One Wild Night Excerpt

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Downtown at La Barra Loca where almost half an hour had passed since Johnny and Caterina had unknowingly consumed the tequilas with which Cahuenga had spiked their drinks, Delia, Jeremy, Natasha, and Blair were now sitting and staring at them with the same perplexed expression as Brendan on their faces as the pair of siblings sat giddily bouncing to the beat of “Tubthumping” by Chumbawamba, which was now blasting from the sound system.

 

“Okay, seriously,” said Delia, rolling her eyes as the two burst out laughing over their own antics for about the fifth time in ten minutes.  “What’s so funny?  Because all I see is you guys bouncing around like a couple of little kids who just ate a whole bag of candy.”

 

“Yeah, I don’t get it either,” said Jeremy, frowning as he looked at Caterina who was now doubled over laughing with her hands resting on her stomach.  “Is this some inside joke that the rest of us don’t know about?”

 

“N-no,” snickered Caterina as she straightened up.  “It’s…it’s just that…”

 

As Caterina burst out laughing again, Natasha sighed.  “It’s just that there is no explanation,” she surmised.  “Is there?”  When Johnny and Caterina paused for a moment, turned to look at each other, and then started laughing again, she shook her head in disgust and turned to Blair.  “Blair, how about another dance?” she suggested.  “I could use a little time away from this table.”

 

“Dancing!” Caterina excitedly exclaimed before Blair had a chance to respond to Natasha’s request.  “What a great idea!  So come on, Jeremy, let’s get out there too!”

 

As Caterina hopped up from her chair, Jeremy frowned at her.  “But I thought you were tired,” he reminded her as she turned and started somewhat staggering her way to the dance floor.

 

Stopping at the edge of the floor, Caterina looked over her shoulder at him and shrugged.  “Well, now I’ve got my second wind,” she announced.

 

“Yeah!” exclaimed Johnny, enthusiastically nodding as he popped up out of his own seat, causing the large handful of popcorn that he had been devouring to shower down onto the table and floor.  “I feel so good that I could stay out all night!  So who’s in?”

 

“Me!” Caterina happily answered as she raised her hand in the air. 

 

As Johnny turned to slap his sister a high-five, Delia gave them a dubious look.  “Aren’t you guys forgetting something?” she asked.

 

“What?” asked Johnny, a clueless expression on his face as he stuffed his hands into his pockets and turned back to his girlfriend. 

 

“Your big sisters, Keri Ann and Jody,” replied Delia as she sat back in her chair and crossed her arms.  “Don’t you think they’re going to notice if you two don’t show up before six AM tomorrow?  Especially since they think you’re just spending a nice quiet evening studying for finals at Maddy’s house.” 

 

But instead of being brought back to his senses as Delia expected he would, Johnny just snorted.  “Who cares what they think?” he asked.  “Have fun now, suffer consequences later.  That’s my motto.”  Pulling his hands from his pockets, he reached out and grabbed onto Delia’s arm.  “Now come on.  Let’s go dance!”

 

Delia’s mouth dropped open in shock as Johnny yanked her out of her seat.  “You actually want to dance?” she asked in disbelief.

 

Shrugging as if the answer to her question should be obvious, Johnny simply replied, “Yeah.  This song rocks!  So let’s go before we miss the whole thing!” 

 

As her brother dragged Delia out onto the dance floor before she had another chance to protest, Caterina turned back to Jeremy and eagerly shouted, “Come on, Jeremy, let’s go!”

 

But Jeremy only shook his head.  “Sorry, Cat,” he said.  “But I’m not ready to get back out there yet.  So can we maybe wait another…”

 

But instead of taking her date’s request into consideration, Caterina merely waved a hand at him and started elbowing her way out onto the dance floor by herself.  “Johnny!” she shouted.  “Where are you?  I need someone to dance with!”

 

From somewhere in the middle of the crowd, Johnny enthusiastically pumped his fist in the air.  “Party!” he shouted.

 

As Caterina grinned and began to bob through the mob in order to meet up with her brother, Delia, who had managed to wrench herself free from Johnny’s grasp, suddenly came stumbling back out onto the sidelines.  “Okay,” she said, reaching up to smooth her curls, “what’s wrong with them?  I mean, I know they like to be the life of the party, but this…” turning to look back out at the dance floor, where Johnny and Caterina were now wildly dancing in the middle of the crowd, she shook her head in bewilderment, “well, this is over the top even for them.”

 

“That’s for sure,” Natasha agreed with a nod.  “Especially since they spent so much time coming up with the perfect plan to come here tonight.  And now they don’t even care if they get caught?”

 

Crossing her arms over her chest, Delia turned back to the rest of the group and shook her head.  “Yeah, something’s definitely not adding up here,” she agreed.  “It’s almost like somebody suddenly gave them an overdose of adrenaline and stupidity all in one shot.”

 

As Natasha, Blair, and Jeremy nodded in agreement, Buzz and Maddy, who had been off dancing with some girls they had met, suddenly came rushing off the dance floor.

 

“Hey, can someone tell me why Johnny just stole my drink right out of my hand?” demanded Buzz.

 

“I don’t know,” replied Maddy who was still looking out at the dance floor where Johnny was now raising Buzz’s glass high over his head.  “Maybe so he could do that?”

 

Looking over his shoulder just in time to see Johnny dump his stolen drink over his head so that it completely soaked his hair and the top of his shirt, Buzz put his hands on his hips and disbelievingly narrowed his eyes at him.  “Why?” he demanded.  “Why would he steal my drink just to do something stupid like that?”

 

As the rest of the group sat pondering what could have caused the abrupt change in their friends’ behavior, Blair placed his hands on the edge of the table and pushed himself up onto his feet.  “I hate to say it, guys,” he declared, regretfully shaking his head as everyone turned to look at him, “but I think there’s really only one explanation here.”

 

Turning to look at Natasha’s date, Maddy frowned.  “What’s that, dude?” he asked.

 

Taking a deep breath, Blair continued with, “Delia just said that it’s like someone gave them an overdose of adrenaline and stupidity all in one shot, right?”

 

“Yup,” Delia confirmed with a nod.  “I definitely stand by that statement.”

 

“And we’re in a bar,” Blair added.  “So what’s the biggest adrenaline shot there is in a place like this?”

 

Letting out a gasp of excitement, Maddy raised his hand in the air and began to frantically wave it around as if he were desperately trying to get a teacher’s attention.  “I know!” he animatedly exclaimed.  “Alcohol is!”

 

Blair nodded.  “Right,” he agreed.

 

Natasha gasped.  “Are you saying what I think you’re saying?” she demanded.  “That you think Johnny and Cat are…”

 

Stuffing his hands into the pockets of the baggy jeans that he was wearing with a white button-down shirt that had chest pockets as his eyes zeroed in on the crazily dancing duo, Blair sadly nodded.  “Yup,” he confirmed.  “I think Johnny and Caterina are one hundred percent drunk.”