“So bossy.”


“You like it.” His eyes are gold now, glinting in the sun.

Yeah, I do. I grumble and try again. And again, with Drew stopping me every once in a while to give me pointers. Suddenly, it’s fun. Not spectacular fun, but kind of addictive. I say this to Drew, and he positively shines when he smiles down at me.

“Exactly,” he says. “Why do you think I do this? It’s the need do better every time.”

“To do better?” I stare up at him, shocked. “But you’re already perfect.”

His expression turns soft, warm, and he steps close. “You think so, huh?”

I know that tone too. And when his lids lower, his gaze going to my mouth, my heart kicks in my chest. I grip the ball between my hands. “Show me,” I blurt out.

He blinks, his eyes lifting to mine, and a furrow wrinkles between his brows. “What do you mean?”

“Show me how far you can throw the ball.”

One corner of his mouth kicks up. “You want me to show off for you?”

“If I have to ask, it isn’t showing off. But, yeah, I want to see what you can do.”

Drew studies me for a moment, the soft breeze lifting the ends of his hair. Maybe he knows I’m avoiding things, maybe he wonders why. Or maybe he just thinks I’m crazy. As if he’s come to that conclusion, he shakes his head slightly. “Okay, but you’re going to have to snap the ball to me.”

“Snap the ball?” I make a face. “Like bend over...”

His grin is evil. “And I put my hands between your legs. Don’t give me that look. Dex does this for me every game.”

“Is this the point where I launch into a diatribe about the blatant homoeroticism found in football?”

“I’d be disappointed if you didn’t. But since we’re talking about me putting my hands on you, I don’t think it applies here.” He leans close to my cheek, and his proximity makes my skin tighten. More so when his deep voice rumbles in my ear. “I promise to let you know the next time the team hits the showers.”

“Oh my,” I wave a hand as if to cool myself off, which is only half in jest, “that’s a pretty picture you’re painting, Baylor.”

Drew snorts and gives me a nudge with the football. “Just snap the ball, Jones, before I change my mind.” But he’s grinning as he steps back.

“Fine.” I sigh and get into the position I’ve seen players assume.

Drew moves in closer than I think is strictly necessary. His size and strength is a wall over me. “Mmm, spread those legs wider and get that sweet ass up higher, babe.”

Despite our teasing, heat floods my belly. But I give him a dirty look over my shoulder. “You’re enjoying this way too much.”

He just winks. “You know it. Snap count on three.”

“What does that mean?”

“Third sound I make, you hand me the ball.” He gives my butt a light slap. “Keep up, Jones.”

And then his voice rolls over me like thunder. “Hut, hut, hut!”

Jesus. My ni**les tighten and a thrill courses through me as I obey and toss. He manages to catch the bobbling ball. I turn to watch him, and it’s gorgeous. He’s gorgeous. Up close, his body is poetry. His muscles actually ripple along his torso and up his arm as he throws, his expression fierce and focused. I want to tackle him, throw myself on his body and devour him bite by delicious bite.

I’m so caught up in gaping at him that I nearly forget to watch the ball, but I keep it together and look.

“Damn,” I say. The ball is a rocket, hurtling through the air in a high arc. And it keeps going. Until finally it comes down from space to land with a hard bounce in the end zone.

Drew’s lips curl up at the corners. “Good throw.” He says this to himself, not exactly as praise, but satisfied, and I wonder if he always appraises his work.

My curiosity is drowned out by a long, appreciative male whistle.

The tall blond guy I often see hanging with Drew is jogging down the stairs. “Beautiful, f**king bomb, man. But you missed me by a mile.”

Drew laughs. “And we know how hard it is to miss that big head of yours.”

“You best be thinking about connecting with my hands and not my head, dude.” The blond holds a hand up against the sun’s glare to study the field. “What was that, anyway? Sixty-five yards?” He whistles again and then lopes across the grass, moving as though walking is never an option when he can run.

“Seventy-one,” Drew answers. “But who’s counting?”

Drew’s shoulder brushes mine as the guy stops before us. He is massive, an inch or two taller than Drew and easily twenty pounds of muscle heavier. The guy eyes me with caution, but he puts on a polite smile. “Hey.”

“Hey.” I’m pretty sure Drew’s talked about me, us, and his friend doesn’t approve.

“Anna,” Drew says, “This is Gray Grayson. He plays tight end.”

“Ass jokes are welcome and encouraged,” Gray adds with wag of his brows. Like Drew, he’s extremely good looking, but in a California surfer way, with his mop of sun-streaked blond hair flopping over his tanned forehead.

“Gray Grayson?” I shouldn’t repeat his name that way, but I can’t help myself. What were his parents thinking?

Gray winces. But beneath dark blonde brows, his blue eyes show no hint of annoyance. “I know, right?” he says to my unanswered question, which he must get a lot. “My mom had a total crush on Gray Grantham, a character from this John Grisham book, The Pelican Brief.”

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