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Citrus

By @Jasmines_Space

C1: Halloween is the only time you can look disgusting and have an excuse.

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“Oh, for the sake of everything holy, will you pick a costume.” I groaned while collapsing onto Talon’s unmade bed. You would think that standing at 6’4 and lanky, his options would be limited to the basic male costumes. However, Talon Crenshaw was not going to be limited. He held up the same white sheet looking fabric against his face.

“Excuse me for caring about what I wear. Unlike others.” He pulled up another shirt, an emerald green. He had been switching between the same two outfits for the past ten minutes.

“Your options haven’t changed in the four years it took for you to pick them out,”I throw one of his many pillows at his towering body in front of the mirror, “And I care about what I wear. That’s why I was smart enough plan my outfit.” Talon picks up the offending pillow before throwing himself onto the bed next to me. His room was impressive, to say the least. It had always been. With a king sized bed, a walk in closet, a grand bathroom and a terrace, he never questioned when I just showed up to his house and passed out in his bed. It’s not like he needed all the space.

Talon rolled his body until he half laid on me. I squawked and swatted at him. He let out a large sigh and pretended not to notice me batting at him. “Well I have this amazing quality called being spontaneous. I don’t plan a thing out.” I would have rolled my eyes at him but my face was too close to his armpit for me to want to chance it. I pinched the soft olive oil colored skin of his underarm and smirked when I heard him give a girlish squeal. He quickly rolled off of me.

“That’s called being a procrastinator. Not being spontaneous.” I fluff my curly black hair back up, to where I hoped it looked better. Talon scowled in my direction while trying to hide the fact that he was rubbing his pinched skin.

“Semantics.” He said while he waved his hands in front of my face. I just shake my head and decide not to tell him that it was actually the definitions of the words. Talon had always been like this. When we had first met in fifth grade gym class he accidentally kicked the soccer ball right into my gut. In return I kicked it into his face. Things just went uphill from there.

“You look good in both. Just choose.” I sat up and walked over to his gigantic mirror and saw a huge section of my hair had been flattened while laying down. I begin to pick at the curly strands, annoyed when it didn’t automatically do what I wanted. Deep down I knew it was unlikely, but it’s on my head, I should have control over it.

“I need something to capture attention.” He sprawls out on his bed, looking at the ceiling in slight distress. I give him my full attention and put my hands on my hips.

“Oh this guy, whose name no one knows?” Talon had been talking about about this guy for months, ever since he met him last summer. That was all he told me and Rylnn. That there was a guy he was interested in, but the thing about Talon was that he didn’t talk about his love life. He said if you don’t talk about it, you won’t get your hopes up. He also claims that’s why he has never had a proper boyfriend. “I didn’t realize he lived so close to come to Rylnn’s house.”

“Let’s talk about your love life Wren.” Talon avoided the question. I allow for the distraction as I glare at him. He knew very well that the men at our school were less than dating material. Or even acquaintance material.

“Haha. Have you sold out Madison Square Garden yet because you’re a comedian.”

“I’m serious. I’m almost positive Connor would lick the ground you walk on.” Talon rolls, propping all his ten thousand pillows up to look at me. He gives me a smirk as I fake a shiver.

“Connor? That creep would lick anything.”

“I’m pretty sure his tongue is made of sandpaper at this point.” Talon laughs, clutching his stomach.

“Let’s talk about something that doesn’t make me want to vomit. Like your costume.” I call over his booming laughter. My phone chimes and I dig it out of my bra. I’m tempted to put it on silent but curse instead when I see the time. “****. We’re late.” Normally, Rylnn likes punctuality and normally I drive Talon everywhere. So that’s un-achievable.

Talon sobers up long enough to yell out in frustration, “Which costume?”

“Go with the Green Giant, those tights…” I trail off as I shoot him a mocking thumbs up. He responds by flipping me the bird. Grabbing the two options he left on the floor.

” Are you blind? It’s Peter Pan you silly *****.” I look at him to see if he is joking. When I realize he isn’t I burst out laughing.

“In what world is Peter Pan a towering giant!” I fall back onto his pillows.

“So Toga dude? Maybe I’ll pair it with some wings and call myself a angel.” He mumbles. Talon then goes into the bathroom to actually start getting ready. He took more time then me to do hair and I have a ton that needs product. I stay quiet for 10 minutes and listen to him hum.

“Hurry up Tal. We’re already running late.”

“You can’t be late to a halloween party. It’s like, against the rules.”

