Hello everyone! Enjoy the final part to this short Halloween story :) I hope you all have an amazing Halloween this Saturday if you celebrate!
"Tris what took you so long?" Uriah asks me as I re-enter the main living room.
"What? Oh, um, I was just getting a drink."
"You don't have a drink in your hand."
"That's… cuz… I forgot it," I tell him, blushing as I remember the handsome stranger I encountered in the kitchen.
I roll my eyes at him and turn to Marlene, "So… how was Uriah on the dance floor?"
She giggles, "Clumsy. As expected. Though, it was a bit endearing."
Uriah looks like he just won the lottery and I shake my head, smiling to myself. I glance around the room and my eye catches Christina talking to the cute ravenclaw boy. She has a hand resting on his shoulder and is giggling flirtily. He seems to be returning the sentiment as well.
Another sweep of the room lets me know that Zeke is back with his date. He looks to be making an effort, though she looks as if she wants to be anywhere else than here. I feel a stab of pity for him, he really deserves to be with someone better here tonight.
I notice Uriah doing rounds with his eyes across the room as well so I ask, "Who are you looking for?"
"Oh, just Zeke's roommate, Tobias. Christina and I ran into him at the costume shop earlier today and he said he'd be here, which is a shocker because he doesn't really come to parties. Like at all. He's kind of a loner."
Same here. Though my loner status is sort of one that I'd like to change. I remember Zeke bringing up someone named Tobias earlier and- "Did you tell him about the prank you were planning on pulling?"
"Yep," Uriah grins, "Anyways I can't see him anywhere so maybe that means he flaked or he's just wearing an unidentifiable costume. Damn it, he's really cool, it'd be nice if you guys could meet."
"Well, why don't the three of us dance?" Marlene suggests. I smile at her effort to include me… ugh, Uriah is here with a date and Christina is flirting away. As always, I'm the single one.
The Ghostbusters theme is playing as I link hands with both Uriah and Marlene and we enter the dancefloor in our circle. I try not to think about Frankenstein or what just happened in the kitchen… god, how dumb can I be? Knocking over the drink bin.
Uriah obnoxiously sings along to the song and Marlene joins him softly. All of a sudden I hear a high pitched squeal in my ear, "Tris!"
I turn to see an elated Christina standing behind me and I break off my hand from Uriah's so that she can step into the circle with us. She grabs my hand and begins speaking, "You know the cute guy I was talking to? Well, his name is Will, he's totally single and smart, and he's so sweet! Ahh, Trissss! I found myself a college guy! He said he was gonna go play beer pong with some of his friends but that I should find him later tonight to hangout! What about you? Has anyone caught your eye?"
"Well-" my mind flashes back to the guy from the kitchen, "No." I finish lamely, shrugging.
She narrows her eyes, "What were you about to say?"
I sigh, "There was a guy… we talked for like 2 seconds in the kitchen but I think he's here with someone else." I scowl as I remember the gorgeous nurse.
"Oo! What's he dressed as?"
A part of me wants to keep my mystery man a secret, after all I probably won't see him after tonight and he's older and way out of my league… but this is Christina and we tell each other everything. "Frankenstein… he's really cute," I confess to her.
Her eyes instantly scan the room, looking for him. I duck my head and avoid following her gaze. Uriah and Marlene are in their own world now, talking to each other quietly and giggling. God, he just needs to man up and kiss her already.
"Oh my gosh! I think I see him!"
Reluctantly, I allow my eyes to look in the direction she's pointing to see that she is right. Frankenstein and his nurse are standing against the far wall, talking to… Zeke and his date. Christina already has the plan formed in her head. "Come on, let's go," she yanks me away from the group, not that Uriah or Marlene even notice, and pulls me in that direction.
"Chris!" I protest, my heart rate increasing.
"He's talking to Zeke! We know him! It'll be the perfect excuse to go over there! Plus, you were right, he is cute."
"Look at his date!"
"So? Come on, we don't know if she's just a friend or not! You're just talking to him for God's sake."
Before I can get another word of protest, she's pulled me up behind her. Zeke's face lights up when he sees us approaching, however his date's scowl deepens. "Tris! Christina! This is my roommate, Tobias."
