9.7: Getting Ready

Asher tried to keep a straight face against the unpleasant burning as the amber-colored liquid passed his lips. He placed the bottle back on the edge of his desk, still fighting back a grimace. He tried his best to smile through it.

“Okay, how much did you say that shit cost again?”

Oliver shrugged as he double-checked his tie in the mirror. Asher couldn’t understand why he kept fussing with it. He already looked absolutely delicious as-is (not that he’d ever tell him that).

“A few hundred, maybe? I dunno.” Oliver replied at last. “Mom’s liquor cabinet is full of all this fancy crap she never even touches. Only pulls it out when she has a director over for dinner or something and wants to make sure she lands the role.” He added, laughing softly. “She won’t even notice it’s gone though, don’t worry.”

Asher watched as his friend also took a swig from the large bottle. His cheeks felt a little warm, but otherwise, he couldn’t really feel anything yet. Asher wasn’t used to drinking hard stuff like this very often. How long was it supposed to take to kick in? He tried in vain to remember one of the articles he’d once read about BAC.

“Alright, putting on my eyeliner was WAY too easy… Which means I need another drink!!” Lily burst into Asher’s bedroom, now finished adding the final touches to her makeup in the bathroom. 

“Sssh! Keep it down, Lil.” Asher scolded gently. “If Mom and Dad hear…”

Lily finished taking a long swig before replying. “Ash, it’s FINE. Your parents are usually cool with us drinking over here, aren’t they? And isn’t the drinking age like, 12 where your mom’s from?” She asked with a giggle.

“I think it’s 14 or 15.” He corrected her. “And yeah, they don’t mind it when we’re just hanging out HERE, but I’m not sure they’re gonna be cool with us showing up to the dance completely shit-faced.” He explained. “So just… try not to broadcast it? Please?”

With a laugh, Ollie grabbed the bottle of whiskey and handed it to Asher before taking a seat on the edge of his bed. “Dude, you need to chill… Have more of this.”

“I am chill.” Asher insisted, though he did raise the bottle to his lips once more and took another large gulp of the disgusting liquid. “Just not sure my parents will be if they find out.” He choked out over the harsh burning as he sat beside his friend.

“They won’t find out.” Lily assured him. “We’ve just gotta practice good poker faces! Or… sober faces?” She shrugged. “What we’ve really gotta worry about is when we show up for the dance… Did you guys hear the rumors about them making everybody do breathalyzer tests at Prom last year?” Lily asked her friends nervously. “Think they’ll do it at Homecoming too?”

Oliver appeared completely unconcerned. “If they do, leave it to me… I’ll make sure Mrs. Dunford lets us in, no matter how drunk we are.”

Asher felt a bit of relief at Oliver’s words. He knew that what his friend said was true — their school principal was an unapologetic fangirl of Oliver’s mother. Mrs. Dunford practically pissed herself with excitement any time Callie showed up at the school for a meeting or conference. It was hysterical. And all Oliver ever had to do was mention his mom, and he could get away with just about anything.

“And speaking of drunk…” Oliver looked between his two friends as he spoke, eyeing them appreciatively. “I dunno if it’s the booze finally kicking in or what, but can I just say that we all look fucking hot as hell right now?” 

“Right?!” Lily responded brightly. “Steven’s gonna cry his eyes out when he sees what he’s missing!!” Her words were slightly slurred as she mentioned her ex.

Oliver nodded enthusiastically. “Ooh! Wanna make out in front of him tonight?” He offered Lily, a mischievous glint in his eye. It was hard to tell whether he was joking or not. “Make him think we’re fucking or something?”

She giggled brightly. “Yeah!”

Asher’s face fell. Even if it was just a trick to make Lily’s ex jealous, it saddened him to imagine being left as the third wheel yet again. Just when he finally thought he was free!

Oliver seemed to notice his friend’s change in expression. “Hey, we can work on making Landon jealous too!” He grinned at Asher as he spoke. “I mean, I’m down if you are…” He gave his friend a little wink, sending a little flutter through Asher’s stomach as he did so.

Asher felt his cheeks grow slightly warm under Oliver’s gaze… though maybe it was really just the effects of the alcohol. Oliver always made those kinds of flirty little jokes when they’d been drinking, but Asher knew he didn’t really mean it. He was such a tease!

