By: Tijan

The irritation faded, and his eyes crinkled up, along with the right corner of his mouth. “I figured with the whole hitting thing.” He paused a moment. “You’re leaving?”

I nodded. “I don’t know anyone here.”

He looked behind me. “Didn’t you come up from the basement? You don’t know anyone down there?”

“I got lost,” I said quickly. A blush was working its way up my neck. “Are you in this fraternity?”

His mouth pressed together. “Unfortunately. Why?”

Kevin loved being an Alpha Mu brother. He’d been so proud when he announced his pledge was accepted. His father was an Alpha Mu, too. Why this guy didn’t seem happy about it was lost on me. Kevin had only talked about how supportive the Alpha Mu family was of its brothers and the strength of their national network.

“I was wondering if you knew where the door was.”

He seemed to relax. His shoulders lowered a bit and that snake moved again as his bicep bulged out, then flattened. He gestured behind me.

“Take the first right and follow it through. It’ll take you out the side door. You’ll want to avoid the living room. The guys are trying to get girls to play naked beer pong, and—” His eyes moved down and back. “—no offense, but you’re an easy target.”

I was what? I drew to my full height and prepared a scathing remark…and he turned to leave. He took two steps and the group behind him had swallowed him up. He was gone.


I slipped out the side door, begrudgingly grateful to the asshole because no one was there. As I walked past the living room from the outside, a loud cheer spilled out, just as he’d warned me.

“We got some boobies!” That was met with more cheering, more laughter.

I was on the sidewalk when I heard another shout. “She’s in there! She’s with Matthews.”

I picked up my pace and stepped away from the house. I could see a guy being pushed back from the front door when I rounded the corner. Two guys held his arms as they moved him down the steps, toward the sidewalk.

I stopped underneath a tree where they couldn’t see me. Matthews? Was he talking about Kevin?

The door behind them opened, and one yelled over his shoulder, “Get Caden. This is his brother.”

Whoever was coming out turned around and went back in without shutting the door.

“And shut that damn door!”

The door closed with a bang.

“No.” The guy they were pushing away from the house put on the brakes and twisted to evade their holds. “I’m going in there to get my girlfriend! I don’t care what my brother says.”

“Don’t, Marcus.” The first guy got in front of him.

Marcus puffed up. His nostrils flared. “Don’t tell me don’t. She’s my girl, and Matthews is a piece of shit.”

I shifted closer to the tree so I could hear better.

“Yeah. Maybe.”

“No maybe. Look, let me go in the side door. No one will see me. My brother doesn’t have to know. I’ll go in, find Maggie, and we’ll leave. I promise. No fighting. I swear.”

The first guy snorted, folding his massive arms over his equally massive chest. His legs stood apart in a bouncer’s stance, like he was ready to go against an angry crowd. He shook his head slowly. “We can’t do that, and you know it.”

“Your brother is probably coming out here anyways,” Silent Muscle added, speaking for the first time.

Marcus gave a frustrated growl, and his hands clenched into fists for a moment. The fraternity guys held their ground. I had a feeling this wasn’t their first time keeping an angry boyfriend outside.

The door opened, and a familiar voice said, “What is going on out here?”

The two fraternity brothers moved aside, letting the newcomer step forward. As he came into the light I could see it was the asshole, snake tattoo guy who “helped” me inside.

“Caden.” Marcus stepped toward him. “Let me go in and get Maggie. That’s all I want.”

“Right.” Caden/Asshole grunted. “Because you’re not going to beat the shit out of him at all.”

“Kevin’s a piece of shit, but I wouldn’t.”