Jett (The Nighthawk Series #4) - Lisa Lang Blakeney



It’s game day.

The fourth quarter.

And we’re playing our division rivals (Philadelphia) in a brutal game. The rivalry is deep and personal for many on the team and fans in the seats. Players are spitting on each other, saying crude things about each other’s mothers, and my ribs have just been Malachi crunched by two of the biggest defensive backs I’ve ever seen.

As I catch my breath, my heart is pounding straight through my chest and the abnormal October heatwave we’re dealing with is only exacerbating things. It’s hot as Hades out here, the fans are drunk, and I feel the pressure of having to prove something today more than ever before.

My name is Jason “Jett” Caraway, and I’m the starting quarterback of the New York Nighthawks. They are the third team I’ve played for in four years in the National Football League, and that ain’t good. A quarterback who moves from team to team this often is a signal to the league and especially to the fans that I’m a problem. A very expensive problem.

That’s why I need to win this game today. If we win, we’ll be one step closer to clinching the division, but more importantly, I need to prove all of my naysayers wrong. I need to convince New York that they made a wise investment picking me up in the trade and not a foolish decision.

I can’t even believe that it’s come to this. Not that long ago that I was the number one pick of the NFL draft. Instead of being known as just another quarterback with a powerful arm, every team looking for a quarterback that year also wanted me for my speed and agility.

I was the complete package.

A coach’s dream.

The unicorn.

That year I was at the top of every team’s wish list, many companies were lined up to give me endorsement deals, and my agent negotiated an obscene amount of money for me, which at the time was an unprecedented contract for a rookie quarterback.

They discussed my groundbreaking deal on every sports show in the nation; so much so, that veteran players around the league complained. They’d never even met me, but already didn’t like me, saying things like I didn’t deserve the money because I hadn’t proven myself yet. They even said I would ruin the game for everyone if I accepted such an “outrageous” deal.

The nerve of those has-beens. I was the top dog in collegiate sports and deserved every bit of that money. I had proven myself on the field in college repeatedly. Hell, I have the accolades to prove it. I won my university the big championship and broke two of my school’s records and one state record in passing yards. Who were they to question my worth?

So I took the deal.

And yes, after I signed on the dotted line, I flamboyantly spent a lot of my paycheck on cars, houses and definitely on women but I’m young and successful and it’s my right to spend my money however I want to, right? You would think that would be the case, but the press hasn’t always seen it that way. I’ve been the target of blatantly biased reporting ever since my rookie year. The headlines have been brutal.

Top Draft Pick: Spotted Drunk & Belligerent In Local Bar… Again.

Extravagant Nighthawk Quarterback Hires A Modern Day Butler

Caraway Selfishly Vacations With A Kardashian During Training Camp.

League Admits Caraway Deal Is The Beginning Of A Dangerous Precedent In Professional Sports.

You Be The Judge: Is Jett Caraway A Golden Boy or Spoiled Boy?

Things only got worse towards the end of my rookie year. Through hard work and grit, I got our team to the big dance and playing in my first Superbowl. We had to win a lot of tough games in order to get there, but on that day we were outplayed and out-coached, so we lost. It was disappointing and soul crushing. No amount of money in the world would ever change the fact that I got to the Superbowl and lost it in front of millions of people.

I wasn’t used to losing, and whatever their opinion of my personal life, the fans weren’t used to me losing either. Losing is not in my DNA, but I’m also a realist and understand that losing can sometimes be part of the game. It happens. Which is why I still don’t get to this day, why people only blame me for the results of the game that day?

They said I choked, but I’ve never choked