Tackled, p.1
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       Tackled, p.1

          



  To my patient husband - I'm glad it's been you. Sorry about all the takeout.

  AUTHOR’S NOTE

  I was supposed to be working on the fourth book in my West Bend Saints series, Killian (don't worry, that one's coming soon). But then Colton King barged his way into my head. I thought I'd write out the couple of scenes that were rattling around in my brain and then set the book aside, but he refused to shut up.

  I hope you enjoy these characters as much as I do.

  Please forgive any grievous sports errors (there’s a reason the heroine is a nerdy girl who doesn’t know anything about football), and if you can't forgive them, blame my book consultant (my husband), who's a former college football player. Address all complaints to him.

  The school, location, and team in this book are entirely figments of my imagination and are not meant to resemble any existing team or school. This book takes place somewhere in the state of Texas.

  1

  Cassie

  Some job. This is probably the dumbest thing you’ve ever done, Cassandra Rae. The warning voice in my head sounds like my mother’s. I should listen to that little voice, but I don’t.

  Instead, I take a deep breath and step through the front door of the house, a plain-looking thing with white siding and a concrete pathway that winds up the lawn. It looks like a regular house in this just-off-campus neighborhood, except for the fact that there are about fifty cars lining either side of the street nearby.

  This is a house where a bunch of football players live. I don’t know how many or who exactly lives here. All I know is that this is supposedly where I can find Colton King, the dumb jock I’m going to be paid a lot of money to tutor.

  He didn’t show up for our first tutoring session this afternoon — something the assistant coach said I should expect. My new employer also told me that if Colton didn’t show, I could find him here.

  I look down at the photo of him from the website I pulled up on my phone.

  Colton Is The King Of College Football

  Underneath the headline is the player, smiling broadly at what I take to be the end of a football game here at the school.

  I don’t know the first thing about football. But I do know that graduate school is expensive, and the Sociology department’s funding just got unexpectedly cut. Tutoring an athlete sounded a lot cushier than a lot of the other teaching assistant jobs available on campus. I mean, how hard could it be, right?

  I stand there stupidly in the doorway in my straight black skirt and blouse, far too overdressed for this place. Really, I was just trying to make an attempt at looking at least halfway professional. It’s three in the afternoon and the house is crowded with bodies – guys walking around shirtless and girls wearing postage-stamp-sized bikinis. Music thumps so loudly I can’t hear myself think and too many people are doing body shots to even count.

  A bikini top lands on my head.

  I exhale heavily as I pick it off and pinch the fabric between my fingers, making as little contact with the garment as possible as I dangle it to the side like it’s covered in STDs. It probably is. In fact, I probably should douse myself in bleach when I get home.

  The owner of the bikini, a topless blonde a few feet away from me, raises a hand in the air and hollers, “Whoo-hoo!” as she grins.

  I can feel my IQ dropping already.

  A guy sidles up beside me and puts his arm around my shoulder, his red plastic cup of beer dangerously close to my face. The smell of stale beer makes me want to vomit. Cheap beer and partying at three in the afternoon? If this is what being a cool college student is like, I’m grateful to have missed that phase of life. Being a nerd has its perks.

  “You’ve got too many clothes on for this place,” the guy yells, his mouth too close to my ear.

  I shrug off his arm. “Where’s Colton King?” I yell back.

  “You’re not his type,” he says loudly as his eyes roam my body from my toes to my head. “But you do have a sexy-nerd-thing going. I’d even let you get with this,” he adds, gesturing to his body. I think he must be joking, but he looks at me like he’s totally serious.

  I see. Because he thinks he’s doing me a favor.

  “Thanks for the generous offer but I’ll pass,” I say. “Are you going to tell me where Colton is?”

  “Do you know who I am?” he yells.

  “No fucking idea,” I reply, turning around and slipping between a couple of co-eds dancing with plastic cups held high over their heads.

