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He knows how to score, on and off the ice. Allie Hayes is in crisis mode. With graduation looming, she still doesn’t have the first clue about what she’s going to do college. To make matters worse, she’s nursing a broken heart thanks to the end of her longtime relationship. Wild rebound sex is definitely not the solution to her problems, but gorgeous hockey star Dean Di Laurentis is impossible to resist. Just once, though, because even if her future is uncertain, it sure as heck won’t include the king of one-night stands. It’ll take more than flashy moves to win her over.

Dean always gets what he wants. Girls, grades, girls, recognition, girls…he’s a ladies man, all right, and he’s yet to meet a woman who’s immune to his charms. Until Allie. For one night, the feisty blonde rocked his entire world—and now she wants to be friends? Nope. It’s not over until he says it’s over. Dean is in full-on pursuit, but when life-rocking changes strike, he starts to wonder if maybe it’s time to stop focusing on scoring…and shoot for love.

 

The Score by Elle Kennedy is now available to read on the Galatea app! Read the first two chapters below, or download Galatea for the full experience.

 


 

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Read the full uncensored books on the Galatea iOS app!

1

SUMMARY

He knows how to score, on and off the ice

Allie Hayes is in crisis mode. With graduation looming, she still doesn’t have the first clue about what she’s going to do after college. To make matters worse, she’s nursing a broken heart thanks to the end of her longtime relationship. Wild rebound sex is definitely not the solution to her problems, but gorgeous hockey star Dean Di Laurentis is impossible to resist. Just once, though, because even if her future is uncertain, it sure as heck won’t include the king of one-night stands.

It’ll take more than flashy moves to win her over

Dean always gets what he wants. Girls, grades, girls, recognition, girls…he’s a ladies man, all right, and he’s yet to meet a woman who’s immune to his charms. Until Allie. For one night, the feisty blonde rocked his entire world—and now she wants to be friends? Nope. It’s not over until he says it’s over. Dean is in full-on pursuit, but when life-rocking changes strike, he starts to wonder if maybe it’s time to stop focusing on scoring…and shoot for love.

Author: Elle Kennedy

Allie
Sean
Can we talk? Plz??
Sean
WTF, Allie. After everything we’ve been thru, I deserve more then that.
Sean
U didn’t mean it when u said we were done, right?
Sean
Will you plz fuckin ANSWER me?
Sean
U know what? fuck this. U wanna keep ignoring me? fine. wtevr.

There are six text messages waiting for me when I check my phone on the way out of the campus fitness center on Friday night. They’re all from Sean, my as-of-last-night ex.

And although the emotional progression from pleading to pissed off doesn’t go unnoticed, I find myself fixating on his grammatical error.

“I deserve more then that.”

Then, not than. And I doubt autocorrect is to blame because Sean isn’t exactly the brightest crayon in the box.

Okay, that’s not entirely true. He’s whip-smart about some things. Like baseball—seriously, the guy can pull stats out of his ass, even ones dating back to the sixties.

But book smarts are not his forte. Stellar boyfrienddoesn’t quite make his list of strengths either, at least not in recent days.

I never wanted to be one of those girls who breaks up and makes up with the same guy over and over again.

I really thought I was stronger than that, but Sean McCall has had a hold on me since freshman year at Briar University. He sucked me in with his preppy good looks and little-boy grin.

That gorgeous grin, all crooked and dimpled and full of promises.

I glance at my phone again, my wariness climbing like the ivy on the building behind me. Argh. What does he want to talk about? We said everything we needed to say last night.

When I told him I was done before I stormed out of his frat house, I’d meant it.

I amdone. This is our fourth breakup in three years.

I can’t keep doing this to myself, this twisted cycle of joy and heartache, especially when the person I’m supposed to be building a future with is determined to hold me back.

Even so, my heart hurts. It’s hard to let go of someone who’s been such a big part of your life for so long. It’s even harder when that person refuses to let yougo.

Sighing, I hurry down the steps toward the cobblestone path that winds through campus.

Usually I take the time to admire the scenery —the gorgeous old buildings, the wrought-iron benches and massive shade trees—but tonight I just want to sprint back to my dorm, pull the covers over my head, and shut out the world.

Luckily, I can totally do that because my roommate Hannah is away this weekend, which means she won’t be around to lecture me about the emotional perils of wallowing in my misery.

She hadn’t done much lecturing last night, though. Nope, what she did was step up to the plate and knock the best-friend-ever role out of the park.

The moment I’d walked through the door after leaving Sean, Hannah had been waiting in our common room with a carton of ice cream, a box of Kleenex, and two bottles of red wine.

She’d proceeded to stay up half the night passing me tissues and listening to me babble incoherently.

Breakups suck.I feel like such a failure. No, I feel like a quitter.

The last piece of advice my mom gave me before she died was to never give up on love. Actually, she’d drilled that into me long before she’d ever gotten sick.

I don’t know all the details, but it was no secret around my house that my parents’ marriage had been on the rocks more than once during their eighteen years together.

And they’d powered through it. They’d workedat it.

Every time I think about walking out on Sean yesterday, my stomach grows queasy. Maybe I should have fought harder for us. I mean, I know he loves me—

If he loved you, he wouldn’t have given you an ultimatum,a gruff voice assures me. You did the right thing.

My throat tightens as I recognize the voice in my head. It belongs to my father, who happens to be my biggest champion. In his eyes, I can do no wrong.

It’s too bad Sean isn’t able to see me through that lens.

