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There wasn’t even a question. I’d been born to do this shit.

All night long, I be scoring. All night long, I be winning. All night long, because I was Stone The Rampage Reeves.

Tonight was a Rampage Game.


“Stone Reeves is on a Rampage tonight.” The announcer was excited, smiling wide, turned to the other announcer with him. Both in their suits, with the crowd cheering behind and beneath them. “I love these nights. We don’t get them all the time, but every now and then…”

The other announcer finished for him, smiling just as big, “Every now and then we get a treat to watch Stone The Rampage Reeves perform, because that’s what he’s doing tonight. He’s performing. He’s giving us a show.”

“He is, indeed, and it’s a pleasure to watch.”

They kept on, moving to talk about Colby and how the two together were magic, but we were at halftime and my stomach was growling.

Nicole heard, sitting next to me. “You know, we did order pizza.”

It wasn’t the first hint she gave me that night, but I couldn’t eat. Everyone was being so nice. They hadn’t invited anyone extra for the game, saying it was just the roommates and the guys, which translated into Dent, Nacho, Wyatt, and Noel. They hadn’t asked me to cook, but I almost wished they had.

My stomach was in knots. All I could feel was dread.

What would I do if they talked about me during the game? It was so unlikely, but that article got traction and it’d been building. Every now and then, they might gossip a bit about the player’s personal lives, and especially if it spread into the legal aspects of the law. I didn’t think they would, but you just never knew. And because of that, I hadn’t wanted to watch the game, but I also couldn’t not watch the game. Stone came over. I didn’t even know if he slept after I finally passed out, but last night had been different. I felt it.

He knew everything.

Everyone would also know everything.

It was all out, no reason for secrets. I had nothing else to hide and Stone stayed. He remained next to me until he had to leave for his game.

I was giving in. It was Stone. It was all Stone. I was in love with him. I refrained from spilling those words last night, but it’d been so hard. I had to bite down on my lips. I drew blood.

But tonight, those words would come out because I knew what was going to happen.

Stone was coming for me.

I had a bag packed. I wasn’t going to make him stay here. I didn’t want to stay here myself, not tonight. Tonight was special. Tonight was different. We’d go to his house and we’d make love. I would take care of my man, but those words, they’d come out.

I would have to see what his reaction would be then, but I just knew that I was done hiding. I couldn’t anymore.

All the shit was coming out tonight. Let’s hope I didn’t have another loss tomorrow to get over, because I didn’t think I could. Not this time. There was no walking away, or moving on, or just dealing. I’d be shattered forever. The question was if I was lining up my own undoing or not.

Chapter Forty-Two


I was curled up on the couch, in the corner, hugging a pillow, when Wyatt switched the television to watch the extras on the NFL channel. He turned it to the press conference section, and after a bit, the Kings’ head coach, Stone, and Colby walked in, then sat behind a table.

The first question was to the coach. How’d he feel the team did, considering they blew the other team away with a thirty-eight to seven score.

Second question was to Colby: What did he do to prepare for tonight’s game?

The next was to Stone, a similar question, and they each answered a few more before it happened.

They all seemed at ease. Stone kept his head down, leaning forward. Colby was the opposite, head up but leaning back. The coach was forward and head up. He was meeting the questions head on, and then the last question.

“Stone, going forward into the next week and preparing for the Horns, do you think you’ll be distracted with the reports of your girlfriend’s stalker? And how is she doing?”

Stone’s head whipped up, and he was pissed.

Not pissed. Furious. Livid.

His jaw clenched. Fire blazed from his eyes, and he started to shove up, but his coach put a restraining hand on his shoulder.

“Damn,” from Wyatt.

“Oh, shit,” from Dent.


The last was from Nacho. Me… I couldn’t breathe.

Stone looked ready to leap over the table and tear the guy apart.

Colby jerked forward in his seat, his eyes immediately going to Stone.

But the coach acted first. He stood up, clearing his throat. “I think we’re done for the day. Thank you, folks.”

