Feeling dizzy, I back away from the table with heavy limbs. The girls I met don’t notice my departure but Justin Kirby does.
He’s right next to me with his hand on my lower back.
“I need to sit down,” I say.
“Okay sweetheart,” he says.
He steers me away, past an empty chair.
“Wait,” I say, but he leads me to the basement stairs and we start to go up. I’m having trouble managing them.
I mumble something as we wind through the crowd on the main floor, bumping against a shoulder here and an elbow there. The music is pounding. I feel it in my body, but it sounds muffled, along with all the other sounds in the room. He steers me up another flight of stairs. He has to put his arm around me to keep me from tripping on the steps.
What’s the matter with me?
There’s a long, dark hallway at the top, with several rooms breaking off on either side. Justin Kirby is practically dragging me along.
When he opens a door, I see a bed in the room and know I’m in trouble. I’m almost too out of it to panic properly.
All of a sudden, he half lets go of me, half shoves me into the doorjamb.
I hit my forehead on the wood, trying to hang on to something. There’s screaming and yelling—I’m hearing his voice, I think, and someone else’s, a woman’s voice—but it’s all confusion to me and now all I can do is think about the fact that I’m falling and can’t stop.