Apollo lounged lazily at the pool at his family’s home, now empty of all Dakiedes children. He’d bought a penthouse downtown close to the arena so he didn’t have so far to travel for work. Yeah, work. Like hockey was ever work for him. Oh, he practiced hard and played harder but even he thought it was a bit ridiculous to be paid an obscene amount of money to do what he loved. His father, Damon and two of his brothers were joining him in his laziness. Theo and Julian were goofing off in the pool while Damon draped his long frame into a chair next to Apollo.
Letting his eyes drift closed, he slipped off into a light sleep. His mind immediately went to Tess. It always did when he let his guard down. Well, she was on his mind even with his guards in place. She just weaseled her way into every thought and the image of her beautiful face was never far off. He let his imagination run a bit. The deeper into sleep he drifted, the more vivid his fantasies became. Her long auburn hair hung in shining waves down her bare back. She sat on the edge of the bed, her creamy breasts hidden behind the red curtain. Her long toned legs were drawn up to her chest. When she turned her bright green eyes to him, they swirled with heat and desire all for him.
He stepped toward the bed, shedding his clothes as he went. Tess let her lustful gaze travel up and down his muscular body, licking her lips in anticipation. As he reached for her, she lay back against the fluffy pillows letting her hair spill over the white sheets like velvet. She let her legs fall away until she was laid out before him like a sacrifice for his pleasure. His fingers trailed up her silky thighs, parting them to reveal the treasure hidden at the apex. Just as he was about to dive in for a taste, he found himself jerked awake by a cold splash of water.
“What the fuck?!?” he yelped. His brothers were killing themselves laughing, each holding a side of the bucket they had used to douse him with.
“Dude we had to wake you up,” Julian laughed. “You were moaning so fucking loud.” Oh shit. He’d been dreaming about Tess again. Shaking his head to get the water out of his hair, he took off after his brothers. Damon just shook his head, grinning at the antics of his children. Having satisfied his need for revenge by shoving Julian into the pool then successfully pantsing Theo, Apollo settled back in his chair.
“You’d think they would finally realize I’m faster than they are,” he chuckled. Damon laughed, stretching out on his lounge.
“One would think,” he said with a lopsided grin. “So what’s got you hanging with your old man on a beautiful day like today, son?” Apollo rolled his eyes and sank into his lounge, throwing an arm over his head.
“Fuck Pop, can’t a guy just want to spend some quality time with his father? We haven’t seen much of each other since I signed with the Sounders.” Damon laughed and laced his fingers behind his head.
“Yeah, of course. Your brothers spend lots of quality time with me…but not you. Now I know you love me but it’s unlike you to be quiet, for one. And two, to spend time like this at home with me. We usually hit the ice or some other guy thing you’ve come up with.” Apollo should have known he couldn’t fool his father. The man could see straight through him. Maybe it was a dad thing.
“Fine,” he sighed. “Did you and Mom ever fight?”
“Oh hell yeah. Like cats and dogs,” Damon chuckled. “God she was glorious when she was angry. Her eyes flashed like sapphires and she would cock her hip to the side when she was ready to let loose with her tongue. Most of you are the result of our make up sessions.” He winked as Apollo grimaced at the thought of his parents having sex.
“Did you ever fuck up so bad you didn’t think she’d ever forgive you?”
“Ah, this is about Tess.” Apollo nodded. “To answer your question, yes I did. I was a stupid young rookie, just freshly signed with the Sounders. There were women everywhere and I was living it up, not caring where I stuck my dick. Then I met your mother. I fell hard. She was the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen and I wanted her like I’d never wanted anyone else. She didn’t surrender easily, though. She made me work for her affection. When she finally agreed to go out with me, I thought I’d finally won her over. We dated for a few months and things were going fantastic.” Damon’s eyes took on a faraway look, sadness creeping in and flooding the dark depths.
“Then I got slapped with a paternity suit. Some chick I didn’t even know claimed I was the father of her son.” Apollo’s mouth dropped open.
“What?? Are you telling me I have a brother out there somewhere?” Damon rolled his eyes and thumped Apollo on the back of the head.
“No dumbass. Anyway, I ended up in court and it was a huge scandal. It almost cost me my career. But more than that, it almost cost me your mother.”
“What happened?” Apollo was afraid to ask but there was a reason his dad was sharing this with him.
“I took a paternity test and the kid wasn’t mine. Not even close,” Damon chuckled. “But that wasn’t enough for Diana. She’d lost all trust in me and refused to see me. Those were some of the darkest days of my life.”
“Wow, Pop. Obviously you made up because well…I’m here along with my siblings. How did you get her to forgive you?” Damon sighed and crossed his ankles.
“I pursued her, son. I didn’t give up on her or the love we shared. I believed with every fiber of my being that she was the woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with and I knew she felt the same way. So, I pushed through every obstacle she put in our path, broke down every wall she tried to erect and refused to let her shut any doors on us.” He gave Apollo an intense stare. “How much do you want Tess? Is she the one?”
“Yeah Pop. She is. I was just too fucking stupid to see it when it was right in front of me. After Darius pulled that stunt by locking us up in your study together, she has avoided me more than ever. I don’t know how to break down her barriers but I know I don’t want to live without her.”
“Good. Then get off your ass and go after her, Pollo. Go after her until she can’t run anymore, until she’s so exhausted she collapses in your arms. Don’t let up, don’t quit and by all means don’t let her go.”
“You’re right Pop.” Apollo stood and ran his hands through his dark hair. “So you go any pointers on how I go about doing all that?”
“Well, I peppered Diana with flowers everywhere she went. I kept her apartment full of them until she called me to tell me to stop. Of course, I didn’t stop. I started showing up at her job every morning with her favorite pastry and coffee just the way she liked it. I never said a word, just handed her the goodies and kissed her cheek. Infuriated the fuck out of her,” Damon laughed “but it was worth it.”
“Oh yeah? How?”
“I’d been doing that about three months and one morning it wasn’t her cheek I went for. I kissed her square on her lips…and she kissed me back.” With a wink, Damon lifted himself off the lounge and gave a good stretch. Slapping his youngest son on the back, he pulled him into a hug. “Go get your woman, son. I’m here if you need me.”
“Thanks Pop. You’re the best.” Apollo hugged his father like he did when he was a little boy. He hadn’t realized how much he’d needed to talk to the old man until now. Hearing about the heartache that almost caused him not to be born gave him hope. If his parents could make it through something as devastating as that, then he could get through this with Tess on his arm in the end. He just needed to come up with a plan. And he knew just who to talk to.