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Category: Dirthy Filthy Boy



Chapter 7


HIS HOUSE RESIDES IN A GATED COMMUNITY. Of course, it does. He might be a playah, but I doubt he wants a horde of women and fans crashing his home. Before we’re allowed entrance into the property, a dour guard at the front gate requests my ID. Unwilling to reveal my identity to a stranger, I start to argue, but Ty cuts me off. “Every visitor has to do it, MacKenna.”

Still fuming at Ty, I pull out my driver’s license and hand it to the beefy man. He glances back and forth between the ID and me before he steps inside the guardhouse. I suspect he’s running my driver’s license through a scanner, something that doesn’t sit right with me. Still unsmiling, he returns, hands me back my ID and waves us through.

“That was a violation of my rights.”

“They have to be careful. Many prominent families live here. Some employ their own security as well. Last thing the property management company wants is some criminal breaking and entering somebody’s home, or worse.”

He has a point. Security has to be tight to prevent a home invasion. But I don’t like to provide my personal information unless absolutely necessary. At the Outlaws’ camp, I’d handed over my license for identification, not realizing I needed to check the form that would keep my information from being entered into their database. Lesson learned. From now on, I’ll be more diligent about reading documents when my driver’s license is required.

Still, a visitor to Ty Mathews’ home shouldn’t be required to provide an ID, especially when that visitor has been shanghaied. Well, what’s done is done. Nothing I can do about it. Might as well enjoy the view. And what a view it is. The community’s Colonial houses sit on three acre lots, some with swimming pools in the back, their yards landscaped to an inch of their lives.

He drives up the driveway of a gorgeous mansion nestled between towering trees and pulls into a three-car garage in the back of the house. A huge truck occupies one of the bays. The third one contains a vehicle with a tarp thrown over it.

Once we emerge from his SUV, he leads the way into a gleaming-bright kitchen whose vaulted ceiling must be ten, eleven feet high.

“Would you like something to drink?”

“Water, please.”

He opens a subzero refrigerator, pulls out a bottle, uncaps it and hands it to me. “Make yourself at home. I’m going to change.” And then he starts to walk away, like nothing’s wrong.

Is he kidding me? “Wait.You’re not going anywhere until you explain what happened back there.”

He swivels toward me. His jaw flexing, he eats the distance between him and me. “You mean when you threw yourself at Ryan Jackson?”

He’s way into my personal space, so much I have to tilt back my head so I can glare at him. “I didn’t throw myself.” I sound like a harpy my voice’s so high. “I was talking to him. You know, like a reporter.”

His eyes narrow. “He doesn’t want an interview. He wants to fuck you.” He’s so wound up he’s practically vibrating with coiled tension.

Unwittingly, my gaze drops to his crotch. He’s hard. Very hard. Apparently, Ryan Jackson is not the only one who wants to screw me.

He manacles my arms, pulls me toward him. “And you practically invited him to do it.”

My nipples grow rock hard from being thrust into his chest. How could I be this turned on by his caveman behavior? “I did not.”

He goes on like I haven’t said a thing. “Yeah, you did. You pranced up and down that field with your hair down to your ass, your breasts bouncing all the way. Whatever bra you’re wearing? It doesn’t do shit, except draw attention to your tits.”

I wiggle in his hold. The way my body’s reacting, I can’t be this close to him. “Let me go, Ty.” When he does, I fling a hand across my chest. My nipples turn into hard little nubs whenever I get excited. And god knows I’m excited now. His behavior might be Neanderthal, but he’s turning me on. “That was not nice.”

He throws his hands in the air. “Jeesus H. Fucking Christ! I’m not trying to be nice. I’m trying to clue you in. Some of  those players you were flirting with? Half of them are aching to nail you. They think you’re easy.” He steps toward me again, and I stumble backwards. “They think all they have to do is crook a finger and you’ll fall into their laps. They’ve seen hundreds of girls like that, groupies who are only interested in one thing—bagging a Chicago Outlaw. And I guarantee you a lot of them have put you into that category.”

Tears seep into my vision. I shake my head to will them back. “I’m not like that. I’m not.” Taking another step, I run dab smack into the kitchen counter.

“Then stop acting like you are.”

“What did I do that was so wrong?”

“You flirted with them.”

My lower lip juts forward. “I did not.”

“Yes, you did. I was watching you the whole time. You flipped your hair, smiled, touched some of them. Since you don’t know shit about football, I can imagine what they were thinking.”

