Home > Dirty English (English #1)(6)

Dirty English (English #1)(6)
Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills

I pushed thoughts of her away and entered the large den which on a normal day would have a row of couches, end tables, and beer bottles, but now had a mass of bodies gyrating on a makeshift dance floor. Music blared, a strobe light ricocheted around the room, and red Solo cups littered the floor.

I wasn’t a member of this frat—I didn’t have time to get rat-arsed every night—but my twin brother, Dax, was the Tau President, so it was understood I was always invited.

Questions kept coming from partygoers as I crossed the room.

“Hey, Nadia isn’t with you?” one of the girls asked. That’s right. She’s a bloody slag and I’m done with her.

“Dude, what happened to your eye?” a guy called as I passed. I sent him a dark look. Seriously? You don’t know about the underground fighting? You must be new at Whitman.

I grabbed a bottle of water from the bar and twisted off the top to take a big drink.

“Dirty English is in the house! About fucking time,” Dax called out as he jumped down the staircase and landed on the bottom floor, a distance of about seven feet.

“Bugger me, you’re going to kill yourself doing that.”

He tossed his head back and let out a deep laugh. “Me? Dangerous? Look in the mirror, arsehole.”

I sighed, half annoyed, half glad to see him. Polar opposites, he was the happy-go-lucky one who partied while I was the serious one who dreamed of teaching mixed martial arts at my own gym and maybe getting a run at the UFC.

I peered into a face nearly identical to mine, except for the scruffy beard he had going on. His grin was lopsided.

“You’re snockered, brother,” I said.

He shrugged, ignoring me. “Where have you been? This party is off the chain, and I need my wingman.”

I grinned. “Whoa. You’re my wingman.”

His lips twitched. “Let’s try it out then. Pick a hottie and let’s see who she wants more? I’m up on you by three already.”

“You’re keeping score?”

When you have a twin, everything’s a competition.

Freshmen year, we’d pretended to be the other one for a week, even going so far as to wear long sleeves so no one saw my tattoos or Dax’s lack of. We’d switched up girls for the weekend too. Damn crazy. They’d dumped us when they discovered the truth. I didn’t blame them. But lately those days seemed like a distant memory. At twenty-one, I was close to graduation and about to be out on my own while he’d still be here trying to finish his degree.

Dax ruffled his hair back and checked his breath by holding his hand up and blowing. He rolled his neck. “Alright, the next pretty bird that walks through that door is up for grabs. The first one to get a kiss wins.”

“Stakes?” I asked.

“The usual.”

I smirked. “It’s your dollar.”

His eyes gleamed. “It’s not about the money, brother.”

I laughed. Dax had a way about him that always made you grin even when your ship was sinking fast.

Just then, I heard the front door open and saw Blake, one of the frat brothers, shooting out of his seat like he’d been shot in the arse by an arrow. Lorna, who’d been sitting in his lap, fell to the floor in a heap. I leaned down to help her up. Blake was a bit of a mystery to me, but Lorna was a popular girl and most guys knew her, me included.

“Ouch, love. You good?”

She dusted herself off, annoyance on her face as she took in the girls who’d entered the house. “Thanks. God, Blake is such a freak when it comes to her. I thought he was going to be with me tonight, but then he tells me she’s coming. I just don’t get it. She’s not even that pretty. She’s weird and slutty.” She crossed her arms and glared. “He sees her across the quad and practically runs to her.”

A bit more than I wanted to know, but I smiled to soften the blow of her being rejected.

I turned to see why the room had gone quiet.

Or maybe it just seemed that way to me.

She sauntered straight in the room like she belonged there, yet the bravado was fake—I could tell by the fluttering eyelashes and the way she clutched her purse like a lifeline.

I recognized her right away although I don’t think she’d ever looked at me twice in our years at Whitman. Which was surprising. This was a fairly small, albeit prestigious, uni, and I’m used to girls flirting with me in the hallways and classrooms. After all, it’s hard to miss the guy with the English accent who was voted Whitman’s Sexiest Man on Campus by the sororities. But this girl, she lived in a bubble, and seeing her out at a frat party was like spotting a unicorn.

Her name was Elizabeth Bennett, and the only reason I knew that much was because we’d had a class together last year and the professor had called roll.

It was a memorable name.

I remembered turning to check out the girl with a heroine’s name, but she’d bent her head over a textbook already. She’d sat in the back of the class all semester and never once spoken to me—or to anyone. Most people said she was stuck-up. Some guys even claimed she’d shagged them in her room and then had never spoken to them again.

I didn’t get it. Or her. But I’d admit to a certain fascination.

She was beautiful in a chilly don’t-touch-me kind of way with white-blond hair pulled up in a high ponytail. Dark eyebrows rose up dramatically and accentuated almond-shaped eyes, making the pale blue pop from clear across the room. Her lips were painted a deep red, and a sprinkling of freckles dotted her nose—decidedly, the only sweet thing about her.

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