A Game of Inches – Part Seven

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I drove straight home , I guess it was about five o’clock in the evening when I arrived. I went in and started gathering everything I would need for the trip in the morning. I put all of my bags by the front door along with my tickets and printed information. I laid out the clothes that I would wear on the plane the next day, then cleaned my room for the last time.

I sat up and watched TV with Ashley for a while, I went to bed sometime around nine thirty. It was really a quiet, somber night, Ashley didn’t have much to say. As much as I was looking forward to starting a new life, I knew I was going to miss Ashley like crazy. I know I tossed and turned for at least an hour before I guess I finally fell off to sleep.

I’m not sure what startled me out of sleep, I sensed something was not right. I was lying on my side, my back was to the bedroom door. I blinked several times to adjust my eyes to the darkness, beginning to roll over. I had not even turned all the way over when I saw Ashley standing over me, an odd look on her face. I had to look twice to believe my eyes, I had never in my life seen Ashley like this. She was wearing a sheer, white lace top that had a plunging neckline in the front. It came down to her hips, it barely covered the waist line of a matching pair of white laced panties. I must have had a “what the hell is going on” look on my face. She placed one knee on my bed, one hand on my shoulder and leaned down, her face a few inches from my ear.

“Don’t say anything Brian, not a word. This will never happen again, it’s our one and only night together. This is just so when we are in our later year’s, we don’t say I wish I would have.”, she whispered. “Come with me.”

She took my hand, led me from my room into hers, across the room to her bed. I can’t describe what I was feeling, never had I had these feelings before. My eyes were taking in her luscious body, that was clearly visible through the sheer lingerie. She climbed in her bed , pulling me by the hand, until we were both lying next to each other. As we laid there, our eyes locked into each other’s gaze, she softly caressed my cheek with her soft, warm hand. She leaned forward and pressed her lips to mine, her mouth slightly open, her tongue grazing my lips softly. I parted my lips and met her tongue with mine, chills were running up and down my spine.

She rolled to her right, pulling me over her slightly, her head resting on the pillow. I gently pushed my tongue between her lips into her mouth, tasting her eager hot mouth, as I had never before. I slowly slid my hand down her smooth flat stomach, my fingers inching inside her silk, lace panties. I eased further down over her smooth mound until my index finger was pressing into her hot, wet pussy. She moaned into my mouth as my finger found her clit for the first time, her body pressing into mine with urgency. As much as I wanted to be inside of Ashley at that moment, I was determined to make this night last as long as possible, there would never be another.

I carefully pushed Ashley’s top up her stomach, exposing her beautiful, firm breasts. I broke our kiss and leaned over her, gently sucking one of her rock hard nipples into my mouth. Again she whimpered softly as my tongue danced across it, my finger still massaging her swelling clit. As I continued to gently lick her nipple, I slid my hand out of her panties, grabbed the waist band and pushed them down her long, lean legs. I released her nipple from my mouth, then gently began kissing down her body, until I was only inches from her pussy. I extended my tongue, then gently flicked it across her clit several times quickly. She immediately let out a long soft moan, her back arching off the bed in response to the pleasure she was enjoying. I moved over her, then settled in between her legs, lifting one over each of my shoulders. I extended my tongue and took one very long lick from the bottom to the top of her luscious slit, pausing again to tickle her clit with my tongue.

“Oh MY Goddddddddddd, Brian.”, she moaned softly, “That feels so good.”

I eased my tongue slowly inside of her soaking wet pussy, my finger replacing my tongue on her clit. I gently stroked her clit with my finger, as I plunged my tongue in and out of her pussy. She was beginning to breathe heavily as her fluid ran into my mouth, coating my face. I felt her thighs beginning to tighten around my face, I knew she was getting close to an orgasm. I ran both hands up her stomach, finally reaching her breasts, where I softly kneaded them with my hands. I was out of my mind with passion, I was truly pleasuring a goddess, the woman of my dreams. Suddenly with no warning, Ashley exploded into a violent orgasm, her thighs clamping down on my head.
She grabbed the pillow on both sides, as she bucked against my mouth, spraying my face with her cum, which was thick and very sweet. As she came down from the powerful explosion, I continued to gently lick and suck her swollen, very sensitive clit. She released the pillow and began to slowly, softly squeeze her luscious breasts.

“Mmmmmmmmmm Brian, that was wonderful.”, she whispered.

She held out her hands as a motion for me to slide back up into her arms. I pushed my self up and moved over her, resting my weight on my extended arms. I leaned down and kissed her gently, pushing my tongue between her lips. I felt her hands caressing my chest, my shoulders and up and down my arms. My lips left hers, I opened my eyes taking in this vision of beauty that was beneath me.

“Brian, your body is incredible, so strong and powerful. I really feel like a woman in your arms.”, she purred.

With that she put both hands on my chest and pushed me gently to her left, rolling me over on my back. She put her lips on my chest, kissing me gently as one of her hands moved slowly down my stomach and into my shorts. She quickly found my raging hard on, her fingers gripping it softly, almost with a delicate touch. She slowly stroked me up and down, her motion was so loving and gentle. I knew no matter how much I tried, I was not going to be able to last very long. Slowly her lips followed the path her hand had just taken, until I felt her pull on my shorts, then push them down my legs.

I felt the tip of her tongue flick across the end of my cock rapidly, her hand grabbing the base firmly. She sucked just the tip of my cock into her warm, wet mouth, her tongue swirling around the head rapidly. She slowly slid her hand up and down my shaft, softly pumping me into her mouth. The feeling was absolutely incredible, every nerve in my body was on fire, never had I felt this good in my life. Somehow, she knew I was getting close, she lifted her mouth from my cock, released me, then moved back up my body.

