Playing With Fire

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Trench Coat Hours


If there were ever an argument for my job, it would be the Portland Governors’ defense.
I can’t get a yard in front of me without going down and the only thing keeping the corner currently on my six from hauling me down, is the fact that I don’t have the ball yet.
No one’s open and Max has already been sacked twice.

I watch Armon come up behind me from my peripheral and thank God for small favors. With a mississippi to spare, Max hails it toward the red zone just a few yards ahead of my right. Armon doesn’t hesitate. My teammate takes off like a rocket.

Only, coming at his right is that monster corner. I go in for the block as he attempts to gain on Armon and a toe in front of the end zone, I leap into the air and throw all of my weight onto the two hundred seventy pound tank of a man jumping for an interception.

The force of the hit alone takes him off of his feet and my breath leaves my body at the collision in the turf. I’m not a violent man, but I got hit by this asshole twice tonight and each time was like being body slammed by a MAC truck. I’m going to live in an ice bath after this.
I watch the clock run out from the ground and suck in a lungful of oxygen before hopping to my feet. After assessing myself mentally, I reach a hand out to the corner, but he crawls to his knees and stands on his own.
Special teams heads onto the field as I try not to walk off like an eighty year old.
“If that’s the tone for the rest of the season, I’m going to need cortisone on an IV line,” Max says, spraying water over his face from a bottle.
“If that’s the tone for the rest of the season, your wife will be changing two sets of diapers,” Andy jokes.

Armon laughs. “As long as he can wipe his own ass, at least we know those hands still work.”
“Fuck, I am not twenty anymore,” I say, chugging down my water bottle in two swallows.
“I’m glad. You couldn’t block for shit back then,” he says. “How big is Garrison Dexter now? Like three hundred?”
“Close enough.”
Andy shakes his head. “You bitches whine more than my woman.”
“That’s a shame, man. You know they got pills for that now,” Miles adds in and even our offensive coordinator Rodney laughs.

By the time I shower, change, and make it out of the locker room, I’m half dead on my feet. A quick shuttle ride back to our hotel later and I barely have enough energy to eat.
I’m about to take the first bite of my dinner when there’s a knock at my door.
I set my fork down and everything cracks as I stand. “Someone better be dying,” I bark. But my entire body stiffens when I look through the peephole.

I wrench open my door and pull the gorgeous blonde through it. “Are you insane?”
Holli inhales sharply. “I’m sorry.”
“Step back.”
I pull the door open again and check the halls, but I don’t see anyone— reporter or otherwise— hiding behind a housekeeper’s cart or a curtain. I close it behind me, relocking the deadbolt and slide chain, then turn back to her.
I open my mouth to speak but my words die on my tongue as I study her closer than I had a moment ago.
The wild mane of curls I’d run my hands through that first night have been pressed smooth and her hair falls straight over both shoulders, the ends spiral in larger, softer curls.
The bangs that usually bounce in ringlets, are swept to the side and pinned. Her full lips are painted bright red and as she removes her sunglasses, her arresting hazel eyes nearly bring me to my knees.
“I’m really sorry. I kind of figured this was a bad idea, but I told myself to just get on the plane and the worst that could happen is you’d throw me out…”
Her words snap me out of my lust induced haze. I frown. “Holli, that’s nowhere near the worst that could happen. Two seasons ago, my QB and his wife were photographed from the inside of his hotel room. She almost lost her job and she didn’t work with kids.”
Her eyes widen. “Oh my God.”
“They got lucky ‘cause the angle and camera quality were shit, but forget pictures. What if your brother saw you? You know how I feel about telling him the truth, but this is not how I want to do it.”
“You’re right,” she mumbles, looking at her feet. “I don’t know what I was thinking.”
Stifling a chuckle, I tilt her chin up. “Next time, just give me a heads up so you don’t have to sneak up here. You’re not my groupie, Holli. I’ll put you in a room and come to you.”
Holli blinks. “You’re not mad?”
I look down at her tall black stilettos and crouch at her feet. I reach for her ankle, then slide my hand up her leg underneath her long, black jacket until my fingers rest on her hip. “Definitely not mad.”
Her hands clutch her jacket tight and I smile at her shudder. “I wanted to surprise you.”
“You succeeded.”

