Release Date: “Love of the Game”

Another day, another exciting release date! I’m of course talking about the latest anthology from Sexy Little Pages, titled Love of the Game: Sports Stories to Make You Sweat. In this collection, readers will find stories about baseball players, rugby hunks, daring fencers, and much more.

My story, titled “Out of Breath,” is about a world that I know intimately. It’s a world that combines speed with elegance, restraint with aggression, independence and interdependence.

I’m talking about competitive swimming.

many-laps-olympic-sized-pool-equal-mile_571fa71d8bdbe639
Ah yes, I can smell the chlorine now.

This is a world in which young women will accompany their male teammates and outeat them during Olive Garden’s Never Ending Pasta Bowl promotion. A world where women don’t shave their legs for months, then spend hours before their championship event shaving almost all parts of their body (don’t worry: the men get in on the shaving action, too). A world where men and women practice the same sets together. A world where crushing six miles in one day between two practices is not a huge deal for a swimmer, but if you tell that same swimmer to get out of the pool and run a lap, they’ll complain.

From the outside looking in, it can seem very strange.

Without further ado, here’s an excerpt:

Anyway, I’d noticed him on the first day of practice. He’d come in a little late, his long, lean body wrapped in low-hanging black sweatpants and a tight grey tee shirt. After waving hello to our coach, he dropped his backpack on the bleachers. I’d put my goggles over my eyes, grateful for their reflective lenses. Everyone else was jumping in the water to begin the 1000-meter warmup, but I stood on the side of the pool transfixed. It took every amount of mental energy for me to not drop my jaw.

Travis’s hair was thick and wavy, the style of every guy in a surfer movie, with that sun-bleached hue. I watched him peel off his shirt almost in slow-motion, revealing tanned skin and a well-muscled torso; I swallowed the drool that was pooling in my cheeks. He kicked off his flip flops, hooked his fingers around the elastic waistband of his pants, and pulled them down his sculpted legs. When he stood up straight to exchange his pants for his cap and goggles, I shamelessly raked my eyes over his lower body: his black briefs and orange mesh drag suit revealed his solid thighs and clung to his hips, his butt taut, and the delicious angled lines of his lower abs pointing to the bulge between his legs.

“Let’s get in, Wile!” I jumped when the coach’s voice shook me out of my lustful reverie. Hopping in the cool water and easing into freestyle was enough to push Travis’s image from my mind, at least temporarily.

Later on in practice that day, we were in the middle of a distance set, and I had to pee. For the entirety of my swimming career, it had been standard practice to crouch at the bottom of the pool and take care of business. As I was down underwater, I looked up to see Travis come in to the wall in the next lane. He moved his body with graceful, exacting strokes, like an aquatic machine. As he flipped over to turn, he coiled his long body into a tight ball, then unfurled magnificently. This time, I did drop my jaw as he kicked off the wall in deliberate body rolls: his hands clasped above his head, arms smashed together in the tightest of streamlines, his chest lowering while the rest of his body followed. Like an animal, my eyes went straight to his hips thrusting in ways that suggested not only forward momentum but exquisite pleasure. It wasn’t until he came up to continue swimming that I remembered my need to breathe and resume practice.

Hope you enjoyed it! I certainly enjoyed writing it! Happy reading!

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