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• Coming 2023

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(release date to be determined)

*Please make sure you’ve read Falls Boys first. This scene takes place six weeks after the end of Falls Boys.

Kade Caruthers crosses the road, the night air turned chilly now that it’s October. School had started over a month ago, and they’d been seniors for weeks.

But now the real fun starts.

Rivalry Week.

The Prisoner Exchange.

One of many traditions between the rival schools in Shelburne Falls, Weston, and St. Matthew’s, the wealthy suburb of Chicago. Instilled to foster harmony and peace between communities, it gives students a chance to bond with their rivals (and hopefully bring that awareness and newfound tolerance back home with them).

It’s very simple. They each take hostages, a family in that community hosts the “exchange students,” and they attend the rival school as a guest for two weeks.

Countries used to do this as a way to guarantee peace. Kings and emperors would offer up family members, knowing that if anyone broke the treaty, you were endangering your mother or your son or whomever you’d given to the enemy as a hostage.

“Kade Caruthers.” Beck Valencourt grins, walking over with his crew.

Kade looks to Dylan, and she crosses her arms over her chest as Stoli, Dirk, and a few others gather around to present a united front for the Pirates.

“How’s it going over in Shitburne Falls?” Beck asks.

Kade laughs. “You know who my grandfather is, right? They would never find your body.”

Beck flashes him a genuine smile—knowing of Kade’s retired gangster grandpa and the stories surrounding him—but he’s used to Kade’s jibe. The friends shake, coming in for a quick hug.

“Will we see you on the slopes this year?” Beck asks.

“You bet.” Kade nods. “Iron Mountain.”

“Hell yeah.”

Like the Falls is just a little bit better than Weston, St. Matthew’s is a little more affluent than the Falls. The rich CEOs and stockbrokers in Chicago created a nice, little oasis close to the city, but not too close. Kade’s maternal grandfather lives there, and Kade actually gets along with Beck Valencourt and his friends when they run into each other on weekends up at the ski resort. They’d all been snowboarding together since they were thirteen.

College would even things out, but until then they had to play their roles for their respective high schools.

Kade looks to the right at the cars parked in the middle of the country road, searching the black windshields for a familiar profile.

“I can try to accommodate your request,” Beck says, holding out his hands. “You just can’t have my girlfriend.”

Kade chuckles. “Actually, I just want a football player.”

“I knew that about you.”

“Shut up.” Kade glances to the right, seeing the bridge to Weston and Farrow Kelly on his way with his whole fucking entourage. “It’s only for two weeks,” he tells Beck. “You’ll get him back in almost the same condition.”

“Well, we want Trent,” he says, pointing to Dylan. “Agree to that and we’ll give you a player. We want to see what she can do on our track.”

He grins at her, but she rolls her eyes. “I don’t want to go to St. Matt’s,” she tells Kade. “They’re stuck up.”

She flashes Beck and his guys a look, and Beck laughs.

But Kade shrugs. “You can have her.”

Dylan jerks her head to Kade, and he can feel her glare.

“Just give us Hunter,” he tells Beck. “If Hunter comes here, she can go there.”

Dylan drops her eyes.

But Beck looks confused as he glances to the friend at his side and then back to Kade. “Hunter? Your brother?”

Kade stares at him.

“Hunter checked out weeks ago,” Beck explains. “He’s not attending St. Matt’s this year.”

Kade takes a step into him. “What do you mean?”

“Yeah,” Beck says. “I don’t know what to tell you. He’s a loss. Definitely. And he left us high and dry without a tailback at the last minute too. But don’t you worry.” He smiles wide. “We’ll be ready.”

“What the hell are you talking about?” Kade blurts out. “Where did he go?”

“I had assumed he came back here.”

Kade searches his brain, trying to figure it out. Neither he nor Dylan had heard anything, and Kade’s grandfather would’ve touched base with his parents if his twin was missing.

Did his parents know his brother left St. Matt’s?

What the hell is going on?

“Can we still have Trent?” Beck asks.

Kade shakes his head. “Fine, whatever.”

But then Dylan breathes hard, stepping up to Farrow Kelly instead. The captain of the Weston team. “You guys race bikes?”

The corner of his mouth lifts in a smile as he looks her up and down, the Green Street tattoo already etched on his neck, even though he’s still a full-time student. “Yeah, but we don’t have a track, honey. Can you handle it?”

“I can handle it,” she snips. “Can I be your prisoner? I need to get out of here for a couple of weeks.”

He laughs, looking to Kade. “Did I really just get this lucky?” But he doesn’t wait for an answer, looking back to Dylan. “Daddy gonna be okay with this, Baby Trent?”

“Do you care?”

He holds her eyes, rising to the challenge. He pulls out handcuffs, binding her wrists in front of her as a young woman with three roses inked on her left hand rips off a piece of duct tape and plants it over Dylan’s mouth. It’s all a part of the ceremony of being a prisoner.

The young woman smiles at Dylan. “This won’t be fun, honey. Brace yourself.”

He watches as they pull Dylan across the bridge, coins flying over the side and into the water as they go. Kade shakes his head. He needs to get home and talk to his parents.

“We’ll take Stoli then,” Beck says. “Who do you want?”

“I don’t give a shit.”

Kade’s whole fucking plan has gone to hell without Hunter.

Beck tosses someone over, everyone moving to their cars to make the trek to the hostage’s house for clothes, personals, and phone chargers before being taken to whatever family and student is fostering them for two weeks.

Kade turns to leave with their prisoner, but Jaden, Beck’s running back, stops him. “Hunter’s been AWOL for a while,” he warns Kade. “Been spending a lot of his weekends in Weston. We figured he had a girlfriend there or something.”


But the guy turns, and starts to leave, vehicles racing away.

Why would he spend time in Weston?


Kade runs to the bridge, crossing it but stops halfway as he peers over the side. Down below, on the Weston dock, he watches them load Dylan into a shiny, black 1950s pickup truck. It starts up, headlights on, and backs away from the warehouses and bars. It peels off down the street and out of sight.

But as soon as they leave, he sees the car parked on the street behind.

And he sees him.


His brother leans on the hood of his ’68 Camaro dressed in jeans and a black hoodie, his blond hair—same shade as Kade’s—windblown as he watches the truck drive off with Dylan inside.

It takes a few seconds, but Hunter turns and meets Kade’s eyes.

Kade can’t see the smile on his brother’s face, but he knows it’s there.

“Shit,” Kade grits out.

He was at the foam party. He was the one in the mask.

Hunter is with the Rebels.

And he has Dylan all to himself in Weston for two weeks.