Two roommates. One calculus exam. A whole lot of extracurricular activity.
Living with four other guys, it’s bound to happen.
Every guy’s been caught taking care of business at least once, right?
It shouldn’t be a big deal.
But I don’t know Eric as well as my other roommates, and things are a little awkward now.
He’s a loner. A mystery. Quietly confident. Smart.
Sexy as hell.
I’ve been happily subsisting on the typical frat guy diet of booze and sorority girls.
But the way Eric looked at me that night?
There was something there.
Something that’s got me curious.
Something that’s stirring up feelings I thought I’d left behind for good.
Something that’s making me think I’m not as straight as I thought I was.
I can’t get him off of my mind.
I don’t think I want to.
So when he offers to help me study for a midterm I’m convinced I’m going to fail,
I take him up on it.
There’s no way I could’ve known what it’d start…
This is a super steamy standalone new adult/college mm romance with HEA that unfolds across six “episodes” following Nate and Eric. Now bundled up in one collection with a bonus episode for a seamless reading experience. 87,000 words.
Just act normal, I told myself as I walked into the kitchen the next morning. With four other roommates, the small, brightly lit space was usually a zoo in the a.m., all of us scrambling around each other dumping cereal into bowls, frying eggs, or toasting Pop-Tarts. None of us were gourmands except Jesse, and he grumbled as my elbow knocked his when I passed by the stove where he was making some kind of omelet that smelled delicious. Not that he’d be sharing it with any of us, the greedy bastard.
My stomach growled as I headed toward the fridge. After a quick glance around, for a second I thought I was home free. Until I spotted him tucked in the dining nook, dark slashes of hair hiding his face where he sat at the table bent over a textbook. He had his arm curled around it protectively, a pen tapping restlessly against the top of the page. Eric. Shit.
As if he knew I’d stuttered to a stop upon spotting him, he glanced up, met my eyes, and lifted a brow. “’Sup?”
I upnodded him and wrenched open the fridge, burying my face inside it as my cheeks flamed.
It was a perfectly typical greeting between us, and I reminded myself of that as I pulled a carton of milk from the fridge and sniffed it before setting it on the counter and rummaging through the cabinet for some cereal. Any cereal. I didn’t care at that point. I was distracted thinking that Eric was watching me, but when I glanced over my shoulder to check, his attention was drilled into his textbook.
Ansel wandered in next, lanky body drenched with sweat from track practice.
“You’re stinking up the kitchen,” Jesse said.
“I literally just walked in. You must be smelling your face.”
Jesse flicked a bit of egg at him, which Ansel picked up from the floor and popped in his mouth while I dumped cereal into my bowl. My other roommate, Mark, grabbed the cereal box from me and stuffed his hand inside, coming out with a handful of Cheerios he tipped into his mouth.
“Caveman,” I accused, and he grinned.
I hopped up on the counter to eat and tried not to look over at Eric again. I’d already established that he wasn’t giving me weird looks, so I told myself to relax.
“Which pledge should we get to DD for the mixer Thursday?” Mark asked, leaning up against the island across from me. I reached for the empty bowl in his hand and dropped it in the sink next to me, shaking my head.
“I can’t go. Huge calc midterm Friday, and I’m 90 percent sure I’m going to fail.”
Movement in the corner of my eye. Eric glanced up at me, then looked down again. My stomach flipped on itself, then sank. When my cock gave a twitch, I ground my teeth and set my cereal bowl in my lap. What the ever-loving fuck?
“Dude, come on. For an hour.” Mark was my fraternity brother, the only one in the house. Ansel was a friend of Mark’s from high school, and Jesse was my dorm roommate freshman year.
“Nope. I like my scholarship too much. You should get Braden to DD, though.”
“Funbuster.” Mark shot me a finger gun that I shrugged at; then he picked up his backpack off the counter and trotted toward the back door. Ansel disappeared, probably to shower, and Jesse was sliding his omelet onto a paper plate. Seeing the writing on the wall, I scarfed down my cereal. I didn’t want to be alone in the kitchen with Eric. It was a stupid, wimpy reaction, but it was what it was.
Jesse ducked out of the kitchen with his omelet just as I polished off the milk in my bowl. I hopped from the counter, gave the bowl a quick rinse, stuck it in the dishwasher, and was on the way to the door.
“Nate.” Eric’s deep baritone cut my stride in half. I liked the way he said my name, though—the way he said anything, really. Always had. He had a trace of an accent, having spent much of his childhood overseas. Or at least that’s what he’d told us. For sharing a house, I didn’t know him that well, but he’d responded to our ad on the U’s online forum, and he’d seemed all right enough when we first met him. He kept to himself, mostly.
“Yeah?” I said it before I committed fully to turning around, and even I could hear that I sounded kind of annoyed. I didn’t mean to, it was just—
“If you need some help with calc tonight, hit me up. I got an A in it last semester.”
He’d never offered me help before, and it wasn’t like he didn’t know I was taking the course. I bitched about it all the time.
I looked him over like his motivation would become clear. It didn’t. His expression was open and polite, generous mouth pitched in a half-curled smile that seemed genuine. That knot formed in my stomach again. What the fuck was wrong with me?
“I’m probably good. But thanks.”
“I’ll be around if you change your mind.”
I left, bounding up the stairs to grab my backpack. When I came back down, I went out the front door so I didn’t have to go through the kitchen again.
Neve Wilder lives in the southern US, where the summers are hot and the winters are…sometimes cold. She is a mom to three rambunctious weebeasts who have joined forces in a mission to carpet the family home with toys and small items that really suck to step on at six in the morning.
She reads promiscuously across multiple genres, but her favorite stories always contain an element of romance. Incidentally, this is also what she likes to write. Slow-burners with delicious tension? Yes. Whiplash-inducing page-turners, also yes. Down and dirty scorchers? Yes. And every flavor in between.
She believes David Bowie was the sexiest musician to ever live, and she’s always game to nerd out on anything from music to writing.
And finally, she believes that love conquers all. Except the heat index in July. Nothing can conquer that bastard.