She straddled me, reached between us and found my rock hard cock with her right hand. She moved her face over mine so that her lips were only inches from mine, her eyes locked into me.

“I have wanted to do this for a long time.”, she whispered.

She then pulled up on my cock, pressing the head between the lips of her pussy, into the soaking wet entrance I had so long dreamed of. She slowly inched her way down on my shaft until I was buried deep inside of her. I watched her beautiful eyes roll back into her head as my cock stretched her pussy for the first time. She was extremely tight, but sopping wet, her pussy clamping down on my cock. I felt the cum boiling in my balls, I was seconds away from cumming. I grabbed her ass with both hands and held her tight, not allowing her to move.

“Please, don’t move. I don’t want to cum yet Ash.”, I warned.

She smiled down at me, then lowered her entire body on mine, her lips again only inches from mine.

“Don’t move, just kiss me sweetheart.”, she urged.

For the next five minutes or so, I did just that. Our mouths were pressed together, our tongues were dancing as I enjoyed the sensation of her hot, wet pussy around my cock. I could tell by her breathing that she was once again possibly building up to another orgasm. I broke our kiss and whispered softly in her ear.

“Can you cum again Ashley ?”, I asked.

“Brian, I think I can cum all night with you. That won’t be a problem.”, she replied, her words laced in desire.

I took her by the shoulders and rolled her over on her back, then resuming my position between her legs. I reached down and grabbed my cock, pushing it once again in her steaming, wet pussy. With one quick push, I buried myself in her womb, my pubic bone pressing hard on her clit. She threw her head back and moaned in passion. Her hands immediately went to my hips, urging me to fuck her.

I began to slowly pull my cock out of her until just the head was inside, then pushing back hard until I bottomed out. I knew after just several thrusts I was going to cum , so I just let go completely. I began to thrust into her as rapidly as I could, slamming my cock into her with reckless abandon. It didn’t take more than a few strokes before I knew I was there.

“Oh Ash, I’m gonna cum…..”, I cried out.

She was holding on to my hips tightly as she began to thrust her pussy towards me, meeting each of my down strokes with one of her own. I slammed into her with one final thrust, holding her tightly as the first jet of cum exploded into her womb. As the cum exploded from my cock in short, powerful spurts washing her insides, she once again cried out in passion, another orgasm overtaking her. We both held each tightly, our bodies shaking with pleasure for several moments. Finally spent, I rolled off of Ashley, falling into the bed next to her. She rolled over facing me, her hand softly caressing my face. She leaned over and pressed her lips to mine, her tongue separating my lips quickly. I pulled her close into my arms, kissing her passionately. Finally we broke the kiss, our eyes opening, staring at each other.

“I love you so much Ash, so much it hurts.”, I whispered.

She placed one finger up to my lips, holding it there gently, as she looked caringly into my eyes.

“Shhhhhhhhh, please don’t.”, she begged.

“I’m sorry Ashley, I can’t help how I feel about you.”, I replied.

“I know sweetheart, I love you too.”, she answered.

We laid there for a while, our arms wrapped around each other, not a word was said. I finally tilted my head back towards her, she was staring directly at me. I leaned over towards her, my lips finding hers again. I kissed her sweet lips once again, my tongue finding hers instantly. In less than a minute, I felt my cock stir to life once more. I began to kiss her cheek, her neck, down to her shoulders. I could feel her body once again respond to my lips, soft moans coming from her lips. I slowly worked my way down her body once more, my tongue leaving a trail down her smooth flat stomach. As my tongue reached her pubic mound and to the top of her pussy, she quickly reached down her hand grabbing my shoulder in protest.

“Brian wait please, let me go shower first.”, she urged.

“Nuh uh.”, I said quickly, as my tongue found her clit.

I knew what she meant, to be honest I was not sure about what I was going to do myself. But being here, this one time with Ashley, I just didn’t care. As I extended my tongue and slid it down the length of her slit, I felt a large bead of my cum drip from her pussy onto my tongue. I hesitated for a second, the taste was salty and extremely bitter. I regrouped quickly, my tongue sweeping up and depositing the cum all over her swelling clit. Her hands quickly went from my shoulders to my head, pulling my face into her pussy firmly. I eased my tongue deep inside of her releasing what was left of my load into my mouth. Ashley’s mind was already reeling, her hips bucking against my face wildly. I’m sure the thought of a man eating his own cum from her pussy was fueling her desire. By now my face was coated with my own cum, my tongue sloshing in and out of her sperm soaked pussy. I felt her fingers dig into my scalp, her body become rigid underneath me.

“Oh Jesus Brian, please don’t stop…..make me cum baby….oh yea..
Oh yeaaaaaaaaaa…, oh yessssssssssssssssss. “, she wailed.

Her third orgasm was by the far the longest and most violent, I could barely keep my mouth on her pussy as her lady cum oozed from her slit. I tried to swallow as much as I could but there was just too much. I continued to lick and swallow as much as I could, easing her down from her orgasm, as I gently sucked and licked her clit.

After she had come to complete rest, I moved my body back up against her, laying my head on her soft, firm breasts. She ran her fingers through my hair, as I listened to the faint beating of her heart.

“Brian, that was absolutely the most intense orgasm I have ever had in life. The thought of what you were actually doing just made me insane.”, she whispered.

“I’m glad you enjoyed it Ash.”, I answered.

