Illegal Contact (The Barons) by Santino Hassell


Illegal Contact (The Barons) by Santino Hassell

Author:Santino Hassell [Hassell, Santino]
Language: eng
Format: epub, mobi
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Published: 2017-08-14T21:00:00+00:00


***

On the way to Jersey I felt awful. I’d been talking about this fan day business all week, and it had never occurred to me that I was rubbing Gavin’s incarceration in his face. While I pranced off to Rutherford in my skinny jeans and faded Yankees T-shirt—because why not wear the wrong sport to a major athletics event—he was trapped in that isolated mansion on the beach.

“I’m an asshole.”

“It’s his own fault he’s stuck there.” Jasmine rolled her big brown eyes at me. “He’s the one who beat the shit out of some random frat boy.”

“Good point.”

I didn’t mention that I’d started forming theories as to why. Theories about Gavin’s closeted bisexuality, and what may have been on that phone . . . I’d kept my mouth shut about that revelation. While Jasmine was my closest friend and I trusted her with all of my secrets, I couldn’t bring myself to share Gavin’s. Especially not that one. Especially since, when it came down to it, him beating the shit out of someone for recording a hookup or taking a secret picture of him still wasn’t okay. And I didn’t want to make it seem like I was making excuses for him.

We showed up at the training center early, but it was still too late to get a good parking spot. There were so many damn people that I was convinced it would be impossible to grab a place to stand behind the barriers, let alone somewhere visible enough for Marcus and Simeon to see me. Jasmine fretted over not getting to meet Marcus, and I dragged her through the crowd in an attempt to big-body my way to the barrier.

Despite my lack of football-player size, we made it. Before long, we hung over the black-and-silver barrier to watch the Barons practice in their black-and-silver uniforms. I wasn’t an expert, but they didn’t look like game uniforms. They were less padded and included white pants instead of the standard black ones with the steel-gray stripe running down the side.

“Do you see—”

“There’s Marcus!” Jasmine shouted, pointing. “Look—he’s the one running!”

I zeroed in on the figure sprinting across the field and saw the silver numbers announcing “22” were on his black jersey. I didn’t fully understand football, but I knew enough about the human body to identify that Marcus ran magnificently fast. His long, powerful legs pumped as a couple of players in silver jerseys trailed him. He didn’t seem to be holding the ball so—oh. My eyes flicked across the field where number 13—Simeon—was throwing the ball in an arc so beautiful that it seemed to cut through the humid air as it hurtled.

There was no reasonable reason why another person should be able to judge the distance well enough to catch that fast-flying ball, but Marcus did. He turned and jumped right before reaching the end zone, and did a midair backflip just as his pursuers went to slam into him.

“Holy shit!” I shouted at the same time as Jasmine



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