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Ain't Happenin' First Two Chapters

Chapter One


Skylar


Two summers slaving at Wendy’s has been reduced to this—flashing my boobs at a geriatric security guard so my roommate can nab the man I’ve had wicked dreams about more than once. If this doesn’t bump me up to best-friend status, Willow’s new beau better sign a swanky new deal with the 69ers because lifetime seats don’t come cheap.


Neither do breast implants, but you somehow managed to afford them.


Ignoring the snarky voice in my head that’s more cheap than helpful, I lower my skin-tight 69ers’ jersey to authenticate my ruse. The security guard hunting Willow and me for sneaking into a packed stadium without a scannable ticket is frozen halfway between his patrol car and the back entrance of the stadium. His chest is heaving, but I’m doubtful my rosy pink nipples are the sole cause of his breathlessness. He appears extremely unfit.


That irks my last nerve. Beautiful, kind-hearted Willow was ridiculed during a packed media conference this afternoon for having curves women pay good money for, yet she’s as fit as a fox. I can’t give the same guarantee for the man unsure if he’s coming or going. He’s so out of shape, the last place anyone should have been scorned for loving the skin they’re in is at his place of employment, even if it’s the matriarch of peak physical fitness—the 69ers’ home stadium.


Yes, Willow’s thighs are thick, and her hips are curvy, but what’s wrong with that? When you package them with her adorable face and traffic-stopping ass and tits, she’s every guys’ wet dream, and a friend I’d flash my boobs for time and time again.


It took a few days longer than I would have liked to get over my annoyance that Willow kept her relationship with football god, Presley ‘Elvis’ Carlton, a secret, but my fascination with all-things football wasn’t the sole cause of my delay. I was hurt Willow lied to me, and how she didn’t believe our friendship could break through the somewhat manic obsession infused in me from birth.


Could she not see the greater picture? Did she not realize the love I have for my team runs deeper than my wish to have my body indented in my mattress by Presley snap-them-like-a-stick Carlton? A strong woman is a man’s greatest weapon, so one as fierce as Willow will greaten Elvis’s game. She’ll inspire him as only she can, which will make him the most determined he’s ever been. Then, not only will I add to my championship poster collection, I have a good possibility of getting them signed.


With my insides bristling with excitement, I fail to notice the security guard has recommenced his chase until he’s mere feet away from me. I could probably outrun him, but with fear making my feet seem the weight of concrete and an acute awareness of his weaknesses, I raise my jersey back over my head instead.


Faster than I can snap my fingers, the thud of my pulse overtakes his big booming steps. I don’t know whether to be pleased or upset my ruse worked again. I didn’t undergo breast augmentation to take the focus off my face. Generally, it’s my high cheekbones, fleshy lips, and petite nose that secures the admirers, then my boobs utterly annihilate them. This is the first time I’ve been required to cover my face to save my hide.


It kind of sucks, but before I can register my shock, I’m surprised for the second time. “Are you going to stand there all day? Or…”


Mercifully, the direction of the thick Italian drawl reveals I’m not flashing two strangers for less than what a five-dollar hooker gets for a hand-job. It also exposes he could be more an ally than a hindrance. There was more interest in his tone than annoyance.


“It’s not like I have another option.” To prove a point, I lower my jersey for the quickest second. As predicted, the instant my womanly fun bags are close to being covered, the lightbulb in the guard’s head switches back on.


“You have a point,” the stranger murmurs, stepping closer.


For all I know, he could be a fellow security guard arriving to back up his almost brain-dead partner. I hope not, but if worse comes to worst, women are born with two breasts for a reason.


“You could make a run for it.”


“And risk falling over and popping an airbag? No thanks. These features don’t come cheap.” The security guard’s eyes bounce like silver balls in a pinball machine when I wiggle my chest. “Besides, have you seen my heels?”


I feel his heated gaze slide down my body before hearing him suck in a sharp breath. My altitude-defying heels keep the ‘fairy’ comments to a minimum while ensuring hunky ballers they won’t snap me if we become friendly after a match.


When the stranger’s warm breaths fan my neck, I realize how close he is standing to me. “All right. I guess we better get inventive, then.”


His accent is so thick, I wouldn’t be surprised to discover he just landed stateside. Imagine the stories he can share when he returns home. He’ll either be banned from returning to the US by his Nonna or demanded to be a tour guide for his uncles—guaranteed.


