“Who’s Arizona?”

“That one.” He pointed his finger at me and narrowed his eyes. “She’s my roommate’s number one.”


“So, in exchange for him agreeing to let us throw this little party here…” Josh returned the dollar bills to Nicole. “She and her friend don’t have to pay for any of their drinks tonight.”

The guy shrugged and made the drinks while Nicole gave me a high five.

“Tell me, Josh.” I crossed my arms. “Did you do that out of the kindness of your heart or were you forced?”

“I was forced. If it was up to me, I’d charge your ass triple.”

“I’ll be sure to drink all night then.”

“Right…” He smiled and playfully pushed my shoulder. “I’ve got four of my guys running safety rides all night. Let me know if you and your friend get too drunk to drive.”

“Thank you.”

“Anytime.” He stepped back, slowly looking me up and down with his eyebrow raised. He looked as if he wanted to say something else, but he settled with a “See you later” and walked away.

“Thank you very, very much!” Nicole winked at the bartender as he handed her a tray of red cups. “Let’s go sit over there, Ari.”

I followed her to a small wooden bench, and she set the drinks between us.

“Make sure you tell Carter I said thank you,” she said. “Once again, your friendship with him comes in handy at just the right moment…Now, to take full advantage of your discount, we’ll need to drink all of these back to back and then we’ve got to do four more.”

“Eight shots within the same hour? Are you insane?”

“Not at all.” She handed me a shot. “Live a little, Ari. Since you’re not having sex and god knows the next time that’ll happen for you, you might as well experience something in life that feels good. Alcohol would be more than a great start.”

I tossed back two shots and winced, clenching my teeth together as the liquid burned my throat.

She handed me the other two cups, and as if she could read what was on my mind, she put up her hands in a fake surrender. “No, I’m not going to attempt to drive back tonight. We’ll catch a safety ride at the end and I’ll get my car tomorrow.”

“Great.” I finished off my shots and held my hand over my chest until the searing sensation went away.

“Ready for the next set?” Nicole asked, standing up.

“Oh, no. I have an early date with that guy Chris I told you about tomorrow, so I really shouldn’t drink that much. ”

“If I was Carter, I’m sure you’d happily agree to drink more with me right now...”

“If you were Carter, you’d know that I’m a super-lightweight.”

“Well, thank god I’m not him, huh?” She pulled me up and tugged me over to the bar again. This time, instead of sitting down to drink the next set, we drank them in front of the bartender, and he even joined us for two of them.

By the time the eighth one had entered my bloodstream, I was feeling loose and overly happy. And I wasn’t sure what came over me, but I ordered even more alcohol. Now unable to resist Nicole’s whines of “But everything is FREE!” I downed several mixed drinks, nameless concoctions, and at some point, I was pretty sure I drank a shot straight out of her cleavage.


“Slip N’ Slide time!” Nicole yelled, pulling me across the yard.

“Yesssss…” I slurred, trying my hardest to walk in a straight line. “Slip…Slip N’ Slide time…”

“Come on, Ari! Stop dragging your feet!”

“I’m not…I’m not dragging…” I stopped. “Whoa….” The ground was rotating beneath my feet and I was pretty sure the blades of grass were trying to jump up and cut me.


“I think I need…to sit…too many drinks.”

“Nah! You’ll be good once you hit the water!” She linked her arm in mine and practically herded me to the line.

“Ladies first.” The only guy standing in front of us turned around. “You two can go ahead.”

“Thank you very much.” Nicole batted her eyes. “Okay. You first, Queen Lightweight.”

I took a step forward, kicking at a dandelion that was dancing on the ground. I tried to find my balance, staring straight ahead at the massive yellow tarp.

“You just run and lunge for it…” the guy said behind me. “You also have to yell ‘EPIC’ as you slide. Josh’s rules not mine.”

“If I do this,” I said to Nicole, still trying to find my balance. “Can we sit down after?”

“Right after.”

“Okay….” I slowly kicked off my sandals and made a run for the tarp, yelling “EPIC” as my body hit the plastic and slid faster than ever.

When I reached the end of it, I could feel a sudden blast of cold water being tossed onto me.

“Epic with a capital E!” The frat guys above me shouted. Before I could yell at them and ask what the hell they were doing, I looked over to the other tarp and realized that they were throwing buckets of water on everyone who did it.

Laughing, I let them help me up and waited for Nicole to take her turn. Of course, to garner as much attention as possible, she took off her dress—exposing a bikini that barely covered her Double D breasts, before taking the plunge.