The Blueprint(The Game #1)

By: S.E. Harmon


Kelly Cannon is satisfied with his life. He has friends, a wonderful family, and a great job. But his love life has reached a new level of pitiful. Why? Well, his heart decided to break all the rules. Don’t fall in love with a straight guy. And definitely don’t fall in love with your best friend.

NFL standout Britton “Blue” Montgomery has pressure coming at him from all sides. From his father, who’s only interested in Blue’s football career. From his coaches, who just want him to play without getting injured again. From the fans. From his agent. And from his mother, who has popped up on the radar after leaving his family years before. And now his relationship with Kelly is on shaky ground, and that frightens Blue more than anything.

When Kelly admits he’s in love with Blue, bonds are tested, and Blue has to decide what’s really important. He doesn’t want to lose the number-one person in his life, but the cost to keep Kelly close might be more than he’s willing to pay.

It’s a good thing his nickname is the Blueprint—it’s time to draft a new set of plans.





For my mother, who used to ban me from reading romance novels. I like to think you’d get a kick out of the irony. Clearly that lesson didn’t take, but all the others did. I miss you more than words can say.





Acknowledgments





A BIG thank-you to my sister for your continued support and for being my biggest fan. Your “momma heart” knows no bounds, and Justice is very lucky to have you. For those who don’t realize how sweet and special and wonderful you are, there’s room for them inside an angry volcano.

I’d also like to thank all the readers out there who messaged and emailed me about how they enjoyed my work. Words have such powerful impact, especially on us writers, and yours have practically served as fuel—the premium kind, not that 87 stuff—for my inner engine. It really means a lot. So thank you.





Chapter 1





Kelly



IT WAS a strange time to fully understand and appreciate Einstein’s genius. His theory of relativity was a very real thing, a very tangible thing. His theory was the only thing that could explain why a car ride that normally took thirty minutes seemed like a three-hour march through hell.

As I stared out the passenger-side window, barely seeing the passing landscape, I reminded myself to drop a line to my old physics professor and tell her about my recent foray into time dilation. Her students didn’t need to pore over tiny printed text or complete elaborate lab reports. Fifteen minutes in a car with an ex was a remarkably effective teaching tool.

I glanced over at the stony face of my ex-fiancé, Robert—also known as a suspect in my future murder. To be fair, he’d only been my ex for three minutes. I kind of just broke up with him.

He didn’t take it well.

I reached out to turn down the air a pinch, and he snapped, “Don’t touch anything in my car.”

“It’s dual climate control.” Despite my words, my hand froze in place. “I’m just a little hot.”

“And that’s my problem how?”

“You’re being an asshole,” I snapped.

He laughed, the sound grating and unpleasant. “I think that award goes to you tonight, Kelly.”

I dropped my hand in my lap.

I went back to staring out the window, but I didn’t see a thing. Instead his epic proposal played like a looped film reel in my mind. And I do mean epic. Like I had been stuffing my face with popcorn at the Heat game, and suddenly I was on the jumbotron kind of epic.

My cheeks stuffed with popcorn like a hoarding squirrel, I listened as the announcer from hell said something in a voice that boomed through the arena—something about love and forever and… I don’t know. Everlasting future? Okay, so sue me. I didn’t remember it all. I was too busy trying to learn how to teleport instantaneously.

I shut my eyes hard and opened them and… fuck, still there. Only this time Robert was getting on one knee. “Marry me, Kelly Holden Cannon, and make me the happiest man on Earth.”

At least that’s what I thought he said. Things suddenly started to go in slow motion. And who the hell told him my middle name? I struggled to swallow popcorn as my eyes darted side to side as though I were playing pinball inside my skull. I tried to recall what I had done in my past to get front-row tickets—“guest of honor” tickets—to this shit show. I had a lot to choose from.