After a few moments she got up and went into her bathroom to shower, I did the same in the bath in the hallway. I brushed my teeth, put on some shorts and a tee shirt and returned to her bedroom. She was still in the shower as I climbed back into her bed. Seconds later she came out of the bath, wrapped only in a white towel. She climbed into bed, tossing the towel on the floor behind her. She immediately moved towards me, her lips met mine in a passionate kiss. I pulled her close to me, my lips responding to hers izmit escort bayan once again. I couldn’t get enough of Ashley, I wanted so much to please her, make her my own.
I felt her hand slide down my body, inside of my shorts, wrapping around my hardening cock once again. Within a minute her hand had worked it’s magic, my cock was swollen and engorged. She moved her body down mine, her lips once again swallowing my cock, her tongue flicking the underside of the head. She brought me to the brink of orgasm several times, knowing exactly when to stop and let me recover. Finally she released me from her lips and moved back up next to me. She looked at me through lust filled eyes, her face flushed with desire.

“Fuck me from behind Brian, bury your cock in me.”, she pleaded.

I quickly pushed my self up on the bed and moved down the mattress. She rolled to the center of the bed, pushed herself up to her hands and knees, lifting her ass in the air for me. I moved in directly behind her my cock moving between her legs. She reached down between her legs, grabbing my cock and guiding it to the entrance of her pussy. Once again she was soaked in desire, her juices flowing freely. I pushed forward ever so gently, the head of my cock popping inside of her wet pussy. Before I could even move again, Ashley pushed back with all of her force, driving my cock deep inside of her body. I reached down and grabbed her hips and I began to move in and out of her body, my cock gliding effortlessly in her soaked vagina. She reached down and began to vigorously rub her clit and I drove my cock into her over and over, I could tell she was close to cumming again.

“That’s it Ash, rub that pussy for me. Rub it, baby. Cum all over my cock.”, I urged.

“Oh Brian, it feels so God damn good, fuck me sweetheart, fuck me hard.”, she cried out.

“Come on Ash, let it go baby…..let it go…”, I begged.

Suddenly without warning, she cried out, as loud as I have ever heard her. Her body shaking once again, her legs trembling under me.

“Oh my God Brian…… I’m cumming babyyyyy…..”, she whined.

I thrust forward once more, burying my cock inside of her, my hands holding her hips firm. She was impaled on my cock, as her pussy once again released a torrent of juices, much of it running down between our legs. As her orgasm subsided, I began to slowly stroke my cock in and out of her, my hands softly running up and down her back. As her breathing returned to normal, she looked back over her shoulder, her gaze locked onto mine once again.

“Fuck me baby, fuck my pussy hard. I want you to cum for me.”, she begged.

Once again I began to move inside of her, slowly with long smooth strokes. I could feel the orgasm building in my balls, my cock began to throb inside of her pussy. Once again, she looked over and shoulder at me, her face flushed, her words dripping with lust.

“Pull out before you cum, I want you to cum in my mouth.”, she urged.

It took maybe three more slow, long strokes before I knew I was ready. I pulled out of her quickly, as she scrambled around the bed to face me. She quickly grabbed my cock and swallowed it, driving it to the back of her throat. She cupped my balls in her soft hands, just as the first jet of cum hit the back of her throat. My head was spinning as my cock erupted into her soft, warm mouth, her tongue washing the cum all over the head of my penis. She continued sucking with passion as the last few remaining shots of cum oozed from my cock. I fell over exhausted, onto my back, completely out of breath. She knelt over me, sucking my cock deep into her mouth again, her tongue softly bathing me with gentle strokes. She softly caressed my balls, as she lovingly licked and sucked my penis for several minutes. She then moved up along side of me, laying her head on my chest, her arm draped across me. We laid there for quite a while before I looked over at the clock. I was startled to see it was almost four in the morning, we had been making love for close to three hours.

Ashley looked over at the clock as well, realizing the same thing that I had. She quickly turned back to me, her eyes wide and bright.

“Oh my God, Brian. You better get some sleep. You leave in less than five hours.”, she exclaimed.

“It’s ok Ash, just come here.”, I answered, pulling her close.

We slept in each others arms until about six thirty, when I got up, dressed and got ready for the transportation service to arrive. I was sitting in the kitchen drinking my first cup of coffee when Ashley came in, the matching white lace top and panties once again adorning her gorgeous body. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her as she poured herself a cup of coffee.

“Ashley, you’re so beautiful, God I love you so much.”, I said softly.

She walked over to me, bent over and pressed her lips to mine, her tongue gently licking my lips. She pulled away, her hand caressing my cheek softly, then moved over to the chair and sat down. She reached across the table and took my hand into hers, a warm smile on her face.

“Brian, thank you so much for last night. I have never in all my life experienced the passion and love that I did last night. I will never forget it as long as I live.”, she said softly.

“I love you Ash. It just feels so right when I am with you, how can that be a bad thing ?”, I said, pleading for an answer.

“It’s not a bad thing sweetheart, it’s just something that can never be, please understand that,.” she urged.

“I’ll try Ash, but it’s going to break my heart.”, I said, tears forming in my eyes.

Before she could say anything, I heard a horn from outside the kitchen door, it was my ride to the airport. I slowly stood up and walked over to Ashley, pulling her up into my arms one last time. I softly pressed my lips to hers, this one last time, she would never be mine again. She kissed me back with all the passion and love I had experienced just several hours before, her arms holding me tight. As I opened the door to leave, I turned around once last time to see her.

“Make me proud sweetheart, be careful and stay safe. Call me when you get there.”, she asked, doing her best to fight back the tears.

