Jock Rule Page 2

Concealer. Blush. A few swipes of sooty, black mascara. Nothing to write home about.

I look like the chaperone and not someone here for the party. Not even my outfit looks put together: black half boots, jeans, and a simple long-sleeved shirt I grabbed off the hanger in a rush.

It’s not even cold outside yet.

I probably look ridiculous and out of place.

Lord knows I feel ridiculous.

Curse Mariah—she ditched me to play beer pong when I said I had to use the bathroom. Now I have to figure out where they’re playing it…

“What were you doing in there, masturbating?” one of the girls in the hallway crudely asks as I squeeze past.

The rest of the line laughs.

I give the girls an awkward smile, shrugging my shoulders as if to say, Sorry! and slither away, head bent to find my friend.

The beer pong table where she said she’d be? Nowhere to be found.

I check the living room—nothing.

The kitchen. Back bedroom.


Slightly irritated, I gradually make my way to the backyard, where the crowd is gathered around a beer pong table I can hardly make out; the area is so congested it’s almost impossible to move. I tiptoe down the porch steps, shielding my eyes from the blinding spotlight set up in the corner of the yard, and squint.

No sign of Mariah. Of course.

My breath hitches when I spy some familiar faces. Relieved, I push through the crowd, making a beeline for Tessa and Cameron, two girls we made friends with in the dorms our freshmen year. They’ve both always been really friendly, despite being jock chasers like—well, like Mariah.

God am I glad to see them.

It takes me a good ten minutes to claw my way to their side, and when I do, “Thank freaking God I spotted you. I was beginning to think I was going to spend the entire evening alone on the porch.”

They give a collective squeal when they see me—of course they do, because they’re that type of girl. Squealers. Always overexcited to see someone they saw the day before in the quad. Nevertheless, I let them hug me and fuss and act like we didn’t walk to the party together tonight, like they haven’t seen me in years.

“Teddy! Teddy, where have you been? We thought we lost you!” Tessa—blonde, beautiful Tessa—has eyes as wide as saucers and genuinely looks devastated by my disappearance.

That’s what being drunk does to a person, I suppose.

She clutches my upper arm.

“I went to the bathroom and it took forever. Sorry,” I shout over the noise, over the music blasting and everyone else who’s trying to have a conversation and fight the climbing decibels.

They both nod knowingly. “Well you’re back now.”

Cam looks into my red cup. “But you’re not drinking.”

I was.

I tip the cup upside down. Empty. “I’m out.”

“You can’t have an empty cup—house rules.”

I laugh. “It is not.”

Cam’s expression is somber as she bobs her head. “It is. That’s what the kid at the keg told us.”

“That’s just something guys say so girls get drunk.”

“But don’t you want another beer?”

Not really. “Sure.” I shrug. “I guess?”

“They moved the beer to the living room,” Tessa informs me, though I passed it on my way to the backyard.

A keg in the living room—classy.

“Can you get us some, too, while you’re in there?” Cam asks. “But get us new cups so we can keep drinking these.” She holds up hers to demonstrate that it still has alcohol in it then gives the cup a shake in my direction. “Dumping this out to get new beer is alcohol abuse, even if it’s super warm.”

“I’ll get you a new cup if they let me.” We had to pay ten bucks at the door for a red plastic cup, and I hope they give me a new one without making me argue for it. Probably not, but it’s worth a shot.

“They’ll give you a new cup—you’re adorable!” Cam enthuses, winking her heavily made-up eye. She really is a sweetheart, and I steal a glance at Tessa.

“If you see Mariah, tell her I’m looking for her?”

They both shrug, as if tied to marionette strings. “Sure.”


With that, I’m elbowing my way amidst the throng in the opposite direction I’d already struggled through—back over the yard, across the porch, into the kitchen.

“Excuse me…excuse me.” It takes no less than fifteen minutes to reach the living room and the keg.

No one is manning it. No one is here to pump the hose thingy or whatever it’s called.

No extra cups to be seen, not even on the floor. My eyes hit the floor, nose wrinkling at the soggy mess beneath the gray, metal keg. Beneath my feet.

Beer has spilled onto the floor, saturating the fibers of the already dirty carpet, squishing slightly when I shuffle my shoes. Gross.

Typical males, not having a sense of ownership and trashing the house they’re lucky enough to live in, probably for half the rent I pay. I’ve never been that fortunate; I have to work for everything I have, including tuition, because my mom can’t afford to help me, not even while working two jobs, one as a bartender and waitress in the tourist town we live in.

It sucks, but I’ve never had handouts. I’ve never known anything but hard work, so seeing this house being trashed so carelessly…

I swallow.

It’s none of my business what these guys do. I’m only here for beer and to hang out with my friends, and why the heck do I even care? Let them ruin their stupid carpet! It doesn’t affect me one bit.



That girl has been standing next to the keg for way too long.

I should probably go tell her it’s tapped, completely out of beer, and we’re just waiting for someone to come pick the damn thing up, but…

I won’t.

Instead, I lean against the wall and take a long pull from the beer I brought that’s locked in the fridge at the back of the house.

She glances from side to side, waiting with her red cup, shifting on her heels, grimacing at her feet every so often, a completely disgusted look on her face.

It’s a pretty face.

If you’re into pure and perfect and barely made-up.

Which I’m not.

I’m not into any faces, hot or cute or not.

I don’t date. I don’t have sex, don’t get involved with anyone.


The girl is cute in a clueless way, and I’m compelled to study her as she stands there, waiting for beer.

The house is packed—we knew it would be—the entire student body seemingly crammed into our living room, busting out onto the porch, into the yard, and even into the unfinished basement. It’s nothing but cinder block and musty smells, but it’s packed full of drunken idiots.

I cringe when the curtains at the far side of the room come crashing down then wait for the aftermath: loud laughter and cackling. The dude who made the mess wraps himself up, fashioning a toga, curtain rod and all, loudly proclaiming himself emperor of the party.

Fucking moron.

The cold amber bottle in my hand touches my lips as my eyes casually slide back to the waiter. Still standing in the center of the room looking aimless. Unsure. Self-conscious.

She tucks a long strand of brown hair behind her ear and bites down on her lower lip, nibbling. Readjusts her weight.

Why hasn’t she given up yet and gone hunting around for another keg? It’s on the freaking front porch; anyone with half a brain would have given up and gone searching.

Not this chick.

She’s rooted to the floor like it’s her fucking job to stand in that one spot.

Another swig from my bottle has me settling against the wall behind me, my massive shoulder slouched against the drywall. Bored.

At six foot four, I have a bird’s-eye view of the entire living room. I’m a head taller than most people here, definitely taller than all the chicks. A few of my teammates come close to my height, but not many.


My scowl keeps the girls at bay, and I arch my brows when an errant female partygoer mistakes me for someone who wants to talk.

I don’t.

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