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Liam shrugged slightly when she didn't wait for a response, not remotely offended or upset. He would have given her a ride back, but to each his own. As he pulled back onto the main road, he felt his phone vibrate in his pocket. He forwarded the text to Adriana without hesitation, knowing that she would want to go to any party and it would be a time to catch up with her.

He dropped Eleanor back off at the garage and walked to his apartment. As he settled onto the oversized couch, he realized that Shane wouldn't have invited Shelby, and he figured that it would be a good way for her to get to know people. Heading back into town he went to the hardware shop, figuring that would be the first place to look for her.

Liam checked the door to see whether it was open or not and entered when it pushed open. The air was refreshing compared to the heat outside and he relaxed upon entering.

"Hello?" he called out, feeling silly for being in the store when no one else appeared to be.

-----

Adriana was laying on her stomach, flipping through the latest issue of Cosmo when her phone buzzed beside her. She smiled slightly at Liam's text, glad that something interesting was going to happen that evening. She laid out for a little longer, her skin instantly soaking in the rays, kissing her skin. Quickly re-dressing, Adriana headed up the walk and back to her car.

She headed home, wanting to unpack and take a long shower before she got ready for the party. Plus, she was sure that her mother would require her to eat at some point and hold a civil conversation. Just the thought made Adriana want to turn around and go back to the beach, but she pressed the accelerator down a little harder, wanting it to be over faster.

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After creating yet another mile long to do list, Shelby got to work. The store was eerily quiet so she pulled up iTunes on her laptop, turning her favorite playlist on shuffle to fill the store with a mix of punk and indie music. Starting with one of the aisles closest to the wall, Shelby moved methodically down the aisle, making sure all of the items on the shelves were neat before carefully recording the UPC and number of items on the shelves. When she needed to (which was with pretty much every product), Shelby would run to the back to dig through the boxes in order to pull them out to the front.

After her first couple of trips to the back, Shelby had shoved all the unidentified boxes to the front part of the room. Once a box had been identified, she took a Sharpie and wrote out whatever was in the box, along with the UPC and quantity in big her quick, careless print. And then they were stacked along the tall shelving units on the back wall in the store room.

It was while she was in the back room, unearthing a box of plungers, that she thought she heard a voice from the front. She groaned to herself, hoping that someone hadn?t wandered in because the lights were on even though the sign out front very clearly said ?Closed.? Grabbing a couple plungers, she hurried to the front.

?Sorry, we?re clo-,? She began, breaking off when she turned the corner and saw it was Liam. The forced smile and overly bright tone that Shelby had adopted faded into a more relaxed and genuine grin, ?Sorry, I thought you might have been some idiot who doesn?t know what ?closed? means. What's up?"

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Liam was just about to give up when he heard Shelby's voice through the store. He was slightly amused as the 'fake' voice and smile turned into real ones; he worked with the public at times too and completely understood her the need for these attributes. Glancing at the plungers she held, Liam could feel himself smiling slightly.

"Plumbing issues?" he joked softly, knowing that she was probably just restocking.

He didn't answer her question immediately, not really sure of how to say what he wanted to. Liam wanted her to go to the party, but he didn't know why and he didn't know if he wanted her to come with him or not. Needless to say, he should have worked this details out before coming to find her. Ruffling his hair with his hand, his gaze rested gently on her.

"Um, well, there's this party tonight. It's at this place called the Spot. Anyway, a lot of people are going and I just figured it would be a good way for you to meet people and it might help you take your mind off of...things," he said hesitantly, thinking about every word before he allowed it to slip from his lips. Liam leaned gently against one of the shelves, doing his best to appear nonchalant.

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"Big lunch," Shelby smirked in reply to his comment about the plungers. As he brought up the party, Shelby furrowed her brow, watching him carefully as he spoke before turning away to put the plungers away as she carefully considered her response. In theory, it sounded great. She had been thinking, as she worked, that she would need a drink (or seven) at the end of the day but she never drank alone because it made her feel like an alcoholic.

The problem was that going to the party meant that Shelby, in all likelihood, would make bad decisions. Well, that wasn't really the problem. If she were to make a list Shelby would probably place her bad decisions in the 'pro' column. The problem was that she couldn't tell whether Liam was inviting her to the party with him and if he wanted her to make those bad decisions with him. Well even that wasn't necessarily a con. With his strong jawline and piercing blue eyes, she definitely found him attractive and Shelby had always been a fan of the whole friends with benefits deal, as long as the friend didn't get awkward about it. She just couldn't get a read on whether Liam was the sort who would expect her to view her mistakes as something more poetic than they really were. Of course, he had told her that she should go in order to meet people, so Shelby decided his invitation was probably harmless.

Finally, after she had carefully placed the plungers into neat rows before turning back to Liam. Over the course of the morning, the messy bun that had been piled atop her head had migrated lower so that it hung loosely over her left shoulder and wisps of her dark hair had sprung loose to frame her round, fair face, "Yeah, I'll think about it... Do people around here really know how to party though?"

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Liam chuckled at her small joke, enjoying the fact that she appeared to have a decent sense of humor. He watched her steadily, not concerned with appearing anything other than curious as his gaze lingered on her. Her hesitation made him glad that he had left his offer fairly open-ended and hadn't come straight out and asked her to go with him; especially since he wasn't even sure if that was what he wanted.

