Down by Contact (PAPERBACK)
Down by Contact (PAPERBACK)
A steamy enemies-to-lovers, forbidden football romance between the biggest playboy on the team and the coach's daughter.
I’m a playboy–a modern-day Casanova. I don’t love women, I just make their orgasm dreams come true. She’s the coach’s daughter and the ultimate ice princess–always cold, composed, and spoiled. We have nothing in common, until she makes a proposition I can’t turn down. I’m only human after all, and she’s hot. It doesn’t mean anything. It’s just sex.
I’ve always done what’s expected of me, but when the rug gets ripped out from under my so-called “perfect” life, I decide to finally do something for myself. He’s cocky and a total manwhore, but despite my initial objections, I can’t deny that the idea of using him to enhance my experience in the bedroom is an appealing one. I make him an offer I expect him to scoff at but he doesn’t. Now I’m questioning everything.
Down by Contact is a steamy standalone sports romance. It is book three in the LA Wolves series.
This is the paperback edition.
- Team Playboy
- Coach's Daughter
- Enemies to Lovers
Read Chapter 1
Read Chapter 1
3 months earlier
“Luther, you can’t be serious.” I stare at him in disbelief. “You want Matt Fischer to lead the new Wolves campaign?”
My eyes scan the marketing materials sitting before me, and I shake my head.
This has to be some kind of mistake.
Luther, my co-worker in the marketing and promotions department and one of my dearest friends, nods his head and confirms, “Definitely. The group testing verified he’s the way to go for our campaign this year. He’s on fire this season, and he’s hotter than ever. He’s a tight end with a tight end.” Luther tosses me a wink that makes me want to roll my eyes. “Women want to be with him, and men want to be him. This is definitely his time to shine.”
I shudder and look back down at the face of the one man on the team I can’t stand. His pretty-boy features on his insanely strong, defined, athletic body really shouldn’t be allowed. And don’t even get me started on his piercing cerulean-blue eyes and the charming smile he tosses at every woman.
“He’s practically a walking STD. The last thing the Wolves need is to tie our brand to one of our most notoriously slutty players. He’s an unabashed womanizer.” I force my gaze from the picture of Matt’s ridiculously handsome face—ignoring the slight uptick in my heartbeat—and stare sternly at Luther. “No, we should definitely go with someone more wholesome. What about Jack Fuller?”
He shakes his head. “Jack has done several campaigns for us, but he’s pulling back in preparation for his wedding to Paige. Plus, the group tests showed that while everyone loves him because he’s the NFL’s golden boy, they prefer Matt. I’m telling you, he was the choice by a landslide.”
I wrack my brain for another alternative, anyone who might be a better draw than Matt “Manwhore” Fischer. But no names come to mind. It’s a lot harder than one would think to find a wholesome player on our team. They’re good guys, but they definitely get around.
My shoulders sag in defeat. You’d think on a team of fifty-three players, we’d be able to choose one who isn’t the biggest ladies’ man on the team.
I groan and fight the urge to bang my head on my clean and meticulously organized cherry wood desk. “Is he seriously our only decent option?”
Luther just smiles at me like he thinks I’m adorably naïve. “Sex sells, Nikki. Let’s give the people what they want.”
I throw my head back and take a centering breath, already dreading the next few months where I’ll have to work closely with Matt. As a manager in the marketing and promotions department, I don’t normally have to interact with the players—that’s a task I can delegate to someone else—unless I’m directly in charge of their campaign. However, as the head coach’s only daughter, I’ve met and talked with pretty much every player on the team.
Out of all the players my dad has ever coached, no one has ever rubbed me the wrong way like Matt Fischer does. From the very first time I met him, and he threw me his stupidly charming smirk, I knew he was trouble with a capital T.
I had walked into the locker room looking for my dad after a game, and my eyes locked on Matt’s. Other players surrounded him, sweating and exuding the energy I’ve become used to from players after a victory—that explosion of excitement and adrenaline that’s practically tangible in the air. I’ll never forget his warm voice floating over me and the way my blood heated and tingled in ways it never has. Or the way my breath stuttered momentarily in my chest before his words finally registered. “Well, well, well, who do we have here? I call dibs. Move aside, guys, the lady needs a place to sit.” Then he laid back on the bench and gestured to his face. “I’ve got the best seat in the house right here, honey.” My cheeks flamed with embarrassment while the other players laughed uncomfortably at his antics toward the coach’s daughter, a fact Matt was unaware of at the time since he was new to the team.
