Dan Reyes always has a plan. And now that he’s settled into the life he’s always wanted, he’s got another mission: charm Troy Anderson into going on a date with him. Now that Troy’s professional football career is over, he’s moved back to their hometown and Dan’s high school crush is reigniting.
“You’re teaching?” Dan asked. “I know you wanted to, back in ...”
He trailed off as he realized that he only knew this due to social media creeping. Over the years, Dan had kept casual tabs on Troy via Facebook, sports news feeds, and hometown gossip. Troy had stood out as the starting quarterback at Penn State, bringing the team to victory after victory. He’d been featured in an ESPN article his senior year, talking about how he balanced his education and athletics, and how he hoped to be a teacher someday. The photo in the article pictured Troy in the library, wearing his football jersey and a smile. Dan had scrolled past it quite a few times on his Facebook timeline, slowing down each time.
Troy raised an eyebrow but didn’t comment on Dan’s awkward lapse into silence. “Yeah, I’m the new head of athletics. So not exactly teaching, mostly it’ll be administrative work. Budgets, program management, things like that. But I’m also coaching the football team. Oh, and I’m helping out with the gay-straight alliance. I’ll be one of the advisors, and we’re looking to ramp up the events and membership.”
“That sounds like a lot.” Dan was impressed, if slightly overwhelmed by the idea of that much responsibility. And he hoped that the gay-straight alliance involvement meant that Troy would be comfortable and open about his own bisexuality.
Not that Dan stood a chance with him, but still.
“Do you get a lot of kids studying in here?” Troy gestured towards the back corner of the shop, where several battered easy chairs were arranged for reading.
“Sometimes we do, yeah.”
“Do you think it would be okay if I brought some of my students around sometimes?”
“Of course,” Dan replied. “You’re welcome any time.”
“I’ll take you up on that.” Troy checked his watch, then stretched his arms over his head. Dan absolutely did not notice how his shirt stretched across his chest muscles.
“I’ve gotta get my run started, I’m already late. But I’ll definitely be seeing you around.”
“It’s good to have you back,” Dan said. “I mean, uh, I’ll look forward to seeing you more. Again. Soon.”
Troy looked amused but didn’t comment on Dan’s loss of lingual skills. “Oh by the way, please tell me you still serve that cold brew. Your uncle makes the best coffee, hands down.”
“I make it now,” Dan admitted. “Hopefully it’s as good as you remember.”
“I’m sure it will be, and I’ll be sure to stop by tomorrow after my run and find out.”
Waving, Troy left the shop. Dan let out a sigh of relief once the door shut behind him. It would be no use to let his high school crush flare up again. Troy might not be high profile enough for the tabloids anymore, but he was still out of Dan’s league.