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Authors: R.L. Stine

All-Night Party (4 page)

BOOK: All-Night Party
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Gretchen felt trapped.

She had a feeling that if she got up and sat on the floor, or even escaped to the kitchen, Marco would follow her.

He tried to put his arm around her shoulders. But she jumped up to get another soda.

I used to love when Marco put his arms around me, Gretchen remembered. I used to love when he hugged me. When he kissed me.

Now I don't want him to touch me ever again. I only want him out of my life.

“Anyone want another hot dog?” Cindy asked. She held out a hot dog that she had just finished roasting.

“I'll take another one,” Gil called out. He held out his plate. “Hmmm. Looks good. What a chef.”

“Thanks,” Cindy replied with a sweet smile.

“And the hot dog looks pretty good, too,” Gil added, laughing.

Cindy giggled.

Gretchen felt as if she were going to gag on her food. She sneaked a glance at Hannah. Hannah sat staring at Gil, her mouth set in a tight line.

“You want some mustard and sauerkraut?” Cindy asked Gil.

“Gil doesn't like mustard on his hot dog,” Hannah cut in. “He likes ketchup.”

“No, he doesn't,” Cindy insisted. “He likes mustard, don't you, Gil?”

Gil didn't answer either Cindy or Hannah. He grabbed the hot dog and took a bite. “It's fine just the way it is,” he replied.

Hannah leaned over and reached into a cooler for a can of Coke. She popped the can open and handed it to Gil. “Have a soda.”

Cindy shook her head. “Gil doesn't like Coke. He likes ginger ale.”

“He does not.”

“I should know, Hannah,” Cindy replied smugly. “Gil and I went out for six months and you've only been going with him for one.”

Gretchen could see that Cindy's remark was like a slap in the face to Hannah. Hannah left Gil's side and stormed into the kitchen.

Gretchen hurried after her. She found Hannah by the sink. She could see Hannah was upset. Her whole body was trembling.

“Don't let Cindy get to you,” Gretchen advised. “She's just jealous because Gil's going out with you now.”

“I've known Cindy all my life and sometimes I hate her so much,” Hannah said through gritted teeth. “She thinks because she's pretty and blond, she can
get everything she wants. It's not fair, Gretchen. It's just not fair!”

“You're not upset because Cindy is flirting with Gil, are you? There's something else.”

“Yes,” Hannah reluctantly admitted.

“Want to tell me?”

“Cindy won the college scholarship I applied for,” Hannah whispered.

Gretchen's heart ached for Hannah. She knew how much Hannah had been relying on that scholarship.

For weeks she'd been on pins and needles waiting to hear if she'd won it.

“I'm sorry,” Gretchen said softly.

Hannah turned away from the sink, facing Gretchen. “Her father has loads of money. He can afford to send her to any college she wants to go to. My parents can't. That scholarship was my only chance!”

“But didn't you apply for other scholarships?”

“That's not the point!” Hannah snapped. “Cindy wasn't even interested in that scholarship until she heard I was applying for it. It's been that way ever since we were kids.”

Hannah uttered an angry sigh. “Cindy thinks she can get whatever she wants, no matter who she hurts. Well, she can't! Sometimes I wish she was dead!”

Gretchen gasped. She had never seen Hannah so angry.

Hannah was always so warm and sensitive. She
never said mean things about people—even when they deserved it.

But staring at Hannah now, Gretchen felt a chill. Her friend's face was a mask of bitter anger.

“You don't mean that,” Gretchen whispered.

Hannah sighed. “Don't I? Don't I?”

Chapter
8

“H
ey, did you guys get lost in the kitchen or something?” Patrick cried as Gretchen and Hannah returned to the front room. “We thought we were going to have to send out a search team.”

“So, what's next?” Marco asked.

“It's time to open my presents!” Cindy gleefully announced.

“There they are.” Patrick pointed to the pile of gifts near the fireplace. “Go for it.”

Cindy hurried over to the presents. Gretchen took a seat on the couch to get a good view.

Gretchen watched her pick a small box wrapped in pink foil from the top of the pile and shake it. Then Cindy tore off the gift card and read it aloud. “From
Gretchen,” she announced. “Let's see. What could this be?”

She ripped off the paper and opened the box. “Great earrings. Thanks, Gretchen,” she called out.

Before Gretchen could reply, Cindy tossed the box aside and was eagerly opening her next gift. A bottle of perfume from Hannah.

“I love this perfume. Too bad it makes me break out,” she said.

She grabbed up the next present from Gil and Jackson. An envelope containing two tickets to a rock concert.

Everybody Gretchen knew was dying to see that show. But Cindy didn't look too excited about it. “Hey, thanks, guys. Cool gift,” Cindy said. She dropped the tickets on top of her present pile.

Cindy is so self-centered and spoiled, Gretchen thought as she watched Cindy tear open her gifts. Everyone put a lot of time and thought into her presents, and she doesn't even appreciate it.

