Monday, October 31, 2011


Hmmmm.... what do you wear to play mini-golf with someone you’re not supposed to want to fuck?

I laughed at myself, standing in front of all these clothes with the intention of wearing, eventually, nothing at all.  Then I thought of the cute underwear and lingerie that spent Saturday nights in my top drawer when it should be out on the floor, if not out on the town.

Poor kid, stop it.

I chose a pair of jeans and a long-sleeved blue and white striped top with a hood.  Casual, cool, but it fit me well and I’d caught him looking a hundred times since we ate at Bella’s.  

Doesn’t hurt to know he wants to.

If only Jeff were a normal hockey player.  I couldn’t count the number of times I’d been propositioned - by players from the home or visiting teams.  Sometimes it was an simple as a remark passing in the hallway.  Other times it was like a search and rescue mission.  Had I considered it?  Yes.  Of course.  I could only be hit on by so many huge, strapping men before I started to think I’d get away with it or worse, didn’t care if I got caught.  I was pretty sure that fucking the players - especially the opposition - was not a general intern duty.  Pity, really, especially when some of pretty the teams came around.

But a Hurricane?  Hmmmmm.

Jeff wasn’t just anyone.  We’d been through a Royal Wedding, tour of the Commonwealth, all that.  I gathered Jeff Skinner’s first girlfriend would be put through that wringer hockey-style - complete with fights allowed.

If only he were into the whole friends-with-benefits thing, I thought, entirely sure he wasn’t.  Because I could definitely benefits.  But he’s a good guy, probably into love and all that.  Be a shame to corrupt him.

A very evil, persuasive voice somewhere in the back of my mind cleared it’s throat. Well, not really.

Oh shut up.

Jeff pulled up in front of my building, all fresh-pressed in jeans and a long-sleeved shirt one size too small, dimples flashing like he’s never told a lie in his life.  

God damn, he must know what he’s doing.

We drove his SUV to a miniature golf place I had never visited.  Jeff paid for two rounds like we were on a date, then proceeded to flex quite a bit while he let me win.  It was the only explanation for the outcome of our game.

“I thought hockey players had good hand-eye coordination,” I lined up to tee off.

“I played golf all summer with my friends at home, never got any better,” he said from outside the tiny curb around the fairway, beyond which he’d put his first shot.  He looked ridiculous in that shirt.  It was fighting for it’s life around shoulders that definitely didn’t exist last year.  If he’d won the Calder Trophy without them, what did that mean for this year?  Jeff was serious about hockey, always had been.  Even in our limited time together last year I knew he had something to prove.  Youngest player in the League.  Youngest All-Star.  Rookie of the Year.  But he grinned at me over his three-putt like a kid in a candy store.  When we reached the 18th hole, I was winning by four strokes.  No way he could catch me.

“Loser buys dinner,” he said, laying his club across the check-in desk.

“You threw the game, cheater!”

He made some kind of hand symbol that I assumed was Canadian Boy Scouts.  “Honestly, I’m just that bad.”

Just a few blocks away was a main street filled with restaurants and bars.  We walked along, stopping at places to read the menus out front or peek in the window at what people were eating.  A few times, I thought Jeff got a little closer than necessary to me.  Or maybe I got too close to him.  Either way, there were a lot of shoulders touching and arms pressing as we took our sweet time choosing a place.  He instinctively kept his face turned away from groups of people or anyone walking right past us.  It was awkward and dangerously cute.  This was feeling more and more like a date.

What if it is?

I shook the thought from my head, because the answer was no.  Jeff was great and I could see us being great friends.  The whole dating and getting involved and thinking and worrying and blah blah blah, it turned my stomach so hard I nearly lost my appetite.  Jeff wouldn’t hurt me, but I could end up hurting him if I wasn’t ready.  And I wasn’t.

I snuck a glance at his face and knew I couldn’t risk doing that.

Just ignore everything below his chin that makes me wanna rip my clothes off.

Then he smiled.

Aw fuck, ignore everything.

It was going to be a long night.

“They’re on the house,” the waiter said with a sly look.  We’d chosen a burger place, confident the crowd inside would keep us invisible.  Then the hostess recognized Jeff immediately.  She put us at a booth near the back, where the waiter nearly fell over himself to tell Jeff he was a big fan.  Then he brought us two beers.

Jeff glanced around the room to see if anyone with a camera phone had noticed him, but we seemed safe tucked away at the back.  So he lifted his bottle to mine.

“To being better at hockey than I am at golf.”

“Amen,” I answered.

