Home > Escorting the Player (The Escort Collection #3)

Escorting the Player (The Escort Collection #3)
Author: Leigh James

The Escort Collection Series

Escorting the Billionaire (The Escort Collection #1) 
Escorting the Actress (The Escort Collection #2)
Escorting the Player (The Escort Collection #3)
Escorting the Groom (The Escort Collection #4)

Silicon Valley Billionaires Series

Lauren (Silicon Valley Billionaires #1)
GABE (Silicon Valley Billionaires #2)
HANNAH (Silicon Valley Billionaires #3)

 

Chapter One

 

CHASE

I was just about to head to practice when my phone buzzed.

Jessica: i won't be here L8R

 

 

im leaving u 4realz this time

 

 

I groaned. My wife, who was a magna cum laude graduate of Brown University, was texting me about the state of our marriage…and the texts were written in sixth-grade gibberish.

Chase: Why?

 

 

Jessica: because u r an obsessed prick

 

 

Chase: I told you I was sorry.

 

 

Jessica: whatev

 

 

Chase: Why are you texting me? Aren't you in the next room? And why no grammar?

 

 

Jessica: here 4now

 

 

grammar = NM ur 2 old u don't get it

 

 

Just fucking perfect. She was leaving me this time for "realz". As for the rest of what she'd said…I had no idea what it meant.

This was my team's first day back and I didn't have time for this. Still, I had to do damage control. If there was one thing I'd learned, it was that Jess would not be ignored. I took a deep breath and headed to the bedroom, where I found her. She was playing with her long, dark hair and inspecting what appeared to be her entire wardrobe, neatly assembled on the bed next to an open suitcase.

"What do you want?" she asked. She sounded bored.

"Just thought I'd check in," I said, leaning back against the wall and crossing my arms against my chest. "Since you're leaving me and all."

She didn't look at me. "I told you I wanted that show. Since you pulled the plug, I've just been sort of…done."

"I know you're disappointed. But the timing wasn't right, just like the timing's not right for this." I jerked my chin toward the suitcase. "Let's sit tight before we make any decisions, okay? We just need to get through this season—it's important to me and you know it."

"That show was important to me and you knew it. I just wanted something for myself, for once." She started filling her Louis Vuitton suitcase with thousands of dollars' worth of clothes and I struggled to feel sorry for her.

"Are you serious?" I asked. She'd threatened to leave me so many times, I'd lost count. The packing was a first, though. She'd never actually packed.

It's not like I want her to stay. It's just not a good time for her to leave. This was my season, dammit. I needed it to be perfect.

"You don't have to pretend to care," she said, carefully refolding a sweater. "If that's what you're doing."

I sighed. Maybe there wasn't ever a good time for your wife to leave you. But I was coming up on my final season as a quarterback for the New England Warriors. I had to focus on my team, not on the personal drama that was unfolding—or actually, was folding—in my bedroom.

"What do you want?" I asked. There had to be something. Her list of demands had kept growing—from an engagement ring, to a huge wedding, to a tricked-out Jaguar F-Pace and a ten-thousand-dollar a week spending allowance. And then the series. She'd really wanted the series, but I'd said no. I couldn't put myself on public display like that. It was bad for the team and for my reputation.

She was still having a temper tantrum about it.

Jess sighed. "It's too late now. And we should at least be honest with each other. We've been over for so long, we need a new word for over."

"I don't want you to do this."

She finally looked at me, her Botox-laden upper lip struggling to raise itself into a look of disdain. She'd been so pretty when I met her. "I'm sure you don't—it's inconvenient. But we both know it's not because you care about me. You don't care about anybody… Not even yourself."

I ran my hands over my closely cropped hair. "You're being crazy. What the hell are you even talking about?"

"I'm talking about football, Chase." She rolled her eyes. "That's the only thing you love. It's taken me this long to figure it out. Excuse me for wanting something more out of life."

Dismissing me, she went back to packing.

I numbly watched her. When I'd started dating Jessica, she'd fawned over me. She used to make me green smoothies. She used to give me massages…and hour-long blow jobs.

I'd confused that with being a nice person.

In retrospect, that was a reasonable mistake. You can think a lot of stupid things when you're getting a blowjob. But as soon as the ink was dry on our marriage license, it'd been all about Jess. No more smoothies. No more massages. She was too busy shopping and getting "refreshed" by her plastic surgeon. She only blew me when she was about to ask for something outrageously expensive. As soon as her mouth started heading for my happy trail, I knew to reach for my wallet.

She'd trained me well.

I'd been blind. A dumbass thinking with his Johnson. Being a professional athlete, I should've known better, but I'd honestly thought she loved me. Because who wouldn't, right?

This is where being a cocky son-of-a-bitch broke down.

Jessica didn't love me. She loved the limelight, the clothes, the big house. Once I figured that out, I'd put up with it because I was trying to keep things on an even keel. I needed to focus on my career. Now she was packing up her four-thousand-dollar suitcase to leave me right before the most important season of my life was about to begin.

And I just stood there, not knowing whether to laugh or cry.

 

* * *

 

AVERY

"Lila." I nudged my sister's sleeping form, which was sprawled out across my bed.

"Stop," she mumbled and rolled over.

"You're supposed to go to work. You have to get up."

She either pretended to not hear me or couldn't hear me, I didn't know which. She'd been out until the early hours of the morning, doing God only knew what. I looked at the clock—she needed to be in Harvard Square in twenty minutes.

"Lila. Please. Rent's due, remember?"

She pulled the covers over her head and ignored me. She was going to get fired from yet another job. This one was Jamba Juice. The last one was Starbuck's. She'd gone from getting and losing jobs in the city's high-end restaurants to getting and losing jobs in the city's chains. She was so pretty, with her long, wavy blond hair and perfect skin, that she often got hired on the spot.

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