Just like last time, Holli flushes nervously, unsure of herself and it’s as charming as it is saddening. I hate wondering if it’s because of how she was treated by her ex-husband, but I can’t stop thinking about it. I can’t fathom that anyone could hurt such a sweet, sassy woman. Holli has a one of a kind spirit and the thought of anyone trying to break it, fucks with me.
“You’re shutting down again,” she whispers.
Her big eyes are laden with disappointment, but it’s the anger in them that surprises me. “What changed?”
“Holli, I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Don’t you?” She asks, her voice raising an octave. “What changed between us after the first night. You fucked me like the groupie you claim I’m not after knowing me all of the ten minute drive back to my hotel and now that we’re together, I’m batting oh for four. That’s what I’m talking about…
“And I’m not done! I’m not fragile, okay? I had a shit marriage and sometime soon, when I’m brave enough, I’ll tell you about it. But I’m not breakable, Lucas. I’ve been divorced two years, I’ve gone to therapy, and I’m ready to move on. I just want to do it a little faster.”
“Well say something!” She says.
I wrap my hands through her hair and cover her mouth with mine. Like strawberries and cream, Holli tastes every bit as perfect as the last time she let me kiss her and I swallow her moans like dessert.

She doesn’t merely kiss, she throws everything she has to give, into it. My hands unconsciously tug at the buttons on her jacket and I pull it from her shoulders.

Her long hair covers her breasts, but the rosy buds of her nipples peak through her golden mane. Her long, bare legs look like a dream and my mouth waters.
Her hand tugs at the waistband of her bright red thong. “I swear I looked, but you’d be very surprised how hard it is to find a lifeguard-red swimsuit. This was as close as I could get.”
Jesus fucking Christ.
My hands find her ass and her legs wrap sipping my torso as I lift her. Holli gasps at the sudden movement and grips my shoulders.
“I like costumes,” I murmur.
“I know.”
I latch onto the side of her neck, needing to taste her skin. It’s been too long since the last time. I groan with pent up impatience and my mouth trails down her collarbone. I move her hair to one side and the softest, breathiest moan I’ve ever heard, curses in my ear as my mouth closes over her nipple.
“Is this pace good for you?” I ask her and she nods wordlessly, her back arching off of the wall I have her pressed to.
“Words, Holli.”
“God, yes.”
I carry her to my bed and lay her at the edge. Her knees instinctively drop open and her spread legs coupled with her sexy heels have my brain short circuiting. I tease her clit with my thumb over her panties and I groan when I touch wet satin.
“Miss Peffercorn, I’d go fetch a ball from a rabid dog for you any day.”
Holli giggles but it dissolves into a breathy squeal when I pull her panties to the side and slide a finger into her tight, soaking heat.
“You were not lying.”
“About?” She asks, panting. Her walls clamp down on my finger and I’m so fucking hard, it’s painful.
“Being ready.”
Her blush colors her face to her breasts and she’s so perfect, she’s ethereal. I shouldn’t be allowed to touch something so beautiful. I’m also not a good enough man to stop myself.
I know I shouldn’t be fucking Holli in a hotel with reporters camped in bushes outside, jumping at the chance for a scandal. Especially not with her brother right down the damn hall.
But I’m shit for self awareness right now and there’s not enough blood cycling through the part of the brain responsible for good decision making.

With rushed forcefulness and no finesse, I tug her panties down her legs and toss them onto the floor. Holli’s breath hitches and my eyes lock on her bare pussy. Her scent makes my head swim with a suffocating need for her.
My hands find her thighs and spread them apart. Holli’s pink, sweetness glistens and her screams when my mouth finds her center are my reward.
“Sweet Jesus,” she moans with a hint of an adorable southern lilt I didn’t know she had, comes out.
She tastes like the honey sun tea my mom used to make in the summers, refreshing and sweet. And I devour her with the ferocity of a man who’s dinner was interrupted.
My cold food forgotten, I feast on what I’ve really craved for weeks and my girl grabs at the sheets for purchase as her thighs trap me to her. “Lucas!”
I groan as Holli fucks herself on my tongue. She moves so wildly, I have to hold her body down with my hand. With my free one, I tease her clit, making her sweet honey gush from its source.
Holli’s stomach muscles contract and I watch as her orgasm holds her prisoner. The sound she makes will be imprinted on my brain forever. Her body trembles under my hand and I watch in awe.

She seems to come forever, her tits jiggling with her jerky movements. If I don’t fuck her soon, my chest might fucking explode.
“Wow,” She squeaks, her voice high from lust and just as breathless as I feel. “I thought maybe my head was just exaggerating my memories, but no. That was definitely better than I remember.”

