Wild For You, p.3J. C. Reed
Or maybe she’s still pissed.
“You brought along your own tea?” I ask.
“It’s a special blend.”
“What is it? Tea that promises your clients will walk over water?”
She turns around, and the defiant glint from last night is back in her eyes. “No, it’s just green tea. Organic. From protected forests.” She leans forward, leaning against the counter, and I can’t help but throw a fleeting look at her breasts. “Did you know that harvesting tea often involves child labor and slavery?”
“No, but enlighten me,” I say sarcastically.
“You’re not interested in hearing more?”
I shrug. “You want me to care what happened out there while I was in a wheelchair? While I could still end up in a wheelchair? I’m sorry, but I don’t give a fuck.” Silence fills the air, and I realize that my comment was a bit harsh. Of course, I care what happens in the world, which is why I support several charities. I just don’t need to be reminded that the world’s one fucked-up place in general.
“You want some?” I ask and take a bite of my ham and cheese sandwich, my gaze brushing over her disheveled hair and the flash of nerves flickering in her blue eyes.
“No, thank you.”
“You don’t eat?” Without waiting for her reply I push a sandwich toward her and watch as she gazes at it longingly. Our brief interaction last night had her running for her bedroom, meaning she probably skipped dinner. I feel bad, but on the other hand I can’t be friendly to her or else she’ll want to hang around to ‘help’ me.
I don’t need anyone’s help.
“I’m fine,” she mumbles.
“Come on. Take a bite. I promise it’s not poisoned.” My comment doesn’t garner me the smile or giggle I expected.
I expect her to decline again, when she grabs the sandwich and takes a ginger bite, chewing slowly.
She really wants this to work out.
That has to be the only reasonable explanation why she’s not leaving.
Or she needs the money. Desperately.
Taking a sip of my coffee, I realize I can’t remember whether she told me her name last night. For some reason, it bugs me just as much as the fact that my sexual innuendo didn’t render the response I would have expected. Instead of melting her panties, it just made her turn a few degrees colder in the blink of an eye.
“Care to introduce yourself since you seem keen on living in my house?” I raise a brow and cock a smile. But she doesn’t seem to get my attempt at infusing humor into the situation.
“I’m not keen on living in your house at all.” She puts her sandwich down on the counter and her back goes rigid, pushing her breasts into focus. “It’s my job to be here, with my patient.”
“Why are you doing it? Staying, I mean. There are plenty of other clients to choose from.” I deliberately use the word ‘client’ not ‘patient.’
“The greatest reward for me is to see progress in my patients.” She emphasizes the last word.
“Do I happen to be a challenge for you?”
Her gaze meets mine with a force I never thought I’d find in a woman. “Yes. If you put it that way, absolutely.”
I can’t help staring at them…her breasts. How would they feel in my hands? I might not get much action these days, but I’m a man, after all. And I’m not blind. They look amazing in spite of the baggy shirt she’s wearing.
“How many patients have you helped to walk?” I ask, barely able to pry my gaze off her chest.
“Are you asking me for my progress chart?”
“If you have it laying around, that’d be great. I’d love to have a look at it.” Among other things.
She turns her back to me again as she pours hot water into a cup. “You’d be my twenty-sixth patient.”
“So few?” I raise my brows in mock ridicule.
“Who’ve learned to walk again.” She throws me a cold glance. “Do you have any idea how much time I put into my job, Mr. Boyd? I’m asking because you’re sending out the distinct message that you think I’m not taking this seriously.”
“I’ll pay you good money to leave.”
She cocks her head to the side. “Don’t do that. I’m not going home, not before I’ve seen you walk. And I promise you will one day. Even if I have to force you, I will.” Her tone is resolute. She probably believes her own promise. I wish I could say the same about me.
“I still don’t know your name. I’m not sure I feel comfortable with a stranger living in my house,” I say, eager to change the subject.
“I tried to introduce myself and you brushed me off, Mr. Boyd.” She pushes her hair back.
Little Miss Prissy thinks she can talk back.
When I ask a question, I demand an answer;
I always get an answer.
It’s as simple as that.
“Okay.” I shrug. “Then let’s call you ‘sunshine.’”
“I’m not your sunshine.”
“Absolutely not.” Her eyes narrow and a glint of anger flashes in them. “It’s Erin.”
“You don’t look like an Erin.”
“No? What do I look like?”
She has a short fuse. I can’t help but wonder whether she’s as fiery in bed as she is outside of it.
The thought sends a rush of blood to my dick. My jeans tighten visibly. But even if I wanted to hide the bulge, the cast around my leg makes it impossible to shift position.
“Birdy.” I press my mouth into a tight line to suppress a grin.
“Don’t call me that.” Her voice is sharp, on edge. Flashes of anger flicker in her eyes. She looks as though she’s about to snap my head off, which turns me on even more.
“Why not? Don’t you like the word, the implication of it, or is it reserved for someone else?”
“I—” Her gaze darts around the kitchen as she struggles for words. Her expression is cagey, but her emotions are written all over her face. “Because it used to be my nickname.”
