Read the first chapter of the #1 Kindle Bestseller in Sports Fiction
(on 12/3/14 and 12/10/14)
Chapter 1 - The Quarterback Sneak
Liam McQueen knew he shouldn’t be inside Martini Madness or any place that served alcohol. Two years, one month, three weeks, five days sober. And celibate. Though going without a drink had proven more difficult than laying off the women. Alcohol had been his mistress, and he still heard the siren calling to his weak soul. He fortified himself with a prayer as he maneuvered through the club.
Three of his offensive linemen surrounded him, fiercely guarding their quarterback’s body as if they were still on the football field. Tonight Liam was returning the favor, protecting his teammates as their designated driver and general all-around babysitter. It wouldn’t help the New York Cougar’s upcoming season if one of them landed in jail.
Upon reaching the club’s swanky VIP section, his buddies beelined for the decorations—the pretty women let inside as bait to lure wealthy men into dropping serious cash. Liam had his fill of groupies and party girls. Deserted, he found an empty bar stool and looked around.
The glass-enclosed area allowed the music to filter in at a level that encouraged conversation, yet let the wannabes outside the glass feel like they were part of the scene, where D-list celebrities mingled with pro athletes.
From his spot, Liam had a front-row seat as he watched his largest lineman fumble a play on a hot redhead. Poor schmuck. Maybe he should help Murphy out and be his wingman for the night.
“What’s your poison?” asked a sultry voice from behind the neon-lit bar.
Poison. Liam almost laughed at the truth in the word. The name of his favorite Scotch burned on his tongue.
Spinning his stool back around, he faced the bartender, a hot blonde with big boobs spilling over her low-cut shirt. She flashed him a smile bright enough for a whitening-toothpaste commercial. Three years ago, he would have simply nodded toward the nearest bathroom, and faster than it took him to call an audible on a play, they would have been going at it like a pair of drunken monkeys. His former self disgusted him.
All he wanted now was a nice girl to settle down with. A nice girl who liked sex, he amended.
“Red Bull,” he said.
“With?” The suggestive hint in her voice left no doubt of her interest in him.
“Yeah, it sure is.” But if he hadn’t gone off the wagon after single-handedly losing the Championship seven months ago, then he wouldn’t take a drink now. Not even the daily reminders of defeat—fans who taunted him on the street—could break his resolve. His response at least seemed to shut them up effectively. You’re right. I suck.
The New York fans were a fickle bunch. With a single throw, they’d forgotten how after Todd, the Cougars’ star quarterback, had broken his leg, Liam had stepped in to lead them to the big game. Would the Cougars have won the Championship if Todd still had been the quarterback? According to social media, the answer was a resounding yes.
Apparently the team’s management agreed. Otherwise Liam wouldn’t have had to compete with Romer, the Cougars’ number-one draft choice, for the starting position. A competition Liam had won. For now.
And he couldn’t even celebrate with a toast.
Turning his head toward a commotion at the VIP entrance, he expected to see a major celebrity. But it was just another washed-up reality star. The team owner’s hellion of a daughter, Hayden Middleton, had arrived with her entourage in tow.
An off-the-shoulder red cocktail dress hugged the tabloid darling’s every curve, like she was channeling a plus-sized Jessica Rabbit. Even her long, cinnamon-brown hair was swept to one side. Wearing ridiculously high heels, she probably could meet Liam’s six-foot-three gaze head on.
He swiveled his stool, resting his elbows on the bar rail behind him and watched her approach. Damn. She was going to walk right by him like he didn’t exist. “Hey, Hayden.”
Without missing a beat, she turned her head. “Hey, loser.”
“Ouch.” He grabbed his chest as if she’d struck him in the heart with an arrow. Yet it wasn’t her comment that stung. Those robin’s-egg-blue eyes landed a sucker punch to his gut every time she looked his way.
As she strolled by him, his gaze dropped to her sashaying backside. The judge should have sentenced the spoiled brat to a good solid spanking instead of yet another probation. His cock hardened painfully at the thought of carrying out her punishment himself. Hayden starred in his fantasies way more often than he’d like. Okay, so maybe staying celibate was more difficult than staying sober. One always seemed to fuel the other.
Where the mind leads the body will follow, he reminded himself and he looked away. At this rate, he’d be praying for salvation tomorrow instead of focusing on football practice. And when it came to Hayden Middleton, he’d be consorting with the devil’s handmaiden. Not that consorting was the problem. The woman hated him, which he supposed made things easier. Less tempting…
Dear God, he wanted a drink. A Scapa Scotch. Wanted to swirl the autumn-gold liquid, inhale the honeyed fragrance, savor the sweet smoothness, feel the cool burn down his throat and then the blessed relief as the warmth spread to every part of his body.
As he glanced at Hayden again, he crushed the empty Red Bull can, then deliberately looked away. He liked to think he had mastered his addiction. That he had control. Sometimes he’d order a drink and then walk away from it, thinking he’d won a small battle of what would be a lifelong war.
A sudden roar of voices jolted him out of his pity party. His teammates were egging on two men who were nose to nose, shouting at each other, and there was Hayden adding her two thousand cents in. When the shorter guy’s suit jacket flapped open, revealing a gun, Liam tossed a hundred dollar bill on the bar. Time to go.
In a flash he reached his unaware teammates. “We need to get out of here.” He placed a hand on Hayden’s shoulder. “You too,” he told her.
Elbowing him in the gut, she tried to wedge herself between the two guys. She shot Liam a look that made it perfectly clear that she could take care of herself. Besides, it was her entourage causing the trouble. None of that mattered, though. He owed her father for giving him a second chance when no other team in the league would.
Out of the corner of his eye, he caught a glimpse of the shorter guy’s hand reaching for the gun. “Out,” he ordered again.
This time his teammates took off.
With no time to argue, he threw Hayden over his shoulder in a fireman’s carry. Tuning out her protests, he plowed toward the exit while doing his best to ignore the bodacious booty inches from his face. There was going to be hell to pay. And Liam couldn’t afford the price.
Sold? Don't you want to find out Hayden's reaction to be hauled out of the bar?!
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