When I left home, I swore I'd never hide anything about myself again. From college, to law school, to the United States Senate representing California, I've done it all as an out gay man. So, when I'm in DC and see a beautiful guy at the hotel bar, I don't hesitate to proposition him...right before he runs out on me, leaving his sunglasses behind like my very own Cinderfella.
I've always known I'm gay, but never acted on it. Pretending isn't easy, but it means I can keep playing football. No one has ever guessed my secret until the gorgeous man at a bar in DC. At least he doesn't know who I am—the best tight end in the NFL, playing for the Atlanta Lightning. Though my identity doesn't stay a secret from him for long.
Between texts and late-night phone calls, we get to know each other. West's the only person who knows all the parts of me, just like I know his. When he asks for one night together so he can show me what it's like to be with a man, I can't say no. But once isn't enough, and we keep sneaking around together--brief encounters, in California, Georgia, or DC, filled with passionate touches and whispered truths.
I never thought I'd have love. West never thought he'd want it. Now we're all in with each other, but he still has time left in his Senate term. I have contract obligations to fulfill, and I'm closeted. We don't even live in the same state. The odds are stacked against us, but if there's one thing I know, it's how to win. He's the endgame in the biggest challenge of my life, the one I'm banking my future happiness on.
Seeing my best friend West, happy with his fiancé opened my eyes to things I’ve been missing in my own marriage. My divorce, which was amicable, followed. Strangely, at West’s wedding, I find myself confiding in Darren, the straight, confirmed bachelor and star quarterback of the Atlanta Lightning. Darren is a full-steam-ahead kind of guy, and one talk leads to hanging out, swapping phone numbers, and pranking West and Anson while they’re on their honeymoon. When I head back to California, I expect our chats to end, but I couldn’t be more wrong.
I still can’t say how it happened, how a random decision to strike up a conversation with Jeremy turned into…whatever this is. All I know is, months later, my days aren’t complete until we tell each other good night. Whether it’s on our calls or when he flies to Atlanta, we talk about everything, lying awake together half the night. Jeremy’s got me feeling…different. If it was just my newly discovered bisexuality, that’d be one thing. I’m not one to stress about being into a man for the first time. It’s the other stuff, the way he makes my pulse race and my heart swell, that’s throwing me for a loop.
I didn’t think I was made for relationships, but I want it all with him. Except, it feels like as soon as we make it past one obstacle, there’s an even bigger one waiting for us. We just have to keep our heads in the game and our eyes on the prize, to make it to the end zone, before one last tackle takes us down for good.