Home > Reckless

Author: Becca Steele









How was this my life? On a plane to fuck-knows-where, with the one person I really, truly hated, forced to spend the next however long cooped up with the miserable bastard?

What had I done to deserve this?

Okay. There were one or two…or three or four events that had led up to this drastic “intervention,” as my agent called it. As if giving it a name would make it any better.

I guess I should rewind time a bit to work out just how I’d managed to arrive at this point…


The first time I met Theodore Lewin, aka Theo, aka fuckface twatwank, we were both thirteen years old, on the first day of youth academy training. For prospective footballers, getting into a youth academy was a chance to break into the pros. For the academy we both joined, Cotswold Elite Football Youth Academy, aka CEFYA, we got to be mentored by professionals as we grew up, and scouts regularly visited us. And for those lucky few exceptionally talented members, they might get a shot at a place on the youth team of a Premier League club.

Theodore, or Theo, as most people called him, was an arrogant, haughty little shit. My first memory of him was him swaggering onto the training pitch where I was doing drills with cones, wearing a perfectly pressed football kit and the Adidas boots that I’d been coveting for almost a year but couldn’t afford. He looked around him with a sneer on his full lips and his nose in the air. His light blue eyes scanned over me as he ran his hand through his sleek black hair, and for some reason, I lost my concentration and tripped over the cone I was about to run around.

The stupid stuck-up brat laughed, pointing in my direction, his voice easily carrying to where I lay, sprawled on the grass.

“Mother said this was the number one academy, but honestly, if they let clowns like that in, I’m not sure I want to waste my time here.”

I glared at him. Rude, posh bastard.

Leaping to my feet, I placed my hands on my hips, staring him down. “Got lost on the way to the opera, did ya? Or was it afternoon tea?”

His lip curled into a sneer again. “It may surprise you, Trip, but there are those of us with breeding that do have the ability to kick an inflated pig’s bladder around a field with some measure of skill.”

My mouth dropped open, totally against my will. What thirteen-year-old kid talked like this? No one else I knew, that was for sure.

Wait a minute. “Trip?”

“Well, I did see your rather spectacular fall just now. Seemed fitting.”

“Don’t ever call me that again,” I growled, stepping right up to him and shoving my chest against his, full of the reckless bravado of a teenage boy.

Before he could respond, a whistle blew, and we were being pulled apart by one of the members of staff.

That day was just the beginning.

The months, and then the years, went by, and as we honed our skills, it became apparent that we were both suited to the same position of right-winger. Which meant that when we played other academies and youth teams, we were in constant competition with each other. And Lewin was good. Really fucking good. He was the arrogant thorn in my side, always there, ready to take my place on the right wing. Maybe he thought the same about me—we were pretty evenly matched—but if he did, he didn’t show it. He just liked to taunt me in private and keep his untouchable, icy persona in public.

I’d never hated anyone until I met him. But from the age of thirteen, we were enemies. It was an indisputable fact. The sun rose in the east. The moon orbited the earth. Jordan Emery and Theodore Lewin hated each other.

When we both went pro, I had another reason to resent him. When he was seventeen, he managed to land a coveted spot on Glevum FC’s youth team, and from there, he was offered a place on the main pro team. Glevum FC had always been my preferred choice. Not only were they in the Premier League, arguably one of the best and most elite football leagues in the world, if not the best, but they were also my local team growing up in my home county of Gloucestershire. I’d spent many happy Saturday afternoons in the stands with my dad, draped in the team’s scarf in red and gold, cheering on the players alongside the other Glevum Gladiators—the nickname for Glevum FC’s fans due to our local Roman history and the Roman helmet on the club’s badge. I’d always dreamed of playing there, and I knew I was good enough. But for whatever reason, they bypassed me in favour of Lewin. The contract I ended up being offered was for another local club, Forest Green Rovers, but while I was really fucking happy to be offered a contract with a professional club, and one in the same county at that, they were in League Two, and from the moment I was signed, the Premier League seemed like a pipe dream.

Forest Green Rovers were amazing. I couldn’t fault them. The staff, the team, the ethics of the club…they ticked so many of my boxes. I threw myself into the game, concentrating on honing my skills, and did my best to ignore the ball of resentment in my stomach that seemed to grow bigger every time Theodore Lewin was mentioned. The ball that grew bigger every time the pundits spoke of Glevum’s league chances for the season and how Lewin could play a major part in the club’s success.

I did my best, but my best wasn’t good enough.

My resentment grew.

Then, something happened to change the trajectory of my career, and while it should have been a dream come true for me, it ended up as a nightmare.

One pivotal moment in my career led to a chain of events that put me on the plane to tropical hell with my rival…












“Thanks for coming in today on such short notice.” Glevum FC’s manager, aka the gaffer, aka Harvey Raines, steepled his fingers as he stared at me impassively from across the table. The overhead lights gleamed on his bald head, giving it a shine as if he’d polished it. He gave a slight nod to the left, and I swallowed, lowering myself into the indicated chair, and surreptitiously wiped my sweating palms on my perfectly pressed trousers. Next to me, Amir, my agent, sighed. He couldn’t even tell me what today’s emergency meeting was about.

Couldn’t…or wouldn’t. I shot him a suspicious look out of the corner of my eye, and he just sighed again, taking his own seat and busying himself with opening up his iPad, the keyboard lighting up as he input his password.

Returning my attention to Harvey, I folded my hands neatly in my lap and waited.

I didn’t have to wait long.

“As you know, Knowles sustained a hamstring injury against Liverpool last Saturday. Unfortunately, it’s worse than we anticipated. He’s going to be out for the rest of the season.”

“Shit,” I muttered under my breath before inwardly cursing myself. Years of being around football players meant that some of their bad habits had rubbed off on me. Still, I supposed swearing was one of the more harmless vices I’d adopted. I doubted my parents would agree, but then again…they’d have to take an interest in me in the first place to be in a position to agree or disagree. That was highly unlikely to happen, based on their track record ever since I’d diverted from their chosen path to become a professional footballer. It had been harmless when it was only a “hobby,” but to choose it as a career? It was unheard of in their circles. Not to mention the fact that I had chosen to play instead of attending a prestigious university. But in the world of professional football, most started young. While there were a select few who had been able to complete a degree alongside the rigorous training schedule that made up our day-to-day lives, for those in the English Premier League, they were few and far between.

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