An avant-garde exhibit paints the walls of the most decadent museum in the city. VIP guest, city officials, reporters, sponsors & team executives are peppered across the canvas of the room.
“That’s beautiful,” says Ray with a discerning look painted across his face.
In response, the teams community outreach liaison begins telling the soon to be retired All Star Tight End about the artist who painted the portrait directly in RAY ROBERSON’s line of sight.
Unbeknownst to the team liaison, Ray was actually referring to the silhouette of RENA McKENNA; an internet famous social media influencer who was invited to co-host the Team’s Charity Fundraiser with Ray, set to begin after cocktails at the museum.
After the liaison finishes telling a distracted Ray about the art he ask, “Would you like to meet the artist, it would be a great photo op?”
Ray shifts his attention from Rena in response to the question, “Maybe later… Right now — their is only one persons pictures I’m thinking about.”
Ray pulls out his phone to confirm that her social media pictures aren’t photoshopped, and to his surprise — she looks even better in person.
“Serendipity.” Ray whispers as the team liaison looks on confused by the All Stars actions.
Ray on the other hand — is anything but confused. He actually wrote Rena a direct message he has been debating on whether or not to send, which he has saved in his draft folder.
What a sweet surprise, that the team brought the object of his affection to him. Presenting a perfect opportunity for him to seal the deal with the vixen, at a charity event being held in his honor. At least, that’s what he thinks, but he hasn’t met Miss McKenna yet!
Rena is the lightening that escaped the bottle: young, vivacious, gregarious, soft, supple & athletically firm in all the right places. A rare combination of genetics, nature & nurture spilling her brand of visual comfort food & lifestyle coaching across the internet.
In person, the steak matches the sizzle. She has Ray’s undivided attention before ‘hello.’
Ray steps in front of her and extends his hand, “It must be my lucky day.”
Rena looks him up and down, before touching the top of his extended hand with her pointer finger and then ask, “What can you tell me about this charity event?”
The team liaison prepares to interject, but before he can speak Ray extends a stiff arm to his aide without breaking eye contact with Rena. To everyone’s surprise except Ray’s — his knowledge of the project is profound. Couple this with his charismatic delivery and the entire room is quickly captivated by his monologue.
Even the reporters and team executives shift their attention to Ray as he eloquently speaks to the impact the exhibit and subsequent auction will have on the community. (If he wasn’t solely fixated on Rena as he speaks — his impromptu speech would make for a perfect promotional video.)
Rena smiles, “So I guess you are more than just a pretty face…” Then turns and walks toward another piece of art with a strut so fierce Ray covers the team liaisons eyes.
For the next couple hours Rena & Ray wow the attendee’s with a spirited verbal tango that displays obvious chemistry. By the time the charity auction is complete their dance has added a hint of sexual tension. Palpable tension, which Ray is having a hard time reading.
In an attempt to take lead in their dance, Ray decides to throw caution to the wind by clicking send on the direct message he had saved in his draft folder which is still dated several weeks prior. A fact that he overlooked until after he slid it in her DM’s.
Ray… Now aware of his mistake; thinks out loud solemnly, “The balls in her court now.”
Later in the day, Ray is enjoying a cocktail while the last painting is being presented to a buyer. The auction — thanks in large part to Rena & Ray — was an unprecedented success! The team was able to raise a substantial amount of money for charity and the publicity will give them a push heading into the later half of the season. Needless to say — ownership is happy.
Thus, the master of ceremony prepares to call Ray up for a special thanks & acknowledgment prior to the scheduled banquet.
As Ray prepares to position himself near the front of the room to accept his praise — an arm grabs his hand from behind a curtain. Ray naturally follows the soft touch, into an adjacent room painted with darkness. In the distance, he can hear the MC asking if anyone has seen “The Big Hurt” after repeated attempts to call him to the stage.
Rena covered in the ambient light from a small window in an otherwise dark room, “So you been stalking me online, huh?!”
Ray learned a longtime ago when to sheath his tongue and instead of answering, just stares back at her longingly as their fingers begin to interlock. The MC cues the DJ to start playing music and like it wasn’t her first rodeo — Rena jumps into Ray’s arms!
She wraps her arms around his neck, while her legs straddle his waist. Seizing the moment, Ray hoist her up higher by her muscular thighs while gently running the tips of his fingers across the lower half of her voluptuous butt.
