RUNNING GAME (A SECOND CHANCE SPORTS ROMANCE) (6 page)

BOOK: RUNNING GAME (A SECOND CHANCE SPORTS ROMANCE)
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13
JESSE


T
he distributions will go
out first thing Monday morning.” My accountant, Harlan Harrison sat across from me at my kitchen table. My crutches were leaning against it, and I was already so sick of seeing them that I wanted to throw them off the balcony.

“Make sure Samantha includes the letter I wrote when she sends out the checks,” I replied, just as the door bell rang. “Get that, will you Harlan? It’s probably my physical therapist.”

“Of course,” he rose and opened the door, greeting a very pissed off, albeit very adorable, Maisey. I was delighted to see her hair was down today, the curls I remembered so well bouncing around her head in an unruly mess. I imagined sinking my fingers into them, and pulling her head back, my lips capturing hers in a passionate kiss. I wanted to smell them, touch them, feel them sliding through my fingers.

“Maisey, thanks for coming,” I said from the table. “Please come in. This is Harlan, my accountant.”

“Hello,” she said, smiling politely, despite the anger rolling off of her. She still had that small town girl in her. She’d never be rude to someone needlessly, no matter how pissed off at me she was. “Nice to meet you.”

“Likewise,” Harlan said, before turning back to me. “Besides the Children’s Heartlink Foundation disbursements, is there anything else we need to go over, Jesse?”

“You tell me, you’re the accountant, Harlan,” I joked. “I don’t think so. Just make sure that money gets to those researchers as fast as possible.”

“Will do, sir,” he said, before turning to Maisey. “Madam, it was nice to meet you.”

“You too,” she said, her voice pensive and quiet.

“Bye Harlan, have a nice day. Say hello to Joy and kiss the kids for me, okay?”

“You got it, Jesse,” he said, hugging me and giving Maisey a nod before walking out.

I turned back to her and began to stand up, reaching for the crutches.

“You don’t look like you’re in too much pain,” she said.

“Don’t I?” I said, feigning a quick wince.

“Not at all,” she said.

“Well, I am. In case you forgot, I was hit by a damn car. Besides, it’ll be much more comfortable if we work here, don’t you think?”

“We have the most modern, comfortable facility at Steadman Hawkins,” she said, standing in front of me with her hands on her hips, as she watched me struggle with the crutches.

“Yes, but does it have this view?” I said, gesturing towards the balcony.

She turned and blinked when she saw the mountains looming large in the distance, the city of Denver sprawled below us.

“No, it doesn’t,” she admitted. “This is a beautiful place, Jesse. You’ve done well for yourself, haven’t you?”

“Better in some ways than in others… I also have a place in the country out near Ft. Collins, actually. If that appeals to you more, we could go there.”

“No, this is fine,” she said, turning back to me. “I guess we can work here for a few days. You still have to go to Steadman for aquatic therapy.”

“I have a hot tub out on the balcony and there’s a pool downstairs,” I replied, smiling at her. The sun was streaming in through the windows behind her, light glowing through her curls that created a shimmering effect. It was mesmerizing. Her black hair hadn’t greyed a bit, she didn’t seem to have one wrinkle on her face, and her body was curvy but tight and toned. I raked my eyes down her body, drinking in her beauty slowly. She stood watching me, her arms crossed across her chest.

“You have an answer for everything, don’t you?” she asked.

“I try to. Why don’t you sit down?” I said, gesturing to the wrap-around white leather sectional in the middle of the living room. “Let’s talk a bit and catch up. Can I get you something to drink? Beer? Wine?”

“It’s ten o’clock in the morning,” she replied.

“Mimosa then?” I asked. “Bloody Mary?”

She laughed and shook her head.

“Water,” she said.

I fumbled my way over to the kitchen and she stood watching with amusement.

“What?”

“You’re getting around a little better with those than you were the other day,” she said.

“Well, it’s not like I’m getting much help from you,” I said, sliding a bottle of water across the black quartz kitchen island between us.

