Cover Design: Kellie Dennis / Book Cover by Design
When Talon left to play pro ball six years ago, the hole in my chest confused me. I focused my heartache into making my own NFL dreams come true, and by the time I was drafted, the longing I had for my best friend was buried deep.
Now he wants everything to be like it was in college, but we can’t have threesomes and be reckless like we once were. The media storm would be enough to break both our careers.
That’s not my biggest concern though. The torch I had for him burns brighter after so long apart, and there’s nothing I can do about it. Marcus Talon is straight.
I need to stay away from him.
Years ago, Miller and I made a pact that we’d win a Super Bowl together. When I’m offered a position on his team in Chicago, I don’t hesitate. I move across the country to chase a dream that’s a decade old.
Only, now that I’m here, he’s avoiding me every chance he gets. If he was anyone else, I’d cut my losses.
But this is Shane Miller—the guy who makes everything better just by existing in my universe. The guy I’d do anything for. The guy who’s more to me than a brother, a friend, or even a teammate.
“God, I wish I was there,” Miller says. His solemn face fills my phone screen, and I wish he was here too.
“Here?” I croak. “Why?”
Scenarios run through my head of what Miller could do if he were here right now, and not one of them is PG-rated.
“Why do you think? I’m going batshit and my leg is messed up. I wanna be back on the field.”
Ah, he’s still talking about football. Duh.
“I’ll get you there,” I promise.
“You’re really going to spend your off season training me? Shouldn’t you be taking a jersey chaser or two to a sex island?”
I perk up. “There are sex islands? Think we could recondition there?”
“On second thought, I don’t think you should be let loose on a sex island. You’d probably forget to do important things like eat and drink water, and then you’d die of dehydration.”
“Like those animals who literally fuck themselves to death?”
“What?” I ask.
“There are these rat-looking things from Australia. The males literally stop eating so they can have sex until they die. Something about their need to keep their gene pool going.”
“I shouldn’t be shocked about your weird knowledge of animal sex, but I am.”
“Just trying to find my spirit animal.” I sigh. “Although lately I’m more like a panda. If I go much longer without sex, I’ll forget how to do it.”
Why my brain thinks that’s a good idea to tell Miller, I have no idea. Maybe I’m fishing for him to agree with me or maybe I want him to know that I’m not fucking around with anyone else. Not that I’m fucking around with him either.
“Aww, how long has it been? A few days? A week?” He smiles but there’s something in it that makes me think he’s gritting his teeth while he does.
“Try months. That night … with you and those two girls. That’s the last time I …” I wave my hand in a you know what I’m trying to say gesture.
“Holy shit, how are you surviving? And what about your pregame ritual?”
“The new calluses on my hands aren’t from throwing footballs.”
Miller cracks up laughing, and something inside me breaks. What it is, I don’t know, but it’s like charging the field at the beginning of a game. It’s a touchdown in the last minute. It’s putting that championship ring on for the first time. It’s … everything.
“Shane,” I say, my voice coarse.
His eyes flick to mine through the small screen, and his laughter dies.
My confession is a whisper. “I chickened out.”
Miller’s brow furrows. “Chickened out of what?”
“This. FaceTiming you.”
Miller looks like he’s trying to decide to mock me or let me off the hook. I beat him to talking so he can do neither.
“I’ve wanted to. You have no idea how much.”
His expression softens. “I think I have a fair idea. I wasn’t calling you on your bluff or taunting you.” He lowers his voice and whispers, “I wanted it. I want this.”
Miller’s gaze burns so hot I expect my phone to overheat. How I’ve never seen him this way before now is confusing, but not really when I dissect it.
I uprooted my whole life for him. Moved to Chicago to be near him. All because I missed what I had with him, which up until recently, I thought was just a solid friendship.
Friends don’t give up what I did just so they can see their college buddy again. That’s illogical. That doesn’t stop me from trying to make sense of it. And to make sense of it, I need to do something I’ve been putting off. For fear of rejection, fear of discovering some unknown truth that’s always been a part of me, I don’t know. But I do know Miller doesn’t scare me. Doing this with Miller doesn’t scare me.
Eden Finley is an Amazon bestselling author who writes steamy contemporary romances that are full of snark and light-hearted fluff.
She doesn’t take anything too seriously and lives to create an escape from real life for her readers. The ideas always begin with a wackadoodle premise, and she does her best to turn them into romances with heart.
With a short attention span that rivals her five-year-old son’s, she writes multiple different pairings: MM, MMF, and MF.
She’s also an Australian girl and apologises for her Australianisms that sometimes don’t make sense to anyone else.