Go Deep: A Bad Boy Sports Romance (10 page)

BOOK: Go Deep: A Bad Boy Sports Romance
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bad for blowing Cassidy off and pretending I had plans with the football groupies after practice. I actually sort of felt bad for misleading the girls, too. At the beginning of the semester, before I set my sights on Cassidy, their tight little asses would have looked nice bent over the side of my bed. The thing was, I had no intentions of sleeping with those girls. I’d just used them as a cover for what I really had going on after practice.


Bussing shit tables at a shit restaurant.

The landlord was still riding my ass, using me as slave labor for the after dinner shift on most nights. I didn’t want my coach, Cassidy or anyone else to know what I was doing. I was finally starting to get the hang of the long days too, so practices were better, and as long as I got a decent six hours of sleep, I could handle sitting in lectures and focusing. Unfortunately, that did mean having to cut a class every once in a while to catch up on sleep. I didn’t mind a few missed classes if it meant I’d do better at our games on Saturday night.

I got to the restaurant today, and was grateful again that I wasn’t waiting tables or working in the kitchen. The place was always packed, so the kitchen and wait staff were always busy. All I had to worry about was making sure the tables were clean after the guests left. I wasn’t on the clock, and I wasn’t on the books. Still, when I made it down here, I was on the floor, and I had to earn my keep so the landlord wouldn’t make life difficult.

The only thing that bothered me about the job was how popular the place was. It wasn’t exactly upscale, but everyone ate there, including college students. It was strange how wearing a certain uniform made people shut off and forget where they knew me from. That was probably the reason no one had called me out yet, but the chance was always there. The only people who knew were my frat brothers, and they were doing a much better job at keeping my job quiet than they were with the bet over Cassidy, thankfully. The humiliation of being found out would stick around until I’d pay for the damages at the frat house and wrap up this gig with a pretty little bow—preferably before Thanksgiving.

Today, I was sure that all came crashing down.


The voice came from behind me as I was clearing a table of half a dozen beer pitchers. Miranda was sitting at a table with a group I could only guess were from her major, whatever that was. They certainly weren’t cheerleaders. I smiled inside for a split second. They probably thought Miranda was the coolest one among them.

“Hey,” I said. I could tell by the faces at the table that no one with her recognized me. Thank God for academics and nerds.

“What are you doing here? Wait, do you

“Nah. I’m just helping out the frat house landlord. Actually I’ve got a quick favor to ask.” I motioned for her to come with me. This shit needed to be discussed minus the audience, just in case she blurted out my name or said something stupid.

“I’ll be right back, guys,” she told her friends, getting up to follow me to the hallway that led to the patron restrooms.

“You did not see me here, okay?”

“Okay I didn’t. What’s going on?”

“That fight at the frat house was expensive.”

“What fight?” Then it dawned on her, because I vaguely remember her being there. “Ohhhhh…

“Yeah. So I’m working off the damages, but it’s
hush-hush. The Coach can’t know, so don’t breathe a word to anyone, including Cassidy.”

“Are you in trouble?”

“Only if I don’t show up here for the landlord… but that’s not your problem. What
be your problem is if anyone finds out about this, okay? So far you’re the first person to recognize me.”

“I don’t know, Slade. What if it affects your game? The Coach would definitely want to know. Maybe he can help.”

It had already affected my game once, but I wasn’t about to admit that to her. I was working as hard as I could to make sure of that. I was rearranging my schedule so that work wouldn’t interfere with my performance, and I was practicing harder so it would take more to bring me off my game. Still, that damn running play haunted me. No one had forgotten, and there was more to do to prove the mishap was behind me.

“It won’t affect my game, Miranda. And it’s not anything Coach can help me with. In the meantime, I need you to forget you saw me here tonight.”

She hesitated. Why the hell was she hesitating? I had no time for this crap.

I put a hand on her shoulder. “You just go ahead and do whatever you think is right. I’ve got more tables to bus.”

I left her standing there as I delivered the dishes to the dishwasher in the back. Then, I was back out on the floor for more. It was pretty obvious that with Miranda now in on my little secret, Cassidy would find out sooner or later. It was bound to come up. To do a bit of damage control, I told her waiter to put their bill on my tab and I’d pay with a credit card. Later on, when I cleared Miranda’s table after they left, I found a note written on a folded up receipt.