“That’s so unfair. I never asked for the interview with Ron. It was thrust into my lap.”

“And it was supposed to begin and end with him?”


“At the Boys & Girls Club, you were talking to players as if you wanted to interview them. What happened to change your mind?”

“Well, I met you, and someone at the club who used to play football.”

“Who?” He snarls out.

“One of the owners. My friend, Marigold, knows him from their college days.”

“Todd Gryzinsky.”

“Yes. You know him?”

“Yeah, I know him.” His eyes flash at me. “Did he hit on you?”

“No! He was at the door. After Marigold talked to him, he was nice enough to let us in.”

“He wasn’t being nice, MacKenna. If your friend looks anything like you, he admitted two smoking hot females, bait for the hordes of playahs who frequent the club.”

“Like you?” I snap.

“No. Not like me.” Two muscled arms clutch the edge of the counter, caging me in. “In case you didn’t know, I don’t chase women. They chase me.”

I blow out a disgusted snort. “Yeah. I know.” Having heard enough, I’m more than ready to leave. “Well, this has been a really nice conversation, but I’d like to go home now.”

He pushes off to wander around the kitchen, his hands jammed into his jeans pockets, his hard body in full display. My stupid heart beats a mad, wild rhythm at the sight of his broad shoulders, slim hips, and mighty fine ass.

He stops pacing and glances back, his green eyes drilling into mine. “You’re serious about interviewing players?”


“You never explained why.”

“Well, I just thought of football players as—” I can’t say that I thought of big, beefy men fighting over a pigskin as Neanderthals—  “athletes.”

“And now?”

“Well, after talking to you and Ron and watching mad dog Buchinsky work with kids as gently as he did, I’m beginning to see there’s more to them than football.”

“And that’s important, why?”

“Any reporter can cover the statistics, how far somebody threw a ball, how many balls a player caught. But I’d like to explore the human side of the players and write about them. What makes them tick? What makes them human? The newspaper’s subscribers, especially the women, would eat up those stories.”

He lets out a hard breath. “You’ll need to earn their respect before they open themselves up to you.”

“I know. How do I do that?”

He strolls up to me, all fluid grace and masculine power. “Well, for starters. You need to learn the game.”

I nod in agreement. “I’m reading up on football and doing research.”

“You need to do more than that. I can teach you.” His voice softens, as his hand reaches out to fiddle with my hair. “I can teach you lots of things.”

His body’s tight against me. His hard on’s pressed against my belly.

I glance up at him through my eyelashes. He’s so much bigger than me, so much of a man. He smells like one too. Not of that expensive cologne he’d sported at the club, but like a man who’s been throwing around some balls with kids. Nice, clean sweat and underneath it all, him.

“You drive me crazy, you know, with your soft hair, pouty lips, and milky skin.” He puts his lips to my neck, and I shiver. “You smell so good.”

Our emotions mingle, flaring up into a fiery need. I want him. I want this man more than my next breath. But there’s something he must be made to understand.

“I’m not a groupie.”

“Oh, sweetheart, of course you’re not. You’re sunshine and rainbows and everything that’s right in this world.”

Trembling with hunger for this man, all I can say is, “Ty?” 

“Say yes, sweetheart. Say yes, and I’ll give you anything you want.”

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Dirty Filthy Boy


Chapter 6


AS SOON AS WE REACH THE FAR SIDE OF THE PARKING LOT, MacKenna lets me have it. “That stunt you pulled in there was embarrassing.You humiliated me.”

I shrug. “Don’t know why. I saved your food.”

 “You actually think that macho posturing is going to prevent someone from stealing it?”

“Yep. The men won’t touch it. Too scared of what I’ll do to them. The women think it’s romantic what I did. You might want to say thank you, by the way.” I throw in to get her even more riled up.

Her jaw drops as smoke practically steams out of her ears. “Thank you? Thank you?”  Her pink cheeks turn apple red, and she goes from beautiful to stunning.

I execute a small bow. “You’re welcome.”

Her eyes bulge. “You’ve got some nerve, you know that.”

 Smiling, I cross my arms across my chest and broaden my stance. “It’s all part of the Ty package.”

“The Ty package?”

I wink at her. “I can show you, if you like.”

“You could show . . .” She fists her hands. “I could just . . .” She struggles not to blow a gasket. Wouldn’t that make a magnificent sight? But after a few seconds, she gets control of her temper and whooshes out a hard breath. “Men.”

