Unnecessary roughness, p.1

Unnecessary Roughness, page 1

 part  #2 of  ESC Mavericks Series

 

Unnecessary Roughness
 


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Unnecessary Roughness


  Table of Contents

  Epilogue

  Nate

  Owen

  Thank You For Reading

  Also by Alison Hendricks

  Unnecessary Roughness

  Alison Hendricks

  Contents

  1. Nate

  2. Owen

  3. Nate

  4. Owen

  5. Nate

  6. Owen

  7. Nate

  8. Owen

  9. Nate

  10. Nate

  11. Owen

  12. Nate

  13. Nate

  14. Owen

  15. Owen

  16. Nate

  17. Owen

  18. Nate

  19. Nate

  20. Nate

  21. Owen

  22. Owen

  23. Nate

  Epilogue

  Thank You For Reading

  Also by Alison Hendricks

  Unnecessary Roughness © Alison Hendricks 2018.

  Amazon Kindle Edition.

  Edited by Rake and Rogue Press.

  Cover design by Resplendent Media.

  All rights reserved. No part of this story may be used, reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission of the copyright holder, except in the case of brief quotations embodied within critical reviews and articles.

  This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer’s imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locale or organizations is entirely coincidental.

  The author has asserted his/her rights under the Copyright Designs and Patents Acts 1988 (as amended) to be identified as the author of this book.

  This book contains sexually explicit content which is suitable only for mature readers.

  First LoveLight Press electronic publication: February 2018.

  http://lovelightpress.com

  Unnecessary Roughness is set in the United States, and as such uses American English throughout.

  Created with Vellum

  1

  Nate

  I lay on my stomach, draped sideways across my tiny twin bed, my legs and ass hanging off one end. My muscles ache with that delicious fatigue that sets in only after being fucked by some guy who's trying to make a point.

  The point that he's not gay, of course. Even if his dick was just buried inside me when he came.

  After a year at ESC, it's become pretty familiar. I'm like a goddamn magnet for fellow jocks who are repressed as hell. They get that urge, maybe pop one too many boners in the locker room, and then they come to me to do something about it.

  I don't even remember how it started, but it's kept me with a steady supply of dick since I started here, so I've got no complaints.

  I can hear my latest partner, Vic, zipping up behind me. He's been a regular "customer" since I started on PrEP and credit where credit's due: the guy's got a lot of repressed feelings and he takes them all out on me.

  I'm pretty sure he's got a thing for one of the other guys on the baseball team. And hey, why not? Those guys run around in pants that are tighter than ours. But Vic's never going to act on his surprise boners--at least not with the guy in question. Why open himself up to rejection when he can just fuck a willing partner?

  "Same time next week?" I ask, turning over with a groan.

  "I already told you, this is the last time." His belt clanks as he does it up. Vic's gotten good at making himself look presentable afterward, and he fixes his hair without even looking at a mirror.

  All the while, I just smirk. He says this every time. Almost all the guys do. Some keep to it, their bi-curiosity sated. But most come back for more.

  Next week after baseball practice, when Vic has to suffer through wanting his teammate's tight little ass for hours at a time, he'll be back. I could probably set my watch by it, if I had one.

  For now, though, he leaves with only a murmured "thanks" before he slips out of my dorm room. I grin to myself, pushing up into a sitting position. I'm performing a public service here. He should thank me.

  Grabbing my caddy, I hit the showers and wash off the smell of sweat, sex, and Vic. That's the thing about these casual encounters. No risk, no attachment. A hot shower is all it takes for me to feel good as new and ready to move on. Honestly, it's a hell of a way to experience college life. Especially at a southern community college where so many of the guys are looking to get their dicks wet without wanting to admit they’re bi.

  My half hour or so with Vic now just a sexy memory, I change into fresh workout clothes and head over to the campus gym. We've got preseason conditioning at three, but I want to get some circuit time in beforehand.

  That and the gym is a great place to cruise.

  Maybe some people would call me shameless, but I'm just a guy who knows what he wants and how to get it. I've become the jock whisperer, and word of mouth travels fast enough that there's usually somebody in the gym who's down for some fun.

  Today, that somebody is a guy who's lifting free weights without a spotter. I can feel him watching me as I use the rowing machine, his gaze lingering on my toned chest as my muscles pull taut. I ignore him for a while, just going about my business. It's more fun if they have to chase me a little bit.

  It almost seems like this guy's going to give up, though. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe this burly, must-be-a-wrestler dude was just admiring a fellow athlete's physique. But as I work my arms on the shoulder press, I can feel his attention on me again. Or more specifically, on my crotch. I grin to myself and decide to cut him some slack. Finishing up my set, I grab a towel and make my way over to him.

  "Pretty quiet today," I say, like either of us care about making small talk.

  "Yeah."

  Man of few words. I can live with that, though it would help if he gave me a little something to work with. My gaydar's not infallible. It's only steered me wrong once, so I go for the obvious play and look down at the bulge in his gym shorts. My gaze stays there before finally meeting his eyes again, and I see the heat I was hoping for.