"You'll just have to come and find out," he said with a slow smile. Liam almost offered to help her again, but felt like he would be pushy if he did and instead backed slowly to the door, "I'll see you tonight then? It's easy enough to find, go up the road, take a right, third left, all the way back."

He left her with a final smile before exiting into the sunny afternoon. Liam straddled his motorcycle easily, not wanting to take Eleanor out again that day, and sped to his parents house. Adriana had sent him an SOS text while he'd been talking to Shelby and he had a feeling that his parents were torturing her. Ten minutes later gates swung open to a long, oak-lined drive that led straight to a large, plantation-style house.

As he pulled up, Adriana exited down the front steps, a bag tossed over her shoulder as she wordlessly settled behind her brother. Liam drove at a more controlled speed back to his apartment where they climbed the stairs and settled onto the couch.

"If I don't go home with someone, I'm staying here tonight," she said calmly, slipping her slender fingers through her hair until it was gathered in a ponytail before she released it and allowed it to fall over her shoulders.

"My sister ladies and gentlemen," he said with a grin, "What if I was planning on bringing someone back here?"

"As if that would ever happen," she muttered, standing again and heading to his kitchen for a glass of water.

The siblings passed the rest of the afternoon in steady conversation. They rarely saw one another, but when they did, they talked about everything and anything; nothing was taboo in their talks. As the sun began its descent, they began to get ready for the evening's festivities.

Adriana had left her long, raven colored hair down, the loose curls bouncing down around her chest. Her make-up was dark enough to be noticeable, but light enough that it looked fairly natural. Instead of a dress, she had opted for a pair of dark wash shorts and a soft yellow top that dipped into a dangerous v-neck and revealed just enough of her tanned, flat stomach. She crossed her bare feet in annoyance, Liam was taking much too long.

A plain black shirt and a pair of jeans later, Liam walked out of the bathroom towards her and frowned when he saw her attire. Before he could protest, she stood, grabbed the keys to his bike, and headed out the door. He followed reluctantly, knowing that the party would be in full swing when they arrived.

Liam had been right, as he parked the bike he could hear the echoes of laughter and chatter as dozens of locals gathered around a blazing fire. Adriana immediately slipped into the crowds, greeting some people, ignoring others, though her focus was on the chilled alcohol; whereas Liam kept to the outskirts, looking for the few people that he talked to.

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As the sun began to set, Shelby followed the directions that Liam had given her earlier at the store. Of course, she didn't really know where she was going. After all, a name like "The Spot" was entirely ambiguous. It could be anywhere. Or nowhere and she was beginning to think that was probably the case because there appeared to be nothing but sand dunes and beach grass on the road he had told her to take. But then there were cars, all parked on the side of the road so she pulled her dilapidated old jeep behind the others and stepped out. Shelby didn't see anyone but she heard the gentle beat of music and peals of laughter.

Without glancing at the mirror, Shelby reached behind her seat to grab the paper bag that the bottle of wine she had brought for herself and hopped out of the Jeep. Of course, Shelby had never been the kind of girl who gave mirrors more than even a passing glance. After getting out of the shower that evening, she had grabbed a white pair of shorts and a charcoal gray tank top that clung to her slender frame because they were easiest to pull from her suitcase. And that was it. She didn't bother with make up and let her hair dry naturally as she had spent the remainder of her evening sailing. The only perfume she wore was the salty spray of the ocean waves and the faint vanilla scent of her shampoo. The only thing she did to alter her appearance before locking the car was toss her flip flops to the passenger seat. She had always preferred the natural feel of her barefeet to shoes or even flip flops.

Shelby followed the voices and a well worn path through the tall beach grass to the Spot. She paused, glancing around at the young people that had gathered in various groups. Shelby noticed Liam on the outskirts but she didn't move towards him. Instead she reached into her pocket and pulled out a swiss army knife, deftly flipping out the corkscrew to pull the cork from her bottle of riesling. She grabbed a red party cup from the stack by the keg and filled it, then set the bottle in a cooler beside the keg filled with various liquors. Shelby grinned as she took a sip from her cup. Judging by the quantity of alcohol, it was clear that people in Camden did, in fact, know how to party.

---

Shane was not the first person to arrive at the party. But he was never the first person anywhere. On his way out of the house, he had heard a good song on the radio and turned around to add it to his iTunes. And then he had decided to completely redo his party playlist before actually leaving the house. But he arrived with music, an ancient boom box that he connected to his iPod to play a mixture of rock and more 'beach-y' music along with the popular hits from the radio and songs that had been popular when they were all in high school. He also brought a keg, cups, and a cooler full of ice.

The keg was placed beside the garbage barrel which had the "Beach Rules" written in Sharpie on the side. Most of these rules were the common "house rules" for beirut and the rules for Kings, along with a few obvious rules like "don't drown," "don't drive drunk," and "Keep it clean (just the beach)." With his duties as host over, Shane poured himself a cup from the tap and glanced around at the small crowd. Seeking something to do, Shane headed over to the volley ball net and jumped in easily.

