Declan and Mak have been at each other's throats since sophomore year and now it's time for the party to end all parties for the seniors of Rittenhouse Prep.

What's the worst that could happen?

Long live the Kings...





“Let’s get a drink.” Glancing down at her cup like she’d just realized it was empty, she tugged me toward the back of the house.

“I’m okay.” This wasn’t where I should be. The people here were having way too much fun, and it made my stomach flop and my skin tingle. Fight or flight was kicking in. Walking into the place held a lens up to show me exactly what kind of person I wasn’t—and I’d never be. A part of me longed for it, wanted a few hours to not feel like me.

“One drink and then I’ll stop bothering you about it. At least this beer is cold. Emmett knows how to throw a party.” She let out the telltale drunk girl “wooo” before guiding me toward one of the kegs outside.

“We need a beer for Mak,” she yelled to Ford, who was manning the keg, over the three people ahead of us.  He towered over almost everyone there and had the perfect blend of don’t fuck with me and I’m a teddy bear that made most people love him.

Definitely a change from freshman Ford who’d almost been expelled twice for fighting. If he hadn’t been one of the best goalies in state history, he might not have made it. His head snapped up, and his eyes got wide when he saw me. And I wanted to crawl into a hole and die.

“Emmett and Avery invited me,” I blurted, convinced he'd take one look at me, turn me around, and boot me from the party.

“It’s all good, Mak. I just wasn’t expecting to see you here. Glad you could make it.” He handed me a cup full to the brim, and some sloshed out onto my hand.

“Have fun. Be good.” He winked at Kaitlin, refilling her cup, and moving on to the next people in line.

I took a sip of the beer and grimaced. The hoppy carbonated taste hit me tight on the back of my tongue, and my throat convulsed as if to say, Are you stupid? What the hell are you doing?

And then I remembered how much I hated beer. Everyone said you just had to power through the taste, and most of the people there looked like they were having a hell of a lot more fun than me. Taking a deep breath, I stared into the swirling foam on top of the amber liquid underneath. Better seize the day.

“Bottom’s up.”

“Huh?” Kaitlin turned to me with her eyebrows scrunched. I tipped the cup back and turned off my taste buds, gulping down the beer as quickly as I could. Some of it spilled out the sides of my mouth as I gulped it down and drained the whole thing. The sharp, hoppy bubbles from the carbonated drink tickled my nose. With the bottom of my cup in sight, I came up for air with a gasp. A laugh bubbled up and escaped my mouth before I could feel self-conscious enough to wrestle it to the ground.

Kaitlin stared at me with her eyes wide. “Did you just down that whole thing?”

“Sure did.” I turned my empty cup upside down and watched the last drips fall into the grass below.

“Oh shit.”