My phone buzzes when I’m five minutes from Bristol House, where I share a two-bedroom suite with Hannah.

Shit. Another text from Sean. And double shit because it says:

Sean
~I’m so sorry for swearing at u, bb. I didn’t mean it. I’m just upset. U mean the world to me. I hope u know that.~

A second text pops up: Coming over after class. We’ll talk.

I halt in my tracks, a jolt of panic spiraling through me. I’m not afraid of Sean, at least not in the physical sense. I know he would never lay a hand on me or fly into a manic rage.

But I’m afraid of his ability to sweet-talk me. He’s so good at it. All he has to do is call me babyand flash that adorable smile, and I’m a goner.

Anger, dread, and annoyance war for my attention as I reread his messages. He’s bluffing. He wouldn’t come over uninvited, would he?

Fuckity fuck.

With shaky fingers, I pull up Hannah’s number. Two rings later and my best friend’s reassuring voice echoes on the line. “Hey, what’s up? You okay?”

I can hear soft chatter in the background. A female voice—it’s Grace Ivers, Logan’s girlfriend.

That means that Hannah and her boyfriend Garrett have already left for their weekend in Boston. She invited me to go with them, but I turned her down because I hadn’t wanted to be the fifth wheel.

Two madly-in-love couples and me? No, thank you.

Now I wish I’d accepted the invitation, because I’ll be all alone this weekend and Sean wants to talk.

“Sean’s coming over tonight,” I blurt out.

Hannah gasps. “What? No! Why would you agree to—”

“I didn’t agree to anything! He didn’t even ask if it was cool. He just messaged saying he’s coming by.”

“What the hell?” She sounds as displeased as I feel.

“I know, right?” My panic spills over. “I can’t see him, Han. I’m still too raw about this breakup. If he comes over, I might end up taking him back.”

“Allie—”

“Do you think if I turn off all the lights and lock the door, he’ll assume I’m not home and leave?”

“Knowing Sean? He’ll wait outside the door all night.” Hannah curses.

“You know what? I shouldn’t have agreed to go to this Bruins game. I should be home with you. Hold on, I’m telling Garrett to turn the car around—”

“No way,” I interrupt. “You are not cancelling your trip for me. This is your last chance to do something fun.”

Hannah’s boyfriend is the captain of the Briar hockey team, which means his practice and game schedule will be jam-packed now that the season has started.

Which means Hannah won’t get to see him as much. I refuse to be the one who ruins a rare weekend of freedom for them.

“I just want advice.” I swallow hard. “So please, tell me what to do. Should I ask Tracy if I can crash in her room?”

“No, you don’t want to be in Bristol if Sean’s wandering the halls. Maybe Megan—no, wait, her new boyfriend is in town this weekend. They’ll probably want to be alone.”

Hannah sounds thoughtful. “What about Stella?”

“She and Justin just moved in together last week. They’re not going to want a last-minute houseguest.”

“Hold on a sec.” There’s another long pause. I hear Garrett’s muffled voice, but I can’t make out what he’s saying. Then Hannah is back.

“Garrett says you can stay at his place this weekend. Dean and Tuck will both be there, so if Sean figures out where you went and drops by, they’ll kick him to the curb.”

The murmur of voices fills the background again. “You can sleep in Garrett’s room,” she adds.

Indecision flashes through me. I mean, this is ridiculous. I can’t believe I’m considering letting Sean drive me out of my own dorm.

But my mind is flooded with images of him pounding on my door. Or worse, pulling a Say Anythingand standing outside my window with a boombox. Ugh, what if he plays the Peter Gabriel song?

I hatethat song.

“Are you sure it’s okay?” I ask.

“Yup. Totally fine. Logan’s texting Dean and Tucker right now to let them know. You can head over any time.”

Relief trickles through me, along with a pang of guilt. “Put me on speakerphone? I want to talk to Garrett.”

“Sure. One sec.”

A moment later, Garrett Graham’s deep voice comes on the line.

“Clean sheets are in the linen closet, and you might want to bring your own pillow. Wellsy thinks mine are too soft.”

“They are too soft,” Hannah protests. “It’s like sleeping on a soggy marshmallow.”

“It’s like sleeping on a fluffy cloud,” Garrett corrects. “Trust me, Allie, my pillows rock. But you should still bring your own, just in case.”

I laugh. “Thanks for the heads up. But are you sure it’s cool? I don’t want to impose.”

“S’all good, sweetheart. Just bat those big blue eyes at Tuck and he’ll cook you up a nice dinner. Oh, and Logan’s ordering Dean not to hit on you, so you don’t have to worry about him perving you out.”

Yeah, right. Dean Heyward-Di Laurentis is the biggest flirt on the planet. Every time I see him he’s trying to get in my pants. And I can’t even feel special about it, because he tries to get in everyone’s pants.

I’m not worried, though. I know how to handle Dean, and Tucker will serve as a good buffer between me and his horndog roommate.

“I really appreciate this,” I tell Garrett. “Seriously. I owe you one.”

“Nah.”

Hannah speaks up. “Text me when you get there, ’kay? And then turn off your phone so Sean can’t harass you.”

Did I mention how much I love my bestie?

I hang up feeling immensely better. Maybe it’s smart to get out of the dorms for the weekend. I can view it as a nice little retreat, a few days to clear my head and regroup.

And as long as Tucker and Dean are around, I won’t be tempted to call Sean. We need a clean break this time. No contact whatsoever, at least for a few weeks. Or months. Or years.

