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Jake is an athlete that finds himself lingering in the arena after a loss in the tournament. It isn’t the loss that keeps him there, but a promise made half-heartedly lingers in his mind. When he finds his friend and rival has also stayed behind long after the big game and they are utterly alone together in the locker room, are all bets off?

This short story is 3,155 words long and contains scenes intended for a mature audience.

"Oh. Uh. You know, man. I was just thinking. Winding down after a game like that is hard sometimes, you know?" Jake could feel an embarrassed flush begin to creep across his face. There was a knowing gleam in Tony's dark eyes, an expression Jake wasn't quite sure he liked.

"Thinking about something like a bet you made?" Tony asked, his brows knitting.

"I don't know, man. Like what?" Jake was doing his best to school his face into an expression of ignorance or curiosity. It was difficult, with Tony trying to loom over him that way. Jake widened his eyes slightly.

"Cut the crap. You know which bet." Tony was reaching up, suddenly, his fingers grasping a handful of Jake's wavy hair, pulling it so that the slightly shorter athlete's head was tilted back. Jake let out a sharp, short gasp as at rough grasp. A strange little spear of heat thundered through him.

"You think I didn't notice how you said it? Damn, man. I bet you couldn't wait to lose to me." Tony continued, even as he forced Jake to sit down on the bench, his rough fingers refusing to leave the other man's hair. "So now you're gonna get it."

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