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Wild for you, p.2
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       Wild For You, p.2

           J. C. Reed
 
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  I wince as I push to my feet, unsure how to balance my weight. The cast I’m wearing has been an inconvenience, to say the least. But more so it’s been a hindrance. I can’t turn up at my own club shuffling on crutches and ruin the reputation I’ve worked my ass off to build. So, I have to rely on my most-trusted employees to ensure my business stays ahead of the competition.

  I speed-dial my PA, Amanda, and bark into the phone, “The slogan’s crap. Arrange a video chat with the branding department first thing tomorrow morning.” With that, I hang up.

  Amanda will know what to do. She’s been with me right from the beginning, when I was just a cowboy with big aspirations and a hundred grand borrowed from his rock star brother. Kellan left the big business behind to settle for the quiet life Montana has to offer. I decided to leave Montana behind for the glitzy life my string of clubs has to offer.

  All was well…until that bull threw me off and ruined my life.

  Shuffling out of my office, I head for the kitchen at the pace of a snail. I see her before she sees me. She’s leaning against the doorframe, her hand gingerly clasped around the doorknob, black pants hugging the curves of her tight little ass as she peers into one of the guestrooms. Her delicate neck is exposed—all milky skin that’s begging to be held down as you ride her.

  From behind, she looks tiny, but there’s something in her determined stance that instantly tells me she’s not like the others my annoying family has hired so far. That would worry me under usual circumstances, but all I can do is stare at that ass of hers, mentally undressing it.

  My dick jumps to life, eager to get some much-needed action.

  I’ve no idea who she is, just that my meddling family must have hired a new physical therapist.

  I can’t help but stare. Damn, it’s been too long since I’ve caught a glimpse of someone like her.

  This leg injury has been more than an inconvenience. In the months since the accident, I’ve barely left the house to get fresh air, let alone go in search of my next conquest. It sure helped that my past therapists weren’t exactly fuckable.

  I don’t know if I should thank my father for practically serving a pretty little thing to me on a silver platter, or stop taking his calls for the next two years.

  I try to turn away before she can spy me, but it’s too late.

  Closing the door, she spins on her heels, and our eyes connect. They’re blue and wide and sparkle with the kind of intelligence I don’t usually go for in a woman. For a moment, there’s confusion written on her face, which is quickly succeeded by scorn as she brushes her brown hair out of her eyes and takes a step forward.

  Ah, she didn’t take too kindly to my little note, which was supposed to be part joke, part scare off tactic.

  “Mr. Boyd? I’m Erin Stone, your new physical therapist.”

  She inches toward me, the soles of her flat sandals slapping against the tile floor. She’s moving with the agility of someone who knows how to use her body, but it’s her eyes that have my heart beating just a little bit faster.

  I attribute it to the sudden blood flow to the lower parts of my body.

  “I see you didn’t get the memo.” I cross my arms over my chest, ignoring the tightness in my pants.

  “Actually, I did, but I’ve never been one to follow orders, which apparently you like to give, Mr. Boyd.” She takes another step forward. Her head is thrown back so she can look all the way up. She should be unsettled by my height, and yet all I can find in her eyes is more determination. “You shouldn’t have wasted your breath writing the note you left on my bed because I’m not your employee. You don’t know me. You don’t get to tell me what to do. And you most certainly won’t intimidate me by being a jerk. I’ve seen bigger.” Maybe it’s my imagination, but I swear her glance brushes the front of my pants, hovering there for a moment too long. Her tongue flicks across her lower lip.

  I want to bite that lip. I want to draw it between my teeth while I entangle my hands in her hair. I want to pull her head back, leaving her to my mercy, as I run my tongue over her soft skin, making her quiver for more.

  But I do none of those things. Instead, I regard her with the kind of arrogance I’ve reserved for pretty much everyone who’s been trying to tell me what to do the last few months.

