Quarterback's Secret Baby

By: Imani King

On the one hand, I knew I wasn't being entirely fair to Kaden. All he tried to do was kiss me. He hadn't promised me anything. For all I knew he hadn't promised Kelsey anything either. But I was still gripped by fear. Fear of giving in and getting hurt, fear of the powerful emotions I could feel lurking just below the surface of my psyche. He was still right beside me. And I wanted him to touch me again so badly. It was precisely because of this that I asked to be taken home. Not because I didn't want to be with him, but because I did.

Chapter 5: Kaden

We didn't say much on the drive home. I wouldn't say the atmosphere was awkward but it was definitely different than it had been after the game and before I'd tried to kiss Tasha. When I dropped her off at the end of the street she lived on - because she flat-out refused to let me drop her at the actual house - she gave me a stiff little smile and a thank-you for inviting her to the game. I opened my mouth to say something, to keep her with me for a few more seconds, to hopefully arrange another date but she was gone before I could find the words. I watched her in the rearview mirror, walking down the sidewalk with that same purposeful gait she'd had in the parking lot outside the grocery store all those years ago.

I should have been pissed off. I was pissed off. A little, anyway. I'd invited her to a damn football game, not given my consent to being interrogated. But no matter how hard I tried to stay annoyed, I couldn't. Someone had hurt Tasha Greeley. I didn't know who it was but it couldn't have been more obvious. Knowing that just made me want to comfort her. It made me feel like an ass for trying to kiss her. And it made it almost impossible to stay mad at her.

My parents were already home when I got in. My mom got up and gave me a big hug.

"Great game, Kaden. You were even better than usual tonight."

Then my dad stepped in to bro-hug me. "The NFL scouts were there again, son. If they haven't already got a detailed plan for you I'll eat my hat. I'll eat ten hats."

Hm. The NFL scouts. There were at almost every single one of my games those days. Everyone knew they were there for me, too. Colleges were already sending me letters about their programs, brochures full of photographs of smiling students. Most of them included scholarship offers. My parents had already floated the idea of hiring an agent but at that point, it still didn't feel real. What if I got injured? What if I was just peaking early? It's not like that didn't ever happen.

"So who was the girl?"

"Huh?" I asked, snapping out of my own thoughts at the sound of my mom's voice.

"The girl," she smiled. "Aaron Sokolsky's mom said she was sweet. Clueless about football but sweet. I've never seen her before - is she new in town?"

"Uh, no," I replied, nervous in a way I'm usually not when my parents give me one of their good-natured grillings on my personal life. "She - she grew up here."

"Did she? Huh."

"Well she lives on the other side of town and we don't really - there's not much crossover in our cliques."

"Hm, OK. Are you hungry? Do you want me to make you a sandwich or something?"

I wolfed down the sandwich in record time, told my parents I was tired and headed up to bed. It wasn't a lie, I was kind of tired. But I also had to jerk off really badly. Tasha in her goddamned leggings. Just sitting next to her on the hill after the game had made me so hard I'd barely managed to conceal it. The images of her in my mind were relentless. There was something so delicious about her body, something that made me want to put my fist through a wall just thinking about her.

I tried to make it last. I wanted to keep her there in my mind, the image of her lips when she smiled, or the firm curve of her ass when she'd walked up the stairs ahead of me at the stadium. It didn't work. I lasted about ten seconds and came so hard it made my head spin. Then I tripped getting out of the shower and bruised my hand on the countertop trying to break the fall. I stumbled into my bedroom laughing under my breath at myself and fell into bed.

Whatever Tasha Greeley's deal was, I was going to get to her. Giving up wasn't an option. If she wanted to test me then she could test me. She wasn't like any of the other girls in school. Almost all of them would have been offering themselves up on a silver platter up there in the hills after the game. Not Tasha. I was going to figure her out.

The next day at school, between first and second period, I found Kelsey Richards waiting for me at my locker and only just managed to stop myself from rolling my eyes. When was this girl going to get it? I didn't say anything to her at first.

"Hey, Kaden."

"Hey," I replied curtly.

"What's up?"

Even her voice annoyed me, a high-pitched little sing-song. She sounded like a five-year-old. "Not much."

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