She groans in her sleep and turns her pink-stained mouth all the way into my pillow.
“Dude,” I say, “get up.” I poke her again, harder this time.
She starts snoring, and Shawn chokes back a laugh from where he’s lying comfortably behind me.
“She drank like half the bottle,” he says. “She’s not waking up anytime soon.”
I turn around and glower at him. “Then get up.”
“Because I’m taking your bed.”
He casually flips the page of the book he’s reading. “Don’t think so.”
Adam and Joel appear in the doorway, Adam rubbing his elbow like he nearly cracked that instead of his head open when he climbed down from the roof of the bus. “What are you two fighting about?” he asks.
“Her.” I point an accusing finger at the skanky lump in my bed, and Joel raises his eyebrow.
“Why is she in your bed?”
“Because Shawn’s an asshole!”
Shawn chuckles, doing nothing to erase the confused expressions from Adam’s and Joel’s faces.
“Where are you going to sleep?” Joel asks me, and I turn on Shawn again.
“Shawn, I’m not playing.”
“Then you shouldn’t have started this game in the first place.”
I’m not sure what possesses me, but I grab his book and he grabs it back, and then I grab his hands and pull. Mike catches me around the waist before I can yank Shawn’s arms off, manhandling me into the middle bunk on the other side. “Take mine, for God’s sake.”
He yanks the blankets off of the passed-out chick on my bed and drags them toward the benches at the front. “Now everyone shut up. I’m going to bed.” I move to hop out of the bed and stop him, but he yells at me without stopping or turning around. “Go the hell to sleep, Kit!”
I freeze with one leg hanging off the mattress and watch him close the curtain behind him, flinching backward when Joel nearly knees me in the face to climb into the bunk above me. Adam crawls into a top bunk too, and I glare at the smirk still planted on Shawn’s stupid face as I settle back into my cubby.
“You realize this means war.”
“Your face means war,” Shawn counters, stealing my insult from this morning.
“Oooh,” Joel and Adam mock in unison.
“Them’s fightin’ words,” Adam adds in a deep southern twang.
Shawn holds his middle finger out high enough for them to see, and both of the idiots up top start laughing.
“What part about SHUT UP did you fuckers not understand?” Mike shouts from the front of the bus, making the other three giggle so immaturely that I almost laugh too.
Almost. Instead, too bone-tired and too irritated to climb back out of bed, I crawl under the covers and slip out of my jeans, stuffing them into the corner of my bunk and rolling away from Shawn. If he wants war, I’ll give him war. Tomorrow morning, I’m going to replace the sugar for his coffee with salt, or burn every pair of boxers he owns, or . . .
I fall asleep thinking of a thousand forms of payback, and later, I wake up to the demons of hell trying to escape from Joel’s mouth. Or at least that’s what it sounds like. It sounds like his soul is being dragged into the ninth circle of hell and his body is barely clinging to life. From Mike’s middle bunk, I roll over and glance down at Shawn. He’s still awake, still reading, and in the dark, I doubt he can tell I’m awake. I keep it that way as I reach for my jeans and root a pair of stolen earplugs from the pocket.
In complete silence, I fall asleep quickly, but I haven’t slept nearly long enough when someone nudges me into the wall. It’s still dark outside, and uncompromising fingers are pushing and prodding and begging to be broken.
I’m scowling before I even turn around, my eyes dry from not taking off my eye makeup before bed.
“Where are my earplugs?” Shawn growls in a voice that barely makes it to my eardrums.
I pull one of his earplugs out of my ear just to get him riled, keeping the confused and irritated expression on my face even though it’s taking everything I have to not smile or start laughing. I stole his earplugs from his bag this afternoon, long before groupies or tequila or snoring, and now I’m only glad he did something to deserve it. “What the hell are you talking about?”
“Where did you get those?” He pulls my fingers closer to his face and then glares at me.
“What is your problem?”
“Did you steal my earplugs?”
“Why would I steal your earplugs when I have my own?” I yank my fingers from his grasp and stick his earplug back in my ear, shaking my head pityingly. “Are you getting paranoid already? Because I haven’t even started messing with you, Shawn. If you’re losing your mind already, that’s really not a good sign.”
I roll away from him before he can glare at me some more, hiding my troublemaker smile in Mike’s pillow and making a mental note to switch my dirty sheets with Shawn’s clean ones as soon as I get a chance.
WAKING ON A moving bus isn’t the same as waking in a moving car. You’re in a bed, complete with pillows and warm blankets—and you’re moving. When you roll over and look into the aisle, you can’t figure out exactly where you are. When you attempt to crawl out of bed without being careful, you smack your head on the bunk above you.