“You tell that to Rylnn when she kicks our asses.” I mutter as I roll off the bed again, becoming restless. I walk towards the mirror to look at my appearance. Clad in a two piece tiger suit, I can barely breathe but it’s worth it. Its skin tight long sleeve crop top had been hidden in the back of my closet, away from my mother’s prying eyes. It would take the strength of God to go out in this outfit if she saw what it really looked like on my body. In the mirror I shake my butt to get the tail swishing, enjoying the overall look and how my hair hid the headband to my ears. The minimal eye makeup made my brown eyes look sultry. I silently thanked Rylnn for convincing me to get this costume.

It’s another 20 minutes before Talon comes out the bathroom again. He leaves the room and comes back with a pair of large white wings. His mother works for a small movie production crew and she’s in charge of the props, but I have the suspicion that these wings were not for Halloween purposes.

“Your mom is going to murder you if you ruin those.”

“If she finds out. But she won’t. Strap me up?” He holds the wings out to me with an innocent smile on his face. I grab the black straps and pull extra hard on them. I don’t stop until Talon’s body rocks and he lets out a strangled gasp. I give him a wicked smile before tying it off in the back.

“I could just run and tell her. Watch as she loses her **** on you.”

“Well I can only hope you don’t. My ass is officially in your care.”

I snort as I sit back on the bed, “Gee, thanks. I’ll treasure it.” I watch as he continues to fiddle with his jet black hair. When he reaches for his hair gel, I spring up from my seat.

“Oh no. If you do your hair now, we won’t get to the party until Christmas.” I grab my keys from his dresser and begin making my way out his room. He shouts as I flick his lights off on the way out.

“You can’t rush the finished product, Wren. That’s just rude.” He throws his arms up, but grabs his stuff and begins following me.

“Just put it on in the car.” At the suggestion, Talon grabs his chest and doubles over like he’s been punch. Then he staggers down to his knees. I stop to watch his dramatics when he starts making choking sounds. 

“Put me out of my misery.” 

“In the car.” I repeat as I continue down his stairs and past his living room. I even set the alarm system for him. 

“With the way you drive…” He trails off and slowly slides his eyes towards me. I open the door to his house and wait for him to lock the door before walking over to my silver baby.

Over the top of the car, I say, “There is nothing wrong with my driving you ****. Now get in or get left.” Talon mumbled under his breath the entire ride. I was tempted to swerve as he slowly ran his hands through his hair but didn’t want him to stab his eye out by accident in my car. It would definitely stain. The short drive over to Rylnn’s house and the multiple texts I received from her revealed we were probably the last people to arrive at the party. Multiple cars parked on the long drive way, some on the grass. Rylnn had a big house and property, halfway lost in the woods. It was a towering brown building. People were filtering in and out the front door and the backyard gates. When I saw a boy lean over a nearby bush I knew Rylnn raided her parents liquor cabinet.

I parked farther away from the house, so no one would throw up on the hood of my car. Again. “Let’s go bust a move.” Talon, with slightly crooked eyebrows, got out the car already dancing to the distant music booming. His wings bounced heavily in a corny way. It was a wonderful thing that her neighbors were a distance away. I waved hi to some people as I passed them. The inside of the house was vibrating with the bass of the music. So much that the paintings on the walls are about to fall. I know from experience that they can. I let Talon walk in front of me, shoving people out of his way and me walking a clear path.

When he looked back to yell something at me he narrowed his eyes. “What did I say about me doing all the work?” However he continues to clear our path.

“I’m 5’5. Do you want me to be trampled?” I say as I avoid a teetering drunk person.

“It would be hilarious.”

“I will headbutt your stomach.” I say with no hesitation. We manage to make it into the kitchen where less people are lingering. I wave to a few girls from our school while Talon grabs a cup of green liquid. Before I can say anything he throws back the entire cup.

I raise an eyebrow when he lets out a high pitched sound and shakes his head. With bright eyes he whirls around to say, “She got the good stuff.” We head towards the packed living room. I actively avoid the area of grinding bodies and heat but Talon jumps in head first. I walk along the edges when I spot a ping pong table.

I head towards it, looking for the hostess. She’s unnaturally good at beer pong and usually spends her nights getting people smashed before following suit. I see Rylnn’s familiar blonde hair and slip towards her. She’s clearly winning her game as the other two guys have 4 cups left and are leaning against each other. “You’re doing pretty well.”

When Rylnn spins around, I almost take a step back when I see her face. Instead of a pristine face with light makeup, her face is sporting a giant gash. Blood leaks down from the cut onto her neck. “Hey Wren,” She leans down to hug me tight. I return it, but not as hard. I’m still shocked by her face, “You’re late.”

“I drove Talon.” I pull back and look at her again. “Jesus Christ. What-” She spins around once, flashing the entire costume. It’s really just a white shirt covered in blood but her face is the selling point. Even with the deadly gash on her face, she was still stunning. Her blue eyes really highlighted her face.

“I decided to change my costume last minute. I’m a killer.”

