Double coverage, p.1
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       Double Coverage, p.1

           Meghan Quinn
 
Double Coverage


  Double Coverage

  Book Two of the Love and Sports Series

  Meghan Quinn

  Chapter 1

  The minute Piper sat down in the buttery soft chair assigned to her on the airplane, she immediately shut the flimsy plastic window shade to block out the excruciatingly bright sun. She needed to because the light pierced through her skull and split her head in two.

  She adjusted her sunglasses so they were more plastered to her eyes, blocking off any other light that might work its way into her line of vision. Her deep red, curly hair was tucked away under the hood of her sweatshirt, since she was in no mood to tame the well-defined curls.

  Feeling a little queasy, she lifted her arm and felt around for the air to be turned on above her to reprieve her from the nausea that was rolling around in her stomach. Unfortunately, the pilot had yet to allow the air to flow freely in the cabin.

  Buckling herself into the first class seat her friend so nicely purchased for her, Piper chastised herself for drinking too much the night before, or rather in the early hours of the morning. Since landing a bartending job at the very popular sports bar, Dick’s Last Chance, she hadn’t been able to say no to late-night partying and now it was finally starting to catch up to her. Hopefully, the little break she was taking away from the bar would help her regain her strength so when she returned, well…she could drink some more.

  She was by no means an alcoholic, but she loved letting her inhibitions fly. Thanks to her father, she grew up accustomed to a strict schedule with rules and penalties. Growing up as the daughter of Captain Shores of the United States Army led to a very difficult childhood and, now that she was no longer under her father’s roof, she did whatever the hell she wanted. Ergo, dropping out of college, traveling the world, sleeping with whomever she wanted and working as a bartender where she could get bombed whenever she pleased.

  She reached into her pocket to find her cell phone to turn it off before the plane took off when she noticed a text message. It was from Hannah, one of her best friends and co-worker.

  Hannah: Piper, I just blew up the toilet with last night’s regurgitated dinner. I hope you are faring better than me right now.

  Piper chuckled at her friend. Hannah was a little pistol at times, but as sweet as can be, which came in handy since she worked at one of Denver’s most popular sports bars. She was one of the most beautiful girls Piper had ever seen and she was jealous of her friend every time they were near each other. Hannah was blessed with a perfect head of silky light brown hair and piercing light blue eyes placed on a heart-shaped flawless face. Where Piper had height to her, Hannah was tiny with curves. Life could be so unfair at times. Piper sent Hannah a quick text before she turned off her phone.

  Piper: I didn’t blow chunks this morning, but I look like the Unabomber right now. I’ll text you when I land. Lay off the hooch for a bit, Hannah.

  Piper turned her phone off, stuffed it in her pocket, and laid her head back on the seat. Surprisingly, Hannah held her own last night while drinking. Usually, she took it easy, but she held nothing back last night, which surprised the hell out of Piper.

  Piper made sure her hood was still pulled on tight by drawing the strings tight and made sure her sunglasses were placed correctly over her eyes. She didn’t need anything rocking her senses right now, since she was not accustomed to puking in the tiny paper bags provided for up-chuckers on planes.

  She was just closing her eyes when a luggage bag was placed on the seat next to her, slightly hitting her shoulders and rocking her sensitive body to the side. Her eyes shot open because the sudden movement made her stomach roll. She breathed through her mouth and willed all contents of the cheeseburger she had this morning to settle itself back down in the pit of her stomach. She slowly turned her head to see what the disturbance was, but only saw the waist of what looked like a very fit man. Not able to move her head much, she just turned back around. She didn’t care who sat next to her, as long as they were gentle, didn’t smell, and kept their mouth shut.

  She closed her eyes again, willing her body to relax, but was unable to because the brute who just sat next to her shuffled around looking for his seatbelt and talked very loudly on his phone.

  “That’s great, I’m happy for you,” he said in a very sarcastic tone. How odd, Piper thought, didn’t the guy know he was in a small confined space and everyone around him could hear his conversation?

