And I’m not going to protest, though I probably should. I need to keep this business only. I don’t want to cause any problems by possibly flirting with Wade. Not like he’s shown any interest. He wouldn’t bother with someone like me.
Honestly, I’m totally reaching.
“I’m sure doing what he does, he probably doesn’t want one,” I tell her, and when she sends me a blank look, I add, “A girlfriend.”
“Oh. Yes. Well, I’m sure you’re right. He’s just starting on his career and that’s usually when they have to fight off the women, especially a guy as good looking as Wade. Or maybe he’s just been waiting to find the right one, you know?” The smile she sends my way almost implies I could be the right one for Wade, which is impossible.
I’m not. I’m a complete mess. Plus, I’m too young and I don’t know what I want or need and oh my God, I sound like my parents right now. Like the lecture they’ve been giving me over the last few years has totally sunk in and my thoughts are filled with their disapproval.
Ugh. Maybe I am young, but I’m also an adult. I need to start acting like one and not letting what my parents think of me shape who I’m becoming.
“I’m guessing he has no desire to find a steady girlfriend right now. And I’m not looking for a steady boyfriend either,” I tell Fable, my voice firm. I don’t want her getting any ideas that I’m interested in Wade. I’m really not. I don’t even know him. Besides, I want her to take me seriously. This is my job. I don’t want to flirt with a hot guy while I’m working. Yes, it’s a perk to have football players around all the time, but that’s all it is. A perk. I can look, but I can’t touch.
Now Fable’s frowning, and I feel like I’ve said the wrong thing. “Yes, fine. You’re probably right. I always want to put people together, I swear. Drew says I need to stop my matchmaking ways, but I can’t help it. I want people to be as happy as we are.”
Aw, that’s sweet. I soften a little bit at her words because I can see she genuinely means it. But we all can’t have the perfect life that Drew and Fable Callahan have. What they share is rare and beautiful and we could all be so lucky to have a love like theirs.
“I just worry. Wade is having a rough time. Practice has been tough and his confidence seems low. He’s afraid he’s going to get cut from the team, and Drew has been giving him a lot of pep talks lately to keep him encouraged,” Fable explains.
“Is he a good player?”
“He’s a great player, but his confidence is shaky.” Fable’s smile is gentle. “It’s normal for players to go through tumultuous emotions when they first start. Everything’s on the line and they’re so close to making their dreams come true. Sometimes they fail, though. And that’s hard for them to process. They want to believe in the fairytale.”
“That they’ll all go on to win Super Bowl rings and championships and be the greatest player that ever lived. That’s not always guaranteed. You have to put in hard work first and make it happen, you know? You have to want it bad enough.” Fable’s gaze drifts to the window and locks on the two men still sitting outside. “Wade doesn’t just want it for himself, though. He wants it for his mom too. He wants to make sure she’s taken care of for the rest of her life, though I know he’s secretly afraid he won’t make it and he’ll disappoint her.”
How sweet. He wants to take care of his mom. Most guys are selfish and only care about themselves.
“Sometimes he acts like making it on the team isn’t that important to him, but deep down inside, he wants it. I know he does. He’s working hard toward it too. He’ll cement his spot on the team, but he just needs to build up more of his confidence first.”
I glance out the window once again, letting my gaze wander to the two men sitting by the pool outside. The day is clear and bright, the temperature unusually warm for San Francisco. They’re both wearing black shorts and red 49ers T-shirts, the cotton stretching taut across their broad shoulders, the sunlight gleaming off their dark heads. Their expressions are serious, Wade’s more earnest than anything else as he hunches forward, as if in rapt attention over whatever Drew is telling him.
Taking a deep breath, I return my attention to Fable, smiling at her. “Is there anything you want me to help you with today while the kids are sleeping?”
“I’m so glad you asked, or I probably would’ve forgot. There’s too much going on and not enough hours in the day to get it all done.” Fable’s expression brightens. “Let’s go to my office. We can go through that fat stack of mail sitting on my desk.”
We both groan, then she starts to laugh. I definitely need to focus on something else, and sorting through her mail is better than daydreaming about Wade Knox.
“Fable’s probably sick of seeing me hanging around here all the time, huh?” I mutter as I follow Drew back inside the house.
“Nah. She loves having you around. You’re the closest thing to Owen and she misses him so damn bad. If she can’t have him nearby, at least she has you,” Drew tells me as he shuts the French door that leads into the kitchen. He glances at the giant clock that hangs on the nearby wall. “I’m freaking starving. Want to go grab some dinner?”
“Uh…” My voice drifts. I don’t want to take up all of Drew’s time. But I also don’t want to go back to my boring, empty apartment in San Jose. I live close to the stadium because it’s easier to get to practice every day. Drew bought a badass house in San Francisco a couple of years ago because he’s a multimillionaire and can afford it. So what if his commute to work is longer than mine? His house makes it worth the drive every day.
“We’ll go grab some pizza or something. Make it easy,” Drew says.
“Did someone say pizza?” Fable walks into the kitchen, Jacob propped on her right hip. He has a fistful of Fable’s hair and he’s staring at it in fascination. “I’m hungry. Let’s go somewhere.”
“Yeah, but where?” Drew drops a kiss on Fable’s upturned lips when she stops to stand beside him. He then takes Jacob from her arms and cuddles him close. “You really want pizza?”