Casting - Volume 1.1: Drained,
c a s t i n g
volume 1.1: Drained
Copyright Lucas Sterlingtree 2016
Why is it that cell phones always go off at the worst possible moments? I was stupid enough to have mine set to its loudest ringer, and the sound, shrill and alarming, suddenly erupted from the backseat of my car. I instinctively reached for it, but before I could even touch it, my arm was held securely onto, and my hand was placed on a mound of perfectly rounded flesh, the silky feel of Victoria’s Secret padding inviting beneath it.
‘Ignore it,’ whispered Courtney Gainsfield hoarsely into my ear, and I was more than happy to comply, as her tongue found mine again.
By the third ring, though, I couldn’t ignore it anymore. I mean, it was really fucking loud, and it was doing its best to ruin what was shaping up to be a really great date night hookup. With my left hand still on her chest, and my mouth still devouring hers, I reached towards the back of the car and fumbled for a bit until my hand closed in on the evil device. In my head, I cursed a thousand plagues on whoever was interrupting me, before glancing at the screen.
GRANT was flashing above the caller ID picture of a light caramel-complexioned teenage boy tossing back a tequila shot, and I knew instantly that I wouldn’t ignore the call… even though it meant that I would knock his lights out the next time I saw him.
I swiped a finger across the screen of the cell phone and placed it to my ear, just as Courtney brazenly stuck her hand down my pants.
‘This had better be fucking important,’ I growled into the mouthpiece of the phone.
‘That depends,’ came Grant’s usual calm voice, clear on the other side of the call. ‘You tell me if you consider the fact that Vanessa Drained important.’
Grants words put me on immediate alert; my heart pounded painfully, and I pushed Courtney’s hand away abruptly.
‘What? When?’ I demanded, turning away from her.
‘A couple of hours ago,’ Grant responded. ‘I found her on her bedroom floor; she barely had the strength to call me.’
‘What the hell could she have been doing on her own for her to Drain?’ I snapped into the phone, far more disturbed by the news than I was angry at it. I didn’t even care that Courtney was present. ‘She knows how dangerous it is for her to be–’
‘She had a vision of Stephen,’ Grant interrupted me quietly.
Dead silence followed those words, neither of us saying anything. I sure as hell didn’t know what to say. An unpleasant chill ran through me, and I didn’t know whether to scream out loud or pass out silently. When things once again started making a little more sense to me, I became all too aware that I wasn’t alone, and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to say anything with Courtney around, so I yanked at my car door handle and hopped out of the car. I heard her yell something in protest behind me, but I ignored her before slamming the door shut in her face. I took several long strides away from the car before speaking into the phone again.
‘She had a vision of Stephen?’ I repeated, not at all surprised to hear my voice come out in an unintentional whisper. ‘I don’t understand. I thought –’
‘Yeah, didn’t we all?’ Grant cut in. ‘It looks like he might not be dead, after all.’
We both fell into silence again. Leaves rustled everywhere around me, both in trees and on the ground. Even though I wasn’t even facing her, I could feel Courtney glaring at me from the passenger seat of my car.
I didn’t know how to take this news; I didn’t even know what to feel. And, judging from Grant’s voice, neither did he. A very cold breeze whipped at me, made worse by the fact that I was barely even clothed, and I knew instantly what I had to do. To be honest, it was the only thing that I wanted to do at all.
‘Where are you guys?’ I asked, already turning back to the car.
‘We’re at my house,’ Grant answered. ‘I couldn’t leave her alone, but her mom might have gotten suspicious seeing me in her room while she was asleep. So, I brought her over here before her mom got home, saw her and started freaking out. I’m lucky my parents didn’t see us either.’
If I’d done that, Vanessa’s mom might have had a million SWAT officials at my parents’ doorstep in a heartbeat. Grant could get away with it without a fuss, though. It was one of the perks of having a gay best friend.
‘I’m coming over,’ I said, hearing the finality in my voice.
‘You don’t have to do that, Ryder. I wasn’t trying to mess up whatever plans you had tonight – I just wanted you to know what was going on.’
He knew as well as I did that that didn’t mean a thing to me.
‘Yeah, fuck you,’ I said flatly. ‘I’m coming over.’