“This is literally the worst idea you’ve ever had,” Haley says, arching a slender brow as she scans the room, a red plastic cup dangling from her fingertips.
“Really?” I challenge, taking a sip of my beer. It’s lukewarm and has too much head, but shitty beer is the least of my worries. “Worse than the time I streaked across the President’s lawn?”
“Hell, yes.” Haley turns to face me, dark eyes fixed on mine. “And as your best friend, I’m obligated to go on record because, girl, you are so going to have regrets in the morning.”
Only if this plan fails.
“If there’s a better place to find a hookup on campus,” I say, nodding toward the sea of sweaty undergrads before us, “I’m all ears.”
A frown tugs at the corner of Haley’s full mouth. I’ve got her there. Greek Row is my best option and we both know it. Sig Chi is wall to wall bodies, as if every student on campus came out to celebrate the Wildcats’ first win of the season.
Hell, they probably did.
Waverly University is a football school, and the guys on the team are treated like gods. Gods who are expected to deliver a national championship.
The hardwood floor vibrates beneath our feet, but it’s impossible to tell if it’s from the dancing or the bass pulsing from the giant speakers in the corner of the living room.
“Come on, Hales. You’re supposed to be my wing woman.” I bat my lashes and jut out my bottom lip out, doing my best imitation of a pout. Haley may look totally badass, but inside she’s as squishy as a Jell-O shot. “Help me, Haley-Wan. You’re my only hope.”
“Fine.” She rolls her eyes. “But don’t blame me if the sex is terrible.”
I shrug, trying to play it cool despite the nervous energy coiled low in my belly. “How bad can it be?”
Haley snorts and takes a sip of her beer. “I’m not even going to dignify that with a response.”
Technically, she already has, but I don’t point it out, because I need her help. I’m a hot mess when it comes to the opposite sex. Not that I have much experience—or, okay, any—with sex, because every time I’ve tried to cash in my v-card, the universe has screwed me.
But only in the figurative sense.
Like after prom, when someone pulled the fire alarm at the hotel, and my date decided it was a sign premarital sex would send him straight to the fiery pits of hell.
Or last year when I was a clueless freshman hooking up with this guy from my American History class, and his cock got stuck in the zipper of his jeans. I tried to help with the zipper sitch—which, judging by his squeals, was wicked painful—but that turned out to be an even bigger mistake than hooking up with him. He bolted and never spoke to me again, like it was my fault he didn’t understand the concept of manscaping.
So, yeah. I’m still a card-carrying member of Virgins-R-Us, but not for long.
Tonight I’m having sex, universe be damned.
No planning. No strings. No cosmic interference.
“What about him?” Haley asks, nodding toward a cute guy with an edgy frohawk.
I sip my beer, studying him over the top of my plastic cup. He’s tall, dark, and sexy. More Haley’s type than mine. I prefer my guys sweet with a side of nerdy.
And how’s that working out?
“If you’re not interested,” Haley says casually, “maybe I’ll go for it.”
Bullshit. Haley and her on-again, off-again boyfriend Bryan are on a break, but there’s no way she’ll hook up with someone else. She might be pissed at him now, but she’s convinced they’re end game.
“He’s all yours.” I grin and call her bluff. “Not my type.”
“Type doesn’t matter when it comes to one-night stands.” Haley smirks and bumps her hip against mine. “Are you sure you want to do this?”
“Definitely.” I lift my chin. No way am I dying a spinster virgin. And, yes, I realize that sounds dramatic, but you’d be dramatic too if the universe was conspiring to hold your virginity hostage while all your friends were getting their O on. “We just need to find the right guy.”
“Right,” she drawls, a knowing smile curving her lips. “Oh! How about the man bun? He’s got a nice ass.”
“Who’s got a nice ass?” My brother Noah appears at Haley’s side with a bottle of lager clutched in his meaty paw. Warmth floods my cheeks and he smirks at me, like he knows exactly what we’ve been discussing. It’s not possible—not with the thumping bass—but the knowledge does little to quell my embarrassment. The last thing I need is Noah giving me shit about my virgin status. Or my disastrous love life. Or really, anything. “Don’t tell me Calamity Quinn’s scoping out the brothers. You know the rules.” He pauses, taking a pull on his beer. “Sig Chi is off limits.”
