“I need some space to examine the patient,” Doctor Death says when Jack leans over to watch, almost knocking me off the examination table. “As you may have noticed, the first aid room is meant to accommodate only the patient and medical personnel.”
“Don’t hurt her.”
“Then don’t get in my way.”
Jack’s head jerks up, and he gives Doctor Death a menacing stare. What the hell is wrong with him? Twenty minutes ago he was all about being friends, and now I’m worried Doctor Death might not make it out of here alive.
“She hurt her hands and her knee.” Jack slides an arm around my waist, pulling me against him. “No examination required. Your fingers shouldn’t be anywhere north of her thigh.”
“He’s a doctor,” I say. “I’m sure he’s seen plenty of what lies north of my thigh.”
Wrong thing to say. Jack’s muscles tense, and for a moment I think he is going to explode. I backtrack quickly because I do need some medical attention and I sense an imminent threat to Doctor Death’s life. “I mean that in the generic sense, as in other women’s thighs but not mine.”
Doctor Death, with the worst possible timing, decides this is the moment to examine the area in question.
Bam. Jack bats Doctor Death’s hand off my leg. “Below the fucking knee. How many fucking times do I have to tell you?”
“Call off the guard dog.” Doctor Death shoots me an exasperated glance. “Or, better yet, tie him up outside and give him a chew toy.”
I look up at Jack, and he brushes a loose strand of hair behind my ear. Damn, he’s gorgeous. And furious. So unlike the Jack we usually see at the gym. I always wanted a protective boyfriend, someone who would have stood up to my father and told him it wasn’t okay to hit your daughter. Instead, I wound up with Adam who turned out to be exactly the same.
Doctor Death cleans the scrapes on my hands and covers the worst of the cuts with tiny bandages. I try not to cry out when he dabs stinging lotion on my knee, but I do suck in a breath.
“You hurt her.” Jack grabs a fistful of Doctor Death’s shirt and I slap at his hand until he releases him.
“Stop it. You’re acting crazy. It’s not that bad. I’ve had worse.” I glance down at my thighs, still covered by my gym pants which I’ve pushed above my knees. Curious how the pain from Doctor Death’s treatment does nothing for me either sexually, like the pain Jack gave me, or emotionally, like the pain I give myself.
Doctor Death picks up his tweezers. “Between Torment, Renegade, the Predator, and you all acting like a bunch of testosterone-laced cavemen around your women, it’s a wonder I can even do my job.”
“She’s not my woman,” Jack says. “She’s a friend.”
I don’t even try to keep up. One day I’m his friend. The next he says “you’re mine”. And now I’m a friend again.
“Yeah. I’m getting that message.” Doctor Death picks at a piece of gravel in my knee, and I break out in a sweat. “Loud and clear.”
“Hold my hand.” Jack pries open my fingers wraps his warm palm around mine, careful not to press on the bandages. “Squeeze when it hurts,” he demands.
“I don’t want to hurt you.” I hiss in a breath when Doctor Death digs into my knee again.
His lifts a challenging eyebrow. “Try.”
So I squeeze. I clench his hand so hard I’m surprised I don’t break any bones as Doctor Death works all the little pieces of gravel out of my knee, alternating with squirts of the stinging disinfectant. Finally, I give up the challenge and sag against Jack’s body. He puts one arm around me and tucks me into his side, as he curses Doctor Death under his breath. He is warm and solid. In the circle of his arm I feel like nothing can hurt me, and despite the pain, I wish I could stay here forever.
“All done,” Doctor Death says ten minutes later. He tapes big white bandages over my knees. “Come back if you see any signs of infection. Your knees will feel stiff for a few days as the skin heals. Palms won’t be so bad.”
“Thanks very much.” I give Jack a nudge, and he mumbles something that I think is meant to express gratitude, albeit couched in filthy language about Doctor Death’s man whore ways and all the things that might happen to him if he touches me again.
“Gonna take you home,” Jack says as I limp out of the first aid office.
“It’s okay, I’ve got my car.”
“Then I’ll drive you home and come back in a cab.” He clears a path down the hallway with the fierceness of his scowl.
“You don’t have to,” I say. “I’m fine. Really. You didn’t even need to stay with me. None of this is your fault. It’s just me pushing myself too hard and then paying the price by falling on my face in front of the hottest guy in Redemption.”
“Hottest?” He pulls to a stop, his eyes glittering, amused.
Did I just say that? Well, there’s no taking it back.
“Yes.” I watch him, waiting to see what he’ll do. His gaze drifts to my lips, and electricity sparks in the air between us, the same energy I felt in the club. I lean closer, tilt my head back just the tiniest bit. His chest heaves, and his scent fills me—soap and sweat, masculine and raw.
“Let’s get going,” he says.
Disappointment floods me, and my cheeks flame. I’m about to turn away when I feel his fingers under my chin. Gritting my teeth, I force myself to meet his gaze, surprised to see his soft smile. “I’m driving.”
He bends down, brushes his lips over my cheek, sending a rush of heat through my body that shimmies up my spine. “When we get there, I’m coming inside.”
Every part of me tingles, and when he pulls away, I can barely breathe. “Okay.”
“Yes?” I whisper.
“I need your keys.”
Title: Fighting Attraction
Author: Sarah Castille
Series: Redemption, #4
Pubdate: April 4, 2017
Genre: Erotic Romance
My sweet, sexy Penny has a dark side. Just like me.
I will have her. And then I will lose her, and suffer a lifetime of regret.
Rampage. Everyone loves him. He is Redemption’s top heavyweight fighter and the biggest gossip in the gym. But he isn’t the teddy bear everyone thinks he is. He’s hiding a dark secret—and he hates himself for it.
Twice a week, Rampage transforms into Master Jack, a notorious dom only the most hard-core submissives will play with. How can he—a Southern gentleman, bred to respect and protect women—want to dominate them?
But Penny Worthington wants him. Beneath her pearls, kitten heels, and prim British exterior beats a tortured heart…Master Jack is the only one who can set her free.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Sarah Castille writes contemporary erotic romance and romantic suspense featuring blazingly hot alpha males and the women who tame them. A recovering lawyer and caffeine addict, she worked and traveled abroad before trading in her briefcase and stilettos for a handful of magic beans and a home in shadow of the Rocky Mountains. Readers can find her at sarahcastille.com.