Home > In the Arms of the Elite (Rich Boys of Burberry Prep #4)(10)

In the Arms of the Elite (Rich Boys of Burberry Prep #4)(10)
Author: C.M. Stunich

“Did you pack any party dresses?” she asks me, voice barely audible over the noise.

“Um, what do you take me for?” I reply, feeling my heartbeat pick up speed. “I didn’t exactly expect a party tonight, but I knew there’d be one tomorrow. Let’s go.”

“Don’t take too long, babe,” Zayd says, turning and hopping up on the banister in a way that seriously concerns me. But then, I figure this is his house and he’s probably done this before. I refuse to be a wet blanket, no fucking way. If I’m going to be one of the Idols of Burberry Prep, the Bitch of the Bluebloods, I have to act the part. If I’ve got control of the school, I can put a stop to the bullying. “I’m going to crown you Queen of the Elite tonight, my darling. Mark my fucking words!”

“Zayd!” I scream as he lets himself fall back and then lands in the crowd, surfing along raised arms toward the entrance to the living room. My heart is pounding like crazy, and it’s not helped when Lizzie comes up the steps with a dress in a garment bag tucked over her arm.

“Thought we could make an Idol entrance? You can bet that even if the Harpies aren’t here, they’ll see videos and pics; they’ll know all about it. United front?” She puts her hand out, and Miranda grudgingly puts hers over the top. I personally can’t believe my boyfriend just threw himself off a second story balcony, but I grab on and hold tight anyway.

The Idol girls of Burberry Prep, just the way Tristan set us up.

Let’s see how well this works.

I’ve packed Zayd’s red dress for the occasion, the short, tight little number crawling up my thighs as I fidget and let Miranda put the finishing touches on my hair. I had it cut fresh just before we left, but it was mostly a trimming and a shaping. I’m adding on just a little length.

“There,” Miranda declares, spinning a big ringlet around her finger and letting it bounce against my head. “We’ll fix your lipstick, and get you some hairspray.”

“Didn’t you just hairspray me to death?” I ask with a smile, but Miranda steps back and gives me this look. It’s a fierce look, too, paired with the dramatic smoky eye, the waves of shining blond hair, and the short sapphire dress she’s got on. If I were into girls, I would marry Miranda tonight in that dress.

“For your thighs, not your head,” she says, reaching down and lifting my dress just enough that my black lace panties show. She sprays my thighs while I choke in surprise, and then tugs the dress back down. “Keeps it from riding up.” Miranda shakes the can and then passes it over to Lizzie who’s got a gold party dress on with loose sleeves covered in tiny glass beads. “I read online that gymnasts use the same technique to keep their leotards in place. Not sure if it’s true or not though.”

“You learn something new every day,” I say as Miranda makes me pout my lips so she can freshen my lipstick up.

“Now close your eyes.” I do as she says, and then flinch when she hairsprays my face.

“You’re like the dad on My Big Fat Greek Wedding who sprays Windex on everything. Stop that.” I wave her away and open my eyes, blinking at myself in the giant mirror on the wall opposite the vanity. We’re in one of the upstairs guest wings. Yeah, not rooms but wings again. It’s crazy. My entire house could fit in this one guest suite.

I run my hand down the front of the red dress, and hope like hell that it doesn’t piss Creed off too much. I’m planning on wearing his to the next party. I wore Tristan’s to that nightclub a few weeks ago, but I’d like to wear it to an event with him, too. Even though the guys were pricks, I don’t think I should’ve picked between them during first year.

“You look like a fucking model,” Miranda says as Lizzie comes to stand beside me, smiling softly. We still haven’t talked yet about her confession. I’m not even sure how to bring it up. In any case, tonight is not that night. “Don’t you think, Lizzie? It’s no wonder she’s got five guys drooling after her.” Miranda drapes herself over my shoulders and gives me a sweet-scented kiss on the cheek. “Now, let’s go slay some Burberry Prep assholes.”

“How many of our fellow students do you think are going to be here tonight?” I ask and Miranda gives me a strong look.

“As many as can make it—or are allowed in the door.” She smiles and grabs my arm and then encourages me to take Lizzie’s on the other side. Guess presenting a solid front is more important than her hatred for Lizzie. A hatred I’m still not entirely sure I understand. Either it’s just solidarity for my sake or … maybe something else.

“Let’s do this,” I whisper, feeling a nervous flutter in my belly.

I’m a fourth year at Burberry Preparatory Academy.

I’m dating the five hottest guys in school.

And now, I’m supposed to help rule over all of it.

Wish me luck.

We walk out and down the hall, only to find Andrew waiting for us just inside the hall door. He’s got on a sharp white suit that makes him look a bit like James Bond, especially with his slicked back hair. He whistles when he sees us and pushes off the wall to stand up straight.

