I was jacked. I was hyped. I was ready to tear heads off bodies.
Morpheus was currently camped out on Dusty’s street. He was given orders to grow roots if he needed, and if she walked somewhere and refused the ride, he was supposed to be her personal shadow. And I had a call in to my manager. A brand new Honda HR-V would be parked in her spot by tonight, and the keys were getting hand delivered to her door. I texted with her and found out her plans were to study at the house. Perfect. She said her roommates weren’t having a party, so it’d just be the girls, their guys, and my girl all watching my game. I told her to wait for me that night. I was coming for her.
Dusty Girl: Ready and waiting.
That made me laugh, but onto the game. I had a job to do.
We were in the locker room, music blaring in our headphones. Russ, his Flute song, was blaring in my ears, and I was there. I was on the field. I was running, dodging, losing the other motherfuckers. The ball was mine. It was coming right for me.
It was another extension of my body, just no one else knew.
That was my job. I’d teach them. I’d school the fuckers. They’d know by the end of the game, each time I ran into the end zone and not once, twice, three times. Four. Five. I’d keep going all day long, all night long. I could score in my sleep and pity to the fools who didn’t believe in me. They’d be schooled real quick.
“Yo.” A hand appeared in front of me.
I reached up, meeting it with mine, and Colby was there, pulling me up to my feet.
We were in this together.
This game. Him and me. There’s nothing like the dynamic between the guy who throws the ball and the guy who can catch it, especially when no one else can catch him. That was me. That was what I got paid to do. We were going to go show everyone again, because you know, they all needed reminding.
His eyes were ready.
He was amped up.
So was I.
We go out and we win. We got paid to do this shit, and after the coach had his say, after we ran to the field, after the anthem, the coin toss, the kickoff—it was my turn.
Colby came up to me on the field. His fist to mine. “You ready?”
I gave him a nod back. Fuck yeah, I was ready. I was salivating over getting out there, doing my thing.
He grinned, reading me right. “You’re in a mood today.”
Another cocky smirk from me. Fuck yes, I was. I was gonna score here. I was gonna win here. Then I was going home to get my woman. But all I did was tell him, “Throw it to me. They won’t expect a long throw to me on the first play. And trust me, they won’t be able to catch me tonight.”
He studied me a second longer, then nodding. “Okay. Yeah. I’m seeing that. Let’s do this.”
He called the play as we were lining up. Everyone knew. I didn’t have the headphones any longer, but that music was with me. It was in my head and I tuned into it, remembering it, and I envisioned how this play would go.
Ball was snapped and I was off.
Lighting up the field.
Then I was right there, right on target, and Colby had already seen it all. The ball was in the air, and holding back, reading that—yes, yes, yes. It was right on point. I kicked off more speed, saw three players heading for me. Saw two of mine coming to cover, and with a quick spin, I was around one guy and going full force.
The ball sailed, so pretty, and it was a perfect play.
A perfect throw.
I didn’t have to jump, move, none of that shit. I just ran and that ball fell into my arms. I was cradling it like a baby as my foot came down in the end zone.
That was our first score.
There was no celebration. I was doing my job.
I tossed the ball to the ref, ran to the side and pointed at Colby, who was running diagonally with me. “That was the first one.”
He dipped his head. He knew my mood. He knew what to be prepared for this game. It was the first of many. He said, “Got it. My arm’s ready. You be ready.”
There wasn’t even a question. I’d been born to do this shit.
All night long, I be scoring. All night long, I be winning. All night long, because I was Stone The Rampage Reeves.
Tonight was a Rampage Game.
“Stone Reeves is on a Rampage tonight.” The announcer was excited, smiling wide, turned to the other announcer with him. Both in their suits, with the crowd cheering behind and beneath them. “I love these nights. We don’t get them all the time, but every now and then…”
The other announcer finished for him, smiling just as big, “Every now and then we get a treat to watch Stone The Rampage Reeves perform, because that’s what he’s doing tonight. He’s performing. He’s giving us a show.”
“He is, indeed, and it’s a pleasure to watch.”
They kept on, moving to talk about Colby and how the two together were magic, but we were at halftime and my stomach was growling.
Nicole heard, sitting next to me. “You know, we did order pizza.”
It wasn’t the first hint she gave me that night, but I couldn’t eat. Everyone was being so nice. They hadn’t invited anyone extra for the game, saying it was just the roommates and the guys, which translated into Dent, Nacho, Wyatt, and Noel. They hadn’t asked me to cook, but I almost wished they had.
My stomach was in knots. All I could feel was dread.
What would I do if they talked about me during the game? It was so unlikely, but that article got traction and it’d been building. Every now and then, they might gossip a bit about the player’s personal lives, and especially if it spread into the legal aspects of the law. I didn’t think they would, but you just never knew. And because of that, I hadn’t wanted to watch the game, but I also couldn’t not watch the game. Stone came over. I didn’t even know if he slept after I finally passed out, but last night had been different. I felt it.
He knew everything.
Everyone would also know everything.
It was all out, no reason for secrets. I had nothing else to hide and Stone stayed. He remained next to me until he had to leave for his game.
I was giving in. It was Stone. It was all Stone. I was in love with him. I refrained from spilling those words last night, but it’d been so hard. I had to bite down on my lips. I drew blood.
But tonight, those words would come out because I knew what was going to happen.
Stone was coming for me.
I had a bag packed. I wasn’t going to make him stay here. I didn’t want to stay here myself, not tonight. Tonight was special. Tonight was different. We’d go to his house and we’d make love. I would take care of my man, but those words, they’d come out.
I would have to see what his reaction would be then, but I just knew that I was done hiding. I couldn’t anymore.
All the shit was coming out tonight. Let’s hope I didn’t have another loss tomorrow to get over, because I didn’t think I could. Not this time. There was no walking away, or moving on, or just dealing. I’d be shattered forever. The question was if I was lining up my own undoing or not.
I was curled up on the couch, in the corner, hugging a pillow, when Wyatt switched the television to watch the extras on the NFL channel. He turned it to the press conference section, and after a bit, the Kings’ head coach, Stone, and Colby walked in, then sat behind a table.
The first question was to the coach. How’d he feel the team did, considering they blew the other team away with a thirty-eight to seven score.
Second question was to Colby: What did he do to prepare for tonight’s game?
The next was to Stone, a similar question, and they each answered a few more before it happened.
They all seemed at ease. Stone kept his head down, leaning forward. Colby was the opposite, head up but leaning back. The coach was forward and head up. He was meeting the questions head on, and then the last question.
“Stone, going forward into the next week and preparing for the Horns, do you think you’ll be distracted with the reports of your girlfriend’s stalker? And how is she doing?”
Stone’s head whipped up, and he was pissed.
Not pissed. Furious. Livid.
His jaw clenched. Fire blazed from his eyes, and he started to shove up, but his coach put a restraining hand on his shoulder.
“Damn,” from Wyatt.
“Oh, shit,” from Dent.
The last was from Nacho. Me… I couldn’t breathe.
Stone looked ready to leap over the table and tear the guy apart.
Colby jerked forward in his seat, his eyes immediately going to Stone.
But the coach acted first. He stood up, clearing his throat. “I think we’re done for the day. Thank you, folks.”
He lifted his hand and Stone shoved up, his hands in fists. He didn’t wait for Colby to lead the way out, he whipped around him and was gone within a second. Colby paused before following, and the coach just lowered his head, his hand finding his hip, a clipboard in hand as he trailed at a more sedate pace.