My eyes widen in surprise as I look back to Frankenstein- Tobias to find him already looking at me with a small smirk on his face. Oh god… he's Zeke's roommate? Jesus, and Uriah told him about their plan. I wonder if he knew who I was in the kitchen… maybe he was just nice to me because I was one of Uriah's friends. "I've already met Christina," Tobias chimes in.
"Oh, yes, that's right. Sorry man, I've had a bit too much to drink tonight," Zeke laughs.
"Oh my gosh, that's right! We met at the halloween store! I didn't recognize you in your… new costume," Christina giggles.
Tobias nods his head, his midnight eyes sparkling. "I actually… already had a run in with Tris in the kitchen as well."
My cheeks inflame, and I avoid his eye contact while folding my arms. "Really? What happened?" Zeke asks.
"She knocked over the drink bin," the nurse interjects snarkily.
An awkward silence overtakes the group now as I kick my shoe into the floor. God, why did I let Christina drag me over here again? "I'm Nita, by the way. Tobias's date," the nurse announces. I feel something in me deflate, of course. And then I feel so dumb. Obviously he's here with someone else, God. And someone who looks like her… I'm such a fool.
"Date… is a strong word," Tobias says.
My head instantly snaps up to look at him. This is a new development in the storyline. Tobias seems rather intrigued by the floor now, and Nita looks as if there is steam coming out of her ears. I notice Zeke giving a 'what-the-fuck' to Tobias as well, meanwhile Christina's posture straightens and she looks as if she wants some popcorn.
"You invited me here! Maya said that you were excited to see me!"
"I never said that!" Oh god. Everyone turns to Maya, whose scowl has deepened.
"That's what Zeke told me!"
Now everyone's eyes are on Zeke. "You only promised to come if I got Tobias for Nita!"
"Yeah, and Nita's the one who made me say yes to you so Tobias would go with her. I didn't want to fucking come for this."
"Wait, you didn't?" Zeke asks, a twinge of hurt evident in his voice.
"Of course not," she says with an eye roll. "Nita, let's go. I'm over this. I'll be outside," Maya shoves her drink back into Zeke's hand and brushes through the group, knocking me and Christina to the side on her way out.
Meanwhile, Nita and Tobias are still in a tiff of their own. "You didn't want to see me?" Nita asks. Well fuck, I actually feel kind of bad for her now. Clearly whatever game Zeke was playing to get Maya to come tonight made Nita believe that Tobias had real feelings for her.
"Um… no." Tobias says bluntly. Ouch, that's gotta hurt.
Her face turns into a puppy dog look that looks all too rehearsed, "But Toby."
"It was over months ago, Nita. I've tried to be your friend, and I know that what you heard from Maya might have misled you… but I haven't liked you like that in a while. And I know that I've been dropping all the signs so maybe you just need to take a hint." Whoa.
Nita's sad look instantly turns venomous. "Excuse me? Where the hell do you get off, being such an asshole? I'm definitely the best thing to ever happen to you! Fuck you and this dumbass party and your dumbass costume." Before we know what's happening, she's yanked Maya's drink out of Zeke's hand and… dumped it all over Tobias's jacket and shirt. She tosses the can on the floor roughly before marching away.
I grumble obscenities to myself as I yank my shirt off of my head and toss it on the floor. Tonight really is not my night. I should have never trusted Zeke and come here, and I should have made it clear from the start to Nita that this was just as friends. Still, I meet a girl who I might actually have interest in, and then I fuck that up too by making an ass of myself in front of her.
Well, what was I supposed to do? Nita announced she was my date, and I very clearly wanted Tris to know that I was available… I remember seeing the shocked look on her face when she realized that I was Zeke's roommate. It was pretty cute.
Still, there's a reason that I avoid parties, and this is it. Not only did my costume get ruined, but when I came into my room to change there were strangers having sex on my bed. Waiting awkwardly outside the door while they got redressed was also not on my list of things to do tonight. Fucking Zeke…
A knock sounds at the door. Speak of the devil. "Go away Zeke!" I say sternly, opening my dresser to look for a change of clothes. I'm probably going to hide in here for the rest of the night… but god damn it, Tris is outside and I want to talk to her. She probably doesn't want to talk to you.
