Good 4 You by Olivia Rodriguez blasted from the house on 72 Maplewood Road in Florence Town. It was a classic double story, modern home, on the wealthy side of the town. Inside the home, teenagers danced, drank, partied hard. It was the annual welcome back to high school party, and the last one to be held at 72 Maplewood Road, for its hostess June De Clare had just begun her senior year.
In the kitchen she could be found, standing by the island bench. Atop of the bench surface, lay 10 vodka shots in a row. Standing around, were fellow classmates and friends, a couple of these were seventeen-year-old Venus who had mid-back length blonde hair with pink streaks and wore a black mini dress that hugged her hour-glass figure, she brought earlier that day. She hollered June’s name and applauded as her best friend began to down the shots, one after the other. The seven others in the room cheered the closer she got to the end of the line. She reached shot number ten and downed it with a gasp. She grinned and looked around the room at her drunk and excited peers. June wore a fitted, red, glimmery dress that had a V shaped neck-line, exposing the top half of her cleavage.
She frowned when she noticed her boyfriend had disappeared. She grabbed the vodka bottle and plastered on a grin before facing Venus, “Your turn.” She held the bottle towards her.
Venus giggled and pushed the bottle back into June’s chest, “No way! I don’t know how you’re not on the floor!” She shouted over the booming music as their peers began to disperse into other rooms of the mansion house.
“Because unlike you, June here is no light weight!” Knox interjected, an impressed smirk across his face.
“How would you know? You’ve been here all of one week.” Venus waved a dismissive hand with a short laugh. Knox shrugged and took a swig out of his whiskey bottle.
“I’m a quick study.”
“Just not at maths. Or English… Or history. You’d think after doing senior year once, you’d be able to get it right the second time around. I really don’t know how they’re letting you stay in the academic levels.” June teased, causing Knox to roll his dark eyes.
“I told you I’ve moved around a lot the last couple years. Study hasn’t exactly been on my to do list.” He took another swig. He held the bottle out to June, offering her a drink. She shook her head,
“Mixing alcohols is not smart when you’re drinking to get drunk.” She laughed, recalling one of the first times she ever got drunk, resulting in her puking all over the pool table in the leisure room. Knox shrugged,
“Suit yourself.” He then walked out of the room. June turned to Venus,
“Have you seen Anton?”
Venus shook her head, “He left on your second shot. Said something about wanting to get his own drink.”
June frowned, “But his drinks are in the fridge,” she pointed her thumb over her shoulder in the direction of the double door fridge behind her. Venus shrugged and June disappeared out of the room to go find him.
A few blocks away, at the Lowe Hotel building, the newly operating Speakeasy Bar in the basement level was filled with happy guests drinking and chatting away. At one of the back tables, two young, brown-haired twins sat. Both males were dressed in quality suits and appeared to be in their mid twenties, one was clean shaven, while the other had stubble. Moments later, their younger sister walked over, she carried a pinkish red cocktail in her right hand while her left hand ran its way through her long, blonde hair. She wore a ripped pair of denim jeans and a fitted black halter top. Her clean-shaven brother waved at the empty seat beside him and she sat down taking a sip from her cocktail.
“Your bar tender could use a little extra training,” she commented as she sat down.
“So do something about it. You’re the directing manager now after all.”
“And book keeper and HR manager.” She added to clarify her newly found importance. He nodded with a proud smile,
“Busy woman. And how do you plan to juggle this with your studies?”
“I won’t fall behind.” She shook her head and took another sip. Her other brother cut into the conversation with a stern voice,
“If you do, we’ll have to cut your hours down.”
“Oh, stop being such a pessimist Elijah.” She rolled her eyes.
“Fine, let’s talk about a fun topic. Why aren’t you are that June girl’s welcome back party? Perfect opportunity for making friends with your new class mates.” Elijah changed the subject. The blonde shrugged,
“It sounded lame.”
“Your brother didn’t seem to think so.” Her clean-shaven brother chimed in, clearly not referring to himself or Elijah, but to their younger brother. She gave him a look, questioning why he was opposing her decision in going. He shrugged and gave an innocent smile, “You’re seventeen, Nora. You should be partying and causing a little mayhem here and there. You’re always so serious and brooding. It’s not good for the teen spirit.”
“I’m not brooding.” She defended. “Besides, you’re one to talk Tommy. Serious is your middle name.”
“Spelt differently.” He countered, holding up his index finger. “I can’t help that our mother was a Harry Potter fan.” He muttered. He picked up his short glass and drank the last mouthful of his top shelf whiskey. “You should go though. Loosen up a bit, get to know your peers. Have fun for once.”