  "Got class until seven, but if you end up near the C dorms around eight, I'll be there. Room twenty-one. No other roommates."

  He looks around worriedly, like I've just propositioned him in the middle of a crowd. Once he sees it's just us, he calms and gives me a nod. Nothing else to go off of, though, and I figure it could go either way.

  Either he'll show up at eight with a hard-on ready to go, or he'll go out of his way to avoid me until the offer's just too tempting for him to pass up. I win no matter what, and having that lined up makes it easier for me to focus on my routine.

  Wrestler guy leaves, and before long my teammates start trickling in. Eli, a tight end, greets me with some skin on skin, his palm striking mine.

  "Look at you, fuckin' overachiever."

  "Can't let you run up the yards again this year," I fire back with a grin.

  What can I say? I'm competitive as fuck. I wouldn't be playing football otherwise. And wanting that W is a hell of a lot better than not giving a shit just because this is Juco. That's the way Mavericks football used to be up until last year, when a near miss of the state championship pumped everybody up for the next season, me included.

  Eli and I spot for each other, pushing each other to do more. And it's good, but not nearly enough fuel for the fire. At the end of the day, he's still my teammate, and my friend. I want him to do well so our team can do well.

  What I really need is a rival. Somebody to play grudge matches against. Some asshole who thinks he's better than me; someone I can run into the ground.

  I had that in high
school. One guy who was always there, dogging me every step of the way, even when we weren't playing against each other. But damn, it pisses me off just to think about him and what he did to me. Eli has to wonder what the fuck's gotten into me as I slam down the weights again and again, my chest heaving.

  Owen Collins.

  It's a name I'm not ever going to forget. He was my first real enemy. The guy who made my high school career hell. The reason I didn't get into a D1 program.

  Last time I checked up on him, he was redshirting for some D2 shithole. Riding the bench all year, putting all that muscle to waste. As far as I'm concerned, his ass can stay there.

  Because if he ever shows up on the same field as me again, I’ll make sure he gets what’s coming to him.

  2

  Owen

  Growing up, I always told myself I was going to leave my hometown. I wasn't going to end up another statistic like the thousands of people who barely graduate high school, get married, raise kids, and then live here until they die. There's nothing wrong with that life, but it's never been what I wanted for myself.

  I always thought I'd be playing for some out of state D1 college. Still representing the SEC, with any luck, but not necessarily taking up the orange and blue like my dad. I figured I'd be on a fast track to the NFL, with recruiters breathing down my neck as early as my sophomore year. And maybe I wouldn't place in the top of the draft--probably not even the top ten--but I'd go to a good team and I'd pull my weight and make a career out of it.

  But things didn't happen like that.

  There were no D1 offers. I fucked that up in high school. The only reason I ended up walking on with Florida Tech was because of my dad, and I was redshirted my whole freshman year, never once taking the field.

  Now I'm in the middle of nowhere in rural central Florida, trying to find a parking spot at the local junior college, hoping my dad can work his magic again. It's humiliating, but some part of me is honestly feeling optimistic. I have unfinished business here and, if I can sort it out, maybe karma or whatever's holding me back will finally even out.

  My dad, unfortunately, doesn't see it that way."Jesus, what a shithole."

  It's his first comment the second we step out of the car. And I guess to be fair, I can smell shit. I think the campus is downwind of a dairy farm. But I know he's talking about everything else.

  The patchy, dying grass that marks the parking lot. The sun-cracked sidewalks we take to get to the athletic department. The barely-visible paint on the field we pass on the way there. The bargain basement equipment that's scattered haphazardly in the gym.

  Compared to UF, yeah, it's a shithole. But ESC doesn't have millions of dollars to spread across their whole athletic department, let alone to support their football team.

  Perspective. Dad's never been very good at that.

  "I heard they got a grant after last season," I say, trying to put a good spin on things. "Should be better this year."

  "Not a real high bar to clear," he mutters.

  But the closer we get to the coach's office, the quieter he becomes. He knows this isn't a sure bet. Considering what I've done in the past--and who I did it with--nothing is really a sure bet. I know he'll lean on every ounce of that 'good old days' nostalgia, though. It worked with Florida Tech--sort of. It might work here.

  Though it would be nice for me to actually get a chance to prove myself.

  "Straighten your tie," he tells me, while simultaneously fussing with his own.

  I pinch the knot between three fingers and adjust it, smoothing down the silky strip of fabric. I've worn a tie exactly three times in my life, and I've never once felt comfortable.

  Dad knocks on the door and I hear a muffled voice from inside telling us to come in. Moments later, I'm standing inside the office of the man who holds my future in his hands.

  Coach Ladner is pretty much exactly what you'd expect from a Juco coach. Broad. Stout. Built like a bull. Prematurely gray, with a thinning hairline. Round face, a little red in the cheeks, despite an even temper right now. I have a feeling he could just go off if he had cause to.

  "Tom Collins," he says, rising from his chair, his arms out for a hug, "it's been a long damn time. How are you?"