"Um… it's not Zeke," A familiar low female voice speaks. In a flash I've made my way over to my door and yanked it open.
A huge grin finds its way onto my face when I see who it is, "Shauna?"
"Tobias!" She exclaims. "Shirtless…" Her eyebrows are raised.
"Haha… my bad… there was an incident earlier… Zeke's fault. Um, come in!" I usher her inside with my hand on her shoulder and make my way back over to my dresser, grabbing a white t-shirt and slinging it over my head.
I turn back to her to see that she's sitting on my bed, glancing around the room curiously. She's been in here a couple of times, but most of her time spent in this apartment was usually in Zeke's room. "So… what brings you by?" I ask curiously, sitting next to her. I debate telling her what was just happening in this bed but I decide against it. Fuck, I'll need to change my sheets though.
"Not much," she says, an edge to her voice now. "I heard… Zeke was throwing a party… I was back in town… I remembered how fun last Halloween was with you guys and I thought I could stop by."
I raise my eyebrows, "Does Zeke know you're here?"
"I don't think so. I sort of snuck in. And I figured whenever there's a party here I could always find you in your room… so this is the first place I went."
"Well, you'll actually be surprised to know that I did participate in the festivities for a bit tonight."
"Oh yes, I can tell by your costume makeup. Frankenstein?" She asks with a knowing smile.
"Yep. This is the first time in years that I've actually dressed up…"
"Mmm, so why'd you leave the party scene?"
"Um… short answer? Zeke's fault. Long answer? Zeke invited this girl I dated after you left… her name is Nita. He made it seem to her like I was still interested and then when she found out I wasn't, she dumped a can of beer all over me." I avoid bringing up Maya. As pissed as I am at Zeke right now, Shauna doesn't need to know that Zeke basically used me as catnip to get another girl in his bed tonight.
Luckily Shauna doesn't question any further about the situation, though her mouth does twist up in an indiscernible matter when I mention Zeke. "I didn't know you dated this past year!"
"Yeah…" I lift a shoulder, trying to seem casual. "She was nice… we just didn't really click." It's the truth, though I'm starting to question the "nice" part now.
"Damn it, we should have stayed more in touch."
"Yeah, well, I don't know how Zeke would've felt about me texting his ex life updates." Shauna used to go to college with me and Zeke the first semester of freshman year. The day that we met her she and Zeke hit it off instantly and shortly after that they started dating. As far as I know, she's been Zeke's only real girlfriend. He really liked her a lot too, until she transferred to Southern Illinois University after her entire family moved to Carbondale. She didn't tell anyone about her plans to transfer, probably because she didn't want to leave Zeke, but he found out eventually and they broke up a week before she left. I'd never seen him so upset. I liked Shauna a lot too. She was loyal and funny and a good match for Zeke. I can tell he misses her a lot, he would flip if he knew she was here.
"Yeah… well… are there any other ladies I should know about?"
"What are you doing back in town?"
"My little sister Lynn had an art show up in Chicago this weekend. I met up with some old friends for coffee and they told me about Zeke's party."
"Do you… do you think that he would want to see me? Or does he totally hate me?"
"Of course he would want to see you, Shauna. And he could never hate you," I give her a stern glance. I don't elaborate on how upset Zeke was over her, that's for him to tell her if they decide to talk about it. God damn it, even after he completely screwed me over I'm still being nice to him.
"Come on, let's go find him," I stand up and gesture for her to follow me.
She stands up as well but still seems a bit apprehensive. "I'm not even wearing a costume," she laughs shakily.
I roll my eyes, "I look ridiculous too." I gesture to my faded makeup and my lack of costume now. "It doesn't matter. Let's go."
Shauna nods and follows me out the door. I do a quick scan of the room, taking note of the fact that Tris is in the corner, sitting on a lounge chair with Uriah and Marlene. Eventually I spot Zeke, leaning against the wall and taking a long sip from a beer bottle. I wonder if it's a good idea to bring Shauna over to him when he's inebriated like this, but then I decide that no matter what he would want to know that she was here. I point him out to her and gesture her to go over there. She doesn't need my help to go and talk to him. She gives me a nervous smile while squeezing my arm.
