I WAS BORED as fuck.
The party was like any other party. I knew it would be. I’d actually considered canceling this one, but for some idiotic reason, I hadn’t.
I looked around.
Should’ve done it.
If this was the kick-off to our senior year, I wanted a fast-forward button. Nothing had changed, and I was going out of my mind. The chaos brewing inside me needed to be fed. Seventeen was supposed to be so much more than this.
The need for excitement thirsted on my tongue and this lame-ass same old, same old shit that surrounded me would never quench it.
Feeling on edge, I shook my head at the sight that surrounded me.
Julian smoking a jay with Grayson on the deck—lame.
Christian over at the mini bar breaking out the whiskey—lame.
The other twenty guys sitting on their asses watching a girl shake her tits across the theater-sized movie screen—lame. They were probably going to come in their pants the minute she showed her pussy. The pansies needed to get their dicks sucked more often.
Running a hand through my hair, I couldn’t help but stare at the gross familiarity a little longer.
I was going out of my mind.
Change was needed. A challenge. A diversion. Something. Anything to break the monotony, and I was going to find it.
Didn’t matter what it was.
Advantage had a way about it. Making you want what you shouldn’t just because you could. It was pretentious, and I knew it. Yet, I was restless, and I had to do something about it.
The chicks hadn’t arrived yet, and there was a chance they weren’t going to show, which meant no dick sucking for anyone.
Their behavior really was utterly unacceptable.
Another reason I needed a change.
Grayson strode toward me and handed me his joint. “Any sign of them?”
After inhaling, I blew smoke in rings from my mouth toward the ceiling. I was getting tired of waiting for the invited guests and was close to uninviting them all. “Nope.”
“Shit, what if they don’t come?” he asked.
“Then fuck them.”
He raised both brows in challenge. “That’s going to be a little difficult.”
“Well obviously, I don’t mean literally, since they haven’t bothered to show up.”
“Bitches,” he muttered under his breath.
“You know what,” I offered before taking another hit, and not in question.
Those glassy eyes met mine and then rolled. “Don’t say it. I don’t want to hear it.”
Kicking my chin up, my voice was harsh when I spoke. “Don’t be a dickface.”
His shoulders lifted to his ears, and he puffed out a heavy breath. “Can’t change who I am.”
“Seriously, dude, listen to me,” I told him, “we need to stop inviting them . . . anywhere. Let them turn into the withering prudes that they are.”
Grayson grabbed the jay back. “I get what you’re saying, I do, but that helps us how exactly?”
“It forces us to move on. Color outside the ridiculously rigid lines our families have drawn for us.”
“Break tradition?” he balked, shaking his head.
A huff of frustration bled out when I spoke. “Yeah, break fucking tradition. In fact, I say regardless of what happens tonight, on Monday after practice we hit up NoCal.”
“Northern California High School?” he asked, scuffing, already rebuking the idea.
I slapped him on the back. “You got it.”
Taking a step past me to blow a stream of smoke out the open window, he nudged me in the ribs as he did and stared at me in question. “You can’t possibly mean prowl the halls of a public high school for chicks?”
I nodded again. “Yeah, that’s exactly what I mean.”
Was he dense?
My statement was pretty clear.
Grayson jerked his head in both directions like I had just taken his favorite toy. “No fucking way. Not happening on my watch.”
Who did he think he was?
He was student body president, not guardian of the fucking galaxy. Truly, the dude needed to be popped a good one—right in that straight nose of his.
I tossed him a disgusted look. He might have been my best friend, but he had to be the most arrogant, entitled motherfucker that ever walked the halls of St. John’s School for Boys.
Okay, so I wasn’t far behind.
In fact, none of us were. We were all a lot like him. Then again, when you lived in the pretentious Napa Valley and went to the prestigious St. John’s, you earned the right to be full of yourself.
We all came from money. Craploads of it. The kind you could never run out of no matter how much you spent because there was just too fucking much of it. The type where rules didn’t govern us, but rather tradition did.
