Disclaimer: This little ditty is rated M/NC-17. It's of the slashy-type variety; if that's not your bag, it's all good. No worries.I do not own Twilight or any of the characters created by that other Stephenie chick. I am, however, a bona fide football geek that wanted Riley and Jasper to do naughty things to each other. Rawr.
Good to know before you read: The Wonderlich Test is an IQ test given to QB's before their rookie year in the NFL. 3.2 is the percentage of alcohol by weight of beer sold in grocery stores according to liquor laws in the state of Oklahoma.
Roughing the Passer
Chapter 1 - Illegal Use of Hands
Illegal Use of Hands: Penalty against a player on offense while attempting to ward off a block, cover a receiver, or tackle a ballcarrier.
"Good stuff, Biers. Smooth drop backs, good work in the pocket. Nice check-downs too; you've really improved on gettin' hammered by the blitz since the Rose Bowl. That's huge, son."
"Thanks coach, I watched a lot of film," I say, trying to keep the bitterness out of my voice. I know he's trying to give me encouragement, but the memories of losing the biggest game of my college career are far too fresh and sting like a bitch. It's only been a little over a month since I was bested on national television of all fucking places.
Cut that shit. Thinking like that is not gonna get you anywhere. This is what's important. Right now is what decides your future. Dude, you are at the fucking NFL Combine! You need to check your shit and focus.
Out of breath and thirsty as hell, I jog over to the sidelines and grab a water from one of the trainers. Practically inhaling the contents, I take a moment to regroup and compose myself. As I mentally replay my performance in the passing drills we've just run, I feel really good about my showing. Strong throws, tight spirals; I hit those wide-outs right in the numbers, perfectly on mark. Even I will admit, when I'm on, I am on.
But then again arm strength isn't really my problem. The physical shit comes easy, like its natural or something.
It's the mental aspect of my game that's my Achilles heel; I react too fast without thinking things through. I make hapless mistakes as a result. It's what cost me the Heisman. It's what lost the Sooners another national championship. I won't let it fuck me out of the first round at the draft in two months.
Bending down, I touch the turf where I've watched Peyton Manning seal his legendary status Sunday after Sunday with the utmost reverence. I dream of a career like his – fuck, all college quarterbacks do. Commanding your troops and leading them to victory? That feeling of invincibility alone is an unparalleled rush that's like a drug. But getting paid ridiculous amounts for playing a game that you love? Shit, I can't think of anything better in life.
"Whitlock! Florida! You're up, let's go!"
The high pitch of the coach's whistle echoes a shrill chirp and my head shoots up from my crouched position on the turf. I can't miss the chance to see the almighty Jasper Whitlock run his drills. I know there's not a chance in hell he's gonna piss away the Combine, not the Major. Talk about a god damn field general...
This guy's been fucking my shit up for the past four years, from the second he signed his letter of intent with the Gators. Florida was supposed to be mine. It was the best place for me to go make history and build an image, no matter how false it might be. Fake blondes with fake boobs and fake tans; I could've been just as fake in covering up who I really am.
And just who are you, Riley Biers?
I'm not sure I know.
One thing is for sure - Whitlock shoulda been the one at OU; that big southern dummy is one-hundred percent Texan. He's a better fit with those rednecks, yet I ended up the Brokeback mother fucker. And while we both have awesome stats, he's got the championship. He was the better leader the day of the Rose Bowl, the superior field boss when the chips were down.
I watch him take the field and the same feelings overtake me as every other time I've seen him handle the ball: awe, resentment, and something else entirely that I refuse to dwell on. He's riveting when he's in charge, and though I've seen his surgeon-like precision countless times before, I can't bring myself to not pay attention.
As always, Whitlock is nothing less than superb and enthralling. The skillful grace in which he moves makes his seven-step drop back look like a dance. His gaze is decisive as he bides his time waiting for the intended receiver to hit his mark. Those steel blue eyes betray nothing to the d-backs, allowing him to dissect the defense with an easy calm that he somehow transfers to his teammates. The guy is poetry in motion. I'm so fixated, I can't even bring myself to stand.
This is when I start in with the resentment. I feel the growing strain under my cup and know the only way to stop the blood flow south is to focus on the missed opportunities of my life. I can trace the majority of them back to one Jasper Whitlock. The worst part of it is, as bad as I want to hate him, I can't.
No matter what, I can't seem to escape him, especially the last three months. He's just fucking everywhere I am, and there's nothing to be done because of who we are and what we're both trying to achieve.
Back in December, we were two of the five guys flown to New York for the Heisman presentation. Shit was crazy. Camera crews all over, people sticking mics in your face. It was both awesome and fucking exhausting all at the same time. Yet sitting there in the audience, waiting to hear who won, I looked at Whitlock in that charcoal grey Armani pinstripe and sky blue tie and thought how god damned gorgeous he was. I blamed whatever stylist put him in that sin suit.
Neither of us won though – the trophy went to that shutdown corner Edward Cullen from Ohio State. I look forward to going head-to-head with him in the future. Dude is fast as lightening and I'm just itching to find out if he can pick off one of my lasers. I didn't get my gunslinger rep for throwing up ducks.
