Off-Campus, Book 1
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.
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Thirty minutes before my shift ends, I find Garrett Graham in one of my booths.
Does this guy ever give up?
I have no desire to go over there and serve him, but I don’t have much of a choice. Lisa, the other waitress on duty, is busy tending to a group of faculty members at a table across the room, and my boss Della is behind the baby-blue Formica counter dishing out slices of pecan pie to three freshman girls sitting on the tall swivel stools.
I set my jaw and march up to Garrett, making my displeasure obvious as I meet his twinkling gray eyes. He runs a hand through his cropped dark hair and flashes a lopsided grin.
“Hey there, Hannah. Fancy meeting you here.”
“Yeah, fancy,” I mutter, yanking my order pad out of my apron pocket. “What can I get you?”
“Sorry, that’s not on the menu.” I smile sweetly. “We serve really good pecan pie, though.”
“You know what I did last night?” he says without acknowledging the sarcasm.
“Yep. You were text stalking me.”
He rolls his eyes. “Before that, I mean.”
I pretend to think it over. “Um…you hooked up with a cheerleader? No, you hooked up with the girls’ hockey team. No, wait, they’re probably not ditzy enough for you. I stick with my original guess—cheerleader.”
“Sorority sister, actually,” he says smugly. “But I’m talking about what I did before that.” He raises one dark eyebrow. “But I’m very intrigued by your interest in my sex life. I can give you details about that another time if you want.”
“Another time,” he echoes in a dismissive tone, folding his hands on the blue-and-white-checkered tablecloth.
He’s got big hands with long fingers, short nails, and knuckles that are slightly red and cracked. I wonder if he’s been in a fight recently, but then I realize the busted-up knuckles are probably a hockey player thing.
“I was at study group yesterday,” he informs me. “There were eight other people there, and you know what the highest mark in the group was?” He blurts out the answer before I can hazard a guess. “C-plus. And our combined average was a D. How am I supposed to pass this makeup if I’m studying with people who are as dumb as I am? I need you, Wellsy.”
Wellsy? Is that a nickname? And how on earth does he know that my last name is Wells? I never told—argh. Damn sign-up sheet.
Garrett notices my surprised look and cocks his brows again. “I learned a lot about you in study group. Got your number, your full name, even found out where you work.”
“Congratulations, you really are a stalker.”
“Nope, just thorough. I like to know what I’m up against.”
“Jesus Harold Christ! I’m not tutoring you, okay? Go bug somebody else.” I point at the menu in front of him. “Are you ordering? Because if not, then please go away and let me do my job in peace.”
“Jesus Harold Christ?” Garrett snickers before picking up the laminated menu and giving it a cursory glance. “I’ll have a turkey club.” He sets the menu down, then reaches for it again. “And a bacon double cheeseburger. Just the burger, no fries. Actually, I changed my mind—yes to the fries. Oh, and a side order of onion rings.”
My jaw almost hits the floor. “You’re seriously going to eat all that?”
He grins. “Of course. I’m a growing boy.”
Boy? Nuh-uh. I’m only noticing it now—probably because I’ve been too distracted by how insufferable he is—but Garrett Graham is all man. There’s nothing boyish about him, not his chiseled good looks or his tall frame or that ripped chest of his, which suddenly flashes to mind as I remember the picture he sent me.
“I’ll also take a slice of that pecan pie and a Dr. Pepper to drink. Oh, and some tutoring.”
“Not on the menu,” I say cheerfully. “But the rest is coming right up.”
Before he can argue, I abandon his booth and head to the back counter to place his order with Julio, our night cook. A nanosecond later, Lisa rushes over and addresses me in a hushed voice.
“Oh my God. You know who that is, right?”
“It’s Garrett Graham.”
“I know,” I answer dryly. “That’s why I said yep.”
Lisa looks outraged. “What is wrong with you? Why aren’t you freaking out right now? Garrett Graham is sitting in your booth. He talked to you.”
“Holy shit, he did? I mean, his lips were moving, but I didn’t realize he was talking.”
I roll my eyes and walk over to the drink station to pour Garrett’s drink. I don’t look his way, but I can feel those smoky gray eyes following my every movement. He’s probably sending telepathic orders for me to tutor him. Well, too bad for him. There’s no way I’m wasting the little spare time I have on a college hockey player who thinks he’s a rock star.
Lisa trails after me, oblivious to my sarcasm and still gushing about Graham. “He’s so gorgeous. Like unbelievably gorgeous.” Her voice lowers to a whisper. “And I hear he’s amazing in bed.”
I snort. “He probably started that rumor himself.”
“No, Samantha Richardson told me. She hooked up with him last year at the Theta kegger. Said it was the best sex of her life.”
I have no response, because I couldn’t care less about the sex life of some girl I don’t even know. Instead, I shrug and hold out the Dr. Pepper. “You know what? Why don’t you take his booth?”
The way Lisa gasps, you’d think I just handed her a check for five million dollars. “Are you sure?”
“Yep. He’s all yours.”
“Oh my God.” She takes a step forward as if she’s going to hug me, but then her gaze darts to Garrett and she appears to have second thoughts about broadcasting her terribly unwarranted joy. “I owe you so big for this, Han.”
I want to tell her that she’s actually doing me the favor, but she’s already dashing toward the booth to wait on her prince. I watch in amusement as Garrett’s expression clouds over at Lisa’s approach. He picks up the glass she sets in front of him, then meets my gaze and slants his head.
As if to say, you’re not getting rid of me that easily.
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.”
“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.”
February 24, 2015