And tradition dictated we were supposed to fall in love with the elite chicks who went to the Jane Whitmore School for Girls. And . . . that meant waiting for their asses to decide if they were going to show up or not, and a whole lot more.
It was getting old.
More than likely they were all sitting around painting their nails and discussing if they should give up their precious v-card ad nauseam.
Getting their cherries popped was inevitable. If it hadn’t happened over the summer, it would happen very soon.
It was true.
The room was filled with entitled pricks who had waited long enough for them to put out.
The oldest tradition in the book—the one about them keeping their virginity intact until they found the one—well, it was all such bullshit.
It wasn’t like it was real.
It didn’t exist for Christ’s sake.
All anyone had to do was sniff to smell the unhappiness that reeked in the surrounding air.
They were laughable.
A change was needed, and I didn’t care if I had to be the person to make it. I never cared for rules, anyway. The rebel inside me couldn’t stand them. They made me itchy.
“Did you place the bet on the football game for Sunday?” I asked, changing the topic.
Gray nodded. “It’s locked and loaded, like always.”
“Check it out.” Christian ambled toward the fireplace mantel with one of my gran’s crystal glasses in his hand.
Wilhelmina Madeline Fox Holiday was actually my step-grandmother, among other things. I never knew my blood grandmother, Jane Holiday, my grandfather’s first wife and my father’s mother, but I knew our company was named after her—California Jane.
California Jane was our family’s winery. Wilhelmina ran it, and she was off in Europe doing whatever it was she did for it right now. Sourcing. Securing. Obtaining. Fucking.
Who the hell knew?
“Don’t,” I gritted out, hating that I forgot to tuck my senior picture in a drawer, or better yet, toss it into the flames.
Why’d she put it there, anyway?
Picking up the silver frame, Christian grinned wide. “You know, Ty, you look an awful lot like that guy in Gossip Girl.”
I stared at him with a blank expression across my face. Who the fuck was he talking about? And why the fuck was he talking about it?
He snapped his fingers. “Come on, Pretty Boy, you know who I mean. The one all the chicks are drooling over with the blue eyes and perfect hair.”
Perfect hair? That wasn’t me. My hair was always a mess. I made sure of it because I really hated when anyone called me Pretty Boy.
Party Boy was more my style, but Grayson held that title.
Too bad I’d live to regret wishing for that moniker change when I actually got it.
“Fuck off,” I told him. “At least I wasn’t grinning like a mother fucker getting blown for the first time and having my picture snapped to remember it.”
Unnerved by the trash talk, he set the picture down. “Yeah, right. Good one, Ty. But, at least I know how to smile, and shave, I might add.”
Clapping my hands together, I said, “Good for you.”
Grayson pointed at him and joined in the fun. “Too bad it doesn’t make you any better looking,” he joked, reaching for my picture and looking it over.
Incredulous laughter roared from him. “Fuck off, Gray. You really are an egomaniac.”
Immune to the insults, Grayson paid no attention to the dirt being slung his way, but rather glanced at me. “Shit, man, the girls are going to be drooling all over you this year. Seriously, dude, when did your ugly mug turn movie star-like, anyway?”
Julian started holding his stomach in laughter but my response was to narrow my eyes at him.
The razzing continued. “And here I’ve been thinking all along that I was the only good-looking one in the bunch.”
That had all of us snorting because honestly, what could you say to that. Grayson was . . . well Grayson—the popular wholesome jock who was always so full of himself. With the man-bun thing he had going on, the extensive wardrobe, and his muscles from hell, the girls really dug him.
And yet I got the name Pretty Boy and he was Party Boy. Explain that one.
Julian rocked back in the chair where he had taken residence at Gran’s desk. He played football and Lacrosse, too. We all did, but he was the only one as tall and lean as I was, which made him my main competition when it came to securing the quarterback position in football and the goalkeeper position in Lacrosse.
They belonged to me. And when something was mine, I never gave it up, willingly.