It wasn't a serious game. No one was keeping score and there was a lot of running after balls that were out of bounds (as marked by four empty beer bottles in the sand) but that gave people plenty of time to drink. Teams constantly changed as people wandered off or got distracted as they refilled their drinks and others jumped in. And this was exactly the way Shane liked it. He wasn't competitive, which was probably good because he wasn't stellar at any sports. He wasn't bad and maybe he could have been good, if he cared in the least.

After playing for awhile, Shane wandered off the court for a refill. During the game, he had tossed his shirt aside and his torso was covered in a light dusting of sand from when he had dived for the ball. He nodded to the Brooks girl as she made her way over to the keg and then headed towards Adriana, glad that Liam had given her the message, "Have a good time at the beach?" Shane asked with an easy grin.

Edited by Just_Ducky

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Reece slowly started retracing her steps and made it back into town about ten minutes later with the help of locals, who all laughed a little when she told them that she was lost. Quickly she walked through town and sending smiles back to people that smiled at her, when she was five minutes from her house Reece took out her phone and sent Kyler a text, I got unlost! I'll be at my house in five. Hitting the send button Reece hurried up her walk and made it to her house faster than she thought, but she stayed outside. Waiting for Kyler to show up and fix her stupid car that decided it didn't like her anymore.

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Adriana glanced away from the easy, if not flirtatious, conversation she was having with a couple of guys she had gone to high school with, when she heard Shane. She licked away the droplets of the sugary coconut rum that had collected on her lips before smiling at him in greeting. Usually she preferred shots of vodka or just a beer, but that wasn't what had been brought to her, and the sugary drink wasn't too horrible.

"Kind of lonely, but nice; it's good to be home," she admitted ruefully. Her bare feet shifted in the sand as she tilted her chin up to look wholly at him, "How was passing out the rest of your flyers?"

She found herself mindlessly sipping the white liquid, though was bored with it before half of what had been brought to her was gone. The sweet taste lingered on her tongue and the alcohol failed to ignite in her system, making the drink a waste of calories.

"Oh, and thanks for the invite," she said with a radiant smile, playfully pushing her hand against his bare chest, "I love hearing about parties secondhand from my brother."

-----

Liam saw Shelby arrive, his light blue eyes watching her momentarily before glancing past her to where Adriana stood. The guys she was talking to were stooges, to say the least, and he was mildly grateful when Shane came up and distracted her. When he went back to find Shelby, she had disappeared from where he remembered seeing her last. Liam tucked his hands in his pockets, fairly relaxed in the setting. He might not be the most social person, but he tended to relax the most in large groups of people.

He made his way through the cooled sand, weaving through the throngs of people until he made it to the alcohol area. Liam instinctively reached for a beer, knowing it would probably be the only one he had. When he drank he tended to do stupid things, like drugs or random girls; not mistakes he tended to be proud of.

Glancing up, he grinned when he saw Shelby, "Couldn't resist?"

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Shane shrugged in response to Adriana's question about the flyers. It had not been interesting enough to elaborate on, so he was glad that she went on to change the subject. "Well, I didn't have your phone number so I sent you a message in a bottle instead. You never got it?" He grinned and held the phone out so she could add herself as a contact. Before today, Shane had never had much of a reason to keep her number. Adriana had always been Liam's little sister, and then his student, and in either case calling her up for a quick chat would have been kind of weird.

---

"I was intrigued by the name," Shelby admitted with a smirk. Looking around at beach and the casual ease that everyone was talking to each other, she had to admit it was a pretty fantastic place for a party. She and her friends would have killed for a place like this back home where most parties ended up being broken up by cops. "And it beats cleaning, so cheers," She grinned and reached out, tapping the rim of her cup to the neck of his bottle before lifting it to her mouth and taking a long sip.

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[sorry! I was out of town, and then sick, and then life happened. Anyway, I'm going to post now :)]]

"No, I didn't. I knew I should have gone in the water a little more often," she said as though truly disappointed by not getting the message in the bottle.

As he handed her his phone, she pulled hers out of her tiny pockets and handed it to him. Adriana had never thought of getting his number, he was more Liam's friend than hers and she was fairly certain that it wouldn't be proper to have her teacher's cell phone number. Her slender fingers slid over his keyboard, quickly adding herself as a contact before handing the phone back to him.

"How'd you get so sandy?" she asked curiously, brushing some of the sticky, white sand from his arm.

-----

Liam accepted her toast and drank slowly from the cold drink. Cold was the only way to drink beer and he knew the slower he drank, the less he would drink, which would be a positive in the long run. Or, at least, that was what he kept telling himself. He stepped around the table so that they were standing shoulder to shoulder as opposed to talking across the table. Liam never really knew what to do in situations like this, ask her to dance? But he had two left feet. Continue small talk? Not really his forte.

"So," he began slowly, "What do you think so far? Do Camden kids 'know how to party?" He quoted her on purpose, curious as to how 'outsiders' would see them.

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Shane took her phone and quickly added his own name and number before returning it. When he felt her hand on his arm, brushing off the sand that he hadn't even noticed was there, Shane grinned, "Volleyball. You didn't see me playing? Because I was rocking that game!"

He hadn't really. He'd been okay, but his hits were just as likely to make it inside the boundaries as they were to veer off towards the ocean or someone walking by with a drink in hand. Shane glanced over to the net but the game had shrunk in the few minutes since he had left. All that remained were a small group of more serious players who actually knew how to play. Everyone else had abandoned the game for activities that were easier to play in a drunken stupor.