“Yep.” I rock back on my heels. “That’s what I am.”

A cold breeze slashes between us, tussling her gorgeous curls, making her shiver. It might be early September, but the weather’s turned cooler, and the wind’s blowing like a son of a bitch out of Lake Michigan. That sweater she’s wearing can’t possibly keep her warm. I could volunteer my services to heat her up in my SUV, but she’s nowhere ready to go to the next level with me. A challenge, that’s what she is, and I love a challenge.

Without looking at me, she dives into her purse and retrieves her car keys. “Well, I better get going. Thank you for the interview and lunch.”

Another gust of wind turns her nipples rock hard. And suddenly reality smacks me in the face. She can’t go to the Boys & Girls Club in that sweater and tight skirt. Either will have my teammates salivating. Both, and I’ll have a fight on my hands. She needs to change clothes to prevent bloodshed. I point to her. “That sweater and skirt won’t work. You’ll need to put on something else—jeans, a sweatshirt, sneakers—to go to the rec center.”

She looks down at herself. “What’s wrong with what I’m wearing?”

“Nothing. It’s a perfect outfit for work. But we’re going to throw around a few footballs and you might be required for show and tell.” There is no might about it. I will use her to teach the kids how to throw a perfect spiral.

Her face scrunches. “Show and tell?”

“I’ll demonstrate how to pitch the ball. And you’ll be my assistant.” I pull out the car keys from my jacket, twirl the ring around my finger.

“I’ve never thrown a football.”

“And that’s why the kids will get a kick out of it. If I can teach you how to lob one, it’ll give them hope.”

“Use one of your teammates. They certainly know how to throw . . . and catch.”

“And risk being smacked by a whiff of funky BO? I don’t think so. You”—I lean in and breathe in her lavender-rose scent—”smell way better than any of them.”

She peeks up at me through her lashes, a flirty move, but doubt she realizes it as such. From everything I’ve seen, she doesn’t seem the flirty kind.

“I’m not going to win this argument, am I?”

I grin, sensing a victory. “Nope.”

“Fine. I’ll go home and change. I’ll meet you at the Boys and Girls Club.” She tosses over her shoulder as she heads toward the edge of the parking lot.

My key twirling comes to a dead stop, and I rush after her. I’ll be damned before I let her risk that drive by herself. The B&C Club is in a dangerous part of town. Anything could happen to her on the way over. “I have a better idea. Why don’t I follow you to your place. After you change, we can head to the club in my car.”

“I don’t think that would be a good idea.” By now we’ve reached the junker she climbed into at the Outlaws parking lot. There’s a dent in the rear passenger door that wasn’t there before.

“Did somebody hit you?” I point to the car.

“No. I dinged a column in my apartment lot. The parking there is . . . tricky.” She inserts her key into the car door. “I’ll just—” She struggles to get the door open, but it won’t budge. “Umm, drive myself.”

Not in that piece of shit car, she won’t. She probably doesn’t want me to know her address, but her objection is moot. “I know where you live, MacKenna.”

Her head jerks up from fighting with her car door. “What? How do you know?”

“You provided that information to our press office in the form you filled out.”

Her eyes widen. “And they gave it to you?”

I lean against my cherry Porsche Cayenne SUV which just happens to be parked next to her junker. “You must have forgotten to check off the box that prevents them from sharing your information with the Outlaws staff.”

“Darn it. I was so worried about the Ron Moss interview I gave it back without reading the small print.” She gnaws on her lip, obviously upset about her personal data being disseminated for anyone to see.

Her discomfort tugs at me. “The Outlaws Press office sharing your details. That’s a problem for you.”

Those crushed bluebell eyes of hers gaze helplessly up at me. “Yes, I’d prefer my private information kept just that, private.”

I grab my cell, dial the number of the head of PR. “Trevor? It’s Ty Mathews. The information MacKenna Perkins provided to you, home address, personal stuff. Can you erase it from our system?”

She stands in front of me, rubbing her hands up and down her arms. Predictably, my cock reacts at those tight nipples of hers. Damn it. It’s going to be a long afternoon if I don’t rein in my lust. Like the gentleman I’m not, I order my hard on to give it a rest and turn so my body blocks her from the wind. “They’ll need to retain your business info if you want to interview any member of the team. Is that okay?”


