Beauty and the Baller, The Prequel: College Years

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No one finds their soulmate in the first year of college. Well, no one except for Jackie Thomas. When Jackie met Darren Williams, she knew her life would be forever changed. And it all began with a bag of Skittles. This is the prequel to the Insecure Romance Series' Beauty and the Baller and includes POVs from the other main characters in the series. ***Note: This story contains depictions of police brutality and violence, as well as discussions of mental health, depression, and thoughts of suicide. Reader discretion is advised as the content may be offensive or triggering to some.***

Romance / Drama
Misha Howse
Age Rating:

Chapter 1

First Year


It was Halloween night, and there was a huge party happening at the Sigma Pi fraternity house. To no surprise, Jackie's dorm was completely empty since everyone was out partying the night away, drinking their weight in alcohol, and wearing silly costumes. But not Jackie. She was more of a snuggle under the blanket with a good book kind of girl. A sentiment that didn't leave her with many friends.

She was sitting on the couch in the lounge of her dorm, watching a horror movie marathon on TV wearing nothing but a tank top and some pajama shorts, and munching on a giant bucket of Halloween candy that the Resident Advisor bought for "trick or treaters." Like anyone was coming to trick or treat on a college campus. Since Jackie wasn't a fan of any of the chocolate, she only ate the fruity candy. Skittles to be more specific.

After she was thoroughly satisfied with her sugar fix and couldn't find anything else on TV she wanted to watch, she decided to head to her room and climb into bed. When she opened the door to her room, she was startled by the sight of a large man standing there, hovering over her roommate's bed while Shonna lay passed out, still wearing her sexy police officer costume.

"Hey, what are you doing? Leave her alone," Jackie shouted.

The man turned around, but before he could say anything, she had grabbed the only thing she could think of to use as a weapon, her slipper. She charged at the possible serial killer creep and hit him over the head with her shoe.

"Get off of her, you pervert."

She whacked him in the back of the head, and the man flinched. She continued her barrage of attacks against the assailant as he did his best to move out of her reach to no avail.

"Ow," he cried out when she landed another hit to his face. "Would you stop that?"

"Get out of my room. Now," Jackie said in the most menacing voice she could manage.

The man was tall and towered over her. He grabbed her by the wrist and pried the shoe from her grasp while his other arm gripped tightly around her waist, holding her firmly against his body.

"Help! Somebody! Predator alert!" She shouted, hoping someone had come back to the dorms and could hear her cries.

"Shh...cut it out. You're going to wake Shonna." Somehow throughout the entire ordeal, Shonna was still out cold and snoring softly.

"Hel−." Before she could get the word out, he placed his hand over her mouth and leaned in so close that she could feel his breath tickling her ear.

"If you would just let me expl−."

She bit down on as hard as she could on his hand, and he cried out.

He released his grip on her and shook the injured hand. "Are you crazy? That's my throwing hand." He inspected the damage.

"Relax, you big baby. I didn't even break the skin."

To her surprise, he laughed. The soft chuckle made her feel more at ease. Perhaps he wasn't a predator after all.

"I could sue you."

"I dare you to try," she challenged.

He laughed again.

"What are you doing in my room?"

Since she no longer felt threatened, she decided it might be a good idea to let him explain.

"My name's Darren. I'm a friend of Shonna's. We were at this party, and she had a little too much to drink. I brought her here to make sure she got to bed okay."

Jackie relaxed. Shonna had mentioned having a childhood friend named Darren, who played football. She never mentioned how tall and handsome he was, though. Now that she knew he wasn't a raving psycho, she could appreciate his smoldering good looks.

"Sorry about that. I just saw you standing over her, and I thought..."

He held up his hands. "I know. It's okay. Shonna told me you two didn't exactly get along, but now I'm thinking there's more to the story. Honestly, I'm happy to see she has someone else looking out for her."

He smiled then, and Jackie's heart sped up.

"So why weren't you at the Sigma party tonight?" he asked.

"What makes you think I didn't go? I could have come back early."

"Because I was there all night, and if you had shown up, I definitely would have noticed you."

She could feel the warmth spread through her cheeks.

"I'm not really into costume parties. Or any kind of party for that matter."

"Well, good."

She raised an eyebrow at his response.

"If you had gone anywhere else tonight, we might not have met," he readily explained. Now her heart was fluttering wildly. "And you wouldn't have gotten a chance to tell all your friends about the guy whose ass you beat with your pink fuzzy slipper."

She laughed at that.

"You have a gorgeous smile." That stopped her cold. Now he was looking at her with such intensity that she felt the air had been sucked out of her.

"I'm gonna go," he said, walking to the door.

