For disclaimers: See Part 1
Rock stared out the window as she, her parents and JB waited for their lunches. Though she knew she wasn’t responsible for the beating Mike inflicted on Miriam, she couldn’t help but feel the twinge of guilt that gnawed at her. If I’d only kept my dick in my pants, none of this would be happening.
Nadina watched her daughter as a multitude of expressions formed on Rock’s face, one following another. You can’t blame yourself, mija. None of this is your fault. “Vali, honey, are you ok?”
Rock ran her fingers through her short, raven hair and looked over at her mother. “Yeah, I just can’t help but feel sorry for Miriam. She’s the victim in all this.”
Michael stood and walked over to his daughter’s bedside. “She’s not the only victim, love. You have been victimized as well.” He took her hand into his.
“This could’ve happened to me at any time, Dad. Football is dangerous for anyone who plays it, especially at the level of the NFL.” She paused as a thought occurred to her. “I bet the detractors for women playing in the NFL are having a field day with this.”
JB chuckled from his seat in the corner of Rock’s room. “They aren’t saying anything new, just using your injury as an excuse. It’s funny though, they’re all for hanging Sloan out to dry.”
“Really?” Rock asked.
“Yep.” Before JB could continue he was interrupted by one of the facility’s nurses.
“Excuse me,” the nurse said as she entered the room, “but I thought you might be interested in seeing this, Ms. Rockwell.”
Rock pushed herself up further up in her bed while her father adjusted her pillows. They waited as the nurse turned on the plasma screen and tuned it to the NFL channel. Rock’s hands immediately clenched into fists when she spotted Sloan on the screen avoiding the reporters’ questions.
The picture then switched to the news desk with a serious looking reporter. Once again, the NFL has issued sanctions on the career of Mike Sloan. The league has suspended Sloan for the rest of this season and next season without pay. He also has to pay restitution to Rockwell in the amount of seven million dollars, as well as cover all of her medical expenses.
Rock’s eyes widened at the reporter’s announcement. That’s the absolute worst that could happen to a player. Looks like neither one of us will be playing football for a while.
“Damn, that seven mil will definitely put a dent in his wallet with him not getting any pay,” JB said. Serves him right for what he did to her. He looked at his friend and could see the expression on her face. He stood up and walked over to her bed. “Don’t you dare feel sorry for that son of a bitch. He deserves everything they threw at him, even more if you ask me.”
Rock sighed. “I don’t feel sorry for him, JB. I just know how he feels not being able to do the one thing he loves.”
The nurse, sensing that they may get personal, slipped out of Rock’s room. Nadina noticed the woman as she eased around the room and through the door. “Thank you,” she said to her as she left. She turned her attention back to her daughter. “Honey, you’ll be back on your feet in no time. Caitlin seems like a very determined woman. Plus she is very good at what she does.” Nadina smiled, picked up Rock’s hand and kissed it. “Don’t worry about a thing.”
Caitlin. Rock couldn’t help but smile at the thought of her PT. She’s stubborn alright. “She reminds me of Abuela.”
Nadina nodded in agreement. “She is feisty.”
“She’ll need to be feisty, having to deal with you when you get into one of your moods,” JB added.
“I have no idea what you mean,” Rock said, arching an irritated eyebrow. “I am in no way, shape or form a difficult patient.” Michael and Nadina burst out laughing. “What?” Rock asked.
“Sweetheart, you can be a tad difficult when you set your mind to it,” Nadina said.
“Yes indeed.” Michael added, “Remember when you got your tonsils removed?”
Rock folded her arms over her chest like a petulant child. “That’s because I had the nurse from hell. She didn’t want to give me any ice cream.”
she didn’t want to give you any
“I don’t think Caitlin will let her get away with any of her little tricks or tantrums,” her father said, ruffling her hair.
“Oh geez, Dad,” Rock groaned as she rubbed her hair back into place. Speaking of Caitlin, I wonder if she and my traitor grandmother are having fun.
Johnnie watched Caitlin devour her steak and side dishes. Man, this kid can eat. Good thing Rock’s rich or she would never be able to keep this one fed. “Where are you putting all that, Smurfling?”
Caitlin looked up from her steak and smiled. “I have a very high metabolism, Gram. It’ll be burned off in no time.”
