Chapter 2 The Fumble

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His wrist snapped as the football left his hand and spiraled down the field. He barely saw Finn's fingers wrap around it before a human wall rushed towards him. Air flew out of his lungs as he was propelled backwards and tackled to the ground.

"You just got owned," Mitch crooned. Jumping to his feet, he offered a hand and pulled Talon up.

"Shut up." He rolled his shoulders back and forth, working out the kinks. Getting tackled was part of the sport, but it could hurt like hell—especially when it was someone like Mitch. The guy was built like a tank. His shoulders took up so much space he was surprised they didn't have their own zip code.

"You'd think he would be in a better mood after last night," Kevin, another linebacker, commented. "That girl was fine. Did you see the ass on her?"

His lips curled at the memory. "Thank God for rusty pipes."

Training was being held at a college campus this year because their usual camp was three feet under water. He was irritated when he first heard the news. Being bussed to a new location four hours away wasn't his definition of a good time, but when he learned a gymnastics summer session was being held he quickly changed his tune.

Kevin slapped him on the back. "You lucky dog. I heard Aaron was forced to sleep in the common room."

"It was uncomfortable as hell," a voice piped in.

Talon looked over as his roommate sidled up alongside them. Black hair was plastered against Aaron's forehead and his uniform stained with mud.

"And the bastard didn't even give me a warning," Aaron continued, wiping his face with the bottom of his jersey. "He just walked in, grabbed my shirt and tossed me out."

Talon shrugged, refusing to feel guilty. "What are you going to do—sue me?"

"That's not a bad idea."

"Sue him for emotional damage," Finn suggested, propping one hand on his hip and the other holding the ball.

He threw his friend a dirty look. "Not helping."

Aaron crossed his arms. "You could have at least texted me so I had some warning. I didn't even have time to grab a blanket or anything."

"Aww does Aaron need his blankie to sleep at night?" Finn cooed, tickling Aaron's chin.

He jerked his head away. "You should have made her bring a friend."

"Come on, man," Mitch groaned. "Get your own girls. Don't rely on pretty boy here to get them for you."

Aaron frowned. "I can get girls."

"Please, we all know you have about as much game as Finn."

"I've got plenty game!" Finn protested, tossing the football in the air and catching it with one hand. When he tossed it again, Mitch swiped the ball mid-air.

"You were saying?" he taunted, wiggling the ball in Finn's face.

Talon relaxed as listened to his friends banter back and forth. This was the life. Football, friends and fun. He couldn't image a better way to spend the last few weeks of summer. If only he could stay at camp instead of going home. Of course if he didn't leave he would never get his phone back. It was surprisingly hard to be without. In fact, he'd planned on texting Aaron to tell him he was bringing a girl back to the room, but he couldn't remember the number.

Smirking, he remembered the girl fawning over the brown dog pictured on the phone. He pretended it was his and made up a story of a family dog named Felix who thought he was a cat. It was pretty funny if he did say so himself, but the girl just gave him a blank look and asked if he ever thought of taking it to a therapist.

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