Chapter Six – Touchdowns and Frustrations (Readers may want to re-read this chapter before reading the alternate scene in Cole’s POV)
I’m pumped today. I have an insane amount of energy coursing through my veins. We finally get back out on the field this evening. I’m playing ball with my best friend again, and even though I wish Jace were throwing the passes like old times, it’s great to at least have Jaxon. I woke up before the sun and eventually had to go run off the excess energy or I would explode before the game even starts.
Football is my happy place. Well, that and Quinn, but every time I feel like I’m close to pouring out my sorry-ass feelings to her, something gets in the way. Right now my roadblock’s name is Bryce. I’ve tried to think of everything in the book to sneak into their tutoring sessions, but she’s starting to catch on so I might have to cool it. I just can’t stand the idea of those two together alone. The fact that she dresses up for that douche bag makes my blood boil. If he can’t see that she’s gorgeous when she’s only wearing cotton shorts and an old t-shirt, he’s fucking blind.
“Hey dude, I’ll leave the girls’ tickets today. You don’t have to worry about it,” Jaxon says, as he peeks his head in my door.
“Quinn’s mine, don’t touch her ticket.” I continue packing my gym bag with everything I need.
He raises his eyebrows at me in surprise and just because those two jerks love to torture me, Jace comes up and stands next to his brother in the doorway with a shit-eating grin on his face. I continue packing, not wanting to acknowledge what I just let fall from my mouth. In my head, Quinn is mine, but I try to keep those possessive thoughts to myself.
Jax finally holds up his hands in surrender and says, “Alright man, just wanted you to know I’ve got Emerson covered.” Thankfully, he walks away, but his annoying look-alike comes in further and sits at my desk.
“So does this mean I can’t ask Quinn out?” Jace inquires, while leaning back in my chair. Before I can stop myself, I stalk toward him with a murderous glare.
“Dude, chill! Chill! I’m fucking with you!” he laughs out loud. “I think the fifty warnings we got before we even reached the California border were good enough.”
“Just don’t joke about Quinn,” I caution.
“When are you going to make that a real thing, and not some made-up relationship in your mind?” he questions.
I sit down on the edge of my bed and drop my head into my hands. “Shit, I don’t know. If she doesn’t feel the same, I’ll ruin everything. I’m crazy about her, and Emerson is like my sister. I can’t fuck this up.”
“Take it from me, man. Just tell her. You’ll regret it if you don’t, and that sucks a whole lot more.”
I eye him suspiciously, trying to figure out who he’s actually talking about here, but he gets up and leaves before I can ask.
That was certainly not how I had imagined my first game in the season. In one respect, it was a damn blast having my boy back. Jax and I are synchronized. When I go down, he goes up. When I go left, he goes right, and vice versa. We’ve played together so long we can do this without any verbal communication.
Today I undoubtedly went down. And out. One second, I’m catching Fisher’s pass and tucking it in and then before I know it, I’m waking up to Jax’s panicked shouts in my face while laying flat on my ass. I would have called him a pussy, but the pure terror in his face made me realize what he must have been thinking.
Now all I want to do is change out of this sweat-drenched jersey and watch movies on the couch with Quinn. Maybe she’ll fall asleep and I can hold her all night again. I’m still surprised she hasn’t figured out why I continually ask for one more movie, but I’m not complaining because every time she stays, I’m in heaven.
As I’m walking back to the locker room, I slow down to let Jax and Jace catch up. Suddenly, my favorite person in the world barrels toward me with a terrified look on her face. My heart plummets when I realize that I’m the reason for that look.
“Babe?” I ask, worried.
She reaches up on her tiptoes, places her hands on either side of my face, and I almost nuzzle into the contact.
“I was so scared! Are you okay?” she questions in a small voice.
All I can do is nod my head up and down because the look in her eyes has me mesmerized. There’s something different there and my body is reacting to it, begging for it to be true.
I’ve known Quinn for a little over two years and not a day has gone by that I haven’t fantasized about kissing her. I’ve played it out in my head over and over in every imaginable way possible. But, never in any of those dreams has it been her taking the initiative. When I feel her soft lips smash into mine, I’m on fire. I’m Mount St. Helens and she’s the 5.1 earthquake that triggers my eruption. If she keeps this up, I might burn to ash right at her fucking feet.
I hand my helmet back, almost dropping the thing before someone grabs it. When I latch onto her hips, she moans into my mouth and I immediately start walking her backwards. There’s a bench over here somewhere. I think. Hell, if we don’t reach a bench, we’ll eventually make it to my car where I can have her alone.