I turned without saying a word, closing the door behind me. I walked toward the large black town car, the driver meeting me halfway, taking my two bags. I climbed into the car as he loaded my bags in the trunk. We pulled away from the only home I had ever known, leaving the small town which had embraced me as their own. Before I knew it, we were on the highway, the town disappearing through the rear window.

Two hours later I was at thirty three thousand feet in the huge jumbo jet headed to California. For the first time in my life, I felt truly alone, hollow and empty. My plane arrived in Los Angeles at one o’clock, my driver was waiting for me outside the terminal. As we pulled out of the holding area, I received a text message on my phone, I answered it quickly, hoping it was from Ashley. I recognized the number as Courtney’s, I paused for a second, realizing the error I had made. I had forgot to call her and tell her goodbye, I felt awful. I opened the text, my eyes adjusted to the small screen. It was a short simple message.

If you must go,

Then I wish you love,

You’ll never walk alone,

Take care my love,

I’ll miss you love.

I read the words, over and over, very simple, yet so powerful. The realization hit me hard, my stomach sinking quickly, a huge lump forming in my throat. The same heartbreak I was feeling leaving Ashley, was what Courtney was feeling this very moment, several thousand miles away. I felt the tears run down my face, as I closed the phone, how could I have forgotten to call Courtney ?

It was a quick trip across town to the San Diego training facility, we were there in less than thirty minutes. I was amazed at the intense amount of traffic on the roads, I was so used to small town life. As I entered the lobby of the team’s offices, I was overwhelmed at the sheer massiveness of the facility. The entry was lined in trophies and awards, pictures of past teams and players adorned the walls. I was greeted by a very pretty, young lady who was seated at the reception desk.

“How may I help today ?”, she said, with a pretty smile.

“I am supposed to report here today, to uh … Coach Reed. I am Brian Stevens.”, I told her.

“Oh Mr. Stevens, they are expecting you. Please take a seat, I will call someone to get you.”, she replied.

She dialed a number and spoke to someone quickly, then hung up and told me they would be with me in a moment. Several minutes later, Coach Reed came through the huge double doors, a smile on his face.

“Brian, welcome, welcome. How was your flight ?”, he asked, shaking my hand.

“Just fine Coach, thank you.”, I answered.

He asked me to follow to his office and we both moved through the double doors to the back. There were a maze of hallways and offices that were all occupied by several people. We finally arrived in Coach Reed’s office, a massive room, which was decorated much like the entry area, with memorabilia of past seasons. I sat down in one of the two huge chairs that faced the desk. Coach reed picked up the phone and made two calls asking both parties to meet him immediately in his office. Several moments later, I was introduced to Coach Mike McCluskey, who was the head coach and Dean McKinney, who was the head trainer. Both seemed excited to see me, we talked for close to thirty minutes. They had arranged a press conference for four o’clock, so they ushered me towards the media room. Coach Reed warned me that the questions would come fast and furious, the media had little heart. He also told me her would sit at the table next to me, and if at any time I felt uncomfortable about a question, tap his foot with mine and he would intervene.

He opened the door and I stepped into a large room with dozens of tables and chairs set up, a podium with a large table at the front of the room. I was lead up to the large table that was draped in the teams colors, a microphone in front of each chair. Several people were already snapping photo’s as we walked up the steps and sat down. Coach McCluskey leaned forward and began the press conference.

“Ladies and Gentleman, please may I have your attention. We all know why we are here, so let’s get right to it. It gives me great pleasure to present to you, this year’s first round draft choice, Brian Stevens.”, he finished.

By the time Coach had muttered the last word, dozens of people started yelling questions at once, I had no idea who to address first. I looked over at Coach Reed, who leaned over and whispered in my ear to just point to one at a time. I pointed to a man right in the front, who seemed to get the jump on everyone.

“Brian, were you surprised that you were picked this early in the first round , I mean truthfully your name was never mentioned as a possible first round pick ?”, he asked.

“Yes sir, I was surprised. I had talked to a couple of teams and we really thought it would be early to mid second round pick at best.”, I answered.

“Brian, is it true that you’re going to be converted from defensive end to tight end ? Do you really think you can pull that off ?”, another guy in the second row said.

“I am willing to do anything it takes to make this team. If Coach thinks I can do it, then I can do it.”, I replied.

“No offense Brian, several basketball players have made that transition, but never a defensive end. What makes you think you can be the first ?” , a pretty blonde lady asked.

“Well….. My Father always told me, if you outwork the guy next to you, every time, all of the time, eventually someone will notice. I try to do that every day, hopefully I can do it here.”, I responded.

“Brian, you are listed at six foot seven and two hundred and seventy five pounds, give or take. Is that accurate ?”, another reporter asked.

“Yes sir, that’s fairly close.”, I answered.

For the next twenty minutes or so, I answered question after question until the room became pretty much quiet. One of the coaches asked before they wrapped up the conference did anyone else have any questions. One young brunette in the second to last row stood up and smiled before speaking ?

“Brian this is non-football related, but um.. do you have a girlfriend back home ? I’m sure the eligible ladies out here want to know.”, she inquired.

The entire room exploded into laughter, it was the first light moment of the news conference. Once everyone regained there composure, I leaned into the microphone to answer.

“I kinda dated a really nice girl back home, we are really good friends, but nothing serious. I guess you can say I am unattached.”, I replied, quietly.

