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Excerpt from THE BALLER
“You ready?” Nick slung his bag over his shoulder and lifted his camera. The
reporter in front of us wrapped up his interview and shook hands with Easton.
As I’ll ever be. “Sure.”
I stepped forward and extended my hand. “I’m Delilah Maddox with WMBC
Sports News.”
A slow grin spread across Easton’s face. He surprised me by leaning in and
kissing me on the cheek. “Pleasure to meet you.”
I wasn’t sure if he was baiting me into an argument—expecting me to lash out at
him for kissing me when he’d just shaken the last male reporter’s hand—or if he was
trying to use his blatant sexuality to throw me off. Either way, I wasn’t playing his game.
I cleared my throat and stood straighter, even though my knees felt a little wobbly.
“Do you mind if I ask you some questions?”
“Why else would you be in here?”
I ignored his sarcasm. He was still smiling at me. Actually, it was more like a
smirk, and it made me feel like a toy he was about to play with. “You ready, Nick?” My
cameraman finished setting up the lighting, then lifted the camera into position and gave
me a hand signal.
“Congratulations on the win today, Brody. How is your knee feeling after your
first game back?” I lifted my microphone high, knowing Nick was filming in close.
“I feel . . . ” He nonchalantly reached to the towel wrapped around his waist and
tugged at the corner. The towel fell to the ground. “Great. I feel great. And how about
you? It’s your first trip into the locker room, isn’t it? Do you like what you see so far?”
His lips curled up into a full-blown wicked smile.
Before I could catch myself, my eyes dropped to his naked lower half. Shit. He was
dangling in the wind. I totally got distracted by just how low the thing dangled. It was
probably a full minute before I responded to his question. A full minute of dead air time.
Great. “Yes. Umm . . . the locker room is . . . ummm . . . nice.”
I sounded like a total ditz. On air.
The jackass continued interviewing me. “Is it as big as you thought it would be?”
“Ummm . . . it’s much bigger than I imagined.”
His smile grew even wider.
Ugh.
I needed to get back on track or my first locker room interview would become a
laughingstock blooper. Viewers had no idea he was naked from the waist down. “Do you
think you were at one hundred percent today?”
His eyebrows jumped. “If you’re referring to today’s game, definitely. I had one
hundred percent out there on the field. There’re some other areas where I have a lot of
growth potential, but my knee felt one hundred percent today.”
His pale green eyes darkened, and I watched his long lashes lower. I followed his
line of sight, and suddenly I was staring at his naked package. Again. Damn it. My eyes
darted back up, but I felt my cheeks heating. I had to end this, or I was going to be beet
red on air.
“Well, welcome back. And congratulations on today’s win.”
I waited until Nick lowered his camera and turned off the light. Then I looked
right at Brody Easton’s smug face. “You’re an asshole, you know that?”
His eyes sparkled. “I do.”
I heard the chuckles and high fives at my back as I stormed out of the locker
room.

 

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