Charlotte just wants a normal senior year of college before she goes off to her dream job in LA. But when the dorms are filled to capacity, she’s assigned to live in a frat house! To her surprise, Charlotte finds herself on a journey of self-discovery, finding business intrigue, friends, love, and a sense of self in the most unlikely company.
Age Rating: 16+
Charlotte and the Seven Frat Brothers by Jessica Powell is now available to read on the Galatea app! Read the first two chapters below, or download Galatea for the full experience.
Read the full uncensored books on the Galatea iOS app!
Charlotte just wants a normal senior year of college before she goes off to her dream job in LA. But when the dorms are filled to capacity, she's assigned to live in a frat house! To her surprise, Charlotte finds herself on a journey of self-discovery, finding business intrigue, friends, love, and a sense of self in the most unlikely company.
Age Rating: 16+
Original Author: Jessica Powell
“I am truly sorry, miss.” The school’s administrator apologizes again for the fifth time. I nibble on my bottom lip, weighing my choices.
I can either take the offer the school is now presenting me or live back at home with my parents and deal with a three-hour commute. I prop my elbows on the desk and lean over to whisper so no one around will hear.
“So, for the next semester, I would have to live in a frat house?”
“That is correct, but if an opening does come available, we will transfer you. That is the best I can do for you.”
“Okay—I’ll do it.” My voice is barely above a whisper.
The administrator busies herself getting all the paperwork ready for me to sign. Twenty minutes later, I have keys to the frat house in one hand and my suitcase in the next.
Walking through the campus, I see how happy everyone looks, carrying their belongings to the dorms they’re supposed to be in, and it makes me a little sour.
I trudge forward, looking straight ahead at my prison for a semester or less.
It was my last year in college, and I wanted it to be perfect as the first year.
I pull the suitcase up the porch steps and take a deep breath before unlocking the door. I hear talking coming from what I assume to be the living room and walk in that general direction.
Seven guys lounge around talking about the first party of the year and how epic it would be. I clear my throat and the room gets quiet as all eyes turn towards me.
Be cool, Charlotte. It’s just boys. “Hi, I’m Charlotte.” I wave.
“Party isn’t until tonight, dollface,” one guy on the couch states. I glare his way. One thing I hated more than being here was being objectified by people, especially men.
“I am not here for a party; I am the new roommate. I assume the lady down at the office called to inform you guys.”
I look around, keeping a tight smile on my face. The room erupts in yelling, not at me but at the situation. I watch them as they pointed fingers at one another.
A loud whistle rings throughout the room and everyone quiets down. They turn their attention to the black-haired guy, now standing. He looks to the blonde hair muscular guy first before speaking.
Hmm… I can already tell who the alpha male is here.
“I’ll fix this.” He walks extending his hand. I’m not sure what he thinks he can fix. I’ve tried to fix it already, but he’s welcome to try, too.
“I’m Darren Reed; you must know who I am…” He looks behind him to the rest of the guys. “Hell, you ought to know who we all are.”
Yes, I’ve seen them about the campus, the cheerleaders hanging onto them for dear life. I knew they were football players but that’s where it ends.
I major in culinary arts. If I’m not in class or doing homework, I’m in the school kitchen or at home cooking, coming up with new recipes.
“I’m sorry, I don’t.” I put my hand back to my side. It was mostly the truth—I didn’t actually know them.
The guys’ faces screw up, not believing me. Every girl on campus knew of them, I bet. Eighty percent of the female population has been with at least one of the seven, and that is a fact.
Darren stares at me with interest, probably because no female in her right mind would tell them they didn’t know who they were.
“Are you going to show me my room? I’d like to get settled in,” I ask, uneasy with the way he was checking me out. The look in his eyes told me he was only trouble. Trouble I don’t want.
“You see, there’s been a bit of miscommunication. Old lady Martha said we were getting a student by the name of Charley, we assumed it was a guy—seeing as it is a frat house.
Never in a million years would we have guessed it was a female that wants to stay here.” Darren raises his eyebrows, waiting for an explanation, but I wasn’t giving it to him. Since there wasn’t one.