----

Shelby cocked her head to the side as she slowly surveyed the party. It had all the ingredients that it took to make a great party. The bonfire and the stars created ideal party lighting and the guy to girl ratio was fairly even. The music was decent and there was enough alcohol to ensure that parts of the night would be hazy and unclear or totally forgotten. There were other activities besides dancing so the fact that Shelby was terrible at dancing and flirting and gossiping would not be so painfully obvious. And, if she was so inclined, there were plenty of dark shadows to slip away in where she could pretend (with the help of the alcohol) that she had soft womanly curves instead of sharp angles and lean muscle.

"You know, I just got here so I can't really say for certain, but it looks like you all are pretty educated in the art of partying," Shelby told him with a smirk, taking another sip before adding, "Not that I couldn't teach you a thing or two."

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She shook her head easily, a wide smile on her face, "I'm sure you were."

Adriana shifted her weight from the balls of her feet to her heels. She glanced around them, taking in the scenes from the party. Everyone was there, and almost everyone appeared to be having a good time. There was, in fact, a volleyball game going on, but most of the kids appeared to have consumed way more alcohol than she had and were doing things that required way less coordination. Adriana set down her half-full glass and reached instead for a bottle of vodka and two shot glasses, she smirked over at Shane briefly before handing him one.

"The school board doesn't mind that you host parties like this?" she asked curiously, before quickly downing the shot, loving how the alcohol felt as it pulsed down her throat and through her system.

-----

"Oh really?" he asked, raising his eyebrows curiously.

Liam couldn't fight back the smile that warmed his features. He found Shelby to be easy to be around, which didn't usually happen, especially not with girls. His eyes flickered over the party, trying to see it how she did, but only saw familiar faces doing the same things that they always did.

"What exactly could you teach me?"

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"To summer," Shane nodded, accepting the glass and lifting it up towards the night sky. With that, he tilted his head back and let the vodka slide down his throat, cold and fiery at the same time.

He considered her question with a lazy smile, "It's not that they don't mind, they just don't know. And what they don't know can't hurt them." Shane had been nervous about the parties that first summer after he started teaching but parties at the Spot simply happened, whether Shane had anything to do with them or not. And if they were going to happen with or without him, Shane saw no reason to avoid them.

"Not planning on turning me in, are you?"

---

Shelby lifted her shoulders in a slow shrug, giving him a look that clearly said, 'wait and see.' She turned towards him so that her petite figure slipped between Liam and the table. Shelby paused there for a moment, her posture casual and relaxed. Biting her lower lip, Shelby looked up at him and pretended not to notice the muscles of his arms or his lips, which looked so soft and curved upwards into an easy smile. She felt the warmth of his body reaching out towards hers, their heat bridging the gap between them.

And... wait. What was she doing? Shelby wasn't drunk enough for this. And neither was Liam. This wasn't how it was supposed to go, not for her anyways. Shelby ducked her head and slipped by, downing the contents of her cup before pouring herself another. She glanced over to Liam once more, "Ready for another?" Shelby asked softly while she was still standing by the coolers.

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Adriana grinned at his toast and poured them another, "I can drink to that toast more than once."

She made a slight face after taking the second one, the straight liquor harder than what she usually chose to drink at school. Her lips parted to a full smile at his response and then swiftly fell to a smirk. Adriana deliberated on her response much longer than she normally would have, unsure of what would be deemed appropriate in the situation.

The liquid fire seemed to control her words more than her mine as they tumbled out of her, "Maybe. But it would be much more unlikely if you danced with me."

-----

Liam's smile softened to a slightly more serious expression as Shelby's body moved closer to his. His green eyes met hers briefly before taking in the rest of her slender frame. He liked that she didn't wear makeup and that it didn't appear as though she had put much thought into her attire, it made her much more real to him. The way she caught her lower lip made him shift toward her slightly, but she was moving away before it turned into a real gesture. Which was probably a good thing.

"Sure," he said, setting his bottle down on the table. It wasn't exactly empty, but he wasn't going to turn down a cold one, especially while she was offering.

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Shelby nodded and reached out to grab his empty bottle, only to discover that it wasn't completely empty. She frowned and shook her head as though in disappointment before lifting the bottle to her lips where Liams had been just moments before. Shelby tilted her head back to finish his drink then tossed it into the trash barrel.?

"You'd better finish this one," Shelby scolded, leaning down to pull another bottle out of the cooler. "There are sober children in Africa."

In one swift, easy move Shelby brought the lip of the bottle down on the table in such a way that the cap popped off cleanly. She held the bottle, still foaming, out towards Liam with a smug grin.

----

Shane took the second shot with ease, making a mental note to slow down. He wasn't feeling the alcohol yet but he'd started with beer and Shane really wanted to keep his dinner in his stomach.

So he was grateful when Adrianna suggested that they dance. "I guess that I don't have much choice then, do I?" Shane laughed. He reached out and grabbed her hand, pulling her gently into the small group the was dancing near the boom box.?

Shane began to dance, moving his hips to the beat of the music. He let her hand slip free, allowing her to dance as closely (or as far away) as she wanted. He was a fairly good dancer, though Shane had a tendency to throw in goofy moves like fist pumping and booty shaking when it worked with the song.?

