Playing the Game (Providence University #6) - Ali Parker Page 0,1

back and let him. “It’s nothing like that. He’s focusing on rugby, and I’m doing the same. We still text now and then, but I wanted to take your advice and go a bit slower. See what kind of guy he really is.” Our texting had even dropped off, but I didn’t want Clara to get too excited because I was growing weaker by the minute and felt like I needed to reach out before he moved on to the next girl. If he hadn’t already. The thought made my stomach ache.

Why did things have to be so complicated?

Not only that, but I knew if I told Clara the truth, she’d never accept Seth, no matter what decision I made.

After she tried to take the better of our two clothes baskets, which I didn’t allow, she instead opted for the older one to carry her stuff home in. She sat at the table to take a rest. “I hate being weak. I’m getting stronger, but I still get winded easily.”

It was hard to watch her be that way. Her anorexia snuck up on me, and in hindsight, it was so obvious that I still blamed myself for not recognizing she had a problem before it was nearly too late. The damage her decisions had done to her body was life threatening. “What are you up to this afternoon?”

“Aside from getting the apartment unpacked and organized, nothing. I didn’t realize how much stuff we had, but since he moved out of the Omega House, his mother has sent us boxes of his things. Too bad none of it was cookware.” She made a face as she looked at the things she’d gathered. “You don’t need any of this, do you?”

I looked at the stuff and shook my head. “Nah, take it.” I took a deep breath and continued the topic. “So, how did Dillon’s Omega brothers take it when he moved out? He had just been promoted to Micha’s right hand.”

“They understood, and it’s not like they miss him. He’s still hanging out there more than I’d like, but the Olympic training is going to take too much of his time, so I’m not too worried.” She let out a sigh and turned her head to look up at the clock. “Don’t you have practice?”

“Yeah, I do. I need to get something to eat and run. I didn’t expect to find my apartment being burgled.” I went to the fridge and found some lunch meat and bread. I slapped a sandwich together and wrapped it in a napkin to take along with me.

Clara got to her feet. “I’m sorry things didn’t work out with Seth, but it’s probably for the best.”

“I said we were taking a break.”

“Couples take breaks. You weren’t even dating. I just don’t want you to be too upset when he moves on. He’s a known player, and you deserve better. He probably knows it too.” She gave me a wink and pulled me close for a hug. “I love you, Avery. Don’t forget I’m just a phone call away, and I can be here in two seconds if needed.”

“Same to you. And I love you too.” I finished the hug, took her heavy basket, and carried it out. Clara locked the door behind us, and I put the basket into Dillon’s truck for her.

“I miss our car,” she said, making a grumpy face as she looked over at the Accord our parents paid for us to share. I had gotten to keep it since Dillon already had a truck they could use.

I thought I’d try and make her feel better. “But at least you got a hot boyfriend to go along with those new wheels.”

“Yeah, I’m really lucky. Screw the car. I don’t need it.” She lifted her chin and waved her hand dismissively as she got in the truck. She was so small behind the wheel, like a kid trying to drive a semi, but she cranked it up and drove away as if she had been driving it for years.

I let out a breath and went to my car to drive myself to practice.

When I arrived, I got dressed in the locker room and met up with the team on the field. We worked through some drills and worked on our next play. I tried to pay attention but spent most of the first hour waiting for our male counterparts to show up. Mostly their team captain, Seth.

The girls’ and guys’ rugby practices overlapped more