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Once Upon A Half-Time 1(3)

By´╝ÜSosie Frost



I almost parted my lips for him.

Which one of us had the head injury?

What in the world was I doing? What was he doing? Maybe this pig should have been roadkill!

I pulled away, slapping his chest. Lachlan rested once more against the sidewalk.

His satisfied sigh was thoroughly inappropriate.

“Easy there, Sleeping Beauty.” I warned him.

What good was scolding him? My lips still hummed with excitement.

No man should have kissed that well, especially one potentially suffering from a multitude of internal injuries.

I ignored the fluttering in my chest and resolved never to acknowledge the desperate tingle warming other parts of me.

“A concussion doesn’t give you the right to kiss me,” I said.

Lachlan laughed. His chuckle still good-natured, the kind of carefree nonchalance of a man who never sweated the little things—like being rendered unconscious.

He squinted into the light, his eyes unfocused. “You tackled me. So…I kissed.”

“A word of advice before you take to the field?” I shook my head. “Please don’t kiss everyone who tackles you.”

Lachlan’s eyes fluttered closed. “Don’t often get tackled by a princess.”

Fantastic. I broke the first-round draft choice. There went my raise.

“I’m not a princess, Lachlan.”

“Fucking A.” He grinned. “I’m glad. A princess would be too prissy to go bad.”

“Bad?”

“Fucking dirty. Need a bad girl. Someone naked. Writhing. What kind of girl are you?”

I stopped him before he tried to get up…or demonstrated his preferences. “I’m the kind of girl who should probably get you medical attention.”

“Oh. A naughty nurse. Like that too.” His words almost slurred. “Sponge baths. Physicals.”

“MRIs. Neurological assessments.”

“Yeah, talk sexy to me.”

“Oh, good Lord. Just sit still.”

I placed a hand on his chest. He immediately covered it with his—huge, hot, and five claws short of a paw. He enveloped my dark fingers with his far paler hand and grinned.

“Do you taste like brown sugar?”

Yes. We had determined that in Vegas. Multiple times.

I ignored him. “How’s your head?”

“I don’t give, I receive.”

And we were getting nowhere. “I had no idea you could flirt even with moderate to severe head trauma.”

“Second nature.”

“Undoubtedly. Do you think you can sit up?”

Lachlan narrowed his eyes, staring hard at me. He grinned. “Hey…I think I love you.”

“Okay. Time to go to the hospital.”

Lachlan shifted too quickly. That only made it worse. He swore and dropped to the concrete, smacking his head once more.

Couple more of those and he wouldn’t remember me rescuing him.

Which was good.

If I had it my way, no one would know that I had been to the practice facility today.

I patted my pocket. The SD card was securely tucked into my jeans. The photographs were safe, but the team wasn’t. The pictures might have destroyed every accomplishment, record, and win the Rivets’ organization had achieved in the past year. And if I didn’t get away from the practice facility quick, if anyone saw me, they’d know it was me who had taken it.

And this was why I never came into work early. Lack of sleep, possible media firestorm, endangering my job. Just wasn’t worth it.

“Okay, you have to listen to me, Lachlan,” I said.

“Yeah, say my name.”

I gritted my teeth. “Mr. Reed, are you hurt?”

“Aching for you.”

“Do you hit on everyone who saves you?”

“Only if they’re as beautiful as you, Red.”

He reached for a lock of my hair. The Rihanna red streaks worked well against the ebony locks. He twisted the hair between his fingers as dimples dotted his cheeks.

Dangerous dimples that possessed a unique ability to pop the hooks on a bra from across a room.

His eyes focused, but I didn’t let him up.

“I can’t be here,” I said. “You never saw me, okay?”

“See you in my dreams every night.”

What a sweet-talker. “I’m sorry, but I have to go.”

“Haven’t even bought you a drink yet.”

I was still hung-over from the binge three months ago. “A good deed is its own reward.”

“No good deed goes…” His expression twisted. Confused. “Shame. I’d punish you, naughty girl.”

Obviously I couldn’t leave him alone. God only knew who he’s spank in gratitude as he woke up.

His bag fell open at our side. I rifled through the pockets of the Tinkerbell backpack—the first of many items the team would use to haze the rookie. Lachlan laughed.

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