Bad Boys of Football #3 - Game for Anything - Bella Andre Page 0,2

nine o'clock at the precise moment that Ty lowered himself into an oversize leather chair, his agent doing the same. The new head of the Outlaws was on the phone, sitting with his back to the room.

A power play, plain and simple, and not even an original one. It could have gotten Ty's back up if he'd let it, but he'd learned early on that showing emotion put you in the weakest man's shoes.

He'd never seen Sean look nervous before. James, the head offensive coach, looked squeamish too. Neither one would meet his gaze.

Ty already had a list in his head of teams who'd piss themselves at the chance to hire him. Whatever goods the new owner had on Sean and James to make them quiver in their shoes like little girls, the ball was in Ty's corner.

Bobby finally hung up the phone and slowly spun his chair away from the plate glass windows that overlooked the San Francisco Bay. "Here he is, live and in the flesh. The infamous Ty Calhoun." Ty raised an eyebrow. "Nice to finally meet you."

Bobby Wilson was a textbook bully. Full of bluster, probably because he lacked the goods where it counted.

"You're even prettier in person." Bobby stood up and his thick belly gave way to gravity, falling over his large, shiny belt buckle.

"I had a pretty mother," Ty said, though he wouldn't have recognized her on the street if he saw her. The one picture his father had kept of her was too faded and streaked. Bobby smiled, revealing teeth that were far too perfect. " 1 do like to hear a boy speak nice about his mama."

Bile churned in Ty's stomach. Anyone who paid attention to football—or celebrity magazines—knew Ty didn't have a mother. Or a sober father, for that matter.

"I saw you make that winning touchdown," Bobby continued, "and I said to my wife, 'Honey, that boy sure can play football. He knows how to throw that ball and run real fast and get people to buy Tshirts and hot dogs.' The wife likes her diamonds, you know, and she agreed that I should buy the team right then and there. And I was mighty pleased with my new purchase—until I saw your picture in the Las-Vegas Review-Journal yesterday."

"She was one hot stripper, wasn't she?" Ty said blandly.

Bobby Wilson's face turned almost purple.

"I know you think you can mock me, son, and I know my traditional family values don't mean squat to you, but I will not condone such behavior on any team of mine." Ty knew the big, rich team owner expected an instant "Yes, sir." All those years of effortless bullying must have made Bobby forget how to work for it.

"You should have seen the ass on her friend," Ty said. "Foxy and Roxy come as a pair, and they're quite a handful—but well worth it."

Bobby didn't need to know that his buddies had wanted to chat up the strippers, not him, and that he couldn't control who took a picture of him with a nearly naked woman on his lap, any more than he could control newspapers printing the shots. It was the price of being a star. Bobby's eyelids drooped and a sneer slid onto his lips. "I'm afraid I'm speaking a little too quickly for you, pretty boy."

Ty smiled, baring his teeth at the ass**le. "The slower the better," he said, mentally ranking the list of teams for Jay to call.

"We're hiring you an image consultant. You have two weeks to clean your act up, or you can get your ass off my team."

Ty laughed. "You actually think I'm going to let some PR person tail me for the next two weeks?" Bobby looked excessively pleased. "Actually, I like to think of it as more of a prisoner-warden type relationship."

"If you'll excuse us for a moment, my client and I would like to confer outside," Jay said, intervening before Ty could reply.

Bobby's beady eyes gleamed with malice. "Take all the time you need." Ty had spent a lifetime facing down opponents who wanted his blood, and was all easy grace and confidence as he left the office. He kept walking out the main doors, down the block to the nearest Starbucks.

"I can't believe I missed my morning coffee for that ass-wipe." Ty didn't like the thought of leaving the Outlaws and San Francisco, but it was the obvious solution to a bad owner who was going to make his life hell.

Jay nodded. "I agree with you,