My smirk slackens when the stranger asks, “Right or left?”


Having no idea why he’s asking me for directions, and no time to seek confirmation, I murmur, “Left?”


I realize the security guard isn’t the only brainless ditz in our trio when the unknown man seizes my wrist, spins me around, throws me over his left shoulder, then makes a dash for it. After taking a moment to suck in the scrumptious scent I’m confident will have me acting daft, I plead for the security guard to save me from the maniac kidnapping me in broad daylight.


The guard hears my pleas, but with his speed as slow as the months of offseason, I soon lose him from my vision. Realizing it’s me against the world, I fight to the death. After jabbing my fingers into the stranger’s kidneys, I furiously kick out my legs and arms.


The harder I fight, the louder the stranger’s grunts become. “Why are you beating me? I’m trying to help you.”


“By kidnapping me? I’d rather flash my boobs until the guard becomes a brain-dead idiot than be a sex-slave in a foreign country.”


I feel his snicker more than I hear it. It vibrates through the section of my body already thrumming from his delicious scent. “He may have been gobsmacked, but brain-dead is a little bit of… ugh, what the fuck!”


His roar is understandable. I just bit him on the ass. It wasn’t a love bite. Even with his spectacular backside covered with sleek black trousers, I’m confident I’ve drawn blood. I’d recognize the scent of a wounded man anywhere. It’s almost as delicious as the bad boys.


“Did you bite me?”


“No… but I’ll do it again if you don’t put me down.”


Since we’re clear of the guard, and his backside is incapable of withstanding another attack, he adheres to my demand by setting me back onto my feet.


Like a walking metaphor for blonde-haired, blue-eyed college girls, my return to earth is quickly chased by the buckling of my knees. My pretentiously high heels aren’t responsible for my newborn giraffe-like moves, though. It’s the exceedingly handsome face of the stranger in the process of kidnapping me.


Willow is right. Moral, upstanding women should never run after a man.


Thank God I lost my morals somewhere between my baby-faced freshman year and my spirited sophomore one as I’m two seconds from climbing this stranger like he’s a tree, and I’m a horny, hairless chimpanzee.


Sex trafficking isn’t illegal if you volunteer, right?


Calm down, I’m joking. I had my Wheaties this morning. They make me all types of fucked up.

After I rehinge my hanging jaw, some of my sanity snaps back. Just like the security guard, I allowed the stranger’s finer features to overlook some of his not-so-finer features. His chiseled face belongs on a canvas, my tongue would love to trace his sharp jaw, and I’m confident I could lose hours weaving my fingers through his thick, dark mane, but those ridiculously scrumptious features came at a cost.


A stature-slashing one.


He’s short. I’m not talking, hey, girl, take your heels off. He’s five-seven, five-eight—maximum—and I’m giving my woozy head some leeway.


I don’t do short. Short is the only thing on my not-a-chance-in-hell list. I’m vertically challenged, so if I date somehow who’s also short, there’s a possibility I’ll fall head over heels in love with him, get married, then have short-statured offspring unable to play the sport all red-blooded Americans know was the reason God created Earth.


Presley ‘Elvis’ Carlton wasn’t just the league’s top draft pick out of college. He stole the number one spot on my husband-to-be list as well. It wasn’t solely his panty-moistening features awarding him the honor. It was his height.


When I stopped growing at the tender age of fourteen, I realized I’d need a giant to fulfill my football-fantasy wish. Elvis is one of them. Although Willow is crossing him off my potential spouse list as we speak, there are plenty of other altitude-breathers in the world.


I can only hope they’re as sexy as the short-ass in front of me, or I’m going to face many boring football-god-creating years. It’s fortunate I adore my father, or I’d be hating on him right now. He is who I inherited my football obsession from.


A ghost of a smile raises my lips when I bust the stranger checking me out as adeptly as I did him. His eyes rake my body for several long seconds before they eventually settle on my chest. If he hadn’t saved me from another potential misdemeanor, I’d tell him my eyes are a few inches higher. Instead, I give him a ten-second window to ogle my assets before muttering, “Another thirty seconds and irreversible brain damage will commence.”


That raises his eyes to mine. They’re even more enthralling front-on, truly devastating to anyone seeking a tall man and enough to have me acting recklessly.


Just as I’m about to offer an introduction to my new friend, shouted words save me from making a fool out of myself for the second time today. “Hey, you, wait! You can’t go in there.”