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Liam watched her finish off his drink with amusement; at least she didn't seem to mind swapping spit with him in some capacity. He chuckled, a light, rumbly noise, at her comment, "Well then I will have to finish this next one, wouldn't want to deprive those kids anymore."

He raised his eyebrows as she cleanly broke the cap off the bottle, releasing a low whistle, "That's mildly impressive. Where'd you learn how to do that?"

His fingers lightly brushed over hers as he accepted the bottle, a small smile still on his face. Liam took a long sip of the cool beer, as though to prove that he would finish it. His eyes flickered around the party once again, to remind himself that there were still other people present, and his jaw tightened somewhat when he saw Shane leading Adriana out to the dance floor. He took another sip from the bottle and almost instantly felt his jaw began to slacken, it wasn't his business, and he turned his gaze back to Shelby.

"Are you ready to teach me anything yet?" he asked mildly, a lopsided grin on his soft lips.

-----

"Oh, you never have a choice with me," she murmured,His hand was large and warm around hers as Adriana easily followed him into the small group of people. She allowed him to pick up the beat before her hips involuntarily followed his. Adriana eyed him warily for a few moments, trying to figure out how his dance moves were going to behave that evening before she slid her body closer to his.

She caught his eye with a slight smile as one of her hands rested on his shoulder and the other pressed gently against his bare chest, giving her leverage to push away if he decided to do anything silly. Her hips were close to his, but not touching, preferring the warm buzz that was created between their bodies.

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?Good thing I don?t like decisions then, isn?t it?? Shane teased softly, sliding his hands so that one rested lightly on her lower back and the other rested on her hip. He let their bodies move together with the music, enjoying the closeness and the feel of her hand on his lightly chiseled abs.

Over Adriana?s shoulder, he caught Liam?s gaze on his sister. Shane didn?t let it affect his posture or their closeness, but he made a mental note to talk to his friend about whatever was happening between him and Adriana. For now, he planned on just enjoying the music and the moment and the way that Adriana?s perfume mingled with his cologne as they danced.

---

Shelby made her decision when she heard Liam laugh. She was a sucker for a guy with a nice laugh. Liam?s was not overly loud or forced, quiet and genuine but still undeniably masculine. It suited him perfectly.

Shelby had a response to his question about her method of opening bottles. It was mildly suggestive but it dissolved on her tongue before the words were spoken as she saw his jaw clench. Searching for the source of his tension, Shelby followed his gaze to a pretty brunette pressed against a shirtless guy. She wondered who the girl was. She didn?t exactly look like Liam?s type but what did she know? Shelby certainly didn?t know Liam well enough to know whether he had a type.

?Depends...? She replied with a mischievous shrug as Shelby reached into the cooler to pull out the remainder of her wine. The bottle grasped loosely in one hand and her cup in the other, the petite girl sauntered down the beach, away from the other girl and the rest of the party. Shelby strode away confidently, without looking over her shoulder to see whether Liam was following.

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"It's a very good thing," she agreed with an approving nod.

Adriana held his gaze for a couple of moments, her features softening slightly before moving her gaze away from his. It felt so normal dancing with Shane, but she knew that it was far from being that. She did her best to just focus on him and the beat; moving her hips easily with his. The heat his body emitted was comforting and she pulled herself closer to his body until the song ended.

She pulled away as the next song began, a brief smile on her face, and a quick wink, "Your secret is safe with me."

-----

Liam turned his complete attention towards Shelby as she started walking away, he grinned at her, watching her for a few moments before jogging to catch up. He nudged her playfully as they walked away from the party and the noise. "What? You want me all to yourself?" he teased easily, his grin spreading into a full smile

He was amazed at her easy confidence, enjoying that it wasn't overpowering, but that it was still there enough to intrigue him. Liam followed her as far as she led him, trusting him almost entirely. The sound of the party seemed far off and almost all he could hear was the crashing surf. And instead of staling alcohol he smelt the salt and the sand.

Edited by *Magikal*Wish*

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Shane held Adriana close as they danced but all too soon the song was over and his arms were empty. "I knew I could trust you." He grinned. Shane continued to move to the music, wondering whether Adriana was done dancing after only one song. He thought she had been enjoying herself too but perhaps he had read her body language wrong? So he watched her patiently, wondering what she would do next.

---

Shelby felt her smile grow to match his as she felt Liam bump into her. She shook her head at his gentle ribbing, "No, there were too many distractions. I needed to find you a better learning environment." She took a sip from her cup then glanced around to survey her surroundings. They were far enough away from the party where the air was fresh and the voices all blended together. Liams form was dark, lit only by the light of the moon and stars and their reflection on the water. It was as good a place as any, so Shelby sat in the sand, placing the bottle of wine in the sand beside her as she curled her slender legs underneath her.

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"I don't know if I'd go quite that far," she said with an easy laugh. As Shane continued to dance, she found herself smiling somewhat, she didn't really want to stop dancing with him, but she wanted to make sure that he didn't feel obligated. Adriana took his hand, with her easy smile, and spun herself around so her back was to him and once again pressed herself against his body. It was less personal this way, which was always a positive in her book. She moved readily with him though, his heat providing warmth from the unusually cool summer night. Begrudginly she admitted to herself that she liked being this close to Shane, but that could just have been the vodka catching up with her.