She’s eventually forced to sit down when the bench hits the back of her knees, breaking our kiss long before I’m ready. I instantly kneel down in the mud, not caring about my bright white game pants. Now that she’s broken the seal, I can’t have my lips too far from hers.
“Quinn, we’re kissing?” I have to know if this is for real.
She nods her head.
“Are you only doing it because you were afraid I was hurt?”
She shakes her head back and forth, but still doesn’t say a word.
“Babe, I need to hear your voice,” I plead.
“I kissed you because I needed to…” her little voice trails off.
“Quinn, please tell me what you’re thinking because I’ve been crazy about you since the day I met you. We became friends so fast that I’ve never wanted to ruin that. Even saying these words right now fucking terrifies me, babe…”
She cups my face again. “Cole, I think about you everyday, all day. I hate when you bring girls back to your place, and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been when I get to be around you.”
She blows out a cleansing breath and I lean in closer, because I need her strength to say what I’m about to say.
“Quinn, I’m not just crazy about you… I love when you fall asleep with your head in my lap. I love when you make me grilled cheese sandwiches cut into strange shapes,” I say and she giggles, giving me the courage to continue.
“I love when you ask me to help you study. I love when you practice your plays in front of me. I love that when you fell and fractured your ankle during your dance rehearsal last year, you immediately searched me out for help. I love that out of everyone there, you looked for me. I’m not just crazy about you, Quinn. I love you.”
For ten agonizing breaths, she’s silent. With her watery, green eyes she looks up and says, “I love you so much, Cole West.”
Without being able to hold it in my mouth, I shout, “Really?!”
While she’s still trying to nod her head with an exuberant smile, I reach out and pull her into my body, melding our lips together. Forget trying to trick her into falling asleep with me on the couch, this is heaven. She’s finally mine and I get to do this whenever I damn well please. I’ll never get enough. She’s grabbing at me and I’m clutching onto her for dear life. It’s time to go home. Now.
BEAUTIFUL BROKEN RULES scene - Quinn & Cole
I’m having that dream again. The one that makes me want to sleep forever. The one where Quinn is mine to touch freely. If I die in my sleep, I’d die a happy man.
I know that I’m in my bed but Quinn is here too. I keep my eyes squeezed shut because I love what she always does next. Her body is on fire above mine and I groan out loud when I feel her hands running up my chest.
“Good, you’re finally awake,” her soft voice says, thick with sleep. Fuck, she’s never said that before in the dream…
When I feel her naked chest against mine, my eyes snap open because this is too real to be a dream. She peeks her head out from under the sheets and just like that, I see my Angel. She’s lying on top of me with the sexiest look in her eyes. Immediately, I lift my head to look for Emerson because I remember her coming to bed with us, due to the amount of alcohol she drank.
“Jax came and got her last night, remember?” Quinn recounts softly.
Slowly, she moves up my body and damn that sweet, sweet friction. She crawls up so we are eye-level and whispers in my ear, “I love you.”
I wrap my arms around her petite body and groan. “Are you real?” I whisper. “Because I’ve loved you for so long.”
“I’m real and I’m ready for you, Cole,” she says into my chest while she makes her way back down.
“Babe, we don’t have to rush anything. I’m not going anywhere. Ever.”
All I want to do right now is finally sink deep inside of her, but I don’t want her to feel that we have to jump right in to things. Yesterday after the game, I raced her home and we explored each other under my covers. It was agonizing and mind-blowing all at the same time, but we still haven’t had sex.
“Seriously, Cole? I think we’re past the getting-to-know-you phase.” She lifts the sheet with one arm and eyes me from down below.
Thank God, because I’m already in pain with anticipation. When I see her look further down my body, I know what she’s aiming for. In the next breath, I’m suddenly surrounded by hot, wet heat. I sure as hell wasn’t expecting that.
“Quinn! Quinn, Quinn. Baby, you can’t fucking do that.” I scramble to pull her up, even though my body is screaming obscenities at me for removing her. “Shit…” I take a deep breath. “ Babe, you almost set me off just then.”
“I think that’s the point,” she says, licking her lips. Damn, damn, damn.
“Yeah, well I don’t think you understand how long I’ve fantasized about this, and never mind the fact that guys are geared to go in the mornings.”
I pull her up and flip her underneath me. My turn. As I start kissing my way down her lean body, she moans out loud shamelessly. “Not fair, Cole,” she pouts.
The little vixen slips out from underneath me and slides over to the edge of the bed. She pulls the drawer of my nightstand open and I cringe. I hate that she knows those are there. She’s had to watch me bring home girls and I wish I could take it all back. However, her beautiful, seductive smile makes all of my worries cease, and I don’t think I could love her more than I do right now.
