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Double The Ache

By:Alexa Riley

Chapter One


“That’s jailbait.”

My eyes open at the sound of a deep male voice that’s rich like dark chocolate. Goosebumps break out across my skin and momentarily I forget where I am. I blink a few times and see two enormous men filling all the space in front of me. My heart stops for a second when I realize who it is I’m looking at, then it begins to pound so hard I wonder if they can hear it. They’re both standing over me, so I sit up straight and wipe my mouth in case I was drooling while I slept. Embarrassment floods me and I try to turn away from them so they can’t see it written all over my face. After a second I look back and try to keep my tongue from hanging out of my mouth.

Wes is the bigger of the two and his eyes are hard and unreadable. I glance at Dean, who’s smiling, with mischief in his eyes. After a moment of silence, Dean slaps Wes on the back. “You’re scaring the little thing.”

I stare at both of them, unable to find words. These are two men I’ve dreamed about meeting since they got drafted to the NFL a couple of years ago. Everyone knows who they are and I’ve been dying to meet them since they signed with my dad’s team. I’d been so busy the last few years with college that I never got a chance to fly out and see a game. I knew my dad would have introduced me in a heartbeat if I’d asked. Being super shy was another reason I’d put off going to one of the games. I was worried I’d get tongue tied, which clearly just happened. I can’t believe this is how I’m meeting them. This was not how I’d planned it out in my head. I knew I’d be meeting them soon. Just not this soon.

My hand flies to my hair and I pat it to make sure it’s not a wild mess. I bet I look a slob. I’m going to kill my dad when I see him. Some warning would have been nice.

Dean pushes Wes towards a seat that’s right across from mine, then takes the seat next to him. More players trickle onto the plane, and they throw me questioning glances. I’m sure they’re wondering why I’m here. Coach Barnes gets on the plane with a phone pressed to his ear. He gives me a chin lift of acknowledgement before he goes back to yelling at whoever’s on the line. He’s the only one I know on the team anymore.

My dad told me the team plane would be making a stop in New York on the way back to Vegas, and I needed to be on it. I hadn’t realized he meant it would be stopping to pick up the team from their last game of the season. I’m a dummy for not putting two and two together, but I’ve been running on nothing but caffeine for the last few days getting ready for my move to Vegas.

If I had known, I wouldn’t look like I do at the moment. My eyes drop down to my lap and I curse myself for wearing pink velvet joggers and a loose-fitting crop top sweatshirt that hangs off one shoulder. God knows what my hair looks like right now, and I don’t have a speck of makeup on. Not that I wear a ton to begin with, but if I’d known the two men who star in all of my fantasies were going to be across from me at this very moment, I would have put on a little lip gloss.

When I sneak a peek up at them through my lashes I see they’re both still staring at me. Wes is scowling and Dean is smiling like he’s got a secret. Jesus Christ, how am I going to survive this for six hours?

Someone steps into my line of sight and I look up to see Nelson, one of the team’s star reserves, standing there. His eyes roam over me before a smirk forms on his lips. I’m sure that melts most girls, but my mind is still on two guys in front of me.

“And who might you be?” he asks. His voice is smooth and sweet, and it’s clear he’s flirting with me. Nelson is well known for being a ladies’ man, and every time I see interviews with him he’s always cocky, but funny at the same time.

“She’s none of your fucking business,” I hear Wes growl, and it makes the hairs on my arm stand up.

“Move your ass, Nelson,” Dean adds, and there’s an edge to his voice.

Nelson shakes his head, not even looking at them. His eyes are still on me, but I want him to move, too. He’s blocking my view of Wes and Dean, and though I might not be able to find the words to talk to them at this moment, I want to be able to look.

“Is that seat taken?” he asks me, nodding to the empty seat next to me. He makes a move to sit down, then yells out as hands land on his shoulders.

“Don’t make me repeat myself,” Wes warns.

My eyes shift between all three of them as the air around us feels thicker.

