The Right Player - Kandi Steiner

Belle

His face looked like a potato.

I never noticed before. Maybe it was because I wasn’t used to seeing him in the morning light. Maybe it was because, under normal circumstances, he would pat my ass and kiss my cheek on his way out the door, and I’d roll over in bed and sleep for another thirty minutes before dragging myself out of the sheets that smelled like him. Maybe it was because normally when I kissed that dumb potato face, I was so distracted by his lips that I didn’t care.

Maybe it was because for the last year and a half, Doctor Jordan and I had an understanding, and that was all that mattered.

He had a busy schedule as a pediatrician and wasn’t looking for anything serious. I had sworn off anything resembling a relationship long, long ago. What we both did want was steady, reliable, mind-blowing sex.

And for those reasons, we were a match made in heaven.

I had a firm three-date rule — meaning, no guy made it past three dates with me. That was just enough time to have some fun without catching any serious feelings. But with Jordan, we’d had an understanding. We didn’t date. We didn’t have deep, long conversations. What we had was casual sex without anything more demanded of us.

Jordan was tall and lean, athletic, built like a golf pro. He always dressed like a doctor. You know what I mean — khakis, polos, long sleeves under a sweater vest, his golden hair always gelled and swooped to one side. He had what I liked to refer to as a news broadcaster smile, wide and bright with too many teeth, but I much preferred what that mouth did under my sheets. And he even wore these wire-framed glasses from time to time, mostly when he was reading something, that just topped off the whole look.

When it came to me and Jordan, I didn’t need much.

I didn’t need flowers. I didn’t need Valentine’s dinner dates. I didn’t need to meet his family. I didn’t need his time, or attention, or anything other than a great lay on a consistent basis.

And he never asked anything of me, either.

When we were together, we talked briefly, maybe ate a late-night dinner or had a bottle of wine while we joked around, ended our short time together with a romp in the sack, and then we went about our day to day without having to answer to anyone else.

It was perfect.

And now, the potato-headed motherfucker had a girlfriend.

He was ruining everything.

“I really am sorry,” he said for the fortieth time that morning. It wasn’t even seven yet and the jerk was dressed and ready for work, teeth brushed and breath minty-fresh, his white coat laying over the arm of my sofa and waiting to transform him from average good-looking guy to smokin’ hot doctor.

I, on the other hand, still hadn’t cleared the sleep from my eyes.

Jordan folded his hands between his knees, leaning closer to where I sat across from him. “I didn’t expect it to get serious with Ella. I mean, neither of us did. We met at the conference, and we both thought it would just be a little fun, but… I like her, Belle,” he said, looking at me like the dog he was about to kick out of the house. “I really do. And she wants to take it to the next level.”

“The next level,” I deadpanned. “Meaning, the level where I get booted.”

He grimaced. “Don’t think of it like that.”

“How else am I supposed to think?” I huffed, tossing my hands up in the air.

“I don’t even know why you’re upset,” he said. “We’ve never been exclusive. We’ve never even gone on a proper date. Surely, you didn’t think this would last forever.”

I ground my teeth, but to his credit, he didn’t say it with even a slight hint of annoyance or pity or arrogance. It was a genuine, accurate statement, as if he was reminding me that the shirt I was wearing was blue.

The fact of the matter was that had this been the version of me that existed even a few months ago, I wouldn’t have batted an eye at him calling off our little arrangement. If anything, I’d known it was coming — eventually. He told me about Ella when he met her, and they’d been hanging out just as consistently as we had. It didn’t bother me, and again, had this been a few months ago, I would have wished him