Overtime for Love(3)

By: Synithia Williams

The lady next to Angela tapped her with her elbow. “Too bad, huh?”

Angela gave her a weak smile. When she looked at Cory he snickered with a hand over his mouth. “Why are you laughing?”

“Fraternizing with a player?” He wiggled his eyebrows.

Angela rolled her eyes and shook her head. “You don’t have to worry about that.”

Keri went through more of the rules. Angela pulled the papers out of the packet and skimmed through them. Despite the brief moment of excitement when she’d learned Isaiah would be at the camp, she really didn’t want to interact with the players. That would limit the possibility of them connecting Angel the bartender to Angela Bouler the advocate. She wasn’t ashamed of her bartending job, but her supervisor in the advocacy office thought the fact that she also worked at a strip club was best kept under the radar. Their director was ultraconservative, and he wouldn’t want any hint of a scandal.

A player recognizing her didn’t necessarily mean word of her part-time job would get back to their director, but to be sure, she’d limit her interactions. Drop off Cory in the morning, pick him up after work, and that was it. She could admire Isaiah Reynolds from afar and come up with silly fantasies of what might’ve happened if he’d asked for her number. She wouldn’t risk her job or Cory’s shot at some happiness just to talk to Isaiah Reynolds again.


Isaiah watched the tattoo needle scrape across the upper arm of his teammate and friend Kevin Kouky and grimaced. “I can’t believe I let you talk me into coming here.”

Kevin grinned at Isaiah from a seat in his favorite tattoo parlor. “You know you want one.”

Isaiah only grunted and shifted in his own seat. Kevin and the tattoo artist, Jack, both chuckled. Isaiah ignored them and studied the pictures of the elaborate tattoos on the wall. Skin Ink was one of the biggest and best tattoo parlors in the Jacksonville area. Most of the members of the Jacksonville Gators basketball team got their art there.

Isaiah had no idea how many tattoos Kevin had in total. His arms, chest and part of his neck were covered with colorful designs. Today he filled in a blank spot on his right forearm with a picture of the championship trophy and the date. He’d told Isaiah the spot was saved for that reason. Kevin was thirty-five and one of the oldest members of the team, even though his colorful tattoos and even more colorful attitude made people think he was younger. He’d waited a long time to win a championship and even though Isaiah never wanted a tattoo himself, he was happy to watch Kevin fill in the spot. Well…willing to watch.

“I don’t see the point of scarring my body unnecessarily.” Isaiah repeated the words his dad often said whenever he saw tattoos on a person. He tugged uncomfortably on his white polo shirt. His mother and father were both college professors, in engineering and chemistry, respectively. They weren’t big fans of art, which definitely included body art. Isaiah had once felt the same, but after years playing basketball in college and professionally, he’d come to appreciate good body art—at least, on someone else.

Kevin looked down at the needle marking his arm. “Each tat has a reason. When you have a good reason, you’ll get one.”

Isaiah had flirted with the idea of getting a tattoo before, but hadn’t thought of anything he liked enough to permanently emblazon on his pecan-brown skin. Maybe the chemical symbol for testosterone or a differential equation. His parents might not freak out over a chemical bond or engineering nod versus a picture of the championship trophy. The idea made him smile even though he’d never do it. He no longer did things that would shock or disappoint his parents.

His cell phone chimed. Isaiah checked his email, then looked at Kevin. “Ms. Keri from the activity center sent over the agenda. You still helping with the camp this year?”

“Of course,” Kevin said in an eager voice. “Best time of the year. Thanks for inviting me again.”

Isaiah turned his chair around and straddled it with his arms resting on the back. “From what I heard, the kids loved you last year. Why wouldn’t I?”

“I know you think I’m wild,” Kevin said with a grin.

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