HITSUKARIN & PROFESSIONAL SOCCER GAME
She wasn’t sure how to thank Rukia-nee, but Karin knew she had to try.
As she openly stared at the sweaty, bare-chested, glorious specimen before her–Hitsugaya Toshiro, her favorite soccer player of all time–all Karin could do was inwardly bless the fact that her brother’s girlfriend was rich and had enough connections to get her into the locker room of the Karakura Lions.
Piercing aquamarine eyes looked at her curiously; she had to remind herself not to drool. Act like a normal person, Karin. If you fangirl, you’ll scare him.
“Nice game,” she said, excited when her voice sounded normal and not stalkerish at all.
“Thanks.” He slung a towel around his neck, ready for a shower, but still had on his shorts and cleats. The rest of the team was starting to strip as well, ready to wash off the dirt and grime.
A men’s locker room was nowhere for a lady to be, but as Madarame Ikkaku walked by, naked as the day he was born, Karin couldn’t help but notice that this was the perfect place for her to be.
Hitsugaya sighed, embarrassed on Karin’s behalf. “I’m sorry. We didn’t know we would have visitors.” He ruffled his snowy hair. “Is there anything I can help you with?”
Sexy and polite. Yes, Number Ten was a keeper. “Well, I wanted to see if you would sign this jersey for me.” She swallowed. “But I can see you’re busy.”
“No, it’s fine.” He was staring at her, eyebrows furrowed as he signed the jersey with her proffered Sharpie. “Have we met before? You look familiar.”
Suddenly feeling self-conscious, she twirled the end of her ponytail around a finger. “I’ve been to a bunch of your games with my friend Rukia, but no, we’ve never met.”
He nodded in recognition. “Ah, Kuchiki. I think I must have seen you in a picture or something.”
“Picture?” she parroted faintly.
“The Kuchikis own this team.” He held out the jersey, pausing. “I’m not stalking you, I swear.”
A grin overtook her face as she reached for it, her fingers lightly touching his. He smelled like the outdoors–grass, sweat, and sunshine–and she just wanted to inhale him in.
Number Nine, Hisagi Shuuhei, walked by, ruffling Hitsugaya’s hair playfully. “Who’s this? Your new girlfriend?”
Hitsugaya brushed him off, cool annoyance radiating from him. “She’s not–”
“Yet,” Karin interjected smoothly, deftly writing her number on the left-forward’s arm. She hoped he would copy it down somewhere before showering, but she too hyped on her own forwardness to care. She winked. “I should get going. Thanks for the autograph.”
Hitsugaya only looked at her, slack-jawed.