Major Renovations (Ritter University #1)

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Authors: Vanessa M. Knight
Ski, the thought of food whirring in her mind, and her mouth watered some more, the gnawing in her stomach growing.
    “I’m starving. Don’t make me eat alone.” He took another swallow of beer.
    Another growl. Louder. More demanding. How embarrassing.
    “I’ll take that as yes.”
    Oh, why not. “Sure.” She tipped the bottle back and downed the last drop of liquid glory. Amazing how delicious water tasted when you were desperate. She capped the bottle and placed it in Ski’s outstretched hand.
    “Got it, boss.” He turned and walked back around the house.
    Samantha pushed her bangs out of her eyes and grabbed her tools. She still had one more light fixture, but she’d deal with that in the morning. It could all wait till the morning. Twenty more minutes and she was going to have a nice homemade meal with a gorgeous man. Things were definitely looking up.

    Chapter Eleven
    SKI FLIPPED a burger on the grill and took another sip of beer. Dinner at nine at night— hell, half past nine. Not something he usually did. Not good for the body. Not good for training. And with football and wrestling, he was always in training.
    Heaven forbid he didn’t make weight. He had to stay between one eighty-four and one ninety-six. Otherwise, he’d have to wrestle in a different weight class and his coach would have a shit-fit. And when coach was pissed, the whole world knew about it. Shit rolled downhill, and the wrestling team was at the bottom of that brown-sloped stank-pile.
    Not that he’d complain tonight. His stomach needed real food. The small bag of corn chips he inhaled while playing Xbox wasn’t enough for anyone. He was hungry. He had two burgers searing on the grill, one for him and one for Samantha. A burger and a babe. Not a bad way to end the day.
    He’d gotten so involved in the video game, blowing shit up, shooting his friends. He loved playing online. Even though he was on campus alone, he could play with his brothers where ever they happened to be. And somewhere around eight, Ryan had joined the fun.
    Too bad the frat brother was such a dick.
    Ski had tried to be nice— at first— but then he knifed Ryan in the back over and over again. And he’d enjoyed every single time. Bastard. That’s what Ry got for asking about Samantha again.
    Well, asking about im plied an innocent concern for her well-being. Actually, he didn’t ask about Samantha, he asked if Ski had given her his pie and if she’d… um, reciprocated. His language wasn’t as G-rated, however. Justifiable kill streak right there. Little did Ryan know that Ski gave the pie to Samantha’s dad. He would have loved that shit.
    Ski flipped the burger, flames shooting around the meat when grease hit the fire. Figuring he could leave them unattended for a minute, he set down his beer and went in the back door to the kitchen. He grabbed the bag of buns, and checked the refrigerator for condiments. Ketchup, pickles, mayo, relish, jalapeños. He left them all out on the counter— she could pick what she wanted on her burger. She definitely needed something to eat. Between the gurgling stomach and the hollow eyes, she was a walking, talking zombie, complete with gray skin. The poor girl needed food and a long-ass nap.
    He could use a few hours’ sleep himself. It had been a long day, full of ups and downs. Although he could barely remember any of the downs. The best up was when Samantha apologized. He’d needed that. He hated to admit how much.
    The whole thing surprised him. After a week of silent treatment and overall detachment, he’d figured she hated him. He didn’t see any other option. But tonight, between the apology and the questions about Mandy, there was interest. Whether she’d admit it or not. There was. He couldn’t help but smile as he grabbed a pickle slice from the jar and stuck it in his mouth.
    Why the hell did it matter so much?
    And it did. Dammit. It mattered. She mattered. Even though he’d spent the

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