Teardrop Shot

Page 61

He began to scratch at his chest idly. “It was on the outside at first, then on the inside. I felt like I was being tickled constantly. I liked it, but it was odd at the same time, and then suddenly one day, I found myself wondering about you. I wanted to know what you were doing, how you were. I mean, you were thirteen feet away in a ball cage, but I still had the thoughts. They just built and built, and you started to fucking take over. All my brother shit, that got pushed aside. You and basketball. That was what I thought about, and it was nice—a nice break from everything else. And somewhere along the line I began worrying about you, caring about you, doing things to make you feel better, to make sure you were okay. Then we started screwing and I thought, Okay, this will get her out of my system. It was the opposite. You started to consume me, and I hated it. I loathed it, but I couldn’t do anything about it. It’s like you decided to take over everything inside my body, move in, and be content to live with me for the rest of time, and I had no say about it.”

He scowled at me. “It was really fucking annoying. Now you’re in there, and I give a shit. And I want you around me all the time. And I loved that your boss got canned, and I loved fucking you away from camp. And then I had to leave, and I just wanted to be back with you. I didn’t care where it was. Here, I mean, not really here. We’re in Chicago, but you know what I mean. If I’m on the road or in Seattle or at your place—wherever you are. I just want to be around you, and I want to make you happy, and I don’t ever, ever want you to walk away from me again.”

He stepped closer, within touching distance. His eyes were so fierce, shooting daggers at me. “Got it? You’re all about being exposed and shit—well, you’re not alone. I love you, and I have no idea what to do with this. I don’t say pretty words or make fucking declarations. I like you. I love you. I want to always be with you, and that’s that. Right? Isn’t that good enough?”

He was almost shouting at me.

I loved it.

I lapped it all up like a cat getting cream for the first time. Yes, sir. More, sir. I’ll drool for it.

He laughed at me. “You’re beaming.”

I was.

I loved to beam.

Standing up on my tiptoes, I raised my arms for him. He stepped in, folding his around me, and his head bent to my neck. I kissed his jawline, his cheek, the corner of his mouth, and I whispered against his lips, “You’re annoyed at how much you love me. That’s the most romantic thing anyone’s ever said.”

He barked a laugh. “I doubt it. I bet Damian said all sorts of nice things to you.”

He did, but he said not-so-nice things to me too.

“Your net worth outweighs his. How about that?”

Another bark from him, then his hands shifted to grip my ass, and he began nuzzling my neck. “God.” He pressed a lingering kiss to my throat. “I really fucking love you.”

“I really fucking love you too.”

He kissed me. My lips molded to his, my body melting.

Then he lifted his head. “Don’t ever leave me. Okay?”

I sobered at that question and leaned backward. My hands rested on his biceps. “Same. Got it?” I held up my pinkie.

He stared at me as a wicked grin curved on his face. “Really?”

I raised it higher. “Got it?”

“You and me?” He wrapped his pinkie around mine, everything in him gentle. He smoothed his hand through my hair, the touch loving, and he let out a soft sigh. “I about died when I got your texts tonight.”

I tightened my pinkie around his. “Really? How so?”

He laughed again, his hand breaking away, but curving around my back and sweeping up under my shirt. His head bent. I felt his lips tasting my neck, tantalizing, caressing and licking.

“Just almost shit my pants thinking what you’d think seeing that girl. I didn’t touch her, but I didn’t stop her from touching me.” He looked at me, earnest. “I’ve not touched anyone since you. I swear. You’ve ruined me. I’ve realized it’s either you or no one.”

I smoothed my hand up his arm, twining my fingers around the back of his neck, and I leaned back to smile at him. Dazzling.

“Oh, Reese. You’re trying to tell me an NBA player wouldn’t eventually have sex with all those girls who throw themselves at you guys? You’re right. I believe in the Easter Bunny too.”

His hands squeezed my sides, and his mouth found mine. “It’s true. I don’t care what you say.”

Then his tongue danced with mine, and soon we were doing more than kissing. Soon no more words were needed, except that I really loved the way he professed his love as he slid inside of me that night—and afterwards, and before we fell asleep, and again and again and again.

Breaking News

Roman Forster, the older brother of Seattle Thunder player Reese Forster, has died. Medical personnel found his body early this morning after responding to a 911 call from his hotel room. Sources indicate he died from an overdose.

