I never signed up for this. A contest? For a date with him? He did this as a cruel joke.
I confront him, expecting sneers. But there's a catch in his eyes. A hint of longing? Behind the taunts, something's deeper.
A secret. A pull. I'm not just the campus nerd he loves to mock. This isn't just about winning a date anymore.
It's about unraveling him.
Age Rating: 18+
Writing Jane Austen erotic fan-fiction is the best way to spend a Friday night. It’s not a universally acknowledged truth, but it should be.
The bass from the party pounds through the walls of my dorm room. I sigh before clicking save and closing my laptop. This damn noise makes it impossible to write. I’m constantly taken out of the world inside my head.
I was just getting to the good part, too. Mr. Darcy was about to pin Elizabeth against the wall in the Netherfield library. My readers are going to eat it up when I finally get to posting it on AO3.
Another night alone in my bed with my laptop for company. My bestie, Cody, constantly makes fun of me for my hermit ways, especially given the fact that I write unhinged erotic Pride and Prejudice fanfic in secret. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest. I’m a nerd, and I embrace it with fervor. I’ve even adopted the aesthetic—the purple hair and the large round glasses—as a signal to people that I’m socially awkward. Approach at your own risk.
I twist and stretch my neck, jerking back when a knock rattles my door. I groan as I get off my bed. It’s probably someone from the party looking for more alcohol. Or a partner to do shots with.
They’ve come to the wrong place.
When I open the door, RA Gigi is standing in the hall with an envelope in hand and a large grin on her face. “Did you hear?” she asks.
I frown. “Hear what?”
She pauses, as if to increase my suspense. “You were chosen.”
My incredulity must be all over my face, because Gigi bursts into laughter. “The game! You’re one of the girls chosen.”
I don’t have to ask her what game she’s talking about. Everyone at Pacific Crest knows what “the game” is. Every November, ten female students are entered into a reality show-esque competition to vie for a special night with the homecoming king. After four weeks of group dates and stupid competitions like relay races, the homecoming king chooses his favorite of the ten women to escort to the winter ball.
And by homecoming king, I mean Tristan Wolfe.
For the last two years, the student body has nominated the same homecoming king. Arrogant, brainless, cruel Tristan Wolfe.
The game is silly and antiquated. Why is it always the homecoming king who gets to choose? Why doesn’t the queen get her own competition?
Because my small private university is misogynistic, that’s why. The winner gets a ten-thousand-dollar scholarship all because some brainless frat boy thinks they’re the hottest of ten contestants.
It should be fucking illegal.
I’d never apply, even though the scholarship money would be nice. I couldn’t win, so it wouldn’t even be worth trying.
“That’s impossible,” I say.
She smiles. “No mistake. Someone must have filled out an application for you. I was sent here to deliver this.” She hands me a thick manila envelope. “It tells you everything you need to know. There’s a dress code…” Her gaze slips down from my Pemberly T-shirt all the way to my kitten-face slippers. “If you don’t have the money for nice clothes, you can apply for a sponsor.”
I grit my teeth as I take the envelope from her hands. “Thanks.”
After Gigi leaves, I sink back down on my bed, unable to take my eyes off the manila envelope in my hand. This is a joke. Someone is fucking with me.
But who? Not a single one of my friends would play a prank this mean. They all know how tedious I find the whole game process, even just as an observer. The film students are constantly around campus, following the contestants with their phones in the air, trying to catch every ounce of drama for Pacific Crest’s YouTube channel.
One year, I wolfed down a bacon avocado burger right in the background of one of the game dates. Anyone who watched that video saw me with chipmunk cheeks and green sludge dripping down my chin. Cody made fun of me for months after that incident. He even printed a large close-up picture of my face that he taped to his wall. But even he’d never dare enter me as a joke. He knows how much I hate Trist—
Did Tristan do this?
He must’ve. No one else would take the time for such an elaborate and creative humiliation. Tristan with the sly smirk and the deceitful blue eyes. Tristan who never resists an opportunity to antagonize me.
Tristan Wolfe who told his ex—my former best friend, Harper—about my fanfic pseudonym after he lured me into confiding in him.
Tristan Wolfe who stood in the center of the Pacific Crest quad while Harper read a sex scene from my Pride and Prejudice fanfic aloud to a group of their asshole friends. They laughed like jackals while Tristan smirked, his eyes locked on mine.
Harper may have been the one who read my fanfic, but it was all Tristan’s idea. I know it was. Harper was angry with me, but she wouldn’t resort to cruelty without someone pushing her into it. She was never cruel before she got together with Tristan—that miserable winter during our sophomore year of high school. He’s the reason she dropped me like an out-of-date fashion trend.
Like I was an embarrassment to her.