“I don’t need foreplay, Cole. I need you. Now,” she demands.
That’s exactly what I needed to hear. I snatch the foil packet from her hands, rip it open, and hastily put it on. She giggles as I pull her back down under me, but all laughter halts when I position myself between her thighs.
“I’ve got you, baby,” I whisper against her lips. As I begin to push inside of her warmth, I feel her body trembling and I freeze instantly.
“Quinn?” I try to seek out her eyes but she buries her face in my shoulder. I decide to retreat, cursing myself because I knew that we should have waited longer to take this step. Her nails dig into the skin of my back, halting my withdrawal and dragging a groan from my chest.
“Quinn, what’s wrong babe? I need to hear your voice or I’m stopping this,” I say, my voice strained.
“I can’t believe this is finally happening,” she exhales.
At her words, I submerge completely and she feels like fire. An excruciatingly pleasurable kind of fire. “I never want to leave here.”
Once she’s finally adjusted to me, she begins to moan and whimper. With her legs in the air, I push forward and move in and out of her. When I pick up the pace, we moan together. Holy shit, her sweet voice moaning is going to be my kryptonite.
I push one leg up higher than the other, hitting her soft spot with the next thrust, and she screams… loud. I doubt my roommates are sleeping anymore.
“Cole…” she says, breathlessly.
I want this to last all damn day. I want to pull out, tease her for hours, and bury myself back in her. My plans change quickly when she drags her nails down my back, begging for it harder. Without warning, pleasure shoots up my spine, I feel her clenching around me, and we come together.
She starts kissing my lips, then my cheeks, my nose, and my eyelids. She can’t get enough and I let her do it. I pull off the used condom and reach over without separating her lips from my skin. I open the table drawer and pull out a handful of square packets.
When I rip one open, she looks down at me. “Again? Already?” Her face lights up at the possibility and I love how impressed she looks.
“Babe, I have two years to make up for,” I say, dipping my head down to kiss her. “So don’t plan on leaving this bed for a long time.”
BEAUTIFUL BROKEN RULES scene - Jaxon's POV
Chapter Seventeen -
Championship Game Scene - Jax POV <3
When Jace and I were sixteen, college recruiters began coming around to watch our games. Since our school had started winning the state championship every year, they wanted to know the players responsible. I remember laying out on the lawn one night after catching all of my dad’s passes and talking to him about the future.
“One day, you’ll be suiting up in your University jersey and stepping out onto the field to play a championship game in front of thousands,” he said while tossing the ball in the air and watching it spiral back down.
“Those are some pretty big dreams, old man,” I remember laughing.
“Don’t doubt your abilities, Jaxon. You and Jace are a force to be reckoned with together on the field, but I know you’ll do a damn fine job without him.” He sat up to look at me. “Just promise me that when that day comes, no matter what’s going on in life, you’ll leave it off the field. Chances like that won’t come around often. Keep your head in the game and make sure everything else stays out.”
Now here I am, suited up in our brand-new, special edition NCAA Championship jerseys and I’m trying my damnedest to remember every word my dad said to me that day. I need to recall the tone of his voice and the way he emphasized the words ‘no matter what.’ If he were here today he could repeat all of this to me, but he’s not. Even though Jace is not my biggest fan right now, he still tried to give me a pep talk me this morning. But for some reason, nothing is sticking. She is the only thing I can think about.
When my cleats connect with the freshly manicured grass on the field, I try to push her out of my head. I love you like crazy Emerson, but damn it, you don’t belong here right now. I’ve worked too hard for this moment and I can’t even enjoy it. I’m so fucking pissed... at myself for not being stronger, at Emerson for running away, and at the fact that I won’t be getting a good luck kiss. Damn, Jace would tear me a new one if he heard how whipped I am.
When I step up to the metal barrier in front of my brother and Quinn, they both give me pitying looks. If they could stop doing that as soon as fucking possible, that would be great. I don’t need any more pity. I got enough of that from mom today when she called to apologize for not being here, and then continued to talk about Emerson.
“You ready for this?” Jace asks.
I ignore his question and ask Quinn, “How is she?” Why the hell am I asking this?
“I know I shouldn’t be but I’m pissed at you, Jax. Don’t ask me about her right now,” Quinn snaps back, but I can see the apology in her face too. She’s protective over Emerson and I'm glad; she needs that.
“I just need to know.” Do I need to know that she’s doing as piss-poor as I am?
