Heath Lancaster’s happy to be on the practice squad of a professional football team, but instead of a lucky break taking him to the next level, a league-wide strike leaves him unemployed. Until he finds a new semi-pro league in Virginia Beach, where a bikini-clad hottie snags one of his passes on the beach and offers him a tour of the area . . .
A scandalous affair turned Jordan Kelly into media fodder–and in no hurry to get back into the dating game. But the easy going tight end of the new Triton’s team unleashes an inhibited wild streak in her and has her tempting him with a game of her own. But when she finds out who the owner of the Tritons is, she’s wondering if she’ll repeat her mistakes . . .
After six grueling weeks, he’d made the cut to play on Virginia Beach’s new semi-pro team. Over the grunts and groans of the offensive line, a whistle blew, stopping them mid-step.
Heath yanked off his helmet then grabbed one of the water lines from the portable station. Cooling H2O washed over his head and face before he gunned a stream down his parched throat.
“Wanna hit the beach after lunch?” Dugan McKenzie, drank from another hose.
Dugan ran through a string of women the first couple of weeks of camp until he nearly washed out. Performance now improved, and on the roster, he was on the hunt again. This time, Heath planned to join him, imagining cool waves and a sea of curves wearing bikinis. “Sure. Meet you back at the house.”
After practice, he showered and donned a pair of board shorts and a Tritons t-shirt. He climbed into his open-door Jeep and clicked on his seat belt as his cell phone went off. For the first time in weeks, he answered without checking the display.
“Hey, babe,” Sandy cooed.
Crap! After a couple of weeks without calls, he figured she’d given up. “How’s Ben?”
What else should he say to the woman he’d found with her tongue down a friend’s throat? Make that former friend.
“You misunderstood, Heath. He was inconsolable after Marcie left him.”
“Yeah right, so you were just giving him a little mouth to mouth resuscitation?” Silence filled his ear. “Ancient history and I’m a time zone away now.”
Click. He accelerated the Jeep out of the sports complex. It had taken weeks to gain some distance from her manipulations. After her call, the commercial Virginia Beach oceanfront seemed intrusive.
A June sun blazed brightly in a cloudless sky while he cruised down Sand Fiddler Lane. Ninety degrees was cool compared to summer heat in Texas. When he’d signed the six-month lease on the house, the realtor touted Sandbridge as a locals’ beach.
He pulled into the driveway and found Dugan beneath the stilted house, applying a coat of wax to the chrome of his Fat Boy Harley. He and his linebacker buddy had scraped through college classes but shined on the gridiron. They’d landed on the practice squad of a pro team in Texas a couple of years ago, but in March the league went on strike.
Dugan paused from his task and squinted at him with brown eyes. “You look pissed. We still going to check out the local talent?”
“You go ahead. Think I’ll just go snooze at Sandbridge.” He grabbed his bag from the Jeep.
She called again?” He continued buffing the red metallic gas tank to a high sheen.
Through his sunglasses, Heath leveled a hard stare at Dugan. He’d almost been glad for the league’s strike just to get away from Sandy.
“You’re better off without her, man. She was dragging you down.” He tossed the rag into the bucket of cleaning supplies.
Heath regretted playing her stupid mutt for months. “Think she’s figured out her new dog isn’t as easy to train. She might be having second thoughts.”
“Hope you’re not going to roll over if she decides to head this way.” Dugan had a gritty determination and was known as a man who never got involved.
Heath intended on picking up similar habits since his defunct relationship. “Those days are done, bro.” He reassured Dugan before climbing the stairs.
After snagging a brew from the fridge, he sat on one of the bar chairs. Through the sliding glass door, the blue Atlantic looked cool and inviting after his hard practice. This view had sold him on signing the lease.
The house’s central living area and kitchen with bar combo separated the bedrooms and included a bathroom on each side which appealed to their bachelor-style living. Plus he didn’t have to hear Dugan when he had a chick stay over.
He pulled out his phone and blocked Sandy’s cell number. With a new road ahead, he put her in his “done and moved on” category.
Dani Jace enjoys writing headstrong, flip-flop casual heroines and everyday heroes who work with their hands―and other body parts. Claiming the Outer Banks of North Carolina as her second home, she includes the scenic and legendary chain of barrier islands as a setting for many of her tales. When not working on her next novel, she’s dipping her toes in the ocean, reading or checking out the newest action flick. Her husband, son and many imaginary characters make life complete.