“What is with the two of you?” Nora furrowed her sandy blonde eyebrows and looked between her older twin brothers. “Ever since we moved here it’s like you’ve both been trying to turn me into someone from Geordie Shore… well minus the s****l parts.”
The twins looked between one another before Thomas answered; “We just think you’ve had it rough the last few years. You’ve grown up too quickly. We want you to enjoy your last year of high school as best as you can.”
“So please just shut up and go to the party,” Elijah added with a laugh. Nora sighed.
“Fine. You can drive me. I don’t know where it is.”
“Just look out for the mansion with flashy lights and loud, idiotic music.” Elijah joshed.
“I’ll get Knox to text through the address.” Thomas said as he stood up. He straightened out his navy suit jacket and looked down at Nora expectantly. She sighed again and glanced down at her cocktail. She sculled it and placed it down on the round, natural wood table. She placed her palm down on the shiny, smooth surface and sucked in a sharp breath before she stood up and followed her brother out of the speakeasy bar.
The pair walked into the private parking area underneath the building and over to Thomas’ shiny, black Chevrolet Camaro SS. Nora slid into the front passenger seat and clipped her seatbelt into place before they headed off to the party.
Meanwhile at the party house, June had walked into every room downstairs, in search of her boyfriend. She pulled her phone out and glimpsed at the blurry numbers on the keypad before she typed in his mobile number. It went straight to voicemail. She sighed and swayed to the music before taking a sip out of her Guava vodka cruiser. She walked through the crowd of dancing teenagers and gasped when one of them bounced into her, knocking her drink out of her hand and into her chest. It spilt down the top half, soaking her instantly. The dancing teenager stopped and stared in surprise. “Sorry June! I didn’t see you there!” He shouted over the music. “Good thing you live here right? Just go change into something else!” He laughed sheepishly.
June rolled her eyes, “Thanks a lot Jack.” She muttered and disappeared out of the loungeroom and into the hallway, headed for the marble tiled stairs. As she wondered through the quiet top story, she staggered down the hallway towards her room. When she reached the door, she froze. She could hear quiet moans on the other side. She groaned and reached for the handle. She sprung the door open and shouted as she went, “I thought I told everyone that upstairs was out of the party bounds!-” She froze as she finished her sentence when she saw who was in her bed. As did he and the girl he was having s*x with.
“A-Anton.” June spoke, barely audible. Her eyes then landed on the girl he was with. “And plastic Cheryl. God, how desperate can you be?” June snapped at Anton. Anton rushed to grab his shirt, but June was faster. She yanked the sheets off the bed and grabbed both their clothes before racing out of the room with them. She ran into her mother’s room and locked the door behind her before throwing the sheets and clothes on the ground. She fell to the ground with them and buried her face into the palms of her hands. She held back her tears – not wanting to smudge her make up.
After a few minutes spent collecting herself, June breathed deeply before stuffing the sheets and clothes into her mother’s clothes basket and exiting the room. She spotted Anton and Cheryl through her bedroom doorway, Anton was passing Cheryl a pair of Junes shorts and t-shirts. June’s face fumed. “So, you steal my boyfriend, and now my clothes.” She muttered under her breath. She shook her head, “Whatever.” She walked up to the doorframe of her bedroom. Anton glared at her, she only laughed. “I want you out of my house in the next two minutes, or I’ll have my mum’s boyfriend head over and remove you. He never liked you anyway so I’m sure it would be worth skipping the rest of the Pink concert just to kick your pimply ass out the door.”
“I told you it was Eczema.” He muttered and shifted uncomfortably; his hand covered his junk. “I need my clothes if you want me gone.”
June turned to look at Cheryl, “What are you still doing here? Leave or I’ll tell everyone about your bed wetting incident from last summer.” June hissed. Cheryl squeaked, not knowing how to respond. She fled the room with her eyes glued to the ground.
“That’s why I cheated. You’re a bitch.” Anton hissed. June laughed, “I’m only a b***h to those who bitched first. You cheated because I wouldn’t give you my virginity.”
“A guy has needs.” He spat. “You were withholding it for no reason. That’s spousal abuse.”
“We’ve been together four months; you were a long way off from being my spouse.” she laughed. “Maybe I would have shagged you sooner if your d**k was worth it, but he looks pretty small.”
“What do you mean? I thought it was f**k Cheryl season?” June countered, crossing her arms over her chest. “Now get the f**k out of my house.”
“Not without clothes.”