“I see. I thought you were going as Cinderella.”

“Cinderella depends on men. A murderess kills them.” She says as if it’s supposed to be well known. I wave hello to the one boy I know. His name is Chris and he’s in my history class. He staggers forward and tries to throw the ball into Rylnn’s cup. She grabs the missed ping pong ball and easily throws it into another cup. The boy I don’t know groans before trying to grab the cup. I watch him struggle for a minute before he takes a break and leans against the table.

“Halloween is the only time you can look disgusting and have an excuse.” Rylnn says as she sits down on a stool she brought from her kitchen. I sit on one of her couches that she pushed against the wall. I continued watching the dude try to raise the cup to his mouth. It was either that, the grinding mass that Rylnn wanted to call a dance floor or the couple on the other end close to dry *******.

Before I can open my mouth, Talon shows up and goes to plant a quick kiss on Rylnn’s cheek as his normal way of greeting her. He stops and lets out a whistle when he sees her face. “Did I miss a Cinderella movie?” Talon says as he grabs the poorly thrown ping pong from the air. He was usually Rylnn’s partner.

He quickly sails it into another cup. Chris and his friend sag against the wall and start the process of grabbing another cup. I watch in what feels like evil amusement. “Where’s Aaron?” I asked absentminded. Rylnn’s boyfriend should be attached to her hip. I think about Aaron. Loose emphasis on boyfriend.

I watch as one of her opponents actually land a ball in her cup. Rylnn quickly turns back towards the table and throws back the cup the ball landed in. With a scowl she grunts, “Ugh, don’t mention that little ******** around me,”

“Oh no.” Me and Talon groan in unison. Rylnn and Aaron define an on and off relationship. They would date then breakup over the smallest things. Then after a few weeks apart they would become lovey dovey. “What happened this time?” I watch Rylnn sink the last two balls easily, much to the dismay of the others.

“He is a sleazy ******** and doesn’t know how to appreciate me.”

“We told you that the second time you both broke up.” I said leaning my head on my hand.

Talon chips in, “And when he broke up with you to date Ashlee for two weeks.” Hhe grabs a tray of tortilla chips. Rylnn gets up. She starts pacing in the small space she has, grabbing a cup from her clearly won beer pong game.

“Aaron never treated got me off either the useless ****. God why am I so stupid.” She grabs at her hair as she continues to pace.

“You’re not stupid. Men don’t know how to appreciate you or anything good in their lives.” I say as I take a few chips for myself. The first time she had broken up with Aaron, I had been the most supportive person. Me and Talon raided the stores for comfort food and stayed at her house as she cried. Then a week later she had claimed he had changed. The second break up, we did the same thing. The third time Talon told her that she would pay for the service.

“What number was this?” I ask Talon while her back is towards us. He looks towards me with wide eyes and chips hanging from his mouth.

“I thought you were keeping track.” 

“Thirteen,” She says while still pacing, “That’s it. I’m done with him.” When I just blink in her face she quickly says, “I mean it. No more. I’ll even delete his number.” With that, she whips out her phone and quickly deletes the number. She takes a big sip of her drink and continues pacing. 

“You’ve deleted his number before and somehow it becomes un-deleted.” I eat another chip slowly, just to be dramatic.

Talon suddenly perks up. “Wren, stop being such a downer. This requires a special drink.” He waves his cup under Rylnn’s nose. He has been hinting at drinking Rylnn’s special wine that her father bought on his trip to Italy last summer. He claimed that it was for when she was 21 so it would age well but at the rate her father bought drinks, you would think he supported Rylnn’s monthly parties.

“You know what. Yeah!” Rylnn joins in clinking her cup with Talon’s. He lets out a big whoop over the music and bangs his chest. I suddenly hate the idea of watching them chugging a wine bottle. “It’s in my room.” Rylnn says as she begins getting up.

“I’ll get it.” I quickly volunteer. I could get away from the banging music and the couple that is a stage away from doing the dirty on Rylnn’s family couch. The fact that she hasn’t said anything is worrying.

“Are you sure. I can get it myself.” Rylnn looks like she’s about to get up, but I shake my head.

“It’s no problem. Where is it?”

“In my closet, in the shoe box. You can have some too.”

“You know I don’t drink.”I shake my head. I grab a few more chips when I see Talon is close to polishing off the dish. Talon flicks at my fingers and tries to steal a chip from my hand.

“It’s going to be some good booze. You’re missing out.” I nod as I point to the Chris. The boy who I don’t know is leaned against the table drooling and Chris was quietly mumbling while wiggling his fingers in the air.

“That’s a good time? I think one of them is having a breakdown.” I said while raising from my seat. Talon looks at them before grabbing the another chip.

“It’s not a party till someone does.”

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