Clasping her hands together and resting her chin on them she looked at the younger woman. “I hope you aren’t nervous about our conversation earlier.”
Caitlin placed her fork on her plate and wiped her mouth.She looked around the restaurant and saw the waitress coming from the bar with another drink for Johnnie. After waiting for the waitress to place Johnnie’s glass on the table and fill her glass with tea then leave, she leaned forward so Johnnie could hear her. “Gram, I hope that won’t reflect poorly on me. I was genuinely concerned about her. That was a vicious hit she took.”
“Smurfling, I already said don’t worry about it,” Johnnie assured her, placing her hand over Caitlin’s. “I can see that you are a compassionate woman with a caring spirit. Besides, you had no idea you’d be Squirt’s PT. We came looking for you, remember?” She winked at her.
“I remember, Gram,” Caitlin said with a smile.
Johnnie took a long sip from her glass. “They sure don’t make drinks like they did back in the day. “I’ve had four of these and I’m just now feeling a buzz.”
Caitlin looked at her watch and then continued eating. “I’d better get a move on. I have to be back at the facility soon.”
“Yes, I know.” Johnnie finished off her drink and placed her napkin in her empty plate. “There is something I need you to do for me, Smurfling.”
“Sure, just name it,” she said between bites.
“I want you to watch out for Free Booty.”
Caitlin laughed. “Who is Free Booty?”
“The trench mouthed trollop that rolled up in Squirt’s room today, that’s who. I don’t trust that bitch and I know she’s after my grandbaby.”
“Gram,” Caitlin said in a serious tone, “the only thing I can do is my job. I can’t keep her away from Rock.” Though I wish I could.
“I know, just don’t let that slag get under your skin. Don’t let her put a wedge between you and Squirt.”
“She won’t stop me from doing my job, Gram.”
Johnnie raised her hand to get their waitress’s attention. “Just don’t let her insinuate herself between you two. She is not the one for my grandbaby.” I will do all I can to make sure that Free Booty doesn’t pull the wool over Squirt’s eyes, but sometimes that child can be as dumb as a stump. Well, maybe dumb is a little too harsh. “Squirt will do all she can to help that skank. She’s just too generous and caring at times.” I could smack the back of her head.
I wish Rock would be interested in me, but how can I compete with a drop dead gorgeous woman like Miriam Sloan. Caitlin sighed. “Getting Rock back on her feet is my first priority. I won’t allow anyone to hinder her therapy.”
“I guess that’s all I can ask,” Johnnie conceded. For now.
“Oh butterfly, la lalalala,” Johnnie sang as she walked towards Rock’s room. Guess they do make drinks like they used to.
Nadina met her mother just outside Rock’s room. “Mama, have you been drinking?”
Johnnie leaned down and kissed her daughter’s forehead. “Indeed I have, Little One. Indeed I have.” She looked around and whispered conspiratorially, “Free Booty been back around here?”
“What makes you think she’s coming back here, Mama?”
Johnnie laughed. “Because that little tramp is gonna make a play for Squirt. I could see it written all over her face.”
“There’s no way that Vali will fall for that. Miriam is a married woman.”
“She fucked her, didn’t she?”
“Mama!” Nadina hissed, pulling her away from Rock’s door. “That was a mistake. One I’m sure Vali won’t make again.” She looked up at her mother. “Besides, Vali is interested in Caitlin.”
Johnnie arched her eyebrow in response. “Really now?
Nadina nodded. “She was a little put out because you were having lunch with Caitlin instead of all of us dining together.”
“I know I’m old, but I had no idea I could still pull someone as young and attractive as Caitlin.” Johnnie grinned evilly. “Guess I should go and torture the little brat before she has to go to therapy.” She walked toward Rock’s room as Nadina watched in disbelief.
Rock looked at the clock once again and growled. Where is she and what could they be doing? She looked toward the door when she heard the familiar clicking of her grandmother’s cane striking the floor. “Well, looks like you did remember that your granddaughter is starting her PT today,” she said, not trying to hide the sarcasm in her voice.
Johnnie walked into Rock’s room and offered her one of her patented smirks. “You had to wait for me to get back before you went to PT?”