I may or may not have reported him to my dad, which resulted in what I heard were some torturous three-a-day practices.
Needless to say, I think he’s a disgusting chauvinistic pig, and he thinks I’m a stuck-up princess. I already wish I could speed up time and get these next three months over with.
* * *
I enter my house and immediately line up my shoes in the shoe caddy by the front door. Rubbing the tight muscles in my neck, I attempt to work out the tension that’s been growing since my conversation with Luther. I walk through the hallways of my house, barely noticing the pretentious artwork Anthony insisted we get when we were decorating our new house. It looks like a kindergartner threw paint on a canvas. I still can’t believe the outrageous price Anthony paid for it, but he claims the artist is someone up and coming. Anthony loves to be ahead of the trends. Personally, I’d rather have gotten some landscapes or something calming, like a beach or forest scene.
But Anthony was adamant, and it didn’t seem like it was worth arguing over. If there’s anything I’ve learned in my life, it’s that you have to pick your battles.
I walk into the kitchen, stalling slightly in wonder when I see Anthony standing near the stove, stirring a pot of something delicious smelling. Anthony never cooks for me.
“What’s the special occasion?” I ask, walking toward him with a surprised smile on my face as I take in the aroma of whatever he’s cooking.
He turns to me. “What do you mean?”
He shrugs indifferently and asks, “So? I cook.”
My smile falters as he turns back to the pot. “Not usually for me. You usually order us takeout.”
“Only when I know you’re too tired to clean the kitchen. But I figured you’d be willing to clean up tonight since you have tomorrow off,” he says, never once looking back at me.
I stare at his back, my smile now completely gone, half expecting him to tell me he’s joking.
“It’s not like I have the day off to lounge around the house, Anthony.” I can’t hide the tension in my voice. My breaths are already coming in short pants as I try to fight the emotion bubbling up in my chest.
He still doesn’t turn to look at me. “True, but you won’t be at the cemetery all day. Just for part of it. I’m sure even your folks don’t want to spend their whole day there.”
I can’t respond to his comment, for fear I’ll scream at him for his insensitivity to what tomorrow means to me. And screaming isn’t something I do. I’m nothing if not composed and competent, always.
It’s why Anthony loves me. At least it’s one of the few reasons he’s given me for why he wants to marry me.
The wine fridge under the counter to my right catches my eye, so instead of trying to come up with some semblance of a response, I grab a wine glass from the cabinet and open up a bottle of red wine—not paying any attention to the brand of the bottle in my hand. I pour a generous amount into my glass and then take a large, fortifying sip.
“You really should let that breathe to get the full robust flavors. That’s too good a year to waste.”
I can feel the cracks in my carefully composed foundation beginning to crumble. Ignoring Anthony’s advice, I mumble a lame excuse about not being hungry and take my wine upstairs to our giant master bedroom. Frankly, I think this house is too big for just the two of us, but Anthony wanted something appropriate for our wealth, and, like I always do, I went with it.
I place my wine glass on my nightstand and slip out of my blouse and skirt, throwing them in the hamper because I know how much Anthony hates it when I leave my clothes on the floor, and I’m not in the mood to deal with his reproach tonight. I slide off my panty hose, grab my wine glass, taking a generous gulp when I do, and walk into our luxurious bathroom wearing my matching La Perla cream bra and underwear.
Standing in front of the mirror, I stare at the woman looking back at me. I set my wine glass on the counter and brace my hands against the white and gray marble sink hoping to relieve the weight of this burden I carry, if only for a moment. A tear slides down my pale cheek, and my gaze stares back at me, red rimmed and swirling with all the pain I normally keep buried so no one will know how I really feel.
A heavy breath leaves my chest as I exhale slowly, working to compose myself in case Anthony comes up here. I take one more for good measure before washing my face and making myself a bubble bath so I can ease some of the stress from today. But I know it’s pointless because tomorrow will come with its own unique stress.
Tomorrow is the anniversary of my sister’s death. The one day a year when my family and I go to her grave. I go on my own sometimes—although not often—as I’m sure my parents do, but the anniversary is always a day when we go and relive the pain of losing her together.
As I immerse myself in the hot lavender- and peppermint-scented bubbly water and take another generous sip of my wine, I ponder what my life could’ve been like if things had been different. If my sister hadn’t died that day so many years ago. If my role in her death didn’t eat me alive.
I quickly shut down the thought.
Things aren’t different.
This is the bed I’ve made myself, and now I need to sleep in it.
Whether I like it or not.