  “What do you want me to say? I’m happy, alright.” Piper tried to ignore the way his voice was rising, but couldn’t, especially when every word he shouted felt like sandpaper scratching against her brain. “You want the truth? Fine, I could give two shits about what kind of amazing opportunity you might have.” He used air quotes when he said amazing, which was odd since he was on the phone.

  He continued, “No Brooke, you lost the chance at my approval when you decided that I wasn’t good enough for you. I’m no longer your man. Therefore, I don’t give a flying fuck what happens in your life.” He was now speaking in a controlled, but very stern, voice. If Piper wasn’t so annoyed with the conversation, she would have thought his voice was almost sexy, in a disturbing machismo sort of way.

  The flight attendant started shutting the airplane door and the conversation that Mr. Buff-man was having was bordering on obnoxious and extremely annoying.

  “I’m not sorry and I refuse to apologize…Oh, come on Brooke, you have got to be kidding me. It’s shit like that, that I don’t miss. Yeah, I don’t miss…you can be such a bitch.” He pointed to his chest when he said, “Me, I’m a bastard? Really funny because I remember you’re the one who…”

  That was it; Piper couldn’t take it anymore. She reached over to the guy’s phone, grabbed it out of his hand, pressed the end button, and then tossed it on his lap. She readjusted her sunglasses and put her head back on the head rest. From the corner of her eye, she could see the man leaning forward looking at her with his mouth open in shock. She just shrugged. Served him right.

  She was just closing her eyes when he tapped her on the shoulder. She didn’t look at him because that would require her to turn her head and she had used all her energy to turn his phone off.

  “What?” she asked, while staring straight ahead.

  “Who the fuck do you think you are…?”

  Piper held up her hand to silence him. “I’m going to stop you right there, buddy. I suggest you close that fly trap you have hanging wide open right now and silently thank me. I did you a favor.”

  “A favor? You just made my life ten times more difficult.”

  “Well, that’s your own damn fault for getting involved with, who I can only imagine is, a psychotic whore. So once again, you are welcome.” Piper heard the guy’s cell phone ring, but he ignored it and turned his phone off, shoving it in his pocket. Piper refrained from smirking, but still felt the corners of her lips curl up.

  She closed her eyes again and tried to calm her stomach that was rolling around from the movement of hanging up the phone for the man next to her. Over the plane speakers, the flight attendant started informing passengers about safety requirements, how to buckle one’s seatbelt and fasten oxygen masks in case of a loss of cabin pressure. Piper just let the words slip out of her mind. If things went awry, she would just play the helpless girl role and have someone help her.

  Just when Piper felt herself starting to relax, the man next to her bumped her arm that was resting on the armrest. The sudden movement made her fall to the side, since all of her weight was on her one elbow and her stomach rolled forward. She gripped the seat in front of her and glared at the man through her sunglasses.

  “Jesus, brute. Learn to share a freaking armrest.”

  “Share? You’re hogging the whole damn thing.” He exh
aled and then looked at her, studying her carefully. “Just my luck, I get to sit next to a bitch that looks like the Unabomber.”

  “I beg your pardon?”

  She snapped her head, a little too quickly, at the man and it was the first glimpse she actually had of him. He was surprisingly attractive. She was expecting some massively hairy and disgusting man to be sitting next to her, but he wasn’t…not even close. He had a dark complexion, like he might be an Italian, he had pretty-boy features, deep brown eyes, brown hair and a scruffy face. Lord have mercy, he was more attractive than she wanted him to be.

  He waved up and down her body with his hand. “Why the hell are you dressed like that? You know, when you’re inside, you’re supposed to take off your sunglasses.”

  “Well, aren’t you charming?” she said sarcastically. Even though he was attractive, too attractive, he was still a prick. “Why don’t you mind your own business and I’ll mind mine. How does that sound?”

  He just shrugged and turned back around so he was facing the front. There, that was easy enough. She started closing her eyes again when he spoke up once more.

  He held out his hand and said, “We got off on the wrong foot. I’m Mason.”