“Hey, Cindy! I'm real sorry!” Patrick suddenly said. “I forgot to wrap your gift. I'll have to give it to you later, okay?”

“Sure.” Cindy shrugged. She reached for the last box. A large white one.

Gretchen watched Cindy shake the large box. She noticed that there wasn't any paper on the outside. Just a red stick-on bow on top.

Gretchen read the words scrawled on the top of the box in black marker: “To Cindy. From Marco.”

“The last present is yours,” Cindy told Marco as she shook the box. “I wonder what it is.”

“Open it and see,” he encouraged.

Cindy ripped off the red bow and lifted the lid of the box. She peeked inside—and her mouth dropped open in disgust.

“Ohhhh. Gross!” she moaned.

Chapter
9

“Y
uck!” Cindy made a disgusted face.

“Hey, you're welcome,” Marco laughed. “If you don't like them, I'll take them back.”

Cindy turned to Gretchen and Hannah. “He gave me a bunch of slasher movies,” she announced. She picked a videotape out of the box and read the title.
“Bloodfest 4.”

Gretchen stared at the video. The cover had a picture of a half-dressed girl shrinking away from a long dagger, dripping blood.

Cindy groaned and made a face. “Ugh! How can any
normal
person watch that stuff?”

Gretchen just shrugged. She couldn't believe how rude Cindy was being. Why couldn't she pretend to like Marco's gift instead of hurting his feelings?

“If you don't want the videos, can I have them?” Patrick asked. “I'll add them to my collection.”

Cindy waved a hand. “They're yours.”

“I don't believe her,” Marco muttered, shaking his head.

Gretchen glanced around the room at her friends. Everyone looked sort of down. And this was supposed to be a great night. Their awesome all-night party.

“How about some music?” Gretchen suggested. “It's way too quiet in here!”

“Good idea. Let's crank it up. There's no one around to complain,” Gil said.

Gretchen inserted a CD into the portable CD player and turned the volume as high as it would go. A heavy rock-and-roll beat filled the room. She felt the wooden floorboards vibrating under her feet.

“Excellent!” Hannah cried over the noise. She grabbed Gil by the hand and pulled him up to dance.

“Come on, Gretchen,” Marco urged.

“I don't feel like it. Maybe later,” Gretchen stammered. “I feel sort of tired,” she added.

“Tired?” Marco cried. “You can't be tired. This is an all-night party!”

Before Gretchen could refuse again, Marco took her by the arm and started dancing. Gretchen gave up and started to dance, too.

As they danced, Gretchen could see Cindy's eyes locked on Gil and Hannah. Gil was whispering in her ear and Hannah had a smile on her face.

Gretchen wondered if Cindy was sorry she had
broken up with Gil. She knew that Cindy had been the one to drop him.

It happened because Gil got into serious trouble. Some guys he used to hang out with decided to steal a car.

Cindy's parents went ballistic when they found out. A few days later, Cindy broke up with Gil.

After that, Gil and Hannah started going out.

Gretchen couldn't understand Hannah's attraction to Gil. Sure, he was cute enough, with his high cheekbones, blue eyes, and jet-black hair.

But he wasn't such a prize. Who wanted a boyfriend who was constantly coming on to his ex-girlfriend?

Gretchen's eyes drifted away from Gil and Hannah. Patrick was stuffing his face with another hot dog.

Jackson leaned against the wall next to the fireplace. His arms were crossed over his chest.

His dark eyes were riveted on her.

Watching.

Following her every move.

Chapter
10

T
he song ended. Gretchen pulled away from Marco.

“I'm going outside to get some more wood for the fire,” she said.

“Want some help?” he offered.

Gretchen knew if Marco tagged along, they wouldn't be gathering wood. He'd want the two of them to find a private spot and make out.

The thought made her stomach knot.

“No thanks,” Gretchen replied. What she really wanted was to get away from Marco—and Jackson—for a while.

She was really beginning to feel trapped inside the little cabin.

Grabbing a flashlight off the fireplace mantel, Gretchen headed for the door. She could feel Jackson's gaze following her, but she didn't turn around.

“We'll walk out with you,” Hannah called. “Gil and I are going down to the boat dock to look at the stars.”

Gretchen rolled her eyes. Who did Hannah think she was fooling?

There weren't any stars out. It was so obvious. She and Gil were going to make out.

“I'm not budging an inch,” Patrick sighed from the couch. “I ate too many hot dogs.” He burped loudly.

“Better make room for dessert,” Hannah said. “We're going to cut Cindy's birthday cake when we get back.”

“Do you know what you're going to wish for?” Gretchen asked Cindy.

Cindy stared at Gil with determination. “I know exactly what I'm going to wish for.”

“Be careful what you wish for,” Gil replied. “You just might get it.”

Cindy smiled coyly. “I'll take that chance.”

Hannah tugged impatiently on Gil's arm. “Come on, Gil. Let's go.”

After lacing up her hiking boots, Gretchen snagged her denim jacket from the coatrack. She slipped into it and stepped onto the porch.

BOOK: All-Night Party
8.96Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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