“Yeah, I don’t want you to call me that. Ever. It’s Erin. Please.”
Her blue eyes fill with moisture. She turns her head away, but not in time to hide the pain that pours from her.
“If you don’t mind, I’d like to start our first session. I’ll prepare the guestroom,” she mumbles.
“I like the sound of that. You’ll find fresh linens in the cupboard in the hall.”
“You may call that flirting; I call it sexual harassment. Now, drink up your coffee. We’re beginning in ten.”
“Minutes, Mr. Boyd.” She exhales a long, exasperated breath that makes her chest heave. I smile, unable to help myself.
“What if I’m not ready by then?”
“Then we’ll be having a problem,” Erin says. “Your father—”
“—is paying you. Got it the first couple of times you mentioned it. He’s paying you to put up with my shit.”
“Good. Now that that’s sorted out, let’s begin.” She’s not even trying to pretend otherwise. Turning sharply on her heels, she heads for the door, calling over her shoulder, “We’ll do it in the living room, then.”
“You realize the words ‘We’ll do it’ are sending mixed messages, right? You may think I’m flirting, but I call it working with what you’re giving me. I would be careful how you talk to your patients. Or else—”
She spins back to me, her eyes two fiery pits. “Or else?”
I open my mouth to proclaim that I don’t mind the living room because I have a very comfortable sofa that’s suitable for any position she might desire. But something stops me. Clearly, she’s not the flirty kind. Or she’s not over the breakup of her last relationship. Whatever it is, there’s something about her that suddenly kills my mood to further wind her up.
“Or nothing.” I push the remnants of my sandwich into my mouth and chew slow
What the hell?
She might not be the type I usually go for, but no woman is ever off-limits… considering the circumstances. The circumstances being the three, five-hour surgeries I had to endure, followed by the steel implant in my bone, then the cast on my foot rendering me glued to this house for months.
Her glance remains fixed on me for a second too long. Without another word, she turns around and leaves.
But I caught the fleeting glance.
I know that sparkle in her eyes.
The longing. The passion. The hunger.
She’s actually attracted to me.
She knows the impact my accident had on my sex life, and she’s still attracted.
It’s not like I haven’t been horny. My right hand hasn’t seen so much action since high school. But I can’t call any of the numbers stored in my phone. Madison Creek is my home—my private retreat from my hectic lifestyle back in Chicago.
None of my conquests have ever seen the inside of this house, and that’s exactly the way I’d like to keep it. I don’t need anyone invading my private space—neither a woman, nor the media.
I won’t let the paparazzi enter my real life to get to know the real me.
And there’s also the fact that I’m not comfortable with the world knowing how hard the accident really hit me. It looked bad enough on screen. But the reality is much worse.
There are days when only prescribed painkillers could make the pain bearable, but I refuse to take them. I never did in the past, and I’m not about to start now. It’s a matter of regaining some of the control I used to have over my life.
The bottle of pills on my nightstand used to remind me of what I’d lost every hour of every day—before I tossed them in the bin. Erin’s presence has a similar effect on me, which is why she has to leave.
Only if she weren’t…
“So damn hot,” I mumble. She’s literally a few doors down, and the tightness in my pants just won’t let me forget it.
Not that I’m planning to invite her into my bed. As things stand, it’s all pretty much a diversion to waste my days…until I can get back on that bull again.
In spite of the banter we’ve been having I’m not going to deviate from my plan to make her stay unbearable for her.
The plan is to push her buttons as much as I can. Making her leave shouldn’t be too hard. We’ve barely spent ten minutes together and I already have her fuming. It’s only a matter of time before she snaps.
This is going to be easy.
My property’s big enough to avoid her for a week. Ignoring the pain, I enter my office through the glass sliding door overlooking a spot of the backyard that is hidden from view from the living room. Even if Erin comes looking for me, I’m pretty sure she won’t be taking a stroll outside through the bushes. They all think I’m useless on crutches, which is why my father and annoying brother, Kellan, keep sending people to look after me. She might be a professional, but she’s just like the rest who think I can’t regain the movement in my leg on my own.
My gear’s set up in the living room—two sports balls, a few colourful bands, and fluffy towels. It may not sound like much, but that’s all I’ll need to get Cash’s muscles working. And from the looks of it, there’s plenty of those to work with. After his comments, I’ve decided to steer clear of the guest room and the fancy equipment before he gets the wrong idea.
I’m waiting on the soft leather sofa; my fingers tapping impatiently on my thigh.
Cash was supposed to join me forty-seven minutes ago. Either he’s taking really long in the bathroom or he’s decided to stand me up.
For the sake of our professional relationship, I hope it’s not the latter.
A grown-up can’t possibly be so defiant and rude.
Sighing, I get up and head for his bedroom, then press my ear against the closed door to listen.
Has he gone back to bed?
I crack the door open, almost expecting his full wrath combined with plenty of shouting to get out of his room. But he’s not here. The room looks tidy, the bed’s made—which is so unlike every man I’ve ever met. And in particular, one who can barely move.
