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This had to have been one of the greatest parties that the trailer park had ever had. The alcohol was plentiful, the snacks even more plentiful, and someone had taken away the karaoke machine from that one kid that only ever wanted to sing Cher songs (which bummed out Tatum only because that meant she couldn't use the karaoke machine now either because one of the guys decided to throw it in the kiddie pool shortly afterward). What more was there to ask for? She'd lost track of just about everyone a few hours in, and had been talking to a group from one town over -- they seemed a bit too rich for the place, but they weren't dissing anyone there or anything, so Tatum had assumed they were okay. They were fun enough to talk to, anyway, which didn't mean much right now considering the fact that she would have talked to a bag of bricks with a face drawn on it when she was sober as it was.
She broke off from the group to use the bathroom in one of the trailers -- though she wasn't entirely sure whose it was at this point, as she was all sorts of turned around; she just knew it wasn't hers, and it wasn't Dimi's either -- and opened what she thought was the bathroom but was actually a bedroom that was occupied with a couple that was really going at it. She quickly shouted an apology before shutting the door, but she was pretty sure they hadn't actually seen her. She went to the next door, where she found yet another couple having sex, and Tatum immediately gave up on this sex dungeon of a trailer and moved on to the one beside it. Before opening the door, which she hoped was neither a bathroom nor a good spot for underage kids to be having sex, she covered her eyes and let the door swing open. "Please tell me no one's naked in this room!" She peeked through her fingers, and didn't see naked people (or a toilet, but she almost didn't even have to go anymore, so what did it matter?) but instead Riley Samuels by himself. "Oh thank god, it's just you," she said, letting out a sigh of relief before not so delicately plopping down beside him. "Was this some sort of sex party and I didn't get the memo?" she asked. She remembered watching a Lifetime movie with her mother about those, and she really wasn't up for that.
And not just because she was a virgin.
the party was a fucking rager. it was one of those ones that had taken over the entire trailer park because it had expanded outside of one person's house. those kinds of parties were the ones riley liked best because of how many people were there. parties like this were the closest riley felt to being on the road with his parents, because there were always so many people around. it wasn't rowdy like this (or if it was, it happened after he went to bed), but their celebrations were always the best. being on the road had been one big party all the time. riley was very glad that of all the places andy decided to move them, that he had chosen this particular trailer park.
except for the part where it was the part of the night where everybody had paired off. riley had not paired off with anybody because, well, riley's social skills when it came to girls was not the best. he could get them to kiss him no problem, but every time he got even close to getting a girl's clothes off, he fucked it up by saying something really fucking stupid and shoving his foot in his mouth. he was charming right up until the moment where it mattered most. it would not bother him so much if riley was not one hundred percent certain that he was the last of his friends to be a virgin. macon had been bragging about it since the day he had sex for the first time, and while flynn was pretty silent on the topic, he had given no indication that he wasn't, so riley just assumed. being last frustrated him, so he figured he would just go hide out in his room since the party was basically over anyway. though he was not alone long, because soon, tatum grundy was walking through his door, shouting about people having sex. "definitely clothed in here." riley chuckled, shaking his head. "you're safe."
it certainly seemed that way. "i didn't get the memo, either." he answered, only slightly bitter. "figured you'd be off doing the thing, too."
"Good," she stated a bit firmly. She was sick of seeing people's naked asses. It was a relief to find someone not hooking up in the park, though Tatum had wondered just how many of the people she had spoken to were doing just that right now. It was in her nature to be jealous, even of stupid things like strangers making out or having sex while she didn't, and she really was. Not enough to just run out there and grab her own random person to sleep with. She'd stayed a virgin longer than most of the girls she knew in the trailer park, and definitely longer than her mother did, so clearly it meant something to her given the opportunities she'd turned down to lose it.
