Thrown by a curve, p.20
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       Thrown by a Curve, p.20

         Part #5 of Play by Play series by Jaci Burton
Page 20

  Author: Jaci Burton

  No, he shouldn’t talk. He shouldn’t think, especially not about Alicia. If he thought about her, about her hands moving over his body, and about what he’d really like her hands to be doing, he’d end up getting hard.

  And if it wasn’t bad enough feeling her, he had to listen to her, to the sounds she made as she touched him. Just hearing her breathe turned him on.

  It sounded like sex, made him think about thrusting as she put force against his muscles. And when she exhaled . . .

  Jesus. He really had to stop mixing Alicia and sex together. This was what happened when his mind went blank and he relaxed.

  The music was pumping, but it wasn’t helping to take his mind off Alicia, her hands, and the sounds she made. If he could sing a note himself, he would, but that would only send her screaming from the room, so that was out.

  She leaned down to put a little pressure on his muscles. He caught a whiff of her perfume. No, not perfume. Soap or shampoo, maybe. Something citrusy. He sucked in a breath.

  She stopped. “Is that a rough spot?”

  He gritted his teeth. “No. I’m fine. ”

  She laid her palms flat and moved down his back, then up.

  “Talk to me, Alicia. ” Maybe if they carried on a conversation, he’d stop visualizing.

  “You shouldn’t be talking. You should be breathing. Deep, even breaths that’ll carry oxygen to your muscles. ”

  “I’m not talking. I want you to talk. ”

  She paused. “Is it so difficult for you to relax?”

  “Yeah. I like conversation. ”

  She let out a soft laugh. “Okay. What do you want to talk about?”

  “I don’t know. I know about Gavin since we play together. Is that how you got interested in sports medicine?”

  “Sort of. I watched a lot of sports when I was younger, obviously. The family is entrenched in sports with Cole and my cousin Mick playing football, and Gavin in baseball. Even the girls always played sports. ”

  “The girls?”

  “My cousin Jenna and I. ”

  “What sports did you play?”

  “I was on the dance team. And I played tennis and golf. ”

  He lifted his head and looked at her. “You like golf?”

  “I can play. ”

  He sat up.

  She frowned. “We’re not finished. ”

  “My muscles are relaxed. Let’s talk golf. You didn’t tell me you played that weekend we were in Oklahoma. ”

  She shrugged. “You didn’t ask me. Besides, no way would I have played in that weather. Too cold for me. ”

  He laughed. “For me, too. So, you think you’re good, huh?”

  “No, I don’t think I’m good. I am good. ”

  “We should play. ”

  She folded her arms. “You think you’re ready to swing a club?”

  “I don’t know. You’re the therapist. Am I?”

  She studied him for a bit then said, “Actually, it would be good for your shoulder, help loosen you up for pitching. We should play. ”

  If there was one thing Garrett loved, it was competition. “Good. I’ll arrange a tee time. ”

  “I don’t have my clubs with me. ”

  “Neither do I, so we’re both at a disadvantage. ”

  “Fine. We’ll play. Now lie back down. I’m not finished with you yet. ”

  He rolled his shoulders. “Honestly, I feel fine. ”

  She pointed to the table. “Lie down. I haven’t given you the full Alicia Riley massage yet. ”

  He wanted to groan. Any more of her hands on him and he’d be hard the rest of the night. “No, really. ”

  She gave him that glare he was getting used to seeing. The one that meant she was going to win, so he might as well not argue.

  “Okay. Geez. ”

  He flipped over, and she put more lotion on her hands then went back to work on him, this time spreading his arms out and rolling her hands over his biceps. Admittedly, that felt really good. She hit the rough spots and melted away the last of his soreness from the therapy today. But her touch and scent still set him off, so while he was relaxed, he was still keenly aware of her.

  “That should do it,” she finally said.

  He stood and stretched. Alicia looked at him then quickly turned away. “All right, then. I’ll just clean up in here, and you can head out. You should drink more water. ”


  “Massage releases toxins and can make you sweat. The water will replenish you. ”

  “Fine. ”

  Maybe he wasn’t the only one aware. He’d caught her checking out his abs—and lower. His cock tingled at the thought, but he brushed it aside. In these sweats hiding an erection wouldn’t be possible. He left the room and went into the kitchen to grab a glass of water, downed it in a few gulps, then stepped outside for some air.

  Alicia was right. He’d broken out into a sweat, and the cool night breeze helped.

  “Feeling all right?”

  He turned to her. “Yeah. Feeling great now. Thanks for the massage. ”

  “You’re welcome. ” She took a sip of water, then laid her glass on the table and took a seat.

  He parked it on the top step, turning so he was half facing her, half facing the ocean.

  “If I lived here, I don’t think I’d ever leave the house,” she said. “This place has a definite allure. ”

  “It’s great, but I think you’d get bored. ”

  She laughed. “Remember where I grew up. This is heaven. The salt in the air, the amazing view of the ocean that never ends. Long walks on the beach. I doubt I could ever get bored with a place like this. Of course it’s a wee bit out of my price range. ”

  “You never know. You could end up becoming famous in sports medicine, and having a place like this would be chump change for you. ”

  “Thank you for that. ”

  “For what?”

