The Score (Off-Campus #3)By: Elle Kennedy
He knows how to score, on and off the ice
Allie Hayes is in crisis mode. With graduation looming, she still doesn’t have the first clue about what she’s going to do after college. To make matters worse, she’s nursing a broken heart thanks to the end of her longtime relationship. Wild rebound sex is definitely not the solution to her problems, but gorgeous hockey star Dean Di Laurentis is impossible to resist. Just once, though, because even if her future is uncertain, it sure as heck won’t include the king of one-night stands.
It’ll take more than flashy moves to win her over
Dean always gets what he wants. Girls, grades, girls, recognition, girls…he’s a ladies man, all right, and he’s yet to meet a woman who’s immune to his charms. Until Allie. For one night, the feisty blonde rocked his entire world—and now she wants to be friends? Nope. It’s not over until he says it’s over. Dean is in full-on pursuit, but when life-rocking changes strike, he starts to wonder if maybe it’s time to stop focusing on scoring…and shoot for love.
Can we talk?
WTF, Allie. After everything we’ve been thru, I deserve more then that.
U didn’t mean it when u said we were done, right?
Will you plz fuckin ANSWER me?
U know what? fuck this. U wanna keep ignoring me? fine. wtevr.
There are six text messages waiting for me when I check my phone on the way out of the campus fitness center on Friday night. They’re all from Sean, my as-of-last-night ex. And although the emotional progression from pleading to pissed off doesn’t go unnoticed, I find myself fixating on his grammatical error.
I deserve more then that.
Then, not than. And I doubt autocorrect is to blame because Sean isn’t exactly the brightest crayon in the box.
Okay, that’s not entirely true. He’s whip-smart about some things. Like baseball—seriously, the guy can pull stats out of his ass, even ones dating back to the sixties. But book smarts are not his forte. Stellar boyfriend doesn’t quite make his list of strengths either, at least not in recent days.
I never wanted to be one of those girls who breaks up and makes up with the same guy over and over again. I really thought I was stronger than that, but Sean McCall has had a hold on me since freshman year at Briar University. He sucked me in with his preppy good looks and little-boy grin. That gorgeous grin, all crooked and dimpled and full of promises.
I glance at my phone again, my wariness climbing like the ivy on the building behind me. Argh. What does he want to talk about? We said everything we needed to say last night. When I told him I was done before I stormed out of his frat house, I’d meant it.
I am done. This is our fourth breakup in three years. I can’t keep doing this to myself, this twisted cycle of joy and heartache, especially when the person I’m supposed to be building a future with is determined to hold me back.
Even so, my heart hurts. It’s hard to let go of someone who’s been such a big part of your life for so long. It’s even harder when that person refuses to let you go.
Sighing, I hurry down the steps toward the cobblestone path that winds through campus. Usually I take the time to admire the scenery—the gorgeous old buildings, the wrought-iron benches and massive shade trees—but tonight I just want to sprint back to my dorm, pull the covers over my head, and shut out the world. Luckily, I can totally do that because my roommate Hannah is away this weekend, which means she won’t be around to lecture me about the emotional perils of wallowing in my misery.
She hadn’t done much lecturing last night, though. Nope, what she did was step up to the plate and knock the best-friend-ever role out of the park. The moment I’d walked through the door after leaving Sean, Hannah had been waiting in our common room with a carton of ice cream, a box of Kleenex, and two bottles of red wine, and she’d proceeded to stay up half the night passing me tissues and listening to me babble incoherently.
Breakups suck. I feel like such a failure. No, I feel like a quitter. The last piece of advice my mom gave me before she died was to never give up on love. Actually, she’d drilled that into me long before she’d ever gotten sick. I don’t know all the details, but it was no secret around my house that my parents’ marriage had been on the rocks more than once during their eighteen years together. And they’d powered through it. They’d worked at it.
Every time I think about walking out on Sean yesterday, my stomach grows queasy. Maybe I should have fought harder for us. I mean, I know he loves me—
If he loved you, he wouldn’t have given you an ultimatum, a gruff voice assures me. You did the right thing.
My throat tightens as I recognize the voice in my head. It belongs to my father, who happens to be my biggest champion. In his eyes, I can do no wrong.
It’s too bad Sean isn’t able to see me through that lens.
My phone buzzes when I’m five minutes from Bristol House, where I share a two-bedroom suite with Hannah.
Shit. Another text from Sean.
And double shit because it says:
I’m so sorry for swearing at u, bb. I didn’t mean it. I’m just upset. U mean the world to me. I hope u know that.