I roll my eyes—hard. “Trust me, we have zero interest in your brothers,” I say, placing air quotes around the last word.
Noah’s two years older than me and it’s his last year at Waverly, but he still takes this whole no hooking up with my friends thing to another level. Which is ridiculous, because I have no desire to lose my virginity to a Sig Chi.
One overbearing obnoxious brother is more than enough, thank you very much.
“We just came for the free beer,” Haley assures him, raising her cup.
“Good.” Noah nods, and some of the tension leaves his shoulders. “Just keep Quinntessential Disaster out of trouble tonight. We don’t need a visit from the plumber this early in the semester.”
“That was one time!” I argue, planting a hand on my hip.
And it wasn’t even my fault.
Not entirely, anyway.
“Yeah,” Noah says, flicking the end of my nose, “and it was one time too many. That shit’s expensive, Quinntastrophe.”
I glare at him, doing my best impression of a crazy ginger. Not that it takes much effort. The truth is, there are two kinds of redheads. The ones who hate the fiery temper stereotype, and those who perpetuate it.
Guess which one I am?
Haley laughs and swats Noah playfully. “Be nice.”
If I didn’t know better, I’d think they were flirting. But Hales would never do that to me. Plus, it’s Noah. Overprotective brother shtick aside, he’s the most unevolved guy on the planet. They’d be a terrible match.
Unless it’s true what they say about opposites attracting…
I shrug off the thought—no need to rot my brain with images of them getting hot and heavy—and smile sweetly at my brother. “Don’t you have beer to guzzle and sorority women to woo?”
“Woo? Who the hell even talks like that? Christ, it’s no wonder you’re single.” He shakes his head and takes a pull on his lager. “No exploding faucets. And no hooking up,” he adds, jabbing a finger in my direction as he disappears into the crowd.
Doubt creeps up my spine, all the ways this plan could blow up in my face taking root in my brain.
Damn Noah and his stupid wordplay.
Quinntessential disaster. Calamity Quinn. Quinntastrophe.
The childhood nicknames aren’t exactly far off the mark and whisper in my ear like a backstabbing frenemy.
The kind you forget to give your address to when you move.
“Ignore him,” Haley says, turning to level her gaze at me. “Stay focused on the mission.”
Easy for her to say. The girl has confidence for days. She’s tall and graceful, with flawless brown skin, high cheekbones, and an alluring smile that draws people in. Me? I’m a hot mess personified. It’s a reality I’ve been fighting my entire life, which is why I’m the only one of my friends who’s never had a real orgasm.
Not one that wasn’t self-delivered anyway.
Haley snaps her fingers in front of my face, and I shake off the lingering doubt.
“Right, the mission.” I peer over her shoulder, checking out man bun. He does have a nice ass. And an inviting smile. So what the hell are you waiting for? “Wish me luck.”
I chug the rest of my beer—liquid courage FTW—and hand my empty cup to Haley.
“Go get ’em, Wildcat.” She makes a roaring sound in the back of her throat and nudges me forward, slapping my backside just before the crowd swallows me whole.
I slowly make my way across the room, doing my best to ignore the musky scent of stale beer and body spray that permeates the air. I weave between sweaty bodies, keeping my gaze locked on my target. I have to give Haley credit. The girl’s got good taste, and she definitely knows my type. He’s cute in a boy next door kind of way, and there are no Greek letters in sight.
Perfect one-night stand material.
But… What the hell am I supposed to say?
Nice bun, wanna fuck?
I’ve heard worse at these parties.
And really, who needs small talk anyway?
I square my shoulders and flash him a brilliant smile as I approach. Fake it till you make it and all that jazz. He grins back at me, and for a second, I’m feeling myself, my confidence at an all-time high. But then the heel of my bootie gets caught on the most disgusting rug on the face of the planet, and I stumble forward, crashing face first into his chest.
So much for playing it cool.
“Woah.” He slides his hands around my waist as someone to my left shouts party foul. “You okay?”
My face is on fire, and my pride is screaming at me to walk away before I make a bigger fool of myself, but I ignore it.
It’s not the first time something like this has happened.
And I doubt it will be the last.
“My hero.” I straighten and rest a hand on his bicep, giving it a squeeze, just like they do in the movies. “I’m Quinn. And you are?”
His brows shoot up, like he can’t believe I’m being this bold. That makes two of us. “Zac.”