“My job is to teach you how to be self-sufficient, as well as heal. Your job is to do things for yourself. Why would I do your job for you?” she quipped. For a moment, I even detected the traces of a smile. Maybe she was warming up to me after all.

“What’s the Children’s Heartlink Foundation?” she asked as she opened the bottle of water and took a long drink off of it. My cock began throbbing in my shorts as I watched her lips wrap around the neck of the bottle.

“What?” I asked, shaking the thought from my head.

“The man who was here, he mentioned the Children’s Heartlink Foundation,” Maisey replied.

“It’s a charity I started,” I said, completely distracted by her lips.

“A charity for kids?” she asked.

“Yeah, kids with heart problems. Do you remember my sister, Nina?”

“Yes, I do. How is she?” she asked.

“I guess you didn’t hear… She passed away during my sophomore year at Colorado State.”

Her eyes widened, and she looked at me with such sadness, I felt the urge to comfort her.

“I didn’t know, Jesse, I’m so sorry,” she said.

“Thank you,” I replied, Nina’s face rushing front and center in my mind. I missed her so much every day. “I always wonder what she’d be like now, you know? She was such a great kid.”

“She was, I remember. But… How did she…” she started to gently ask.

“She had a heart condition. We didn’t know until it was too late…”

“I’m so sorry, Jesse, that sounds awful.”

“It was. It was sudden. There was nothing that could be done.”

“I’m so sorry,” she said again, her eyes filling with tears as she looked at me. That was the last thing I wanted - to see Maisey cry. She was so perfect, so fucking beautiful, I never wanted her to be sad, ever.

“It’s okay, thank you,” I said. “Her loss was hard on me, but I’ve poured time and money into giving her a legacy. The charity raises money for research, outreach, and treatment for children across the country. We’re learning more about the causes of childhood heart disease every day. I’m hoping someday we can eradicate it in my sister’s name… Until then, the foundation has been helping fund as many studies and experimental treatments as we can.”

“That’s amazing,” she whispered, wiping her eyes.

“Thanks,” I said, hobbling over to her. I loved being close to her. She was like a museum painting that I wasn’t supposed to touch, and the rule breaking part of me was begging me to reach out and do just that.

To my surprise, she reached out and gently touched
my
arm.

“You were a good brother. I’m sure she’s looking down and appreciates what you’ve done,” she nodded solemnly, peering into my eyes.

I swallowed hard, her words shooting right through my heart.

“That’s all I can hope for,” I said, attempting a smile. “Nina deserves a piece of her to live on. She was such a caring girl. She wanted to save the world, and I think she’s going to do it… One patient at a time.”

We stood in the middle of the kitchen, me leaning against the island, trying to pretend my knee wasn’t killing me. I wanted to show her how strong I was. I wanted her to see how good I was doing.

I don’t even know why I cared, but I did. I wasn’t mad at her for standing me up all those years ago, hell, I’d never really been mad at all. It was more like I was worried about her. Here she was standing in front of me, a self-made woman in the flesh - it made me think about starting over. It made me think about possibilities that I hadn’t thought about in a long time. I’d given up the idea of ever settling down with anyone in my life. I wasn’t that kind of a man. Without a doubt, that was just not me.

So why was I having fantasies of running off into the sunset with this woman from my past? I chalked it up to being told no, and pushed away any stupid ideas of it being anything else. I wasn’t getting soft. It was the pain meds talking.

I was Jesse fucking Colorado. The girl in front of me might have been from my past, but she was still just a girl, right?

My cock and my heart continued to fight that debate the rest of the day. We started on my exercises and I let them have at it. In the meantime, I enjoyed the view.


T
hat feels really amazing today
,” I said, as Maisey ran her hands along the inside of my thigh, trailing up towards my groin. “It doesn’t hurt like it did yesterday.”

“Good to hear,” she muttered, digging into my muscle harder. We were on the floor of the living room, and I was lying on my back on a mat she’d brought with her. I didn’t want to embarrass both of us with another raging erection like I had clearly done yesterday, so I was trying to think about everything I could that was not related to how much I wanted to rip those scrubs off and take her right here on the living room floor.

