Disclaimer: I do not own Human Target, any part of the NFL or fantasy leagues and intend no copyright infringement.
Author's notes: I switched to a different shift and I have learned waaaayyyy too much about fantasy football from the men.
It Only Hurt When A Woman Does It
"You have GOT to be kidding me!" Winston ran a hand over his head. "I swear I get ruined at the end of every damn fantasy season!" Chance looked at the monitor and back over to Winston. "Yea, and whoever this Kalico Kitten is…he keeps schooling me hardcore. I was in the lead by light years and all of the sudden…POW…he gets ahead of me. It's crap!" Chance clicked on a few screens then stopped. "Look at my stats…it's insane!"
The two men sat and watched as the webpage updated. Winston and Chance loved football. They waited anxiously as the fantasy league started each year, and always got into some sort of deep discussion during their games. Winston swore to the Green Bay Packers, while Chance supported the Dallas Cowboys. It seemed like their professional teams did well, while their fantasy teams not so hot. They would sit all day at the warehouse on game day in front of the big screen and pray they got lucky.
Winston looked over at Chance. "So you on for the bar next week?" Chance smiled. "Yea I'm in." Winston got up and pushed his chair in. "You know Chance, maybe you can invite Ilsa." He shrugged his shoulders. "Nah. I highly doubt she likes the sport. You know how she is." Winston smiled. "I think you both have done a lot better lately."
He and Ilsa had been working cooperatively over the past couple months. Considering their opposite views on pretty much everything, Winston noticed that their collaborative minds were doing much better. Chance pursed his lips. "Maybe you're right. I'll ask her sometime this week. She might be open to it."
Winston smiled and walked to the elevator. He knew there was tension between the two of them, but he also knew there was something more. He was married once before and he knew what attraction was like. There was chemistry no doubt, but they were both extremely stubborn.
A new case had come across Ilsa's desk. She and Chance were deep in thought trying to evaluate the steps that needed to be taken to help the poor person who stared back at them from the manila folder. She gazed at the printed information. "Chance, I don't know, this man is in fairly deep with some not-so-nice mafia members. Our team only has five members, and I don't actually count as one. You would be taking on a lot."
He leaned back in his chair. "I know Ilsa, but it is a basic in and out job. Extraction. The man has other people to deal with this issue, but he needs our help first." She thumbed through the file. She passed over a photograph of a woman holding a child. "Is this his wife and child?" He shook his head. "I didn't know that he was-" He interjected. "Ilsa, it has nothing to do with helping him right now. They don't care about his wife and child yet. But soon enough they will."
She straightened her spine and took a deep breath. She closed the file then looked at him. He was searching for an answer. She knew well enough that he would take the case regardless of what she said, but he knew it would be much easier if she backed them up. She bit her lower lip. "Fine. Just tell me what you need."
She stood up and started cleaning up her desk. He gazed up at her statuesque appearance. "Are you leaving?" She nodded. "Yes. It's been a long day." When she clicked off her computer he stood up to join her. "Hey um….we're going to a local bar next week…..for the playoff games. Just wondered if you wanted to go." She smiled at him. "Mr. Chance, the bar is hardly my scene. Somehow I think I might be the spectacle of the group." He shook his head. "Nah. It'll be fun. Guerrero's going." She chuckled. "Oh! And is that supposed to entice me?" He walked around and helped her put her jacket on. They walked to the elevator and he pressed the button. When she walked into the car she turned to him. "I'll think about it." He smiled at her as the doors closed.
Ilsa leaned back onto the wall and sighed heavily. She was shocked that she and Chance were getting along. It didn't help that he was gorgeous. He had all the makings of a great man and a hot body to go with it. The tension between them was thick and she wondered if anyone else on the team noticed it. When the doors opened, she walked out to her awaiting car. As they pulled away from the curb, she looked out at the warehouse and wondered how it had all come together.
The week came and went. Ilsa had assisted as best she could while the team took care of their newest client. At the end of the day, all was well and everyone came back in one piece.
Chance walked into his bedroom and stripped. He had just got done jogging and wanted to freshen up for the football game. Before he walked into the bathroom, he looked at his cell phone. Ilsa hadn't called or texted. He didn't want to bother and ask if she decided to join them that night, but deep down he hoped she would.
Emerging freshly showered, he immediately walked to his night stand and picked up his phone. Still nothing from her. He took a deep breath and called. It rang several times before going to voicemail. He listened to the message then left his own.