Truthfully, I don’t know if I’ll survive this breakup. I’ve loved this guy for years. And Sean does have his sweet moments. Like all the times he showed up at my door with soup when I was sick. And when he—

Backslide alert!

Alarm bells wail in my head, alerting me to my stupidity. Nope. Not letting myself backslide. It doesn’t matter that he was capable of being sweet—because he was also capable of notbeing sweet, as last night proves.

I square my shoulders and walk faster, determined to stick to the game plan. Sean and I are over. I can’t see him or text him or do anything that places myself in his path right now.

Day One of my Sean-free existence has officially commenced.

Dean

It’s Friday night and I’m sprawled on my living room couch, sipping a beer while two blondes—two very hot, very naked blondes—suck each other’s tongues in front of me. My life is awesome.

“Best night ever,” I drawl. My gaze is glued to the trajectory of Kelly’s hands as they glide toward Michelle’s perky tits. Kelly squeezes, and I groan.

“Would be even better if you ladies brought the party over here.”

They break apart breathlessly, laughing as they glance my way. “Give us a reason to,” Kelly teases.

I arch a brow, then reach down to grip my rock-hard dick. I give it a slow pump. “This ain’t reason enough?”

Michelle is the first to sashay toward me, her tits jiggling and ass swaying as she climbs into my lap and presses her mouth to mine. A second later, Kelly is nestled at my side, her warm, soft lips latching onto my neck.

Jesus. I’m so hard it hurts, but these two goddesses are determined to make me beg for it. They torture me with kisses.

Long, drugging kisses and wet, wicked tongues, strategic licks and gentle bites designed to drive me wild.

I’d like to say that this dirty little threesome of ours is a new experience for me, or that the manwhore label my hockey teammates have slapped me with has been an exaggeration.

But it’s not, and the label is spot-on. I like to fuck. I fuck a lot. So sue me.

I grunt when Kelly’s fingers circle my shaft. “Christ. How did I get so lucky?”

“You haven’t gotten lucky yet,” Michelle says, tossing her long hair over her shoulder. “You don’t come until we do, remember?”

She’s right—I’d made a promise, and I intend to keep it. Contrary to what my asshole friends believe about me, sex is all about the woman for me.

Or in this case, the women. Two beautiful, eager women who are not only into me, but each other.

Hey, heaven? Dean Di Laurentis here. Thanks for letting me visit.

“Well. I guess I should get started then,” I announce, and then I lower her onto the cushion and bring my mouth to her breasts.

I capture a nipple and suck hard, and her hips buck on the couch as she moans. A shadow crosses the corner of my eye. Kelly bends over beside me and licks Michelle’s other nipple.

Oh sweet Jesus. I groan loud enough to wake the dead.

Kelly peeks up to smile at me. “Figured you could use some help.” Then she kisses her way down Michelle’s flat stomach toward the juncture of her friend’s thighs.

Forget heaven. This is nirvana.

I follow the path Kelly has taken, my lips traveling over tanned skin and sweet curves until I reach the place that makes my mouth water. Kelly’s already licking it. Holy hell.

I’m not sure I can control myself long enough to get them both off. I’m too close to the edge already.

Ignoring the throbbing down below, I moisten my bottom lip, inch my mouth toward Michelle’s pussy, and…the goddamn doorbell rings.

Fucking hell. I crane my neck toward the entertainment center. The digital clock on the Blu-Ray player reads eight-thirty.

I try to remember if I told any of the guys they could come over tonight, but I haven’t spoken to anyone but my roommates today, and they’re all AWOL.

Garrett and Logan left for Boston an hour ago with their girls, and Tucker’s taking some chick to the movies tonight.

“Hold that thought.” I lick Michelle’s thigh in a teasing stroke, then rise from the couch and search for my boxers.

Once my cock is tucked away, I hurry down the hall to answer the door. When I see who’s standing on the stoop, I narrow my eyes.

“Bad timing, baby doll,” I tell Hannah’s best friend. “Your girl’s already gone. Come back on Sunday.” I move to close the door. Yup, I’m a rude SOB.

Unfortunately, the blonde on the doorstep wedges one black snow boot between the door and its frame. “Don’t be an ass, Dean. You know I’m spending the weekend.”

My eyebrows soar up. “Um, what?” I take a closer look at her, and that’s when I notice the overstuffed backpack hanging off her shoulder. And the pink carry-on suitcase by her feet.

Allie Hayes heaves a huge sigh. “Logan texted you all about it. Now let me in. I’m cold.”

I tilt my head. Then I not so gently kick her foot out of the way. “Wait here. I’ll be right back.”

“Are you kiddingme—”

The door closes on her outraged exclamation.

Battling annoyance, I dart back to the living room, where Michelle and Kelly don’t even notice my reappearance—they’re too busy making out.

It takes almost a minute to find my phone, and when I finally grab it off the floor, I discover that Hannah’s friend wasn’t messing with me.

There are five unread messages on the screen, which is what happens when you're the meat in a hot girl sandwich. Threesomes trump checking your phone. That’s a no-brainer.

Logan
~Hey, bro, Wellsy’s friend Allie is crashing at our place this weekend.~
Logan
~Keep your dick in your pants. G and I aren’t in the mood to beat u senseless if u try something. Wellsy might be in the mood for violence, tho. So: dick = pants = don’t bother our guest.~
Hannah
~Allie’s staying with u guys til Sunday. She’s in a vulnerable place right now. Don’t take advantage of her or else I’ll be unhappy. And u don’t want to make me unhappy, do u?~

I snicker. Hannah, diplomatic as always. I quickly scan the last two messages.