  “Everyone knows that size is only a number. It’s what you make of it that counts. I can offer both. Now, please, go away.” I shoot her another cold gaze and hop down the hall into my office as fast as my crutches and the pain in my leg and hip will allow me, leaving her staring after me.

  That shut her right up.

  As I slam the door, I realize I never even asked to see her résumé. She could be a criminal who’s benefitting from an unlocked front door and the fact that everyone in town knows I go through therapists like some people go through underwear.

  Wouldn’t that be a nice change in an otherwise dull day?

  The thought brings a smile to my face. The first in months.

  I plop down on the sofa with a cuss word lodged in my throat.

  Fuck, it’s been months and my leg’s still hurting like a bitch.

  Right after the fall I lost consciousness and can’t remember anything. But I’ve watched the video over and over again. What that bull did to me wasn’t a pretty sight. I still cringe whenever I watch his horns lift me up and toss me through the air like a rag doll, a moment before people rush to distract the bull.

  I boot up my laptop and replay the video for the umpteenth time. My face is in full view, bruised and bloodied; my body is motionless, the leg bent at an unnatural angle. If it wasn’t me in the video, I’d think the guy was dead.

  It’s frightening to see, and that’s not a feeling I’m accustomed to, which is what’s kept me angry ever since I made it out of the hospital and Kellan let me watch my last performance.

  He shouldn’t have…because scrutinizing myself over and over again is pretty much all I can do all day long, if only to torture myself for the stupid mistake I made.

  Even a rookie would have known better than to spend the previous night with some meaningless chick rather than get the sleep that would have turned me into the bull riding world champ I should be.

  If I had stayed in my hotel room like Kellan and Ryder instructed, I wouldn’t have lost focus. I would be back in Las Vegas or NYC or Chicago, back in business, back doing what I’m known for.

  Manage my famous Club 69 empire and earn big bucks.

  The knowledge stings, but what stings even more is the reproach and worry I keep seeing in my family’s eyes.

  “Cash Boyd, the family’s screw-up,” I mumble and close the video, ready to get back to work, if only to forget my father’s words for a few hours.

  But words aren’t forgotten easily. And so they keep lingering at the back of my mind as I go through the rows of numbers on the spreadsheets, matching up expenses and profits.

  I may be a screw-up, but at least I’m the kind who knows how to turn it into serious money.

  Chapter Three

  Erin

  According to my file, Cash Boyd is twenty-eight years old and was in perfect health up until his accident, which left his shoulder and hip dislocated, his collarbone shattered, and the bones in his right leg broken in several places. He spent a few weeks in a hospital, undergoing three surgeries that left him in pain but with excellent prospects of making a full recovery.

  The swelling retreated quickly, but with no physical therapy, he’s made no progress.

  That doesn’t come as a surprise. Given his age and the hostility he showed earlier today, it looks like he’s someone who’s accustomed to always having his own way. I’ve seen it before. I’ve worked with patients like him. He’s rejecting everyone’s help because he thinks he can do it alone, on his own terms.

  In this respect, he’s stubborn as a mule.

  The trouble is, the more time passes, the harder it gets to regain full mobility.

  “How’s the new job?” Debra asks.
r />   “Fine.” My voice sounds a bit too high-pitched as I sit down on my bed, cradling my phone between my chin and my shoulder blade.

  The truth is, Cash Boyd in real life is even worse than on paper. If I don’t change the subject soon, Debra will pick up on it. The last thing I want is to admit to my sister that she was right when she warned me not to take this job. “The house is great. And the weather’s great.”

  “How’s your new patient?”

  I cringe.

  Of course.

  She had to ask.

  How to describe Cash Boyd in words that don’t include ‘jerk,’ ‘jackass,’ and ‘arrogant prick?’

  And definitely leave out ‘fuck, he’s hot.’

  “I think he’s a hermit. Very private.” I settle against the pillows and tuck my legs beneath me, unsure whether to smile or groan at the realization that that’s not the only thing Cash Boyd is.

