Guys I don't even know what this is. I was drunk like half the time I wrote it.
Now my life is sweet like cinnamon,
Like a fuckin' dream I'm livin' in.
Pick me up and take me like a vitamin,
Cause my body's sweet like sugar venom, oh yeah.
"Thank god it's finally summer."
As Jade West lays her towel over a beach chair, she fixes her sunglasses and then plops on her back to start tanning.
"Say goodbye to high school—and hello to college," Cat Valentine, the most energetic of the group of best friends, adds.
"I think I'll sort of miss Hollywood Arts," Tori Vega says, checking her phone to reply to a text from her boyfriend. "Don't get me wrong—I'm excited for college. But having all of my friends at the same school was great while it lasted."
"Trust me," the redhead says, "you won't think twice about high school when you see all of the hot college guys roaming campus."
Tori laughs and shakes her head. "No, I think Andre and I will stay together. It's Jade that all the guys will be after."
The girl in question rolls her eyes and takes another sip of her margarita. "Highly doubtful," she argues.
"Well," Cat says, "we're here for the whole summer. We'll probably be on the beach almost every day. I'd bet anything you meet a guy—even if it's just a summer fling."
"I don't do summer flings," Jade replies. "Nice try, though. But hey, you have fun going home with every guy in LA."
All three girls laugh at Cat's attempt to feign offense. "Me?" She asks mockingly, her hand covering her chest. "Never." It's no secret that the redhead likes to sleep around—usually after having several shots or cocktails. Her petite frame makes it easy for her to get drunk quickly, and that combined with her flirtatious personality often gets her into the beds (and hearts) of boys everywhere.
"You should really just grow some and take Robbie's virginity for him," Jade says.
"Oh, I've tried—trust me. He's so weird; he insists on losing it to a girl he doesn't know. He thinks that if he screws up, it'll be best if he never has to see her again." No one can help but laugh at their friend's determination to lose his virginity; as badly as he claims to want to, he's terrified to actually follow through.
"I should have Andre give him some lessons," Tori says, grinning. "He knows what he's doing."
"Ew!" Cat and Jade cry simultaneously. "I don't need to hear about your sex life, thank you," the brunette says, only to Tori's amusement.
"New subject," Cat says. "What time do we want to get to the bonfire tonight?"
"I think it's supposed to start early," Tori answers. "Like around five. And it's one now, so I say we leave in a few hours to get ready, and go around six thirty?"
"Maybe six," Cat says as she refills her styrofoam cup with a second margarita. "I want to play some volleyball before the nets get really crowded. The hot guys are always playing—I'm not missing that."
"I could actually be in for that," Jade agrees, and Cat perks up at her answer. "The volleyball—not the guys," she clarifies. "Let's do six."
The girls take a little longer than usual to get ready—their drinks on the beach did enough to have them moving considerably slower. It's just after six when they arrive at the part of the beach where the Summer Kickoff bonfire is to be held. There are college students from all over Los Angeles covering the area. Music is blaring from large speakers; several games of volleyball are already getting started; surfers are taking advantage of the high tide; and few people are clothed past bathing suits.
After texting the guys to meet up with them, they find Andre and Robbie pouring themselves cups of a beer from one of the many kegs. "Hey, Babe," Andre says to his girlfriend, wrapping his arm around her as he greets her with a kiss.
"Jade and I are going to play volleyball," Cat tells them, dragging her friend by the arm. "Catch you guys later!"
As expected, the two girls get tons of attention on the sand court. Most of the guys don't tolerate girls that can't play very well—even if they're attractive—but Jade doesn't fall into that category. Despite her decision not to show it off in organized school sports, she's more athletic than most girls. Cat, on the other hand, gets to play because she's made friends with lots of the guys—and because she's adorable and keeps the game fun.
They're playing for competition, eliminating people on either team who aren't seen as valuable. After thirty minutes, it's down to two on two. The guys on the other side of the court are ones Jade's seen—maybe she's picked Cat up from one of their houses before. The boy on her side, however, is one she definitely hasn't met.
Despite her insistence on paying attention to the final game that's about to begin, she finds herself getting distracted—and annoyingly so—by him. He hasn't said a word to her, but his body looks like it was molded by God himself and his hair is disgustingly perfect. He's tall, dark, and handsome—way too stereotypical, Jade tries to tell herself.
"I'm Beck," is the first thing out of his mouth, and he sticks his hand out for her to shake.
Jade nods her head once and shakes his hand, successfully playing it off. "Cool," she says, not bothering to give him her name. Before he can ask for it, the guys on the other set decide to serve the ball.
Beck, as he'd introduced himself, dives for the first hit. He's good, Jade notices—but she's in the game for herself, not for him. They volley for a while, until Beck passes the ball to Jade, who spikes it over the net and directly into the sand before the other team can get to it.
"Yeah! Go, West!" A voice from the crowd shouts. Jade ignores it and serves the next ball, but the comment doesn't go unrecognized by Beck. As the volleying between sides continues, he accepts a pass from his teammate and grins at her as he dives for the ball.
"So, uh," he says, hitting it over the net with perfect precision, "are you planning on telling me your name? Or are you just gonna let me call you West?"
Jade takes another dig and singlehandedly passes it back over—again ignoring him. "I'll make you a deal," Beck then says, still smiling as he stays in the game. "If we win, you tell me your name. If we lose, you have to get compensatory ice cream with me later."