Your secret’s safe with me

It worked. I’d been able to buy her silence with dinner. That didn’t happen every day.

When the restaurant finally cleared out for the night, I was stuck cleaning up the entire place. That fucked up perk was thanks to the landlord, who’d told the wait staff and kitchen staff not to help turn the place down while I was on the job. Part of paying off my debt to him was handling one hundred percent of the job.

“That’ll teach you some responsibility, kid,” the bastard would tell me every chance he got. There was no use trying to reason with that guy then, and after I started working at his restaurant, I realized it was just a character flaw. No one challenged him. Ever.

Tonight, after I delivered the last load of dishes to the dishwasher, wiped down every table, placed every chair up on the tables and mopped the floors, I stretched and let out a ragged sigh.

“It’s not easy, is it Clark?”

Crap, he’d probably made it his personal mission to never let me live it down.

“No sir. Not after being at practice all afternoon.”

I walked off as the exertion of the day hit me. My feet were hurting. My legs were sore. I even felt the burn in my arms and shoulders. I was hurting in places that hadn’t hurt since the first time I’d stepped into football practice. It really
like going to a second practice every day. I just couldn’t let it affect my game or show at practice.


lade finally agreed
to meet with me before practice a day this week. He was going to bring me what he’d prepared for our final write-up on the project, and I wanted to let him know that I’d managed to score a meeting with the owner of The Pet Adoption House for our pitch. Thanksgiving was around the corner, and although he was still avoiding me, the movement of time meant I was that much closer to graduating.

‘Hey, I’m waiting. Where’s the write-up?’
I texted him.

We didn’t need a full meeting. There wasn’t anything left to discuss. I just wanted an electronic copy of what he had, and to do one run-through before delivering the pitch. There was still going to be some of the assignment to complete after we talked with the owner, but he’d said he would take care of everything up to that part for me.

Too bad he didn’t show up.

And he didn’t text me back.

It was radio silence.

I gave up and sent one more message that I’d try to catch him after practice.

Whatever was going on with him lately was obviously more important than his grades—and what I thought was happening between us. And to think, he’d worked so hard to get me to give him a chance, only to give me the brush off. I was running out of time to worry about it. I packed up my things and left the library for practice. There was a game coming up, and I needed to make up for the slack. I was not letting my senior year go to shit because of Slade Clark.

Instead of distracting myself from practice with thoughts of Slade, I used practice to keep my mind off of him today. I let myself get lost in the motions and movements, remembering how much I did enjoy the physical challenge of cheerleading, even if I wasn’t a fan of the superficial lifestyle that tended to accompany it. After practice, I hurried over to the field. I wanted to catch Slade before he left for whatever it was that occupied his evenings lately. He wasn’t out there. A few junior staff members were moving the cones they’d used for drills. All the players were gone.

My frustration was mounting. I wasn’t afraid to finish the project alone. I had no issue delivering the pitch myself too. That wasn’t what was bothering me. It wasn’t about the damn project. This was about us. Slade wasn’t showing up to work on the project because of me. He wasn’t answering my texts because of what I’d said. He was avoiding me because I’d messed with his fragile ego. That’s what I needed to fix. The project was fine. If he didn’t show up to do the pitch, Dr. Taylor could find out, but I could cover for him. The problem was us.

There wasn’t supposed to be an
. We were supposed to have a friendly agreement not to like each other. We were supposed to always be at odds with each other. We were off limits by virtue of my friendship with his brother. But that hadn’t worked out. We’d gone against the natural order of things by sleeping together. And by almost sleeping together a second time, we really screwed everything up.

Sex with Slade was just supposed to be sex. He didn’t want anyone to feel anything for him, or from him. That’s why he was keeping his distance. I was breaking a rule. I wasn’t sure how to feel after sleeping with a guy I’d tried so hard to avoid for so many years. I suspect that he was feeling something for me the night I shut him down. I shouldn’t have done that. Or I should have done it differently.

I decided to walk over to the frat house. It was really only a mile or so up the road. I got there and found his friend, Evan,
wide receiver. He was sitting outside with a couple of the unknown non-player frat brothers.

