Home > Out of Bounds (The Summer Games #2)(2)

Out of Bounds (The Summer Games #2)(2)
Author: R.S. Grey


What does it matter that Erik looks like that? A coach was a coach, and if the Gymnastics Association had picked him to take over for his dad, then I’d trust them.

As if to further drive home that point, I had an email waiting for me in my inbox from a representative of the Association. There was an information packet attached that was generic and short. It outlined where we would be training in Seattle and what kind of accommodations Erik would have for us. I skimmed through the packet briefly; the only detail I paid close attention to was the date and time I was supposed to arrive in Seattle.

June 29th at 2:00 PM.

I looked up flights to Seattle-Tacoma, and the only options that fit the itinerary were completely out of my budget. Way, way out of my budget. My only option was to book the earliest, cheapest flight of the day, which would put me in Seattle at 8:30 AM. I booked the early flight and then clicked the hyperlinked email address I’d found in the information packet. My hands shook as I typed, though I tried to convince myself they didn’t. This would be my first interaction with my new coach and for some reason, I wanted to come across as mature and confident. I wanted to impress him.

 

To: EricWinterSeattleFlyers

From: BrieLWatsonGmail

Subject: Early Arrival

 

Hello,

 

My name is Brie Watson and I look forward to training with you this summer. I’ve just received word about your dad and I’m very sorry to hear he is sick. I’ve only had the honor of working with him a few times, but he is a wonderful coach. I’ll keep him in my thoughts, as well as you and your family.

 

I know you must have a lot on your plate, but I just read the information packet and saw that I am scheduled to arrive at 2:00 PM on the 29th. Unfortunately, the only flights still available are in the morning, so I will be arriving to your house earlier than expected, around 9:00 AM. I hope that’s not too much of a problem.

 

Looking forward to working with you,

Brie

 

 

Chapter One

 

 

Erik

 

 

I woke up ten minutes before my alarm was set to go off. 8:20 AM—early, and yet I felt like I was running late as I tossed the blanket aside and stood to stretch. My head pounded. The fourth beer at the bar the night before had been a mistake; the shots had been plain stupid. I could blame it all on the girl sleeping in my bed—the brunette beauty I’d met at the bar. She was wild, loud, and drunk, shoving drinks in front of me like she was hoping to take advantage of the situation. I’d let her; I’d gone to the bar to get drunk so I could escape the anxiety mounting inside. The girl sleeping on the opposite side of my bed had proved a good distraction—a loud distraction.

She’d been at the bar to celebrate her birthday. Or had it been her bachelorette party? I blinked and wiped away sleep from my eyes just before my gaze landed on the crinkled sash lying on the ground beside her dress. She’d worn it the entire night, and when I reached down to pick it up, I sighed. BIRTHDAY QUEEN.

I dropped the sash back onto her dress and cleared my throat, hoping she’d stir in her sleep. Nothing. The sheet barely covered her naked body, and while I could appreciate her supple curves and the fact that her breasts were nearly spilling out from the top of the sheet, I wasn’t looking for round two. I walked closer and patted her shoulder.

“Hey…” I realized I didn’t know her name. “Birthday Queen, wake up.”

Still nothing. If anything, she fell deeper into sleep. Christ. I turned and headed for the bathroom, purposely leaving the door open as I brushed my teeth and ran the faucet. I splashed water on my face and tried to will my headache away. You’re not hungover. You didn’t drink too much last night.

I made as much noise as possible as I got ready for the day, but by the time I’d finished, she still hadn’t moved.

Fuck it.

I headed down to the kitchen for coffee, too tired and hungover to worry about her. The newspaper from the day before was still sitting on the island where I’d left it untouched. The paper had hand-delivered it, ensuring I saw my name and photo splashed across the front page. It was just a local Seattle paper—hardly the New York Times—but it was intimidating.

 

New Winter for Summer Games

Gymnastics giant steps down during health scare, son vaults into top job

 

I turned my back to it as I reached for my old coffee grinder. It chopped beans just fine, but it sounded like a spaceship with a blown muffler. I let it run for a few seconds longer than necessary, nearly blowing out my eardrums in the process, and then I listened for any sort of stirring from upstairs. Nada. I should have checked her pulse.

I didn’t usually need one-night stands to wake up and leave at the crack of dawn, but it was a big day. I needed her gone before the rest of the team showed up in a few hours.

The team.

Five girls.

Five teenage girls invading my space for the next month in preparation for the games in Rio.

It was an idea I hadn’t quite wrapped my head around. The position as the head coach of the U.S. women’s gymnastics team had been uncontested for the last thirty years. My father had held the job for a year longer than I’d been alive and now here I was, poised to take over for him whether he liked it or not.

My father’s medical leave had come as a shock to everyone in the gymnastics world. The team had already qualified for the games, competed in Worlds, and developed relationships with my father, but when his heart had put him in the hospital, the committee had been forced to scramble to replace him.

I wasn’t their first choice, but in the end I was the best choice. I had experience in both training as an Olympic athlete and coaching Olympic athletes. My gym in Seattle was the best place to train on the west coast and on top of that, I already had the infrastructure in place. I had a guesthouse and a small gym on my property where the girls could do their early morning workouts. For practice, we’d convene in my Seattle gym where they’d have uninterrupted time to work on their routines for Rio.

For one month, I’d push them harder than they’d ever been pushed, and they’d hate me for it, but in the end, I knew they’d come back from Rio with gold.

“There you are.”

I turned to find Birthday Queen posing on the last stair wearing one of my shirts as a dress. Property of U.S. Men’s Gymnastics Team 2004. She must have dug deep into my dresser to find it; that thing hadn’t seen the light of day in years. She pinched the shirt between her thumb and forefinger and pulled it away from her body.

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