Garrett
~Allie’s gonna crash in my room.~
Garrett
~Your dick can stay in your room.~

Jeez, what is everybody’s fascination with my dick?

And could their timing be any worse? My rueful gaze shifts back to the couch. Kelly’s fingers are exactly where I wish mine were right now.

I clear my throat and both girls glance over. Michelle’s expression is hazy from the extra special attention her friend is giving her.

“I really hate to do this, but you ladies need to go,” I tell them.

Two pairs of eyes widen. “Excuse me?” Kelly blurts out.

“I’ve got an unexpected houseguest waiting outside,” I grumble. “Which means this house just became a PG-zone.”

Michelle snickers. “Since when do you care if anyone sees you fucking?”

True. Usually I don’t give a damn if there’s anyone around. Most times I prefer it. But I can’t expose my debauchery to Hannah’s friend. Or to Hannah and Grace, for that matter.

The boys, who cares. They know the drill. But I know Garrett and Logan wouldn’t be cool with me corrupting their girlfriends.

The moment they entered committed-relationship territory, my former wingmen turned into prudes. It’s sad, really.

“This guest is a delicate flower,” I say dryly. “She’d probably faint if she saw the three of us together.”

“I would not.” Allie’s annoyed voice comes from the doorway.

I’m equally annoyed. Chick just walks into the house like she owns it? Nuh-uh.

I scowl at her. “I told you to wait outside.”

“And I told you I was cold,” she shoots back. And she seems to have no issue with the fact that there are two naked girls ten feet away.

My guests study Allie as if she’s a splotch of bacteria under their microscopes. Then they wrinkle their noses and dismiss her from their sights as if she’s, well, nothing but a splotch of bacteria under their microscopes.

Chicks tend to get competitive when I’m around, but obviously these ones don’t view Allie as competition.

Not sure I blame them. She’s wearing a puffy black jacket, boots and mittens, and her blond hair is sticking out the bottom of a red knit hat.

It’s the first week of November—there’s no snow on the ground, barely a chill in the air, and nothing to warrant bundling up. Unless you’re a crazy person.

Which I’m starting to suspect Allie Hayes might be, because the girl brazenly waltzes into the living room and flops down in the armchair opposite the couch.

As she unzips her coat, she spares a glance at my guests, then turns back to me. “Why don’t you move this little party upstairs? I’ll stay down here and watch a movie or something.”

“Or you can go to Garrett’s room and watch a movie up there,” I say pointedly.

But truthfully, it doesn’t matter. She’s already killed the mood, and I don’t feel comfortable fooling around with two chicks when it’s just me and Hannah’s best friend in the house.

Sighing, I turn to the girls. “Rain check?”

Neither of them puts up much of a fight. Apparently Miss Allie didn’t just killthe mood, she scorched the fuckin’ earth and covered it with salt to prevent horniness from ever growing back.

Allie barely pays attention to the girls getting dressed. She’s too busy removing a thousand layers of winter clothing and draping them over the side of the armchair.

When she’s done, she looks substantially tinier in black leggings and an oversized striped top, and she wastes no time making herself comfortable on the big plush chair.

I walk Kelly and Michelle to the door, where each one practically chews my face off before telling me they’re holding me to that rain check.

By the time they’re gone, my lips are swollen and my cock is hard again.

I return to the living room with a frown that refuses to quit. “Did you enjoy that?” I demand.

“Enjoy what?”

“Cockblocking me.”

Allie laughs. “Is there any reason you couldn’t have taken Blonde and Blonder upstairs? You didn’t have to kick them out on my account.”

“You really think I could screw around knowing you’re sitting downstairs?”

That gets me another laugh. “You screw around in public. All the time. Why do you care if I’m in the house?” She looks thoughtful.

“Unless going up to your room is the issue. Hannah said you always fool around in the living room. What’s the deal with that? Do you have bedbugs or something?”

I grit my teeth. “No.”

“Then why don’t you want to do your naked stuff up there?”

“Because—” I halt, the scowl returning to my face. “It’s none of your business. Why are you here, anyway? Did Bristol House catch fire?”

“I’m in hiding.” She says it as if I’m supposed to understand that. Then she glances around the living room. “Where’s Tucker? Garrett said he’d be here.”

“He’s out.”

She sticks out her bottom lip. “Well, that sucks. He totally would’ve watched a movie with me. But I guess you’ll have to do.”

“You cockblock me and now you expect us to hang out?”

“Trust me, you’re the last person I want to hang out with, but I’m in crisis mode right now and you’re the only one here. You haveto keep me company, Dean.

“Otherwise I’ll do something really stupid and my whole life will be ruined.”

I seem to remember Hannah telling me Allie is a drama major. Yeah. Sounds about right.

“Please?”

Her pleading expression doesn’t let up. And I’ve always been a sucker for big blue eyes.

Especially when they belong to cute blondes with great racks.

“You win,” I relent. “I’ll keep you company, okay?”

She lights up. “What movie should we watch?”

A groan lodges in my throat. My Friday night went from hot threesome sex to babysitting my best friend’s girlfriend’s best friend.

Oh, and I’m still rock-hard thanks to Kelly and Michelle’s goodbye kisses. Fucking wonderful.

 

Read the full uncensored books on the Galatea iOS app!

