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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

Jay's Loelife - 2. Where's Loren?


My gut churns as I step into the training facility. My lovely teammates know about my rejection’ as it’s being told. They’ve hooked that juicy tidbit to the gossip battery and revved it up.

Those who have no comment, say plenty with their happy-to-bring-Jay-down-a-notch-or-two smirks. It’s so rare they have a chance at me. I don’t do stupid shit, which makes me a difficult and highly sought-after target. Despite the teasing, I walk through the building with my head high and my shoulders squared.

Marcus, with his dreads in a top knot, can hardly contain his grin as I approach. I slide into the vacant seat next to him. “I will get you back for this,” I threaten.

“Let the homies have their moment. It’s not every day you get shot down.”

“I wasn’t shot down,” I argue the false narrative. He doesn’t give his number out to guys he just met.”

Brah,” he laughs. “I hate to break it to you, but that’s getting shot down.

While you may view it as such, I see it as a challenge to get to know him better. You know I’m going to marry him—”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, love at first sight.”

“Not love at first sight,” I correct. “But that doesn’t mean we won’t get there. Just wait. I saw the way he looked at me. He’s interested.”

Was interested…until you went all Fatal Attraction on him. Then he was like “Nah bro, I don’t give my number to ‘strangers’.”

I laugh despite myself. “I will humbly accept your apology one day with the most expensive item on the registry.

Humbly? Ha.” Marcus slouches into his seat and gets comfortable while Coach connects his computer to the projector. Thursdays are always long film days. “I guess we’ll see how things go in four weeks…if he shows up.”


The time has come. It’s the last Tuesday of the month, four weeks since I talked to Loren for the first time. You bet your ass I leave practice as quickly as I can, head home, shower, and dress with precision care before heading to the bar. Am I overdressed? I sure hope so. I have limited airtime and I need to make what I do have count.

My SUV is barely in park before I’m jogging across the parking lot. I straighten my clothes and run my fingers through my hair before opening the door. I have a plan, one I’ve spent the last four weeks building, and I’m ready to set it into action.

I’m ready to woo Loren.

I wave at Randy as I pass the bar. I motion that I’ll take a drink when he gets a second. Loren’s usual table is empty but that’s okay, I’m early.

The guys show up, we order food, we laugh. The night goes as it always does. The minutes tick by painfully slow. Every time the front door creaks, my heart soars. Every time it’s not who I’m looking for, it plummets.

Loren’s friends don’t show. More importantly, Loren doesn’t show. Garrett squeezes my shoulder on the way out. “Don’t worry man. It’s just one miss.”


It isn’t just one miss, though. It’s a lot of misses. When he and his friends don’t show in September or October, I break down and bug Randy for details. “You know that group of guys that sit there?”

“Isaac’s group? Sure.”

“Are they still coming around? I haven’t seen them for a few months.”

“Oh sure,” he answers with a smile. He obviously likes them. They’re always happy, not too loud, probably tip good. “They’re here every week. They did mention some schedule changes a while back. They’ve been coming on Thursdays and Sundays.”

“What about Loren?” I ask. Randy looks at me for more information. “You know, the cute muscled guy that only shows up like once a month. He’s been here?”

Randy has to think about it. “The guy that's always filming? Yeah, I seen him around.”

“What day?”

Randy laughs. “I don’t know, man. He comes so infrequently I can’t keep track.”

But he’s coming, so that’s something. The days they come don’t thrill me. Sunday is game day and Thursday is just as bad. Still, I convince the guys to change it up. Thursday’s suck and no one feels like dragging their ass to the bar after practice, but they agree anyway.

We try again, and again, and again. Month after month. It’s a commitment considering how busy football season is. Evenings are a gift from God but the guys keep following my ass around anyway.

November, December, and January come up empty. Our season may have started well but it doesn’t end well. Out in the first Wild Card game. Too many mistakes. I head to Wisconsin for six-weeks to spend time at the cabin, see my parents, my family, and my brothers. We fish, we relax, we train, we eat, eat, eat, and eat some more.

I get back to Seattle at the beginning of March. One more trip to the bar before I leave for Mexico with my college brothers.

Call it intuition but I know he won’t be there before I arrive. It’s been seven months. This is the longest I haven’t seen him. I’m hopeful, not stupid. Something is up.

I nurse my drink and watch his friends as they banter back and forth without him.

Marcus shakes his head at my pathetic ass. “Dude. Go ask ‘em. I’m sure they’ll tell you when he’ll be back. Fuck, $10k says they’ll help coordinate it.”

