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DescriptionFive-three high school senior Sean Duffy considers women and pool his main recreations, pool a close second. Then he meets six foot Mari Jo Moon, the Amazon of his dreams, and petite Toby Bryant, the best female pool player he’s ever met. Mari Jo is also the girlfriend of football stud Brock Hurley, with whom Duff shares a secret, violent connection that goes back ten years, and Toby is the daughter of the best female pool hustler in the country. One girl will steal Duff's father's prized cue, the other his heart, and Duff will face losing everything in a final battle for love and self-identity.
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Excerpt:"Why don't you give the jerk a lesson?" Web asks me.
We're at Leisure Time Billiards and Bowling Center, sitting at a tall, round table, drinking soda. Irritated at the guy I'm watching play pool, I yank my chair closer to the table." I will. But I want to see this chick play."
"You know who he is? I just figured it out."
"Brock Hurley," I say. "Might be the University of Iowa's starting quarterback this season. As a freshman."
"Think he'll recognize you?"
"Doubt it. Happened a long time ago."
Brock is swaggering around a seven-foot pool table, hustling kids out of their money, emptying their pockets and billfolds. Ten or twelve of us are standing or sitting. Spectators.
We're all at Leisure Time with our gym classes. It's spring, close to graduation. Seniors are restless this time of year. A few gym teachers at the three public high schools in town got this awesome idea to haul seniors here on school buses. A reward for graduates-to-be, an excellent way to spend a Thursday afternoon away from school.
It's a big complex with thirty bowling lanes in one part and thirty pool tables, all sizes, where we're seated in another part. Besides pool, kids can play air hockey, foosball, shuffleboard, and darts. Games played on machines that munch quarters.
"That's the third guy he's beat," Web says.
I bat my empty soda can from hand to hand on the table. "He's good. And he knows it."
"I didn't realize he's so tall. What, six-five?"
"He talks too much," Web says."He needs his tongue nailed to his forehead."
I smile at my redheaded buddy, Webster Dalton. He usually doesn't say much, but Brock's got him ticked. Web's five-eight, maybe two-fifty. I never rag him about being fat, though, because I know how I hate to be called Shorty. Or One-eye.
"He's a banger," Web says. "Shoots way too hard—I know you can take him."
"In a minute," I say, as Brock gets ready to break and polish off his next victim, a blonde chick who's been waiting for a turn at the table. She's the major reason I want to watch this game. She's dressed in a pink polo shirt and white shorts. Nice boobs and good legs. I have an eye for women. They're my main recreation. Pool's second. When I get a chance, I lift weights. I don't know how many girls I've hustled in high school, but since my breakup with Lacy Wells three weeks ago, I've been in a slump. I usually find someone else in a week or two. Things have been slow. But they're about to pick up.
Brock smiles at Blondie and brushes stray black curls from his forehead. "It's a money game," he says. “Ten bucks."
She pats the left-hand front pocket of her shorts. "Right here," she says. "My rack, your break."
The HustleBy: Jon Ripslinger