Home > Indulge with Me (With Me in Seattle #10)(7)

Indulge with Me (With Me in Seattle #10)(7)
Author: Kristen Proby

So, I stand, walk without limping, which is a huge undertaking by the way, but I’m used to it because I do it almost every week for the TV cameras. I approach the food table for another buffalo slider, and make it look like nothing’s wrong.

Meg is watching me with concerned brown eyes, but I just shrug and throw her a confident smile that I don’t necessarily feel all the way to my core. I need a break from prying eyes, and to evaluate just how much damage I’ve done.

“I’ll be right back,” I say with a quick wave and walk inside, through our house, dodging little girl toys on my way to our bedroom.

I walk right into the bathroom and sit on the toilet seat, extending and contracting my leg, taking stock of how much damage I just did.

I’m sure I didn’t tear anything. I’ve had that happen before, and it hurts like a sonofabitch. No, I twisted it. It’ll swell, but it’ll recover in a few days If I stay off of it and ice it.

I hope.

I reach for some Icy Hot and rub it into the joint, and the muscles around it, sighing as it starts to work a little magic.

I stand to wash my hands, and then rub my wet hands over my face. Looking at myself in the mirror, I sigh deeply.

I injure far easier than I did when I was younger. And let’s be honest, I’ve been lucky. With only two concussions and one dislocation on my medical resume, I know that it could be far, far worse.

But that’s just it. I don’t want to get to a point in my career where I’m forced to quit because of injuries. Not only is it easier to get hurt these days, but it takes me twice as long to heal. And it hurts far worse than it ever used to. Now I know what they mean when they say I’m too old for this shit.

I’m not twenty-five anymore. I’m staring down at my late thirties, and I’m grateful that I’ve had football for this long.

Most don’t.

Hell, 99% don’t.

I want to have time to enjoy my family. Erin will be small for such a short amount of time. I feel like I’ve already missed so much as my nieces and nephews have grown up.

I’m sick of missing everything. Family comes first.

I stare at my reflection for another moment and then sigh, finally admitting what’s been right in front of me for the past two years.

“Maybe it’s time.”

Meg

I love having the family over. I don’t care that it’s a lot of work. I did it right this time and hired the caterer, as well as asked my housekeeper to come yesterday to get everything spruced up so I didn’t have to.

Chasing after a baby is exhausting. She’s still little, but she’s demanding and sometimes everything is just plain overwhelming.

So I’ve learned how to ask for help, and that’s made a huge difference.

Because I’m not gonna lie. I’m damn exhausted.

I walk over and plop down in the chair next to Leo and Sam, crossing my ankles and resting my arm over my head.

“Hey.” I smile over at them. “How are you guys?”

“We’re great,” Leo replies, taking a bite of Sam’s food. “How are you?”

“Fine.”

Leo takes his glasses off and watches me with narrowed blue eyes, making me frown.

“What? I’m fine.”

“You look tired.”

“Thanks. I think that’s the same as saying you look like shit.”

“That’s not what I said.”

“It’s kind of the same thing,” Sam agrees, nodding as she chews on a champagne-soaked berry. Damn, I wish I could eat some of those.

“Whose side are you on, sunshine?”

“No sides,” Sam replies with a laugh. “I’m just agreeing with Meg.”

“Yeah, taking her side,” Leo says and slaps Sam on the ass, making her jump and her cheeks turn pink at the same time.

“Don’t start something you can’t finish, Leo Nash.”

He grins at her, then turns back to me. “So tell me what’s going on.”

“Oh my God.” I sigh in exasperation. “There is nothing going on.”

“I know you,” he reminds me. And he does. He’s the closest thing I have to a brother, and I love him like crazy.

Even though he drives me crazy.

“Leave her alone,” Sam says. “Do you think you can get a sitter for Erin Thursday night?”

“I’m sure I can. What’s up?”

Leo grins as Sam eats another berry.

“The band’s coming up from L.A. and we’re going to have dinner at our place,” Leo says. “We’d love for you and Will to come. Bring your guitar. We’re going to write some songs.”

“Why don’t you look excited about this?” I ask Sam, who won’t look Leo in the face as she bites her lip.

“I’m excited.”

Leo and I exchange a look. “Yeah, I can clearly see this is your super excited face.”

She laughs and tucks her hair behind her ear. “Leo promised after the last world tour that he would take some time off. Having the guys up to start writing songs just a few months later isn’t really taking time off.”

“I told you, we aren’t recording. We don’t have anything planned for the foreseeable future.”

She nods, but doesn’t look convinced.

“When you’re in a band, it’s like being part of a close family,” I begin, hoping to give her some new perspective. “We know how that is. You spend weeks, sometimes months with the same people, day in and day out. And then, when the tour is over, you all go your separate ways, and you feel a little lost.”

“Do you feel lost?” Sam asks Leo, dragging her fingertips down his cheek.

“I want to see them,” he replies as he shrugs one shoulder. “Writing a few songs doesn’t mean we’re going back out on the road next week.”

She sighs, and then smiles. “I know. I’m just selfish with your down time.”

“I get it, trust me.” I reach over and give her hand a pat. “I live for the off season when Will isn’t traveling with the team all the time. He’s good about making sure the turn around time is short, but it’s still demanding.”

Sam nods and offers me a happy smile. “Thanks.”

“I’d love to come see the guys,” I continue. “I’ve started writing a few songs, but haven’t finished anything. Maybe you can help me.”

“You’re writing again?” Leo’s smile is wide. “Since when?”

“Since I was pregnant with Erin. The hormones made me creative, and I started several pieces.”

“I’m excited to hear them,” he replies.

My stomach growls, making me scowl. I just had two sliders not even thirty minutes ago. “I’m going to go find food.”

I stand and walk away, tired and hungry, and resigned to this being my lot in life for the next nine or so months.

Not that it’s a bad lot in life. Not at all.

As I walk past the pool, it occurs to me that I haven’t seen Will in a while. Maybe he went inside?

I pass the food and head indoors, walking through the living room and stepping over Erin’s things. I should have picked them up this morning, but I was too tired, and not a little nervous about the news I’d just received.

I wander back to our room and find Will in the bathroom, leaning on the sink and breathing deeply. His shoulders are so damn broad, his dark blond hair longer than usual. His back narrows to a tight waist and the sexiest ass this side of the Mississippi.

Or that side, for that matter.

“Are you okay?” That gets his attention. He whirls around and takes me in, from head to toe, the way he always does when I walk into a room.

It just never gets old.

A slow smile slips over his lips as he advances toward me.

“I’m great.”

“I saw you fall earlier. Do you need help?”

“It’s nothing.”

But something in his eyes shuts down, sending off warning bells. Before I can ask him about it, he walks me backwards toward our bed.

“Will, we have more than a dozen people out at our pool.”

“Exactly.” He shuts and locks the door, and walks toward me, his blue eyes hot with lust, and everything else completely escapes my head. “They’re out at the pool, and none of them cares where we are.”

   
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