  She looked at his hand, but didn’t take it. “Good for you.”

  “Wow, you really are a bitch. You’re not even going to tell me your name? We have a long flight, you know.”

  She exhaled, grabbed his hand quickly, shook it, and said, “Jojo, nice to meet you.”

  He lifted an eyebrow at her in question. “Jojo?”

  Piper held back the laughter that wanted to pop out when he repeated her fake name. She didn’t like meeting new people, especially douche-bag men who thought they owned the world, so she always carried around an alias, ready to use whenever the time came.

  “Yeah, you got a problem with that?”

  “No, I just didn’t picture you as a Jojo.”

  She held up her hand. “Seriously, we are not doing this, okay?” She pulled her glasses down and flashed her bloodshot eyes at him. “I am beyond hung over and the last thing I want to do is make small talk with a douche like you, so if we can just get past these pleasantries and call this what it is…an unfortunate inconvenience, I’ll leave you alone and you leave me alone.”

  She plopped her sunglasses back on and tried not to smirk at the look on his face. Pretty boy most likely got whatever he wanted and never had a girl talk to him like that. She enjoyed it. She never took shit from anyone and, when her heart wasn’t in something, she wasn’t going to deal with it. So making pleasantries with the pretty-boy next to her for the next couple of hours was not even an option; she had to cut him off before he got too chummy.

  He started moving around in his seat, checking his shirt and his pants, wiping at his body, and basically causing too much of a disturbance for her slumber, once again. The plane was taxiing on the tarmac at the moment, so they were about to take off. She needed everything to stay still for that moment, so she didn’t lose the contents in her stomach.

  “What the hell are you doing? Sit still, for fuck’s sake.”

  “Oh, is the little princess going to puke? From what little skin I can see over those hideous glasses, you look green.”

  “Just sit the fuck still, you prick.” He continued to check himself. She stopped him with her arm and gulped. No, she was not going to puke, she refused to puke. “Stop!”

  He smirked at her. “I’m just trying to find the magnet that was attached to me without my knowledge.”

  “Magnet?”

  “You know, the bitch magnet because those are the only women that seem to be near me in my life.”

  Piper rolled her eyes under her sunglasses and grabbed the barf bag in front of her, just in case things got crazy. “You are such a tool bag, you know that?”

  “Just calling it like I see it. You must be the spawn of the devil. You have the hair for it,” he said, while tugging on a loose strand.

  “Touch me again and lose your hand.”

  “Oh, I see. You have the menses right now.”

  The plane started to take off at a rapid speed and she felt her body fall back into the seat. Her stomach rolled once again, making her future look more and more like she was going to have a fantastic relationship with the bag that was currently being flipped through her fingers.

  “What are you, twelve? I told you I was fucking hung over, so just leave me the hell alone!” The minute she said alone, she felt her stomach say its apologies and then reject whatever was stored up inside. She placed her mouth in the bag and let everything fly. Sweat formed on her brow and her stomach convulsed all the liquid sins she drank the night before.

  Next to her, Mason the douche, just sat there laughing at her. If she wasn’t currently mouth-deep in her puke bag, she would punch the living daylights out of him.

  “Teaches you to mess with me.” When the plane leveled out, he pressed the button for the flight attendant.

  A perky blonde, who was blatantly flirting with Mason smiled down at him and asked, “Can I help you, sir?”

  Mason jerked his thumb toward Piper and said, “Yeah, this one couldn’t handle the takeoff. She is kind of smelling up the place with her puke bag. Do you think you can take care of it for us?”

  “Of course, sir.” The flight attendant eyed Piper with a distasteful look and offered to take Piper’s puke bag.

  Wiping her mouth with the back of her hand, Piper handed the bag over to the judgmental flight attendant. Piper was tempted to drop the bag on Mason’s lap, but knew that was only going to spread the smell and make her throw up some more.

  “Thank you,” Piper murmured, while Mason continued to laugh. What a dick!

