If You Dare: Chapter 5

Before

Violet

“Now you’ll get to meet the hockey team.” Chloe loops her arm through mine, leading me to the Village, one of Diamond’s most popular dining halls. “Some of them, anyway.”

In the cafeteria, I’m hit with the mouthwatering aroma of tortellini. The room is brightly lit with stacks of colorful plates. Chloe leads the way along the pasta bar, and I grab everything she does, too exhausted and overwhelmed by my first week of classes to put any thought into what I want to eat.

The dining hall nearly takes my breath away. A towering ceiling with massive windows bordered by stone walls. Stately chandeliers hang down above dozens of long, mahogany tables filled with students and faculty, everyone buzzing. This entire week, I’ve been filled with a mix of nerves and excitement. This feeling of possibility like I’ve never had before. That maybe this is a new start for me.

Chloe leads the way to a table in the middle of the dining hall, and I instantly know where she’s guiding us. Three hulking hockey players who are nearly the same size as Wes dwarf their seats.

The Diamond University hockey team.

The Devils.

“They’re all very attractive,” she whispers to me like a warning. “But don’t bother getting your hopes up if you want a relationship. They have too many puck bunnies waiting in the wings to settle down with one girl. Except for Luke, he’s sweet. But I’ve already called dibs.”

“How do you know all of them?”

“I’ve been to Wes’s games. Under the guise of being a supportive sister, but really, I’m there to check out the rest of the players.” She stops at the end of the table, beaming. “Guys, this is my roommate, Violet.” They all turn to stare at me, and I want to melt. “Violet, this is Luke, Brody, and Trey.”

Chloe was right. They’re all attractive. Luke instantly reminds me of a golden retriever—dark blonde hair, square jaw, and a bright, friendly smile. His eyes light up when they land on Chloe, and I have a feeling Luke has called dibs on her too. Brody is more like an ornery cat with tousled brown hair, a Roman nose, and distrusting dark eyes. Trey stares at me like a hyena who just spotted a wounded gazelle. Chin in his hand, amusement in his green eyes, and a crooked smile that makes me feel like I’ve been dipped in oil.

“Tell me, Violet.” Trey’s singsong voice sends a shiver down my spine. “Have you been deflowered?”

Brody is the only one who laughs. Chloe rounds the table and smacks Trey just before a looming, solid figure steps up beside me.

My breath catches in my lungs.

Wes.

How is he always this beautiful? His water-blue eyes take us in, hair just as dark dry as it was wet, full lips neutral and giving nothing away.

“Your sister’s assaulting me,” Trey tells him.

“Maybe you should learn to keep your mouth shut and she wouldn’t have to.”

Trey scowls, but everyone else laughs.

Wes glances down at me, a smile on his face that makes my legs wobble. Not warm or friendly, exactly. Almost . . . possessive. Like he already knows he makes my limbs weak. “You joining us, Violet?”

God, the way he says my name . . . a crazy part of me wants to drop to my knees in worship. Do whatever I need to do to keep him saying my name over and over.

All I can do is nod and sit beside Chloe. When Wes takes the other seat beside me, my stomach twists. He’s so close, his knee nearly brushing mine under the table. I can barely swallow my food.

I’m quickly realizing that being Chloe’s roommate means spending a lot of time holding my breath around Wes Novak.


Wes

Violet’s into me, but by the way she gets tongue-tied and avoids eye contact, she has no clue the attraction’s mutual.

Something about her fascinates me. Every little movement, every time color rushes to her cheeks, every time she looks at me before quickly glancing away. She’s never been with a guy before, that much is obvious. The thought of being the first man to get her in bed, the first man to make her come, the first cock she has inside her, makes me hard.

Chloe gets the guys talking about hockey, and I smirk. She thinks she can keep me from Violet, but I’m not going to stop this girl if she offers herself up to me on a silver platter.

“So what’s your major?” I ask her.

She struggles to swallow before answering. “Um. English.”

“Cool. You want to be an English teacher?” I bet she’d be a popular teacher. At least among the male students. Especially if she starts wearing clothes that show off that tight little body instead of hiding it.

Her nose scrunches adorably. “No. Actually . . . I want to be a writer.” There’s that blush again.

“What do you write?”

“Um.” She bites her lip, pushing the pasta around on her plate like she’s searching for an answer.

“What? Do you write erotica or something?” When her eyes widen, my mouth falls open before I laugh. “Do you? I’ve gotta read it.”

She’s full-on cherry red now. “No! Just . . . romance.”

“Romance, huh?”

