Jock Royal Page 1

Author: Sara Ney

Series: Jock Hard #4

Genres: Romance , New Adult



Being the new girl is never easy—even when you’re twenty-one and in college, in the final year of school. Months from earning a degree but having it all snatched away when your university cuts funding for your sport.

And therefore your scholarship.

So, I did what any self-respecting young woman would do: packed up my bags and moved from the south to the Midwest, all to attend a university that could—and did—offer me the financial aid that would keep me on the road to earning my degree.


But still—every bit helps, yeah?

Which is why I’m standing outside a shitty-looking, dilapidated fraternity house on a Friday night, staring dubiously at the front door.

“Why am I doing this again?”

“It’s part of the initiation,” one of the members of the track team tells me.



I cock one eyebrow. “You mean hazing?”

“Shh.” A few of them hush me, hissing out on the sidewalk as we stand around while they prep me.

“You can’t go saying that word out loud!” Veronica—Ronnie, they call her—explains with a hiss.

“Why? Because it’s bad luck, or because it’s true?”

Hazing on university campuses is against the nationwide student code of conduct among sororities, fraternities, and unquestionably athletic organizations.

“It’s just fun. We want you to get to know people since you’re new—and what better way than at a party?”

If that were the case—if they actually wanted to introduce me to people—there are a million better ways to go about it. They would let me go inside and mingle like a normal person instead of going in to pull a childish prank like the one they want me to participate in tonight. I’m already embarrassed and I haven’t even walked through the doors yet.

“Wow. So like, I’m going inside to meet the welcoming committee?”

It’s clear they don’t appreciate my sarcasm or my sense of humor, nor my impression of an airheaded valley girl. Instead of laughing off my comments, Ronnie crosses her arms and huffs.

“No one is forcing you to do this. You can go home.” Her long lean arms—the ones that have been turned golden by the sun—extend, pointing to the street behind us. “We’ll call campus security and they can escort you so you’re not alone.”

Gee. So much for team camaraderie and no man left behind.

We all know I have to do this. They all know I’m on scholarship and cannot jeopardize my spot on the team, not a team like this one. Not this late in the game, not while I’m staring down the nose of only one more semester—I don’t know what strings my father pulled to get me here at this point, but if I lose this chance to have my education paid for…

It’ll take me at least another couple of years to finish.

I’ll have to quit most of my classes and work full-time to pay for the few I’d be able to afford. And those I’d have to take at night.

“I just don’t understand why we’re at a fraternity party. You said it was going to be on Jock Row.” Not Greek Row.

I’m glancing up at the house’s façade, eyes searching and scanning for Greek letters but finding none. Nothing but old, weathered siding that needs to be painted and crooked shutters flanking the front windows.

The girls all laugh.

“This isn’t a frat house, dumb-dumb—it’s the rugby house.”

Rugby house? That’s a new one.

“This is Jock Row, not Fraternity Row.” Chelsea Newbauer chimes in from the back of the pack, hair Texas sky high, glitter eye shadow catching the light from the dim porch lamp.

“And we need you to go inside and find the…” Ronnie hesitates, about to reiterate the rules of the lark they’re playing on me. “The ugliest guy you can find and ask him on a date.”



The whole thing is just. So. Freaking.


“What!” I’ve heard the catch before, but hearing it again is so cringe-inducing I panic. My tone says it all; I’m horrified.

“You’ll live through it.” Tamlin rolls her eyes. “We all had to do it and so can you.”

Okay but…



It’s so mean-spirited—not to mention so unethical and just makes me want to curl up in a ball and die. Or puke. Or hide.

So rude.

So embarrassing.

So everything that’s wrong with college these days.

This is how my peers get alcohol poisoning. This is how they end up in hospitals. This is why they do shit they shouldn’t be doing.

Peer pressure.

And here I stand like a turd, debating my options.

I thought my backbone was stiffer than this; I thought I was a leader.

My parents would be so ashamed that I’m stooping to this level to save face and blend in at my new school.

You’re not physically going to hurt anyone, Georgia.

The boy will live. He will walk away unscathed, minus some minor bruising to his ego, probably.


Besides, they told me he—whoever he is—won’t even know what I’m up to.

Still, I make one last-ditch effort to weasel my way out of the task.

“Can’t you come up with something else? I’ll sing in the cafeteria if you want me to. Tap dance in the quad.” Does this school have a quad? If they do, I’ll find it and—

“Sing in the cafeteria?” Someone scoffs. “The Gammas do that during sorority pledge week.”

“And none of y’all get in trouble?”

Ronnie taps her foot, sole clicking on the pavement from impatience. “First of all, the longer we stand here debating this, the longer it’s going to take once we’re inside. If you want to draw it out so it takes an eternity, that’s your problem, not mine. Secondly, it’s not the end of the world.” Her blood red nail points to the house. “March inside and find a guy, ask him on a date, and bring his sorry ass over so we can make sure you’ve completed your mission. After that, you can run home and crawl into bed and forget the entire thing ever happened.”

My mission.


“The guy doesn’t even have to know what you’re up to.”

But I will know what I’m up to, and the dozens of them will know what I’m up to.

My gut clenches.

See, the thing is: I don’t have to do this.

I know I don’t.

Logically and realistically, I know I can walk away right now and go home—that would be the right thing to do.

Nothing will happen to me other than…

…these girls not accepting me as one of them.

Treating me like a bottom feeder for the remainder of my time here.

And while I don’t need to be their best friends (let’s face it, who wants friends like this), it will certainly make life easier.


Crap, crap, crap.

“We can’t stand out here all night. My feet are getting sore.” Tamlin flashes her gams, feet buckled into heels that have to be four inches high. How she walks in those is beyond me. “Don’t tell me I wore these shoes for nothin’.”