Adored | Chapter 32 of 34

Author: Cecily von Ziegesar | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 3045 Views | Add a Review

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Brandon watched in disgust as Sage Francis, looking sleazy in a red dress about as big as a tissue, licked Lon Baruzza’s neck and sprinkled salt on it. Incredibly unsanitary, Brandon thought, since Benny Cunningham had done a tequila shot off the exact same spot five minutes ago. Sage licked the salt off Lon’s neck and swallowed the tequila, holding the back of Lon’s head as she fished the lime from between his lips with her tongue. The crowd in the living room erupted in cheers.

Brandon tilted his head back, draining the last of his Hell Fire. The sweet syrup landed in his empty stomach with a thud and he felt for a moment like he might puke. He pushed his way into the kitchen and grabbed a water-stained glass from a kitchen cupboard. He filled it with water from the tap and took a long swig. Feeling suddenly alone, he longed for Hellie more than ever. Everyone was acting crazy. Jenny was like some kind of stranger, always walking around with a camera crew following her—although Brandon felt bad that those ungrateful frosh had made an embarrassing video of her. Callie was busy chasing after her new boyfriend. All his guy friends had been even bigger meatheads than usual recently, and after he’d orchestrated the whole Secret Satan mess, Heath was even more full of himself than usual.

Brandon sighed as Heath himself appeared in the kitchen doorway. He was still wearing his lame green suspenders and the Santa hat, although now his white T-shirt was covered with smudges of varying shades of red and pink, clearly left by eager female lips. A pair of girls’ sunglasses was perched on his nose. “What up?”

Brandon shrugged and stared at the dirty-cup-covered linoleum table. “You give up asking everyone to sit on your lap and tell you what they want for Christmas?”

“Had to take a break. My lap hurts.” Heath set one of his full cups on the yellow kitchen counter, already sticky with spilled punch. “Great party, huh?” He beamed proudly. “Another success.” He held a cup in the air, toasting himself.

“Yeah, you can add it to your fucking résumé,” Brandon said, his voice dripping with sarcasm. He leaned against the cold edge of the sink. Outside the fogged-up window, the night looked dark and windy.

Heath didn’t notice. He let out a loud whinny and a girl across the room echoed it. Heath glanced in Kara’s direction, probably hoping it was her. Brandon had caught Heath staring at her when she was on the dance floor with Alison Quentin, her tight-fitting floral-print silk dress swishing around her knees.

“Duuuddde,” Heath said, drawing out the word as he slung an arm across Brandon’s shoulders. His sweaty stench rose up to Brandon’s nose. “I’m sorry about that male stripper.”

Brandon nearly stopped breathing. He shoved Heath’s arm off, fighting the urge to twist it behind Heath’s back and break it in two. Or maybe he should grab one of the black pots hanging over the food-crusted stove and smash it into Heath’s smug, grinning face? “I knew it was you.”

Heath raised his eyes to heaven and drunkenly made the sign of the cross. “And I feel very, very bad about it.”

“What about… all that other shit?” Brandon asked, too furious to actually say the words male pole-dancer alarm clock and sperm piggy bank out loud.

Heath held up both hands, spilling a little Hell Fire on his fuzzy red pants. They made him look more like Elmo than Santa Claus. “Guilty as charged.” He took a long swallow, finishing his first cup, which he dropped to the floor. “I kept all the stuff from your real Secret Satan,” he added.

“You’re fucking kidding me.” Brandon clenched his hands into fists.

“Lame stuff. Some kind of plaid scarf—right up your alley.” Heath picked up his second cup. “But I’m keeping the Fletch DVD,” he continued. “It’s a classic.”

“You’re a dick,” Brandon said flatly. He’d always half-hated Heath, but he’d never expected Heath to go so far out of his way to make someone miserable.

“Dude, I just had to be sure.” Heath shrugged and snapped his suspenders. “It was kind of a test. To know once and for all that you weren’t, you know…”

Brandon grabbed a black frying pan from the rack and held it like a baseball bat.

“Kidding, kidding!” Heath held up his hands in self-defense. “God, relax. It’s a party. I said I was sorry, didn’t I?”

Brandon knew he was lucky to get that much contrition from Heath, but something made him blurt out exactly what he was thinking. “You sure you didn’t do all this because I hooked up with Helga and you struck out with Gretchen?” The morning after Thanksgiving, when he and Heath had walked home from Dunderdorf’s house, Heath had admitted that despite Gretchen’s hotness, he hadn’t sealed the deal. It felt good to stick this verbal knife in Heath’s gut and turn it. He was prepared for Heath to deny it and move on, taking his stupid silly grin with him, but to his surprise a frown spread across Heath’s face.

“Fuck you! I could have totally had her if I wanted.” He drank half his second cup and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, his eyes still scanning the party, probably looking for Kara. “Fuck you,” he said again, a little weakly.

Brandon barely had time to gloat before Heath slapped him on the shoulder.

“Dude, before I change my mind, here’s your real present— straight from Santa Claus.” Heath reached into the back pocket of his ridiculous pants. Brandon was expecting another packet of synthetic sperm, like the one he’d found in his mailbox this morning. But instead Heath handed him a long envelope. He turned it over in his hand.

“What? Coupons to the gay bar in Poughkeepsie? You shouldn’t have,” Brandon said sarcastically. He opened the envelope, surprised to find a voucher for an airline ticket to Switzerland in his name.

He looked at Heath, unsure of what to say. Heath Ferro? Going out of his way to buy his roommate an expensive airline ticket? So that he could visit his Swiss girlfriend? That was actually… really nice.

“Have a good time, buddy,” Heath said, slapping him on the shoulder again. A devious grin spread across his face. “Thought you could use some holiday cheer, after all my hazing. Bring me back some chocolate or something.”

Brandon struggled to find the words. “Thanks, dude.” He coughed into his fist.

“You can thank me by getting laid and shutting up about it.” Just then, a couple of squealing senior girls grabbed Heath by the suspenders and dragged him away.

“Come on, Santa,” Evelyn Dahlie cooed, grabbing Heath’s hat and sliding it onto her bleached blond head. Brandon watched as Heath swung his arms around the girls. So Heath wasn’t such a bad roommate/friend/person after all. He’d have to think about that more later.

For now, all he could think about was showing Hellie how much he missed her.

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Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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