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Stuck With You
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He’ll make me his- if he doesn’t drive me crazy first.
So of course someone calls in a favor and sticks me with Tyler Sinclair, gridiron god, big man on campus, star quarterback with a million watt smile, a body to die for, and an attitude as big as his… reputation.
Now he’s my problem. He needs me to graduate and I need him to stop driving me insane. I can’t have a simple conversation with him without getting into an argument… or getting hot under the collar.
I can’t stand him and I can’t keep my hands off him. When he’s not making this difficult he’s making me melt. One more lewd suggestion whispered in my ear might be all I need.
Worse than that, he might not be the man I thought he was. We might be more alike than I realized. I might be falling for him, but loving Tyler might cost him his future and cost me my career. We have everything on the line, but love doesn’t care.
Stuck With You is a standalone romantic comedy with a jerk jock with a heart of gold, a sassy heroine, and an HEA.
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Coach Ryerson slams the paper down on the desk and glares at me with a look that could etch steel. A great slam of a man, everything about him is meat. The biggest shoulders and chest I’ve seen, even a hard belly that’s all muscle should anyone ever mistake it for fat. I once saw him threaten to hang a running back up by his heels and wasn’t completely sure he was joking.
He even has a big, blocky Frankenstein head, square so it’ll hurt more when he rams it into your kidney, and a thrice-broken nose that makes him look like a rhino in human shape.
His cramped office, the smallest of any staff member in the athletic program despite his rank and reputation, is crammed from one end to the other with sports memorabilia and black and white photos from his own days on the field.
So when his palm hits the steel surface of his ancient tanker desk so hard it makes the room shake, I take notice. This guy could fold me in half, a club pretty much exclusive to him and my dad. He continues to glare, probably expecting me to say something.
“You told me you were bringing your grades up,” he says in a low, soft voice that seems at odds with his massive physique.
It’s a statement, not a question.
“Yeah,” I say, “uh, about that, well, you know, I’m a senior now and things are really piling up on me, you know?”
“The only thing piling up is liquor bottles and used condoms.”
“I’d appreciate it if you didn’t refer to my lady companions like that.”
Normally, my jokes land with him. Not now.
“I’ve already overextended myself, Tyler. I can’t cover for you anymore. It’s been three and a half years of covering for you, arranging for tutors, calling in favors, going personally to the dean and registrar to make sure you’re in the right sections of the right classes.”
I’m better off saying nothing.
“You expected to be drafted.”
I stare blankly.
“You really are transparent. You haven’t even considered the possibility that you’d end up here with no future prospects, that football would not be your career. You’ve treated your education as if it’s nothing but an excuse for you to play. Now, here you are.”
I glance at the floor.
“Let me ask you: Do you understand that a professional sports career is like winning the lottery, no matter how good you are? You are good, but not good enough to justify your self-important, superior attitude. Even if you’d been drafted you might play a year as a second-string quarterback before you destroy your leg in an injury and you’re twenty-two with no skills, no future, and no connections to get a real job. What then? Go work for your dad’s car dealership?”
I narrow my eyes, trying not to look petulant.
“Stop looking petulant.”
“Shit,” I mutter.
“Here it is. You are on academic probation, again. My influence with this institution is not infinite. There are a lot of people on this campus who personally have it in for you and would see you gone.”
“So what do I do?”
“First, you’re moving out of that cathouse you call an apartment into a suite in Miller Hall. I have pulled strings to force you to slum it for your last semester in the newest dormitory on campus. As the new semester starts, you will maintain a perfect attendance record in all your classes. I have arranged for your professors to keep me abreast of your performance in class. You will not sit there and fuck around on your phone. You will not find a gaggle of freshman girls to be your little harem in the back row. You will not arrive early, leave late, or stand up in the middle of class and inform your professor that you have to take a shit and walk out. Are we clear?”
“I’ve only done a couple of those things. The handjob story was totally exaggerated.”
He glares at me.
“You know what pisses me off about you? What makes me really, really angry? It’s also the only thing that forces me not to leave you to your own devices, which would have had you kicked out of the institution and sent packing to community college years ago. I’ll tell you: You’re not stupid. You’re arrogant, you’re self-important, you have a relentless need to establish your superiority to everyone around you, but you’re intelligent, quick witted, and perceptive. You might be the smartest student-athlete ever to grace my team, which is why this fucker is such a goddamn abomination.”
He jabs my grade report so hard that I’m stunned his finger doesn’t ram right through the steel desktop.
“You could be a doctor or a lawyer. Unfortunately, the world decided to suck your dick because you’re really good at running around with a ball and you’ve forgotten your potential for the easy path of venal pleasures.”