Calla POV

Well. Crap.

I was in quite the compromising situation, wasn't I?

I ripped off the piece of black construction paper taped to the window pane, and was met with the most unfortunate sight of two police cars sitting in the driveway, their headlights strobing red-and-blue into the darkness of the street. I couldn't hear any sirens, but that may have been because the music was so loud and so bad that you could barely hear somebody screaming in your ear from two feet away. A policeman opened up the door of the car, hitched up his potbelly, then started determinedly towards the house.

Fear lurched in my chest, making my spine stiffen. I hastily slapped the paper back onto the window and turned on my heel, facing the sweaty sea of people in front of me.

My sister. Josie. Oh God. What would she do if I was arrested? What would I tell dad?

I didn't think I was drunk. I still had all of my clothes on and dignity intact, so I probably wasn't. I looked down at the red plastic cup in my hand. Almost all gone, and beneath it was stacked another, empty one. So maybe not drunk, but a breathalyzer would not be my best friend right now.

Crap.

I shoved into the crowd of teenagers, expecting the front door to open at any moment and bust us all. People were completely oblivious, still grinding and shaking and making out all over the place. It was dark, the limited light flashing off of bare skin and neon-pink bra straps. There were puddles of beer on the ground. A girl to my left was in a puddle on the ground as well, either puking or dancing. Hard to tell.

I elbowed people out of the way, teetering in my heels as I rounded a corner into a less-populated hallway. A boy had some girl pressed against the wall, his face buried in the bust of her mini-dress. The last thing I wanted right now was to become an awkward third wheel in that. I skirted around another corner.

I could hear the sirens now, and people screaming. The noise pierced through the house at a different decibel than whatever junk was playing on the stereo. My heart stuttered.

Some guy was in my way. I shoved him aside, and he fell to the ground. Alcohol poisoning, probably. Now he would pass out and suffocate on his own spit and die, while his friends laughed about how wasted he was.

Isn't partying fun?

Another corner. The heavy thud of police man's boots. The music stopped, and my ears ached in the abrupt silence that followed, broken only by the sound of more shouting. Now everybody was running, the whole under-aged lot of us, shoving and pushing in an effort to get to a backdoor that nobody knew the whereabouts of. I couldn't blame them; once the cops are in the house, it's every man for himself.

My fingers groped along the wall for a doorknob, window, some means of escape—there! I swung open a door, and a wave of cleaning-agents fell on my head. Nope. That would be a closet. I kept running.

In the front room they were probably rounding everybody up, turning on lights while everybody denied everything—"Me? Beer? Noooooooo! Let me just throw out this Budlight can in my hand, and I'll answer all your questions!"

Another door. Stairs. Without looking back, I plunged down, tripping and sliding over the carpeted steps, grasping onto probably very expensive picture frames to keep my balance.

There was a dim lamp in the corner of the furnished basement, pooling yellow light that made me squint.

It was quiet down here. Kind of nice. There was a tangle of legs and arms and blankets on a couch, a girl and a boy who may or may not have been in a relationship outside of the party hooking up with each other. A couple of boys, leaning against the wall, quietly talking and sipping their drinks. The thick, oily-sweet smell of marijuana floated in on the cool air from an open door—

Door! Escape! No arrest, warm beds, dad won't know a thing!

I was almost to the doorway. Fifteen feet. Ten feet. I could definitely hear the sirens, now. Too late to remember my jacket upstairs. I would simply have to freeze as I walked home. Five feet. Fresh air permeated the smell of pot and Doritos and booze—

Aaaaaaaand there goes my great escape.

A boy appeared in front of me, the size of Mount Everest.

Not even kidding. I almost cleared six feet, earning me the title of a fur-reak in girl world. But this guy had at least a good half a foot on me, if not more, even in my heels. And he wasn't just tall, he was big, broad-shouldered with long arms roped with muscle—

No, Calla. Now is seriously not the time to be admiring a certain someone's muscular extremities. Police upstairs, remember?

It wasn't just him. It was a group of boys, though I didn't recognize any of them as the resident stoners of the Quileute Nation Tribal High School, which was where most everybody at the party came from. They were part of the really popular group, with a lot written on the walls of the girl's bathroom regarding the size of their—ahem, male essential organs. Chase, I think, and Jordan…

Run, Calla! Police! Think of Josie!

"Ex-excuse me—I need to get—move!" I tried to shove Everest aside-Embry, I think was his name-and squeeze through the door, to no avail, except I made him drop his beer. I don't think he even noticed.

Or maybe he did. Because now he was turning around. He had a weird look on his face, like he was angry. Or maybe that was just the lighting. Or maybe that was just his face.

