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Necessary Roughness, Page 2

Courtney Cole

  She flushes even more.

  “I didn’t think you did.”

  “Yes, you did.”

  She lifts her nose. “Fine. I did. Everything you say is sexual.”

  “You’ve only known me for thirty-minutes and you’ve already picked up on that?” I feign being impressed. She rolls her eyes.

  “Someone who has been with you for only thirty seconds would pick up on that,” she points out.

  “I’m wounded, truly,” I tell her. She rolls her brown eyes again. They’re the color of a chocolate colored diamond, clear and sparkling.

  “Back to food,” she says firmly. “I’ll eat anything.”

  “Good. I’ll send out for some sushi for lunch.”

  “Except sushi,” she says immediately. “No raw fish.”

  “Okay,” I’m agreeable. “No sushi. I’ll send out for Indian.”

  “Errr. No Indian, either. Curry makes me nauseous.”

  I pause, and she shrugs. “I’m sorry. I don’t like to be picky.”

  “How about… Greek?”

  She winces. “I hate feta.”

  I stare at her. “Ok. So no sushi, no Greek and no Indian. You’re so right. You’ll just eat anything. How about Thai?”

  She ponders that. “Maybe. But it’s not my favorite.”

  “What is your favorite?”

  “Italian,” she answers immediately.

  And I this time, I’m the one rolling my eyes. “What a coincidence. The Italian girl loves Italian food.”

  “Who said I’m Italian?” she narrows her eyes, her hands on her luscious hips.

  “Your body. Your name. Your attitude.” I’m unapologetic and she laughs.

  “Fine. I’ll give you that. I’m Italian to the bone. I’m not sorry.”

  “Nor should you be,” I agree, and I can’t help but give her body a sweep with my eyes. “Lord, you shouldn’t be sorry.”

  She blushes again, and I smile.

  “I’ll order some lunch. You can make yourself at home. I have a housekeeper who comes four times a week. Her name is Myrna and she’s old and cranky. I have a pool, so feel free to use it. Clothing is prohibited on the premises.”

  She laughs. “Nice try.”

  I grin. “Hey. I didn’t want a house guest. So, I’m just trying to be flexible and adjust on the fly.”

  “Well, we can both adjust with our clothing on.”

  “We’ll see about that, little girl.”

  But Shorty’s words ring in my head. For God’s sake, don’t fuck her.

  And I really can’t. My career is on the line.

  Control yourself, I silently tell my penis.

  “Having a pool is good,” she tells me seriously. “We’ll use it for exercises. It’s perfect because it takes weight off your knee.”

  “Getting in and out is a bitch though.”

  “Don’t worry,” she answers. “I’ll help you.”

  I have to laugh at that. “Um, you’re a buck-twenty soaking wet, and I’m twice that. I don’t think you’ll be of much help.”

  Now she’s indignant. “You have no idea. I’m small but mighty.”

  “Uh-huh,” I’m dubious. “I’m going to call in our lunch now. Make yourself at home.”

  I hobble into the kitchen and look up the restaurant’s phone number, and make the call. Then I drink a bottle of water, and when I amble back out to the living room, she’s gone.

  No big deal.

  She’s making herself at home, like I instructed.

  I call Shorty again, just for kicks, and leave him another colorful voicemail where I threaten to disembowel him. Honestly, my heart’s not in it now, but still, I do it on principle.

  And then I go searching for my new Physical Therapist.

  She’s not in the living room, not in the dining room, not by the pool. She’s not in the library, and as I make my way down the hall, I hear water running.

  What happens next, I can’t explain or defend.

  I push the bathroom door open with one hand, and she’s standing in the middle of the massive shower, with water cascading down over her glorious body.

  Her skin is tan and healthy, her hair dark and long, and she looks like a Siren rising out of the sea to lure some unsuspecting fisherman to their death. Her tits are plump and pert, her nipples aimed to the sky, puckered from the cold air hitting them.