-----

Liam sank easily into the soft sand beside her, so that their shoulders were almost touching. He took a small swig of his beer, before glancing expectantly at her. His legs were stretched out in front of him and he rested on the palms of his hands. Even as he let the silence simmer between them, it was a comfortable silence. The only tension he felt was, in his eyes, easily extinguishable. At least, if she felt it too. "I have to admit that this is the perfect learning environment to party. Some wine, a bottle of beer and two people," he joked lightly, his fingers stretching just far enough to brush against her.

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"I'll keep that in mind," He asked, raising his eyebrows as she turned around to dance with him once more. Shane was vaguely aware that it was getting cooler, that he should probably try to find his shirt sometime soon. But he would wait it out, as long as they were dancing and he had Adriana's small body for warmth Shane figured he would be alright. "So how many hearts did you break at Duke?" He joked, sure that she must have turned down more than a few hopeful young students.

----

Shelby took another sip and stared out over the water as she felt Liam settle beside her. She felt the gentle brush of his hand on her, so light that Shelby wondered whether he even knew they were touching.She twisted her shoulders towards him, looking up at him. She was pretty sure that it wasn't an accident. And so Shelby lifted her hand and lightly traced his jawline with her fingers, still cool from her chilled wine. "So, Liam, what do you want to learn tonight?" She asked softly, the corners of her mouth pulling upwards into an easy smile.

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Adriana smirked slightly at his question, oh, Duke boys. She turned her face so that her ear and lips were no longer completely facing away from him. "Oh, you know me, I left a trail of broken hearts wherever I went." That was half-true, maybe less than half. She had dated a few boys, and even just hooked up with a few, but she didn't know whether she'd broken their hearts anymore than they'd broken hers. "What about you? Any teachers or subs in your life? Students?" she inquired with a curious glance, throwing the last option in just to tease him, "I bet you and Ms. Hillock really get on well." Ms. Hillock had been her English teacher her senior year. She was in her late forties with no real redeeming qualities other than the fact that she tended to be fairly lenient when it came to grading and due dates.

-----

Liam's features became subtly more serious as her fingers brushed against his jaw; the grin softening into a straight line. He finished off the beer, sticking the bottle in the sand beside him. Her question made him smirk as he turned back to face her. He brought his fingers away from her leg and gently brought them to her slender, face. Liam brushed his fingers across either side of her face, watching her eyes carefully as he tucked loose strands of her hair behind her ears. At the same time, he scooted his body toward her, so they were touching. He leaned his body toward her, bypassing her lips to go to her ear, "Well that depends, Shelby, what do you think you can teach me? Because I'm willing to learn everything." Liam squeezed her waist gently before pulling away slightly so that he could once again hold eye contact with her.

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"Hillock?" Shane laughed, "She turned me down. But Mrs. Webber? She is a fox!" Mrs. Webber wasn't actually a teacher but one of the cafeteria ladies. She was probably the sweetest woman on the face of the planet, but she was old enough to be Shane's grandmother. "And Senora Ryan and I have been off and on for awhile now." Senora Ryan was the school's spanish teacher who had never actually been to a spanish speaking country and weighed at least twice as much as Shane and wore so much makeup that it was impossible to know what color her hair was.

---

Shelby ducked her head as he tucked her hair behind her ears, trying to ignore how much the move annoyed her. Featured in every chick flick, it was entirely cliched and while she wasn't looking for anything special, Shelby always appreciated a little originality. She felt Liam move closer and felt that familiar flutter in her chest as she tilted her face upwards, ready. And then, something new, he moved to towards her ear rather than her mouth.

Shelby smiled and reached up, she slid her hand through his shaggy hair, "What if we start with the basics," She gently pulled him closer, pressing her mouth to his. Shelby meant for the kiss to be light and fleeting, a hint of what was to come. But his lips were warm and soft so she pressed her body closer, letting her eyes flutter shut and felt her lips curl upwards into a smile.

Shelby pulled back, leaving her hand in his shaggy blond hair, "Just stop me if you have any questions."

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Adriana laughed easily with him, she had missed his easy sense of humor. Too many boys from school tried to analyze everything, and would have more than likely sneered at her question rather than just playing along like Shane was. She turned her body back around so that she was facing him completely, smiling widely as he joked about Senora. "Oh?" she asked softly, lightly running her fingers along his bare chest and abs, "Are you guys on or off right now? Because I don't know that she would appreciate the fact that you've been dancing with me. And I wouldn't want to be the cause of an argument between such an incredible couple."

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Liam made a mental note when he saw that dissatisfied glance in her eyes. Tucking hair behind Shelby's ear was not something she liked, but that was easy enough to avoid. The boldness she showed when she leaned towards him didn't surprise him, but it made him want her a little more than he already did. As her fingers scraped through his hair, he had no choice but to accept her mouth, not that he would have objected. The kiss was sweet and warm, one of his hands cupped the back of her neck and the other ran along her thigh.

