Wild For You, p.6J. C. Reed
That shuts her up for a few seconds. I can almost hear her mind working, considering my words.
“Fine,” she calls out eventually.
I strain to make sense of the shuffling sounds behind the door. After what feels like an eternity, the door swings open and Erin dashes past me, making sure not to get too close.
“You’re leaving?” I ask. “Like, really leaving?”
She comes to a halt near the door, which is as far away from me as my room allows. “Did I mention you’re a prick?”
“You did.” I wink. “Can’t say I agree with you, but I’m happy to play along.”
“I’m not leaving,” she says, jutting out her chin. “Not until I’ve found you the help which I’m not even sure you deserve. And your kisses suck. You’re the worst kisser in the whole world.”
“I would believe you if you weren’t so wet.” My lips curl upward at the shade of red covering her cheeks. “You thought I wouldn’t notice? Your pussy never lies. In fact, I can still smell you on my fingers.”
To prove my point, I lift my fingers and take a whiff, then proceed to run my tongue over my fingertips. “You even taste like you’re hot for me.”
She turns a brighter shade of red, if that’s even possible.
“Prick.” With that, she slams the door behind her.
Laughing, I drop onto my bed.
Making out with Cash Boyd was never part of the plan. I don’t know why I let him persuade me into doing it. In fact, I’m pretty sure he tricked me.
Groaning, I sink onto my bed and press a pillow against my face.
Let’s be honest.
No one forced me into doing it. It was my own free will. I even enjoyed myself way more than I should have, which is why I was wet.
I can’t believe the prick noticed it. I can’t believe he even licked my juices off his fingers. The mere thought of Cash’s tongue between my legs leaves me breathless with anticipation and want.
We were so close to doing way more than a little bit of tongue acrobatics. It took every ounce of my willpower to tear myself away from his hard body. The only thing that kept me from going all the way was the image of Cash’s father.
What would Trent think if I fucked his son?
How would I feel if I broke my own rules and engaged in bedsheet activities with my client?
Granted, he’s only half my client, given that he’s not paying me. But still.
Even if he’s not the one paying me, would it be enough to revoke my license as a therapist? Maybe not, but our patient-to-therapist relationship would be tarnished, and I would have to move back to Chicago. Return to my tiny apartment. To the rush and the excitement that comes with city life.
There would be another job. Another patient while Cash would disappear from my life.
My throat chokes up.
He’ll disappear anyway, which is exactly what I want.
The sooner, I’m gone, the better. While I might have enjoyed his touch way more than I should have, his motivations are clouded by his injury. He’s like every other patient in his age group who’s spending a little too much time with his female therapist.
Which is why I can’t let the lines blur, why I can’t let my own desire meddle with my job.
Cash is easily the hottest guy I’ve ever met, but he’s still my patient.
There is an attraction between us. No doubt about that. But I can see that this attraction’s been a little too much on my mind lately, it might just complicate my job to the point of rendering me unable to fulfill my duties.
He’s going to need more help than I can offer him if my mind’s clouded and we can’t keep a professional distance.
Prick or not, Cash’s recovery needs to remain my priority. Besides, I won’t let his father down.
Cash might think he has his life in working order, that just because he can partly walk, he’ll get back to his old self on his own. But he doesn’t realize that sooner or later, without therapy, his injuries will gain the upper hand.
His muscles will weaken, making him prone to more injury. Eventually, making a full recovery will become impossible.
I won’t let that happen.
Having made up my mind, I type a quick text message on my cell phone, ready to take the next step that’s best for him.
* * *
* * *
The phone flashes with a photo of Ally’s grimacing face almost instantly. I take the video call on the second ring.
“You want me to do what?” Ally’s brown hair is in disarray, her gaze harried as usual, like she already has one foot headed out the door. We’ve been best friends for ages, even went to school together and walked down the same career path. But while I’m the one who’s devoted her entire life to my job, she has never seen it as her passion, which is why I can rely on her not to be too tied down to jump in for me at the last minute.
“I want you to take the next flight to Montana and do this job,” I say matter-of-factly.
Her eyes narrow. “Why? I thought you were excited about it. What changed?”
“Because—” I cringe inwardly. Ally’s the one person I’ve never lied to, mostly because she’s always had my back. She never judges, which is why I know I’m safe revealing the truth. But that doesn’t make speaking it out loud any easier. “We made out.”
Peering at the closed door, I lower my voice. “I made out with my patient.”
“You did what?” She doesn’t just sound genuinely shocked; she also looks the part. Who could blame her? As a physical therapist that’s the one thing you never, ever do. It’s textbook knowledge.
“I know.” I wince. “It’s just that he’s hot and I don’t know what’s gotten into me. I—” I break off because I know exactly what’s gotten into me.
Six-foot-three of hard muscles, an accent that could whisper dirty things into my ear all night, and smoldering green eyes I want to peer into as I moan his name.
“I can’t help you.” Ally jerks me out of my reverie.
“You can’t?” I ask, dumbfounded.