Asher tried his best to just shrug it off. “Ha! As if. And besides, it’s not like he’ll even be able to see anybody over the wall of fangirls he’ll have surrounding him anyway. Not that I can blame them…” 

As quarterback of the football team, it was practically a requirement that a pack of horny underclassmen cheerleaders followed Landon around at every social event, fighting for his attention. It was equal parts pathetic and funny as hell.

“Well, the offer still stands!” Oliver replied, still smiling. His voice was even louder this time, usually one of the telltale signs that the alcohol had started taking effect. 

Before Asher had a chance to respond, the loud creaking of his bedroom door opening reached his ears. “Hey, Lily… Do you mind if I borrow some lip gloss?” Penelope asked, barging right in with the others. 

“Jesus, Penny! Ever heard of knocking?” Asher cried in annoyance.

For a moment, his younger sister seemed to be formulating some kind of witty reply, but her eyes went wide when they fell on the half-empty bottle that now sat on Asher’s night stand. “What’s that?” She asked curiously, stepping closer. “Are you guys drinking in here?!”

His heart sank into the pit of his stomach. “It’s none of your business what we do in my room!”

“Yeah, well it’s Mom and Dad’s business if you’re getting drunk before the dance!” She cried back at him.

Asher narrowed his eyes at the dirty little snitch. “You wouldn’t dare…”

“Wow, Penny.” Oliver rose to his feet abruptly, standing in between Asher and his sister. “You look amazing.”

The younger girl’s expression softened immediately at his words. “Thanks… You too, Ollie.” She batted her eyelashes at him as she spoke. 

“You, uh, have any guys you need to make jealous tonight?” He asked, his smile widening.

Oh my fucking God Ollie, seriously?! It was all Asher could do not to leap to his feet in protest. 

Penelope appeared completely flustered and confused. “Uh, no… I… What?” She laughed a bit nervously. 

“Just a stupid joke.” Oliver assured her. He paused for a moment then, his eyes flicking back to the bottle of whiskey on the table. “Hey, you want some? We’ve got plenty.” He offered.

This time, Asher could not remain silent. “What the hell?! Ollie, she’s a goddamn Freshman!” 

His friend just shrugged. “Same age we were when we started drinking, right?”

Penelope’s disapproval at her brother’s drinking seemed to have completely vanished. “Sure! I’ll try some!”

Lily handed her the bottle, and joined Oliver and Asher in watching Penelope take her very first sip of alcohol.

The fifteen-year-old coughed and sputtered the moment it hit her lips, spewing some of the amber liquid onto Asher’s carpet.

“Careful!” Lily cautioned her. “You don’t wanna ruin your dress.”

Penelope took a breath, then tried again, this time managing to keep the gulp of liquid down.

“Tastes like shit, right?” Oliver asked her with a laugh. “But it’ll feel good in a little bit. I promise.”

Asher was surprised to see his little sister’s lips stretch into a smile. “Thanks, Ollie.”

“Of course! Just… don’t tell anybody, okay?” He asked softly.

Penelope nodded.

“I left my gloss on the bathroom sink, by the way.” Lily chimed-in then, smiling at Asher’s younger sister. “Use as much as you want.”

“Thanks!” Penelope gave Lily and Oliver each sweet smiles, then shot her brother a quick glare before making her way back into the hallway, closing the door behind her.

Asher rounded on Oliver as soon as the door closed, but his friend was one step ahead of him.

“I know, I know… But look — It was only one sip. She barely swallowed most of it anyway! And now she feels all ‘cool’ or ‘included’ or whatever, so she won’t tell your parents.” Oliver assured him. “You’re welcome.”

Asher let out a heavy sigh. “FINE. But what about you hitting on her? What the hell was up with that?!”

He shrugged, looking almost guilty now. “Hate to say it, dude… But your little sister’s kinda hot.”

A sort of strangled sound between a laugh and groan passed Asher’s lips. “Ollie, did you seriously just…?” He felt so torn between amusement, horror, and something else he could not quite name. 

“Don’t act so surprised!” Oliver scoffed. “You should’ve known this was coming eventually. Being hot totally runs in your family!”

Asher laughed brightly. “Right, says the guy whose mom was named People Magazine’s Most Beautiful Woman how many years in a row? Dude, look in a mirror.”

Lily raised her hand then, shushing them. “If you two lovebirds are done flirting, I think I hear somebody at the door.”