“You know how much Wes likes pounding the shit out of people, Nelson. Don’t push it. It’ll take five of us to get him off you, and I need your ass next week. So why don’t you go take a seat in the back and keep your ass and your head on the same body,” Dean says with a smile on his face.

Nelson jerks out of the hold they have on him and he turns to look at them. Before he walks away he glances at me and then back to them. “Really?” he asks, raising an eyebrow in question.

“Move,” they say in unison.

Nelson lets out a bark of laughter. “Never thought I’d see the day.” He shakes his head and finally moves on down the plane towards the back. Dean and Wes sit back in their seats, visibly relaxing.

I grab my book out of my bag on the floor and pretend to read. Neither Wes nor Dean say anything, but I can feel their eyes on me as the seconds tick by. I’d been dying to meet them since my dad signed them to the team, and here I am trying with every inch of my body to ignore the dynamic duo.

The two of them signed on together, both declaring that they wouldn’t go anywhere without the other. After I heard that story I read as much about them as possible. Dean was a good old boy, born and raised on a farm in Idaho. His father was a retired quarterback who was in the Hall of Fame. Dean looks to be hot on his father’s heels to do the same. Everything about his life is All-American.

Wes came from the wrong part of town and lost his parents at a young age. But he had a raw talent that came out of nowhere and he’s been a beast since he set foot on the field. He and Dean were best friends growing up and Dean’s parents took him in. At least that’s what I found online. They’re pretty much brothers, which makes some of the rumors about them seem a little odd.

It’s been said they are lovers, but there aren’t any pictures of them looking romantic in any way. Unless you count them hugging after a game. The same kind of hugs all the other players give each other. The rumor has life because neither of them has ever been spotted with a woman and they live together. They hardly go anywhere without the other, so people just assume.

My heart broke a little the day I read that article. Still, my body didn’t care that they’re not into women; I’ve got my fantasies and nothing is going to change them. And it’s not like I could pick just one of them to fantasize about. Both have their own appeal.

Wes is dark and brooding and Dean is smiles and laughter. At least from what I’ve seen of them on the field or in interviews. Wes is built like a freaking truck. He always reminded me of a caveman, and the way he stomps around has only solidified my impression. His long dark hair hangs a little past his shoulders, and when he’s hot and sweaty on the field it gets wavy with curls. He’s at least six-and-a-half feet tall and is extremely muscled. I’m shocked when I see someone take one of his hits on the field then manage to get up after. Well, some of them get up.

Dean is his opposite in most ways. He’s a few inches shorter than Wes, and he’s lean. From what I’ve seen of him he’s the fastest quarterback in the league. His dirty-blond hair is cut short and he always has an easy smile on his lips. He’s even got a freaking dimple, which makes him look even more dreamy. He’s got hands the size of baseball mitts and lips that any woman would be jealous of.

Both of them are handsome in their own way, but how could I be so attracted to two people who look so different? I thought women normally had a type, but what do I know? I’ve barely been on a date.

My upbringing did not help with my dating life. I was born in Vegas but grew up in New York. My mother moved as far away from my dad as she could. She likely would have gone to Alaska if she could have, but I’m guessing her social life and shopping addiction wouldn’t allow it. For some reason she didn't want my dad and me to be close, but I was always a daddy’s girl.

I never knew a time when my parents were together. Only a few pictures would have made me believe it to be true. My mother and dad met one night when my dad saw her in one of her shows. She was a Vegas showgirl, which is something she tries to hide from her socialite friends in New York. She doesn’t want anyone knowing where she came from.

I can see why my dad fell for her, though. She’s beautiful, even years later. She never settled down, but there have been men in and out of her life. She’s probably been proposed to a dozen times, and I always thought she was waiting for the right one. But I found out that if she remarried her alimony would stop. I knew she’d never give that up. Even more so now that she won’t be getting child support. She only got it if I was enrolled in school, and I graduated right before the summer.

It’s never been said, but I have a feeling my dad only married my mother because she got pregnant. My dad’s always trying to do the right thing when it comes to me, even smiling and being polite when he and my mother have to be in the same room. Like at graduation.