Authors: Bec Amber
Tags: #Sports Romance, #Football Romance, #Contemporary Romance
One Perfect Night
(A Sports Romance)
One Perfect Night
A Sports Romance
First Edition July 2015
Copyright © 2015 Bec Amber
All Rights Reserved
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express permission of the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
This book is a work of fiction. Places, characters, names and events are products of the author’s imagination, and are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
One perfect night, or a mistake…
Julie’s idea of finding love isn’t attending an end of season football party—what good could possibly come from hanging out with beefed-up pro players with jet-set lifestyles? But when she reluctantly accompanies her best friend to the party, she never expects to fall for a hunky star quarterback—one with a reputation as a ladies’ man.
Logan, a pro footballer, is a changed man and looking forward to settling down…one day. He doesn’t believe in love at first sight—until fate steps in and he meets a knockout blonde at an end of season football party.
After one unforgettable night together, Julie decides she’s made a big mistake trusting Logan with her heart—he’s a player, what did she expect? But for Logan, one night with Julie is not enough—will he do whatever it takes to get her back?
“Belle, I don’t know about this!” Julie Ainsworth looked at the gorgeous dress she was wearing—a loaner from Belle—and then to her self assured journalist friend.
“Why not? What’s the problem? Gorgeous men all around, free food and drinks, and a fabulous friend like me,” Belle replied, giving Julie a little smirk. “But seriously, I don’t want to be alone with a bunch of football players. You have no idea the players some of them are—off the field, I mean.”
Julie gave her friend a thin smile and fixed her hair, hands moving just so she could do something. On the surface, it sounded great. Hang out with professional football players from the Los Angeles Condors, mingle, make sure Belle was just fine. She could do that, no big deal.
But she felt nervous all of a sudden. Julie wasn’t as outgoing as Belle, though her job as a hotel front desk supervisor had her dealing with people all day. She had a harder time in these sorts of social settings, though, especially when she was thrust out of her element. Professional football players weren’t exactly what she’d come to expect in her daily life.
“Do you think I look okay?” Julie asked, turning to watch Belle applying her eye makeup. Belle was dressed to kill in a dark brown dress with a kind of snakeskin pattern. It clung in all the right places and Julie was envious of Belle’s curves. Not that Julie didn’t have them; she just didn’t have that innate way to accent them that her friend did.
“You look great!” Belle gave Julie a once over and nodded.
“You don't think it's showing too much cleavage?” Julie tugged at the front of the dress wishing the dress would cover more and emphasis less.
“It highlights your greatest assets, perfectly.” She winked before applying a layer of mascara.
Julie's little black dress wasn’t—it was a bright vibrant blue designer number, that she could never afford. It brought out the blue in her eyes, and hopefully that was enough to take away the emphasis from her chest. Up close anyway. The dress hadn’t fit Belle quite right, so Julie had scored it, at least for tonight, but possibly for longer. A little clutch would hold lipstick, a compact, some money, her keys, and her ID. Belle was driving, so Julie didn’t even need to worry about drinking too much, not that she would.
Well, maybe she would, just a little. She was sure they had all sorts of drinks she couldn’t afford, though she’d love to be able to, someday.
Someday. That was a word Julie was more than friends with. She wanted to do a lot of things someday. Find a great guy, maybe settle down. She knew it was early in her adult life to be thinking that way, but her sister Pat had gotten married at twenty-four, and now, at thirty, Pat had great kids, a hunky husband, and that white picket fence life a part of Julie wanted.
Julie was approaching twenty-four, and there were no options around her. She would have loved to have a boyfriend, but the suitable guys around her were thin on the ground. She was surrounded by frat boys who hung out with their friends group, most of whom didn’t have jobs or any interest in using their college degrees.
She wanted more—she wanted a grown man rather than a boy pretending or thinking about it.
So here she was at Belle’s apartment, getting dressed to go to a party for the Condors, of all things. Belle had interviewed some of these men, had casually known some of them. She had a list of which men were single and which were not, which players were smarter than she might think, and which weren’t as intelligent as they were athletic. Despite all that—and despite the fact that Belle was on the hunt, Julie wasn’t. Not really.
She was just going to please her friend, no big deal.
Logan Morris hated that he was leaving the Condors, but he understood. A messed up shoulder was hard news to deal with, especially for a quarterback who was a long passer. The team liked him; they’d chosen him third pick after college—UCLA—and he’d done really well for them. But now they had a new hotshot whose arm wasn’t stressed and didn’t want to keep Logan on as a third string, behind two younger guys who were all over his passing game right now.
So, he was going to the Des Moines Harriers. If changing teams before retirement was okay for Joe Montana, it’d be fine for Logan Morris.
Tonight was the end of season party the team usually held. There’d be a few reporters, the team, the managers, coaches, and company owners. And there would be the cheerleaders, but at least this year he hoped they wouldn’t be all over him. They usually were, and that made things very awkward.
Belle whats-her-name would be there too, and that was similarly awkward. She was clearly looking to hook up with a player, and Logan was determined it wouldn’t be him. She was nice enough, but he wasn’t interested in a party girl. He was looking for a woman—not a girl—a woman who could settle down and enjoy her time with him, maybe he’d start a family before he was thirty.