Roman Forster had been recently released on bail for pending sexual assault charges. Though estranged from his younger brother, Reese Forster, Roman had indicated in interviews that he wished to make amends. A source close to the family reports that a history of alcoholism and addiction has played a part in their estrangement. It’s also reported that Reese Forster is estranged from his mother and father.

A spokesperson for Reese Forster had no comment when we reached out.

The Seattle Thunder is scheduled to play the Chicago Chasers this evening. It’s not been reported whether Forster will be playing.

We’ll be following this story as more details develop.

The call came at three that morning.

They asked Reese where he was, and told him to stay put.

The first knock came thirty minutes later, and Stan and Juan came into Trent’s apartment. Unshed tears glistened in Juan’s eyes, though Stan barely blinked when they walked past me. I saw him wiping his eyes in the kitchen corner later on.

The phone rang over and over after that. Stan took some of the calls. Juan talked to the coach, but after an hour of being beside Reese, Juan bunked down in Trent’s guest bedroom.

Reese couldn’t take time off, so they made the best decision they could. I found extra bedding for Stan, who said he’d sleep on the couch. I changed the bedding in Trent’s guest room as well, but Juan insisted on having us use Trent’s main room. He said we might need privacy and the bathroom was attached. Plus, this was my friend’s place, so that was that. We lie in bed until Reese’s alarm went off.

He turned it off, but didn’t move.

I didn’t have to ask if he’d gotten any sleep. He hadn’t. We’d both lain in bed, and I’d held him as tears slipped down his face.

A soft knock came an hour later, and Juan stuck his head in. There were heavy bags under his eyes. “I’m heading back to be with the team. Coach called, said you weren’t answering your phone. You want anything special from us?”

Reese sat up on the edge of the bed and leaned forward, his head in his hands. “Nah. Thanks, man.”

“Yeah.” Juan’s gaze met mine over Reese’s head. “You need anything?”

I shook my head, my hand resting on Reese’s back, moving up and down, comforting. “I’ll call if I think of anything.”

“Uh…” He cleared his throat. “I heard the team is moving hotels tonight. The lobby was flooded with fans, so I’ll grab all your stuff. Marie said she was flying in. She’ll handle it all, bring your stuff wherever you end up.”

“Have Marie give it to Stan. I’m sure we’ll fly out of here tonight. He’ll make sure it’s all on the plane.”

“I’ll do that.”

“Thanks, man. Means a lot.”

My eyes closed. Reese’s voice was hoarse, and I could feel the emotion in him. I blinked back a tear of my own, my strokes growing firmer as I rubbed over Reese’s back.

Someone knocked on the apartment door.

Reese looked up.

Juan glanced over his shoulder.

We heard muted footsteps, then the door opening and low murmurs.

Juan looked back. “It’s Coach.”

Reese sighed, running a hand over his face. “Tell him I’ll be out. Gotta dress quick.”

“Will do.”

After Reese got up and went in the bathroom, Juan said to me, “You’ll take care of him?”


He nodded. “Roman was a pain in the ass,” he whispered, “but Reese loved him. You love family whether they’re kind or not to you.”

Then he shut the door behind him, and I could hear him talking to someone on the other side.

Waiting for Reese, I slipped out of bed and grabbed some clothes—his sweatshirt, some leggings, and a pair of ballet slippers I’d grabbed at the last second. I sat on the edge of the bed until it was evident Reese wasn’t coming out anytime soon.

I crossed to the bathroom, knocking. I tried the handle. “Reese?”

He didn’t answer.

Opening the door, my heart broke. There was no other way to say it. He sat on the floor in his sweatpants by the toilet. His knees were up as he did his best to curl himself into a ball. His head was in his hands, and I didn’t think.

Going to him, I said his name once, sliding to my knees and moving right between his legs.

A sob left him, but he opened his arms. Crawling into his lap, I straddled his waist and wound my arms around him, pulling him close.

His hands balled into fists at my sides, and he cried.

There were no words. Not like this, when it’s raw and new and has the power to change you forever. Nothing could take it away or soothe it, and the only thing I could offer was knowing he wasn’t alone.

I brushed his hair back, kissing his forehead and whispering over and over, “I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.”

Eventually I felt a presence behind us.

Twisting my head just enough, I saw Coach Winston at the door, looking utterly broken. Reese seemed oblivious. His tears kept falling, his head buried against me, and I just kept soothing him. I was doing the best I could.

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