Home > Hail Mary (BSU Football, #2)

Hail Mary (BSU Football, #2)
Author: J.B. Salsbury





I remember the day I went numb. When I locked my heart in an air-tight box and buried it deep so that I could no longer feel pain. With five little words my world crumbled around me.

May she rest in peace.

I wondered through my bone-crushing heartbreak when the peace would come for me. Is there only peace in death? When I kissed my mom’s cold, pale cheek for the last time I wished I could find that peace alongside her.

Instead, I found it days after we lowered her body into the ground forever. At nine years old having just lost my mom, I watched my dad, the only person I had left in the world, load my suitcases into the back of his truck. My eyes burned from what felt like an endless cycle of crying.

But on this day I didn’t cry.

I remember climbing into the truck but not feeling the seat under my thighs. I was floating outside of myself for a five-hour drive that was a blur of uninspiring landscape and crippling silence.

There was no fear or nervousness when we arrived at Pontus Academy, the place I would call home. There was no joy or excitement as my eyes scanned the white columned buildings and perfectly landscaped gardens. I locked my hands behind my back and with a benign smile pasted on my face, I greeted people without remembering their names or registering their faces.

I was an empty shell. A china doll filled with nothing but air.

My dad kissed me on the forehead. I felt no warmth from his lips.

He called me his brave little girl. His words were static in my ears.

He drove away without looking back.

I was nine years old when I learned peace comes easily to the unfeeling.

I swore to never feel again.



Chapter One





The only word to describe a college bar after a winning football game.

We played UNLV and wiped the field with their asses, 34-10.

“It’s tradition.” Loren, my roommate and the team’s wide receiver, slides another shot of tequila in front of me and holds up his own. “One shot for every touchdown.”

My teammates all hold up their shot glasses and together we throw back the fourth of five total shots. I chase mine with beer and scan the crowded space.

I spot the members of our team first, mostly because they tower above everyone else and take up the most space. There are also the die-hard football fans, the guys with their faces painted in school colors who started drinking before the game. Only the ones with the highest tolerance to booze are left standing. And then there are the women. The Jersey Chasers. Every single one of them a feast for the senses. They smell good, look tasty, and they rub up against me with their soft, pliant bodies.

“Heads up,” Loren says with a chin lift toward the end of the bar. “Incoming.”

A sultry brunette heads my way, denim-encased hips swinging. “Hey, Spider.”

“Calista.” I give the girl a head to toe. She’s one of my regular hook ups. Gorgeous, feisty, and she’s portable, always down for a no-strings arrangement in the nearest bathroom, alley, or backseat of a car.

“Great game today.” A sexy smirk pulls her lips as she gives me a once over with her big brown eyes.

“Thanks.” I pluck a strand of her long hair and rub it between my fingers. “Can I get you something to d—”

I’m shoved from behind. Not enough to actually move me from my leaned position against the bar, but enough to get my attention.

I turn around to find a petite blonde woman who looks entirely out of place.

“I’m sorry,” she says, her blue eyes boldly holding mine. “Someone pushed past me and I lost my balance.”

I narrow my gaze, taking in her conservative black dress buttoned up to the white collar around her neck. Every strand of her pale blonde hair is held in place by a black silk headband.

She waves a delicate hand to get the bartenders attention, her short nails painted pale pink that has me guessing her nipples are the same color.

“Mina!” I call to the bartender and her eyes snap to me.

She hands off the pints of beer she was filling and steps in front of me wiping her hands on a bar towel. “What do you need, Spider?”

I look down at the pretty blonde who once again holds my eyes without hesitation. A clean, sweet-looking woman like her should be scared of a man who looks like me. She doesn’t seem the least bit intimidated. “What do you want to drink?”

She pulls her eyes from mine and leans over the bar with her elbows braced on top. “Can I get a chardonnay, please?”

The corner of my mouth lifts on it’s own. Who the hell is this little woman? Ordering a fucking chardonnay in a college dive bar? And even as the very thought seems utterly ridiculous, I can’t see a woman who looks like her drinking anything else. Champagne, maybe. She looks expensive, way out of my pay grade. And yet, I find myself leaning closer.

Mina shocks the shit out of me by producing a wine glass for the woman. “Nine even.”

“Put it on my tab,” I say and watch the mini-nun-looking woman smile up at me.

“Thank you.” She holds the glass up in a mock-cheers and then takes a sip. Her nose wrinkles at the first taste and the look is fucking adorable.

A warm hand slides around me from behind. I look down to see Calista’s hand creep up the hem of my T-shirt. The bite of her long nails against my abdomen feels like a warning.

I grip her wrist and turn around to face her, giving the blonde my back. “Not tonight.”

Her seductive smile falls instantly and is replaced by fiery eyes. “Why not?”

“Do I need to give a reason? No means no.”

“Fine.” She turns on a heel and walks away, most likely in search of the next football player willing to jump into her pants. She won’t have to look hard, there are plenty of them here.

“Yo, Spider! Last shot!”

I’m grateful to see the little blonde is still in her spot next to me sipping her wine when I take the shot of tequila from Loren. I hand it to the girl. “Here. This probably tastes better than that shit wine.”

She brings it to her nose. “Oh wow.” She blinks rapidly as if the fumes made her eyes water. “What is it?”

“Patron. Tequila.” I push up close to her, feeling her dainty shoulder press into my ribs as I reach beyond her to grab another shot from the line up.

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