Punching the computer keyboard, he shouted, “That’s it,” and then spun to face us. His long legs stretched out in front of him and his fingers threaded at the back of his head when he spoke. “The dude’s name from Gossip Girl is Chace Crawford, and Ty, you really do look like him. In fact, you could be his double. Maybe you should give him a call?”
That itch I had made me really want to punch them all. “Shut the fuck up about my picture, all of you.”
“Hey, I think Gossip Girl guy beats the James Dean look you’re rocking tonight. What’s with the white tee, anyway?” Christian asked.
With a slanted gaze, I looked at his preppy pink polo and khakis and my lips twisted in hysteria. “I guess I’m not like you because I don’t have a Mommy to dress me in all those pretty clothes.”
He shrugged and handed me a freshly rolled joint. “Whatever, man. Keep the James Dean thing you got going on if you want, but at least stick this behind your ear.”
I took it.
Figured why not.
It would save me the time of bumming one later.
“Hey, you guys want to see my senior pic?” Grayson asked, reaching around to his back pocket for his wallet. Seriously, he wasn’t carrying around his own picture. Was he?
“No!” we all shouted at the same time.
Lights from the driveway had me glancing out the window and ready for a change of topic.
“Shit,” Grayson remarked, leaving his wallet right where it was and stubbing out the joint in a nearby ashtray. “I can’t fucking believe it—they finally decided to show.”
I jerked my attention to where his eyes were fixated.
There must have been at least five cabs pulling into the circular drive with the words, “St. Helena’s City Fare,” plastered across the signs on top of them.
I chuckled and slid my hands into my pockets, leaning against the glass. Guess the girls didn’t want to use Mommy and Daddy’s chauffeurs because it would alert the rents as to where they were headed—Tyler Holiday’s place or “Trouble” as their parents referred to me.
Yeah, I had a bad reputation, but that was only because Gran was always out of town and I was the lucky bastard nominated to host party after party. I didn’t care, though. I rather liked that moniker—it drove Gran-gran crazy.
The shiny yellow doors flung open and twenty glorified virgins wearing chastity belts, designer jeans, high heels, and frilly tops with too many buttons and hooks, poured out.
“Here come the stuck-up princesses,” I muttered under my breath.
Grayson gave me a slow shake of his head. “Just think, someday one of them might be your queen.”
The thought was nauseating, and still, my gaze perused them tirelessly. Instinct more than anything else. Perhaps boredom, too.
Same old, same old.
Kissed that one. Ate that one out. Shared my dick with those two. I wasn’t kidding. I really was ready to go elsewhere, tradition be damned.
“Looks like Tabitha grew a set of tatas.” Grayson was practically drooling as he stared at her huge tits through the window.
I rolled my eyes. “Dude, grow isn’t the right word. It looks more like she had them surgically implanted,” I grunted with a dry laugh.
“Whatever. Like I care how she got them. I’ll stick my dick between them no matter how she acquired them.”
“All yours, man. Go forth and make her your queen,” I told him, slapping him on the shoulder and scanning the rest of the crowd. Searching for what, I had no fucking clue.
Same old. Same old.
Suddenly, my eyes went wide at the same time my dick became instantly hard.
They didn’t all look identical, after all.
One girl wasn’t wearing the Jane out-of-uniform dress code of designer whatevers. Instead, she wore Converse and a short skirt with a t-shirt whose words I couldn’t read from here. Her out of control flaming red hair was as long as her legs, and her pursed lips told me she was ready for a little fun.
She was hot as hell.
Christian downed the last drops of whiskey in his glass and slammed the empty on the sill. “Fuck yeah, they finally made it.”
I pointed out the window to the girl who didn’t look like the others. “Who’s that?”
He shrugged. “Never seen her before.”
Grayson piped up. “She’s the new girl.”
Continuing to glance out the window, I played it cool, acting only mildly interested. “Oh yeah? I don’t remember you mentioning a new girl.”
