Off-Campus, Book 2
New York Times bestseller Elle Kennedy brings you a sexy new Off-Campus novel that can be read as a standalone…
He’s a player in more ways than one…
College junior John Logan can get any girl he wants. For this hockey star, life is a parade of parties and hook-ups, but behind his killer grins and easygoing charm, he hides growing despair about the dead-end road he’ll be forced to walk after graduation. A sexy encounter with freshman Grace Ivers is just the distraction he needs, but when a thoughtless mistake pushes her away, Logan plans to spend his final year proving to her that he’s worth a second chance.
Now he’s going to need to up his game…
After a less than stellar freshman year, Grace is back at Briar University, older, wiser, and so over the arrogant hockey player she nearly handed her V-card to. She’s not a charity case, and she’s not the quiet butterfly she was when they first hooked up. If Logan expects her to roll over and beg like all his other puck bunnies, he can think again. He wants her back? He’ll have to work for it. This time around, she’ll be the one in the driver’s seat…and she plans on driving him wild.
Add The Mistake to goodreads
“It’s Friday night—how come you’re sitting around watching action movies?”
The question makes me bristle. “What’s wrong with that?”
“Nothing.” Logan shrugs. “I’m just wondering why you’re not out partying or something.”
“I was at a party last night.” Don’t remind him you saw him, don’t remind him you saw him— “I saw you there, by the way.”
He seems startled. “You did?”
“Yeah. At the Omega Phi house.”
“Huh. I don’t remember seeing you.” He gives me a sheepish look. “I don’t remember much, actually. I got pretty shitfaced.”
It stings a little that he doesn’t remember our encounter outside the bathroom, but I quickly chastise myself for feeling insulted. He was drunk, and he’d just hooked up with someone else. Of course I hadn’t made an impression on him.
“Did you have fun at the party?” For the first time since he walked into my dorm room, his tone contains an awkward note, as if he’s trying to make small talk and isn’t comfortable with it.
“Sure, I guess.” I pause. “Actually, I take that back. It was fun until I totally humiliated myself in front of this guy.”
The discomfort on his face dissolves as he chuckles. “Yeah? What’d you do?”
“I babbled. A lot.” I offer a little shrug. “I have a really bad habit of doing that around guys.”
“You’re not babbling right now,” he points out.
“Yeah, now. Do you not remember the serial killer rant I gave you two hours ago?”
“Trust me, I remember.” His answering grin speeds up my pulse. God, he’s got a sexy smile. Slightly crooked, and every time he flashes it, his eyes twinkle playfully. “I don’t make you nervous anymore, do I?”
“No.” I’m lying. He absolutely makes me nervous. He’s John fucking Logan, one of the most popular guys at this college. And I’m Grace fucking Ivers, one of thousands of girls who are crushing on him.
His gaze travels over me again, a hot, lingering perusal that crackles along my skin like an electric current. This time there’s no mistaking the interest in his eyes.
Should I make a move?
I should make a move, right?
Lean closer or something. Kiss him. Or maybe ask him to kiss me? My brain races back to my high school days, trying to pinpoint how all those kisses happened, if the guys I locked lips with made the first move, or if it was a mutual yeah-we’re-going-to-kiss-now sorta thing. Except none of those kisses were with guys even half as gorgeous as this one.
“Do you want me to go now?”
His gruff voice startles me, and I realize I’ve been staring at him for almost a full minute without saying a single word.
My mouth is so dry I have to swallow a few times before answering. “No. I mean, you can stay if you want. We can watch something else, or—”
I don’t get to finish that sentence, because he slides closer and touches my cheek, and my vocal cords freeze as my heart rate skyrockets.
John Logan is touching my cheek.
The pads of his fingers are calloused, a rough scrape against my skin, and he smells so good I feel light-headed when I inhale the faint scent of his aftershave.
He lightly strokes my cheekbone and I have to stop myself from purring like an affection-starved cat. “What are you doing?” I whisper.
“Well, you were looking at me like you wanted me to kiss you.” His blue eyes become heavy-lidded. “So I was thinking I might do that.”
The bell over the door dings loudly, and my head involuntarily swivels toward it, then immediately swivels back. I hunch over, hoping my hair will shield my face from view of the newcomers.