  Her thighs, lord what I wouldn’t give to spread them apart and…

  Her eyes pop open, interrupting my sinful thoughts.

  “What the hell?” she snaps, covering her chest with her hands and turning away. That only gives me an open view of her perfect ass, but I don’t point that out. “What are you doing in here?”

  “I’m sorry,” I tell her calmly. “I didn’t know you were in here.”

  “The shower running didn’t give you a hint?”

  She’s defiant and indignant.

  I’m turned on by all of it, my cock hard in my pants. I’m shameless, it’s true.

  “Sorry,” I mumble and back away, but not before I get one last glance of her wet ass. She glares and I close the door behind me.

  Six weeks with this woman under my roof.

  Six weeks of my cock being very aware of that fact.

  Six weeks.

  I can do this.

  But can I do it without trying to fuck her and ruining everything?

  That’s the real question.


  Chapter Four


  I thought after the shower incident that it was all going to be hell here, but so far, so good.

  Nicky has been on his best behavior for the past two days, and I’ve settled into Casa Chase (How he refers to his home) without incident.

  I’ve done his initial assessment and I still don’t know if he’ll be able to recover. Usually, I have a good idea, but with him, it’s up in the air. It could go either way, depending on how much he wants to recover. He’ll have to put the work in, and then we’ll see. His injury was bad, and many people wouldn’t come back from it. But he’s Nicky Chase, and so… well, let’s just say that I’m not going to count him out.

  “We still doing pool therapy today?” he asks at breakfast.

  We’ve been eating in the breakfast nook every morning, and every morning, he’s a gentleman. He doesn’t work into his usual sexual innuendo until afternoon or so. It’s like he goes as long as he can, and then he just has to be himself.

  It’s amusing.

  “Yes,” I tell him. “And don’t expect it to be easy. It won’t.”

  He winks over his eggs. “Nothing worth having is.”

  God. Can he be any sexier?

  I need to keep my attention focused on my task at hand, but he makes it difficult. I know he didn’t want me here, and yet he’s been a perfect host. He’s asked about my room, what I like to eat, he makes sure coffee is made in the morning before I get up.

  I wouldn’t have expected that. I told him so, and he informed me that he might be a scamp, but he’s a southern gentleman, too.

  My ovaries almost exploded.

  I take my plate to the sink. “I’ll just go get changed, then.”

  He’s got a smirk on as he watches me go, and I feel uneasy. Close proximity and wet skin. Lord have mercy on my soul.

  His gaze burns me as I leave the room, and I can still feel it on me as I change into my swimsuit. Thank God I’m not wearing a two-piece.

  He’s already in the pool when I emerge from the house, and I can see a flash of black under the water. He’s wearing trunks, Thank God. For some reason, I wouldn’t put it past him to be nude.

  “The water is perfect,” he tells me and he’s waist deep. His top half is Adonis perfect. I know it was carefully honed from hours in the gym each day, and many hours on the field. Somehow, it’s a turn-on that he’s spent so much time sweating into perfection. Yet, he doesn’t seem to be acutely aware of how beautiful he is. I would’ve taken him for a conceited ass. But so far… he
doesn’t seem to be.

  He shakes the water out of his face, and droplets fly from his hair. His biceps bulge, and I’m pretty sure that they’re as big as my thighs.

  “Where do you want me?” he asks, eyeing me. I feel it as his gaze rakes over my breasts, then skims my hips. It literally feels like it’s lighting me on fire.

  I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I don’t usually react like this with my men, but something about him... Our chemistry just seems to mesh.

  At least, mine does with him.

  I’m pretty sure his reacts to everyone, or so says all the rumors.

  “Anywhere is fine.” I eye the massive infinity pool, and find a spot waist deep. “Right there is fine.” I gesture and step in, and the water is tepid, warmed by the Louisiana sun. It’s refreshing without being jolting.

