Necessary Roughness (HotShots Book 1)Courtney Cole
Lakehouse Press, Inc.
1. Necessary Roughness
2. Letter From the Author
3. Chapter One
4. Chapter Two
5. Chapter Three
6. Chapter Four
7. Chapter Five
8. Chapter Six
9. Chapter Seven
10. Chapter Eight
11. Chapter Nine
12. Chapter Ten
13. Chapter Eleven
14. Chapter Twelve
15. Chapter Thirteen
16. About the Author
A Football HotShot by
He is forbidden.
She is off-limits.
Which makes him want her like nothing he has ever wanted before.
* * *
Nicky Chase was the star Running Back for the New Orleans Sinners.
Until he blew out his knee.
Playing ball is out. In thirty seconds, Nicky went from being on top to hitting rock bottom.
Sophia De Bartoli is the best physical therapist in New Orleans. Her Italian roots have given her a fiery temper, but her Catholic faith has kept her innocent.
But then she was hired to make house-calls for Nicky Chase. THE Nicky Chase.
He’s known far and wide for his sexy abs, panty-melting grin, and his skill both on and off the football field. But Nicky refuses to leave his house, so no one gets to see him anymore. No one except Sophie.
And she gets to see all of him.
Letter From the Author
If you know me, then you know that I love a complicated dark story, full of twists and turns and angst. That’s what I spend most of my time writing, so much so, that my own mind bends and tires.
Sometimes, I get the urge to just write something fun, short and sexy.
So I decided to start the Hot Shot series.
This is a series of Standalone novellas, that are just pure dirty sexiness. The perfect length to take to the pool or for a train-ride home from work. They are not deep, they are not complicated.
They are not long, they are not drawn-out. They are to the point. They are yummy. They are small shots of dirty happiness, written just for you.
I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them!
“Well, Sam, I’m not sure what the future holds for Nicky Chase. You can’t come back from an injury like that and play worth a damn again, especially since he’s thirty-two. That’s practically geriatric in football, as you know.”
“Fuck you,” I grumble at the news-caster, as I switch the TV off. Nothing good will come from watching their bullshit. It’s not like I don’t know what happened to me. One doesn’t simply forget an injury like mine.
One doesn’t forget getting slammed from each direction by two-hundred pound men, in a way that bent my spine completely backward and blew out my knee.
I felt the moment that it hyper-extended and all the sinew and ligaments snapped from the tension. I felt it. It was an odd release of pressure, and then… a whole shit-load of pain.
That pain still hasn’t gone away, not completely, after two surgeries and two months.
The limp hasn’t either.
No one needs to remind me that I might never play again.
I hobble out to the kitchen and grab a beer. I don’t bother looking at the clock, I know it’s before noon. I don’t give a shit. I’m not training right now, and so fuck it.
I grab a pizza, too. Cold, leftover from last night.
Fuck that, too.
I DON’T GIVE A FUCK.
I inhale the pizza and two beers at the kitchen counter without even bothering to sit. The act of sitting and standing back up afterward is more pain than its worth. I don’t mind admitting that to myself. Admitting it to others, though, is a whole different story. Which is why I don’t leave my house. No one needs to see me limp around like a used-up has-been. No one needs to see my pain and feel sorry for me.
I’ll overcome this. And no one needs to see me until I do.
My phone, which is lying on the counter across the room, buzzes insistently. I can see my Manager’s name flashing on it from here, and with a sigh, I limp over to pick it up.
“Hey, Shorty,” I greet him. His name is ironic, since he’s six-five.
“Hey, pussy,” he answers back. I grit my teeth. He and I have had a running “you’re a pussy” joke for five years or so. But nowadays, when I’m limping around, it hits close to home for me. But I won’t say a word.
“What’s up? You signing me to someone else today? Let me guess… the Sinners are going to officially release me from my contract, and you’ve got the Forty-Niners wanting me bad.”
I try to be wry. I try to be casual. I try not to act like my whole world is falling apart.
Shorty chuckles. “Not exactly. The Sinners are waiting to see what happens with you—they’ve got that PT coming over- don’t forget- and they’ll decide whether to keep you or release you based on what she says.”
Fuckin’ A. I forgot.
“So this chick gets to decide my whole future?”
Shorty pauses. “It’s not like that, bro, and you know it. You’ve got more money than God already, and hopefully you’ve invested it rather than pissed it away. You were going to have retire in the next few years anyway. So don’t look at it like you are.”
“I have invested it,” I tell him. “I’m not a dumbass. I’m fine on money. I just… I wanted to go out on top, Shorty. I don’t want people to remember me as a cripple.”
