“One is fine.”

“Take two,” she says with a stern, yet sweet look. It’s the kind of look a parent gives their child when they know what’s best and won’t take no for an answer. “Administrators orders.”

I can’t help but smile. “Thank you.”The next morning, I somehow manage to sleep in until 9AM, a luxury for me. I can’t remember the last time I was able to sleep in, even on my days off. I’ve always worked so much that on my rare day off I had to spend every moment of my off time scheduling appointments or grocery shopping so I didn’t starve to death, or clean so my home didn’t fall apart.

It’s definitely a luxury, and yet waking up alone has never felt this lonely. Why have I gone my entire life without someone and been fine, and yet now it suddenly feels all wrong? I can’t help but think how nice it was to wake up next to AJ and his warm wall of muscle behind me … as well as his hard cock pressed up against me.

Thinking about the way he touched me, the way his tongue felt when he kissed me, my body starts to react. My hand slides down my body, into my panties, and between the wet folds. I finger my slippery clit, plunging two finger inside myself. Grabbing the dildo from the bedside table, I work it in and out of my pussy, giving myself a thorough fucking until my muscles tighten and everything starts to turn a little foggy. I climax and then sigh. Yeah, giving myself orgasms feels great for a moment; they always do. But in the end it’s nowhere near fulfilling. Instead, I sigh, feeling disappointed.

Enough of this. It’s time to get a shower and let go of this self-pity and these thoughts of AJ once and for all. Problem is, even as I tell myself my thoughts are going to be AJ-free, I know that’s a lie. I’m going to fail because he has somehow managed to infect my every thought. But I’m a doctor. I can cure this. I have to.10AJI should have known after all the media blitz surrounding mine and Claire’s engagement, it wouldn’t go unnoticed by my teammates. The moment I walk into the locker room there are questions, a lot of persistent, yet good-natured teasing about my hot fiancée and how I need to watch my back or one of them will swoop her up. They laugh when I’m grumpy and tell them to shut the fuck up. Last thing I want to think about right now is Claire and the latest rejection from her. Whenever I’m practicing, my mind seems to go to a different place. It shuts off and I am all body and muscle memory. I’m never too deep in my head because that tends to lead to mistakes. That’s how I’ve gotten to where I’m at now. On the field, I can compartmentalize. It’s off the field that’s the problem.

Eventually, all the hoopla dies down once the coach has had enough. We run drills, watch videos of the last game and talk strategy. Toward the end of practice, we run plays. I’m finally starting to feel good again. My body is tuned in, my mind is tuned out—at least when it comes to the distraction that is Claire, and I’m killing this play.

That is until the outside linebacker on the other squad hits me. It’s happened a million times in my career with no consequence, and yet today, my leg twists in an unnatural position and I go down. The screams of agony fill my head. Pain radiates through my knee and calf like nothing I’ve ever experienced before, like hot daggers slicing through muscle, bone, and ligament. It feels like my knee is on fire. Looking down, I’m afraid I’m going to see something horrific, like a compound fracture or my leg bent at an unnatural angle. But nothing looks out of place. That’s still no relief. The pain is unbearable.

I can hear the coach calling for the medics. Two stout women run toward me with med kits in their hands. I glance at the rookie linebacker who hit me. He looks just as terrified as I feel, his face a pale shade of green like he might be sick. Hurting your star player as a rookie is not the reputation you want, and despite the pain, I feel for the guy.

“Hey,” I call to him, pain changing my voice into someone I don’t recognize. His bottom lip wavers. I mouth the words ‘don’t cry’ to him. The last thing he needs is to get shit from the team. “Don’t beat yourself up. It was a good tackle and everyone here knows it.”

He nods, looking grateful. The waver in his lips stops and he stands straighter even though he still looks like he might puke.

Tags: Penny Wylder Romance
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