With that the news conference ended and I was led back to the office where someone from my agency was waiting for me. I was asked to report to the training facility the next morning at nine o’clock sharp, I then left with agency driver. I was driven downtown to the main office of my agent, then escorted to the fifteenth floor. The offices were quite impressive to say the least, I saw at least a dozen famous athlete’s photo’s displayed on the wall in just the main lobby. I informed the receptionist at the main desk I was there to see izmit eve gelen escort Dave Phillips, she asked me to take a seat until he was ready. A few minutes later, a stunning brunette who introduced herself as Mr. Phillips secretary came out and greeted me, asking me to follow her to his office. I walked down the long wide hallways, amazed at the number of employees that this firm had on hand. I was led into Mr. Phillips office, he was engrossed in a phone call, it seemed to be quite heated. I sat down in one of the large chairs, his secretary sat down in the other. He wrapped up the phone call, then turned and faced me.

“Hi Brian, it’s good to see you, how was the press conference ?”, he asked.

“It was ok, I guess, I was extremely nervous.”, I admitted.

“Don’t sweat it, it will become routine after a while.”, he shot back.

“This is Carmella, my assistant and right hand. She does everything for me, I would be lost without her. She will take care of you until we get a contract signed. I am already working with their GM on a deal, I think it’s going to be pretty easy, we should get you signed soon.” he stated.

“I have a meeting to go to across town, Carmella will get you settled, anything you need you call her anytime, day or night.”, he said, leaving the room with a wave.

Carmella then opened a large envelop and pulled the contents out, laying them on the desk. She was a gorgeous woman, who was impeccably dressed, her scent was intoxicating.

“Ok Brian, here is your credit card, it has a twenty thousand dollar balance on it for now. I put up the money from our general fund, anything you spend will be deducted from your signing bonus. I have you booked into the Hampton Arms Hotel which is only a few blocks from the training facility. In a week or so, we will team you up with a real estate agent who can find you an apartment or condo down the road. I have a car waiting at the rental service for you, its on us until you can get your own. Any questions ?”, she ended.

“Uh, I guess not. Thanks for everything.”, I replied, completely overwhelmed.

“Just one thing Brian, remember you are contracted with this agency, you can make no public appearances, you can accept no endorsements without checking with us first. If there is any doubt in your mind to the validity of an offer, call me first Ok ?”, she asked.

“Yes mam, I will.”, I answered.

I was then taken to the car rental service where a beautiful new tan SUV was waiting for me. I signed the papers, then followed my driver to the hotel, where I checked in. He left me there, once again making sure I knew to call the agency if I had any questions. I was taken to my room, where I unpacked and settled in. I quickly called Ashley, told her everything that had happened and gave her the number to the hotel. I then tried to reach Courtney, but she was unavailable, so I left her a voice message. I went to bed early that night to be fresh for the next day.
I arrived at the practice facility over an hour early and was in the weight room checking out the equipment when the trainer came in. I could tell he was surprised to see me so early, but we got started right way. He put me through a two hour workout, most of it pretty routine, I had done many of these exercises before. He recorded both weight and reps done on each station, before finally telling me we were done for the day. He slapped me on the back as we were exiting the weight room.

“Brian, I have to say, I am very impressed. You’re a lot stronger than I was led to believe, you’re also in great shape. I can tell you have put the time in getting ready.”, he said, sincerely.

“Thank you sir.”, I answered.

He led me back to the locker room, taking me to the back corner and showing me a locker that had a large white piece of medical tape above it, with the name Stevens wrote in black marker. He informed me, for the time being, this would be my locker until final cuts were made. He handed me a lock and key, told me to get dressed and meet him out on the practice field. I opened the locker to find it stocked full of shorts, tee shirts, mesh jerseys, socks, and shoes. I dressed quickly and made my way out to the field. Once there I was greeted by most of the coaching staff, along with several of the other recent draft choices. I was taken aside by Coach Reed, who instructed me to go with one of the trainers and work out with one the special automated football throwing machines. I was directed to line up about twenty five yards down from the machine, face it and be ready to catch the ball. The trainer would hold up the ball to me, then insert it between the tires seconds later. I’m not sure how fast the machine was set on, but the ball got to me before I was ready. I dropped the first two passes before I was able to get me hands in time for the next ball. After about ten minutes, I was catching just about everything that was being fired at me.

He then yelled he was turning the machine up, to get ready. The ball was almost a blur as it shot out of the machine. My hands were not positioned properly and I felt the point of the ball sting my thumb severely. One of the wide receiver coaches came over and gave me a few pointers on hand position, which really made catching the ball a lot easier. I’m guessing all in all, I fielded close to two hundred balls before I was asked to move back to the field. For the next hour, I was instructed on route running, proper foot planting to make cuts, how to set screens for other receivers and so one. After four hours or so, we were told to hit the showers. Before we were excused for the day, we were each given a current play book, which if lost would mean dire consequences to our future with the team. We were told to be back in the morning at the same time.

I drove straight back to the hotel, got comfortable, opened the play book and became to study it. I immediately was overwhelmed by the wording and terminology of the complex system. Each position on the offense had a name, each direction has it’s own terminology, both the depth and width of the field had it’s own nomenclature. Each formation had at least a dozen possible check off’s in case an audible was called, I knew I had some serious work to do.

Over the next few days, I repeated most of the same drills over and over, some of the terminology being thrown at us little by little. I continued to do well at some things, but have problems with others. My route running was getting better, but I had a hard time adjusting to a ball that was not thrown well. This as I was to learn was a key to becoming a great receiver.

