The Deal (Off Campus #1)(5)

By: Elle Kennedy

And now I’m right back to where I was before Hannah-not-with-an-M gave me that faintest flicker of hope.

Royally screwed.



MY ROOMMATES ARE piss drunk when I walk into the living room after study group. The coffee table is overflowing with empty beer cans, along with a nearly depleted bottle of Jack that I know belongs to Logan because he subscribes to the beer is for pussies philosophy. His words, not mine.

At the moment, Logan and Tucker are battling each other in a heated game of Ice Pro, their gazes glued to the flat screen as they furiously click their controllers. Logan’s gaze shifts slightly when he notices me in the doorway, and his split second of distraction costs him.

“Hell to the yeah!” Tuck crows as his defenseman flicks a wrist shot past Logan’s goalie and the scoreboard lights up.

“Aw, for fuck’s sake!” Logan pauses the game and levels a dark glare at me. “What the hell, G? I just got deked out because of you.”

I don’t answer, because now I’m distracted—by the half naked make out session happening in the corner of the room. Dean’s at it again. Bare-chested and barefoot, he’s sprawled in the armchair while a blonde in nothing but a lacy black bra and booty shorts sits astride him and grinds against his crotch.

Dark blue eyes peer over the chick’s shoulder, and Dean smirks in my direction. “Graham! Where’ve you been, man?” he slurs.

He goes back to kissing the blonde before I can answer the drunken question.

For some reason, Dean likes to hook up everywhere but his bedroom. Seriously. Every time I turn around, he’s in the midst of some form of debauchery. On the kitchen counter, the living room couch, the dining room table—dude’s gotten it on in every inch of the off-campus house the four of us share. He’s a total slut and completely unapologetic about it.

Granted, I’m not one to talk. I’m no monk, and neither are Logan and Tuck. What can I say? Hockey players are horny motherfuckers. When we’re not on the ice, we can usually be found hooking up with a puck bunny or two. Or three, if your name is Tucker and it’s New Year’s Eve of last year.

“I’ve been texting you for the past hour, man,” Logan informs me.

His massive shoulders hunch forward as he swipes the whiskey bottle from the coffee table. Logan’s a bruiser of a defenseman, one of the best I’ve ever played with, and also the best friend I’ve ever had. His first name is John, but we call him Logan because it makes it easier to differentiate him from Tucker, whose first name is also John. Luckily, Dean is just Dean, so we don’t have to call him by his mouthful of a last name: Heyward-Di Laurentis.

“Seriously, where the hell have you been?” Logan grumbles.

“Study group.” I grab a Bud Light from the table and pop the tab. “What’s this surprise you kept blabbing about?”

I can always tell how plastered Logan is based on the grammar of his texts. And tonight he must be shit-faced, because I had to go full-on Sherlock to decrypt his messages. Suprz meant surprise. Gyabh had taken longer to decode, but I think it meant get your ass back here? But who knows with Logan.

From his perch on the couch, he grins so broadly it’s a wonder his jaw doesn’t snap off. He jerks his thumb at the ceiling and says, “Go upstairs and see for yourself.”

I narrow my eyes. “Why? Who’s up there?”

Logan snickers. “If I told you, then it wouldn’t be a surprise.”

“Why do I get the feeling you’re up to something?”

“Jeez,” Tucker pipes up. “You’ve got some major trust issues, G.”

“Says the asshole who left a live raccoon in my bedroom on the first day of the semester.”

Tucker grins. “Aw, come on, Bandit was fucking adorable. He was your welcome back to school gift.”

I flip up my middle finger. “Yeah, well, your gift was a bitch to get rid of.” Now I scowl at him because I still remember how it took three pest control guys to de-raccoon my room.

“For fuck’s sake,” Logan groans. “Just go upstairs. Trust me, you’ll thank us for it later.”

The knowing look they exchange eases my suspicion. Kind of. I mean, I’m not about to let down my guard completely, not around these assholes.

I steal two more cans of beer on my way out. I don’t drink much during the season, but Coach gave us the week off to study for midterms and we still have two days of freedom left. My teammates, lucky bastards, seem to have no problem downing twelve beers and playing like champs the next day. Me? Even a buzz gives me a rip-roaring headache the morning after and then I skate like a toddler with his first pair of Bauers.