“Dude, she cried all night. Is that what you wanted to hear?” Cole says, from behind me and then walks away, obviously not wanting to hear my answer. He has some kind of brotherly-protective instinct over Emerson that’s really starting to piss me off.
And call me an asshole, but that’s exactly what I wanted to hear. Because if someone tells me that she went out, partied her hot little ass off and ended up in some dude’s bed last night, I won’t make it through this day without ending up in jail. I saw the looks she got every time we walked into a room. I saw the lust in their eyes and the jealousy, knowing that they couldn’t touch her anymore.
Like a magnetic pull, I look over, just in time to see Emerson step up into the stands. Fuck me.She looks completely amazing and utterly terrible at the same time. I’m gutted and I can’t pull my eyes away from her. She’s wearing the cowboy boots I bought for her in Texas and that dress... I’ve been salivating thinking about her wearing it since my mom pulled it off the rack. Just like I remembered in the dressing room, her tits look fucking phenomenal in it. I’m not the only schmuck who thinks so either. In my peripheral, I can already count five idiots who are about to get their lights knocked out if they don’t avert their gazes.
I could hop over this barrier right now and end our pain. I could tell her how big of an asshole I was yesterday and how I should have never let it get that bad. I could tell her how, every second since then, I wish I hadn’t let Cole carry her away or how her CD ripped my heart from my chest last night and I cried like a baby listening to it.
But none of that would be fair to either of us. She’s already started her grieving process and the fact remains that we aren’t good for one another. Contrary to what I thought, I was never making her stronger. I don't want to be the one to tear her down and have her panic again like she did the other day. I also can’t handle being constantly pushed away. I thought that once we were officially together, it would be all sunshine and rainbows. Obviously, I was fucking delusional.
Before any of my friends yell at me for publicly drooling over Emerson, I make my way back to the team to get ready for kick-off. When I’m out on the field, I allow myself one more glance. Jace has her wrapped in his arms and her sexy little boots are dangling off the ground. My fists clench and I silently curse her for creating these murderous intentions toward my own brother. As I watch him whisper something in her ear, she peers over his shoulder to look at me, and I can see the agony in her eyes.
I did that. I put that there. Every cell in my body is telling me to screw this game and fix this, but I know she’ll get over it. Once the shock of it all wears off, she’ll realize that we’re better off apart.
“Keep your head in the game and make sure everything else stays out.” I hear my dad’s words repeat in my head.
That’s exactly what I attempt to do. For the entire sixty minutes of game-time, I manage to think about football and only football. She was only able to sneak in during halftime and timeouts. Just as Cole crosses the end zone for the winning touchdown and I hear the final whistle, I give a fist pump and smile toward him. When he gives me an exuberant one back, I know he’s not as mad at me as he's trying to make me think and that we’ll be okay. I let him run off toward Quinn and the gang, and I turn toward the locker room to go change.
My dad always taught us to be humble. "Celebrate your victories son, but don’t make yourself look like a jackass." He would have wanted me to stop and appreciate this moment, but right now I just want to go home.
As I’m lost in thoughts of how much better this would be if my dad could have actually been here, I misstep when Tatum jumps in my arms. My helmet falls from my hands as I fumble to keep her from crashing to the ground. What the hell is she doing?
She runs her fingers through my sweat-soaked hair and says, “Congratulations! You were so great out there.”
When I realize I’m still holding her and she has her legs wrapped around my waist, I immediately set her down, not caring about the pouty look she’s giving. I quickly look back to see if I’m out of sight from Emerson, and am thankful that I am. “Uh… thanks Tatum.” I continue toward the locker room but she follows.
“Let’s go out tonight. You need to celebrate.”
“Not going to happen.”
“I’ll let you come home with me,” she purrs nauseatingly, while grabbing my bicep.
“Jax, get over her. Em is nothing special.”
“Man, that’s a great way to get me in bed, Tatum. Insult the one girl I would walk through fire for. It’ll always be her, you’re not even--”
“Whoa… hey there, buddy!” Cole interrupts me by jumping in between us and wrapping his arm around my shoulder. “Great game. Let’s go get dressed!” When we get out of earshot of a sad-looking Tatum, he continues, “You were just about to make a royal ass out of yourself.”
“She was being a bitch.”
“No, she was being normal. You’re just a heartbroken asshole. Let's just keep that pretty little mouth of yours shut till you're over Em and won't run the risk of pushing away every eligible girl on campus," he says, grabbing my mouth and pinching it hard.
"Dick." I punch him in the arm as we walk toward the locker room, knowing deep down inside that there's a good chance I won't ever completely get over Emerson.