The Good Luck Charm Page 40

Selene’s smug smile drops and she blinks, eyes darting from Ethan to me and back again. “Oh. I didn’t realize.” She smooths a hand over her hip. “I thought …” She shakes her head and offers me a palm. “It’s so nice to meet you—Lisa, is it?”

“Lilah.” I grip her hand firmly.

“So sorry. It’s so loud in here.” She motions to the noisy crowd. “Well, Ethan, it was so nice to see you again. Congratulations again on the win.” She turns her fake smile on me. “It was nice to meet you, Lilah.” She seems to want to hug Ethan, but since I have no intention of letting him go, she’s forced to wave and walk away.

As soon as she’s gone I turn to Ethan. “Who the fuck was that?”

“She’s just a friend.” He runs his palms down my arms.

“She looks like a damn swimsuit model.”

Ethan makes a face.

“Oh my God. Is she a swimsuit model?”

“She did a few shoots for Sports Illustrated,” he mumbles as if he doesn’t want me to hear.

I prop a fist on my hip and ask, probably louder than I should, “Have you slept with her?”

He glances around. “Maybe we should go up to the room.”

I snap my jaw shut and my nostrils flare. He’s definitely slept with her. I’ve never considered myself a jealous person, but dear God, that woman is the epitome of physical perfection. And Ethan has seen her naked. Probably more than once based on the look on his face. I spin around and start making my way through the thick crowd lining the bar.

“Princess, where ya goin’?” Josh yells after me.

“Lilah.” Ethan’s fingers wrap around my wrist and he drops his head so it’s close to my ear. “Calm down, baby. I’ll explain when we’re upstairs. There are too many people taking pictures and shit here.”

I clench my teeth, wanting to defy him, but seeing his point. I allow him to lace our fingers and lead me through the crowd. It’s simultaneously easier and more difficult since people move out of his way, but he’s stopped several times to chat.

When we finally make it to the elevators, we have to wait, and several people get in with us, a few of whom recognize Ethan and want autographs. I back into the corner and keep a placid smile on my face while I watch the numbers on the elevator. I step out around Ethan, who quickly says goodbye and follows after me. Neither of us says a thing while he opens the door and motions me in ahead of him.

I stalk across the lavish penthouse suite he booked for the weekend—definitely not covered by the team—and drop my purse on the couch. I spin around and cross my arms over my chest. “You fucked a swimsuit model.” I don’t even want to think about him being with her the way he is with me. Two physically perfect people having sex with each other. It makes me want to claw her eyes out. Or chop off her perfect, silky hair.

Ethan unbuttons his suit and blows out a breath. “Lilah—”

“Was it just a hookup? Did you date her?”

“We went out a few times at the end of last season.” He shrugs out of his jacket as he crosses the room, tossing it over the arm of the couch.

“So you slept with her more than once?”

“Do you really want me to answer that?”

No. I don’t. “Has she been to other games this season?”

Ethan’s voice turns steely. “Excuse me?”

“Why was she here tonight?”

He crosses his arms over his chest. “Are you accusing me of something here?”

“No. I don’t—There were all these women in the bathroom, talking about who they were going to try to hook up with. Someone mentioned your name and then this fucking supermodel shows up who you’ve slept with before. Just … fuck!” I’m not sure if I’m on the verge of tears or not. I scrub a hand over my face.

Ethan sighs and drops his arms. Crossing the short distance, he runs a single finger from the bridge of my nose to the tip. “I haven’t talked to her or seen her since I moved to Minnesota. It wasn’t anything serious. We went out a few times. That’s it.”

“She’s gorgeous.”

He tips my chin up. “You’re gorgeous.”


“Don’t you dare diminish how I see you. If I say you’re gorgeous, I mean it. She’s got nothing on you. Selene was someone to pass time with. You’re the one I want. Why else would I have flown you out here?” He runs his thumb along the contour of my bottom lip. “This mouth—” He dips down and brushes his lips over mine, then cups my cheeks in his palms. “This face.” He runs his hands down my sides. “This body is mine. You’re the only one I want, Lilah.”

I let him tip my head back, our lips meeting with gentle penance. I don’t want soft and slow, though. Tender and sweet isn’t going to cut it tonight.

I’m aggressive and demanding, and Ethan bends to my whim, meeting my fervor with his own. Postwin makeup sex ends up being the most intense we’ve ever had. He pushes my body’s limit, taking satisfaction in the scratches and bite marks I leave behind in a bid to contain my screams as he coaxes orgasm after orgasm out of me, until I have to beg him to stop.

The next morning I’m mortified by the state of his back and chest, marked by my nails and a number of hickeys. Ethan, on the other hand, seems to wear them like a badge of honor, strutting around shirtless until it’s time to take me to the airport.

And the hangover. Dear God. Liquid cocaine shots are the worst.

I sleep the entire flight home. I pick up Merk from my sister’s on the way to my house, take both dogs for a quick walk, and make the short drive home. I find fresh flowers in the front entryway from Ethan and my fridge stocked with premade meals he had delivered in my absence, something either Carmen or Jeannie had a hand in, I’m sure. I’m too hungover to enjoy any of the food, so I go straight to bed.

Monday morning I’m still hungover, and it’s punctuated by a killer headache and some unfortunate stomach issues. It’s the first time I’ve ever called in sick to work, and I feel horribly guilty, but there’s no way I’d be functional. I’m exhausted and jet-lagged, but I try to study. I end up falling asleep on my textbook.

Tuesday evening, I’m staring at a midterm paper with questions on it that I can’t answer.

I have to guess at half of the multiple-choice questions and do the same with a good chunk of the short answers, as well. By the end of the eighty-minute class, I’m at risk of tears, out of time, and unable to answer the remaining questions with anything but wild guesses.

I pack my bag and hand in my paper, angry at myself for making such careless choices over the weekend. As much as I love seeing Ethan’s career on the rise, I dislike immensely that I seem to be getting further from my goal instead of closer. I don’t know how to balance this, and it’s starting to become a real problem. One I don’t quite know how to address with him.


I wake up to the sound of my phone ringing. I’ve fallen asleep in front of the muted TV, having put the game on for background noise while I worked on an assignment due later in the week, determined to stay ahead rather than fall behind. Again. An infomercial for high-absorbency sheets flashes on the screen, so it must be pretty late.

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