  When I reach Nicky, I show him what to do, and he does it exactly as I had demonstrated.

  “You’re good at following instructions,” I tell him as I keep a hold on his thigh. I know very well that my fingers are six inches from his groin. It’s a fact I’m trying to ignore.

  He nods. “Yup. It’s from being on a team. Our success relies on everyone doing what they’re supposed to.”

  “How long have you played?” I ask conversationally.

  He glances down at me. “My whole life. Ever since I can remember, anyway. I won’t know what to do without it. I’m not ready to retire.”

  His voice is suddenly quiet and serious, and the look in his eye… it tweaks my stomach. Sometimes I forget that while I’m just doing my job, my decisions matter to these guys in a very big way.

  What I decide will determine the rest of his life.

  It’s not something I take lightly.

  “Ok,” I tell him. “One more rep of these. And then we’ll do some wall-kicks.”

  He nods and completes the set like a trooper. I can see on his face, though, that even the water work-out pains him. That worries me.

  “On a scale of one to ten, how much pain are you in right now?”

  “A two,” he says immediately.

  I stare at him. “Honestly. One to ten.”

  He doesn’t flinch.

  “Maybe a five.”

  “Ok, good. Honesty is important, ok? I can’t help you if you don’t tell me the truth.”

  He nods, one curt nod.


  “You can trust me,” my words are soft and his skin is warm. “I promise.”

  “But you have a job to do,” he reminds me. “And I might not like your decision.”

  “You might not,” I agree. “But it will be in your best interest. I promise you that.”

  “We might not agree what my best interest is,” he points out.

  “That’s very true,” I nod. “But you’ll just have to trust me.”

  “I don’t like trusting people,” he says, and there’s something in his voice, something soft, something that I can’t name.


  “I don’t know. People, by and large, haven’t proven themselves to be trust-worthy.”

  “That makes me sad,” I tell him honestly, as I show him how to do the second exercise.

  “Why? It’s no skin off your nose.”

  He hangs on to the side and kicks like I show him. The muscles flex in his back and torso. He’s like a finely tuned engine. The slightest movement and his body reacts. It’s incredible.

  “I guess,” I say. But it still makes me sad. I don’t have a vested interest in his view of mankind, but for some reason, I feel like deep-down beneath his bluster, he’s got a soft center. He’s a good person, and the idea that he feels like he can’t trust anyone, well, it gets to me.

  We finish the set of reps, and he’s clearly tired. I see it on his face, and the way his mouth is set firmly during the last few.

  “On a scale of one to ten now?” I ask.

  “No comment,” he answers.

  “What’s the number?”


  “Ok. We’re done for the day. Let’s just do some stretching now.”

  I inch up next to him, and pull his leg out, stretching it in the water. The friction of his leg against my palm is nice, and I itch to feel his heat against the rest of me.

  I’m a wanton, wanton woman. Good Lord.

  The nuns from my high school would’ve been beside themselves.


  His voice is husky.


  “You turn me on.”

  He’s so blunt, so abrupt, that it startles me, and he laughs.

  “You said to be honest.”

  “I guess I did,” I agree, and I have to laugh with him.

  His hand is on my back though, and his fingers are so long, so curved around my shoulder, and I ache to lean into it, to feel his solid chest against my softness, to…



  “I’m going to kiss you now.”

  I know I should stop him, but I don’t. He dips his head, and his lips are firm and warm and soft and everything nice in the world.

  He inhales my mouth, and yanks me up to his chest, and it’s just like I thought it would be…. hard, muscled, like a wall. His groin tightens against my hip, and warmth floods through me.

  I whimper against his lips, and then there’s a voice.

  “Nicky, God damn it.”

  We both look up to find a giant of a man standing in the doorway, then striding toward the pool.

  Nicky pulls away, and he’s casual again.

  “Shorty, I see you got my messages.”

  “I told you, Chase. Keep your fucking dick in your pants.”