2

Allie

My self-control rests in the hands of Dean Heyward-Di Laurentis, a man known for zero self-control. Ergo, I’m in trouble. Big fucking trouble.

I won’t do it, though. I won’t call Sean. Doesn’t matter that twenty minutes ago he sent me a picture of the two of us from our Mexico trip last year.

He’d used one of those framing apps to draw a big red heart around our faces.

It had been a really good trip…

I push the memory aside and grab the remote control other coffee table. “Do you have Netflix linked to your TV?” I glance back at Dean, who still looks aggravated by my presence.

And either I’m imagining it or he has an erection. But I’m nice enough not to tease him about it, because in his defense, he was five seconds away from having sex with two girls before I showed up.

My gaze travels over his bare chest. I cannot tell a lie—his chest is absolutely spectacular. The guy’s ripped. Tall and lean, with perfectly sculpted muscles.

And he’s rocking some scruff—sexy blond bristles that shadow his perfectly chiseled jaw. It really is a shame. Someone this douchey shouldn’t be allowed to look this good.

“Yeah. Go ahead and pick something to watch,” he answers. “I’m just popping upstairs to jerk it and then I’ll join you.”

“Okay, I think I’m in the mood for—wait, what?”

But he’s already gone, leaving me gaping at the empty doorway. He’s popping upstairs to do what? He was joking, right?

Despite my better judgment, I picture it. Dean up in his room. One hand wrapped around his dick, the other hand…cupping his balls? Clutching the sheets?

Or maybe he’s standing up and gripping the side of his desk, his features drawn as he bites his bottom lip…

And whyam I trying to solve the mystery of how this guy masturbates?

Shaking myself out of it, I click the remote until I find Netflix, then start browsing the latest movie titles.

Less than five minutes later, Dean saunters back into the room. Thankfully he put on some pants.

Except he ditched his boxers in the process, which I know because his sweatpants are riding so low on his hips I can almost see…places I have no interest in seeing.

His chest is still bare, and there’s a slight flush to his cheeks.

“Did you seriously jerk off just now?” I demand.

He nods as if it’s no biggie. “What, you think I can sit through a whole movie with blue balls?”

I gawk at him. “So you can’t have sex with anyone while I’m in the house, but you can go upstairs and do that?

A wolfish grin stretches his mouth. “I could’ve done it down here, but then you would’ve been too tempted to take over for me. I was trying to be nice.”

It’s hard not to roll my eyes. So I don’t bother fighting the urge. “Trust me, I would have kept my hands to myself.”

“With my cock right there in the open? No way. You wouldn’t be able to help yourself.” He arches a brow. “I have a great cock.”

“Uh-huh. I’m sure you do.”

“You don’t believe me? I can show you a picture.” He reaches for the phone on the coffee table. Then he stops and grabs the waistband of his sweatpants instead. “Actually, I can show you the real thing if you want.”

“I don’t want. In the slightest.” I gesture to the TV. “I picked that one. Have you seen it?”

Dean grimaces at the movie poster on the screen. “For chrissake, that’swhat you chose? There's like three new horror movies we could watch. Or Jason Statham’s entire filmography.”

“No horror movies,” I say firmly. “I don’t like to be scared.”

“Fine. So let’s do an action movie.”

“I don’t like violence.”

His cheeks hollow in frustration. “Baby doll, I am not watching a movie about—” He squints at the screen “‘a woman’s life-changing journey after being diagnosed with a terminal illness.’ No fucking way.”

“It’s supposed to be really good,” I protest. “It won an Oscar!”

“You know what else won an Oscar? Silence of the Lambs. Jaws. The Exorcist.” He sounds smug. “And they’re all horror movies.”

“We can argue about this all night, but I’m not watching anything with blood or sharks or explosions. Deal with it.”

Dean’s teeth are visibly clenched. Then his jaw relaxes and he releases a heavy breath. “Fine. If I have to suffer through this crap movie, I’m smoking a joint first.”

“Whatever gets you through it, sweetie.”

He walks toward the doorway, grumbling something under his breath.

“Wait,” I call after him. I quickly fish my phone out of my jacket pocket. “Can you take this with you? I might give in to texting temptation if I’m left alone with it.”

He gives me a weird look. “Who are you trying not to text?”

“My ex. We broke up last night and he won’t stop messaging me.”

There’s a pause. “You know what? You’re coming with me.”

I barely have time to blink before Dean crosses the room and tugs me off the chair. When my feet connect with the hardwood floor, I lose my balance and stumble right into his massive chest, my nose bumping one defined pec.

I quickly steady myself, armed with a glare. “I was comfy, you ass.”

He ignores me, half-leading, half-dragging me to the kitchen. Since he didn’t even let me grab my jacket, I start shivering the second we step through the back door.

Dean’s bare chest gleams under the patio light. He doesn’t seem bothered by the cold, but his nipples pucker slightly in the chilly night air.

“Ugh. You even have perfect nipples,” I gripe.

His lips twitch. “Do you wanna touch ’em?”

“Ew. Never. I’m just commenting that they’re frickin’ perfect. Like, totally proportioned to your chest.”

He peers down at his pecs and considers for a moment. “Yeah. I amperfect. I need to remind myself of that more often.”

I snort. “Right. Because you’re not already conceited enough.”

“I’m confident,” he corrects.

“Conceited.”

Confident.” He pops open the small tin box he grabbed from the kitchen, and I scowl when he extracts a neatly rolled joint and a Zippo.

“Why am I out here?” I grumble. “I don’t want to smoke weed.”

