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Alice and I pull away just as the sliding door begins opening from the inside. My heart is racing as me and Alice glance at each other nervously before I look to the door just as Dakota closes it. He looks between the two of us with his brown eyes.
“You do know this is the makeout spot, right?” he says. Alice and I stiffen and she looks at me in horror.
“And… who are you making out with exactly?” I ask him, turning around fully to face Alice’s younger brother. Alice follows suit, still close to my side.
Dakota sighs, stuffing his hands into his pocket. “Unfortunately, you make a good point, Yanamarie.” He thinks over his words for another second like he’s remembering something. “I don’t think girls like me very much…”
“Yeah, that’s because they think you’re gay,” Alice laughs, rolling her eyes at her clueless brother. I laugh along with her, my itchy bangs floating to my eyes. Dakota seems shocked and gasps in horror.
“Why?! That’s not true!” Dakota fights as Alice and I continue laughing.
“You’ve never dated before, so what do you expect? You’ve never even showed interest in any girls here!” Alice says. Dakota sputters, his hair flitting above his head. I laugh at him.
“Who should I date, then?” he whispers to himself in deep thought. I cringe slightly, worried about what he might be thinking or who he’s thinking of. The same look is engraved on Alice’s face as we look to each other.
“Don’t go getting any i--” Alice starts.
“Oh! How bout Lilith?” Dakota starts.
“Dak, that’s not--”
“But Maura is really cute, though…”
“What about Haven?! She has a crush on me, right?!” His eyes gleam in anticipation as Alice face palms.
“Dak, you idiot,” she mumbles, the sound stifled by her hands in her face as she shakes her head. I just sigh at the two.
“Dakota, do you really like any of them?” I ask him. He bites his lip, already knowing where I’m intending to go with this. He shakes his head reluctantly. “Then you shouldn’t ask any of them out. That’s just nasty and cruel.”
Alice looks at me and mouths ‘thank you,’ while Dakota sighs.
“I hate it when people are right and I’m wrong,” he mumbles just as the door opens once more. And out comes who else but Libitina and Brandi.
Libi’s brown eyes convey confusion as she glances over the three of us. “You… you do know this is the makeout spot, right?” she asks, raising her eyebrows.
I groan, rubbing my hands over my face while Alice falls back onto the deck with a grumble of frustration. “Yeah, we figured out by Dakota’s lack of girlfriend,” I snap. Alice chuckles, not bothering to sit up. Her green eyes roam the stars.
I see Libi stiffen, but I pay her no mind as the two sit beside Dakota. “So, what you guys talking about?” Brandi asks, adjusting her spaghetti straps to her gleaming silver shirt.
“Who I should date,” Dakota states as he leans back, running a hand through his light curly hair.
“As long as it’s not me, I’m good,” I say, causing everyone to laugh. Brandi takes a swig from a flask she brought outside with her, passing it to Dakota. I can smell the alcohol from here as Dakota coughs on it.
“I don’t think anyone would date you, Yana,” Libi says through her soft giggles. My stomach churns and I can tell Alice is smirking even though I can’t see her face.
Dakota huffs at Libi. “And you’re one to talk, Miss Single?” I watch as Libi’s cheeks redden and she sticks her tongue out at him.
“Yeah, but Yana doesn’t have feelings,” Libi persuades, rolling her eyes in the process.
Dakota glances between Alice and I suspiciously—like he knows something. “Really? Interesting.” My stomach churns.
The five of us fall into a peaceful silence. I lie next to Alice eventually, gazing up at the stars with her warmth by my side. She smiles as she intertwined her hand in mine, something the others don’t notice due to their buzz.
After a few minutes, Alice begins showing me her favorite constellations, explaining the meanings behind them. “See that group of stars there?” she whispers, pointing to a cluster of the bright lights shaped in a horse.
I nod, causing her hair to rustle underneath my head.
“That’s Pegasus. It was named after the legendary Roman horse, born from Medusa and Posidien. See it’s wings?” She points slightly above the horse. “He’s flying away from her, free as can be.”