Truth is, when I finally got to hang with Jasper a little I found out he's cool as hell. Stand-up guy that Whitlock, and it's damn near impossible not to like him. Especially with that southern drawl he's got going on. I had to leave the table when he called the waitress ma'am and winked at her. It was sexy as fuck and I got hard from the honey-tinged twang that fell from his lips. Once I started thinking about those lips, my mind thought of where I wanted to see those lips, hence me getting the fuck out of Dodge.
From that moment on, I couldn't shake my obsession. Is it his fault that I've watched more game film of him than necessary? No. The fact that I spent too much time marveling at his footage than the defense is all on me. If my teammates or coaches ever find out, shit, I have no clue how I'd explain that away.
My knees scream at me to get the hell up and I stand just in time to see Jasper deliver a forty-five yard bomb to that wide receiver Newton from USC. Precision, accuracy, and brilliance delivered like a bolt of thunder hits him dead center in the numbers. I can see the guy wince; pretty sure he just got the breath knocked out of him. Impressive doesn't even begin to cover that pass. My surveying gaze at the scouts confirms their agreement.
Whitlock and the rest of the offense come off the field so the next set of guys can do their thing. I try my best to remain emotionless, like I'm not intensely aware when he's approximately ten feet behind me. Denying myself the pleasure of turning around, my stare remains on the happenings in front of me.
There is also no way in hell I will let on that I notice when he moves just three feet down to my right. Even though I'm hyper aware of his movements in my periphery, I know I mustn't avert my eyes.
Don't you do it...don't you dare turn your head and stare. Eyes forward, asshole.
But I can't help myself so I do. That's all the invite he needs to saunter over to where I'm planted. Ever the gentleman, he extends his free hand in a greeting that is neither cliché or disingenuous. Polite honesty in tandem with bronzed skin, sun washed hair, and eyes reflecting Pacific glass.
This obliterating combination leaves me feeling as if the nastiest defensive tackle has just leveled me three levels below the fucking turf.
"Biers," he drawls, our handshake transforming into one of those shoulder bump half hugs, minus the arm wrap. I really want the arm wrap. "Been a while since - "
"The fucking championship, I know. Please don't remind me, Whitlock." My tone clips, my posture defensive as I pull back and break my grip.
"Whoa, easy there Hoss. I was gonna say New York. You know when we actually got to hang out and weren't a mess of nerves? Fuck, I don't even count the game; we didn't talk at all."
"Right, sorry," I mutter. Figures. The guy is way too classy to bring up such a sore subject.
"So, you looked solid out there Riley," he says with an easy punch to my shoulder. "Wouldn't be surprised if they flew you out for the draft." His slight smile should unsettle me; he's my biggest competition. Only it doesn't.
"Really? You think so?"
"Hell yeah, man. I saw the scouts' faces. They were impressed, trust me." Taking a long pull from his water bottle, he looks out to the field. My chest starts to pound a little harder, and I know I'm still staring. Jasper's focus drops to his cleats. "So was I." He turns his head just enough to look me in the eye. The minuscule head nod and raised eyebrow fucking wreck me right where I stand.
"Thanks for that. I, uh, I appreciate it a lot."
"No problem. I give credit where it's due, Riley."
Our eyes continue to bore into one another for who the fuck knows how long. I need to say something and fast before this oglefest gets uncomfortable. "You, uh, turned in a pretty, uh, wicked performance yourself," I manage to force out.
Enough with the "uhs" shit-for-brains.
Our very futures depend on how well we perform, which team drafts us, and ultimately where we spend our careers I ponder the differences between us for a quick moment. Whitlock is as cool as the other side of the pillow, or at least that's how I see him; steady and unflinching. God, what a puss I must look like.
Then I realize that I'd only been shaken from the moment he became my focus. What unsettles me aren't Jasper's skills, it's just him period. All the years we'd been competing my game had never suffered until after I had contact with him. That effect must stop now. It's up to me to find my moxie and, pardon the lame ass joke, but cowboy the fuck up.
Finding my backbone, I summon all the strength I can to chill out and speak like I have somewhat of a college education. "Seriously man, that grenade you threw to Newton? Shit, I'm surprised he stayed on his feet. That bitch had to hurt."
"Thanks, man. That means a lot coming from you." My face must surely betray the skepticism I feel at his words – he's the one with the title. Then I let them sink in and spiral through me. I wonder if maybe, just maybe, Jasper might regard me in a similar manner.
Before I can say anything else, he says, "I won't lie, hittin' him hard was one of the best feelings in the world."
And somehow, that clearly non-literal statement in the most out-of-context interpretation renders me a ridiculous mute. My mouth, now parched from visions of taboo contact, refuses to form any type response. The plastic bottle of relief I hold in my hands is drained, much like my words. A solitary and thunderous gulp reverberates down my throat and I wonder if it's audible to Whitlock.
I beg my brain to scramble, get in the fucking game and not just stand there like a *Wonderlich failure.