He lifted his hand and Stone shoved up, his hands in fists. He didn’t wait for Colby to lead the way out, he whipped around him and was gone within a second. Colby paused before following, and the coach just lowered his head, his hand finding his hip, a clipboard in hand as he trailed at a more sedate pace.


Nicole’s the one who swore softly beside me. She patted my leg. “I’m sorry.”

“It’s not a mainstream press conference. Most of that stuff will get printed only in sports blogs.”

That was from Dent. He was trying to reassure me, but it didn’t matter. It was out. I hadn’t thought I’d be brought up, but there was always one person, one article that wanted to be more scandalous than the others, and the headline with Stone’s name and stalker would get clicks. I would’ve clicked on it myself, but this was me. This was my life.

I had to deal.

The biggest damage had already been done, and that guy was dead.

I could handle whatever else came out.

I was in my room, on my bed, dressed and just waiting, when my door opened. It was the one to the rest of the house. Stone came in, shutting the door behind him. He didn’t turn the lights on, but I heard him turn the lock before he stopped to take me in.

It was a few hours later. His hair was wet. He’d recently showered. No sweatshirt this time, just a Kings shirt and a hat pulled low. I loved that look on him. Loved how it highlighted his square jaw, how when he clenched it, he made me salivate, my body starting to ache.

I almost sighed. “I wanted to hate you.”

The air around him had been restless, edgy. Like he wanted to fight, but had no target to take it out on. It grew calmer, more pensive at my statement. He didn’t come over. I wanted him to come over, but he sat on the edge of the bed, leaning forward. Elbows on his knees, but his head was turned to me. He was watching me.

He was waiting. Listening.

“I knew you’d be like a god down here, and I wanted to hold onto that hate from when we were kids. ’Cause I did. I hated you so much. Because of him, because of his obsession with you and what he did to me. He got worse once he found out about you, but it wasn’t you. You’re talented. I mean, you’re so talented, but my head, all the crap I went through, I was half-blaming you for him. But it was never you. It was him. He was sick, and I never wanted to burden my dad with what I went through. That’s another reason I never went home. I didn’t want to take that to him, but coming down here, being here, being with you, coming out on this end of the whole process, it hit me tonight.”

My heart squeezed, but it was a good squeeze. It was the kind of squeeze you only got to feel a handful of times, and maybe not even then, if you weren’t lucky.

“I am so fucking proud of you.”

His head lowered.

I kept on, whispering to the dark room. “I am proud that I know you, that I knew you before, that I’ve seen you bring yourself to this stage of success. Most guys, with your family how it is and was, most guys might not get here. They might party, drink, not be so focused. But you. You were only focused. That’s what you did when you left me behind, isn’t it?”

His shoulders rose, paused, and dropped. I heard a soft swear from him.

Yeah. Yeah, I was right.

“You focused. You trained. You sacrificed. I know you didn’t party. It was always football only, wasn’t it? All to get here, to get where you are today.”

His voice was low. “I didn’t know what I was doing.” His tone grew rueful, regretful, “Maybe. All I know is that it was never because you were beneath me. I was in sixth grade. I think I knew it could’ve been you and I looked into the future and I knew you’d pull me. I wouldn’t be so focused, whether it be school or football or… You would’ve tempted me. I would’ve wanted to be with you all the time, experienced life with you, and I knew I couldn’t. I knew even then that I’d have to decide which way to go, and I couldn’t go the route that you traveled because it would’ve been all you. Training. Football. I needed that. I needed to leave, get out of my house. We had money, but we had shit for happiness. Money gives you security. It just pads the walls so you can wallow in how fucking unhappy you are. My mom’s been dying a little bit every fucking day. You’re right. What you said. She is an alcoholic. My dad—he’s not a bad guy, he’s just… All he cares about is maintaining their life. He’s blind to anything else. Keep the company going. Grow it if possible. Keep my mom alive, literally, and that comes in different forms, but not believing your dad, trying to make your family go away, that’s what my dad was doing. He was trying to keep his family together, though he was wrong. He was fucking wrong, and trust me, he’s seen the light.” He moved to me, his arms coming down on both sides of me. He was looming over me now. “I’ll never let another person hurt you.”