Lenne: Hi guys~!

So I'm excited about this part of the story. Reasons may be obvious but I'm not going to spoil anything :3

To also relieve the wait for you guys, I'm splitting the section into a few parts (probably two or three parts, maybe more, not sure). So, enjoy!

Chapter 14: Leila's Party, Part 1

Claus and I asked Mom and Dad if we could go with Ness and Ninten together for the party. They agreed once we had promised to behave ourselves, assuming that a party is a usual place for many kinds of inappropriate actions. Claus promised to keep me company, so that nothing would happen to me.

On the morning of May 26th, Ness and his mother arrived with the car. With invites in hand, swimsuits and a towel in our backpacks, and my sketchbook packed in mine, we got into the car, meeting Ninten inside, who prodded Claus' hair and began a playful fight.

It was a short drive to Leila's home—a residence I did not feel like visiting, but I couldn't resist gasping at the size and surroundings. The peach brick wall enclosed a three-story house, and it was the only giant building on the street. Already, there were other kids who were in a small line at the front gate, being watched by a guardian near their vehicles from afar. The line grew shorter quickly as the host of the party just took their invitations without any hassle.

Ness' mom had to pick us up at 7 PM, because she had a work meeting at night. The four of us had to stay at the party for at least ten hours. I only hoped that I could last through the party for at least one hour.

Ninten, Ness, Claus and I got in the gradually decreasing line. As we got closer to the door, we could hear Leila exclaiming "Thank you for coming, enjoy!" to each person or small group.

When we reached her side, her face turned disgusted at the sight of me.

"I don't remember inviting you," she said to me. I replied with a silent stare, hiding my fear. "I bet you don't even have an invite," Leila continued.

"It's right here," Claus said. He raised up my hand, and flashed off his invitation as well. "We both got invites, so we both can come in, right?"

"...Well..." She rolled her eyes to the side, pretending to think, but I knew she was stalling. I looked at Ninten, and he shifted his eyes back and forth to me and Ness, trying to give me a signal. I interpreted it as looking to Ness, and I did. He smiled at me, and pretended a sigh.

"Leila, could you let them in, please?" he asked. "They're both my friends."

Leila looked at Ness with a calmer face, and sighed as well. "Fine, go in." She took our invites and we passed through the door. We met a freshing, house scent, but that didn't erase the chaotic chatter going on in the house. Up in front of us was a huge living room, where numerous boys were watching a football program on the TV, cheering and yelling.

Right beside the TV room split by a thin wall was a huge blank area. However, in a corner of the room was a group of air-filled balloons, all either a blue or purple color. I could see a small paper sitting within each balloon as well. I wanted to take a peek at them, but as soon as Claus tried to check them out, a familiar cheerleader stopped him, stating that the balloons are for a special game later in the day.

Past the both of the two areas was the huge kitchen, with a large table full with bowls of different kinds of chips and bean, salsa, and cheese dip. already being devoured by a small, hungry group. There were two huge platters set in the middle of the table, and I expected them to be the cakes that everyone will be eating.

Beyond the kitchen was the backyard pool. I couldn't believe the size; it was as if it was a community pool, with all the people currently in the water. Claus and Ninten were captivated by the enjoyment everyone was having-tossing two or three beachballs around, or just trying to chase each other in the water. There was a changing area for males on our right, fit for two boys at a time. No one was in there at the moment, so after Claus entrusted me into Ness' care, he went on ahead to change into his swimsuit, followed by Ninten.

I asked Ness if he wanted to go swim as well, but he said he wanted to go later. He preferred exploring the home a little more. I was curious as well, but I mainly went with him just to be close to him.

We went up the stairs next to the front door, where Leila was still allowing people to enter. As we followed some girls, we were led into a lengthy hallway with many doors. In door one on our immediate right was another TV room, only that girls were in it watching some kind of romance program. In door two on our left, twelve or thirteen boys and girls were playing a game using a weird-looking machine in the middle of the room. Everyone held a green, rhombus shaped figure, but I still didn't recognize the game. As Ness and I checked each room, we found a dark room strictly for a mini-version of laser-shooting tag game, a room for dancing (which was nearly packed), two video game rooms, and a beauty salon for girls as well as the bathroom at the end of the hall.

Passing by the growing number of students within the home, we went up the third floor. There were red X's on paper taped to about four doors. One was slightly opened, so we peeked in and found an empty bedroom. Ness and I concluded that the third floor was for those who were sleeping over. At the end of the hall was a bathroom, as well as a particular room with a sign saying "Relaxing Room." When Ness opened the door, there was no one inside. All there was a plain colored room-beige carpet and white walls, along with four reclining chairs on the other side of the room. As we stepped inside, we heard no noise except the soft crunching of the carpet. I closed the door, reading the note by the doorknob that says "Lock if you want to be left alone!" I locked it, trying to empty my mind of dirty ideas.

