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Captain & Co-Captain

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As I pull the curtains shut, there's a knock at the hotel room door. I swear, I think to myself, it it's one of the boys, I will push them right back to their suite and tell them to sleep already! The all have a championship game---not to mention the first of all three---tomorrow starting at nine sharp, so they'd better get it together.

I'm careful not to wake up Nikki when I open up the door. Expecting it to be Grant or someone else, I can't help my reaction when I see who it is: I have to lean on the door a little because suddenly my knees have just given way. Why does he have to be so good-looking? Yet somehow, I find myself able to feel annoyed that he's here when he should be asleep. Erica, tell him to go away.

"Can you spare me a moment?" Matt asks in a whisper, clad in only slippers, shorts and a white wife-beater. With an eyeroll, I step out into the empty hotel hallway and pull the door closed behind me, still careful not to wake up my best friend.

"Matt, you should be asleep," I remind him, stifling a yawn of my own. "Suppose your mom wakes up and find us? She would not be too pleased with you, seeing as you are team captain and all." I blink repeatedly and rub my eyes.

While shaking his head he says, "Heavy sleeper, my mom. She could sleep through a tsunami if one happened to hit right now." This makes me laugh but before I get too carried away, I cut to the chase and ask what he's doing here. "Nervous energy. I can't sleep. You on the other hand look ready to pass out." He points this out just as my droop slightly. He's right, I am ready to pass out and you would think he'd be the same way, but no, here he is wide awake.

"Look, if you just lie down on your stomach, you'll drift off." I say this in an attempt for him to turn around and go to bed. The last thing the Lions need is a tired captain, not to mention a tired co-captain (unofficially). When I go to look him directly in his eyes, he brushes a stray strand of hair away from my face and tucks it behind my right ear. Oh my god, that touch just sent a bolt of electricity through my entire body and I am trying so hard not to let it show.

"Before I leave, can the captain at least get a hug?" He asks this so sincerely and quietly that if I rejected him right now, I'd go to bed with an extremely guilty conscience. He holds his arms out and I reach up around his neck. As he wraps his arms around my waist, he rocks me back and forth which always makes me giggle. When we pull apart, we both let our arms linger in their positions. My heart rate picks up considerably. His green eyes lock on my brown ones and we lean in for a kiss but before our lips touch, I stop. God, you have no idea how much I want to keep going.

"We can't. You know we can't." My heart drops a little in my chest. "At least not now."

After a moment of silence, he pulls me in for another hug and whispers in my ear, "This is why you're co-captain, you're pretty strong-willed when I'm weak."

I nearly jerk away at this comment. "Co-captain?" I ask, a litle alarmed. I didn't think anyone else knew about my little nickname for me but me! "Who told you that?"

"No one, that's just what the boys call you." I look at him skeptically under the lights of the hall, really suspecting that Nikki might have had something to do with it. "I started calling you that first, then they caught on." My heart softens at how his cheeks flush red a tiny bit.

"Aww, thanks." I glance at him, then at his tanned and toned arms which are still around my waist. I quickly become aware of how my arms are still around his neck. "Umm...you wanna move?" With I can tell is his honest opinion, he shakes his head. "Me either," I tell him honestly. "But we aren't gonna risk it," I say, removing my arms and then unwrapping his arms from around my waist. I don't know what it is, but something in me breaks a little and I feel like I'm not as strong as he sees me to be. I hold onto his hands for a moment or two before we drop hands and I tell him that I'll see him in the morning.



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