The Goal

By: Elle Kennedy

She’s good at achieving her goals…

College senior Sabrina James has her whole future planned out: graduate from college, kick butt in law school, and land a high-paying job at a cutthroat firm. Her path to escaping her shameful past certainly doesn’t include a gorgeous hockey player who believes in love at first sight. One night of sizzling heat and surprising tenderness is all she’s willing to give John Tucker, but sometimes, one night is all it takes for your entire life to change.

But the game just got a whole lot more complicated Tucker believes being a team player is as important as being the star. On the ice, he’s fine staying out of the spotlight, but when it comes to becoming a daddy at the age of twenty-two, he refuses to be a bench warmer. It doesn’t hurt that the soon-to-be mother of his child is beautiful, whip-smart, and keeps him on his toes. The problem is, Sabrina’s heart is locked up tight, and the fiery brunette is too stubborn to accept his help. If he wants a life with the woman of his dreams, he’ll have to convince her that some goals can only be made with an assist.

An Off-Campus Novel



“Crap. Crap. Crap. Craaaaap. Where are my keys?”

The clock in the narrow hallway tells me I have fifty-two minutes to make a sixty-eight-minute drive if I want to get to the party on time.

I check my purse again, but the keys aren’t there. I run through the various locations. Dresser? No. Bathroom? Was just there. Kitchen? Maybe—

I’m about to pivot when I hear a jingle of metal behind me.

“You looking for these?”

Contempt lodges in my throat as I turn around and step into a living room so small that the five pieces of dated furniture—two tables, one loveseat, one sofa, and one chair—are squashed together like sardines in a can. The lump of flesh on the couch waves my keys in the air. At my sigh of irritation, he grins and shoves them under his sweatpants-covered ass.

“Come and get ’em.”

I drag a frustrated hand down my flat-ironed hair before stalking over to my stepfather. “Give me my keys,” I demand.

Ray leers in return. “Da-amn, you look hot tonight. You’ve turned into a real babe, Rina. You and me should get it on.”

I ignore the meaty hand that’s falling to his crotch. I’ve never known a man so desperate to touch his own junk. He makes Homer Simpson look like a gentleman.

“You and I don’t exist to each other. So don’t look at me, and don’t call me Rina.” Ray’s the only person who ever calls me that, and I fucking hate it. “Now give me my keys.”

“I told you—come and get ’em.”

With gritted teeth, I shove my hand under his lard-ass and root around for my keys. Ray grunts and squirms like the disgusting piece of shit he is until my hand connects with metal.

I drag the keys free and spin back to the doorway.

“What’s the big deal?” he mocks after me. “It’s not like we’re related, so there’s no incest problem.”

I stop and use thirty seconds of my precious time to stare at him in disbelief. “You’re my stepfather. You married my mother. And—” I swallow a rush of bile, “—and you’re sleeping with Nana now. So, no, it’s not about whether you and I are related. It’s because you’re the grossest person on the planet and you belong in prison.”

His hazel eyes darken. “Watch your mouth, missy, or one of these days you’ll come home and the doors will be locked.”

Whatever. “I pay for a third of the rent here,” I remind him.

“Well, maybe you’ll be in charge of more.”

He turns back to the television, and I spend another valuable thirty seconds fantasizing about bashing his head in with my purse. Worth it.

In the kitchen, Nana is sitting at the table, smoking a cigarette and reading an issue of People. “Did you see this?” she exclaims. “Kim K is nude again.”

“Goodie for her.” I grab my jacket off the back of the chair and head for the kitchen door.

I’ve found that it’s safer to leave the house through the back. There are usually street punks congregating on the stoops of the narrow townhouses on our less than affluent street in this less than affluent part of Southie. Besides, our carport is behind the house.

“Heard Rachel Berkovich got knocked up,” Nana remarks. “She should’ve aborted it, but I guess it’s against their religion.”

I clench my teeth again and turn to face my grandmother. As usual, she’s wearing a ratty robe and fuzzy pink slippers, but her dyed blonde hair is teased to perfection and her face is fully made-up even though she rarely goes out.