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Wildcard: Volume One by Missy Johnson (1)

Chapter One

 

“Ryder, you’re becoming more well-known for your behaviour off court than your actual career. Do you have anything to comment on that?”

I raise my eyebrows at the reporter. Flashes from cameras are going off everywhere, as you’d expect in a post-match press conference—especially for a game I’d been very lucky to win.

“Not sure what you mean there, Stan,” I say, reading his nametag. It’s been less than two minutes, and I’m already sick of where this is going. “I came here to play tennis—that’s it. It’s a damn shame that reporters like yourself having nothing better to do than focus on what I do in my private time.”

“But is it private time when you’re out until three a.m. the night before a big match?” he persists.

I shrug, and wipe my mouth in an attempt to hide my smirk. “Players prepare for matches in different ways. I’m sure for some a good night’s sleep does the trick, but for me, I’ll take an evening of rough and sweaty sex over a quiet night any day of the week.” I ignore the glare of my manager, Matt, and nod at the next reporter.

“Ryder, do you think your pre-match actions showed disrespect for your opponent today?”

“How?” I fire back. “I treated the build-up to this match just the same as I would if I were playing Nadal or Federer. You all seem to want to focus on my life outside of the court. Does anyone here have any questions about my actual tennis?”

I cross my arms over my chest as Matt bows his head and sighs. A murmur rises through the crowd before someone puts their hand up. I nod, my eyes locking onto hers. She’s a pretty little thing with long, dark hair and stunning blue eyes. I can tell she’s feisty, and I find myself wondering if that attitude carries over into the bedroom.

“You play the number two ranked player in the world tomorrow, and your fellow countryman, Jason Dillard. Will you be having an early night tonight?” she asks. Her full, red lips curve into a grin, and I can feel myself harden.

I shift in my seat and lean forward, resting my elbows on the table in front of me. “Well, that depends.” I smirk.

“On what?”

“On whether or not you’ll give me your phone number.”

**

“What the hell, Ryder?” Matt groans and drags me out of the room. I’m sure it’s a preventative measure—before I can get myself into any more trouble.

“What?” I protest, a gleam in my eye. One of my favourite hobbies is stirring him up. He makes it so damn easy. “You’re the one who insisted I go up there and answer some questions. I told you I wasn’t feeling it.”

“You’re going to kill me. My other ten clients put together cause half the trouble you do,” he mutters, running a hand through his short hair.

“Yeah, and I probably make you more money than all of them put together,” I smirk.

He glares at me, but he knows I’m right. “You do understand it’s a requirement that you do a post-match press conference? You know, being the professional player you are, and all.”

Matt is in his late fifties, and one of the best managers in the world of tennis. He worries too much and always focuses on the negative, but I guess that’s part of what makes him so damn good at his job. He is my complete opposite.

“Oh, calm the fuck down. They love me. Everyone does. I’m the bad boy of tennis, right?” I laugh, not concerned in the slightest by his bad mood. I know he won’t stay mad at me; he never does.

“Yes, but you don’t know when to pull it in,” he says. The frustration in his voice is obvious. “Propositioning a reporter? Not a good move, Ryder.”

I laugh. It might not have been a smart move, but it hadn’t stopped her slipping me her number as I walked through the crowd.

“Settle down, Matt. Go out and watch some tennis or something. Don’t you have any other clients here you can hassle?”

“I feel like I need to watch you,” he grumbles, scowling at me.

I reach up and pat him on the back, a laugh escaping from my lips. As if that would make any difference to my behaviour. “Tell you what: just for you, I’ll head back to the hotel and have an early night, okay?”

“Yeah. Sure,” he mutters, shaking his head. “I’ll believe that when I see it. Just remember, it’s your career you’re fucking with. Not mine.”

I laugh again and walk off, leaving him standing outside the pressroom. He just doesn’t get it. Not many people do. With the exception of my little sister, Hailey, and my training partner, Josh, no one really gets me. This isn’t an act. I’m not trying to impress anyone; it’s just how I am. Why pretend to be someone I’m not?

I love tennis, I really do, but the fact that I’m good at it doesn’t mean I want it to consume my life. I’m smart enough to understand that I was born with a hell of a gift, and I’ve used it to my advantage. Because of it, I’ve built a life for myself and my family that most people could only dream of.

But there are a lot of people who think I’m wasting my talent by not reaching the level I can. I’m the fucking number one ranked player in the world. I have twelve grand slams under my belt, and I’ve lost count of how many titles. How much better can I really get?

That’s not meant to sound cocky, either—though I know I sometimes come across that way. Imagine your life is Monopoly, and that every time you play, you win. There has to be a point when you think why do I keep playing this when I know I’m always going to win? Where’s the incentive? Where is the drive?

The late nights, the partying—it’s all my way of pushing myself, believe it or not. If I can win with the world’s worst hangover, exhausted after God knows how many orgasms, then that’s gotta say something about my natural ability, right?