"Hey it's me….um…I didn't hear from you…and…I wondered if you wanted to come out with us...tonight...to the bar." He stumbled. "Anyway…uh..we'll be at Wing Dings on 5th and Anderson…kickoff is at 8….k…bye." He clicked off the phone, tossed it on the bed and shook his head. "Chance, you're such an idiot."
The bar was packed. Football was the sport of choice for ninety percent of the local population. Of course, fantasy football was a close second. Chance hopped out of the cab and walked inside. The crew had secured a table beside the huge flat screen that graced the wall. Ames had already started eating wings. Her fingers were covered in sauce. She saw Chance walk in. "HEY STRANGER OVER HERE!" He walked up to the table and greeted everyone. Ames kissed his cheek and pulled out a chair. He looked over at Guerrero and laughed. "Dude, she's drunk already."
Winston got up and pointed to the bar. "Hey man let's grab another pitcher of beer. These poor waitresses are busy as hell." Chance set his jacket on the chair and followed Winston to the bar. "So…is she coming?" Chance pulled out his phone again and studied it…as if willing her to call. "No man…she's not coming." Winston just shook his head and handed Chance the beer. He felt bad because he knew that his partner genuinely liked their new benefactor. Even though they had their tense moments, they still cared about each other. "Come on man, time for kickoff."
The Steelers were taking on the Cowboys. The crew was heavily into their fantasy teams, as were the rest of the partiers at the bar. They had all joined a local league. Ames brought her iPAD so they could keep up with their progress. It was torment for Guerrero, because his normally talented team was plagued with injuries. Ames was drinking too much to care, so Winston and Chance were the only teams in the running. A few minutes into the first quarter, the Steelers scored. Chance shook his head. "This is NOT looking good man!" Winston shook his head. "I don't know why we even let our feelings get hurt."
Chance was disappointed that Ilsa didn't even acknowledge his call so he dove deep into the game. He was enjoying his beer, and had his eyes glued to the big screen when he heard some whistling near the entrance. A bunch of men had turned their eyes to the person that walked in. He couldn't see past them but could hear them giving cat calls and wide eyes.
It took a few moments for the crowd to clear, and when it did, Chance looked over. He put his beer down and got up. There she stood, like a goddess. When he made eye contact with her, she smiled. The entire room lit up and time stopped. She was dressed casually. Her sweater hung loosely around her shoulders. She was wearing form-fitting jeans that hugged every curve and her heels made his heart stop for what seemed like forever. Apparently the hearts of all the men did too.
She made her way over to the table without breaking eye contact with him. "I didn't think you were coming." She looked at the table for his cell phone. "Didn't you get my text? I was prepping some charity work for this week and I went overtime. Did I miss much?" Chance was digging for his phone. "Nope, we are still in the first quarter. Ah damn, sorry I missed your text." She shook her head. "It's ok." Ames looked over at Ilsa. "Mrs. Pucci….hhheeeeeyyy! Sooo awesome you came over! There aren't enough of us hotties in here!" Ilsa smiled and chuckled realizing how drunk she was.
Chance moved behind her and placed his hand on the small of her back. "Here, have a seat." She sat down. "Thank you. So…what's on tap?" Guerrero looked over. "Some generic college beer." She looked to the bar. "Chance would you mind getting me a drink….top shelf vodka martini." Guerrero smiled. "That's one thing I can say I like about you boss lady. You got good tastes."
When Chance returned, Ilsa was deep into the game. She didn't notice his approach until he tapped her shoulder. "Since when do you like football?" Her lips made a mild curl. "Oh…I'm not into it. In fact I don't know all that much about it. Just thought I'd join you all." She immediately turned back to the flat screen. At that very moment, Charlie Batch threw a long bomb touchdown. The bar went wild and Ilsa jumped out of her chair. "Yeeessss!" Everyone at the table stopped and looked at her. They were a bit shocked. When she turned around and looked at them she wasn't sure how to approach.
Winston spoke first. "Uh, you sure you don't know much about football?" She shrugged. "Um..well no. I think the players are cute in those tight pants." She gave them all a smile trying to play it off.
A couple hours later, the Steelers had won and the bar celebrated in style. The beer flowed and the people were getting wilder by the minute. It even got to a point where Ames was dancing on the bar until Winton pulled her down to call it a night. Ilsa paid the bar tab and they all stepped outside. Guerrero sighed. "Well…another night getting our asses handed to us in fantasyland." Winston nodded in approval. "Yeah. The season aint lookin' so good. You wanna share a cab with me and your drunk co-worker?" Guerrero rolled his eyes at Ames then looked back to Winston. "I suppose. She better not puke on me..or I'lll throw her ass out the window!"