“Sure you do.” He lights up and takes a deep drag, then speaks through the escaping cloud of smoke. “You’re acting all jittery and weird. Trust me, you need this.”

“This is peer pressure, you know.”

He holds out the joint, one eyebrow raised. “Come on, baby,” he coaxes in a singsong voice. “Just one toke. All the cool kids are doing it.”

I can’t help but laugh. “Fuck off.”

“Suit yourself.” He exhales again, and the scent of marijuana surrounds me.

I can’t remember the last time I got high. I don’t do it often, but honestly? If any night merits some weed-induced serenity, it’s this one.

“Oh, fine. Give it to me.” I stick out my hand before I can second-guess myself.

Dean is beaming as he passes it over. “That’s my girl. But don’t tell Wellsy. She’ll kick my ass if she thinks I’m corrupting her best friend.”

I wrap my lips around the joint and draw the smoke into my lungs, trying not to laugh at the genuine apprehension on Dean’s face. He’s probably right to be afraid of Hannah.

Girl’s got a sharp tongue and she isn’t afraid to use it. That’s why I love her.

We spend the next couple minutes passing the joint back and forth in silence like a couple of hooligans loitering behind a gas station.

This is the first time we’ve spent any time alone together, and it feels weird hanging out in the backyard with a shirtless Dean Di Laurentis.

If I’m being honest, I’ve never known what to make of the guy. He’s cocky, flirtatious…

Superficial.

I feel like an ass for thinking it, but I can’t deny that’s what comes to mind whenever I see Dean.

Hannah told me he’s filthy rich, and it totally shows. Not in the pompous, watch-me-roll-around-in-my-money-vault sense.

But in the way he struts around like the world is his oyster. I have a feeling he’s never experienced a second of hardship in his life.

Looking at him, you just knowthis guy gets whatever he wants, whenever he wants it.

Huh. And apparently marijuana makes me both philosophical andjudgmental.

“So you got dumped?” he finally asks, watching me take another hit.

I blow smoke right in his face. “I did not get dumped. I’m the one who ended it.”

“The same guy you’ve been with forever? The frat guy? Stan?”

“Sean. And yeah, we’ve been dating on and off since freshman year.”

“Jesus. That’s way too long to be screwing the same person. Was the sex really boring?”

“Why is everything with you always about sex?” I pass the joint back. “And FYI—the sex was fine.”

“Fine?” He snickers. “Wow, what a ringing endorsement.”

I’m already feeling the effects of the weed, my head light and my body relaxed, which is probably the only reason I keep talking. Normally, I wouldn’t dream of confiding in this guy.

“I guess it wasn’t the best by the end,” I admit. “But maybe that’s because we’ve pretty much been fighting since the summer.”

“But this isn’t the first breakup, right? Why’d you keep going back to him?”

“Because I love him.” I correct myself, “Lovedhim.” God, I don’t even know anymore.

“The first couple times we broke up, it wasn’t because either of us did anything wrong. I thought we were getting too serious, too fast.

“It was freshman year, and it seemed like we should be sowing our wild oats and all that crap.”

“Sowing oats is fun,” he agrees solemnly. “One time I sowed this really hot oat who poured maple syrup all over my dick and then licked it off.”

“Ew.” I roll my eyes. “And actually, the oat sowing sucked. I went out with a few guys and they were all total sleazebags. It made me realize how good I had it with Sean.”

Dean blows another cloud of smoke. “Okay. But then you guys broke up again.”

“Yeah.” The memory evokes a rush of aggravation. “That time it was because he got insanely controlling.

“One of his frat brothers hit on me at a party, and Sean decided that nobody was ever allowed to look at me again.

“He started telling me how to dress, texting all the time asking where I was and who I was with. It was suffocating.”

It’s Dean’s turn to roll his eyes. “Says the chick who got back together with him afterward.”

“He promised it would be different. And it was. He stopped being clingy, and he was sogood to me after that.”

Dean seems unconvinced, but I don’t care. I don’t regret taking Sean back. After two and a half years with the guy, I knew we had something worth fighting for.

“Which brings us to breakup number four.” Dean slants his head curiously. “What happened?”

Discomfort squeezes my chest. “I told you. We were fighting a lot.”

“About what?”

The words spill out before I can stop them. Damn it. Did he lace this weed with truth serum or something?

“Mostly about graduation and what we’re going to do after college. My plan was always to move to LA and focus on my acting career.”

Or New York… But I don’t mention that to Dean. I still haven’t made any decisions, and Dean is the last person I want to discuss deep, life-changing career moves with. The guy’s about as deep as a puddle.

“Sean was okay with it when we first started dating, but this summer he suddenly decided he doesn’t want me to go into acting. Actually, he doesn’t want me to work at all.”

I frown. “He got it into his head that he’s going to work at his dad’s insurance firm in Vermont and I’m going to be the happy homemaker who has dinner waiting for him when he gets home.”

Dean shrugs. “Nothing wrong with being a homemaker.”

“Of course not, but I don’t want to be a homemaker,” I say in frustration. “I’ve spent almost four years working my ass off to earn this drama degree. I want to useit.

“I want to be an actress, and I can’t be with someone who doesn’t support me. He—” I stop, biting my lip.

“He what?”

“Nothing. Forget it.” I snatch the joint from his hand and inhale deeply. Too deeply, because I start coughing like crazy on the exhale.

My eyes water for a moment, and when my vision clears, I find serious green eyes watching me carefully.

