Pucked Page 31

I’ve never admitted to having sex with three different girls in one night. My agent taught me omission works to my advantage. Leave out the details, and people will infer whatever they want. What happened and what people think happened are two very separate things.

The night in question took place a number of years ago. I threw a party after I moved into my house. It was wild, as hockey parties can be. I already had a rep for being a player, most of it unfounded. This event dropped me firmly into playboy status. At the time I welcomed it; not so much anymore.

I could’ve easily debunked the myth, but early on in my career I faced a few challenges. My agent, Dick, thought it wouldn’t hurt to let people believe what they wanted. The playboy reputation, however unwarranted, stuck, and those kind of things are hard to erase.

I park across the street from Violet’s house, careful to avoid street lamps. The only vehicle in the driveway is an old SUV. Exterior lights illuminate the path from the main house to the gated yard. The pool house is further back, beyond a cover of trees and bushes.

“Don’t even think about getting out of the car, Waters.” Darren presses the button on the center console, locking the doors. “The last person she wants to see right now is you.”

I give him a dirty look for being right. “She might—”

“Punch you in the face?”

I throw the car into gear, revving the engine as I pull away from the curb. I hate not getting what I want when I want it.

All I want is to talk to Violet. I also maybe want to see her boobs again and have sex with her. Considering how things are going these days, that’s unlikely to happen.

Darren lives in a gated neighborhood close to my house, so I drop him off.

“Don’t do another drive-by tonight.” He shuts the door, gives me the hairy eyeball, and walks up his driveway.

I ignore his suggestion. The main house is dark and the sports car is still missing, so I pull up close and cut the lights. A dim glow comes from inside the pool house. I pick up my phone, scan an email from Dick about a minor endorsement campaign—nothing as promising as Sports Pro—and scroll through my contacts to her number.

She doesn’t answer. I debate hanging up until her voice mail clicks over.

“Hi. Hey. It’s Alex. You must not think very highly of me right now. If you give me a chance to explain I promise . . . I’m sorry, Violet. If you could call me when you’re not puking anymore, that’d be great.” It’s a lame message. I’ve already pressed end, so it’s sent.

Violet doesn’t return my call. It’s not a surprise. She can ignore emails, texts, and voice mails, but there is one location I can catch her where she’ll have to hear me out: her work. She won’t be able to yell at me or slam a door in my face there without drawing a lot of attention. We’re leaving for a series of away games on Wednesday, and I want to see her before I go so I can fix things.

Monday morning I get up early so I can catch her first thing. The girl at the information desk is incredibly helpful. Taking the elevator to the sixth floor, I follow the directions to Violet’s cubicle. It’s nice and public. It’s also empty.

“Can I help you?”

I turn to find a scrawny guy wearing a loud yellow paisley tie standing behind me.

“I’m looking for Violet.”

He blinks a few times, gaping. “Alex Waters.”

“That would be me.”

His hand shoots out, so I take it. “Jimmy Fredricks. You’re my idol.”

“Thanks, Jimmy. Now about Violet?”

He shakes his head. “Of course, Mr. Waters. She’s down the hall in the conference room.”

“Is she in a meeting?”

“Yes. No. She will be. It doesn’t start for another fifteen minutes. I’ll take you there, immediately. Is she expecting you?”

“It’s more of a surprise.”

“Oh. Right. Of course. Follow me.”

Jimmy leads me down the hall to the conference room. Before he can announce my arrival, I slip past him, winking as I soundlessly close the door. Violet is facing the table, so she hasn’t noticed me yet, which is precisely the point to my silent entrance. I take a moment to appreciate her attire. She’s wearing dark gray dress pants and a creamy top. The material has a slight sheen to it. Her auburn hair is loose and resting in waves on her shoulders. Her shoes are red with little heels. It’s sexy, yet professional.

I flip the lock, trapping Violet in the room with me. I take a moment to come to terms with my stalkerish behavior, rationalizing it with my need to defend my shit reputation.

My dick gets excited about being alone in a private room with her. There’s only a sliver of opaque window to the right of the door, leaving most of the room obscured from view. Violet doesn’t want to make out with me, although my dick seems unaware. I’m also allowing myself to indulge in the conference table sex fantasy a little. Or a lot.

First, I have to get her to talk to me again—and possibly go out on a date prior to such events. Violet turns as I adjust myself. She lets out a gasping shriek.

Her hand flutters delicately to her throat. “What are you doing here?”

“I wanted to explain—”

She stalks over and shoves her finger into my chest. “Explain what exactly?” She uses one of those angry whispers despite the door being closed.

“The Hat Trick. The story isn’t true.” She’s still digging her nail into my chest. The contact is nice even if it’s aggressive. Although there’s a chance it may be a precursor to some real violence.

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