"Damn right man. No better rush than pounding your go-to-guy so hard he can't breathe."
Sweet-mother-of-fucking-hell. That shit did not just fall out of my mouth did it? Why yes, yes it did you tool. And judging from Captain Sports Center, he's as stunned as you are that you'd toss that wobbler out there.
Japer's expression freezes, although I notice his jaw slacken minutely of course. My face surely is of similar reflection as the ill-chosen words hang in the air. There is no question that he's picking up the innuendo in my affirmation, whether the implication is subconsciously intentional or not. Then Whitlock raises an eyebrow and a single corner of his very off-limits mouth. And I know that there is no scrambling outta this very tense moment.
I begin my dance of awkward in the endzone of embarrassment, backpedaling like my life depends on it. Ill fated grunts of "uhs" and "ums" are the only sounds it seems I can produce. Thank the scouting gods for the signaling whistle for saving my inept ass.
"That's all for today, gentlemen. The rest of the day is yours."
Before I give him so much as a solitary opening, I stumble over a "See ya round, man." Dismissing myself from his very confused stare with a slight towel flick, I jog off field and head to someplace to seek refuge where I can lick my wounds in peace. As if there really is such a place.
I bolt as if a linebacker packing four-and-a-quarter bills is after my ass for making jokes about his momma. No poise, no grace, only the desire to retreat and regroup. I don't even look back.
Weights. Iron. Muscle fatigue will help me reboot my body's computer and focus. I make my way to the Colts' decked out workout room so I can right myself. I hope like hell I'm the only one with the idea, because all I really want is to be alone. No distractions. Or distraction singular, as there's a lone one that's making me fucking insane at the moment.
I grab a barbell for some chest presses and crank up my iPod. Losing myself in some good old-fashioned blood, sweat, and tears is exactly what I need right now. Exhaustion will bring the calm and clarity to get my head right with fucking ball.
Screaming guitar riffs, plus the pounding percussion thundering in my ears, are peacefully centering to me. Odd as it seems, the more intense the auditory onslaught, the greater the calm is to my system. So many of my teammates swear by yoga and harnessing their chis or some shit, but not me. Personally, balancing my chakras has never been of much use. I'm not even sure what a chakra is, does, or whether or not I even have the fuckers.
Realistically, I shouldn't have any gas in the tank right now. I've been put through the wringer with today's drills. Mentally and physically pushed to the brink, and still, I can't diffuse the adrenaline-endorphin cocktail that's blazing in my system.
Up one and down. Hold. Up two and down. Hold.
As I'm lifting, I concentrate on what lies ahead for me. Not just tomorrow, but the day after that, and the month after that, and the year after that… There's so much uncertainty that rests on what I accomplish in the next twenty-four hours.
Up three and down. Hold. Up four and down. Hold.
I pretty much know I'm going first round. Not that I'm being a cocky bastard, but a Heisman finalist is damn near a shoe-in. Of course, I don't really have a say in where I end up. Hopefully it's to a team with the need of a starting QB. The thought of holding a clipboard until the aging starter either gets hurt or traded isn't really the way I want to begin my career. Fuck, I wanna be in the game. Baptism by fire; that's how you learn.
Up five and down. Hold. Up six and down. Hold.
Then there's the whole picking the agent and negotiating-a-contract bullshit. I've talked with a few of them since the Rose Bowl. Frankly, I'm still shocked that any of 'em still wanna sign me after that fiasco. Bus Cook is super nice, while Drew Rosenhaus intimidates the piss out of me. I keep going back to that Tyler Crowley dude. He's younger than the other guys, but smart and savvy just the same.
Wonder who Whitlock's talked to… They've all gotta be foaming at the mouth to get a piece of him. Fuck, I know I would…
Knock that the fuck off you douche bag! Where is your god damned head?
Not where it should be, that's for sure. So after I verbally beat my punk ass into submission, I finish my first set of reps. Placing the bar back in its holder, I sit up, grab a towel and some Gatorade to give my muscles a rest before starting the next one.
I can't hear them, but my eyes see what my brain has just been obsessing about walk in the fucking weight room. Only Jasper's not alone, he's with his offensive tackle, Emmett McCarty. Dude is built like a brick shithouse; no question Whitlock is one lucky fucker to have that monster protecting his ass.
Giving them both a slight nod, I lie back and grasp the bar to begin my next rep. Before I can even start, Jasper leans over the bar to get my attention.
"Need a spot man?" I hear him ask after I remove my earbud. "McCarty's gonna warm up on the treadmill for about ten, so I can help you out. If you want me to, I mean."
"No, it's okay," I answer, a little too quickly. Not liking my dismissive tone, I quickly add, "But thanks for the offer."
"Anytime, Riley. Anytime."
There's a moment where I'm caught up in that ice blue stare and I swear to God I feel myself flush. Sweat is beading all over my body and it's not from my workout either. I know it; I'm totally convinced that he knows it, too. No matter how badly I want to, I can't look anywhere else. His eyes simply won't allow me to retreat.