  Cash Boyd is more like the kind of eye candy you invite into your bed to fuck your brains out. And then you tell him to chuck his phone number into the nearest dumpster because guys like him aren’t called ‘heartbreakers’ for no reason.

  Trust me, been there, done that.

  Never again.

  “Oh? In what way?” Debra’s voice betrays none of her emotions, which is a sure sign that she’s listening intently, ready to make up her own mind and judge the hell out of you if you reveal too much.

  “Well.” I tuck a strand of hair behind my ear as I choose my words carefully. “He’s not exactly the kind who wants the help of a therapist. The next few months will be a bit challenging. But don’t worry. I know what I’m doing. This is going to look great on my résumé. And I need the money.”

  Not to mention the thousands of air miles between Chicago and Montana.

  “Erin.” Heavy pause. Thick waves of tension carry down the phone line, bringing with them all the guilt, accusation, and turmoil I thought I had left behind back home.

  “I’m fine,” I whisper and draw a silent breath, wondering whether my statement could be further from the truth.

  “Are you sure?”

  “Yes.” Another sharp breath.

  I can do this. Madison Creek is the right place for it. No one knows me here; no one will try to dig up my story.

  “Okay.” Debra’s voice betrays her doubt. If I were back home, she wouldn’t let me off the hook so easily. But thousands of miles, even for her, is too big of a distance to keep being pushy. We both know it. “You’ll call if you need anything?”

  “Yes,” I say, even though that’s a lie, too. Debra has her own family and set of problems. I could never add to her plate.

  “Anything at all, Erin. I mean it. That’s what sisters are for.”

  She says her goodbye. I breathe a sigh of relief as we disconnect. I have no answers for her questions because I have no answers for myself.

  I close my eyes and rest for a while, my cell pressed against my chest. It’s late evening when I make my way downstairs, expecting the kitchen to be empty.

  “I thought you were gone.” The low husk of Cash’s voice startles me.

  I press a hand against my chest and look up into his impossibly green eyes, expecting to find anger, challenge, anything but—

  Indifference.

  His gaze is so cold it freezes me to the core.

  “I—”

  I shiver involuntarily as my mind goes blank from the sudden onset of guilt.

  What’s there to feel guilty about?

  I may be unwanted, but I’m not an intruder.

  It’s a job. I’m being paid to help. He should be thankful for that, and yet he acts as though I’m the last person he wants around.

  “Believe it or not, you are my responsibility, and I take my responsibilities very seriously.” I raise my chin defiantly, which seems to slowly become a pattern around him. “Your father hired me, meaning I’ll leave when he asks me to.”

  “Is that so?” His mouth sets and his gaze brushes over me, moving from head to toe, though not in that lingering kind of way.

  He’s assessing me as though this is a job interview.

  I try to remember what he does when he’s not risking his life riding bulls, but can’t remember.

  Dammit!

  I should have Googled him, find out the kind of person he is before I accepted this job. But the last few months weren’t exactly kind to me.

  “Maybe I don’t look like much, but I’m one of the best at what I do.”

  “What is it that you do—what did you say your name was?” He leans into the kitchen counter and crosses his arms over his broad chest, his muscles rippling beneath his shirt, straining the seams. There’s a gleam of pain in his eyes, which he hides just as quickly as it appeared.

  Under usual circumstances, I would show sympathy. But not today.

  The guy couldn’t even be bothered to remember my name!

  “I’m your new physical therapist.” I emphasize the last word just in case he thinks I’m the help or something. And if he wants to know my name he’ll have to ask again.

  “So, you’re the one who’ll rub my back and tuck me into bed at night.” His cold glare breaks in favor of a leering smile. “I bet that’s not all you’re good at.”

  Now we’ve entered familiar territory.

  What is it with guys and the sexual innuendoes when they confuse my job description with someone who works in a massage parlor?

