FRANCES (FRANKI) CRAWFORD
“That’s not going to work for me.”
The head of the campus tutoring center gave me a look that said, in no uncertain terms, that he couldn’t give a shit about what did or did not work for me.
And that’s when I knew I had a problem.
I looked at the slip of paper he’d given me, my first assignment as a tutor, and found the guy I’d be helping drag his ass through statistics class was none other than State football star Garrett Stevens, someone I’d not known until last week.
If you wanted to be technical, I still didn’t really know him.
Although I’d slept with him.
Yup, after having a rough couple days that included premenstrual horniness, needing rebound sex to forget the douchebag I’d dated over the summer, and feeling generally pissed off at the world, I indulged in one of those sleazy rite of passage one-night stands that college is famous for.
That’s all it was. Seriously.
“Um, Max if you could match me up with another student, I’d really appreciate it,” I said, doing my best to sound breezy and casual while boob sweat collected in my bra.
He studied me, trying to read between the lines. Finally, he sighed. “Franki, you signed up to work here two weeks into the semester. That’s about three weeks later than everybody else. You don’t get your pick of students to work with. Sorry.”
He clicked his computer keyboard one more time and looked at me with a forced smile that indicated it was time for me to get the hell out of his office.
I was getting desperate, and because of that, wasn’t above begging. Or flattering.
“I know you’re super busy, Max, and I hate to keep you from your work, especially at the beginning of a semester. But this is kind of important.”
That should drag some empathy out of his tired, overworked ass.
Who knew a campus tutoring center would be such a hubbub of activity? I supposed if you used tutoring services, you’d know that well. But since I was a pretty good student who managed to muddle my way through even the worst of the classes that made up my freshman year, and who’d never needed a tutor, it was all new to me.
Also new to me this year was taking on a job to pay for school. Mom and Dad were flat out of money, leaving me to scramble for student loans and part-time work. Tutoring was one of the best-paying jobs on campus, and the director let me know that by working with student athletes, I’d actually get paid a little extra.
I couldn’t say no to that. Next semester’s tuition bill was coming like a freight train, and the financial assistance my parents had offered my older brother and sister for their schooling, dried up just in time for me to hit my freshman year. Now that I’d entered my sophomore year, their situation wasn’t getting any better. I was pretty much on my own.
Yeah, my fortunate siblings had gotten fully-paid rides to private universities. Me, not so much. By the time my turn came, Dad was ready to retire. My parents had spent almost their last cent on my brother and sister, so it was decided I would attend State, which was loads cheaper.
I wasn’t bitter. Really.
Even when faced with having to tutor a burly football player who I just happened to have gotten down and dirty with not one week earlier.
I’d thought I was so smart. Figured I’d never see him again. After all, State was one of those universities bigger than some towns. You could get lost, stay anonymous, keep your head down, and hardly ever see the same person twice.
How was it then that I was now faced with having to tutor the one guy on campus I’d fucked in a moment of sexy weakness?
Thinking I was clever, I’d left my panties behind, hanging on his bedroom doorknob. Show him how the cool girls do it. Give him something to think about because he was never going to see my ass again. I lied about my major, which dorm I lived in, where I came from, you name it. I hadn’t even given him my real name, instead pretending to be a Susan. Seemed sufficiently bland enough to be forgettable.
I hadn’t lied about the orgasms, though. They were quite something. And god knew I needed them.
Not that he asked for it, but I wouldn’t have given him my contact info, anyway. Like he would have ever called me. Guys like him were famous for ghosting. So I beat him to the punch. Used him before he could use me, and all that.
And at the time, I’d felt pretty good about it.
Now, not so much.
Max sighed when he looked up from his computer monitor to see I was still sitting there. “Franki, you are right. I am busy,” he said impatiently.
“Max, I… I don’t think I can work with Garrett Stevens.”
He frowned. “Why? Is he an ex or something?”
Should I tell Max I’d fucked the guy and really didn’t want to have to make nice with him and that, oh by the way, I couldn’t stand jocks, anyway? That they were creeps with little or no interest in academics, who also had jumped my brother in high school and pummeled the shit out of him?
I could hold a grudge. I wasn’t proud of it.
“No. He’s not an ex,” I said, keeping my drama to myself.
Satisfaction settled on his face. “Great. Then you will be tutoring three students on the subject of statistics.” He wrinkled his nose. “God, I always hated stats. Too bad I didn’t have someone like you to help me out back in the day. I’m sure I would have been motivated to study my ass off.”
Looking me up and down, he gave me a giant, smarmy grin and waited for me to thank him for his cheesy compliment.
I stood to leave, holding my backpack in front of me to limit his hungry gaze. “I guess some people just aren’t smart enough for stats.”
Ooh. Did I really just say that?
His smile faded. “Well, it’s not that—”
But I didn’t hear the rest of what he had to say.
I’d gotten the work I needed to make it through the semester and pay for at least part of the next. I was out of there.
I’d tutor Garrett Stevens, even if all I could think about the whole time was how talented his tongue was…
“Whattup, Frank?” my BFF Daniel said, answering my call before the first ring had even finished.
I took a seat on the front steps of the student union, Daniel’s voice nearly drowned out by the buzz of giggly undergrads, beleaguered professors, creaky university shuttle buses, and rumbling food trucks.
“Hey. I got a job tutoring stats,” I told him.
“Wow, look at the big brain on my girl,” he screeched.
God, I missed him. We’d had a fun summer, and I’d almost cried when I left for school and he stayed behind.
Said college just wasn’t his thing. Driving for Uber was about as far as his ambition went.
“Big brain, you’re so funny. But get this. My first student is that guy I had the one-nighter with last week. Doesn’t it just figure?”
A couple heads snapped in my direction at the mention of ‘one-nighter.’
“That’s what happens when you’re a ho,” Daniel said gleefully. “I hope he at least had a good-sized dick, honey.”
In the background, I heard a turn signal click-click-click and realized he was driving.
“Dan, you don’t have anyone in the car with you, do you? You know, a passenger who might be listening to you talking about big dicks.”
Discretion was not one of his strengths.
He cackled. “I most certainly do, Frances Mary Crawford. Just so happens I have a couple ladies I’m taking to their card game at the senior center. Everything good back there, girls?” he called.
I didn’t hear them respond.
“Okay, Dan, I’m gonna run. But you might try to keep your conversations rated G, at least when you have passengers.”
“Oh, honey, everyone likes the booty. Don’t be ashamed. You did nothing wrong.”
Easy for him to say. He was a walking one-night stand.
Besides, if I had nothing to be embarrassed about, why was I dreading facing Garrett Stevens?