Last Man Standing
—Southern Scrimmage Series Book 5—
There’s no dating in football.
After living his entire football career in Levi Brody’s shadow, Damien Sullivan is set to take the NFL by storm. Angry at the world he lands in New Orleans with a chip on his shoulder and a need for some action. He wants nothing more than to experience life to the hilt, but a controlling parent and a set of rigid fraternization rules seek to slow his roll. A chance hook-up before camp leads to a showdown with the very young, very attractive starting quarterback.
Starting quarterback for the disgraced New Orleans team, Raphael Acosta has his work cut out for him. His team doesn’t respect him, his coaches barely know his name, and now there’s this hot-shot kid lauded as the second coming of the great Levi Brody. The last thing Raf needs is an insufferable rival for his position. The problem is he can’t seem to keep his hands off the man in private.
When new rules and old prejudices converge, only one could be the Last Man Standing.
Sexual Kink Advisory
LMS is now available.
The two blonds caught his attention. The group of skater punks was making enough noise to get the whole food court kicked out. But it was the blonds that were the center of the group that Sully found fascinating.
By fascinating, he meant he found them attractive and repellant at the same time. He loathed the breed. The kids with nothing to do but kick around the malls and the parks with the board shorts and ponytails. And that was the boys. The girls were a different story altogether. The girls weren’t like the girls from school. The sorority girls with their uniform blond hair and sleek bodies. No, these girls were like guys with boobs. And Sully always found them more attractive than the Daddy’s Princesses.
Or Mommy’s Little Prince if he found a guy who might….just might…he didn’t like to think about what the ‘might’ might be. Which wasn’t exactly correct. He thought about that might a great deal…even when he was doing the guy that might. Might. His life was ruled by mights. He might one day be in the football hall of fame. But that might was so many years in the future he might as well concentrate on the here and now. And right here and right now there were a couple of blonds with saggy baggy shorts and sleek ponytails who might be worth the trouble of getting out of those shorts. The girl with the killer abs and the firm boobs and the guy, taller, broad shouldered, with muscles in all the places that Sully found fascinating on a dude—arms and legs and ass.
He crossed his leg over his knee and leaned back in the seat to watch the two. At first, he thought they were a couple. But as the minutes turned into an hour he decided they were related, just very friendly. Sully didn’t have a sister. He didn’t have a brother either. Hell, he didn’t even have a father. He did have two mothers. He had no idea how brothers and sisters got along with each other. All of his friends couldn’t stand their sisters, but these two seemed to get along, really well. The girl liked to sit on the dude’s lap. They laughed and held hands and whispered to each other. Sometimes their whispers ended with one or both of them looking back at him.
He'd been noticed. And he’d noticed. Sometimes that’s all it took to get laid back home. But this wasn’t back home. This wasn’t home at all. Hell, he didn’t really know exactly where he was. He’d slipped off without permission and caught a cab to the nearest place big enough to get lost for a while. He’d have preferred something outside, but the rain had driven everyone inside.
Especially the skater punks. This mall was crawling with them, but not too many other people. Hell, the place looked dead. He’d been dropped off at one of those dying places with outdated mega stores sitting like hulking white elephants and smaller stores that had stopped being trendy ten years ago.
Even so, this place was far superior to where he’d been. He’d had to get away. Rain or no rain. He’d end up killing his agent if he didn’t clear his head. It was escape or fuck up the one thing he wanted more than anything in his life. To show fucking Levi Brody that he wasn’t the greatest quarterback to come out of Alabama.
He was sick to death of living in Brody’s shadow. He’d been compared to him since the day he walked onto the field in Tuscaloosa. And now he was going to keep right on sniffing the man’s cleats here in New Orleans.
The comparisons had already started and he hadn’t been here a week yet. Rookie camp started in a few days, and he was being treated like a fucking ten-year-old kid who wasn’t smart enough to walk down the street by himself.
He needed…something…anything…he wasn’t legal for booze and he didn’t mess with drugs…sex, he needed fucking neededto get laid so he didn’t fuck up his chance in the NFL by killing his handlers. And right now that blond with the hot ass and tight as hell stomach was just what he wanted. So he waited and watched, wondering if he’d know when the time was right. Or if he’d be tracked down and locked up in the fucking Holiday Inn with his agent and the team of babysitters his other mom had keeping track of him.
Sheila, fuck, there was a picture of her beside the term helicopter parent in the dictionary. Not that he didn’t get along with his mother’s wife, he did. She was the one who couldn’t cut the apron strings. Not even now. He would be twenty-one next week. He wasn’t a kid anymore. Not that he was ever a kid. His mom and Sheila had shuttled him off to military school when he was showing signs of acting out. He’d spent his middle and high school years locked away in a boarding school with other boys like him. Boys who were too rough for their parents to handle, not that his mother tried to handle him. Hell, half the time he thought it was a relief to her that he wasn’t around, she never seemed to have time for him. But Sheila had all the time in the world. Time enough to hover and control and…yeah, he was sick of that shit. Her controlling ranked right up there with wanting to live up to his memory of the man who’d deserted him when he was a kid. Maybe.
