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Jock Road (Jock Hard #3)
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EAT. SLEEP. FOOTBALL.
Those are Jackson Jennings, Jr’s three mantras . His entire life, he’s been a trained athlete with only one end-game: the Pro’s. No girls. No parties. No alcohol.
EAT. SLEEP. FOOTBALL.
Every Friday night, Triple J cruises the strip on campus, bored, lonely and conditioned not to party. But the night he meets Charlotte Edmonds on the side of the road, he wonders if his three mantras will ever be enough.
BIG. DUMB. JOCK.
Charlie has no time for Jackson’s antics. Not when he’s stealing her food or teases her to no end, making her tingle in all the right places. But if she’s ever going to have a boyfriend, she’d choose one who isn’t a Neanderthal. One with manners and actual time to spend with her. Not a hulking man-child who cruises the strip at night, in his Big. Dumb. Truck.
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What the actual fu…
The light behind me is so bright I squint, reaching to adjust my rear-view mirror. I turn it this way and that, working it so the headlights blasting my retinas are shining back at the driver, probably blinding them now, too.
Good. Serves them right.
I slow my car to five under the speed limit, conscious of the fact that campus security and police presence have increased since a student was assaulted by a driver of an unmarked cab first semester. More than assaulted—she ended up in the hospital.
I visibly cringe at the thought, tightening my grip on the wheel.
A car passes slowly on my left. Another pulls out in front of me, causing me to jam my foot on the brake. Ten under the speed limit, my fingers drum the steering wheel. Reach to spin the volume dial to the right, just a bit louder—this song is one of my favorites.
My thoughts stray and land on a conversation I had earlier with my friend Claire about how she’s breaking up with her boyfriend Donnie—Donnie the Douche, as we’ve started calling him behind her back, mostly because the alliteration is fun. A running back on the university’s team, Donnie cannot keep his dick in his pants—or in one girl’s vagina, specifically Claire’s.
She used to forgive him every time and take him back. She’d forgive him for every indiscretion, probably because she’s somewhat a jock chaser and Donnie was headed for the NFL—until he tore his UCL throwing a reverse pass, taking him out for the rest of the season and killing his career.
Poor Claire; she wanted to be a WAG so damn bad.
Now? No way is she willing to tolerate any of his bullshit, not with him forced to finish his business degree and take a job at his uncle’s car dealership.
Football was the only thing the kid had going for him; conversations with him are mind-numbing and decreased my IQ tenfold. Just plain dumb.
I hate to call him a dumb jock, but…
Donnie is a dumb jock.
A small rock hits my windshield, knocking me out of my stupor—I realize I’ve been crawling along this road at barely the legal minimum and totally sober on a Friday night. I sigh when the car ahead of me stops at the light, the glare from their cell phone visible from here.
The driver is checking their damn messages.
Huffing, I glance in my mirror.
There is a truck behind me, easing up so close a body probably wouldn’t fit between the two vehicles.
I inch forward a bit.
The truck inches forward.
“What the hell, dude—back off,” I mutter out loud, irritated.
No—irritated is an understatement.
The annoyance grows when the car in front of me stays put, despite the fact that it’s their turn to go at the four-way stop sign.
Hang a right. Hang a left. Go straight. Something!
“Move!” I shout, smacking the middle of my steering wheel with the palm of my hand. “Oh my god.”
Lights blind me and I blink, seeing stars.
“What the hell, man!”
I hate trucks sometimes—they think they own the road. In the winter, it seems to be worse. Newsflash: just because you’re heads above the rest of us peons who drive cars does not mean you rule the streets. It doesn’t mean you get to be an asshole and blaze past everyone trying to get to their destination in one piece. Especially in the snow.
And this jerk behind me? If he was riding my ass any closer, he’d be up my butthole.
I bite down on my bottom lip.
It seems like…
I take my foot off the brake, moving a foot. Then another.
The truck mimics my movements.
The car ahead of me finally lifts their foot off the brake and inches forward as the glaring set of lights flash behind me.
“Knock it off!” I loudly complain to no one.
Seriously. Knock it off.
But they don’t. The driver of the truck flashes their lights again—this time it’s their brights.
“I swear, if you do that shit one more time…” I threaten, more to myself because I’m becoming irrationally angry.
They do that shit one more time.
This is where the rubber meets the metaphorical road, and I have a choice: I can either calm down and keep going—or I can yank my car into park, get out, and give that reckless ass a piece of my mind.
Always a bit late to the party, my common sense rears its responsible head, and I do nothing but white-knuckle the steering wheel, my pale pink nails filed short, the glitter in my polish catching a bit of light and twinkling.
I admire it despite my ire.
Get a grip, Charlie. Now is not the time. There is a psychopath riding your tail. This never ends well in the movies.
If this were a horror flick, I would put my car in park and make the fatal mistake of exiting my vehicle. I’d stalk over to the truck, probably wouldn’t be able to see the driver because I bet the window tint is opaque. Then I’d get too close, the door would open, and the driver would get out with his chainsaw. Force me to retreat into a nearby alleyway or cornfield. I’d run and run and run until I’m too far from civilization or any hope of help. Then the psycho—probably in a mask—would follow me, hacking everything in his path to pieces.