Because I was an embarrassment to Tristan. He was the leader of the stupid popular kids at our high school, and he ruled the school like a tyrant. Harper was able to make her way into his exclusive club, beautiful as she is, but her best friend had to go. He drove a wedge between us.
He signed me up for the game. I know he did. He’s probably planning to use the publicity to humiliate me even more than he did that day almost two years ago.
I’m going to fucking kill him.
I jump out of my bed and grab a sweater from my closet. There’s always an ocean chill this time of night, and I refuse to be shivering when I confront him.
I storm out of my room and head down the hall. The bass is so loud that my teeth rattle in my skull, flaying my nerves. Tristan’s frat on a Friday night will be so much worse, and I have to keep my head.
When I make it down the stairs and step outside, I inhale the cool ocean air. The salty scent is a balm, and my heart slows in my chest.
As soon as I get to the big red door of Zeta Nu Xi, I throw it open, clutching the manila envelope in my hand. My face burns as partygoers turn to stare at me. I must stand out like a neon sign with my glasses and oversized sweater, but I don’t care.
I have to find him.
As expected, Tristan is in the center of the room with a red cup in one hand and an arm around a gorgeous woman. A malicious smile rises to my lips. Harper broke up with him at the end of last semester. I heard about it through the dorm gossip chain, and inside, I rejoiced. Good for her.
Granted, they’ve broken up countless times since sophomore year of high school, and the fact that they go to the same college means they most likely won’t be done with each other until after graduation.
But for now, Tristan is single.
I hope he hates it. He seems like the type of pathetic loser who has to be in a relationship to feel validated as a human being. I hope he’s miserable now.
Our eyes meet from across the room. Tristan’s widen. He examines me from the top of my head down to my slippers. When his gaze meets mine again, that familiar, malicious smirk tugs at his lips.
I can’t help but feel a little smug that I’m one of few people who doesn’t find him even slightly attractive. Cruel people are ugly to me, no matter how objectively gorgeous they might be.
Harper doesn’t find him attractive either. She and I constantly made fun of him before they started dating. When he first started showing interest in her our sophomore year, I asked her why she was even considering him when she found him so vapid and boring.
“He’s Tristan Wolfe, Amy,” she’d said. ~“I can’t believe he’s interested in me.”~
I forgave her for it. Harper has an innate need for attention. Her dad was an addict before he died, and her mom was so consumed with the burden of codependency that she didn’t have enough mental space for her children. Harper and her younger brother, Nick, were neglected in a way I could never fully understand.
I march up to Tristan, waving the envelope in the air. “Tell me how I got this, and I’ll let you live.”
He glances down at the envelope and then back up at me, eyes glinting with amusement. The pretty girl in his arms looks up at him and frowns.
“Give me a second, baby.” He nudges her aside and steps closer to me.
Too close. I can smell alcohol mixed with mint on his breath. The heat of his huge body radiates over my skin, and I take a step back.
He’s entirely too big. Big shoulders. Big hands. I never noticed it in high school. I’d never been up close to him until that day in the library when I thought there might be more to him than beauty and sadism. When he probed me with those pretty blue eyes and asked about my passion for writing as if he were really interested.
“Don’t be shy,” he says, clearly sensing my discomfort.
I make sure that my smile doesn’t reach my eyes. “Don’t confuse my loathing with shyness.”
His eyes widen before he laughs. “Loathing. I love the way you talk. Like you’re writing medieval fanfic.” He tilts his head. “~Erotic ~medieval fanfic about two Jane Austen characters.”
My cheeks are on fire. It takes all my willpower to keep my eyes fixed on his.
Tristan is cruel. I know this. It doesn’t hurt anymore.
How could it hurt when he’s clearly a fucking idiot?
I lift my chin. “Pride and Prejudice takes place during the Regency period, which was several centuries after the medieval period. I guess they cut a few corners when they gave you that football scholarship, huh?”
His smile is fixed, but warmth glints in his eyes. This is the expression of his that always confuses me. His smile is almost…
No wonder he has so many friends when he’s such a dick. He tricks them all with the appearance of kindness.
“I’m a math and science guy, Amelia,” he says. “I don’t know history or literature.”
Amelia. My full name. Tristan always calls me anything but Amy. Sometimes even nicknames like Ames, as if we’re buddies. It’s just another way to taunt me.
“You should read some literature,” I say. “It would make conversations with you less tedious. Should I explain ‘tedious’ for you? It means boring. You’re boring to talk to, Tristan.”
His smile fades. He stares at me for a long moment before his eyes flash and his nostrils flare. This is his cruel look, and a chill skitters down my spine.
It’s dangerous to make fun of Tristan. Usually, he brushes my insults off like dust, but you never know when you’re going to hit a nerve.
