Thrown by a curve, p.9
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       Thrown by a Curve, p.9

         Part #5 of Play by Play series by Jaci Burton
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Page 9

  Author: Jaci Burton

  She laid her hand over his. “I’ll get you there, Garrett. I promise. ”

  He looked down at her hand, so small over his. Hard to believe those hands could wreak so much pain on his shoulder. He lifted his gaze to hers. “I’ll keep trying to believe that. ”

  She stared into his eyes. “You have to believe in me and trust me. I’ll do whatever it takes to get you back on that mound. ”

  For some reason the low tone of her voice, the slight rasp in it coupled with the intimacy of her hand on his made his balls quiver. He wanted to make some quip about doing whatever it took, but hell, he wasn’t a teenager anymore and sexual innuendo would be stupid. He was already attracted to her, and now he’d invited her to spend the weekend with him.

  He pulled his hand away and started to clean away the remnants of their dinner.

  “You bought. Why don’t you let me take care of cleaning up this mess?”

  She gathered up their plates and the pizza box before he could object. And then she did the dishes, so he leaned against the stove and watched her.

  “I can do all that, you know. ”

  She threw him a look over her shoulder then smiled. “So can I. There were only a couple of plates and salad bowls. ”

  When she finished, she dried her hands on the towel and leaned her hands against the sink. “I guess that’s it. ”

  “Thanks for doing the dishes. ”

  “Thanks for the pizza. ”

  She tilted her head back, and he wanted to kiss her. His dick quivered at the thought of pushing her against the counter and feeling her body pressed against his. He was hot with the sudden rush of desire, and he had no idea what to do with it.

  Her gaze hit his, and he knew then that she realized what he was thinking. She licked her lips, which only made his dick get harder.

  She took a shaky breath. “Well, I should probably go. I have a lot to do to get ready for both these trips. ”

  She was obviously a lot smarter than he was, or at least more clearheaded.

  He took a step back. “Okay. Sure. ”

  He’d never seen anyone flee the scene so fast. She grabbed her coat. “I’ll talk to you tomorrow, then. Thanks again for the pizza. ”

  She was out the door like someone with superpowers, tossing him a wave over her head as she dashed to her car.

  He lingered at the door after she pulled out of the driveway, needing the cold blast of air to cool him down.

  Dumb move, Garrett. The last thing he needed was to get involved with Alicia. Or even think about her in any way other than as his therapist.

  And now he was going to spend the weekend with her.

  Great.

 

 

  SIX

  THIS WAS WHAT ALICIA GOT FOR OPENING HER MOUTH and butting in.

  If she hadn’t pushed Garrett about reconnecting with his friends, she could have had a weekend off. Instead, she was working this weekend. And not only was she working, she was heading to a strange city with someone she really didn’t know that well, to meet a bunch of other people she didn’t know at all.

  Sounded like fun. Then again, she’d always thrived on adventure, so she decided she was going to look on this as a new undertaking. Besides, she was supposed to be working every day on Garrett’s arm until he was able to take the mound, so he’d been right when he said she would have to start following him around wherever he went.

  No pressure there or anything. And to add to that, the other night in his kitchen he had looked at her in a way she was sure had crossed the line from professional into something dangerously personal. She could have sworn that he’d wanted to kiss her. And since she had looked at him the same way, had felt a sudden physical chemistry with him that had nothing to do with the business of therapy, she’d hightailed it out of there before she’d done something really stupid, like let him kiss her.

  That would have been disastrous.

  But it also likely would have been very, very good. She couldn’t help looking at his mouth. Garrett had an amazing, full bottom lip that just begged to be kissed. She wanted to tug at it with her teeth then rub her cheek against the stubble of beard that always seemed to pepper his lower jaw.

  She wondered how that slight beard would feel rubbing against her thighs.

  Heating at the thought, she spared a glance at him as he drove them down the turnpike. They’d been on the road for eight hours, she was tired, her butt was numb, and Garrett had been strangely quiet the entire time.

  Her fantasizing about his mouth—and that jaw of his—wasn’t helping matters any.

  “How’s the shoulder doing?” she asked, deciding to put her thoughts to more businesslike use.

  He glanced her way. “It’s fine, thanks. ”

  “Do you need me to drive?”

  He snorted. “No. I think I’ve got this. ”

  “You don’t have to get all manly on me. I’m perfectly capable of sharing the driving duties. ”

  “And I’d be white knuckling it the whole time. I prefer to drive. ”

  She arched a brow. “You’ve been in the car with me. I’m a very good driver. ”

  “You drive like an old lady. ”

  She gasped. “I do not. ”

  He laughed. “Yes, you do. All careful, driving the speed limit, both hands on the wheel. ”

  He was making fun of her. But he sure looked hot behind the wheel with his dark shades and his big body occupying the driver’s seat of his SUV. She was so used to her very ancient compact car, this was like being in some luxury tank with leather seats, a great sound system, and a navigation system. And since the scenery along the way was nice and Garrett was content to do the driving, she leaned back in the seat and enjoyed the view.

  Since they’d gotten up early and she hadn’t slept much the night before, she was sleepy and drifted off. When she woke, Garrett was pulling into a gas station. She stretched and climbed out of the car to use the restroom and grab something to drink. He followed her inside, got a drink for himself along with a few snacks.