"Hey! J-Dub! Where's that song you loaded on my iPod the other day, dude? You know I can't find shit on this thing." Bless that beast for being technologically inept and unknowingly rescuing me from this precarious exchange.
"I'll be around if you change your mind, Biers." Jasper once again pummels the shit out of me with that half-assed grin-head-nod thing he does and all the air freezes in my lungs. All I can do is mutter a lame as hell thanks while forcing myself to smile in return. Why do I get the feeling it looks more like I'm suffering from constipation?
I finish my next two sets with a false façade of concentration. I don't sit up at all in between because I am a coward and afraid to look anyplace but the ceiling. Anywhere but him, and he's exactly everywhere I want to stare.
I move on to chest-flies on the incline bench, first grabbing a set of hand weights – I prefer them to the machines. Something about the old school sensation of steel in my hands feels better. The burn is somehow more raw, intrinsic.
Determined to stay on task, I begin my first set of chest reps grateful that the treadmills are not in my sightline. There's no pussing out and staring at the tiles overhead given my position on the bench. I mentally thank whoever designed the weight room set up for small favors.
Of course, karma is fucking with me yet again. There's not really even time to get comfortable in my false sense of security. Not even halfway into my first group of fifteen, Whitlock and his behemoth in tow move to the very weight bench I've just come from. It just happens that it's directly across from me.
Now I have no choice but to look everywhere I want to. And I really, really want to.
So I give myself permission, agreeing on the condition to shut my eyes if it all gets to be too much. But, I really don't wanna shut my eyes. Not at all. It doesn't escape me that I'm bargaining with myself for a privilege that shouldn't matter at all, but it does. That's my own issue to work through, one that I decide to tackle another day. For right now, the plan is to finish my damn workout. Enjoying the scenery in front of me is merely a personal bonus.
I work through my first set with relative ease, physically speaking. I manage to keep count, but I'm also taking in every bit of Whitlock I can. Incredible how his actions of simply spotting the bar while McCarty lifts engages me completely. My awe lies not in the massive amount that the Hulk is benching, but the quiet concentration on Jasper's face as he watches on.
I see his lips move, assuming he's keeping count since my music is in my ears. I become a greedy bastard and want to hear the drawl that's become a staple of many midnight fantasies. I break between sets, pretending to turn the volume up in my ears, when in fact, the opposite is true. The tone of his loquacious southern lilt replaces the sounds of the songs on my iPod. I close my eyes, feigning rest, and just let them wash through me.
Funny how his voice is as calming as my workout music, and the crazy thing is, the two are as about as aurally different as it gets. His voice is placid and tranquil; wrapping around you, moving through you, like the most favorite thing from childhood that brings peace to your soul. Fuzzy warm blankets, homemade ice cream, a mitt that's broken in to perfection, or the first swim of the summer – stuff that might seem trite but somehow just isn't.
I wanna sit here and listen to him talk, not necessarily to me, but anybody, just as long as I can drown myself in that sweet intonation. But I know I shouldn't. I'm here to work and force myself into my next set of flies.
I'm not ready to mute the sounds of him just yet though; it seems wrong to consider such a thing. So, I decide that multitasking is in order. Sure, my arms are lifting the weights and I'm becoming a little winded, just as I should at this point, but over my inhales and exhales, I can hear him spurr McCarty on as he lifts. "That's it, Hoss. Work it son. Focus, push. You got this."
That is the voice of the general. That is the guiding calm of someone in control, a winner. And as badly as I want to let the bitterness consume me, I just can't. Not when it (and he, if I'm being honest with myself) makes me feel so…so… good.
And I like this feeling, private as it is, that's enveloping me so much more than I know it should. I don't care though, not enough to turn my thoughts elsewhere. I want to stay in the 'good' and all that it implies for as long as possible.
My mind wanders and takes liberties I've never dared or allowed before, at least not where Jasper is concerned. Visions of non-descript places (because locale is irrelevant) take shape with us in the midst of explicit actions, specific words spoken so vivid that I almost believe it's real.
His mouth...the things he says with it. Fucking hell, the things he does with it. The feelings, the sensations, and the rush…sweet Mary he's on his knees. The me in my mind is in complete awe of him, and just when that me thinks I'll explode, Whitlock looks up at me with that stare, so full of focus and concentration, like he's trying to figure out exactly what will make me lose it completely. Almost like he's trying to solve me.
A lot like he's looking at you now…
Exactly like he's looking at you now.
My brain freezes. The scene in my head comes to an utter screeching halt as I realize that Jasper is staring at me staring at him. I don't even have time to ponder the how long's or the what-the-fuck's; I'm busted as shit. And I'm paralyzed. All my limbs are in total disconnect because I cannot fucking think.
Our eyes are locked, unblinking, trying to get a read on the other. Then, fuck me where I sit, Jasper diverts his eyes down – not to the floor, but to my cock that is clearly the very happy benefactor of the mental porno he was unknowingly starring in.
Or maybe he does…Whitlock meets my eyes once again and then winks. He fucking winks at me, and that's all the jolt I need to do what I do best: retreat and run for my damn life.