“I have this new job and—”
“Oh.” I stare at her face, unsure whether I’ve just heard her right.
“In fact, I’m headed out the door this minute. But call me if I can help you with anything else.”
She’s trying to wriggle her way out of it. I just know it from the way her gaze darts around, avoiding my eyes.
“Did I mention how much it pays?” I hurry to add before she hangs up on me.
Her expression doesn’t change. That’s when it dawns on me. Ally’s a city girl through and through. Relocating to Montana, if only for a short period of time, is probably the equivalent of relocating to Northern Alaska to her.
She shakes her head. “No. But like I said I—”
“You’re lying.” She is. I know it. “There’s no important job, is there, Ally? You just don’t want to fly down here.”
She looks so guilty, it’s almost comical.
“Sorry,” she mumbles. “But I’m sure you’ll do just fine. Just don’t get involved with the guy. Got to go. Love you.”
With that, she hangs up.
I stare at the black screen for a minute or two, unable to comprehend what just happened.
“Unbelievable,” I mutter, wondering who else I could call.
Ally was my best bet. I know a few fellow physical therapists, but I don’t trust any of them. If someone finds out that I made out with my patient, my license could be gone forever.
I can’t trust Cash not to spill the beans, either. He might do it out of spite, maybe not with the intention to hurt my career chances, but simply because he might not understand the implications of the situation.
“Unfuckingbelievable,” I repeat.
Looks like I’m stuck with Cash Boyd, whether I want to be here or not.
After my conversation with Ally, I decide to spend the rest of the day in my room, not least because I can’t trust my judgment around Cash Boyd.
A part of me can’t stop wondering what would have happened if I allowed more than just a kiss.
Would we have been able to stop?
Would he still have wanted me to leave?
No one’s ever asked me whether he could kiss me. Not the way Cash did, anyway, with forceful determination and the kind of desire that only managed to ignite my own flame of want. And certainly never a guy like him, who can make me feel discombobulated with a single glance.
I’ve also never enjoyed kissing a man as much as I’ve enjoyed kissing him, losing myself in the moment, forgetting the where and when. My mouth is still tingling whenever I press my fingers against my lips, as though he’s somehow seared himself into me, branding my body, preparing me for more to come.
I go to bed thinking of him, consumed by the memory of his knowing lips against mine, contrasted by the rough sensation of his stubble grazing my cheeks. I search for the quiet only sleep can provide, but his presence infiltrates even my dreams, haunting me, taunting me, punishing me for being so weak.
Even in my dreams, I want him. And after our kiss, I seem to want him even more.
The theoretical part of my brain tells me that I should have pushed him away. However, the chemical part of me, the one that gets all of my juices flowing, asks me to do the opposite. It’s the latter part that I fear most because it renders me unpredictable.
I spend the following morning gardening while chatting with Margaret, who’s just as eager for the company as I am, albeit for different reasons.
She isn’t just slowly turning into a nice diversion from my consuming thoughts about Cash, she’s also becoming a friend. Maybe because she reminds me of my dear, sweet Grandma with her good nature and non-inquisitive nature.
It’s early evening when I return from the greenhouse, my body tensing at hearing the angry voices echoing through the hall.
“I made myself clear that I don’t need help. I can manage on my own.” Cash’s voice booms from the kitchen, followed by clattering pots and cutlery.
Holding my breath, I tiptoe down the hall, unsure whether to turn around and give him privacy or storm in to make sure he’s all right.
“I’ve traveled all the way from Florida to see you. You don’t get to tell me whether I can help you or not, Cash Boyd.” The woman’s voice sounds just as angry and forceful. I flinch at the impact she has on me, even though I’m not even the target of her wrath.
She doesn’t sound like Margaret. Is it his girlfriend? Wife? I haven’t seen a ring on his finger, but that doesn’t mean a thing.
My heart gives a sharp pang at the thought of them fighting because of our kiss.
I’m such a slut.
“Fine. Suit yourself, Shannon. But I’m telling you—”
“Don’t you dare! I promised on your mother’s grave I’d make sure you boys don’t get into shit. And what you’re doing is beyond shit. It might even be the shittiest stunt you’ve pulled so far.”
“Leave my mother out of this,” Cash yells. “She would have known to—”
I flinch at the sound of a slap. I really hope they’re not hitting each other. The woman laughs, cutting him off. “She would have known to slap some wits into you for being an arrogant idiot, Cash. Getting on that bull was idiotic enough. But being a jerk about it and getting on everyone’s nerves by insisting that you don’t need help”—she pauses, emphasizing the last few words—“is the icing on the cake. Now get out of my way, or I’ll do as Lizzy would have done if she were still here. She might have let you use such a tone with her, but you’re not doing it with me. My sister’s probably thanking me from Heaven right now for teaching you some manners.”
Is she his aunt? I stare at the door, wondering.
Something clatters to the floor, the sound reverberating off the walls. Startled, I take a step back. An instant later, Cash storms out—well, more like stumbles out, his beautiful face a mask of annoyance and pain.
