Party Hardy

A sigh escaped pink lips, the girl they belonged to sitting atop the tall structure and shivering in the cool evening breeze. She was hiding, for all intents and purposes from the rest of the world.

Below her, in the bowels of the building, the party continued, the heavy bass of the music and strobe lights the only distraction from the glittering city far below her, alight from streetlamps, businesses, and cars.

She had left the party almost immediately, knowing full well that no one would notice her absence, even on a day like today. This was not her sort of party, they were not her sort of guests, and she preferred the sounds of the metropolis below her to the techno that was playing inside.

She had resigned herself to stay out here for the rest of the night, only appearing when they called for her to give a speech, and had brought along a whole thermos of tea to keep away the chill. Her cocktail dress was lovely, but it did little to shield her from the wind.

She heard footsteps against the balcony above her, and instinctively moved backward until she was pressed against the wall, quieting her breathing. With any luck, they would leave, and she could return to her vigil in silence.

“You have a weird notion of how to spend a birthday.” The intruder said, a grin in their voice. “You always run away when people try to celebrate you?”

The girl sighed and looked up, catching sight of the grinning brunette as he peered over the balcony railing at her. “What do you want?”

“To see if our birthday girl is enjoying the party. Don’t think I didn’t notice you slip out earlier. Very sneaky.”

“What do you really want?” She asked instead, frowning up at him.

“Honestly? To ask why you ran.” He moved along the railing, making for the stairs, and took them gracefully, slipping his hands back into his pockets as he moved closer to her. “Seems very unlike you.”

“You don’t know me very well, then.” She watched him carefully, holding her mug to her chest like a shield. “I’m an excellent runner, even in these heels.”

He laughed, a sound that had her smiling in seconds. “Really? You always seemed so brave to me… Like there was nothing you were too afraid to face.”

“Man, I’m a better actress than I thought.” She laughed, taking another sip of tea. “I’m really not though. This is the real me, the one who runs away and acts like nothing’s happened.”

“Why is that?” He asked, leaning against the wall beside her. “You always struck me as a little spitfire… Never thought you were a coward.” He didn’t look at her, instead looking out over the city, smiling. “You fight for what you want, like no one I’ve ever seen… It’s one of the reasons I admire you as much as I do. You never give up on your dreams.”

She felt a flush begin to settle into her cheeks, dipping her head toward her mug to try and hide it. “Really?”

“Really.” He replied, offering her his arm. “Now are you ready to face the world?”

She looked back at the curtains that covered the wide windows, and the pulsing lights beyond. “You know, I don’t think so.” She slipped her arm through his, smiling. “But I think I could party hardy right here.”

He laughed, nodding once before he shifted closer, giving her some of his warmth. “A party with tea and good company? There’s no better kind in the world.”

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