He knows! He has to. He winked at you for fuck's sake man.
Fortunately, I don't have far to escape thanks to the sky bridge that connects the stadium to my hotel. Back in the friendly confines of the JW Marriot (OU spares no expense), I berate myself for what feels like numerous hours after escaping the weight room. I somehow manage to shower and change.
Although I have no fucking clue where I'm gonna go, holing myself up here isn't appealing at all. Spending the night chastising my ill-begotten indulgences and subsequent fleeing to my room isn't conducive to anything. I might as well go elsewhere and find a stiff drink (or twenty) and do the job right.
There's a sports bar just downstairs, but that won't do; I prefer not to be recognized. There's been a lot of coverage the last few days with all of us draft hopefuls in town. A person can only answer the same prosaic questions over and over again. Frankly, I'm not in the mood to answer anything other than, "What'll ya have?"
Luckily, the cab driver's a woman who doesn't seem to know who I am. She asks where I'm headed, to which my response is to ask for someplace sparse where I can have a drink in peace. With a head nod and the flip of the meter, she tells me JD's fits the bill. Making our way to the west side of Indy, I wonder how Jasper is spending tonight and how much thought, if any, he'll give to what I've dubbed "Bonergate".
The ride over takes about twenty minutes. It's not filled with idle chit-chat, for which I'm more than grateful. I over tip the driver for her respectful silence. Maybe I'll be fortunate enough to have her on the way back to the hotel.
JD's is everything one would expect in a dive bar – pool tables, dart boards, the typical liquor stocked shelves offering the promise of a good buzz. The obligatory neon signage plasters the walls and illuminates the thin sheen of smoke that hangs in the air. Someone has an affinity for Zepplin because Kashmir is going full throttle on the jukebox when I walk in. This is exactly the type of place I need to be right now.
It's an off night (or at least I think it is) and there aren't a lot of people here fortunately. I'm able to navigate my way easily through the sea of mismatched tables and chairs, heading over to the bar to grab a stool. In no time, the dude behind the counter makes his way down to where I'm sitting.
The barkeep looks friendly enough; fairly tall, sporting a long sandy-colored pony tail. He nods and asks what he can get me. My first thought is to answer a lobotomy, but I decide against being a smartass. Immediately I remember that they won't be serving me that 3.2 bullshit pisswater I have to drink back in Okieland. Decent beer ranks higher than seeing Mom and Dad when I go back home to Seattle.
I freeze for a minute as he checks my ID; not because I'm not of age, I am. I stall because I want to see if he recognizes my name, my face. "Killian's Red it is then. You want a menu?"
With an exhale and a simple "Yeah, please" from me, he hands me back my license to go get my drink.
I peruse the menu and polish off two beers before I decide on Buffalo wings. I contemplate a shot at some point since I'm not driving, and a Jaeger Bomb is a quick ticket to just not giving a fuck. Even if it is only for tonight.
Grabbing some peanuts, I replay shit in my head from this afternoon. What was I even thinking permitting myself to go there with Whitlock in the same fucking room? Its one thing to get all worked up watching him in game film, and entirely another to pop a chub with him twenty fucking feet away.
Spiraling down the path of self-loathing, I hear the bartender ask, "What'll it be?" and realize that he isn't talking to me.
"I'll have a Shiner, please."
I don't even need to turn around. I know that voice anywhere now. My hair stands on end, my chest bows and I wish to all hell I could find a fucking do-over button and go back to this morning.
What in the name of fuck and Sammy Baugh is he doing here?
Pony-tail dude asks me if I want another beer; I manage a meager head jerk as my indication of yes. If I could formulate words right now, I'd tell him to bring me a fifth of gin.
"You can take the boy outta Texas, but you can't take Texas outta the boy," Jasper says as I feel him take the stool next to me.
I don't look at him; I can't. I don't speak either, mostly because I have not one fucking clue of what to say.
Hey man, how's it goin'? Listen, allow me to apologize for the boner I sprouted back in the weight room. See, I was having this hot-as-fuck daydream and sorta got caught up in it. Did I mention that you were sucking my dick like there was no tomorrow?
Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's not the shit I wanna throw out there. No fucking way.
Bartender man shows up with our beers and my food; at least now I can occupy my mouth properly so I don't have to talk. Maybe I'll get lucky and he'll just leave, although part of me wants to know why he decided to come here, and more importantly, if he's alone.
"Hey, let me know if those wings are any good. I may get some." Jasper casually picks up the menu. He starts rattling on about burgers and pizzas and half a dozen other things. I suppose that's because I have yet to answer him. Shit, I haven't even actually acknowledged his presence yet.
I have no idea how much time passes before I sense Whitlock shift on his stool. I don't have to move at all to know that he's looking right at me. I can feel it.
"Dude, are you gonna fucking ignore my ass the whole night or are we gonna talk about…shit?"
Yes. No. Fuck, why you gotta ask compound questions?
Suddenly, I'm really interested in the state of affairs with these wings, so much so that I'm now double fisting those bad boys. I don't want to talk about shit, specifically that shit, and certainly not with him.
