Authors: Lucy Snow
Hi! I’m Lucy Snow, and I wrote the book you’re about to read. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it, and I hope you read the rest of my books!
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The book you’re reading is part 2 of the The Alpha Ballers Trilogy. It is a standalone story with a full HEA!
If you would like to read part 1 first, which introduces several of the characters in this book (and contains a complete nifty romance as well!) please check it out with the links below:
CHAPTER 01 - LANCE
The club was loud. And I knew what loud sounded like. I had been in giant stadiums filled with people on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday afternoons in the fall for the last 10 years. Yeah, those were bigger than this club, but some of them also had a hundred thousand people in them, all making noise, all yelling and shouting.
All watching me play. So yeah, I knew what loud was.
This was loud on another level. Coupled with the low lights punctuated by lasers and murky smoke, the pounding bass and high trebles of the club was almost disorienting. I think I saw some people stagger back a couple steps as soon as they entered, when the wall of sound and the pulse of the club hit them all at once. It was almost funny to see them try and get reoriented, adjusted to the new baseline level of sound and light. Clubs were interesting like that - people came to them to be in strange environments, and do things with other people they wouldn’t dream of doing in the daylight.
AKA people came to the club to dance with their friends, drink a lot, and, if they were some combination of lucky, interesting, and interested, meet someone to take home with them for the night. I didn’t need a club like this to meet girls; I just went up and talked to them if I wanted to. Easier that way.
In fact, you couldn’t even really talk to anyone in a place like this. Talking here in the club meant shouting in someone’s ear and hoping they managed to get half of what you said, then trying to interpret their shouting back. There must have been subwoofers in the floor, because as the bass drum kicked, people vibrated, at least one I saw losing their balance. They must have had too much to drink.
Oh well, in a place like this, talking wasn’t necessary. Just touch up against someone, dance with them a bit, and then pair off, see if you liked having their tongue in your mouth and vice versa. At least, that was how it usually went for me.
Why again was I here?
Oh right, last night of the offseason for me. Tomorrow the real season began, and I’d have to say goodbye to clubs for the next 5, and hopefully 6, months. I swept my head around, taking the whole club in, suddenly unsure of how much I would miss it all. Of course, it would still be here in a few months, and so would the girls.
At least I could hear some great music here. People might not think it to look at me, but I was huge into EDM - it was all I listened to before games, when I needed to calm down and relax and get into the groove.
In fact I really shouldn’t be here at all. The season was just about to start, and I had a press conference first thing in the morning, the first time the media could ask me questions since the final roster cuts were announced. They would have some pretty direct questions for me, and I had to be on point, or they’d take whatever I said and run with it, making me, and even worse, the team, look bad in the process.
Needless to say I had no plans to say anything of substance to them.
That didn’t mean I wanted to stay out partying the night before; I still needed some sleep. But no, my buddies who weren’t in the league wanted me to come out one last time before the season started. They knew that once the games started counting, I wasn’t going anywhere near a club like this, not until February at the earliest.
So yeah, there was a small and rapidly closing window for me to let loose and have this kind of fun. I couldn’t really say no to these guys. It was so rare that I got to see them, and it would be a few months before it would really happen again.
That didn’t mean I was gonna have a lot of fun tonight. There wasn’t much for me here. Sure, I could meet a girl and take her home with me, but it would only be a short term thing.
Short term, as in tonight only.
Because starting tomorrow I didn’t have time for any more of that kind of fun. The season was on, and once that started I was all business. I was Lance Parker, starting quarterback for the New England Patriots. This season was gonna be make or break for me - I had to prove to the team that I was worthy of keeping the starting job and I had to do whatever I could to bring home a championship to New England.
That was all that mattered - not my personal life, nothing else but winning. I knew I could do it, I knew I could lead this team to where we needed to go. But I also knew I had to focus entirely on that. No distractions allowed.
It was the only way I knew how to be. The only way I could stay at my level. I knew other players that could juggle having a social life and a professional career playing football at the highest level, but I had never been one of them. I needed focus and determination, and that meant no more clubs like this.
My teammates had organized a thing like this a couple nights earlier, to celebrate the end of training camp and the final roster cuts. To me, that never felt like something worth celebrating - it was only the first, small step in a much longer journey toward the only goal that mattered: a championship ring.
Ever since I was a kid, watching football on TV with my dad every fall, talking about plays and which teams would do well, a championship win had been all I ever wanted. The thought of getting one was what kept me in the gym and the practice field those long mornings, afternoons, and nights, in high school and college, and what had gotten me this far.