Ness set his bag down and set in one of the chairs. "This is pretty comfy," he commented.

"Really?" I responded. He patted the chair next to him, inviting me over. I set my bag down next to the wall, and sat down. Ness was right-as I laid back in the chair, I felt like I was on a cloud.

"Nice, huh?" he asked. I nodded and hummed. I stared at the bland ceiling, almost wanting to shut my eyes. I looked over to Ness, and he closed his eyes as well.

"Are you sleeping?" I playfully asked.

"Maybe," he said. "I didn't get much sleep last night, so I'm pretty tired."

"What were you doing?" I questioned.

"Trying to beat your high score in Tac-Man," he said.

Tac-Man was a game I played a few days ago at Ness' house while he was forced to help Tracy with her project for half an hour. Ness' score was significantly high, but I topped him in no time, even though I was a beginner. All I did was logical thinking—when and where to avoid the gobbling ghosts and when to get the power ups to eat them back. When Ness found out about my score, he threw a playful tantrum on me.

"You were that mad?" I asked.

"Yes!" he exclaimed. "Do you know how long it took me to get that many points? One month! And you beat me in one hour!"

I laughed, and he giggled at me, lightly punching my shoulder. We ended our moment with a smile at each other, but to prevent awkwardness, we both turned to the ceiling. We stared at it, imagining nothing, hearing nothing, and soon began seeing nothing.

Ness had then spoke. "Wanna get back to the party?" he asked.

"I thought you wanted to sleep," I replied.

"Well...yeah. And well, this chair is so comfortable anyways."

"Mm-hm," I agreed. I looked over to Ness. He sat there, silent and still with a grin on his face, enjoying peace. His position already told me he was about to take a nap.

I wanted to fall asleep next to him too, but so many thoughts filled my mind at the moment. First off, Ness was sleeping. That meant opportunities to do all sorts of things. But, there was only one chance to do any one of those sorts of things, and I couldn't pick what to do. Moreover, could I even do it? Could I just blurt my feelings for him? Could I even try to kiss his cheek while he slept? Could I even get out of my seat and just put myself all over him? I did nothing but think, think, and think while trying to struggle from the various thoughts.

At one point I finally pushed away everything to focus on nothing at all. I began to drift off as well, until a ringing blare shocked us both awake. Ness' phone was ringing. He groaned at who was calling, but answered anyways. As he talked, I could hear Ninten's voice on the other side of the phone.

"Hey Ness, where are you?" Ninten asked.

"Relaxing on the 3rd floor, why?" Ness replied sleepily.

"Oh, just wondering. You're okay, right? Where's Lucas?"

"I'm fine, and Lucas is right next to me."

"Oh, okay! Well, Leila and everyone are beginning a big pool game, do you wanna join?"

"Maybe later, I'm just tired right now. Call me in about an hour or something, okay?"

"Got it!" Their conversation ended, and Ness tossed his phone on his bag and pulled out the leg rest on the recliner. He shut his eyes immediately, and began the process of resting.

"You okay, Ness?" I asked.

"Just tired," he replied. "I'll probably get back my energy after an hour and then eating or something."

"Okay," I said. I kept my eyes on him until he opened them and glanced at me. "You're gonna stay?"

"Yeah," I said.

"Really?" I nodded. "...Why? Wouldn't you rather go and have fun than just watch me sleep?" he asked.

"Well, I don't really mind staying..." I nervously responded.

"Ah, fine fine. Well, if you're gonna stay, you might as well sleep too."

"Sure," I said. I pulled the leg rest out and relaxed in the same position as Ness. But, right as I settled, Ness got up and tossed his shirt off onto his bag, leaving him in a white undershirt. I blushed at the sight of his revealed skin and covered torso, remembering him in his swimsuit.

...What did he just do? Begin a stripping tease in front of me?

"It's a little stuffy in here," he mentioned. I immediately cleared all of my thoughts.

"O-Oh, yeah, I guess," I agreed. Though the room was clearly air conditioned, I pulled the collar of my shirt to check if my body was sweating. I did feel a little perspiration, which I must have obtained from thinking about those unmentionable thoughts. For now, I ignored it.

Ness gave out a deep breath and turned to his side. "Well, see ya in an hour," he said.

I smiled at him. "Have a good nap," I said. I settled into the seat once more, and began falling asleep.