  I walk into the kitchen with zero idea where I’m going, but at least it’s quieter in here. Another athlete stops me. “I’m going to need your shirt,” he says.

  “That’s not going to happen,” I tell him. “I’m looking for Colton King.”

  “Price of admission,” he says, then swallows half a cup of beer. “I’m afraid those are the rules. Shirt comes off or you leave. Or I can pull that little skirt up and see what you’ve got on underneath.”

  He steps toward me, but I put a hand up, pushing it hard against his chest. “I’m going to warn you once,” I say. “Touch me and I’ll kick your balls right up into your throat.”

  The meathead looks at me like he’s going to try it, but someone grabs his arm, yelling about two naked girls and a kiddie pool full of lube in the other room.

  It’s like I walked onto the set of a porn film.

  “He’s outside,” a girl yells, pointing toward the open back door. “Colton is. You’ll have to take that off if you want to slide off the roof, though.”

  Slide off the roof?

  In the backyard, more topless girls bob about in a pool — there seems to be an endless supply of half-naked women here — and people gather around, hollering to the idiot on the roof at the top of a questionably-engineered wooden tarp-covered slide that runs from the edge of the roof all the way down to the pool below.

  He’s buck naked, his muscled body glistening in the sunlight. Actually, it’s glistening an awful lot.

  Is he covered in lube?

  Heat rises to my face when I realize my eyes linger a little longer than necessary on his package. I mean, he’s left it all hanging out. And it’s definitely not small.

  Next to me, a girl squeals. “Isn’t he hot?” she asks. “I mean, look at the size of it! That’s why they call him the King.”

  Oh God, I think, watching as he whoops loudly before sliding off the roof and into the pool, lubed-up for speed.

  That naked idiot on the roof with the giant cock? That’s my new student.

  2

  Colton

  That was awesome.

  A lubed-up slide off the roof of the house into a pool full of half-naked chicks, any of whom are totally willing to do anything I want. Fuck yeah.

  This is the fucking life, man.

  I’m twenty-one years old, a star athlete with a one-way ticket straight to the pros. I just finished a stellar run during my junior year, which means that this summer and senior year are the only things standing between me and a shitload of money.

  This summer is supposed to be about pulling up my GPA after a shitty academic spring term. I can't complain much, though — summer in Texas is always hot, which means girls here are more than happy to take their clothes off.

  A blonde slides in front of me, wrapping her arms around my neck and pushing her enormous tits up in my face. “You want to get out of the pool, Colton?” she asks. “I’ll help you dry off. But don’t worry … I'll stay wet.”

  My cock jumps at the thought. It’s such endless buffet of pussy now, I can’t even imagine what it’ll be like in the pros. Pussy, cars, big houses, and money, money, money. Followed by more pussy.

  That's my life plan.

  I grip the blonde’s ass, and she grinds her body against mine. I’m burying my mouth between her tits when my gaze falls on the chick standing by the side of the pool, looking awkward as hell in a black skirt and a short-sleeved purple button-down shirt. I stare at her because she looks so damn out of place.

  But the longer I look at her, the more I realize how hot she is – in that weird, nerdy kind of way. Her brown hair is pulled up into a high ponytail on the back of her head, and black glasses perch on the tip of her nose.

  At first, I think she might be a professor, but she's too young for that.

  "Colton King?" she asks, walking toward the edge of the pool.

  "Give me a second, sweetheart," I tell the blonde, dropping her into the water before I hear her answer. From behind me, I hear her whine my name, which automatically annoys me. That's a deal-breaker, even for a hookup. I don't do whiny. I have some standards.

  Now, the librarian … she's a hot piece of ass, nerdy like the kind of girl who doesn't realize she's hot. Those girls are usually grateful to get with athletes.

  I think I'll be the one to initiate her into the real Colton King fan club. The private one.