“They’ve played it cool but those guys are dying to be invited back to the table,” Shawn says. “Give them the incentive they need.”

I polish off the rest of my greyhound and slide it to the edge of the table. “Using them like that isn’t cool. Whatever happens is between me and Loren.”

“Then why the fuck you draggin’ us around?” Garrett snaps. “You don’t want to hang with us. You’re not even here,” he taps his temple a few times, emphasizing his point.

I ignore the harsh words and head to the bar. When I come back with the next round, I make sure to sit with my back to the door and to Loren’s friends. We’re quickly creeping up on a year of him dodging me. It’s time to let it go.

As the night winds down, I pay the tab. “I won’t drag you guys out again. Sorry.”

“Fuck,” Marcus groans. “Don’t do that.”

“Do what?”

“Fucking pout like that.”

“I’m not pouting.” They all stare at me. “Fine, I’ll stop pouting.”

I don’t stop pouting.


I’m off to Mexico with Scott and Will. Seamus bails at the last minute. A first since college. I have a feeling it has to do with this little cutie he’s been toting around. I met the little tyke a few times when visiting Denver. Cutest little thing with killer blue eyes and the best giggles. Though, I think it has more to do with the kid’s dad, or brother, or whatever he is. Matt. My friend is head over heels for that guy. Still, it isn’t the same without him.

I don’t even bother going to the bar when I get back. I’ve gone above and beyond. I haven’t given up, I’m just not giving it my all.


“Dibs on Petermeyer!” Shawn yells from the pro shop. Marcus throws his hands up and curses because getting paired with Garrett is a death sentence.

Garrett and I are outside, securing our bags to the carts and listening to the two argue.

“I’m going to blow this game on purpose just to prove a point,” Garrett grumbles as he secures his clubs to the back of the cart.

“Maybe if you practiced more than twice a year…”

“Maybe if you stop golfing so damn much…”

I laugh at that. I golf five or six times a year, mostly when I’m back in Wisconsin with my brothers. I hardly ever golf in Seattle. Once a year, maybe.

I haven’t seen much of the guys since the season ended. Everyone disappears after the last game, going their separate ways for a much-needed break. This is the first time we’ve met up since I told them I wouldn’t drag them to the bar anymore.

Marcus and Shawn are still fighting over who gets to partner with me and who doesn’t partner with Garret when they come out of the shop. Marcus starts speed walking to us. Shawn sees what he does and starts after him.

“You motherfucking—”

Language!” I shout. They mean well but sometimes they forget that no matter how much money they make, you still have to be respectful and classy when in public, especially when at a private upscale country club.

Shawn beats him to the cart and gives Marcus some lewd hand gesture along the way. With the partners set, we’re off.

What I didn’t tell Garrett was that in high school, when I wasn’t playing football, I golfed. I’m good. And today, I’m on fire, and so is Shawn by proxy. Garrett sucks, like really, really sucks, so he and Marcus aren’t exactly competition.

Shawn takes a sip of his beer and puts it back in the cup holder as we cruise to the next hole. The weather is warm, if a bit breezy. Shawn smiles at his good fortune. “How’s operation landing-a-husband going?”

“I haven’t seen him since last August, soooo…not well.”

“Given up?”

“No, just resigned to letting fate do its thing.”

“Why don’t you just talk to his friends? Set something up?”

“Because I don’t need to,” I tell him. “I’m working on my long game, and if that means I need to wait, then I’ll wait. It’s annoying, but it’s not the end of the world.”

“I’m just saying, it would be so easy to talk to his friends. You don’t even have to give much away. Be casual about it.”

“Or, I could trust the process.”


Marcus and Garrett stomp away from the cart drop off like children. “Round of drinks on Petermeyer for running us into the ground today.”

I smile to myself as I unhook my clubs. The grumbling, low-key tantrum walk-of-shame isn’t a good look on the two six-and-a-half-foot hulks. They don’t handle losing very well. Most professional athletes are like that. It’s that competitiveness that got us where we are.

I join them on the deck and start changing my shoes so we can head in for the celebratory round of drinks I’m buying.

“Nope,” Shawn says with a shake of his head as I try to open the door to the clubhouse.”

“I thought drinks were on me?”

No one responds, walking toward the parking lot instead. It doesn’t take long to figure out where we’re going for drinks. I almost protest but it’s not that big of a deal. It’s not like he’ll be there…

Loren’s friend’s truck is parked on the far end of the parking lot with a couple of other rigs. They’re all congregated together. The truck alone has my heart hammering just remembering that Loren rode home in one night. Then there’s a van—the conversion type; a Mercedes Sprinter. It’s beefy looking, kind of cool with after-market trims like a cargo rack and front bumper. I’ve only seen it a few times. One might say rather infrequently…

I speed walk to the building and practically rip the door off its squeaky hinges. “Petermeyer, calm down,” the guys tease from behind me. I don’t care what they say because there’s a chance he’s here.

