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Authors: T.S. MCKINNEY

OVERTIME (10 page)

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“I’m not dumping you at sea. I told
, I’m taking you to my place for a few. We’ll drop off your backpack and then hit the street vendors—see who’s out and
about tonight. Oh, and eat.
I’m famished.” He eyed Jagger up and down. “Are you okay wearing those jeans? It’s pretty humid out. Think your dorm mommy packed you any short-shorts? Shorts might be more comfy and I know I’d love to see more of those legs of yours. Hell, I can’t believe we won that ballgame. My eyes were on your legs and ass the entire game. Of course, that might be why I didn’t score any points, right?”

“The jeans are fine. Riley isn’t my dorm mommy. I don’t own any short-shorts and I can’t believe you won that ballgame, either. Oh, and you didn’t score any points because of my superior defense skills. I totally kicked your ass on the court.” He finished that speech with a totally smug smile.

Colton countered with a smile that ramped up Jagger’s smugness to a whole new level of smugville
. “Your defense on me was exceptional, wildcat. I’ll definitely give you that much.”

Jagger dug his heels in. “What the hell is that supposed to mean? What’s the deal with that face you’re making?”

“What face?” Colton asked innocently. “Am I making a face?”

“The look on your face takes your asshole-ish-ness to entirely new level of asshole-ish
-ness—and I honestly didn’t think that was possible. What could you possibly have to say about my defensive skills? You didn’t score the first point and you always score double digits. How could you possibly look so damned smug right now?”

“It’s all in the game plan, Wildcat, all in the game plan.” Colton tried to tug him into walking again, but he dug in, refusing to budge until he understood what the shit Colton was blah, blah,
blahing about.

“Your game plan was to let me kick your ass and shut down your scoring in the championship game? How the hell does that work?”

“It worked, didn’t it?”

“No! I mean…yes…but, no,
plan couldn’t have worked,” Jagger stammered.

“Okay, Wildcat, I’ll explain it to you. On the courts, you guys are the better team, there’s no doubt about it. So, we had to be smarter. You held me to zero points, totally shutting me down every time I tried to pull one of my super-
-duper moves on you. Colby, my center, he scored twice as many points as usual. The Thompson twins, my right and left wings, each scored double their usual points.” He paused, making his grin grow like the stupid Grinch on that stupid Grinch movie Jagger had watched at the library one time. “Is it all starting to make sense to you, now? You, my little scrapper Wildcat, are usually all over the court, stealing the ball, blocking shots—pretty much being an all-around nuisance to the opposing team. This game? It seems all your attention was focused solely on my cute ass and keeping me scoreless—trying to make me look bad. Imagine that.”

“Fuck,” Jagger muttered in disbelief. Colton was right. Well, not about the ass part but totally dead-on accurate about him not having any steals or blocked shots against the other players on Colton’s team. Shit, he was right about the ass part, too. “Fuck!” He said a bit louder.

“Yeah. Fuck. Brilliant plan, right?”

“I hate you.”

Colton’s mouth formed a soft smile and his eyes crinkled warmly. “No, you don’t, Wildcat. You wish you did, but you don’t.”

“I want to hate you,” Jagger clarified, surprising both of them with his honesty.

“I know you do but I’m not going to let that happen. Now, can we start walking again? My house is only four steps away but at this rate, we’re never going to get there.”

“We’re at a boat dock.”

Colton grabbed him by the upper arm and tugged. This time he didn’t fight and they started moving again. “One. Two. Three. Four. Honey! We’re home!”

Jagger looked at the middle-sized houseboat Colton was pointing to. It was nice. Hell, it was nicer than anything he’d ever laid his sorry ass at, but, again, not what he had expected of Colton. Maybe Colton was right? He did rich-guy profile him…and dick it up every time. “This is where you live? A houseboat?”

“Yep. And I know you were profiling again. I won’t call you on it, but I know you were.” He swung his leg over the railing and motioned for Jagger to follow.

When they were both on the boat, Jagger argued, “Uh, you did just call me on it. Not calling me on it would be you keeping your big fat mouth shut. Not call me on it? Asshole.”

