Excerpt The Deal by Elle Kennedy

Jul 042019
 

The Deal (Off-Campus Book 1) by Elle Kennedy
BLURB:
New York Times bestseller Elle Kennedy brings you a sexy new Off-Campus novel that can be read as a standalone…

She’s about to make a deal with the college bad boy…

Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice…even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date.

…and it’s going to be oh so good

All Garrett Graham has ever wanted is to play professional hockey after graduation, but his plummeting GPA is threatening everything he’s worked so hard for. If helping a sarcastic brunette make another guy jealous will help him secure his position on the team, he’s all for it. But when one unexpected kiss leads to the wildest sex of both their lives, it doesn’t take long for Garrett to realize that pretend isn’t going to cut it. Now he just has to convince Hannah that the man she wants looks a lot like him.

Excerpt The Deal  – book 1 Off Campus Series by Elle Kennedy

#1

Garrett just being Garrett

A pink blush blooms in her cheeks. I love how quickly she goes from serious and sassy to shy and innocent.

 

“By the way, you can’t do that on Saturday,” I inform her.

“What, strip?” she says mockingly.

“No, blush like a tomato every time I make a lewd comment.”

Hannah arches one brow. “How many lewd comments do you plan on making?”

I grin. “Depends on how much I have to drink.”

She lets out an exasperated breath, and a strand of dark hair comes loose from her ponytail and falls onto her forehead. Without thinking, I reach out and tuck the errant strand behind her ear.

The instantaneous tensing of her shoulders brings a frown to my lips. “You can’t do that either. Freeze up when I touch you.”

Alarm flits through her eyes. “Why would you touch me?”

“Because I’m supposed to be your date. Have you met me? I’m a handsy guy.”

“Well, you can keep your hands to yourself on Saturday,” she says primly.

“Good plan. And then Loverboy will think we’re just friends. Or enemies, depending on how jumpy you get.”

She bites her lip, and her visible agitation only makes me tease her harder. “Oh, and I might kiss you, too.”

Now she glares at me. “No way.”

“Do you or do you not want Kohl to think you’re into me? Because if you do, you’ll need to at least try to act like it.”

“That’s going to be tough,” she says with a smirk.

“Bullshit. You like me lots.”

She snorts.

“I’m totally digging that snorting thing you do,” I tell her frankly. “It’s kind of a turn on.”

“Would you quit it?” she grumbles. “He’s not in the room right now. You can save the flirting for Saturday.”

“I’m trying to get you used to it.” I pause as if I’m mulling something over, but really, I’m getting a huge kick out of making Hannah squirm. “Actually, the more I think about it, the more I’m wondering if we should warm up.”

 

“Warm up? What the hell does that mean?”

I slant my head. “What do you think I do before a game, Wellsy? Just show up at the rink and throw my skates on? Of course not. I practice six days a week to get ready. Ice time, weight room, watching game tapes, strategy meetings. Think of all the advance prep that goes into it.”

“This isn’t a game,” she says irritably. “It’s a fake date.”

“But it needs to look real for Loverboy.”

“Would you stop calling him that?”

Nope, I have no plans to stop. I like how angry it makes her. In fact, I like pissing her off, period. Every time Hannah gets mad, her green eyes blaze and her cheeks turn the cutest shade of pink.

“So yeah,” I say with a nod. “If I’m going to be touching and kissing you on Saturday, I think it’s imperative that we rehearse.” I lick my lips again. “Thoroughly.”

“I honestly can’t decide if you’re messing with me right now.” She blows out an annoyed breath. “Either way, I’m not letting you touch or kiss me, so wipe all those dirty ideas out of your head. If you want some action, call Tiffany.”

“Yeah, that’s not gonna happen.”

There’s a bite to Hannah’s tone. “Why not? You seemed pretty into her last night.”

“It was a one-time hook up. And stop trying to change the subject.” I grin at her. “Why don’t you want to kiss me?” I narrow my eyes. “Oh shit. There’s only one explanation I can think of.” I pause. “You’re a bad kisser.”

Her jaw drops in outrage. “I most certainly am not.”

“Yeah?” I lower my voice to a seductive pitch. “Prove it.”

#2

The second I walk into the room, six-foot-two and two hundred pounds of Garrett Graham block my path.

“Wellsy,” he says cheerfully. “You’re the last person I expected to see here tonight.”

As usual, his presence causes my guard to snap into place. “Yeah? Why’s that?”

He shrugs. “I didn’t think frat parties were your scene.”

“Well, you don’t know me, remember? Maybe I’m partying it up on Greek Row every night.”

“Liar. I would’ve seen you here before.”

He crosses his arms over his chest, a pose that causes his biceps to flex. I glimpse the bottom of a tattoo peeking out from his sleeve, but I can’t tell what it is, only that it’s black and looks intricate. Flames maybe?

“So, about this tutoring thing… I thought we should take a moment to set up a schedule.”

Aggravation shoots up my spine. “You don’t give up, do you?”

“Never.”

“Then you need to start, because I’m not tutoring you.” I’m distracted now. Justin has reentered the room, his long, lithe body moving through the crowd as he makes his way to the pool table. He’s halfway there when a pretty brunette intercepts him. To my dismay, he stops to talk to her.

“Come on, Wellsy, help a guy out,” Garrett begs.

Justin laughs at something the girl says. Same way he was laughing with me a minute ago. And when she touches his arm and leans in close, he doesn’t back away.

“Look, if you don’t want to commit to the whole semester, at least help me pass this midterm. I’ll owe you one.”

I’m no longer paying Garrett even a lick of attention. Justin leans in to whisper in the girl’s ear. She giggles, her cheeks turn a rosy shade of pink, and my heart plummets to the pit of my stomach. I was so sure we’d been, I don’t know, connecting, but now he’s flirting with someone else?

“You’re not even listening to me,” Garrett accuses. “Who are you looking at, anyway?”

I tear my eyes off Justin and the brunette, but not fast enough.

Garrett grins when he notices where my gaze was. “Which one?” he demands.

“Which one what?”

He cocks his head at Justin, then shifts it five feet to the right, where I notice Jimmy talking to one of his frat brothers. “Paulson or Kohl—which one do you want to bone?”

“Bone?” He has my attention again. “Ugh. Who says stuff like that?”

“Fine, should I rephrase? Which one do you want to fuck or screw or drill or make love to, if that’s your thing.”

I set my jaw. This guy is such an asshole.

When I don’t answer, he answers for me. “Kohl,” he decides. “I saw you dancing with Paulson earlier and you definitely weren’t making googly eyes at him.”

I don’t confirm or deny it. Instead I take a step away. “Have a good night, Garrett.”

“I hate to break it to you, but it ain’t gonna happen, Wellsy. You’re not his type.”

Anger and embarrassment flood my belly. Wow. Had he really just said that?

“Thanks for the tip,” I say coolly. “Now if you’ll excuse me…”

He tries reaching for my arm but I bulldoze past him and leave him in my proverbial dust.

I do a quick search of the room for Allie, halting in my tracks when I spot her making out with Sean on the couch. I don’t want to interrupt them, so I spin on my heel and head toward the front door instead. My fingers are shaky as I text Allie to let her know I’m taking off. Garrett’s blunt assertion—you’re not his type—echoes in my mind like a depressing mantra. Truth is, it’s exactly what I needed to hear. So what if Justin spoke to me in the hallway? Obviously it meant nothing, because in the next breath he turned around and flirted with someone else. It’s time for me to face reality. It’s not going to happen with me and Justin, no matter how badly I want it to.

It was stupid of me to come here tonight.

 

 

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