Turn Over:A Secret Baby Sports Romance(2)

By: Violet Paige

No one wanted to be out here. It wasn’t glorious or glamorous. It fucking sucked running drills in a hundred-degree heat.

Twenty minutes later I was in the practice facility locker room climbing into a tub of ice. The trainer added another bucket of cubes as I slid my feet to the bottom of the floor.

“How’s that, Luke?” he asked.

“Just keep dumping it in until I say quit.”

The ice was melting against the blistering patches of skin I immersed under the surface. It was both painful and a relief. It was the shock I needed to erase the last fragments of my headache.

I started to settle in, trying to adjust my huge frame to the confines of the tub. It was hard to fit all of me in this cramped space. My dark hair was stuck to my head. I scooped a handful of the ice water and dumped it on my scalp, and shook the water from my ears.


I whipped my head around. “What?”

“Coach wants to see you.”

I glared at the tight end assistant coach. “Tell him I’m doing a cool down.”

He shook his head. “Doesn’t care. Wants your ass in his office now.”

“Damn it,” I muttered. I considered refusing to leave, but the assistant coach waited in the doorway. I pulled one icy leg and then the other out of the tub and dripped across the tile. I wrapped a towel around my waist, tucking the corner against my hipbone and pushed through the locker room door.

I knocked on Coach Applewhite’s door and walked inside.

His eyes pinched together. “Luke, you couldn’t put any clothes on?”

I stared down at my body. There was a puddle of water at my feet. “I was in cool down, but was told you couldn’t wait. This is what I had on. I can come back,” I offered.

To his right was Mr. McCade. I straightened my back. I had been too pissed at Coach to notice that the owner of the Warriors was in the office.

It was no secret that Coach and I didn’t agree on much. We tried to stay out of each other’s way off the field as much as possible. It usually worked. Until now.

“Since you’re here, why don’t you sit?” Coach nodded toward the couch.

Mr. McCade was easily in his seventies, but none of us knew for sure. What we knew was he was a cheap bastard. He wanted the best team in the league, but wasn’t willing to pay for the facilities or the equipment we asked for. He wanted high dollar players, but negotiations could drag on for weeks. I didn’t have a lot to say to the man. He was my employer, but I wasn’t a fan.

One sweep around Coach’s office and you could see what the McCades thought about funding the management offices. The place looked like it hadn’t been updated since 1985. A row of play manuals lined the bookcase above his desk. There were a few framed family pictures scatted on the top shelf along with a team photo from three years ago. They all needed dusting.

“All right. What can I do for you, Coach? Mr. McCade?”

“I’m going to skip over the inspirational coach’s speech and get to the point.”

“Sounds good to me.” I stared at both of them with eyes just as cold as theirs.

Applewhite sighed. “We’ve got a problem on the team.”

“Yeah, guys are passing out left and right because they’re out of shape, it’s one-hundred twenty degrees out there, and rookies don’t know their routes,” I snarled. “What’s the status on the new indoor practice field?”

“Luke, we’re not here to talk about facility expansion. I’m not talking about the other guys. I’m talking about you.”

I sat there in my towel, waiting to hear what league infraction I had collected this time. Because it wasn’t the first time they had drug me in here with threats about my behavior. I’d gotten the speech fifty times to stop drinking. To stop picking up women. To stop speeding. To stop using my celebrity status to get favors. The thing was I didn’t give a shit. I lived my life the way I wanted and as long as I gave them results every Sunday, they could fuck off.

Mr. McCade cleared his throat before reaching into his suit pocket and retrieving a photograph. “Do you know this young lady?” He slid it across the coffee table.

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