I need to change the subject. Fast.
“Explain this,” I say, lifting the envelope. “I know you’re the reason for it.”
He smiles slowly. “What makes you say that?”
I slap the envelope across his chest. “Because I didn’t apply. I would never apply.” I grimace. “I knew you were going to be the homecoming king.”
When I say the last part, his jaw clenches. “I just thought a shy little virgin like you could use an exciting new experience.” He smiles. “You can act out your fanfic in real life. I’ll be your Mr. Darcy.”
Heat washes over my face. I want to slap that smug smile off his face. “You’re more of a Mr. Wickham,” I say.
He chuckles. “Either way, I’d be happy to pop your cherry for you.”
I grimace. What a disgusting euphemism, if it can even be called that. And I’m not a virgin, goddammit. I’ve had sex.
A few times. With my boyfriend during freshman year.
Each time was fast and awkward and a little painful, and we broke up before we had the chance for it to get better.
I’m not a virgin, but I know exactly what Tristan is implying.
You must be a virgin because who would want you? Who would want a short, chubby girl who spends all her free time writing Jane Austin erotic fanfiction?
The anger pulsing through my veins is as heady as a drug. He might be a fatphobic narcissist, but I’m not ashamed of my body. I feel almost like I’m in a dream as I step forward until my chest brushes against Tristan’s. I grab his shoulders and look up at him from under my lashes. I slide my hands down his chest and lean up on my tiptoes so my lips brush along his prominent jaw.
Damn, he smells good. Clean and musky at the same time. Isn’t scent supposed to be the root of attraction? If it is, I should be repulsed by him right now.
I want to be repulsed by him right now.
Maybe there is some magic to Tristan that I didn’t see before. Maybe I should be more forgiving of Harper.
I strain to keep what I think is a sultry expression. “I’m not as innocent as you think,” I whisper.
His body stiffens, and his eyes widen. For the briefest moment, triumph sizzles over my skin.
He didn’t expect that. He knows I’m sassy, but he never thought I’d have the audacity to call him out on his taunt this brazenly.
I’m somehow able to stay in place even as his wide blue eyes roam my face as if he’s never seen me before. Is it just my imagination, or is his body trembling beneath my touch?
I don’t get to contemplate that further, because he wrenches away, sending me tumbling to the floor.
“Hey,” I shout, and Tristan hesitates and then steps forward, his eyes wide and dazed.
“Are you okay?” he clips out.
“Yeah, I’m fine, but—”
He doesn’t wait for me to finish. His tall form disappears into the crowd as fast as a comet.
“Fuck you,” I mutter before pushing myself up off the floor.
Clearly, all the drunk people here think it’s perfectly normal for a partygoer to fall on their ass since no one even blinked when I did.
My cheeks burn as I weave through the crowd. Why did I even come here? I didn’t need to confront Tristan. I could have just waited until tomorrow and gone to the administration office to withdraw my application.
I don’t want to do that now. Certainly not after what just happened between me and Tristan.
I want him to pay.
The problem is, I have no idea how to do that. What could I possibly do to make him suffer for his prank?
I need air. Space. A chance to breathe without inhaling the stench of cheap beer and vodka from a plastic bottle.
The hallway opens up ahead, and I quicken my pace, slipping past a couple locked in a sloppy kiss. I’m almost to the back of this stinky frat house.
I’m about to reach the back door when a strange noise catches my attention. Was that a moan? I didn’t sound like a sexual moan. It sounded like someone’s hurt. I halt in place, glancing around the area. A strip of light peeks under the bathroom door.
That’s where it came from.
I walk toward the bathroom door. “Is everything okay in there?”
Again, that moan, and this one sounded even more pained than the first. A chill ripples over my skin.
The knob twists, which means it isn’t locked, but I don’t push it open. What if I walk in on a couple having sex? That moan didn’t sound like pleasure, but what do I know? I’ve had three unsatisfactory sexual encounters.
And then there’s an even more mortifying possibility. What if someone is pooping in there? I’d never get over the trauma of bursting in on something like that.
But what if someone is hurt? What if they’re badly hurt, and I made the choice to ignore them? This is a frat party full of drunk assholes, after all. There could be a woman in there. I’d never forgive myself if I ignored someone in trouble.
I twist the knob again, pushing the door open slowly. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to—”
The words freeze in my throat as the door swings wide. A deep groan echoes through the room, and it takes a moment for my brain to process the scene before me.
Tristan is standing with one hand pressing against the counter. His head is thrown back, his expression languid and glazed. His hand moves furiously between his legs as he strokes that huge, thick, veiny…
Holy fucking Jesus Christ.
That’s Tristan’s penis.
Am I dreaming, or did I really I just walk in on Tristan masturbating?