Authors: Bella Love-Wins
He looked at me like I was being stubborn. Well, just because every other girl went along with whatever he said all the time didn’t mean I was about to toe the line. He’d figure that out now that we were forced to work together.
“Okay. Deal,” he said. “Now, how about I give you a ride home?”
“I know how to find my way there,” I told him, walking off before he could push the issue.
who we ought to try to get to come out?” Evan asked. He was the best wide receiver on our team. We were sitting around after practice, planning our next kegger.
“Who?” Chad asked. Chad Worthington, center.
“Cassidy,” Evan said, leveling his eyes on me.
Tre and Mo, my running backs, laughed and looked right at me as well. “Nope,” they said at almost the same time. “She’s the cheerleader who won’t put out.”
“Yeah. That bitch is the ice princess,” Chad added. “She won’t give anyone on our team the time of day.”
Tre chimed in. “I’d nominate her for the ‘most unattainable by a jock’ award.”
Ryan Hunter and Nathan Ward were also there from the fraternity.
“My bet is for ‘most likely to marry a pot-bellied accountant’,” Ryan joked.
Nathan had to put his two cents in. “Or to become a lesbian,” he said.
“Maybe she already is,” Chad went on.
“Oooo. That’s fucking hot.”
The guys were sitting around me laughing. I hadn’t said anything. I couldn’t defend her. They were right. She was impossible. That’s why I was counting on this team project. Working up close and personal with her could change that.
“Slade, didn’t I see you talking to her after practice this afternoon?” Evan asked. I was sure he was setting me up for something, but I let him run with it anyway.
“Yeah, we’ve got a project together in one of our classes.”
“Oh shit,” Mo said. “You’re working with her? That ought to be interesting.”
“I’d let her do all the work if I were in your place, man,” Nathan said, turning up his bottle of beer and taking a good long drink from it.
“I could do that,” I admitted. “She actually offered to do that…but that would waste the opportunity, bud. Take it from me.”
“Yeah,” Evan agreed. “Plus when the hell have you ever taken the easy way out of a group project?”
“When you’re this good,” I told the guys, “you do your own damn work.”
They just laughed, but it was true. I kept my grades pretty high, the highest in most of my classes. I wasn’t just good on the field or in bed. I was that rare athlete who took the coursework reasonably seriously. I just didn’t brag about it. There was a world out there beyond football, and I had to be ready for the off chance that I was forced at some point to walk into that world.
Evan leaned in. “So what I’m hearing, if I read between the lines, is you plan on capitalizing on this project to get a piece of her…say like bend her over and show her the ropes. Am I right or am I right?”
I narrowed my eyes and allowed a grin to creep across my face. “When it comes down to it, no sane woman can resist me. Cassidy is no exception. She avoids me because she wants me to work for it. Why do you think she won’t come to our frat parties? She knows if I get her alone it’s game over.” I leaned back in my chair, confident of what I needed to do. “And I will. Slaughter’s gonna melt some Ice Princess ass, fellas. Just watch and learn.” Talking about it just made me more positive it was bound to happen, especially now that I had something to prove to the boys.
“You really believe that bullshit?” Tre asked, rubbing his beard as if he was planning something maniacal.
“Twenty bucks says you don’t have a chance in hell,” Evan suggested.
I shook my head. “Twenty? That’s it? Hell no. Bagging up that goodie is worth way more than that pocket change. I say we make this interesting. Nothing less than a hundy if you want in on this wager, my friends. Because I plan on winning all your cash.”
Evan nodded. “I’m in.”
“Sweet.” I looked around the table. “Who else?”
Everyone except Tre bet against me. Those were good odds. “Glad you got my back, Tre. That’ll be a nice chunk o’ change coming our way, bud.”
“Yeah, man. I say we celebrate the win at the strip club. That’s a whole lot of lap dances.”
I shook my head. “That’s not my scene, my friend, but I hear that’s how Nate gets his jollies.”
Tre grinned at Nathan, who was scowling at the other end of the table. “So I hear. No worries, Nate. I’ll spot you a few.”
“I’ll keep track of the bets,” Chad said. He pulled out a small pad of paper and a pencil. “Fork over the cash, boys. No more verbal bets. House rules.”
“What the hell is that?” Evan asked.
“What, this?” He raised his little note pad and Evan nodded. “Dude, haven’t you seen me use this at practice when we’re going over plays for the week?”
“What are you, a bookie in training? Just put it in your phone like everybody else. Can’t let this shit get lost when the stakes are this high, dumbass.” Everyone around the table was used to the fact that Evan could be a bit of a dick most of the time. He was the best damn wide receiver in the college circuit, certainly the only player in the SEC on my level. Which was why we worked so well together.
I smiled as the men gathered up their money and handed it over to Chad. That cash and Cassidy Greyson were mine for the taking. It would be fun proving them wrong when I finally nailed her good.
“Haven’t you known Cassidy for a while now?” Evan asked.
“Yeah. Almost my whole life,” I admitted. “We grew up on the same street, man.”
“Then, why the hell haven’t you tapped that already?” I knew what he was doing. He was trying to stir the pot, which was his forte.
“Man, she was the little girl next door back then. Definitely jailbait. And for a while I thought my little brother was hitting that for the longest time, so I let her be.”
“Yeah, but as soon as you found out he wasn’t, you should have moved right on in.”
“Don’t sweat it, bro. I got this. Once I lay on the old Slaughter charm, she’ll be all mine.”