 

Leaving the stadium, I do go to my hotel—to grab a quick shower and a change my clothes before I pull the hot journalist’s number from the pocket of my jacket. I grin as I punch the numbers into my phone and wait for her to answer.

I know she will, because they always do.

“Anna speaking.” Just the sound of her voice makes my cock twitch.

“Hello, Anna,” I murmur. I help myself to the small bottle of scotch that sits on top of the fridge, pouring it into a glass along with three cubes of ice.

“Who is this?” Her voice is coy. She asks in such a way that I know she knows who it is, but I play along.

“You’re in the habit of handing out your number to random men, are you?” I chuckle and take a sip of my drink, resting on the arm of the chesterfield sofa that faces the fireplace. “It’s Ryder. I was wondering if you had plans tonight.”

“I do have plans, I’m sorry. But I’m not busy right now,” she adds.

I smile. I know exactly where this is heading.

“I’m staying at the Royal, in room forty-six. Come over and we’ll go out. Or stay in,” I add for effect.

“Okay, give me half an hour and I’ll see you there.”

**

I’m standing in front of the door, half naked, when she walks in. I narrow my eyes, wondering how she got inside. I was sure I locked the door. She grins and holds up a swipe card.

“I convinced them that you had meant to leave a key out for me.”

I shake my head, not sure whether I should be feeling impressed or concerned.

She walks over to me, throwing her bag onto the couch as she passes it. “Are you dressing, or undressing?” she asks me.

I breathe in as her hands run over my bare chest.

Her fingers trail down to my crotch, and she smiles at my erection. “Because I’m really hoping for the latter.”

“You don’t mess around. What if I’m not that type of man?”

She laughs and shrugs off her jacket. “I think we both know that you are.” She reaches behind her back and unzips her dress. I raise my eyebrows. I’m so fucking turned on by her confidence. She knows what she wants, and how to get it. She’s like a female version of me.

“I’m not interested in dating you, Ryder.” She wraps her arms around my neck. Leaning in, she whispers in my ear, “I’m only interested in riding you.”

I smile, my hand creeping around her narrow waist. I pull her toward me and press my mouth hard against hers, caressing the back of her head. My fingers rake through her dark tresses. She smiles and pulls away from me, rolling her tongue over her lips as she reaches behind her back to unclip her bra.

I watch, amused, as she tosses it to the floor. He breasts are perfect, just like the rest of her. They’re round and perky, and I admire them as I run my finger around the outside of her nipple. She smiles, a moan escaping from her lips as my finger trails down the centre of her stomach.

“Were you this wet while you were watching me during the press conference?” I tease her as I trace my finger along her bare pussy. My other hand curves around the back of her neck as I pull her toward me. She exhales, her eyes widening as I plunge two fingers inside of her. She is so fucking wet that my fingers move inside her with ease. Her back arches as I kiss her neck, my throbbing cock pressing against her thigh.

This was supposed to be all about her, but right now all I can think about is being inside her tight, wet pussy. Fuck being a gentleman. I’ll make it all about her for the next one. Turning her around, I position her over the back of the couch. She moans as my fingers continue to tease her. I reach into my pocket and pull out a condom, then I unbuckle my pants and shrug them down.

My cock springs out, hard as fuck, and I’m ready to go. I roll on the condom and push her a little further over the couch, spreading her legs in the process. She’s moaning as I gently touch her arse.

Lining up, I thrust myself inside of her. My fingers grip her shoulder as I push her back against me. She gasps and lifts her leg so it sits on the top of the couch, allowing me to drive even deeper. I close my eyes as my cock slides in and out of her pussy. She’s so damn wet. Grabbing her arm, I spin her around. Her eyes widen as I lift her onto my cock. I turn and slam her back against the wall.

Her thighs clench as she moans. I lift her arms above her head and grip them with one hand, my other hand supporting her weight. I’m so fucking close. I groan, pounding into her as I come. My whole body is shaking and I can’t even think straight. Her body slides down against mine until her feet touch the floor. She’s panting and her cheeks are flushed. I chuckle and reach out, my finger circling her erect nipple. She smiles and pulls me in, her arms wrapping around my neck as she kisses me.

“Holy fuck.” She shakes her head. “Now I see what all the fuss is about.”

I laugh, thinking how wrong it would sound if I said those words to her. But, I’m known for whoring myself around and I’m okay with that. Especially when it lands me great sex with hot journalists.

She sighs again and walks over to the entry, where she picks up her discarded clothes. I smirk, watching her dress.

“I hate to fuck and run, but I have a meeting,” she says as her dress slips down over her nakedness.

I bite my lip as I watch it pass her bare pussy. “I’m feeling used,” I tease. I walk over to the bar fridge and grab a bottle of water.

“I’m sure you’ll cope.” She grins and shoves her underwear into her purse. “I had fun. Call me.”