WARNING: Contains two dirty-talking, hard-f*cking, no-apology-making alpha males. Read at your own risk.
Wanting him is the riskiest play of all…
Miami star quarterback Jordan Barr is the hottest man that halfback Eric “The Brick” Higgins has ever laid eyes on, and he’s wanted him in his bed for years.
When a chance encounter puts the two pro football players in the same town, the same TV studio, and the same locked room, the sparks don’t just fly, they burn. The chemistry between them is intense, immediate, and explosive and Eric isn’t about to miss his chance to have Jordan off the field. He’ll have Jordan naked in his bed—rumors of game fixing haunting both of their teams be damned.
Eric is one extraordinarily stunning man, and Jordan would love nothing more than to show Eric what it’s like to be taken by someone who knows exactly what he wants, in the bedroom and out. But Jordan has bills to pay and far too many responsibilities to throw caution to the wind.
He has to resist. But it’s getting hard….
Really, really hard.
Play Hard is the first installment in a three-part MM romance trilogy and ends in a cliffhanger.
Another roll of thunder boomed, shaking the walls of the Tampa TV station as Eric followed the redheaded intern through the dimly-lit hall toward the green room. He would be soaked to the skin if his driver hadn’t walked him from the limo to the glass doors of the skyscraper underneath a giant golf umbrella. He was glad he’d listened to his agent’s advice and hired a car and driver instead of a rental convertible for the trip.
Sure, he wanted to feel the wind in his hair, but that would have to wait for a weekend when he didn’t have to worry about looking pretty for the camera.
“What a storm, huh?” The intern glanced back at him with a wide, double-dimpled grin that lit up her pretty face.
She was a cute one. He was sure most men went crazy for her girl-next-door good looks.
“Should I call you Brick or do you prefer Eric?” she asked.
“Well,” he said, glancing at her name badge, “Kim, I like how both names sound rolling off your tongue. Do I detect a hint of southern belle?”
She giggled. “Born and raised a Georgia peach. I’m a senior at UGA, interning here in Tampa this semester.”
“Georgia. Never was a fan, but you might change my mind. The SEC sure does have the prettiest women around.”
“And the best football, too,” she teased.
Eric couldn’t argue that point. His years playing for Florida State had taught him to never underestimate any SEC team. They were sneaky bastards who came up from behind to take a national title from their opponent and never look back.
Couldn’t take it from him, though. He’d been there, won that. As a second-string halfback his sophomore year, he’d never expected to get a chance to play, especially in the title game against Georgia. Then suddenly, the first string player tore his ACL and the assistant offensive coordinator yelled for Eric to fill in.
Before he could say, “Go ’Noles!” Eric was on the field scoring the winning touchdown.
His life hadn’t been the same since.
“I have a small request, and I hope you don’t mind,” Kim said. “But your agent said you’d be willing to sign some autographs before the interview. You’ve got quite a gathering of fans waiting for you.”
He flashed a grin. “Don’t mind at all. I’m as quick with a pen as I am on the field.” Eric winked, his smile transforming to a booming laugh as Kim opened the door to reveal a room packed wall to wall with Marauders fans, mostly women holding pictures, notebooks, jerseys, and Sharpies.
“Hello ladies!” he said, turning on the charm since this was, quite simply, one of his favorite parts of the job. Not the sea of women, per se. But the adoration. The love for the game and the love for The Brick.
God, it felt so fucking good to have fans.
The moment he stepped through the entryway, a din of feminine screams drowned out the loudest roll of thunder so far. The storm outside couldn’t compare to the swirling tempest of excitement in this room. When Eric “The Brick” Higgins was in play, even Mother Nature should be prepared to take a backseat.
Eric spied a couple of young boys to his left and made a beeline for them first. He hated to make kids wait and knew the mamas in the room would love him even more for showing his soft side to their sons. “What’s your name, tough guy?” he asked the smaller of the two.
“Dylan.” The boy’s chocolate brown eyes went wide in his face.