  Dad embraces him, and they share what I can only describe as a bro pat before pulling apart.

  "Can't complain, can't complain. You?"

  "Not bad," he answers, his attention turning to me. "You must be Owen."

  I reach out my hand to shake, figuring that will be the most appropriate greeting. "Yes, sir."

  Coach Ladner gives my hand a firm pump, looking me over the way someone might appraise a cow on the auction block. The part of me that still sees himself as just a chunky kid--despite the fact that I've turned that baby fat into solid muscle over the years--wonders what he sees, and if it'll be enough.

  "Have a seat," he says, gesturing to two chairs in front of his desk.

  Dad and I sit down, and he goes behind his desk, pulling out a file. I can see my name on it, written in thin black Sharpie on a strip of white-out tape. It must be my high school stats, because I sure as hell don't have anything to show for my college career.

  "So, let's address the elephant in the room." He reaches for a pair of reading glasses and flips open the manila folder. "Looks like you had an altercation with one of my players."

  I knew this was coming, but I still can't help wincing. It wasn't the single dumbest thing I've ever done, but it's wrapped up in a long line of stupid decisions.

  And all of them centered around one person.

  "Nate Vincent."

  "That's water under the bridge," my dad interjects. "Done and buried. They were both dumb kids. You know how it is when tempers run high."

  Coach Ladner's smile is humorless. "I appreciate you want to support your boy, Tom, but I don't need a secondhand account. I'm more interested in hearing his take on it."

  Well that's actually... really good. Coaches rarely take an interest in my opinion and my thoughts instead of just my dad's. I'm not sure it’s ever happened, come to think of it. But part of that is because Dad was my peewee coach until I was fifteen and ready to try out for varsity.

  "It was stupid," I say simply, "and reckless, and juvenile. It never should've gone that far, and I've regretted it every single day since."

  It's not the event itself that I regret. More what led up to it. But I can't really tell Coach that without telling the rest of the story.

  Even Nate doesn’t know about that part of it.

  "Who's to say it won't happen again? You're opposite each other on the practice field. It's your job to bring him down. If he gets testy, what's stopping the fists from flying?"

  It's something I've thought about a lot, and it's probably the biggest hurdle I have to playing for the Mavericks. The first time I brought it up, Dad thought I was crazy to even consider it.

  But I tell the coach what I told him:

  "Honestly, sir, I'm hoping to make amends. It's been three years. I'd like to apologize so we can move past it."

  Beside me, I can almost feel my dad tense. "Not like you were the only one to blame. That boy provoked--"

  "I think it shows real character to admit you're at fault," Coach says, cutting him off, "and to come here and face it like a man. That's the sort of thing I look for in my players."

  That shuts Dad up, and I'm honestly grateful for it. I love my dad. He's my idol. He's always been in my corner, even after I threw away my shot at a scholarship. He's convinced I'm the best cornerback the NCAA has ever seen.

  But sometimes he doesn't know when to suck it up and take the L.

  “Of course, I’m going to have to talk to Nate. I don’t want him to be blindsided by this.”

  My stomach drops out as the weight of those words hits me. Maybe Nate’s moved past it. Maybe he won’t even know who I am anymore. But the Nate I knew would’ve flipped the fuck out, and it feels like a coward’s way out to have Coach Ladner tell him what I sho
uld be saying to his face.

  “I’d like to speak to him myself,” I say, as respectfully as I can manage. I can feel my dad’s eyes on me, but I keep going, “I owe him that much.”

  Coach leans back in his chair and levels a searching gaze at me. I can barely breathe in those few moments, and when he finally nods, I let go of the breath I was holding.

  "All right then. Let’s have a look at your record here..."

  He flips the page and I can feel my confidence return. Teenage stupidity aside, I was a decent student and a good cornerback all through high school. The numbers always work out in my favor.

  "Eleven interceptions, eight forced fumbles, five touchdowns. Damn impressive record, son."

  It's hard not to feel pride over my accomplishments, and I don't try to fight it. I worked my ass off to put up those numbers. I just need a chance to prove I can do it again.

  "I'd like to break that record here, sir. If you'll have me."

  I can hear the moment Dad holds his breath, and it makes my own pulse kick into a frantic beat.

  "I think the Mavericks would be lucky to have you," he says with a smile, and I let out my breath in a whoosh of air.

  There's some hand-shaking, congratulating, and signing of papers. Dad is over the moon, even though I know he just sees ESC as a stepping stone to bigger and better things, but honestly my brain is already somewhere else.

  I'm eager to get on the field again. To be responsible for stopping a drive no one else can touch. To feel that rush of air as the ball slips perfectly into my waiting hands.

  But deep down, the thing I most want to do is make amends. To finally set aside this rivalry with Nate Vincent and move on with my life.

  3

  Nate

  I was always an overactive kid. Or, as my mom likes to say, "a Jack Russell terrier in the body of a boy." I'm pretty sure my parents enrolled me in peewee football just so I'd have some way to work off all that excess energy I had after being confined to a classroom all day.

 
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