LENGTH: 11,649 words
This story is included in the anthology, Playing the Field Volume 1
A junior at Patten University, Sean Mason plays a left winger position on the men’s intramural soccer team. In the three years he’s been playing the pitch, he’s never been interested in any of his fellow teammates … until Cordero Jefferies joins the team.
This is Cordero’s rookie year with the team, but he catches Sean’s eye the first day of practice. Sean wastes no time letting this fly brother know just how sprung he is. The feeling’s mutual, and when the two hook up after practice, there’s no denying the spark between them.
Soccer is the only thing the two guys have in common. They share no classes, no mutual friends, and don’t see each other outside of practice. Unfortunately, Sean is easily distracted by Cordero out on the field. Can he get his mind back on the game before the coach throws him off the team?
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Cordero walks Sean to the bench. As Sean sits, the coach blows his whistle, goading the team back into their positions. "You a damn wimp," Cordero murmurs, but there's no malice in his voice, nothing mean about what he says. He's teasing, and this time when he touches the bump on Sean's head, his hands are gentle. Grabbing a hand towel, he opens the nearest cooler and scoops out a handful of ice. He twists the towel shut, then tamps it in his hand to create a makeshift ice pack. "You know most pro players actually go out their way to hit the ball with their head, right?"
"I ain't pro," Sean mutters. "If Beckham took a shot like that, he'd be down same as me."
Cordero points out, "Beckham'd be paying attention during the game, not flexing with a rookie."
Sean leans forward, head tilted so Cordero can hold the ice pack against his temple. Biting his lower lip, he moans softly, gaze lingering on Cordero's bare chest. "Beckham ain't my type. I like my boys a little darker. You hear me."
"Yeah, yeah. You gonna make me hold this?" Cordero jiggles the ice pack until Sean takes it from him. For a brief second, their hands brush together -- Sean's surprised the ice doesn't melt at the touch. "You been checking me out all day."
Sean grins up at Cordero. "I like what I see. You got a problem with that?"
With a laugh, Cordero teases, "If you'd look at my face instead of my ass, you'd know I was scoping you, too."
A thrill runs through Sean at Cordero's brazen reply. Despite the game in progress before him, despite their other teammates and the coach nearby, he reaches out again to touch Cordero. His forefinger carves a trail in the sweat beading on Cordero's bare stomach, down his abs to his dark navel. The flesh flutters beneath his fingertip, interested, but when he drifts a little lower, Cordero slaps his hand away.
"So now what?" Sean asks. The sun shines like a halo behind Cordero, draping his face in unreadable shadow. When Sean looks up, all he sees are the whites of Cordero's eyes and those impossibly bright teeth. "We just gonna sit here or we gonna do something about it?"