Home > The Chase (Briar U #1)(9)

The Chase (Briar U #1)(9)
Author: Elle Kennedy

It was hot. He was a fabulous kisser and hard as a rock as he ground up against me. I can’t say I regret it, because I really did enjoy it at the time.

But at the time, I also hadn’t anticipated I’d end up living with the guy.

Dean arranged everything without consulting me first, though in all honesty there’s no scenario in which I wouldn’t have jumped at the chance to move into Dean’s old house. Not only is it a million times better than the dorms, but finding anything else in Hastings would be insanely tough. Maybe a tiny basement apartment, but even those get snatched up fast. Available housing is hard to come by in a town this small.

The only downside is that I now have to live with the guy I kissed.

And the guy who, at one point, I’d desperately wanted to kiss.

And Hollis, but he’s harmless because I haven’t kissed him nor have I ever wanted to.

Brenna looks over. “Did y’all—”

“Y’all?” I tease.

She grins. “My mother was from Georgia. ‘Y’all’ is the only piece of the South I inherited from her.”

“Was?”

The mood sobers slightly. “She passed away when I was seven.”

“I’m sorry. That must have been rough.” My life would literally be in shambles if I didn’t have my mom. She’s my rock.

“It was.” Brenna quickly switches the topic back. “Anyway. Did y’all know you’d be living together before New Year’s?”

“No way. I wouldn’t have done anything—with either one of them—if I’d known. That’s setting myself up for a whole lot of awkward. It’s already going to be an adjustment living with three boys after spending two and a half years in a sorority house full of girls.”

“Okay, but obviously the boys don’t think it’s awkward, otherwise they wouldn’t have agreed to let you move in. They all agreed to it, right?”

“Right.” Although, I’d actually only spoken to Mike Hollis, and exchanged a few texts with Hunter, who, blessedly, didn’t bring up our make-out session. “I’ve been in contact with two of them. No contact with Fitz, though.”

From the corner of my eye, I see Brenna’s head whip in my direction. “Did you say Fitz?”

Uh-oh.

Panic tugs at my stomach. Does she know him? I guess it’s not inconceivable that she might. Fitz isn’t exactly the most common of nicknames.

Luckily, I’m presented with the perfect opportunity to change the subject, because we’ve just reached Hastings’ idyllic Main Street.

“I can’t get over how cute this town is,” I chirp, avoiding Brenna’s gaze by focusing on the shops and restaurants lining the street. “Oh, cool! I didn’t know there was a movie theater.” It’s a lie. Of course I knew. It took me all of five minutes to explore Hastings and its “attractions.”

“It doesn’t offer a great selection. Only three screens.” She points to a storefront just past the town square. “I’m meeting my friends at Della’s Diner. It’s right up there.”

I haven’t been to Della’s yet, but I plan to. Apparently, it’s a ’50s-themed place where the waitresses wear old-fashioned uniforms. I heard they serve a gazillion different kinds of pie.

“The guy who was trash-talking you—his name is Fitz?”

Dammit. I was hoping I’d succeeded in distracting her. But she’s back on the scent.

“Yes,” I admit. “It’s a nickname, though.”

“Short for Fitzgerald? First name Colin?”

Shit.

I narrow my eyes at her. “You’re not an ex of his or something, are you?”

“No. But we’re friends. Well, friendly. Fitzy’s a hard guy to be friends with.”

“Why’s that?”

“Mysterious, the strong, silent type, et cetera et cetera.” She pauses for a beat. “He’s also not someone I could ever see talking trash about a girl. Or anyone, for that matter.”

My jaw tightens. “I’m not making it up, if that’s what you’re implying.”

“Didn’t think you were,” she says lightly. “I can spot a liar from a mile away, and you sound genuinely beat up about this. I don’t think you would’ve made out with the other one if—oh man, is Davenport the other one? Hunter Davenport, right? He’s the one you hooked up with?”