Finally the first camp opened, the first league sanctioned practice, where both veterans and rookies were in attendance. I would be the third tight end in rotation, we had a veteran pro bowl starter and a very good backup. If I were to get any playing time early, it would definitely be on special teams. I guess we were maybe an hour into practice when I got my first opportunity to line up with the starters. We were running some goal line offense, the ball was placed on the ten yard line. Our quarterback Josh Henson, was another all pro, having won two championships in his first six years in the league. He was considered one of the best touch passers in the league. I leaned over in the huddle to listen to the first call of the series.

“Double Slot Right, X Fade Right, Jet Left, 62 Combo on Three.”, Josh barked out.

I Immediately knew I was X, and I would run a lazy fade route into the corner after the slot receiver would cut in front of me attempting to screen my man out. If the play worked well, it should be a touchdown. Before we broke the huddle, Josh looked up at me and told me if I were covered, he would throw to my back shoulder, which was basically the sideline. I nodded, like I really knew what he was talking about. We lined up, I listen for the cadence. As I looked up, I saw the strong safety creep up almost to the line of scrimmage, a possible indication he would have me one on one. The ball was snapped and I broke out of my stance quickly. The slot receiver did a fair job of picking my man, I cut off his back and ran for the corner of the end zone, the strong safety just steps behind me. Josh quickly made up his mind, lofting the ball for the rear pylon. As the ball approached me, I realized it had been indeed thrown over my back shoulder to the sidelines. I basically came to a stop, planted my foot, opened my body up and turned in the opposite direction. By now the safety had recovered, and was right on top of me. I once again planted my foot and jumped high in the air trying to attack the ball at it’s highest peak, knowing the six foot safety could not play at that height. My timing was perfect, I snatched the ball out of mid-air, pulled it in as I fell backwards out of bounds. Several players applauded the efforts, including a few coaches. However the coach on the end line immediately signaled I had come down out of bounds.

“Stevens, all of that effort for nothing son, you have to fucking know where the end lines are rookie.”, he growled, “Get your ass back in the huddle numb nuts.”

I trotted back to the huddle and leaned over ready for the next play. I guess Josh noticed the dejected look on my face. He slapped my knee, getting my attention.

“Hey Rook, let it go, that was a big league catch and adjustment, you were in an altitude no one here can get to. Great catch, you keep doing that, I’ll keep throwing at you.”, he snapped.

True to his word, I was thrown at least another dozen balls while I was with the first unit, I managed to snag all but two of them. As we trotted off the field, Josh ran by me, patting me on the ass.

“We are gonna do good things rookie, with your height, we can play this game at a new level. Hang in there baby.”, he said.

I was immediately excited, an all pro quarterback giving me some praise this early in the season. I trotted off the field and made my way to my locker. My exuberance was shorted lived however as our starting tight end and eight year veteran, Billy Huber walked up to me.

“If you think I’m going to let a defensive end take my spot, you got another thing coming rookie. Stay the fuck out of my way or else.”, he growled.

“I’m not trying to take your job Billy, just try to do whatever I can to help the team.”, I answered calmly.

“Fuck you Rookie, stay out of my way.”, he scolded, turned and walked away.

This was new to me, I had never experienced down right dislike between team mates before. I undressed slowly, showered then left for the hotel. That night I decided to call Courtney, just to see how everything was back home. I called her cell, she answered on the third ring.

“Hey Court, how are you ?”, I asked.

“Briannnnnnnn, hey, I’m doing ok, I’m glad you called.”, she said cheerfully.

We talked for close to an hour, she brought me up to speed on things back home, I relayed much of what was happening here to her. She had been working a lot, her Dad had been delegating more and more of the work load her way. She was working ten to twelve hours a day, sometimes half a day on Saturday. I told her that I would have a break at the end of mini camp, for close to five weeks before training camp started, I would probably fly home for at least a week or two. She said she would look forward to that, it would be nice to see me again.

After the meeting the following morning, I was summoned to the equipment manager’s office. We went over all of my gear, he made size adjustments, we talked about the different shoes that were available, then he offered me my choice of numbers. The only numbers that would be available to me would be either 81, 84, or 89.
I had always wore number 99, but in the NFL a tight end could not have that number, thus it was a mute point. I thought for a few minutes then it struck me. My Dad’s number in high school had been 8, he had been a quarterback, I had two 9’s in my number. So I decided on number 89, which was a combination of both of our numbers. He informed me from now on, all gear issued to me would have the number 89 on it somewhere.

We finished mini camp eight days later, I was really exhausted, the pace was extremely hectic. I spent three hours a day in the weight room, three to four hours on the practice field, then another four on the playbook at night. I checked in with Coach Reed as I left the practice facility for the break.

“Brian, I will be honest. We are really pleased with the progress you have made, you’re further along than anyone hoped at this point. In fact, if we lost our starter right now, I would have to give you consideration to step in and play.”, he said.

“Thanks Coach, I appreciate the confidence you have in me.”, I replied.

“What are your plans for the break ?”, he asked.

“I was going to go home, relax a bit, not much else though.”, I answered.

“Brian, I hate to ask you this, but I would like you to stay here for another two to three weeks and work out with the backup quarterbacks. I think it would do you a world of good. It would still leave you two weeks to go home afterwards.”, he urged.

“No problem Coach, I’ll do whatever it takes.”, I answered quickly.

For the next two weeks , I reported everyday, lifting weights , then working out with the quarterbacks and a few of the receivers. With only a handful of players izmit otele gelen escort in camp, I got my share of one on one instruction, which really proved helpful. By the end of the extra work, I really felt I had a good grasp of the position, even though I knew I had much more to learn. Coach Reed thanked me for the extra dedication I had given, despite I was still not under contract.