Ilsa looked over at Chance. "Would you like a ride home?" He shrugged. "Sure." He looked over at his teammates. "You two make such good big brothers!" He opened the door to the town car and helped Ilsa in, then slid in beside her. The car pulled away from the curb and they rode away in silence. Chance eventually looked over at her. "So, did you enjoy yourself?" She nodded. "I did yes. I learned a few things about the sport too. Of course I am little curious about this fantasy thing you all do."
He laughed. "Well, basically you just have a fantasy league where you are the coach, and you run the team, and you play against others in your group. It's all based on how the real players do during a game. Like tonight. Charlie scored three touchdowns. So if you were in the league, you would get a set amount of points. It's fun…but damn it hurts when you lose. Like..this one player..that calls himself Kalico Kitten…keeps wiping the floor with me! I do so well and yet….I get schooled."
Ilsa placed her hand on his knee and shook her head trying to stay interested. "Well Mr. Chance, I am sure there is always next year. Or season. Not sure of the terminology." She went to remove her hand when he placed his overtop. He stared into her eyes. Even in the dark evening sky, he could see her face when the streetlights snuck in through the windows. "Maybe I can teach you a few more things about fantasy football. Who knows, you might be dangerous." He opened his arms and she slid closer to him. He turned his body so that she could lean into his embrace. He wrapped his arms around her and she nestled into him.
He leaned down to nuzzle into her hair and inhaled the sweet scent of fruit. "Mmmm, you always smell so good." He rubbed lazy circles around her stomach. She sighed heavily and relaxed. His lazy circles turned into a light massage. She closed her eyes and started dozing.
When the car stopped in front of the warehouse, she woke up. "Oh...I'm sorry. I fell asleep. You all know how to party." She sat up and leaned against the door. "No problem. Would you like to come up for a drink?" She searched his eyes. "Sure." He helped her out of the car and they got into the elevator. When they stepped out, he walked towards the conference room. "I'm going to check my poor team's results." Ilsa went towards her office to pour them drinks.
When she returned, he was deep in thought. She sat down in the chair beside him. He swiveled around. "Well it looks like I got crushed again. At least I am ahead of Winston and Guerrero." She smirked at his dejection. "Well madam what is that little smile for?" She downed the rest of her drink and got up. He followed her around in his chair until she was in front of him and then with no warning, she settled herself on his lap.
"Are you finished?" He rested his arms around her waist and nodded. Ilsa busied herself logging out of his account. Then she started typing on the same site. Chance immediately leaned up in shock. "WAIT A SECOND…YOU'RE KALICO KITTEN?!" She briefly turned to acknowledge his surprise. "You're telling me I have been getting beat by a girl! Not to mention a girl that knows nothing about FOOTBALL!"
Ilsa broke out into a full-blown laugh. Chance just shrugged and leaned his head on her back. "This is going to be so embarrassing when the guys find out. How did you even get into this?" She finally turned and put her arms around his neck. "Well Mr. Chance when you have a driver, a pilot and a concierge that are men, you tend to learn these things. Maybe next season, I can teach you a thing or two. But until then, I can enjoy my victory."
She leaned down and kissed him deeply. He greedily ran his hands over her waist and back urging her to deepen the kiss. When he ran his tongue over her lower lip, she moaned. "Mmmmm. You taste like expensive liquor." He smiled back. "Well my business associate served it to me in order to soften the blow of the ass kicking she gave me in a fantasy league she knows nothing about."
She kissed him again. When she came back up for air she looked at her watch. "I better be going." His eyes were longing as he stared back at her. "Stay. My ego is too bruised to be alone." She stood up and grabbed his hand. They walked up to his room and eventually settled into the bed.
Chance rolled over to find Ilsa getting dressed. "Hey, sorry I didn't wake up with you." She stared down at him. "It's okay. I need to run home and take care of a few things before I attempt to come back to work today." He struggled to keep his eyes open. When she was finished dressing she leaned down beside the bed and placed a chaste kiss on his lips. "Go back to sleep. I'll see you later." Before she descended the stairs, she turned back at her sleepy partner and smiled.
A FEW HOURS LATER
Winston walked into the conference room to warm up the computer. When it finally loaded, the page was still logged on to the fantasy football website. He shrugged it off thinking Chance was updating his players until he noticed the screenname. "Kalico Kitten….what the hell is…." He finally read the personal section of the page. "Oh hell no! I been getting' my ass whipped by a girl this season?!"
Chance kept on doing his Tai Chi when he heard Winston yelling. He smiled and whispered to himself. "Yea man..I know how you feel."