"Alrighty then," Jasper says in that silken drawl. "I'll talk. Let me tell you a story about a kid growing up around a bunch of good 'ol boys that figured out that sometimes that's exactly what he wanted: a good 'ol boy. Not that he didn't care for girls, 'cause he liked 'em alright, just not always."
He pauses for a second, I'm guessing to gauge some sort of reaction from me, only there is none.
"Well, it just so happened that this kid had a rocket for an arm and football in his blood. After he got much older, he figured out that as long as he kept winning, people weren't really interested in who tickled his fancy. Not that he went around waving a rainbow flag or anything, he made sure to use discretion and kept things quiet."
I can't help it now; I have to look at him. He cannot be for fucking real.
"And now days, well Florida boosters are all too willing to do whatever keeps me happy. A happy Jasper is a winning Jasper, which means bowl games, and not to bring up a sore subject, but a national championship too."
"Get the fuck outta here," I spit out. "They pay for you to…you to…you know."
"Well what do ya know? He speaks," Jasper says with a feigned look of shock on his face. "The answer to your question is no, they don't pay for anything. They're just happy to make arrangements for me is all." A coy expression takes over as he adds, "And not that I really need them to; I don't have trouble taking care of it myself."
"Of course you don't, Whitlock. Guy like you can have his pick I'm sure."
"Is that what you think, Biers?" He questions, the look in his eye challenging and deep-seated with dare.
"I said it didn't I?"
In answering his question with a question, I know I'm a punk and wussing my way out. This line of questioning could get way too personal for me right now. "Bartender, I need another Red over here please," I say, subsequently downing the bottle I'm clutching.
"I'll take another Shiner too, man," Jasper states while shaking his empty glass. "Wait just a sec please." He stops the guy. Leaning toward me, murmurs into my ear, "I think we could both use a shot of a gentleman."
Oh, I am so screwed.
"We'd also like a shot of Jack. Thank you kind sir." Once the guy is out of earshot, Jasper wastes no time, throwing up twenty questions like a shovel pass. "So tell me Riley, you ever have your pick? Which way did you go, muff or scruff?"
I turn my head away. I've had a girl; one. She was how I knew. My meager experience with guys speaks to the very reason I don't know fuckall about what I'm doing here. Sparse memories surface of the trip to Cancun my freshman year with the nameless dude that sucked my cock, and last spring in Cabo with that waiter who blew not only me, but my fucking mind.
I don't tell Jasper any of this. I should know more, but once again, he's got the edge where he and I are concerned. Just one time, I'd like to not fall short in comparison to Whitlock. That's not bitterness talking either, just plain honesty.
"Look, I like you Biers. How 'bout we just have some drinks and kick back? Sound good to you?"
I nod in agreement because deep down, I'm ecstatic, albeit nervous as hell, to do just that. Especially with him.
We grab the shots placed in front of us. Clinking the glasses together Jasper toasts, "Here's to the taste of a smooth, fine fellow. Ain't nothin' sweeter."
I know he's talking about the whiskey, but his double entendre isn't lost on me for one fucking minute.
"Drink to that," I agree, and know deep down that I mean both too.
We spend the next few hours talking about our childhoods and the crazy paths our lives have taken. The long road from Pee Wee ball to the NFL is successfully navigated by a precious few. Talent, skill, and more often than not, a shitload of luck, are necessary to get there. Neither of us can believe how fortunate we are to have an opportunity like this.
The next few hours pass in whir of more wings, more beer, and of course more shots. Our conversation stays in a safe zone though. We get personal, but only in terms of the game itself. It amazes me how closely our lives mirror one another. Well, except for certain things.
Jay (as I've now taken to calling him) calls for our tabs. A pang of sadness pokes at my gut; I'm not really ready to step out of our bubble yet.
Suddenly, there's an awkward quiet looming. I have no idea how to fill it. But the Major does.
"So Riley, did you really mean that shit you said earlier? About me being able to have my pick of anyone and all that."
"Sure I did," my reply is now earnest and sans bitterness thanks to the booze. "I mean come on, like anyone could say no to you." If I were a chick, I'd totally eye roll his ass.
"Good, 'cause I think you should back that up and come to my room."
We share a cab because, as fate would have it, we're staying at the same hotel. Convenient, right?
The drive back is mostly quiet. The talk is small, in complete juxtaposition with the tension that's about a level forty-seven in density. I have no idea what I'm getting myself into. My buzz is making it easy not to care.
On the elevator there's a moment where I pause and wonder if this is really such a good idea. Jasper pushes the seventeen and for a half-second, I almost reach out and press the twenty-three. Almost.
The doors part and we both walk calmly through them. Except there's thundering in my chest that's stirring something in me. This feeling intensifies with every step closer we get to Jasper's room. I know this anticipation; I've felt it on the field many times before. My reactions are on a hair-trigger. When this happens, things either go very, very good or very, very bad. The last time Jasper was involved and my emotions were running this high, things went to utter shit in my world. I'm hoping for an entirely different outcome this time.
