The Goal(Off-Campus #4)(7)

By: Elle Kennedy

I’m still not sure how I feel about the beard. I grew it around the time of the championship game this past spring, but it got mountain-man out of control on me, so I shaved it over the summer. Then it grew back because I’m lazy as hell, and trimming it close is a helluva lot easier than shaving it all off.

“Have a seat, man,” Hunter encourages. His eyes actively telegraph that there are three of them and two of us, but these girls, as pretty as they are, don’t interest me at all.

“All yours, kid.”

I drain my bottle and return to the bar where Sabrina’s still standing. A couple other predators have edged closer. I give them all a hard stare and slide into a newly vacated space beside her.

I lean an elbow behind me against the bar top, giving her the illusion of room. She reminds me a little of those untamed ponies, all wide eyes, long legs, and the unspoken promise of the best ride of your life. But you play your hand too soon and she’s going to run off and there’ll be no catching her.

“So you’re a friend of Di Laurentis?”

The words are casually tossed out, but considering she and Dean don’t like each other much, there’s probably only one right way to respond and that’s by denying everything.

Still, I won’t do that to a friend, not even to get laid. And whatever issue Sabrina has with Dean doesn’t influence me, just like Dean’s opinion of Sabrina isn’t going to shape what I’m looking for with her. Besides, I’m a big believer in the saying that you begin how you intend to go on.

“He’s my roommate.”

She makes no effort to hide her distaste and starts brushing me off. “Thanks for the drink, but I think I see my friends waving at me.” She nods toward a group of girls.

I survey the crowd, none of whom are even looking in our direction, and turn back to her with a sad shake of my head. “You gotta do better than that. If you want me to go, tell me to go. You look like a girl who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to say it.”

“Is that what Dean told you? I bet he called me a bitch, didn’t he?”

This time I opt to keep my mouth shut. Instead, I take a drink.

“He’s right,” she continues. “I am and I’m not sorry for it.”

Her chin juts out adorably. I’d pinch it, but I think I’d lose a few fingers and I’m going to need them later tonight. I have plans to have them all over her body.

She takes another sip of the beer I bought her, and I watch the delicate muscles in her throat work. Fuck, she’s beautiful. Dean could’ve said that she sucks the life out of babies and I’d still be over here. She’s got that kind of draw.

And it’s not just me. Half the male population in the bar is throwing glares of envy in my direction. I cant my body slightly to hide her from view.

“Okay,” I say lightly.

“Okay?” She gets the cutest look of confusion on her face.

“Yup. Is that supposed to scare me off?”

Her perfectly shaped eyebrows crash together. “I don’t know what else he said, but I’m not easy. I’m not against a hookup, but I’m picky about who I let into my bed.”

“He didn’t say anything about that. Only that you liked to bust his balls. But we both know that Dean’s ego can withstand a blow now and again. The question is whether you’re hung up on him. Kind of seems like you are, because he’s the only thing you can talk about.” I shrug. “If that’s the case, I’ll skate right now.”

While Dean said he didn’t have feelings for Sabrina, I want to make sure there aren’t any lingering emotions on her end. Her tone when she mentioned him was mad, though, not bitter, which I take as a good sign. Anger could stem from any number of things. Bitterness is usually hurt feelings.

When—not if—we get into bed together, it should be because she wants to be with me, not as a way to get back at Dean.

Her gaze flicks over my shoulder to where my teammate is still sitting, then back to me. She and I drink in silence for a bit. Her chocolate-brown eyes are tough to read, but I get the sense she’s weighing my words carefully. It might be that she expects me to talk, fill the silence, but I’m waiting her out. Plus, it gives me time to inspect her close up. And from this distance, she’s even more beautiful than I realized.

She doesn’t just have a world-class ass and endless legs. Her rack is the kind that can turn a man religious. As in, thank you, Jesus, for creating this glorious creature and please, Lord, make her not a lesbian. Not blatantly staring at the pretty swells rising above her top is one of the harder things I’ve had to do.

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