It isn’t long before the affair gets loud and intense. Ray opens one eye to insure that they are still alone, but is enjoying getting to know her body too much, to even consider stopping. Rena’s libido is crescendoing. At this point, they are fully connected like long time lovers exploring the thrill of a risky encounter. Ray finds a comfortable position that won’t make as much nose, mere moments before Rena completes her tantric experience by biting his lip until the sensation passes.
Ray, now fully turned on — is thinking to hell with discretion. While Rena begins the process of escaping his grasp.
Once free and fully dressed she turns and smiles at him, before flipping him the bird and darting through the curtain back into the main banquet hall.
Ray stares longingly while still aroused, “I think I’m in lust.”
Waves of cigar smoke flood “The Pit” — an exclusive lounge — inside of “Big Hurt’s Smokehouse” restaurant and speakeasy. By day, smoke primarily comes from the kitchen and the twin barrel grills in the back of the building, but on poker nights Ray keeps The Pit 🔥 lit. Offering his guest a wide array of cigars, 10 — 20 year aged spirits, along with small batch micro brewed beer made exclusively for him. All served by a trusted and vivacious cocktail waitress & bartender who also serves as the games doorman.
Tonight’s game has a full table; including Ray’s long time friend, business partner and lawyer STEVE TRISTLE. Flanking Steve at the table is Ray’s quarterback during his playing days and close friend GUS GREENE who is currently celebrating a victory heading into the teams bye week. The rest of the table is filled with VIP Guest, High Rollers & a few Notorious locals with deep pockets.
As the night progresses, the players are starting to get comfortable at the table, buzzed off the amenities & looser with their bets.
“Another round.” Gus says to the waitress around the same time Steve folds out of a large pot that was raised twice before the flop.
Ray while looking across the table smugly, “We don’t have all night, Steve’s wife is gonna send the National Guard if he is not home soon!”
One of the more notorious players continues to stare at his hand unfazed by Ray’s taunt before finally deciding to call. The rest of the table folds, leaving Ray, his scandalous quarry & a VIP that accompanied Gus after the Post Game Press Conference in the hand.
The flop is dealt ‘Queen, Ten, Nine’ with the Queen & nine suited. Ray survey’s the table, then sits his cards down to light a 💨 cigar. Ray’s rival raises post flop with a snarl, the VIP immediately folds behind the raise bringing the hand back to Ray’s original check.
Before returning to the game Ray signals for three shots, followed by a causal raise that doubles the pot. In response, the notorious player slams his hands on the table and walks over to the bar to think before proceeding. While the notorious player is mulling his options in quandary Ray, Steve & Gus toast to life and times.
The words “I’ll call” fight their way out of Ray’s rivals mouth.
The turn is dealt a six, both players check. Then down the river the table is dealt another ten pairing the board. Ray’s prey celebrates like a predator slamming a pair of pocket Ace’s onto the table.
Ray casually responds, “That was a fun hand.”
Then proceeds to move the pot in his direction. The notorious players eye’s widen with vexation while watching Ray leave his whole cards in place of the pot, which are a suited Ace, King. A suited Ace, King that just so happens to follow suit with the Queen, Nine & Six dealt to the table. This twist of fate immediately enrages the notorious player!
Gus recognizing that tension is high after a bad beat looks at Ray then says, “Ray Rob you are luckier than a slippery seal in a sharks mouth!”
The mood lightens, as Ray takes another 💨 puff of his cigar pointing the snipped end at Gus.
“That’s my Quarterback,” with a gloating smirk painted across his face.
They play a couple more tense hands, when the game is interrupted without warning. Steve looks up first, to insure it isn’t his wife bursting in the door to drag him home. To his relief he sees Rena making a grand entrance like The Pit was her catwalk.
Moving with the style and grace of a seasoned prima donna Rena rises above the cigar smoke filled lounge dressed to thrill. On most occasions, the table would start a slow clap to acknowledge Ray’s good fortune as she jumps into his lap draped in leopard print & red bottoms. But after the bad beat, Ray’s rival — who is still vexed after the large pot he lost — has the table on high alert; aware of the fact that he is the type to ‘pull first’ and ask questions later.
“What’s she doing here?! You ain’t try’in to skip out after that bull sh*t hand,” he barks.
Which immediately warrants a response from Rena. Without hesitation, she spins on his lap like a shake shack ballerina & snaps a picture of the player with the negative energy.