I hated being disabled but it sure was nice having her run her hands all over my legs.

“Why aren’t you married?” I asked, broaching the subject again.

“Don’t know. Never really had time for relationships,” she shrugged.

“You should make time,” I replied.

“I should, huh? Well, what about you? I don’t see a Mrs. Colorado hanging around here.”

“I’m not the marrying kind, I guess,” I said. “In case you hadn’t noticed, I’ve been busy too.”

“The NFL can take a lot out of you, I’ve heard. I’ve seen it first hand in some of my other patients,” she said. “You gotta make sure it doesn’t take over your life.”

“Well, it tends to do that,” I laughed. “I really don’t know how the guys with families do it. I’m in a different city every week. This penthouse is empty more often than not…”

“That’s too bad,” she said, sliding her hands down to my knee and lightly massaging it. I winced in pain, but tried to hide it. She smiled up at me and massaged lighter.

“Sorry,” she said. “Your knee is going to be very sensitive for a long time.”

“Do you ever wish you could go back, Maisey?” I asked.

“Back where? To Ault?” she asked.

“Yeah. Back to those early days when we owned our lives, when we did whatever we wanted to do, with no responsibilities and nobody to answer to.”

“No, I don’t,” she said softly.

“I do. Everything was so simple then,” I replied.

“Was it?” she asked. “I don’t remember it being simple. I remember it being hard.”

“Well, you didn’t have the best family life, I remember.”

“I didn’t have a family life at all,” she replied.

“No, I guess not,” I said. I felt bad for bringing it up, because her eyes filled with the sadness I’d seen earlier. “But your life seems much better now. Is it?”

She smiled, her face lighting up with joy.

“I have a beautiful life now, yes.”

“Even without a man?” I teased.

“Yep, even without a man,” she said, laughing. “Not every woman needs a man in her life, you know.”

“No, but doesn’t it help?” I asked.

“Not always, no,” she replied, shaking her head and laughing. “Haven’t you heard of Ted Bundy?”

“Is that why you don’t date? You’re afraid of serial killers?”

“Not exactly,” she said, motioning for me to turn over. I flipped onto my stomach and she began rubbing the back of my thigh. Just like before, my cock rose to full attention. Shit. I’d have to turn over again eventually and I knew she’d see it again.

For fuck’s sake
, I thought,
my body reacts to her like I’m a fucking teenager again. I have no control over it when she’s around.

I let her work on me for a while without talking, her hands feeling like silk running over my skin, my cock aching and painful as I laid on top of it, trying desperately to ignore it in hopes that it wouldn’t embarrass me again.

Of course, my hoping got me nowhere. By the time she was finished I was so turned on I was ready to fucking explode.

“I need you to roll over,” Maisey said quietly.

“Maybe we can give it just a few minutes… My leg just started to ache again…” I replied, trying to keep my cool.

“That wasn’t a request,” Maisey responded, grabbing my side and pulling.

Common sense and modesty went right out the window. I let her roll me, my cock springing straight up in the air like a goddamned flagpole. Maisey’s cheeks went cherry red as she looked away.

“Sorry, I guess the back of my thighs is a sweet spot for me,” I replied.

“Again, that’s perfectly natural. No big deal,” she said.

“I’ve been told it’s a very big deal!”

“Ok, fine, it’s a big deal,” she said, laughing. The sound of her laughter was contagious and before long we were both laughing together. It felt amazing to finally laugh with her again. It felt like old times.

“Maisey, I’ve waited ten years to hear you laugh again,” I said quietly, reaching up and tangling a handful of her soft curls in my fingers. I gently pulled her head back, watching her eyes flutter.

Before I knew what I was doing, I sat up, put my hands on her cheeks and pulled her towards me, my laughing lips landing on hers. She was so warm, her lips even softer than I remembered them to be.

BOOK: RUNNING GAME (A SECOND CHANCE SPORTS ROMANCE)
5.18Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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