A Sinner's Legacy, Book Four
A pregnant young woman shows up at the Billodeaux ranch looking for Teddy, the handicapped adopted son of the family. Turns out Ella Sue Smalls is his half-sister looking for a place to stay until her baby is born. Good-hearted Teddy offers shelter at his very modest apartment. Though he will never be a member of the Sinners football team like his brothers, he is fiercely independent and earns his way as a freelance sports announcer and writer.
Ella has arrived at an awkward time for her brother; Teddy had just reconnected with a former cheerleader he had a crush on in high school. Injured in a tragic accident, Jessica Minvielle is hopeless and bitter about her life confined to a wheelchair. She reaches out to Teddy for help to live a full life again and salvage her career as a sports trainer. He is only too glad to show her what a man and a woman in wheelchairs can do. But, will the scheming Ella Sue come between them and ruin their chance at love?
Page Count: 330
Word Count: 85305
Teddy caught a view of himself in the long mirror some people enjoyed working out in front of, but not him. His fine blond hair lay plastered against his brow so sweat-soaked it appeared brown. His normally pale face burned red with exertion. He took a deep breath, expanding his chest built up from the strength training. There, that was better. He straightened his body to its full five-foot-six frame, that courtesy of a number of operations involving cracking open the heavy scar on his back to allow him to grow. He’d never be six feet tall like most of his brothers and heck, one of his sisters; he’d never play for the Sinners football team like two of them, but he was grateful for what he could do, thanks to a caring family.
“You stuck, Teddy? Do you need your chair?” asked one of the PT trainers.
“Nope, only resting a minute. One more round and I’m done for the day.” He turned awkwardly and started down the lane again, focusing on his crutches waiting at the end of the course to give him some relief. Goal attained. Teddy placed his arms in the bands of his sticks and made his way to grab his hoodie from a rack, not that he needed it to go outside. Louisiana in early August required no extra coverage. The humidity ran so high sweat didn’t dry off the body.
He almost missed her, the girl laid out on the exercise table closest to the door. A female trainer massaged and worked her patient’s legs, but Teddy only noticed the beauty of the face surrounded by a halo of light brown hair, long and sun-streaked, surrounding a complexion too pale to have gone outside to attain those highlights. That perfect oval contained closed eyes perfectly made up with subtle liner and shadow beneath deftly shaped brows. Her nose was pert, her lips full, but not too heavy, candy pink outlined in a darker color. Not a single blemish marred its surface. Her hands lay crossed under her chest. Their nails, lacquered pale pink, had white tips. A French manicure his sisters called it. Gold and black running shorts showed off her still shapely legs, and the U-necked matching top revealed some cleavage between two full breasts. An old man rehabbing his knee on the next table ogled her, and other guys in the gym definitely noticed, but weren’t as blatant about it. Maybe that’s why she kept her eyes closed.
“Jessica,” Teddy murmured.
She must have heard him because her eyes opened. They were green-gray hazel flecked with gold, large and luminous. Her lovely lips opened. “What are you staring at, jerk?”
Teddy had been stared at plenty in his life. In fact, he headed home to shower because he hated the jock atmosphere of the men’s locker room. He did know how it felt to be gawked at, but he wasn’t gawking. He worked his crutches to her side. “Teddy Billodeaux. We went to high school together and college, though I didn’t see you around much there. Different majors, I guess. I studied communications.”
“So what.” She turned her head away, closed her eyes again as if blocking out all around her.
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