I’ve never felt more uncomfortable in my life. I grit my teeth as I pull up in front of the diner, stopping at the curb without killing the engine. “Here we are.”

Brenna completely ignores the fact that we’ve arrived. It’s like she’s talking to herself. “Yeah, of course it was Hunter. I can’t see you hooking up with Hollis—he’s so annoying. He’d probably be whispering the douchiest things the whole time.”

I sigh. “So you know Hunter and Hollis too?”

She rolls her eyes. “I know all of them. My dad’s Chad Jensen.”

I blank on the name. “Who?”

“The head coach of the men’s hockey team? I’m Brenna Jensen.”

“Coach Jensen is your father?”

“Yup. He’s—” Her jaw opens in outrage. “Wait a minute—did you say they were skiing this week? Those assholes! They’re not allowed to be doing that in the middle of the season. My dad will kill them if he finds out.”

Dammit, that’s totally on me. I hadn’t expected Brenna to know who I was talking about when I mentioned the ski trip.

“He’s not going to find out,” I say firmly. “Because you’re not going to say anything.”

“I won’t,” she assures me, but her tone is absentminded. She’s busy staring at me again, this time in complete bewilderment. “I don’t get it. How on earth did a sorority girl from Brown end up moving in with three hockey players? Who, by the way, are eligible bachelors with a capital B. Every puck bunny in a fifty-mile radius is in serious pursuit of a Briar hockey player, ‘cause so many of them end up in the NHL.”

“They’re friends with my older brother. He played hockey here last year.”

“Who’s your brother?” she demands.

“Dean Heyward-Di Lau—”

“Laurentis,” she finishes with a gasp. “Oh my God, I totally see the resemblance now. You’re Dean’s sister.”

I nod uneasily. I hope to hell she’s not one of Dean’s former hook-ups. He was a major player before he fell for Allie. I don’t even want to know how many broken hearts he left in his manwhore wake.

Brenna blanches as if she’s read my mind. “Oh, no. Don’t worry. I never went out with him. I didn’t even go to Briar before this year.”

“You didn’t?”

“No. I did two years of community college in New Hampshire,” she explains. “Transferred here in September. I’m a junior, but technically a freshman since it’s my first year.” She suddenly jerks in her seat as if her purse just bit her. “Hold on. Phone’s vibrating.”

I wait impatiently as she checks her phone. I need more details from this chick—ASAP. What are the chances that of all the random strangers I could’ve offered a ride to, I picked the daughter of Fitzy’s hockey coach? And this might be her first year at Briar, but clearly she knows a lot about her father’s players, including my brother, who she hasn’t even met.

Brenna types out a quick text. “Sorry. My friends are demanding to know where I am. I should get going.”

I glare at her. “Are you for real? You can’t just drop the coach’s-daughter bomb on me and then leave. I want every last bit of information you have on these guys.”

She grins. “Well, duh. Clearly we need to hang out again. I’d invite you to have lunch with us right now, but I’m not an enabler.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“It means you need to go home and face your roommates. Get the big awkward confrontation out of the way.” She plucks my phone out of its dashboard stand. “I’m texting myself from your phone so you have my number. Come to the game with me tomorrow night?”

“Game?”

“Briar’s playing Harvard. My dad expects me to be at all the home games and any away games that are within an hour’s drive of campus.”

“Seriously? What if you have other plans?”

“Then he cuts off my allowance.”

“Are you—”

“Fucking with you? Yes.” She shrugs. “If I’m busy, I don’t go. If I’m not busy, I go. He doesn’t ask much of me, and I love hockey and cute boys, so it’s not exactly a hardship on my part.”

“Good point.”

Her phone buzzes again—this time from the text she’s just sent from mine. “There. We’re in each other’s phones. We’ll start planning the wedding next week.”

I snicker.

“Thanks for the lift.” She hops out of the car and starts to close the door, but then abruptly pokes her head back in. “Hey, whose jersey should I wear tomorrow night? Fitzy’s or Davenport’s?” She blinks innocently.

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