We talked and laughed our way through dinner, mostly about Jeff ordering a turkey burger with no bun and me putting away a cheeseburger deluxe.  He did steal a few fries though, which I promised to report to Gary Roberts.  

“You have a...,” he said.  Instead of touching his own face so I would copy, Jeff leaned over the table and put his big thumb to the corner of my lip.  Fingers brushed my jaw as he pulled gently on my mouth.  I froze, holding my breath, while Jeff’s dark brown eyes watched his slow-moving hand.

“Ketchup,” he held up his thumb.  I didn’t see anything, and I didn’t care.  I was glad to have escaped the moment without kissing his thumb, or sucking it into my mouth like a porn star.  There had been a second there when....

“Thanks.”  My own hands were shaking.

The waiter arrived with two more beers, breaking the tension.  Relief flashed across Jeff’s face and I’m sure mine too.  The conversation went back to normal even while my heart was pounding.  We declined desert, and Jeff paid because he lost at golf.  As we were leaving, Jeff was telling me about his summer.

“I wish some of those guys played here,” Jeff said as we walked past more bars he couldn’t go in.  “Stammer or Nealer... I love my teammates but it would be nice to have a little bit of home too, you know?  Wait, Tori I don’t know where you’re from.”


“You’re not!”  His face absolutely lit up.

“We are neighbors.  So you can be my part of home and I can be yours.”

It was two and half hours distant, but that was close enough.  Jeff threw his arm around my shoulders and squeezed me into his side.  I felt so little next to him, just an illusion.  Just a warm, strong illusion that I wanted to...


“Deal,” he said.  We finished one side of the street and crossed to walk back up the other.  It was clear we weren’t actually trying to go anywhere, until we found the Starbucks.

“Can you have hot chocolate?” I asked, squeezing my hand against his side to tease him.  Except that he was wider than I expected, his body all solid and I didn’t do much more than stroke a sensitive area.  He flinched, like I’d tickled him, and caught my hand with a lightning fast reflex.

“There are a lot of things...,” he said, looking down at my hand in his.  That same big thumb that had drawn across my mouth traced a slow circle in the palm of my hand.  His gaze came back up to meet my eyes, “...I’m not supposed to have.”

Zing.  A current went right through me - his slightly rough fingertip, the feathery touch on my delicate skin, softer even than his breath on my neck when we’d danced that night in the club.

“Don’t let me get you in trouble,” I joked, trying to lighten the mood.  He let my hand slip, and the tension.

Jeff shrugged.  “You’re a bad influence on me.”

“Extra whipped cream.”  I didn’t look at Jeff, just ordered for both of us.  He clicked his tongue but did not object.

I couldn’t help flirting with him.  My line between friendly and flirting had always been blurry and when I was attracted to someone, it was all but erased.  Still I felt bad, like I was taking advantage of the situation with Jeff when I had no intention of getting into the game.  It wasn’t like anything had happened though.  Yet.

We carried our cups to the far end of the store.  Most people were still drinking in bars so the place was pretty empty.  Jeff settled into one side of a love seat that looked out a side window, as private as the coffeehouse could offer.

“This is really good,” he said as I took the space next to him.  The cushion gave and I slipped a little closer than I meant to, my thigh touching his.  He was heavy enough to sink deep into the seat.  “Sorry we can’t go somewhere more exciting.”

I knew Jeff felt awkward about being underage.  Not that I was much older, but a 21st birthday was like a Get Out of Jail free card.  When my friends had turned legal age first, I had barely seen them until I did too.

“I don’t really go out that much.”

Jeff looked at me over the lid of his cup.  For once those baby brown eyes were unreadable.  
“Still, I’m sure your friends are somewhere have fun.”

“I’m having fun right here.”

He twisted his lips.  “If we lived in Boston we could do whatever we want.  They let Seguin in everywhere and no one cares if he drinks.  Guess that’s what happens in if you win the Cup.”

“It’s not because he won.  It’s because he’s a party boy.  It seems to fit his personality.  And Boston’s such a sports town.”

“He wouldn’t shut up about it all summer,” Jeff finally said, lowering his drink to rest in his lap.  “I mean, I like him but every day at training it was this party and that party... it didn’t matter at home.  I went out too.  But he....”

“He won the Cup, he’s bragging.  It’s not sexy.”

I don’t know why I used that word - sexy.  Seguin was pretty sexy, actually.  But he was a frat boy headed down the Jeff Carter road, Cup or no Cup.  It wasn’t my style.  Jeff looked up from the cup in his hands, that boyish face so out of place on his body.  Even his voice was deeper than last season.  I realized that I might not really know Jeff Skinner at all.  

