Series: B Squad #2.5
Release Date: May 8, 2017
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Sometimes the line between love and insanity is as thin as an ice skate’s blade...
Bad girl Gillie Pike has gone straight, but someone with a lot of money wants to bring her out of retirement to steal the Cup and make sure it's found in star goalie Flynn Kazakov's possession. They call him Crazy-kov for a reason and nothing makes him more nuts than his best friend's sexy little sister who swears she's the only one who can keep him out of jail and on the ice.
Snow Bay, The Upper Peninsula Of Michigan
It was Thursday Night, Ladies’ Night and Ten Pints was rocking.
Half bowling alley and half bar, the place had been an institution in his small hometown of Snow Bay, Michigan for more years than Flynn could remember. All of the families who’d brought the kiddies to the bowling alley had gone home for the night and everyone still here was looking to get drunk and get laid in whatever order they could make that happen. It was the U.P. way.
The crack of balls crashing against the pin barely sounded over the mix of Top 40 blaring out of the speakers above the bar in the back corner. Michigan Upper Peninsula Yooper Pride signs and autographed photos of Green Bay Packers players hung above the shelves of liquor. Ten Pints’ owner and Snow Bay’s resident grouch, Marcy, was behind the bar still looking like she’d spent so much time ice fishing she’d been permanently frozen at eighty-six.
“If it isn’t Mr. Big Time Hockey Puck.” She flung a bar towel over one boney shoulder and gave him a snarly grin, but her eyes were smiling. “What can I get for ya?”
“Hey ya, Marcy.” He scanned the logos on the taps behind her before he locked onto something he only got at home. “I’ll have a pint of blueberry wheat.”
“You betcha.” She grabbed a glass with gnarled fingers and put it under the tap spout. Her gaze wandered over his shoulder to something behind him and her eyes narrowed. “Watch out, they’re starting to circle. Looks like even some of the troll girlies have come on up for your homecoming.”
Unlike in the rest of the continental U.S., a troll wasn’t a mythical creature up here. It was anyone who lived south of the Mackinaw Bridge. There were only two reasons why the trolls would be up in early August. Their yearly unwind at a cottage or because of him. It wasn’t ego. Just plain fact. Puck bunnies had been trying to get their hooks into him since he started juniors. Some men with his messy parental background would have bypassed the bunnies and been all honorable and good. He wasn’t that guy. What could he say? He was an asshole.
Marcy handed him the pint and he took a long, deep swallow, keeping his gaze on the bottles of clear liquor lined up behind the bar rather than looking over his shoulder to take stock of the night’s possibilities. Then, a cold breath of awareness blew down his neck, the same one that let him know when a puck was coming before the forward’s stick even connected. Not turning around wasn’t an option.
“Thanks, Marcy.” He nodded at the older woman and made a slow one-eighty.
His gaze went past the preening bunnies trying to catch his eye, the couples making a dance floor out of the square feet of nothing space in front of the bowling shoe rental counter and a trio of sunburned FIPs (fucking Illinois’ people) playing pool in the back corner until he spotted her. The world stuttered to a stop. The bunnies disappeared. The beer in his hand ceased to exist.
Gillie Fucking Pike.
He stared. She smirked.
He downed his nearly full beer in one gulp. She strutted across Ten Pints, drawing the attention of every man in the bar and most of the women too.
When he’d left her standing in the driveway of his empty Fort Worth house three years ago, looking too pissed off to cry, he’d never expected to see her again. He couldn’t. She was a thief. She was his best friend’s little sister. Worst of all, she was the only woman to ever make him rethink his priorities to the point that he nearly got him thrown in jail. There wasn’t a bigger danger in the world for a man with one goal—and one goal only—than to fall for a woman like Gillie Pike. She was five-feet-nine-inches of sexy distraction.