"Good luck!" I call out to her as she walks away.
I exhale through my nose, and allow my eyes to find Tris again. Her and Marlene sit side by side in the lounge chair while they watch Uriah make an ass out of himself on the dancefloor. If I'm going to talk to her I need to make myself more presentable. I head down the hallway and make a sharp right to where me and Zeke's bathroom is. I open the door, and what a surprise, two people are making out heavily on the toilet.
They break apart when they hear me walk in and… "Will?"
"Hey Tobias," he says with a sheepish smile. "I thought you locked the door," he says to the girl he has on his lap… who happens to be Christina.
"I thought so too," she giggles.
I stand there awkwardly and they both seem to get the hint that they should get out because they stand up while laughing to themselves. "Um, Tobias, this is Christina," Will says.
"We've met," Christina and I say simultaneously.
"Well… great then!" Will claps me on the shoulder, "See you later, man." Then he and Christina are gone.
I take a rag from the side of the counter and wash all the makeup off my face. After that's done I sigh at my reflection, shaking my head. I run my hand through my hair and try to push it forward since it was spiked up for my costume. This is truly the best I can do.
Once I leave the bathroom I head back into the kitchen and grab two sprites from the fridge. Something tells me that I shouldn't bring Tris alcohol. When I return to the living room, I am pleased to see that she is in her same spot on the lounge chair. Marlene and Uriah are nowhere to be seen now, and Tris taps away at her phone.
I swallow my nerves and approach her. By the time I'm right next to the chair she still hasn't noticed me so I clear my throat a little. She looks up at me and her bright blue eyes flash in mild surprise before shooting to the drinks in my hand. "Sprite?" I offer lamely.
"Um, sure, thanks," She smiles at me, taking one from my hand. Our fingers graze each other's and I suppress a shiver at the contact. While we're both opening our cans she asks, "Do you… want to sit?" She scoots over on the large lounge chair and seems unsure of herself.
"Sure… I mean it is my apartment after all so I could kick you off if I wanted to," I joke, which earns a small laugh out of her. I settle in next to her. The chair is large enough to where we could both be comfortable sharing it, especially because Tris is so small. I was actually the one who found this chair at a garage sale a few months ago and decided it would come along nicely in our apartment. I'm glad of my decision now. My shoulder brushes against Tris's as I turn to look at her. It's hard not to notice the curve of her lips or the way her eyes sparkle or her pleasant vanilla scent when I'm sitting this close to her.
"You're no longer in costume?" She asks me.
I lift a shoulder, "Well… you saw what happened."
Her eyebrows turn up in a sympathetic manner, "I'm sorry about that."
I wave a hand, "Don't be… classic misunderstanding I guess, mostly Zeke's fault too but…" My eyes roam around the room and I find him and Shauna, laughing away, pressed up against the wall.
"Looks like he's gotten over the other girl fast," Tris observes.
"Yeah… well, that's actually Shauna, his ex girlfriend. Maybe you've heard of her from Uriah?"
Tris shakes her head, "No, Uri never mentioned her. She looks happy with Zeke, though."
"She really does."
"I really liked your Frankenstein costume, by the way."
"Yeah? You've read the book?"
"Of course, you?"
"Of course," I imitate, grinning. Sitting next to me, she's so… striking. Her dark makeup contrasts with her vivid eyes and she wears an infectious smile on her face.
"There is love in me the likes of which you've never seen. There is rage in me the likes of which should never escape."
"If I am not satisfied in the one, I will indulge in the other," I finish the famous quote from the novel in unison with her.
Her smile grows wider, as I'm sure mine does as well. I'm feeling bold so I reach up to her ear and tuck a piece of hair behind it. Even beneath her pale makeup I can see a blush color her cheeks and I'm glad to have put it there. Maybe she actually does like me despite all the shit she saw with Nita.
"Do you… want to go somewhere with me? I'd like to show you something," I tell her.
Her eyes sparkle as she answers, "Sure."
