Home > The Baller's Secret Baby (Barnes Family #1)(4)

The Baller's Secret Baby (Barnes Family #1)(4)
Author: Normandie Alleman


Instead of rejoining Legion and Dwayne on the field, I went back to my sponsor’s box where I commandeered a pair of binoculars and watched the rest of the game through them. At least that's what I appeared to do. In actuality, I watched Eden. I had to give the girl credit. She danced for a full four hours. That took some kind of stamina, and as an athlete I was impressed.

Not to mention she looked like a million bucks doing it. The image of her shimmying and gyrating that body would star in my fantasies for a very long time. I couldn't believe the little girl I’d known had grown up to look like that—with those luscious lips and legs that went on for days.

How had I not known that she lived here?

My mother must have known, and I wondered why she had neglected to inform me. Eden's mother, Mary Lou and Lucinda had had numerous differences of opinions over the years, but I expected Lucinda kept tabs on Eden's family. Which meant that my mother had meant to keep me and Eden from finding each other here in Austin.

This knowledge made me smile. Lucinda, the puppet master, couldn't control everything.

But now that I knew—I had to figure out the best way to reconnect with her…

 

As soon as I got home I looked up Eden on Facebook. She had enough posts set to public that I could see that she was in her second year as a cheerleader for the Texas Scorpions, and that she worked for a medical company of some sort. There were a few pictures of her and some girls that looked like they might be her cheerleading friends, a picture of her and her mom Mary Lou, and one with her and the Scorpion mascot. If I wanted to see more I would have to become her “friend,” so I immediately sent her a friend request. I had to delete some people in order to give me enough room on my friends’ list to request her, but that wasn't going to keep me from connecting with her.

I also followed her on Twitter with her Eden at Texas Scorpions account, but and found her on Instagram. I realized I was about to start to come off like a stalker, but I justified it by telling myself that she probably didn't check all her social media every day, and hopefully she would connect with me through whichever one she came across first. I could have had Dwayne or someone else contact her for me, but I didn't think playing the “big basketball star with an assistant” card would be the best approach. I didn’t want to come across like a douche. In fact, I wanted her to remember me and the connection we had as kids—the way I remembered her.

We had always had such a close and intimate relationship, that putting someone else between us felt like it would only chip away at the bond we used to have. I wondered if she remembered it the same way.

What if she didn't? What if she didn't even remember me?

Fuck. My palms were sweating.

I managed to get to sleep that night, though it was hard since I kept checking my accounts for any sign of Eden.

The next morning I had to tell myself to chill out. This wasn’t good for me—I hadn’t even talked to the girl, and already she was distracting me. I forced her out of my mind and went to practice.

But when I came home afterward, I logged on to find she had accepted my friend requests on both Facebook and Instagram. There were no messages from her, but we were now "friends."

I didn't want to appear too anxious so I made myself wait until the next day, and just before our game against the Hornets started, I sent her the following Facebook message:

 

Hey girl! It’s been a while. Crazy that we’re both in Austin. Let's get together sometime. Send me your digits.

 

As soon as I sent it, I began to question myself. Too forward? Not forward enough? Did I make an assumption in telling her to send me her number?

Fuck me, but she was consuming my thoughts. The reason I sent it when I did was because I knew the game would take my mind off her. Sure enough, I had my hands full with the Hornets. They came in and whipped our ass. Held me to nine points, six rebounds, two assists, and only one block. My worst game of the season.

Shit. I hoped I got to see Eden soon, because she was becoming quite too much of a distraction.

Later that night Eden sent me back a message that said:

 

Hi Nick. It is a small world. Yeah, we should get together sometime.

 

The problem was she didn't give me any way to contact her. She ignored my requests for her number.

Damn!

How the hell was I going to ask her out if I couldn't call her or text her? It would seem desperate now to ask her on a date through Facebook, seeing as she ignored my request for her number.

Maybe she wasn't interested.

But even if she didn't want to go out with me, I wanted to talk to her. When we were kids she had been a big part of my life. Almost as important to me as my siblings.

I was going to have to come up with something else.

The next day started with me watching film, and there were lots of things I needed to see. Things I needed to fix about my performance the night before, but unfortunately, all I could think about was how to lure Eden back into my life.

Maybe she’d be more comfortable with something casual, so I decided to have a party and invite her. The following weekend the Scorpions were playing an away game, which meant she wouldn’t be cheering, and we had one rare night off between home games on Saturday. It would be the perfect time to have a small get together, but how could I make sure she would come?

Then it hit me—Dynassy. And I picked up the phone.

"Dynassy, it's Nick. Did you know that Eden Evans was here in Austin?"

"Um, yeah. We talk."

"You do? Why didn't you tell me that she was here?"

"Huh. I'm sorry. It didn’t occur to me." Then I heard Dynassy talking to someone in the background, but I couldn't make out what she was saying.

"Where are you?"

"Getting my nails done. Why?"

"Just wondered. I can't believe that you and Mom knew that Eden was here in Austin, the same city where I've been playing basketball for a year, and you both neglected to tell me that."

"Gee, don't get your panties in a bunch. Why do you care so much? I didn't think you two stayed in touch."

Women. They think they cornered the market on “relationships” and friendships. Why the hell wouldn't they think I would want to know about Eden? Did they not remember how close we were growing up?

I guess the only thing they thought I gave a shit about was basketball. And while that was normally true, in this case they were way off track. But fussing at her wasn’t going to get me anywhere. So I took a different approach.

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