Hendrix (Raleigh Raptors 3) - Page 53

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“Everybody out, let’s give—” Roman turned around and started pushing the guys out, but one set of eyes rose over his shoulder.

“What the hell is going on here?” Coach Goodman pushed past Roman with a disgruntled look on his face.

This wasn’t happening. Was it? Every muscle in my body locked—this wasn’t something I could outrun or outtalk. We were caught.

“Oh, God,” Savannah whispered as her head slammed against my chest.

“Malone, what are you—”

I saw it on his face, the moment his angle changed enough to see her. His jaw dropped as his eyes flew wide, his gaze popping between Savannah and me.

Shit. Words failed.

She lifted her head slowly, and the devastation, the guilt that etched her features branded themselves in my memory. I couldn’t save myself from what was about to happen, but maybe I could take the blame off her.

“Sir, I can explain,” I started. Explain that I was wholeheartedly in love with his daughter. Explain that I would never hurt her, never cheat on her, never leave—not if I could help it. Explain that I was sorry for breaking his utmost rule, but couldn’t apologize for falling for her.

“Savannah?” His voice broke.

Her shoulders fell, and her hands lowered to my chest. “Hi, Daddy,” she whispered.

His expression transformed, his lips pressing into a flat line, and his eyes turning to narrow slits of ice that he focused on me.

“Surprise,” Roman said with fake jazz hands as the rookie slid a giant sheet cake onto the table. “Happy birthday?”

“That’s one hell of a present you got—” the rookie started.

All hell broke loose.

16

Savannah

I was shaking.

My entire body trembled—anger and regret and fear all mingling together in a terrible mixture that my body didn't agree with as I stomped into my father's office.

I slammed the door behind me, not exactly meaning to but not exactly caring either.

Dad seethed from behind his desk, his palms laid out flat on the top as if he needed to brace himself.

Disappointment and anger flashed across his face, and it fucking hurt to see him look at me that way. I wasn’t sure if I'd ever seen him so disappointed in me.

I swallowed down the hurt, shoved it way deep down because there were bigger, more important things to discuss.

"You can't trade him," I said, my voice slightly shaking.

"You’ve left me no choice. The entire team watched him—watched you—break my number one rule—"

"I'm so sick of those rules," I cut him off. Not just his rules but Hendrix’s rules too. All the fucking rules. "Why is it your right to say what I can and can’t do with my own goddamn body?"

Dad gaped at me, at the tone I’d taken with him. One I’d never taken with him before. But then again, I'd never needed to.

"Dad,” I said, taking a deep breath to soften my voice. “I'm a grown woman. I have my degree. I have a job. I should be allowed to choose who I do or don't sleep with."

Dad flinched like I'd slapped him across the face. He shook his head as if he could remove the images I’d planted in his mind.

“He knew the rules. He broke them. What kind of coach am I if I let that slide? Regardless of how grown-up you are. This team is like a family,” he said, sighing. “And I’m the head of it. I set rules, boundaries, and expectations to keep us all safe. It’s not some sick sort of control over you, Savannah. It’s to prevent all the dramatics that can and most certainly will occur on my team if hearts get tangled up in the mix. Hendrix just threw away his chance at remaining a part of this family because he disregarded my decisions. He put this team at risk—”

"What if I'm in love with him?" I spoke the words in almost a whisper.

He planted me with an astonished, almost crazed look. A crystal clear depiction of utter disappointment.

I’d never felt like more of a failure in my life.

"If you were foolish enough to fall for that man..." he said through clenched teeth. He gripped the edges of his desk so hard I swore I heard the wood groan. "He's been on my team for years. I've watched him perform at home games and away games, and I'm not talking about on the field. Everyone knows what that boy is all about. The chase. The attention. He doesn't care about anything but himself and his career —"

"You should get to know your players a little bit better because you're not giving him nearly enough credit," I cut him off, tears now freely streaming down my cheeks.

"Do you honestly think he would choose you over his contract?" His voice was ice cold, but he released the desk and came around to face me, leaning against it as his eyes took on a pitying glance as I hesitated to answer.


Tags: Samantha Whiskey Raleigh Raptors Romance
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