Pucked Page 63

His eyes light up like he’s in a nudie bar.


“Really.” I nod, knowing I will never in a million years sic Buck on Alex if things don’t work out. I have knees. I know how to use them.

He nods, his relief evident. “I’m gonna shower. Wanna hug it out?” He opens his arms wide.

I make a face and back away. “I think I’ll wait until after the shower for that, thanks.”

“Okay.” He lumbers awkwardly to the door, still wearing his skates.

Our bonding session over, I find a mirror and work on fixing my hair, which is very much the product of a sex tornado. If anything, I look like an expensive escort, which is not nearly as bad as a hooker. While performing emergency hair surgery with my fingers, I get caught in memories of the turdburger, Steve.

He exemplified the term asshole. Not at first, though. Initially, he was charming. I met him in my last year of college at a campus coffee shop over a latte mix-up. His major was undefined, and he was in his second year. He was a little younger than me, but he was cute. On our third date, I found out he was in the minors, looking to get drafted. Lots of red flags, right? I should’ve called it off right there. I didn’t because sometimes I’m blinded by hotness and nice teeth.

We’d been seeing each other for only a few weeks when he suggested meeting my parents. I was floored. Most guys avoid that business like the plague. So I introduced him to Sidney, who offered to watch him play. I went, too, just to be a supportive girlfriend, and discovered Steve was never going to be a good enough player to make it to a farm team, let alone the NHL. Sid took him aside and let him down easy. Still, a bruised ego is a bruised ego.

A few days later I stopped by the coffee shop to pick up a latte between classes. I wasn’t surprised to see him. What did surprise me was the brunette cozied up on his junk. She was one of those skanky types, dressed in a super-short skirt with cleavage spilling out of her low-cut blouse. Her boobs were way bigger than mine.

Now, let me be clear—I knew this relationship wasn’t going anywhere. In fact, I wasn’t really interested in seeing him anymore. Sex with him was, as mentioned previously, lackluster at best. His orgasms sounded like a hyena in heat and he was lacking below the waist. It was the ultimate in disappointing sex. At the time I was tired of being alone, and the unpleasant, high-pitched sex seemed better than nothing. It was quite the funk.

Steve and the skank were snuggling on the couch. I was as annoyed as I was relieved until he pulled the shittiest kind of move in the history of dating. It will stick with me for the rest of my life—beyond the dog-whistle moaning sex.

He looked at me as if he didn’t know who I was. He even asked if he could help me. Before I made an enormous fool out of myself, I told him he looked like some douche-whore with a small dick I used to know, and left.

That was more than eight months ago. Since then I’ve been on a dating hiatus. Hockey players of any kind have been strictly off the table. Until Alex.

The irony that I’m involved with a would-be manwhore-who-was-never-a-manwhore is not lost on me. In my defense I thought I knew what I was getting myself into. It’s not my fault all the rumors turned out to be false and Alex is a nice guy.

Several members of Alex’s team wander into the lounge. Most sit on the couches and watch TV while they wait for the rest of the guys to finish cleaning up. They’re all wearing suits, looking refined. A guy named Spencer sets a brush and a ponytail holder in front of me. His hair is long and pulled back into one of those man bun things I’ve seen a lot of lately.

“You look like you might need this.” His cheeks pinken as his eyes lift to my hair. I’d appreciate it more if I wasn’t so embarrassed.


“No problem.”

By the time I’ve brushed my hair into a semismooth ponytail, Alex returns to the lounge, freshly showered and dressed in a black pinstripe suit.

“Leaving the locker room should be interesting, hey, Waters?” one of the guys says, nodding in my direction.

It takes a few seconds for this information to process. I have to leave through the same door I came in. There are always camera crews waiting, even after the interviews are done. How the hell am I going to get out of here without the world finding out I’ve become Alex’s puck bunny?


Closing my eyes, I pray for the ability to beam myself out of the locker room. Unfortunately, when I open them I’m still standing here staring at Alex. He’s nice to look at, so that’s a consolation.

“I can’t leave the locker room.”

Someone starts to speak. I shush them with a karate chop through the air. This is unreasonable. I’m aware I’ll have to leave this room eventually. I’m so freaked out. I must look like those weird greeting cards with the animals whose eyes are half the size of their head. I don’t want pictures taken of me like this. Unable to contain myself, I pace around the room, continuing my mini-tirade, explaining why I can’t leave should Alex or any of his teammates within earshot be interested.

“People are going to think I’m your hockey hooker. Or I’m gangbanging the team. Then you know what will happen?” Alex opens his mouth, but I cut him off. “I’ll tell you what’s going to happen. Some porn producer will try and put me in a movie. It’ll be called Hockey Hooker does the Hawks.”

I suck in a deep breath. It’s not enough; I can’t get sufficient air into my lungs. I’m sweaty and clammy. If this is what a panic attack is, I never want another one. The room is dead silent, except for Kirk.

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