The newcomers being Logan and four of his friends.
Maybe he won’t notice me. Maybe I can sneak out before he does.
I don’t want to draw any attention to myself, so I don’t get up right away. Logan and his buddies approach the order counter, and every gaze in the coffee house hangs on their every move. Something about these guys changes the air in the room on a molecular level. They’re larger than life, and not just because they’re all tall, strapping hockey players. It’s the confidence with which they walk, the good-natured insults they toss back and forth, the easy grins they flash to people.
I know I should be skulking off, but I can’t look away. It’s almost criminal how attractive he is. Granted, I’m only looking at the back of his head, but it’s a very sexy back of the head. And it’s so easy to pick him out as an athlete. The long limbs and toned muscles beneath his cargo pants and snug T-shirt create a drool-worthy package that my fingers itch to unwrap.
Argh. I need to drag my head out of the gutter. Lusting over him is too close to liking him, and I’m not ready to open that door yet. If ever.
But common sense comes too late, because Logan is now moving away from the counter and marching in my direction.
“Hey, gorgeous.” He slides in the seat across from me and places a chocolate-chip muffin on the table. “I got you a muffin.”
Damn it, I guess he’d noticed me right when he’d walked in.
“Why?” I ask in suspicion, and without saying hi.
“’Cause I wanted to get you something, and you already have coffee. Ergo, muffin.”
I raise one eyebrow. “Are you trying to buy your way into my good graces?”
“Yup. And excellent pun, by the way.”
“I wasn’t punning. My name just happens to be a homonym.”
His blue eyes gleam as he downright smolders at me. “I love it when you talk homonyms to me.”
“Uh-huh.” I choke back a laugh. “I appreciate the gesture, but do you really think a muffin is going to wow me?”
“Don’t worry, I’ll buy you an entire meal when we’re out on our date.” He winks. “Anything you want off the menu.”
Damn him and his seductive winking powers.
“Speaking of that, when should we do it?”
I eye him warily. “Do what?”
“Go out.” His head tilts in a thoughtful pose. “I’m free tonight. Or any night, really. My schedule is wide open.”
God, this guy is incorrigible. And too damn gorgeous for his own good. His chiseled jaw is covered with scruff, as if he hasn’t shaved in a few days, and my tongue tingles with the urge to lick a path along the strong line of his chin. This is the first time I’ve ever wanted to lick a guy’s stubble. What is the matter with me?
“Congrats on your wide-open schedule,” I grumble. “But I’m not going out with you.”
Logan grins. “Tonight, or in general?”
We’re interrupted by the arrival of one of his friends. “Ready?” the guy asks Logan as he flips the top of his coffee cup.
“Go away, G. I’m wooing.”
His friend snickers, then turns to me. “Hey, I’m Garrett.”
Right. As if I don’t know who he is. Garrett Graham is a legend at this school, for fuck’s sake. He’s also incredibly good-looking, the kind of good-looking that brings a blush to my cheeks despite the fact I’m not even interested in the guy.
“I’m Grace,” I answer politely.
“I didn’t mean to interrupt.” He edges away, a barely restrained smile on his lips. “I’ll wait outside so my boy can keep, ah, wooing.”
“No need. We’re all done here.” I scrape my chair back and hop to my feet.
“We most certainly are not,” Logan mutters.
Amused, Garrett glances from me to Logan. “I took a mandatory conflict resolution seminar back in high school. Do you guys need a mediator?”
I pick up my coffee. “Well, the stenographer who follows me around is on a lunch break, but I can catch you up no problem. Logan asked me out, and I solved the conflict by respectfully declining. There. I did all the work for you.”
Garrett laughs loud enough to attract the attention of everyone around us, including the three hockey players who wander over from the counter.
“What’s so funny?” Dean asks curiously. He notices me and offers a delighted smile. “Grace. Long time. I’m loving the hair.”
I’m surprised he even remembers my name. “Thanks.” I inch closer to the door. “I’ve gotta go. See you around, Logan. And, uh, you too, Logan’s friends.”
I’m halfway out the door when I hear him call, “You forgot your muffin.”
“No, I didn’t,” I answer without turning around.
Male laughter tickles my spine as the door closes behind me.
April 28, 2015