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I sprint across the room and yank the bedroom door open. The common living room is empty. I consider a tuck and roll across the floor for fun, but I’m uncoordinated, so I settle for running. Throwing open the door, I find Alex with his jacket slung over one arm and his phone to his ear.

I step out into the hall. “You weren’t kidding.”


I follow his gaze. Oh yes, now I remember. I’m wearing Spiderman jammies designed to fit pre-pubescent boys. It’s cold in the hallway and I’m braless, which draws attention to my chest. My nipples are clearly saluting him through the threadbare fabric.

“I forgot my lace teddies at home.” I almost wish I owned one, except lace is uncomfortable and impractical. “What are you doing here?” I cup my boobs to protect my nipples from further visual molestation.

His eyes drop for a split second, as if my nipples have their own force field, and then return to my face. “I, uh . . . do you want to hang out?”

I cringe. “I’m staying with my parents.”

“You could come up to my suite.”

“I was going to bed.” So lame.

“I figured.”

And there’s the smile again. He rocks those damn dimples. The banged-up face and the bruises seem to elevate the level of pretty.

“I’m not having sex with you.” Dear Lord, my mouth needs a censor.

He doesn’t even flinch. “That’s cool. I wasn’t expecting sex.”

“Really?” I assumed by hang out he clearly meant get naked.

“Really. Promise.” He puts his hand over his heart, his eyes softening as his cheeks flush. He’s blushing. It’s kind of cute.

“Oh. Well, then. I guess—I’ll get changed.” There I am, agreeing to go up to a hot-as-hell hockey player’s room in the middle of the night for not-sex.

I reach for the door and tug the handle. It’s locked. I try again, knowing it won’t work. Knocking will wake the ’rents. Then I definitely won’t be hangin’ with Alex. I want to, even though it’s a screamingly bad idea. Nothing good can come of this. Except maybe another make out session.

“You don’t have your key.”

“No. No, I don’t.”

“You don’t need to change on my account. I’m quite partial to this outfit. Spiderman’s my favorite.” He’s still got a smile plastered on his face. It’s almost as irritating as it is hot. “We could hit up the front desk and ask for another card if you’re committed to changing.”

“Are you kiss—I mean kidding? I mean what? No. I can’t go there dressed like this.” Both the Freudian slip and the idea of walking into the main lobby in Spidey pajamas are horrifying.

“Why don’t you come to my room? We can chill for a bit. When you’re ready to come back here, I’ll have a key sent up.” He offers his hand.

I look at it and then him, debating. It could be the residual booze floating around in my system—and my lack of gratification during my jill time—but I put my palm in his and allow him to guide me to the elevator. He pushes the button and drapes his suit jacket across my shoulders. I don’t want to consider how often he does this. Or how I’m probably one of hundreds.

The doors open, and he motions me in ahead of him. The entire elevator is made of mirrors, providing an awesome view of Alex from all angles. I, on the other hand, am a complete mess. My hair could seriously use a brush, I have no makeup on, and I’m wearing my glasses. I surreptitiously attempt to fix my hair.

“Hey.” His eyes are warm as he strokes my cheek. His fingers are rough and calloused, yet the touch is gentle, intimate even. “I just want to hang out. I promise.”

I want to believe him.

“It’s two a.m., Alex. Showing up at my hotel room in the wee hours of the morning usually constitutes a booty call.”

He drops his hand. “The whole bar scene gets old, and I’m kind of amped from the game. I figured you gave me your number, and we were having fun, weren’t we? It’s nice to talk to someone who isn’t caught up in the hype.”

“Right.” Whatever. He’s not going to hold me hostage. I can always leave if I need to.

“I wasn’t sure when you’d be leaving. I wanted to try—”

The elevator dings. Alex laces my fingers with his and we walk down the hall to his room. The space is laid out almost the same as my parents suite aside from the single door leading to what is most likely the bedroom.

“We usually share rooms, but I won a bet last week, so my buddy Darren had to put me up in this.”


“Yeah. Westinghouse. Number twenty-six. He plays right wing.”

It’s at this moment I remember I was supposed to snap a picture of him. I was too busy sticking my tongue in Alex’s mouth to follow through. I hope Charlene forgives my distraction.

“You share rooms?”

“Most of the time.”

Bringing girls up to the room would be a challenge. Unless they’re all into watching or sharing. I suppress a shudder. I wonder what kind of bet he won.

I trail Alex to the bar, where he makes me an alcohol-free drink. He cracks a bottle of Perrier for himself.

We stand there, staring at each other, not saying anything until the awkwardness becomes unbearable and I crack.

“I’m nervous.” I follow up with, “I don’t usually do this.” Cue internal eye roll. What a clichéd line.

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