Jock: A Secret Baby Sports Romance(10)By: Aubrey Irons
I shrug. “It was just a preliminary business dinner,” I say quickly. “Nothing to write home about.”
“Apparently, because you didn’t respond to a single one of my texts last night.”
My stomach flip-flops a little as I feel the heat rush into my face.
“Well,” Serena presses on, hopelessly ignoring my stuttered silence of an answer. “And how was the man himself?”
I shrug again, as if she’s standing in front of me.
“Well, yeah, we know that,” Serena says with a snicker.
I roll my eyes; suddenly thankful we’re having this conversation over the phone instead of face to face.
“I think he’s going to make the move.”
“Get out, seriously?”
Serena’s whole tone changes from teasing to suddenly interested. This is why I love this girl; she actually gets excited about things like player licensing contracts and trade deals like I do.
Serena whistles. “Jesus, girl, what the hell did you offer him?”
The blush comes roaring back to my face as my mind instantly flashes back to the night before.
Everything. I offered him everything, and had the best sex of my life when he took it.
“Okay, you just paused for way too long.”
I blink out of my filthy flashbacks at Serena’s prying tone.
“I did not,” I say primly, sitting up in my seat.
She gasps dramatically. “Oh my God, is this why you never called me back last night?”
“A preliminary business dinner, huh?”
I can imagine the wide, grinning look on my friend’s face.
“No, just hopeful.” She chuckles. “You work too much, girl.”
“Yeah, well…” I trail off and sigh, reaching up to rub the bridge of my nose as I try and will the heat from my face.
“I’m about to work even more, because Holden Cade is about to become a Houston Bull.”
“This is going to be a media shit-storm, you know,” Serena says, whistling lowly.
Oh, if only you knew.
The intercom at the gate buzzes to life, regretting to inform us that my flight back to Houston has been delayed again.
I grumble into the phone.
“I gotta let you go so I can go find a cup of coffee.”
“Congrats on getting the guy.” Serena giggles. “Take that either way you want.”
I groan, the blush flashing back into my face. “Serena-”
“Oh go find your coffee, I’m just teasing you.”
Later, I find a new seat by the windows overlooking the runway with my overpriced, overly hot airport coffee.
No matter what happens - no matter if Holden ends up taking the deal like I think he will - what happened cannot happen again. That was dumb, and even if we were both way too drunk and evidently not thinking clearly, it’s a mistake I can’t afford to make.
Hands off the players, Jesus.
I’ve worked too hard, and gone head-to-head with too many staunch old men who doubted my abilities and talents because of my gender to let my whole career go to shit because word gets out I slept with a man-whore of a prospect.
…No matter how mind-blowingly good it was.
I take a furtive sip of my coffee as I stare out at the runway, only to hear the intercom squawk again with another canned apology for yet another delay.
I don’t need to spend another second in Denver. I need to get home and get Holden Cade and the mistake of a lifetime out of my head.
I stop by my own place after leaving London’s hotel room just long enough to change into gym clothes before I head out the door.
No, it’s not that I’ve suddenly decided to start actually showing up for my scheduled morning workout routines. But working out and lifting has always cleared my head, and shit do I need to wipe mine clean right now.
The trainers and other guys on the team all give me odd, unbelieving looks when I actually show up at the training center before three pm for the first time in months. But I just nod, still too lost in my own head to say anything as I make my way to the weight room.
I grin as I rack some weights and take a seat on the bench, thinking about the night before.
Yeah, last night happened and it was fucking amazing.
I shake my head as I lay back and grip the benching bar. I know I should have said no. Hell, I never should have even gone to dinner with her in the first place, let alone taking that cab with her under that ridiculous pretense of “making sure she got home okay.”
I start to work my way through some reps, but I break early, puffing as I rack the weights.
I frown, shaking my head to try and clear the thoughts of London Jacobs and the fucking mind-blowing way she rocked my damn world the night before from it. I try again, grunting through another set before I rack the bar again with an angry crash, sitting up and dropping my face into my hands.
Shit, what the fuck is wrong with me? I mean, I’m no stranger to bad decisions, believe me, and especially when it comes to bad decisions and women. But crossing that line with London last night was a step too far, and I know it. I’ve done a lot of shit I’m not proud of when it comes to girls. I’ve stepped over plenty of lines before when it comes to putting my hands on the wrong women - a coach’s wife back in college; a second-string linebacker’s mom a few years back that I doubt he ever knew about before he got traded.
Mistakes? Bad decisions? Yeah, I’ve made a fuck-ton of them. But I’ve always brushed myself off and just gone on being me afterwards. No sense in looking back, “the only way forward is forward” and all that sort of shit.
This one’s different though, and I damn well know it.
And it’s not just that she might be my new boss’s daughter, or even partly my new boss herself. If it were just that, this would be easy.
It’s the fact that I can tell she’s not the kind of girl that does what happened last night. And in a way, there’s a strange sort of guilty feeling, like I’ve corrupted her somehow.
I shake my head again, rolling my eyes at my own sentimental bullshit.
I didn’t “corrupt” her. Hell, she practically dragged me into that room with her. And judging by how dripping wet she was for me, that wasn’t exactly a sudden decision on her part.
Nah, no way. That girl knew exactly what she was doing, and she knew exactly what she wanted from me.
I grin as I lay back on the bench ready to give my lifting another shot.
Yeah, she knew what she wanted from me, and I damn well gave it to her.
I bring my hands up to the bar again, gripping it tight as I frown.
Still, I’ve fucked plenty of inappropriate, off-limits girls and gone right on doing my own thing the next day. But her? I frown. Her I can’t seem to get out of head.
Hell, she may have been the one to drag me into that room last night, but she was also the one that walked away from me this morning. I think of the way she patted my cheek before walking out that door, like no girl has ever done.