  “I wasn’t doing anything,” Nicky objects.

  The giant man glowers. “You had to use your tongue to do ‘nothing’?” He glances at me. “I’m sorry, Miss. I can’t let him do anything alone. Please don’t hold it against him.”

  “I don’t,” I manage to say and I’m humiliated because I’m a professional and I was just kissing my client.

  “Can I see you for a minute in private?”

  Nicky agrees, and I watch him exit the pool and he’s gone, and I’m alone in the water.


  Chapter Five


  Shorty’s got a vein popping out of his temple as he paces in my Study.

  “Damn-it, Nicky. You’ve got to take this seriously. If they decide that she’s not unbiased, they’ll throw out anything she says. And they may or may not give you another chance.”

  “I’ve been with them for seven years,” I tell him stoutly. “They owe me some loyalty.”

  Shorty levels a gaze at me. “They’re showing loyalty now by giving you this courtesy and you know it.”

  He’s got a point. They would be well within their rights to void my contract on my inability to perform right now.

  “So, keep it in your pants,” he finishes his lecture.

  “Fine,” I say between gritted teeth.

  Shorty smiles. “I love you though, man.”

  I roll my eyes. “You’re a pussy.”

  “If by that you mean that I like pussy, then yes. And that chick in there… she looks like she has a hell of a pussy.”

  Something about the way he says that annoys me. It rubs me the wrong way, and I don’t know why. I’ve never cared what he said about anyone before.

  But Sophie… the ways she smiles so innocently, yet feistily.

  The way she felt when I pulled her against me in the pool.

  “Dude, she’s off-limits,” I tell him hotly.

  He shoots me a look.

  “For you. Not for me.”

  “Fuck you,” I say. “You don’t get her, either.”

  He stares at me curiously. “Why do you care? You can’t have her anyway.”

  I see her perfect ass in my memory.

  “I don’t know. But you’re not having her.”

  He shrugs. “Whatever.” He heads for the door
, but pauses. “Honestly, you wouldn’t want her anyway. She’s got a stick up her ass, from what I’ve heard. Catholic schoolgirl, but not in the good slutty way. She’s practically got a lock on her pussy.”

  “Says who?”

  “Everyone who’s worked with her. She’s a bitch, man. Just stay on her good side.”

  He disappears out the door, and I’m left pondering.

  A bitch?

  I don’t get that from her.

  She didn’t kiss like a bitch.

  Thinking about her wet mouth and soft lips makes me hard. Thinking about that mouth circling the tip of my dick makes me even harder.

  My phone buzzes in my pocket and I glance at it.

  It’s Shorty.

  Just thought of something. Do whatever it takes to keep her happy. If that means fucking the ice queen, then do it. If you can. Hahaha. #ChallengeOffered

  I roll my eyes. Challenge Accepted. And only women and douchebags use hashtags.

  He answers immediately. #Dickhead

  I have to laugh, and slide my phone into my pocket. But seriously.

  This is a sticky situation. It could go well or terrible for me.

  But one thing I learned on the field- is to listen to my instincts.

  They won’t fail me.

  * * *

  My instincts seem to suck with this woman.

  I thought she’d be into me after our kiss in the pool, and that like most other women I’ve encountered, she’d be waiting to spend more time with me.

  Not so.

  She hasn’t come out of her room this afternoon.

  What the hell is up with that?

  So, I load up some old clips, ones that I know I look badass in, and watch them. I want to make sure I’m in a positive light when she finally comes out. Limping around sort of chips away at my sexy edge.

  But after an hour of watching clips, she still hasn’t emerged.

  So finally, I decide to just be blunt.

  I walk to her door and knock on it.

  It takes her a minute, but when she answers the door, she’s in a t-shirt and shorts, and her hair is mussed.

  “Sorry, I was napping,” she says and her voice is husky with sleep. I want to grab her and inhale her neck, because I know it will smell soft and feminine and beautiful.