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Authors: Amy Daws

Tags: #sports novel

Challenge (6 page)

BOOK: Challenge
12.73Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

I pop a sherbet lemon in my mouth and suck on it thoughtfully. Who knew “rock-hard abs” is a truthful synonym? I’ve seen countless patients and none of their stomachs have felt like that. It’s positively ludicrous how they hardened beneath my touch as if they were enjoying the feel of my hands.
Good grief!

I crunch down on the hard sweet and the juicy centre erupts in my mouth. The creamy syrupiness creates a synonym of its own for how I behaved around him: Smooth and hard on the outside, a gooey mess of molten lava on the inside.

I mean, of course I am attracted to him. That’s just science. But kissing him in the ICU is about the stupidest thing I could have done. I’ve never, in my life, been conflicted over whether to behave like a doctor or like a woman. What possessed me to drape myself over the top of a patient and allow him to attack my lips for who knows how long?

Oh, sod off, Indie! You know exactly what was going through your head. Stop lying to yourself.

I push my glasses up my nose and swallow down the remaining bits of sweetness as I finally set the truth free inside my brain.
You wanted Camden Harris to be Penis Number One.

It couldn’t be more obvious if it was stamped on his forehead. Of all the guys in all of London. Of all the patients in all the hospitals, he had to be mine? I could lose everything if I let something that horrid happen again.

But bloody hell, when his lips touched mine, I was doomed. For the first time in my limited experience, my physical reaction to a man trumped all the mental qualifying that my brain has done with other blokes in the past.

Did I actually think I could climb aboard and let him take me in the middle of a workday? I’ve worked so hard for my career and am constantly having to prove myself to my colleagues because of my age. Was I going to throw it all away for abs that felt like bones, as if I’m some star-struck fan girl?

No, no. This is not me.

No man makes me act this way, no matter how hot he is. I’ll chalk this up to either extremely intense pheromones or low blood sugar. Both can have some severe side effects. I pop another sweet in my mouth.

“Holy shit, you have a Harris brother as a patient!” Belle squeals from behind me. I’m taken so off guard that when her hot breath sprays moisture into my ear, I suck my sweet into the back of my throat.

My face contorts and I cough while aggressively wiping at the dewy liquid she sprayed. “Say the news, not the weather, you animal,” I grumble.

Ignoring my jab, she props herself against the counter beside me and pats my back. “You have a bloody Harris brother. I heard it’s one of the twins. Which one? Long hair or short?”

Her eyes are bright and hungry for more information. After I recover, my own gaze narrows with an ounce of possessiveness. Not necessarily possessiveness over Camden, but possessiveness over my thoughts. I’m still processing what I want him to be, yet Belle is going to put it all out in the open like she always does.

I swallow and begrudgingly reply, “His hair is short, but longer on the top.” I’m pretty sure I copped a feel of that gorgeous golden mess during our…encounter.
I inwardly recoil.

“That’s Camden then. He was seen with a supermodel a few weeks ago.”

A supermodel. Of course.
Way to set your sights high, Indie!

“So is he as stunning in person as he is in the papers?” Belle’s dark eyes twinkle mischievously. “God, I bet he is. Can you imagine that level of athleticism in the bedroom? Too bad it’s not the oldest brother, Gareth. I’d let him stick it in any hole he wanted, even my ears if he liked that sort of thing.”

“Belle!” I screech, my eyes darting over at the radiologist who seems oblivious to our conversation.

“What? I would. He’s hot as hell and plays for Manchester United. They’ve been having an epic season.”

“I don’t really follow football,” I croak, desperate to end this conversation so Belle goes away and leaves me alone with my thoughts.

“Don’t follow football? How can you not? We’re practically neighbours with Tower Park. That’s who three of them play for! What, do you live in a box?” she shrieks.

“Boarding school,” I shrug, using my easy out excuse for all my unsociable tendencies.

“Right. Well, let me clue you in, darling.” She turns me to face her head-on and pushes my glasses up my nose so she can properly pierce me with her stare. “Camden Harris is one of four football-playing Harris brothers. Three of them are like the playboy darlings of East London. They all play for the same championship league club their dad manages. The twins are strikers and the youngest one is a goalie. The oldest makes over two hundred mil a year as a defender in the Premier League.”