June sighed and walked over to her wardrobe before pulling out her loosely fitted, light pink, cotton dress. She threw it at him. “There. Now leave.”
“You’re taking the piss.”
June shrugged. “Take it or leave it. You can leave in a dress, or you can leave naked, it seemed like you were enjoying the nudity five minutes ago.”
Anton hissed as June started to type in her mother’s mobile number into her phone. She held the phone to her ear. “Fine.” He growled. He threw the dress on the ground and fled out of the room whilst holding his p***s hidden under his hands. June followed him down the stairs, only walking as he sprinted through the house, glaring at anyone who laughed and pointed at him. He fled out the front door, seconds later, June stood in the door way, watching him flee. He ran across the road, straight in front of a black Chevrolet car. The car skidded to a halt just in time to avoid hitting him.
Inside the car, Nora stared at the teenager on the road with dismay. She glanced at Thomas, “Are you sure you want me to go into that house?”
Thomas chuckled. “We all need a little chaos. Go have fun.” He shooed her out of the car. June watched from the front porch as Nora got out of the car. She recognised Nora as a new person to their school, and she recognised the driver as Knox’s older brother. When the car sped off, June wondered over to Nora.
“Hey, Nora right?”
Nora’s eyebrows pinched together. “Yeah, and you’re June. What was with that naked guy?”
The corner of June’s lips curved upwards. “A story for another time. Come, let me show you around.” She began to walk with Nora to the front door. “How do you know Thomas?”
Again, Nora’s brows furrowed. “He’s my brother. How do you know him?”
“Oh, so your Knox’s sister too then?” June asked, surprised. Nora nodded. “If you hadn’t guessed it, I know him through Knox.” Nora nodded again, now she looked around the large house in awe. It was gorgeous.
“That chandelier really is quite an entrance statement.” She commented.
“I know right. I picked it out a couple years ago.” June said proudly. As they walked further into the house, Venus came bounding over to them, a drink in either hand.
“June, you’ll never guess what I just saw!”
“Anton, butt naked running through my house?” June smirked. Venus nodded,
“Yeah, you saw it too then. Why-?”
“Because I caught him cheating on me with dim-witted Cheryl.”
“Ugh what a dirt bag. I’m so sorry to hear that.” Venus looked both shocked and saddened. She then turned to look at Nora, “Who’s this?”
“The other new person in our class. Knox’s sister.”
“Oh, right! Hey, I’m Venus.”
Nora gave a small smile and swatted away the negative thoughts wondering why someone from three of her classes couldn’t remember her name after a week. “Hey, I’m Nora.”
“Well, Nora, you sound sober, and June sounds like she needs to get drunk enough to forget tonight, so what do you both say we play a good game of beer pong?”
Nora nodded, “Sounds fun.”
June took one of Venus’ drinks and skulled the first half, “Yes, let’s do it.”
The three girls wondered into the large leisure room. Over one side was a home-made bar with a smooth, wooden surface top, with all sorts of spirits on the shelf behind. Not far in front of the bar stools was a pool table, where five male teenagers stood around, watching two other teenagers play a game. On the right side of the room, near the glass walls, stood a long wooden table, perfect for the beer pong game. Nora stared out the glass windows in awe, the view looked down the mountain slope towards the back side of the house. There were many trees and a small lake that glimmered from the lights around the house.
June walked over and behind the bar, she dug through the cupboards below and brought out a twenty-stack of red solo cups. She grabbed a bottle of vodka and juice from the mini fridge and then headed back over to the table to set it up. Some of the boys that stood around the pool table followed June over to the beer pong table. “Hey June, we’ll verse you.” One of them grinned.
“Who invited you here?” June frowned and rolled her eyes at him. She then sighed at his puppy dog eyes, “Alright Flynn, give it your best shot.” She passed him and his friend half of the stack of cups. As the four of them set the table up Venus pulled a bar stool over and sat down happily with her drink. Flynn smiled at Nora,
“You’re the new girl hey? I’m Flynn. And this is Baxter.” He nodded at his friend then extended his hand towards her. Nora shook it and smiled in return,
“Nora.” She told him.
“Hope you’re good at beer pong, June’s shocking.” He laughed while June frowned,
“Yeah right, like that time when I totally thrashed you and Ashton. Ten cups to your measly four.” She poked her tongue out. Flynn rolled his eyes,
“Well come on then, roshambo?” Flynn held his closed fist up, pointing his knuckles towards June, encouraging a rock-paper-scissors game. June obliged and won with the rock hand symbol to his scissors. She took the two ping pong balls and gave one to Nora. Both girls threw their balls, Junes sunk into the top point, whilst Nora’s hit the rim of one cup and bounced back towards them. June lunged forward and snatched it before Flynn could grab it. Nora raised a brow,
“Isn’t it his turn?”
