“This is your last fucking chance, Brayson,” my agent, Mark, shouts at me. “If you don’t agree to what they’re offering, your entire career is done.”
I lift my head, looking him in the eyes. His nostrils are flared, maybe he’s serious about it all.
“I don’t have to remind you who else will suffer if you don’t do this,” he adds.
No, he doesn’t.
I know what’s at stake here. I know that I’ve fucked up. I know that I have an anger issue that I can’t handle on my own.
But I’m also too fucking proud to admit that out loud. Which is why I keep ending up in these stupid ass situations that I put myself in.
My phone chimes in my hands. When I look down, I see Ace’s name and picture. I stare at her face, reminding myself of the promise I made her all those years ago when we were both kids and had no one but each other to get through the dangerous nights.
She’s why I have to fight, she’s why I have to make this right.
Not for my future, but for hers.
Hitting the ignore button, I look back at my agent before turning my attention to Mr. Price. His furious eyes are boring into mine, and I don’t even blame him.
I’ve just been ejected from a game. A game that could very easily bring formal charges of assault against me. I didn’t mean for the ball to hit her in the face, I lost my cool.
“I’ll do whatever you ask of me,” I say, calmly.
I don’t have any other choice, and I know I need the help.
He nods, but doesn’t say anything. Instead, he pushes off the table and walks toward the door, everyone in the room parts to let him pass.
I snap my eyes to him, his hand lingering on the door knob.
“I hope you get the help that you need, son.” With that, he steps out into the hallway, letting the door shut behind him.
The sound signifying my future if I don’t do what the organization asks of me.
“You’re making the right decision, Brayson.”
I look at my agent again.
Mark Graben has been with me from the very beginning, and while I always have moments where I wonder if I truly matter to him or if I’m just another dollar sign on his endless paychecks from me, he’s the only other person that has stuck by my side. Besides Ace, that is.
I’m not easy to deal with.
In fact, I have a lot of fucking baggage that comes along with me, and trauma that will last a life time.
But when I look back down at the screensaver on my phone, I know I have to do this. For the both of us.
And that’s what I’ll do.
Because if there’s one person in this world that I won’t break my promise to, it’s her.
I’ll do damn near anything to keep her safe.