While I’m at work and seeing patients and dealing with staff, I’m in my element, I’m hyper-focused. It’s like I feel completely comfortable in my skin and in my life choices. But as soon as my shift is over and I’ve clocked out, my mind always wanders to the same thing. Him. I think about his hand around mine as I held the scissors to cut the ribbon. I think about how good he looked in that suit, the smell of his cologne, his perfect hair, those gorgeous baby blues, those scars. He has enough money to have a world class plastic surgeon make them disappear, but he’s not vain like that. His scars are just part of him. He chooses to spend his money on the good of his community.

And when I’m through thinking about every detail about him, I think about my life. The quiet in my home after the constant din at work leaves me anxious. I spend so many hours at the clinic that I’m so lonely when I get home. The extra room on the couch when I watch television and the empty side of the bed at night never used to bother me. But now I feel the cold air beside me as I fall asleep. Have I made too many sacrifices for my career? As much as I love medicine, at night, alone in my bed, I yearn for something else. And as the blanket of sleep falls over me most nights, and I let my defenses down, I can’t help but feel it’s AJ I’m yearning for.

I also can’t help but think that hiring me as the head of the Hope Center is part of some sort of a personal agenda. What does he want from me? At the ceremony he looked at me like no time had passed since the night of that party after the big game. I know I hurt his pride that night. I was intentionally cruel. That’s just how I get when I fear that feelings might be getting involved. And that was a big fear of mine back in college with AJ. I didn’t want to be distracted by a romance, and I definitely didn’t want to be used and tossed aside by some jock like so many of my friends had been. The moment I realized AJ had the potential to break my heart, I made sure to turn my heart to stone so there was no chance of that happening.

So what does he want from me now? Revenge? Could he be so callous as to give me this job then rip it away? He’s the major funder on this project, he has the power to do such a thing. Hell, my career right now is in his hands.

Just as I’m cleaning my office at the Hope Center and getting ready to head home after a long fifteen-hour shift, AJ’s massive frame blocks the light from the door. My heart slams against my ribcage like a trapped animal. My body is a traitor and reacts with lust and want, but my mind is a far more loyal companion. It sends up warning flares, flashing red lights, alarms.

I breathe deeply and try to keep my voice even when I say, “What are you doing here?”

I can smell his cologne. What is it? I’m guessing something insanely expensive. It smells like heaven. My mind suddenly turns on me too because all I think about is that giant body rubbing against me until I too smell like his delicious cologne.

His sly smile and cocksure stance is both irritating and sexy as hell. He runs one of those massive hands through his hair. I’ve never seen hands that big. A football in his hands looks as small as a tennis ball would look in mine. It’s why he’s able to hold onto the ball and never drop it. That’s a big target for a quarterback. Two of those big fingers are like having a regular sized man’s cock inside of me. But AJ’s cock … that thing was a work of art, a national monument.

I close my eyes and will my mind to shut up.

“Just here to go over the budget and talk shop,” he says. But the way he says it makes me think that’s not all he’s here for.

When I sit down behind my desk, I sigh with relief because my legs were about to give way at the sight of him. He sits across from me, and to my surprise jumps right into the business end of things.

And again, to my surprise, he’s smart. Very smart. His plans for the Hope Center, how he plans to get money from donors, how he plans to make sure that no one ever gets turned away from our care no matter their ailment, is like nothing I’ve ever heard before. He’s not just smart, he’s innovative. Why haven’t I ever seen this part of him before?

Tags: Penny Wylder Romance
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