Home > The Baller's Secret Baby (Barnes Family #1)(5)

The Baller's Secret Baby (Barnes Family #1)(5)
Author: Normandie Alleman


“So you guys are still friends?"

"Yeah." Then to someone else "I like the passionfruit, let's use that."

I rolled my eyes. "Hey, what are you doing this weekend?"

"I have a couple of options. Why? What do you have in mind?"

"I’ve got a favor to ask."

“Okay…what is it?"

"Come down here this weekend. I'm going to have a party, and I'd like Eden to come. Can you ask her, make sure she comes?"

Dynassy snorted. “Does my brother have a crash on a cheerleader?" she teased. Flashbacks to teenage bouts of teasing back and forth rushed into my mind and I felt the heat rise in my cheeks. "Come on, Dynassy. Just do it, would you?"

"Yeah. I'll come down, and I'll bring Eden to your party. But you are gonna owe me time for this one, big brother."

“Not a problem.” For this, I'd gladly pay.

 

 

4

 

 

Eden

 

You can’t imagine my surprise one afternoon when I got home from practice to see a friend request from Nick Barnes pop up on my computer, and on several different social media platforms. I guess it wasn’t a total surprise that he reached out to me, but what I did wonder was why now? It had been all over the news the year before when he’d been traded to the Austin Athletics. At the time I had watched his arrival with curiosity.

Eleven years ago, my mother had whisked me away from LA, and cut ties with Lucinda Barnes and her brood after my father and Ziggy Barnes were killed in a plane crash together with their pilot, flight crew, and the other members of their rock band Blacksmith. I hated moving, but I hated everything that year. My father had been my rock, and losing him felt like the sun falling from the sky. Over the years I’d decided that my mother’s separating me from the Barnes family was partly based on her disapproval of the way Lucinda Barnes put money and fame above everything else, and partly on the fact that that chapter of my mother’s life was filled with mostly heartbreak and she needed to distance herself from where it all happened. I might not have liked it, but even as a teenager I understood it.

I remember mentioning Nick to Mary Lou when he’d come to Austin. “Mom, did you see that Nick’s been traded here?”

“I did. He’s the spitting image of his father. He will cause the people around him nothing but trouble, just like his father, just like yours.”

I had heard this diatribe numerous times over the years and my loyalty to my mother took precedence over my own childhood memories of time spent with Nick, so I let it go.

I couldn’t, however, help but take vicarious pleasure in his success. Nick was one of the biggest stars in basketball, and I had been known to catch a game or two, if only on television. I was too busy with my career and my cheering with the Scorpions to become a full-fledged fan, but I kept up with his performance via the internet and ESPN. Of course I accepted his requests for “friendship.” And waited to see what would happen next. His next message sounded almost like he wanted us to go out. But his intentions were somewhat murky, so I remained vague in my responses. The last thing I wanted to do was make a fool of myself by assuming that he was interested in me that way.

Nick Barnes was exactly the kind of guy my mother warned me about not getting mixed up with, but now, looking at a picture of him on my screen, I had to admit he had grown up into a gorgeous specimen of a man. The Athletics’ website listed him at 6’7” of long, lean muscle, and the New York fashion ads featuring him in his underwear didn’t leave much to the imagination. Finely chiseled abs and perfectly sculpted buttocks hid under his uniform most days, but if a girl wanted to check out his goodies they were readily available online.

I also had to admit to watching his family’s reality show on a regular basis. I had grown up knowing Dynassy and Nick, and I even remember the twins, but they had been toddlers back then. And even though Nick wasn’t a regular on “The Barnes Bunch,” he was a fan favorite when he did make an appearance.

The show mostly centered around Dynassy and the younger siblings’ band. Dynassy was a top model, and I guess the fact that her father had been a famous rock star fascinated people now that his children were following in his footsteps. The family took a lot of criticism. The haters were mostly jealous, but a lot of people believed the Barnes family were the closest thing we had to royalty in the United States.

A few days after I first heard from Nick, I’d booked a dance lesson with Judy. She’d gone over several routines with me, criticizing me on just about everything and pushing me to improve my every move. As I walked through the front door of my apartment, fantasizing about a nice, hot bath, my phone started ringing. It was Dynassy.

“Hey, girl! I think I’m coming down to Austin this weekend.”

“Really?” I asked. “Do you want to stay with me?”

“Um, I think I’m staying with my brother. I hope he’s not as big of a pig as he was when we lived with Lucinda.”

We both giggled. “That bad, huh?”

“It’s those smelly gym clothes and shoes. Though I think he wears a different pair every night these days. Anyway, he’s having a small party on Saturday night. Will you please go with me? I don’t want to be the only girl there.”

“Sure.” I couldn’t leave Dynassy alone in a den of testosterone, could I? And as much as I hated to admit it to myself, I was looking forward to seeing him.

After we hung up I drank a huge glass of water then sweated it out in a super-hot bath, and I have to admit I thought about Nick the whole time I was naked, my hands drifting over my body, pleasuring myself to thoughts of him doing that very thing to me.

My fantasies about Nick didn’t stop there. That week my thoughts were constantly going back to Nick and his upcoming party. I fretted over what to wear, and even counted the days until Saturday.

I had no interest in dating or a relationship anyone these days. I was focused on building my career and staying on the Scorpions squad. There wasn’t much time for anything else, but that didn’t keep me from daydreaming about Nick and remembering the silly things we used to do as kids. Nick had always been tall but somewhat scrawny, and he’d always had a basketball in his hand. The constant bouncing used to drive Dynassy crazy, and his mother used to gripe at him for dribbling in the house. I recalled more than once the noise woke up one or both of the twins, which usually got him sent outside. I used to go with him and turn cartwheels in the grass while he shot hoops at his mini goal. I wondered how much he remembered of our time playing together as kids.

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