Touchdown: A Bad Boy Sports Romance (Pass To Win Book 1)

BOOK: Touchdown: A Bad Boy Sports Romance (Pass To Win Book 1)
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Touchdown
A Bad Boy Sports Romance
Roxy Sinclaire
Illustrated by
Resplendent Media

Copyright © 2016 by Roxy Sinclaire

All rights reserved.

Cover design © 2016 by
Resplendent Media

No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

This book is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locations is purely coincidental. The characters are all productions of the authors’ imagination.

Please note that this work is intended only for adults over the age of 18 and all characters represented as 18 or over.

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1
Alexa

I
t seems
crazy to think that the one thing that people know me for will be nothing but a memory after tonight. In the years before high school, I was only known as “The Rich Girl” and I hated it. Then, I became “The Cheerleader.”

I mean, it isn’t great to be known for just one part of my life, but at least people recognized me for something I was good at. Princeton became my home away from home, a place where I could be myself without my parents meddling in my business.

It was actually better than home, because when my classmates hear the name Alexa Hall, most don’t make the connection to my multimillion dollar family.

Growing up, I always wanted to play sports. I’m a fierce competitor, but my mother thought that girls’ sports were for “the rough kids”. That’s just another way of saying “poor, ugly people”.

I remember one time in elementary school, I was playing soccer with some kids at recess. I collided with a boy two years older than me and I got a couple teeth knocked out. They were just baby teeth, so it really wasn’t a big deal. My mom absolutely berated me when I got home, though. When she stopped yelling at me for ruining my face, she just cried and wouldn’t look at me for days.

She wouldn’t let me participate in the pageant I was supposed to be in that weekend and told the school that I was not allowed to take part in such dangerous games. I was relieved that I didn’t have to go to the pageant, but having to sit on the sidelines when my friends were having fun at recess was torture.

So it was a bit of a surprise when my mom allowed me to try out for the cheerleading squad when I started high school. The cheer coach said that I was the first freshman to make the varsity squad in over a decade.

I went from sitting on the sideline to cheering on the sideline, actually being able to be part of something. I loved cheering, but I really liked having an excuse to be able to go to my school’s sporting events and be so close to the action.

I loved the feeling of sprinting down the sideline to pull off a perfect front handspring. I got a rush every time I was tossed in the air. I thrived when all eyes were on me while dancing along to the marching band’s music during time outs. There’s nothing better than cheering for the football team on a crisp autumn night.

My throat tightened when I remembered that this was the last night I would spend with the springy turf of the field underneath my feet. I always secretly enjoyed watching football, but college football is a whole other spectacle. I was ecstatic when I learned that I made the Princeton squad.

No matter what was going on in my life, I always had Saturdays to look forward to. I loved waking up early, spending the morning getting ready with my friends on the squad, and supporting the football team. I liked spending time with the football players, too.

They were funny and cute and threw awesome parties. Being in with the football players was kind of like being a celebrity, at least on campus. I got to know some of them pretty well - I wish I would have gotten to know some of them better.

“Alexa, ten seconds until halftime. Let’s go!” Sasha hissed at me, snapping me from my daydream.

During halftime, the cheerleaders go to their own special locker room in the stadium while the band performs the halftime show. It’s the only part of the day when we’re out of the spotlight.

“Can you believe it’s almost over? I mean, we still have the basketball season, but I can’t imagine not being here next season,” Sasha said as she swiped some bright red lipstick across my lips.

“I don’t want to talk about it,” Gia sniffled. “I can’t stop thinking about how sad Sam is going to be tonight. Especially if they lose this one.

“Oh, they might come back and win it. You never know,” I replied, trying to be optimistic. But really, I had a sneaking suspicion they weren’t going to win this one. The second half of the season had been a downward spiral.

“Yeah, you’re right,” she said, dabbing at the corners of her eyes as if her positive attitude alone could help her boyfriend’s losing team.

“And imagine the party tonight if they do win,” Sasha said. “I imagine that a certain football player will want to thank you for all of your support over the past four years.”

