Home > Scoring Big

Scoring Big
Author: Kelly Jamieson

 

1

 

 

NATE

 

 

“There’s one more thing we can try.”

My ears perk up like a puppy being offered a treat. “I’m up for anything. What is it?”

“PRP Therapy.”

No, I’m not talking to a woman about bedroom activities, sadly.

I look blankly at the doctor.

“Platelet-rich plasma therapy is a new procedure for treating knee injuries. We get a small sample of your blood from your arm, process the blood in a centrifuge, and then inject the concentrated platelets directly into your knee.”

“Jesus.”

“It uses your body’s own healing blood cells, the platelets, to stimulate the natural repair process.”

I purse my lips, nodding. “Okay.”

“We’re using it on a lot of professional athletes,” Dr. Perez says. “I think it’s worth trying before we go to surgery.”

Dr. Perez is a specialist who I’ve been seeing about my knee. It’s been bugging me for months, since last season. During the playoffs it got worse, but I was determined to play as far as we could go. The team doctors weren’t happy about that, but hey, I’m a hockey player; we play with broken bones and fresh stitches.

At the end of last season, they told me rest and rehab might help, so I’ve been doing everything I’m told. I’ve been at the gym faithfully four times a week, doing the exercises they tell me to do, strengthening my quads, avoiding squatting and pivoting, definitely not running. I’ve been swimming a few times a week. I ice my knee when I do too much, rest it, take the anti-inflammatories they tell me to, but I worry about taking them too much.

The bad news is, my meniscus tear isn’t healing.

“Yeah, I’d rather not have surgery.”

“Right. This is minimally invasive, with a faster recovery period than surgery. There’s low risk of infection. That said, it doesn’t work for everyone.”

“Oh.”

He gives me more details including some stats, but he doesn’t have to convince me. It doesn’t sound like there are big risks, only that it might not work. “What’s the recovery time?”

“It takes about two to three weeks before healing.”

“That’s nothing.”

He nods. “You’ll need to restrict yourself to light activities after the injection, then we’ll gradually work back up to exercise. Usually physical therapy along with PRP will have a better result.”

“I can do that. Okay. I’m in. Let’s do it.”

He smiles. “We’ll schedule another appointment for it.”

“I need this fast. I need to be in shape for training camp in September.”

“I think we can squeeze you in next week.”

I don’t even want to wait a few days, but I guess I can if I have to. “Okay. Perfect.”

I zip from the doctor’s office over to my ex-wife’s place in Lincoln Square to pick up my daughter.

Quinn is the best thing in my life. My ex and I have a deal that she keeps Quinn during the season when I’m playing hockey and traveling, and I take her when I’m off for the summer. Right now, we’re sharing custody until school ends.

“Daddy’s here!” Brielle calls to Quinn when I walk into her apartment. “How was the appointment? Good news?”

“No.”

“Oh. I’m sorry.” She eyes me sympathetically.

We’re on reasonably good terms. When I started playing for the New York Bears, I got caught up in the big city, pro-athlete lifestyle and dating a gorgeous actress made me feel like I’d really made it. She got pregnant and we got married. Then she fell for someone else—a billionaire who finances Broadway shows.

I met the guy a couple of times. He’s everything I’m not—educated, polished, sophisticated. She talked about him all the time, and it bugged me, so when she told me they’d fallen in love I wasn’t completely surprised. It still fucking hurt, though. But we both love Quinn more than anything and that’s enough motivation for us to work together and make sure her life is everything it should be.

“Daddy!” Quinn bounces down the hall from her room. “Can we go to the beach this afternoon?”

“Hmm. It’s kinda late today. How about we go to Central Park on the way home?”

“Can I ride the carousel?”

“Sure.”

“Yay!”

I grin. “Okay. Let’s go, pop tart.”

I smile at Brielle as she bends to hug Quinn.

“See you tomorrow night,” Brielle tells our daughter. “I’m off.”

I nod, remembering the schedule. Brielle has a role in a Broadway play that’s doing really well. Yes, financed by her husband.

I take Quinn’s hand and she skips along beside me as we enter the park. Trees provide green shade from the heat of the sun and it’s so pleasant and peaceful here in this oasis in the middle of the big city, the skyscrapers rising up at the edge of the park a reminder of the world outside the green space.

Quinn attempts to chase a squirrel across the grass, then we ride the carousel not once but twice, followed up by ice cream. My knee is aching and I need a rest so we find a bench to sit on.

There’s a woman sitting on a bench next to us. She has a notebook and pen in her hand, but she’s staring into space. Long golden-brown hair in messy waves is held back by a headband with a pink bow on it, showing off big eyes and high cheekbones. Her lips are full and rosy, a mouth made for kissing and sucking and…well, the rest of her looks incredible too, although her outfit is…interesting. A short flouncy pink skirt shows off a long length of fantastic leg, and a tight black tank top hugs her top curves. Chunky black boots complete the ensemble.

The woman turns and her eyes meet mine as I complete my once over. Jesus. Is she crying?

I frown, resisting the urge to jump up, stride over to her, and demand, who hurt you?

The woman’s gaze lands on Quinn next to me. She takes in Quinn’s red and silver face mask and bright red cape. And she smiles. Wow. That smile illuminates her face even more, lighting up her green eyes, something so attractive about her my breath stalls in my chest.

“Are you done your ice cream?” I ask Quinn.

“Yeah.”

I clean her up with some paper napkins then walk to the trash bin, which means walking past the woman next to us. I drop our garbage into the bin but as I turn back, I forget to not pivot my knee. It locks. I stumble and hit the grass. “Shit!”

Oops. Language.

The woman jumps up. “Are you okay?”

Great. So impressive, sprawled on the ground in front of a beautiful woman. Heat runs up my neck into my face. Even my ears feel hot. “I think so.” I try to gather my composure and get my legs under me to stand.

She extends a hand. Christ. I take it and try to save face. “Do you have a Band-Aid?”

Her eyebrows slope together, her gaze moving over me searching for blood. “Are you hurt?”

“I think I scraped my knee falling for you.”

After a startled beat, she bursts out laughing. I grin sheepishly.

Quinn turns to look back and sees me sitting on the ground holding the woman’s hand. I let her help me up, putting my weight on my good leg, and dust off my jeans as Quinn skips back to us.

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