Melanie Smith has followed football her entire life, and is a long-time fan of the California Wildcats. When they lose the world championship in the final seconds of the game, she is devastated.
But not as devastated as Derek Fox, the Wildcats' handsome and sexy quarterback.
A chance meeting brings Melanie and Derek together, and after the disappointing loss, they turn to each other for comfort in the long and steamy night ahead ...
"Weren't you at the game?" Harold greeted, as Melanie pushed the door open.
Melanie grunted in response and stomped her feet until the snow fell from her boots. The air was warm and smelled of peanuts and beer and the faint hint of cigarettes. She inhaled deeply, slightly comforted by the familiar aroma of her favorite bar.
"That was some game, wasn't it?"
Melanie grunted again, and settled at the bar. "Just give me the usual, will ya?" She glanced up at the television, watching the crowds singing and partying in the streets surrounding the stadium. Streamers flew through the air with the snow, sirens and horns blasted over the noise of the crowd, and the footage was cut with the shot of the Bulldogs' quarterback accepting the large trophy that commemorated his third championship.
Melanie sighed. "Will you turn this off? You don't even care about the game."
Harold shrugged. "I thought somebody in here would want to see it."
Melanie looked around. There was only one other person in the bar, and he wasn't paying any attention to the television. In fact, he looked fascinated by the golden amber at the bottom of his glass.
"Nobody in here wants to see it."
"No problem," Harold said, and the screen went black. "There's always next season, right?"
A sound from the end of the bar caught her attention. The man might have been coughing, or maybe laughing. He lifted his head and gestured for another drink, long hair flopping over his eye, but it wasn't long enough to disguise his familiar features. Melanie caught her breath. She would know his face anywhere.
"Harold," Melanie hissed, reaching over the bar to grab his arm.
"I want to buy his drink."
"Tell him I'm buying his drink."
"Why don't you just tell him yourself?"
Melanie bit her bottom lip, torn. On the one hand, she didn't want to impose. On the other hand, when would she get another chance like this?
"Fine. Give it to me."
Harold handed her the pint of beer. "I don't think he wants company," he said softly.
Melanie didn't blame him. "I just want to meet him. I'll leave him alone."
She slid off her stool and walked down to the end of the bar, a beer in each hand. She slid the full glass in front of him, settling on the seat beside him.
"You're Derek Fox, right?"
"That depends," he said, brushing his brown hair out of his face.
"On whether or not you want to string me up by my balls."
Melanie smiled softly. "No, I'm not interested in that."
He held out his hand. "Derek Fox at your service."
"It's a pleasure to meet you Melanie." He lifted the beer in her direction. "Cheers."