Saturday, November 26, 2011


I couldn’t say if the Canes won or lost the game.  Jeff hit Seguin once, hard, and got a huge cheer for it.  Or maybe that was just me yelling.  Fifty nine and a half other minutes passed, I ran from the suite to my car.  By the time Jeff was in the locker room there was a text waiting for him.

Get over here.

I hustled in my front door, chucked my stuff onto the couch and... stopped.  What was I doing?  Why was I so flustered?  And surely the way my heart hammered couldn’t be good for my life expectancy.  A glance in the mirror confirmed it - I was blushing worse than Jeff.  A nervous giggle bubbled up and I couldn’t stop it.

I should have bought something new.  I should have thought of something.  He’d been here before, he’d been with me... why did this feel so different?  My phone buzzed.

On my way.

I brushed my teeth, my hair, changed into cuter, dry underwear then put all my clothes back on and had a spaz attack every time someone drove past out front.  Finally, one stopped.  Two minutes later Jeff’s feet were thumping up the stairs.

He barged through the open door and crashed into me at nearly full speed.  Dark suit, damp hair; like a superhero who’d barely had time to change.  His mouth was still smiling when it came down on mine, nervous and excited.  We stumbled toward the bedroom, hands full of each other.

“Hi,” he said brightly, bumping against the foot of my mattress.  We raced through our clothes - my shirt over my head, Jeff’s button’s flying, his zipper pulling, my feet caught in my pants.  It was a photo finish that left us admiring each other in our underwear for just a second before falling into bed.  And it was just another second before Jeff was slipping out of my arms, over the edge of the mattress, a pulling my ankles along with him.  

“Jeff you.... ooooohhhh,” I moaned, my hips twisted against the bed as Jeff dragged his tongue right up my sweet spot.  He flicked the tip between the folks, rolled it against my clit and then let his soft lips tug gently until I moaned again.

Where’d he learn how to...?

“That helps,” he laughed, kissing my thigh.


“When you tell me you like it.”  Those deep brown eyes peeked up at me - I knew he was blushing, trying to hide it.  How easily I forgot that Jeff was still Jeff no matter what happened between us.

“I like it,” I said officially.  “I really like it.”

He laughed and went back to work.  A heartbeat later I was moaning again.

“Oh my God.” I had two handfuls of his hair but he didn’t need any guidance.  There wasn’t much he could do down there that wouldn’t feel good, but he was definitely hitting the highlights.  As keyed up as I’d been all night, it was like stoking a fire.  From the way he moved eagerly, aiming for whatever made me squirm, Jeff was definitely enjoying himself.  He pushed two fingers in where his tongue had just been.  I whimpered as he moved them the way I’d taught him.  Another slow pull of his tongue and I was sure I’d die.

My breath heaved.  Jeff’s other hand held my thigh so tight I would probably bruise.  But we were lost in the chase and very near the capture.  I pushed down against him, rewarded with another strong push back.

“Jeff, I’m gonna....”

He double his efforts.  Maybe tripled.  Friction like fireworks burst hot across every inch of me.  Jeff drew my clit between his lips and sucked firmly.

I came, no breath left to moan so all he heard was “Fuuuuuuck” soft as a whisper.  But he got the message as my body rippled hard against his thick fingers, forced in as far as they could go.  He pulled them free with a wet pop and licked right through the pleasure I was spilling.  Jeff didn’t stop till the panting and twisting had run themselves out.  

I was sprawled out lifeless on the bed.  He kneeled alongside me, so hard it looked painful, and took a moment to brush the hair from my face before hauling me back up the bed.  Then he reached for a condom.

I don’t know which is better.

The way Tori lay tossed across the comforter, completely spent from me having ripped an orgasm from her perfect, tight little body.  They way only her eyes moved as they watched me unroll the thin film down the length of my shaft.  Or maybe knowing that we weren’t done, not by a longshot, and the next thing would feel so good I might die.

So many good things.

I pushed Tori’s thighs apart with my knees.  Her soft peach had tasted so sweet I almost felt bad for the way I planned to assault her.  But already my cock was straining toward the spot, pressing past the tiny opening and spreading her like butter.  She reached for me and I planted myself deep inside.