I didn’t need Evan busting my chops over Cassidy right now. The rest of the team looked up to me, so what kind of example would I be setting if I allowed him to strip away my street cred by having them think there was a girl I couldn’t have? I couldn’t let him undermine my authority like that. Best friend or not, he couldn’t sow me up in my own domain.
“Yeah, we’ll see soon enough. You know what would really be hot?”
“What?” I dreaded to know what he was about to say. Knowing Evan, it could have been anything from letting the whole team hit it, to filming it and at least letting the frat brothers all watch.
“If you scored her and her roommate at the same time.”
I heard the collective groan of the guys standing around.
“Miranda? Man, that girl’s got the freak show thing going on,” I said.
He raised his eyebrows. “I bet she does.”
Tre agreed with me. “I don’t know though, Evan. She looks like the type who’ll tie you up in fun then start cutting. I’d leave that alone and stick with Cassidy, Slade. She may be the Ice Princess, but damn, she’s not liable to shank you in your sleep.”
That earned another round of laughter at Evan’s expense.
“Anybody need a beer?” Ryan asked, getting up to go into the kitchen. A few of us nodded. “Gotcha.” He disappeared around the corner.
“So, about this party,” I started, trying to get the guys back on task so we could get Cassidy off the agenda again.
It wasn’t that I wanted to date her or anything, and I didn’t want the guys believing I did. She was just the hottest, most unattainable girl on campus, and I had a reputation to uphold. I had to hit that, and everyone expected me to. Hell,
expected me to. It was my duty as the hottest guy on campus and the star quarterback. Actually, it was insulting that I hadn’t.
I probably could have, back in high school, but she spent so much time with my little brother, I thought they were dating. They were inseparable. Besides, she was still a kid back then. She would have been perfect for Shawn, but after a while the two of them acted more like siblings than a couple who was dating. That’s where Shawn and I were like night and day. I couldn’t let a girl get that close to me without spending some time under the hood.
“Hey, Andrew says he’s in for a hundred against Slade,” Ryan announced as he strolled back in the room with a case of beer cans in his hand.
“What the hell, Ryan?” Evan called out. “We should have kept this tight, between us. Now the whole damn fraternity is going to know.”
“Relax, Evan. We’re all brothers, so they got a right to be in on this. All we have to do is make sure word doesn’t get out. Got it?” I looked at Ryan.
“Yeah, got it. No one else is going to know,” he said, holding up his beer and passing mine across the room to me.
“I can’t have Cassidy finding out we’re laying wagers on how long it takes me to get her in bed.”
“Now, it’s not just in your bed, Slade,” Mo chimed in. “This isn’t high school, bruh. You have to nail that chick.”
“Oh, I plan on it,” I added, nodding.
“Holy shit, guys,” Nathan spoke up suddenly, getting everyone’s attention. “What if Cassidy’s so cold because she’s a virgin?”
Everyone’s eyes lit up and jaws hit the floor.
“There’s no way,” I told them. “No way she’s still a virgin.”
“Name one person you know she’s slept with,” Evan challenged me.
“I don’t know,” I admitted. “But she’s a cheerleader, man.”
“A cheerleader who hasn’t slept with anyone on the team,” Tre added.
“Thank you for that, Tre,” I said.
“Look, all we’re saying here is that you could be the first one, bro. You could be the one to pop that sweet little cherry,” Evan insisted. “If you can’t do it by Christmas, I’m going after it.”
I assumed she wasn’t a virgin just because it was so rare to find a girl who made it through high school in the South without putting out. Then again, I never remembered my brother being upset about any other guys hanging around his best friend.
“Look at him, man. He’s thinking about it,” Ryan hollered, laughing. “He doesn’t know, man. That’s great!”
I didn’t know for certain, but honestly it wasn’t like Cassidy and I had ever been close. If we were, I would have already hit it and none of this would be a big deal.
“All right, guys. Let’s drop it. Bets are on and I’ll take care of the rest. Can we get back on topic here? We need to decide when we’re doing this party, how many kegs we need, and what we’re drinking. You know, the important stuff.”
“Hey, why don’t you try to sleep with her
the party?” Mo asked.
“Yeah, we’ll all be here,” Chad said. “Then no one can say it didn’t happen.”
“For fuck’s sake. Did I not just say drop it? And why the fuck would I say it happened if it didn’t?”
“Yeah, and maybe we can all watch,” Evan added.
I patted him on the back. “I was wondering when that one was coming, buddy.” I stood up and stretched. “Well, I’m going to leave you guys to it. I’ve got to figure out what we’re doing for this project.”
“Of course you do,” Evan said.
“We’ll holler if we need you,” Chad added as I left the room and started up the stairs.
“Do that,” I said under my breath as I went up to my room. There were enough of them there to plan the party, and it gave me time to do some scheming of my own. Now that there was money on the table, I couldn’t let this slide.
And the possibility that she might be virgin?
I was pretty sure she wasn’t, although I really didn’t know. There was something in her eyes that told me she wasn’t that innocent. I’d find out soon enough.
Later in the night, as I was dozing off over my notes and research for our project, there was a knock at my door.
“Yeah,” I called out.
Ryan poked his head in. “Hey, everyone in the house has put down money on this bet,” he said. “Just thought you might want to know.”
“Great,” I groaned, rolling my eyes when he closed the door and trudged down the hallway.
Every one of my brothers had placed a bet. Now I really did have to measure up.