“Uhm, no, I just had to wait until my therapist got back to start my PT.” She noticed the look in her grandmother’s eyes and wondered if it wasmerriment or alcohol. She knew as soon as Johnnie smiled and winked at her that she had been indulging in spirits. “Gram, you should be ashamed of yourself, a woman of your age drinking in the middle of the day.”
“And why not?” she asked, a little unsteady on her feet. “I’m a grown ass woman and I can drink whenever I feel like it. Don’t hate on me because I was having lunch with a young, beautiful woman.”
You just had to rub it in, didn’t you? She’s right, Caitlin is beautiful. “First of all, they don’t say that anymore, Gram. Second, I wasn’t “hating” on you as you put it.” JB snickered, receiving a glare from his best friend. “I just thought that you would want to have lunch with me like you normally did.”
Johnnie laughed. “Well you thought wrong. I can eat with you anytime.” Besides, after Free Booty swooped in, Caitlin looked like she could use a friend.
“Alright you two knock it off,” Nadina admonished as she entered the room followed by Caitlin and a therapist in training.
“Gram, are you ok?” Caitlin whispered when she stopped to stand next to the taller woman.
Johnnie draped her arm over Caitlin’s shoulders. “I’m fine, sweetie pie. It takes more vodka than I had at lunch to knock me for a loop.”
Rock’s entire demeanor changed and a broad smile formed on her face. She went from mildly jealous and irritated to pure bliss when she laid eyes on Caitlin. She’s gorgeous. I wish she would see me as more than a patient. Maybe after I get done with this therapy she would have dinner with me or something. She was stirred from her musings by her grandmother’s cane being tapped lightly on the floor.
“Manners, Squirt,” Johnnie reprimanded.
“Oh, I’m sorry. Hi, Caitlin.”
“Hi Rock,” she shyly replied. “This is Melody, she’s doing her clinical with me today. The therapist she was assigned to is out.”
Rock looked over at the young woman and offered her hand. “It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
Melody blushed as she shook the famous athlete’s hand. “The pleasure’s all mine Ms. Rockwell. My father and brothers are huge fans.”
“Thanks and please call me Rock,” she told her.
“Are you ready to get started?” Ignoring the pleading look that Rock offered, she continued. “Good. Melody if you would get the wheelchair from the hallway we can set Rock on the pathway to recovery.”
“I bet you wished we’d taken a longer lunch now, don’t cha Squirt?” Johnnie laughed, and chuckles followed from the rest of the family.
She stuck her tongue out at her grandmother. Actually, no, I’m ready to spend time with Caitlin.
The action didn’t go unnoticed by Caitlin, causing her knees to weaken. Goddess, please be with me.
rushed around her hotel room like a whirlwind, making sure that she had
everything packed and ready to go when the bellman rang for their bags.
She had been extremely busy all morning and early afternoon making arrangements
with a realtor for a condo on
Her oldest son, Mike Jr., had seen the news and sports broadcasts as they admonished and sometimes even vilified his father. He couldn’t understand why his dad’s name was being maligned in the press. She had to explain to him that what he did was not an accident, but a vicious attack on another player. Young Mike did seem a bit upset with his father not only because of what happened between him and Rock, but because of the bruises on his mother’s face that were not there before he went to bed that fateful night.
The 1.5 million dollars she managed to take from their checking account wasn’t enough to get on her feet and keep her in the lifestyle she was accustomed to, so her mother wired her the money to put down as a deposit on the condo and to help get things in order. Thank goodness for mother. If I had listened to Mike, I wouldn’t be close to her at all. She walked over to the window and wrapped her arms around herself and looked out at the skyline. I wouldn’t have anyone to turn to if Mike had his way. He wanted me to cut myself off from everyone I knew before I met him. How could I have fallen in love with such a selfish and controlling bastard?What was I thinking when I said yes to his marriage proposal? A wistful smile crossed her lips as she thought back to the way things used to be. He was once a good man, Miriam. That’s why you fell in love with him. Money, power, fame, all of that took the man you fell in love with and turned him into the violent creature he is now.
“Mom,” a small voice called out to her.
Miriam stirred from her thoughts and looked down at her youngest son, Jimmy. “What is it, baby?”
“I miss Dad,” he said in a hushed tone. “I want to call him.”
Oh Jesus, what am I going to do now? “Jimmy, baby, remember I told you we were going on an adventure?” she asked him. He nodded. Miriam took his hand and walked over to the sofa and sat down. “We’re going on this adventure because Dad has some personal stuff to work through and he needs to do it alone.”