“Are you here with anyone, Zac?” I use my flirty voice, which sounds pitchy to my own ears, but it must work because now he’s really looking at me, a spark of interest flaring in his eyes.
“Nope.” Might as well own that ish. “Want to go upstairs?”
“Seriously?” He blinks, and I can see the moment he gives himself a mental facepalm, because, yeah, not a lot of guys on campus questioning a no strings hookup. “I mean, sure, that would be cool.”
He snakes an arm around my waist, fingers digging into the soft flesh of my hip, and steers me toward the stairs. I give Haley a thumbs up as we pass, and she makes an obscene gesture that has heat flooding my cheeks.
Holy shit. This is happening. I’m finally going to lose my virginity.
“Never have I ever…” Stacy pauses, tongue gliding suggestively over her cherry-red lips as she flutters her lashes. “Hooked up with a Heisman contender.”
Neither of us drinks.
She lifts a brow meaningfully—leaving no doubt she’d like to rectify the situation—as sweaty coeds press in on us from all sides. The Sig Chi party is a madhouse, and I’m feeling it, the music pulsing through my body like an electric current. I should be exhausted from today’s game. It was a nail biter. But I’m wired, adrenaline coursing through my veins long after the thrill of victory should have faded.
A better man would point out that Reid’s more likely to find his name on the Heisman short-list, but something tells me Stacy wouldn’t care, so I keep that shit to myself.
After all, the girl is bold and unapologetic about her intentions, and I’m here for it.
“You were incredible in today’s game.”
She’s not wrong. I had one hundred and ninety-five receiving yards and scored the winning touchdown. Not bad for the home opener.
What can I say? I’m awesome. The best damn wide receiver Waverly’s seen in at least a decade.
Not that Stacy cares about my stats.
Or the fact that it was a team effort.
Nope. She’s all about the bone zone.
But hey, she wants to bag ’n’ brag? I’m down.
“When you caught that last touchdown in the end zone, I swear I nearly came.” She presses her tits to my chest and slides her hands in the back pockets of my jeans. The girl’s like fucking Houdini. Three seconds ago, she was holding a red plastic cup. Now the only thing in her hands is my ass. Not that I’m complaining. She’s a smoke show, and it’s clear she’s DTF. “We should go upstairs and celebrate—privately.”
Hell yeah. “I’m always up for a one-on-one celebration.”
“Perfect.” Stacy grabs my hand and pulls me through the crowd, like she’s afraid I’ll change my mind.
Not happening. I’m horny as fuck after a game.
I leave my beer on the coffee table as we pass by and follow her upstairs. She’s wearing a short as hell skirt, and judging by the glimpse I get of her right ass cheek, no underwear.
Thank you, football gods.
Lots of people throw shade at jersey chasers, but not me. I’m all about sexually empowered women getting theirs. I like to fuck, and I’m not about to judge a woman for wanting the same casual, no strings pleasure with a hard-bodied athlete.
Especially when that hard-bodied athlete is me.
At the top of the stairs, Stacy turns and extends an arm, blocking my path. She’s two steps above, putting us at eye level as she leans forward and kisses me. Her lips are soft and warm, and when her tongue slides along mine, doing this swirling-sucking thing, my cock stiffens, ready to get in on the action.
Damn, it’s good to be me.
I’m just getting into the kiss, imagining Stacy’s lips wrapped around my shaft, when there’s a thump down the hall. I glance over her shoulder—poor form, I know—and spot a couple going at it against the wall, too drunk or too horny to care that they’ve got an audience.
One look at that man bun and I’ve got my answer. Zac’s planting sloppy kisses all over a redhead who—
Stacy sucks hard on my tongue—a scorching reminder to handle my own business—before she abruptly breaks off the kiss. “Lead the way, big boy.” She gestures, completely undeterred by the couple dry-humping against the wall.
Welcome to Greek Row.
I climb the last two stairs and drop a hand on Stacy’s lower back, guiding her toward Noah’s room. I’m a member of Sig Chi—thanks to my father’s legacy—but I don’t live at the frat house, which makes it the ideal place for hooking up.
No sleepovers. No awkward morning after. No strings.
Noah won’t mind taking one for the team. Sig Chi doesn’t have a lot of rules, but rule number one is sacred.
Thou shall not cockblock.
I try the knob, and, finding it unlocked, push the door open.
