Hendrix (Raleigh Raptors 3) - Page 18

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My father frowned at my obvious switch in mood and nodded toward me. "What's eating up my baby girl?"

I blinked out of my thoughts but was unable to shake off that slight guilt sucking at my heart. I took another drink of my sparkling water, trying to collect my words. I didn't want to sound ungrateful but…

"Do you think it's unfair?" I finally asked him as he headed toward the stove with a giant wooden spoon in his hand.

He stirred the giant pot of chili like a conductor instructing a symphony. The smells of spice and pepper and tomato filled the kitchen, doing everything it could to rid me of that icky feeling. All the smells of home. My father's home, which used to be mine before I left for college. "I'm gonna need you to be a little bit more specific," Dad said as he sat the spoon down on the holder next to the counter by the stove. He plucked the cast-iron lid on top of the pot and turned the burner down to low. He spun to give me his full attention.

"The fact that I have a position waiting for me with the Raptors," I said, finding the tile along our kitchen floor incredibly interesting. Again, I wasn't ungrateful. I just wanted to earn it. Wanted to do something on my own and not have merely been given the position just because I was Coach Goodman's daughter.

A deep groove furrowed my father's brows, and then he huffed out a laugh. "You’re serious?"

I nodded, finally meeting his eyes straight on. He must've noticed the seriousness in them because his expression softened. "Savannah," he said, and I felt like I was ten-years-old again. "Do you know how many candidates applied for that position?"

I shook my head. In all honesty, I didn't know if Weston had looked at anybody else.

Dad blew out of breath, positioning his hands on his hips like he was about to call me into a huddle. "There were fourteen other qualified candidates for the position that's waiting for you. Weston went over every single one of their qualifications with a fine-tooth comb. You just happen to have more experience than the rest of them."

"That isn't exactly true —"

"Isn't it?" Dad smoothly cut in. "Savannah, you've been in the thick of it since before you could even throw a football. You know this sport almost better than I do. And you also know about managing it a hell of a lot more than I do. Hell, you went to school for it. That's what gave you an edge, not because of your name. Your experience. Your tenacity. Your dedication. I mean, for crying out loud, you took the accelerated courses to graduate early." He crossed the space between us, gently clutching my shoulders. "Don't for one minute think you didn't earn every ounce of this position waiting for you. Because you did. It wasn't because of my recommendation or the fact that Weston knows you as well as any of the Raptor players. It was because of your resume. Because of that degree you're about to get. Because you know the profession and will do great things inside of it. Weston's hiring you was because you're an asset. End of story."

A little bit of that dark tension released from my tight chest. But there was still something nagging at me in the back of my head.

"Unless," my father continued. Tilting his head down at me. "Unless you don't want to work for the Raptors?" He tried to hide the concern in his eyes, but I could see it there. The idea that I might not want to work for his team. His owner. That I might want to branch out and do something completely separate. I know he'd support me, but I also know he was excited as hell when Weston offered me the sports management position.

"It's not that," I admitted. "You know I love the Raptors. You know I love you. I just don't want to be handed things. And you can't blame me for wanting to experience things on my own too."

Dad nodded, then pulled me into his chest for a tight hug only he was capable of. The same hug he gave me for every accomplishment in my life—learning to ride a bike, learning to drive a stick shift, accelerating through college at top speeds. He was a solid constant in my life, a comforting, easy thing to fall into at a job where we’d see each other frequently. But I'd always been a little bit on the wild side, and I couldn't help that craving to reach for something beyond the known just to get a taste of it.

Hendrix Malone was one said wild thing.

I stepped out of my dad's embrace, smiling up at him. Trying to shrug off the entire conversation like it wasn't eating me away inside. Eating away at me just like the fact that Hendrix had yet to respond to my proposition.

Tags: Samantha Whiskey Raleigh Raptors Romance
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