“I don’t want to hear it, Sasha,” I mock scolded my best friend. “Who said I was even planning on partying tonight? Maybe I’ll just go home and finish up some homework.”

“You nerd,” Gia joked. “If I didn’t know better, I wouldn’t think you were the head cheerleader.”

I smiled. I worked really hard to get good grades and still have time to work on new cheer routines. I didn’t want the other girls to think it was okay to go through college being nothing more than pretty, rich, and popular.

“Let’s go, ladies,” the cheer coach yelled down the hallway. “Five minutes until the second half starts.”

I grabbed my pom poms and walked back into the stadium. The crowd was quiet. It’s not easy watching your team miss easy tackles or drop passes. It was even harder to cheer when the crowd just wants to go home and drink away the pain of another loss. It was time to get to work.

“Let’s go Tigers, let’s go!” I shouted, leading my squad. I did the pass I worked on all season to perfection—a round off, two back handsprings and a back flip. I stuck the landing, smiled, and waved to the crowd. This got the student section on their feet. It felt good to get attention for skills that I worked so hard to hone.

The players ran back out onto the field, our cue to start dancing. I made the mistake of looking behind me during our old familiar routine. I quickly made, and then broke, eye contact with one of the players. Martin flashed a quick smile at me and for a split second, I lost my place in the routine. I could hear Sasha snickering at me through her wide cheerleader smile.

“What happened there, Alexa?” Sasha laughed during the kickoff.

“Sorry, I guess I got distracted,” I blushed.

“My guess is that you caught a glimpse of Martin and your brain shut down,” she casually replied.

“Ha, you think you’re so clever,” I fake laughed. My brain spun as I tried to change the subject.

“Hey, Gia. Your boyfriend looks like he’s going to murder someone,” I said.

“Yeah,” she replied. “I hope his opponents find him scary, because I think it’s adorable.”

“Ugh, just get married already,” Sasha groaned. “You guys are just too cute for me.”

“TOUCHDOWN!” the announcer roared. “Number 81, Donny Jackson!”

The cheerleaders jumped up and down, our cheers drowned out by the crowd. Donny ran to the sideline and winked at me when he took off his helmet. I pretended not to see.

After the extra point kick, we began the routine to the school song. What a rush! Sometimes, I had to fake my cheer smile, but this one was as real as it gets.

There was only five minutes left in the game. The team was down by eight points now. A win would be a great way to end my cheerleading career. I don’t think I’ve ever cheered so loudly in my life. The crowd was on their feet.

“Defense, defense,” I shouted, and the whole stadium followed. This was the loudest I’ve ever heard the crowd in the last four years. The noise worked. The other team couldn’t hear the play call and in their confusion, our players forced a fumble and ran it back to the fifty-yard line.

Three minutes to go.

The coach called a timeout, which was our cue to cheer. The music was booming and the energy from the crowd was electric. It was time for some stunts. I carefully placed my foot in the hands of two strong cheerleaders and they launched me into the sky.

I was flying and I didn’t want to come down because once I did, it was back to reality. I nailed my toe touch and landed in the soft cradle of my teammate’s arms. They had been like family to me, and I hated the thought of leaving the team and being replaced.

One minute left. The team had managed a few sloppy first downs to make it to the thirty-yard line. Then, a penalty pushed them back ten yards. There was only enough time for one more drive.

First down, they ran the ball three yards.

Second down, just two yards.

Third down needed to be a long pass down the field.

The crowd went silent. The ball was in the air, flying down to the end zone. One of the wide receivers reached up with one hand and caught the ball. The stadium erupted. They were only down by one point with mere seconds left to go. A successful extra point kick would send the game into overtime. A two-point conversion would win it.

I led one final cheer before the final play. When I turned around, I saw the kicker run on to the field. The center hiked the ball to the holder, who quickly stood up and got ready to throw the ball.

It was a trick play!

The ball went flying through the air to find our receiver in the corner of the end zone. I held my breath as I watched it soar toward his hands. Two players bobbled it in the air, and one of our players grabbed it. It was over. The Princeton Tigers won the final game of the season!