I've never been in a boy's room, unless you count my brother or Uriah's room. But to me, those don't really count. Standing here, in Tobias's room alone with him, I wonder if his room should count. Based on the way he was looking at me tonight, it feels like the answer is yes. But why me? After he sent Nita away… he wants to spend time with me? I hate to be that self deprecating girl, but it all feels like a part of some cruel joke.
I pick up his limited edition copy of Fahrenheit 451 and flip through it. The thing he wanted to show me was his book collection. Maybe he just brought me in here for… an intellectual conversation? I scan through his other novels, Frankenstein, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Joy Luck Club, The Great Gatsby, 1984, Animal Farm, The Catcher in the Rye, Catch-22, The Secret History, We, The Handmaid's Tale, and…
"Fifty shades of grey?" I ask, turning toward him with a teasing smile. Unexpected… but should I really be surprised?
His face turns a deep shade of scarlet that I find endearing. "That's um… Zeke's. He put it with my stuff because he doesn't have a bookshelf in his room."
"You don't believe me," he states, a small smile growing on his face.
"I never said that."
"Mmm… so, what do you think?" He asks, scratching the back of his neck.
"This is a good collection. They're all really beautiful editions… where did you find them?" I ask, stroking the spine of The Secret History.
"Some of them were my mom's, but most I got from this used bookshop down the street. They have a lot of good stuff there."
"Oh, interesting." When I first laid eyes on Tobias, I would have never thought him the type to frequent at used bookshops and own a whole collection of classics. Shows what I know.
"Would you… wanna go with me sometime?" He asks, a twinge of nervousness in his voice.
I turn around to face him. Is he serious?
I must be staring at him for longer than appropriate because he continues, "That is… unless you're not interested in that sort of thing. Sorry, I shouldn't have assumed… just with you knowing Frankenstein."
"Oh, no. I mean yes. I would really like that. And believe me, I am interested… I've read most of these, with the exception of Catch-22 and The Joy Luck Club. And 50 shades."
He laughs, "You're welcome to borrow my copies if you want. Though, you'll have to ask Zeke if you wanna read his book."
"Thanks for the offer," I take another glance around his room. It is pristine, an eggshell white color with no artwork on the walls. The sheets of his bed are navy blue, the same color as his gorgeous eyes. I still can't believe he just asked me out… we barely know each other, he's an older college boy. But I still would like to go. I just hope he doesn't end up regretting it. Maybe he's drunk or something. "Did you know who I was when you encountered me in the kitchen?" I ask him.
"Well… yeah. I noticed you come in with Uri. He and Christina told me about the prank they were gonna play on you earlier. How'd that go by the way?"
I lift a shoulder, leaning against his bookshelf as casually as I can. "They didn't scare me."
He raises his eyebrows like he doesn't believe me but doesn't say anything more on the subject. "When's your birthday?" He asks. Oh, I guess we switched gears then. Why does he wanna know? He wants to know if I'm 18 or not…
"September 14th… 2002."
A smile grows on his face. Lately I've been feeling embarrassed that I'm the first person in my friend group to have turned 18, yet I am the least experienced out of all of us and I haven't really lived my life yet. Now I feel glad of my early birthday. Still, a 2 year age gap isn't that weird. He probably turns 20 soon if he's not already. "When's yours?" I ask him.
"December 31st 2000."
I press my lips together and nod. "You don't have to stand there, you know," he tells me, scooting over on his bed to make room for me.
It suddenly crosses my mind that his reasoning behind this whole ordeal could just be to take advantage of me. I've heard all the warnings… is that why he wanted to get me alone? Tobias doesn't seem like the type of person to do that, he does not appear violent and if he wanted to do something he's had multiple opportunities by now. Still, he's practically a stranger and I shouldn't trust him even if my instinct says that I can. I just need to have my guard up… the apartment is flooded with people anyway, if I needed to cry for help someone would hear me. But I won't. I hope Christina is being safe, god, maybe I should go and check on her.
"Tris?" He asks, his eyebrows furrowing together.
"Oh, um, sorry. Sure." I make my way over to his twin sized bed and sit next to him. There are about six inches of space between us, a comfortable distance. I pull out my phone to shoot Christina a text.