Still, that didn't mean there were rumors about her, painting her like she was anything but inexperienced in that area. She often picked the wrong people to kiss, or let go to third base, who enjoyed hyping up the experience while also trashing her at the same time. It never made any real sense to her; why was it that the guy she gave a hand job to was some hero while she was the bad guy? Did she not do all the fucking work in that scenario? Did she not suffer hand cramps in the process? But no, she was the slut and he was the suave and debonair ladies man. All she was ever really looking for was someone to like her back, to make her feel a little less shitty about herself, or her father, or the fact that she had such a case of baby face it was unfair. Was that really so much to ask for? She straightened herself up upon hearing Riley's words, and the defensive part of Tatum flared up before she could even stop it, taking too much offense it was was likely a harmless comment that she took to mean something else. "Why? 'Cause I'm such a slut that I'd be havin' some sort of orgy out there with everyone?" she asked, her tone sharper than it had likely ever been with the boy before -- but it hurt, thinking he might have thought that of her, like it would if Dimi or Flynn had said the same sort of thing. "'Cause Troy fuckin' Leonard is a liar and he never got past second base, okay?" A short pause as she thought. "Or was it third? What is it when you let someone touch your boobs under your clothes but you don't do any funny stuff with the downstairs bits?" She sighed deeply, clearly getting off track. "I haven't ever understood baseball." As if the two things were ever remotely related to one another in the first place.
riley had heard the rumors about tatum grundy. everybody who lived in the trailer park had. the only difference between riley and everybody else was that riley did not believe they were true. he knew tatum. they were friends. tatum was the girl who talked too much and said stupid things in history class because she was only halfway paying attention. she was the girl who assumed that everybody was prettier than she was, even though she was also very pretty. riley never understood why girls did that-- compared themselves to everybody else. it just made them feel bad about themselves, so what was the point? the way riley saw it, the rumors about tatum could not possibly be true, because if it had happened, tatum probably would not have shut up about it out of pride. if she was denying it, then it didn't happen. riley raised his hands in surrender when her tone got sharp. "that's not what i meant at all." he stammered. "i just meant, that- that there's a lot of dudes here and any of them would probably be really fucking stoked to see you naked, so i was just...surprised you hadn't found someone, okay?"
he listened as she continued to ramble on about bases and a grin appeared on riley's face. yeah, there was no way that troy was telling the truth about this one-- tatum didn't even know what the bases were. "second base," he clarified. "under the shirt, but no downstairs stuff is second base." his turned turned into a full laugh. "i never understood why people compared the stages of getting laid to baseball, either." mostly because baseball was a boring ass sport, and there was nothing boring about the different stages of sex.
or so he'd heard. riley had never been past second base himself.
Though it was a bit difficult, Tatum had to pull herself back. She couldn't help herself; it was just so much easier to assume that no one had any faith in her, or that they were willing to believe everything they heard, than it was to believe they thought more of her. It made it a lot less terrible when she inevitably let them down that way, and when they let her down, it didn't hurt so badly either. She otherwise wasn't really much for fighting, or yelling, or doing anything too confrontational; the fact that she'd gotten into fights over rumors about her parents may have convinced some people otherwise, but she much preferred to curl up and surrender a lot of the time when it came to herself. Just not when she had been drinking. She raised an eyebrow at Riley as he tried stammering his way out of the mess. "Stoked?" she echoed, like that was the only thing she got out of his entire sentence. "Who says stoked anymore besides the turtle from Finding Nemo?" she teased with a snort.
Tatum rubbed her eyes in her fit of frustration over Troy, and baseball, and sex, and everything in general. "Euuuugh," she groaned. "Why're things so confusing all the damn time?" she asked, though she wasn't really asking Riley so much as hoping the universe would give her some sort of answer instead. She flopped backwards, staring at the ceiling. "My mama told me Troy was a piece of shit. Guess I shoulda listened to her." Which was strange, because since when was Tatum's mother ever any good at judging someone's character?
riley completely understood tatum's need to be defensive. being defensive was riley's go to setting whenever he felt like someone was personally attacking him. his temper was short, and it did not take a lot to rile riley up. many a fight had started that way, and many a time dimi had sighed at him because a fight started. he had only been friends with the tiny brunette for a couple of years, but she was pretty much his hermione granger. it was because of her that he was doing well enough in school to pass, and she often scolded him and macon for doing stupid shit. riley liked having dimi around, but sometimes her high and mighty act got annoying.
riley wondered if she was off having sex right now.
god, if dimitra black lost her virginity before he did, riley would honestly never forgive himself. it was bad enough that macon (and probably flynn) had already beaten him to it.
