“Considering that your company is marketing Fly Sports as an edgy, take risks alternative to the status quo, Zero would be a perfect match. His reputation as the Devil’s resident bad boy would fit perfectly –gah!”. Jude jumped when he felt Zero’s hand on his thigh under the table. His mind going completely blank as he forgot what he had been about to say. He felt Zero’s strong fingers squeeze his leg as he moved his hand higher. Turning his head quickly to his side, Jude noticed the small smirk that Zero quickly hid behind the bored look he generally wore when they had to meet with potential sponsors.
Jude narrowed his eyes at Zero, promising retribution. Zero, as usual, just ignored Jude’s attempts to make him behave himself, and moved his hand even higher, now almost sitting on the fly of Jude’s pants. Jude took a deep breath before turning back to the face the CEO of Fly Sports, wondering if the man had noticed Jude’s sudden stop mid-sentence or the flush of arousal that he could feel creeping up his neck. He was going to murder Zero.
Jude cleared his throat “Um, as I was saying, people love Zero right now. Instead of hiding behind fake apologies, Zero is seen as an unrepentant sinner who isn’t afraid to do his own thing, no matter what. You’ll have seen that his old sponsors, along with a lot of new ones have been chasing after him.”
Bradley Jensen was an attractive man, around 45 with shrewd eyes. He’d started Fly Sports with nothing and now they were up there with Nike and Adidas in the highly competitive sports equipment industry. “I did notice that. I also know that you've had conversations with a few of our competitors who sought you out. But you came to me, Mr. Kinkade, what I want to know is why?”
Jude tried to concentrate on what the man was saying, this sponsorship could make or break Zero’s return to the top, but Zero hadn’t moved his hand away from where it sat. Instead, he had begun to slightly squeeze Jude and rub his thumb along the growing bulge in Jude's pants. Jude tried to discretely push Zero’s hand away under the table, but the asshole refused to budge. There was nothing Jude could do about it without making it obvious what was happening under the table.
Jude shifted away from Zero’s hand as much as possible and concentrated on the man across the table. “Other companies endorse dozens, if not hundreds, of athletes. Fly Sports hasn’t ever had a specific spokesperson for their brand. Zero would be the first. This isn’t something that would go unnoticed. Zero isn’t your average baller, Mr. Jensen. He goes after what he wants with no holds barred –.” Zero gave Jude’s balls another squeeze. Jude sent him a killing look, silently telling him to knock it off. But, no one told Zero what to do, not even Jude. His hand stayed exactly where it was.
“With no holds barred. He’s fearless and he doesn’t give a crap about what people think of him. He’s there to win. By making Zero the face of your new campaign, you would be separating yourself from other companies who are trying to win over the market by being overly politically correct. Zero, because he’s a great player on the court and just as interesting off the court, stands out. Fly Sports could also stand out.”
The CEO seemed to consider Jude’s words as he took a slow sip of his drink. Seeming to come to a decision, he said “I like the way you think, Mr. Kinkade. I also admire the way you were able to keep pitching me while Zero’s hand was on your dick.”
Jude groaned aloud. Zero, the asshole, just laughed and smiled unapologetically at the older man.
“I’m sorry, Mr. Jensen, ah, I don’t know what to say.”
“No need to apologize Mr. Kinkade.” Turning to Zero he said, “I see your reputation is well deserved, Zero. I look forward to working with you.”
Jude’s mouth fell open. “So, we have a deal?”
Brad smiled as he stood up “Yes, we have a deal. I think Zero will be perfect as the face of Fly Sports. Have your people call my people to work out the details.”
“Great, will do.” Jude stood up to shake the man’s hand, not bothering to be discreet as he knocked Zero’s hand of his lap.
“Good. We’ll talk soon.”. Pushing away from his chair, the older man grinned openly at Zero.
“I hope you don’t mind if I don’t shake your hand. No offence.”
Zero just laughed. “None taken. I look forward to working with you too.”
Jude watched as their newest sponsor walked out of the bar before turning back to glare at Zero.
“You’re so going to regret that, Gideon.”
“I doubt it.” Zero threw over his shoulder as he headed for the door.
And he truly didn’t.