Me: just checking in. everything ok?
"I really like your costume, by the way."
I look up to see that Tobias is gazing straight into my eyes, a handsome smile placed on his perfect lips. Why… why is he interested in me again?
"Thank you, Christina did all of our makeup," I explain.
My phone buzzes, she responded.
Christina: yep! in the kitchen with will! where r u?
I hold off my response, not wanting to explain that to her right now. Besides, texting in front of Tobias like this while he's trying to have a conversation with me is probably rude.
"What exactly is your costume?"
"Scary's not a costume."
"That's what I told Uriah."
He laughs at this, "I wouldn't say that you look scary… more haunting."
"Hmm… that is what Christina said. So, you know Uriah well?"
"Pretty well, I guess. He used to hang around Zeke a lot this past Summer so he's sort of become like a little brother to me too."
I smile as I think about how I also see Uriah as a brotherly figure. It's nice to have someone like him in common.
"So, when are you free for our bookshop date?"
Date. "Well I- um have school. I work Saturday and Sunday."
"Where do you work?"
"Sorry… it's just, I uh go there all the time. I love their cake. How have I never seen you before?"
I lift a shoulder, "I've been working there for the better half of the past six months, I guess we've just missed each other."
I gain a new surge of confidence, "Maybe… this is just how it was meant to be," I tell him, lacing our fingers together on the bed.
"Maybe," he agrees, his smile widening. "What time do you get off work on Saturday?"
"5 I think."
"Well, great. Can I pick you up from your shift at 5?"
"Yeah but," a nervous laugh bubbles out of me, "I won't exactly look amazing in my work attire."
"First of all, I'm sure you will. Second of all, I don't care how you look. Just that you're there with me."
I'm probably wearing a foolish grin on my face now but I can't contain it, "Alright. I eat for free there too so I can get us some cake to-go."
"I'd really like that."
How did my life change so fast? One second I'm doing my biology homework in my room and the next I'm jumping out of my window to go to a college Halloween party and planning a date with a guy I met there. I guess this is what Christina and Uri were talking about when they said I need to live a little. Our fingers are still resting on each other's and neither of us make an effort to move them. I want to get to know him more without jumping into anything… I don't even know his last name yet. But I know that stuff like that happens naturally, not by just flat out laying it on the table.
My phone buzzes, and I think it may be Christina, or worse, my parents, so I shoot Tobias an apologetic look before moving my hand off of his to grab it. Luckily it's the former.
Christina: tris? i'm worried.
"Sorry, it's Christina, she's wondering where I am."
"Maybe it's time that we rejoin the crowd."
"Yeah, okay," I say, even though I really just want to stay here with him in the comfortable silence.
Me: sorry. i'm ok. u still in the kitchen?
Tobias holds his hand out to me and I take it, intertwining our fingers together. He runs his thumb along the outside of mine and my spine tingles with pleasure. My phone buzzes with a new text and I check it with my free hand.
Christina: with will, mar, uri, zeke, and a girl named shauna.
Christina: i notice that tobias isn't here and neither r u. anything u wanna tell me?
I grin at my phone, shaking my head. Christina really is too much with her sleuthing skills sometimes. "Come on, let's go to the kitchen," I tell Tobias.
"So, Tris, when is your birthday?" Shauna asks her. We're all gathered around the kitchen table, everyone seemed rather smug when Tris and I approached hand in hand. Zeke has been giving me knowing glances for the last five minutes that I've been dodging since I'm still pissed at him but a part of me really wants to pull him aside and tell him how excited I am about Tris. Who am I?
"Um, September 14th," she answers after taking a long sip from her sprite.
"Ahh! So you're a Virgo!"
"I love Virgos! I'm a Taurus… Zeke here is a Leo. Tobias, what are you?"
"Fuck if I know."
"His birthday is like… December 28th."
"December 31st, right?" Tris asks me.
I smile at the fact that she's remembering, "Yes."
"That means you're a Capricorn… Capricorns and Virgos are supposed to be pretty compatible," Shauna sings, wiggling her eyebrows.
I shoot her a 'knock it off' look, not wanting her antics to scare Tris off, but Tris just laughs amiably. Her laugh sounds like heaven.