“All I want to do is talk to him, Mom.”
“Son, it wouldn’t be a good idea if we did that just yet.” What am I going to say to convince him of this? “Maybe we should wait until we get settled and then give him a call.”
This seemed to satisfy the little boy, and he went back over to where he left his game and resumed playing.She blew a relieved breath when her eldest son didn’t even bother to look up. Thank God. I knew this was going to be hard on them, but I just hope they understand this is for the best.
Mike Sloan sat in his lawyer’s office, hoping the woman could help him get out of the mess he had created for himself. I can’t believe they actually want me to pay that bitch because she got hurt. She had no business even being on the field with men. None of those “women” do. He stirred from his musings when his attorney, Jolene Edwards, entered her office. Mike admired the woman’s ample backside as she made her way around her desk to take a seat. Pity she’s married. He knew she was definitely out of his league when he found out that she was married to a family member of a former senator of North Carolina, though he had made a couple of attempts to seduce her.
“Good afternoon, Mr. Sloan,” she said coolly, sensing his eyes had been plastered to her rear end when she walked past him. He is such a pervert.
“Now Jolene,” he said smoothly, “I’ve asked you to call me Mike. Mr. Sloan was my father.”
“And I have asked you to call me Mrs. Edwards,” she replied, her irritation beginning to surface. I really don’t have time for your nonsense today.
He held up his hands in surrender. “Alright, alright, you win. Good afternoon, Mrs. Edwards.”
“Good. Now let’s get down to business.” She opened his file and tossed her red hair over her shoulder. “Now that your suspension has gone into effect, you do realize that you aren’t entitled to any more pay from the Jaguars, yes?”
He slumped back into his chair. “Yeah, I know.”
“So, you will have to get in contact with your accountant so we can settle this matter with Ms. Rockwell and her doctors.” She looked up at him and he nodded. “There is one problem with the account I receive my retainer from.”
“What problem could that be?” he asked, looking confused. “There’s plenty of money in that account for you to get your fee without any delay.”
She looked up at him and smirked. “Not anymore. There’s less than ten thousand dollars in that account.”
“Bullshit!” he yelled as he leaped from his chair. “That account had over a million dollars in it.”
“Not as of this morning, when the wire transfer was denied,” she said, leaning back in her chair and placing her fingertips together. Glad to know your wife wasn’t a complete airhead. “I don’t work unless I get paid, Mr. Sloan.”
Damn you to hell, Miriam. I swear I will make you pay for all of this. “I’ll have my accountant set you up with one of my other accounts.”
“Good,” she said, sitting up. “I think it would be in your best interest to meet with your agent as well.”
She shook her head andlooked at the obviously clueless man. You really need to pay more attention to your affairs. “The suspension won’t be lifted until after your contract with the Jaguars expires, Mr. Sloan.”
“You won’t have a team after next season. They don’t have to pay the remainder of your contract and unless you have a new one in place you won’t have a job. Do you understand what I’m telling you?”
world seemed to be crashing down around him. I hadn’t even thought of
that. What am I going to do? I know the coach is still pissed at me, but
the owners don’t want to lose a lineman with my skills. “I’ll get
“See that you do,” she warned. Though she didn’t like the man, she still felt pity for him because of his wife and children. Jolene knew that Miriam counted on him for all of her financial support and she and the children would suffer if Sloan didn’t have a contract. “You have to think of your children.”
A wave of sadness washed over Sloan. Although he was angry with Miriam, he missed his sons terribly. “About my kids,” he paused. “Miriam has taken them away from me. I have no idea where she is. What can I do to get them back?”
Jolene sighed. She had heard through the grapevine that Sloan had hit his wife. Unfortunately she didn’t know to what extent he had actually attacked her. “Do you think she would harm the children?”
“Miriam would never do such a thing. She loves the boys,” he replied. “It’s just that I haven’t heard from her or the boys in weeks.”
I don’t blame her for wanting to get away from the likes of you. “I’m sure if she were in some sort of trouble you would have heard from her by now,” she said quietly. “Have you talked to her family?”
“I talked with her mother, the old battle axe, and she won’t tell me anything. I know she knows where they are.” He stood and walked over to bar and made himself a drink. “She did say they were safe.”
