Their protector an mc ou.., p.77

Their Protector: An MC Outlaw Halloween Romance, page 77

 

Their Protector: An MC Outlaw Halloween Romance
 



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  Riley takes my hand and squeezes it. I’m reminded of the very first day I laid eyes on her— when I was in jail, of all places. I knew then that I had to have her. And now I do.

  “From that day on, Dad would tease me and call me Drew,” I say, taking over the story. “Especially when I did anything wrong. He would say, ‘Drew, was that you again?’ And these assholes over here—” I pointed to my brothers— “would say, ‘You better tell on yourself Jensen, or else he’ll think it was Drew, doing everything better and worse than you.’”

  Everyone laughs, even Mom. I’m amazed at how peacefully she’s taking this transition. She was apologetic when she came to the next morning and found out she had slept through the birth of her grandson. Riley’s labor had been nearly as quick as its onset, and Drew was born within just a few hours.

  We’d been pretty sure we wanted to name him Drew but when he arrived, we were sure of it. His angelic face looked like it was saying, “I’ll never do a thing wrong in my whole life. Blame Drew, not me!”

  So we’d spent two days in the hospital and Mom kept coming to try to meet Drew and apologize but we’d not let her in. We explained to her on the phone that it wasn’t personal— we wanted Dad to meet the baby at the same time everyone else did. So now here we are, except earlier today we’d sat down with Mom for a heart to heart. She was so glad we were still talking to her that she’d agreed to anything we’d asked.

  “That’s such a beautiful story,” Whitney says. “And what a great name for Mr. Drew. A constant reminder of what an awesome grandpa he has.”

  “He really was,” says Mom, and we all turn to look at her, kind of surprised. “Now I would like to tell you the other reason we came today.”

  Now we’re all very surprised. Mom rarely comes to visit Dad and we’ve certainly never heard her talk like this before.

  We all just stare at her, waiting for her to continue, and not being able to believe our ears.

  Chapter 10 – Jensen

  “I’m going to be going to Albuquerque Acres, which sounds fancy but it’s really just a home for old crazy addicts like me,” Mom says to Dad’s grave.

  No one knows whether to laugh or cry. We all just look at her, kind of stunned.

  “I wanted to come say goodbye to you. I’m sure I’ll be allowed out with relatives, and we can come back, but… I felt I should let you know in person. And to apologize for how I’ve treated you— all of you— in the past.”

  Her old, frail hands are shaking, but I take one of them into my own. I’d already been holding Riley’s hand in my other hand. Harlow holds Mom’s other hand and soon we’re making a circle around Dad’s grave, all of us holding hands.

  “We love you, Mom,” I tell her. “And I’m sure Dad forgives you.”

  “Do you forgive me?” she asks, looking at me and then at my brothers.

  I take a breath. I know there’s a very big chance she’ll revert back to the selfish, arrogant woman she always has been. I know she is just feeling contrite because of all the heartache she’d put us through before Drew was born. But she had never asked us for forgiveness before, and I figure there’s no better time or place to make peace.

  “Yes,” I tell her, and Harlow and Ramsey say the same.

  “But I put you through so much,” she says, tears rolling down her eyes. “I’m just beginning to realize, nearly too late, the full extent of it.”

  “It’s okay, Mom,” Ramsey says, reaching out to pat her hand on top of my own. “We really do forgive you.”

  “We’ve been through worse,” Harlow says, and I have to give him that. He’s definitely been through worse— and I guess he’s right that we all have. “But we have each other other, brothers united through thick and thin. And the love of the women— and children— in our lives, to see us through.”

  There’s something about the way he says “children” that makes me form a question in my mind. Monica must have the same reaction, because she cocks her head and looks at him, and then at Whitney.

  “So, wait a minute,” she says. “I hate to break up the hippy dippy mood around here, but… Whitney, if you were upset because of everything going on with—” she nods her head in Mom’s direction, clearly not wanting to be more specific— “all of this, then, you weren’t worried about getting pregnant?”

  “What?” Ramsey asks, shaking his head as if her question does not compute. But Riley is smiling, and I am too, because I know what she’s getting at. “What does one of those things have to do with the other? And, Monica, it’s rude to pry like that…”

  “No, it’s okay,” Whitney says, a big smile crossing her face. “Monica was thinking I was upset due to not being able to get pregnant. I was, for a while, but now I have no reason not to be.”

  “Really?” Riley says, breaking out of the circle to go hug Monica. Whitney soon joins in, as does my mom. “Congratulations.”

  “Yes, really,” Whitney says. “Soon I’ll have one of these.”

  She leans over and kisses sleeping Drew on the top of his head. “I just got the positive test last week. We were waiting for the right time to tell you, and this seems as good a time as any.”

  “Hooray!” James says, running around in a circle.

