CHAPTER REVEAL: Play Hard

Play Hard by J.T. Fox

by J.T. Fox

WARNING: Contains two dirty-talking, hard-f*cking, no-apology-making alpha males. Read at your own risk.

Wanting him is the riskiest play of all...

Miami star quarterback Jordan Barr is the hottest man that halfback Eric "The Brick" Higgins has ever laid eyes on, and he's wanted him in his bed for years.

When a chance encounter puts the two pro football players in the same town, the same TV studio, and the same locked room, the sparks don't just fly, they burn. The chemistry between them is intense, immediate, and explosive and Eric isn't about to miss his chance to have Jordan off the field. He'll have Jordan naked in his bed—rumors of game fixing haunting both of their teams be damned.

Eric is one extraordinarily stunning man, and Jordan would love nothing more than to show Eric what it's like to be taken by someone who knows exactly what he wants, in the bedroom and out. But Jordan has bills to pay and far too many responsibilities to throw caution to the wind.

He has to resist. But it's getting hard....

Really, really hard.

Play Hard is the first installment in a three-part MM romance trilogy and ends in a cliffhanger.

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Play Hard by J.T. Fox

CHAPTER ONE
Eric

Another roll of thunder boomed, shaking the walls of the Tampa TV station as Eric followed the redheaded intern through the dimly-lit hall toward the green room. He would be soaked to the skin if his driver hadn’t walked him from the limo to the glass doors of the skyscraper underneath a giant golf umbrella. He was glad he’d listened to his agent’s advice and hired a car and driver instead of a rental convertible for the trip. 

Sure, he wanted to feel the wind in his hair, but that would have to wait for a weekend when he didn’t have to worry about looking pretty for the camera. 

“What a storm, huh?” The intern glanced back at him with a wide, double-dimpled grin that lit up her pretty face.

She was a cute one. He was sure most men went crazy for her girl-next-door good looks.

“Should I call you Brick or do you prefer Eric?” she asked.

“Well,” he said, glancing at her name badge, “Kim, I like how both names sound rolling off your tongue. Do I detect a hint of southern belle?”

She giggled. “Born and raised a Georgia peach. I’m a senior at UGA, interning here in Tampa this semester.”

“Georgia. Never was a fan, but you might change my mind. The SEC sure does have the prettiest women around.”

“And the best football, too,” she teased.

Eric couldn’t argue that point. His years playing for Florida State had taught him to never underestimate any SEC team. They were sneaky bastards who came up from behind to take a national title from their opponent and never look back. 

Couldn’t take it from him, though. He’d been there, won that. As a second-string halfback his sophomore year, he’d never expected to get a chance to play, especially in the title game against Georgia. Then suddenly, the first string player tore his ACL and the assistant offensive coordinator yelled for Eric to fill in. 

Before he could say, “Go ’Noles!” Eric was on the field scoring the winning touchdown.

His life hadn’t been the same since.

“I have a small request, and I hope you don’t mind,” Kim said. “But your agent said you’d be willing to sign some autographs before the interview. You’ve got quite a gathering of fans waiting for you.” 

He flashed a grin. “Don’t mind at all. I’m as quick with a pen as I am on the field.” Eric winked, his smile transforming to a booming laugh as Kim opened the door to reveal a room packed wall to wall with Marauders fans, mostly women holding pictures, notebooks, jerseys, and Sharpies. 

“Hello ladies!” he said, turning on the charm since this was, quite simply, one of his favorite parts of the job. Not the sea of women, per se. But the adoration. The love for the game and the love for The Brick. 

God, it felt so fucking good to have fans.

The moment he stepped through the entryway, a din of feminine screams drowned out the loudest roll of thunder so far. The storm outside couldn’t compare to the swirling tempest of excitement in this room. When Eric “The Brick” Higgins was in play, even Mother Nature should be prepared to take a backseat.

Eric spied a couple of young boys to his left and made a beeline for them first. He hated to make kids wait and knew the mamas in the room would love him even more for showing his soft side to their sons. “What’s your name, tough guy?” he asked the smaller of the two.