"me. i'm bringing it back." he grinned. it had been so long since riley watched finding nemo, that he actually forgot the turtle in that movie was surfer dude enough that he probably had said it before. riley watched as tatum dramatically flopped onto his bed, and riley decided that he should do the same. he was already sitting on his bed, but riley adjusted himself so he was flopping down right beside her, also staring at the ceiling. "because otherwise it would be too easy." he suggested. riley did not actually know if he was right, or if he was talking out of his ass, but he had a feeling neither did tatum. riley snorted. "troy leonard is a piece of shit." riley confirmed. "i coulda told you that. you could do way better than him, anyway."
Tatum couldn't help but roll her eyes. "Good luck with that," she told him, clearly not having faith in the word coming back. What her vendetta against it would be left unknown even to her; it was likely because it just sounded like something stupid her father would say, and she didn't want to be thinking about him right now. Or ever, preferably, but right now would have been sufficient enough. The wounds from him getting dragged off to jail were still fresh on the girl despite it being nearly a year now since it happened, but it didn't make any of it any easier. At least her mother seemed to like her a whole lot more now, given that she'd given her the advice on Troy Leonard being terrible where she normally would have just let her keep making her mistakes, over and over.
She was probably getting pretty sick of that song and dance though.
"What's wrong with things being easy?" she retorted. Tatum hadn't been able to understand that whole, "If it's not hard, it's not worth it," mentality. Everything in her life had been hard, and so far, none of it had felt very worth it. She'd had her heart and ass handed to her more than once looking worse for wear; when was she going to finally get a break? When was it her turn to have a little bit of luck? Something nice? A cake with the right kind of frosting? A dress that wasn't secondhand? A hug from her mother that didn't feel like blackmail? "Yeaaaah, yeaaah," she drawled. He wasn't the first to say she deserved better, and he wasn't about to get through to her in this moment either. She'd been raised to believe you got what you deserved in life, and she could only assume the reason that her life was always so hard and shitty was because that was what she'd earned, even if she whined about it. "But his eyes...they're, like, almost purple. And he's got that way with words, and maybe he is a piece of shit. But he's damn sure the prettiest turd I've ever seen." She was rambling now and hardly even hearing what she was saying, because that was the sort of effect this Troy guy had on her, even after he'd lied and even when he was only being mentioned briefly. He turned her into an idiot.
(Or a bigger one, depending on who you asked.)
"you could help me bring it back, you know. be a pal, tate. let's bring back the word stoked together. it'll be a revolution!" so maybe riley was a little drunk, and even as he said it, he knew it sounded stupid. that was the nice thing about being a little drunk, though. you stopped caring about little things like how stupid you sounded when suggesting you and a friend revolutionize the use of the word "stoked" together. it at least this conversation was distracting tatum from the fact that riley accidentally implied that he believed the rumors about her, which he did not.
the look on riley's face was nothing short of slightly disgusted as tatum went on her tangent about how attractive troy leonard was. riley was so glad that guys did not talk about girls that way. sure, if a girl had a nice rack or a nice ass or something, riley might point it out to macon, but their conversations about it were more like "dude, check her out." "damn, dude." and that was the end of it. there was no gushing about the color of her eyes or how perfect her ass looked in those jeans. just a quick acknowledgement that they both saw the same thing, and then they moved on. he could not help but snort with laughter as tatum continued to ramble. "you do know that, in addition to being a piece of shit, troy leonard is also gay, right?" riley revealed. "that's why he goes around telling people he's fucked all these girls he never fucked-- because he knows nobody will believe the girl if she denies it. it's the perfect cover, really." riley knew because he had seen troy and his jock buddy, max, making out under the bleachers one day when he ditched class to go smoke. they had not seen riley, but riley had definitely seen them. "seriously, though, he's not worth your time. i would be a better use of your time than troy fuckin leonard." was he hitting on tatum? riley was not entirely sure.
She very vigorously shook her head. "No, absolutely not," she stubbornly stated. "I ain't takin' part in that revolution." She even crossed her arms, just in case he didn't quite believe that she was serious about letting the word stoked die. Tatum was not normally one to talk about stupid slang (the girl still said cool beans and peachy keen for god's sake) but something about the word was presently upsetting her drunken mind in such a way that hearing the word almost made her angry. Almost.