  “Don’t step on the gravesites,” Ramsey tells him.

  I slap Harlow on the back. “Good job, little brother!” I say.

  “Yes, great job,” Ramsey says.

  “I’m gonna get a cousin,” James says, in a sing-songy toddler voice. “He’s gonna be so cooooooooool.”

  “Hey,” Whitney says, laughing. “Maybe it’ll be a she . I know that boys run in the family, but I think it might be time for one of us to have the first girl.”

  “I agree,” Riley says, and reaches over to hold my hand again.

  “Unless…” Whitney says, looking curiously at Monica. “You guys aren’t…”

  “Pregnant again?” Monica laughs. “Hell no. Oops.”

  She looks at James and then says, “Heck no. We do want another one, but we’re waiting a little longer.”

  “And I’m kind of hoping it’s another boy,” Ramsey says. “Because I think that everyone needs a brother, or two.”

  As we walk back up the hill, to take Mom to the new life that awaits her at the home and to put little Drew to bed, I can’t help but agree with him.

  Everyone definitely needs two brothers as amazing as my own . Then, as I look down at a sleeping Drew and over at his smiling, happy mommy, I think: and a wife and son as amazing as my own, as well.

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  Out of Bounds: A Bad Boy Sports Romance

  Copyright 2017 by Juliana Conners; All Rights Reserved.

  Published by Swann Song Books

  This book is a work of fiction and any similarities to real places, people or events are entirely coincidental. This book may not be reproduced or distributed in any format except for short quotes for review purposes, without the express written consent of the author.

  To Matt, as always.

  And to Weston Michael, as a welcome to the world and to our crazy family.

  Thank you for smiling as you wait for me to finish a scene

  before I change your diaper.

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  Chapter 1 – Wesley

  Damn it.

  Midway through walk on tryouts, I pull something in my leg.

  I’m jumping back into football too soon, too hard, after too much time being away from the field.

  A stupid, avoidable injury like this is the reason I should have been practicing all summer.

  Except I thought I wasn’t going to get to play.

  Scratch that.

  I didn’t just think I wasn’t going to get to play, I was pretty damn sure of it. Since that’s what the Powers That Be had informed me when they not so nicely dismissed me from Huningdale University and from the Warriors football team I had led to victory during my first season as its quarterback.

  “Run through it, run through it, run through it!” Coach Thompson bellows at me now.

  If only his players were as strong as his lungs.

  I can’t believe I’m trying out for such a shitty football team. The Calton Wildcats haven’t won a game in ages.

  Or at least I’m pretending to try out. Even suffering from a slight injury, I’m clearly better than every player who was on the team last season and everyone else who is trying to make the team this season.

  We all know I’m a shoe in. A deal’s been worked out and I’m already on the team; it’s just a question of whether I get to play or whether I’ll be benched for most or all of the season while I show I can behave when I’m off the field.

  Even without the deal, though, I’d still be a sure bet to make the team. No one else comes close to my talent. To be blunt, I’m too good for this team. The Calton Wildcats are a joke compared to the Huningdale Warriors.

  But thanks to the hot water I landed myself in back at my old school, it’s this team or nothing, or so I’ve been told.

  I couldn’t believe it when they told me I could play at Calton, since it had been months since they’d told me I was a goner for good. I couldn’t believe I was getting a second chance. So now I put up with Coach Thompson shouting at me while I run a bunch of lame, easy drills just for show during walk on tryouts for his subpar team.

  He’s yards away, but it feels like he’s yelling right into my ear. I have to admit, he’s a menacing presence, with his large, overbearing figure and his red, puckered-up face.

  I try to remind myself that his scary demeanor and raw anger probably come from losing too many games. And that I can fix that little problem for him.

  I’ve never been afraid of a coach, but this one has the power to make or break what little is left of my college football career— and whatever lies beyond that.

  I pick up the twisted stack of rags on the ground, as required by this drill, and keep running as fast as I can. I tell myself to forget about the pain in my leg, as well as this crazy coach’s screaming.

  “Great job, Reynolds!” he yells, as I touch both lines on the field and finish strong in the drill. “Good explosive steps despite your previous hobbling around with whatever pussy footed injury you’ve given yourself. Keep going, keep going!”

  Of course he’s impressed. I shouldn’t have worried, even for a second.

  Now it’s time for the forty yard dash. I’ve done so many drills in a row today after a long time of not doing much at all. I really should give my out-of-practice leg a rest but I just keep running. And I end up finishing with the fastest time of anyone trying out, while not even breaking a sweat.

  If it weren’t for my damn injury, it’d be a piece of cake. This tryout is nothing compared to the warm ups my last coach put us through.

  “That’s it, keep going, keep it up,” shouts Coach Thompson. “Next drill. Next drill!”