As she pulled away, her comment made him smile and he leaned toward her. He gently touched his nose to hers, his eyes closing because of the proximity, he could almost feel the softness of her lips. "I'm a fairly astute student," he murmured softly, "But I will definitely let you know." His last word or two were spoken more or less against her lips. Liam captured her lower lip and gently nibbled on it before releasing. She tasted like the wine she was drinking and something sweeter. Fingers ran lightly over her collarbone, taking care not to drop too low, while the other was still cupping her neck, bringing her into the kiss

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"Sadly," Shane sighed, bowing his head as though truly distraught over what he was about to say, "We're taking a break. I wanted her to commit, but Senora Ryan is a wild woman, I just can't get her to settle." He broke into a smile, enjoying her hand on his chest. Shane pulled her closer, "Really, I'm just using you to make her jealous."

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Every bit of tension she was holding in her body dissolved as Liam kissed her and Shelby felt herself melt into him. He clearly knew what he was doing, and she was vaguely aware that he could probably teach her as much as he would learn. But Shelby would die before she admitted that. When he released her lip, Shelby pulled back for a moment, pressing her forehead to his, "Good, I hate slow learners," She tilted her head so that her lips moved against his once more, pressing with a ferocity that leave their lips red and swollen marking both Shelby and Liam for the rest of the night. She kept her hand in his hair, mostly because it was unbelievably soft but also to remind her that he was there, if only for the night. She lifted her other hand from where it had sat in the sand, supporting her weight, running it lightly up and down his side before letting it settle on his hip, her thumb resting on the bare skin above the waistline of his jeans.

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Adriana grinned at his response, stepping into him as he pulled her towards him. She rested a hand on his shoulder, but continued to make gentle circles against his chest and occasionally dipped lower to run along his abs. "Well, no offense," she began, extending her swanlike neck so that her lips were gently pressed against his earlobe, "But I don't think that just dancing is enough to make anyone jealous." Pulling back slightly, she smirked up at him, squeezing his shoulder gently.

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He groaned against her lips as she increased the pressure against his lips, but he returned the kiss just as hard. As her fingers rested against his bare skin, he found a chill running down his spine. Not a feeling usually inspired him by a simple touch. Liam broke away briefly, his blue eyes darker than they had been as they filled with desire for this petite girl. Shifting his body more into Shelby, he gently leaned into her, slowly lowering her back to the sand as he resumed the kiss. He wasn't sure just how much she was going to try and teach him that evening, but like he said before, he was fine with learning everything.

Liam supported his body weight with one arm, the other running gently up and down her arm. He moved his lips from hers down her jawline to her neck, where he alternated between nibbling, kissing and sucking on the soft skin for a few minutes before moving back to her lips. Slowly pulling back, he glanced down at her, once again carefully studying her eyes, trying not to look at her lips too much; knowing they'd be nearly impossible to resist. "Am I too fast of a learner?" he asked meaningfully, gently squeezing her waist.

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Shane felt her hands on his chest and her lips on his ear and the warmth of the alcohol buzzing through his body. He moved his hands upwards, tilting her head upwards and looking into Adriana's eyes, intending to give his fictional lover something to really be jealous of. But when he looked at her features, he stopped dancing, Shane couldn't help but be reminded of Liam. Liam who had been his friend since Shanes's family had started summering in Camden, Liam who was, at times, fiercely protective of his little sister.

More than anything, Shane wanted to just throw caution into the wind and deal with Liam later. But Shane couldn't do that. It wasn't in his nature. He was open and honest and all he wanted was to keep everyone happy. So Shane sighed and kissed Adriana lightly on her forehead before dropping his hands, letting them slide down her arms, clasping her hands in his.

"I would really like to give Senora Ryan something really good to be jealous of, but I need to talk to Liam first," Shane explained honestly, hoping that Adriana would understand. "Getting my butt kicked would really put a damper on my night."

---

Shelby let him lower her onto the sand, marveling silently at how his eyes changed when they were filled with lust. She let her eyes remain open as he moved to her neck, staring up at the dark night sky. A city girl, Shelby had surprised to see how many stars there were. For a moment, she wondered if they were always there, or if they came out just for tonight, just for her and Liam. Then Shelby realized that was entirely ridiculous, that it would probably best if she stopped thinking.

She furrowed his brow when Liam pulled back. But then, taking in his words and the serious expression on his face, Shelby laughed. It was a soft, quiet laugh, no more than a forceful exhalation with a wide, mischievous smile and a gentle quaking of her chest. "Not fast enough," She told him. With a swift, calculated move Shelby pushed him over, rolling so that she sat with a knee on either side of his torso. Her dark, now sandy hair hung wild around her flushed face. Shelby reached down and took his hands, intertwining her fingers in his and gently stretching them above his head before seeking his mouth again. Her lips were light this time, barely there as they brushed against his lips and jawline and the soft hollow between his neck and collarbone.

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Adriana felt a familiar chill of anticipation as his fingers gently tilted her chin up. Everything around her went suddenly still, though she realized that was because Shane had stopped dancing, which made her feet stop in the sand as well. A whoosh of disappointment filled her as he simply kissed her forehead. She didn't pull away as his hands found hers, but she wanted to.

His explanation made her shift her body weight so it was mainly concentrated in one leg, popping her hip out, and she lowered her gaze to the sand. Adriana knew she shouldn't be upset or angry about why Shane hadn't kissed her, he just made it quite clear that he did, but it didn't give her the warm and fuzzies either. She breathed out a heavy sigh, lifting her eyes up to his.