Stacy slips inside, hips swaying provocatively. I follow.
The room is inky black when I enter, just a sliver of light shining through the open window, but finding Stacy isn’t exactly a problem. Her mouth is on mine before I can close the door, her palms flat to my chest as she pushes me up against the wall. My hip grazes the dresser, but I barely feel it. Her tongue is in my mouth doing that swirling-sucking thing again, and the only thing on my mind is orgasms.
A woman who likes to take control in the bedroom is hot AF, and I’m a willing tribute on the path to pleasure.
I reach around and cup her ass, the tips of my fingers grazing the smooth flesh of her thighs as I pull her in close, sealing our bodies together. She must like what she feels—no surprise there—because she rotates her hips, grinding against my hard-on.
“You like that, baby?”
It’s cliché as hell, but whatever. This isn’t some epic romance. It’s purely physical, and we both know it.
Stacy purrs in response and goes to work on my clothes. She’s got my shirt half unbuttoned, and she’s peppering kisses over my pecs, but it’s slow going in the dark. My mind wanders—what can I say? I have the attention span of a gnat—back to the redhead in the hall. There was something familiar about her, but I can’t put my finger on it.
Maybe we hooked up?
I’ve been with a lot of women, but redheads? Not so much. Then again, there was that Irish exchange student last spring.
Noah struck out with her, and when we’d busted his balls about it—
That’s when it hits me. Noah’s little sister—Bryn? Lynne?—is a redhead.
Maybe it wasn’t her.
Yeah-fucking-right. How many women on campus have that flaming red hair?
Stacy tugs on my belt, and I forget all about Wynn.
Before I know it, Stacy has my jeans unzipped and she’s shoving them down, as desperate for release as I am. My cock strains against the thin fabric of my boxer briefs, and she brushes her thumb over the head. Once. Twice. Three times. Catching the game-winning TD was amazing, but even football can’t compare to the dizzying wave of pleasure that crashes over me at her touch.
“You must be exhausted from today’s game,” she murmurs, sinking to her knees as a mental image of Zac and the redhead wheedles its way back into my brain. “Why don’t you relax and let me take care of you?”
Any other day, I’d be all in. Problem is, I can’t get Noah’s little sister out of my head.
Don’t be a dick.
There’s a beautiful woman on her knees in front of me, and all I can think about is the redhead next door.
Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.
This is bullshit.
Not my sister, not my problem.
See rule number two, asshole.
Thou shall not fuck a brother’s sister.
Which would probably break a half dozen laws outside of Greek Row.
I groan. It’s the wrong move because it only encourages Stacy. She reaches for the waistband of my boxers and starts to pull them down.
I grab her wrist, regret washing over me like a Gatorade shower.
Noah’s going to owe me big time.
“I’m sorry, but there’s something I need to do.” I take Stacy’s other arm and pull her to her feet. “Just give me ten minutes. Then we can pick up where we left off.”
It’s pitch black, but I swear I can see the flash of anger in her eyes as she processes my words.
“Are you serious?” Her voice is dangerously low, like she can’t believe this is happening.
Ditto. Of all the ways I imagined tonight ending, ditching a hot chick who wants to blow me didn’t make the list.
“Yeah.” I tug my pants up and button them so they don’t slide back down. “I’m really sorry.”
I sound like the world’s biggest douchebag, but what else is there to say?
It’s not you, it’s me?
I doubt that would carry any more weight than my half-assed apology.
“I’m not going to sit around waiting for you like some desperate cleat chaser. If you walk out that door, we’re done.”
I don’t bother answering. It’s her choice to make and I can hardly blame her. I’m the asshole who’s bailing mid-hookup with no explanation.
Not that an explanation would make it any better.
Pretty sure she’d be pissed if she knew I was going to find another woman.
The tension in the room is so thick I’m damn near choking on it as I zip my pants and fumble with my belt. Stacy’s quiet and maybe that’s a good sign, but it’s just as likely she’s plotting my demise, so I abandon the effort of buttoning my shirt halfway through and yank the bedroom door open. The hall light slants across the room, and when I turn back to Stacy, a final apology on the tip of my tongue, she’s glaring daggers at me.
“You’re a real prick,” she finally says, voice wavering.
“So I’ve been told.” But at least I can be the prick who does the right thing for once.
If I’m not too late.
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