The music was loud enough to grate in the back of my throat, and I couldn't help but be glad for it. It was just what I needed to wind down from the events of the last few weeks. For once I could be any member of St. Trinians, not the Head Girl that everyone looked to for solutions to every problem they encountered. It was not often I got to pass up responsibility.
Annabelle half ran, half staggered past me thrusting a bottle of wine into one of my hands and catching hold of the other, dragging me up on stage with her. I allowed her to manhandle me and did not resist when she threw her arm around me and drew me into her drunken dance. I caught her eye and realised that my lips were curling around the same lyrics as hers and grinned, not even caring for once, that my lipstick might be smudging. Taylor appeared at my other elbow and I wrapped my other arm around her too, my singing perhaps verging on shouting although it was hard to tell above the blare of the bass. I scanned the crowd as best I could despite the blinding lights in my eyes. It was a scene of St. Trinians bliss. Everyone united in the single goal of having fun. If I could have everyone like this all the time, I would consider myself to be doing a good job as Head Girl.
The smile faded from my lips as I caught sight of someone who was definitely not part of my idea of bliss.
"Flash Harry...," I murmured, my words not standing a chance against the wall of sound they were confronted with on leaving my mouth. As if I had shouted his name, his eye line rose and we made eye contact for one long second. Time seemed to freeze for a second whilst I tried to arrange my features into a suitable expression of irritation, and then he had broken eye contact and slipped away into the crowd again.
Rolling my eyes, I slipped free of Bell and Taylor's grasp and made my way swiftly towards the doorway, trying to look nonchalant. I wasn't exactly inconspicuous. I knew exactly where Flash would be headed. We'd been dealing in secret on the roof long before I trusted him enough to introduce to the rest of the girls. Why was he here? He knows better than to try and sneak around without me noticing.
I stormed up the stairs towards the roof, the corridors deserted apart from the occasional sleeping girl lining the floor. At each one I stopped and checked for breathing before moving on. What? So I'm ice queen Head Girl. Doesn't mean I can't have a maternal instinct now and again. I got to the last set of stairs and tripped, catching myself against the wall, careful not to upset the wine, which was now half empty. I looked around hastily, praying there was no one about to see the Head Girl anything less than in full control of her faculties, and breathed a sigh of relief when the only person in sight was an unconscious Fourth Year with a bottle of the Twin's vodka in her hand. I had learnt long ago that the only way to see the end of a night was to avoid that vodka like the plague, and for years now I'd been filling the empty bottles with regular vodka in order not to offend the Twins.
I bent down and fumbled under the rug for the key at the foot of the stairs where it was always kept, and sighed when it was not there. I should have known. The door at the top of the stairs, normally locked, gave when I turned the handle and then I stepped out of the warm if slightly cloying air of St. Trinians into the cold night.
"Alright, Kel," his gruff voice floated across to me, and I walked across to him, desperately trying to not sway as I went. I sat down on the ledge next to him, uncomfortably close, I realised, as he cleared his throat and shuffled backwards a bit.
"Flash," I greeted him, lifting the wine to my lips and taking another swallow. He fumbled in his pocket for his cigs and a lighter.
"Want one?" he asked, and I paused before nodding. It was one of our little secrets that I smoked, but only with him and never in front of the girls. I figured if any of them wanted to find smoking, they'd find it anyway without any influence of mine. We both lit up in silence and smoked in peace for a while. My head was spinning slightly and the smoke was dizzying.
"What are you doing here, Flash?" I asked after a while, my voice coming out as patronising. I winced. I hadn't been aiming for patronising.
"'M just checking up on you and the girls, Kel," he replied softly, humbly. "I like ter make sure you're all alright, y'know?" At my incredulous glance, he continued. "An' I thought, with, y'know, all our 'business' being over...you might wanna try a bit of pleasure for once."
"Flash-," I began, but he cut across me.
"I know, Kel, I know. I'm not yer type. I mean-God, I don't reckon there's anyone on this Earth that's good enough to be your type-I mean, not that I'm sayin' you're aloof or anythin', just-Kel, I'm no good at this."
I allowed myself a small smile. Not a smirk, a smile. He noticed the difference too, and smiled as well, in spite of himself. I threw my cigarette down and turned to face him, my heart beating wildly in my chest. I knew what I was going to do, and already the sober Kelly in the back of my mind was screaming at me not to do it, but the drunken Kelly had overridden her and was laughing manically. I leant towards him, smelling his smell that was more comforting than anything else in the world.
"Flash, I-," And for once it wasn't him struggling for words. "I really like you," I said eventually, somewhat inadequately, I felt.
"Kel, you're drunk," he said, backing away, "In the morning you won't remember this ever happened."
"Harry," I said, and his mouth fell open. I should try that more often, I thought, and then there wasn't any more time for thoughts as my mouth was upon his and we were kissing. He tasted of smoke and mint, and as I pushed deeper into his mouth, he put a hand to the back of my neck, entangling his fingers in my hair. I moaned into his lips as his teeth grazed my bottom lip, edging my body closer to his until I could feel the heat coming off him. He pulled back, breathing heavily and I tried to clear my head. It was hard with his scent clouding my judgement. My foot kicked at something glass which fell over and shattered, and I looked down to see the remains of a bottle of rum leaking away over the stone roof.
I flicked my gaze back to him and he looked sheepish.
"Well I needed summit to give me some Dutch Courage, din't I?" he offered, smiling. Smiling back I tipped my head back, pouring the remains of the wine down my throat and throwing the bottle down with the other one.
"So Flash Harry," I said to him, standing up and taking hold of his hands, "Would you do me the honour of carrying on that kiss in my bedroom?" He stood up, running a hand down my cheek.
"You have no idea how many times I've wanted to smudge your lipstick like that," he told me and I pressed myself to him again, joining our lips and melting into him. We stumbled down to my bedroom and as I fumbled for the lock his hands were running up the backs of my stockings. Because it was a party, I had traded my pencil skirt for a shorter, tighter high-waisted skirt and my stockings finished a good two inches before it began.
We burst into my bedroom still kissing, and collapsed onto my double bed entangled with each other.
"I-have wanted to do this-for so long," I breathed into his neck as he undid my shirt and I felt him grin against my collar bone.
"Tell me about it," he replied, his breath tickling my bare skin.