OUT IN THE OFFENSE
Out in College Series, Book 3
RELEASE DATE: 01.06.19
COVER ARTIST: REESE DANTE
Christian Rafferty is a talented quarterback with a big secret. He’s determined to make the most of his final season on the football field, and if possible, avoid any confrontations with his conservative parents about his future. It shouldn’t be difficult; he’s become adept at keeping his public and private lives separate. However, when a math class threatens to derail his plans to graduate on time, he realizes he may need outside help.
Rory Kirkland has a reputation for being a tough guy. He’s a former wrestler and recent college graduate who needs a real job. Until he finds one, tutoring is a decent temporary gig. Luckily, his brain is his biggest asset. Rory is a genius. He credits his sport for helping him deal with angst and rumors about his sexuality when he was younger, but he doesn’t care what others think anymore. He likes his new status as an out and proud bi man; and he recognizes something of himself in Christian. But Rory didn’t count on falling for him. When an unlikely friendship collides with intense attraction, both men begin to realize that coming out on offense just might be the surest path to love.
“You don’t want to hear about my game or the stupid college parties I went to, so let’s talk statistics.”I tapped the cover of the textbook meaningfully.
“We’ll get there. Did you win?”
“Yeah, it was a blowout.”
“Sorry, the acoustics in here are whack. Did you say you got a blowjob?”
I snickered, then sat back and twisted the straw in my to-go cup. “Unfortunately, no.”
Rory tsked. “Too bad, my friend.”
“Yep. I want to brag and tell you it was amazing, but it wasn’t all that special. I was horny. He was willing.…You know the story.”
“Yeah, I think it’s called a short story with a happy ending,”I joked.
“Ha! Exactly. That’s what happens when you go lookin’ for love in da club. Everyone’s out for a quick fix. Sounds perfect until it’s over ten minutes later. Then you gotta deal with the uncomfortable ‘Did we really just do that?’aftermath. Not so fun. Enjoy college life while you can. This adult business sucks,”he huffed humorlessly. “And yeah, I took Spanish in school and my brother speaks it. I know enough to hold a short conversation. That’s about it. Why’d you ask?”
I frowned. “I don’t know.”
Rory gave me a patient look. “Talk to me, Christian. We covered Basic BS 101. You told me you won your game and went to a coupla boring parties. I told you I went to WeHo with some friends. Now I’m backtracking to your question about whether or not I speak Spanish ’cause I’m polite like that. Plus it was a weird one. Why’d you want to know?”
“Your tattoo,”I replied, gesturing at his wrist.
Rory turned his palms over for me to inspect. “They’re lines from a Pablo Neruda poem. This one says, ‘En mí todo ese fuego se repite’ and this says, ‘En mí nada se apaga ni se olvida.’The translation is, ‘In me all this fire is repeated’ and ‘In me nothing is extinguished or forgotten.’The poem is called ‘If You Forget Me,’and it’s poignant as fuck. If you don’t know it, look it up.”
“I will. That’s cool.”And “poignant as fuck,”as he so eloquently put it. “But what does it mean to you?”I asked.
“That goes a little beyond water-cooler talk, QB. We’ll save it for when and if we get to know each other well enough to tell secrets,”he said, winking to take the sting from his words.
I nodded in understanding but instead of pulling away, I absently reached out to touch the script. Then I looked into his eyes, and I could have sworn I saw the tiniest crack in his armor before an invisible shield fell into place. In that fraction of a second, a silent communication passed between us. He’d been through hard times and he’d emerged…possibly stronger than ever. I was curious for sure, but there was no way to politely ask his story, so I inclined my head and switched gears.
“Did you study poetry in college?”
“No.”Rory sat back and eyed me for a long moment before continuing. “Are you ready to tackle stats now?”
I slumped in my chair with a theatrical sigh and gave myself a mental high five when he chuckled at my antics. “Ready as I’ll ever be.”
“I’ll go easy on you. I’ve got a feeling this is gonna hurt me more than it’ll hurt you,” he snarked.
I chuckled at the playful innuendo as I leaned forward, intent on giving him one hundred percent of my attention for as long as I could possibly stand it.
Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full-time! It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and were winners in the 2016 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in an almost empty nest.