Colton laughed. “It isn’t my forever home, Wildcat. It’s just a place to sleep and dream about you until I find the perfect spot for us to raise our two dogs and four cats. It’s nice enough—a cool bachelor pad, I guess.”

“I don’t even like cats,” Jagger lied. What else was he supposed to say? Colton obviously enjoyed messing with him so he let him get away with it. Two dogs and four cats? Perfect spot for them? Fucker was fucking with him. They didn’t even like each other.

“Yeah, you do,” Colton answered softly. “Even feral cats.”




Chapter 8



Jagger felt so relaxed…so comfortable that he felt it was necessary to fuck it up by opening his mouth. “Listen, eh, Colton…you know nothing is going to happen between us, right? I’m not gay and to be honest, I’m not even sure I like you.” There, that should do it. He knew he had to do something and do it pretty damned fast because he was enjoying himself way too much. Their evening in downtown Key West had been magical. He’d actually laughed out loud a few times, ate the best meal he’d ever had in his life, and, of course, he now had eight leather bracelets adorning his right wrist. Never in his life had he ever owned anything so…so materialistic. He liked them. He liked them on him. He liked that Colton had picked them out and put each and every one of them on him, touching and stroking as he clasped each one in place.

Colton snorted out a laugh. “Put those claws back in, Wildcat! I’m not planning on anything at all happening tonight. What kind of man would I be if I expected you to put out on the first date? I’ve still got plenty of wooing planned so that pretty bubble ass of yours is safe for at least a couple of nights.” He winked and added, “Oh…and you do like me, Wildcat. You like me way more than you want to admit to me or yourself. You always have.”

The bastard caused Jagger’s entire body to burn with heat but chills raced up and down his spine at the same time. Was that shit even possible? Could his body burn and have chills? Wait! What? Another couple of nights? There weren’t another couple of nights scheduled on their
. “
…the way I see it, I’ve only got twelve hours of this torture left on the ticket. I should be safe and sound back in Kentucky by this time tomorrow night and already forgetting about you and your stupid sexual innuendos.”

“You won’t be safe and sound back in Kentucky tomorrow night nor will you ever be able to forget my stupid sexual innuendos,” Colton argued and topped it off with one of his infamous smirks. The arrogant fucker looked hot no matter what he did. On top of his sexy arrogance, he looked smugly confident…like there wasn’t even the tiniest inkling of a doubt that he was right…when Jagger knew just how wrong he was.

“Kidnapping me, Colton? That’s your brilliant plan?” Jagger laughed, but hated how breathless and nervous it sounded. Why couldn’t he be confident like Colton or Riley? Why did his stupid heart have to pitter patter like a fucking fool whenever he was around Colton? “You’d best come up with something else. If I’m not at the airport tomorrow at six pm, Riley will be here to pick me up and kick your ass. You can be assured of that fact.”

Like back in his dorm room when he’d said his shit was at Riley’s apartment, Colton’s green eyes darkened with what could only be described as fury. Shit, had he honestly thought he could kidnap him and there not be any repercussions?

“Tell me, Wildcat, is Riley somebody I need to worry about?”

His voice suddenly sounded as dark as his eyes looked. Every hard, lean muscle in Colton’s body was tense, like he was ready to strike at any given second. His gaze made Jagger feel pinned to a wall…or a bed.

Jagger would have laughed but knew if he did, it would sound all breathless and idiotic again, so he kept his lips tightly sealed. “Riley’s my friend, asshole. If you’re asking if we fuck, the answer is ‘no’…not that is any of your business what Riley and I might be doing.”

And, just like that, all the tension melted from Colton’s body and his easy smile returned, causing that burn and chill to crash into Jagger like a mother-fucking tidal wave.

“I don’t give a fuckity
fuck who Riley fucks…as long as it isn’t my Wildcat. Are we clear on that?”

Jagger stared…blinked…stared…

“Are we clear?” Colton asked again.

“You’re insane, Colton. You clearly need some professional help. I’m not
wildcat and nobody is fucking me! End of story.”

“Be brave. For once in your life, be brave. Do it for me…and do it for yourself.”

