Authors: Crystal Perkins
Learning To Love
#4 of The Griffin Brothers
by Crystal Perkins
Copyright © 2014 by Crystal Perkins
Cover Design by Helen Williams
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Table of Contents
good girl who’s trying not to be bad…
Olivia has never
been able to please her parents, no matter how hard she tries.
Getting a good job, along with her own apartment, has given her some
confidence, but their approval is still important to her. She needs
help to keep up her perfect image, and unfortunately, Luke Griffin’s
her only option. Sure he’s hot and every girl on campus wants him,
but he also terrorized her almost a year ago. She can’t forget
bad boy who’s really good…
Living in his
brothers’ shadows has never been easy for Luke. He’s made some
bad choices in order to distance himself from the constant
comparisons to them. Like sleeping his way through college, and
hanging out with the wrong guys. He gave that all up almost a year
ago, choosing to focus on school and the hockey league he plays in.
When he’s asked to tutor Olivia, he jumps at the chance to show her
that he’s not the guy she—and everyone else—thinks he is.
love so good, it can’t be bad…
Nights of tutoring
and hockey games soon lead to romance. As Olivia learns to trust in
Luke, her love makes him realize that just being himself is enough.
But when her parents’ dislike of Luke threatens to destroy her
family, she begs him to keep their relationship a secret. When that
secret’s revealed, will Olivia make the right choice or will Luke
be left behind once again?
you learn to love yourself enough to trust someone else?
Gaming For Love (The Griffin Brothers #1)
Our Love (The Griffin Brothers #2)
A Love (The Griffin Brothers #3)
There is no better friend, cheerleader
sergeant than you!
I can’t believe this
is happening. Things have been going so well. I have an awesome job
working with Candi, my parents have been laying off me about being
the perfect daughter, and I’m moving into my own apartment this
weekend. How can I be failing English? If I can speak English, I
should be able to pass the damn class. But no, not me. Apparently
speaking it isn’t enough.
I haven’t been
listening to Dr. Childs because I’m seriously freaking out. It’s
not until I hear the words “mandatory tutoring,” that I tune back
into the conversation with a start. “Tutoring? How much will that
cost, Dr. Childs?”
“I’ve told you
repeatedly to call me Tracy, Olivia. As for the tutoring, I know
you’re on a Millennium Scholarship, so I arranged for you to have a
“Free? Really? I
didn’t know the university did that.”
“It’s not through
the university. Luke is a former student who wants to be a teacher.
He doesn’t need the money at all. He just enjoys helping other
students and has helped several pass this class.”
“Wow. He seems almost
too good to be true.”
“Oh, wait until you
see him, Olivia. Then you’ll really be thinking that. He’s never
had a shortage of girls following him around, although I’ve not
seen him with anyone in the past few months. He’s always taken his
studies seriously, and now it seems that he’s doing the same with
his personal life. He’s a great guy, and I know he’ll help you.”
“Great. Thank you so
much. When do I meet him?”
“He should be here
any minute. I asked him to come by so the two of you can work out a
schedule and get started right away. I don’t want you to fail this
“I don’t want to
fail, either.” I
My family would freak out and try to make me move back home. I’m
twenty-one now, but I still care what my parents think. I don’t
know that I could say no if they gave me an ultimatum. I’ve lived
my life doing everything I can to not let them down. I don’t want
to start now.
We chat for a few more
minutes, then turn at the sound of a low, sexy voice. “Hey, Tracy.
Sorry I’m a little late. I got stuck at the school I’m teaching
at this semester.”
“It’s okay, Luke.
Come on in and meet Olivia.” He has a smile on his face until he
No. No, no, no. This is
not happening. It can’t be happening. The guy, Luke, who is
supposed to be tutoring me, is one of the assholes who was
terrorizing me at the bar I used to work at. It was the night I met
Candi. She’d come to my rescue, and then given me a job. This guy
had been waving around a bunch of cash while his friends, and my
manager, tried to get me onto his lap.
Luke recovers and
smiles again, but it isn’t reaching his eyes this time. “Olivia.”
He says my name on a sigh, and despite my horror, I’m a little
entranced by how sexy it sounds on his lips. Not enough to completely
lose my wits, though.
“He can’t tutor me.
I need someone else.”
