Wade is blatantly checking me out. And when I say blatantly, I also mean thoroughly. Like I can feel his gaze scan the length of my body, lingering on certain parts. My face. My chest. My legs.
The typical guy checking out a girl deal.
So I decide to give him a taste of his own medicine. I check him out right back, starting at the top of his dark, shaggy hair and cruising on down. But he has more body to check out, only because he’s so much bigger than me. His shoulders are broad, as is his chest, and his arms are thick with muscle. He has a trim waist and hips, big thighs…he’s a big man. With a beautiful face. Dark brown eyes and a sharp nose and high cheekbones and that jawline…I’m a sucker for a good jawline. There’s something so inherently male, so sexy about a strong jaw to me.
And Wade has one of the best jawlines I’ve ever seen.
He has full lips. Nice, straight teeth.
“Do I measure up?” he asks, his voice full of amusement.
“Do I?” I throw back at him with a glare.
“Touché.” He smiles and my glare disappears. Wade has a nice smile too. He has a nice everything, truth be told.
But do I really want to pretend I’m in a relationship with him for a week? A week’s a long time. A lot of things could happen. This could also be a pointless endeavor. The reporters and gossip people might not believe us. They’re not dumb. They’ll probably see right through our plan. How are we supposed to act like a real couple anyway? Throw ourselves at each other? Kiss each other, hang all over each other? We might not have any chemistry…
Oh, I’m in total denial. We definitely have chemistry. I feel a buzz when we’re in the same room together, let alone when we’re alone or when he actually touches me.
It wouldn’t be a total hardship, pretending Wade Knox is my boyfriend.
“You want me to be honest? I think the idea’s crazy,” Wade says, interrupting my thoughts. “But Drew and Fable have done so much for me over the years. I almost feel like I owe them. I mean, how bad can it be, letting photographers see us together for a few nights in a row? We can hold hands, shoot each other longing looks, and hopefully that’ll end all the Drew-with-the-nanny speculation that’s currently going on.”
“Do you really think it’s going to help?” He frowns at me, and I continue. “Us pretending we’re a couple. I mean, can we make the two of us together seem believable?”
Wade shrugs those impossibly broad shoulders of his. “It can’t hurt to give it a try. Unless you have a problem with spending time with me.”
“I don’t have a problem spending time with you,” I say hurriedly, making him smile.
But I can’t smile in return. My mind is a whirl of emotions. This is crazy. Insane. I shouldn’t agree. I barely know this guy. Truly, I barely know the people asking me to do this either. What if Drew and Fable are a bunch of weird psychos who get their kicks torturing other people just for their amusement?
It could happen. Run with me here.
“So. Are you in?” Wade asks, his deep, rumbly voice breaking through my thoughts.
How have I never noticed just how sexy his voice is before?
“Are you?” I ask with a raised brow.
Another shrug. “Yeah. I think I am.”
“Before I commit, I need to know a few things about you first.” I grab a patio chair and sit down, then wave at him to do the same.
He chooses the one directly across from me, of course. Settling that big body of his into the chair, his thighs spread wide in that typical guy way, he studies me. “What do you want to know?”
“Where are you from?”
“I grew up in Chico. Went to college there too.”
“Ah.” I nod. “Brothers or sisters?”
“None. Only child.” His mouth goes thin. “Single mom.”
Aw. “I’m sure she’s really proud of you and all that you’ve accomplished,” I say softly.
“She is. That’s why I’m working so damn hard to stay on the team. I don’t want to disappoint her.”
“But I thought you were already on the team?” I’m so confused.
“I am, but they can still cut me. If I’m still there after the last preseason game, I’m pretty much in.”
I’m sort of clueless when it comes to sports. I’ve never had an athletic boyfriend before. I was always drawn more to the soulful musician types. The tall, lanky boys who wrote bad poetry and thought they could change the world with a song.
Yeah. Wade Knox is nothing like those types of guys.
“Oh. Well, I’m sure you’ll remain on the team.” I sound confident, but really, I have no clue. “What was your major in college?”
“Finance. I wanted to make sure I knew how to properly manage money and investments, especially if I was going into the NFL.”
Well, I have to admire his drive. He’s planning his future and not just counting on football, which is smart.
“Gotcha,” I say with a nod. Gotcha? Really? I sound ridiculous. “And your best friend is Fable’s brother?”
“Yep. Owen Maguire. He just got drafted by the Broncos.”
My mouth drops open, but then I snap it shut. I somehow forgot Fable told me about her brother, the newly drafted Denver Bronco. Seriously, what is up with all of these football players? It’s downright surreal. “Are you serious?”
“Uh huh. He’s a great player. He’s the one who wanted to get picked up by the Niners so he can stay close to his family.” Guilt crosses his face but it’s gone in an instant. “Instead, I’m the one who’s with the Niners and playing with his brother-in-law.”