Home > Tight Spot (Nashville Steel #3)

Tight Spot (Nashville Steel #3)
Author: Stacey Lynn








Few people had the code to my house and the ability to get through security at the front of my neighborhood in Brentwood. Considering I lived in a neighborhood with several of my teammates, the doorbell ringing as I got out of the shower made me think it could have been one of them.

Except I hadn’t invited anyone over, and everyone knew never to show up unannounced.

I bought a ridiculous eight thousand square foot home when I only needed a tenth of the space to live in because I liked being alone, and space gave me peace. It wasn’t even the house, but the two acres of land that gave me privacy and room to not feel enclosed.

I wrapped the towel around my body, tucked it in at my hip, and was heading down the stairs when my phone buzzed in my hand and the doorbell ringing turned to a furious pounding. Fucking hell. They’d shatter the glass at this point.

My sister’s name flashed on my phone with an incoming call. Mystery solved.

“Damn it.”

The day I gave her the code and the go-ahead with security at the front gate to always be allowed entrance was only one of my mistakes when it came to her. I made a mental note to fix that as soon as I could kick her out this time.

“I’m coming, damn it!” I shouted loud enough so she’d hear outside.

The call ended, and the pounding stopped.

My hair was dripping. Water was rolling down my back and chest. I white-knuckled my grip on my towel.

If Crystal was here, shit was about to get ugly, and I did not need this, or her antics, in my life right before my team was headed out of town for one of our most important games of the season.

She came with baggage, both the literal and figurative type.

She was visible through the glass door, a set of Gucci luggage piled around her.

I dropped my head to my chest, stared at the marble flooring, and braced myself.

Gucci luggage was an upgrade which meant she’d blown through whatever money I already gave her and any sugar daddy dumb enough to trust her.


“What are you doing here?” I was blocking the doorway, leaning against the frame with my fisted hand at my towel and holding the door open.

She shoved right into me. I was forced to reach for her to steady myself or step back if I didn’t want the towel to fall and have my sister see all of me.

“Happy New Year to you, too, Dawsy.” She lifted her sunglasses off her eyes and gave me a quick scan. “You should probably get dressed before you answer the door. Can you get my luggage? They’re kind of heavy.” She was halfway to the kitchen as she asked.

“Can I get dressed first?” I muttered and closed the door.

She didn’t answer.

Re-securing my towel, I found her exactly where I figured she’d be. In the wine fridge, perusing the bottles and wrinkling her nose at each one.

“Do you have anything nicer?”

I drank red wine on occasion but never needed anything more than a fifty-dollar bottle of wine to be satisfied.

My sister, somehow, believed anything under a hundred was beneath her.

“No, Crystal. I don’t have nicer wine on hand in case you show up on my doorstep with enough luggage for a month. What are you doing here?”

She scrunched up her nose at a bottle of chardonnay, but it must have been good enough for the moment because she grabbed the electric opener on the counter. “Lorenzo kicked me out of my apartment.”

The apartment he probably paid for until his wife found out he had some mistress and lost her shit on both her husband and Crystal. It wasn’t the first time.

“Am I going to have to pay off another scorned wife?”

When it came to Crystal, she had no morals, no values, no concept of respecting anyone’s marriage, and hadn’t worked a job outside pretending she was a social media influencer since she failed out of college.

She’d become the spitting image of our mother, and I detested her very presence as much as I still hoped she would change.

“Probably not.” She shrugged and poured her first glass. She’d have two bottles gone before I had to get to the practice field. “You didn’t bring my stuff in.”

“I’ll get it.”

Because I’d give her anything. Even if it killed me.

An hour later, I’d brought all of Crystal’s luggage in and moved it to the main floor guest bedroom. I was dressed to get to the practice field where I played for the Nashville Steel. We had an away game tomorrow in Raleigh, and today’s practice would be light before I would need to come back, grab something to eat and change for the flight out.


I could have used a heavy workout day to unload the stress Crystal’s unannounced presence brought.

After a quick search, I found her outside, tanning in the sun despite the fact it was January in Tennessee, and it was only sixty degrees outside. It wasn’t normal weather, and it certainly wasn’t hot, but there she was, sipping her wine, bottle in a chiller next to her, wearing a string bikini, and holding her phone away from her face and snapping selfies.

My sister was gorgeous. Grabbed attention from every male as soon as she walked into a room or bar or club. Since she was only two years older than me, all my friends had wanted her.

In both high school and college.

It was too bad her beauty didn’t go beyond skin deep. Any good things on the inside shriveled and died as soon as our mom had an affair, ditched not only our dad and the house we’d grown up in our entire lives, but her children as well.

But long before that happened, I’d made a promise to my dad to always take care of her, and I wasn’t a man who went back on his word, painful as it was to keep it.

He’d been a pilot, gone a lot more than he was home, but he wasn’t absent. We grew up with daily phone calls and nightly games of finding where he was on maps he’d set up all over his home office. We’d put push pins in them every time he flew somewhere new and we’d play countdown games until he came back home. When he was home, we had him. All of his attention, whether it was my football or hockey games, Crystal’s dance or cheer competitions. Laughter over dinners. Board game nights. He’d mow the lawn and sit one of us on his lap on the riding mower and always, always, freely and openly gave our mom affection.

Until that fateful day he caught his wife sleeping with the neighbor. After that, all fond memories of time with my dad were just that. Memories. He might as well have left us that day as well for as little as we saw him after.

After Crystal drained three credit cards he opened for her, totaling sixty thousand dollars in debt, and then ghosted him for a year, he was done with her, but I still couldn’t let the promise I gave him when I was a little boy go.

I opened the sliding door and peeked my head outside. “Hey.”

She smiled into her phone and took a picture. “Yes?” She stared at her screen, treating me more like the help than the one person in our life who hadn’t abandoned her.

I was used to it.

“I have an away game this weekend.”

“Have fun.”

“Want to come?” There was a time she never missed one. Sure, I covered the flights and the tickets and the hotel rooms, but she’d always been there.

“I’m good here.” She laid her head back on the lounger and from here, I could see her skin covered in goose bumps from the cold. She’d do anything to get a follow, even freeze. “I’ve just been so stressed lately. I need the rest.”

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