“She’s fine with that. Okay, Trevor. Thanks.” I click off, bury the cell in my leather jacket. “Done.”

“Thanks.” Her nose is bright pink. Her eyes are watering. My blocking the wind hasn’t helped her enough. She’s freezing.

Much as I want to pull her into me and warm her, I resist. Don’t want her hightailing it again. But obviously, she needs to get away from the wind. “So, do you want me to swing over to your place and we can ride together from there?” Her eyes sparking with interest, she glances from her POS to my sweet ride.

Good. All I have to do is reel her in.

“If we go together to the rec center, you’ll get to ride in my car.” I click my key, slide the door open. The Porsche Cayenne is a thing of beauty—Carmine Red on the outside, black on the inside, the Chicago Outlaws’ team colors. “It has Bose Surround sound, GPS, Sirius satellite radio.” I pause for dramatic effect before I go in for the kill. “And heated leather seats.”

Her eyes round with wonder and her mouth forms a perfect “O”.

My lips curve into a smile. I thought that would do the trick.

Once she stops drooling over my car, I get her door open so she can climb into that sorry excuse of a car before following her to her place. I’m glad to see her parking garage requires a card to enter, but the inside is shit. Potholes big enough to eat a tire, crappy lighting. No wonder she ran into a garage column. Dirt and sweat stink up the elevator. The hallway leading to the unit on her floor is no better; it reeks of cabbage and onions.

Her cheeks bloom pink as if she’s embarrassed of the place. “It’s not much, but it’s the best I can afford. And my neighbors are nice.”

Damn, she must have caught the expression on my face. “That’s good.”

“And there’s a security station on the ground floor. You have to show ID to get in.”

Thank fuck for that.

Three security locks guard her door, each of which opens with a different key. When we enter her apartment, she offers me something to drink. All she’s got is water, tea and some fruity drink. While she runs into her bedroom to change, I make myself at home on her mud-colored couch and guzzle the H2O. But soon I’m up exploring the place.

Her tiny apartment smells like her. But that’s about the only thing it has going for it. The springs on the couch leave something to be desired. Probably got it at a garage sale or maybe it’s a remnant from her college days. The TV can’t be more than 26-inches wide. Didn’t know they still sold them in that size. Her kitchen contains the usual appliances—a stove, refrigerator. But they both look like they’ve seen better days. I don’t see a dishwasher and there’s a rack next to the sink, so she must wash her dishes by hand.

She deserves better than to live in this crappy dump. Aside from the small size and the smells outside her unit, I’m not totally convinced about the security of the building. I’ve got connections in real estate—people who owe me favors, acquaintances, friends. Surely, I could hook her up with a better place to live. The problem will be talking her into it.

Ten minutes later, she emerges from her bedroom, changed into jeans, a sweatshirt and sneakers. Although the outfit is supposed to make her shapeless, nothing can hide her amazing breasts. They’re large, perky and the reason God invented boobs. Their bounce all the way back to the elevator has me gnashing my teeth. As if my suffering’s not bad enough, she has trouble with her seatbelt, so I get an up close and personal of her world-class tits when I help her snap it on.

We arrive at the Boys & Girls Club to pandemonium. A few hundred kids, their parents, the media. It’s a fucking three-ring circus. But our head of PR has been there, done that, and he manages to control the insanity. With a few choice words, he corrals everyone inside the rec center, while the Outlaws take the stage. The head of the club introduces us one by one to loud cheers. I give the usual “Stay in School, Don’t Do Drugs” speech I’ve given hundreds of times before.

The real fun begins when we go outside. The kids line up in front of their favorite player. As usual, mine is the longest. After I hurl a few balls, I use MacKenna to demonstrate. Predictably, she can’t throw for shit. When I mention she throws like a girl, the kids crack up, just like I knew they would. Soon I have even the littlest ones lobbing the ball with confidence, if not very far. 

When she wanders off to write something into her note book, a fresh one, I keep my eye on her. She walks toward the opposite end of the field where Ron Moss is catching balls from a bunch of kids. When another receiver takes his place, she exchanges a few words with him. I talked to him yesterday before the game to clue him into what really happened with their interview. He’s a great guy who doesn’t hold a grudge. Soon his head’s bobbing and he’s smiling at her. She says something and gets a thumbs up before he goes back to working with the kids.

She jots something in her notebook before she stops to observe our left tackle, Maddox ‘Mad Dog’ Buchinski, who’s teaching a huge kid how to block. He has nowhere as many kids as I do, so the few he has are getting quite a bit of instruction from him.

