He gulps, then says, “I do. I really do.”
The echo of desire thrums through me, frying my brain, toying with my reason. I’m dying to keep this up. To drive him so wild he yanks me into a corner of the stadium and destroys my restraint with a scorching kiss.
But now’s not the time to flirt more.
I say goodnight to my sister, then shift my attention to Maddox, chatting briefly with my agent before I head off to hit the showers.
As I reach the dugout, a whirling dervish of man bun and microphones catches up to me, phone and podcast equipment in hand.
It’s Silas Simon, a sports talk host.
“Hey, Tanner. Nice game against the Aces. How do you feel going into the All-Star break?”
“Pretty good,” I say, then answer his standard post-game questions till he says, “One more question.”
“How did your date with Luke Remington from the Leopards go? Is there anything more going on?” His gaze drifts knowingly to the stands. Luke and Maddox are heading up the steps at last. He tips his forehead toward them, then smiles like a sixth-grader who discovered two kids kissing on the playground. “I see he came to your game tonight…”
I groan privately. But smile professionally. Silas will have to try harder to draw that conclusion. Luke’s come to plenty of games before. “Pretty sure he likes baseball. Lots of people do. Have a good night, Silas.”
I head into the dugout at a leisurely pace. But once I’m inside, I shower at the speed of light, thinking about payback the entire time.
Yes, I respect the rules of one-time hookups, but I also can spot an opportunity when I see one.
WHAT IF I DIE BEFORE WE FUCK?
I believe I instructed my libido to take a hike before this pseudo date.
But that fucker just can’t stay in time-out. Not when Tanner’s wearing that maroon polo that stretches snugly across his pecs. Not when he smells like ballpark soap. And not when I have to add the Comets Stadium shampoo to the list of scents that arouse me so much my brain resembles a fried egg.
But I have to try to be a good boy.
I’m ordering a beer and sitting across from Tanner in this tiny booth in the back of Thirsty, a hip brew pub in the East Village. It’s frequented by an artsy, punk crowd, judging from the prevalence of ripped jeans, brightly dyed hair, and ink.
Alt music blasts from the speakers and there’s not a TV in sight. No sports tickers. No sports shows. Just tunes and brew.
Did I pick this place because it’s not a sports bar?
Yes. Yes, I did.
Maybe we can slide under the radar. A couple of guys hanging together.
Only I barely feel like we’re two dudes hanging out. I’m hopped up on hormones, like I was at the ballpark when the word payback slipped from my mouth.
“I’ll be back shortly with your beers,” the purple-haired server says after she takes our orders. “Want anything else? We have some terrific apps.”
“You hungry?” I ask Tanner.
“I’m all good,” he says with a shake of his head.
Maybe he wants to be done with this publicity date redo. Or maybe he’s just not hungry. I haven’t eaten since lunch, but I’ll grab something later at home.
“Same here,” I say to her. “Just the beers.”
When she leaves, there’s an awkward moment where I look at Tanner, wondering what to say. Besides, want to hear what you did to me in the shower?
Just act friendly, you dick.
I stretch my neck from side to side, trying to be casual. “Good game tonight. You were on fire out there.”
“Thanks. I felt good about it,” he says, downplaying his accomplishments when the dude knocked in a couple runs and scored twice.
“You should. But next time I come to a game, you should try harder to go deep,” I say, then wiggle my brows.
That’s friendly, right? We rib each other like this all the time.
“Thanks, Luke,” he says, his voice as intense as his gaze pinned on me. “I’ll do my best to go deep…for you.”
And…that’s not friendly. But I sure do like the sound of it. I like the command in his tone too. I’m not used to guys like him. His take-charge vibe is stirring me. “That’d be great,” I say, my mind flashing a reel of fantastically filthy images. Him going deep for me, with me.
“I mean, you do know how to hit with power,” I add, and yeah. My libido is flying this plane on autopilot.
“And I like to,” he adds, low and smoky, as we play a new game—sexy, dirty flirting at a bar. I want to keep moving pieces on the game board. One-up each other in the what I want to do to you department.
I want to ask, too, how he likes it. Discover what turns him on in bed. Find out how he wants me.