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.”
“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?”