"I think I'm a Cancer… what about you, Will?" Christina asks, giving him a hopeful look.
"Aquarius, I believe."
"I'm a Pisces," Marlene states.
"So am I!" Uriah responds.
"Well, look how this has worked out," Shauna observes. I shrug. I never really believed in the whole astrology stuff, not my thing, and by the looks of it Tris doesn't either. Maybe I'll start to look into it more if the stars say we're compatible though… because they're certainly right about that.
"Tris, what time do you need to be back?" Christina asks her.
Tris shrugs, "It's about midnight right now… my parents are probably asleep so as long as we're back before like 6 am?" 6 more hours with this girl tonight? Score! "But Uri and I do have that bio test tomorrow so we should probably leave soon." I deflate at those last words, even though I get it. And… I am gonna see her this weekend… which is in like 5 days. Hopefully she lets me text her. I need to get her number before she leaves! Fuck…
"Tobias?" Shauna snaps her fingers in front of my face and I blink, looking up at her.
"We just said we were gonna dance a little bit before Uri, Mar, Tris, and Chris have to leave."
"Yeah," I shoot Tris a close lipped smile, "Sure."
Many guests have dispersed by now… God, I hope no one is having sex in my room again. On our way out into the living room Zeke stops me and pulls me aside. I wave to Tris, letting her know that I'll be there in a second. "What?" I ask Zeke irritably after I turn back to him.
"Tris?" He asks with a knowing smile.
"Yeah," I say levelly.
"Hey man, I didn't say anything. She's cute and nice! She's also Uri's friend, though… so if it doesn't work out…"
I look down, I hadn't thought of that.
"I don't mean to scare you. Just putting it into your brain."
"We're going out this Saturday."
"Nice! Where to? Fancy dinner? Movie? Museum?"
"None of the above. I'm taking her to that bookshop… she's into the same books that I am."
"Well, nicely done… see, you're wearing that dipshit smirk on your face."
"I've never seen you like this over a girl."
"Yeah, well… no girl has really caught my eye."
"Looks like you, me, and Will all found romance tonight."
"Oh yeah, how is it with Shauna?"
"It's great. We've been having a fun time tonight and I… really missed her. She said she's coming back into town next weekend and wants to have dinner."
I give him a concerned look. I'm glad he's happy… but I don't want him getting false hope. Shauna does live 6 hours away after all. He needs to be practical about this.
"Relax. It's just dinner. I don't know what's gonna happen but… we're having a good time right now and we want to catch up… oh, and Tobias?"
"Shauna told me… that you encouraged her to talk to me. So I just wanna say thanks for that, otherwise my night would've been pretty shitty. You were there for me even after I completely screwed you tonight."
"Yeah, well… my night turned around as well," I muse, looking over to Tris who is arm in arm with Christina as they dance dorkily.
Zeke claps me on the shoulder, "Good for you. Now, let's go… they're waiting for us."
As I follow him onto the dancefloor the song changes. Thriller. I approach Tris as her face lights up and Christina and Uriah holler behind her. "I love this song," she tells me, pulling me to her.
"Yeah? I was actually the one who added it to the queue."
"Well, I guess I have you to thank you for this then."
"Mmm… how are you gonna thank me?" I ask her, wrapping her arms around my torso.
"Like this," she says confidently, standing on her tiptoes to press a sweet kiss to my cheek. Her lips are soft and warm and inviting, and I can only imagine what they'd feel like on my own.
"You're very welcome," I breathe out, as she pulls back, biting her lip shyly.
And then we dance. The sweet stench of the air infiltrates my senses, I glance around at everyone in costume and those who aren't, all having a good time nonetheless. We all sing along to the iconic song all the way through, and at the end of it Christina and Uriah sneak up behind Tris and jump scare her at the same time. She leaped about ten feet in the air in fright.
As we all recover from our laughter, and Tris calls her two friends a few not so kind names through her own chuckles, I think I finally understand Halloween. And now I think I have a new favorite holiday.
