First Page: Tentative Title – Unfamiliar Turf
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CHRIST Almighty, I was bored out of my mind.
The bar was loud. I had a headache. All I’d wanted was to stay at home, chill on the couch with a cold beer, and watch some UFC on TV. Instead, I’d let Ryan and Freddie drag my ass out to go meet some of the other guys at Cooter’s Bar. I sighed and took a swig of my beer. It was lukewarm at best, and I shook my head as I set it down on the table.
Next time I was definitely putting my foot down. This sucked.
“Dude.” Ryan jabbed me in the side with his elbow. None too subtly he pointed with his chin. “That hot chick over there has been staring at you like you’re a chocolate-covered cherry for the past fifteen minutes.”
I glanced in the direction of the bar and sure enough, an attractive woman with long, blonde hair was standing with a group of three other carbon copies looking in our direction. She was sexy enough in jeans that looked like she was poured into them and a tight tank top that left little to the imagination. Like most women that hung out at Cooter’s, she’d need a scraper to get off all the makeup caked on her face. She had a decent enough body, and she was clearly interested if the way she licked her beer bottle was any indication.
Getting checked out was nothing new. I was used to it, but it was usually done with just a tad more stealth. Being an athlete in a sports-centric town made it difficult to go out anywhere and not be noticed.
Cooter’s wasn’t highbrow; it was a place to drink, talk shit, and play pool. It was also where most of the Carolina Railhawks soccer team liked to unwind after a game. Normally, six guys would take up a fair amount of space, but when those six guys were well-built soccer players, it made it impossible to fade into the woodwork. Get the beer flowing, and it was a ruckus waiting to happen. We sat in our usual corner booth, the best spot in the place to see and be seen.
I was finishing up my third season with the team—my best one yet. I led the North American Soccer League in goals scored, regularly found myself on the front page of the sports section of the local paper, and I’d even wound up on SportsCenter a few times. It was shaping up to be a kick-ass season all the way around, especially since according to my agent, I’d had Major League Soccer scouts at my last few games. Our team was poised to make the playoffs. There were only two games left in the regular season, and the Railhawks were leading the division. I was proud of the guys, and we were firing on all cylinders. All we needed to do was win our last two games, and we’d be in the playoffs for the first time in five years.
The icing on the cake would be winning the championship, but we had to take it one game at a time.
“Seriously, Tanner,” Freddie boomed from across the table, “that woman can’t keep her eyes off you.”
I sighed. She was pretty enough, in that bland, girl-next-door kind of way, but she did nothing for me. My dick didn’t even twitch when I looked at her.
I took another swig of my now very tepid beer. “Eh, she’s all right I guess, but I’m not in the mood.”