  She peered into the bag he handed her after he paid for their stuff.

  “Chips and a candy bar?”

  “Road food,” he said as they climbed back into the car.

  “Not nutritious. ”

  He tore open the bag of chips. “It’ll do until we get into town and grab something more substantial. ” He laid the bag in the center console. “And I’ll share. ”

  The chips did smell good, though she wasn’t a big chip eater. But she was hungry, so she dug in and ate a few. She never could resist the lure of salty chips, and after eating a handful, she licked the salt off the tips of each of her fingers.

  She caught him looking at her, realized he was watching her lick her fingers. And not in a disgusted Why-don’t-you-use-a-napkin? kind of way, but more of a You-could-be-sucking-my-cock-instead kind of way. Which got her thinking about his cock. Her belly tightened, her nipples tingled, and it suddenly got very warm in the car.

  She grabbed a napkin and wiped her hand, then looked out the window to distract herself, but her thoughts drifted. She closed her eyes, and mental images of her fingers and Garrett’s mouth got all jumbled together in her head.

  She’d rather be licking his fingers, which got her thinking about his mouth again. That was the problem with long road trips. Too much time for the imagination to run wild, and she had a very vivid imagination. There would be plenty of time on the road for him to take her hand and ask her why she was licking her own fingers when he could do that for her. She could lean across the seat and slide her finger across his bottom lip, let his tongue snake out until he sucked one of her fingers in his mouth. He’d tell her that her fingers tasted good, and she’d tell him she wanted his cock in her mouth. Her breathing quickened, and her nipples hardened.

  She let out a soft groan.

 
; “Something wrong?”

  Her eyes shot open, and she jerked to face him. “What?”

  “You . . . moaned or something. Are you having some kind of pain?”

  “Oh. No. ” She rubbed her temple. “Just a little headache. ”

  He frowned. “You should take some Tylenol. ”

  “Yes. I’ll do that. ”

  Good God, she was an imbecile. No more sex daydreams for her.

  Focus, Alicia.

 

  * * *

  HEADACHE, HIS ASS. ALICIA HAD BEEN THINKING about sex. He knew when a woman was in pain and when a woman was turned on, and she was definitely turned on. Her eyes were closed, and she’d practically been writhing in her seat.

  Which had made him want to groan. And his dick was hard from watching her. He didn’t know what she’d been thinking about, but between watching her lick her fingers and then scoot around in her seat, he was about to come in his pants.

  Fuck. This whole trip was a bad idea. She was driving him crazy, and they hadn’t even gotten to the lodge yet. He was never going to survive the weekend.

  He should have never agreed to take this trip, let alone bring Alicia with him. First, he was going to have to explain to the guys why he wasn’t in Florida for spring training, and then he was going to have to explain who Alicia was.

  He never brought women to meet the guys. Of course, once they knew about the injury, he supposed explaining Alicia would be moot anyway. He’d just tell them she was his therapist, and that would take care of that. At least he wasn’t bringing a girlfriend with him. The guys were all single and still pretty wild and crazy. They’d hate the idea of a woman—or some wife or girlfriend—coming along to these weekends.

  He raked his fingers through his hair, already imagining the nightmare to come.

  He pulled into the front of the lodge. It had been a long time since he’d been here. Nothing had changed. It still had that country club feel to it with its manicured lawns and perfectly sculpted bushes. He always thought the main building resembled a castle, with its dark stone face and turrets. The first time he’d come, he’d expected to have to cross a moat to get to the main building.

  “This is really amazing,” Alicia said, unbuckling her seat belt to go inside with him.

  “Yeah, it is. ” He’d been here plenty of times before with Gray, whose dad had a club membership.

  It was cool inside, and Alicia tucked the edges of her coat around her. This early in the season there weren’t going to be too many golfers on the grounds, except for the diehards who played year-round. If there wasn’t snow on the ground, they’d be getting in their eighteen holes, no matter what.

  He saw a few of them walking past, seemingly oblivious to the forty-degree temperatures outside. Some even wore short-sleeved shirts.

  Garrett was a warm-weather guy himself and couldn’t wait for the more mellow temperatures of Florida.

  He went to the front desk and got them checked in, requesting adjoining rooms.

  “Thanks for that,” she said after he handed off her room key to her. “That’ll make it easier for me to come in and take care of you if you need me. ”

  He shuddered out an exhale as his mind swam with visuals of just how he’d like her to take care of him, but he brushed those thoughts aside as he saw Gray heading his way.

  Showtime.

 

  * * *

  ALICIA STOPPED IN HER TRACKS AS ONE SEXY PACKAGE of a man pulled Garrett up in a bear hug. She thought Garrett’s looks could stop traffic, but this guy? Wow. He was magazine ready, looked like he could own this lodge, with his patrician looks, perfect face, and striking whiskey brown eyes. He was as tall as Garrett, with the same lean but muscular look. His worn jeans hugged his lean frame and his long-sleeved Henley shirt clung to every sculpted muscle of his chest and arms.

  “I didn’t think you were coming,” the guy said. “Shouldn’t you be in Florida?”

  Garrett shrugged. “Shoulder injury. Still working on rehab. ”

  “Oh, right. I heard about that. I’m sorry, man. That sucks. ” The man’s gaze shifted to Alicia, and he offered up a smile that made Alicia’s toes curl. “And who’s this?”
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