Then she flips through the Gram until she finds one of her verified friends.
“Pump your breaks play boy, unless you want me to send my girl this pic of you mask off!” The table looks quizzically, as the notorious players scowl changes to a deadpan look.
A few moments later, the notorious player takes a sip of his drink & then smiles: “How did you know I slid in her DM’s?!”
Rena replies smugly, “Boy please, social media is my playground!”
He laughs and she promises to put in a ‘panty 💦 wetting good word’ for him if he plays nice. He waves his hands in a bowing motion and gives Ray a pound as he leaves the table with Rena.
As Rena and Ray head towards the guest bedroom behind the vip section. Gus naturally assumes control of the table to avoid conflict. Immediately, throwing a few of Ray’s chips in the pot to appease the table.
Gus smugly, “Who wants to win Ray Romeo’s Money?!”
While Steve cashes Ray out on cue. Both aware of the fact that with Rena’s arrival he is done for the night.
The Morning After
Ray is up as the birds chirp, thinking about the first time he met Rena years ago, and the fact that she is the only woman he hasn’t figured out how to say ‘no’ to. In mid thought, he looks over and to his surprise she is staring back at him early in the morning.
She playfully touches Ray’s nose as their eyes meet, and informs him that Gus, Steve & Ray are invited to a Yacht trip she is attending this weekend with a plus one. Before covering up her birthday suit to retrieve the breakfast she ordered for them while Ray was lost in thought staring at the ceiling.
Ray quizzically, “You ordered breakfast — to my restaurant?!”
Rena laughs, then smacks her butt to signal what he can kiss before disappearing to retrieve the food.
After breakfast, Ray grills Rena about the yacht trips late notice but ‘no I’m not going’ isn’t an option after last nights activities. She informs him that the Yacht will set sail on Friday before leaving the Smokehouse in an Uber Black to head back to her hotel.
Ray calls in a couple favors from his inner circle to insure the trip is a go. As a retired baller he knows it is a big ask from Gus — to spend the bye weekend on a boat with a bunch of posh strangers.
When they speak, Gus is irritated by the late notice but owes Ray a favor after the incident with the wives jewelry. Steve on the other hand, is excited but has to bribe his wife to attend with a ‘duty-free’ shopping spree!
As Ray ends the call thinking out loud, “The price we pay.”
It is a breezy morning shore side on the inner harbor, but the Sun’s ☀️ rays are riding the surf. Thus, it could be Winter, but it feels like Fall Football weather. Showls and boat shorts are sparkling as bright colored representations of the 🌊 wave outside of the mega yacht currently boarding for the weekend.
Ray to the group, “This beauty looks like it ate the Team’s Yacht!”
Gus smiles behind his dark shades and replies, “Noah’s Ark! Now let’s get you filthy animal on the boat that cost enough to end world hunger!”
The fellas laugh, muling the bags and day drinking; as the ladies gaze upon the massive vessel and start to plan the weekends activities. Once on board, they settle into their cabins and begin an exotic, excursion filled weekend in the lap of luxury.
The sun is ☀️ shining on the upper deck of the yacht where we find the fellas basking pool side and reflecting on an epic weekend.
Steve puts his hand on Ray’s left shoulder, while Gus orders another round flanked on Ray’s right side, “Ray you had to twist my arm, but I owe you for this one. My wife loved it! This weekend alone, will earn me a pass for the rest of the year!”
Gus interjects, “It better, after all that 🧊 ice you bought her offshore!” Ray laughs and they both begin gesturing as if they were ice ❄️ skating with their fingers.
Steve shrugs it off, “Happy wife — happy life! & trust, daddy is gonna be smiling for the rest of the year!”
The trio 🍻 toast to that statement, celebrating life & winning another championship.
Gus gesturing towards Steve, “Speaking of wives, Ray Rob was spending a lot of Q.T. with his wildflower all weekend!”
Steve nods to second that statement, while Ray tries to play it cool.
Steve quizzically, “Are they ready to graduate?”
Gus replies, “I think… They just might be.”
Steve sarcastically, “From rent to own?”
Gus coyly, “Rena told me, when she was a little girl she always asked for a bull, buffalo, or rhino for her birthday!”
