THERE ARE NO DOUCHEBAGS IN THIS STORY.
Well, there are, but they"re not who this story is about.
This story is about me"the coach"s daughter.
When I moved to Iowa to live with my dad, the university’s take-no-prisoners wrestling coach, I thought transferring would be easy as pie"living with my father would be temporary, and he’d make sure his douchebag wrestlers left me alone.
Wrong on both counts.
ASSHOLES ALWAYS COME OUT OF THE WOODWORK WHEN THE STAKES ARE HIGH.
A bet is placed, and I’m on the table. After one humiliating night and too much alcohol, I find the last nice guy on campus. And when he offers to rent me his spare bedroom, I go all in. It"s time for the nice guy to finish first.
Midnight chats and spilling my problems turn to lingering touches. Lingering touches turn to more.
And the ultimate good guy has the potential do more damage than any douchebags ever could.Books in Series:How to Date a Douchebag Series by Sara NeyBooks by Author:Sara Ney Books
We"ve all heard whispers about her, but we never knew if they were true:
Coach has a daughter.
Some kid he didn"t raise but has been living with him now"a transfer student from a smaller school out east. How do I know this" A few guys overheard him yammering on and on about her to some of the coaching support staff on a night they forgot the walls have ears.
"She"s a chip off the old block."
"We"re finally getting to spend time with her after all these years of her living with her mother."
"She must get her looks from his ex-wife."
Yeah, thank God for that last one; Coach is one rough-looking motherfucker. Short and angry and prematurely gray, I like to compare him to a wrinkled old troll who lives under a bridge, one who"s seen better days. A pissed off, miserable old sonofabitch, I don"t think I"ve ever seen the old man smile"not once.
Certainly not in my direction anyway.
I squat a few more times, beads of perspiration dripping down the indent of my spine, knees buckling under the three hundred and twenty-five-pound weights stacked on either side of the bar. I"m pushing myself harder than I"ve pushed since arriving to the Iowa wrestling program, the pressure to perform greater now that the new guy, Rhett Rabideaux, is threatening everyone"s spot on the team.
With the team"s two stars gone, I want every opportunity to steal a spot on Coach"s good side, to replace those winningest few as the new golden boy and rise to the top.
They made us all look bad.
Like lazy fucks.
I do three more squats before I"m interrupted by Rex Gunderson, my roommate and the wrestling team"s manager. The towel he"s holding is accompanied by a water bottle with my name on it, written in Sharpie but wearing off.
"Wrap it up." He snaps me in the ass with the towel. "Team pow wow in five."
I press the weights again.
Squat. Drop the barb to the ground, stepping back when it bounces on the weight room floor with a satisfying thud.
"What"s it about"" I snatch the white towel out of his hands before he can snap me a second time.
Gunderson shrugs beneath his black Iowa wrestling polo, looking like a complete fuckstick in his lame khakis.
"I don"t know, they don"t tell me shit anymore."
I don"t point out that they don"t tell him anything anymore because they no longer trust him; he can"t keep his damn mouth shut, and he"s always pulling pranks on people.
He babbles on, shrugging his bony shoulders. "Probably information about Clemson this weekend."
Probably, although there"s nothing special about the Clemson University meet that would warrant an emergency assembly. Nevertheless, I peel off my sweat-soaked t-shirt and wipe down my chest, my neck. Give my blond hair a tussle.
I"m sweating like a whore in church, and it feels fucking great.
It takes three minutes to amble into the locker room, take a bench by my cube. Gunderson is standing in the doorway with a clipboard, taking attendance, making sure we"re all accounted for, all assembled to hear whatever it is Coach has to say.
Must be important"I"ve only seen him take attendance twice in the entire two years I"ve been on this team.
"Ladies, listen up." Without preamble, Coach wastes no time. "I want your asses on the bus at nine sharp tomorrow"we"re heading out early. Masters, I want you in the gym first light working on that form"you look like shit. You"ve been slacking lately." Donnelly leans against the metal desk at the front of the locker room, crossing his meaty arms. His weathered skin has seen its fair share of hard work.
He rubs his chin, the beard he"s been cultivating gray and trimmed short.
"There is one more thing I want to mention before I let you leave tonight, gentlemen. One thing I want to make clear: my daughter"who I"ve thus far managed to keep far, far away from you ingrates"is going to become a student here." This earns some curious glances from the other members of the team, brows raised.
Coach continues. "When school starts, you will no doubt see her in and out of my office from time to time. She will be using the facilities to get her workouts in. I am telling you now, stay away from her. If I catch any of you sniffing around, I will hand you your ass so fast, when you wake up, your clothes will be out of style."
A few guys laugh.
Gray, tired eyes narrow. "I don"t want you befriending her. I don"t want you offering to play tour guide. I don"t want you dating her."
I watch as Gunderson raises the clipboard to cover his mouth; the moron is probably smiling behind it.
"Be civil. Be gentlemen. Leave her alone. Are we clear""
The room is silent.
"I said, are we clear"" Coach bellows when only a few guys nod. A few grumble.