Turn Over:A Secret Baby Sports Romance(6)By: Violet Paige
I chuckled. “You’re fucking with me now, right?”
“Your contract is in jeopardy. Your position on this team is in jeopardy. The last thing I’m doing is fucking with you.”
Coach reached into the top drawer of his desk and placed a manila envelope on top of his clipboard. I saw my name written on the tab.
“Go ahead,” he urged. “Open it.”
I thumbed the flap, flipping it open with hesitation. I stared at the contents scattered in front of me. I picked up the top newspaper clipping. “What is this?” I questioned.
“Your file,” he muttered, turning his back to me. “It’s every article. Every picture. Every time you were pulled over for speeding and there was a write-up. It’s every headline about noise disturbances from the parties you throw.”
I spread the articles and notes around, digging through the stack Coach or some bored son of a bitch in human resources had collected on me. My life in Austin was compiled into this damn folder. But I couldn’t find anything on my quarterback rating or the numbers I put up every Sunday. There was nothing on my pre-season stats. No, this was a file on the dirty life I lived in the public eye. Austin’s star didn’t hide. He lived fully. That’s what the folder showed me.
“So this is what it’s come down to? No one here has my back? You don’t care how many points I put up on that board out there? What you care about is a fucking stack of newspaper clippings? Unbelievable.” I shook my head.
“We do have your back, Luke. That’s why we’re having this meeting.” Coach turned to his desk and handed me an invitation. “This is for you.”
It took everything I had not to crumple it in my hand. I lifted the wax seal and pulled the linen paper from the envelope.
“What is this?” I could tell from the swirly handwriting it was already something I was going to hate.
“There’s a charity event tonight for the children’s wing at the hospital. Lexi Wilde is going to perform. Go. Make the highest donation. Don’t drink the champagne. Leave alone, before the event is over. Don’t even speak to a single woman there.”
I chuckled. “You expect me to be a monk and you’re taking over my PR now? Isn’t that below your pay grade, Coach?”
“No, I have someone doing that. You have a meeting in the morning at eight. Charlie Maine’s specialty is cleaning up cases like yours. You need to be prepared to report everything from the gala. It’s black tie, so go home and get some rest before you show up. We need pictures of you being a member of this community in a positive way.”
“This town worships me,” I growled. I didn’t need some prick named Charlie to tell me what to do.
“No, they worship the Warriors. Don’t mistake the two.” His nose was almost touching mine.
“And the girl from this morning?” I asked, turning to face Mr. McCade.
“I will pay her to keep her silence, but it’s the last time. If I hear of another one, you’re off the team. I’d rather pay to get rid of you than keep paying off your whores.”
I wasn’t the kind of man to beg, and I was done with this meeting. I’d never met the girl, and I sure as hell didn’t get her pregnant.
“Anything else?” My hand was on the doorknob. There was enough strength in my right arm to rip it off the door. I was angry enough to do it.
“I think we’re pretty clear here. You agree?” Coach asked, smacking gum between each word.
I nodded. “Oh, I got the message. It’s clear.”
I slammed the door behind me, storming to the locker room. By the time I walked in, the place was cleared out. The trainers were gone. The players packed up. And my ice tub was drained.
I shoved the gilded invitation into my Warriors’ bag and got dressed. I couldn’t get out of this shit hole fast enough.
I slide behind the wheel of my truck and pressed the screen on the dash, scrolling for Linc’s number. I backed out of my spot as the ringing echoed in my truck.
“Hey, brother. How was practice? It’s hotter than hell today.”
“Tell me you didn’t know anything about the McCade meeting.”