Release Day December 15th!
He is in his Master’s program and is president of his fraternity; a total playboy.
She’s a do-gooder and is in charge of a toy drive for kids.
His fraternity gets in trouble and has to do community service so he has to get involved with the toy drive.
Lucky for him, the kids aren’t the only ones getting a wish this Christmas…
“Did I or did I not forbid you from this exact kind of indecency, Mr. Keller?”
I withheld a sigh as Dean Kline’s stare bored into me like little pinpricks. Her hands were shaking slightly, causing the phone in the one that was extended to shake a bit, but I could still see the video well enough to know exactly what it was.
Three young men running and prancing around the quad with nothing but brightly colored Santa hats covering their private area. It was meant to be in the tradition of the yearly pranks among Greek row, but Dean Kline had placed a hard ban on any such shenanigans after a fraternity’s jest last year had ended up with two people unconscious and one with a broken collarbone. The news had been all over that for about three days until they found something new to sink their teeth into, but it had done plenty of damage to the college’s reputation in that time.
“I apologize, Dean Kline. And I promise you, I had absolutely no idea this was happening.”
“I won’t take any excuses.” The woman continued, her face barely maintaining a professional veneer. Normally, I would accuse someone of being on a high-horse with such a dramatic presentation, but in a way, I understood where the woman was coming from. She had just moved into the position last year after the previous Dean had resigned under sexual harassment charges. Then, during her first semester, there was an out of control kegger and the aforementioned prank. People had instantly jumped on the bandwagon of her being inept, despite the fact that she had barely gotten started.
It didn’t help that she was just shy of five feet tall and probably got carded at every college bar she dared to step into. I imagined people discredited her right and left, which was no doubt frustrating.
But still, that didn’t mean she had a right to take all of this out on me.
“I made my policy very clear, so I will have to make an example of you.” I grit my teeth and forced a complacent smile. I hadn’t done anything to deserve some sort of recourse. I’d been telling the truth when I said I hadn’t known the prank was going to happen, but I wasn’t about to argue that.
After all, I was in my final month of getting my master’s degree and handing off the running of the fraternity to some other hopeful. I wasn’t going to jeopardize that now by getting a little mouthy, even if that was exactly what I wanted to do.
“You’re lucky I don’t put all of you on academic probation!” She continued, her voice somehow becoming more emphatic without raising her volume at all. “But you and all three of the students in this video will help by giving back to the community.”
I fought to keep my tone both charming and contrite. “And how would you like us to do that, ma’am?”
“Our annual charity toy drive. You’ve heard of it, right?”
“Yeah, of course. It’s, what, two weeks long, and there’s usually a competition about which house can raise the most donations?”
“Well, I don’t know about that last part, but the beginning is correct. The four of you will help organize, take inventory, and sort the donations. You will help with the signage, and any other needs the organizer might have. Is that clear?”
“Of course, ma’am. I absolutely understand. And rest assured, the three in question will have additional punishment in the house for breaking such rules.”
She hesitated, and I could see the uncertainty in her eyes. “As long as the punishments aren’t violating any—”
I forced a laugh. “No, nothing like that. Just a whole lot of cleaning.” I crossed around her and opened the door of the sitting room that she had slammed closed when she came in. I gave her the most gracious smile I could manage and then gestured for her to exit. “Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention. We will do all we can to make this right by you.”
She looked surprised by my acquiescence and faltered a moment. “Good. And make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
“Don’t worry. There won’t be any hats on dicks, Santa related or otherwise.”
She nodded and then marched out as authoritatively as her sensible heels would take her. I waited until I heard her exit before slumping against the wall.
This was the last thing I needed. The holidays were a time for partying and eating as much food as I could shove in my face. I wanted to get buzzed and find a different cutie for every shindig, not sort overpriced stuffed animals that would sit in some charity’s basement for a while until they drummed up enough publicity to make it worth giving to the tykes.
Shaking my head, I decided to take out my irritation on the culprits. Striding to the stairs at the center of our fraternity, I bellowed out as loud as I could.
“Jake! John! Noah!”
I knew they were in. Wednesday was one of their only down days between basketball, workouts, and the other extraneous clubs they took to make their transcripts look especially nice if they decided to pursue a master’s like I had.
“You all better get your asses down here before I have to come up there and invert them!”
There was the sound of several sets of footsteps scrambling, then doors flying open, followed by a pseudo stampede as the trio lumbered down the stairs.
Jake was the one to reach the bottom first. He was the tallest of the group at somewhere above six foot six. He was incredibly lanky, however, and sometimes I was worried how his own spine didn’t snap from lack of support. He had shaggy, blond hair and a pointed face that looked like it belonged on one of those elves from a fantasy movie.
Noah and John were right behind him, practically crashing into each other. I liked to think of them as Tweedledee and Tweedledum, respectively. They were both quite muscled and stocky. Their fingers were the size of sausages, and their arms the size of some people’s heads. They were amiable enough, thankfully, but they made a lot of dumb decisions.
And it seemed their most recent dumb decision was affecting me.
“What’s up?” Jake asked in his perpetually demi-blitzed demeanor.
“Don’t give me that.” I snapped. “Because of you three dumbasses, I had to endure a shout fest from Dean Kline.” I shoved my phone in their faces, where the video that the Dean had emailed me sat waiting to be played. A simple swipe of my thumb and their so-called prank flashed across the screen.
I watched their faces carefully, and their guilt was readily apparent. They all looked away as if something on the wall had caught their attention.
“Are-are we in trouble?” Jake asked cautiously. Noah and John looked just as concerned but too scared to speak.
“You bet your skinny ass you are. All of you are. And you dragged me into it, too, you goddamn idiots.”
They winced, but I was impressed when Jake continued. “So, what’s the verdict?”
“We all have to help with the charity toy drive this year. The entire thing. And we’re not going to be doing the fun stuff like accepting the toys and passing them out to kiddies. We’re in for the grunt work. Cleaning. Sorting, Inventory.
“And since I’ve been lumped into your punishment because I’m supposed to be responsible for you twats, you’re also stuck on grunt work here. I want the kitchen and bathrooms cleaned, everything vacuumed, and last but not least, consider yourselves on dish duty until I’m no longer sick of looking at you. You got that?”
Jake and John groaned but nodded in understanding, but Noah looked contemplative. That irked me, and I stared him down with all the authority that I’d learned to convey by leading the fraternity.
“Nah man,” he answered. “Thinking about silver linings.”
“Care to elaborate?” I crossed my arm, affixing him with a serious glare.
“Eh, nothing important. It’s just the girl who ran the charity for the past year or two is mega hot. Maybe we’ll luck out, and she’ll be organizing it again.”
I stared at him, absolutely incredulous. I mean, I liked a beautiful woman as much as the next guy, but I was talking about serious academic punishment and he was already thinking about possibly getting his dick wet with some charity worker.
“You know what? Just go. I don’t want to see any of your faces until we’re heading to the drive itself. If you guys don’t want to have the worst year of your life, I recommend you find an ounce of sense somewhere before I slap it into you.”
They all scrambled, going in different directions, and I shook my head. Ascending the stairs, I couldn’t help but grumble at their idiocy. Their scholastic careers were potentially on the line and all Noah could think about was some mystery hot chick.