I booked a flight and flew home the next day, arriving home on Thursday night. I knew Ashley had school the following day, so I arranged a car to take me home from the airport. I arrived at my house sometime just before ten that night, I saw the kitchen light was on. I knocked on the kitchen door, Ashley opened it quickly, jumping out to greet me, she was completely surprised.

“Why didn’t you call me, I would have come picked you up.”, she complained.

“I know you have school tomorrow, it’s no big deal, I got a car.”, I replied.

I stepped into the familiar confines of home, went to my room and threw my bags on the bed. I went back to the kitchen where Ashley as sitting and grabbed some iced tea from the fridge. I sat down across from her, she was all smiles.

“Have you lost weight ? I mean you look more muscular, but also thinner ?”, she asked.

“Yes, they have me down to 260 lbs, trying to get my speed up. My diet is unreal, my body fat is like, next to nothing.”, I answered.

“I see that.”, she responded.

We talked for about an hour, before we decided to turn in for the night. I have to admit, it was not as awkward as I thought it would be considering what we had shared the night before I left. It was good to see Ashley, it was good to be home. I slept extremely well that night, in fact by the time I had gotten up, Ashley had already left for school.
I got dressed, went into town to the diner to get something to eat. As soon as I walked in, Miss Margie squealed in delight and ran from behind the counter to hug and kiss me. She ushered me to my seat and took my order, she was all smiles. I finished my breakfast, then decided to drive over to the school see Coach Mike for a few minutes.
I parked near the back of the lot, quietly making my way to his office. He was surprised to see me, we spent about an hour talking, then I excused myself so he could go back to work. I looked at my watch, it was close to noon, so I decided to drive over to Courtney’s work, maybe take her out to lunch.

As I pulled into the large lot of Mr. Timmons business, I was happy to see both Courtney’s car and his car, parked side by side in the lot. I entered the office and met the receptionist at the front cubicle. I had been there once or twice, so she remembered me right away.

“Hi Brian, it’s good to see you. When did you get back ?”, she asked.

“Last night, late. I thought maybe if Courtney wasn’t too busy, we could go to lunch.”, I asked.

“Oh, let me buzz her, I know she will be right down.”, she squealed, grabbing the phone.

“No wait.”, I interrupted, “Tell her you have an extremely upset client, whose order was screwed up. Tell her I want to close my account.”

“Oh, you’re bad Brian.”, she laughed, “But it’s sounds like so much fun.”

She dialed Courtney’s extension, it was on speakerphone, Courtney answered quickly. She repeated the message to her, you could tell from Courtney’s reaction, she had no idea what was happening. She told the receptionist she would be down immediately. I made my way over to the small coffee room right off the lobby, and sat down behind one of the walls so she couldn’t see me. A few moments later, I heard high heels clicking across the floor. I heard her asked the receptionist what was going on. The receptionist played it out perfectly, raising her voice in my direction.

“Sir, I have Ms. Timmons here, she wants to see you.”, she shouted in my direction.

I paused for several seconds, then stepped out into the doorway. Courtney’s face went from that of extreme concern, to extreme excitement in seconds. She screamed out loud, her hands covering her mouth and ran over to me, jumping into my arms. She squeezed me with all of her might, kissing me on the cheek, tears in her eyes. I set her back down, just as Mr. Timmons made his way down the stairs into the lobby.

“Brian, great to see you, how’s life in the pro’s ?’, he asked, smiling.
“Ok sir, just trying to understand the system, learn a new position plus play on special teams.”, I replied.

We talked for several minutes then he told Courtney to take the rest of the day off and take me out to eat on the company. He promised he would cover for her, they could catch up later that night. She followed me to my house, we dropped off my car, then took hers across town to the restaurant. It was almost two o’clock in the afternoon when we arrived at the restaurant, It was still half full, mostly business men and women having a late lunch. Our hostess sat us down telling us our waitress would be with us shortly. Our waitress appeared within minutes and took our order for drinks. As we sat there catching up, I noticed Courtney kept looking around the restaurant.

“What’s wrong Court ?”, I asked.

“Everyone keep staring at us. Um, I mean at you.”, she said softly.

“Oh, I guess I am getting somewhat immune to it.”, I replied.

Our waitress came back and brought our drinks, we ordered our food. We continued talking as we waited for our lunch, both of us catching up on each other’s lives since we had parted. Just before our waitress brought our food, two older men walked up to the table slowly, somewhat sheepishly.

“Excuse me, I don’t mean to interrupt you. You’re Brian Stevens aren’t you ?”, he asked.

“Yes sir, I am.”, I responded, shaking his hand.

“I just wanted to wish you good luck this year with San Diego. I followed your career in high school and college, I know your grandfather quite well.”, he stated.

“Thank you sir, I appreciate it.”, I answered.

Just as he walked away, our waitress brought our lunch, we settled in to eat. It was a nice meal, I enjoyed Courtney’s company, it was good to see her again. About an hour and a half later we finished up, paid the check and left the restaurant. Courtney dropped me off back at home and I promised to call her later that evening. I was sitting in the family room watching TV when my cell phone rang, it was Dave Phillips, my agent.

“Hello Brian, how are you ?”, he asked.

“Doing well sir, good to be home.”, I answered.

“Well don’t get comfortable, you may have to fly back out here in a few days, I am close to wrapping up your contract.”, he stated.

“Oh, ok. Well I was hoping to stay two weeks, but let me know when you need me back there.”, I answered.

