Releasing The Gods (The Titan's Saga #1)- Leia Stone

Chapter 1

Sometimes your life can change in a single moment. Or for me … with a single dare.

“I double dare you, Maisey!” Matt drawled out; he was half a dozen beers in and looking ready to tip over. “Remember your favorite hashtag: YOLO.”

I was five tequila shots in and definitely ready to tip over, but what were twenty-first birthdays for if not to get smashed? A grin pulled at my lips as my friends and work buddies from the Crab Shack chanted my name and my favorite hashtag. It was common knowledge that I was the #HashtagQueen.

I pointed a wobbly finger at Matt’s chest. “Well, if you double dare me, I don’t see how I can refuse.” Logic was not my strongest suit on a good day, and with this much liquor pouring through my system, I was going to show Matt who was boss.

The beach party erupted into applause as I set down my shot glass and kicked off my sandals, toes digging into the warm sand. Summer nights in Santa Barbara were heaven; the weather was sublime and the parties never stopped.

“Be careful!” my friend Shauna called out as I started my climb up the rocks to the supposedly haunted cave. Shauna was a buzzkill ninety-nine percent of the time, but she was a good friend and I wouldn’t judge her—too much—for her general love of sobriety and lack of need to get shitfaced and party with the rest of us.

I waved her off, grabbing the rock in front of me and hauling myself up. “I’m just going to get a selfie, then I’ll be right back down.” Everyone here knew I was selfie obsessed. It was basically who I was. Unless you wanted to look deeper. And who ever did that anymore?

“Remember, when you get to the top, you have to scream ‘Matt has a huge dick’ from the top of your lungs,” Matt reminded me.

Yeah, that was totally going to happen.

#Not

I nodded, hiking higher up the rock, bare feet finding footholds way better than I could in sandals. I swear I didn’t even know what shoes were for.

The music started again and I grinned when I saw that I was already halfway up. Matt had been too scared to climb up here, telling me stories about how the cave was haunted because people had seen weird lights and smoke up here last year. But, seriously ... haunted my ass. I didn’t believe in ghosts or any of that shit. Mermaids maybe but, again … logic.

My friends let out another cheer and I thought again how nice it was of everyone from work to throw me a twenty-first birthday rager. It was a Wednesday night and we all had shifts waiting tables tomorrow, but here they were getting plastered with me like the good friends they were. The only friends I had…

The rock had gotten super steep now and I thanked myself for investing in those rock climbing lessons at the gym. I was nearing the top when my foot slipped and adrenaline burst through my veins, chasing some of the alcohol away. Reaching out blindly to catch myself, I grabbed on to a sharp slice of rock, and it cut into my palm immediately.

“Fuck!” I hissed, before thankfully regaining my footing so that I could let go of the rock and find a less stabby place to grab.

I peered down, saw crimson blood spurting all down my palm, and a fit of giggles erupted from me.

Holy shit, I was wasted. This should hurt, like really hurt, but it didn’t.

It will tomorrow.

Not one to quit a double dare, I climbed the rest of the cliff as best I could with my injured hand and reached the top in what I personally felt was record time. Standing, I swayed a little and looked down at my friends, who cheered as they stood around the raging bonfire. The last light of day was leaving the sky and soon we’d be plunged into complete darkness.

“Matt is a giant dick!” I screamed from the top of my lungs, thrusting a fist into the air for good measure.

Everyone burst out laughing, all except Matt, and then I pulled my cell phone out.

I needed a really spooky cave selfie for my Insta page. I almost had ten thousand followers and Shauna thought I could become an influencer and get paid to advertise skinny tea and shit if I got to 100K. So I was on a mission. Social media influencer in the making. #Blessed