When next I look up she’s talking to our kicker, Ryan Jackson. My hackles rise. Unlike the other players, who’re giving 100%, Ryan’s barely participating. When she asks him a few questions, he totally ignores the kids to put the moves on her—flashing that smarmy smile of his, laughing at something she says. Ryan’s the scum of the earth. A world-class athlete who’s allowed his fame to go to his head. He’s caused nothing but trouble with the other Outlaws—picking fights, insulting players. Most of them hate him. If it weren’t for his field-goal kicking golden leg, he’d be off the team.

But even worse than his humongous ego are his dubious morals. He chases anything in a skirt, especially younger women. Oh, he’s careful to card them. Last thing he wants is to be caught having sex with someone who’s underage. Still, there’s something offputting about a thirty-seven year old man screwing an eighteen-year old girl.

Before I go over there and put a world on hurt on the bastard, our head of PR blows the whistle, signaling the end of scrimmage. I patiently sign a few shirts and balls while keeping an eye on MacKenna and Ryan. But when he touches her, I can’t control myself. I pound toward MacKenna, grab her arm and haul her away.

“Wait” She trips, and I tighten my grip to keep her from falling. “That was rude. I was talking to Ryan.”

I keep up the pace, not slowing down one bit. “You don’t talk to him. You hear me.”

“Why not?”

We’re close to where the media lies in wait, cameras clicking away. “Who’s the lady, Ty? New girlfriend?”

Damn it! I should have thought this through before I went all ape shit. If there’s one thing, the Outlaws’ organization is adamant about is good press. Whatever a player has to do, he must present a positive image. And right now, there’s only one way to do that. My grip slides down and grabs her hand. “Smile for the reporters, MacKenna.”

Thankfully, she obeys me. She clutches her notebook to her chest and smiles. Until we get inside my SUV and I snap her into her seatbelt. Then she lights into me. “What was that all about? Why did you drag me from Ryan Taylor?”

All screeching tires, I peel out of the parking lot before somebody snaps a photo of her screaming at me. I don’t answer her until we’re well away from the club.  “He’s a sleazeball. All he wants is to nail you.”

“Oh? And you don’t?”

“Give me some credit, MacKenna. I’ve been the perfect gentleman so far.” Well, perfect for me.

Other than breathing hard, she’s silent until we take the highway out of the city. “Where are we going? This is not the way to my apartment.”

“My house. We need to talk.” She needs to understand professional football, and I’m not just thinking about the game, but the players as well. She needs to learn who she can talk to and who she needs to stay away from.

“Don’t I get a say in this?”

I firm my lips. “Nope.”

She mumbles something under her breath. Neanderthal, among a few other choice words. Yeah. I get it. I’m dragging her to my cave. Perfect gentleman flew out the window the second I hauled her away.

I shouldn’t have acted the way I did. I know it. She knows it. My overprotective streak’s flying a mile high. Something I haven’t felt in a long time. Since college, I’ve stuck to women who knew the score, staying away from dewy-eyed virgins who have no clue. Angry with myself, I smack the wheel.

“What’s wrong?” Her voice quivers with emotion. God, don’t let it be fear. Couldn’t handle that from her.

“Nothing.” ‘Ignore her,’ Warrior Ty whispers. You can’t afford to care about her. You can’t allow your emotions to get involved. That way lies disaster. You need to focus on football and your injured arm before coach takes you out of the game. But I’m not listening. Somehow she brings out the rescuer in me. I may have only known her a few days, but I ache to protect her against any and all harm. To give her the life she should have. But let’s face, the part of me that’s mainly in charge is my cock. And the damn thing’s rapidly growing out of control.

Dirty Filthy Boy

Chapter 4


MONDAY MORNING, I WAKE UP GROGGY AS FUCK. After the game, the team had arranged for limos to drive the players to the downtown Chicago hotel where the Outlaws regularly hold victory celebrations. When two women made me an offer I could not refuse, we’d move the party to my hotel room for some serious menage action. Around four in the morning, I’d caught my ride home, where I’d stumbled into my own bed. Alone. I never bring women to my house.

