Page 20 of Wild Night

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And just like that…silence.

For about thirty-two seconds. Which was how long it took for Padraig to ask Emmy if she’d seen his drink.

At which point, they all cracked up laughing, then started again.

Kelli was amazed by how well the game worked after that, and how much fun it was. They started using all the rooms in the apartment to hide and chat while Emmy, who nailed her role as the monster, lurked in the shadows, unseen until—boom! Tequila shot.

Kelli was equal parts amused and terrified. It was perfect. They’d been playing for nearly two hours and no one was getting tired of it. Of course, the power still wasn’t on, so it wasn’t like there were a lot of other options either.

She ran into Padraig in the tiny office. He still wasn’t super quiet, but at least he was managing to whisper now. Mercifully, Emmy stopped “catching” him because he was already going to be hungover enough tomorrow.

Kelli couldn’t help but wonder what was going through his head tonight.

“You okay?” she mouthed/whispered into his ear. Through the dim candlelight, she saw him nod.

“Just,” he shrugged, “a bad day. Seamus broke off the leash this morning and ran. I lost sight of him for a few minutes. Found him, but it brought up some old memories and…”

He let Kelli fill in what he wasn’t saying. Seamus had been Mia’s dog, the sweet animal completely devoted to her. Since then, he’d been Padraig’s constant companion. Padraig called him his sidekick and he loved the dog to distraction.

Kelli could only imagine the panic Padraig must have felt when Seamus was lost, and she didn’t want to consider the day the dear dog passed away. Right now, Seamus was Padraig’s strongest, most important connection to Mia, and if—God, when—he lost him, she worried how Padraig would react.

“I understand,” she whispered. “I’m glad you found him.”

Padraig nodded, his face clearing slowly, and he gave her a genuine smile. “I love you, Kell. You’re so sweet.”

“Said no one ever,” she joked.

“You’re my best friend. I couldn’t live without you.”

She knew it was the bourbon talking, so she rolled her eyes in an attempt not to show how much his words meant to her. “I love you too, you drunk lunatic.”

He chuckled as he gave her a kiss on the cheek, and then they snuck out of the room, scanning the area for the monster.

A few minutes later, she ran into Robbie in Oliver’s bedroom. He and Fergus had been silently laughing over Fergus’s girlfriend having to take yet another shot. Aubrey was struggling to grasp the concept of whispering quietly.

Robbie tiptoed over to her, bending until his lips were at her ear. “Thanks for inviting me. What a great night.”

Kelli smiled, twisting until it was her mouth at his ear. “I’m glad you came. And thanks for saying yes to the other thing.”

Robbie’s grin was huge and infectious. He was a nice guy and, for a moment, she tried to recall why exactly they hadn’t worked out as a couple in college.

“I’m honored you asked.” Then he, like Padraig, gave her a kiss on the cheek. She was batting a thousand on platonic pecks tonight.

Story of my life.

Robbie lifted his empty cup and pointed toward the kitchen. She nodded, and they quietly walked down the hall. Through the dim light in the living room, she saw Colm and Brooke leaving.

She smirked. At least someone was getting lucky tonight.

Which led to another thought. There was now an empty bedroom—and it had her name all over it. The wine—she’d had way too much again—as well as the screwdrivers Brooke had given her when her wine ran out, were making her sleepy and sluggish.

She leaned toward Robbie and whispered, “Too much wine.” She pointed above her head. “Might lie down a few minutes. Head spinning.”

He nodded. “Going to play longer. I’ll come up before I leave.”


They’d driven to the party separately since Kelli had already made plans with Darcy to spend the night here. She’d intended to sleep on the couch, but there were still too many people playing that game, and God only knew when they’d call it quits.

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