  ***

  Thank God Mason spent three years living in the football house in college dealing with drunk idiots because, if he hadn’t, the smell of Jojo’s puke would have him lunging for his little puke bag as well. He started to feel bad that he’d made her puke, but then retracted that thought when her not-so-ladylike insults ran through his mind. She was being a complete bitch and for no apparent reason. He looked over at her and felt a grin spread across his face. She deserved every last bit of what she just went through.

  Women were not his favorite creatures at the moment, thanks to his now ex-finance, Brooke. He thought she was it for him. They spent four years in college fawning over each other. His best friend, Jake, thought Mason was crazy for falling in love in college when they could pretty much have any girl on campus, but Mason didn’t care. He loved Brooke more than anything. Once he graduated from college, was drafted by the Denver Stallions as their starting wide receiver, started booking ad campaigns, and proposed to Brooke, he thought he was all set in life.

  He guessed wrong, what he’d accomplished in life just wasn’t good enough for Brooke. The pain from Brooke’s break-up still affected him like it happened yesterday.

  Two months ago, Brooke approached him while he was taking a shower and told him she wanted more. She wanted to become a singer and be famous. Initially, Mason laughed at her and tried to pull her into the shower, but when he noticed she had a bag packed next to her, he realized she might actually be serious.

  He immediately got out of the shower and said, “You’re kidding, right? Brooke, you can’t sing.” He quickly grabbed a towel and wiped himself down. Being naked and having a talk about his fiancé leaving made him feel exposed.

  “I can too sing! You just can’t listen well.”

  Mason looked at her as if she had five heads. He rubbed the point of his towel in his ear, cleaning out any cobwebs that might have prevented him from hearing Brooke sing properly. He gestured her to proceed. “Well, by all means. Sing me a little ditty.”

  She put her hands on her hips and said, “I can’t sing for you right now. There’s no music.”

  Mason laughed. “Listen sweetheart, if you can’t sing without music for one person, you’re never going to be able to sing for a sold out crowd in an arena.”
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  “Oh Mace, you think I’ll have a sold out crowd?” Brooke asked with hopeful eyes.

  Mason rolled his eyes. “Oh, Jesus! No, you are most likely having some kind of mental breakdown.”

  “I am not, you ass! My daddy thinks I am going to be an amazing singer one day. Would it kill you to support me? I support you while you run around on the grass and catch a stupid brown oblong-shaped ball.”

  Mason leaned his hip against the counter and stared at Brooke. “First off, that brown oblong-shaped ball is called a football and secondly, I have talent. That kind of comes in handy when you want to succeed. Thirdly, your dad thinks you shit gold, so of course he is going to tell you that you’re going to be great someday.”

  “You are such a dick. This is why I’m leaving, because I can’t be in a relationship where I receive no support. All you care about is stupid football and…” she gestured toward his chest and arms, “And your stupid tattoos. Grow up Mason!” He had no clue why she had to attack his tattoos; they’d done nothing to harm her.

  With that last statement she made, she was out of his life…until today. She called him to tell him she “caught her big break.” She was able to get an audition on the very popular singing contest, Red, White and Blue Diva. Mason, at first, had no clue how she landed an audition, but then he thought about it for a second and came to the conclusion that Brooke’s dad paid someone off. That was the only way she would be able to get on the show because tone-deaf cows could sing better than she could.

  He wasn’t a big reality TV fan, but occasionally he would dabble in watching the singing contest and maybe, just once, did he vote, but that was a onetime thing and he’d just downed an entire twelve pack of beer, so he was feeling a little loose with his morals.

  He couldn’t believe she had the nerve to call him and then be mad at him because he could give two shits about what she was doing with her life. Did she really think he cared at all about her shitty attempt at being a pop-star? He knew her goal was completely ridiculous and asinine and nothing would come of it. It hurt even worse that she would throw away a perfectly good relationship for something so unattainable. She had turned Mason into a very bitter ass of a man and it showed today. He made a complete stranger goad him so much that he took great pleasure in making her lose her cookies on an airplane.

 
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