“Well, if it ain’t the Ice Princess herself,” he called out to me. “Cassidy Greyson has decided to grace us with her presence, guys. We should be mighty, mighty grateful.”

“Yeah. Whatever.” I stood on the bottom step of the house, waiting for him to stop talking so I could ask where Slade was.

“Your buddy Slade isn’t here, but maybe we can entertain you.” He got out of the chair on the porch and came down the steps to stand beside me.

“Do you know where he is?” I asked, ignoring his feeble advances and addressing the rest of the guys still on the porch.

“Nope. He disappeared right after practice, and no one has seen him since.” He stood right behind me now, being a dick as usual. I could feel him brushing up against me. “Maybe there’s something I can help you with.”

“As if,” I replied, taking a step up.

“Well, tell me something.” He was right in my ear, whispering. “Have you slept with him yet?”

Everyone was wondering the same damn thing lately. Had we slept together? I groaned. “None of your business, Evan. Just quit being a dumbass and tell your other dumbass friend to get in touch with me about our project.” I was going to regret insulting Slade later, but hell, I was sick of trying to get him to talk to me.

“Well, that’s a shame. Hey, do you think you might give him the goods before the semester’s up? I mean, since you’re
together and all?” He looked at the other guys and laughed.

“What the hell is wrong with you?”

“That’s a yes, boys. You heard it here first. The Ice Princess is considering sleeping with Slade ‘Slaughter’ Clark,” he announced, going back up the steps to his seat.

“What the hell?” I laughed at them. They had no idea we’d already slept together. And there was a pretty good chance it would happen again if Slade didn’t mess everything up by being a resentful prick who held a grudge.

“Hey, since you haven’t slept with him yet, can I interest you in something a little rougher than what the pretty boy has to offer?”

I leveled my eyes on him. He sat back in a reclining wooden lounge chair, his wavy black hair in a freshly-showered mess on top of his head. He wasn’t as broad or as muscular as Slade, but he was about the same height. His gray eyes had a deeper, darker expression in them than anything I’d seen from Slade.
Something a little rougher
? I was afraid to know what he meant by that.

“I hate to break it to you, Evan, but
I ever sleep with a jock, you’d be at the bottom of the list.”

“Oh, that’s just disappointing,” Evan moaned from his chair. “I figured a smart girl like you would want something with a little more heat, a little more danger.”

I sighed. I wasn’t going to respond. Instead, I started back down the walkway to the road.

Evan rushed down behind me, putting an arm around my waist. “I’ll make you feel like a new woman,” he said in my ear. “You won’t be able to walk when
done with you.” I couldn’t stop the shudder that ran through my body. He was such a repulsive creep. “I’ll have you screaming my name, baby.”

“Please, Evan,” I started.

“Just like that, but louder.”

“Honestly, I’m going to vomit if you don’t quit. Or is that something the girls say to you as well?”

“Damn, you got spark,” he said, pulling his arm back and stepping away. “Well, if you ever get tired of your girlfriend not being able to give it to you right, you let your boy Evan know, okay? I’ll take good care of that sweet little ass.”

What the hell was his deal? Normally he was a prick, but he’d never acted like that before. Maybe it was because Slade was normally around to keep him in check. Where was Slade, anyway? Something was up with him, and I was starting to really get concerned. It was pretty clear Evan didn’t know about Slade and me, and probably didn’t realize we weren’t quite speaking. That was a bit of a surprise, given they were best friends and co-stars on the football field. If anyone counted how many times the pass went straight to Evan, they’d realize just how much Slade favored him. Most of us just shrugged it off, though, because it got us wins. And wins led to championships.

It was nice to know Slade hadn’t been bragging about us yet, either. Still, that should only have made it easier for him to understand why I wasn’t ready to parade around in front of everybody, especially since we hadn’t even talked about what was going on between us yet. It occurred to me that he could have been seeing one of those damn groupies always hanging around practice or the games, but I would have seen her around everyone. Someone would have known about it. That is, unless he wanted to keep it a secret, the same way he seemed to be keeping secrets from everyone.

I had to find out.

BOOK: Go Deep: A Bad Boy Sports Romance
5.64Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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