  “I’m here to help you get back on your feet, not get you off, Mr. Boyd. There definitely won’t be any happy endings. Bedwise, that is.”

  His lips twitch. “Bedwise? Is that even a word?”

  “It is now.” My eyes throw daggers. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to have any effect on his stupid grin. “If you’re looking for a hooker, I’ll be happy to call one for you. Should you try anything—”

  “Relax, sweetheart,” Cash says, cutting me off. “I don’t ever impose on a woman. They usually impose on me.”

  Looking at him, I can imagine why.

  His deep laughter travels through my abdomen, leaving a tight sensation behind.

  “I’m glad we’ve established that,” I say a bit too breathily. “We’ll be starting tomorrow. Eight a.m. sharp. Make sure to wear something comfortable. I’m fair but hard, and have no doubt that I’ll get you back to your old self in an appropriate amount of time.”

  His brows shoot up, and his eyes twinkle with amusement. “I can’t wait to find out what your hands are capable of.”

  I don’t know why his words make me blush. Maybe it’s the glint in his eyes or the leery look—whatever it is, I feel unhinged in a strange way, as though someone very sexy has just whispered into my ear all the things he’d like to do to me tonight.

  “You know what, make it seven a.m.,” I mumble and get out without so much as a glance over my shoulder.

  But I can hear him mumble something like, “I’m usually up at six.”

  * * *

  ***

  * * *

  Once I’m back in my room, I make sure to lock the door and drop onto my bed, burying my head in the lavender-scented pillows.

  What have I gotten myself into?

  Cash Boyd is easily the hottest guy I’ve ever met.

  He’s tall with a body chiseled in pure perfection. His green eyes are devoid of emotion but shimmer with intelligence, as though everything he says and does is part of a carefully planned agenda.

  His huge home and upscale furnishing scream money. I’m not naïve enough to think he’s just a stupid bull rider with no brains and no aspirations. But I’m also not foolish enough to want to know more about him or his personal life.

  Instead of Googling him, I pull out his medical file to have another peek at it as I prepare my therapy plan and munch on the spare chocolate bar I always carry in my handbag.

  I refuse to let his pure, raw sexiness stop me from doing my job.

  I refuse to become weak.

  The sooner I’ve gotten him to the p
oint where he can walk without those crutches, the sooner I can leave and forget him.

  That’s the plan, and I never deviate from my plans.

  Chapter Four

  Cash

  It’s early morning when I head into the kitchen. Last night’s encounter with my new physical therapist has left me in a strangely good mood. There’s something about her eyes and the stubbornness displayed in them that amuses me.

  It’s been so long since a woman’s challenged me the way she does.

  I’m not used to women taking charge. At least not outside of the bedroom.

  And then there’s also the fact that she’s crazy attractive. It’s been too long since I’ve actually had to chase a woman.

  Too long since I felt the buzz, the thrill of the chase, the satisfaction that comes with conquering her. Whatever this is, it’s a nice change from my usual routine.

  She didn’t like the memo, but her reaction to it was surprisingly calm. It was supposed to drive her away. That she’s decided to stay and put up with me is baffling.

  When the door swings open, I turn around to regard her with a fake scowl on my face.

  “Good morning to you, too, Mr. Boyd.” She frowns when I say nothing.

  What’s with the Mr. Boyd stuff?

  I’m still watching her as she walks past me to get to the sink. She’s dressed in the same boring attire as last night, but in the light of day she looks even more fragile. Usually, I don’t pay attention to such banalities, but her haunted look stops me from appreciating the generous swell of her breasts clearly contoured beneath her matronly top.

  “Coffee?” I point to the coffee maker.

  “No, thank you. I was just getting a cup of tea,” she mumbles, avoiding my roaming gaze. I notice the box she’s carrying in her hand and raise my brows, waiting for her to explain.

  Ignoring me, she goes on to boil water. But her tense shoulders reveal her nervousness around me.

 
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