“It’s 2016, you shouldn’t assume things and my nickname is Charley, short for Charlotte.” I tuck a strand of hair behind my ear. “Now, can you show me to my room?”
Darren’s eyes widen in shock, but he quickly covers it by clearing his throat and turning around to face the room. “First, meet the guys, then I’ll show you to your room and we’ll be out of your hair in no time.”
Darren looks at me over his shoulder. I nod my head walking farther into the living room, leaving my suitcase behind. I catch a quick head nod exchange
“Everett Sawyer at your service, dollface. I’m majoring in Business, and I’m the football team’s linebacker.” Once he’s done, he pulls out his phone—texting away.
I tap the screen of his phone, grabbing his attention.
“What the hell?” he says, looking up at me.
“You may either call me Charley or Charlotte. ‘Dollface’ is unacceptable and downright sexist. I am not a crazed feminist, but there are some things I just won’t allow and that’s the unnecessary name-calling.”
“I like her,” the guy next to him says. “Tristan Beckett, majoring in Business as well, with my twin brother here,” he looks to his left. They were identical.
“Vincent.” He just nods I am assuming he is the quiet twin. “We are also on the school’s football team. I would tell you our positions, but I doubt you would know it.” Tristan shrugs.
“And over here to your left…” Darren redirects my attention to the other side of the living room. The last three guys sitting down looking uninterested in me or then it could be life in general.
I make my way to that side as the muscular one out of the three stands up. He extends his hand, I place mine into his.
“I am Chase Tucker, school’s quarterback, head of this household, and I would appreciate if you respect the rules that apply in this house.
“I have personally spoken to Martha and it was my fault for the confusion and I should have asked male or female.
“None of that is important because you are here now. To my right; are my left and right-hand men, Miguel Jackson and Austin Kramer, we all major in business and are on the football team. Darren will show you to your room.”
He lets go of my hand then claps his together. “Let’s go fellas.” The guys stood up and disappeared through the front door.
I make my way to that side as the muscular one out of the three stands up. He extends his hand. I place mine into his.
“You have five minutes,” Chase tells Darren before leaving the house too.
“Is he always like that?” I asked as we made our way upstairs. Darren only grunted and said nothing and he was not either. He barely knows me.
“So, this is your room. The bathroom is right through that door. Just knock before using it.”
“Why?” I open the door. It looks like a regular bathroom.
“Well, the only room left in the house was this one and the bathroom you will be sharing is with Chase…”
“What? Can I get another one? I don’t want him coming into my room when he has to use it.” I look at him like he is crazy.
“Huh? No, he won—that door right across is the bathroom door to his bedroom. No one wanted this room because Chase likes things his way a lot. Another reason why he is on the third floor by himself, well no more.”
He gives me an apologetic smile. “Just knock on the bathroom door and whatever you do, don’t go into his room without his permission and keep the noise level down after nine during the weekday.
“We might be a frat house, but since we all major in business we like to study to keep on top of our school work. Follow those three rules and you will be fine.”
“Darren let’s go!” Everett’s voice bounced off the walls.
“Coming now!” He shouted back exiting the room. “See you later on, tonight, Charley.”
I take the time to unpack and look around the house. The kitchen is downright breathtaking, with state-of-the-art appliances.
My eyes zoom in on the stove; it’s not just any stove but the Majestic techno series dual fuel freestanding range with eight burners, sealed burner, and warming drawer.
Holy crap this thing cost at least sixteen grand. My hand itches to cook on it but the kitchen is messy, along with the rest of the house—the living room, foyer, den, home gym, and game room.
All a mess.
My phone rings, I retrieve it from my pocket and Raven’s face flashes on the screen.
“Hey, where are you?” She asks.
“Hello to you too.”
“Uh-huh, hi now where are you? I have some snotty bit—girl moving her things into our room.”
“Oh crap, I should have called you when I left the administrative building. Somehow all the dorm rooms got filled and now I am staying at the Croakington House.”
I hear her gasp and everything went silent. “Raven, are you still there?”