  “For thinking I could afford a place like this someday as opposed to thinking I’d marry someone rich who’d buy it for me. ”

  He laughed. “I’m pretty sure you’re a force to be reckoned with, Alicia. I don’t think you’ll ever need a man to take care of you, financially or otherwise. ”

  “Thank you again. You’re just full of compliments tonight. ”

  “Well, I’m full of something. ”

  Her lips lifted, and then she stared off into the darkness. But when she rolled her wrists and flexed her hands, he frowned.

  “Did the massage make your hands hurt?”

  She looked down at her hands and laid them in her lap. “No, I’m fine. Just releasing the tension in them. It’s a normal practice. ”

  He got up and went over to her chair, then kneeled in front of her and took her hands in his. “I don’t want you to hurt yourself working on me. ”

  She let out a soft laugh that made his balls quiver. “I don’t hurt myself. It’s my job. ”

  “Your job has to be hard on your hands. ” He massaged them, rubbing his thumbs over her wrists.

  “Oh, God, that feels good. Now who’s the masseuse?”

  He liked making her feel good. It surprised him how much he liked making her feel good. He didn’t want her to hurt in order to fix him. “How hard is therapy on you?”

  “What do you mean?”

  “What you do to me—stretching my muscles or tendons—that takes some power, and you’re not exactly a big person. How hard is that on your body?”

  “I’m trained to do it, Garrett. I don’t hurt myself. ”

  He flexed her wrists. “Yeah, but who gives you a massage at the end of the day?”

  “I don’t need one. ”

  “I’ll bet you get sore working on athletes. I know what our bodies feel like. You’re working on some hard muscles. And after this injury I’ve studied some anatomy—you’re having to work with t
endons and capsules and some of that other shit. You have to dig pretty deep—that’s why what you do to me hurts so damn bad, right?”

  She studied him. “It’s good that you’re so well-informed. It helps your recovery. But honestly, there’s nothing wrong with my hands. ” She pulled them away from him and wriggled her fingers and flexed her wrists. “See? They’re just fine. ”

  He didn’t believe her. “Are you sure?”

  She made a move to stand, so he stood to get out of her way. “I’m positive. I haven’t been at this as long as some of the veteran therapists. Now they might have some issues after years and years of practice. But me? I’m fine. I take good care of myself. ”

  “Turn around. ”

  She frowned. “What?”

  “Turn around. ”


  “I want to see if you’re as tight as I was. ”

  “Absolutely not. You don’t get to be my therapist. I’m here to take care of you, remember?”

  Ignoring her, he spun her around, and before she could object, he laid his hands on her. He was no expert, but he instantly zeroed in on the rock-hard muscles between her neck and shoulders.

  “Just as I thought. Your muscles are tightened up. ”

  She fought to turn around, but he pinned her between the chair and his body.

  “Garrett. You are absolutely not going to rub my shoulders. Do you know how much money your arm is worth?”

  “Yeah. My agent broke it down for me by the number of years of my contract. And then by month. She was very thorough. ”

  “Exactly. ”

  “And if I want to give a massage, I can. ” He was already pressing in on her skin, using his thumbs and fingers to try and release the tension. “Just think of it as more therapy for me. ”

  “I’m thinking you’re not listening to me. ”

  “Yeah, whatever. I don’t always take direction well. ”

  Having her close like this was the worst form of self-torture. His nose was in her hair, and that citrusy smell drove him crazy. Her skin was soft, and with her butt nestled up against his crotch, he was going to have to do some calculations of earned run averages in order to avoid getting hard.

  Alicia kept taking deeper breaths, which propelled her body closer to his. And she’d stopped talking—not a good sign. That meant she was concentrating on the movement of his hands. She either really liked the massage, or she had noticed what was going on in his pants. He took a step back, and she cleared her throat, lifted his hands off her shoulders, and turned around.

  Big mistake. Because there it was, the erection that couldn’t be avoided. And her focus went right to it, then her gaze shot to his, all wide-eyed and shocked.

  “Um, we should go to bed. ”

  He lifted a brow.

  “Not together, of course. That would be . . . totally inappropriate. I mean, I’m going to bed. In my room. Alone. Thank you for the massage. It was great. I’ll see you in the morning. ”

  She moved past him, her body brushing the tip of his cock as she did. It was painful and exciting at the same time.

  It was like being fourteen years old again, caught in the locker room with a hard-on because he’d been fantasizing about Miss Smith, the hot twenty-three-year-old gym teacher who’d given them all wet dreams. How many times had he—hell, all the boys—tried to disguise erections when they’d been running track while Miss Smith had stood out in the center of the field working with the girls?

  But he wasn’t an awkward teenager anymore. He was old enough to control his libido around a desirable woman, especially a woman he had a working relationship with.

  Fuck. He dragged his fingers through his hair and walked down the steps, deciding he needed a walk by the ocean to cool down his raging hormones.

  He stood on the beach, his cock hard and throbbing and seemingly in no hurry to go flaccid.
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