“That’s a good thing. If I were you, I would allow Mrs. Sloan to cool off.”
“What do you mean, cool off?” he asked, turning so she could see him give his innocent look.
“Mr. Sloan, let’s not play games. I heard you and your wife had a fight and you may have hit her.” She raised her hand to silence him when she saw he was about to protest. “I don’t think you want that bit of information to come out on the heels of your attack on Valeria Rockwell. It would give credence to the rumors that you hurt her because she slept with your wife.”
“It was an accident, just part of the game. Why won’t anyone believe me?”
“Because we’re not all complete idiots, Mr. Sloan,” she responded quickly. “You should give her a wide berth. Your reputation has been sullied enough.”
“Fine,” he said and tossed back the drink.
Rock, Caitlin and Melody made their way down the corridor and into the gym. Caitlin had insisted that Rock use the manual wheelchair instead of the motorized chair because she wanted Rock to exercise her upper body, not to mention she wanted to watch as her muscles flexed when she propelled herself down the hall.
They entered the now empty room. Rock looked around and saw all the exercise equipment and raised mats that were positioned inside the gym. Caitlin led them to one of the raised mats in the center of the room.
“Where is everybody?” Rock asked as she made her way to the mat.
Caitlin sighed. She knew her boss meant well, but at times he could go just a little over the top. “Mr. V. thought you would want your privacy, so he made changes to the therapy schedules.”
Rock’s brows furrowed. She didn’t like to receive celebrity status in anything that she had to do. Being taught by her grandmother that no one person is better than another is what kept her centered; not falling into the trap where celebrities thought they deserved special treatment. “I’d prefer if he didn’t do that,” she said.
“I’ll speak with him after this session,” Caitlin assured her. She was against having Rock work alone because in some cases the patients encouraged each other to work through the pain. “Melody, if you would stand behind Rock’s chair and move it once I get her up I’d appreciate it.”
Rock laughed. “Uhm, Caitlin, I don’t think you’ll be able to do that alone. Maybe Melody should stand next to you so she can help.”
Caitlin’s eyebrow rose beneath her bangs as she tried to reel in the flash of temper that was surely going to rise. Being underestimated was sort of a sore spot with her. After she was attacked, she swore no one would assume anything about her ever again. She leaned close to Rock, their noses mere millimeters apart. “How do you like it when those Monday morning quarterbacks try and tell you how you should’ve played your position?”
Blue eyes looked into a turbulent gray and she swallowed. Goddess, she’s sexy when she’s angry. “I don’t like it.”
“And I don’t like it when patients try and tell me how to do my job. So, Rock, I would advise you to leave the therapy to me. Understand?” Her tone was serious.
Caitlin stood up and gave her a full smile instead of the kiss on the tip of her nose she wanted to give her. “Good. Now if you would be so kind as to wrap your arms around my neck, we’ll do the transfer.”
Rock smiled and nodded her head. When Caitlin leaned over again, she got a glimpse of Caitlin’s breasts. She could feel her clit jump and she gasped.
“Are you alright?” Caitlin asked. “Are you in pain?”
Thankful that her dark skin hid the blush as it crept up her neck, she answered quickly. “No, no, I’m fine. Nothing to worry about.”
“Ok, let’s get started,” she said, leaning closer to Rock until they were almost cheek to cheek. She waited until Rock’s arms were around her before she wrapped her arms around her waist. She took a whiff of the vanilla that scented Rock’s hair, and she liked it. “We’re going to stand and I’m going to turn us so we can gently lower you to the mat, ok?” she whispered close to Rock’s ear.
Rock’s massive arms were around Caitlin, holding on while she felt herself being lifted from the chair. She felt the therapist’s breasts when they pressed into her stomach. Wow, she’s a lot stronger than she looks. Oh man, she feels so good. Goddess, give me strength.
Once Caitlin got the tall woman to her feet, she moved as close as she possibly could. Her cheek pressed against Rock’s bosom and her stomach fluttered at the familiarity of it. Caitlin’s heart hammered in her chest when she felt Rock’s arms wrap around her. Instead of losing herself in the feeling, she turned her attention back to the task at hand. She turned quickly, both her feet on the outside of Rock’s feet lowering her gently onto the raised mat. “Now, Rock, if you would please place your legs on the mat and stretch out we can begin.” Caitlin and Melody walked over to the weight stand to get some of the smaller weights.