"Who said I was partaking in this deal?" Jade replies, spiking the ball harshly across the court.
"Come on, West," Beck says. "Aren't you up for a little adventure?"
Jade rolls her eyes, but she gives him a hint of a smile to let him know she's in. Or, at least, that's what she hopes to convey. He laughs and takes an excellent pass from her, which, after his hit, ties up the intense game. There's a crowd of excited, drunk people surrounding them—all yelling and cheering. Having scored the last point, it's Beck's turn to serve the ball for the final point.
The volleying continues for an agonizing amount of time; while it's only about a minute, it seems like much longer to anyone invested in the game. When Jade digs a seemingly impossible hit, Beck is quick to assist her in getting the ball back up in the air. A beautiful set from him and a by-the-inch spike from her later, they've won the game.
The shouting gets louder as everyone celebrates the victory, and Beck turns to his teammate as if he's expecting something from her. "So?" He says, and there's a goofy (and yet incredibly charming) smile on his face that—especially when he runs a hand through his hair—makes him seem nearly irresistible.
"Jade," she says plainly. "Good game."
She knows these types of guys. This guy is exactly the same as her ex-boyfriend; she's positive Beck was the resident hottie at his school—constantly approached by girls who he would simply use for his own personal fun. No way in hell is she letting herself fall for another one of those assholes. "Nice to meet you, Jade," he replies. "You're a great player."
"Yeah," she says dryly. "I bet you are, too." With that, the dark-haired girl turns around and heads off to find her friends. Although Cat is in the water with a boy she'd met, Jade finds Tori, Andre, and Robbie all dancing to the music.
"Jade!" Tori exclaims. "You were so great out there!" She's obviously tipsy, and Jade immediately realizes that she needs to get herself a drink. "Where's that guy you played with?"
"I don't know," she answers, a part of her wishing she did. "I didn't know him."
"Well," Tori huffs. "I don't know anything about volleyball, but I do know that—in sports—you're supposed to keep your eye on the ball. And he, my friend, definitely had his eye on something else." She makes an overdramatic winking gesture and Jade scoffs; Tori is such a lightweight. Despite the impact of the alcohol, though, Jade can't help but wonder if her friend is right. Before she can think about it any further, Tori's eyes get wide and she starts not-so-discreetly pointing towards something behind Jade.
"What?" Jade asks frustratedly to a wordlessly excited Tori. "What are you do—"
The voice sends chills down her spine because—despite the fact that she'd just met this guy thirty minutes ago—she completely recognized his voice. It's warm and sweet, and it shouldn't fit a boy who looks like him.
But it does.
She turns around to face him and sees him smiling almost embarrassedly. "I don't want to play anymore volleyball," she says right away. "You can find another partner."
"Oh," he says, shaking his head, "I didn't come over here for that. I just…thought I'd say hi." Damn, she's much more intimidating in a real face-to-face conversation. "Hi," he says instead, offering his hand to Tori. "I'm Beck."
As the skinny girl is eagerly shaking his hand—and also trying not to drool—Andre turns around from where he'd been talking to Robbie. "Is that," he says, lifting his sunglasses. "Is that Beck Oliver I see?"
"Andre!" Beck says, clasping his hand to the other boy's and giving him a guyish hug. "Dude, I haven't seen you since last summer!"
"Beck and I went to summer camp together growing up," Andre explains to the girls. Tori nods her head eagerly. Jade rolls her eyes. "We were notorious for giving our counselors hell," he says with a laugh. "Are you in LA now? What happened to SanFran?"
"I'm going to UCLA for college! I talked my parents into letting me move down here for the summer so I could get to know people before I start in the fall."
"Well look at this—first week of summer and you've already got a group to chill with," Andre says with a friendly smile. "I guess you met Jade in the game. This is my girlfriend, Tori. That's Robbie over there doing a keg stand," he says, shaking his head. "And, uh, you'll meet Cat later. God knows where she is at this point."
Beck laughs and nods his head, clearly happy with the turn of events. Jade, on the other hand, is wondering how she went from being perfectly okay with ignoring the sure-to-be heartbreaker to now having to see him all the time.
Tori has turned back around to dance with her boyfriend, leaving Jade still facing Beck. "Do you," he says cautiously, afraid to turn her off to him so soon, "want to go get a drink?"
Jade sighs and looks at him skeptically. "Only because I need one," she says—and that's good enough for him. He smiles and leads her over to the coolers, where he makes both of them an (admittedly delicious) vodka lemonade. Jade watches his hands the entire time; she's not about to let this pretty boy drug her into sleeping with him.
"Want to go in the water?" Beck asks, without pressure or assumption.
"No," she answers immediately. As much as she resents herself for it, she's been terrified of the ocean since the third grade. It's a fear that even growing up on the Golden Coast couldn't cure—and she's not up for explaining that to a guy she just met.
"Okay," he says, walking over to where the unlit bonfires are. "It's almost dark, so they should be starting the fires soon. Care to watch with me?"
Jade takes a sip of her drink and tells herself to relax; what else could she possibly be doing right now? "Sure," she replies, and she notices that his returning smile isn't cocky. Damn.
They talk for twenty minutes—about school, friends, and the summer—until some guy steps up onto a keg and starts giving his spiel about kicking off what's sure to be the best summer of their lives. He raises his cup, lights the huge bonfire, and then drinks—and hundreds of people follow suit.
Summer has officially begun.
If you care to read the rest just tell me idek