But it wouldn’t be with any of the groupies, or gold diggers, or fame oriented people. Logan wanted a real woman. Maybe he’d find one in the Midwest, since the West Coast wasn’t being too kind to him, or least his relationships.
He felt bad for his parents, who didn’t want him to go, but Logan had two more years on his contract, and unless this shoulder didn’t heal right, he’d be commuting home to see them in the spring. Summer would be training time and then the season stretched in to February.
Summer in Des Moines might not be so bad, but the winters were brutal, he thought.
Logan glanced at his watch and sighed. He had to get to the hotel where the party was—they’d rented out a great place, the entire top floor of one of LA’s newest and greatest hotels. There’d be an open bar, dancing under the moonlight, a reel of the season’s best and worst plays would run. Logan knew the drill.
He hated wearing a suit, but it was expected for a night like this. He had several, and a tuxedo he wore for last year’s sports awards. That one was too formal; his gray suit with the team’s tie and a white shirt would be just fine.
Logan tightened his tie, waved at his goldfish—a gift from his niece, Myra—and headed out into his garage to drive to the event. They’d offered him a limo, and a room at the hotel, if he wanted, but Logan wanted to drive himself home on his schedule, and sleep in his own bed.
Alone, but that was okay with him. At first, the passel of women had excited him. He’d had his choice with any woman who wanted him. The bounty had been free flowing, and the sex had been offered after every game.
So had the “tell all” tabloid reports. He’d learned a lot from that, both who to trust and who not to trust. It had been a learning experience and one that he wouldn’t repeat. He was done with free sex, which was never actually free anyway. It was time he had a relationship.
With a woman, not his goldfish.
His buddies—some of whom had settled down, some of whom had no interest. Partying and free women were still the norm for some of the guys, but others of them had married, had kids, had fairly normal lives off season.
That sounded nice to Logan.
Mom and Dad had been married over thirty-five years, and they were still in love. His sister, Dara was so deeply in love with her husband, and their kid, Myra, was the most adorable five year old in creation. Meanwhile, Logan hadn’t had a serious relationship since college, but then again, who had the time?
His Tesla started with a little happy sound, and Logan opened the gate, before driving out and onto the street. He clicked a button on his remote that would close his gate, and headed toward the hotel, valet parking, and what would amount to a goodbye party for him. He’d be back often, but he would never play with this group of individuals again. That’d be hard; Logan had gotten far too comfortable here. He’d formed close bonds with team members and coaches alike.
Logan would still have these guys in his life, sure, but it wouldn’t be the same. The first people to visit him in the hospital had been the team doctor. The second, a personal trainer. They’d arrived even before his parents had, before Dara and confused, wide eyed Myra had come to visit.
These guys were family and it was hard to wrestle with the fact that it would all be over soon. The team owners hadn’t even waited until training camp, or draft to decide they weren’t using him, and that hurt a little. No point in lying there.
But the front office guys weren’t the team; they didn’t have the connection with the players that the coaches had. They were running a business and Logan understood that. Football wasn’t just a game, it was a multi million dollar industry.
But it still bothered him to be leaving. Logan wasn’t a quitter and this felt as if he was quitting, even though he knew better.
He tried to quiet his thoughts as he wove through LA traffic until he got to the hotel. Complimentary valet parking; he appreciated that. As soon as he stepped out of the car, the valet gave him a big grin.
“Logan Morris, how ya doing?”
Whatever he did, wherever he was, they all treated him as if they were good buddies with him, even though they were strangers to Logan. One of his friends—a TV actor—told him that when you were in people’s living rooms on a daily basis, it brought forth the notion that they knew you. He hadn’t seen it at first, but when the Condors started winning in a big way, his friend had been proven right.
Logan patted his car hood, making small talk with the valet, and accepted his ticket from the man. He strode into LA’s newest luxury hotel, and made it to the elevator without catching anyone’s attention. That was good; he needed to get upstairs instead of shaking hands and accepting more commiserations about his injury.
It was hard to put it out of his mind when his injury kept rearing up and smacking him in the face. Or the verbal stream, if you wanted to be technical.
He nodded at the hostess greeting people as they came off the elevator. Part of crowd security, he thought with a small smile and made his way into the main room. While he wasn’t fashionably late, he seemed to arrive just after most folks had made or remade acquaintances. One of the coaches, always looking a little strange to Logan outside of practice, waved to him, and Logan nodded back.
Another offered him a club soda. There was food—buffet style, which seemed a little casual for an upscale event, but then again, they were football players—a bar, even a small dance floor.
Logan watched as a couple of women walked in, Belle and…someone he didn’t know. A knockout in a blue dress. Belle wasn’t bad to look at, either, but Logan knew well enough to stay far, far away. She was trouble with a capital T, the type who wanted to land a player, not actually connect with one.
But her friend? She was more gorgeous than any of the other women here, the cheerleaders clustered together in their too-high heels and revealing dresses had nothing on this knockout. She was maybe five eight, and lithe, though her hips flared out in just the right way, and it looked like she had a nice set of D-cups. Long hair in loose curls. He couldn’t tell her eye color, but she had a great smile and a beautifully heart-shaped face. And those D-cups…