By the time Gillie stopped in front of him, close enough she wouldn’t have to shout over the din of Ten Pints, he’d almost got his brain back in gear. He’d have been a helluva lot more successful at that if most of his blood hadn’t headed straight south at the sight of her. If Eve had looked even half as good as Gillie, there was no doubt as to why Adam had taken a big ole bite of that juicy apple. She was all curves and bad girl sex appeal topped off with long black hair that he knew from experience she loved to have pulled tight while getting fucked from behind.
She arched an eyebrow as if she knew exactly what he’d been thinking. “Buy a girl a beer?”
“I don’t think that’s a good idea.” Hell, it wasn’t even in the same hemisphere as a good idea.
Gillie stepped closer and raised herself up to her tiptoes, brushing her tits across his chest and bringing her full lips within kissing distance of his earlobe. “From what I remember you liked bad ideas.”
Memories crashed through his brain. The quickie in the locker room. The flatbed of his truck in the parking garage. The showers at Devil’s Dip Gym. Nothing like the adrenaline rush of maybe getting caught to add to the thrill of having Gillie naked and pressed up against the closest flat surface. They’d indulged in just about every bad idea either of them had. Intoxicating. Addicting. Absolutely fucking amazing. Right up until he’d learned the truth about her.
Now that memory should have knocked his brain clear like a puck to the helmet and deflated his fast-hardening cock. It didn’t. When it came to dealing with Gillie, things so rarely did.
“What are you doing here?” he asked, hoping the gravel in his tone came off as badass instead of turned on.
She didn’t back off or snuggle closer. Instead, she took the empty beer glass from his hand and set it down on the bar. “Paying back the debt I owe you.”
“You don’t owe me anything.”
“We both know I do.” She smiled sweetly, but the innocent act didn’t reach her gold-rimmed hazel eyes. “Now, why don’t we give these people a show they can talk about during the long, cold winter and then you can take me to your house so I can explain everything.”
Fuck. He’d forgotten the rest of the bar. He was the hometown boy made good, there was no way everyone wasn’t watching. That thought had half a second to register before the rest of her words shoved it aside. “What kind of show?”
She tugged her bottom lip between her teeth. “Kiss me.”
“I’m not kissing you.” No matter how much he wanted—and God did he want.
“Okay.” She shrugged. “If you insist.”
He had a heartbeat to try to unwind that verbal knot before she shifted so she stood in front of him and then she kissed him. His brain short circuited and all he could do was give in and feel. His hands dropped automatically to her full hips and he hooked his fingers into the belt loops of her jeans and yanked her hard against him. The feel of her mouth, her tongue twisting around his, and the rest of her pressed close from hips to chest, was almost too much. No. It wasn’t enough. There were too many clothes. Too many people watching. Too much time had passed without tasting her. Her hands were tangled in his hair then sliding down his chest, leaving a trail of fire before she pressed her palms firm against him and broke the kiss.
Her chest heaved and her eyes were dilated. She let out a shaky breath, the kind that just made him harder because he didn’t want to hear her sigh, he needed to hear her scream.
Gillie blinked away the hunger in her eyes, replacing it with something more vacant and less real. She snuggled in close and let her hands glide down his shirt and dangerously close to his waistband. For anyone watching—and no doubt the whole fucking bar was—it was a show all right. They didn’t know it was all fake, but he sure did. Lies were the only truth to Gillie Pike. What he didn’t comprehend yet was why she was doing this.
She looked up at him with those lying eyes of hers, then leaned in close and dropped her voice to as much of a whisper as the noisy bar allowed. “Now, let’s get out of here before you fuck this up, lose your career and end up behind bars.”
He froze. “What the fuck are you—”
She grabbed his chin and jerked his face around so he faced her. “Not here.” She nipped his bottom lip. “Your place.”
The need to know what in the hell Gillie was talking about warred with the bone-deep need to get the fuck away from her. She was dangerous to his sanity and his ability to keep his dick in his pants—no doubt about it—but she wouldn’t lie about this. Most everything else? Sure. But not this. He couldn’t explain it, not even to himself, but he believed her. So he curled his arm around her waist and walked with her past the gawking boys and the glaring girls out of Ten Pints and into the night.