Pucked Page 97

A million microphones are pointed at the team, with Alex front and center. They’re all beaming, gripping the massive trophy. One reporter shoves the mic in Alex’s face.

“How does it feel to score the winning goal?”

“It feels good to be able to come through for my team on such an important night. We worked together to make it happen.” Alex throws an arm around Darren, who stands beside him. “I’m proud of my teammates for bringing the Cup home.”

This is the version of Alex I thought I knew; the one who shares the victory. His eloquence and humility are sexy. I want this to be the real him, the man I’ve fallen for.

He scans the crowd and when he finds me, his smile widens, those dimples deepening. He passes the trophy off to Darren and grabs the microphone from the closest sportscaster. To her credit, she tries to hold on. It’s comical the way her arm extends as Alex yanks it out of her grasp.

“I need to say one thing.” He reassures her, then seeks me out once again. “Violet Hall. I’m an idiot for not saying this sooner. I’m in love with you.”

A split second of silence follows his declaration. The subsequent roar of the crowd is deafening. Reporters' questions blend together in the cheers and screams. Cameras flash incessantly, blinding me and making it impossible for me to see past the spots in my vision. Microphones are shoved in my face. I can’t hear their questions. Besides, I’m too stunned to speak.

Alex Waters stole his own thunder in front of the entire sports-watching nation.


It’s the cheesiest declaration of love ever. It belongs in one of those romantic comedies my mom forces me to watch on girls’ night. The ones I secretly love but pretend to hate.

I’m frozen, which is unfortunate since my mouth is hanging open in utter shock. I know I should do something, but I can’t seem to connect my brain to my body. Charlene is bouncing beside me, screaming her head off at the reporter who keeps trying to ask me questions I’m unable to answer. My mom grabs the microphone and graciously responds for me. She ignores their commentary on my relationship with Alex and tells them how excited I am that the Hawks won the cup. It works for me.

Alex passes his mic back to the wide-eyed woman and pushes his way through the crowd.

“I love you,” Alex says. I can’t hear the words because it is too damn loud. For all I know he’s actually saying “vacuum” which looks like “I love you.”

The romance and sweetness of the sentiment is devoured by the incessant clicking of cameras and the overwhelmingly raucous cheers of the crowd. This is definitely not the way I imagined the first real ILY going down, but I’ll take it. Somewhere down the line it’ll make a good story—if there’s a somewhere down the line for us.

Alex takes my face between his hands and presses his lips against mine. His beard tickles my mouth and nose.

Disregarding his smelliness and the dampness of his palms, I thread my fingers through his sweaty hair. He wraps an arm around my waist and bends me backward as he goes in for a real kiss. The mouth fucking commences. Good Lord, he’s just going for it. His lips are warm, his tongue soft as he eagerly seeks out my own. I've missed this. The way it feels to be touched by him, kissed. I strain to get closer, impeded by padding. As hot as this is, considering how long it’s been, I’m thinking it would be a good plan to stop while we’re ahead.

“Um, Alex?” It’s difficult to get a word out when he goes in for yet another kiss.

His arm tightens around me. “I missed you.”

“Um, yeah, I get that, but do you think we could continue this somewhere more private?” I don’t want to look like a complete ho-bag if I can avoid it.

“Huh?” Alex pops back into reality as he surveys our surroundings. Numerous phones and cameras are aimed at us right now, along with several mics. “Oh. I’m sorry. Of course.”

There’s a ridiculous amount of excitement as he waves to the screaming crowd, and he blushes when he sees Charlene and my mom behind me, flanked by an irritated Sidney. Buck is behind the line of reporters, wearing an expression similar to Sid's. Alex keeps a protective arm wrapped around my waist, pulling me along as he clomps his way to the locker room. Inside, a few mostly naked guys mill around. Now that I know them by name, and most of them have seen me in a similar state of undress, it doesn’t feel right for me to be in here.

I cover my eyes with my hands. “Maybe I should meet you at the bar.”

I motion with my elbows in what I’m sure approximates an uncoordinated version of “The Chicken Dance.” With my hands still in front of my face, I sidestep in the direction of the door only to slam into the wall.

Alex takes me by the shoulders and turns me around. “You can open your eyes now, Violet.”

I spread my fingers and peek through them.

He takes my hands in his. “Promise me you’ll be at the bar?”

He looks so worried. My silence has been as hard on him as it’s been on me, but I feel somewhat justified. He did tell the entire sports watching nation we were just friends, after all.

I nod, excitement and anxiety duking it out in my stomach. “I promise.”

He ducks down, his lips close to mine. “I probably should’ve asked before I kissed you the first time, eh? Can I steal one more? Please?”

At my nod, he touches his lips to mine. He doesn’t try to slip me the tongue this time.

My parents and Charlene are waiting outside the locker room. They surround me like security detail, shielding me from the flash of camera phones, video cameras, and outstretched mics. Alex has certainly created a buzz tonight.

Source: www_Novel22_Net

Prev Next