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This Is Wild (This is #2)
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From the best selling series, Something So comes the spin-off Series This is…
Heck, I didn’t even know what icing was. I was too busy climbing the corporate ladder, becoming one of the most successful realtors in New York City.
I wasn’t interested in dating or anything that got in my way.
First, he was my client and then he became my friend.
Five years later I was traded a week after I entered rehab.
There was no time for anything except my health and making sure I’d come out on top. I had to be better.
One of the rules of recovery was ‘don’t fall in love’ and I made it a top priority. She was off limits in every single way.
Until it was too late
One night, one decision, one act can derail everything.
When push comes to shove, I’m only certain that, This is Wild.
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“And they said you couldn’t do it.” I look up at the door to the voice of reason. My therapist, Alain, comes into the room where I’ve stayed for the past ninety days. The only thing in this room is a king-size bed, a six-drawer oak dresser, and a side table that holds a nightlight. Don’t get me wrong, it’s the classiest rehab facility I’ve seen, and one I never thought I would be in. I even have my own private bathroom. I look back down at the cream-colored marble floor. My black boots a stark comparison to the lightness. I’m sitting on my bed with so many things going through my head. “You look deep in thought. What are you thinking about?”
I shake my head and laugh. “Is this another session?” My tone is definitely sarcastic.
“Nope.” He crosses his arms over his chest and stares at me exactly like he does in his office and in group therapy. “This one is totally free.”
I roll my eyes. “Nothing about this place is free.”
Now he’s the one laughing. “This is true, but this, right here, is all free. You did it, Viktor. That ninety-day chip you earned, is all you.”
I think of the chip in my pocket that I got at the end of the group meeting. “I didn’t have a choice.”
“Everyone has a choice,” he says, his voice calming. “You had a choice every single day. You could have walked out of here at any given time.”
“Then I would have lost everything.” I sigh.
“So you chose not to lose,” he says, and I swear, sometimes I just want to tell him to fuck off. Actually, most times.
“You chose to get up and fight.” He slides his hands in his pockets. “Don’t ever forget that. You have the tools you need to be successful.”
He looks at his watch. “I have to go, but I wanted to come and wish you well. And to tell you that I am here for whenever you need me.” He smirks, leaning in and whispering, “For free.” I laugh as he turns and walks out of the room.
I still have so much I need to get off my chest, so much I need help with, and fear is the first thing. Fear that I will fuck it all up, fear that I am not strong enough to fight the urges, fear that I will see the disappointment in my parents’ eyes. My phone beeps, letting me know it’s time to check out. The car will be here in ten minutes, so I make my way to the common area.
If I wasn’t in therapy or doing my daily plan, I was hitting the gym. I wouldn’t let anything hold me back. They already had enough on me not to believe in me, so showing up for preseason and not being able to skate would have been just another reason to toss me aside and cross me off the list. Gone was the scrawny little guy when I started; I was now thirty pounds heavier, and it was all muscle.
The room is almost empty, which is no surprise since it’s almost eleven o’clock, and everyone is probably in class. Only two people are watching television, and they are both new here.
I walk over to one of the empty seats and sit down, plopping my bag beside me. I don’t know what else to do. If I was still in rehab, I would head over to the treadmill and jog out the anxiety I feel creeping up. I know how to recognize it now and know what to do with it, or at least what not to do with it. I can’t get on the phone and call my dealer. I can’t go to my secret stash and take a hit. No, not this time. I look at the door, waiting for my car to arrive, and then I spot him. Matthew Grant.
“Well, look at this. I get the VIP treatment.” I smile and get up, holding my hand out to him. The nerves appear in full force. I wait for the inner doubt to creep in also, telling me I’ll never be good enough.
“Figured I’d give you a lift home,” he tells me, and I just nod as I turn and pick up my bag. It holds the clothes I have here that fit me, and from the time I started, the pile got smaller and smaller. My mother did send me a couple of pairs of jeans but nothing more than that. I told her not to bother, and I would get everything once I got to New York. My new home.
“Have you been discharged?” he asks, and I nod at him again. “Then let’s hit the road. The plane is waiting.”
We pass the receptionist on our way out, and I give her a smile and a nod. When I see her sigh, I know I’ve still got it. I knew I always had it, but it’s just a little confirmation that everyone looks for. I get into the black truck right next to Matthew, and we stay silent. When the truck takes off from the facility, my heart hammers in my chest. It’s so loud I look over and see if Matthew can hear it. When I see him looking out of the window, I know it’s just the echoing in my ears. I take a deep breath in and then exhale, counting to ten in my head, then to twenty, and then finally to a hundred. The beating slows to a normal pace, and I breathe a sigh of relief, thinking about how I just saved face from having a full-blown panic attack in the front of my new boss.