It’s the guard—again. Although I’m surprised at his gall, it’s more in frustration than delight. My annoyance has nothing to do with the prospect of getting out my boobs again. I’m peeved he interrupted the moment the stranger and I were having, which makes me even more annoyed.


I don’t do short, I remind myself for the tenth time the past two minutes.


My heart beeps in my neck when the zesty-scented stranger curls his hand around mine before darting us down a corridor on our right. His unforgiving speed should have me twisting an ankle or two, but the energy teeming between us keeps me upright.


We weave through the underbelly of the 69ers’ stomping ground like dodging prosecution is our full-time job, only slowing when we reach a dead end. The door is locked, and only a rare few have access to the keycards capable of opening it.


By ‘rare few,’ I mean the devilishly handsome stranger.


“You have a key?”


With a grin hot enough he could have saved the Titanic, he nods while swiping an all-black keycard over the electronic lock. You’d think we’d be in the clear when we break through the vault-like door, however, the security guard doesn’t realize not even lifetime ticketholders have access to this part of the stadium.


This section is reserved for players, coaches, and medical staff only. I learned the hard way when I attempted to sneak down here after Willow ‘scored’ us pristine seats weeks ago. I thought she’d hit the motherlode, and I wanted to be a part of it.


She did. I just had no clue how substantial her win was until two weeks ago.


After dragging me down a corridor reeking of sweat and determination, the sexy stranger takes a sharp left. Darkness shrouds me a mere second before I’m swamped by a body that shouldn’t be as imposing as it is considering its owner’s short stature.


“Shh…”


Electricity zaps through my body when he squashes his index finger to my lips. Don’t ask where it clusters unless you want a vividly graphic description of my lady parts.


My skyrocketing blood pressure regulates when thunderous steps stop booming from outside the room we’re hiding in, the guard unaware we slipped into a storage closet.


I don’t usually find dark confines threatening, but I feel out of my element today. I’m not afraid the bogeyman is about to give me my first gray hair. It’s knowing the blackness will have me overlooking the shortness of the man pinning me to shelves by his crotch, which, in case you’re wondering, feels mighty impressive.


When the stranger inches back to check if the coast is clear a few seconds later, I secure my first breath in what feels like hours.


“Is he gone?” I don’t care what you say, I’m blaming the small confines for my wheezy words, not the man who smells so delicious, I feel drunk even without touching a drop of alcohol all week.


“Yeah, I think so.” He takes another step back, fully unpinning. “Although we should probably camp here for a few minutes just to make sure.”


My eyelids rapidly blink to adjust to the brightness of the room when he flicks on the light. Reality smacks into me like a train when my eyes scan the tiny space we’re hiding in. He’s not the 69ers’ elusive billionaire owner no one knows about, nor a sports agent for one of its many stars.


He’s the janitor.


The fact he knew the closet-size room was an ideal location for us to hide in is a sure-fire sign, much less how quickly he found the light switch. I’ve shared a dorm with Willow for three years, yet it still takes me a good ten seconds to remember the light switch isn’t by the doorframe. It’s in the middle of the wall part the way in. Don’t ask me why. Whoever wired our dormitory must have gone straight for an apprenticeship instead of a degree.


Nothing against janitors—just having a job is a step up from my last boyfriend—but this proves without a doubt why the stranger’s panty-wetting face will never have me overlooking his height—or should I say, lack of height?


I’m a clean freak. Keeping things neat and well-organized is all I know. Not even rooming with Picky McFlicky the past two weeks doused my desire to have things sparkling. I just had to add a paint scraper to my arsenal. I thought my booger-scraping days were behind me when I left for college. Alas, Michelle has yet to get the message that picking your nose and flicking its horrid treasures across the room is something only children do.


Thank God I patched things up with Willow this afternoon as I was one nose-bug away from murdering Michelle.


You’re probably wondering what anal cleanliness has to do with the stranger and me becoming friendly. Well, for one, tell me one mechanic you know who drives a mechanically-fit vehicle. Or a gardener who has a weed-free front lawn. Housekeepers, mechanics, and gardens are the equivalent of a football coach. They’re worth their weight in gold at their place of employment, but the instant you bring them home, anticipate disappointment—touchdowns included.


I still when a ruckus of excitement bombards the lower half of my body. Shortie J is touching me. Not in a creepy you-better-call-the-police way, but in a way that sets off a kaleidoscope of butterflies in my stomach.