Monday, 6 March 2017

Paradise Lost Chap 9

CHAPTER 9 TRANSPARENT
Upton was staring at me.
He was staring at my profile and I was staring at the ocean, sipping champagne and trying not to crack
up laughing. We were sitting, almost lying, on a double lounge chair with a thick striped cushion, on a
verandah overlooking the water. The sky was this sort of purplish black, blanketed again with stars.
Set against the dark turquoise blue of the water, it was like something out of a surrealist painting. I
couldn't believe views like this actually existed in nature.
And I couldn't believe Upton was looking at me as if I were even more beautiful than the view. No
one had ever stared at me in quite that way before. Like he was trying to memorize every inch of my
face. Was this part of his playboy shtick?
The thought made me feel suddenly defensive. Like I didn't want him to think I was going into this all
naive and wide-eyed like some inexperienced moron. I turned slightly on my side to face him better.
I looked into his face and managed not to blush. "So tell me . . . how many girls at this party have you
hooked up with? "
Upton gave a short, incredulous laugh. "Is this your transparency thing kicking in again? " he asked.
"Maybe," I said with a grin, thrilled that he had paid attention during our last conversation. He pushed
himself up on his side and looked through the half-open glass doors that led to the penthouse. Inside,
the music had been cranked up and the voices were growing louder as the drinks continued to flow.
"None," he said confidently, dropping back down. I looked at him skeptically until he smiled and
added, "Tonight."
I laughed and looked away, fiddling with the skirt of my dress. "And how many girls at this party have
you kissed? " I asked, my heart racing.
He reached over and simply grazed the inside of my arm with his fingertips. I thought I was going to
drown in longing right there.
"None," he whispered. "Tonight."
I looked up at him, looked right into his eyes, and held my breath. I almost couldn't believe what I
was about to do.
"Well then," I said. "Let me be the first." And then I leaned in and kissed him.
How I didn't explode is beyond the laws of physics. This was pure attraction. I knew almost nothing
about this guy aside from his name and the fact that every other girl at this party wanted him, and I
didn't care. As he reached around my waist and pulled me to him, I didn't care about anything other
than the fact that my toes and fingers and thighs and arms and ears were tingling. I wanted to press
every single inch of my body against his. Only once in my life had I felt attraction like this, and that
was with Dash. And I had been drugged at the time.
But tonight, I was clear. Upton made me feel gorgeous, uninhibited, totally daring. Totally not me.
And I was loving it.
Then I felt his hand traveling from my bare stomach northward, and I jolted backward. Instantly, the
crashing waves and the laughter and the music came rushing in on me. It was like waking up from a
deep sleep only to enter sensory overload. Kissing was one thing. I wasn't sure I was ready to go
further than that.
"What happened?" Upton asked, pulling away.
"Nothing! Nothing," I said, flipping onto my back. I tried to shove my hands into my hair, and then
realized it was pinned up and carefully extricated my fingers. "I just... needed some air."
Upton's fingertips trailed up and down my inner forearm, sending pleasant shivers throughout my
body.
"Have you gotten enough yet?" he asked, inching closer and bringing his face toward mine.
I giggled and looked at him in a mock-stern way. "I'm thinking we should go back to the party."
Upton's eyebrows rose. "Why? I'm having plenty of fun right here."
"Me too," I said, racking my brain for something I could say that wouldn't offend him and wouldn't
make me sound like a complete prude. "It's just... I came down here to hang out with my friends, and I
feel like I'm neglecting them." Upton smiled. "All right then. We'll go inside. But I plan on continuing
this at a later date." I couldn't help but smile in response. I definitely wanted to hang out with him
again. Upton pulled me up off the lounge in one swift motion. As soon as we were through the doors,
it was obvious that something was up. Almost everyone at the party was gathered near the front door
of the suite, and there was an enthusiastic din coming from the center of the crowd. The only person
who didn't appear to have any interest in what was going on was Sawyer Hathaway, who was leaning
against the wall near the verandah doors, picking at his fingernails.
"It's so good to see you!" a girl's voice squealed. A girl with a British accent. "Really? Do you like
it? I just had it cut."
"I love it," I heard Taylor say. "I've been thinking about chopping mine, too."
"Oh, you definitely should. It's so freeing!"
Finally, the girl with the accent made her way out of the crowd and into the open. She had short blond
curls pushed back from her face with a skinny headband, a sun-kissed tan, and seriously defined arms.
She wore a tiny spaghetti-strap boho dress with swirls of brown, red, and orange all over it, and at
least half a dozen beaded necklaces of all different lengths. She linked arms with an athletic-looking
girl with long black hair, tan skin, and a regal air about her.
They both giggled as they faced the partygoers, their backs to me and Upton.
"Who's that?" I asked.
"That would be Poppy," he replied with an amused look in his eye. "And it appears as if she's brought
along a friend."
"Everyone, this is Sienna Marquez. Sienna, this is . . . everyone!"
"Pleased to meet you," Sienna said in a thick Spanish accent. She and Poppy both laughed as if
sharing some private joke.
"Are you all enjoying the parry?" Poppy asked, lifting her free arm. Dozens of skinny gold bangles
jangled down to her elbow.
The crowd answered with a general cheer of approval. Daniel Ryan broke away from his friends and
was about to hug her when Poppy's eyes fell on Upton. She lit up like a sparkler on the Fourth of July,
dropped her friend's arm, and clapped her hands together in glee.
"There's my yummy boyfriend!"
I glanced at Upton, whose face broke into a smile as he released my hand and the girl came sprinting
across the room. She launched herself into his arms from about three feet away, wrapping all four
limbs around him like a koala and sticking her tongue so far down his throat that she must've tasted his
lunch.
I was so surprised I actually stumbled aside a few paces. I found myself staring at Daniel, who was
standing directly across from me, his mouth hanging slightly ajar, looking as dumbfounded as I felt.
Upton had a girl friend?

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Terima kasih sebab sudi menerjah ke ruangan saya kali ini.
Anda diwajibkan untuk komen. Amaran keras!
*ceh tipu je HAHA =P*