Book Title: Playing
Author and Publisher: Beth
Cover Artist: Cate Ashwood
Release Date: January 12,
Genres: Gay contemporary
Tropes: Bisexual awakening,
roommates to lovers
Heat Rating: 4 flames
Length: 41 000
It’s the prequel novella to my
Miami Piranhas series.
Buy Links – Available in Kindle
All Wade Lewis wants during rookie preseason camp is to
play great football and to make it to the final fifty-three man roster.
He absolutely does not want Tristan
His complete and total opposite.
And his roommate.
During the day, Tristan unexpectedly proves to be
helpful on and off the field, but at night, when the lights go out, Tristan also becomes the
only man he can’t resist.
First, he’s a friend, then astonishingly, he becomes a
And then he becomes the last thing Wade ever
This novella was previously published, and some light
editing has been done, but no new content has been added.
Tristan had nearly found Beau and asked if he could
switch rooms, but the problem with that was that he likedsharing a room with Wade.
He was a good roommate, conscientious and kind, and apart from this inconvenient
attraction stuff, he was becoming a good friend.
And he’d already been around the NFL long enough to
know that friends didn’t exactly grow on trees.
It shouldn’t have come as a surprise, then, that as
soon as the light went out, after this long-ass day, when both of them should have been
exhausted and immediately falling asleep, Tristan couldn’t help himself and instead of being
safe and smart and careful, like he had been all day, like he’d used all that safety up, he
asked the question himself.
“You ever kiss a guy before, Wade?”
Wade was quiet for such a long time that Tristan
wondered if maybe he had actually fallen asleep.
He found himself holding his breath, barely able to
breathe, his lungs clogging, as he waited for Wade to answer. Listening, way too intently, for
even the minutest change in Wade’s own breathing.
Why did he even need to know?
Why did it matter so much that the answer be
Finally, Wade let out a deep exhale, like he’d been
holding his own breath too. Like he’d made a decision.
“No,” he said. “No, I haven’t.”
Tristan dug his fingertips into his bedding. It was no
less dangerous to kiss Wade in this dark, private room than to do it in the middle of the day,
in the middle of the Piranhas weight room, but it was easier to justify because if they did it
here and now, nobody would ever know.
But you’d know,
Tristan reminded himself. And Wade will know.
It was those two things that kept Tristan in his own
bed, instead of joining Wade in his—and showing him just how great kissing a guy could
“Is . . . is that what that was earlier? You were . . .”
Wade hesitated for so long that Tristan, hanging on every single word, every single syllable
echoing through the darkness, nearly got up and went to his side and demanded to know
what it was he was supposedly doing. Finally, though, Wade finished his sentence. “Testing
It made no sense. Why would Tristan be testing him?
He already knew Wade was bisexual. Wade had told him himself. Tristan might have tested
Wade if he hadn’t been sure. If he hadn’t been entirely sure how his flirtation would be
But he definitely hadn’t been testing Wade
He’d been irresistibly drawn to the man.
It felt unfair to pay Wade’s honesty back with a lie, no
matter how dangerous the truth was.
So Tristan told him the truth.
“I wasn’t testing you. I was . . . if you have to know, I
was . . . I find you attractive, Wade, and I wanted to kiss you. As stupid as that was. I
shouldn’t have been thinking about it. You’re not out, and there were other guys around,
and on top of that . . . it’s a huge, massive distraction that could get us both released. You
know, teams don’t really like their players hooking up.”
Don’t really was
It was technically allowed because it couldn’t be
not allowed but it certainly wasn’t encouraged. All the Piranhas needed was a really
good reason to cut Tristan, and this would be it.
“You wanted to kiss me?” Wade’s voice was full of
“I guess you missed the rest of that,” Tristan teased.
“You know, the part where it was—it is—a bad idea.”
“Sorry.” Wade actually sounded apologetic. “I got
stuck on that one bit. I just never thought . . . you and me. You’re so . . .”
It was playing with fire to ask.
Tristan knew it.
He asked anyway.
“I’m so what, Wade?”
“You’re so hot and confident and sure of yourself.
You’re a beacon of hope to so many closeted guys, guys who think that you can’t be gay and
play football. And then there’s me . . . not really ashamed but not open either, and not
experienced . . .”
“None of that matters,” Tristan interrupted him,
because he couldn’t listen to another moment of Wade putting himself down. “I can’t tell
you how much none of that matters.”
“Wade, you’re fucking gorgeous and you’re sweet,
and you’ve got this smile that lights up . . . well, it lights up everything around you. Including
Wade was silent for a long time again, like he was
digesting what Tristan had just admitted to.
Like he was weighing the danger of it, the inherent
risk of it, with the reward.
But how could he, Tristan thought, dying over in his
own bed, when he didn’t know what he was really missing? He’d never kissed a guy before.
He didn’t know.
“Why,” Wade said, his voice rough, “are you still over
About the Author
A lifelong Pacific Northwester, Beth Bolden has just recently moved to North Carolina with
her supportive husband. Beth still believes in Keeping Portland Weird, and intends to be just
as weird in Raleigh.
Beth has been writing practically since she learned the alphabet. Unfortunately, her first
foray into novel writing, titled Big Bear with Sparkly Earrings, wasn’t a bestseller, but hope
springs eternal. She’s published twenty-three novels and seven novellas.
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