Jackie couldn't help but follow him out. They had just met, and yet she felt drawn to him. And the way he was looking at her made her feel like her panties were on fire.

As she stood in the doorway looking up at this beautiful man, she got lost in his eyes.

There was nothing particularly remarkable about them. They were dark brown and wouldn't otherwise stand out. But there was something behind them when he looked at her that made her feel all warm and gooey.

"Goodnight," he said and then leaned down, his face now a whisper away. Jackie nearly held her breath in anticipation of his next move.

"What are you doing?" She heard herself say. Was he really about to kiss her? They just met. And yet, why was she dying for him to kiss her?

"If I don't kiss you right now, I have the strangest feeling that I might regret it for the rest of my life."

He didn't wait for her to object, not that she was planning to before he pressed his lips to hers.

Even though she had been somewhat expecting it, she was in no way prepared for it. Her body went rigid from the sudden connection of their lips, and given that this was her first kiss, she had no idea what she was supposed to be doing. But luckily, he did. It was a soft kiss, a brush of their lips as he waited for her response. She exhaled slowly and pressed her mouth against his, his talented lips sending warmth throughout her body.

She parted her lips upon instinct and felt a rush of excitement as his tongue teased her, gaining soft entry to her mouth only for a short taste before he pulled away.

" taste so sweet," he moaned against her lips.

"Sorry, I had some candy earlier."

"Oh yeah? What kind?"

"Skittles," she replied bashfully.

"You kidding? I love Skittles."

This time when he kissed her, he curved an arm around her back and thrust her body against his as he teased her mouth open, hungrily searching for another taste of the rainbow coated candy.

She sunk against him, her arms pressed against his hard chest. He slipped a hand in her hair and took her to new sweltering heights with his kiss, lightly stroking her tongue with his own. This was insane. It was the first time Jackie been kissed and she hardly knew this guy, and yet she didn't want him to stop. But he did. He broke his lips from hers, and she fought the urge to pull him back to her. His eyes were low and hazy. He shifted uncomfortably, and she couldn't ignore the bulge in his pants. He had enough manners at least not to adjust himself in her presence, although he looked like he was dying to.

"Wow," he panted and pressed his forehead to hers.

That was one word for it. Jackie could think of a million others. Mind-blowing, panty-dropping, and show-stopping. Jackie was in trouble with this one. And then, in an unexpected twist, he kissed her forehead.

"See ya around, Skittles," his voice was barely above a whisper.

His intense gaze never left hers as he walked backward, heading toward the exit.

"It's Jackie," she called after him.

He flashed a smoldering smile her way and replied, "I know," before he disappeared down the hall.

She came back into her room on wobbly knees, lips still tingling from the sensation of Darren's mouth on them. She always thought a first kiss was supposed to be awkward and sloppy, something you tried desperately to forget. But this had been intense and electrifying, earth-shattering, and delicious. She already wanted to do it again. And then maybe some more after that.



The night that Darren kissed the most beautiful girl in the world was the day everything changed. She was cute, sweet, smart, and could swing a house slipper like nobody's business. When Shonna spoke of her roommate, Jackie Thomas, he never in a million years would have pictured the girl he met tonight. Her smile. The very thing that made his heart kick up in speed when she flashed it his way. And the way her soft, creamy skin turned pink under his gaze made his dick stir.

She had been wearing a tank top with a cartoon character on it and pajama shorts that showed off her milky little legs. And those lips. Plump, supple, sexy lips that were so soft he couldn't wait to explore the rest of her to see if it were just as plush.

She was timid and clearly inexperienced, but she had let him kiss her. Granted, he may not have had the guts to kiss a girl he just met if he hadn't gotten a little tipsy at the party. He was drawn to her and had no choice but to kiss her, even after she beat him with her shoe and mistook him for a predator.

Darren didn't sleep at all that night. He lay awake in his room, staring at the ceiling, wondering when the next time he would see her again. His roommate, Julius, who was also his cousin, was gone for the night, probably hooking up with some guy, so he welcomed the quiet solitude.

Before long, the sun was up, and Darren needed to start his day. He grabbed a quick shower before heading to breakfast. He was in the mood for LoLo's Chicken and Waffles, but since he had to get to football practice in an hour, he decided he would grab something quick at the dining hall.

When he got there, it was like his prayers had been answered. There she was, the one who invaded his thoughts all night, sitting behind the cash register staring down at her feet, completely ignorant to his presence. She was wearing a black t-shirt with the school logo, no makeup, hair tied in a messy bun, and she was breathtaking. He had to get her to notice him. He needed to see her eyes and get her to flash that gorgeous smile at him one more time.
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