“Yeah, yeah. I just think I heard you wrong. It sounded like you said you are staying at the Croakington house—which is a frat house and that means it’s only guys who live there and guys I mean the hottest players to bless the campus and football team. Also, Chase Tucker—middle school crush. Ohmigee Char Char you can totally be with him.”
I roll my eyes. “Yup that sounds about right and I can tell you they all hate that I am here especially Chase Tucker, but Martha in the office said she will call me ASAP when another dorm is free; hopefully soon.”
I ignore her last comment. She knows I will not speak of Chase, so she doesn’t press the situation any further. It was part of our best friend pact. Chase was a no-go zone for anything. He was someone I used to know.
“Wow, I would hate to be in your shoes right now. Kidding, I would love to be in your shoes. They’re all so hot. So, what are you going to do for the time being?”
“Well for starters I am going to clean the entire house and cook a dinner, my way of saying thank you for being so welcoming, and please don’t kill me in my sleep.” I joke.
“I’m pretty sure they won’t kill you in your sleep.” She laughs. “I mean that does sound like a great idea though cooking and cleaning for them. You know what?”
“You are like the new modern-day Snow White.”
“Ha ha ha, very funny.”
“No seriously, you are living in a house with seven guys and you are about to cook and clean for them. If you are lucky one or two of them might want t—”
“Bye, Raven, I’ll call you later on, tonight.
“Bye, Charlotte White.”
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I glance at the clock hanging in the kitchen and sigh. I took three hours to get the house clean and smelling of anything but sweat. These frat brothers probably have cleaned nothing besides their room in a while.
Now, it’s time to make a dinner to feed eight, but then again, I think I should make enough for a herd. They are football players. My phone buzzes on the countertop.
I place the phone into my back pocket and looked around the kitchen. I take out the ingredients and prepare to make the best meal these guys have ever tasted. I must make sure this meal comes out great.
This was the first meal I ever learned, thanks to my parents. Both are chefs and damn great ones at that. I see an iPhone dock in the corner on the counter, a little music while I cook, and it sounds like a great idea.
An hour later I am prepping the table, I was thankful to see they had a dining table one big enough to fit all eight of us.
The sound of Kelis’s “Milkshake” vibrates off the walls as I move from the kitchen to the dining room with the food.
The smell of the food hits my nostrils and I am in food heaven. I dance a little carrying the tray of chicken to the table.
Walking back to the kitchen, I place the potatoes on another tray, swinging my hips from side to side.
“Something smells delicious.”
I jump, turning around to see the guys peeking in the doorway.
“Haven’t your mothers taught you not to sneak up on people? I could have hurt myself or even worse, dropped the food.” I glare at them.
“Sorry, dol—Charley, it’s been a while since we came home from the field and there is a cooked meal.” Everett walks into the dining room, I follow behind him, and the rest of them follow behind me.
“Oh, so you guys had a cook?” I ask.
“Nah, Chase was banging some girl last year and she loved to cook.” He shrugs his shoulders and takes a seat.
I look behind me at Chase and he seems like he wants to rip Everett’s head off. The guys gather around the table and I look at them all like they were crazy, they had to be.
Growing up my mother would always reprimand me for sitting at the dining table dirty. If I was outside playing, I would time myself to come into the house ten minutes before dinner.
Always at the table on time with fresh clothes, mud and dirt free. So cleaning yourself off before dinner is something I can never stray from and I always try to encourage others to do so.
Raven hates it too. She always tells me I reminded her of my mother.
“Uh guys, don’t you think you should freshen up before sitting down to eat?”
Tristan looks at me or it could be Vincent, well one twin looks at me and stands up. “Sorry.”
It is Tristan, he was the polite one. I smile as he walks out of the room, followed by everyone but Chase. He sits at the head of the table watching me intensively. I see he will just make this difficult.
“Are you going to join them?”
“Then I guess you won’t be eating,” I say walking towards him, taking his plate and utensils from the table. He grabs my wrist and tiny little lightning bolts spread throughout my body.
I try to yank my arm away, but that makes him hold on a little tighter. “Let go.”