Too many maybes in his life. His drink was nothing but watered down sludge. He’d stayed too long, watching for the signal that wouldn’t come. The blonds were too wrapped up in each other, and their circle of friends to want to play with him.
He’d have to find someplace else to scratch his itch. Maybe head out to this place on Bourbon that he’d heard about. He’d intentionally avoided the more popular areas of the city, despite being curious. He’d never been to New Orleans, why couldn’t he go exploring? He wasn’t obligated to be here until Thursday anyway. Nah, right now, he was trying to stay off the radar. He doubted anyone in this town would recognize him…yet. By September he would be on the minds and tongues of the entire city. By February he would finally proved once and for all that Levi Brody was nothing but a fucking has-been.
The blond caught his eye. A smile and a slight tilt of the head.
Sully watched as the group broke up. Couples going off in different directions. Most of them were guys, a few girls. The two blonds stayed behind. They hugged and both of them cast a glance back his way before they spoke quietly then parted. The girl covered her gorgeous body with a heavy hoodie and headed off after the girls who were now laughing and gawking at some store window down the hall.
The other one lingered, tossing the trash from their lunch before heading off at a slow pace in the opposite direction. He looked back once and Sully decided it was time to toss the watered down drink and move along.
He felt around in his pockets for his wallet and his phone and other little essentials he might need if things went where he wanted. Might. Always that might. What if the guy was just heading off to take a piss before he followed the sister, maybe she wasn’t his sister, maybe he was into chicks who looked just like him. Sully left the food court wing and stopped to figure out which way the blond had gone. The men’s room was the other direction, back between a taco place and a homophobic chicken restaurant.
The dude was window shopping at a closed Radio Shack, giving him the side-eye. Okay, maybe he was reading this all wrong. Maybe he’d been recognized after all. Maybe he was being set up. Dude was probably a cop. Or someone sent to smear his reputation. Hell, the whole team was suspect at this point with all the bullshit being said about them. All a bunch of ass munchers…and here he was following some hottie to his doom.
He should turn around and go find a taxi and visit that bar on Bourbon. He had a fake ID in his wallet. One that didn’t have his real name or age or anything that would get him kicked off the team before he was even on it.
In one week he’d be legal. One whole fucking week. But there was still the small problem of being famous in certain circles. He’d come out of one of the more restrictive college programs in the country. His behavior in public was always under heavy scrutiny. He was almost twenty-one and he was tired of being treated like a child. He was grown. He had a college degree. He’d earned his way into a top football program by walking onto the damned field and announcing his presence. He wasn’t a scholarship case. He’d earned every grade and every honor. He’d earned the Heisman that went to someone else who hadn’t ever won a National Championship.
The dude gave him the slip again. Sully kept walking until he spotted him browsing in the ladies department of one of those old-fashioned anchor stores. He was looking at a leopard print sweater like he was picking up something for Mother’s Day, which was a week ago. He got the side-eye again and the sweater was put back onto the rack as blondie went deeper into the store.
Sully followed, like a dumbass. Maybe he was being set up. Maybe he was being lured into the restroom and a bunch of cops would jump out and…were Blondie’s pants always that low on his hips?
Sully’s dick didn’t give a shit about cops, not when the lovely patch of skin showed off the swell of Blondie's ass cleavage. No, those shorts were definitely not that low a couple of minutes ago.
He meandered through women’s clothing past shoes, deeper into the store. There weren’t many people shopping. A few here and there. He didn’t see a single store employee.
That’s why stores like this were dying out. People stopped shopping where they had to search high and low for someone to help them make a simple purchase. His business degree was based on this, and this made his head hurt. Exactly everything he’d studied about how not to run a business…right here. Blondie walked into the men’s changing room and disappeared. He didn’t have a damned thing with him to try on. And there wasn’t a soul around. Sully’s rage at the death of the American dream never fully developed as he wound his way into the room of doors and mirrors. Doors that closed and locked from the inside. Hallelujah for suburban dinosaurs.
He found Blondie in the very last cubicle. The door was open and he stood in the middle of the little room with his hands pressed against the mirrors on either side of him, one leg crossed at the ankles, his board shorts seemed to be held up only by the jut of his pelvic bones. His belly was tanned and toned, his belly button slightly protruding above a line of fine blond hair that ran down to that place Sully wanted to get to know a little better.
“Are you a cop?” His voice was deep. His accent wasn’t local, or even southern.
“I was going to ask you the same question,” Sully didn’t enter the little room. He listened for anything that would tell him he was in danger. The pounding feet of the SWAT team coming to arrest him for soliciting or something. Some underpaid overworked floor-walker pissed that they were trespassing. Or Sheila. He’d been AWOL long enough for her to make it down from Alabama. Maybe.
“Not a cop,” Blondie said, dropping one hand to hook his thumb in the loose waist of his shorts. He smiled when Sully followed the slide of those damned shorts to the beginnings of a yellow nest of fine hair. The bulge hiding behind the fabric gave him the courage to take the final step into the room. “Are you eighteen? Please tell me you’re not some kid playing hooky from school?”
“Twenty-one,” Sully lied. “I could ask the same of you.”
“Twenty-three.” Blondie smiled and tugged the shorts lower. “Are you coming in or are we not doing this?”