Rock nodded and made an attempt to lift her leg using her leg muscles. The longer she sat the more frustrated she became. Move, damn it! Just move.
Caitlin turned to see her patient’s face. “Can you finish getting these, Melody?”
“Sure,” the young PT said.
She walked over to Rock and leaned down so only she could hear what was being said. “It’s going to take a little time, Rock. Although you have some feeling in your legs, the signal between them and your brain is still not connecting. You just have to relax and do the best you can.”
Listening to the soothing voice calmed her. Rock looked up at Caitlin and smiled. “I know, and I will.”
Returning her smile, Caitlin stepped back as she watched Rock lift one leg then the other. Her eyes fell yet again on the woman’s bulging biceps as she placed her massive legs onto the mat. Maybe having her wear shorts wasn’t such a good idea. When Rock adjusted herself she leaned back, giving Caitlin a great view her well-chiseled abs. She could feel the blush color her face. Oh dear, this is not a good thing. “Melody, are you ready?”
Melody brought over the weights on the cart and Rock sat up, propping herself on her elbows. She looked at the different weights and then at Caitlin. “We’re gonna be working with these?”
“Yes. Is there a problem?”
“Well,” she drawled, “they’re kinda small. I haven’t used weights that small since elementary school.”
“Hardyharhar, Ms. Olympia,” Caitlin said, sarcasm dripping from her voice. “We only want to tone, not add on to those impossibly massive biceps.”
Rock sat up completely and began to flex. “Do you like what you see?”
“I know I sure do,” Melody said.
Caitlin nodded and quickly turned to hide her blush. If she keeps this up I don’t think I can concentrate.“Alrighty then. Let’s get to work, shall we?”
“…and this is also a very good way to keep the muscles from seizing after a therapy session,” Caitlin explained to Melody as she rubbed Rock’s lower back, moving to the backs of her thighs.
“She is a remarkable patient,” Melody said. “I’ve never seen a first-time therapy session go so well.” She paused. “Does the eucalyptus oil really work well on taxed muscles?”
“Trust me,” Rock moaned with pleasure, “it does.”
The PT smiled broadly at the fact that her patient appreciated the massage. “Ah, comments from the peanut gallery.” Her hands were strong enough to make Rock’s granite like muscles almost pliable.
She wasn’t sure if it was the oil or Caitlin’s hands that were setting her flesh on fire, but she reveled in it just the same. Her eyes became heavy but she could still hear Caitlin’s voice and feel her hands.
“Is this ok, baby?” Caitlin asked as she sat on Rock’s lower back, rubbing the scented oil into her shoulders.
“Mmm, hmm, absolutely perfect,” she replied. “You know, the guys want to hire you as their own personal masseuse.”
“Tell them to send their own wives to massage therapy school.”
Rock’s eyes snapped open. “Wife?” she whispered.
“Did you say something, Rock?” Caitlin asked. “Are you ok?”
She turned over and ran her hand through her hair. “I must have been dreaming. How long was I asleep?”
“Only a few minutes,” the PT told her. “Are you sure you’re ok? Was it a bad dream? Do you think you need to talk to someone?” She sat down next to her.
“It wasn’t a bad dream, just surprising is all,” she assured her as she sat up. “If I need to talk to someone I’ll be sure to let you know.” She cupped Caitlin’s cheek.
Caitlin blushed and placed her hand over Rock’s, enjoying the feel of her strong hand. After a moment, she reluctantly removed her hand. “Are you ready for the whirlpool?”
Rock flashed an incredibly sexy grin. “The question is, are you ready for me to go to the whirlpool? I’ll be in all my naked glory.”
Caitlin’s jaw dropped at the Rock’s not so subtle flirtation. Oh my! Where in the world did that come from? She stood up and placed her hands on her hips.“Shall I tell Gram that you’re being lecherous, Rock?”
Her eyes became as round as saucers. “Aww, man, you always gotta hold Gram over my head. What if I told you that I really wasn’t afraid of her?”
“I’d tell you to stop lying through your teeth,” she responded, unable to control her laughter. “Now come on and let’s get you into that whirlpool.”