw him looking her up and down, clearly liking the view.
"What are you staring at, Stu?" Adeline walked up behind them, knowing perfectly well what he was staring at. Charlotte regained her composure and stuck her tongue out at Adeline. They both heard Phil's sharp intake of breath as Rhea stepped out of the toilets. She had changed out of her smart suit into a pair of distressed boyfriend jeans, which hung low around her hips, so low you could just about see the top of her polka dot knickers. On her top half she wore a faded green crop top that was cut sharply just under her bra, showing off her bronzed, toned stomach. You could see her tattoo – the outline of a star on her hipbone. Her belly-button bar glinted as she outstretched her arms to Charlotte and Adeline, pulling them into a tight embrace.
"I'm so excited about this, guys. Tonight is going to be amazing!" Rhea flashed a smile.
"You're not the only one who's getting excited..." Adeline whispered, and nudged her head towards Phil, who was standing next to Doug, staring at Rhea.
Rhea's smile turned upside down. He'd seen her loads of times dressed like this. She dressed like this pretty much every day. Why was he staring so much at her now?
Charlotte seemed to read her thoughts. "Maybe he's just been deprived of sex for a long time?" She suggested.
"Gee, thanks Char. Are you saying that's all he sees in me?" Rhea said through gritted teeth.
"Rhea, it's not your fault if you're a sex animal!" Charlotte laughed as Adeline started purring like a cat.
Rhea giggled and pulled them into a circle again. "I'm being serious guys."
"Well, us two-" Adeline looked at Charlotte-"have been noticing that you two have been spending a lot of time together recently, and he seems to be looking at you in a different way more and more these days. We thought something was going on – but obviously nothing has happened yet." Adeline explained.
"You don't like him, do you? Rhea Rivers! Answer me!" Charlotte slapped her face playfully.
"Oh, Charlotte, I think so. Whenever he's near me I get these terrible butterflies, and every time he is close to my face I just want to – well, you know. You can't tell anyone! What if he doesn't like me back?"
"I think that's highly unlikely, Rhea."
"I guess I'll find out sooner rather than later." She caught Phil looking at her shapely bum and shook her head. "But something has happened, Adeline! Before Doug came to pick us up, we were in my classroom together and-"
"CHAR! ADELINE! RHEA! We need to get going!" Stu shouted from his car outside.
"God, how did they get there so quickly?" Adeline changed the subject quickly, and grabbed a packet of crisps off the shelf. "I'll be there in a minute."
When all of them were back in their cars, they began the final stretch to Las Vegas. Alan was muttering about blackjack and counting cards, and having a discussion with Doug. Phil had a beer in his hand, and offered some to Rhea. She declined.
"I'm not going to start drinking until we get to Vegas. That's when the proper party starts!" She grinned as Phil shrugged and finished the bottle.
"You're just a lightweight, Rhea. You got drunk once on a bottle of beer."Phil sniggered.
"Yeah, a whole bottle of beer!" Rhea whined. "You're just a heavyweight who can drink two bottles of Malibu and still walk in a straight line afterwards!" She smiled, remembering the time when they'd all graduated from college, and spent the whole night drinking on the beach by a massive bonfire.
"Not to mention, you always strip when you're drunk. Remember that time-" Phil was cut off by Doug.
"I don't want to know what Rhea gets up to when she's drunk ,Phil. I think we're going to find that out tonight, and I don't want to ruin the surprise for Alan." Doug winked at me, and Rhea gave him the finger. Rhea knew perfectly well what they were talking about. On the same night as their graduation party, Rhea had (in her drunken state) decided to go skinny dipping in the sea, later joined by Phil, Doug and Adeline. And, there was also that time when Charlotte had held a house party and Rhea had taken off all of her clothes and run onto the pier, and jumped off the end of it. There was no doubt that Phil was reliving that moment over and over again in his head at this moment in time.
Rhea felt hands run up her legs and settle on her bare skin. She smiled and nestled into Phil, falling asleep, remembering all of the drunken escapades she and her friends had been on.