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CHAPTER ONE

The heavy wooden door to what used to be Jacelyn Ross’s office whipped open just as she raised her hand to knock on it; out barreled two hundred pounds of pure male flesh—right into her. The man said, “Oops...damn.” His fingers grasped her shoulders to prevent her imminent fall.

Totally unbalanced, Jacelyn pitched forward into his hard chest, smacking her nose against it; the contact actually hurt. “Ouch.”

He chuckled, gentling his hold on her. “Sorry.”

As she drew in a steadying breath, she lifted her gaze. “No, it’s my fault.”

The man’s face was all angles and planes. Short hair, a bit darker than honey, accented his features. Eyes the color of warm gray suede were alight with mischief. And he smelled so good. “Not that I mind.” He glanced down at her shirt and those eyes narrowed. “What are you doin’ up here, darlin’? This area is off limits for Beckett students. Or are you a Buckland fan?”

A small liberal arts school in Rockford, New York, Beckett College, had recently implemented a Sports Studies major, where students could pursue all the business aspects of athletics—such as management, finance, marketing and law—and apply them to the sports industry. To coincide with the new program, the Buckland Bulls, a professional football team in upstate New York, had moved their summer training camp to Beckett and would be part of the course of study. The team shared this space with the new staff, which was why no one was allowed up here in the summer.

But her, a fan? Oh, please. She was forty-three years old. She had a PhD and was head of the Business Department. She’d been married and had a nineteen-year-old son.

“I’m not a fan.” Self-consciously, Jacelyn tugged down the blue T-shirt she wore with white shorts. She’d come to the campus today to clean out her new office and a very odd request from her son, Kyle, had brought her here. Despite her casual attire, and her utter embarrassment about doing this, she tried to maintain some dignity. “I work at Beckett.”

Abruptly, the man released her and stepped back. “Whatever you say.” He circled around her.

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