The Play (Briar U, #3)

I march into the living room without giving Brenna any time to cover herself up. She doesn’t deserve it. As a reward for enduring Brenna and Jake Connelly’s video sexing, I deserve to see some boobs outside of porn.

But Brenna is already shoving her shirt over her chest, so all I get is a teasing glimpse of reddish brown nipples before they disappear from view.

“Move over, you evil devil woman.” I drop my ass on the couch beside her and shove a forkful of wild rice into my mouth. I glance at the laptop sitting on the coffee table. “Hey Connelly. Nice cock.”

The man on the computer screen gives a startled curse. His gaze snaps down to his right hand, as if it’s just occurred to him he’s gripping a rather impressive erection. A blur of motion and the sound of a zipper, and then Jake Connelly glares at me with intense green eyes.

“Spying on us, Davenport?”

I swallow my food. “Is it considered spying when you’re naked Skyping in my goddamn living room?”

“Our living room,” Brenna says sweetly, reaching over to pat my shoulder.

Right, like I could ever forget. Other men might be thrilled to shack up with three chicks, but it’s not my ideal living situation. I like Brenna, Summer and Rupi individually, but throw the three of them together and the world becomes…loud. Not to mention they’re always ganging up on me.

My former roommates, Mike Hollis and Colin Fitzgerald, technically still live here too, but they’re not around nearly as much as I’d like.

Hollis only shows up on the weekends—he stays with his folks in New Hampshire during the week for his job.

Fitz is a video game designer and has been taking on a lot of contract work since he graduated Briar. Sometimes that means traveling to the game studio’s headquarters. Right now he’s in New York working on a sci-fi role-playing game, and staying at Summer’s family’s Manhattan penthouse for the duration of the gig. Lucky Fitzy. The Heyward-Di Laurentis clan is filthy rich, so he’s currently living it up in the lap of luxury.

“Connelly, get a move on. The car’s waiting for us downstairs,” another voice barks out of the laptop speakers. “We’ve got that charity photo op thing tonight.”

Jake glances over his shoulder. “Oh shit, I forgot about that.”

“What are you doing on—oh, hey Brenna!” A huge face appears on screen, a close-up so extreme that I can see up the guy’s hairy nostrils.

When the man pulls back, I experience a rare fanboy moment, because holy shit—it’s Theo Nilsson, one of the star players for Edmonton. I can’t believe Nilsson just casually strolled into Jake’s hotel room, and there’s no stopping a pang of envy at the notion that Jake is actually out in the world playing hockey with some serious legends.

When I was a kid I dreamed of playing professionally, but as I got older I realized it might not be the best path for me. The lifestyle scares me, if I’m behind honest. So I didn’t make myself eligible for the draft. Hell, I hadn’t even planned on playing in college. I came to Briar set on earning a business degree and becoming an entrepreneur. But a friend and teammate who graduated a couple of years ago lured me out of my self-imposed retirement, and now here I am.

“I have to go, babe,” Jake tells Brenna.

“Have fun getting your picture taken with all those thirsty puck bunnies,” she chirps.

Nilsson barks with laughter. “It’s a charity event for a senior citizen curling organization,” Jake’s teammate reveals.

She’s unfazed. “Have you seen Jake?” she asks Theo. “Those old broads will be all over him. Puck bunnies transcend age.”

As Brenna signs off, I shove a piece of grilled chicken into my mouth. “I can’t believe that was Theo Nilsson,” I say between bites.

“Yeah, he’s really cool. We had dinner with him last week when they played the Bruins.”

“Don’t rub it in.”

Brenna’s trademark red lips purse in a saccharine smile. Even when she’s home alone, she still takes the time to slather on that fuck-me lipstick. She’s evil. “If you’re a good boy, I’ll invite you next time.”

“I’m always a good boy,” I protest. “Just ask my dick—poor dude wants to be bad and I ain’t having it.”

She laughs. “I feel like all this pent-up lust isn’t good for your health. What if your balls explode and you die?”