Amusement rippled across his lips. “That’s because I didn’t.”
The warm, muted lights that poured over her from the carriage bulbs illuminated her small, perfect nose and her heart-shaped pouty mouth and then there was that smattering of freckles across her fair skin. “What’s her name?”
“I call her Party Girl, but her real name is Paris,” he mumbled low under his breath.
“The city of love. I like her already.”
Concern crested his brow and his body language screamed with hesitation. “Yeah, well, I don’t think you will for long.”
My senses fired with jealousy, and I ran my hand over the back of my neck to calm myself the fuck down. “Don’t fucking tell me you’ve already had her?”
Seconds were never my style.
The mood was still heightened by all the testosterone flaring between us even as his smug laughter filled the air. “Hardly, asshole. Not my type.”
Had to admit, I was feeling territorial over someone I didn’t even know. So when impatience had me grabbing him by the collar, it was no surprise. “Then why the hell not?”
Grayson snorted and shoved back from my hold, righting himself without even blinking. “Her full name is Paris Elizabeth Hollis Fairchild, asshat.”
Caution played at the fringes of my mind but intrigue took front and center. A diversion. Something different. Reckless. “Fairchild, as in Highway 128?”
A smug smirk crossed his lips. “The very same.”
Interesting. I had no idea there was a girl my age in that family. You see, the Fairchilds were the Hatfields and the Holidays were the McCoys. However, that half-century-old family feud over land had nothing to do with her or me.
Grayson didn’t like her out of loyalty to me, and if I were a guy who cared about that shit, I might actually be touched. Well, that and the fact that Mr. Albert Dane, Sr., his grandfather and Mr. Albert Dane, Jr., his father, were my family’s attorneys and as such they hated the Fairchilds almost as much as my grandfather had. Me, on the other hand, I had no reason to hate this girl or carry on the family feud.
I scrubbed my palm over my mouth, feeling only a bit like the asshole I was. “What’s her story?” I asked.
Leaning back against the wall, he crossed his arms over his chest, his smugness growing bigger by the second. “She rolled into town about a week ago. Rumor has it she got caught fingering herself in front of her professor at a boarding school in Switzerland, and they both got kicked out.”
I whistled low under my breath and gave her a second look. “Quite the rumor.”
“It gets better.”
“It was her first day.”
“And that makes it better, how?”
“Means she’s easy.”
“Or bored,” I sneered.
Standing straight, he set his gaze back on the girls. “Yeah, well, even if she wasn’t your sworn enemy, she needs a serious makeover. Somebody should probably let her know the flower child look went out years ago.”
“Doesn’t bother me.”
“Whatever. If you ask me, she stands out like my dick in the locker room.”
For some crazy reason, I wanted to punch him right in the teeth. “Shut the fuck up,” I growled instead.
He raised his palms. “Chill, dude, if you want the oddball, she’s all yours.”
Damn straight she was.
Just then she glanced toward the window. Big mischievous eyes caught my gaze, and when she noticed, she licked those luscious lips. That’s when the strangest thing happened to my body—my balls tightened, and I felt that very familiar rush slink down my spine. Fuck no! I wasn’t going to come in my pants.
I pulled it back.
I was not a lame ass like the others.
I was different.
And it looked like she was, too.
An electric current flowed between us like one of those crazy thunderstorms that carried all the way over the Pacific. The kind of storm that had the potential to rock your world.
Undaunted, she held my stare. I wondered if she felt that strange rush I was feeling. That thrill I wanted to take for a ride. That need I wanted to satisfy. The urge I couldn’t deny. Then she smiled at me with a wicked grin, and I knew she did.
This was so on.
Tonight, she’d be doing more than fingering herself.
Tonight, she’d be doing more than sucking my dick.
Tonight was the night I was going to lose my virginity, and she was the hottest fucking girl I’d ever seen, enemy or not.
She strode toward the house and I couldn’t believe how epic this party was about to become.
“Fuck me,” I muttered under my breath.
And I meant it literally.