I blink at the digital display on my night table–12:06 p.m. Normally, I don’t sleep this late, but the Outlaws don’t hold practices the day after a game. So, it’s my day off. I have all day to recuperate, and I’ll need every fucking second of it. The cocksucker linebacker of the Dallas Roughriders almost took me out of the game. But after the referee called a penalty for roughing the passer, I paid him back big time by throwing what turned out to be the winning touchdown. My body doesn’t feel much like celebrating, though. Too many hits, too much alcohol, too much . . . No, there’s no such thing as too much sex.

I trudge to the bathroom to piss, and, after a much-needed shower, grab some OJ to rehydrate. Something tugs at my consciousness, something I should remember. And then it hits me. The redhead reporter. Shit! I was supposed to meet her at ten o’clock at The Honey Bee. It’s fucking 12:45 now. Damn. I fucked up. Royally. No way is she still there waiting for me. Can’t call her. I don’t have her number, but our press office must have her contact information. No reporter can interview a player without providing it to the Outlaws. Protection for the player, the team. The reporter as well.

I call the head of PR who has the information I need–MacKenna’s business number and the address where she works. A phone call’s going to get me nowhere. She’ll probably hang up on me which means I’ll need to drive to her job and apologize.  After plugging in the address into my car’s GPS, I head out, and on the way, I figure out my strategy. An apology followed by an invite to a fancy restaurant should do it.

When I arrive at her newspaper, the frizzy-haired receptionist squints up at me, not a hint of recognition on her face. “May I help you?”

“Umm, is MacKenna Perkins here?”

“I’ll have to check. What’s your name?”

Her failure to recognize the quarterback of the Chicago Outlaws surprises the hell out of me. That’s not my ego talking. But basic reality. Chi-Town is football crazy, and I’m its best-known player. “Ty Mathews.”

She pushes a button into her console and announces, “MacKenna. Ty Mathews is here to see you.”

After a short conversation, the receptionist hangs up. “She’ll be right out,” she says before going right back to sorting papers on her desk.

I barely get out a thank you before MacKenna is there in all her glory. Masses of auburn curls cascade down her back, a soft contrast to the fuzzy blue sweater she’s wearing. My dick hardens at the thought of my hand wrapped around that magnificent hair while I pound into her.

“Hello, Mr. Mathews.” She drills out through thinned lips.

Ooookaaayyy. She’s obviously pissed, not that I blame her. “Can we, uh, go somewhere and talk?”

“Sure. How about the Honey Bee Diner?”

She’s not making this easy. Not that I expected her to. Time to put my plan into action. “I’m sorry.”

“Uh huh.” She crosses her arms underneath her luscious breasts, putting them on display, calling attention to her hard nipples.

Lord, have mercy! Those things could take a man’s eyes out. “I overslept.”

“I waited an hour.”

“I’d like a chance to make it up to you.”

From out of nowhere, an older man shows up, beefy hand stuck out. “Mr. Mathews. How do you do? I’m Horace Bartlett, chief editor of the Windy City Chronicle.”

I shake hello.

“Ms. Perkins tells me there might have been a misunderstanding about the time you were supposed to meet.”

Smart man. He’s come up with a way for me to save face, without flat out calling me a jerk.

“Misund–” MacKenna spits out.

But before she can complete the word, her boss interrupts. “Ms. Perkins is available now if you have the time.”

“I do.”

“Well, I don’t.”

“Perkins.” The way he commands her to silence with a single word and a look, I’m liking this guy better and better. “Why don’t you take Mr. Mathews into one of our interview rooms? Can we get you something to drink or eat?”

“Actually, I skipped breakfast this morning. Would Ms. Perkins be available for lunch?” I address the question to her boss. I’m not stupid enough to ask her.



“My treat, of course. L’Herron is just down the street.” L’Herron is a high class French restaurant. By the time we get there, it’ll be two o’clock, and their lunch rush should be over. Should reduce the number of autograph seekers while she conducts her interview.

After one last dirty look at me, MacKenna excuses herself to get her things. Soon, Horace Bartlett is waving us out the door, his face wreathed in a broad smile. Hard to do with a cigar in his mouth.

On the way to L’Herron, MacKenna’s tight lips reflect the conflict battling within her. She can’t say what she really thinks of me, not with her boss watching from the newspaper’s front door. She’s holding on so tight to her temper, she may very well explode.

To my surprise, she manages to keep it together until we reach the restaurant. There, we’re shown to a booth with a clear view of Lake Michigan. Disregarding her “I’m not hungry” remark, I order the Chateaubriand Bouquetiere for two–roast tenderloin of beef, accompanied by an array of fresh vegetables with a béarnaise sauce–and a bottle of their best red Burgundy.

