Home > The Hot Shot (Game On #4)(4)

The Hot Shot (Game On #4)(4)
Author: Kristen Callihan

What the actual fuck?

I can’t move. All my brainpower has gone south to take orders from my rising dick. And said dick is insisting that we get closer. He wants a formal introduction.

No, no, no. Not happening.

I pull in a deep breath, and my brain gets further scrambled by her scent. I’m in serious trouble here.

I’m almost grateful when she finally speaks, but her bedroom voice doesn’t help matters much. “Let’s be clear, Mr. Mannus. You’re in my house now. We have a job to do. I’ll do my part, and you do yours.” Her dark eyes search mine. “Make all the dick jokes you want. They won’t save you.”

No, I suspect they won’t. Like an inevitable collision with a charging linebacker, I suspect Ms. Chess Copper is going to take me down and make me feel it. Bitch of it is, I’m not sure if I hate the idea or kind of like it.

 

 

Chapter Two

 

 

Chess

 

* * *

 

Work flows as it always does. I cajole the shy, quiet big guy, Dex into relaxing. I manage the flirty one, Jake until he settles down. And the showboat Rolondo, I simply shoot as much as I can while he poses as much as he can. It’s fun, all of it.

Maeve, my part-time assistant, shows up and helps me with lighting while James gets each guy ready. And, yes, he is a stammering, blushing mess the whole time. The guys take it in stride. It’s clear they’re used to walking around naked, and they view their bodies as machines, for the most part. Disrobing doesn’t seem to bother them in the least.

Dicks, however remain a sensitive issue. Surprisingly, the flirt, Jake Ryder is particularly worried.

“Shit,” he mutters as he drops his robe and a fine blush tints his cheeks. “What if I get wood? I mean, I’m not turned on or anything. Not, that you aren’t really cute…Shit. I didn’t mean that.” He shuffles his feet, his hands moving to cover his penis before they jerk away as if he doesn’t want to hide either. “I’m just saying, I’m naked and you’re going to be looking. That usually tends to make him stand at attention.”

The mere fact that he’s not hiding his fear is admirable to me. I keep my expression neutral and take a shot to check the light. “If he decides to give us a wave, we ignore him. Just like I do whenever that happens.”

“Happens often?” he asks, brightening.

“I’m sure I don’t need to tell you, Mr. Ryder, that penises can have minds of their own.”

“Or lack of,” he agrees with a little laugh.

He relaxes, and we get through just fine. But all the while, there’s a burr under my skin, an annoying thud of my heart against my ribs. Because, unlike Jake, I am not at ease. Not one bit. And I know who is to blame.

The Asshat. Mannus.

I could pretend I don’t know why he affects me when the others don’t. But it would be a lie. I’m attracted to him. And it is horrifying.

Usually, I need to like a man in order to feel a spark. Asshats who clearly think they’re hot shit do not get a more than a passing glance from me. And why should they? I’m around good-looking men all the time. Physical beauty is nothing more than an appealing package to gaze on. What’s below the surface is so much more interesting.

The fact that Finn Mannus, who annoys the hell out of me, has been tickling the edges of my thoughts since I’ve set eyes on him is not a welcome experience. That he’s up next and I’m going to have to see him naked, that I’ll need to keep my composure and photograph him, is messing with my head. A lot.

My insides are stupidly fluttering and swooping. My fingers are cold, but my skin is hot. I’m so annoyed with myself, I want to take five and slap my own face. At this rate, I’m going to need James to give me a “bitch, be cool” lecture.

I just need to get through the day, and soon it will all be a hazy memory. I’ll drink a glass of chilled white wine—or maybe an icy shot of vodka at this rate—and get ready for my date with…Shit, what was the guy’s name? I blink, unable to remember.

Adam? Marvin? Melvin? “Evan!”

“What?” Jake Ryder peers at me in confusion.

I clear my throat and lift my camera. “Nothing. Carry on.”

The advice goes for me as well. There is no way I’m going to be distracted by a mouthy quarterback. No freaking way.

 

* * *

 

Finn

 

* * *

 

“You seem…tense.”

I halt mid-pace and shoot Dex a look that would make most guys fuck off. The guy merely settles back in his chair, crosses his arms over his chest, and raises a brow. Since I’ve been trying to get him to be more involved with the team, I should be glad he’s taking any interesting in talking. Because Dex rarely does. But right now is not the time.

It feels like ants are crawling over the lining of my stomach. And it’s all I can do not to claw them out. I haven’t been this unsettled since my last college championship game. A game I fucking lost to his team, thank you very much. So I’m not in the mood to play.

“You’re done with your shoot,” I tell him. “Doesn’t that mean you can go now?”

His smile is thin and knowing. “I drove all of us here, remember?”

I do now. Shit.

“And even if I hadn’t,” he continues blandly. “I wouldn’t want to miss this.”

“Miss what?” I ask, even though I know full well what.

“You falling apart. It’s fascinating. You get stiffer with each turn you take around the room.”

I let my hands drop to my sides and order my shoulders to releax. My body ignores the directive. “Find something better to do.”

“Can’t. This is basic study,” he says. “Now, I know the signs when you’re close to losing your shit on the field.” As my center, the more he knows about my body language, the better. I tell myself this, but I really want to knock the legs out from under his chair.

“Dexter, when I’m about to lose my shit on the field, I’ll tell you. I have absolutely no qualms admitting when I need help during a game.” Some QBs would rather swallow their left nut than show any weakness. But we’re a team out there. And I believe in teamwork, not fucking up just to save face.

Dex tilts his head and inspects me as if I’m some sort of exotic bug that flew in through the window. Shit, I can’t think of bugs. It pulls my attention back to the uncomfortable prickling in my gut.

“And now?” he asks. “You gonna admit what’s getting to you in this situation?” The corners of his eyes crinkle. “I mean, I know what it is, but are you going to admit to it?”

Cursing, I lean against the rough exposed brick wall of the loft, and let my gaze wander around Chester Copper’s living area.

Chester Copper. Despite my discomfort, I want to smile. God, she’s a handful. The kind that will bite your hand off. It’s kind of hot, in a pissed off gloom and doom kind of way. I guess I’d be pretty pissy if I was a girl and my parents had named me Chester.

My smile fades. It’s clear she thinks I’m an asshole. I’m usually better at charming women. My game is off today. But I was expecting an old guy name Chester, someone who I might have been able talk football and maybe get away with asking him to take a few quick photos before I fled. Not a blunt woman with dark green eyes that seem to flay my skin and see right under it.

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