Shorty bursts out laughing. “Uh, so far, you’ve got over twelve thousand rushing yards on your record, over 40 touch-downs, and an average of five yards per carry. You’re basically Superman. No one, and I mean no one, is going to remember you as a cripple.”
“Just don’t count me out yet,” I tell him firmly. He answers immediately.
“I never count you out, Nick. Be nice to the Physical Therapist. Do everything she asks of you, and for God’s sake, don’t fuck her. She’s got to be unbiased. If the owners decide she isn’t… well, it’ll make everything harder.”
I snort. “The last thing on my mind right now is fucking anyone,” I assure him.
But he doesn’t believe me.
“You’ll fuck anything that holds still long enough, and you know it,” he shoots back. “I’m not out of line in saying so, either. Just be good. Color inside the lines. And you can go out exactly on your terms.”
We hang up and I do find myself grateful for my manager. He’s stuck with me in the highs and lows, and he’s one of the few people in this industry that I can really trust. That’s rare in this sport, and rare in life.
I limp into the Theater room to settle in and watch my last game. It’s something I do when I’m annoyed or depressed about my current lot in life. I don’t know why, but watching the moment of impact, over and over and over, reminds me that I could’ve have seen it coming. I couldn’t have changed it. This isn’t my fault.
For some reason, it’s important that I remember that.
I couldn’t have changed this.
So I watch that moment again today, again, again and again.
I freeze it, rewind it, play it, pause it, study it, watch my knee hyper-extending behind me, and then re-play.
I’m so involved in it, that I almost don’t hear the quiet voice
in the doorway.
“Um. Mr. Chase?”
Startled, because who the fuck is in my house?, I scramble to my feet. Or I try to scramble to my feet. My bum knee makes it difficult and I lose my balance, falling back into the chair like an awkward baby horse falling with all four legs splayed out.
“Fuck,” I groan, rubbing at it, looking at the girl rushing to my aid.
She’s got long shiny dark hair, a tight apple ass, and big clear caramel colored eyes. And tits the size of melons—straining at her shirt to get out.
“It’s ok,” she assures me, bending to help me arrange my leg. She smells like sunshine and fruit. “I’m Sophie, your new physical therapist. You didn’t answer your door, so I let myself in. It was unlocked. I hope that was ok.”
Her tits are pressed against my arm, and her ass is bent in front of me, and Shorty’s words come back to me.
For God’s sake, don’t fuck her.
I swallow hard.
That might be harder to resist than I thought.
I’m draped over Nicky Chase.
I’m draped over Nicky Chase.
I’m very aware of my body pressed into his, as I help arrange his leg, and then stand up. I feel his hazel eyes sweep my entire body and every part of me lights on fire. His gaze is magnetic, just like everyone says.
They all say that when Nicky Chase is in a room, he owns it. And good lord, he does. It’s like he emits an energy, a very concentrated energy, and it fills all of your hidden places, and makes you very aware of exactly where he is in relation to your own body.
At least, that’s what he does for me.
He lights my skin on fire.
I straighten, then sit in the chair next to him, letting my laptop bag slide to the floor.
“Mr. Chase, I’ll be with you for the next six weeks, to perform PT and to assess your condition. I’m very good at what I do, so please don’t worry.”
“I’ve heard you’re the best in New Orleans,” he tells me, and good lord, his voice sounds like honey. “And also, Mr. Chase is my father.”
It takes me a minute to realize what he means.
“Oh. Should I call you Nicholas, then?” Nicky just seems too presumptuous. But he’s already shaking his head.
“Nope. Only my mother calls me that, usually when I’m in trouble. Which is a lot of the time, it seems. So just all me Nicky, like everyone else.”
I don’t know why, but being the same as ‘everyone else’ to him gives me an uncomfortable jolt and that’s stupid, because I am like everyone else. I’m an employee, he’s my client. I’m like everyone else in his life. Someone he pays for a service.
Although, in this particular case, my recommendation will determine his future in football. I know that, and I’m sure he does, too.
“All right, then, Nicky,” I say with a smile. “I hope you’re prepared to begin today.”
He lifts an eyebrow, and dear lord, are his eyes gold?
“Trust me,” he drawls. “I’m always ready.”
My ovaries run into hiding and I gulp.
I’ve never in my life been affected by a person’s mere presence as much as I am with Nicky. He’s like raw masculinity. Or pure sexuality. Or something. I don’t even know how to describe it.
I just know, he makes my hands shake. Literally.
“Good,” I say, very professionally. “Where would you like to work? I need to make some initial observations so that I can come up with a treatment plan. We just need a bunch of flat space where there are no sharp corners in case you fall.”
“My gym,” he says immediately. “I’ve got mats in there. But I won’t need them because I won’t fall.”
He’s so determined that he literally sticks his chin out.
