LENGTH: 13,386 words
This story is included in the anthology, Playing the Field Volume 2
Jo Gaithers is a bright, energetic college student with a bad case of senioritis who can’t wait for basketball season to begin. As the star player on the men’s team, he hopes to go all the way to the NCAA final in March. But before practice starts up, he takes advantage of the downtime and goes to a party off-campus, where he hooks up with a sexy guy he knows only as Kevin.
Kevin is a graduate student at State, and a welcome distraction from Jo’s studies. There’s just something about Kevin that makes Jo want to know more about him. Things heat up between them at the party, creating a first impression neither will soon forget. By the time they call it a night, Jo has Kevin’s number and the promise of seeing him again soon.
The next day a chance encounter at the gym makes Jo realize he and Kevin have more in common than he first thought — and that isn’t necessarily a good thing. The men’s basketball team has hired a new assistant coach, someone Jo now knows a little too intimately. Is their budding relationship over before it even begins? Or is Kevin willing to go out of bounds to be with Jo off the court?
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Jo stepped forward to close the distance between them. He led with his hips, tucking his hands into his back pockets, and found an empty space to bump against the counter beside the sexy player. The guy wore a cropped jersey cut off at midriff, baring his firm abs, and a battered pair of skinny jeans that were meant to look as if he’d picked them at random, but Jo knew better. He’d spent hours before trying to pretend like he hadn’t.
Above those chocolate eyes was a helmet of bushy black fuzz, a thick kink with the consistency of a Brillo pad. Jo shoved his hands deeper into his back pockets to keep from reaching out to touch those tight curls. He wondered what they’d feel like in his palms or threaded through his fingers. The guy had an earring, too, or rather, an industrial piercing, a silver bar that went through two holes in the upper part of his ear where the cartilage was.
God, that was hot.
“Hey,” Jo said. He raised his voice to be heard over the crowd, but leaned in towards the guy at the same time, hoping to create an intimate space between them, showing his interest without saying as much. “I’m Jo. Just got here. Can you get me a beer?”
The guy reached over and plucked a longneck bottle from the sink. Killian’s Irish Red, good choice. As he handed it over, he said, “Kevin. You know Vicky?”
“Who? No.” Jo twisted off the beer’s bottle cap with his bare hand and shook his head. “I think my friend does, though. He’s the one told me about this party. We go to State. You?”
Kevin gave Jo a not-so-subtle once-over, head to toe, that gave away his interest in an instant. “Me, too.”
Taking a swig of the cold beer, Jo leaned against the counter and let his hip rest against Kevin’s. “No shit? I ain’t seen you around. What year are you?”
“Just started grad school,” Kevin admitted. “You?”
With a laugh, Jo shook his head and moved a step closer under the pretense of making room for others around them, but the truth was, they were all alone in the crowded room. The moment Jo laid eyes on Kevin, everyone else ceased to exist. “Senior, undergrad. Damn, man, you don’t look that much older than me.”
Kevin moved an arm behind Jo along the counter, easing it into place around his waist. “Nah, I ain’t. I graduated high school a year early, so we’re probably about the same age.” Now his hip bumped Jo’s, too, a good sign that things were heading in the right direction.