Authors: Callie Harper
Copyright © 2016 Callie
Design by Perfect Pear Creative
rights reserved. This book is a work of fiction. Any similarity to
real events, people, or places is entirely coincidental. All rights
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book contains mature content, including graphic sex. Please do not
continue reading if you are under the age of 18 or if this type of
content is disturbing to you.
Beg For It Series
these standalone novels
can be read in any order
Unleashed (Declan & Kara)
Undone (Ash & Ana)
Untamed (Heath & Violet)
Unbelievable (Colt &
Undeniable (Dom & Gigi)
All In Series
In Deep (Chase & Emma)
Limits: A Stepbrother MMA Romance
I’d thought I was a
pretty experienced physical and massage therapist. I’d earned my
dual degrees and worked full time for a few years now. I’d dealt
with a wide range of clients. I thought I’d seen it all.
I was wrong.
An Olympic swimmer’s
body was next level, with defined muscle everywhere you looked and
huge, broad shoulders tapering down into an insane V. Abs to make
Superman cry with envy. Long, strong thighs and slim hips which were
currently wrapped in nothing but a tiny white towel.
“Mrph!” I greeted
my new client. I’d meant to say “hello” but the words weren’t
He stood there, all six
foot three glorious inches of him, scrutinizing me. We were going to
be spending a lot of time together over the next four weeks, leading
up to and then through the Olympic Games in Rio. I would be
responsible for keeping him injury-free, relaxed and ready to push
himself to the extreme physical limit.
I just hadn’t planned
on him being so freaking hot.
“You’re my physical
therapist?” His head tilted slightly to the side, his brow
furrowed. He looked confused by my role.
I cleared my throat.
“Yes. I’m Emma Nelson.” I stuck out my hand with the intent to
establish professional control over the situation. But then he slowly
wrapped his large, warm hand around mine. I honestly had to lean a
bit against the countertop at my side. Casually, I hoped. Swooning
was not in the guidebook of establishing good client rapport.
I drew my hand away,
looking down, trying to focus. Deep breaths. I could do this. I’d
better be able to do this. I’d spent the better part of the past
six months wrangling for this job. Everyone and their cousin wanted
to be a part of the Olympic Games. It was the ultimate athletic
competition. Nothing could match the excitement, the dizzying
emotional highs and the triumphs over incredible obstacles. I’d
been a fan my whole life. Now I had the chance to actually be right
in the middle of it, working side-by-side with one of the world’s
most famous athletes in peak physical condition, rumored to win up to
nine medals in the games. That was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
And it wouldn’t just
be a huge break for me as a therapist. It would also take my blog to
the next level. My best friend Tori and I had started it years ago,
back when we were in high school: Scoop’d. We told stories,
interesting ones about interesting people. She specialized in the
trashy ones that, I’ll admit, brought in the readers. I liked the
feature pieces, the focus stories on good people doing good deeds.
You could say our blog showcased the best and the worst of people.
Together, it worked, and our little endeavor now had about 250,000
Tori dreamed of
quitting her day job and blogging for a living, and I could see the
appeal. Set your own hours, work from home in your PJs, choose your
stories and write them however you wanted. I liked working as a
physical therapist, but when she talked about it, I could get caught
up in the fantasy.
We both agreed—covering
the Olympics could be our tipping point. If we did it right, it would
launch us over the top. We were going to cover the games, and we were
going to do it in a way no one could match, from the inside out. Tori
had gotten herself a job in PR, so she’d have access to all of the
athletes at all hours. With her social butterfly personality, she’d
be in on all the dirt in no time.
And me? I was going to
go for the gold. The story everyone wanted. The scoop on swimmer
Chase Carter, the gorgeous, mysterious favorite to win again and
again in Rio.
Everyone knew the rough
sketch of his backstory. At 14, already a promising competitive
swimmer, Chase had almost drowned in a boating accident. But he’d
overcome the setback, training relentlessly, driven toward one goal.
He’d won a silver and a bronze at just 18 in 2008. In 2012, when
he’d been expected to ascend to the throne, he’d had to sit out
the London Olympics due to an injury. Now, at 26, he was ready.
But how had he almost
drowned? Rumors abounded. I’d heard one about drunken partying,
another about him getting into a nasty, violent fight with a friend.
What had really happened that night on the boat? And why had Chase
returned to swimming with such a vengeance, spending hours in the
pool every day enduring legendary, punishingly long and intense
workouts, after having nearly died in the water?
With Chase poised to
win big, I wanted to find out the whole truth. The truth he never
gave interviews about, had never shared with anyone else. We’d
capture the ultimate human interest story, the boy who almost drowned
and then grew up to become an Olympic gold medalist. Who didn’t
want in on that? We’d have an audience of millions if I pulled it
I had four weeks to
scoop Chase Carter. This week we’d be at the U.S. Olympic team’s
session in San Antonio, before traveling to the Georgia Tech Aquatic
Center in Atlanta. Then Rio, baby. And during those four weeks I’d
take care of him, of course. He was a national treasure, practically
able to fly through the water. I’d do my best as a licensed and
trained massage therapist to help him achieve his Olympic dreams and
But also, along the
way, I would try to get to know him. Befriend him, even possibly gain
his trust. I wanted to learn his secrets, on or off the record. I
didn’t want to do anything capital-W Wrong, like lie to him about
my real identity to get under his tough exterior and learn the real
story. But desperate times required desperate measures.
