+ What's on: The House Jack Built, by Metallica
It is 3am, why am I awake? Oh yeah, because I have poor time management skills. o__@ If I haven't gone to sleep yet is this still considered to be a day late?
#4 - MATT BOYD, BACKLINER
August 5, Leo
The first time the girls saw Matt shirtless, it was distraction enough to forget their conversation. All of the men on the team were built, thanks to the strenuous workouts they had every day, but Matt had the body of someone who was devoted to his fitness routine. He was endless hard edges and muscle, an eight-pack and perfect pecs, with not a single ounce of fat visible on his frame.
If he realized he'd stopped the girls' hearts with his entrance, he didn't show it. He flashed them an easy smile in greeting and didn't slow on his way by.
Allison barely let him get out of the room before she said—too loudly—"Oh my God."
Dan might have answered, except she didn't trust what she wanted to say.
Matthew Donovan Boyd was supposed to be the answer to an unavoidable, looming problem: namely, Randy & Donald's failing marriage. Randy resisted the idea at first, fearing the impact childbirth would have on her body and therefore her boxing career, but decided to make the leap after talking to female colleagues and rivals about her concerns. What neither Randy nor Donald really considered was how Matt was supposed to save them if they didn't actually raise him themselves. Matt spent his early years in the care of a nanny so his parents could work.
Randy and Donald gave up trying to get along when Matt was in the fourth grade. Too much had changed in them and between them since they married; they were no longer compatible even as friends and had fallen way out of love. Not even their social circles overlapped anymore; Randy's down-to-earth friends hated Donald's privileged companions. When Randy moved out she left Matt behind: not because she didn't want him, but because it was the smart thing to do. Donald was a bit of a snob, but he could provide a good education and a stable home. Randy traveled too much to have a child underfoot.
Things might have turned out all right if Donald's friends didn't drag Donald into a harder party scene in Randy's absence. Donald let Matt's nanny go and started bringing drinks and drugs into the house. He encouraged Matt to try anything he wanted, and Matt seized on the offer as a means of bonding with his father. They cycled between addictions and sobriety for years, slowly teetering toward harder drugs. Matt went from pot and shrooms to cocaine and heroin in a couple years.
Matt started skipping school with his father's permission and lost his virginity to the prostitutes Donald hired for parties. When his father wasn't looking and Matt had enough drugs in his system, he let Donald's friends fuck him, too. (To this day Matt doesn't consider it to be rape, despite the fact he was too wasted to give real consent--the men did ask him, and they weren't violent or demanding. Matt doesn't regret it. He accepts what he did as a side effect of the times, and he knows he is straight. He has only ever told Dan about it, though.)
Matt's nanny found out about the drugs when she bumped into Matt by chance, and she reached out to Randy for help. Randy immediately took time off from the circuit and pulled Matt out of New York City for rehab. In the aftermath she and Matt finally got to know one another. They hit it off better than either one of them expected and quickly grew close. Randy found healthier things for Matt to do with his time, getting him back into the sports he'd given up when his drugs got in the way and teaching him everything she knew about cars. Matt learned how to box and picked up fitness as his anti-drug.
Signing with the Palmetto State Foxes was supposed to be Matt's reward of sorts, the pot of gold at the end of a long and arduous recovery. Matt didn't care about the team's reputation; he cared that his life was back on track. He was clean, he was going to get a good education, and he was going to play with a Class I team. Matt wasn't prepared for his teammates' problems or the toll it would take on him to be with them.
He was less prepared to fall in love with Dan.
Matt raked a hand through his hair, trying to look casual and almost succeeding. "I was just wondering if you'd like to get dinner sometime."
Dan folded her arms across her chest, not wanting him to see her heart pounding through her shirt, and tipped her chin up in defiance. "You're wasting your time. I don't put out."
He looked startled, then relieved, and Dan felt her defenses weakening at a rapid-fire pace. "No, that's--that's good," he said, and damn him if he didn't sound like he meant it. He started to reach for his hair again but must have realized he was fidgeting. Instead he stuffed his hands in his pockets. "I'm not ready for that kind of relationship yet. I just want to spend time with you. I want to get to know you better. I think you're amazing."
"Why should I believe that?" Dan asked. "Why should I believe you're different from any other guy?"
"Don't take my word for it," Matt said. "Find out for yourself one day at a time."