“Dylan.” The boy’s chocolate brown eyes went wide in his face.

“Dylan, do you play football?” Eric knelt down to be on Dylan’s level before taking the glossy headshot from the boy’s hand and signing it with a Sharpie that seemed to appear out of thin air. 

“No, sir. My brother does. I will when I’m bigger.” 

“Are you his brother?” Eric turned to the older boy next to him, signing the jersey he held.

“Yes, sir. And that’s my mama and my baby sister.” He pointed proudly to a tired-looking woman with tightly curled brown hair, holding a sleeping baby in the corner of the room. “My name is Christopher. I’m seven and a half. You came to visit my football camp this summer. I’m fast like you and getting faster every day.”

“I just bet you are. And I remember you, man. You were tearing it up out there.” He hadn’t remembered Chris’s name, but he remembered that determined little face. 

Christopher was one of the four scholarship players at the exclusive camp. This was the first year the camp had offered scholarships—at Eric’s insistence and funding. 

He spent the next twenty minutes signing more autographs, happy to flirt, smile, and hand out hugs and compliments.

It’s a shame I’m not into the opposite sex. I could clean up with the ladies. I know how to listen, I love kids, I’m quick with a compliment, and I’m damn good in the sack.

And having a hard-on for women would certainly make life less complicated.

As the last fan left the room hugging her coveted autographed jersey, followed by a giggly girlfriend who’d had Eric sign her ankle, the storm seemed to kick it up a notch. Thunder boomed and lightning brightened the room through the one small window in the back of the simply-decorated space. 

Kim had gone ahead to wrangle the crowd, so Eric followed the stragglers down the hall toward the studio for the interview. 

Matthew Morgan, the host of Sports Talk, was a hardcore football fan and it showed in the studio decor. Framed jerseys lined the walls from those who had been here before him. Ewing, Irving, Smith, Dorsett, Jackson, McCallister, and three Mannings.

Eric wondered if his #27 would be there one day. He liked to imagine it would.

“This way, Eric,” Kim said, popping out of nowhere. “Sorry, didn’t mean to abandon you.”

“No worries,” he said, grateful for the guide. The hallways morphed into a labyrinth as she led him toward the studio. Eric took advantage of the long walk to take a few deep breaths and get ready to bring his A game.

This interview was for a good cause—a great one—and media attention for the new football camp for inner-city kids would mean more money rolling in from donors next year. Besides, it was nice to have the chance to focus on something positive for a change, instead of the bullshit game-fixing rumors that had plagued the Marauders for the past few months. 

Why the media was so eager to give a voice to a bunch of fucking conspiracy theorists baffled him.

As they entered the studio, Kim stopped abruptly behind a tall, broad, and sturdy man with dark-blond hair that was past due for a haircut. The guy was dressed in a pair of snug slate gray slacks that hugged his perfect ass, well….perfectly. 

Hell, that ass was like a sculpture. Round, firm, tight—a piece of living art. 

The rest of him was equally well-carved, and Eric took a moment to appreciate the view from behind. The man’s purple long-sleeved shirt was tailored to fit a strong, well-defined back; his arms were thick and muscular, stretching the supple fabric; and those pants…. 

Damn, those pants were making matters inside of Eric’s hard to handle. 

“Eric, I’d like to introduce you to Jordan Barr,” Kim said, “the quarterback for the Miami Heat Wave. He worked at the camp’s Tallahassee location. All the people up there can’t stop talking about what a difference he made. Y’all will be interviewed together this mornin’.”

As if on cue, lightning struck and the lights flickered as Jordan Barr—the Jordan Barr, the stuff of shower fantasies and more raging hard-ons than you could shake a stick at—turned to face him.

Eric swallowed, but it wasn’t easy. His throat was suddenly bone-dry and he could feel his face flushing.     

The last time he’d laid eyes on Jordan was the summer after high school, when they were both working as junior coaches at football camp. It was the summer Eric had embraced his inner horndog, getting it on with two older local guys after practice. It wasn’t until the summer was over, however, that he’d learned that one of those same studs had blown Jordan behind the movie theater. 

