Kylie thought her life ended months earlier when the night from hell turned her world upside down. Instead of finishing medical school, Kylie became an alcoholic. Her parents forced her into a rehab center, and when a strange new man shows up to group therapy, Kylie feels something for the first time in months.
It turns out the handsome stranger is none other than Daniel Ross, captain of the Seattle Sea Lions hockey team. He and Kylie are drawn to each other, each with a dark part of their past they’d rather forget. But will the fear of exposing themselves make them run from each other as well?
This 15,000 word story is the first part of a trilogy. The last two parts are approximately 20,000 words each. Please enjoy the following excerpt:
But three days after Daniel arrived I decided to go to dinner at a reasonable hour, rather than eating either before or after anyone else, as was my usual habit. I sat at my table in the back, alone. Normally when I was here with others Fiona came and sat with me, but she was absent tonight. I wondered to myself if she’d gotten a day pass, a chance to go out with her husband in the real world. She had been looking good enough that I wouldn’t have been surprised if Doctor Emma gave her that chance.
I picked at my food, not really into the lasagna they were serving, when I felt someone in front of me. I looked and saw Daniel, holding a tray so full of food I was surprised the cheap plastic tray holding his plate didn’t crack in half. Instantly my breath caught in my throat. My senses were completely out of control as adrenaline rushed through my body. Fire coursed through me and my heart began to pound so loudly in my chest I was sure Daniel could hear it as he smiled and asked me if anyone was sitting at the table with me.
“No... no, it’s empty,” I replied, trying to smile back. I could feel my panties getting wet at just the sight of him. Oh God, what was happening to me?
“Thanks. It was Kylie, right?” he asked, digging into his enormous plate of lasagna, topped with what looked like an extra chicken breast, a dry salad on the side and a bottle of chocolate milk to wash it all down. Of course, I knew athletes expended an incredible amount of energy and needed a lot of food to make up for it, but to see that plate in front of me was just different. The man looked like he ate in a meal what I ate in a week!
“Yup, I’m Kylie,” I replied, hoping I sounded like a normal person. “I heard you’re a hockey player, I would have guessed athlete without that info if I saw you eating that,” I continued, motioning at his plate. I don’t know why I was so fixated on it. Maybe I thought that if I looked at his food, those confusing feelings of desire that ran through me every time I looked at his beautiful face would disappear.
“So the gossip has started already has it? This is actually a pretty small meal for me, now that I can’t work out the way I used to I have to reduce my calorie intake. This feels like a diet.”
“I wish my diets involved eating that much food,” I joked, and Daniel laughed.
“Come to the gym in the basement with me tomorrow, I’ll put you through a workout that lets you eat this much.”
“Are you asking me out?” I asked before I realized what I was saying, then instantly covered my mouth in surprise at my own reaction.
“Maybe,” he replied with a grin, and my eyes widened as my body tightened. There was no way to get out of it now.
“Fine. I’ll show up tomorrow and you can make me earn some extra ice cream for dessert.”
“I can’t wait. I never thought I’d find a pretty girl like you here in rehab. I guess I had a few pre-conceived notions about this place.” As it seemed so prone to do lately, a blush crawled up my face and I looked down at my food. A tingle of embarrassment and happiness crawled through me. I hadn’t felt happiness like this in a long, long time.