Release Party: Offside–Second Excerpt

April 28, 2011

Here’s a second excerpt from Offside.

Two male soccer players facing forward

Adam and Colin love a good Italian meal.

***
Adam had to look away when Colin closed his eyes and moaned as the cheese burst forth from the pasta inside his mouth. Jesus. Adam shoved a forkful of lettuce in his mouth and concentrated on chewing.

“How are you getting along?” Colin asked.

Adam needed a second to realize that Colin was talking about the team, not about certain things going on beneath the table. He shifted his legs to give himself more room in his trousers. “Logan hates me and Doyle is not going out of his way to make me feel welcome. Logan was good in my position, right? Why take him out?”

“The Ians have a plan,” Colin said.

“Is it for the team to unite through a mutual hatred of me?”

“Just trust them. It’ll be fine.” Colin smiled. He shrugged after a few seconds. “I mean, it’s usually fine.”
Colin had his scrunchy nose thing going, and truthfully, he could have been telling Adam that Lovell was going to make an all-zombie team and Adam would say it sounded great because of that nose. Adam supposed he should be glad that he was self-aware enough to know this. For once he wasn’t overdressed in his suit. All around them, the other couples were dressed up too. Colin even had a tie and jacket on, borrowed from the maître d’. The jacket’s sleeves were too long. He pushed them up every few seconds but got marinara sauce on them anyway. The fifth time, Adam reached across the table for Colin’s wrist, and Colin didn’t protest when Adam folded the cuff inside. He gamely held out the other arm for Adam to do, too.

“Thanks. They were driving me crazy.” He looked delighted, dazzlingly so, and Adam had to look away again. When he did, he noticed the other couples, so the word “couple” was in his mind when he looked back at Colin. Nice restaurant. Nice clothes. Holy fuck, I’m on a date. Maybe he’d been wrong about Colin’s sexuality. And here he always prided himself on not being thick about these things. He looked at Colin again, feeling open and nervous. Colin, for his part, was busy shoveling pasta into his mouth and letting his tongue dart around to catch bits of cheese and sauce (oh God), which wasn’t helping Adam at all.

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