“Put my stuff back.” Is he doing this?
“Then go get cleaned up and I will.” I yank again and he lets me go. I stumble but quickly regain my balance. He stands up slowly, never taking his eyes off of me. “Th-thank you.”
He grunts and walks out of the room, leaving me to my thoughts. I am dead meat. I quickly placed his plate back once I heard the footsteps more like a stampede headed my way.
I stood out the way as the guys rushed back into the dining room taking their seats.
“Damn, this looks good,” Austin says, and he has a lovely British accent. He rubs his hands reaching for the chicken.
“No,” I shout. Everyone looks at me confused. “We have to wait for Chase to come down before we can eat.”
“Uhh,” Miguel’s eyes meet mine. “Chase isn’t coming down; he said he has a lot of studying to do.”
“Unbelievable,” I mutter. I take a quick pause calculating my next move.
I don’t want to overstep my boundaries but come on, he is going to the extreme not to do as I say, just once. I storm out of the dining room, taking the steps two at a time.
I stand in front of his door, knocking. He swings the door open, folding his arms at his chest. “How can he—”
“Since I told you to clean yourself you decide not to come eat? I think that is a bit childish of you. Everyone else is waiting downstairs to eat and they can’t.”
I am sounding like my mother. I’m reprimanding him. Raven is so right.
“Why is that?” he asks leaning on the door frame. “I’m not stopping anyone from eating.”
“Uh, yeah you are. This is our first dinner as a house family.” I want you guys to like me. Why are you making it so hard? I want to scream at him, can’t he just take my welcoming dinner and be nice?
He pushes himself off the doorframe and steps closer. Too close for comfort.
“Let’s get this one thing straight Charlotte Withers, you are not family. You are someone who accidentally got placed here. It’s not your fault, but hey there is nothing we can do about it now.
“I’ve been with these guys since day one, not you. You make one dinner and expect everyone to follow your rules. I told you once already I am the head of the household and I don’t like to repeat myself.”
He clears his throat leaning down to my ear. “Don’t push me; things could get really ugly around here if you do.”
He steps back into his room slamming the door in my face. I jump back, tears forming in my eyes. I just want everyone to be happy.
I turn to head downstairs and I see the guys peeking around the corner before dashing downstairs, great they saw and heard everything.
“So, can we eat? We’ve been patiently sitting down here waiting.” Everett lies, did they think I didn’t see or hear them?
“Sure, dig in,” I say, taking my seat at the other end of the table.
“Hey, I wouldn’t take whatever Chase says to heart. He has a lot going on and anything ticks him off,” Vincent reaches over patting my hand. I give him a weak smile nodding my head.
“Seriously, Charley, don’t sweat it.” Darren looks at me smiling before shoving chicken into his mouth. “Oh god, this is so good. Tastes better than Brooke andshe tastes good.”
The table groans, telling him to shut up. Well, if Brooke tastes of chicken, I would tell her she must go to the hospital to make sure everything’s all right down there.
The dinner went well, but I couldn’t help but stare at Chase’s empty chair and think that he was right. These guys chatted like one big family and here I was sitting quietly watching them as if I was looking at them from the outside. They tried to pull me into their conversations, but my head wasn’t in it.
Dinner was over and I told the guys I would clean up the mess, not like I had a choice because they were already climbing the stairs closing their bedrooms.
After twenty minutes of cleaning the kitchen and dining room were spotless. I lean against the kitchen island, staring down at my drink.
I hear footsteps and turn around. Chase walks into the kitchen. We stay silent and stare at each other.
“I made you a plate.” I look over at the aluminum-covered plate on the counter.
“I figured after all that studying you might get hungry.”
He says nothing and heads for the refrigerator.
“Well, goodnight.” I exit the kitchen and lean against the wall.
I hear the aluminum foil and then a fork scraped against the plate. He is eating the food—the next sound shatters me. The garbage disposal comes on and the plate hits the sink.
He threw the food away. I hang my head and walk up the stairs in defeat.
I hope the school finds an empty room and fast.
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