“What? I don’t know
that I can find you someone else. I thought you were serious about
wanting to pass this class.”
want to pass. I-I can’t do this. Please, you have to
find me someone else.” I’m losing it, and it embarrasses me a
little, but not enough to stop begging. I’m so scared right now. I
feel myself start to shake.
“I won’t hurt you,
Olivia. I swear. I’m so sorry for my behavior the night we met. It
was a wake-up call for me, and I stopped hanging out with those guys.
I’d like to make it up to you. Let me tutor you. Please, let me do
“I don’t know what
happened between the two of you, but I can assure you that no one has
ever complained about Luke. I believe you’ll be safe with him,
Olivia. I would never recommend him as a tutor if I thought you would
be at risk in any way.”
They’re both looking
at me now, waiting for my answer. I know what it’s going to be
before I even say it. I
to pass this class to graduate. I can’t fail because I’m worried
about some asshole guy. If Dr. Childs—Tracy—says I’ll be safe,
I have to trust her. I won’t trust Luke, but I can make sure we
meet in public places.
“I don’t really
have a choice. I need to graduate. We can only meet in public places,
though. I’m not comfortable being alone with you.”
“We can do that. I’ll
meet you wherever you want.”
“I’m glad this is
settled. I have to get to a meeting, so I’ll leave you guys to it.
You know the drill, Luke. It’s up to the two of you how often you
“Yeah. I got this,
Tracy leaves the
classroom, and I’m alone with the hottest guy I’ve ever seen in
my life. Who also happens to be one of the guys who scared me more
than I’ve ever been scared before in my life. And not in a sexy
way. Although he
sexy. I doubt there’s a woman at this university who would be able
to deny that. From what I’ve seen around campus, very few probably
, either. But
that’s none of my business. I need his brain and nothing else. Not
his tall, muscled body, or brown hair that’s a little long on top
and looks so soft. Definitely not those green eyes that are looking
at me like he’s trying to figure out how to handle me. I’m in
deep trouble, because despite what my brain wants, I think my body
like to be
handled by Luke.
* * *
Fuck. This is bad.
Candi’s been trying to figure out a way to introduce me to Olivia
without freaking her out. She has no idea that her savior and boss is
engaged to my brother. Candi nearly kicked my ass when she recognized
me at that bar. I explained everything to her, and she knows I
wouldn’t hurt Olivia, but Olivia
Candi and Owen have
mentioned that Olivia’s commented on how familiar Owen looks, but
she hasn’t put two and two together. My brother and I share many of
the same features, but he’s leaner than me—most of his muscles
come from moving paintings and sculptures with an occasional trip to
the gym thrown in. I play in hockey leagues and work out regularly to
keep my strength up for that.
I know we’re going to
have to tell her now, though. There’s no way she won’t find out
if we’re seeing each other regularly. I want her to know. I think
knowing that Owen’s my brother, and that he and Candi can vouch for
me, will help. Her sister, Rose, is also best friends with my niece,
Alex, so I’ve been around her a ton, too. I’ve even driven her
home a few times. She’s not scared of me. I have no one but myself
to blame for Olivia’s fear, though. I told her the truth when I
said that I don’t hang out with the idiots from the bar anymore. I
needed that wake-up call, but I’m sorry it came at her expense.
I’ll let her have control of the tutoring, of her time with me. I
think that might help her feel better. It’ll be a start at least.
“You’re pretty much
the boss here. I mean, I have my student teaching, and I play in a
hockey league on Sunday nights, but otherwise I’m yours whenever
you need me.”
“Can we go somewhere
to talk? I’d rather not be alone with you.” She’s eyeing me
Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. This
is going to be tough. But I deserve it, and I want this girl to like
me. Not just because she’s smoking hot, with her dark hair and
hazel eyes, but because I want her respect. I need it, actually. I’ve
stopped acting like a jerk, and I want at least one of the people who
saw me that way to know I’ve changed. I know Candi does, but she
knew me before the bar. Olivia didn’t, so that’s all she has to
go on. I’m going to prove to her that I’m a nice guy. No matter
what it takes.
“Sure. Let’s go to
the Student Union.” I move to the door and let her walk out into
the hall before closing it.
We walk across campus
in silence. I want to talk to her, but since she’s uncomfortable, I
let it go. We walk into the Student Union, and I go over to the
smoothie place, placing my order and then asking her if she wants
one. She tells me she does, but that she’ll pay for her own drink.
“Seriously? I can’t even buy you a smoothie?”