Series: Players to Lovers #1
My best friend died tonight and her baby girl might be taken away from me, too, if I don’t find Lily’s father before she’s ripped out of my life and given to another family.
Unfortunately, I know who he is. He’s my best friend’s ex, and I hate him in memory and on sight.
I love this baby, but I don’t love him. Even if he does whatever it takes to make me trust him, and it seems he’s determined to do exactly that.
There’s just so little of my heart left, and I can’t—won’t—reserve any of it for that bastard, Lachlan Hayes.
A pro-football prodigy, success was laid out in golden dollar signs—until an injury so cringe-worthy it went viral laid me out for good.
Since then, I’ve discovered booze and sex, and I get both whenever I want.
Until a girl shows up at my literal doorstep, telling me about a baby I never knew I had.
As she looks at me with tears her eyes, I have a sick feeling my world is about to spin out again.
I’m in deep sh*t, because in no life plan did I think I’d raise a daughter, and I sure as hell didn’t think I’d fall in love with the woman that comes with her.
The way she surveys me, it’s like…oh man, it’s like scorn. For once, I’m caught unawares.
“We’ve never slept together,” she says, but when the traffic stops and she can cross, she instead comes closer.
Yes, come to me, sexy lady.
“But you’ve slept with my best friend.”
My dick shrivels. No.
“Paige Tobias. The name mean anything to you?” she continues.
“Not even a little,” I say blithely, and that sets a sexy firelight in her eyes. “Unless it’s yours.”
The girl gives a nod, as if affirming something. “You don’t deserve this. I sure as hell don’t deserve this.”
I’m honestly confused. “Deserve what? Need I remind you, you came into my home, disrupted my private time, only to yell at my dick. Yeah, I saw you looking.” My smile is like a side-swipe, knocks girls flat.
Not this one.
Her cheeks stain pink with irritation. She visibly shakes with it. Her eyes glitter—literally sheen over—with tears.
Part of me is impressed with her passion. Not many people would step up to the plate for their friends like this. I kind of wish my guys would take up arms, but they’re more likely to search for a six-pack in my apartment than defend my honor—if I possess any, that is.
Then realization sets in, and I feel badly for a girl wanting so desperately to defend her friend, some chick I can’t remember for the life of me, but is worth enough to send this girl over here in a rage. “Your best friend. If I hurt her, I’m sorry. Really. It’s never my intention. I always make sure the women I take home understand I’m not the boyfriend type—”
“You didn’t hurt her, asshole. You had a daughter with her.”
The girl covers her mouth abruptly, like she didn’t mean to say what she just said.
Tara picks that time to come out of the apartment building, hearing this girl’s words. Before I can blink the fact she’s beside me into existence, Tara slaps me across the face. So hard the angry girl in front of me gasps like she hasn’t expected this moment but kinda enjoys it.
“You have a kid?” Tara cries.
But the sharp crack against my cheek is needed. My brain has put on the brakes, my jaw’s unhinged, my towel might as well come off again, because, What the fuck did this girl just say to me?
The girl sighs, energy seeming to expel out of her in one wave, and says, “My name is Carter Jameson. And you have a ten-month-old daughter.”
Her other passions include coffee, wine, Big Macs, her cat, and her husband, possibly in that order.