“What did he do?” Dean demands in a low voice. “And how bad of a beat-down does he deserve? Me and Garrett can handle our own in a fight, but if you want some bone-crushing, we can unleash Logan on him.”

“Nobody is crushing anybody’s bones, dumbass. Sean didn’t do anything terrible, and I don’t need you to beat him up. The only thing I want you to do is take this stupid phone.”

I shove my cell phone in Dean’s hand. “Keep it away from me this weekend, okay? Only give it back if my dad calls. Or Hannah and Stella. And Meg and—you know what?

“I’ll check it a few times a day under your supervision. That way you can slap me if I try to text Sean.”

Dean looks intrigued. “So I’m…what, your relationship sponsor? I’m the one who makes sure you don’t fall off the wagon?”

“Yep. Congratulations, you finally get to do something worthwhile with your time,” I say sarcastically.

He tips his head. “What do I get in return?”

“The satisfaction of knowing you’re helping someone other than yourself?”

“Nah. How about a BJ? I’ll do it for a BJ.”

I give him the finger. “You wish.”

“Fine, an HJ.”

“Don’t be a dick. Please. I have no willpower when it comes to Sean.”

As if on cue, the phone buzzes in Dean’s hand, and my first instinct is to try to grab it. He swiftly takes a step back, then glances at the screen.

“It’s Sean.” His mouth quivers in amusement. “He misses the taste of your lips.”

My heart does a painful flip. “Another rule—you’re not allowed to tell me what he says.”

“You’re giving me a lot of responsibility here, baby doll. I don’t like responsibility.”

Shocker. “You can handle this, baby doll. I have faith in you.”

Dean takes one final drag of the joint, then snuffs it out in the ashtray and heads for the glass sliding door. God, even the way he walks is arrogant. And he looks good doing it.

My gaze unwittingly rests on his taut ass and the way his sweatpants cling to it. Yep, I’m checking out his ass. I mean, it’s a spectacular ass, and I’m a woman— how could I not?

“You’re going about this the wrong way, you know. The best way to get over someone is to hook up with someone else. ASAP.”

His words jolt me out of my butt-ogling. “I’m not ready to be with anyone else yet.”

“Sure you are. Seriously, just find yourself a rebound.” Dean whips up his arm. “I volunteer as tribute.”

A laugh flies out. “Dream on.”

But in the back of my mind, I’m considering the suggestion. A rebound isn’t a terrible idea, actually. It’s like falling off a horse— people always advise you to immediately get back on, right?

Maybe that’s what I should do, hop right back in the saddle. If anything, it’ll be a good distraction from the ache in my heart.

I definitely won’t be doing it with Dean, though. Nope, I’d rather find a saddle that hasn’t already been ridden by every girl at Briar.

“We’ll put a pin in it,” he decides.

“If by that you mean sticking a pin in this stupid idea balloon and deflating it, then sure, let’s put a pin in it.”

Dean stops at the door and turns, his green eyes doing a seductive sweep from my head down to my toes. “Actually, the more I think about it, the more I like the idea of rebounding you.”

His gaze lingers on my chest. “I like the idea a lot.

I stifle a groan. “Garrett promised that you wouldn’t hit on me this weekend.”

“G knows better than to make promises on my behalf,” Dean answers with a grin. Then he beckons me. “So are we watching this movie or what?”

I follow him inside.

My mind feels foggy from the weed, but in a good way.

When Dean stops in the hall to hike up the sweatpants that are about to fall off his trim hips, for some reason I start giggling as if it’s the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.

My humor fades when we settle on the couch, because Dean flops down directly beside me, slings one muscular arm around my shoulders, and tugs me close. As if it’s totally normal.

I frown at him. “Why is your arm around me?”

His expression is all innocence. “This is how I watch movies.”

“Really? So you put your arm around Garrett when you watch movies with him?”

“Absolutely. And if he’s nice to me, sometimes I slide my hand down his pants.” Dean’s other hand skims down to the waistband of my leggings. “Be nice to me, and I promise I’ll be even nicer in return.”

“Ha. Not happening.” I shove his hand away, but not before a spark of heat ignites between my legs. His bare chest is glorious, and it’s taunting me, begging my fingers to stroke all those roped muscles.

And he smells really good. Like the ocean. No, like coconut. I’m feeling way too loopy to pinpoint the scent, but not loopy enough that I don’t register how my pussy is still tingling like crazy.

Oh, for crying out loud. My sex life must have really gone to the shitter if I’m getting all tingly in the presence of Dean Di Laurentis.

“What else do we have to do?” he counters.

I point to the TV. “Watch a movie.”

“I’d rather be watching you.” He waggles his eyebrows. “You know, when you’re shouting my name while I make you come.”

This time there aren’t any tingles. Just a lot of laughter that pours out of my mouth in uncontrollable waves.

“Jesus. You’re really bad for a man’s ego.” He looks insulted.

I suck in a gulp of air between giggles. Yep, I’m high and relaxed and in possession of no filters whatsoever, which means I can make fun of Dean all I want and blame the weed later.

“I’m sorry, but you’re too fucking much sometimes.” I can’t stop laughing. “Do girls really fall for these lines?”

He makes an unflattering noise under his breath. “Put on the damn movie already.”

“Gladly.” I click the remote and shift all the way to the other side of the couch, leaving three feet of distance between us.

To Dean’s credit, he doesn’t say a word for nearly thirty minutes. His gaze stays focused on the screen, but from the corner of my eye, I don’t miss all the fidgeting he’s doing.

