Win Big:A Bad Boy Sports Romance(5)

By: Bella Love-Wins



“Did everyone sign in?” Dr. Jeffries passed around the form attached to a clipboard. I looked around the room to see if anyone had their hand raised, then I turned back to the department head of my athletic training program.

This was it. The first meeting of the last semester in a challenging but enjoyable Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training at our college’s School of Kinesiology. Like me, everyone in the room was in the athletic training pre-professional student core, doing highly supervised placements. We’d been waiting for years to hear our names called out as having been accepted into the final clinical phase of the program. My goal was to be assigned to the college baseball team.

Yes, baseball.

Not football.

Why? Simple. Baseball was not football.

I’d been working my butt off since my first day in the program, learning everything I could, putting in long hours, and kissing ass, all in hopes of scoring this particular position. My end game was to get signed on with a major league team after graduation, and now I was so close I could taste it.

“You ready for this?” I heard my friend and classmate, Nick, whisper from his seat beside me, and I grinned.

“As I’ll ever be,” I whispered in reply.

Nick wanted to work with soccer players, and more power to him. That was one less person for me to compete with around here. He knew how important it was to me that I get the position I’d jockeyed for. We’d spent countless hours together, working on projects and talking about our plans for the future. We were just friends, but he was into me, and had been since junior year. He was a good looking guy—tall, fit, wavy blond hair, big happy brown eyes. He was more like a buddy to me than anything else. Now that our last semester had started, it was clear he was pushing hard to get us out of the friend zone before time ran out. In sophomore year, I’d given him the ‘I don’t want to lose what we have’ talk. He had taken it pretty well, but after exams last semester, I got the feeling he would make a last-ditched effort to win me over. Thankfully, he was not an asshole. He had seen the train wreck of an ‘almost’ relationship I’d had with Austin Grant, my tennis player ex-boyfriend of two months during my junior year. Because of that, Nick pretty much knew I wouldn’t just date anyone, even if the guy happened to be as smoking hot, popular, talented and rich as Austin.

We settled down, and Dr. Jeffries cleared his throat in the self-important manner he always had. To think I’d had a crush on him when I first started as a freshman. He was tall, lean, and youthful, with that salt-and-pepper look that was so attractive. I’d been drawn to his personality most of all, and also his insanely thorough knowledge of everything related to kinesiology and physiotherapy. I was a child, though, and now I saw him for the self-important, pompous jerk he really was.

Still, he was the chair of the department whether I liked him or not. So I made nice and forced a smile whenever he was around.

“I hope you all had a good Christmas break,” he said, smiling. “I’m aware that we made you all come back to school early, but by now you know there’s a lot for us to cover.

“Like we didn’t have to be back today to listen to your rambling bullshit, Cecil,” Nick muttered the professor’s first name behind his notebook propped up to cover his mouth.

I snorted, barely covering my raucous giggle. We had to be back the Sunday after New Year’s. We supposedly needed three extra sessions, one on Sunday and two on Monday, to get ready for this final next semester. No one else was on campus today, except for athletes and some of the faculty. The semester started on Tuesday for most everyone else.

“If you received my email to confirm this meeting, then you’ve been getting my emails for the past several weeks.” Many of us around the room groaned, then laughed politely so as to not get on the man’s naughty list. Dr. Cecil Jeffries was notorious for his non-stop emailing—and for being a general dick to anyone who crossed him. He’d been ‘keeping us abreast of current events’ since the day winter break started.

Most of it was irrelevant and unimportant.

Once the forced laughter and eye rolls died down, he continued. “So you know the workout schedules of the athletes in training this season. Baseball, softball, rowing, tennis, football, basketball, track and field, golf and lacrosse. You know what’s expected of you at these practices, meets and games. What you don’t know is where you officially stand with respect to each team’s athletic training and therapy crew. Sure, some of you have a vague idea, but things do change. That’s why I will confirm where each of you stands today.”

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