Wasted Words

By: Staci Hart

He raised a blond brow. “Running back for Nebraska?”

I nodded and took a sip of my drink. “I’m heading up for homecoming. I just hope he sticks around.”

“Maybe if you’d stop being a noble son of a bitch and buy the kid a car, he’d sign the papers as soon as you put them in front of him.”

I frowned. “You know that’s not how we do things.”

He laughed and put up his hands in surrender. “I know, I know. It’s honorable, and I’m proud of you for hanging on to your integrity, doing it the ‘right’ way and all. I just don’t know how that’s ever going to pay the bills.”

“If a player doesn’t want to sign with me because somebody else bought him a car, I don’t want to represent him.”

“Fair enough.” He looked around again, wrinkling his nose. “It smells like coffee and learning. This place sucks. I just don’t get why you come here when I can get you into any club in New York.”

Cam turned the corner of the horseshoe bar and made her way toward us, and Kyle laughed a little too loud.

“Oh, right. I forgot she works here.”

I shot him a look before glancing back at Cam, who had on a smile that I could only describe as bullshit.

“Hey, Kyle. Whiskey?” She tossed a coaster in front of him that said The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them. -Ernest Hemingway.

“And Coke. How’d you guess?”

She shrugged. “You just look like a whiskey guy.”

He shrugged back and turned to me, ignoring her while she poured her drink, but I could tell she was listening to everything, the corners of her mouth tight.

“So,” he started, “you should definitely come with me to Noir tonight. We’ve got bottle service.”

“Kyle, it’s Wednesday.”


He looked at me like I was crazy as he took the drink Cam set in front of him without offering her so much as a glance. Her eyes met mine, and I could almost hear her say, See? before she turned back to the register.

I chuckled. “You’re gonna puke at practice tomorrow.”

“Maybe, but what are they gonna do about it? I’m the number two wide receiver in the NFL. You think they’re not going to put me in because I’m hungover at practice?” The big, bawdy laugh was back, as if he didn’t have a care in the world. As if he were invincible.

I felt Cam roll her eyes even with her back turned to us. I was starting to remember why it had been a while since I’d seen him, and I looked him over. The wide-eyed kid from Nebraska was nowhere to be seen these days, but I knew that deep down, his goodness hadn’t left him completely. I just hoped he didn’t self-destruct before he figured it out for himself.

“Come on,” he urged. “Garcia and Jensen will be there, and a ton of chicks. I’ll even give you dibs.”

With that, Cam walked away like she was carrying a lemon between her shoulder blades.

Kyle finally looked in her direction, watching her walk away. He jerked his chin at her as she leaned on the bar, smiling at the girl with the book while they talked.

“Weird bar, weird chicks.”

I frowned, gripping my glass a little tighter. “Cam’s not weird.”

“Yeah, she is. I bet she doesn’t even own a single pair of heels.”

“That doesn’t make her weird,” I said matter-of-factly. “That just means she doesn’t like heels.”

He still looked confused. “She doesn’t even wear makeup or anything.”

“Because she looks fine without it. What’s your issue?”

“I don’t know, man. She’d be bangin’ if she just put a little makeup and a push-up bra on.”

I shook my head, resisting the urge to deck him. “You’re an asshole.”

But he laughed and clapped me on the shoulder. “Oh, come on, man. Don’t be so sensitive. I’m just fucking with you. Cam’s cool — you know I like her. She’s a funny chick, just not your type.”

“And what exactly is my type?”

“Not that.” He nodded to Cam again.

“She tells me that all the time.” I shifted in my seat, watching her.

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