Tapping his long fingers on his thighs. Raking a hand through his hair. Heaving a sigh as we watch the main character prepare an omelet in real time.

When she sits at the counter and starts eating the omelet—in real time—Dean erupts like a dormant volcano.

“This movie blows!” He groans. Loudly. “There. I said it. This goddamn movie goddamn blows.

“I think it’s good.” I’m lying. Enduring this film is the equivalent of watching paint dry.

Not even the pot we just smoked can make this experience even the slightest bit enjoyable, but I don’t want to admit that I’d made the wrong choice.

You can’t give a guy like Dean the win. Ever. He’ll lord it over me until the end of time.

“There’s no way you like this movie,” he challenges.

“I do,” I insist.

He stares me down for several seconds, but my acting skills come in handy, allowing me to convey pure innocence.

“Well, I don’t. This is a whole new level of brutal.”

I offer a helpful suggestion. “Why don’t you go upstairs and jerk off again?”

Shit. Wrong thing to say. His green eyes instantly take on a seductive glint.

With a lazy grin, he leans toward me and drawls, “How about you do it for me?”

This guy is incorrigible. “Are we back to this? Do you evertake no for an answer?”

“I’m not familiar with that word. Nobody’s ever said it to me before.” He moves closer again, resting his palm on the cushion between us and giving the fabric a slow stroke.

“Come on, let’s make this party more interesting. We’re home alone…we’re both good-looking…”

I snicker.

“It’ll be fun. Sex is always fun.”

“Pass.”

“Okay, no sex. How about just oral?”

I pretend to think it over. “Am I giving or receiving?”

“Receiving. And then giving. Because that’s how it goes.” He smiles broadly. “You know, the circle of life and all that.”

I can’t help but laugh. Say what you want about this guy, but at least he’s entertaining. “Pass,” I say again.

“Wanna make out?” he asks hopefully.

“Nope.”

“I’m a really good kisser…” He leaves that hanging as if to entice me.

“Ha. That just means you’re not. Every time a guy says he’s a good kisser, he sucks.”

“Yeah? You got any empirical evidence to back that up?”

“Of course.” I really don’t. And Dean knows the word empirical? Wow, maybe there is more than air inside that pretty head of his.

He looks ready to argue with me, but we’re interrupted by a loud burst of music from his phone. I scowl when I recognize the tune.

Men. They can’t take one second to put the toilet seat down, but they have the time to program the ESPN theme song as their ringtone?

Dean’s expression brightens when he sees who’s calling. He answers without delay. “Maxwell! What’s shaking?” He listens, then shoots me a hopeful look. “Wanna go to a party?”

I shake my head.

The person on the other end of the line is forced to endure Dean’s overly dramatic sigh. “Sorry, man. I can’t. I’m babysitting—”

I smack him on the arm.

“—and she doesn’t want to go,” he finishes as he glares at me. He pauses again. “No, she’s fully grown.”

What?

“I’m babysitting an adult, dude. G’s girlfriend’s friend.” Dean rambles on as if I’m not even in the room.

“We’re watching this movie about a lady with cancer and it sucks…well yeah, cancer sucks in general. I mean, all my sympathies for people who have it, but this movie is god-awful.

“Yeah…no, game’s on Tuesday…truth…yeah, definitely. We can hit up Malone’s. Later, bro.”

He hangs up and turns to scowl at me. “I could be at a party right now.”

“Nobody’s forcing you to hang out with me,” I point out.

“I’m trying to be nice to you, on account of your poor broken heart and all. But is there any gratitude on your part? Nope. You won’t even kiss me.”

I lean in and pat him on the shoulder. “Aw, honey-pie. I’m sure any girl in your phone’s contact list would be happy to come over and stick her tongue in your mouth. I, on the other hand, have standards.”

“What, I’m not good enough for you?” He lifts his eyebrows. “I’ll have you know, your friend Wellsy loved kissing me.”

I snort. “Oh, you mean that peck she gave you so Garrett wouldn’t know how much she liked kissing him? Yeah, I know all about it, sweetie. That was a desperation kiss.”

Though it still boggles my mind that Hannah actually kissed this guy. Dean is sonot her type.

Then again, I never thought hockey superstar Garrett Graham was her type either, and look at them now. Soulmates.

“That wasn’t a desperation kiss,” Dean argues.

“Uh-huh. Keep telling yourself that.”

He looks at the screen. The main character is preparing food again. Dinner, this time, and there are far too many unnecessary close-ups of the potatoes she’s peeling. She eats a lot in this movie.

“God, just kill me already.” He leans back and runs both his hands through his hair until it’s tousled to shit. “I can’t watch another second of this.”

Me neither, but I made this bed and now I’m forced to lie in it.

“You know what?” he announces. “Forget the weed. Only one thing is gonna make this piece-of-shit movie tolerable.”

“Yeah, what’s that?”

Rather than answer, he hops off the couch and disappears into the kitchen.

Wary, I listen to the sounds of cupboards opening and closing, glasses clinking together, and then he’s back, holding a bottle in one hand and two shot glasses in the other.

Dean flashes a grin and says, “Tequila.”

 

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Age Rating: 18+

Note: This story is the author’s original version and does not have sound.

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Age Rating: 18+

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Age Rating: 18+

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Note: This story is the author’s original version and does not have sound.

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Age Rating: 18+

Note: This story is the author’s original version and does not have sound.

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Note: This story is the author’s original version and does not have sound.

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