The weekend of the championship game, all football star Tre Griffin wants is to escape Miami and the reminder that he's not playing. When his flight out of town is delayed, he meets Michael Pappas in the hotel bar. Their attraction is immediate, and when he discovers Michael has no idea who he is, Tre decides to act on it.
One night of no-strings-attached passion stretches into a whole weekend, but with Tre all too visible in the public spotlight, he can't risk hoping for anything more. A single perfect weekend is all they have. Until Michael discovers the truth. And they both begin to think it could be something more.
Tre couldn’t remember the last time he’d had a warm body in bed with him long after the fucking was over. Not since college, at least, when he was willing to risk staying over at his boyfriend’s apartment. He had forgotten how nice it was. But maybe it was just Michael who was nice, his long form draped halfway over Tre’s, his skin surprisingly smooth.
The large numbers on the clock next to the bed told him he should go to sleep. His wake-up call was in three hours. He never slept on planes. His sister wouldn’t let him crash when he got there, either. Plus, he was exhausted. But he was wired, too. Having a strange person in bed with him made his skin warm, and the back of his neck tingle. It was more exciting than soothing. Tre didn’t know if that was because of the novelty of the situation, or because the body in bed with him was Michael.
Michael stirred beside him, and his eyes reflected the room’s dim light. On impulse, Tre touched his cheek with his thumb. It was rough with fresh stubble. “Thought you were asleep.”
“I was.” The hand resting on Tre’s stomach flexed in slow motion, fingertips drawing over the skin before relaxing again. “Now I’m not.”
“You’re going to be exhausted tomorrow. And you’re going to have extra work. I kept you from your grading.”
Michael moved closer, his lips grazing over Tre’s bicep. “I can always sleep after you’re gone. And I don’t have to be at my parents’ until Sunday. I don’t want to lose time I don’t need to.”
Tre felt a twinge at the mention of Sunday, but it was surprisingly small, his regret dampened by the night they just had. “I don’t want to lose time either. Where are you from?”
“Originally? Milwaukee. But I’ve lived in DC since college. I teach at Georgetown.” He propped his head up on his hand. “What about you? Are you flying home tomorrow?”
“No, I live here in Miami for most of the year. But my family still lives in Chicago, and I’m flying up to spend a few weeks with my twin sister, Tracy. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, and no, I don’t know what was going on in Mom’s head.” He ran his fingers down Michael’s spine. “Nobody in their right mind would want to be in Chicago in January instead of Miami, but I can’t stand it here right now.”
A sleepy smile curved Michael’s mouth. “Is there a hurricane coming in I don’t know about? Please say yes. Let me have an excuse to go home before Sunday.”
“No, no hurricane. I just get restless this time of year.” Which was actually true. The end of the season always made him shiftless, like he was a little bit lost. “I guess you can take the boy out of Chicago, but ... Why do you want to get out of seeing your family?”
“I hate having to pretend. My mom would never understand me being gay.” He sighed. “I wasn’t kidding about the heart attack.”
“I get that. Believe me. And it’s not just my family. If anybody knew ... I think tonight is the first time in a long time I haven’t needed to pretend.”
The look in Michael’s eyes softened, and he lifted his hand from Tre’s stomach to ghost fingertips over his mouth. “You don’t have to worry about me. I know what discretion is.”
“I appreciate that.” For a brief moment, Tre wondered if Michael would be discreet if he knew anything about professional sports. He would probably get a decent chunk of change for selling his story. But almost as soon as he thought it, he dismissed the notion. Because Michael wasn’t like that, he was sure of it. “So is there anybody waiting for you back at Georgetown?”
“Just Sam and Taylor. My cats.” His smile was sheepish. “I wasn’t kidding in the bar. I don’t find very many men I like who ... are interested in men like me.”
“You can’t find many men who are interested in gorgeous, intelligent guys like you? What sort of men are you looking for?”
Even in the dim light, Michael’s flush was clear. “I’m not gorgeous. Not like you.”
Tre didn’t have an opinion on his own looks, but he very much disagreed with Michael’s assessment of himself. “All I know is, as soon as I saw you downstairs, I didn’t want to look away. Sam and Taylor? Are you a poetry fan, too?”
His brows shot up. “You know Coleridge? Nobody ever gets the reference.”
Tre laughed softly. “Yeah, I’m familiar with old S.T. Though I’m also deeply closeted when it comes to my affinity for the Romantics. I don’t think I know many people who would really get it.”
“Well, I do.”
Tre was surprised when Michael suddenly moved on top of him, aligning their bodies perfectly. Though he held himself up, he dropped slow, lazy kisses along Tre’s jaw, leaving behind a trail of heat.
“Thanks for making this weekend a good one for me,” he murmured. “Sunday’s not going to be so bad now, I don’t think.”
Tre sighed, smoothing his hands down Michael’s back. “I should be thanking you. You’ve already made this weekend a thousand times better. I can’t even tell you ...” His words faded as Michael shifted, his mouth moving to Tre’s neck. Why am I leaving again?