Please. Your loss, babe.
There’s a whole city’s worth of girls here ready to jump on my cock and thank me for it.
I try one more round of reps before I just give up with a growl of frustration. I sit up and flip my phone out.
It’s time to get some of the boys together and go out. It’s time to tear this town apart before I leave it in my rear view mirror.
Because whatever weird funk London left me with, I’m going to fuck my way out of it.
Hell, there’s gotta be a few girls who live here I haven’t slept with yet, right?
“So what’s this about, man?”
To the untrained eye, Max looks like one scary motherfucker.
For one, the guy’s a monstrous six-foot-four and probably three hundred twenty pounds of linebacker muscle. Throw in a thick black beard and tattoos all the way down both arms, and he basically looks like the bouncer from hell at the wildest heavy metal club in the world.
If you know him though, you know that Max is actually one giant fucking teddy bear.
Max is one of the good ones. That’s rare with big, rich, douchebag football guys, I can tell you. I used to always give him shit about being so damn faithful to the wife he married way too young in my opinion, especially when we were out on the road basically getting pussy thrown at us.
But I’ll hand it to the guy, he never flinched, and he never stepped out on Hannah.
Which is smart because for one, she’s model gorgeous - as in she’s literally a model that somehow a scary beast of a guy like Max charmed. And two, she’s smart as a whip – certainly smarter than Max, and genuinely a great, kind, and amazing person.
Which leads to number three: honestly, in the grand scheme of the world, a guy like Max just does not deserve a girl like Hannah. Well, except he does, cause the guy is fucking awesome.
I grin at him across the corner of the bar we’re sitting at.
“What do you mean?”
He sighs. “I mean what was so intense that I had to come out and meet you tonight?”
I shrug, shoving a beer his way.
“What, I can’t hang with my good buddy?”
Max eyes the beer, but doesn’t take it. He raises his dark eyes to me, frowning slightly.
“You sort of made it sound like it was important,” he says in his deep baritone voice.
I grin. “Dude, it’s always important for us to hang. Anyways, I also just said it was so you’d actually come.”
He groans, muttering under his breath.
“You disappear all the time now, man!” I clap him on the arm. “How the fuck else am I supposed to get you to actually come out?”
He chuckles. “Yeah well, life’s different now, dude. Things change.”
The changes he’s talking are the twin girls he and Hannah had three years back. Max is fucking completely devoted to them. Shit, he’s come to practice with his toenails painted sparkly pink like five times now, and no one gives him a bit of shit about it.
Well, I do, but that’s cause I’m an asshole - plus he knows I’m just messing with him.
“So what, I gotta lie to you to get you to come out with me these days?”
“Yeah, basically.” He glares at me. “I can’t believe you dragged me out here, you liar. Tonight was movie night.”
I pull a face. “Sorry, dude. I just missed hanging with you.”
He grins. “I’m just fucking with you.”
He grabs the beer in front of him and takes a swig.
I turn and take a sip of my own beer before I take a deep breath.
“Okay, actually…” I trail off and shrug.
“There is something I need to talk to you about.”
I choke mid-sip from my bottle. Max laughs.
“Dude, you’re way less sneaky than you think you are.”
I stare at my beer, not sure what to say before Max chuckles and claps me on the shoulder.
“Don’t worry, I’m the only one that has it figured out – by the way, thanks for confirming my hunch just now.”
I mutter under my breath and look away.
“Hey, I get it man.” Max nods slowly, stroking his beard before he takes another slug of beer.
“Brandon, all the pressure of being the hometown boy,” he shrugs. “You could have an easy career here, you know.”
“But you want to be more than just a hometown boy though, I can tell.”
I nod. “I need a change, man.”
We sit in silence for another second, just drinking our beers before Max turns back to me.
I chew on it for a second before answering.
He smirks, raising a questioning brow. “The Bulls?”
“It’s a hell of an offer.”
Max laughs. “Well, yeah, I’d hope so for being the worst fucking team in the league.”
“Yeah no shit.”
He laughs again, shaking his head before he turns back to me.
“That said, you turn it around for them and you’re a god.”
“The thought had occurred to me.” I grin at him. “Maybe I could get them to buy you too.”
He snorts. “Yeah, Hannah would be thrilled.”
He puts a heavy hand on my shoulder and nods as he raises his beer to me.
“Well hey man, congrats.”
I give him a wry look. “Really?”
“Yeah, really. You think it’s the right move?”
“I think it might be.”
He nods. “Well then, fuck it. Long as you visit once in a while, you prick.”
He turns back to his beer.
“Not that often, though,” he says with a grin.
I turn to the bartender and call out for a couple shots of whiskey, but Max frowns and shakes his head.
“Nah, I’m good man. Only having the one.”
I roll my eyes. “Oh c’mon! This is big, man! Hell, I thought you said movie night was bullshit.”
“It is, but that doesn’t mean I can or want to get home late and drunk.”
I thank the bartender for the shots and then shake my head at Max.
“Live a little.”
He shakes his head sternly.
I take the first shot and then do the one I got him.
Max’s mouth goes tight.
“You’re not driving tonight, right?”
My post-shot buzz instantly sours as I glare at him.
“No, of course not.”
We’re silent a minute.
“How you doing with that anyways,” he says quietly.
“With what,” I snap.
I know damn well what he’s talking about, it’s just nothing I seem to ever be able to have a straight discussion about.
My best friend.
The one I let walk away from that party with his truck keys in his hand because I was too interested in getting a piece of ass to chase him down and tell him to call a fucking cab.
I look away. “I’m fine, Max.”
“Bro, you can talk about it, you know. That shit hit all of us pretty-”