When I stepped out of the elevator, I pulled my cap’s brim low, shading my eyes. As I made my way along the corridor, I didn’t miss the feminine gasps as I passed doors—as well as the tunes and hums from hairdryers.
“What’s he doing here?” sniped a voice from behind.
I bristled but pretended not to notice. Best thing was to ignore her and anyone else who decided to comment.
Stopping at 914, I glanced over my shoulder. Three females stood in the hall watching me. Two gaped like Will Smith had just sauntered past, another just crossed her arms and scowled. I waved and tried to smile. “Good evening, ladies.”
Yes, I sounded totally lame.
To their snorts and giggles, I turned and knocked. At least the chicks behind weren’t running for the exit and screaming for the police. If only I were a hermit living in the locker room, I’d be spared from the looks, the comments, even the praise. Sure, I’d enjoyed the attention before. But now I wished I were invisible.
No one liked to have their sex life scrutinized under a microscope, nonetheless in front of a jury. God, I never wanted to go through that again.
The door opened in about two seconds, but I barely recognized the Amazon on the other side.
“Whoa,” I said, my jaw dropping to my chest. God save me, Vivian had morphed from nerdy accountant into… Hell, with her hair styled in long shiny waves, she looked like dynamite—like one of the girls I was trying to stay away from.
“Crap!” She crossed her arms over her cleavage—I mean a really perfect rack, boobs I wouldn’t be able to ignore for more than five seconds. “I knew this was a disaster.”
As soon as the words left her lips, the door slammed in my face.
Stunned, I stared straight ahead. How many girls were standing in the hallway now? I grunted, imagining tomorrow’s headlines, “Williams Stood Up by Tutor.”
About to turn and suffer the walk of shame down the corridor, the door opened and a blonde girl popped her head out. “Sorry, Vi’s changing. And don’t get the wrong impression, dude. The makeover was my idea.”
I tried to peer through the crack above blonde-girl’s head but saw nothing except the shirt Vivian had been wearing sailing through the air. “No prob,” I said. “You must be the pre-law major who’s been rooming with Vi since freshman year.” I stuck out my hand. “I’m Cade.”
She checked over her shoulder, then opened the door a bit further and gripped my palm like she was attempting to crush a walnut. “Lisa, nice to meet you…I think.”
I pulled my hand away and splayed my fingers. “Why think?”
She looked me up and down like a cross-examining attorney, instantly turning my stomach sour. “To begin with, you asked her to a footballer’s party after your first tutoring session.” Lisa poked me in the chest with her pointer finger. Hard. “And I’ll have you know she’s a nice girl—not one of those whorific floozes. Not even close.”
Trying not to snort, I swiped a hand over my mouth. Whorific floozes? I didn’t expect urban slang to come from a pre-law senior. “Um…that’s why I thought she’d be a good friend to take to this party.”
“I’m ready!” Vi smiled, pulling open the door, smoothing her hands down a purple sleeveless turtleneck—no cleavage, but snug-fitting and still more to look at than I needed. At least her hair had been tousled when she changed but, if you ask me, it was even sexier that way. “Sorry. I borrowed Lisa’s shirt but as soon as I opened the door and saw your face I knew it was a total disaster.”
My opinion? She was kinda right. I would have had too much trouble keeping my hands to myself.
“Maybe it was overkill,” said the roommate, grabbing my wrist and giving me one of those “Mom knows best” expressions. “Have her home at a decent hour. It’s a school night, you know.”
Not wanting another cross-examination, I gently twisted my hand away and grinned. “I’ll let Vi decide what’s best.”
Miss Unbelievably-Gorgeous pulled the door shut. “Bye, Lisa.”
After we made it to the elevator bank, I pushed the button, leaned in, and asked, “Does your roomie often dress you?” Holy hell, she smelled like the Caribbean, coconuts and lime, and sex. I gulped.
Definitely not sex.
Vi groaned, dropping her head back and blushing. “Only when I’m about to be thrown to the wolves.”
“You know, dragged into a party with hormones bouncing off the walls.”
“Which is why Lisa chose the—” I drew an arc across my chest. “The lowcut shirt?” It just didn’t make sense.
“I know. It was over the top. But she said if I was serious about being chick repellent then I needed to look the part. After I put the shirt on, I thought…” Vi bit her lip when the elevator arrived.
I led her inside and punched the ground floor button. “What did you think?”
“It made me feel vulnerable.”
My chest hurt like she’d just issued a jab to my heart. Because of me? Because of my reputation? “Oh.”
“No!” She window-washered both hands. “Not because of you but because there was too much of me on display. It just didn’t feel right.”
The pain vanished. “Good.”
“Good?” she asked as the G lit up and the doors opened.
“Yeah,” I said, leading her out through the foyer while I dropped the pass in front of the dude at the desk. “You okay with walking? Devan’s apartment is across campus.”
“Seriously?” Vi jammed her fists into her hips, making her shoulders throw back and her breasts far too unignorable. I think she was attempting to be assertive, but she only managed to make my knees go weak. “I walk everywhere. Or take the bus.”
I ran my hand down my mouth, erasing my grin but totally unable to forget her hotness. “No car, huh?”
“With my tuition? I doubt I’ll be able to afford a car before I’m fifty.”
“I mean it,” she said with an edge to her voice. “You might have a free ride, but mine’s far from it.”
I guess she did have some preconceived ideas about me. I didn’t say anything for a while. A few weeks ago, I faced the very real possibility of paying my own tuition—if I ever managed to be accepted to another college. My thoughts bounced around and kept coming back to her. I wanted to tell her she looked nice, but that would sound lame, wouldn’t it?
Yeah, I’m the stud on campus.
*** End of Excerpt ***
After Cade Williams, the best tight end Madison University has ever seen, is acquitted by a jury and reinstated by the dean, he is determined to focus on three goals:
Strait-laced accounting major, Vivian Ellis, hasn’t watched a complete game of football in her life. And when she receives her tutoring assignment, the last student she expected was Cade. Not only has the football star earned a reputation as the best looking heart-breaker on campus, his recent trial has made him notorious.
But Cade is done with his past and he wants to prove it. When his teammates invite him to a celebration in his honor, he asks Vi to come along to keep the party-girls at bay. Except when Vi shows up without her glasses, she’s as sexy-hot as a runway model. Worse, his tutor is as off-limits as any woman can get. As the season continues, sparks fly while their chemistry darts from simmering to scorching. Until everything is blown to hell. Challenged by hateful rumors and a devastating injury, will these star-crossed lovers find the mettle to get back in the game?
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