“You got a woman, Dex?”
Dex studies the cabinets before him as though they hold the secret of life. “I was just thinking out loud.”
“Doesn’t sound like it.” I take a drink and try to hide my smile. “Sounds like you’re afraid of what a specific girl might think.” Which would make two of us.
“There was a girl.” The corners of Dex’s eyes crease, like he’s caught between a smile and a grimace. “She didn’t like football. And what could I say to that?”
“Said we were just boys in oversized bodies.”
“Well, sometimes we are,” I mutter. “But, isn’t every guy at some point or another?”
“You know it’s going to be worse when we go Prime Time. Take all of this,” Dex jerks his chin toward the living room, “add a shit-ton of money to it, and see what mess comes out.”
Money. The way most of us are playing, we’ll be making bank by this time next year. It isn’t a pipe dream; it’s a fact. And it will come with the expectation of excellence. Against guys who are tougher, faster, stronger, and far more experienced.
After gaining national recognition, I’ve had the privilege to talk to some of my heroes: quarterbacks who’ve won the Super Bowl. They make no bones about the unrelenting pressure. In college, you have what feels like ten minutes in the pocket. In the NFL? It’s ten seconds. And you better believe they’ll hit you hard. You aren’t looking down the barrel of a gun but a f**king cannon, kid.
Does it scare me?
It makes me antsy as all hell. I want my life to happen now.
I shrug and set my now empty bottle down too. “We’ll be all right. And by ‘we’ I mean you, a few others, and me. I don’t know about some of these boneheads.”
Dex just watches me as if I haven’t answered the way he wants. “You think it’s smart to fall for a girl now when you know what’s out there for you in the near future?”
“What do you mean by that?” I know I’m scowling, but does he think a guy can simply cut off his feelings?
Dex’s massive shoulders lift and fall. “I’m thinking a girl’s got to love the life as much as she loves you to put up with the shit we’ll be dealing with, is all.”
The scowl on my face seems to sink down into my bones. I want to roll my neck just to throw off the ugly feeling settling over me. Love the life? Shit, I don’t even know how to get Anna to consider the possibility of loving me.
One girl decides to lose the g-string and hop on Gray’s lap, and I’ve had enough.
“All right, that’s it,” I say, “I’m calling this game.”
“About time,” Dex mumbles.
“Listen up,” I boom out in my play voice, “party’s over.”
“What?” shouts Simms. “We just got started.”
“And now you’re going to end it.” Dex plants his feet wide and crosses his thick arms over his chest. “We’re coming down to the wire. Coach hears about this shit and it’s lights out.”
“Damn, man, that’s just wrong,” grumbles another guy.
But they’re listening; Dex and I are co-captains, and they’re used to listening to us. Besides, they’ve committed too much to the season to mess up now. The women, on the other hand, are gaping at Dex and me like we’ve gone insane. Which makes my guys slow their feet.
“Come on.” I clap my hands together. “Let’s go.”
“That’s right,” I say to the group, “Mom and Dad have spoken, so be good little f**kers and go to bed.”
Someone half-heartedly throws a cheese puff at me, but they’re moving, grumbling their way to the door with Dex herding them out. As for the girls, all but one of them scurry off into my bathroom to put their clothes back on, freshen up, or whatever; I don’t want to know.
It’s the one who’s stayed behind that worries me. She’s eyeing me like I’m ice cream on a cone as she strides over, clad only in black heels, her br**sts bouncing with every step.
I busy myself with collecting empty bottles, praying she’s just heading for a drink. No such luck.
“Battle Baylor. God, but you’re hot.” She edges nearer, her ni**les grazing my arm as she moves around to face me. “Even better looking in person than you are on TV.”
Life-sized too. I refuse to edge back, but I want to. I’m not blind; the woman’s body is centerfold ready. I still want her far away from me. I keep my eyes on her face. “I’ve got clean-up to do here. You and your friends all set with payment?”
The smile she gives me is tight, her lips shining with a layer of pink gloss that would probably taste like stale wax. “Don’t you worry about payment. I’m off the clock for this. I’ve been dying to get my hands on you.”
Blue eyes rimmed in dark kohl gaze up at me. She’s all but thrusting her bare tits under my nose. Something my baser self can appreciate—a na**d woman is a na**d woman, after all. The rest of me, however, is embarrassed for both of us.
When I was in high school, I had fantasies of being serviced by multiple women at once, of receiving this exact type of proposition. Young me had thought it would be sexy as all hell. The reality, I’d soon come to realize, is seedy and awkward.
“Sorry to disappoint, but I’m not interested.” Not even a little. The need to hurry her out of my house presses on the back of my neck. More so when she leans into me and her br**sts brush against my shirt. She smells of beer and deodorant, and she had my best friend’s dick in her mouth not ten minutes ago. The thought makes me wonder how she kept her lip gloss so pristine.