I’m super, super excited to be sharing my first Sample Sunday of 2021 featuring an excerpt from my upcoming release, Can’t Catch Me! Lance and Briyana have been giving me all the sports romance feels I love so much, and I can’t wait for y’all to really meet them later this Spring!
But for now, here’s a little taste of what’s to come 🙂
(note: sample is unedited and subject to change because stuff happens lol)
Every day that passed with no deal in sight, I found myself questioning if I was asking for too much, found myself worrying that maybe the organization would decide to pass me off to another team and that I’d be forced to uproot my entire life to play in another city. And since there was nothing like playing for my hometown, there were plenty of times when I’d considered just taking less money, especially once the media started painting me out to be a bad guy for not being in the trenches preparing for the season with my squad.
Thankfully, all of my teammates understood the situation. And there were even some folks online who saw things my way and supported my stance to hold out until I was paid what I deserved. But of course, there were just as many Skyhawks “fans” who thought I was trash for making it about money when it should’ve only been about a love for the game as if their asses went to work everyday solely because they loved their job.
Maybe some of them did, but definitely not all of them. And hardly any of them were expected to put their body, mind, and overall livelihood on the line week after week the way we did as professionals. So quite honestly, they could all shut the fuck up.
They wouldn’t shut the fuck up, though.
At least, not until a deal was done.
But once it was finished, I was confident that those same mothafuckas would be all about their hometown “Hawk”, excited to wear my jersey and fill up the stands so that they could watch me do what I did best.
Honestly, I was already looking forward to that shit. But until I got the call from my agent, the only thing I really had to look forward to was a stack of my mother’s pancakes, just the thought making my mouth water as I finally pulled into their driveway. Then I hopped out of my whip and grabbed my duffle bag so that I could head inside, only to put it right back into my trunk once I saw Mr. Hayes from across the street struggling to carry his groceries.
I knew he didn’t have all that far to travel to get inside. But considering how many plastic sacks he had hanging from each hand, I was sure he was going to drop something important on the way if I didn’t go help him. So I did the neighborly thing of jogging over to give him some assistance, trying not to startle him when I announced, “Lemme give you a hand with those, Mr. Hayes.”
Once he peeked back to see it was me, Mr. Hayes looked relieved as hell as he said, “Man, you know how it goes. I’ll lose all the circulation in my fingers before I take two trips to the car.”
“Yeah, I feel that,” I told him with a chuckle as I accepted a handful of bags so that he could better distribute the others he was carrying. Then we headed into his crib through the garage, the both of us dropping the bags off on his kitchen island as he said, “Now I don’t have a tip for you or nothin’, but I do appreciate your help.”
“Your gratitude is more than enough,” I assured him with a nod, getting ready to leave through the same way I’d come in until I heard someone say, “Hey Dad, did you get the…”
Once the person speaking entered the kitchen, her question came to an abrupt stop. And once my eyes landed on who it was, I honestly didn’t know what to say, feeling completely blindsided as I stared long and hard at the girl I hadn’t seen since we were kids.
She wasn’t a kid anymore, though. And maybe that was why it was so hard for me to say anything since not only had I been caught offguard by the fact that she was even back in town, but there was also the instant realization that grown-up Yani was fine as fuck.
That’s who she’d always been to me. Something like my best friend through middle school and high school, and probably would’ve stayed that way through college too if she hadn’t pulled the okey-doke on me at the last minute.
I hadn’t given much thought to that particular situation in recent times since I’d had more than enough on my plate over the years. But seeing her in person now was bringing back all sorts of old feelings that had never really been reconciled, the frown on my face tightening once her ass had the nerve to greet me with an extra casual, “Oh hey, Lance.”
She was already moving towards the kitchen island to sift through the bags her father and I had brought in when he suggested, “Since I went out and bought all these damn groceries, I think the least you can do is put them away, baby girl.”
“Fair enough,” she agreed with a smile, earning herself a quick kiss on the cheek from her father before he excused himself from the room. And now that it was just us, I really didn’t know what to say, torn between being intrigued by the woman standing in front of me and still being mad at shit from the past when I finally asked, “What are you doing here, Yani?”
“Briyana is fine.”
Ain’t that the fuckin’ truth.
I mean, of course I remembered her being one of them ones whenever my boys and I got to talking about who could get it back in high school. But she was never on my list because, shit, that was my best friend.
Now though, I very much understood why they’d always been so pressed, the flex in her muscular thighs and ass as she got on her tippy-toes to put some snacks away on the top shelf forcing me to swallow hard so that I could ask, “Okay, then what are you doing here, Briyana?”
Turning around with one eyebrow raised, she amusedly challenged, “It’s a crime for me to be in my father’s house now?”
“You know what I mean,” I urged. “Finally brought your ass back to town and wasn’t even gonna say shit?”
Now she was the one frowning as she emptied another grocery bag while asking, “What exactly was I supposed to say, Lance? And honestly, why do you even care?”
Those were both fair questions. And I really didn’t have much of an answer for either other than, “Guess I just thought we were better than that.”
With a bit of a snort, Briyana responded, “Not sure why. I mean, I hardly even know you anymore.”
Sucking my back teeth, I replied, “You know me, Yani.”
“Do not,” she argued childishly as she moved around the kitchen, the fact that she wasn’t giving the conversation her full attention lowkey annoying me as I stepped in front of her and suggested, “Aight. So how about you get to know me then?”
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