Pulling her hands out of his, she wrapped her arms around him and stepped closer, so she was simply nestled against him in a hug. Her head was tucked neatly under his chin for a moment before she stepped back, not wanting him to feel like she was trying to persuade him to do anything more. "You know," she said with a brief smile, "It's times like this when I wish you weren't such a good guy."

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Liam didn't feel remotely offended at her chuckle, he just had to make sure. Her comment made him smile, though it softened as she rolled him over. The way she had him pinned made it hard for him to move, but he knew that if he really wanted, he could shift her off of him. Her hands felt small inside of his as she pushed them over his head. He liked that she liked to be in control, but so did he.

Her light kisses were frustrating him. Liam allowed her to be in control until the soft kisses drove him crazy. He wriggled his hands free and in a fluid motion, flipped her onto her back, his body weight quickly pressing down on her. Pushing her arms above her head, as she had done to him, he pushed them together, so that one of his hands could hold them in place. The other traced slowly up and down her side before he wriggled the fabric of her shirt up just enough to reveal a sliver of her flat stomach.

At first, he did what she had done, after all, he was supposed to be learning. Light, almost fluttery kisses along her lips and jawline, before slowly trailing down her neck. Liam wanted to tease her, as she had done to him, but he also wanted to relieve the frustration that had built. He pulled back a fraction of an inch, his lips hovering just over hers for a moment before he crushed his into hers. The kiss was hard and unforgiving, almost sure to bruise their already slightly swollen lips.

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Shane watched Adriana carefully, hoping that he hadn't completely blown it. He breathed a sigh of relief when she step closer, and he gladly wrapped his arms around her. Over her head, he glanced towards where Liam had stood earlier by the keg. Shane didn't see him, but he did see the guys Adriana had abandoned to talk to him and he knew he had to find Liam before someone else did. Even if he had left without telling his sister, which seemed unlikely, Camden was a small town and gossip spread like wildfire.

When she pulled back, Shane ran a hand through his hair and grabbed his phone, "This should only take a minute, I swear, then we can pick up right where we left off," He promised. He scrolled through his contacts before sending Liam a quick message, 'Need to talk ASAP. Where are you?.' Shane shifted his weight, trying to figure out what to say to Liam when he finally found him.

---

Shelby laughed again as he finally grew frustrated with her teasing and rolled her over. She didn't feel uncomfortable with his weight on top of her, instead she felt safe and secure. She hadn't expected to have this much fun at her first party in Camden. She felt him mimic her light kisses before returning hungrily to her mouth.

And then Shelby felt an odd sensation against her thigh, distracting her from what she was beginning to think was one of the greatest kisses in the history of hook ups. Her mouth still on his, Shelby smiled when she realized what it was, and pulled one of her hands free. She slid it down his torso slowly, then slid her hand into his pocket. Her hand stayed their for a moment, then removed his cell. Shelby pressed the phone into the hand at her hip and finally tilted her head to free her mouth, "I usually don't allow cell phones in my classroom," She murmured, looking up into his eyes.

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"Just come find me when you're ready," she said with a light smile, squeezing his hand gently before she stepped away from him.

Adriana headed back towards the keg and her old friends from school. She wanted Shane to not have to have this conversation with her brother, but she knew that she didn't really have a say in the decision. Accepting the shot that one of the guys handed to her, she quickly took it and joined in on the conversation, though she wasn't really paying that much attention.

One of the guys wrapped his arm around her, but she pushed him away with a small laugh. The guy frowned though, "What? The history teacher?" Adriana gave him a warning look but didn't comment on it, which of course just encouraged the boys to berate her about it. But, she took it all in stride, and eventually, they stopped. She took turned down the next shot, instead reaching for a beer, thankful that the conversation had shifted.

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Liam felt his phone vibrating in his pocket, and was planning on ignoring it, until her hand slipped into his pocket and pulled it out. He grinned at her comment, sitting up slowly, but he glanced at her apologetically. "It's probably just my sister," he explained, kissing her softly before he rolled completely off of her.

Glancing at the text, he furrowed his brow slightly, wondering what could be so important. It seemed like an eternity since he'd seen he and Adriana dancing together, but the mere memory made his shoulders tense. It would be weird if they hooked up, actually weird was mild. Shane was his best friend, and he was a better than any other guy she had dated, but still, he was his best friend, not someone for Adriana to hook up with.

"It's actually my friend, Shane, he says he needs to talk to me," he explained, trying not to be bothered until he actually talked to Shane. Standing, he knocked the sand off as best he could and straightened his clothes. He offered Shelby his hand and helped knock the sand off of her. Liam caught her lips again, softly before glancing down at her with a grin, "This should really only take a minute," he murmured, tucking a hand into her back pocket as they headed slowly back to the party.

Liam stopped on the outskirts of the party, looking for Shane. He saw Adriana talking to the kids from high school again, but Shane wasn't around. "I'll be right back," he said with a light smile, "And then class can resume."

Releasing his hold on her as soon as he saw Shane, he headed towards his friend warily, unsure of how the conversation was going to go. "What's so important?"

[[sorry for all the pp]]

Edited by *Magikal*Wish*

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