Oh, God. I could hear a door opening. The police were coming downstairs. Somebody yelled and seconds later the lamp crashed to the ground, and everything was pitch dark except for the little pool of light from the open door that me and Everest were in. And he was turning around and for a split seconds our eyes met and a lurching, squeezing feeling in my chest made me gasp. It was so dark, but somehow I could tell that his eyes were green. Dark green. Like grass-velvet or the sea at dusk or the emeralds on what used to be my mother's baby ring, hidden in a box underneath my bed—

I couldn't move. I couldn't think. My heart was stumbling around in my chest, trying to pick itself back up. Frozen in time. The police, the smell of pot, the cold from the door- it all melted away and it was just me and him and the tingly feeling on my skin and his green eyes and-

And then he puked on me.

Seriously. He kind of lurched forward, one arm braced out to push me out of the way, and the next thing I knew, the boozy contents of his stomach were dripping through the thin fabric of my dress.

Well. How wonderful.

That squeezing feeling in my chest? The one that, seconds ago, I might daresay to have been my heart or something close to it? Yeah, it kinda died.

"Wha-what the hell?"

The police, the smells, the panic, everything came rushing back, making me dizzy. Or maybe that was just the alcohol. It felt like the bubbles from the beer were pressing at my veins, making my limbs warm and loose and cloudy.

Afore-mentioned barfer was staggering next to me, leaning against the wall to keep himself upright. You just puked on me, bud. That least you could do is apologize!

I still wasn't really sure what the hell was going on. Everything felt like a dream.

Maybe that was why I had the confidence to reach out and slap him on the face, my hand sticky with dried beer. That got his attention. "Hey!"

"Wha...What the... Who-Who're you?" His gaze dragged over my body, making me feel oddly exposed.

A flashlight beamed on the ground two feet away, and I could hear the police calling for everybody to stay calm and take out their ID. I needed out. Now.

All of a sudden I felt a hot flash of anger. Anger at the party, at myself for doing this every other fricking weekend, for the beer and for the goddamn dude in front of me who would not get out of the fricking way-

I shoved him in the stomach, hard, with my elbow, and found it to be the equivalent of trying to shove a brick wall. He moved over, though, one hand on his cheek from where I had slapped him, eyes unfocused and glazed. I darted to the door.

"Hey, wait... Wait!" The slur in his voice was abruptly gone. I was already two feet out the door, but all of a sudden a heavy, hot hand was on my shoulder, pulling me back-

I screamed. He let go.

"Please! Please, just wait! I need to-"

"Like hell," I snarled, ripping off my heels in one movement and slinging them on one finger, vaulting up the steps. Oh geez it was cold. Horribly, painfully cold, below freezing and I was in barefeet and a minidress-

"Come back!"

The door was slamming shut. He was running after me. Now I was scared. I had two options: I could either turn around and try to fight the guy, or I could run like hell.

Fortunately, running like hell is my specialty. I do it every Friday. Unfortunately, he caught up with me in two ginormous strides, and then he was holding onto my arm, his skin actually seering into mine, nearly pulling my arm out of its socket as I was jerked to a stop.

"Don't touch me!" All of the self-defense I knew rushed into my mind. Basically: kick him in the balls. Kick him in the balls hard.

He was staring at me. Mouth half-open, half-smiling, half something else. Staring at me like he was seeing the light.

He was probably high. Probably high and drunk and about to rape me and smother me and desert me in the woods somewhere-and he was so big! I was electric with adrenaline, wide-eyed and scared, my legs already numb from the cold. A weapon. I needed a weapon. He had keys, hanging on one of his belt loops, glinting vaguely silver in the light of the streetlamp. I reached out and grabbed them without even thinking, ripping the fabric of his belt loop. I was prepared to try to stab him or something, which in retrospect probably wouldn't have done squat, but he abruptly let go of my arm, looking vaguely confused.

I took the opportunity to run for all I was worth.

Wind stung my eyes and cheeks. My feet slapped against the wet pavement with each step. I felt like I was flying, facets in the dark asphalt sparkling as the ground rushed beneath me. I turned a street corner, dashed through a backyard, did anything to get away as fast as I could.

It was about a minute before the adrenaline started to wear off. My chest hurt. My lungs felt sick, sick and achy and throbbing with each breath as my heart hammered to keep up. I glanced back over my shoulder for the first time, relief at the sight that he wasn't there nearly making me fall to my knees, which I did seconds later against the fake-stone siding of the nearby house.

I realized, after a few moments, that I still had his keys.


AAAAH! New story! I'm so excited! :D I will update every Thursday evening and Sunday morning. Okay, and honestly: has there ever been an author on fanfiction that was like, "Nobody review my story! I hate reviews!" Didn't think so. Anyways, I'll say this once and then never again for the rest of the story:

Reviews make a writer's world go 'round! Please leave a comment!

Allrighty. That's all for now. I had a bunch of other crap to say but I forgot. The next chapter is ready and waiting at my anxious, red nail-polished fingers, so please stay in tune!