I frantically look around the bar.

His friends are at their table, tucked not far from where I’m standing. When they see me watching them, their eyes dart to the bar. My eyes immediately follow.

It’s the weirdest thing, to be affected so heavily by someone you don’t know. Just seeing him—the brown hair, the broad shoulders, the muscular arms leaning so casually against the bar—it gets to me on a cellular level. He turns his head slightly, bringing his profile into view. He smiles. It’s just a little curl of his lip. Maybe Randy said something amusing, not outright funny, but enough to get a small reaction.

No matter how many times I see him, I have a hard time comprehending how incredibly gorgeous Loren is. Unlike me, he’s never broken his nose. It’s as close to perfect as it gets. Run-of-the-mill in the very best way. Strong, but not too much. It’s hot. As stupid as it sounds, I want to trace my finger over it, over the slight bump all the way to the rounded tip.

It perfectly matches his face, those cheekbones and his angled jaw, one that’s too soft to cut glass but still rugged. It’s almost like everything about him is ten-percent softer than society's version of an ideal man. Strong nose? Ten-percent weaker. Face that could cut glass? Ten-percent duller. Tall, dark, and handsome? Ten-percent shorter, paler, and, well, that doesn’t sound hot at all but he really is. Each of those things make him one-hundred times hotter.

I can’t believe he’s here. Months I’ve waited. I didn’t realize how much it had gotten to me but now that he’s here, twenty feet away, the tightness in my chest lets up.

Uninterested in waiting a moment longer, I go to him. My legs knock against his as I get comfortable on the barstool. He glances my way like maybe I’m there by accident, but then he sees that it’s me and he does a double take.

He fights his smile and looks away.

“Hey,” I say. I’m also struggling to not smile.

He nods real casual like, like he isn’t absolutely failing to hide how happy he is to see me. “Long time, no see.”

I bring my knuckle to my mouth and bite it. Oh, that little bastard.

Loren looks back at his friends to see if they’re watching us and smiles when he sees they are.

“Long time, no see? Is that all you have to say?” I slap a fifty on the counter and slide it toward Randy. “Leave his drink here and take the rest to the table?”

Randy looks between the two of us. He smiles like he knows exactly what Loren’s been up to, and laughs like he knows what’s about to go down because of it.

Randy sets our drinks on the counter. I slide one to Loren then I take a sip of my own while giving myself a moment to gather myself.

We have nine months to catch up on.

I breathe so deep my lungs ache and then let it out in a rush. “We kicked off the season with a killer game against the Cardinals. It was neck-n-neck but we pulled through in the end. Then it was a win against Denver and again Chicago in week three. A win against Dallas, loss to LA, and win against Oakland in weeks 4, 5, and 6. I went back home to Wisconsin for a few days during our bye week. The second half of the season was good. One loss but mostly notable wins against Kansas City and Green Bay. It was a notable season but we didn’t quite make it as far as we wanted. I won’t lie. It was a hard pill to swallow. I sulked at home for a bit.”

“Personally,” I continue, because if he’s going to wait that long between visits, I’m going to share everything. “I went home for Christmas, which was intense, in the best way, you know? Family...I spent New Year’s in Denver. I spent the offseason training, working on endorsements, and vacationing. It was the first season I wasn’t injured, so that was a nice change. My brothers, I have two by the way, came and visited a few times. That’s always interesting. I tried this killer new restaurant in Arizona that I want to go back to. I also went to Mexico with my college friends. I’m heading to Denver next week to give my best friend a hard time for missing the trip. When I get back, it’s straight to work I go.”

With my long-winded soliloquy done, I take a much-needed sip, look at Loren, and smile. “What have you been up to?”

Loren’s laugh is beautiful, deep, and sincere. I want to hear it more, a lot more. The sound filters through my skin and settles in my blood. It’s cooling, it’s calming. It’s a drug. “You want to know what I’ve been up to since September?” He asks as if it’s the most ridiculous thing he’s ever been asked.

“August twenty-seventh, actually.”

“August twenty-seventh,” he repeats, letting the words settle on his lips. He hasn’t stopped smiling. “Working, that’s what I do with all my time.”

“Just working?” I query. “No family? No Christmas? No vacation?”

“It’s all work to me.”