I wonder what kind of dudes she writes about falling in love with. Not guys like me, that’s for sure. Probably sweet, spineless princes who say whatever she wants to hear. Not the kind of guy who will wrap his belt around her throat and fuck her so hard, her nails tear into the mattress.

I lean toward her to whisper in her ear, staring down at her arms as my voice gives her goosebumps. “I still want to read it, even if I can’t get off to it.”

She coughs, rushing for a sip of her water. “Oh. Uh, well, I haven’t written a book yet, so I don’t have anything to really read anyway.”

“You should. I bet you’d be good at it.”

For the first time since I met her, she smiles at me. A bashful little smile that tells me I said the right thing. God, she’s already putty in my hands. I bet if I called her beautiful, she’d be begging for a spot in my bed tonight.

“Your turn to ask me a question,” I tell her.

“Um. How old are you?”

“Twenty. I’m a junior.”

“What’s your major?”

“Finance. I’m hoping for the NHL, but if that doesn’t pan out, I guess I’ll become one of those obnoxious finance bros.”

She giggles and fuck. The sound is fucking magical. Soft and delicate just like her. “In that case, I hope the NHL works out for you.”

She’s got a sense of humor. I like that. “That’s what my dad did. Now he’s retired and coaching, but I’d like a backup plan. Something to keep me busy when I’m forced into retirement at thirty.”

“That’s smart.”

Even though I barely know the girl, her validation sparks a flicker of pride in my chest. I shake it off. She doesn’t have to think I’m smart to want to fuck me. “I have my moments. I’m not the meathead jock you probably thought I was.”

What most girls think I am. The guy with the big muscles and the tiny brain who’s only good for fighting and fucking.

Violet shakes her head, eyes on her plate. “I didn’t think that.”

They shouldn’t, but her words make me smile.

Chloe stands, chair squealing. “You ready to head back to the dorm, Violet? We have a lot of gossiping to do. Did you see Trey’s hair?”

Trey shakes his head, but I chuckle. He’s an asshole who likes to give everyone shit but doesn’t know how to take it. I love watching my sister give it right back to him.

Even though Violet’s barely eaten half the food on her plate, she nods quickly and stands, eager to get away from me and the effect I have on her panties. God, I’d love to know how fucking wet she is for me.

“I’ll walk you back,” I tell them.

Chloe rolls her eyes. “It’s literally a five-minute walk and it’s not even dark.”

I point at Trey. “You think he’s the only creep on this campus?”

She glances down at Trey, who’s ignoring us now. “You’re right. You better come with us.”

On our way out of the dining hall, I hold the door open for them. Chloe knows exactly what I’m up to, but Violet flashes me a little smile and murmurs a thank you while I watch her ass shake as she passes me. What I wouldn’t give to grab it right now and squeeze.

Not yet. She’s the kind of girl who scares easy. Who will want to see the first kiss, the first ass-grab, the first fuck, coming.

Chloe nudges her. “What do you think, Violet? They’re cute, right? Wes, you should set us up with a couple of your teammates so we can go on a double date.”

My shoulders stiffen. She knows exactly what she’s doing. “Hell no. You stay away from those assholes.”

Trey is an asshole. But Luke is sweet. And that adorable Southern accent.” She presses a hand to her chest and swoons like a Southern belle. Jesus.

“You’re not allowed to date until you’re thirty.”

Chloe rolls her eyes. “What about Violet?”

Violet nearly stops breathing when my gaze lands on her. “No hockey players for her. She needs to meet a nice nerd in the library.”

She doesn’t like that answer. She fixes her gorgeous hazel eyes on the sidewalk ahead of us, clutching her arms over her chest. Good. Maybe that means she’s not looking to get fucked by a nice guy.

Chloe groans. “No fair, I want a hot nerd.”

That manages to pull a laugh out of Violet. Despite myself, the beautiful sound inflates something in my chest like a balloon.

When we reach their dorm, Chloe stands with her hand on the knob while I hover in the doorway. “Okay, we made it to our room in one piece. You can go now.”

“Wait.” I plant a hand on the door to stop her from closing it in my face. “These are the rules. One, you’re too young for parties.” Chloe rolls her eyes dramatically. “And two, you’re too young to drink.”

She sighs. “Oh my g—”

“But if you do,” I continue, “and you end up in a bad situation, you call me. Both of you.”

Violet smiles. The thought of any guy touching her while she’s drunk—touching her at all—makes my blood boil, even if it shouldn’t. Even if I should care less about a girl I just met. But there’s something about her. Something that’s already dug its claws in and won’t let go.

She has no idea what I’m capable of making her feel. What I’m capable of doing to her.

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