Teardrop Shot

Page 51

The two business guys had forgotten me. They zoomed past, and man, I caught a whiff. They were more loaded than I thought.

“Hey, man!” The first one held out his hand. “I need to shake your hand. When you went head-to-head against Zorskianova tonight, it was amazing ball work.” The guy was salivating.

I had my first flicker of pity. Been there, done that too.

He and his friend fawned over Reese, and the other table of customers approached—a quieter couple and another female friend with them. They asked for autographs, then pictures. The staff came next, all while Reese was ten feet from me.

I sat and watched, finishing my last drink.

Once that was done, another two hotel staff had come to get autographs, and hotel customers were coming out from their rooms. Word had gotten out somehow, so I silently paid for my drinks, and began to walk outside.

“Oh—okay. It was nice to meet you all.” Reese saw me going, scribbled the last autograph, and pushed it toward the guy waiting. “I gotta go.”

“But… Come on, one more?” a lady asked. She’d just stepped into the bar, her shirt barely covering her rack. One guess what she really wanted.

“I can’t. Sorry, guys.”

I was almost to the front door, and I could hear Reese coming up behind me. People were grumbling, and a few called out good-natured goodbyes and congratulations. Then Reese was next to me.

His hand came to the small of my back.

I sucked in a breath, tensing, but I didn’t pull away.

One more night.

“Hey.” His hand had been cautious, but when I didn’t jerk away, it pressed more firmly against me, anchoring me to him. “I’m really sorry. I left my phone at the house—”

“Let’s just go.”

His hand left my back. “You’re mad.”

I shook my head. “No.”

I was, but I was trying to tell myself I shouldn’t be. It had been a mishap. Simple.

Tell that to the baggage that was rising up in me, threatening to choke me. That shit wasn’t rational.

Falling in beside me, he hunched his shoulders forward. “I can understand why you’re mad, but it was all a mistake. Really. Marie said you went to the wrong seats, but I’m pretty certain she was the one who messed up—if she even went to the seats. Stan told me she was taking shots the whole time in the box, and I’m sorry about her. Marie’s usually really cool. Her doing that doesn’t make sense—but again, that wasn’t me.”

We were almost to his car.

“Hey,” he said more firmly. He caught my hand and pulled me to a stop.

I glanced back and saw a crowd had formed at the hotel’s entrance. A couple girls had followed us to the parking lot.

He stepped in, his hands coming to my face, but I stepped back. “Let’s do this at your house?”

It wasn’t really a question, more a strong suggestion. I turned, going to the passenger door.

He studied me a second before pulling out his keys. He went to the driver’s side, but paused before opening the door. “You are pissed.”

I looked away.

He sounded truly sorry. And it tugged at my heartstrings, but I’d decided.

His world was too much, too big, too powerful—too everything. I was just now surviving the one I’d left. How could I handle his? Even just for the small time we were anything?

I couldn’t. That was the answer. There was no way I was getting around that answer, no matter how much I was already yearning for his touch, and how much my insides were splitting open at the idea of flying home tomorrow and never returning.

I sighed. “I’m not, actually.” And because he wouldn’t leave it alone, I gave him my heart. “I’m hurt. I’m sad. I want to be in your arms, and I’m scared. I’m all of that.”

His eyes narrowed, and he seemed to come to some conclusion. He opened his door. “Please don’t shut me out because of this. I know he hurt you. But this, this was an accident. Bad timing. Bad events that made me forget my phone. Any other time, when my brother wasn’t being a nightmare, I would never let any of this happen. Do you believe me?”

I didn’t answer. I didn’t want to lie anymore.

He didn’t push for another response, but he took my hand for the whole drive back, and I let him.

Who was I kidding?

I clung to him. I didn’t think I could ever let go.

His phone kept buzzing as we drove. I glimpsed Stan’s name one time when I looked over, and after Reese parked in the garage, he read through the texts. Cursing softly, he sent out a flurry of responses, then turned his phone off and shoved it into his pocket.

He took the keys out of the ignition. “You ready?”

