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She opens her eyes and looks down at the bulge in my pants. And when her eyes meet mine again, I know what her answer is.

My lips crash down on hers and in an instant, we’re tearing at each other’s clothing. My hands go up her shirt and cup her breasts as she heaves them into me. Her fingers waste no time undoing my pants and I moan when she takes me into her hands.

My hand travels beneath her skirt to find her panties soaking wet. “Jesus, Ry.” I lift her up onto the edge of the counter and I move the drenched cotton aside and slip in a finger. Then two.

She throws her head back. “Yes!”

She pushes my jeans down just enough to expose me completely. Then she pulls me to her. Just as my cock touches her entrance, I pull back. “Shit. Condom.” I fish one out of my wallet. I put it on in record time and in seconds, I’m buried deep inside her.

Her legs spread wide giving me full access to her clit and I take no prisoners as I rub and circle and pinch it, sending her into a quick orgasm. She starts to scream and I cover her mouth with my hand. Then I lean forward and bite my hand so I don’t yell out with my own release.

I rest my forehead on hers. Then her body shakes as she giggles. “You can move your hand now,” her muffled words tell me.

I remove my hand from her mouth. “Shit, Ry. That was—”

“Fast?” She laughs, making me join in.

I step back and remove the condom, tossing it into the trashcan. I help her down and then hold her eyes in the mirror as I wash my hands.

She starts to look upset with herself. “I give myself an F,” she says, pulling her skirt back down.

“What? No way, that was great.”

“Maybe. But now I’m one of your stupid chicks.” She shakes her head.

I nod to the counter. “Nothing about that was stupid, Rylee.”

“It was irresponsible though.”

I grab a paper towel and dry my hands. “You know, you keep saying things like responsible and professional and career. But it’s bullshit, Ry. You can be those things. You can have those things and have this, too. There is nothing wrong with what we’re doing. We’re both adults here and we both need to let off steam once in a while. That’s why you just did what you did, right?”

She nods. “Yeah. It’s been a tough week I guess.”

“We can do this if you want. You and me – four more weeks.”

“You mean you want me to be your Tampa girl?”

I sigh and lean against the wall. “Yes. No. To be honest, I hadn’t even thought about you like that. You’re not like the others, but that doesn’t mean I … I mean I can’t …”

She puts a hand on me. “It’s okay, Brady. I can’t either.”

“So, you see, it’s perfect then. You’re all about your career and getting back to New York. I’m all about getting back in the game. Neither of us is looking for anything more than good fun sex. We’re a match made in heaven.”

“Or maybe hell,” she adds with a giggle.

“Come on, you have to admit we have a lot of fun together, don’t we?”

She nods. “We do.”

“So, what do you say, Kennedy? Four weeks, loads of fun, no strings and all the public bathroom sex you can handle.”

She laughs out loud. “Well when you put it that way.”

I pick her up and twirl her around. “Yes!”

Then I look at the time. “Murphy is probably wondering if we fell in. We’ve been gone for almost ten minutes.”

“Wow – we brought new meaning to the word quickie,” she says. “You go. I’ll come out in a minute.”

“Yeah, because that will make it seem like this didn’t just happen,” I tease.

She covers her face with her hands. “Oh my God, I’m going to be mortified.”

I laugh as I unlock the door. “Don’t be. Murphy orchestrated this whole encounter. You can bet on it.”

Murphy appraises me as I walk back into the room and take a seat across from her.

“I was going to ask if everything was okay,” she says. “But based on the look on your face, I don’t believe I need to.”

I can feel myself smile from ear to ear. “No, you definitely don’t need to.”

“I like her,” she says.

I turn and watch Rylee make her way to the table, her face still flushed from our bathroom encounter. “What’s not to like?”

I can see Murphy’s triumphant smile out of the corner of my eye, making me realize I just said that out loud. “Don’t read too much into that, Murphy.”

She holds her hands up in surrender. “I wouldn’t dare.”

Chapter Seventeen

Physical therapy with Rylee has a whole new meaning now. We share secret glances, heated gazes and private jokes. If it wasn’t already the highlight of my days, it sure as hell is now.

