Home > Hating the Player (Campus Wallflowers #2)

Hating the Player (Campus Wallflowers #2)
Author: Rebecca Jenshak

 

 


BLURB

 

 

Gavin Leonard is the worst.

He lives in the best party house off campus at Valley U, overrun by jocks galore.

I live next door, watching Jane Austen adaptations with my sketchbook in hand.

He stays on his side of the fence.

I stay on mine.

Now we’re accidentally on a camping trip together, but there’s only one tent left.

 

Gavin Leonard is the worst.

And he’s the last guy who broke my heart.

 

 

“If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more.”

- Jane Austen

 

 

1

 

 

VIOLET

 

 

“You’re going camping?” Jane comes into my room as I’m throwing all the essentials into my backpack for an impromptu trip.

“You could sound a little less surprised. I’ve camped before.”

“Really?”

“Once. Kind of. We stayed in a camper. Just one night. I hated it.”

Jane laughs and tosses her platinum blonde hair over one shoulder.

“But that was years ago. Maybe I’ll be more in tune with nature in my old age. Plus, it will be nice to get away for the weekend.” My gaze drifts out my bedroom window to the house next door. Cars are already parked out front and the faint rhythmic beat of the bass pumps from the backyard. The telltale signs of the beginning of a party.

I live in an off-campus house with three friends: Jane, Dahlia, and Daisy. Our neighbors, basketball players on Valley U’s nationally ranked team, know how to throw a party. It’d be far less annoying if we didn’t have to deal with the constant noise, trash thrown into our yard, and cars blocking our driveway. And if he didn’t live there.

“It will be better than staying here all weekend by myself. Plus, Daisy asked, and since she and Jordan got back together, we haven’t spent as much time together.”

My roommate fights a smile. “I am so sorry I won’t be there to see it.”

“What are your plans while visiting your family?” I ask.

“It’s my parents’ twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. They’re having a little party at the house tomorrow night.” She shrugs one shoulder. “I’d rather watch you try to tackle nature.”

“Well, keep your phone on. I might need to phone a friend.”

Daisy bursts into my room with a smile splashed across her face in almost cartoon-fashion. “Who’s ready for a great weekend?”

“Yay!” I try for enthusiastic, but I’m a smidge nervous.

“It’s going to be fun,” she insists. “Did Dahlia already leave?”

“Yeah. She had to go meet the bus for her golf tournament, but she said to tell you to keep a close eye on that one.” Jane points at me.

“I will be fine.”

“Mhmmm.” Jane stands and hugs me, then Daisy. “All right. I have to go or I’m going to miss my flight. See you on Sunday! Hope you’re in one piece.”

“Ha, ha,” I call to her back.

When she’s gone, Daisy aims her excited grin right at me. “Are you ready for this?”

We’re the first to arrive at the campsite on top of Mount Loken. Jordan’s friends are on their way, but while we wait, we start to unload the SUV. I’m the only single person attending this little weekend getaway with Daisy and Jordan and two other couples, but I was promised my own tent, and I brought a book and some old magazines. I’m going to treat the next two days like a nature spa weekend. I’ll hike, read, sketch, maybe meditate. And if that fails, I have a portable charger for my phone and Jane’s Hulu login.

Honestly, though, it doesn’t look so bad. There are bathrooms and showers nearby, and a grill for cooking. I can totally do this.

“Jenkins is bringing his extra tent, so I’ll set that up when he gets here. Do you want to be next to us?” Jordan asks as he starts to put up his and Daisy’s tent.

“How about a tent or two away. I want to be able to drown the two of you out with headphones.”

Chuckling, he says, “You got it.”

“Perfect.” I still when Daisy grabs a stack of blankets. “Oh crap. Was I supposed to bring my own blankets and pillows?”

Daisy laughs softly.

“We can spare a blanket or two, and I’ll ask the guys if anyone has a pillow you can use,” Jordan says.

“Thank you.”

He smiles. “No problem.”

He gets back to work putting up their tent while Daisy and I unload everything else.

“You’re boyfriend’s not so bad.”

“He’s the best,” she sing-songs.

Jordan’s roommate and teammate, Liam, and his boyfriend, Cole, arrive next. As soon as we’ve all said our hellos, the next car comes into view.

I go back to unloading supplies, but seconds later, Daisy gasps beside me.

I swivel around and follow her gaze to Jenkins and his girlfriend, Taylor. I start to ask what the big deal is, but then I see him. Gavin.

He steps out of the car and scans the campsite. His sunglasses keep me from seeing his eyes, but I can tell the second he spots me. He stills and his jaw drops. I quickly look away.

“What the hell is he doing here?” I keep my voice low, but my heart hammers loudly in my chest. I can feel him still staring this direction.

“I don’t know,” she says, panic clear in her tone. “I promise. I had no idea he was coming. Jordan said he had a date or something.”

I came all the way up the mountain to get away from my neighbor, and here he is, invading my spa-nature-getaway. Freaking figures.

“Do you want to go? I can ask Jordan to take us back, or maybe Uber comes up here?”

I appreciate her concern, but I am not letting Gavin run me off. I was here first.

“It’s fine. I’ll just avoid him for the next forty-eight hours.”

How hard could that be?

 

 

I’m successful in my stay the hell away from Gavin plan for the first few hours. I hike with Jordan and Daisy, and he goes, well I don’t know, but somewhere that isn’t with us.

It’s later, when the sun is setting and we gather to make dinner and hang out, I find myself sitting across from him.

He has a bottle of Jager in hand and he’s barely said a word to anyone. I doubt hanging out with me was in his weekend plans either. The thought makes me feel slightly better.

Not to worry. It’s turning into couples’ island out here, and I am not about to sit around and watch them get handsy.

“We should play cards or something,” Liam says, looking around the circle.

That’s my cue.

“I think I’m gonna go to bed.” I fake a yawn.

I say goodnight, and Jordan tosses me his keys, so I can grab my backpack from his SUV. I breathe a sigh of relief as I walk away. I did it. I survived a day in nature (okay, fine, it’s only been a few hours) and I managed to avoid a confrontation with Gavin.

After I wash my face and change clothes in the campsite bathroom, I head back to my tent. There’s a small lantern hanging from the center of the tent that puts off enough light for me to see as I get situated. I pull my hair up into a messy bun, eye the blanket and pillow Jenkins must have dropped off for me, thank you very much, and am generally feeling like a badass when something rustles at the front of the tent.

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