Fair Catch by Del Darcy
When Blake Thompson meets Alex Ayers, his rival on the football field, the attraction is instant. For one tumultuous high school season, their teams clash as they fall in love.
Playing for the Mustangs, Blake works to carve out a place for himself in the always-frustrating role of backup quarterback. He tries to put out of his mind how unlikely it is that someone like him -- a little too short, from a backwater town -- could make it in college football.
Alex is now with the rival Patriots, poised to add to his string of records in placekicking. His family has bounced from town to town across the Midwest, spending barely a year in any one place because of his dad's construction jobs. The college scouts are starting to notice Alex, and a bright future in football beckons.
Blake is able to put aside his feeling that he's just trailing in Alex's wake, overshadowed by Alex's star quality, until Alex gets a scholarship to a prestigious Texas school.
Will jealousy destroy Blake's regard for his boyfriend? Can Alex learn to settle down and trust someone, despite his vagabond life? If he leaves, what becomes of their love affair?
Find out today:
This is an outtake from the novel; a missing scene, as it were.
The slice of New Orleans visible through the hotel drapes looked alluring and glittering. It was supposed to be a wide open town, wide open for anything. Alex sighed.
There was a sharp knock at the door, and when he answered it, he was quite surprised to see Rob King.
Hey, step out here a minute, the trainer urged.
Rob had a leather jacket on, and slacks instead of jeans, and Alex did a double take because Rob had all his earrings on. All those holes that Alex had noticed, always empty when Rob was working, were now full of little
hoops and shining silver studs. A thrill of excitement twined in Alex's stomach as he noticed that the shirt Rob had on under his black button-up was mesh.
Rob looked up and down the hall. It was empty. He leaned in and whispered, Im going out and I want some company, okay? Nobody should miss New Orleans, Alex, especially not one of the family.
But, what about curfew? And the room checks?
Rob reached into his back pocket and pulled out a key card. This is the master. Well go down the service elevator and come back the same way. I know some people, okay? No one will see us. Ill get you in and out of here, if your roommate will cover for you.
Alex hesitated. Youll take care of it? We wont get caught?
Robs smile was feral. I never get caught, honey. Its the first rule.
Alex hadnt danced so much since he had left Riverside. They hadnt gotten any eyeliner, though Rob kept insisting Alex should wear some and threatening to ask for some from the drag queens he had chatted up. Eyeliner was becoming the running joke of the night. Alex was stunned by everything he was seeing. There was a whole strip of gay bars, and there were drag queens, and leather queens, and yuppies, and men in jeans and no shirts who obviously spent twenty-four/seven weightlifting, and transvestites, and rowdy guys drinking and dancing and groping each other to loud music of every description, and it was just incredible.
It was very very late. They were walking along some street in the Quarter, draped in beads, trying to decide if they were hungry enough to stop and eat something.
I need a souvenir, Alex announced. I need the perfect souvenir. I need something.
You already have it: Beads, Rob suggested. A dozen strands of the Mardi Gras style trinkets clicked and swung around Alex's neck. Rob twined some around his finger.
No. Too ordinary. I need... something.
A voodoo doll.
No, no.... Alex staggered to a halt in front of tattoo parlor, which was lit up despite the hour. Do they take plastic? he asked.
Dawn was bright in a deep blue sky as their cab pulled up to the service entrance of the Sheraton. Alex was stiff and stumbling as he emerged from the back seat. Rob looked all around, but there were no witnesses. They ducked into a loading dock, Alex limping a little, and sure enough, Robs key card worked in the service door. Through a series of fire stairwells and elevators, they arrived back at the ninth floor.
You good? You sore? Rob asked, putting his hands in his pockets. He had traces of lipstick on his mouth, the remnants of kissing some of the drag queens, but no other visible evidence of their night.
No, but I will be when the alcohol wears off, Alex whispered, leaning against his door, his own keycard in his hand. Rob patted Alexs hip and rearranged the exposed edges of the gauze where they stuck up from the waistband of his jeans. Alexs shirt was still unbuttoned, the tails hanging loose, and his belt was fastened on the first notch so that it wouldnt rub on the bandage.
Rob said, It was a night to remember, yeah?
Laissez les bon temps rouler, man, Alex said. He wanted to kiss him, but he knew that was over; gone with the night and the lights of the Quarter. Shit, his head hurt. Tomorrow -- today -- whatever -- was gonna be a bitch. Rob patted his cheek and turned away, toward the main elevators. Alex opened the door and slipped into his room.