“I will, we are real close to finalizing the paperwork, we are ironing out the incentives now. It’s not quite what I wanted, but considering they drafted you out of position, it’s not bad. If you reach some of the incentives, it gets really lucrative on the back end. All in all, we are looking at nineteen million dollars for four years, nine of that guaranteed. You will get a four million dollar signing bonus, and you’re looking at possibly another six million in incentives if you pan out.”, he told me, rattling off the numbers.

I kind of sat there for a few seconds, trying to comprehend what he had told me. I guess he knew he went a bit too quickly.

“Take a deep breathe and relax Brian. What it basically means is that you will get a check for four million the day we sign. Then you will make a little over three million a year in base pay over the next four years. The incentives are based on if you play, how much you play and how well you play.”, he finished.

“Never in my life did I think this was possible.”, I answered.

“You’re going to be a wealthy young man Brian. I just hope you think wisely before spending the money. Don’t be foolish, invest it wisely, make it last a lifetime. I represent too many veteran players who after ten years in the league are broke.”, he cautioned.

“Trust me sir, I will.”, I answered.

He promised to call me as soon as he finalized the deal, I hung up the phone excited, but disappointed I may have to cut my break short.
A few hours later, Ashley arrived home, I filled her in on the details of my phone call with Mr. Phillips.

“I’m just overwhelmed you’re going to have that kind of money Brian.”, she said, shaking her head, “Your signing bonus is more than I will make in my lifetime.”

“I know Ash, it’s crazy. I can’t believe it myself.”, I answered.

“Well if I ever need a loan, I know where to go.”, she laughed.

“Ashley, seriously, I want you to know that if you ever need anything, you just ask. I would not be here in this position if not for you. You stood by me after Dad died, you never asked for a thing for yourself. You have been more of a mother to me, than my own.”, I told her.

“Brian, thank you so much. But I could never take money from you.”, she replied quickly.

I let the subject drop, I didn’t want to hurt her feelings, money is always a sensitive subject. We spent the rest of the night talking, catching up, basically just relaxing. Since it was Thursday night, Ashley turned in around ten o’clock, she had school the next day. I went to my room, called Courtney on the phone and we talked until well after midnight. We made plans to go out the following night before we hung up.

The following morning, I got up early, ate some breakfast then went into town to do a bit of shopping. Since I was renting a car in San Diego, I decided to just look at a few different vehicles to try and get some idea’s on what I would buy when I signed my contract. After several hours of looking, I really still had no idea what I liked so I called it a day and went to my truck. After getting in I decided to call my grandfather, just to see how he was doing. After all, he had made the first attempt to reach out to me, I owed him that much. The phone rang several times before he answered, he sounded somewhat tried.

“Grandpa, this is Brian, how are you ?”, I asked.

“Oh Brian, I’m am fine son, it’s good to hear your voice. Are you in San Diego ?”, he asked.

“No sir, I’m in town. I have a two week break before training camp begins.”, I answered.

“Oh , well I would love to see you before you go back, if that’s something you’re ok with.”, he said cautiously.

“Of course, I am ok with it, how about now ?”, I asked.

“Oh well…. Sure why not ?”, he answered.

Ok great, where would you like to meet ?”, I asked.

“Oh damn, I forgot, I am here alone, your mother has my car.”, he replied in a sad tone, “I don’t guess you would want to come here ?”

“Sure Grandpa, why not ?”, I responded, “I’ll be there in about fifteen minutes.

I hung up and drove across town, then ten minutes north to my grandparents home, one that I had not seen in over a decade. I pulled up to the worn, white weather beaten home, my grandfather was sitting on the front porch. I parked near the walk, then joined him quickly on the porch.

We were talking for maybe fifteen minutes when a large car turned down the road heading in our direction. I could tell from the look on his face, he became immediately concerned. He looked at me strangely, then back at the car which was now pulling into the drive. I realized quickly before the car even came to a dead stop, it was my Mother and Richard. I reached across and gently tapped the top of my grandfather’s hand telling him it would be alright. I cannot adequately describe the look on their faces when they exited the vehicle and saw me sitting on the porch. My mother walked slowly up the steps, her husband in tow. I stood up out of respect, no matter what had occurred in the past, it was not of my doing.

“Hello Mom, it’s nice to see you again.”, I said, as politely as I could.

“Brian.”, she replied, “What are you doing here ?”

“I came to see grandpa.”, I answered.

I could tell she was extremely upset, standing right behind her was Richard, he was white as a ghost. Instead of the little, frail boy he used to push around like a tough guy, here was a six foot seven, two hundred sixty pound athlete. I sat back down next to my grandfather, without acknowledging her husband at all. She disappeared in the house with her husband in town, slamming the door behind them. My grandfather tried to make some lame excuse for them, but I shrugged him off.

“It’s her problem, grandpa, not yours. There is nothing she can do to me now, I am a grown man.”, I assured him.

The old man looked back at me, tear swelling his eyes. He reached over and took my hand in his speaking softly.

“Brian, I am so proud of the man you have become. Your father, God rest his soul, did a wonderful job raising you. I so wish I could change the past, but I can’t. It breaks my heart to know what you have gone through.”, he said, tears streaming down his face.

“Grandpa, it’s ok. Don’t worry about the past, it’s over. We have started over, let’s look to the future.”, I answered.

We resumed our conversation, maybe fifteen minutes past, I knew he was on edge thinking that they may come back out on the porch. I decided to cut the visit short, I could always see him again. He wished me good luck, gave me a gentle hug, walking me to my truck. I promised him I would keep in touch, calling him regularly. As I looked up at the front porch, I saw my mother peeking out of the drapes. I pulled out of the yard and drove away wondering what had happened to my mother, how could she be this way ?

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