With her heart fluttering, Nikki waited as Matt weaved through the crowd to reach her.
"Hey Nikki," he said happily when he finally made it close enough to communicate.
"Hi Matt," she replied, a genuine smile spreading across her face. Without even realising that she was doing it, a hand drifted to her hair and started to twirl it in her fingers.
"Great party, it was nice of you girls to invite me,"
"As if we wouldn't! We love having you here."
"Well its nice of you to say, but let's face it, I don't always make it to the 'a-list' parties, I tend to be too far down the geek end of the spectrum."
"As if! Hell if it wasn't for Sammi I probably wouldn't get invited to half the parties I do either."
"Bullshit," Matt laughed. "You're so hot everyone wants you at their party." Nikki blushed and tried to laugh it off, changing the topic to ask if Matt would like something to drink. He accepted and the two of them headed for the kitchen, chatting amiably. It was relaxed and natural conversation and soon Nikki wasn't even feeling nervous, but rather simply happy. That lasted until she spied Ben over Matt's shoulder.
Seeing Ben reminded her of what they had planned for later that night and suddenly her stomach was doing flip-flops. It must have shown on her face as well.
"Is everything ok?" he asked with genuine concern.
"Oh yeah, my stomach just didn't feel right for a bit. Nothing another drink won't fix!"
"Maybe you shouldn't if its your stomach?" Matt suggested.
"Oh don't be a party pooper!" Nikki declared, dragging him off to get another drink.
Matt and Nikki chatted for over an hour before Sammi came around to check up on where her friend was at. The party was really kicking into gear. The music was cranking, people were dancing and slowly couples were pairing off and disappearing for a bit of fun before returning to the party,
"Hey, what's going on?" Sammi asked, her hips shaking with the rhythm of the music.
"Just chatting with Matt," Nikki grinned.
"Hey Sammi, great party," Matt chimed in.
Sammi leaned in close to her friend to say in her ear, "Don't forget the thing later, ok? I'll come back for you when its time." She said it quietly enough that Matt wasn't able to hear (much to Nikki's relief).
Sammi drifted off into the party, leaving Nikki with Matt. She stood chatting, only slightly distracted as part of her mind tried to digest how things were going to work if Matt was still hanging around the party at the moment of the big reveal.
Matt had gone to the bathroom when Sammi came back for Nikki.
"Come on Nikki, its show time," Sammi said, grabbing her friend by the elbow to steer her away." Nikki allowed herself to be led to where Ben was standing with the usual bunch of jocks and wannabe football girlfriends. The two of them stood close by but were ignored.
"You know, I'm not so sure about this,' Nikki said, glancing back to where she had been talking with Matt.
"What? But you have to be. I mean this was all about what that fucker did to you!" Sammi insisted.
"I know that, but Matt is just there and like, we're getting on so well. If I do this and people see that I'm involved and Matt hears about it, it's probably over before I even have a shot with him. I mean should I really put that at risk for the sake of revenge?"
As they spoke they saw Ben take a girl by the arm and lead her off away from his little group of cronies. She glanced back over her shoulder toward her own group of friends. They all smiled and clapped encouragingly.
Nikki knew what the girl was in for. It twisted her gut. She wished she could run over and tell her not to go with him. It wouldn't work though. She turned to Sammi, about to tell her that it was time to plough ahead with their plan. After all, just because Ben took one girl into a private space didn't mean he would be done for the night. It wasn't like he had any morals. Before she spoke though, Matt reappeared, glancing around the room looking for her.
What should she do? Call it quits before risking things with Matt or plough ahead and try and scheme a way to do it without Matt knowing about it.
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