I think it over. “Maybe it’ll be like a thousand orgasms all rolled up in one explosion, and who would want to keep living after that? I feel like after you’ve experienced a thousand-orgasm explosion, there’s nowhere to go but down.”

“That’s a good point.” Brenna’s dark eyes track me as I get up and head for the kitchen to rinse my plate.

“I gotta go now,” I tell her, popping my head back into the living room. “See you later.”

“Where are you off to?”

“Study thing at the Theta house.”

“Ha! So much for the vow of celibacy.”

“Nope. The vow’s still intact. I’m just working on a project with a chick there.”

“A project,” she mocks.

“Yes, a project. The world doesn’t revolve around sex, Bee.”

“Sure it does.” She licks her lips lasciviously and my mouth tingles in response. So does my penis.

She’s right. Sex is everything and everywhere. A woman can’t even lick her lips without my brain sinking right into the sexual gutter.

So far, I’ve found only one solution for controlling my libido: marijuana. And I can’t even do that as often as I’d like, except for the occasional joint at a party. Weed mellows me out and reins in my carnal impulses, but it also makes me tired and slows me down during workouts. And there’s no way I want to tempt the NCAA drug-testing gods. So, like sex, it’s just another fun activity I get to avoid. My life is awesome.

“Anyway, I’m meeting some of the boys at Malone’s afterward to shoot pool. Don’t wait up.”

“What? No invite?” She mock pouts.

“Nope,” I reply and I don’t feel the slightest bit guilty about it. I live in the estrogen zone, and sometimes it’s imperative I escape it, even if it’s just for the night. “No girls allowed. There’s enough girls in this house already.”

“Oh, you love it. Rupi makes you lunch every day, Summer cooks you breakfast, and I’m always walking around in my underwear. Food and sexy material for your spank bank, Davenport. You’re living the dream.”

“If I was living the dream, I’d be banging all of you every night. At the same time.”

“Ha! You wish. Go have fun with your”—Brenna uses air quotes—“project.”

I give her the finger and leave, and fifteen minutes later I’m back on campus, parking my Land Rover on the tree-lined street that houses Greek Row. It’s Tuesday night and the area is surprisingly quiet. Usually there’s always some nightly party or event happening on Greek Row, but tonight I hear only the faint sound of music from a few of the fraternity houses.

I walk up the flower-lined path that leads to the front door of the Theta house. Nearly every window of the three-story Victorian is lit up. I ring the doorbell and a tall, skinny girl in sweats appears.

She arches an eyebrow. “Can I help you?”

“I’m here to see Demi.” I lift the shoulder that’s holding my backpack. “We’re studying.”

Demi’s sorority sister shrugs, then turns her head and shouts, “Demi! Door!”

I enter the house, which has undergone a drastic makeover since I was here on the weekend. It’s neat as a pin and smells like lemon cleaner, and there’s no scantily clad chicks, drunken dudes, or puddles of beer all over the hardwood.

Footsteps echo on the wooden staircase, and the girl from psych class saunters down the steps, a lollipop sticking out of the corner of her mouth. Naturally, I zero in on her lips, which are glossy and tinged red from the candy she’s sucking on. Her dark hair is up in a high ponytail and she’s wearing plaid pants and a thin white tank top over a black sports bra.

She’s really fucking cute, and I have to force myself to stop checking her out.

“Hi,” she says, giving me a long appraisal.

“Mel, who was at the door?” someone shouts.

There’s a burst of chatter, and then half a dozen girls spill out of the kitchen into the front hall. They all stop abruptly when they notice me. One of them openly undresses me with her eyes, while the others are slightly more discreet.

“Hunter Davenport,” the ogler drawls. “Lord, you’re even better looking up close.”

I don’t normally get shy or stupid around women, but they’re all standing there appraising me, and it’s fucking disconcerting. “Maybe you should give me your number?” I murmur to Demi.

“Why would I do that?”

“So that next time I can text you when I’m here and you can quietly come get me and we could avoid all of…this…” I gesture to our audience.

“What’s the matter? Are you intimidated by a few girls?” Rolling her eyes, Demi leads me toward the stairs.

“Nah.” I wink. “I’m worried about you.”


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