Trey & Sierra From the Beginning…
Sierra Brooks held her breath as she watched him jog onto the field in his football gear. Trey Turner was so far out of her league, even day-dreaming about him seemed wrong, but that didn’t stop her.
“Look at you, drooling all over yourself.” Sierra’s friend, Ashley, nudged her. “I’ve never seen you like this over a guy.”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” Sierra said, biting into a stick of red licorice. “He doesn’t even know I’m alive.”
Ashley chuckled as she gave her friend a once-over. “Honey, he’d have to be playing for the other team not to notice you and we all know which way Trey-”
“Would you stop?” Sierra said, looking around to make sure none of the other spectators had overheard their conversation. “I don’t want to talk about this anymore.”
“Why don’t you just ask him out? What’s the worst that can happen?”
“He could laugh in my face.” She didn’t really think Trey would do that. Though they’d only had a few brief conversations, he seemed like a nice guy. Too bad he wasn’t a jerk. That would have made it a lot easier for her to forget he was alive.
Everyone knew Trey had it all. He came from a good family, had an amazing singing voice, and if that weren’t enough, he had aspirations of playing professional football someday. According to his teammates, the scouts had their eye on him, and if this season was anything like last, he would be signing a multi-million dollar contract in the not too distant future.
Sierra, on the other hand, had an alcoholic father who rarely worked and a sick mother who couldn’t work, not to mention a little sister who depended on her. Dating should be the last thing on her mind.
“Are you going to the Oasis after the game?” Ashley asked. Most of the team will be there, including Trey.”
Oasis was the little off-campus bar most of the students frequented. Sierra rarely had time to socialize. Her job as a waitress kept her too busy, but knowing Trey would be there made it difficult to resist. “I don’t know. I really should get home and make Lexi dinner.” Dinner would probably consist of macaroni and cheese, but she didn’t want the poor kid to burn the house down by letting the pot of boiling water run dry like she had the last time. Once her little sister got on the phone, the rest of the world ceased to exist.
“Lexi will be fine,” Ashley said, taking a stick of the licorice Sierra offered. “You deserve a break, girl. Between home, school, and work you’ve been busting your butt. Come on, it’ll be fun.”
Sierra knew why Ashley wanted to go to the bar. She was dating Trey’s teammate and friend, Derek, who would undoubtedly be there either celebrating the team’s victory or commiserating about their loss. “I don’t know…” Sierra watched Trey jog off the field. When he glanced up into the stands and spotted them, Sierra saw him grin through the gap in his face mask, wiping out any remaining doubt about whether she would go. “Okay, I guess I can spare an hour or so.”
Trey leaned up against the bar, nursing his beer as he watched Sierra dance with one of his teammates.
“Why don’t you just go over there and tell Johnson you’re cutting in?” Derek asked, nibbling Ashley’s neck as Trey tried to ignore them.
He wanted to cut in, but he had no idea whether Sierra was even interested in him and if she shot him down in front of his teammates, they would never let him live it down.
“I know one way you can get her attention,” Ashley said, grinning at Trey.
“What’s makes you think I’m trying to get her attention?” Ashley was Sierra’s friend, and he wasn’t ready to lay it on the line until he knew for sure their attraction was mutual.
Rolling her eyes, Ashley back-handed him lightly in the stomach. “I’m not blind, ya know.”
When Ashley didn’t let him in on her big idea to get Sierra’s attention, he finally swallowed his pride and asked, “You were gonna say something. What was it?”
“It’s open mic night, isn’t it?” Ashley asked.
“Yeah, so?” Trey had been singing, writing music, and playing the piano and acoustic guitar as a hobby for years, but he rarely participated in open mic night at the Oasis unless he had a few beers under his belt first.
“I happen to know Sierra has a thing for musicians.” Ashley sipped her drink through a straw. “Since you’re the only one of this group who can carry a tune that would definitely impress her.”
Trey considered his options. He could stand here all night watching Sierra dance with a guy he only tolerated because they were on the same team, or he could take action, and get her to notice him. “Alright, I’ll do it.”
“Go get ‘em, buddy,” Derek said, slapping Trey on the back. “And if they boo you off the stage, keep in mind there’s a back entrance.”
“Thanks a lot,” Trey muttered. Johnson said something to make Sierra laugh and Trey clenched his fists as he moved through the crowd. His mild dislike for that guy was morphing into full-on hatred. Trey said a few words to the D.J., who agreed he could have the stage for the next song.
Trey pulled his phone out of his pocket as he waited for the D.J. to introduce him. He didn’t want it to look like he was watching her, even if he was. Hell, he’d barely been able to take his eyes off her since he spotted her in the stands at a football game last month, but whenever he got up the nerve to ask her if she wanted to grab a coffee after class, she gave him some excuse about having something to take care of at home. He’d never had to deal with rejection before, but instead of deterring him it only made him want her more.
As he took the stage, his eyes found hers and in a moment of sheer lunacy, he grabbed the mic and said, “This song is for a very special lady. I hope you like it, Sierra.”
Her mouth fell open as she stared up at him in disbelief. Johnson, who was standing beside her, frowned at her before glaring at Trey.
Trey sang every word to her, telling the story of a man whose life was forever changed because of his love for one woman. He wasn’t singing to her to try and score points. He wanted to get to know her, to let her get to know him. He wanted to know if the intense physical attraction was a hint there could be more if they were both brave enough to let their guards down and take a chance.
By the time he finished the song, Johnson had disappeared, and Sierra was standing alone in the middle of the crowded dance floor. He didn’t hear the thunderous applause or the cat-calls. He barely felt his friends slapping him on the back and telling him he did a hell of a job. The only thing he was thinking about in that moment was getting closer to Sierra.
“Hi,” she whispered, looking up at him when he took her hand.
“Hi, yourself.” He grinned, hoping to disarm her.
“That song… your voice is incredible. Have you ever thought about pursuing a career in music?”
When the D.J. played another country ballad, Trey didn’t ask her to dance with him, he simply pulled her into his arms, hoping she wouldn’t object. “Football’s where it’s at for me. How ‘bout you?”
“I want to be a social worker.”
He chuckled. “A do-gooder, huh? You wanna save the world?” Cursing himself when he felt her stiffen in his arms, he said, “I’m sorry, darlin’. I was just teasin’ you.”
“There’s nothing wrong with wanting to make the world better,” she said, quietly. “Someone has to.”
Trey didn’t know about that. His life was pretty damn good, but he had a sinking feeling Sierra couldn’t say the same. When she looked up at him, her eyes were shining and her breath seemed to be trapped in her throat as her gaze drifted to his mouth.
He didn’t need an engraved invitation to brush his lips across hers, but he knew she may be shy about public displays of affection so he waited until he felt her lips part before he moved in for the kiss he felt ready to beg for. Everything else in the room disappeared, the music and voices faded away. The only thing he heard was the sound of her breathing. The only thing he felt was her body luring him in. The scent of beer and bodies was overpowered by her subtle fragrance infiltrating his senses as her taste lingered on his lips, making him realizing Sierra Brooks could easily become his obsession.
When she pulled back, her first impulse was to touch her swollen mouth. “What just happened?” she asked, looking as dazed as he felt.
“I believe that was our first of many kisses, beautiful.”