“Liar.” The corner of his mouth curled up: a smile and a challenge.  “Girls love him.”

“Not all girls.”

He blew a little raspberry with his very pink tongue.  “I have seen him at a bar, Tori.  He gets so much action... I think he put Biznasty to shame.”

I smirked at the mental image of Seguin and Biznasty comparing conquests, trading stories.  Seguin was certainly hot, I could see masses of girls in little dresses and tons of makeup throwing themselves at both guys, hoping to stick.  Or at least slide slowly down a hockey body, preferably all night.

And I knew how it would make a guy like Jeff feel.  I’d felt that way myself in the presence of those girls.  This was a dangerous patch of slippery territory - I’d stumbled into something that really bothered Jeff, a hole in his confidence.

This guy, not confident.  I would have laughed if it didn’t make me so sad.  But this was the kind of thing friends talked about, especially guys talking to their female friends.  And I wanted to be friends with Jeff.

Then why are we talking about sex?

“You could get that much action, Jeff.”

His shoulders slumped a little.  “I don’t.”

“That’s because you’re a nice guy.”

“It’s because I’m a spaz, Tor.  Seguin’s like James Bond or something.  I’m like Charlie Brown.”

The words of protest caught in my throat and I giggled instead.  Jeff was a little bit Charlie Brown, when you thought about it.  I wouldn’t give Seguin any martini, shaken or stirred, but I saw the point.

“You’re not that square, blockhead.”

If I was hoping for a smile, I got disappointed.  It was really starting to crack my composure.

“I am,” he insisted.

“Well I think you’re hot,” I blurted out.  The phrase made a noise like a bomb dropping from a plane, that whistling sound, and I started talking again before it could explode somewhere.  “Plus you’re fun and you’re nice.  Even if you only got one girl this summer, it’s better than Seguin’s hundred.”

Jeff looked at me.  His eyes were soft, like liquid or velvet, and I could tell all of this really bothered him.  He wasn’t playing it up for effect and he wasn’t hiding anything from me.  No wonder he wished someone from home was around - they’d have seen it all happen.  This wasn’t the kind of conversation you had with just any teammate.

“No girls,” he said.

What? Impossible.

“Well they missed out.”

“I mean no girls, ever, Tori.  Not yet.”

My brain blinked off like a computer with the power cut.  Just system failure.  I blinked my eyes, trying to turn it back on.  

Jeff dropped his chin and spoke quietly.  “Seguin can keep his puckbunnies, you’re right, I don’t want them.  But I’m nineteen, Tor.  I just... it just gets more weird, the longer it takes.  So I don’t do anything because I don’t know what I’m doing.  Does that... oh, sorry.  I’m sorry!  You’re so easy to talk to!  Bad enough we can’t go out, you don’t want to hear all this!”

He moved to get up.  I put my arm out, all the way to the other arm of the love seat, and blocked him in.  For once in my life I think I could have held him there, even against his will because the adrenaline in my body was racing.  He watched my hand and smiled like I was just being nice to him again.  

“Jeff,” I said.  He was embarrassed and blushing, but not the cute kind.  Jeff had said more than he meant to say, and on what had felt a lot like a date.  Talk about not knowing what you’re doing... except it was exactly what would work.

I was going to tell him everything - we could be great together, but I couldn’t get involved;  friends with benefits and I’d show him whatever he wanted to know if he let me climb all over him.  I was going to lay it all out and make a clear agreement, like a prenup.  But the moment his face was turned to mine, I just kissed him.

We were back on that dance floor at the club, the moment the music went from 80s to 00s and we went from dancing to grinding.  Except this time we kept our bodies apart and let our mouths do the work.  Jeff slid a hand into my hair and pulled me close, tongues grazing in a trail of sparks that lit up my spine.  I didn’t want to stop, I definitely wanted to keep going but I felt like a kettle boiling over; I had to get off the heat.

“Jeff,” I gasped, pulling barely free.  His eyes darted around, but no one was watching us.  Just a couple of kids making out in Starbucks.

“Oh God, I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean to do that.  You were being so....”

“Jeff, I kissed you,” I said.

He froze, mid-apology.  “No, I kissed you.”


  1. Oh, dear god. More. Please.

  2. It is so wrong in so many ways that I'm enjoying this. Yikes! But it's so cute, he's adorable.

  3. Update soon!!! This is another great story!

  4. Oh my goodness he's just so cute and innocent I can't even handle it.

  5. Love, love loved this :)