“Okay, rules before you three head out.” Dad said. He still had the keys. It was Derek’s jeep the three of them were sitting in, but Dad had snagged the keys before Derek grabbed them.
“Dad,” Derek groaned. “We know.”
“Just humor me. If you drink, you stay the night. If there’s drugs, you stay away, and you just tell me if there’s a chance you got a contact high. I trust you three not doing drugs.”
“We get it.” Derek just wanted to get up to the Heights. The party was going to be off the chart.
Dad narrowed his eyes. “Do you want to go? Cause until I am sure you three aren’t going to be any kinds of stupid, you are going to listen. Got it?”
“Good. If you need Mom and I to come pick you up for any reason, we’ll come. No questions asked. That goes for you two boys. I want you three to be safe, and I don’t mean just physically. If you three happen to find a girl, or something, you be safe and use protection.”
“Oh my god, Dad.” Derek was now ready for the entire world to swallow him up.
Dad handed Derek the keys. “Have fun.”
“You’re an asshole,” Derek mumbled. Dad laughed and walked away from the car. As soon as Derek pulled out his friends cracked up laughing. “Fucking hell. I cannot believe he said that.”
“Dude, admit it, you’re Dad is awesome. Always has been,” Brandt said.
Derek wasn’t going to admit to no such things. Sure, secretly he thought Dad was super cool, and he even admired him for the type of life he built for himself despite having been in prison twice.
Derek turned up the radio. He headed toward Roaring Heights where the biggest party of the year was at, it was also their end of High School bash. Erik invited everyone in their senior class—including those Erik and Derek didn’t like.
Derek couldn’t believe in three weeks high school would be over. That only meant in less than four months he would be joining the academy. He had applied the moment he turned eighteen last month, and was still waiting for the acceptance letter—though he was pretty sure he got in. How could he not?
The last year was a haze. There was that moment in the winter he thought his life was going to end. He didn’t take a single day after the armed robbery for granted. He worked harder in school, partied with his friends, and even rebuilt some relationships that he thought had been dead.
“So, you and Olivia? Has there been any…”
Derek rolled his eyes at Kody. “Dude, ew. She’s barely a friend. I mean, we’re just on speaking terms.”
“Yeah, but…you like her.”
He wasn’t going to dignify that with an answer.
Brandt laughed. “You said so yourself, she’s growing on you. Well, more like something’s growing because of her.”
Kody and Brandt cackled and howled when Derek didn’t say anything, but felt the heat in his face rise to an uncomfortable level, not to mention his pants got a little too tight at the mention of Olivia. He fidgeted a little in his seat, giving away exactly what was happening to him. Which didn’t help their laughter any.
He flipped his friends off. “Fuck. You. Both.” Fuckers. Okay, so Olivia was hot. It didn’t mean shit. It. Didn’t. Mean. Shit. He just didn’t want to leave his high school days, and watch a former friend leave to Simdale University without trying to at least fix their relationship. What was so wrong with that.
“You guys are fuckwads.”
The party was hopping when they entered. It was about half the senior class in the place and outside, and the party had barely started when they arrived.
The boys grabbed some beers and made their way outside. The music was loud. There was a huge dance floor and even some were just chilling by the pool. Derek pointed to Erik and waved.
“Yo, dudes. Check this party out!”
Derek laughed at his friend. “You gonna miss this when you graduate?”
“Nah. I got college, man. Gonna party even harder.”
Why was Derek not surprised. He tapped his friend’s beer with his own. “Sounds good to me, man.”
Someone called Erik, and he left, raising his hand and beer up. Derek turned to see Kody leaving with Veronica Lou, his girlfriend of the month. They were cute, Derek guessed. He knew Kody really liked her.
“Guess one of us might get lucky tonight,” Brandt snickered. “Come on, bro. Let’s go do some shots, play some beer pong, and find ourselves some ladies.”
“You’re crazy, man,” Derek laughed but joined in on the fun.
Two rounds of beer pongs later, and several shots down, Derek was definitely drunk. He made his way to the bar and sat down—well, crashed onto the bar stool.
“Man, Derek, you are wasted,” a chick said next to him.
“An’ you are hoooooot.” He winked. Did he wink. Yeah, he winked. “Wanna drink?”
The chick laughed. “We should get you home.”
“Nah!” he waved her off. “Dad says stay. If I drink,” he held up his cup upside down. “Hey! Wher’ d’a beer go?”
“On the floor,” Hot Chick giggled. He liked her giggle. She stood up and then swayed herself. “Guess I’m drunk too.”
He laughed and pulled her into his arms. He pointed. “Le’s drink. Par’y s’ill going.”
“Okay. Let’s drink. But only one.”
“On’ly one,” he promised with a hard nod.