My eyes fixate on him, watching his every movement as he retrieves the room card from his wallet. Jasper meets my stare as he slides it in the slot.
That sound sets off a firestorm in my system and sets play in motion. We're barely inside the door when I move to grab him. I'm fast, but he's faster and so much more smooth. In a blur of movements, almost like something out of the Matrix, he spins and deflects. I end up pinned against the wall in the dimly lit entryway while every single fucking inch of Jasper Whitlock compresses against me.
Here we are once again, veritable reflections of one another; so much the same, but in a lot of ways that count, so very different.
My breath speeds up; his face is barely an inch from mine. I can feel the vibrations that rumble beneath that Polo button-down he's wearing. The musky spice of his cologne assaults my sense of smell. I want to taste the remnants of the Shiner he's been so partial to all night.
No question, the Major is in charge and might as well be playing Reveille because my cock is standing at full attention. Ready and willing – reporting for duty, Sir. I know he feels it, he has to because the entire weight of his body melds into mine.
I gulp, horrifically loud. It's a reflexive action given the fact that my mouth is drier than a fucking dust bowl. I stand outside myself for a brief moment, one that I'm certain is about to change absolutely everything for both of us. I want the change to be good.
One of us has to act, and I don't know why he doesn't do something already. He took control the second he put me on the wall.
An eerie, albeit sexy-as-hell calm creeps over his face, which is still oh so fucking close. "We cool? I don't move forward unless you say so." His palms rest just beside my head, bracing him to push away should I give the word.
"Then. Move. Forward. Damn it," I choke out, raspy but authoritative in my own right.
Lightening fast, he's all over me, his hands grasping my face in earnest. His mouth covers mine and suddenly I understand his fondness for Shiner. Or maybe it's really him that tastes so fucking delicious. All I can think is that I want more.
Desperate pulls and glutinous draws govern what is hands down the best fucking kiss of my life. It's clear neither of us are interested in romance or gentility. We're a mish-mash of lips and tongues; I feel his hands fist and tug at my hair. The sensation sends tingling waves that travel the length of my body.
I'm so fucking amped that I grab the first solid piece of Jasper I can and grind into his perfect form. I squeeze and pull the closest hunk of him I can get into my hands. Well lucky me – his ass is all mine.
Somewhere in the midst of entangled limbs and mouths, we break to take in a replenishing breath. My exhale is more of a guttural "mmmnnggg" than anything. Whatever the sound, Jasper must like it; he responds in kind with a powerful thrust and the sexiest groan these ears have ever heard.
And motherfuck, he's as hard as anything I've ever felt and I feel elation knowing it's because of me. Grateful I'm not made of glass, I push into Jasper with all that I am and every ounce of force in me. The pressure feels so god damn good and right, but as with things that are, there's the inevitable desire for more. There has to be more.
Jasper doesn't kiss me again, but instead furrows his cheek against mine. His hands move to my shoulders and squeeze tighter than tight. We fall into a rhythmic pattern of thrusts, gyrations, and rubs against the wall of his room. I don't care that my back is being crushed against it or that my shoulders might have bruises by morning; the only things that matter are the feel of his breath and the sound of his groans.
"Fuck, Riley…you feel me right now?" I drive myself against his erection so he knows that I do. Jasper pulls back and grabs my wrist. "Not like that boy," he drawls placing my hand on his cock. "I know you've got touch."
And touch him I do. I rub and massage him over the rough denim that separates me from the skin-on-skin I know we both want. As if he's reading my mind, he orders, "Now show me those hands son and go to work."
Wasting no time ignoring the Major, my fingers fumble at his button-fly. Licking my palm first, I plunge down past an elastic waistband and seize the rock-hard muscle inside. I grip and squeeze, hard enough to get a "fuck yes" for my effort.
Jasper drops his head back as I begin to pump his shaft. Having no idea what he likes, I rely on my personal knowledge of what gets the job done. Grip up. Twist. Pull down. Twist. Every so often, I run my thumb over the tip. I'm not surprised to find that it's wet.
I pace the speed of my strokes in time with his breathing. The quicker he pants, the faster my hand flies. I lose count of the "fucks" and "goddamns" that come out in growls. The look on his face is hotter than hellfire and I've never been more turned on.
Just when I think he's about to blow, Jay clutches my hand bringing it to a dead stop.
"I'm not ready to come yet."
The question mark floating over my head prompts him to make quick work of my jeans and boxers. He pulls them down far enough that the cool air rushing over my bare skin causes me to shudder. I don't release his cock from my grip, not even when he grabs mine.
"I want you in my mouth first, Biers."
He's squeezing my shaft in long slow pulls, milking the pre-cum from my head. It's torture, but it feels so fucking close to heaven I swear I hear angels. His stare is calm but intense. Taking the clear sticky fluid that coats his fingers, he sucks them into his mouth and says, "And I want some of you."
Jasper drops to his knees, leaving me to grip the wall and hold on for dear life. My eager flesh finds wet and warm as it plunges deep into his mouth. Boy doesn't even gag when I hit the back of his throat.
