Lucy Fitzpatrick doesn’t like rugby.
As the little sister of Ireland’s most infamous rugby player, Lucy can’t seem to escape the championship-sized shadow cast by her big brother, or her mother’s frequent attempts to micromanage her future. Her rainbow hair is as free-spirited as her quest for inner peace, yet overbearing expectations keep bringing her down. And when she’s down, her compulsive little problem lands her in seriously big trouble.
Sean Cassidy is a cold-hearted brute… or so he’s been told. Frequently. By everyone. His blonde locks, baby blues, and rock hard bod make ladies the world over drool with desire. As the
rugby world’s second most infamous player, he should be basking in his success. But Sean has never been content settling for second place, and his frequent confrontations with Lucy’s big brother leave him cold. And when he’s cold, his compulsive little problem lands him in the lap of Lucy Fitzpatrick.
Sean has a problem only Lucy can solve. Lucy has a problem only Sean can fix. The solution seems obvious: you scratch my back, and I’ll bail you out of jail. But when their business arrangement
unexpectedly leaves Sean scorching hot and Lucy on the precipice of inner peace, can they convince the world—and Lucy’s big brother in particular—that this is the real deal?
Either way, both the Player and the Pixie are about to teach each other some pretty monumental lessons about family, life, but most importantly, love.
I didn’t know what I was doing.
Requests, things I wanted, words I would never speak or allow myself to think were now uncontainable.
It’s the sex, I reiterated. Again. I’d used this explanation, now on repeat, as a simple justification for the complex cacophony of my mind.
“Be with you?” Her long, dark lashes fluttered, beating like distressed butterfly wings against warming pink cheeks.
I licked my lips, tasting her there. “Yes.”
She stared at me, confused. I was also confused.
Because it wasn’t the sex.
Several seconds ticked on as we studied each other in breathless silence. She found her voice before I did. “What does that-”
“Lucy?” Annie’s voice was paired with a soft knock on the bathroom door. “Are you okay?”
I opened my mouth to whisper a clarification to the question Lucy hadn’t quite posed, because I was compelled to tell her it wasn’t the sex. We didn’t have to have sex. We could just… talk. Or play cards. Or touch. Or look at each other from across the room.
We could merely be together.
But she covered my mouth with her hand. Her features arrested with unmistakable panic.
“Yes. I’m fine! I just… started my period is all. Made a mess in my jeans, like a crime scene.” Lucy hollered in response then grimaced. She immediately mouthed I’m sorry to me. Her cheeks flushed red.
I lifted an eyebrow. She rolled her eyes, ducking her head with obvious embarrassment. I pressed my lips together so I wouldn’t laugh.
Issuing me a quelling look, Lucy released me and skittered out of the stall, whispering, “Stay here and count to three hundred.”
“Oh! Do you need anything?” Annie’s voice was less muffled and I surmised she’d opened the bathroom door.
“Ah, no. Have it all sorted now. Thank God Tom has these nice absorbent napkins instead of those troublesome hand driers. Although I feel like I’m wearing a diaper! They’re bad for the environment, so I should talk to him about replacing the napkins. Maybe make a few available for emergencies…”
Lucy’s anxiety riddled chatter faded as the bathroom door clicked shut.
I released an audible exhale. My heart was beating as though it might leap from my chest. I found I needed to catch my breath. Neither had anything to do with being caught.
I didn’t count to three hundred as instructed. I counted to one hundred and twenty-three, then realized what I was doing.
“You’re mad, Sean,” I muttered, shaking myself and promptly leaving the women’s room. I checked the cufflinks on my dress shirt—a nervous habit—and strolled back to the table.
What the fuck are you doing?
It’s the sex. She’s phenomenal in bed. You’ve never had that before. It’s just sex.
I nodded, reiterating the logic of my justification for the uncharacteristic behavior. If I repeated it enough, perhaps I would believe it.