“Come on,” I press. “You refused to give me your number then conveniently went AWOL. And, just so you know, I could’ve tracked you down. I could’ve asked around but I didn’t. I was a good boy. I waited, rather patiently I might add. But now we’re here. So, give me something. Anything,” I beg.

“I don’t know what to tell you, I’ve been working. Not much else to share.”

I watch him. He’s got these gorgeous light brown eyes that say so much. Like now, he’s playing it cool, hard to get, but he was glad when I came in, excited when I sat down, and pleased to be teasing me. He likes that I’m sitting here and talking to him.

So naturally, that’s my hand. That’s my play.

I grab my drink and stand. “If that’s all there is to share, then I’ll be on my way. It was nice seeing you again, Loren. Until next time—” I nod and turn away, leaving him looking like a fish. A confused fish. I don’t have to see him to know he’s floundering. While he tries to figure out what just happened, I smile to myself. Oh, how the turntables…turn…

The guys watch me curiously.

“Why are you smiling?” Shawn’s eyes shoot past me to Loren. “And why does he look like someone kicked his kitten?”

I want to turn around, I want to see his reaction, but I resist with all my might. “He’s not ready for me.”

They don’t seem shocked. They look between themselves and shrug, whatever. It’s a Jay thing. They’re unphased. It’s back to our regular scheduled programming. We order food, a couple more drinks, and catch up on the last few months.

Garrett went to a giant waterpark and lost his britches on the super slide. “I was stomach side down!” he cries. “There’s not as much water on the slide as you think. Do you know what it’s like to have dick burn? I do and it fucking sucks. It peels, FYI. My dick fucking peeled. I’m still afraid to have sex because Doc say it could get infected! INFECTED!

We’re laughing so hard we can’t catch our breath.

“Here I thought you’d rub it raw with your right hand.”

Garrett glares at Shawn, making us laugh harder. “Wrong kind of rubbing raw, dude. Wrong kind.”

“Did you tell PT about it?”

“Why the fuck would I tell the fucking PT about my dick? You think I have a death wish?”

“Gotta make sure it’s better before the season starts,” I tease.

Garrett shakes his head. “I ain’t telling Ed. He might work magic on a torn muscle, but I don’t trust him with my dick.”

We keep going around. Garrett tries to turn the tables but it doesn’t stick. No matter where conversation goes, it comes back to his dick burn. By ten, we’re ready to call it a night. We’re old like that. I won’t sit here and tell you that I forgot about Loren. I haven’t. I feel his eyes on me all night. I know he’s watching me. I’m sure that walking away threw him for a loop, one he doesn’t know how to untangle.

Everyone grabs their jackets, getting ready to, but not quiet leaving the table. We linger, still laughing at Garretts expense. Marcus looks over my shoulder and smirks.

Loren stands there. He presses a card against my arm. He’s the epitome of confidence, like he knows I’m going to take it because he’s doing me a favor. Don’t I know how lucky I am? But then he looks at me and I see past the bullshit. I told you, those brown eyes give everything away. They’re an open book.

He looks irritated. Maybe that’s the wrong word, but he’s definitely agitated that I made him stew all night and then made him come to me. I have a feeling, with those looks and that body, he doesn’t ever stew over a guy, let alone approach them.

When I don’t reach for the card, he rolls his eyes and pushes it closer, holding it coolly between two fingers. “Are you going to take it or not?”

I pluck the card from his hand and smile. He turns to leave but I’m not having that. I pinch his shirt and pull him back. He looks at my hand then at me, one brow raised, questioning me. I lean down. He may be shorter but he’s mighty in his presence.

“Coffee next Wednesday at two. Anchorhead on 7th Avenue.” I turn and walk away.

“That’s not—” he starts. “I never said—”

See you Wednesday,” I shout without turning back. I’m out the door. The guys are behind me, laughing.

Shawn whistles. “Oh man, you should’ve seen his face. He doesn’t realize what he’s up against.”

“Game, set, match,” Marcus adds. “Now I see why you were smiling when you sat down. You’d just turned the tables.”

“He didn’t turn the tables, he flipped them!”

“Aren’t you heading to Denver?” Garrett asks. He must’ve been the only one who actually paid attention to what I said earlier.

“I fly out after my date with Loren.”

“That’s cutting it close…”

I open the door to my SUV then turn and face my friends. We’re in a cutthroat business. Football comes first in one way or another. We often lose perspective; we forget that other things exist.

“You make time where time is needed.”

I grin triumphantly. I have a date with Loren.

Copyright © 2022 Mrsgnomie; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

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