My eyes widen. “That’s a lot of money.”

“Fucking right it is. And Camden Harris has had a legendary season. Social media has all been saying that Arsenal and Man U have been fighting over who is going to offer him a contract. He could get bumped up to Premiership! His twin brother is nearly as good. This family is a big fucking deal, Indie. The hospital PR is having a field day I’m sure.”

“Well, he’s highly inappropriate,” I add weakly.

“He’s highly hot as fuck.” I do a crap job of concealing my smile as a flash of his boyish smirk clouds my mind. Belle’s knowing grin bursts through my bubble.

I bite down hard on my sweet. “It’s weird to be attracted to someone who’s at their worst, right?” I ask, leaning in closer to her.

“Why do you say that?”

“It sounds like an embarrassing creepy fetish. He’s all injured and laid up. Or hell, maybe it’s cool. It’s probably a checkbox on Tinder.”

Belle whacks me on the arm. “Screw Tinder. So you
think he’s hot?” she asks, her eyebrows dancing.

I scoff, “I might wear glasses, but I’m not blind.” Even covered in grass stains, mud, and sweat, I wanted to bend over and lick every ridge that decorated his impeccable stomach. Then, when he started adjusting himself in front of me, I had to squeeze my thighs together for fear of fluids dripping down my legs. “But he knows he’s hot. I hate that,” I add half-heartedly, barely convincing even myself.

“Indie…stop fighting this. You know what he is.”

“No I don’t,” I defend, my heart leaping with anxiety and anticipation. The rush of realisation pulses through my veins.

Her eyes squint with determination. “This is Penis Number One.”

“You don’t know that. He might not even be into me,” I lie, feeling intimidated by the idea of actually being intimate with someone as hot as Camden Harris. That kiss sure made it seem as if he is interested, but the reality of being naked with someone like him is a completely different story.

She laughs heartily. “Of course he’s into you. Hell, I’m into you.”

“Don’t be daft.”

“Stop downplaying your appeal, Indie. It’s unappealing.” Her gaze softens. “You’re unique, smart, hilarious, and beautiful. Throw in a dash of quirky and sexy glasses and you’re the fun total package. Don’t ever forget that.” I’m taken aback by the sincerity on Belle’s face. She doesn’t really do warm and fuzzy, so her coming at me like this is shocking. “And you won’t find more of a bad boy player than Camden Harris, darling.”

“But I’m his doctor,” I nervously reply.

“Tequila Sunrise, Indie. Tequila Sunrise.” Her face suddenly morphs into urgency. “But for the love of God, don’t get caught. You have a lot to lose if you cross the line and people around here find out.”

“I’m not stupid. I’d never do anything here,” I huff as if she couldn’t say anything more ridiculous.

“And don’t get hurt. We’ve talked about this. I don’t want to have to maim one of London’s star footballers. You know I’m good with a scalpel.”

I chuckle and bite my lip as ten tons of nerves come barreling down on top of me. A manila envelope distracts us both as it’s dropped on the counter beside me. The tech walks away without a word, and I scoop up the contents, clutching them closely to my chest.

Getting hurt by a player like Camden Harris is the last fear in my mind. I’m not worried about getting too attached. Getting caught, on the other hand, is something I need to be careful about. Regardless, maybe somehow I can get this to work. Maybe when he’s no longer a patient, we could get in touch. I could slip him my number, or if I’m feeling horribly brave, ask him for his. I know he’s high-profile, but we can be discreet.

He’s the perfect Penis Number One. I’m smart enough to find a way around this. I’m sure of it.

“I have to get these results to Prichard. The Harris family is breathing down his neck for information on this special surgery he wants to do on Cam.”

Belle’s mouth spreads into an ear-to-ear smile.

“What?” I ask.

“You call him Cam now, do you?” she sings.

“Piss off!” I hiss and turn to scurry down the hallway and away from my nosey bugger of a friend.