  "Who sent you, darlin'?" I ask, exaggerating a Texan drawl for effect. Chicks dig the drawl. "No, wait, don't tell me – one of the stripper agencies. Maybe the Blue Orchid? Well, don't feel like you have to keep your clothes on, on my account."

  Hot Librarian blushes. She actually blushes. Shit, I haven't made a girl blush in years. The girls I hook up with aren't the kinds of girls who are embarrassed by anything. I get a rush from it, a perverse sense of satisfaction from the fact that she’s blushing because of me.

  She wrinkles her forehead and purses her lips before crossing her arms in front of her chest. I think she's self-conscious, trying to hide her figure, but hell, crossing her arms like that just accentuates her tits even more. "You think I'm a… a stripper?" she asks. Disbelief practically drips from her lips.

  Well, after the blushing, I definitely don't think she's a stripper.

  I pull myself up and out of the pool. Naked. Just because I have the irresistible impulse to see her blush even more.

  And she does. Her cheeks turn a deep shade of red, almost burgundy, as she attempts to look cool and collected.

  She also tries hard not to look down.

  "Are you a stripper?" I ask. "Because you're wearing way too much clothing for a stripper."

  "And you're not wearing enough," she says, her voice icy.

  "Well, it would be a shame to hide my best feature," I say, giving her my cocky grin. Women totally dig the grin. It gets me into – and out of – so much trouble.

  But this girl doesn't. She wrinkles her nose and looks at me like she just tasted something bad. "I'm sorry," she says.

  "About what?"

  "I'm sorry that's your best feature," she says, nodding pointedly downward at my cock. "How disappointing."

  Then she turns around and starts to walk away.

  Someone tosses me a beach towel, and I wrap it around my waist, suddenly conscious of the fact that I'm buck naked and Hot Librarian doesn't seem that impressed. What the hell is her deal?

  "I get it," I say, falling into step beside her on the lawn. "You're into women."

  She stops short. "I see," she says, looking at me accusingly.

  "You see what?"

  "That you're an arrogant ass who thinks that any girl who doesn't drop her panties at the sight of your dick must be a lesbian."

  "At the sight of my enormous dick," I correct her.

  She exhales heavily. "You know what? No amount of money is worth this."

  Then she turns to walk away.

  And fuck me, I follow her. There are twenty girls by the pool in various states of undress who would be perfectly happy to wrap their lips around my cock right now, and instead, I'm chasing after this uptight, high-strung, no-sense-of-humor priss.

  Something's wrong with that, that's for damn sure.

  "Someone's paying you?" I call out. "So you are a stripper?"

  She stops short, turning to look at me. "I am not a stripper," she says, each word punctuated sharply. "I'm your tutor."

  3

  Cassie

  "Say what?" The dumb jock with the enormous cock – his words, not mine, but hell if I wasn't thinking the same thing – stares at me with a confused expression on his face.

  "I'm your tutor, you idiot," I repeat. "You were supposed to meet me at the athletic center an hour ago."

  "You're a tutor?" he asks.

  "Yes," I say. "You remember those things that you go to in college, where you show up and learn things and take tests? They're called classes," I enlighten him. "They're the things that happen in between sliding off the roof and drinking beer. I’m supposed to help you not fail them."

  "You sure as shit don't look like a tutor," he says, his eyes trailing up the length of me for about the tenth time. He makes no attempt to hide the fact that he's checking me out, and I can feel the heat rise to my cheeks again. My face must be totally red, which is completely embarrassing when you're trying to appear unruffled.

  Like it's every day that a hot guy steps out of a pool and stands right in front of me, totally naked. With droplets of water running over his muscled arms, and across his pecs, down his chiseled abs…

  Snap out of it, Cass. What the hell is wrong with you?

  I force the image of his naked body out of my head. Especially the image of the lower half of him. Yeah, I snuck a peek at the goods. I mean, he was putting it right out on display.

  Focus.

  "What's a tutor supposed to look like?" I ask.

 
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