Premature Evacuation (Underground Sorority #1)

BOOK: Premature Evacuation (Underground Sorority #1)
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Premature Evacuation

Copyright © 2015 Rachel Shane

 

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form by any electrical or mechanical means including photocopying, recording, or information storage or retrieval without permission in writing from the author.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, corporations, institutions, organizations, events, or locales in this novel are either the product of the author’s imagination or, if real, used fictitiously. The resemblance of any character to actual persons (living or dead) is entirely coincidental.

 

Cover design by Hanna James

Interior design and layout by Rachel Shane

To my Delta Gamma girls,

For being my sisters but also my lifeline.

 

 

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Premature Evacuation
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PREMATURE EVACUATION. (n)

Definition:
the act of ending something potential too soon, including but not limited to: relationships, sororities, and opportunities.

See also:
Mackenzie Shaffer’s sophomore year at Throckmorton University.

“Q
UIGLEY’S?” I SAID, PRESSING the phone to my ear and grinning at Bianca Cruz’s excited squeal vibrating from the speaker. My pale blue blanket, the only thing I’d unpacked so far, rose like mountains on either side of my bent knees.

“Does that mean what I think it means?” Bianca gasped. “That Miss Anti-Breaking-The-Rules has gotten herself a fake ID?”


And
an empty dance card.” The inside joke from last year’s Woman’s Studies class felt like home on my lips, even more so than the iced latte freezing my hands from my favorite coffee shop and the folksy rock song blasting from someone’s dorm room nearby. “Besides, I considered the ID an art project. My professors would be so proud.”

Over the summer, I’d made myself a fake ID using passport photos, Photoshop, and a poorly scanned Vermont license I found on the internet. I laminated it with a plastic case I bought off eBay and my ceramic hair iron.

What if it didn’t work?
My subconscious was so unhelpful sometimes. I glanced at my suitcase, filled to the brim with sexy bar clothes I never bothered to break in last year, tags still dangling from all of them.

“Like I said last week, breaking up with that jerkface is going to be the best thing that ever happened to you,” Bianca said.

I nodded into the phone, biting my inner cheek to combat the tears that had been falling faster than rain during a nor’easter. But this time, they didn’t come. Possibly because my new mantra—
he made you miss out on too much, don’t miss him
—was finally starting to sink in. I’d spent all last year sitting in my room, little earbuds shoved into my ears as we chatted on Skype while the rest of my sorority sisters went to party after party. This year I was determined not to miss out. On anything.

“So you better be at the house at eight,” she said. “We’re Happy Hour-ing it up!”

I dressed in my hottest unused outfit: a black mini-skirt, low-cut sparkly top, and knee-high boots. With a shaky hand, I overdid my makeup, dotting my eyes with too much silver sparkle. My sepia-colored hair spilled over my shoulders in curly waves. I blew a kiss at my roommate’s empty bed. She still suffered from the same syndrome I came down with last year: boyfrienditis. Though in her case he went to the same school and the start of classes was her cure, not her symptom.

There was a spring in my step as I strutted to Rho Sigma, the sorority house I pledged last year to make friends and then promptly shuttered away into my dorm room before I could hang out with any of them. The sprawling mansion with brown shutters and yellow shingles made my stomach swirl, though I wasn’t sure if it was excitement or leftover dread from last year’s mind-hazing rituals. I bounded up the steps but the door swung open before I could punch in the alarm code.

Bianca’s large green eyes widened at the sight of me. “Whoa, Mackenzie! You’re way overdressed.” She pushed her long caramel-highlighted dark hair behind her ear. “Happy Hour is normally a jeans and sneaks kind of event.”

A curse welled in my chest in the form of Ryan’s name. This was his fault, too. If he hadn’t kept me cooped up in my dorm all last year, I’d have known these little college nuances. Still, I shrugged. “Then I’ll stand out nicely.”

“I like the way you think.” She poked her head back inside the house, a cold blast of air conditioning sneaking out. “Erin, you ready?”