Chase Carter didn’t
like reporters. He didn’t do interviews, stayed notoriously
tight-lipped during team press conferences. He focused on his
swimming and swimming alone. He couldn’t help it that most of the
world’s population had a massive crush on him and treated him like
a rock star. At the last team press conference, a woman had tossed
him her bra. He’d watched it fall to the floor, then looked up with
a coolly arched eyebrow. That photo of him had made it onto a whole
lot of covers and front pages.
It only served to make
people more wild about him. The unattainable, inscrutable, superhuman
athlete Chase Carter. Standing before me in a tiny towel awaiting a
full-body massage. Right.
“Why don’t we
discuss your preferences and past injuries,” I said, tapping a
stack of papers on the countertop as if I needed to do it. The papers
had nothing to do with him. I just needed a prop, something to do
with my hands instead of fanning myself.
“Didn’t my coaches
provide you with my health history? There’s a file about this big.”
He gestured with his large hands. It made me wonder what else might
be that big.
“Yes.” I cleared my
throat. Bad girl. “I’ve reviewed your files. I know your health
history. But I also like to get to know my clients. Especially ones
I’ll be working with every day for the next month.”
We looked at each
other, the strange feeling of a face-off between us. Why did it seem
like he was having reservations about me as his physical therapist? I
must just feel paranoid. I had all the credentials and plenty of
experience. I knew I could do this job well.
“You want to know my
preferences?” he asked, and I swear his voice dropped a notch
lower. Yes, I did want to know how he liked it. His massage and more.
His eyes were such an incredible shade of vivid blue, the type of
color you saw on the cover of a magazine and had to wonder if the
shot had been air-brushed. Meeting him in person, it turned out he
really did have eyes the color of an aquamarine tropical sea.
“I like it hard,”
he said. I knew he was talking about the type of hand pressure he
preferred in massages, but my breath caught in my throat. “I don’t
like it light and gentle. You have to know how to get in deep.”
“Yes!” I tugged at
my tank top, fidgeting. “Of course. I specialize in sports massage,
I clapped my hands
together. The sound echoed in the room. I’d never felt so awkward
with a client. And he hadn’t even taken off his towel yet. That
itty-bitty white thing he had wrapped around his completely naked,
utterly perfect body.
I turned to straighten
out the sheet on the massage table, giving myself a talking to. I
tried to picture my toughest teacher in one of my degree programs.
She’d lectured all of us sternly about the importance of
professionalism in client-therapist relationships.
I tried to picture Tori
warning me that I had the worst instincts when it came to men. And
she had evidence to support her claim. Who’d trusted not one but
two sleezeballs sleeping around behind her back? Who’d lent money
to her hustler boyfriend always chasing the next big thing that never
materialized? That would be me, guilty on all counts. You’d think I
would have learned by now. When everything in me said, “Wow, this
guy seems amazing!” that was exactly when I should run in the other
But I didn’t run. I
couldn’t. I’d been hired to work with Chase every day of the next
four weeks. More than that, I didn’t want to run. I might try to
remind myself of the many reasons I should not get pulled in by Chase
Carter, the man, the myth, the legend. But all I could picture was
Chase Carter’s glorious body, about to be bared completely for me
to rub from head to toe.
I left the towel on.
I couldn’t tell you
how many times I’d stripped down completely in front of strangers.
When your body performed like mine, you were used to being treated
like a racehorse. Doctors measured your heart and lung function,
physical therapists poked and prodded at you, coaches give you
pointers and corrections even while you stood buck naked in the
locker room. Not to mention the tiny swim briefs I sported all of the
time. Modesty was not my middle name.
But I also wasn’t
used to sporting random, massive wood. I was 26, not 16. The time of
inappropriate sprung-into-action moments had passed. Except obviously
it hadn’t. Because when I walked into the physical therapy room at
the swim center and saw her standing there, I stood right up at
She wasn’t wearing
anything suggestive, not like some of the fans I attracted. Even
then, I was notoriously good at blocking out temptation. You didn’t
get to the top of your game by getting easily distracted. If I
stopped and got a phone number every time a woman flashed some
cleavage at me, I’d never even get into the pool.
Emma wasn’t showing
any cleavage. But I’d like to see it. She wore a simple white tank
top, fitted enough so I could see she was slim and fit. I wondered
what she did to workout. She didn’t have the classic swimmer’s
build, with broad, powerful shoulders. She looked petite, slender and
lithe. A runner, I’d bet.
But I didn’t ask her.
I kept to myself a lot of the time, mostly out of habit. But there
was also logistical reality. We had a constantly circulating crew of
professionals working with our team. It simply didn’t make sense to
strike up conversations all the time with every person I met,
especially when I knew they’d likely be right on out the revolving
door again within days or weeks. It was true, I’d earned my
reputation as driven and relentlessly focused. I devoted my energy,
all of it, toward one goal and one goal alone: gold.