“Oh my God. Only you’d make it this extreme.” I turned and walked away to hide my grin. Truth was I liked Cannon this protective of me.

I should’ve never told him about the one time I was pretty sure Pete had looked down at my chest. I had yet to live that down, and it made for a very awkward situation when Cannon would swing by the body shop. Protective and pissy was an understatement.

I looked over my shoulder right before leaving the library and stared at Cannon. He had his forearms braced on the table again, his focus out the window where the girls stood. His brows were furrowed in confusion, as if he were still trying to figure out which of them had ass injections.

If there was one thing to be said about Cannon’s and my relationship, it was that we always kept each other on our toes, maybe Cannon even more.

But I liked that and wouldn’t change it for the world.

2

Cannon

Sweat covered my face as I pulled off my helmet, holding it under my arm. I ran my hand over my hair, the short, damp strands no doubt sticking up.

Coach hollered for us and I picked up my pace, jogging toward where everyone else stood.

“Good practice, boys.” Coach adjusted his sunglasses, his clipboard in his other hand. “I want your asses here bright and early tomorrow morning for another practice.” There was a round of groans.

We all started heading toward the double doors on the back side of the school.

“Shit,” I muttered under my breath when I saw Rachel waiting there. I heard a couple of the guys laugh.

“Trouble in paradise, man?” Will said and I flipped him off and shook my head.

There was no paradise where Rachel was concerned. Hell, I didn’t even know why I was still spending time with her. She was like a leech, clinging to me as if her life depended on it. Even though we’d only been hanging out for a couple of weeks I was pretty sure that was the longest she’d ever spent with the opposite sex.

When I got to the doors, she pushed off the wall and grinned, her shirt too tight and too short, the little belly ring she wore having some kind of dangly bits hanging from it so every time she walked it swayed back and forth. Her jeans were low on her hips, so low that I was surprised I couldn’t see the top of her pussy.

“Hey, Mr. All-Star.”

Two of my teammates, Will and Rob, were trying not to laugh.

Rachel was superficial as fuck, and after I spent the afternoon with Stella, that’s all I’d been thinking about. How I really couldn’t stand her, how all she saw were stars in her eyes.

She jumped from player to player, and I knew that’s what she wanted from me … to get in my pants so she could say she’d fucked another football player.

Shit, that was never going to happen. Hell, I hadn’t done so much as kiss her. And I could tell that was getting under her skin, could tell she was confused as hell on why I wasn’t fucking her when every other guy at school already had.

“I watched you practice. You looked good out there,” she said and went to wrap her arm through mine, but then must have thought better of it. I looked at her and saw her nose scrunched up in disgust.

“Yeah, I’m sweaty,” I said and headed inside. “Happens during practice.” She clearly didn’t like me stating the obvious.

I looked over and down at her, seeing a big fake smile on her face. “Party this weekend at Stanley’s. You game?”

I shrugged and grabbed one of the bottles of water a teammate threw at me. “Maybe. I gotta study though.”

“Well, if you want to come over tonight, I can help you study. My parents will be gone.”

I shook my head. “Can’t. Stella is coming over tonight to help me.”

I instantly felt the ice come from her and I stopped and turned to face her. I knew how this was going to go. She didn’t fucking like the relationship I had with Stella. That wasn’t a secret, not when I saw her mean mugging Stella on the constant.

But the fact was, Stella was my best friend and the most important person to me in the entire world. She came above everyone else. If she needed something, I dropped what I was doing and I did it. Fuck anyone else who didn’t like that.

I stared at Rachel, keeping my face expressionless, waiting for her to start in.

She sidled next to me and tipped her head back to smile. I didn’t know who she thought she was kidding, or who she thought she was playing. I saw through all her bullshit.

“You know, I could help you study instead. Might be a lot more fun.”


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