Home > The Baller's Secret Baby (Barnes Family #1)(3)

The Baller's Secret Baby (Barnes Family #1)(3)
Author: Normandie Alleman

It was dark when I stepped outside. The other girls had already gone home, so the security guard walked me to my car. “Thanks, Carl," I said, throwing my bag in the front seat and climbing into my car.

“Have a good night.” He waved as I pulled out of the parking lot and for one rebellious moment, I considered stopping on the way home for some donuts.








My teammate, Legion Harris, scored us tickets. Sideline passes for the Texas Scorpions game. It was the team’s season opener and we had locker room access—the works. Not gonna lie—sometimes it’s nice to be the kings of the court.

I remember it was one of those rare days in Austin where the crisp, autumn smell hung in the air. My assistant and longtime friend Dwayne, Legion, and I paced the sidelines, getting ready to watch the Scorpions destroy the visiting team. We’d had a couple of pregame beers in the box of one of my sponsors, and now we were ready for the game to begin.

I hadn’t even noticed the cheerleaders on the field until Dwayne and Legion started jawing about the rack on one of the girls. They went on about shit like that all the time. Usually I didn’t pay them any attention, but this time I happened to glance up and saw who they were talking about.

“Ooh, and check out that one with the yellow hair. That’s one fine-lookin’ woman.” Legion practically drooled.

I ignored his leers, but there was something about that girl. She looked familiar somehow.

After what happened in Los Angeles last year, I’d been a virtual choirboy with women. My hand got all the action in my crib. I kept all my energy focused on basketball, and it paid off. Last season I finished with the third-best record in the league for triple doubles. This year I planned to lead the league, and even though it was a new season I thought I had a shot at the scoring title, not to mention our team, the Austin Athletics, had a real chance at a championship run.

All that took hard work and no women around to distract me. But it couldn’t hurt to look…

The music changed, and the cheerleaders sashayed by us in a line, allowing me to get a better look. As she strutted past me, shaking those pom-poms, I got a glimpse of her eyes.

Eyes it felt like I’d known forever.

But that was crazy. It couldn’t be…

“Want me to find out who she is?” Dwayne asked.

“Yeah, go get us one of those programs,” I said, trying my best to hide the extent of my interest.

“Extend an invitation to her for after the game.” Legion flashed his gold tooth.

“No, just get the program,” I insisted.

“What’s wrong with you?” Legion hated a wet blanket. The wedding ring on his left hand didn’t stop him from acting like he was single.

“I may know her.”

Legion looked me up and down. “I see. Ladies and gentleman, the priest has a dick after all.”

“Fuck you.”

The game finally started, and Legion's attention moved onto the field. Dwayne returned, handing me a program, which I put away. I wasn't about to let these guys see how intrigued I was by this girl. I'd never hear the end of it, and if she was who I thought she was, I didn't want either of them within one hundred yards of her.

In the first quarter the Scorpions scored two touchdowns and held their opponents to only three points. I tried to watch the mystery cheerleader, but she’d gone to the very far end of the field so I couldn't really see her anymore.

When the first quarter was over, I excused myself and walked down the sidelines behind the players, hoping for a better glimpse. But right when I got there the squad went on the field to perform a dance. As I watched, I grew more and more mesmerized by her. Her smile was the warmest, most beautiful thing I had ever seen. With each swish of her hips, each shake of her pom-pom, I became more and more ensnared. Those big blue eyes made me feel like the only person in the stadium, and I thought I remembered staring into them many years ago.

I just had to find out. Could she be the girl I remembered?

Desperate for some privacy, I found the nearest bathroom and locked myself into a stall. I sat down and started flipping through the program. Unfortunately, the section on the cheerleaders only provided their first names. That was probably smart, might prevent stalkers. But it might not be that helpful for me, especially if she went by a nickname. But then I turn the page and staring at me was the most beautiful girl I've ever seen. Her name screamed at me from the bottom of the page "Eden."

It was her.

There could only be one girl with that name. With those incredible blue eyes.

I'd known Eden ever since I could remember. Our fathers played in the same band, were killed in the same plane crash.

When we were children our families spent a lot of time together. Eden and my sister Dynassy played dolls, and I would pester them, bouncing the basketball, until they paid attention to me.

My mother loves to tell a story about Eden and me playing house when we were little.

"What have you two been doing?" my mother asked.

"Playing house. Nick was ironing the dishes,” Eden had said. I smiled at the memory. Besides playing with her, all I wanted to do as a kid was play basketball. Lucinda swears that I was sleeping with my ball by the time I was two years old. By three I was pretty good at dribbling. I was all boy and my play was all ball, except with Eden. I remember Lucinda saying, “That little girl knows how to domesticate a man.” I guess it was true in my case because whatever she wanted to do, I’d do it with her.

But after our fathers died, Eden's mother moved them away, and I hadn't seen her since.

I can still see those big blue eyes of hers filled with tears at my father's funeral. Or maybe it was her father's… I went to both, and at fifteen—they blurred together. I just know that I've never seen so much pain on one person's face as I saw on Eden’s then.

I looked down at the program, then at the girl on the field with the gorgeous figure, flowing blonde hair, and insane dance moves. There was no mistaking it. That was my Eden.

Then I remembered that Eden was a genius. I thought I recalled my mother telling me that she had gone to college early, graduated high school in two years, college in three, and gone to medical school. She certainly didn't look like a physician out there shaking those hips on the field. What the hell?

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