“Don’t tell me you’ve never played beer pong before.” June laughed. Nora shrugged,
“A very basic form apparently.”
“When you get the ball back before them, you can rethrow it, but it has to be a trick shot, like this.” She turned around and threw the ball over her shoulder. It missed. But Nora got the point. The game took around fifteen minutes before the boys sunk the ball in the girls final cup.
“Redemp!” Venus hollered. Nora picked her ping pong ball up and looked over at the boys last two cups. She aimed but missed. June missed also, and they accepted their defeat by sculling their last cup and both of the boys last two cups. “Good game,” Flynn said and shook both girls hands as did Baxter. Nora stumbled to the side and she laughed at June,
“Did you make these like eighty percent vodka or something?”
“Why, feeling a little drunk?” June laughed. “Cause I’m wasted.”
“Just what you need though.” Venus grinned and slung her arm around June’s shoulders. “Let’s go put some party pies on, I’m starving!”
June grinned, “I like the way you think girlfriend.” She slurred and stumbled out of the room with Venus. Nora debated whether or not she should follow. She instead decided some fresh air might help with her dizziness. She quickly walked towards the bar with an empty solo cup in her hand, her head spinning with each step. She filled her cup with water from the tap then headed to the glass door and slipped out. The pool table game coincidently also ended,
“Good game Ashton.” The brown-haired teenager said. The tall, broad-shouldered teenager with short, black hair shook his hand. He then spotted new girl Nora stumbling out the glass door and Flynn heading after her. Ashton frowned and seconds later he too headed for and out the glass door.
Twenty or so meters down the slope, Nora found herself wondering onto the wooden jetty, the poles towards the tops were lit up by fairy lights. She stopped at the edge and looked out into the shimmering water. She sighed contently. Seconds later, Flynn approached. The wooden panels creaked beneath him, catching Nora’s attention. Her gaze snapped over her shoulder and at the start of the jetty to see it was Flynn before she then looked back out at the water.
“It’s so gorgeous.” She stated in awe. She had seen nothing like it in her hometown.
“Just like you,” Flynn said now standing beside her, he slowly reached towards the side of Nora’s face and he swept his thumb across her cheek until he brushed her hair behind her ear, however as he did this, Nora flinched and side-stepped. She forced a short chuckle.
“Thanks.” She said, and glanced at his face to see him staring intently at her. She shifted her weight onto her right foot and scratched her left wrist above a small scar.
“Don’t thank me beautiful.” He said and leaned towards her, closing in the space again. “I live just up the road you know. You should come see my place.” He suggested with a smile, his eyes held a glint of yearning. Nora again forced a smile and shook her head,
“Maybe another time.” She said politely. “I think I’m going to head back to the party now.” She went to turn around but he caught her wrist and spun her in to face him, only an inch from his chest. She sucked in a sharp breath and instantly felt her heart hammer inside her chest.
“Let me go please.” She said quietly but firmly.
“Quit playing hard to get.” He snapped and leaned in towards her with his eyes glued to her lips.
“No! Stop!” Nora resisted and pulled back, trying to free her left wrist from his grip. Instead, she found herself sighing with irritation and then she stepped forward into him with her right clenched hand swinging towards the left side of his jaw. It contacted it with a thud and the force threw Flynn’s face to the right, also causing him to let go of her wrist. She then shoved him and brought her right knee up and flexed her foot forward into his chest, kicking him over the edge of the jetty and into the water with a confused shout.
She heard slow clapping behind her, causing her to jump with fright. She spun around to see another teenage boy standing at the start of the Jetty with an intrigued look and a pleased smile. She recognised him to be one of the pool players from inside. “Well done. He’s been needing a good kick to the head for some time now.” He commented with a nod of approval.
Flynn resurfaced, gasping for air and splashing about. “You f*****g slut!” He roared at Nora before a sudden look of startlement and regret washed over his face when his eyes landed on Ashton.
“Ashton.” He said through gritted teeth, growing more angry when Ashton only laughed at him.
“You should go home Flynn.” Ashton’s smile disappeared as he said this. His eyes hardened and he stared at Flynn threateningly. Flynn growled,
“Or what? You’ll rat on me again? That didn’t work out too well for you last time.” He spat. Ashton’s facial expression remained stern and unwavering,
“No, I’ll just give you another bruise to match the one she just gave you.”
