DOWN BY CONTACT (The Barons #2):
Simeon Boudreaux, the New York Barons’ golden-armed quarterback, is blessed with irresistible New Orleans charm and a face to melt your mama’s heart. He’s universally adored by fans and the media. Coming out as gay in solidarity with his teammate hasn’t harmed his reputation in the least—except for some social media taunting from rival linebacker Adrián Bravo.
Though they were once teammates, Adrián views Simeon as a traitor and the number-one name on the New Jersey Predators’ shit list. When animosity between the two NFL players reaches a boiling point on the field, culminating in a dirty fist fight, they’re both benched for six games and sentenced to joint community service teaching sullen, Brooklyn teens how to play ball.
At first, they can barely stand to be in the same room, but running the camp forces them to shape up. With no choice but to work together, Simeon realizes Adrián is more than his alpha-jerk persona, and Adrián begins to question why he’s always had such strong feelings for the gorgeous QB…
DOWN BY CONTACT is out January 16, 2018.
Subgenres: m/m contemporary sports romance; enemies-to-lovers.
I swear I hated Simeon and the effect he had on my traitorous asshole of a body.
« Yeah, however you want to say it. I freaked out. Shouldn’t have pushed you and sent you home with, uh- » I licked my lips again, glancing down at his crotch. The heavy curve of his dick was clearly visible through his track pants. « With-«
« Blue balls? »
I exhaled with a whoosh of air. « Yeah. »
« It’s okay. There’s still time to redeem yourself. »
« Redeem myself, » I repeated slowly. « I dunno about all that. »
« I thought you were inviting me over for wings and football and all that bro shit? »
« Oh. Right. »
Simeon’s evil smile went up several notches. « What’d you think I meant, boo? »
« Nothing. »
« Okay, Bravo. I’ll think about it. »
He was backing me into corner after corner, and I kept following and slamming into walls that had apparently encircled my common sense. The last thing I needed was to keep stretching this out after the gay rumors had just started to fade. Instead of pairing us up, they were implying we were sitting on a pressure cooker due to our teams playing not even a month after the brawl.
But even knowing all that, I couldn’t stop myself. He was talking to me again, giving me a shot, and agreeing to once again spend time with me even after I’d flipped out on him. I needed to nurture that willingness before I lost it again. Considering how precarious our moments of getting along were, I was gonna have to make a comeback in a big way.
« What else makes you uncomfortable? »
Adrián shrugged, still holding the empty glass.
« We should probably figure it out if we’re gonna keep the competition going, no? »
His throat bobbed with a heavy swallow. « Should we keep it going? »
« I dunno. » I sat up on the couch but kept my hands braced against the cushion and my face angled up to him. « Do you still wanna show me up? »
« I’ll always want to show you up, Boudreaux. »
« All right then, let’s see what makes you jumpy. »
I started to shift myself upward, but he put a palm against my chest and held me back.
« What happens when you lose? »
« You can have fun figuring that one out. I’m gonna leave it up to you. »
Adrián’s fingers pressed harder against my chest before falling away. There was a hint of apprehension in his pursed lips and loosely balled hands, but then he plastered on that rakish Bravo grin and lifted his chin.
« Do your worst, » he said, threading his fingers behind his head.
Every inch of him was touchable, so it was only a matter of where to start. What I wanted was his mouth, but that was off-limits. Fortunately, he had a lot more to offer.
I pushed myself up so I was kneeling on the cushion and started with his shirt. One after the other, tiny black buttons came undone on a piece of cloth that probably cost thousands just to make his body look like a masterpiece. And it did, but it was even better when I could see his flesh. Smooth golden brown skin sliding over the bumps and ridges of violently worked muscle that had been molded into something that could have been goddamn edible if it wasn’t so hard.
He didn’t so much as twitch, even when I pushed his shirt open with my fingertips brushing his skin. Instead, he grinned and popped his pecs, leering. That was perfectly fine because I liked a challenge. He wanted to show off about how comfortable he was being naked? Unsurprising. He was naked in front of other men all the time, but they usually didn’t get on their knees and make him moan like a porn star. That was my specialty. I’d started sucking dick as a teenager, and had always gotten a thrill from the power and control I had in a seemingly submissive position. Men had always thought it meant I was their bitch boy, but they were the ones begging me if I started to slow down.
I extended one arm so I could lightly touch the corner of his mouth. “You’ve got something right there.”
The dark wings of his brows crashed down in consternation, and a flood of conflicting emotions danced across his striking face, but none of them was indignant or annoyed or disgusted—the reactions I was used to getting from straight men when I touched them and they weren’t interested. Or sometimes even when I touched them because of interest that was obvious to me and not to their own selves. Denial was powerful in most men, but Adrián Bravo settled on intrigued.
I brushed the pad of my finger against his lips, wiping the syrup away even though it left the remnants of sticky residue. Touching his mouth sent my thirst into hyperactive overdrive, and my mind betrayed me. Filled with images of dragging him closer for a messy kiss where I used my tongue to get him clean right before dragging him to the bathroom to get really nasty.
Where was my common sense? My inner angel to tell me to stop craving this bastard just because he had a pretty face and, according to him, a talented dick? Hadn’t I learned my lesson? My dick going from half-mast to fully risen proved otherwise. I would absolutely go down on him in the bathroom if the opportunity arose. I could hate him even while he was in my mouth.
He wasn’t reacting as much as I wanted him to, so I dropped my hand next to his and upped the ante.
“You got some on your fingers too.”
“Yeah? You gonna get all mother hen on me about that too?”
He thought he was so cool and collected. It was kind of cute how much he underestimated my competitive spirit.
“Not quite mother hen, but . . .”
I grabbed his hand after a quick scan of the diner, and brought it to my lips. His arm locked up briefly, a spasm going through his fingers, but he didn’t fight. Not when I parted my lips, and not when I enveloped the syrup-covered digits with my mouth. I sucked the syrup off, suctioning harder than I needed to for the current situation, and flicked my tongue.
We locked eyes. There was no hiding how dilated his had become. The way his breathing had picked up, or the bouncing of his knee.
I slid my mouth off, leaving his fingers coated in saliva, and grinned.
“I won this round, Bravo.”
Adrián grabbed a napkin with trembling hands and roughly wiped his fingers.
“Yeah. I guess you did.”
About Santino Hassell:
Santino Hassell was raised by a conservative family but grew up to be a smart-mouthed, school cutting grunge kid, a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into a grumpy introvert and unlikely romance author with an affinity for baseball caps. His novels are heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, and his desire to write relationships fueled by intensity and passion.
He’s been a finalist in both the Bisexual Book Awards and the EPIC Awards, and was nominated for a prestigious RITA award in 2017. His work has been featured in BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, Washington Post, RT Magazine, and Cosmopolitan Magazine.