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she talked.
 That your girlfriend talking to Coach? Jamarcus pulled up next to him.
 She s not my girlfriend.
 Who is she? Lon asked, stopping short after a long run.
 She s my& assistant.
 Yeah? They let your assistant come on the field during practice? And, dude, that s one hell of a
good-looking assistant. How come she gets to talk to Coach?
 They know each other.
 How do they know each other?
He was digging the hole deeper and deeper with every lie.  I don t know. By marriage or
somebody s cousin or something. I didn t get the details. I just know she knows his family or
 Huh. Jamarcus studied her.  She s talking to him for a long time. They must be close.
 Who s the pretty girl? Kenny asked, not even winded from his drills.
 Riley s assistant, Lon said.
 No kidding. Someday maybe I ll be important enough to have an assistant. Hope she s as good-
looking as yours, Riley.
Kenny ran off to do more drills. Before he got himself into even more trouble, Cole headed toward
the sidelines.
 I was just talking to Savannah. She said the two of you have already gotten started, Coach said.
 We have.
 Good. I have high expectations of you this year, Riley. Don t fuck this up.
 I don t intend to, Coach.
Coach wandered off, leaving him with Savannah.
 Looks like you were playing nice with your teammates this morning.
 They asked about you.
 Did they? And what did you tell them?
 That you were my assistant.
She arched a brow.  Really. Would you like me to fetch you a drink to really sell it?
 I don t think that ll be necessary.
She went over to the table where cups were set up.  I insist.
She handed him a drink.  I d hate anyone to find out my real job here. I know how that worries you,
so I ll stay stealthy for you.
He rolled his eyes at her, but took the cup from her hand and downed it in two swallows.  Thanks.
 My pleasure.
She lifted her warm gaze to his.
 So what were you talking with Coach about? he asked.
 The team in general. His plans for the season.
 Yeah, I m sure he shared all that with you.
 You might be surprised what he shares with me.
He wanted to ask her what they d talked about in reference to him, but he wouldn t.  I need to get
back to work.
 Go ahead. Play nice with the other kids.
He headed back onto the field. He worked with the other receivers on the designated plays he d
learned, watching the other guys at wide receiver to size up his competition.
Kenny was good, but he was green. He was fast, but he had a lot to learn. He wasn t going to be
competition for a year or two yet. Jamarcus and Lon, however, were seasoned, fit well with the team.
Blockers respected them, they were in sync with Grant Cassidy, the quarterback, and their timing was
They were going to be his fiercest competitors. He d have to watch out for those two, make sure he
could beat them so he d end up the number one receiver on the team.
When it was time for the tight ends to do their drills, he headed over to the sidelines to get another
drink while Jamarcus and Lon huddled up with Kenny.
 You keep yourself separate from your teammates.
He downed one drink, reached for another, then turned to Savannah.  Huh?
 Look on the field. The other wide receivers are together and talking. You re over here.
 I was thirsty.
 You need to hang out with them.
 No. Why should I?
She sighed.  Because you re part of a team. That s what you do. When practice is over you rehash
with the other players in your position.
He shrugged.  That s not how I do it.
She took his arm and led him away from the other guys.  Maybe not in the past, but it s how you
need to do it now. Part of your image needs to be that of a team player. We alter your image the one
everyone s had negative issues with by showing you ve changed since coming to the Traders, that
you re more willing to play ball, so to speak.
 I m not going to change who I am, Peaches.
 That s exactly what you re going to do. That s why Elizabeth and the Traders brought me in. To
change who you are, at least on the outside. Who you are in here  she laid her hand on his chest
  that doesn t change.
Tension coiled up inside him.  I don t see any reason why I have to be friendly with those guys.
They re my competition. We re all after the same thing the ball. Playing nice with them doesn t gain
me anything.
She took a deep breath and let it out.  You need to become friendly with everyone on this team.
From the quarterback to the offensive line to every player on the defense and special teams, you re all
after the same thing that big trophy on the last game of the season and a Super Bowl ring on your
finger. The only way to get those is to work as a cohesive unit. The way you ve gone about it in the
past is all wrong. You on one side and everyone else on the other is only going to guarantee two
things. One, you don t get the ball in your hands as much as you want, and two, the potential for your
team to lose is greater because of inner turmoil. Is that what you want?
 Then at least give it a try. Be nice. Talk them up.
He glared down at her.  About what?
 Oh. My. God. You have no idea how to go about doing this, do you?
 I m not a moron.
 I didn t say you were. But you ve never gotten close to anyone on any team you ve ever played
for. Start with the new kid Kenny Lawton.
 What about him?
 He needs guidance. He s the one out in the cold and craves leadership. Who better to offer it than
you, a veteran in the game and in his position? Do you really want him bonding with the other two
receivers and leaving you the one out in the cold? [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]


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