When the server leaves, she jams her arms across her chest while giving me the evil eye.

Getting on her good graces shouldn’t be this hard. Most females would be slobbering all over me by now. But then she’s not like any woman I’ve met before, is she? For one thing, she smells like apple blossoms, not some cloying perfume, and she’s barely wearing any makeup, unlike those two blondes from last night who’d slathered on enough makeup to spackle a wall. “You’re not hungry?”

“I ate breakfast. At the diner. Once I got tired of waiting for you.”

Feisty little thing, isn’t she? But then I walked right into that one. “I apologize. Again.”

“Where I come from, Mr. Mathews, actions speak louder than words.”

Me too. But, of course, she’s not going to believe that. Not now. But I have to find a way to get her in a better mood if for no other reason than I screwed up. And I don’t like screwing up. “Please call me Ty. You must have eaten four, six hours ago.” I’m starving, but then we have different caloric needs. She’s probably five four and a buck ten soaking wet. I’m six six and carry 250 pounds of hard-muscle. Still, she needs to eat. “How about some bread?” I push the basket at her.

She grabs a roll, tears off a piece, and, without taking a bite, drops both halves on her plate.

Okay. So she’s not a bread lover. I, on the other hand, love it. So, I grab the last aromatic French mini-baguette and slather it with fresh butter. Without being asked, the waiter replaces the empty container with a fresh batch.

“Would you like to ask some questions while we wait for the entrée?” I volunteer, after I’ve wolfed down half the baguette. Only a few diners are sprinkled across the restaurant and none of them seem the least interested in me. With any luck, we won’t be interrupted.

Her eyes flash at me, and not in the good way that usually goes along with, ‘Oh, yeah, baby, baby, baby.’

“You’d like me to start the interview? Fine.” She fetches her recorder from her purse, grabs her notebook, slaps it down on the table. “Tell me, Ty, is the reason you overslept a blonde or a brunette?”

I choke on the bread. “What?”

“How do you like to do it? I imagine missionary must be pretty boring for you. I’m betting doggie style is more your thing. Or perhaps something more exotic?” Damn if she doesn’t write ‘How Ty Mathews likes to do it’ in her notebook.

What the fuck? “We’re supposed to be talking football.”

Waving a dainty hand, she dismisses my statement. “Most readers don’t care about such things. They want to know about your sex life. So tell me, the blonde and the brunette at Platinum Saturday night, did you take them home and do the nasty with them?” Her eyes spark with emotion–anger, for sure. But there’s something else there. Something much darker, more primal. Excitement. Lust.

Some men might be clueless when it comes to women. Yeah. I’m not one of them. I know exactly where they’re coming from.

MacKenna is pissed I stood her up, but she’s also angry about what she witnessed at the club. “You saw me. At Platinum.” I know she knows, but I want a starting point of reference.

“Yes, that was quite a show you put on. Half the people there could not keep their eyes off you. So for our readers, Ty, tell me, why did you allow that woman to blow you in a public place?” She’s so worked up, her breath fails toward the end. And then she goes and licks her mouth.

I was hard before, but now? It’s going to be damn difficult to walk around with the wood in my pants. Under cover of the table, I shift and tug to make some room while fighting the urge to put that soft mouth of hers to good use.

“Turn off the recorder.” The Texas twang I’ve fought so hard to get rid of creeps into my voice. Something it does when my emotions get the better of me, like now.

She turns off the machine, stashes it in her purse. “There. It’s off. Now tell me, why do you do such a thing?” She should be unemotional when it comes to an interview, and yet, she’s not. Although she’s trying very hard to hide it, her voice quivers.

The last few months I’ve grown bored with my life, having nothing to look forward to except more of the same. But now this spitfire sits next to me, all wet, pouty lips, and red-hair down to her luscious ass, challenging me, sparking my interest like no one has done before. And the warrior in me, the one who mows down defenses with his golden arm, rises up, burning to conquer this female. Ready to fucking own her.

I spread my arms across the back of the booth and wind a finger around one of her luscious curls. When I do, she doesn’t move, barely breathes.

“The question, little darling, is not why I did it. You’re smart enough to figure that out.” I lean into her, brush the back of my hand down her cheek. It’s soft, just as I imagine the rest of her is. “The more important question is, why do you care so much?”