  Now I touch orange cones as I run back and forth on the field. Mobility is a big deal and I know that coaches like to see it seamless— partly bum leg or not.

  Coach Thompson nods his head with an obvious mixture of pride and amazement as I continue the drill. I know he’s happy he made the right decision by agreeing to allow me to play for Calton University despite my bad reputation.

  There’s never been a football coach I couldn’t impress. Before I was the star quarterback of my last school, Huningdale University, I was the star quarterback of Piedmont High School. And before that, Piedmont Middle School.

  And I was even the star of flag football, dating way back to my elementary school beginnings. It’s in my blood. In my genes. My father was almost as good of a quarterback as I am.

  I know how to walk onto a team. Just like I know how to win football games. It’s what I do.

  That, and fuck up, apparently.

  Fuck up to the point of getting kicked off my good football team. And then needing my dad to pull strings so that my coach will strike a deal with another coach and allow me play on a shitty team for a season, to prove I can stay on the straight and narrow long enough to come back to my good football team.

  “Awesome,” Coach Thompson shouts. “Last one. Keep going.”

  I know I need to concentrate. Kiss this coach’s ass for giving me the chance to keep playing. Especially because he’s big and scary.

  But I’m in the middle of completing the rope course when I see her .

  The proverbial hot cheerleader.

  Yeah, there’s always a hot cheerleader. And I’ve had my fill of them in the past— which is part of what got me in trouble at my last school.

  They loved me until I moved on, and then they’d complain that I’d treated them badly. By breaking their hearts I guess. At Huningdale, I was told to find another dating pool to swim in, to avoid drama between the cheerleading team and the football team.

  And I did, for the most part. There were plenty of other girls to fuck, many of whom came with less drama. I should have learned my lesson.

  But this cheerleader is too impressive to ignore, no matter what life lessons I’ve learned and no matter what else I’m supposed to be doing at the moment— like not blowing my second chance to play football.

  I keep my eyes on her as I hop over the ropes in my drill.

  She’s leading a team of cheerleaders onto the field to start practicing as soon as our tryouts are over. She’s bouncing around as if she owns the field, and them.

  And she looks so fucking good as she’s doing it.

  Blonde hair, curvy thighs peeking out from under a short skirt.

  Tits peeking out from a low cut top, begging to be devoured.

  Holy shit.

  They weren’t kidding when they said the girls at Calton University were hot. The school’s football team and pretty much its entire athletic department leaves a lot to be desired— hence its willingness to take a chance on a damaged but talented player such as myself.

  But the Calton ladies are well known for their looks. Especially the cheerleaders. And this one is the hottest I think I’ve ever seen.

  I can feel my cock growing hard and I nearly trip.

  Not a good time .

  But damn, all I can think about is fucking her. I want to take her, bend her over and show her what a real athlete can do to her. How Wesley Reynolds, star quarterback, can make her feel. And I want to feel myself inside her.

  What I want, I make sure to fucking take.

  So I vow to myself, in the middle of walk on tryouts for the football team on which I’m supposed to be on my best behavior, to take that head cheerleader.

  Chapter 2 – Wesley

  “Very good, Reynolds,” Coach Thompson says, clicking his stopwatch and interrupting my little fantasy about the head cheerleader.

  Despite my dis
traction, I’d managed to finish strong. And now I’m free to look without risking screwing up my tryouts.

  I swear I catch her looking back at me before I turn my gaze back to Coach Thompson’s direction.

  “But you’ve got a wandering eye.”

  He glares at me, as if personally affronted by the fact that I chose to sneak a peek at the hot cheerleader. What’s it to him? As long as I manage to pull it together on the field, which I just did, I don’t see what the big deal is.

  “Keep your eye on the prize,” he continues, in a scolding tone of voice. “I can’t have my second string quarterback distracted by every passing female.”

  “Second string quarterback?” I repeat, forgetting all about his chastisement.

  I shrug as if it’s no big deal. As if I knew it all along.

  And even though I mostly did, it’s always nice to get confirmation.

  Because I need this. I would die if I couldn’t play football. The past six months of thinking my career was over just when it had gotten started had been hell.

  I need to stay on the straight and narrow now. I know that. But it’s so fucking hard. Just like my cock wants to be, inside that head cheerleader.

  “Yes. Second string quarterback. Only if you can prove to me that you can stay focused,” Coach Thompson continues, shaking his head as if he doubts my ability to do that. “Obviously I want you on the team. But you have to show me I’m taking the right risk, putting in a newbie as second string.”

  The other guys on the team make rude remarks.

  “He wasn’t that fast, Coach.”

  “Any one of us could do it better.”

  I do my best to block out the negativity. I understand why they’re jealous. I’m intruding on their territory.

  And it’s not like I’m even here by choice. This is my last chance freeway, and I have to drive steady on it so that I can get back onto the on ramp of my main career path.

 
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