This new information about Troy Leonard being gay, however, did make her a little angry. Not because she had some vendetta against gay people or anything (because let's be honest, Tatum herself was at least halfway there herself most of the time, though she never put a label on it) but because when you heard the person you made out with was actually into the other sex, it hit a nerve. At least, it hit Tatum's nerves. "Nuh uh, there's no way," she protested, once again shaking her head with a little too much passion -- so much that it was helping to make the room start spinning a little earlier than expected. "He's not gay," she told Riley. "Bi, maybe, but not gay." Not that it mattered; she wasn't ever going to go to any base with Troy ever again. Tatum raised her eyebrows, turning her head to look at Riley. An involuntary snort came out of her, because it just sounded so silly to her -- was Riley trying to make a move on her? After she laid there defending Troy's sexuality and gushing about his eyes? "Are you tryin' to hit on me right now?" she asked a bit incredulously, because when a boy you knew since forever hit on you, it was a bit of a jarring experience.
riley emitted a heavy sigh. "you wound me, tatum grundy." he told her dramatically, placing a hand over his heart. honestly, riley did not actually say the word "stoked" all that often, but by the sound of it the word bothered tatum, so riley would probably keep using it just to mess with her. messing with tatum was fun, and way too easy. riley was the type who teased his friends to express his love, and tatum struggled with that sometimes. more than once he had said something to her, and she had gotten offended because she thought he meant it, and then he had to explain. one would think after several years of being friends, she would understand, but alas. here they were.
"there's definitely a way." he countered. "i would be willing to bet you ten whole dollars that troy leonard has never fucked a single girl in his entire life." or if he had, it had been once, and that was when troy realized he did not like girls after all. christ, if it turned out even the gay kid was not a virgin but riley still was...that would just be a blow beneath the belt. "i'll even raise you ten saying that he went home with max carter tonight." if only one of their cars was gone, but neither boy was to be found, riley would not be surprised at all.
was he hitting on tatum? he had been trying to figure that out when she asked. tatum was pretty, riley had always thought so. he really liked her hair. it was wild and unruly-- kinda like her. he shrugged his shoulder. "maybe. i dunno." he probably was. "why, is it workin'?" he doubted it was, and the playful grin on his face reflected that.
"Yeah, right," she scoffed, rolling her eyes at him and his dramatized antics. She knew that she took offense to strange things, and that she never seemed to be quick to catch on to things -- like when someone was being serious versus when someone was kidding, or when somebody would say something like Riley had that sounded vaguely like an underhanded jab at her and her character when it was really just a simple statement. It was easy to do these sorts of things when you were so horrendously suffering in the self esteem department, and assuming that everyone actually hated you, or at least something about you, instead of assuming that everyone loved you. Even the people she'd known for years, like Riley and Dimi, were a bit difficult for her to really read, even though she knew the two of them would never intentionally hurt her. It was easier to assume the worst, than to feel like an idiot later when someone turned out to be actually insulting her.
Tatum's face scrunched up, and she let out a long, exaggerated sigh. "Fuckin' a girl doesn't make you magically straight anymore than not fuckin' one makes you magically gay," she countered. "I've never done it with either sex, but I know I like 'em both," she offered as an example. What did it matter if he was gay or not anyway? He was a dickhead either way. "Maybe he did, but I still say he's bi," she told him, crossing her arms as if to prove she was done with the argument once and for all. She was right, he was wrong. A gay guy didn't kiss girls the way he kissed her; there was no way in hell that they did.
She had taken one look at the goofy grin on his face, and all it did was make her burst into a fit of laughter, though she tried covering her mouth to hide it; though Riley wasn't one to get as easily offended as herself, she didn't want him thinking she thought he was some completely unattractive reject. It was just that....well, it was just that it was Riley, and the thought of him seeing her naked, or of her seeing him naked, at least now that they weren't just little kids, felt so comical and strange to her that she couldn't help herself. "You must be desperate for a lay to be hittin' on the girl whose hair you used to put bugs in."