I had politely declined the night out with my teammates. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy hanging out with them; I loved them like the brothers I had never had. It’s just that I tried to keep the two parts of my life separate. There was football me, and offseason me. Tonight was the last night for offseason me, then I’d get to work with my brothers on bringing home a championship; that was football me.
I stood off to the side while my buddies caroused, meeting girls and trying to talk to them over the loud music. I had a drink in my hand, but I was already into my season-long regimen of no alcohol - this was just ginger ale, no ice.
“Hey,” a voice called out off to my right while I was looking left at the light show as the lasers pulsed in time to the beat, bathing the people around them in bright greens and blues, beacons in the dark club.
I turned to the right and came face to face with a blonde girl on full display. She was dressed to kill, and looked like she knew that for a fact. Bold red, tiny little dress, pushing her tits up and out, barely covering her nipples, dress ending just below her ass. If she so much as leaned over, she’d be showing the ladies to the front and the junk to the back.
“Hey yourself.” I didn’t smile, but instead sighed to myself. A guy couldn’t even get a night to himself in a busy club around here.
I was about to turn around, thinking the conversation was over, but she lifted a pale hand to my face and held me there, her fingers brushing seductively across my jaw. “Like what you see?”
I guess I had to be polite, in case she figured out who I was. I wasn’t exactly a household name around here yet, but if this season went well I certainly would be. You didn’t want to give any of the locals a reason to hate you, even if you had a good one. “Yeah, not bad.”
She looked mildly offended, like I was somehow responsible for all the time and effort and money she put in to look this good on a night out at the club. “Not bad?” She came in closer, a gleam in her eye. “Wanna see more?”
Now that was too much for me. Far be it from me to come down on a girl for wanting what she wanted, but if she was just gonna throw herself at me like that, I wasn’t nearly as interested as I had been even 30 seconds ago, which already wasn’t much.
“Maybe some other time.”
“Why, you got an early day tomorrow?”
I smiled at her for the first time. “In fact, I do.” That wasn’t even a lie, my first press conference was at 9am, and I liked to get up early when I had to talk to the media. I wasn’t scared of it or anything, but talking to them was rarely any fun, and I didn’t like to start my day off with something like that. A workout was much better.
She leaned in and I let her talk directly into my ear. “I could make it worth your while.”
“I’m sure you could, and there’s no doubt I believe you, but not tonight.”
She leaned back, again offended, but this time for real. She looked me up and down like she was re-evaluating coming up to me in the first place. “Fine. Your loss.”
I raised my drink to her as she walked away, showing off that barely-contained ass. I took a sip. “My loss, indeed.”
I couldn’t put my finger on why I sent her away, but for some reason this girl, as ready to go as she was, just didn’t do it for me. It wasn’t that I had suddenly become some prude - in the offseason I partied and slept around as much as any guy who played professional football could. I looked over at my buddies; they were clearly having a blast, and it lifted my spirits to see them having fun.
I was different, though. I had a lot riding on my shoulders, especially this year. We had just barely missed the playoffs last year, my first as the starter. I was playing out the last year of a tiny contract, the kind of contract you get if you were just barely drafted.
The team could get rid of me easily, and no one would remember my name 6 months from now. I couldn’t have that. This was the year, the season, I had to put myself on the map.
And that didn’t really involve a girl, because who had time for that, when you were the quarterback of a professional football team? I didn’t know how other guys did it.
All I wanted to do was play football, get ready for the next game, and get better at what I did.
Girls were for the offseason. And tonight was the last night of the offseason. Sorry, ladies, Lance Parker was off limits till after the new year. Come back then and we could work something out.
One of my buddies, Steve, came over to me, his face a question. He leaned into me. “What happened with that smoking hot blonde back there?”
“I dunno, man,” I groused, playing along. “Whatever I said, it didn’t work.”
“Oh man, sorry about that,” my buddy said, all concerned, before he grinned. “Mind if I take a crack at her?” We had known each other for years, since back in high school. Yeah, our lives had gone their separate ways since then, but he knew me before I was cool, before I had endorsement deals, meager as they were still. That was the kind of friendship that lasted forever.
I looked up and over the room, through the crowd, looking for the statuesque blonde. She was there, with her friends, talking amongst themselves, but she kept looking back at me. When we locked eyes in the distance, I gave her a small smile, and she shook her head, shaking me off.