“Shit.” Asher muttered, hastily shoving the bottle of alcohol under his bed. “C-come in!” He called, grateful that whoever was visiting this time had at least decided to knock first.

Elaina stepped uncertainly through the doorway, smiling shyly at them. “Sorry… Mom wanted me to come get you guys. She said she wants to get some pictures before the limo gets here?” Her eyes darted between the three teenagers for a moment. “Wow! You guys all look great, by the way.”

Asher smiled warmly at his littlest sister. “Thanks, Lainey. Tell Mom we’ll be right down.”

The little girl gave a small nod before disappearing out of sight once more.

Asher turned to smile at his friends. A pleasant warmth had begun spreading through his chest, and he knew that the alcohol’s effects were slowly catching up with him. Hopefully we didn’t overdo it… Guess we’ll see, huh? “Alright guys… ready to do this?”

“Hell yeah!” Oliver replied with a grin.

Lily smiled at her two friends as she rose to her feet. “Okay, so game plan for tonight. One, make Steven as jealous as we possibly can. Two, avoid Ollie’s ex like the plague. Three, commence phase two of Operation: Get Asher Laid.”

A bright burst of laughter passed Asher’s lips at her words. “Wait, what was phase one?”

“Getting you in a suit.” Lily replied with a shrug. “Ollie’s right. You look totally hot tonight, Ash.” She gave an almost wistful little sigh before making her way toward the bedroom door. “Let’s go!”

Asher eagerly followed his friends, a wide smile on his lips as he imagined how amazing Landon would look at the dance, and wondered what sort of excitement the rest of the evening might bring.

25 thoughts on “9.7: Getting Ready

  1. Wow, Asher looks so grown up. Not that it covers his mayor sins here – his parents would be pretty pissed. I mean, besides drinking age 14 is a daydream they made up and hard alcoholics would go by 18+ in his mothers country too, why does ist have to be the good whisky if they think it tastes like shit?? It breaks my heart. That stuff isn’t meant for chugging down from the bottle, too expensive to be stolen and you really shouldn’t put it back in the cabinet after putting all your nasty bacteria all over it. And they don’t seem to have that much control yet if talking slurred is a thing when they wanted to stay fit for a show. It’s really obvious too and they must smell like it right now.

    Ollie hitting on Asher seems to be a bigger thing. I mean some of it is playful, but the way he insists on “Asher is pretty” does make me feel like there could be a bigger thing hidden. The move on Penny was good, but it felt a bit too controlled for his slightly drunk behavior before. He’s not really into her, though he recognizes her for being pretty. With Asher though there might be some underhand feelings – or just feeling really comfortable joking around with his friends, who knows?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, the fact that Asher and his friends are still very much “kids” is super apparent in their actions here! They’re being pretty irresponsible! And as for the expensive whiskey, awful as it is to say, Ollie’s mom has millions and millions of dollars and he’s been spoiled his whole life, so he doesn’t bat an eye at wasting a $200 bottle of whiskey like that, and Asher and Lily unfortunately don’t care much either 😬

      You’re right that Ollie seems pretty flirty toward BOTH Rosebrook siblings here… but it’s hard to say how much is sincere and how much is just playful joking/a little influence from the alcohol 🤷🏻‍♀️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Damn, they’re all so hot in their fancy clothes!
    Fun little fact: The dress Lily is wearing and Asher’s clothes is actually in my CC folder as well xD How funny is that!

    I can’t wait to hear more of the dance 🙂 I hope Asher gets close to Landon and stuff 😉

    Oh, and I can’t help wonder if Ember will be able to smell the alcohol on their breath. I’m sure she wouldn’t approve of them drinking before a dance.

    I’m starting to see images of Oliver and Penelope together in the future xD That would be so awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hehe you’ve got good taste in cc! Hehe

      Next chapter we will learn what happens at the dance! And whether or not they get caught too! They really have to be careful. Hopefully they pop a few mints before going out for pictures!

      And as for Ollie and Penelope, they both seem to feel a little attraction, huh? So it could happen! We shall see 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Oliver is smooooth. He got Penny under control very quickly. I do have to wonder if he is looking at her as more than just Asher’s annoying little sister. She’s obviously into Ollie, maybe because of his mother. I hope not because I really do like him and that would hurt his feelings, although I’m sure he’s used to it.

