Read Wildcard: Volume Two (Wilcard, #2) Online

Authors: Missy Johnson

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Wildcard: Volume Two (Wilcard, #2)

BOOK: Wildcard: Volume Two (Wilcard, #2)
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Wildcard: Volume Two

By Missy Johnson

Copyright © 2013 Missy Johnson

All rights reserved

No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the author. The only exception is by a reviewer, who may quote short excerpts in a review.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

First Printing: September 2014

Cover: Redbird Designs

Table of Contents

Title Page

Copyright Page

Dedication

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Dedication

For my wonderful husband

Chapter One

R
yder

Lying fucking bitch.

I’m clutching the paper coffee cup so tightly it crumples in my hand. Lukewarm black coffee drips through the cracks and pools on the table. I fucking hate black coffee. I hadn’t noticed the waitress had fucked up my order until I’d carried it to the table.

Just another reason why I hate this fucking country
.

At least in England people could do their fucking jobs right.

“Maybe you should talk to her,” Josh suggests.

I laugh.
What’s the point?
She had made no attempt to run after me and try to explain herself. Hell, it’s been twenty-four fucking hours and I haven’t heard a god damned thing from her. No texts, no email—nothing.

It’s Saturday afternoon, and I’m sitting in a coffee shop at the Chicago airport on the phone with Josh as I wait for my flight that will take me to Florida. It was either that or sit in my hotel room here in Chicago—alone—going over this whole damn mess in my head. A couple of days with Josh will at least keep me distracted until I figure out what the hell I’m going to do.

The worst thing is that there is no getting out of this fucking sponsorship thing. I was stuck in the US—literally ten fucking minutes from her place—for the next three weeks.

People rush past my table in a hurry to catch their flights, oblivious to my foul mood. I feel so fucking betrayed. I feel
humiliated,
and it’s my own fault. Because the reality is you don’t have a relationship after four fucking weeks, and I was stupid to ever think otherwise.

The last thing I want to do is give her yet another reason to feel sorry for me, because pity was all I saw in her eyes when I was standing on her doorstep, watching him crawl all over her. They might as well have been fucking in front of me. It wouldn’t have hurt any more.

It’s obvious to me that I’m a giant fuckwit and she used me in whatever sick game she was playing. She was probably using me because I felt sorry for her kid. Maybe she thought she owed me for getting him in the trial? Who knows? I should’ve just fucked her while I had the chance and got her out of my system.

“She could have a reason.” Josh tries again. “It’s probably all just a misunderstanding. Maybe you should call her.”

“Call her?” I snort. “You’re fucking kidding me, right?”

I never want to see her again. And what possible explanation could she have? Some random bloke had his fucking arms around her, groping her, right there in front of me. She told me to
leave
. How could I have gotten it so wrong? 

She
lied
to me.

I sigh and close my eyes, gently rubbing my temples. My head is killing me—probably a side effect of getting hammered in my room with a bottle of Jack Daniel’s while watching pay-per-view porn. And not even good porn, at that. Not that it mattered. Every time my hand went near my dick, I thought of her and the mood was instantly killed.

This is another example of how I’m just not suited to a relationship.

I’m happy to go back to my anonymous sex and multiple women—at least there’s no hiding behind that. What I wanted out of casual sex was clear cut and impossible to misinterpret. Relationships were messy and someone always ended up hurt.

In this case, me.

“I feel so stupid, mate. I know we only knew each other for a few weeks, but there was something there. At least I
thought
there was.” I sigh again and stand up as I hear my flight called over the speaker system. “I gotta go. I’ll see you soon, okay?”

“Sure. And you know you’re always welcome here.” He hesitates before adding: “Don’t go doing anything stupid, Ryder.”

I chuckle into the phone. “Isn’t that the only thing I ever do
well
?”

***

T
he taxi pulls up outside Josh’s apartment along the coast of Miami. I throw some cash at the driver and get out, taking my bag with me. I gaze down the boardwalk and sigh. Any other time I’d be excited about being here. American girls are a lot of fun and usually up for anything. This is especially true of girls on the East Coast. I’m surrounded by beautiful women wearing tiny bikinis and nothing else. Seriously, they might as well be naked with the little amount they’re wearing. I’m getting plenty of attention as I stand there, observing, but for once I don’t care.

Because I can’t get
her
out of my head.

Turning, I walk toward the entry of his apartment complex. It’s a courtyard of modern apartments that rise six levels. Right away, I’m reminded of that old American soap
Melrose Place
, and I half expect Heather Locklear to round the corner. I cringe. I’m not sure which I should be embarrassed about more: the fact that I remember that damn show, or that I can actually name
Heather Locklear.

I walk through to apartment sixteen. It’s on the second level of the building farthest from me. This is the first time I’ve visited Josh since he and Charlotte moved to this neighborhood. I press the doorbell and wait.

Josh answers the door with a sympathetic smile.

I scowl at him. “Don’t look at me like that. I don’t want you feeling sorry for me.” I push past him and stroll inside.

He laughs and shakes his head. “Hello to you, too.”

“Charlotte here?” I ask, dumping my bag on the floor. I walk over to the couch and slump into the seat. I hope I’m making it pretty clear that I’m not in the mood for small talk.

“She’s at a photo shoot. Drink? Beer? Coffee?”

“A coffee would be good.” A beer would be a bad idea, considering I’m pretty sure I’m still affected by last night’s solo drinking effort. I yawn and pick up my phone, checking my messages for the umpteenth time in the last hour.

Nothing
. I toss it aside, my anger at her lack of contact growing yet again.

