The four guys gaped at her.
“You’re serious?” Gary asked incredulously.
“Everyone in town knows that whoever hits on you is good as dead here.” Even as Colt made his explanation, he was already backing away towards the door, evidently eager to keep as much distance between him and Seri.
Seri couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Had her brothers really said something like it? “Are you sure—-” But her voice trailed off, the door slamming behind the four guys putting an end to their conversation.
Someone tapped her shoulder from behind, and Seri turned to find the other girl, Sam, smiling at her.
“Do you want me to drive you home?” Sam asked sweetly. It had occurred to her that Seri was underaged, attending a drinking party. The Grachyov brothers would worship at her feet if she could get this brat home.
“Umm…” Seri bit her lip. She could go home, but—-
Seri saw Finn still lounging on his seat, a coolly amused expression on his face.
Seri slowly shook her head. “No, thank you for the offer.”
Sam struggled to hold on to her smile. “It’s not right for you to be here.”
But to Sam’s consternation, the younger girl only shook her head. “I know, but I need to stay here.”
Sam’s brows shot up. “What for?”
Sam was tempted to drag the girl by the hair. Shit. Snatching her bag from her seat, she told Finn, “I would leave, too, if I were you. This party’s going south as soon as one of her brothers hears about this.” Sam shot Seri a nasty look as she spoke, furious at the way the younger girl had foiled her plans.
Finn only shrugged, his tone lazy as he replied, “The Grachyov brothers don’t scare me.” His eyes were on Seri as he spoke.
Seri saw the other girl give Finn an oddly pitying look.
“Goodbye, Finn. You’re going to be nobody after this.”
And with that, she was left alone with the Hollywood guy. Seri looked around, expecting the others to start blaming her for the sudden drop in their numbers, but no one was looking their way.
Everyone – even Davey – was busy doing their thing, singing out of tune, flirting, drinking, and—-
Seri spied a couple in the corner, already busy making out.
She hurriedly turned her back to them and found herself face to face with Finn.
“Not used to this kind of party, are you?” he teased with a smirk.
“O-of course I am.” She tried to sound airy, but the quiver at the end of her voice gave Seri away, making Finn grin.
“It’s okay,” he yelled over the music. “Your innocence makes you really cute.”
She wrinkled her nose. Innocent. She hated that word. Lately, the gossip columns had been filled with news about Vassi dating different girls, and all of them had two things in common. One: they were prettier than Seri.
Two: they obviously had more experience than she did.
But after tonight, she told herself determinedly, she was going to be less innocent, with the help of Finn. The thought had her looking guardedly at the Hollywood guy.
He offered her one of the untouched glasses of beer on the table. “Do innocent girls like you drink?”
He was obviously baiting her, and she couldn’t help rolling her eyes. “Stop it.” Even so, Seri felt she was being childishly rebellious as she reached for the glass he offered. Just a few sips, she told herself, and that was it.
She started to reach for the drink, but before she could, long, graceful fingers had wrapped around her wrist, and then a familiar accented voice said from behind, “I don’t think so, solnishka moya.”
Eto prosto pizdets.
In English, she was totally fucked.
“DATE RAPE!” The veins on her stepfather’s neck looked like they were about to pop out any moment. But what was more terrifying was the look of rage on his face. She had never seen him this angry.
But the worst thing was, Seri knew she deserved it.
If not for Vassi’s timely arrival, she had been almost been a victim of date rape.
Even now, she was still in a state of shock, a part of her unable to believe that something like it could have happened to her. The events of the past two hours were crystal clear in her mind—-
Vassi’s bodyguards breaking up the party in one go.
Finn trying to escape but Vassi’s fist knocking him out cold.
The loud wail of sirens as the police arrived.
And then the silence, the painful, unbreakable silence as she came face to face with her family in the living room while Vassi told them in a flat, expressionless voice what happened.
Him suspecting that something was wrong when she couldn’t look him in the eye about sleeping over at Davey’s, Vassi sending his bodyguards to trail after her, and him rushing to the karaoke place the moment his security told him alcohol was being served.