When I approach the large patient suite, I peek through the heavy double doors and spot a stunning blonde hunched over Camden. He’s nestled comfortably in a large, double patient bed that’s covered in expensive linens. After his MRI, he was moved to the private wing of the hospital that’s reserved for A-list patients and donors. It’s more like a swanky hotel than a hospital room—one of the many benefits of a privately owned clinic.

The blonde strokes his hair affectionately as if she’s been doing it for years. A knife twists in my gut at their easy comfort with each other. My eyes drift down to her body, all willowy and stylishly dressed in cute jeans and a green Bethnal Green jersey with Harris imprinted on the back. When I finally see Camden’s face, I feel instantly annoyed as realisation dawns on me.

Camden Harris…is a cheating wanker.

He had a lot of nerve kissing me the way he did. What if she had walked in while we were doing that? I was one heartbeat away from gripping his—

I stop that train of thought in its tracks. If I’m being honest, I should have never done anything with him before knowing a thing about him. He’s a footballer for goodness sake. Of course he has some woman or
on call at all times. How much more green and stupid could I be?

I grip my stethoscope until it smarts inside my hand. His hair looks tamer now—more clean-cut as his blonde locks are smoothed over to one side revealing just how truly handsome he is. Even dressed in a white hospital gown, he looks like a GQ cover model. I preferred him properly mussed if I’m being frank. He wasn’t as perfect looking as he is now.

Steeling myself to be unaffected by this rapid change of events, I raise my shoulders and stride confidently into the room. I avoid his eyes on me as I snatch up the iPad from the holder at the foot of his bed. Then I busy myself with typing in his results.

“Hey, Red,” Camden drawls sexily.

I frown, my eyes flashing uncomfortably to the blonde and dropping back down to the iPad.

“Cam, she has a name I’m sure,” the girl says, looking at me apologetically. “I’m so sorry. He can be a prat with very little effort I’m afraid.” She smiles kindly and asks, “What is your name?”

Of course she seems sweet and nice. It would be asking too much for her to be a bitchy, vain bimbo with stiletto pointy nails and a vapid personality disorder. I’d do anything to see her take a selfie with Camden in the background. That would at least distinguish the two of us.

“I’m Dr. Porter,” I state pragmatically. I see a flicker of surprise on her face when I give her my title. I really should have worn my black-framed glasses today. My wild eyewear makes it difficult for people to take me seriously. My first day as an intern, the chief of surgery glared at me and uttered,
“Those had better be prescription.”

“We’re still at that level?” Camden states brazenly, completely disregarding the woman by his bedside. I look over at him with an incredulous glower. “I mean, after all we’ve shared,” he adds with a waggle to his brows.

My eyes widen and glance at the blonde who’s frowning in confusion. What is he trying to do? Cause a bloody cat fight right here? Whoever this woman is—girlfriend, fuck buddy, whatever—she’s obviously important enough to be here for him. I’m not about to give him the satisfaction of getting a rise out of me.

I turn back to the blonde. “I’m Mr. Harris’ resident doctor. I’ve just paged the attending ortho surgeon.”

“Nice to meet you. I’m—”

“I must be going.” I rudely cut her off because I don’t want her to introduce herself as Camden’s girlfriend. I don’t want to give him the satisfaction of watching me squirm.

“You just got here.” Camden winces as he attempts to sit himself up more.

“You need to stop moving,” I chastise.

“You need to stop running,” he retorts with a challenging spark in his eyes.

This gives me pause, but then the blonde adds, “I keep telling him to stop moving. He doesn’t need to make it worse by over-exerting himself.” She crosses her narrow arms over her tiny runway chest. I wish she had a flaw, but she doesn’t. She’s stunning all the way up to her clear blue eyes.

My boring brown eyes mistakenly flick back to Camden, who’s looking at me with a puzzled expression. Before I can say another word, Prichard opens the door, distracting all of us. “Ah, Indie, I was just looking over Mr. Harris’ results you entered in the system.” His deep baritone voice fills the room with an air of confidence.

BOOK: Challenge
12.73Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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