Authors: Jaci Burton
Gavin took a seat next to them.
“Hey, Gavin,” Trevor said.
“Hi, Gavin. Trevor was just telling me about your family—everyone who plays sports. It’s pretty amazing to have a family like yours.”
Gavin sprouted a grin. “On most days it is. But there’s a lot of ego, too.”
“You are not talking about me, are you?”
A beautiful redhead sat beside Gavin.
“This is my wife, Elizabeth. Liz, this is Haven Briscoe. She’s with Trevor tonight.”
Liz held out her hand. “Nice to meet you, Haven.”
“You, too, Liz.”
“Liz is in the business, too,” Gavin said. “She’s a sports agent.”
And the wheels in Haven’s head continued to turn. “Seriously?”
Liz smiled. “Seriously. Why?”
“I was telling her about the ties all the Rileys have to sports,” Trevor explained.
Liz nodded. “Ah. Mind-boggling, isn’t it?”
“Just a little.”
“I used to represent both Mick and Gavin. But of course, I don’t now that Gavin and I are married. I still represent Tyler and Cole, though. And I’d like to get Trevor to come over as well.”
Gavin put an arm around her. “You are still on maternity leave. No shop talk.”
Haven smiled. “I heard you had a baby. Congratulations.”
Liz grinned. “Thank you, yes, in August. A little girl named
Genevieve. She’s upstairs sleeping right now. I’m not at the point yet where I’m ready to leave her with a sitter. Plus, I’m still breast-feeding.”
“Yeah, on that note, I’m off to get another beer,” Trevor said, making a hasty exit.
“I’ll go with you.”
“For some reason a lot of men can’t handle the breastfeeding conversation,” Liz said with a wry smile.
Haven laughed. “I’d love to see Genevieve when she wakes. I’ve kind of got a thing for babies.”
“The funny thing is, I never did. I was totally career focused. I had planned to be single, to devote my life to my career. Then Gavin happened, and my whole world went to shit. I fell in love, we got married, and suddenly I’m a mom. And the baby cries constantly, seems to barf incessantly, and hasn’t slept a full night yet. I’m an absolute wreck and, God, I love her madly. I must be insane.”
Haven laughed. “The whole love, marriage, and motherhood thing must suit you, though, because you look absolutely gorgeous.”
“Well, thank you. I have to admit I’ve never been happier doing something I never thought I’d be happy doing.”
Haven admired Liz’s honesty about motherhood. Many women tried to portray themselves as perfect mothers, while Liz spelled out the awful reality of those first few months of sleeplessness and crying babies. “I’ve known a few friends who’ve had babies. It’s that all-consuming kind of love, isn’t it?”
“Like nothing I’ve ever felt before. And Gavin is the same way. Even when Genevieve is up all night, he’ll get up with me to change her and he’ll hold her and walk with her when she’s crying. We’ve both learned a new kind of patience we never thought we’d have.”
Haven smiled. “I’m very happy for both of you.”
“Thanks. Now tell me what you do.”
“I’m working for the network, doing an extensive interview and bio on Trevor.”
“He’s a fine one,” Liz said, picking up her glass of water. “Oh, so talented. Not many athletes have been able to do what he’s done.”
Haven spotted Trevor in a group of his teammates, laughing at something one of them said. She felt a little tingle when he looked her way and smiled. “I know. He definitely has that ‘it’ factor.”
“He’s also very sexy, and no woman has managed to pin him down yet. Will you be delving into his personal life at all during your piece?”
“Mmmm, somewhat. At least as far as he lets me. I know a little about him because we went to college together. My parents were his dorm parents.”
“Oh, I like that connection. Gives you a bit of an up on the personal side.”
“I don’t know about that. But he said he only agreed to do this if I was the one to interview him.”
Liz studied her, her blue-eyed gaze intent on her. “Hmm. Maybe he likes you.”
“I don’t think so. I think he trusts me not to screw him over and make him look bad.”
Liz looked across the room at Trevor, then back at her. “Oh, I don’t know about that, Haven. I’ve seen him casting looks your way. It’s more than just him trusting you. There’s some kind of chemistry thing going on between you.”
The room suddenly felt warmer. “You think so?”
