Wicked Love by Gianna Gabriela

"Welcome back, Ms. Matthews," she greets, my chart in her hands. "Let's see how you're doing today."

After twenty minutes of poking and prodding, she spills the news that I will need to stay in the hospital a few more days, and will have my work cut out for me with physical therapy in stages.

"Don't worry," she assures me before leaving my room, "I've assigned Krew Beckett to be your physical therapist. He's one of the best, and I just know you two will get on splendidly."


No pain, no gain.

Dr. Talbert is now officially on my hit list! Great physical therapist, indeed! Satan, thy name is Krew Beckett!

I'm barely back from Coma-World when dark brown-hair, green-eyed and yes, quite hot looking dude comes strutting into my hospital room early one morning, carrying a clipboard and as I later see, an attitude!

"Ms. Matthews," he greets cheerily, "I'm Krew Beckett, your physical therapist, and my job is to get you off your ass and back into the active collegiate world! My goal is to get you back on the jogging track at Columbia as soon as possible. It will require hard work and tenacity, but I'm sure you can produce." He tosses a panty-melting wink at me, which serves to piss me off even further since it's way too early for any of this crap.

"Excuse me? Before I entrust anyone with my physical well-being, what exactly are your credentials?" I ask, and yes, I'm kind of snippy about it, I admit.

"Oh I get it," he replies with a wide grin. "Wanna make sure I'm a product of an appropriate Ivy League institution, right? Well, I assure you, I'm top-shelf babe."

Full of yourself much?

"Whatever," I respond, not hiding my disinterest. "I'm not really feeling up to it just yet–Krew, is it?"

"Krew it is," he replies with a smug smile. "And quite frankly, it's not up to you. It's under your attending doctor's orders."

Now my dander is up. "I don't give a flying fuck who's orders you've been given, I'm telling you right here and now that I'm not ready for this. I'm still in pain. So if you don't–"

My words stop when Daddy comes into my hospital room, having heard at least part of my diatribe against Krew Beckett.

"Is there a problem?" my father asks, looking at me and only me.

"Umm, Daddy," I remark, giving him my soulful look. "This . . . this therapist wants me to get out of bed and do some sort of torturous physical therapy, which I know will be excruciating. It's just too early," I whine, giving him a pleading look. "The pain is still so debilitating."

Then Krew butts in. "Hello Mr. Matthews. I'm Krew Beckett," he says, holding his hand out to shake my father's. "Dr. Talbert has ordered Carson's physical therapy to start today. There's a graduated plan, and yes, it's not going to be pain-free, but the most important thing is to start early with this, so there's no permanent damage to muscles or nerves. You don't want her to have chronic pain, I'm sure. Especially with the current opioid epidemic in this country, I'm sure you'll agree this is a much safer and healthier option, Sir."

Oh, brother!

"Carson," my father says calmly, but firmly, "You need to cooperate with this therapeutic strategy. Dr. Talbert is one of the best around. You didn't survive this without the strength and tenacity you already possess. Now I want you to put that strength and determination to use here. You can do this, and you will be that much stronger for having succeeded."

Yes, Daddy.

"Sure, I'll do my best," I reply, giving him a warm, loving smile.

"That's my girl," Daddy replies, giving me his fatherly look of approval.

I. Hate. You. Krew. Beckett.

To say Krew Beckett is the Master of Torture is an understatement. He is more like the King Nazi of Human Torture. This 'starting off slow' thing is clearly a figment of his imagination.

The words spewing from my mouth are not only filthy, but in some cases, can be considered viable threats. But Krew seems to enjoy my verbal abuse.

"Such a filthy mouth. If only you'd put as much energy in those leg presses," he teases, cracking another one of his dazzling smiles.

He moves the steel pin downward, adding another ten pounds of weight to the machine. "Give me ten more, and then we're done with this one for today. And don't lock your knees this time, Princess."