He barely acknowledges me as he hurries past with unsteady steps, his leg in a weird angle, mumbling something that sounds like, “Get that woman the hell out of my house.”
I stare after him as he turns the corner, wondering what’s going on. Should I get mixed up in this? Whomever he’s been fighting with, it’s none of my business, and yet it is because he’s my patient and I’m supposed to keep him focused on regaining the full mobility of his leg.
Which hasn’t been an easy task so far.
I don’t know how he did it, but Cash managed to avoid me for all of three days. I’ve been combing each and every room at least six times a day. He needs to begin his therapy. However, he’s never around, even though I could swear I’ve heard noises a few times.
I can only suspect he has a hidden spot somewhere I’m not aware of, just as Margaret told me.
I’ve no idea when and if he prepared himself anything to eat the last few days, but I sure as hell didn’t do it for him.
All I’ve been doing so far is setting up my gear in the morning, wait, and then wait some more. Then pack up again. Bang on his door. Call his name. Go for a walk to blow off some steam. Take a cold shower, because the hot water’s not working.
Rinse and repeat.
This drama has to end.
“Hi!” I peer through the open kitchen door at the blonde woman rummaging through the kitchen counters with the fury and speed of someone on a serious mission.
She looks younger than Margaret.
“Oh, hi. You must be Erin.” She slams the refrigerator door and turns to face me, the thin skin around her eyes wrinkling into countless fine lines as she shoots me a generous smile. In spite of the fact that she must be at least two decades older than me, she has a youthful flair about her. Wearing a black pencil skirt with a tight top and black stilettos, and with her hair curled, she looks like she’s about to head out to some office party. The tight top pushing her breasts almost up to her chin is most definitely helping with the youthful look.
I like her instantly, not least because she’s the only friendly face I’ve seen since Cash’s father and Margaret.
“I’m Shannon.” She pushes a hand with bright pink nail polish my way. As I’m reaching out to shake it, she grabs me in a quick but tight hug, which almost knocks the air out of my lungs.
Why can’t Cash be so friendly?
Then again, I’m not sure how I’d feel having his hard body pressed against mine again. The first time was enough to cause me a few hot dreams. And oh, that kiss…I wouldn’t mind repeating that experience.
“I’m Shannon,” she says and releases me. “Cash’s aunt.”
“I can come back another time,” I offer. “I wouldn’t want to be a nuisance.”
“No, silly. Stay!” She shakes her head and purses her lips. “You’re not a nuisance. That would be Cash. That boy will be the death of us all.” She shakes her head again.
I don’t want to point out that “that boy” is an adult male in his late twenties and from the looks of his house, very much in control of his life.
Then again, that’s exactly why I’m here.
“I was looking for you anyway,” she says. “Trent told me you arrived a week ago. I would have come sooner, but work has been busy. Life is busy. And Cash, he is a handful. I thought I’d give you some time to adjust to your new life because Cash isn’t exactly—”
She waves her hand in the air, leaving the rest unspoken, but despite the irritation reflected in the expression on her face, there’s a warmth to the way she says his name. “Let’s just say, he should be glad he isn’t my son.” She laughs, and her eyes flicker with warmth.
It’s obvious she cares about him a lot.
“I haven’t seen him around much,” I
“Doesn’t surprise me. That one’s always been up to something.”
Her response sparks my curiosity. “You’re his aunt, you say?”
She nods. “His mother and I were sisters. I would like to go over a few things with you if that’s okay?”
I nod my agreement and she motions for me to sit down at the mahogany dining table. She pours two cups of coffee, and then perches on the chair opposite from mine, pushing a cup toward me.
I take a sip of the frothy concoction and can’t help but guzzle down half the cup after days of no coffee because I couldn’t find the coffee maker. He’s most certainly hidden it to spite me.
“Where are you from?” Shannon resumes the conversation.
“Port Huron, Michigan. But I’ve spent most of my life in Chicago.” I force myself to set the cup down to look at her.
“Is that where your heart is, Erin?”
“That’s a strange question.” I laugh even though the question makes me uncomfortable.
“Maybe.” Her gaze sweeps around the kitchen. “You said Cash has been giving you trouble? What’s he been up to this time?”
“Sorry?” The sudden change in subject takes me off guard. It takes a few moments for her words to register. “He hasn’t been trouble. He’s managed to avoid me for days. Margaret thinks he has a secret bunker, but I believe there’s a hidden passageway or something inside his house, or how else could he possibly manage to sneak past me every day?” I laugh at the ridiculousness of my idea.
Her gaze pierces into me, assessing me. “What makes you think that?”
“Well,”—I hesitate—“for starters, I’ve been hearing noises, but then, when I head out—”
“He isn’t anywhere to be found.” Her lips purse. For a moment, her eyes shimmer with something, and I’m sure she’s about to divulge a secret. But the impression disappears quickly. “You know, my ex-husband, Trent’s brother, owned a construction company. That was before I moved to Florida. Anyway, he did all the refurbishing for Cash a few years ago. I could get you the blueprints.”
Wild For You by J. C. Reed / History & Fiction have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes