In One Little Word, Luke needs to use Ryan to get out of trouble. Ryan wants to get Luke back for an old grudge. And then they fall in love? Maybe, but there’s a bunch of other stops along the way.
Here’s an excerpt:
My fake relationship seemed to be working out great for my boy toy, but it was pretty inconvenient for me. Time to balance things out. Besides, I could argue it was practical to show up and embarrass him in front of his coaches. I mean interact with him in front of his coaches since he wanted some type of sports scholarship. They should know all about their star athlete and his boyfriend.
I went more subtle than showing up in a cheerleading uniform this time. I wore a pink sweater as it was cold and pink earmuffs for a little flair. Most of the guys had left the field, but Luke was talking to his two coaches at the pitcher’s mound. One of them was older and also the Economics teacher, and the other was younger, probably playing baseball in college.
I jogged up to Luke, giving him a noisy kiss on the cheek and throwing my arms around him. “Hi honey bunny, are you done with practice?”
The two coaches looked at us, blinking and seemingly trying to process. I kept my arms around the rigid jock and smiled enthusiastically at the men.
“Uh, just talking to the coaches… babe,” he said with false cheer. “Give me a second.” He stared into my eyes, telling me get the hell out of here. He didn’t understand me last night, so I ignored him now.
“You’re the cheerleader,” said the older coach.
I had showed up in a cheerleading uniform to his game one time. I guess that made an impression. “My friends call me Ryan, but Lukie calls me his little lemon drop,” I gushed. Technically, it would make more sense for Luke to be the lemon drop: he had blonde hair while I was a brunette, but it was the first pet name I thought of.
“Lukie, I didn’t know you had a boyfriend,” responded the younger coach. He grinned and Luke flushed while I soaked in the embarrassment.
“Then you’re the only one,” the other coach grunted. God, even teachers had seen the video?
“What?” the younger one asked.
“Nothing,” Luke said quickly. “It’s nothing you need to see.”
His eyebrows raised.
“We’re an internet sensation,” I said proudly. “Don’t be so modest.”
“We’re hardly a sensation,” Luke argued. He’d pried my arms off him and was holding my hand, gripping it tight. I didn’t back down.
I patted him on the chest. “Let’s not fight in front of your coaches.” I turned to the men with an indulgent smile. “You know how he can be.”
“He’s a great player, keeps the guys focused,” said the older coach slowly, not really sure what was happening.
“Oh, so you just fight with me? I guess I’m special then.”
“So special,” Luke agreed.
I narrowed my eyes. “I didn’t like your tone just then.”
“I know you said not to do this in front of them, but I can’t help it. That hurt, Lukie.”
“Oh my god,” he huffed, face red again.
“Well, apologize to your… fellow, Luke,” the older coach said. I fought not to grin as he took my side, looking at Luke expectantly.
“He’s just joking,” Luke assured him, sounding nervous.
Perfect. “Oh, so my feelings are a joke to you?” I raised my voice.
“Luke, come on,” the younger one pleaded. They probably hated dramatic scenes when girls were involved; being around a dramatic gay scene was even worse.
“Son, you’re just going to make it worse,” the older one said.
“Your coaches are smart, you could learn something from them,” I told him, not hiding the grin on my lips.
“Ryan,” he started but I opened my mouth. “Lemon Drop,” he said through gritted teeth, and I let him continue. “I’m sorry.”
I sniffed, turned away. “I don’t think you mean that.”
“I mean it, come on, please,” he begged. I should have captured this moment on camera.
“I can’t stay mad at you,” I exclaimed, throwing my arms around him again. The coaches used it as an excuse to leave.
“I’m going to kill you,” he whispered while awkwardly embracing me back.
“Don’t be like that, honey bear,” I quipped and skipped away.