Eric had spent a solid month afterward cursing his gaydar for failing him. 

He had wanted to get his hands all over Jordan’s tight body for years—ever since that summer after high school. Jordan had always been a stunning specimen, and he’d only gotten better with age. 

Hell, why fuck around? Jordan Barr was the hottest man Eric had ever seen in the flesh. 

If Jordan only knew how many times Eric had taken his dick in his hand and pictured Jordan. Pictured taking him, touching him, sliding his fist up and down Jordan’s thick cock until the other man came screaming his name. Eric wanted to feel Jordan fucking his hand until he lost control, then have Jordan return the favor, pumping Eric’s dick until he couldn’t think…well, straight.

Eric smirked. Straight clearly wasn’t an issue.

He imagined Jordan’s jaw would hit the floor if he knew he’d starred in so many of Eric’s fantasies he practically headlined the marquis. ’Course, if Jordan’s mouth were wide open, Eric knew exactly what he’d like to do with it—slide inside and get those full, sexy lips wrapped tight around his cock.

Fucking hell.

Get it together, Higgins.    

Eric smiled as he shook Jordan’s hand, trying to play it cool, as if he hadn’t whacked off to imaginary Jordan a few hundred times. “We actually grew up together, but it’s been a long time.”

“It has.” Jordan nodded, his light blue eyes glittering with that same sharp intelligence Eric remembered. “I always respected your game, man.”

And I yours

Boy had he. 

As he and Jordan shook hands, electricity shot between them, another lightning strike, and this time, the thunder-down-under decided to join the storm. 

Careful, Eric. You’re going on live TV in just a few minutes with this guy. You can’t have an erection the size of a goal post when you sit down on the couch.

Eric cleared his throat. “I was a fan of yours, too. Still am,” he said with a raised brow and a half-smile. Fan of your ass. Fan of your mouth. Fan of your cock—or I’m sure I will be once I get my lips around it.

Jesus Christ. His dirty mind was working overtime this afternoon.

“Thanks.” Jordan pulled his hand away a little too quickly. “Nice weather today, huh?  I guess Tampa needed a long shower to cool off.”

Eric laughed easily, even as he wondered if that was Jordan’s way of calling him out. Did Jordan know that Eric had spied on him in the shower one afternoon when they’d both stayed late at camp? 

Eric had been lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Jordan alone after practice—his stunning body glowing in a shaft of sunlight streaming through the high, dusty windows of the locker room. Every tight, toned, tanned, wet inch—including the increasingly erect inches between his legs—had been on stunning display, making Eric’s body respond with an epic woody of his own. The sight had taken his breath away and fed his fantasies for years.

“Well, I enjoy a good shower,” Eric said wryly, unable to resist testing his theory. “Don’t you?”

A flush crept up Jordan’s strong neck. “Yeah. Sure. Showers are good.”

Well, well, well… 

Maybe his hard-on for Jordan was something that went both ways. 

“Okay,” Kim said, nodding at someone across the studio. “Looks like they’re ready for you guys.”

With a last nod in Jordan’s direction, Eric followed Kim onto the set. Jordan was right behind him and soon they were seated on a leather couch in a corner of the studio designed to look like a living room. 

The moment his fine ass touched leather, Jordan picked up the mug of water on the coffee table in front of them and drained it dry. 

Well, look at that. Was the big guy nervous being around him? 

Eric’s lips twitched up in a grin.

Looked like this interview was going be even more of a pleasure than he had expected. And maybe afterward he and Jordan could find a private place to catch up and see what they’d missed out on that summer they’d spent blowing other guys.


About J.T Fox

J.T. Fox loves white-hot, sexy stories about men in love (and in lust), rescue dogs, football, soccer, rugby after work, and long, lazy Sunday afternoons with friends. J.T. lives in the south with one alpha pug, two opinionated cats, and a partner who puts up with more than his fair share of crazy.

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