“Believe me, a woman knows these things. I’m surprised you haven’t caught on to those heated glances he’s throwing your way.”
“Who’s throwing heated glances whose way?”
Alicia, who’d asked the question, took a seat next to them.
“Trevor. At Haven. She seems oblivious,” Liz said.
Haven was mortified and wanted to go hide in the bathroom. “He’s not looking at me in any kind of way. We’ve never had . . . that kind of relationship.”
“Well, maybe it’s time you did. After all, the two of you have known each other forever. Maybe he’s had a crush on you for years. Like, since college.”
Haven shot Liz a look. “I can assure you he never even noticed me in college. I tutored him back then, and he was way more interested in getting away from me so he could go party or play football than he was in getting in my pants.”
“Considering how hot and gorgeous you are, I’d wager he wants in your pants now,” Alicia said with a knowing smile.
Haven couldn’t help but let out a laugh at that comment. “Well, thanks. I think. But that ship has sailed. We have a professional working relationship, so that simply can’t happen.”
Liz looked at Alicia, and the two of them laughed.
“Gavin and I very much had a professional working relationship,” Liz said. “And now our daughter is sleeping peacefully upstairs.”
“So did Garrett and I,” Alicia added. “And we’re getting married in a few months.”
“That’s great for you two. But I have no intention of marrying Trevor.”
“No one says you have to,” Liz said. “But for God’s sake, don’t let work get in the way of having some fun with a hot man.”
She’d never thought of it that way, had purposely avoided trying to feel anything for the past—God, for the past year. Her emotions, her feelings—everything—had been shut down after her dad’s death.
Now, though, it seemed as if she was slowly awakening again. Feeling again.
At the worst possible time.
“It’s not a good time for me. My dad passed away last year, and I’m just now getting my feet wet in this new job. I have to focus.”
Alicia grasped her hand.
“I’m sorry,” Liz said. “That had to have been so hard for you.”
“It was. It’s kept me in a funk. He and I were really close. I’m glad to have this new assignment, because I just started working for the network and it’s a great opportunity. I don’t want to do anything to screw it up.”
“And you think messing around with Trevor would jeopardize your job?” Alicia asked.
“I can’t see how it couldn’t.”
Liz leaned back on the sofa. “Well, I thought much the same thing about my job when I was representing Gavin as his agent, and he and I got involved. Talk about a major conflict of interest. But when chemistry is involved, there’s not much that’ll hold two people back who really want to be with each other, you know?”
She could see how Gavin and Liz would fit together. Liz was definitely a dynamo who said what was on her mind. And Gavin—he was hot. “Yes, I can see that.”
“So how do you really feel about Trevor? Any . . . feelings there for him?” Alicia asked.
She took a deep breath and chanced a look at him across the room. It was as if he could sense her, because his gaze pulled away from his friends and landed on her, and again, there was that wickedly sexy smile of his that never failed to get her motor running.
She smiled back, just a little one, and returned her attention to Alicia and Liz.
“There’s something. I just don’t know how to categorize it. He kind of ignored me in college, so I never thought he was interested.”
“But you were interested in him?” Liz asked.
“Yeah. I had an epic crush on him, but nothing ever came of it since he pretty much ignored me.”
“College guys can be dumb and oblivious sometimes,” Alicia said. “All the guys I was interested in in college never knew I existed.”
Liz nodded. “But it seems as if he’s interested now. The question is, what should you do about it?”
She enjoyed having these women to talk to. Her friends back home had all scattered after college, and while they e-mailed back and forth, she didn’t have a lot of women to talk to, especially after her dad died. Her emotions had been in flux, and she’d been a ball of confusion. “I don’t know. I’m not sure I trust my feelings right now.”
“Maybe you should just do what feels right—what makes you happy,” Liz said.
She glanced over at Trevor again. “Maybe I should.”
TREVOR KEPT AN EYE ON HAVEN WHILE HE WAS TALKING
with the guys. She seemed engrossed in conversation with Alicia and Liz, and eventually disappeared upstairs with Liz after a while.
He knew why, when Liz came downstairs a little while later with Genevieve. Many of the women surrounded her and the baby. And really, Genevieve was kind of hard to resist. At almost two months old, the infant was cute as hell with a full head of red hair just like her mom’s, and her cute chubby cheeks.
