Want to know the fastest way to get screwed out of a football career" Get photographed in a compromising position in a gay bar. Yep, welcome to my life.
My agent says he can fix my image. He wants me to become the poster boy for gay football players. Me" I just want back on the field. I"ll do anything to play for the NFL again, even pretend to have a steady boyfriend. If only my fake boyfriend wasn"t Noah Huntington III"the most arrogant, entitled rich guy in the world.
Pretend to be Matt Jackson"s boyfriend, my best friend said. It"ll be fun, he said. What Damon neglected to mention is Matt is surly and bitter. Being his boyfriend is a job in itself. From his paranoia over being constantly photographed to his aversion to PDA, being with Matt isn"t the care-free fake relationship I expected when I signed on to do this.
It"s supposed to be a win-win. I get to stick it to my politician dad who thinks no one is good enough for the Huntington name, and Matt"s reputation of being the bad boy of football dies.
What I don"t expect is to start caring for the guy. That"s not part of the plan. Then again, neither is fooling around with him on my private jet.
**Trick Play is a full-length MM novel with a HEA/HEA and no cliffhanger**Books in Series:Fake Boyfriend Series by Eden FinleyBooks by Author:Eden Finley Books
It was the punk-ass cocky smile on his face that did me in, but the five drinks on an empty stomach didn"t help. I was usually more careful. With the bass thrumming through me, a buzz in my veins, and a sea of available hookups dancing and grinding in front of me, I dropped my guard.
A loss always made me needy, even more so when it blew our chances to go to the Super Bowl. Our season was done, and this random guy, with his dark hair and bright eyes, made me forget all that. It wasn"t a common thing"hooking up in a club"but it wasn"t the first time I"d done it. Had no delusion it would be the last either.
I wasn"t the type of closet case to put on a show by parading women around. No, I was the type who kept to myself, put my head down, and stayed out of trouble. But on nights where I just " needed, I couldn"t stop myself. I needed an adrenaline fix"a high"even if it was in the form of meaningless sex. I needed a sense of accomplishment. It wasn"t like a win on the field, but it was the closest thing to it.
No words were spoken. There was no need for any. I lost myself in the random stranger and didn"t even flinch when he took my cap off"my safety net. Or when he kissed me. I was too far gone to notice the assholes with cell phones who"d recognized me. And even when the flashes went off, I was too distracted by a hot, wet mouth making me moan.
That was the last time I"d ever be known as Matt Jackson, tight end for the Bulldogs. From that moment, I was Matt Jackson, that gay football player who got caught with his pants down.
"Matt," a deep voice says.
I"m brought out of the memory of that night and thrust into the seriousness of my present. My knee bounces as the two suits behind the desk explain how they"re going to fix me. No, not me, my image. Apparently the two things are separate, but I ain"t so sure. I"m as broken as my image is.
"The photos of you in the nightclub make you look sleazy and predatory," the old dude says.
I glare at Damon, my actual agent, but because he"s a noob, the other guy is here to oversee everything and make sure Damon doesn"t screw it up. I"m his first official client. The gay ex-baseball player representing a recently outed football megastar" The media is going ape-shit over us.
I should count myself lucky. When my scandal hit, my previous representation dropped me. My endorsements left. My contract with the Pennsylvania Bulldogs was up, and surprise, surprise, they weren"t interested in renewing. My career was dead. If it wasn"t for my ex-roommate and regular hookup from college, Maddox, introducing me to his boyfriend, Damon, I never would"ve signed with OnTrack Sports.
"Predatory is the wrong word," Damon says before I can put the old guy in his place. "But the pictures don"t work in your favor."
"And how do you propose we fix it"" I ask. "Those photos are out there forever. There"s nothing we can do about that."
"Instead of hiding, we throw you into the public more," Damon says.
I groan. "No football team wants to invite the circus to town. I just want to play."
"And to play football, you have to look like you"re not hoping a teammate drops the soap," the old dude says. I should learn his name so I"ll know who to add to my ever-growing shit list.
Even Damon cringes at him this time, but he can"t say anything"the asshole is his boss.
"I"m not into straight guys, thanks," I say.
"You need to appear taken and not interested," Damon says, more diplomatically. "The photos were taken months ago, right" We address the issue by saying it"s a non-issue anymore. Since then, you"ve met someone, fallen in love, and are in a committed and serious relationship. You won"t be hooking up with randoms in bars, you won"t be getting arrested for DUIs, you won"t""
"I ain"t ever been arrested for a DUI. I"ve never been arrested, period."
"We know that, but you think the media cares"" Damon says. "They"ll pin anything they can on you. You"re in the spotlight now whether you like it or not, and it"s your job to appear employable by a team. Any team. Because right now, you"re in limbo. We"ve got two months before training camp to get you a contract."
"So, I have to find a boyfriend. That"s what you"re sayin"""
"We found you one already," Damon says.
"My friend Noah. You met him at his place where Maddox introduced us."
I barely remember anything that"s happened since the photos were released, so I only have a vague memory of that night. I never understood the phrase "on autopilot" until my world fell into an unknown abyss. All conversations from the last few weeks are a blur.