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Roughing the Passer
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They couldn’t be more different, and yet they might just be exactly what each other needs.
Garrett Barnes is no stranger to overcoming the odds. Forced to walk away from a Division I scholarship to take care of his family, Garrett was sure he’d never play football again. When an offer comes in from the ESC Mavericks–a school near his hometown–it seems like a dream come true. There’s only one catch: he’s expected to single-handedly save the worst team in the state.
Diego Ruiz has known his whole life that the deck is stacked against him. The harder he tries to fight it, the more it hurts when it knocks him back down. With a lifetime of disappointment to back him up, he’s stopped trying for anything more than mediocrity, both on and off the football field. If not for a promise he’d made years ago, he’d probably just be some nobody in a nowhere job.
So when Coach Ladner brings in some D1 “hero” to save the team, Diego is determined to show him exactly where hard work and perseverance get you–absolutely nowhere. Despite his best efforts, Garrett’s unwavering optimism starts to get under Diego’s skin. Caught on the verge of giving in, he relies on the one thing that’s never failed him: his ability to get curious straight boys into bed.
As the friction between them gives way to passion, the stakes of their former rivalry increase tenfold. With both men’s hearts–and a state title–on the line, there’s no time for playing games. But when Diego’s past comes back to remind him that everything eventually goes to hell, Garrett will have to convince him that some things are worth fighting for.
Roughing the Passer is a steamy, standalone gay romance novel with a HEA ending and no cliffhanger.
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I stare up at a stranger’s ceiling, watching his fan spin around and around as I try to catch my breath.
There are probably a million things I should be thinking about right now. The fact that I have practice in fifteen minutes is a big one. Not sure how I’m going to get there. Bus probably doesn’t come out this far–people in the suburbs don’t need that much public transportation. Pretty sure I saw an SUV in every driveway as I walked up.
Maybe this dude knows where the closest bus stop is. I turn to look at him and catch an eyeful of his bare back. He stands up, tugs his pants on, then fishes for his shirt.
I open my mouth to ask, but he doesn’t give me the chance.
“You need to leave,” he says gruffly.
It stings a little bit. Not going to lie about that–at least not to myself. My jaw sets in a hard line and I push back my immediate reaction, though. This isn’t anything new. Three guys in as many days, and all of them have been assholes.
I’ve gotten really good at the ‘spot the asshole from just a pic of his abs and his dick’ game, apparently.
“What, you got another piece of ass dropping by after me?”
“Don’t recall saying that was any of your business,” he says, tossing me my pants.
Wow. This guy definitely takes the cake. It’s almost funny how much of a one-eighty he’s done. I met up with him in a parking lot, because that’s what you do around here when you’re a middle-aged white guy and you want somebody to suck your dick, I guess. Dude couldn’t keep his hands off me, then he drove us back here, to his place. Snuck me in through the back like I was the fucking gardener and had his pants off as soon as we got into his bedroom.
Not that I mind. I was here for a quick fuck. It’s not like I expected this guy to want to cuddle or something afterward, and I sure as shit don’t want to lie here and make small talk.
This is just the way it is. I signed myself up for it by cruising for guys who very obviously aren’t out yet and don’t give a fuck about what happens to me. It’s better this way.
“Grab your shit and go,” he says again, and this time it’s my shirt that flies my way.
Because I can’t resist tweaking this guy, I say, “Come on, baby. Don’t be like that. I thought we really connected, you know? When your dick was inside me, it felt like you were giving me a piece of your soul.”
No shit, a guy’s actually said that to me before. I just about died laughing. Yeah, I’m an asshole, too. I deserve everything that’s coming my way.
“Don’t try to message me again,” he says, buttoning up what looks like a starched dress shirt.
This dude’s no fun at all. I pull on my boxers and my jeans, lifting up off his bed to do it. I’m still sore from him fucking me like he had a jackhammer shoved up his ass. These mid-life crisis guys always fuck that way. It’s like they’re trying to pound the gay away.
He tosses me my shoes as I’m pulling on my shirt, and I go extra slow just to piss him off. I know I’m playing with fire. This is the kind of guy who probably wouldn’t think twice about roughing me up. Or trying, anyway. I’ve got about fifty pounds of solid muscle on him, and he looks like a gym rat.
“Hurry the fuck up,” he growls, putting an end to my game.
I finish getting dressed and watch him stalk over to the window. He peers out the blinds and catches my interest. One glance around the room tells me exactly what’s up.
“This your wife?” I ask, picking up the framed picture of a pretty good-looking woman.
“What part of ‘get the fuck out’ don’t you understand?” He snatches the picture out of my hand, then grabs me by the collar and yanks me to my feet.
I like my tops rough, but this guy’s gone beyond fun and straight into fucked up. I shove him off me, and thankfully he decides he can’t actually win if he takes a swing. I know he wants to, though. I can see it in his eyes. Motherfucker.
“Next time you cheat on your wife, maybe give yourself a little more time.”
I let myself out of the bedroom and he follows me, making sure I use the same back door we used to come in. He all but slams it after I leave, apparently not appreciating the kissie face I make at him. Guess he won’t be down with telling me where the nearest bus stop is, either.