Rush (Gods #2)(9)

By: Samantha Towle

I saw some of that charm today before he found out who I was, and then that changed.

If I’m being honest, knowing he doesn’t like me is bothering me, considering how highly my dad thinks of him.

My dad didn’t notice today that Ares was off with me, but he will soon enough, if Ares keeps on with his cold attitude toward me.

Ares Kincaid has formed an opinion of me because of what he heard or read in the press.

But he knows jack shit.

He doesn’t know a single thing about me. He doesn’t know that I dislike myself way more than he ever could.

He might not like who I used to be or what I did, but I haven’t personally done anything to him, so I don’t get why he dislikes me so much.

I resolve to clear the air with him tomorrow. Start fresh and all that. I don’t want to be at odds with a guy I have to work with—or for or whatever.

And who knows? Maybe, if it goes well, I might even make a friend out of him, a friend my own age—and a responsible one at that. God, my dad would be ecstatic.

I laugh out loud at the absurdness of my thoughts.

Honestly, if I can just get Ares to stop being so frosty toward me, I’ll call that a win.

I grab the remote and turn on my buddy Netflix, settling back into the couch to watch the latest episode of Riverdale, spooning some more cereal into my mouth, looking forward to a better day tomorrow.

I’ve been working here for a week now, and I still haven’t managed to get a chance to speak to Ares. The guy avoids me. Like, seriously. He saw me a few days ago in the hallway. He’d just come out of the locker room, and I was walking that way.

I was heading to the gym to take Hector, the veteran center, a special protein shake that he has every day, which is made up by the Giants resident chef, Pierre. Bonus about working here: the food is amazing. Pierre is awesome. Early thirties, very handsome, and from France. His accent is divine. He moved here ten years ago to be with his husband, Eric. They’d met when Eric was in France on business.

Pierre has been wrapping me up food to take home every day, so I’ve been well fed this past week.

Anyway, Ares saw me, and he did an about-face. I shit you not. He saw me, his expression darkened like thunder, and then he just turned around and went straight back into the locker room.

I’ll admit, it stung.

No one wants to be disliked. Especially when I haven’t done anything to him. Well, except for flash him my bra. But I wouldn’t say that’s a hate-worthy crime.

I really do need to sort this out with him because it’s getting silly now.

I don’t want him to have a problem with me, and I don’t want one with him. But the way he’s acting toward me is making me dislike him.

So, I endeavor not to let this drag on for much longer, and I’m going to corner him the second I get a chance.

And it must be my lucky day because Ares has just walked into the screening room where I’m currently setting up the laptop with the game my dad wants the players to watch on the cinema-sized projection screen.

“Uh”—he halts in his tracks when he sees me and looks around the empty room—“where is everyone?”

“Still on the field. Practice ran over. Weren’t you there?”

“No.” He doesn’t elaborate more, and I don’t ask.

“When will they be here?”

“Another ten minutes, I think.”

“Right. Well, I’ll”—another step toward the door—“go and do, um…yeah.” He turns for the door.

“Wait,” I say, my voice coming out a little too squeaky, too desperate-sounding.

He stops and glances back at me over his shoulder. He doesn’t turn around or let go of the door handle though.

I move around the laptop table and walk a little closer to him. “Look, I was, um…hoping we could…clear the air.”

He lets go of the door handle and turns to face me, but he doesn’t say anything.

“Okay”—I let out a breath—“so I know you don’t think very…highly of me. I’m guessing most of your opinion is based on what you’ve heard or read about me.”

He cuts me off with a laugh, only it doesn’t sound funny, and it makes my eyes narrow.

“What?” I bite.

He folds his arms across his mammoth chest. “I just think it’s funny that you assume that’s how I formed my opinion of you.”

“Isn’t it?”


There’s a beat of silence. Both of us staring, neither speaking.

Naturally, I’m the first to break it. “Are you going to elaborate on that?”

“I’m not sure you want to hear what I have to say.”