(text message conversation)
Nick Demidov: Hey! Who’s the girl you took to the practice session?
Tyler Matthews: What were you doing there anyways?
ND: I was spying on you! C’mon, I require that information
TM: My sister, but why do you care?
ND: You didn’t mention you have a sister
TM: Let’s just say I was protecting her from youngsters like you
ND: Cute. She’s a great player, is she also a pro?
TM: No, she’s got a couple months off school and my parents sent her with me so she could be useful
ND: How thoughtful your mom and dad. If I wanted to meet her, would it bother you?
TM: I don’t know. Should it?
ND: No. Where can I meet her?
TM: We’ll find you on the court tomorrow, casually
ND: Roger that! But what’s her name?
TM: You’ll find out until then
Nicholas took a deep breath as he walked to the court Tyler was training at.
The latter spotted him and glanced at his sister who was concentrated drinking water with her eyes fixed in some point of the surface, he touched her arm so she would look up at him.
He stood up and motioned her to do the same.
- There’s someone I want you to meet
- Who? - She looked around and saw Nicholas
Cassie couldn’t help but smile at the sight of the tall and tanned guy that stood in the other side of the net.
- Cassie, Nick. Nick, Cassie - Tyler introduced pointing at them as he spoke
- Nice to meet you - she decided to proceed to step one by offering her hand
- The pleasure is all mine - he smiled widely as he shook it
The marketing student and the tennis player shook hands repeatedly smiling and gazing at each other.
The brother of the first-mentioned rolled his eyes.
- Take a couple minutes to rest and we’ll go back to the hitting - Tyler said but his sister’s eyes were still in his colleague-. Cassiopeia! - He exclaimed demanding her attention and just then she blinked and looked at him
- Take five
- Okay - she turned to Nicholas
- Will you go out with me sometime so we can, you know, get to know each other better? - He scratched the back of his neck, nervous
She kept checking him out; he was about 1.98 cm tall, his slightly long dirty blond hair was combed in a hair flip and his skin pale slightly tanned, his forehead was broad, thick eyebrows, blue eyes, button nose, thin lips, and diamond face made him attractive. If all the tennis players were this handsome then she should come to see her brother a lot more often.
- Sure, I’d love to - she smiled lightly
- Would you mind to give me your phone number?
- Not at all
He handed her the cellphone, Cassie typed her number and then saved it with her nickname and surname.
- I thought you needed a hitting partner, mate - Tyler smirked as he approached-. You never mentioned a date
- I thought it was implicit and mate, let’s be honest, you need her more than I do
- How amusing, now get out of my face! Some of us need training
- Can’t debate - he smirked and turned his attention back to Cassie-. I guess I’ll see you around
- If the odds are in your favor
- Something tells me they are - he kissed her cheek-. Bye
She waved and turned to her brother.
- What? - She protested at the look in his eyes
- I can’t believe you flirted with him
- Why, like, is it forbidden or something?
- It’s just a date - she cut him off-. C’mon, let’s go back to business
- And try the backhand with a single hand now that we’re there
- You’re the pro, not me so let’s just stop talking about my awful backhand
Nicholas stayed near the court wanting to see more of her in her white tennis outfit. For a girl that played literally for sport in order to help her brother she wasn’t bad and no matter what Tyler said, he liked her backhand and had to admit he was dying to set the day and time of their date. He had to admit he was looking forward to it.
Her long golden blonde hair was tied up in a ponytail, her blue eyes, narrow forehead, thin eyebrows, button nose, small lips, and her diamond pale face were covered by a visor. The first obvious clue he had of that Cassie is not a tennis player was the lack of tan.
Love at first sight wasn’t exactly what he felt to be fair. Her pretty face didn’t attract him from afar; it was her will and effort to help her loved ones. She didn’t seem interested in becoming a professional tennis player but still, she played in order to offer Tyler a worthy rival for his training sessions and Nicholas was sure she had the ability.
For the first date, he thought coffee would be ideal to talk, tennis would be fun for the second.
Cassie wasn’t completely used to be around talented people nor handsome guys.
Her brother Tyler was a famous tennis player known for his many records and Olympic medals but she never tried to get a benefit of his fame, she rather stays away for him. With their parents, going to school in order to make her own life.
The last time she traveled with him she was 16 and barely learning how to play the white sport. Now she was 21 and about to finish her bachelor.
So, watching the court complex going full of female and male famous players was a brand new experience to her as they all took their time to say hi to Tyler.
She hated to admit it, but her brother was nice. No wonder why he has won the sportsmanship award so many times in a row at the end of the tour.
- Hey - Tyler took a seat next to her after giving advice to a former junior player on how to improve the slice
- I didn’t know you could be that kind of patient teacher
- What? You have to trust me when I say that I was beyond patient with you
- Yea, you caught me - he grinned-. Would you like to come back later to a match?
- Who’s playing?
- Nick, in a few months there will be a tournament out of the tour and he’ll be my teammate so I want to see if there’s something to improve
- Of course
- And maybe you can put a little bit of pressure so he can set the day for once
- I don’t think that’s a good idea, Tyler - she shook her head-. I don’t want to look that eager to see him though he’s good looking
- He didn’t fail to impress, did he?
- He didn’t but how old is he anyway?
- Your age, you’re only a couple months older
- Well. Let’s see what happens
After Nicholas’ match ended, Cassie stood up to throw away the empty popcorn bag and a bottle of water.
A notification came from her phone when she was about to switch the channel.
(text message conversation)
Nick Demidov: I was expecting to see you in the box with your brother
Cassie Matthews: Had enough tennis for today. Maybe next time
ND: Can I catch you outside the court after the match? There’s somewhere I’d like to go with you
CM: Of course, I’ll see you there. I’m looking forward to it
ND: Me too. I’ll see you tomorrow
- So, your date will take place today? - Tyler mocked with Cassie’s phone in his hand standing right next to the door of the bathroom where she showered
- Didn’t mom and dad teach you that mess with people’s privacy is rude?
- I told you that you need to work on a better passcode, your birth date is just too easy! I couldn’t do without
- Not everyone knows my birth date
- Yea but it isn’t impossible to figure out
- I don’t care, I’m not the famous family member and I’ve got nothing in this phone that can make a scandal
- Are you sure, no heated messages?
- None, they were deleted ages ago
- Smart girl, let’s go
The tournament was a pretty competitive masters but luckily for Tyler, his rival on the way to the third round wasn’t the hardest and even if he was confident he didn’t say anything to Cassie but she knew it already. They knew each other so well that try to keep secrets and thoughts was almost insulting.
When she was in school, they texted and video called almost every day. As often as Tyler’s job could allow him; when he wasn’t training, on the court, on a plane, in a press conference or in some event. He didn’t really have much time but he spent a part of the spare with Cassie virtually.
They were so close it was almost unbelievable that there was a sea between them most of the year.
He could only go home for Christmas and even if her brother’s necessity to keep himself busy filling his schedule with at least two tournaments per month bothered and frustrated her beyond words she learned to cope with it.
Cassie took a seat in the player’s box along with Tyler’s coach, her phone in hand just in case Nick decides to cancel in the last minute.
The quarterfinals were next for him and she could perfectly understand it if he decided to leave their date for another time. All the players in that tournament wanted the 1000 points and she knew that the Russian wasn’t the exception.
She stared at her phone for a minute then her attention turned back to her brother just in time to join the applause for his advantage.
- Game, set and match Matthews
Cassie smiled and stood up with the crowd, then he shook hands with his rival and the chairman and as he was thanking the fans his gaze found hers and she blew him a kiss letting him know that she had to go find Nick.
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