“I’m leaving with my friends,” Natalie shouted back towards the kitchen the next night as she quickly walked towards the door. Scott set down the clean dish he held in his hands, walking out of the kitchen to eye her curiously.
“Nat,” he said, catching her attention before she made it out the door. “You know you can’t go anywhere.”
Natalie let out a sigh as she dropped her shoulders, turning towards him. Inside, she knew he probably wouldn’t end up letting her go out, but she still at least tried. “Please?” she asked, giving him a begging look. “You don’t have to tell them.”
He shrugged his shoulders while shaking his head. “I’m sorry,” he said, feeling a little bad for her. Natalie simply nodded her head, angry at her parents. “Why don’t you just have everyone here? You guys can do a fire on the beach or something like that,” he suddenly said after a small silence, trying to lift her mood.
Natalie shrugged, knowing she really didn’t have a choice. None of her friends probably even wanted to just hang around her house on their Friday night, either, but she figured she’d at least try.
“Noooo,” Bruno whined into the phone, making Natalie roll her eyes. “I’m not coming over. I told you that.”
“But Bruno,” Natalie began, letting out a sigh towards how dramatic he was. “My parents are in freaking New York City, I highly doubt you’ll run into them. And we’ll just stay outside to make you happy.”
“But your uncle is there,” he said in a small voice.
“So what. You don’t have to talk to him or anything…” Natalie quietly responded, wondering why he was acting like such a baby.
He let out a groan, trying to figure out something to say for another excuse. “I just don’t want them to hate me more…” he said after a few minutes in a kid-like voice.
Natalie allowed herself to release a sigh at him. “Bruno, I’ve already told you.They don’t hate you,” she said, trying to get it through his thick skull. “How many more times do I have to assure you that until you believe me?”
“None because I won’t ever believe you,” he replied stubbornly. Natalie just rolled her eyes again, giving up on him.
“Pleasseeee,” she begged in a sad voice. “Unless you want to sit your ass at home by yourself tonight…” she added, knowing his friends were planning on coming over to her house as well.
He released his breath through the receiver. “I’m afraid of your dad.”
“He’s not here!” She said in a shouting voice, trying to get him to understand. “It’s my first time hanging out in a month. I’m calling Ryan and telling him you’re coming,” she said simply, ready to hang up the phone on him if he tried to protest.
“Fine,” he said with another sad sigh, trying to sound disappointed. Natalie smiled to herself, knowing he was just being stubborn. She told him what time to come over before she hung up the phone to fix up a bit.
After a couple of hours, she sat on one of their wooden benches in front of the fairly large fire, Bruno sitting next to her. it was already dark outside aside from the orange tint the fire gave off, and even though her plans for the night basically backfired on her, Natalie didn’t mind just sitting around and talking with everyone.
“God, I told you,” she said as she leaned in sideways on Bruno slightly, her voice low. “Now do you see my parents booking the next flight out of New York because you’re here?” she asked quietly with a small laugh, looking at him as he stared at the fire.
His lips broke into a tiny smile for a split second before turning back to normal. “I never said that would happen,” he simply replied, nudging against her shoulder slightly.
Natalie rolled her eyes. “You don’t even have to say it to make yourself so dramatic…” she said, shaking her head at him.
“I’m not dramatic,” he said with a smile. “I’m reasonable.”
Natalie felt herself laugh suddenly at his words, causing a few of her friends to glance over at the two of them. She quickly brought her hand up to her mouth, muffling her laughter. “That’s hilarious, Bruno. You’re probably the biggest drama queen I know. You even top Savannah,” she added in a lower voice and a smile, looking across the fire towards Savannah.
Bruno rolled his eyes with a smile. “If I agree with you, will you drop the conversation?” he asked, pulling her into a sideways hug.
“Maybe,” she laughed, feeling Bruno drop his arms from her suddenly.
“Fuck this then,” he said jokingly, scooting further away from her, a straight face on.