“Dylan, do you play football?” Eric knelt down to be on Dylan’s level before taking the glossy headshot from the boy’s hand and signing it with a Sharpie that seemed to appear out of thin air.
“No, sir. My brother does. I will when I’m bigger.”
“Are you his brother?” Eric turned to the older boy next to him, signing the jersey he held.
“Yes, sir. And that’s my mama and my baby sister.” He pointed proudly to a tired-looking woman with tightly curled brown hair, holding a sleeping baby in the corner of the room. “My name is Christopher. I’m seven and a half. You came to visit my football camp this summer. I’m fast like you and getting faster every day.”
“I just bet you are. And I remember you, man. You were tearing it up out there.” He hadn’t remembered Chris’s name, but he remembered that determined little face.
Christopher was one of the four scholarship players at the exclusive camp. This was the first year the camp had offered scholarships—at Eric’s insistence and funding.
He spent the next twenty minutes signing more autographs, happy to flirt, smile, and hand out hugs and compliments.
It’s a shame I’m not into the opposite sex. I could clean up with the ladies. I know how to listen, I love kids, I’m quick with a compliment, and I’m damn good in the sack.
And having a hard-on for women would certainly make life less complicated.
As the last fan left the room hugging her coveted autographed jersey, followed by a giggly girlfriend who’d had Eric sign her ankle, the storm seemed to kick it up a notch. Thunder boomed and lightning brightened the room through the one small window in the back of the simply-decorated space.
Kim had gone ahead to wrangle the crowd, so Eric followed the stragglers down the hall toward the studio for the interview.
Matthew Morgan, the host of Sports Talk, was a hardcore football fan and it showed in the studio decor. Framed jerseys lined the walls from those who had been here before him. Ewing, Irving, Smith, Dorsett, Jackson, McCallister, and three Mannings.
Eric wondered if his #27 would be there one day. He liked to imagine it would.
“This way, Eric,” Kim said, popping out of nowhere. “Sorry, didn’t mean to abandon you.”
“No worries,” he said, grateful for the guide. The hallways morphed into a labyrinth as she led him toward the studio. Eric took advantage of the long walk to take a few deep breaths and get ready to bring his A game.
This interview was for a good cause—a great one—and media attention for the new football camp for inner-city kids would mean more money rolling in from donors next year. Besides, it was nice to have the chance to focus on something positive for a change, instead of the bullshit game-fixing rumors that had plagued the Marauders for the past few months.
Why the media was so eager to give a voice to a bunch of fucking conspiracy theorists baffled him.
As they entered the studio, Kim stopped abruptly behind a tall, broad, and sturdy man with dark-blond hair that was past due for a haircut. The guy was dressed in a pair of snug slate gray slacks that hugged his perfect ass, well….perfectly.
Hell, that ass was like a sculpture. Round, firm, tight—a piece of living art.
The rest of him was equally well-carved, and Eric took a moment to appreciate the view from behind. The man’s purple long-sleeved shirt was tailored to fit a strong, well-defined back; his arms were thick and muscular, stretching the supple fabric; and those pants….
Damn, those pants were making matters inside of Eric’s hard to handle.
“Eric, I’d like to introduce you to Jordan Barr,” Kim said, “the quarterback for the Miami Heat Wave. He worked at the camp’s Tallahassee location. All the people up there can’t stop talking about what a difference he made. Y’all will be interviewed together this mornin’.”
As if on cue, lightning struck and the lights flickered as Jordan Barr—the Jordan Barr, the stuff of shower fantasies and more raging hard-ons than you could shake a stick at—turned to face him.
Eric swallowed, but it wasn’t easy. His throat was suddenly bone-dry and he could feel his face flushing.
J.T. Fox loves white-hot, sexy stories about men in love (and in lust), rescue dogs, football, soccer, rugby after work, and long, lazy Sunday afternoons with friends. J.T. lives in the south with one alpha pug, two opinionated cats, and a partner who puts up with more than his fair share of crazy.