“Ok,” I reply cheerfully. “That’s a great place to start.”
He slowly gets out of his chair, babying his right knee immensely. I see how he puts all of his weight on his left leg, how he stands at a tilt. There are scars on the front and back of his leg from the two surgeries that I know he’s had. I’ve read his file three times.
We walk down long halls to his gym, and I hover close to his elbow. I want to take his arm, to assist him, but I have the feeling that he’d throw me off.
Also, he’s a giant man. I know from his file that he’s six-six. But standing next to him in person…. he’s like a giant solid wall. I feel like an elf in comparison.
“What else should I know about you?” I ask conversationally as we walk. He gives me side-eye.
“What do you mean?”
“Well, I know about your injury. I read the physician’s reports and I’ve gone through your file. I know your height, your weight. I know your playing history. Is there anything else I should know that could help me help you?”
“Do you want to help me?” he stops, turning to face me. Once again, he seems like a wall, or a mountain. And I suddenly just want to climb him. To climb right up him and…
“Sophie?” he brings me back to the present, eyeing me strangely. I flush, because the though I was having about him… it wasn’t professional in the least. I clear my throat.
“Um, of course. I want to be help you. But you should know, I’ll give my professional, unbiased opinion. It might end up that helping you might be telling you that you’re done. You don’t want to permanently injure yourself.”
His gaze is stony now, and he looks away, walking again, down the hall. I trail right behind him, and I know it’s causing him pain to walk so fast.
He opens a door. “This is the gym,” he says gruffly, holding the door open so I can pass.
I enter a palatial workout area, lined with weights, mirrors and…chandeliers?
I turn to him. “Who has chandeliers in their gym?”
He winks. “I do. This is New Awlins, babe.”
“Right.” I walk past, and I have no clue what that even meant, but he called me Babe, and my heart is racing.
“Ok,” I turn to him. “Let’s start with some basic range of motion exercises so I can see what we’re working with. Can you lie on your back?”
“I do amazing things on my back,” he says flippantly, and my ovaries twitch again.
“Do you ever turn off?” I ask him, as I sink to my knees next to him.
“No. I would say something about you being on your knees, but that would be inappropriate.”
His hazel eyes flash, and I find it hard to believe that he gives a damn about propriety. Then he winks again, and I know it as a fact.
I put a hand beneath his left knee, going through the motions with his good leg first to get a good baseline for his normal. His skin is warm, and tight with muscle, and he’s such a top specimen of maleness. I should know, I’ve worked with athletes my entire professional life.
“You don’t have to be so gentle,” he tells me gruffly. “I like it rough.”
My cheeks flush and he laughs, and I put his leg down.
“Mr. Chase,” I tell him primly. “If we’re going to survive six weeks of living together, you’re going to have to keep yourself in check. I’m a professional. You can’t treat me like some groupie.” I take a breath to continue, but he interrupts, his face incredulous.
“Wait, what? What do you mean, living together?”
I’m confused. “We’ll be living together. I have to stay with you. That was the deal with your manager. I have to…” my words die off as I connect the dots. “You didn’t know.”
He shakes his head. “No. Shorty must’ve left that part out.”
“The owners wanted me to get a thorough idea of your recovery,” I stammer. “They wanted me to be here day in and day out. Since you’ve been so… since you haven’t wanted to leave your house, no one really knows …”
“No one really knows if I’ll recover. Yeah, I know.”
He pushes himself off
the floor, and he’s pissed, and I don’t know what to do as he heads for the door.
Once he reaches it, he pauses and turns around.
“Well, are you coming? I’ll show you to a guest room.”
He’s definitely not pleased.
As I jump to my feet and trail behind him, I can only wonder what I’ve gotten myself into.
No fucking wonder Shorty told me not to fuck her. Because he knew she was staying under my roof for six fucking weeks.
After I leave her in a guest room to unpack, I try to call my manager.
Wisely, he lets it go to voicemail. “Hi, this is Shorty. No, my name doesn’t refer to my height or to any other appendage. It refers to my temper. If you’ve got balls, leave a message. If you don’t, I can’t help you until you grow a pair.”
I do own a pair, a big pair, so I leave him a colorful voicemail.
I feel strangely better afterward.
That’s why, when Sophie emerges a bit later, I manage not to growl at her. She’s too hot for that, anyway, if I’m honest.
She stands uncertainly in the doorway, and the morning light hits her just so, and I swear to God she looks like an angel. Question is… is she the Angel of Mercy, or the Angel of Death?
“What do you like to eat?” I ask her as casually as I can. I can’t help but notice her tight pants, and the way her ass is plump and tight.
It matches my crotch at the moment. I shift to alleviate the tightness.
She shrugs. “I try to eat healthy, but I’m a meat-eater, so…”