“Can I get your number?”
She shook her head. “Sorry buddy, one-time deal here.”
“Really? Wow. I’ve never met someone like you.”
Reese smiled. “Yeah, I’m one in a million.”
It’s not his fault… he doesn’t know.
Phillip wasn’t going to kill Patrick Franklin, but Claire was fair game.
Walking into the room he shared with Claire to find her in bed with the new rookie wasn’t how he wanted to end his night but, for the last three months, Claire had done any and everything to piss him the f**k off. He usually kept his cool but, this time, this time she had succeeded. While she looked up at him, her legs crossed with a conniving little look on her face, Patrick, or as the guys called him, Patty, rushed to pull his jeans up before throwing his shirt on. He wasn’t sure how far they got, but surely not far since Claire was still in her bra and panties.
Right? When a vision of all the things he has done to girls that wore more than that came to mind, he shut his eyes, shaking his head. “Put some clothes on,” he spat out at her.
She rolled her eyes before doing as he asked. Patty tried to get by him, but Phillip pushed him into the wall, holding him in place by his shoulder. He could see the fear in his eyes, and he should be scared. He was lucky that Phillip wasn’t killing him right now, but he knew this wasn’t Patty’s doing. The kid was as quiet as a mouse and overall a good guy. Phillip thought he had a girlfriend, but maybe he was wrong.
“Do you know how old she is, Patty?”
“She said she was nineteen.”
Phillip cut Claire a look and she just smiled at him, shrugging her shoulders. Shaking his head, he looked back at the shaking rookie.
Patty almost lost his footing as his eyes went wide.
“Oh f**k, please, Phillip, don’t tell anyone. I didn’t know. I didn’t even sleep with her, I promise.”
“We were about to, until we were interrupted,” Claire added. “Thanks for ruining my night.”
Phillip could only see red as his grip on Patty’s arm tightened.
“She is my niece, and she is completely off limits. I’m pretty sure I told everyone that.”
He shook his head quickly. “I don’t remember that, man. I’m so sorry. It will never happen again.”
“You got that right.”
Phillip let go of his shoulder and watched as he almost fell trying to get out of the room. He kicked the door shut and turned to find Claire with her hands on her hips and that same defiant look on her face. If he hadn’t caught her smiling while she was watching a movie, he’d think she was permanently angry.
“What the hell, Phillip? You were supposed to go out tonight!”
Whoa, wait a minute. Was she actually mad at him?
“Um, excuse me, I did go out, but I came back to make sure you weren’t hungry,” Phillip pointed out.
“Not for food, but my hunger for Patrick is another story. That boy is Grade A fine.”
Phillip pinched the bridge of his nose as he took in deep breaths. In the last three months since bringing Claire to Nashville, nothing had changed. Other than the lack of a sex life Phillip was going through, Claire was still a mouthy, angry teenager that was out to ruin him. She did everything in her power to drive him insane. She wouldn’t talk to him, unless she was yelling at him about keeping her on the road with him. He constantly had to hear about her being bored, how she wanted to sleep in a real bed, and how she wanted to hang out with people her own age. She made it seem like all she wanted was to be back in Minnesota. When he suggested she go back to living with Alice, she would get irate, and they would spend most of the night screaming at each other.
It drove him crazy. She was a typical woman. There was no pleasing her, and Phillip didn’t know what to do anymore. He tried to get her to go to counseling, but he was basically paying for her to sit there and be a mute. She wouldn’t talk. She didn’t want to talk to anyone; she only wanted to sit with her damn headphones in her ears and dance around the damn room, completely ignoring him. He was getting tired of it. He wanted the girl he knew before back, he wanted this to be fixed, and he wanted her to be happy. He knew she was everything but that, and he didn’t know how to make it better. He couldn’t stop traveling, it was part of his job, so what the hell was he supposed to do?
Looking back at her, he decided that this time she had went too far. It was the first time he found her in bed with anyone, and it was going to be the last. Glaring at her, he said, “This will never happen again. Do you know you could have ruined that kid’s career?”
“I don’t care,” she said with an uncooperative shrug. “All I care about is getting laid. You won’t let me out of your sight long enough for me to find someone to do the deed. I saw him by the coke machine and next thing I know, he has me against it. His girlfriend just dumped him; he needed a sympathy f**k.”
For f**k’s sake.
“You are sixteen; you don’t need to be sleeping with anybody, much less a nineteen-year-old rookie!”
“So you never had sex at my age?”
He was proud he only sputtered for a moment.
“That has nothing to do with what we are talking about right now. I don’t want you trying to seduce my hockey team! This is my career, Claire. Don’t you understand that you can get me in trouble?”
She flung her arms in the air. “Then let me go! Let me leave and go live my life!”