Home > Jock Row (Jock Hard #1)(9)

Jock Row (Jock Hard #1)(9)
Author: Sara Ney

“I knew it would be hot inside, and I wasn’t planning on squatting on the damn porch all night like a hobo.”

“Still,” she hedges, “it’s practically winter.”

“Thanks. I finally got the memo.”

“Layers, at least.”

My green eyes narrow at her, just the slightest bit. “Are you always like this?”

“Like what?”

“Such a pain in the ass?”

“Am I pain in the ass? Hmm.” There goes that damn dimple. “I guess it depends on who you ask. Tonight’s probably not a good night to take a poll.”

A ping fills the air, and she reaches for the cell lying next to her knees, lifts it, and taps the screen. Smiles, satisfied.

“They’ll be out in ten minutes.” The phone gets set back down after she taps out a reply. Rests her head back against the wall, smiling. “I knew they wouldn’t leave me out here all night.”

Liar. “You did not.”

This laugh is lilting. “You’re right—I was starting to get worried.”

She stands fifteen minutes later when her friends come stumbling out the door, brushing off her legs and ass. Stretches and holds out her hand to help me off the ground.

Which is so fucking ridiculous, because she’s tiny and petite and I tower over her by almost an entire foot. Nonetheless, I slide my hand into hers when she offers it, letting our palms sizzle from the contact.

Zap.

Standing on my own without her assistance, clasping her hand, I rise to my full height.

“Thank you.” She lingers a few seconds, glancing at her friends, now down in the yard, stumbling heels already clicking over the concrete of the sidewalk.

I release her hand, stuffing mine into the pocket of my jeans. Flex the fingers of my tingling flesh. “Don’t be such a pain in the ass next time.”

“I’ll try.”

She starts down the staircase, ponytail swinging in the breeze. Glances back once, over her shoulder.

And winks.

SECOND FRIDAY

“The Friday Where the Real Games Begin.”

Scarlett

Me: Hey Tess, you guys hitting Jock Row tonight?

Too desperate sounding?

I delete the message, bite down on my bottom lip, and start the message over, trying not to sound obvious. Like I’m fishing for an invitation to go out with them again.

Which I am.

Me: What are you and Cam up to tonight?

Tessa: We’re hitting Jock Row—Cameron is still totally into that Derek guy. Even though he was kind of an asshole to you last weekend?? Sorry bout that.

Kind of an asshole is kind of an understatement, but I let the comment slide. Tess has apologized a few times, even though none of it was her fault.

Me: I was thinking maybe I’d…

I hit send, even though I haven’t finished the sentence. Dammit, how do I tell her I want to go back to the house even though they kicked me out last weekend?

She spares me from asking.

Tessa: You want to come with us?? It would be so fun!

My stomach betrays my best intention to remain calm, rolling with anticipation.

Me: Would that be weird? Seeing as how they were calling me Cock Blocker and made me stay on the porch?

Tessa: I don’t think so. Those parties are so fun and there are cute guys everywhere.

Me: There sure are.

But there’s only one I’m interested in seeing tonight.

Tessa: Are you willing to take the chance that they’re not going to let you in?

Yes.

All week, all I’ve been able to think about is the guy on the porch—Rowdy, as I noticed he called himself. All week long, I’ve looked for him on campus. In the quad and in the cafeteria. The library the one night I went to study. Stared a little too long at the entrance of the workout facility, hoping for a glimpse.

All week long, I’ve been looking forward to Friday.

Me: The porch wasn’t the worst.

Tessa: Um, if I had to stand outside with that hot guy, I’d go back too. Like, twist my arm why don’t you, haha.

Me: So you don’t think it’s insane if I go back? I won’t look desperate?

Tessa: You’re the only SANE one between the three of us, Scarlett. Of course you should come. But maybe…

Me: Maybe what?

Tessa: Maybe dress warm? JUST in case, if you know what I mean? lol

Me: TESSA! lol. Do you really think they’ll keep me outside again?

Tessa: Do you care? Will it matter?

No. It wouldn’t matter if I had to stand outside again—that boy is worth the cold and suffering.

But god, the thought does makes me nervous.

Me: I want to see him.

There, I admitted it.

Tessa: All right, then we’ll make ourselves scares when we get there. Deal?

Me: Deal.

Me: You know, I’m still a little bitter you and Cameron fell for every one of their dumb lies. You can do WAY better than those two jockholes.

Tessa: Try telling that to Cameron. She’s been creeping on Derek since last Friday night. I swear, her fingers are going to fall off from all the Insta-stalking.

Me: All right. I know it’s crazy but I’m coming tonight.

Tessa: Well it’s not like you had anything else going on, right?

Scarlett: #realtalk

Tessa: There are worse things in the world than being stranded on a front porch with a total hottie *preach hands emoji*

Rowdy

“Rowdy.” A hand claps down on my shoulder with a jostle, prompting me to turn. “Hey man, the guys wanted me to come get ya.”

“What do you want, Keats? Spit it out.”

The rookie freshman stutters when I pin him with a hard stare for interrupting my conversation with a guy from the rugby team.

“Th-That girl is back.”

I stand a bit taller. Yank at the hem of my shirt, trying to smooth out the wrinkles.

“Which girl?” I know exactly who he’s referring to. “You’re going to have to be more specific.”

“Uh…Ben called her Cock Blocker?”

“Well?” I crane my neck, height easily affording me an bird’s-eye view of the crowded room, scanning for any signs of the girl with the glossy ponytail and the dimple in her cheek. “Where the hell is she?”

Tony Keats gives a jerky nod toward the foyer. “Porch. The guys stalled her outside in case she wasn’t allowed back in tonight—no one knew what you’d want us to do.” His hands jam inside his pockets. “Her friends are flirting with Brinkman.”

“Brinkman?”

Brinkman is a sophomore and a total douchebag who loves attention from girls, guys, and anyone with a pulse. I hate that he made the team and that our coach signed him, but we’re stuck with him, girls love him, and he’s a fucking fantastic outfielder.

Kid might have a thirty-eight-inch vertical, but the tidy package includes a few STDs.

“Brinkman, huh? I thought the blonde one had a boner for Derek.”

“They’re both blonde,” Keats points out. “But ya know chicks love Brinkman, and he’s probably their best chance at getting laid tonight. No one wants to hit it with Cock Blocker’s friends after last weekend.”

Heat spreads through my chest as I scratch behind my ear, taking a swig from my beer bottle as Tony runs his loose mouth beside me.

“Girls are like stray cats man—you let one in, give them some milk, and they keep coming back. We’re the milk, by the way, in case you hadn’t figured it out.”

“I get the analogy, Tone. Thanks.”

I clap him on the back, chug the remainder of my beer, and set it on the closest surface. Wipe the condensation from the bottle on the leg of my pants.

“All right, give me a few—I’m going outside to figure this shit out.” We bump knuckles. “Run upstairs, would you? And bring my damn jacket from Amado’s room.”

I won’t lie, my heart rate quickens when I push through the front door of the baseball house. The girl is indeed on the porch, back against a support beam, hanging back as her friends cluster around Jonathan Brinkman.

She’s barely recognizable.

It’s cold tonight, and she’s dressed for the occasion in jeans, a jacket, and dark gray knit cap pulled down over her long dark hair. It’s the kind of knit hat you’d wear skiing or sledding.

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