Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language and mature content.
That Saturday, Ethan collected as much of his tip money as he could and drove the Camaro out to a deserted stretch of road in the outskirts of town. The road was made of dirt, flanked on either side by overgrown grass. Off to the right was an abandoned farm with an empty (and definitely haunted, Ethan thought) house and a decaying barn. In the left field, muscle cars were being parked as the racers came in, and a bonfire was burning not too far away. People were milling about, smoking cigarettes and talking to each other as they watched the competition pull up. Ethan parked the Camaro and got out, lighting a cigarette - something he seldom did - as he did so. He walked towards the bonfire, where he saw Lip.
Lip took a sip from the bottle of beer in his hand and flashed Ethan a grin. "What's up?" He was just a bit drunk.
"You're not old enough to drink," Ethan scolded, his older brother instincts coming out as he was reminded of Rhys.
"Lighten up, Hartman," Lip only grinned wider. "Untwist your panties and crack open a cold one. At least try and have a good time."
Ethan sighed, but grabbed a beer and twisted it open anyway. Lip was right. It was Ethan's night off, and Leah was babysitting Rhys. Ethan could stand to relax.
Ethan took a seat by the fire and sipped on his beer, watching Lip. His brother's best friend (with benefits? Ethan wondered) was chatting and laughing with an ebony-skinned man in his early twenties. It seemed to be more than friendship, though; longing glances, casual touches that lingered just a bit too long, stolen whispers. Ethan watched it all but said nothing; he didn't know what was going on between Rhys and Lip, and it wasn't his place to say anything.
Before he knew it, Ethan had lost count of how many beers he'd had. But when it came time to race, he stumbled his way, quite drunkenly, from the bonfire to the Camaro.
The Camaro edged forward, Ethan leaning back in the driver's seat as he squinted at the guy holding the light. God, he was so drunk. Had he ever been this drunk before? When was the last time he had drank? He couldn't remember; with a jolt, he realized the man had flashed the light and he hit the gas, sending the Camaro rocketing forward. He was going very fast, watching the speedometer rise above 60, 70, 80; he was weaving all over the road; had he crossed the finish line? He grinned to himself, laughing, glad he had won but suddenly the car veered, tires squealing as he pressed the brakes too late and the front end crashed into a bale of hay sitting in the field next to the wall of the barn.
"Fuck!" Ethan thumped the steering wheel. He hoped the front end of the Camaro wouldn't be too fucked up.
"Hey, hey!" Lip was running towards him, followed by a few other guys. Ethan opened the door and fell flat onto the ground, face first. He pulled himself to his feet, wavering and grinning.
"Dude, are you okay?" Lip looked wild, eyes wide as he took Ethan by the arms and shook him. "Are you okay?"
"I'm fine," Ethan waved them away, lumbering forward to take a look at the front end. It wasn't as badly fucked up as he had assumed, which made him grin again. Lip was pulling by the arm back towards the fire.
"Okay, you are way too drunk. Come sit down."
Ethan scowled, but allowed himself to be led back to his chair and sat in it. He pouted a bit as he stared at the fire, suddenly overcome with drunken sadness. He reached for another beer.
"Nope," Lip pulled it out of his hand before he could open it, handing him a bottle of water instead. "You need to take a break from drinking for a bit, amigo."
Ethan grumbled but took a drink of the water anyway. At least from his seat he could see the track and watch the other races. He wished Leah were there with him, and wondered what she and Rhys were getting up to.