“Okay fine, I’m kiddinggg,” she said, moving over to him again, leaning her head in sideways towards his shoulder. “Then you start a new conversation since I can’t tease you,” She added, tilting her head up so that she could see his face.
“Alright,” he said with a sly smirk. “How was your isolation?”
“What?” Natalie asked, wrinkling her nose up in thought.
“You know, your month of sitting all alone while I had a great time doing whatever the hell I wanted,” he said with a teasing laugh.
Natalie glared at him as he softly laughed still. “Don’t act like you didn’t get in trouble…” she said, knowing that he was grounded for a week after getting caught sneaking out as well.
“Yeah, but not for a month because I don’t say stupid shit to my parents,” Bruno replied with the same smile, shaking his head at her.
“Boo, I don’t care,” she said in a small voice. “Leave me aloneee.”
Bruno finally managed to get himself together after laughing, feeling Natalie lean against him as he rested his hand on her thigh. “But was it worth it?” he asked after a few moments of silence between them.
“Was what worth it? Getting grounded for a month?” Natalie asked sarcastically, looking up to give him an odd look.
“No, not that half of the equation,” he said softly, shaking his head as he moved his hand over her leg gently.
Natalie stared at him for a moment, seeing the small twinkle in his eyes as he tried to keep himself from smiling. It took her a few minutes until she figured out what he was going at. “Why would I even tell you that?” she asked, shaking her head back at him.
“Because I’m a guy and I’m curious,” he replied in an almost whisper, moving his hand over her leg, towards her bellybutton.
“Well I’m not telling you,” she simply replied, moving his hand from the bottom of her jean shorts, not saying anything further.
“But I want to know if I’m worth ittttt,” he whined, giving her a sad look as he replaced his hand back on the same spot from where Natalie moved it.
“You’re disgusting,” she said, wrinkling her face up at him.
“What?” he laughed suddenly, eyeing her. “I’m talking about sneaking out…”
Natalie turned to look at him “Whatever,” she said as she shook her head. “You were so not thinking about that and I know it.”
Bruno just laughed at her statement, neither confirming nor denying the fact. “You have a dirty mind, Nat.”
She punched him half-heartedly on his arm, shaking her head. “Coming from the hypocritical boy who can’t keep his hands to himself,” she said as she took his hand away from her upper thigh once again.
“So was that night sneaking out worth it?” he asked suddenly with a laugh, somewhat changing the subject.
“Why is it important to you?” she asked with a tiny laugh at his curiosity.
“Because I want to know if you’d ever do it again.”
“Then no, it wasn’t worth going to the freaking boardwalk just to get myself grounded for a month,” she replied with a shrug, looking back at the fire.
“Well I thought it was a nice night…” he said simply, sounding quite content with himself.
“It would have been much nicer had there been no officer,” Natalie retaliated, not wanting to admit that she actually liked how that night they only talked and walked alongside the beach.
“Well then when would you ever sneak out again?” he asked gently.
“I don’t know,” she said with a tired sigh. “If it was important then maybe I would.”
“Well then it’s important,” he almost whispered, running his hand across over between her legs.
“Stop Bruno, there’s people here,” she whispered almost sternly, moving his hand for the third time. “And what are you talking about?”
“Come on, let’s go,” he said softly, causing her to turn to look at his face. “Trust me,” he added, standing up as she finally followed him. He grabbed her hand, beginning to walk away from the fire as she walked a couple of steps behind him, holding his hand. “We’ll be back,” Bruno said, turning to face everyone else who looked over to the two. “We’re getting food,” he added simply before continuing on walking towards his car.
“Bruno,” Natalie said in a soft, urgent voice. “I can’t just leave my own house…especially when my uncle is home and everyone is here.”
“It’s not like he will notice you gone,” Bruno said as he opened the passenger door side for her to get in. “And they’re smart. They can handle themselves,” Bruno added, mentioning their friends that they left back at the fire. Natalie finally let out a sigh, deciding to get in his car.
“Food my ass,” Savannah said as Natalie and Bruno pulled out of the driveway. “They’re so totally going to fuck.”