Ray throws bows at both of his friends in response to the jokes, because he knows deep down they may be right. Then before he can let out one of his patented one liners, he see’s something that paints a distressed look across his face. Gus follows his line of sight:
A surprised Gus, “Maybe we spoke too soon…”
The fellas zero in on Rena having a suspicious looking conversation with a group of men on the other side of the upper deck. Ray is shocked. After the week they just had he can not believe that she is in a secluded corner having a conversation with another man!
Thus, he decides to investigate in his linen shorts and sandals. Slowly tip toeing past decadent guest, almost tripping while crossing the deck.
Once he is finally close enough to overhear the conversation he witnesses one of the men hand Rena a package followed by, “The Pontoon in ten.”
As the men exit the meeting they do not see Ray trying to be inconspicuous pressed against the cabana’s exterior wall. After they pass by the pool, he heads back to his friends in an uncharacteristically clumsy manor, which almost leads him to fall into the deep end visibly confused & irritated.
As Ray begins telling the fellas what he saw while snooping on Rena looking like a ‘Yuppy True Detective.’ His mind wonders; the muffled voices and strange body language from Rena during the meeting has him perplexed.
When his frustration boils over Ray yells, “And what the hell is a Pontoon!”
Gus informs the fellas that he saw a Pontoon along the starboard side of the ship.
A visibly angry Ray responds, “Where is the @#&! Star Bird?!”
Gus 🤔 thinks about correcting Ray, but since it is glaringly obvious that Ray has caught feelings for Rena — he just points instead.
The fellas have a couple minutes, so Gus calls a quick huddle where they decide to change clothes & meet at the Pontoon in 10 minutes.
When the trio meet at the dock they realize that 10 minutes must have meant 5, because Rena has already departed the anchored yacht with the men on an excursion aboard the Pontoon.
Ray instinctively survey’s the dock. Once Ray identity’s a course of action, he signals the fellas to follow him to a few jet ski’s docked mere feet from where the Pontoon departed.
They grab the keys and prepare to follow the Pontoon in open water. Ray & Gus take off ahead of Steve, who is attempting to leave a voicemail for his wife before riding, but the phone slips out of his hand as the water shooting out of the back of their jet ski’s 💦 splashes him as they depart.
The fellas follow the Pontoon to a remote location, where they find a group of people surrounding Rena & another man who appear to be talking about the package Rena received on the upper deck.
It’s difficult to see what’s going on inside of the building until the crowd shifts when one of the men begin pointing and yelling at Rena. Leading her to let out a loud scream!
When Ray hears the scream, he pulls a gun from his waistband and puts one in the chamber. Next, he instructs Gus and Steve to grab a couple oars laying on the dock & to follow him towards the building.
Steve replies, “Where did you get a gun?!”
Upon hearing the texture of Steve’s voice while asking the question, Gus pleads with Ray to put the gun away. After panning from a distraught look on Steve’s face to a resolute look on Gus’s face Ray agrees, to put the gun away & grab an oar too.
With oars in hand, the fellas are ready to stop spying from the exterior and burst into the entrance of the makeshift building where the meeting is taking place. They nod in agreement, & Ray lets out a scream signaling the trio to storm the entry door like a scene from Braveheart.
Ray kicks open the door, while screaming loud enough to damn near cause one of the older men surrounding Rena to have a heart attack!
An enraged Ray, “If you wanna start yelling at someone — try yelling at me!”
It’s at this moment, while Ray is hulking out & scaring the white people that Gus stops to pan the room & assess the threat level. Instead of finding any immediate threats he does see a boom mic, professional lightening & a directors chair.
Gus while tapping Ray on the shoulder and laughing, “You know you messed up right?!”
While Gus continues to laugh, Rena rushes over and ask how they managed to crash her first feature film audition! Steve & Gus both throw their hands up & take 1/2 a step backwards. While Ray unable to think of an answer that paints him in a cool, calm & warm light.
Confesses that he followed her, which confirms what she was already thinking:
“You want a wifey, don’t you bae?!” While she runs her sultry eye’s across his uncharacteristically embarrassed face.
The entire room — accept for the old man who almost 😵 died — laugh, as the big fella looks embarrassed to admit he caught feelings.
To make amends Ray offers to come on as a producer of the film, as long as Rena gets the part, which peaks the interest of the director:
The director enthusiastically, “Welcome aboard Rena!”
Rena’s eye’s soften and she begins to hug Ray, while Gus whispers his tuxedo size in Ray’s ear, just in case he is in the market for a best man.
Ray smiles and waves the fellas away fully aware that this hug may last a lifetime.