"but then why is he lying about all the girls he says he's fucked? why is he lying about you? if he's lyin' about it, he's trying to cover up for something else. i've never fucked a girl either, but you don't see me goin' around pretending i have. " though he probably should, since he was likely the last virgin standing among his group of friends. or maybe he wasn't? riley's ears perked up as tatum admitted that she had never had sex either, but that was soon overshadowed by tatum's confession that she liked boys and girls, and suddenly riley's head was filled with images of tatum kissing other girls and he got completely lost in thought for a moment or two before asking, "have you ever made out with another girl before?" his curiosity got the best of him, and riley would never forgive himself if he did not ask.
just as riley suspected, it was not working at all-- tatum's laughter completely confirming it. though for some, unexplained reason, he was a little offended by the fact that she was laughing? riley was not one to get easily offended about anything, but the fact that tatum was laughing at the idea of seeing riley naked kind of offended him? "'m not desperate." he argued with a scoff, because he was not. though, if tatum had not laughed at him, and instead had said yes, would he have turned her down? "i was not putting bugs in your hair. i was getting them out." that was completely true. tatum had a lot of hair, and one time, a bug flew right into it when they were in middle school and riley pulled it out. he was helping her, but tatum had assumed the worst and it all went down hill from there. riley chewed on his lip for a second before speaking. "but for just a second. let's say i was hitting on you. would you? like... want to?"
If Riley hadn't decided to go all typical boy, and focus on the fact that she enjoyed kissing girls, Tatum might have lingered a little longer on the fact that Riley was a virgin. It didn't matter to her, because so was she and she had just said so herself, but she figured he would have already done it by now. Most of the trailer park boys had, as far as she knew, and she had just lumped him in with the rest of them. In a way, it was nice knowing she was for sure not alone in the virgin boat, but right now, it was more important to slap down the fact that he was entirely too interested in her with girls. "None of your business, ya perv!" she scolded, shoving his shoulder, though not with much force; Tatum simply wasn't that physically strong. God, what was with guys and getting all turned on by girls with other girls? It wasn't like she got all hot and bothered when two boys made out in front of her -- which she had seen plenty of times at parties like this. What was the big deal?
She pursed her lips together, though there clearly still a grin hiding there, even if it was toothless. She couldn't help it; maybe the vodka had given her the giggles more than this situation otherwise would have, but she tried her best to reign it in. She let out one more short snort. "Ya must be if you're hittin' on me," she retorted, shaking her head; she was feeling a little more down on herself now than she was even five minutes ago thanks to Troy being brought up, though she likely would have put herself down regardless. It was a habit at this point. "Mmhm," she said, clearly not believing his story, but then he got all serious on her, and she didn't feel much like laughing anymore. Now, she just felt...strange? Nervous? She couldn't quite describe it. "Would I want you to hit on me, or would I want to fuck you?" she asked for clarification, though there was really none needed; she was just buying time now, to decide if she would.
the only time riley samuels had ever seen two girls kissing was on the internet. somehow, he suspected it was much better in real life-- especially if it was two girls as pretty as tatum grundy. riley shot her a devilish grin when she nudged him, and he shrugged as if to say that he was not even sorry for asking. if riley was a perv, so was every boy because he could not think of a single dude who would not have asked the question that riley asked. macon would have. flynn probably would have. probably other dudes would have too, but flynn and macon were the two who immediately came to mind. "that means yes." he assumed. she had been so adamant about denying what happened between her and troy leonard that riley figured she would have denied it if she had not.
immediately, riley frowned when tatum insulted herself. "why do you do that?" he questioned, genuinely curious. "that insulting yourself thing." he clarified. he had never heard someone insult themselves more than tatum. sure, riley often joked that he and macon were a couple of dumbasses, but he was (mostly) joking. from the way tatum was talking, it seemed like she believed the things she said about herself. "you do know you're actually one of the prettiest girls in our year, right?" she probably was not going to believe him, but riley felt like it needed to be said. "even troy leonard sees that and he's gay. or..bi or whatever." riley blinked at tatum when she asked her question, and a weird feeling started forming in the pit of her stomach. "um.." he swallowed. "fuck me, i guess." she was gonna say no. he did not even know why he was trying.