Riley’s words, begging him to stop hiding, pinged around in his head, bumping into Colton’s stupid ‘be brave’ declaration. He had a plan for his life—a damned good plan. Why did that make everybody think he was hiding or not being brave? They hadn’t lived in the shit he’d grown up in. They didn’t know what it was like to have nothing…hell, to not even have hopes of ever getting anything. He was disciplined and determined, not hiding and cowardly.

Anger boiled barely beneath his surface. Who was Mr. Sonny
to judge him? “Brave? What the fuck do you think you know about me, Colton? I’m a hell of a lot braver than
you’ll ever be,” he practically snarled. “I didn’t grow up with a silver fucking spoon in my mouth, getting every damned thing I wanted…just because I fucking wanted it. I’ve worked for everything! Don’t you dare sit there and judge me when you don’t know a fucking thing about me.”

“You’re right, wildcat, I don’t know nearly enough about you, but I intend to learn more and more. Hell, I want to know
and I want it to come from
.” He leaned forward, getting closer than Jagger was comfortable with but stubbornness kept him frozen in his spot. “Here’s what I do know, though. I know that you used to walk two miles to the basketball courts in town to play pick-up games because you didn’t have a bicycle like the rest of the kids our age…but you were there every damned evening and all day on the weekends. I know your tennis shoes had way too many miles on them but you took care of them like they were made of gold. I know that you’ve always been way too serious, never joking or
around like the rest of guys in town, but you’ve always been polite and respectful to everybody. You never allowed any bullying shit to happen at the courts, unless they were messing with you. That didn’t seem to bother you at all. I know you walked back home every evening and played with the neighbor’s dog because you didn’t have one of your own.” Colton stood up and leaned over the edge of the boat, staring at the dark waters like they held some sort of magical secret. When he spoke again, his voice was even lower, huskier. “I know you had bruises painting your body almost every Monday and Tuesday. I’d watch them turn to an ugly dark green and then start to fade away by the end of the week, only to have new ones to replace them after the weekend rolled around again.”

When Colton turned back around to face Jagger, his emerald eyes were calm and serious. He took a step closer and paused, waiting to see if his date was going to scamper away, and when he didn’t he moved in another step…and another. He didn’t stop until they were mere inches apart. Jagger could feel the pulse at the base of his neck thumping wildly and he knew Colton had to see it. When Colton’s fingertip reached up and gently touched the spot that was twitching erratically, stroking it softly, Jagger felt himself begin to melt.

“Those bruises, marring this perfect body…this perfect face…damned near destroyed me. I was fifteen fucking years old and I wanted to kill your daddy.” He laughed softly, his breath tickling Jagger’s neck, as his finger continued stroking the spot, trying to soothe away the fear and nervousness. “At fifteen, I didn’t have a clue what was going on inside of my body - what
was making me feel the way I did about a boy who wouldn’t even speak to me, much less spit on me if I was on fire. At sixteen? I fucking knew what I was feeling and I knew what I wanted, but the boy still wouldn’t talk to me. No matter how hard I tried, that boy kept shutting me out.”

Jagger’s throat felt tight, along with his chest. Shame burned his face. Those days were so long ago. He didn’t want to remember them. He didn’t anybody to remember them. Hell, he definitely didn’t want Colton to remember them. He wasn’t sure what he wanted from Colton but he was sure as shit it wasn’t his fucking pity.

“I don’t need your pity, Colton! Is that what this is about? Rich boy wants to do something nice for the poor boy? Fuck you.” Tears, fucking tears, stung his eyes. He hadn’t fucking cried since the Christmas he’d realized his mama wasn’t ever coming back home. He shoved hard against Colton’s chest, intending to send him flying across the deck and hopefully into the water. Of course the bastard didn’t fucking
He took a step, slamming his shoulder into Colton’s chest when he passed him, and almost got the second step in before he found himself wrapped in a tight, unwavering embrace. His back was pulled snugly against Colton’s chest and his arms were pinned to his sides. Colton’s breath, hot and sensuous, tickled the back of his neck…just like when they were in the showers all those years ago.

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