So, where is he?
A guy limping on crutches can’t get very far.
I search each room, not skipping the bathroom, then head outside.
He’s on the porch, sprawled on a sun lounger. A hat is drawn on his face and casts a dark shadow on his midday stubble, and I can’t help but wonder whether he skipped shaving last night and this morning.
He’s changed out of his jeans into a pair of black shorts that are pulled a little lower than necessary. His abdomen is all rows of hard muscles and smooth, tanned skin. No sign of a shirt. For a guy who can’t lift weights in his current state, he’s in great shape.
His muscles are in perfect shape. I appreciate that as a professional who’ll have to work with those muscles.
As a woman—
My mouth goes dry as I gaze past his broad chest to the happy trail leading to a perfect V. A hint of dark hair spreads down to the generous bulge in his shorts. Every single inch of his skin looks as though it’s been carved from perfection. I’m tempted to trail my finger down his hard abdomen to find out whether he’d shiver under the soft touch.
But I don’t.
Neither in my fantasies, nor in my dreams. And particularly not now, during working hours.
I’ll reserve this delicious image for much later, once I get the job done.
Which I intend to do…with or without his cooperation.
I inch closer, making sure to make myself heard. He doesn’t stir.
Is he really sleeping? Or plain ignoring me?
Frowning, I touch his shoulder, avoiding gawking at the rows of rippling muscles adorning his abdomen or the generous bulge that seems to fascinate me way more than it should.
With lightning speed, Cash’s hand goes around my wrist and I topple forward onto the lounger, right on top of him. His other hand circles around my back, pushing me gently into him.
His good leg lifts up to part mine. His sun-kissed skin is hot against mine. His face is inches away from me, his green eyes shimmering with lust. I open my mouth to protest, but he’s holding me so close he’s squeezing all the air out of me.
My brain screams at me to jump up, put some professional distance between us. But all I can do is stare into those hypnotic eyes, my anger growing at the irritating grin on his face.
Or maybe I’m angry at the fact that my nipples are straining against the fabric of my bra, eager to spill into his willing hands. My core pulses to life as waves of want shoot through veins, reacting to his masculinity.
How can someone with a cast on his foot move so fast?
And most importantly, what the hell is he doing to me?
“You could have pulled a muscle.” I try to scramble to my feet, but his grip tightens, keeping me glued to his chest.
“Sorry, reflex,” Cash says, his hot breath caressing my lips.
“Nice attempt.” I turn away sharply before my labored breathing can betray the effect he’s having on my body. My gaze settles on his hand gripping my wrist, and I narrow my eyes in the hope he’ll get the message.
“No, really.” He lets go off my hand, then goes on to turn on top of me in order to push up to his feet, taking all the time in the world. Well, more like stumbles up while making sure at some point his entire body is pressed into me, his weight keeping me glued in place.
It feels so good I almost forget to breathe.
All my senses are heightened, enjoying the moment, trying to prolong it. I bite my lip hard to regain my composure, but it’s not doing the trick.
Cash doesn’t try to show it, but I can tell his leg’s hurting him. In spite his discomfort, I feel the bulge between my legs, pressed into me, and somethi
My mouth goes dry, and all my lady parts clench in anticipation of his next move.
You did it on purpose, I want to say, and yet I keep staring at him, my mushy brain rendered useless. His mouth is so close I can feel his hot breath on my lips. Heat swirls through my body, creating an exquisite ache that begs for his touch.
A part of me wishes he’d just put some distance between us before he realizes that I want him…badly. And then there’s the tiny voice in my head that tells me to make a move and go for it because, clearly, Cash isn’t adverse to the idea, either. I’ve had my fair share of groping. It comes with the job description, and I’ve always warded it off without paying it much attention.
With Cash it’s different. It doesn’t feel like groping.
It doesn’t feel like he’s mistaking my professional touch for affection. It also doesn’t feel like he’s trying to prove to himself that he still has what it takes to attract women.
It feels like he’s into me for the sake of me, and under different circumstances I’d probably allow myself to explore this crazy sexual attraction—
I shake my head.
Don’t even go there.
At last, with a low, sexy groan, Cash presses his hand into the lounger, inches from my hip, and straightens to his feet, his eyes lingering on me.
The bit of distance he’s just put between us is enough for my brain to regain its marbles.
“What did you do that for?” I ask breathily.
“Sorry. It was an honest mistake.” Cash winks, the gesture betraying his real intentions.
“And you expect me to believe that?” I cross my arms over my chest, mostly to cover the tell-tale signs of my arousal. “Mr. Boyd, I’m not your hooker. I’m your physical therapist, in case you still didn’t get the message. If you need someone to take care of your private needs, I’ll be happy to call the appropriate number. But the stunt you just pulled is dangerous. You could have torn a muscle, or worse.”
“I’m always careful,” Cash mumbles.
I sigh, ignoring the sudden need to roll my eyes. “I bet you said the same thing before you fell off that bull.”
Wild For You by J. C. Reed / History & Fiction have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes