The Play(Brit Boys Sports Romance Book 1)

By: J.H. Croix

Chapter One





Liam





“Bloody hell,” I mumbled. I gave my knee a test bend, only to grit my teeth at the bolt of pain.

“Easy mate,” Alex said. “No need to be stupid about it.”

I glanced to Alex and rolled my eyes. Alex Gordon was waiting with me at the sleek, state of the art medical facility in Seattle. I was sitting there with a badly twisted knee waiting for the surgeon who was supposed to work wonders and make me good as new.

“At least we won,” I said, latching onto something other than the throbbing pain in my knee.

Alex chuckled and leaned his head against the wall behind him. Not for the first time, I was damn grateful he happened to be here with me. A month ago, we were signed to an American team on the heels of a crushing loss in a championship game in England. I’d known Alex since we were best mates in grammar school in a small town outside of London. We grew up playing football together, went to university together and got lucky enough to be signed to the same team back in England. Two months ago when my mum died from a stroke out of nowhere, I lost my focus, and our team lost its shot at the championship game. Before I came out of my stupor, our harebrained management ended our contracts and next thing I knew, my best shot at a good contract was with the Seattle Stars, a team paying big money for talent. Seeing as they signed me along with Alex and two other teammates from England, I went for it.

“It’d be nice if they called football by its proper name here,” I said, my favorite complaint ever since we landed on American soil.

Alex ran a hand through his messy brown hair, giving a roll of his brown eyes. “Not happening, mate. American football is way more popular than soccer here.”

“Bloody stupid to call it something else when everywhere else it’s football,” I mumbled.

He shrugged and moved on. “How’s the knee?”

Alex knew as well as I did there was plenty to worry about with my knee. Many footballers had seen their career stall after a knee injury. A bad injury or a less than stellar recovery could mean reduced speed and reflexes, which could mean the difference between good and amazing. Elite players weren’t good. They had to be amazing. The team’s doctor had ridden with us on the way here, but he’d wandered off to find the surgeon who was supposed to work magic on my knee.

“Eh, hurts. Can’t be too bad though. I walked off the pitch.”

“Field, mate. It’s a field here.”

I elbowed Alex in his side, which was conveniently not the side with my bruised shoulder. A nasty collision with a defender sent me sideways, twisting my knee and jamming my shoulder into the ground. I was impatient and ready to see the doctor. Just as I started to wonder where the hell Dr. Monroe was, the door to the room where I’d been deposited with Alex opened.

I looked up into the most gorgeous pair of green eyes I’d ever seen. A woman walked through the door, and my mind was effectively blown with one look at her. Her eyes were bright behind her glasses. The wild, dark curls of her hair were partially tamed into a knot atop her head, yet a few curls escaped as if in defiance, one winding around the temple of her glasses. The curls dangled around her face, which was heart-shaped, her complexion pale with a few freckles scattered across her nose. Never one to shy away from a good long look, my eyes traveled down, taking in the woman’s basic green hospital scrubs. It was hard to tell what her figure was underneath, although she was curvy enough her breasts were stretched against her top. All I could do was stare at her. For the first time since I’d collided with that defender on the pitch, I wasn’t obsessing about what any of it might mean for my career.

Dr. Monroe stepped into the room behind the woman who’d paused by the door, her hands clasped together in front of her. Those green eyes of hers flicked from me to Alex, but her expression was hard to read. “Liam, this is Dr. Bowen. She’s here to take a look at your knee.” Dr. Monroe turned to the woman as he gestured to me. “This is Liam Reed.”

I started to stand when it occurred to me that might not be the brightest idea. “Nice to meet you Dr. Bowen,” I said with a wink.

I felt Alex’s shoulders shake slightly with laughter beside me. Dr. Bowen adjusted her glasses, which were green to match her eyes and angled up at the corners slightly. “Nice to meet you Liam. Let’s get you into the examining room here,” she said, pointing to a door off the small waiting room.

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