Palm South University_ Season 2, Episode 1

By: Kandi Steiner

(Palm South University #2)



“HAPPY TWENTY-FIRST BIRTHDAY, BEAR!”

I smirk at the chorus of screams from Skyler and her sisters when I open the door of the Omega Chi house. Skyler leans up to kiss my cheek as the rest of the KKB girls filter around her, filling the already-packed living room.

“Thanks, ladies.”

“I’m going to get you so wasted tonight,” Skyler promises, throwing me a devilish grin. I have no doubt she’ll deliver.

Skyler is my best friend on campus and, as of last semester, officially my Little Sister in Greek life. The way every guy in the room is eye-fucking her right now, I know they all think I’m crazy for not trying to score with her. But Skyler and I have always just had an unspoken connection — love, but in a family way.

Spring semester is already in full swing, even though classes just started this week. We already made it through spring rush, adding just shy of twenty new brothers to our fraternity, and now those pledges are finding out exactly what it means to be an Omega Chi Beta. It’s Saturday night and our house is wall-to-wall with brothers and girls from every single sorority on campus. Our alumni brothers are supposedly leaving us alone since we held our act together last semester, but something tells me they won’t exactly be pleased with us in the morning.

It’s only eleven and we’ve already had two noise complaints.

Oops.

“Come on,” Skyler says, grabbing my hand. “It’s time for shots!”

I don’t have time to argue because she’s already tugging me through the crowd, brown locks swaying behind her. We brush past the two beer pong tables set up inside and jet around the living room where a make-shift dance floor has been set up. The entire house is dimly lit, a soft glow on the dark wood floors. As soon as we reach the island bar in the small house kitchen, she scores two shot glasses and fills them with tequila.

Fuck me.

“To finally being able to drink legally in a bar but still drinking here, anyway, because it’s way more fun.” Skyler holds up her shot glass to mine, her long, soft brown curls falling over her shoulder. Her bright blue eyes are radiating with an infectious energy, amping up my own excitement. Birthdays have never been a big deal to me, but I guess twenty-one is kind of worth celebrating.

“And to best friends who know exactly what alcohol to give you so you don’t remember what happened the next day.”

We clink our glasses together and throw the shots back, the tequila burning the entire way down. Our eyes water and we both reach for lime slices at the same time, laughing.

“Should I be getting your autograph? It’s not every day I take shots with the hottest new poker player on the scene.”

Skyler rolls her eyes, sucking her lime slice dry before snatching up two red Solo cups. Several brothers are watching her, drooling, my Little included — but Skyler doesn’t even notice. “Hardly.”

“You can’t even deny that after the tournament over break, Sky.”

She chews her cheek, filling our cups from the keg. She drinks half of hers as she hands me mine. “I know. It just feels weird. I don’t want to think about it right now.”

I chuckle. “Fine. Let’s go numb our minds with drinking games.”

“Now that’s a plan I can get behind.”

We make our way to the backyard where several tables are set up. It’s January in Florida, so for once, I’m not sweating. In fact, a few of the girls are wearing light hoodies and everyone is in jeans. It’s one of the maybe five cold days we’ll have before spring shows up again, and all the windows to the house are open, taking advantage of the cool air.

“Any news from your family?” Skyler asks as we scan the tables. I stayed with her all break, so she’s well aware of the fact that I haven’t heard a peep from my mom or my older brother since I wrote them the check after semi-formal last semester.

“Just Clayton. He’s starting back up at school and says he’s been sleeping over at his friend Mac’s house a lot lately. He sounds good.”

“You okay?” She turns to face me when she asks, probably to make sure I don’t lie to her. This time, I genuinely feel like I don’t have to.

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