Quarterback's Unwanted BabyBy: Nicki Jackson
Hartford hooked her long brown hair behind her ears, but it fell free almost instantly. Her hands were shaking, and she couldn’t believe that it was finally time.
“Are you excited?” she asked Gerard.
He shook his head, his eyes almost glassy. But she knew full well he wasn’t drunk. He was simply too stressed out and too nervous. “I’m pretty sure what I’m feeling right now isn’t excitement.”
Hartford chuckled and Gerard’s eyes crinkled as he grinned. He could never avoid smiling when she smiled. No matter what he was going through, one grin from his green-eyed girlfriend of four years and he simply couldn’t stay unsmiling. He stroked her cheek, once again mesmerized by the contrast of their complexions. It was exactly what had drawn him to her. She had dark ebony, flawless skin, and he loved watching their fingers entwined together. Adoration swamped him, making him grate his teeth in vicious want. He hooked his arm territorially around her neck.
Hartford winced. “Ow.”
He loosened his arm. “Sorry. I’m a little…”
“I know.” She rubbed her scalp, while his heavy muscled arm weighed down her narrow shoulders. “You’re a little clueless about your own strength.” Even when he tried to be gentle with her, his hands were just too rough and too strong. Hartford leaned her head into his chest, stroking it with her hand. “Your heart is hammering.”
“I know. If they don’t announce the first-round pick soon, I’ll probably have a heart attack waiting.”
“You’ll be fine.” Her hands shook as she looked up at him. His hair was sandy and thick, and he smelled of a mixture of sweat and cologne, a scent that was her personal favorite. He always left his scent embedded in her skin when they made love. His eyes were a deep blue, his nose strong and his jawline so sharp it looked like it was sculpted out of marble. His Adam’s apple bobbed as he swallowed, and she ran her a hand along his Nittany Lions shirt—one he’d worked hard to get. He’d always been a star. Even when they started dating back in high school, there had been nothing ordinary about the guy.
He’d asked her out two months before they graduated high school, and they had been inseparable since. She’d secretly had a crush on him for months anyway. Later, when they both got accepted into Penn State University, they’d decided they wanted to stay together. Even though Hartford was premed, they’d always found the time to meet each other, even if it entailed studying in a dorm room for five hours straight without uttering a word between them.
She clung to him tighter as he tensed.
“Why are they taking so long?”
Leaning up to kiss his neck, she uttered a silent prayer for him. “It’ll be good. I know it. You’ll be it. You were amazing out there, babe; you outdid yourself.”
His arm wound around her, and she didn’t even complain when he crushed her ribs too tight. She was used to his strength now.
“Yeah?” She looked up, pulling back slightly.
He looked at her as if he were seeing something horrid on her face.
“I think I’m going to pass out,” he hissed in a whisper.
A laugh burst out of her before she caught it. “Oh my God. You’re serious?”
“Sorry, baby. I thought this was about…”
“Stop reminding me of that!”
Hartford caught him smiling as he doubled over, clenching his eyes shut. Soon after they started college, Hartford had given him her virginity. Hours later, when Hartford was sucking his manhood in the shower and his knees had buckled from the pleasure, Hartford insisted he’d passed out, though he obviously hadn’t.
“Who passes out from a blowjob, Hart—stop with it already.” Hartford’s answering giggle made him grab her again, ferociously. “God. How am I going to stay apart from you?”
She clung to him, her smile fading. She didn’t want to think of that. Not right now.
Hartford winced as Gerard yelled at his friend Damien. She already felt half-deaf; the party at Damien’s house was loud. Gerard had been selected by the Seattle Seahawks, and everything was crazy and loud and over the top as they celebrated.
It was perfectly suited to the kind of guy Gerard was. He loved parties and music, but the butt-naked girls in the pool were all Damien. Gerard didn’t even step foot near it.
The moment was bittersweet, because as they drank and danced and celebrated his achievement, Hartford couldn’t stop thinking about where they’d end up. Soon, they’d only meet once a month, and that too was an optimistic estimation. She would be at John Hopkins in Maryland for her M.D., whereas Gerard would be on the other side of the damn country. She watched him as he danced with one of her friends, and her giddiness evaporated. The alcohol was making her misery worse, and impotent tears burned the back of her eyelids. He was going to Seattle; it was a four-hour flight. Just imagining him so far away geographically made her heart wring tightly.