by Cathryn Fox
End Zone, #1
Publication Date: May 4, 2021
Genres: New Adult, Sports, Romance, Contemporary, Romance
The ultimate bad boy every girl wants.
His world at Kinston College is full of parties, booze and sex. The opposite of mine.
I’m the quiet twin he never knew existed, until he heard a lie—I hated him.
Maybe that’s why he pursued me—why I became his obsession. It’s all about the chase, right?
I can’t deny that I like the attention. That my body burns for him. I shouldn’t crave him. I hate that I do. We don’t belong together.
That should have been enough to stop me from sneaking into his room, from teasing a thirst I just can’t quench…because once the hunt is over, it’s ALL over.
Unless he never knew it was me…
I stand at my door listening, waiting for him to make it downstairs, and then quietly open it. Keeping the lights off, I make my way down in the dark. I step outside and take a big breath of night air, letting it soothe the anxiety inside me. I peer into the dark, and can make out Landon’s shape out near the barn. I head toward him, the night sky bright with stars.
“Hey,” I say when I reach him. I can’t quite see his face in the dark, but can hear the stress in his voice when he says hello. “You want to go for a walk?”
Grass and hay crunch beneath our feet as we head out into the orchard. A comfortable quiet surrounds us as we walk, both lost in our own thoughts. Finally I break the quiet and say, “Most of the trees are picked clean by now, but a few of the later apples are still on them. Want to go grab one?”
“Sure,” he says and I chuckle. “What?”
“That seems to be your word of the night. What happened to that great vocabulary of yours?”
Our knuckles brush, and I can almost feel him relax beside me. “Just a little lost for words tonight,” he says and I nod in the dark, even though he can’t see me.
“Come on,” I urge, and take his hand, sensing he needs a reprieve from reality, if only for a little while. “Let’s go do something fun.”
“Fun is good.”
We walk and walk and walk, until we reach our neighbor’s farm. I put my hand to my lips to make sure he stays quiet. “Where are we?” he asks in a whispered voice. I take my phone out and put on my flashlight app. I shine it on the corn stalk maze.
“My neighbors set this up every year for the kids.”
“It’s a maze?” he asks.
“Yeah, want to do it?”
He scratches his head and when I shine the light on him, he says, “Can you turn that off?” He used those exact words when I shone the light on him in his bedroom that first night, the night that feels like it happened so long ago.
“Sorry,” I apologize and turn it off. I run into the maze and he curses under his breath as he follows behind me.
“Where the hell are you?” he asks, and I run, loving the wind in my face, and just wanting to be twelve again, no worries, no hurt…
“Marco,” he calls out and I laugh.
“Polo,” I say and run around the stalks, coming to a dead end. I turn and take the right when I spot his shadow in the distance.
His voice is close, and I keep running. When I get to a safe distance away, I whisper, “Polo.” I can’t stop the chuckle in my throat. It rises up and gives away my location as I try to get past him. He reaches out and snatches me by the waist.
“Got you,” he says, and tugs me to him. The chuckle dies on my lips as his heat reaches out to me, the space between us filling with want, need, and volatile energy.
“Ella,” he whispers in the dark, and I wet my lips, wanting his mouth on mine.
He pushes my hair back, and tucks it behind my ears and my entire body tingles, from the top of my head to the tips of my toes. His finger lingers near my ear, and trail down along my neck. His touch is like fire on my skin as I pull in a fast breath. A noise sounds in the distance, an animal scurrying in the night, but we continue to stand there, face to face, our bodies close, aligned perfectly. Before I can think better of it, I put my hands on his shoulders, just for one second—one last time—wanting to feel him.
He leans into me, and his warm breath washes over my face. I wish I could see his eyes. But I’m being selfish, taking what isn’t mine even though it seems to be what we both want. Sometimes life just isn’t fair. I drop my hands, and step into him, pressing my face against his heart. His hands close around me, like he too knows we can’t do this. In the dark of the night we stand there, two lost souls.
ABOUT CATHRYN FOX
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author, Cathryn Fox is a wife, mom, sister, daughter, and friend. She loves dogs, sunny weather, anything chocolate (she never says no to a brownie) pizza and red wine. She has two teenagers who keep her busy with their never ending activities, and a husband who is convinced he can turn her into a mixed martial arts fan. Cathryn can never find balance in her life, is always trying to find time to go to the gym, can never keep up with emails, Facebook or Twitter and tries to write page-turning books that her readers will love.
Cathryn also writes New Adult Paranormal under Cat Kalen.