We’ve succeeded in pissing off Alex more than once with our laughter. He shoots me a dirty look every time our eyes meet. There is something about him that just rubs me the wrong way. What kind of boss asks his subordinate out in front of a patient? What kind of boss asks his subordinate out at all?

Then again, he could say the same thing about me.

Maybe we’re both assholes.

“Stand up,” Rylee says before she hooks me up to the TENS. “I want to measure your progress.”

She has me flex and extend my elbow as she takes measurements and records the numbers in her laptop. “Squeeze,” she says, holding her hands out to me. “Don’t be a wimp about it.”

I squeeze her hands as hard as I can. Well, maybe not with my right hand, because I don’t want to crush her delicate fingers. But I try my hardest with my left.

“Good,” she says, making some notes. “Despite what you think you are making progress.” She picks up the stress ball on the table and hands it to me. Then she walks ten feet away. “Throw it to me.”

I roll my eyes at her. “You’re kidding, right? I’m used to throwing hundred-mile-an-hour fastballs to a guy who is sixty feet away from me.”

“You have to start somewhere,” she says. “Come on, just an easy overhand toss. We don’t want to stress the elbow too badly, or the shoulder.”

I toss her the ball.

She catches it and smiles.

“Did I pass the test?” I ask.

“It didn’t fall out of your hand, so, yes.”

“It’s a stress ball, Ry, not a baseball. Big difference. I need to throw a baseball. I need to throw it at something. At someone. I’m dying here.”

It’s been five weeks since I’ve pitched. That’s four weeks longer than I’ve ever gone in my life. I strained my arm badly a few years ago and had to lay off for eight days, but other than that, it’s only a day or two of rest between games I start in. Even in the offseason you can find me at the pitching facility every day.

If I’m not throwing a damn baseball, who the hell am I?

I need to pitch. I need it like I need food. Like I need water. Like I need air.

I need it or I’ll die – just like I told her.

Rylee is looking at my arm, lost in contemplative thought.

“What is it?” I ask her.

“Just a thought,” she says. “A way to give you what you want and have a little fun, too.”

I raise my eyebrows suggestively. “Give me what I want?”

She looks around to make sure nobody is listening. “Not that, you animal.”

“I thought you liked my animal, Ry.”

She shakes her head at my witty banter, but she’s smiling, so I know she likes it.

She pulls out her phone and it looks like she’s sending a text. A minute later, it seems she gets a reply. Then she looks up at me. “What are you doing tomorrow night?”

“A Tuesday? Wow, Rylee, you want me so badly you can’t even wait until Friday.”

“Are you free or not?” she asks, pretending to be annoyed.

I stare at her and wonder why she had to send the text. Was she moving around plans again? Making excuses not to see the boyfriend perhaps?

“I suppose I could be. What do you have in mind?”

“I’ll pick you up at six.”

I give her a cheeky grin. “You aren’t going to tell me?”

“It’s a surprise.”

“I like surprises,” I say with a wink.

Wait. No I don’t. I hate surprises. I always like to be in control and know what, where, and when. Surprises suck.

Unless, apparently, they come from Rylee Kennedy.

~ ~ ~

“What happened to letting me drive sometimes?” I ask when she picks me up on Tuesday.

“You can drive home,” she says. “This way I don’t have to tell you where we’re going. You’ll see it when you see it.”

“Are you taking me to see more animals, Ry?”

“Hmmm. There might be some animals there, but that’s not what we’re going for.”

“Are we going to the circus?”

She laughs. “Not exactly.”

I watch her as we drive out of the city. She loves playing games with me. And damn it if her games don’t turn me on. Her face is lit with youth and exuberance. She’s excited to be going wherever we’re going. Or maybe she’s just excited that she’s going with me.

She turns to see me staring. “What is it?”

“Nothing. It’s just that you’re always taking us on these adventures. I really think you’re just a big kid.”

She laughs. “I guess I am.”

“I like big kids.”

Her smile falls and she stares straight ahead. “Just don’t like me too much, Brady.”

Never in all my years as a player have I had a woman say those words to me. I suspect there is more to Rylee Kennedy than I know. More than the mother in the memory care facility. More than the boyfriend or fuck-buddy named Stryker. More than her desire to get back to New York.

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