Nixon (Raleigh Raptors 1) - Page 5

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Maybe laughter was the way to go. “You feeling like another Vegas trip after the season is over? Because I’m not sure how much either of us really remembers the first one.”

She sputtered a laugh, and I found myself utterly bewitched by her smile. It was brighter than the stadium lights.

“I’m being ridiculous,” she muttered, shaking her head slightly so her ponytail swayed. Then she looked up at me with so much excitement in her eyes that I smiled right back. “Okay. Here it is. I wasn’t happy at first, but now I am. Really, really happy, and completely excited. And I don’t need anything from you. Not a dime. Or acknowledgement, or anything. The last thing I would want is for you to feel pressured, right? Because you already have so much pressure in your life…not that we know each other. I mean, you’re absolutely right—I don’t remember a lot from that trip except that breakfast when those two people realized they were married,” she babbled.

“Liberty, what are you getting at?” My forehead puckered as I tried to follow along. What would I feel pressured about? There was zero pressure if she wanted a repeat. Hell, I’d break that little distraction rule in a heartbeat if it meant I got to fill in the gaps of my memory.

“Right. Sorry. I planned this all out on the drive over, which apparently did me no good. Anyway, I really don’t need anything from you—”

“You already said that.” I caught her shoulders when she swayed slightly. Her skin was soft under my fingers.

“And I meant it,” she assured me with a nod. “I’m only here because I think you deserve to know that you’re going to be a father, and I’m completely prepared to raise this baby on my own.”

The hell you say.

I blinked. Then blinked again. This was not happening again. What the fuck, did I have sucker tattooed on my forehead? I let her go and stepped back.

“Nixon?” her eyebrows furrowed with concern.

“Could you say that one more time?”

2

Liberty

A bead of sweat rolled down Nixon’s strong jaw, disappearing down his neck and beneath the Raptors polo he wore. Even without the pads and uniform, his broad shoulders and chest were undeniably muscular.

And felt like heaven to dig my nails into.

Or at least, I thought they did.

What stars had aligned that allowed me to sleep with the freaking hottest quarterback in the NFL?

And what curse had made me not be able to remember most of it?

I shifted on my feet, my thong Birkenstock sandals absorbing the warmth from the North Carolina summer sun. My skirt billowed down to my ankles and allowed the gentle breeze to caress my bare legs underneath, but sweat gathered at the back of my neck, dotting the collar of my white tank top.

My heart raced, so hard and fast I might vomit right there on the training field.

Fans screamed behind us as one of Nixon’s teammates jogged over to sign autographs—“Hollywood” Hendrix, the man with looks fit for the big screen. Couldn’t deny his appeal, but I was much more prone to the dark and broody man before me.

“Again,” I said, finally locating my voice somewhere in the swell of emotions overriding my system. “I don’t want anything from you.”

Okay, so maybe tracking him down at training camp hadn’t been the best idea I’d ever had, but it wasn’t like I had his phone number.

I’d tried the head of the charity auction—Persephone VanDoren—and she’d been like a ferocious little guard dog when I’d asked for Nixon’s information. Admirable, really. If I was a celebrity athlete, I wouldn’t want anyone handing out my information without my permission either, but he deserved to know.

So here I was.

At the Raleigh Raptor training camp, amid hundreds of avid fans, braving the southern summer and making a complete fool of myself.

I absentmindedly smoothed a hand over my stomach, not yet able to physically feel that life inside me, but there was something more there. A spiritual connection I couldn’t begin to explain, especially not to Nixon, who looked like he might vomit. And his super stoic bodyguard tried his best to keep his eyes off of mine, but I could see the pity flashing there.

Damn, had this happened before? Often?

The stone silence radiated from Nixon so much it could’ve had its own pulse. God, maybe this had been a huge mistake.

He deserved to know.

Right. That’s all it came down to.

“I don’t want your status or your money,” I elaborated since he continued to stare at me like I’d suddenly slipped on rival colors. “My mother was a missionary,” I continued. “I was raised all over the world. We traveled with only the clothes on our back and what we could fit into a pack. I don’t need or want your money.” I emphasized the last sentence, hoping it would sink in.


Tags: Samantha Whiskey Raleigh Raptors Romance
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