Home > Devils' Day Party

Devils' Day Party
Author: C.M. Stunich

***Possible Spoilers***

 

 

Devils’ Day Party is a reverse harem, high school, enemies-to-lovers/love-hate/bully romance. What does that mean exactly? It means our female main character, Karma Sartain, will end up with at least three love interests by the end of the book. It also means that for a portion of this story, the love interests are total assholes. This book in no way condones bullying, nor does it romanticize it. If the love interests in this story want to win the main character over, they’ll have to earn it.

Should be interesting, considering they only have one day to do it …

If you’ve read my other high school romance series—Rich Boys of Burberry Prep, Adamson All-Boys Academy, or The Havoc Boys—then just know this one falls right in the middle in terms of intensity. It’s not quite as gritty as I Was Born Ruined (the first book in my Death by Daybreak Motorcycle Club series).

Any kissing/sexual scenes featuring Karma are consensual. This book might be about high school students, but it is not what I would consider young adult. The characters are nuanced, the emotions real, the f-word in prolific use. There’s underage drinking, marijuana use, sexual situations, and other adult scenarios.

None of the main characters is under the age of seventeen. This is a stand-alone novel, meaning we get a happy ending in this book.

 

 

Forever is composed of Nows –Emily Dickinson

 

 

There’s blood all over my steering wheel.

The strange thing is, I can’t remember how it got there.

Reaching shaking fingers up to my head, I come away with a smear of ruby red on my hand, the perfect match to the blood on the steering wheel. This is my blood. The thought comes to me along with fits and spurts of memories from this morning. Running late, spilling scalding coffee down my chest, finding my dress for tonight’s party missing from the clothesline out front.

I shake my head, and a wave of dizziness washes over me. Looking up, I see the shiny black surface of Calix Knight’s Aston Martin dented and streaked with yellow paint. My bumper is very firmly planted into his passenger door.

Speaking of … my own door flies open, and Calix’s warm hand is on my upper arm, not, unfortunately, to offer assistance of any kind. Instead, he jerks me out of the seat and slams me back against the side of my car.

“Are you fucking insane?!” he snarls, releasing me as several concerned citizens approach us, all of them huddled under the protective awning that covers the gas pumps. Just past its barrier, rain pours in a seemingly endless wave, a cold chill working its way into my skin as I shiver and try to remember how I managed to crash into his absurdly expensive car. Without insurance.

Swallowing a lump in my throat, I glance over to see that his car’s parked perfectly straight in the space, right next to the gas pump. My own car—which I bought off my neighbor for about five hundred bucks—is perpendicular to his, T-boned into the side of Calix’s like I did it on purpose.

Did I? Would I?

After all the years of suffering he and his friends have put me through, it wouldn’t surprise me.

I glance back at his face, too handsome for his own good, with cheekbones carved by the gods, and a mouth that’d be worth millions if it ever smiled. The only expressions I’ve ever seen Calix Knight wear on his face are a cruel frown and a red-hot smirk.

Once, I saw his orgasm face. And even that was vicious, his hands a hot cruelty on my hips, triumph written into every line of his wicked visage. I should never have slept with him. My mistake. I don’t often make the same mistakes twice, but … I’ve just rammed him, apparently. Different sort of ramming, still not a good idea.

Calix looks at me like he’d very much enjoy wrapping those beautiful hands of his around my neck. Luckily, we’re surrounded by people.

“Are you okay?” an older woman in a bright yellow shirt asks, approaching us cautiously. I notice she has tiny daisies painted on her nails. Calix levels a dark glare on me before taking a step back, his hands curling into fists at his sides.

“I’m okay,” I reply carefully, watching him to see what he might do next.

“Should I call the police?” she inquires, and the crowd, realizing that nothing interesting is going to happen, begins to disperse back to their cars.

“That won’t be necessary,” Calix replies easily, fixing a smooth smile on his face, one that’s made up of black moths and bats, full moons and starless skies. There’s a darkness to it that makes it sinister, rather than comforting. “We’re classmates; I won’t be pressing charges.”

My heart thunders in my chest as Calix leans forward, under the guise of brushing some stray strands of purple hair back from my face.

“You know what tonight is?” he whispers, his breath hot against the side of my neck as the woman moves away. But her gaze doesn’t leave me, almost as if she knows what’s really going on beneath the surface of this seemingly pleasant interaction.

Of course I know what tonight is. The whole town knows what tonight is. But I can’t seem to find the words to respond.

Calix presses his lips to the side of my throat, but I’m neither flattered nor excited by the attention. Instead, I’m terrified. Because today is officially known as Devils’ Day in our shitty little town outside Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

And tonight … tonight is the Devils’ Day Party.

“I know what tonight is,” I say finally as Calix runs his tongue over my pulse, and I shove him back as hard as I can. He laughs, but at least that move puts some distance between us. His dark eyes flick over to the front of the convenience store as the little bells on the door ring and Raz and Barron step out. The cavalry has arrived, I think, feeling my palms get sweaty. Any one of these assholes is hard enough to deal with, but all three of them? And on Devils’ Day?

Supposedly, the holiday is named after some ancient Native American tradition. The local tribes would set up bonfires all around the edges of the woods and perform ritualistic songs and dances to draw the demons and devils from the earth. Everyone in the tribe would wear masks, to confuse the spirits as to who was human and who was one of them. And they’d play tricks on each other—cruel tricks—to prove they were just as cunning.

Today, we celebrate in much the same way. Except the bonfires burn next to state-of-the-art sound systems, and alcohol makes its rounds along with weed and psychedelics. Masks are still worn, tricks are still played, and I swear that the devils still rise from the earth to torment humanity.

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