    And poor Asher, I think he totally feels like a third wheel. No prospects for a date and everyone else is hooking up or at least pretending to. I don’t think Ollie knows how his flirting with Asher actually makes him feel, or I don’t think he would do it. I feel really bad for Asher right now. He’s pining for someone who’s probably not attainable, but haven’t we all done that at some point?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Smooth is right! Ollie is super charismatic and mayyyyybe a touch manipulative when it suits him, but not in a malicious way haha

      Hard to say how serious his flirting with Penny is right now (or hers with him!). Do they really like each other? 🤔

      Asher is definitely feeling left out here, and you’re right — I don’t think Ollie realizes how his flirting makes Asher feel 😦 Poor kid. Hopefully things will go well at the dance and he’ll get to see Landon! Even if he’s unattainable, Asher definitely doesn’t mind enjoying the view 😈 hehehe

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Wow! Ollie is THE party boy! Going to make out with both his bffs in order to make their targets jealous. Way to take one for the team, Oll (and have fun in the process yourself!) 😏

    Ollie did some quick thinking with Penny. Good job!

    Now it’s up to Asher to maybe sorta kinda catch Landon’s eye at the dance. I do hope something happens between them. Maybe in the bathroom? OR follow in his great uncle’s footsteps and use a bush. Bahahaaaa!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ollie is definitely a flirt and a bit of a party guy, it’s true! We’ll see next chapter is he actually follows through on those makeout sessions though hehehe and that flirting came in handy with Penny too!

      Asher and Landon will… interact in some way at the dance. But I will leave the details a mystery 😈 dying laughing at the bush suggestion 😂 gotta keep the proud family tradition of bush BJs alive! 😂😂😂

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Yes waste of good whisky there. I think it might be obvious to the parents what they’ve been up to just hope it doesn’t bite them in the ass too much. I wonder about Ollie…little tease and a little flirt. The alcohol might make Asher braver but I hope he doesn’t overdo it. Teenagers…the stuff I hear at work about parties makes me cringe. No chance of alcohol at the dances at ours..not just staff but resource officers checking and searching if necessary.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah they’re really gonna have to be careful to not get caught! And you’re right — overdoing the alcohol could be another mistake too 😬😬😬 We’ll find out Wednesday how Homecoming goes!

      And wow, sounds like your school is pretty intense! Which is smart… I’m sure lots of kids try sneaking alcohol into the dances!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Our school has SRO in the building at all times not just for dances. We just this year also have mental health professionals in all our buildings district wide. The PD brings their K9 unit at random to search for drugs.

    I can’t wait to see what happens

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wowie. Getting drunk before the homecoming. I mean, you do you, but you guys should drink at least soemthing you think tastes good, rather then just drink because it’s ”fancy” or ”expensive” 😛 Not just to get that liquid courague to kick in, but also to feel good as if goes down! That’s Ocha’s 4 teens advise of the day! lol jk

    Humm, I think Ollie is half-joking, half-saying the truth when he started to hit on both rosebrooks. I mean, it’s hard to tell when someone is drunk, because, duh, he just blures out the first thing that pops in his mind. I wouldn’t be surprised if Asher and Ollie had uhhh ”something” and then Ollie was like ”oh wait I really am straight” adn Asher is just left being sad. I mean, I *think* Ollie would tell Asher if he was bissexual, right, right!?

    FYI I could totally Picture Ollie dating Penelope, but, in the future, when the diference of age is like 21/24 and not 15/18. Also give Asher a while to sink in this thoughts.

    Ugh. I feel like Lily won’t enjoy this homecoming. Having the sole purpouse of making your ex jelous and just not..enjoying the party is such a childish ( notice I didn’t say ”teen” a lot of adults still do that) thing to do. But I guess she’s still pretty hurt from the breakup, and that’s her way of dealing with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha it’s good advice! They totally wasted that fancy alcohol that they didn’t even like. Whoops… 😛

      As for Ollie… hard to say! I see what you mean — there could very well be a touch of truth behind his teasing of Asher. It might be something that comes up later? Hehe but we’ll see… He’s certainly seeming interested in Penelope too! Flirting with both Rosebrooks hehe

      Hopefully Lily will have a good time at the dance! You’re right that she’s being pretty childish, but they’re all still pretty immature right now. Hopefully they can all learn to grow up a little too!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

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