I kiss Holli because I can and her body melts beneath mine as if it was made to live there. Everything about her fits perfectly with me.
I pull away first, gripping her chin and tilting her gaze to mine. “Are you sure you’re ready, Holli? Because if we do this, I’m not going backward. You walk out of here my girlfriend, you tell me the truth about what’s going on, and we stop sneaking around like kids. I’m too old for that shit and I got bad knees. So I’m not chasing after you. You stay and you’ll never regret picking me, but I won’t keep a woman that doesn’t want to be kept, either.”
Holli’s brown-green eyes grow with surprise. “Are those my only two options?”
I nod. “I don’t want to scare you off, but I need a decision, gorgeous. I’m not comfortable lying to my best friend nor am I okay with you holding me at a distance, so I’m challenging you. I’ve never wanted anyone so much I can’t breathe, but I’m not going to put my heart on the chopping block while you make me an option.”
Holli attempts to push herself up, but I pull my body up onto my forearms and trap her in. She swallows. “Is that what you think? That you’re an option to me?”
“I think you know that you have to decide if being with me is worth telling me about those phone calls, and the terrified look you get when you answer them. Or the way you flinch when I move too quickly or how you wouldn’t let me put you on your back the first time I fucked you. Did you really think I wouldn’t notice?”
Tears well in her eyes and I ease off of her a little. Shit. I brush them from her cheeks. “I’m sorry, don’t cry.”
“No. You’re right. I have been distancing myself, but not for the reasons you think, Lucas. I want to tell you. I’ve always wanted to tell you. The first night I met you, you looked like someone that would feel like home when you held me and alarm bells went off in my head. I was wrong before. So wrong. And I didn’t trust my judgement, no matter how much I’d done to heal.
“But what you did to my body, I knew that was lust. I went to college, so I know how one night stands go. I didn’t kick you out because I needed you gone, I kicked you out because after two goddamn hours I wanted to tell you every thought I’d ever had the last four years and if you’d asked, I would have.” She sniffles, wiping her hands across her cheeks. “I would have told you about how I can’t stand the sight of pink roses because Winston would buy them fresh from the florist on the way home from the district he patrolled in.
“I would have told you that I stitched my own wrist after he threw a kitchen knife in my direction because I accidentally ruined one of his work uniforms when our dryer malfunctioned. Or that I spent most of my nights alone while he gambled his paycheck away, putting us further in debt. I’d have told you about Teresa, and Aimee, and Linda, and Vanessa, and all of the other women that’d made me go get tested at the women’s clinic when I found out about them. But most of all, I’d wanted to tell you how heart achingly lonely I’d been for the last six years of my life. But I couldn’t because how could I say any of that and still be seen as a person that’s not irreparably broken?”
“I’m sorry,” I whisper.
She pushes on my chest, but I hold her wrists in my hands, kissing one then the other. “Holli, just listen. God, I’m so sorry, baby… but that man failed you. He made vows, Holli and he broke all of them. That’s on him and he’ll have to answer to that either in his life or after. But you know that this is not your fault and has nothing to do with your judgment. He was supposed to protect you, to love you, and instead he thought he’d chosen a weak target that’d make him feel more important than he was.
“But he didn’t break you. I need you to know that because the girl that invited me to her hotel room, and showed me up at the batting cages wasn’t broken. She was strong and funny and she was herself with me.”
I sit at the edge of my bed and pull Holli onto my lap until she straddles me. She kisses my cheek and I capture her mouth before she can turn away. “That girl is far from lonely.”
“Don’t say things like that.”
“Why not?”
“Because I really want to believe them.”
I kiss her once more, then lift her to her feet. I walk over to the bathtub where the buckets of ice I had the hotel staff bring up, sit draining in the tub. I scoop them into a wash cloth then hold it to my face.
“Lucas, what are you doing? Did I say something wrong?” She asks, wearily.
I hold a finger up and numb the other side of my face. “Preparing and no.”
She blinks. “Preparing? For what?”
“Did I ever tell you I grew up on the south side of Chicago?”
“No, but I think I read it somewhere.”
After numbing my face I toss the ice in the sink in the suite’s kitchenette and grab the little travel size jar of Vaseline out of the gift basket on the table.
“Never thought it’d come in handy for something,” I say, rubbing it into my face.
Holli tilts her head as I start for my door and she rushes after me. “Where are you going?”
“Don’t leave this room,” I warn. Holli returns to the bed and I exit my suite.
Then head for Andy’s.

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