The excitement in the crowd was intoxicating. The cheerleaders ran onto the field to join the players and students in celebration. We were jumping around and singing the school’s fight song.

It was loud and there were people everywhere. At one point, I felt a hand graze my lower back. I turned around to see who it was, but they were gone. My heart was beating faster, but I wasn’t quite sure why. Maybe I just got caught up in the win.

“Come on, Alexa,” Sasha called to me. “Let’s change and go get some drinks.”

I nodded. “Good idea. I’ll buy.”

“Good,” she said, draping her arm around my shoulder. “I wasn’t going to offer.”

2
Martin

I
don’t think
I’ve ever been under so much pressure in my life. This is my last college football game and the stakes are high. The quarterback always gets blamed for losses.

I could put up amazing stats, but if my linemen aren’t blocking well, I get full blame for the sacks. Since I’m the captain, I think my teammates blame me for losses. They would never say anything to my face, but I still hear the whispers in the locker room when no one knows I’m there.

The way I play tonight could determine my future. We’re not really known as a “football school” so it’s harder to get recognition from professional football scouts than the guys who play in a power conference.

Best-case scenario, I get drafted in the first two rounds. Ideally, I move back home and play in Denver, just like my dad did. We’ve had our differences over the years, but I’d like to experience just a small amount of the glory he had in his professional career. Worst comes to worst, I’ll be a free agent and work out with a few teams and try to earn a spot. Somewhere. Anywhere.

I also really wanted to win this game because my team had never gotten this far. It would mean so much to my coach, my team, and all of the fans if we won this. So many people were counting on me to make it happen.

“Martin,” Coach said, placing his hand on my shoulder. “Are you focused?”

“Yes, coach,” I responded. I was never going to get drafted if I couldn’t focus enough to win this game.

“We’re going to do some things differently in the second half. Their defense has figured out our run game. You’re going to have to make more passes.”

“Okay,” I replied. I didn’t have a lot of confidence in my wide receivers.

“And Martin, try to have some fun out there,” Coach said as we left the locker room.

I ran to the field for the second half with a clear mind and a fresh focus. I saw Alexa, one of the cuter cheerleaders, looking right at me as I neared the sideline. I had a weakness for the way she looked when her hair was blowing in the wind. I tried to put the image of her doing flips and cheering out of my mind.

The first few plays of the second half did not go well. The receivers were not catching the ball. I looked to the sideline for some guidance. My backup and best friend, Reg, was giving me signals for the next play call.

I could always trust him to help me out during tough games. I took the snap and handed it off to Sam. He ran just four yards, but it was good enough for a first down. No one ever needed to tell Sam to focus. The guy was an animal.

After a few rough plays, we were nearly to field goal range. We were still down by eight. I threw a long pass to Donny Jackson. I didn’t care for the kid, but he was the only one open. My perfect spiral landed right into his open hands. Touchdown! He did a stupid little dance in the end zone. He’s lucky he didn’t get a penalty for excessive celebration, or I would have to have some strong words with him.

Coach called me over to the sideline. I was mentally preparing myself for overtime.

“What’s the plan for overtime?” I asked.

“There’s not going to be an overtime,” he replied. “We’re going for the kicker fake. We’re going to finish this now.”

I felt gutted. I always pictured myself standing on the field, having the realization that this was my last play of my college career. Little did I know that moment had passed and I didn’t get the chance to take it in. I trusted my teammates, but I was nervous. I didn’t like it when things were out of my control.

I watched the play, holding my breath the entire time. The ball flew through the air for what seemed like minutes. We got it! The game was over and we won!

I know it’s not possible, but it really seemed like the whole stadium emptied and rushed onto the field by the time I left the sideline. The field became one big party. My teammates jumped up and down and hugged one another. I saw Alexa again and had the sudden urge to pick her up and kiss her.

I resisted, because I knew that would freak her out. Instead, I could just ask her if she was going to the after party. That would be okay. I tapped her on the back, and then panicked. I quickly walked through the crowd, toward the locker room. There would be time to talk later—if she showed up at the party.

BOOK: Touchdown: A Bad Boy Sports Romance (Pass To Win Book 1)
9.48Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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