The Not-Outcast

Page 21

I patted her hand holding my arm and whispered, leaning my own head to touch her forehead, “I’m sure I’m sure.”

Her hand tightened.

I patted again.

We shared a smile and walked the rest of the way.

I was totally fine with her and Chad.

And we didn’t talk about Chad or Cut the rest of the night.

From: Koala Boy

To: Cheychey

Subject: Did you find out anything?

From: Cheychey

To: Koala Boy

Subject: That you’re awesome! Not kidding. She likes you.

From: Koala Boy

To: Cheychey

Subject: Why do we only use the subject line?

From: Cheychey

To: Koala Boy




Having a messed up elbow sucked, but it sucked more that I was missing Come Our Way.

I got called in for extra physical therapy and Cassie had me going through a whole rotation today.

PT was amazing. PT was magical, but some days, PT sucked ass. Today it was sucking ass in the way that for once I didn’t want to be here today.

But, my elbow needed it.

Cassie stepped back from me, nodding to my elbow. “It’s still sore, but you should be fine. I think they were smart to pull you in yesterday and today. Just do a lot of soaks today, or as much as you think is needed. You know your limit.”

She was our physical therapy worker. To some, she was the younger sister, and to others, the big sister. She was more a friend to me, and I nodded. “Sounds good. Thanks.”

“So…” She grabbed a towel, pausing before heading back to her office. We were in the back PT room, and a few of the other guys had come in early as well.

I waited. She had something to say.

“You know that girl from Friday night?”

Jesus. Did everyone know?

She kept on, “I saw her again last night. She and her friends. They were at Bresko’s.” Another pause. She was eyeing me, her head cocking downwards at a tilt. “I think one of her friends was the one you took home that night, too.”

It took a second, then—Cheyenne.

And she wasn’t talking about my girl at first. Her girl.

“Wait. What? You saw Cheyenne last night?”

“Yeah. She’s nice, too.”

Fucking fuck. I was jealous of my PT friend.

That was a nice kick to the dick.


She was still eyeing me, and at that, they went flat. “You don’t want to talk about her?”

I did.

But I wanted to be able to participate in the conversation, and I couldn’t, and my PT friend could, and that was making my balls clench up.

“No. I’m good. So, you had fun last night?” Wait. “You said Bresko’s?”

She nodded, giving me a duh look. “You don’t think anyone knows, but we all know.”


This team gossiped worse than high schoolers.

“You have a new girl in rotation.”

I frowned. “What?”

Her head inclined toward me, her hands going to her hips. “You don’t do the randoms, but you don’t have a girlfriend, and we know you have a few girls you keep in rotation. I might’ve saw an engagement post by one of them, and then…” She lifted up a shoulder. “You took that new girl home with you, so you have a new girl in rotation?” Her voice rose, becoming clearer, a bit more professional. “I’m just letting you know because I might be hanging out with her friend, and I know you’re big on privacy. Now you know.”

Goddamn again. I had no clue how to process any of that shit.

“You’re hanging out with the friend? What does hanging out mean?”

Cassie blushed, her head dipping down again. “It’s just, I don’t know.” She lifted once more, her cheeks all pink. “I go slow, if you didn’t know that by now.”

“So you’re not actually hanging out. You’re like, dating, but slow dating?”

“Uh…” She began edging backwards, grabbing another towel and flicking it over her shoulder. “Consider you have been given the heads-up and I’m off to my next client. Good luck tonight if I don’t see you before you pad up.”

“Thanks, Cassie.”

She gave me a small smile before heading out, disappearing into the hallway.

Hendrix was coming in as she left. They both said their hellos, then he turned my way.

“Hey.” He came over, hopping up on the seat next to me. “They checked you over?”

I stretched my arm out. She was right. My elbow was still tight, but it’d be fine. I knew that already this morning when they called, said I should head in here instead of the community outreach project with Come Our Way. I’d been hoping to see Cheyenne, see her in her element, but no go, and I glanced at Hendrix.

He’d been there yesterday.

He also knew what else went down, and I hadn’t been in the mood to talk about her.

He’d get a fucking kick out of it, but fuck it. “How was the thing yesterday?”

Hendrix had been stretching his arm over his chest, and I didn’t miss the quick, shit-eating grin before he looked over. “Curious, eh?”

“Shut up.” I scowled. “Just tell me how it was.”

“How it was or how she was?” He switched arms. “Frank texted. She’s not there today.”

I was supposed to be there today.

Maybe I should walk? She didn’t show the day I was supposed to. She ran from my place, then this? The girl was trying to tell me something, and yeah…fucking battery acid was what I was eating right now.

“What’s that look about?”


Hendrix lifted his chin toward me. “You look like you saw your grandma’s saggy tits just now. You gone on this girl or something?”

Was I? I thought I was.

I wanted to fuck her again. I knew that much.

I rolled a shoulder. “Not sure.”

His grin was too knowing, but he said, “She’s cool if you are. Whole place was cool. Their chef had lots of personality, but he doted on her. He’s probably fifty, and his wife showed up. She kept snarking on him, had all of us laughing so much we didn’t notice the time was done.”

“What about the suit?”

“Nah. He’s nothing. Fanboy, most likely. He kept trying to ask your girl questions, and she kept dodging him. That was fun to watch, too.” He got serious. “I kinda wanted to go again. I might do my own thing after this. You didn’t go at all?”

I shook my head. “They wanted me in here today.”

He nodded, rubbing over his jaw before yawning and leaning back to start raising his leg up. “Makes sense. You got worked over the last game. You good for tonight?”

I flashed him a look.

And he grinned. “That’s what I figure. These guys are aggressive.”

I grunted, knowing that, too. But they didn’t have the speedster the last team did. I’d be able to keep to only my line. “We’ll get ’em.”

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