“So, who you kissing at midnight?” Jack asks casually as he and Conor lean against the counter on either side of me, and I look between them before returning my gaze to the crowd gathered at Joe’s flat.
“Not one of you two, if that’s what you’re implying.”
“You wound me, Y/N.” Jack puts a hand to his heart, pouting as he leans towards me. I laugh and shove him away, while Conor shakes his head.
“As lovely as that sounds, you’re practically our sister. So actually, it would be weird.” Conor nods towards the crowd, “But I’m sure there’s someone out there you want to kiss when the clock strikes twelve.”
For one quick moment my eyes dart over to Joe, who’s laughing at something Mikey says, but I make sure to not linger longer, instead switching to stare at the TV, which is set to one of the many countdowns for tonight.
“And if there is?”
“Well,” Conor turns his body to face mine, while Jack straightens up as well, smirking. “We have taken it upon ourselves to help you with that. We just need the target.”
“Target? Gods, you sound like you’re going to take someone out. Not get me a midnight kiss.”
“Stop avoiding it, and tell us. There’s limited options here, so we can just figure it out. I mean, you’ve already decided against myself or Conor.” Jack looks at the different males in the room. “Who else have we got?”
“Not Oli.” Conor says to his brother, “Because she considers him a brother too.”
“I consider all of you my brothers. Because we are friends. And it’d be weird to like one of you.” I point you.
“Hmm, what about Caspar?” Jack continues to speak as if I never said anything.
“Possibly. But I don’t really get that chemistry between the two.” I gape at Conor’s words.
“What are you on about?”
“Are we bringing sexual tension into this?” Jack raises an eyebrow, and when Conor nods. “Then in that case, the answer is simple.”
“How?” I turn to look at him, and he smirks at me.
“Because you and Joe have the most sexual tension out of any of us.”
“Oh, good point. Oh, look. She’s blushing! We have a winner!” Conor grins and I open my mouth to say something, but am unable to form any words.
“I think she actually likes him. Look at us. Come in looking for a midnight kiss, instead we get Y/N a boyfriend.” Jack high fives his brother and I finally manage to speak.
“Hold on! We never said anything about him being my boyfriend!”
“Give us some time to work.” Jack makes to move away, but I grab his arm quickly.
“No, you do not get to leave. I am not kissing anyone here at midnight. Especially Joe.”
“Why not?” Conor shrugs as he asks the question. “Clearly you want to.”
“Why do you two keep saying stuff like that?”
“Because it’s true.” Jack points at me.
“You don’t know that!”
“Ah, but we do. Now, let us go do our work.” Conor dodges me when I try to grab him, and somehow Jack slips from my grip. I cover my face with my hands as I watch them walk over to Joe.
I want the floor to swallow me up whole.
Somehow, by some miracle, I manage to avoid the Maynard brothers and Joe for most of the rest of the night.
It is now just under ten minutes until the New Year, and I’ve slipped outside, escaping the noise of the party for a short while.
When I hear the volume raise briefly before lowering back to it’s muted tone, I glance over my shoulder to see who’s joined me.
“Joe.” I gasp in surprise.
“Y/N.” He smiles at me as he crosses the short distance to stand beside me. “You’ve been avoiding me all night.”
“I think so.”
“Sorry, didn’t mean too.”
We fall silent, eyes raised to the sky.
“Any New Years resolutions?” I ask, wanting to break the silence.
“Keep making new videos, travel, and complete some more projects.” I notice him watching me from the corner of my eye, but I still can’t bring myself to look at him.
“Those sound doable. Any regrets from this year?”
That does make me lower my gaze to his, and I can hear inside get noisier. We must be drawing nearer to the countdown.
“There was this girl.”
I nod, swallowing.
“And I never told her how I feel.”
We both glance towards inside, where everyone has gathered around the TV.
“You still have six seconds.” My voice is barely a whisper as we face each other.
“What if she doesn’t like me?”
“One way to find out.”
Joe lifts a hand to my cheek, and I lean in to the touch, our heads tilting towards each other.
As the crowd inside erupts in cheers and hollering, Joe closes the distance, our lips coming together in a kiss.
To me, it is the most perfect New Year’s kiss.
And when we pull back, smiling at each other, I lace my fingers through his.
“I think she likes you. Don’t worry.”
Inside, Conor and Jack high five again.