She sure was loud, though, crying when anyone but Gavin or Liz tried to hold her. Liz apologized, but shrugged and took the baby and held her. The baby eventually quieted, and they left early.
It must suck having a kid. Something he never intended to do, anyway, so he’d never have to worry about those sleepless nights Gavin was always telling him about.
Haven came over. “Did you get a chance to see the baby?”
“Yeah. She’s cute.”
“She’s adorable. Liz said she’s going to hate when she has to go back to work soon.”
“Yeah, I’ll bet. Though maybe she’ll get some rest then,” he teased.
Haven laughed. “I doubt she’ll rest. She’ll probably worry about the baby the whole time. And I can’t imagine with all the travel she has to do how she’s going to deal with leaving Genevieve. Though she said her mother-in-law has offered to watch her, so I’m sure that’s going to give her some peace of mind.”
“Are you having a good time?”
“I am. How about you? I saw you spending a lot of time with Alicia and Liz.”
Her lips curved into a smile. “I did. We had a nice conversation.”
“Work. And . . . stuff.”
He arched a brow. “What kind of stuff?”
“Oh, just some stuff about you. And me. And you and me.”
“Really. Care to share?”
“Maybe later. I’m a little hungry right now. How about we grab some food?”
“Sounds like a good idea.” He led her into the dining room, where food was spread out across the table. They grabbed plates and filled up, then found a spot outside. It was a cool night, but there was a fire pit and heaters set up.
They took seats next to Garrett, who was seated with Alicia and a couple of other guys from the team.
“How’s it going, Haven?” Garrett asked.
“Good. You and Alicia have a beautiful home. Thank you for inviting us here tonight.”
“We’re so glad you came,” Alicia said. “Liz and I had fun talking with you. We hope you heed our advice.”
Haven tilted her head and smiled. “I’ll definitely give it some thought.”
“What advice is that?” Trevor asked.
“I’ll tell you later.”
“Girl talk,” Garrett said. “It’s always a mystery. Whenever Alicia gets together with the Riley women, it’s like an hours-long chat fest. They spend a whole day together, doing the lunch or dinner thing. It’s like I’ve lost my woman.”
Alicia patted the side of his face. “Awww, poor baby. You know I like my girl time. Besides, we all have to get together to complain about you guys. It’s like free therapy.”
“Come on. We’re not that bad,” Garrett said.
“Of course you’re not.” Alicia grinned at Haven.
Trevor laughed. “I’m glad I’m not a Riley. This sounds like torture.”
“Oh, but didn’t Haven tell you? We’ve officially adopted her into the women clan. She’s going shopping with all of us next week. And then out to dinner. So we can indoctrinate her into our cult.”
Trevor cast a glance at Haven. “You are?”
Haven looked just as surprised. “I am?”
“You are. I just decided. You’re saying yes, aren’t you?”
“I . . . yes.”
“Good,” Alicia said. “I’ll call you with details.”
Trevor liked the smile on Haven’s face. It’d be good for her to make some friends out here, rather than hanging out with him all the time. And he liked Alicia and Liz.
After they visited a while longer, they said their thanks and left.
“Do you have a game tomorrow?” Haven asked when they got in the car.
“No. It’s an off day.”
“Did you want to spend some time on the interview?”
He got the idea there was something else on her mind besides just scheduling interview time tomorrow. “What else, Haven?”
She half turned to face him. “There’s nothing else. Just work.”
Somehow, he knew there’d been more. She’d gone quiet, as if she were thinking hard about something.
They were both silent for the rest of the drive. Once they were inside, Haven started toward her wing of the house.
“I’m heading up to bed,” she said, hardly looking at him. “See you in the morning, Trevor.”
She stopped. Looked up at him. “Yes?”
“Is there something you want to talk about?”
She paused for a few seconds before answering. “Not tonight. See you in the morning, Trevor.”
He stood at the entryway, watching her. “Okay.”
He could have pressed it with her, could have poured her a drink and they could have gone outside. Maybe he could have drawn out of her what she was so pensive about.
But he didn’t want to push, and they had time. So he’d let it go.