“Have you heard from her?”

“Nope,” I growl.

“Right,” says Josh. “Then forget about her, okay? I don’t want to hear her name come out of your mouth for the rest of the day.”

“Suits me fine,” I mutter.

“How’s the injury?” He raises his eyebrows, a smirk playing on his lips.

I scowl at him.
That’s
his idea of a change of subject? “It’s getting better.” I narrow my eyes.

“Any idea when you'll be playing again?”

“Why?” I fire at him. “Are you worried?”

“As if,” he scoffs. He sits on the arm of the chair and laughs. “You do realize that you’ve slipped out of the top twenty? Dude, I’m one win away from beating your rank.”

“Mate, I’m injured.” I laugh. “That’s seriously the highlight of your career? Beating my rank because I can’t
play
? That’s pathetic.”

“I take what I can get. I know I’ll never be number one. Beating you—injured or not—feels like a sweet victory.”

I shake my head, but let him have his moment.

“Let’s go out,” he declares, standing up. “There’s this new bar down by the beach that’s really nice. It’s also really excusive.”

“Yeah, then why do they let you in?” I smirk.

“One of the benefits of dating a supermodel,” he shoots back. “Come-on. All you’re going to do around here is whine like a little girl.”

I roll my eyes, but stand up and follow him because he’s right. As much as I don’t feel like going out, I think it’s something I need to do. I need the distraction. That’s the whole reason I’m here after all, right?

***

I
exit the taxi and follow Josh into the bar. Right on the beach and complete with a huge balcony overlooking the water, it’s not surprising that this is one of Miami’s current hotspots. The architecture of this place is amazing. Bold colours, clean lines, and loads of natural light are what it’s all about, and it works.

There are beautiful women everywhere, and I’m aware of the attention Josh and I are receiving as we are led to our table. Inside is just as spectacular as the exterior. I love this place already. It’s a nice change from the overcrowded, sad pubs I’m used to back in London. I sit down and immediately order a double scotch.

“I’ll have the same,” Josh says, smiling at our waitress. He rolls his eyes as I pull out my phone.

“What?” I protest, already knowing what he’s going to say.

“Dude, you need to take a break. Forget about her, for tonight at least. What have you done with the Ryder I know and love? I know I gave you shit about sleeping around, but fuck.” He shakes his head and runs his hand through his sandy hair. “This chick has really done a number on you.”

I stare back down at my phone and realize I’ve opened it up to her profile on Facebook. My jaw clenches as I stare at her photo. She’s updated it to one of just her, smiling at the camera. I’m both pissed and aroused as fuck. She’s gorgeous.

Josh is right: I need a distraction—a young,
sexy
distraction, preferably with a nice set of tits. I’m going to go crazy if I keep this up.

“Take it.” I toss him my phone and reach for the drink that has just been set in front of me. Josh watches with a smirk as I knock it back in one gulp.

“Another please,” I order the waitress. Her blue eyes widen and she nods. “In fact, make it two.”

“Slow down,” Josh says, laughing.

I glower at him. “Make up your mind. Do you want me to relax or not?”

“There’s a difference between relaxing and drinking yourself into a coma.”

“There is?” Wow. I’d managed a joke. 

Josh groans and shoves my phone in his pocket. I chuckle as the alcohol begins to cloud my thoughts. This is what I needed. I’m actually able to go five seconds without thinking about her.

I glance around, as if I’m noticing the place for the first time. Though it’s barely eight in the evening, the bar is alive with talent. I spy a sexy blonde standing by the bar. Her eyes are on me, a little smile playing on her lips.

I raise an eyebrow and wink at her. She rolls her eyes, but laughs. I motion for her to join us. She’s everything Scarlett isn’t: petite, blonde, and
available
.

“You’re Ryder Stevens.” She grins and sits down next to me. Her eyes are glazed and she’s giggling at
nothing
, but I don’t care. My only aim is to have her under me by the end of the night—or the end of the hour.

“Am I invisible?” Josh grumbles.

I smirk as he throws his arms up in the air, startling Blondie. Whenever we go out together, it’s always me the women are drawn to and it infuriates Josh to no end.

“Gosh, I’m sorry,” she stammers, blushing. “I didn’t even see you there.”

I chuckle as his face turns red. Josh’s problem is that he’s way too nice. Girls who hang out in bars like this don’t want a nice guy. They want arrogance—something I have plenty of.

“How’s your girlfriend?” I fire at him, raising an eyebrow.

“I know, I know,” he says, rolling his eyes. “But it’s nice to be noticed, you know? I’ve been your wingman for how many years and I’ve not
once
been hit on. Charlotte thinks it’s fucking hilarious.”

“Speaking of,” I say, nodding toward the entrance.

Charlotte struts toward us like she’s walking on a Paris runway. She flips her silky, golden hair over her shoulder, aware that every set of eyes in the place is on her. Guys want to shag her, and girls want to kill her. You can see it in the way their eyes narrow as she glides past them. And it’s no wonder. She’s fucking stunning.

She reaches our table and leans down to kiss Josh before sliding into the seat next to him. “Hey Ryder.” She flashes a grin. “Sorry to hear about your girl. I want to slap the bitch in the face for you.”

“Thanks,” I chuckle.

I love Charlotte. She is so not what you’d expect when you think ‘supermodel.’ She’s down to earth, crass, and extremely fun to be around.

“Looks like you’ve moved on.” She raises her eyebrows at Blondie. “Go, you. Get right back on that horse. Or should I say that ass?”

BOOK: Wildcard: Volume Two (Wilcard, #2)
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