The Deal (Off Campus #1)(7)

By: Elle Kennedy


Kendall sits up and narrows her eyes. “It’s a yes or no question, Garrett. Did. You. Miss. Me.”

My gaze darts to the window. Yup, I’m on the second floor and actually contemplating jumping out the frickin’ window. That’s how badly I want to avoid this convo.

But my silence speaks volumes, and suddenly Kendall flies off the bed, her blond hair whipping in all directions as she scrambles for her clothes. “Oh my God. You are such an ass! You don’t care about me at all, do you, Garrett?”

I get up and make a beeline for my discarded jeans. “I do care about you,” I protest. “But…”

She angrily shoves her panties on. “But what?”

“But I thought we were clear about what this was. I don’t want anything serious.” I shoot her a pointed look. “I told you that from the start.”

Her expression softens as she bites her lip. “I know, but…I just thought…”

I know exactly what she thought—that I’d fall madly in love with her, and our casual hookup would transform into the fucking Notebook.

Honestly, I don’t know why I bother laying down ground rules anymore. In my experience, no woman enters into a fling believing it’s going to stay a fling. She might say otherwise, maybe even convince herself she’s cool with a no-strings sex-fest, but deep down, she hopes and prays it’ll lead to something deeper.

And then I, the villain in her personal rom-com, swoops in and bursts that bubble of hope, despite the fact that I never lied about my intentions or misled her, not even for a second.

“Hockey is my entire life,” I say gruffly. “I practice six days a week, play twenty games a year—more if we make it to the post-season. I don’t have time for a girlfriend, Kendall. And you deserve a helluva lot more than I can give you.”

Unhappiness clouds her eyes. “I don’t want a casual fling anymore. I want to be your girlfriend.”

Another why almost flies out of my mouth, but I bite my tongue. If she’d shown any interest in me outside the carnal sense, I might believe her, but the fact that she hasn’t makes me wonder if the only reason she wants a relationship with me is because I’m some kind of status symbol to her.

I swallow my frustration and offer another awkward apology. “I’m sorry. But that’s where I’m at right now.”

As I zip up my jeans, she refocuses her attention on getting her clothes on. Though clothes is a bit of a stretch—all she’s sporting is lingerie and a trench coat. Which explains why Logan and Tucker were grinning like idiots when I got home. Because when a girl shows up at your door in a trench coat, you know damn well there’s not much else underneath it.

“I can’t see you anymore,” she finally says, her gaze finding mine. “If we keep doing…this…I’ll only get more attached.”

I can’t argue with that, so I don’t. “We had fun, though, right?”

After a beat, she smiles. “Yeah, we had fun.”

She bridges the distance between us and leans up on her tiptoes to kiss me. I kiss her back, but not with the same degree of passion as before. I keep it light. Polite. The fling has run its course, and I’m not about to lead her on again.

“With that said…” Her eyes twinkle mischievously. “Let me know if you change your mind about the girlfriend thing.”

“You’ll be the first person I call,” I promise.

“Good.”

She smacks a kiss on my cheek and walks out the door, leaving me to marvel over how easy that went. I’d been steeling myself for a fight, but aside from that initial burst of anger, Kendall had accepted the situation like a pro.

If only all women were as agreeable as her.

Yup, totally a jab at Hannah there.

Sex always stirs up my appetite, so I head downstairs in search of nourishment, and I’m happy to find there’s still leftover rice and fried chicken courtesy of Tuck, who is our resident chef because the rest of us can’t boil water without burning it. Tuck, on the other hand, grew up in Texas with a single mom who taught him to cook when he was still in diapers.

I settle at the eat-in counter, shoving a piece of chicken in my mouth just as Logan strolls in wearing nothing but plaid boxers.

He raises a brow when he spots me. “Hey. I didn’t think I’d see you again tonight. Figured you’d be VBF.”

“VBF?” I ask between mouthfuls. Logan likes to make up acronyms in the hopes that we’ll start to use them as slang, but half the time I have no idea what he’s babbling about.

He grins. “Very busy fucking.”

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