Erin Behr slid out the door. “For Corey’s? Do I have to be?” A side-part split her sleek, brown bob into sections. She walked with perfect posture, the contours of her body creating sleek lines.

I followed after them, my stilettos clicking on the concrete. “Corey’s?”

“Oh yeah.” Bianca waved her hand through the air dismissively. “Change of plans. We’re pre-gaming in Corey Taft’s room first.”

We turned in the direction of fraternity row. Brick mansions lined the street in dark colors, Greek letters affixed to the front acting as the only decor, unlike the neat landscaping of sorority row. Loud music blasted from each house as if they were in competition to play the best songs. Guys in jeans and flip flops lounged on the grass, tossing back both volleyballs and beers. “Which house is he in? Are they having a mixer?” I glanced around at the mostly empty sidewalk, no troops of girls following in our wake.

“Beta Chi Lambda,” Bianca said like that explained everything.

Oh, only the most popular frat on campus with the reputation for having preppy guys that knew how to party hard. “Does he know I’m coming?” My words came out as a high-pitched squeal, which only made me paranoid that Bianca and Erin could tell how nervous I was. I’d been in college for a full year and so far I’d learned nothing. At least nothing useful…like social skills when it came to the foreign subjects known as guys.

“He probably won’t mind,” Erin said.

Probably
.

We waltzed into the open foyer as if we, too, lived there. My heels made divots into the already scuffed hardwood floors. Stained leather couches rested along the far walls, leaving the rest of the space open for drinking games. A folded ping pong table waited in the corner for Beirut players. We stomped up the stairs receiving only head nods in return from passing guys. When we reached one of the rooms on the second floor, Bianca didn’t bother to knock, just pushed it open and flourished her arms. “Honey! I’m home.”

I crept into the giant room as if I were entering a lion’s den. My entire dorm room could fit in the space two to three times over. Two queen-sized beds were squeezed into alcoves that seemed to have been built for the specific purpose of housing them. A dormant, stone fireplace jutted out between the two alcoves and blocked the view from each bed. Twisted comforters rivaled piles of laundry for messiness. Empty bottles littered the room in a haphazard manner, the room reeking of stale beer and body odor. Paint peeled from the walls in intricate patterns, evidence that the fraternity spent more money on booze than on upkeep. The guys must have arrived yesterday because there was no way they could have done that much damage in only a few hours.

In the center of the room, a few guys jerked side to side with video game controllers in their hands. They wore sweats but somehow this suited them, like it was a uniform. I tugged on my mini-skirt, pulling it lower, then crossed my arms to hide my over-dressed top.

The guys ignored us, yelling obscenities at the TV screen. Bianca placed a hand on Erin’s shoulder and pouted.

“All right, I guess we’re going to leave!” Erin shouted.

The guys continued playing, though I thought I caught the corners of the scruffy boy’s mouth curl into a smirk.

“I’m stealing all your alcohol on the way out!” Bianca trilled. The girls didn’t make an attempt to move. But neither did the boys.

The girls turned to me with brows raised. My turn to sing my siren song and coax the boys to look at us.

I took a deep breath. “We’re getting naked!”

The guys dropped their controllers at once, but only one swaggered over to greet us. He was tall and lanky with biceps that could only come from lifting kegs, not weights. His dark hair jutted out in a matrix of spikes, and a thin layer of scruff coated his chin. He had puffy lower eyelids and thin almond-shaped eyes that made him look like he either hadn’t slept at all…or maybe just woke up. Bianca and Erin gave him big hugs.

The guy broke his embrace from Bianca and turned to me. “You’re still wearing clothes. I feel lied to.” His smile flattened as he shook his head. “Not cool.”

Bianca gestured to me like a model selling a car. “Corey, this is Mackenzie. The girl I told you about last year?”

My eyes flew to her in a panic.
What did she say?

BOOK: Premature Evacuation (Underground Sorority #1)
11.43Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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