Chapter Eight, Part One
Angie paced the small confines of her tiny cabin as the sun set on the horizon. For a day that had started out so full of promise, she was relieved to see it end. She popped a pair of aspirin into her mouth and dry swallowed. That would fix the jackhammer going to town behind her eyes but it wasn’t going to do a damn thing about the rest of the mess she’d made of Colt’s career and her prospects for promotion—not to mention the wreckage of her heart.
She’d known better—known better—than to get involved with a Thunder player. There was a town out there in the Florida swamp missing its idiot. Still, she couldn’t stop thinking about Colt. His cocky determination. The way he’d opened up to her the other night. The way, when she was with him, she couldn’t see anything but possibilities.
Then, everything had gone horribly wrong.
The way her heart had fallen clear to her toes when she realized something was wrong with his parasail towline. The pain carving his face into a mask of agony when he’d finally gotten back to the boat. The impact of his accusations and the guilty voice in her head telling her she should have known better than to cajole him into going parasailing. It was reckless and if she’d been thinking about business instead of how much fun it would be to experience an adventure with Colt, she would never have made such a huge mistake. He could have been killed.
Her cellphone rang and her heart stopped before kicking back into a rhythm so fast, she could barely hear the ringing over the blood coursing through her ears. She hit answer with a shaky finger.
“Word is that he’s going to be okay,” Mystie said. “Just a sprain.”
Thank God. Angie collapsed onto the bed with enough force that one of the pillows bounced off the mattress. “Thanks for gathering the information for me, Mystie.”
“What good are my dad’s connections if I can’t use them for my own purposes?”
The adrenaline in her veins tapered down from a full-on raging river to a trickle and exhaustion set in—not to mention the knee-knocking ache in her chest that wasn’t about to go away anytime soon. “Let me know how I can return the favor.”
“Will do, but why didn’t you just ask him yourself?” Mystie asked. “It seemed like you two were close judging by that kiss on the Lido Deck the other night.”
Had it been just this morning that Colt had asked her if she liked Chinese? Tears sprang to her eyes and her throat clamped shut. Now that she knew he was going to be alright, anger surged to the surface.
What had he called her? A broad he was banging. That was it. That’s all she’d ever been to him. That their connection had meant more to her than to him didn’t matter because it had never been meant to be and she should have accepted that from the beginning. It would have saved her a hell of a lot of heartache.
“Close? Us? No. I was just his VIP liaison. That kiss was just cover for some aggressive female fans.” Her voice hitched on the last word as the crack in her heart finally gave way. “I gotta go, Mystie. I have to explain everything to my boss before someone uploads the video to social media and the whole thing goes viral.”
She hung up without waiting for a response, curled into the fetal position and stopped trying to hold back the tears. She’d known better, but here she was, just like one of the many women in the front office who’d mistakenly believed that what they had with a Thunder player was different.
It never was.
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