Flynn rolled his eyes and swam to the rails to pull himself up and onto the jetty. He trudged to the side of the property and disappeared onto the road. Ashton grimaced and turned to Nora, “I’m sorry about my cousin. He’s a right prick. I wish my uncle’s lawyers weren’t as good as they are.” He muttered the last sentence under his breath. He glanced over his shoulder to check that Flynn had left.
“Thanks for following him out here. To make sure he wasn’t going to do anything to me.” Nora gave Ashton a small smile, her eyes hinting gratitude. He nodded,
“No worries. I wish I could do more. My scummy uncle makes that difficult though.”
“That’s a shame. “ Nora walked towards the start of the jetty, towards Ashton. She walked a little further onto the sand before turning to face him again,
“I’m Nora.” She introduced herself and held out her hand. Ashton smiled and shook it,
“Ashton. You’re the new girl right? Where’d you come from?”
Ashton formed an inquisitive expression, “Scary place to live in, isn’t it?”
Nora shrugged, “I suppose.”
“Aren’t there lots of bikie gangs there?”
Nora shrugged, “A few.”
“Where they what made your family decide to move here?”
Nora nodded, “Sure are. This game of twenty-one questions is kind of boring.”
“Only because you’re not asking me any questions. Ask away.” He grinned.
Nora’s stomach gurgled, causing her to grimace. “I think I’m going to go home now.” She blurted, whilst closing her eyes and covering her mouth. Ashton looked at her concerned,
“Are you okay? You look like you’re going to be sick. Can I-”
Nora cut him off by side-stepping and puking onto the ground near the water. “Fuck.” She muttered and wiped the sides of her lips.
“Can I get you some water? I haven’t drunk anything tonight; would you like for me to drive you home? Or, I can order you an uber?” He began shooting out questions, slightly stressed.
“Could you please get me some water? I’ll call my brother to come get me, but thanks.” She said with a grateful smile and passed him the red solo cup she brought out earlier. Ashton nodded and jogged off to the house. Nora pulled her phone out of her pocket and dialled Thomas’ number whilst spitting into the sand. He answered on the second call,
“That wasn’t very long.”
“What can I say? I’m a light weight.” She croaked. “Please come get me? I just puked all over the place in front of quote unquote the most popular guy at school.” She rolled her eyes as she complained into the phone, thinking of how Venus had gushed over him to Nora and June while they were playing beer pong.
“That’s rough buddy.” Thomas said, attempting to mimic Zuko, causing Nora to smile a little with amusement. “I’ll be there in ten.” He then said and hung up the phone. Moments later, Ashton reappeared with a red solo cup of water/ He gave it to Nora who thanked him before using the water to rinse out her mouth and to hydrate.
“Did you get a hold of your brother?” Ashton asked. Nora nodded,
“I did. Thanks.”
“No worries. I’ll wait with you until he comes. Should we walk to the drive way?”
Nora nodded and the pair slowly walked up the slope and around the side of the house. They walked passed a couple teenagers making out on the front porch, and towards to edge of the front, pristine grass lawn. The pair stood in silence until Thomas’ car came around the corner. Nora turned to look at Ashton, “Thank you for caring.” She said with a simple smile before opening the front passenger door. Ashton waved,
“I’ll see you Monday.”
Nora closed the car door and her brother began to drive them home. Thomas glanced sideways at Nora, while mostly keeping his eyes on the road, “Did you have a nice time?”
Nora nodded, “Sure.”
“Did you make any friends?”
“I think so.”
Thomas’ facial expression remained serious as his eyes fell completely back to the road. “What’s wrong Nora?” He asked, sensing the tension.
“I hate males.” She sighed and rested her forehead on the door window, her eyes bore out at the passing houses and gorgeous front gardens that were barely visible in the night. “They’re so entitled, think just because you’re nice that you’re going to give them s*x. Then try force you when you say no.” She noticed Thomas’ hand clench tightly around the steering wheel.
“I gave him a good smack and sent him flying into the lake. He left after that. I got him good, don’t worry.”
“I’ll f*****g kill him if I ever see him. What’s his name?” Thomas seethed, causing Nora to roll her eyes.
“I should be the one wanting to kill him. Simmer down brother. His grimy hands didn’t touch anything.”
Thomas glowered with rage before taking in a deep breath and exhaling. “Fine.” He grunted and kept his rage-filled eyes fixated on the road. “So, you made friends?” He then quietly asked. Nora nodded with a smile and proceeded to tell him about her new friendship with June and Venus.