There was a bittersweet taste in my mouth as I nodded.

Reese lingered, his eyes falling to my mouth. “Juan mentioned drinks later this week. You up for that?”

He knew something was up, and he was casting out a tentative net, seeing how long I was planning to stick around. Or maybe not. Maybe he really was asking for drinks. I’d already lied to him once tonight.

“I thought I was flying back tomorrow?”

His eyes darkened, and he rested his head against his headrest. “I was hoping to change your mind.”

“Don’t you have an away game on Wednesday?”

“We won’t fly out till that morning.”

“You have practice tomorrow?”

“I gotta put some time in tomorrow.”

I should fly out. I should stick to the original plan, but… Even now, after just holding his hand for the last thirty minutes, I was having a hard time giving it up.

This was supposed to be fun. This was supposed to be just an odd friendship. When did all these emotions get involved? And fuck, but I couldn’t bring myself to make the hard decision.

One more day. Two more. Then that was it. A week.

I nodded. “Okay. You have a game in New York on Friday?”

“Yeah. Wanna come? I’ll fly you out.”

I could tell he didn’t think I’d take him up on that offer, and as a sad smile stretched over my face, he saw it for what it was.

“Yeah. Okay. I’ll change your flight for Friday morning?”

I nodded, not saying a word because his lips were on mine, and then I was wrapped up in all the sensations, all the good feelings, all the feelings I shouldn’t be feeling at all.

He groaned, pulling away to rest his forehead against mine. “Thank you for coming, even though it was a shit show tonight.”

What was I supposed to say? I shook my head, laughing lightly. “Thank YOU, you mean. You paid for the tickets. I just came and…” His hand moved to my legs, dipping between them, and I narrated as I did it: “I just spread ’em wide.”

He barked out a laugh, his mouth coming back to mine, harder, rougher, more demanding. “Come on.”

He came around the front to my side, bent down, and tossed me over his shoulder.


“Hush, woman. Now’s not the time for words.” His hand was firm on my ass, squeezing a good handful. “God, I love this ass.”

He carried me inside, tossing his keys onto the table, then kept on going, all the way up the stairs and to his bedroom. The windows were open, a sheer curtain covering them, but his gate gave us some privacy. We could hear the sounds of the ocean, a few cars on the road going past, but then silence.

I was surprised at how peaceful it was. Leaving the light off, Reese lowered me to the bed.

“I thought Seattle was supposed to be loud?” I remarked as I stretched out.

He knelt over me, the bed dipping under his weight. “It is, and it is in the city. I’m far enough out that we’re good. Plus, my neighborhood’s particularly quiet.”

A world I’d never live in, but it was a nice visit. Reese bent, and his mouth came to mine. This was all just a nice visit.

Not permanent.

I had to remember that. I couldn’t get caught up.

Reese’s mouth moved down my throat as he undressed me, and I undressed him.

I realized I’d been wrong. I’d thought the ocean was freeing, but it wasn’t. It was dangerous. His shirt came off, and I ran my hands down his chest, feeling how he shivered under my touch.

Yes. So much more dangerous.

I was up, enjoying my first official coffee from Seattle (shame on me for missing it yesterday) when the text came through. Reese had been gone when I got up. He’d woken me to whisper he’d be back around three, so I zonked back out and woke late in the morning.

We’d stayed up till five, a schedule Reese said he couldn’t keep up on a regular basis, but it was a one-off for us, and it’d been worth it.

Every inch of me had been worked over, kissed, worshiped. My vagina felt like it had played a double-header, and I almost groaned when I got into his shower and had the time to appreciate what I was seeing. He had a steamer shower.

Take me now—that’s what I felt as I put the timer on, and it was twenty minutes of gloriousness.

I was tempted to take my coffee back up for another round, because damn, the coffee was amazing too.

Any girl Reese chose could get spoiled by this life. I could see why Marie and A-hole Manager were protective.

Reese: You asked if salt and freshwater could have a conversation and determine who’s better? I can see it. Saltwater would win. It’s fiercer. It has whales. Come on.

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