“Holy hell, girls,” he says, and then he gives all three of us kisses on the cheek. He’s come a long way since his first year when he was sneaking off to kiss Gary Jacobs in the woods. I wonder if he’s told his parents yet? “You all look amazing.” He opens the door and gestures for us to step out onto the foyer together.

Zayd is waiting … surrounded by a bunch of girls.

I raise my brows as I step out, and they all scatter as Zayd stands up, his eyes widening when he sees me. He’s still wearing the Feminist AF tank, but he’s jazzed up his hair and added a dash of eyeliner.

“Marnye fucking Reed,” he growls, moving over to the top of the steps and cupping his hands around his mouth. “Make way for the Idols, folks. Your queen has arrived.” Zayd takes me by the arm, leaving Miranda and Lizzie behind us as we come down the steps.

Everyone is staring at us; everyone is looking.

It’s something I never really wanted, but now that I have it, I’m going to use my position for good. Because next year, there’s going to be another student who comes into Burberry Prep with the Cabot Scholarship Award, and I want the way paved for whoever that person is.

The other boys are waiting at the bottom of the staircase, fanned out in various states of dress: a blazer, t-shirt, and slacks for Tristan; tight shirt and jean shorts for Zack; what I swear to God is a polo uniform for Windsor; and a loose white button-up that’s most definitely not buttoned up for Creed.

“Boys,” I greet, and I get the laziest, sexiest little smile from Miranda’s twin.

“Your Majesty,” he says, and Windsor grins.

“Your Majesty, indeed. Marry me and make it official. No pre-nup. You can have half my fortune if we ever get divorced.”

“You’re seriously freaking weird, and I love you for it,” I say, and then my cheeks flame as Windsor’s brows go up. “I mean, like … not love-love, but … just …” I groan and put my hand up to cover my face. I’m not ready for I love you’s just yet.

Zayd just laughs at me and pulls me through the crowd, not caring either way if the others follow along behind us. The partygoers part for us, and I swear, I don’t get jostled by even one elbow. There are faces everywhere that I recognize, some in uniform, some not. There are Coventry Prep kids here, as well as Beverly Hills Prep students. There’s even a group wearing blue blazers that say Adamson Academy on the breast pocket.

“Alright, babe,” Zayd says, turning and throwing his arms wide to indicate the massive living room with the floor to ceiling windows, the huge taxidermic elk head over the stone fireplace, and the modern furniture with just a hint of cowboy to it. Yeah, Billy Kaiser’s style is definitely not my style, but I can appreciate it. Well, okay, I can appreciate everything but the decapitated animal head. Just not my thing. “We have our own canna-bar aka cannabis bar for those who just don’t do alcohol. If I may make a recommendation …” Zayd scans across the impressive array of marijuana products. There are edibles, joints, tinctures, vape pens, all sorts of stuff.

Legal age for both booze and marijuana is twenty-one in California. I’d be worried about the cops raiding this place if I didn’t think they’d probably already been paid off.

“A recommendation, huh?” I ask, because I’ve actually never tried pot before. Like, ever. Yes, I know, I’m the epitome of the quiet study hound, but that’s okay. I’ve always embraced that part of myself. Still, while alcohol is not something I’m ready to try yet, because of my dad’s past issues and all, maybe I’d try weed?

Zayd picks up a very small piece of chocolate between his fingers and turns to me, giving me that sexy, cocksure smirk of his. There are literally dozens of girls looking our way and checking him out, a few guys, too. My possessive nature rears its ugly head, and I glance back to find similar situations with the other boys.

Trust, Mayne, trust, I think as I meet Zack’s eyes and he smiles, lifting up a beer in solidarity. He’s got his letterman jacket on again which, of course, just does all the right things for me. He’s got a girl seated on either side of him, and a couple more gathered in front of him.

“Sativa?” Creed asks, snatching the chocolate from Zayd’s fingers and giving him a look. Zayd narrows his eyes slightly, and then shrugs.

“Hybrid, but sativa dominant. Reviews on Leafly say it’s got an energetic and creative edge.”

“Energetic, huh? I could use a boost right now.” Creed pops the chocolate in his mouth, and smirks at me as he swallows. “Have you ever seen Pineapple Express, Marnye?”

“Not exactly,” I say, but I smirk right back because I’m not as ignorant as these boys might think. “But I know Leafly is an app where people can rate how much they like certain strains of marijuana, that is certain breeds, like the difference between chardonnay and cabernet. I also know that there are two types of marijuana: indica and sativa. In general, indica makes you feel more sleepy and relaxed while sativa is more likely to offer an upbeat feeling.” I exhale as both Creed and Zayd raise their brows and exchange a look. “What? I had to research this stuff for Charlie.”

   
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