After having one final dance to Thriller, we all decided it was time to leave, even though I really didn't want to. Tobias offered to walk me down to Uriah's car, Will wanted to say goodbye to Christina, and Zeke wanted to bid farewell to his brother, so that led to all eight of us cramming into the elevator.
I noticed as we were inside, Tobias's breath hitched and he broke his hand apart from mine, casually wiping it on his pants. As soon as we got out he seemed okay, though, so I didn't bring it up. Claustrophobia isn't an unnatural fear, it's just one that I wouldn't expect someone like Tobias to have… though he's been surprising me a lot tonight.
Christina and Will are engaging in a very physical goodbye a few feet down the sidewalk, Zeke and Shauna have walked Uriah and Marlene over to Uri's truck… so that leaves Tobias and I, standing across from each other in front of his building. A gust of wind blows by and I wrap my arms around myself, shivering. Chicago autumn is cold, and my revealing dress doesn't exactly help me.
"Here, take my jacket," Tobias instantly slings off his black corduroy jacket and holds it out to me.
"No, I couldn't."
"Tris, please. You can give it back to me on Saturday."
I smile as I think about Saturday. "Alright," I take his jacket and shrug myself into it, even though it's obviously fit for someone far larger than me. It smells like him, though. Like soap and detergent and a natural masculine scent.
"Actually. Don't give it back to me. You look way better in it than I do."
I scoff, "That is a lie."
"I don't lie."
"Do me a favor?"
"Give me your number? So I don't have to go five whole days without speaking to you…" He holds his phone out to me.
"Well, if you insist," I say teasingly. After I input my number, I hand his phone back to him and take a daring step closer, placing both of my hands on his shoulders. "You excited to see me without all this scary makeup on?" I ask him.
"I'd like you either way," he tells me with a genuine smile on his face. I feel elation bounce through me and heat rise in my cheeks. "I should probably thank you, though," he tells me seriously.
"Making sure I had a nice time tonight. You know, I don't think I've ever had fun on Halloween before this, no less any party that I've been to. Hell, today is the most fun I've had in a long ass time."
"Well… then you're welcome." I'm not sure what's so special about me that I could improve his mood this much… either it's something unidentifiable or he's just really good at flattery. Still, he's improved my own mood by tons too.
"I haven't thanked you yet, silly."
"How are you gonna thank me?"
The corner of his mouth twitches and he leans down, just the perfect amount, and I meet him halfway for a kiss. His lips are plump and soft and inviting and they envelop my own as he wraps his arms around me to pull me closer to him. My own arms go around his neck, playing with his hair gently as he sighs into my mouth. This kiss is unlike anything I've ever felt before, and it becomes better as he slips his tongue into my mouth.
"Tris!" Tobias and I break apart to see a smirking Christina standing behind us. "Sorry to interrupt, but it's time to go."
I'm breathless and giddy and light as I turn back to Tobias and say, "You're welcome," before skipping off.
By the time we're all in the truck, Tobias, Will, Zeke, and Shauna are gathered on the curb to watch us go.
"Tris… Christina…" Uriah says knowingly.
"Hey! I am not the one you need to be teasing right now! It's Miss Tris who just happened to have her first kiss with Mr. Dark and Handsome."
"Can we talk about this later?" I insist as Marlene giggles.
"Alright… tomorrow after that bio test we're all going to lunch and both of you are spilling every detail. Deal?"
"Deal," Christina and I agree.
Uriah turns on the stereo, and what do you know? Thriller is playing. We all laugh gleefully as he pulls out of his parallel parking spot, driving past the 4 college kids. I give Tobias a small wave on our way by, which he returns. I'll see him soon enough, I guess. That doesn't mean I won't miss him.
As Uriah turns the corner, the full moon is perfectly in sight, illuminating the night sky brightly. My phone buzzes with a text.
Unknown: Happy Halloween, Tris.
Unknown: This is Tobias. Lol.
I know I'm grinning like an idiot, but I can't help it. Happy fucking Halloween.
Ahh! I hope you liked it! Let me know if you want a third part where Tobias and Tris go on their date? Let me know your thoughts please! And once again, have an amazing Halloween if you celebrate!
And please stay safe with the virus! Thanks so much for reading. Stay tuned for a possible third part in the future?