"Holy shit, Jay," I snarl in pleasure. Him licking and sucking my dick feels a shit ton better than I could've ever imagined. What had only been a half-piped daydream before has come to life in front of me. And it's fucking phenomenal.
I watch his head bob up and down. Instinctively, I grasp his hair. But I'm not sure that's okay. With the other dudes before I didn't care, there was no reason to. This is Jasper Whitlock and that's all the more reason I do.
He must sense the hesitancy of my touch because he releases me long enough to tell me to let go and fuck his mouth already. This isn't merely request, it's a command that I am more than happy to obey.
I thrust my hips in and out, in and out, driving deeper into the torrid slipperiness of pure fucking bliss. I can feel the pressure build, the rush from base to tip, and I know that any second now he'll have exactly what he was asking for only moments ago.
"Holy fuck, man...I'm...ahhh shit...I'm almost there."
"Well then fucking get there, boy," Jasper rumbles.
And that's all it takes. Loud, intelligible cries and moans spew out of my mouth while I empty myself into his. All of the sudden, I'm right fucking thankful that there's a wall behind me; I don't think my legs would hold me up otherwise. I'm damn near spent after that orgasm. It's been so fucking long since someone else has made me come; I'd almost forgotten they could be this intense. Or maybe that's just because it's Whitlock.
I attempt to gather my composure and start to dress myself. "What are you doing?" Jay asks me, although I suspect the question is somewhat rhetorical.
"I'm just gonna - "
"No you can't. Not yet." I'm immediately cut off by his directive. "It's my turn now, and I'm not done with that pretty cock of yours."
I'm still damp from the blowjob to end all blowjobs and I fully understand what Jasper is talking about when he stands up and takes both of our cocks in his hands. Fuck, if I hadn't just blown my load...
But I decide I want to finish what I started. I move one of his hands, replacing it with mine so that the shared grip holds us together. The simultaneous combined pumping of both our dicks is bar none the most erotic thing I've ever seen.
Jasper leans forward and kisses me deep and hard. I know when he's getting close because his tongue stills against mine. All he can manage is to huff into my mouth. I decide it's my turn to give an order of my own. "You better fucking come, Whitlock. I wanna hear you, god damn it."
He obliges with a slew of profanities that might make some coaches blush. Not me though. It gives me a fucking high that I can't even really put into words. Seeing him lose his shit, completely spent, is perhaps the greatest rush of my life thus far. It's also one that I want to feel over and over again.
I tell him so.
Just before we collect ourselves, we sort of just stare at each other in a post-coital stupor. I can tell that we're both having one of those did-that-really-just-happen-or-was-it-a-dream-moments. It takes a minute for it to sink in that it really fucking did.
Realizing that we've made it no further than the foyer, he asks me to stay the night. As badly as I want to, I know I shouldn't. What happens if someone sees me leaving in the morning? I don't think, given the circumstances that surround us, it's the best idea. I don't want to complicate or mess up the good. It's too new right now. So I politely decline.
"Can't you just stay here for a little while? Have a beer or something?" He asks me. The look on his face is so hopeful.
"As bad as I want to Jay, if I don't leave now, odds are I won't ever. I don't have to tell you what might happen if someone saw."
"Is it wrong that part of me doesn't give a fuck?" Jasper questions rhetorically. I know there's nothing wrong with it because there's a part of me that agrees. I think agents and publicists would have a very different opinion.
There's a ton of shit to sort out; not just with this, but with our lives and careers. Both of our futures hang in the balance, at least until the draft is over. Before I walk out his door, I kiss him again, this time more slowly so I can savor it. It's gonna have to last me a while. I smile and tell him that maybe we'll have New York in a month, but no matter what, we'll always have this night.
One thing is for sure: this is just the beginning. For the both of us. And hopefully we can write that playbook together.
A/N: Soooo, this was a little (read a lot) outside of my comfort zone. But the plot bunny wouldn't go away, and after much encouragment, I finished the damn thing. It was part of the Fandom4SAA compliation, of which I am so proud to have been a part of. Cheers to aylah50 and Coldplaywhore for putting it together. Bravo ladies!
HUGE thank you's to RoseArcadia, HookaShewz, and lolapop for pre-reading this bad boy. You guys are the best of the best. And because I'm a neurotic headcase, thank you to jaxon22, Jenny0719 and lemonmartinis for giving this a thumbs up. Epic noms and gropes to you all.
Double spanks to RoseArcadia for the purdy banner she made for me. 'Tis a thing of beauty and genius. Pretty much like her.
Also, infinite gratitude and endless thanks (as in I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy) to the one and only MsKathy. Firstly, she beta'd this meat party and worked it over (heh) with her red pen of doom like only she can. Not only that, she cracked her whip in my general direction on the daily. Thank you for pushing me to fumble the sausage. I smoosh you with all my might.
I humbly tip my hat to you for reading and sincerely hope you enjoyed. If not, well, maybe you'll still talk to me? I dig you guise more than you know. *smooches all around*