When I tell y’all keeping this a secret until now was a STRUGGLE…
But now that it’s OFFICIALLY announced, I can finally share a little bit of what I’ve been working on – One Last Shot – which is part of a series collaboration with the amazing Nicole Falls!
More details to come about the series. But for now, meet Selena and Dre 🙂
(Note: Sample is unedited and subject to change because stuff happens lol)
“I’m gonna go talk to her.”
“And say what, Selena? According to that press release, it’s a done deal.”
“That may be true, but she’s still gonna hear what I have to say about it,” I replied, determinedly taking off towards the Nymphs offices as Ari stayed back with a groaned, “In true Selena fashion…”
It wasn’t enough to stop me though, bypassing the offices of less important people to get to the one who actually mattered; the one that belonged to our majority owner and eldest daughter of the Lloyd family, Katianna better known as Kat.
Rumor had it that reviving the franchise and bringing it to Nashville to join the Trojans, which her family also owned, was all Kat’s idea. And for that, she was good peoples in my book, taking a little bit of my edge off when I gently knocked on the door to get her attention.
“Kat, you got a minute?”
Peeking up from her laptop with a pleasant smile, she replied, “For my star player who already guaranteed me a championship, I have a few. What’s on your mind?”
With her being so friendly, it was hard for me to keep the same energy I had with Ari, gnawing at the corner of my lip as I stepped a little further into her office to answer, “This new hire. Dre Leonard? Of all people?”
“What’s wrong with Dre Leonard?” she asked with an immediate frown, making me wonder if my initial belief about there being something going on between the two of them was true as I chose my words carefully.
“Umm, let’s start with the fact that the Trojans dropped him in his prime for a reason. Lots of reasons.”
From the drugs, to the arrests and overall disregard for his obligation to his team, I could go all day about just how unfit he was for the job. But instead of agreeing with my general concern, Kat brushed it off. “That was years ago, Selena. He’s matured a lot since then. Paid the ultimate price of losing it all, got himself together, and now he just needs an opportunity. An opportunity that we, as a family, have decided to give him. The press is already eating it up.”
“Of course they are,” I thought with an annoyed groan, rolling my eyes as I told her, “Just great. The season starts in less than two weeks, and instead of talking about if we can make some magic happen with this year’s squad, all the press coverage is going to him; a man. And we wonder why the league is in the shape it is now…”
From the way Kat sighed in response, I could tell she didn’t totally disagree with my point. But that still didn’t stop her from inquiring, “Why do you have such a problem with this? I thought you’d be in support of this particular hire.”
No lie, if it wasn’t affecting me, I’d probably be all about the comeback kid story; tuned into the documentary on Netflix, or the special on ESPN, or whatever the media did to capture a moment like this. But because it would affect me… “In support of this particular hire for what? Because of his name? The same name that makes it very likely he’ll be getting paid more than some of our rookies for doing absolutely nothing while they’re putting everything on the line night in and night out? The same name that allowed him to jump some very qualified women in the hiring line? He just gets to pop up in our league with no skin in the game other than his own failed career while the people who actually deserve a job like this gets skipped over. So no, I don’t support this shit. I’m not with this shit. And I never will be.”
My stance might’ve been harsh, but it was the truth. And I wasn’t shying away from that until I heard a not-all-that-familiar voice behind me groan, “Damn. Tell me how you really feel.”
Before I could say anything, or even react at all, Kat stood up from behind her desk to say, “Excuse her, Dre. She’s not typically so…”
He cut her off. “Nah, I think she meant what she said exactly the way she said it, Kat. And you know what? She has a right to feel the way she feels.”
Turning around to see if I was imagining the whole thing, I came face to chest with who was once the man of my dreams. Though right now, it felt more like a nightmare as he looked down at me with those honey brown eyes of his to continue, “But let me tell you somethin’, Ms. Samuels. No matter what you think you know about me, no matter how you feel about me, and no matter how long it takes for you to figure out we’re here for the exact same thing, I’m not goin’ anywhere.”
Admittedly, I was a bit starstruck since this was the closest I’d ever been to my former idol, and I just… wasn’t prepared for so much fine. I mean, the perfectly-scruffy facial hair, the tattoos he couldn’t hide if he wanted to, the height, the smell…
Even with the tiny inhale I took of his cologne, I managed to play it off, offering no more than a frown when I huffed, “Hmph. We’ll see about that.”
I expected him to return some of my attitude but he didn’t, only smiling a crooked smile and sending my body into a fury that forced me to end my impromptu meeting without a real solution since lusting after the new coach was definitely not going to help my cause. But even when I started to storm out, he called after me, “Oh, and Selena?”
Once I peeked back over my shoulder, I wished I hadn’t, high school me wanting to squeal with excitement from the look on his face alone. But again, I was forced to hold it in, keeping my face neutral when he finally said, “It was nice to meet you too.”