“Baby,” she whispered, kissing my mouth.

Maybe I don’t feel bad after all.

I wrapped my arms around Tori’s back, held her shoulders, and moved.  Her ass shifted into my lap so I was nearly holding her off the bed, hunched around her and riding against the tightness.  She locked her ankles behind me, tucked her face into my neck and I could feel her breath falter on every stroke.  I puller her down onto me with enough force to end it all, but I couldn’t stop pushing up to meet her.  Everything doubled and already my mind was going fuzzy around the edges.  

“Jeff,” she said.  Then she said it again.

I gotta slow down or I’m gonna...

But it was too late.  Tori’s body absorbed every thrust, begging for more.  I closed my eyes against the dizziness but darkness made it worse.  I tried to focus on hockey or bag skates or anything to buy myself time, but the slick stroke of our bodies together made it impossible to last more than three minutes inside her.

“Oh God,” I grunted as I came.  It turned into a long, low growl, Tori nailed to the bed, as I rolled my lower body as hard as I could, forcing everything deep.  My orgasm poured out like a bottle held upside down - glug, gasp, glug, gasp.  Relief and release swam in my head as Tori held on tight.  When I collapsed on top of her, she giggled.  I couldn’t move.  We were still fitted together and I was happy to wake up that way in the morning.  

As if I’d make it till the morning before I need her again.

“Sorry,” I whispered.  Tori and I were something official now, and it was not the time to be disappointing her by blowing my load in less than a TV timeout.  But I couldn’t have gone another shift for anything in the world.

Rookie mistake.

But she just laughed weakly beneath my chest.  “It’s true what they say.”

“What’s that?” I asked, instantly scared to dissappoint.

“Nice guys do finish last.”

“Jeff,” I tried to say but it came out like a giggle, “you have to stop.”

I pushed at his thick hair, losing again the fight against all the strength in his heavy, compact body.  His shoulders barely moved.


“Because I’m going to die.”

He looked up from between my legs.  The sleeve of his t-shirt was pushed up to his shoulder where my calf had been moving against his arm.  His hair was a dishelveled mess and the blanket we’d bee laying under was wrapped around us like a vine.  I was on my back, legs over his shoulders, for about the tenth time in five hours.

“But I like it.”

He said it in the same voice he used to like a hat or a movie.  What reason could there possibly be to not have something you wanted?

“Please, baby.  Come up here.”

He shrugged, got to his feet and threw himself into the space between my back and the couch.  There wasn’t room for us to lay together, so Jeff just held on and we snuggled closer.  I’d given up putting my pants back on hours ago - they just kept disappearing again.

Jeff wore a dark blue t-shirt and gray boxer briefs.  His thighs were thick and hard, impressive to see but even more impressive to feel pressed up behind mine as we spooned in close quarters.  Warmth seeped from his body into mine, uncoiling my muscles and making me sleepy.  He cupped one big hand around my breast.

“Tomorrow I’m buying you a bigger couch,” he announced.

“Why, so you can get away from me?”

Jeff kissed just behind my ear.  “So there’s room for me to be inside you like this.”  He thrust his hips for emphasis and nearly pushed me off the couch.  When I was safely back aboard, he’d shifted me higher and I felt his length against my ass.  He wasn’t hard - yet.

“You are a robot,” I laughed.

“You never should have taught me that thing you like with my fingers.”  They were already moving southward on my stomach.  I was sore and spent but the push of his hand made me bite my lip against the pain.  Jeff stopped just below my navel and slid his hand to rest over the point of my hip.  I sighed in relief.

Tori and I never made it to bed, we fell asleep on her couch.  And so we never heard her alarm in the morning.  She woke just in time to get me up for practice.

“Jeff, it’s late, we gotta go.”  

My face was somehow between her breasts and there was no fucking way I was going anywhere, ever again.

“Come on, I have class.”

One of my hands was under her shirt, and her nipple was hard in one pinch.

“Oh my God stop!” she tried to climb free but I wouldn’t let her free.  I rubbed the pad of my thumb over it again, rolling the shape beneath my finger.  It felt like my entire body: swollen, aching, trying to be closer to her.  I had that shirt off in a second and dragged my tongue over the same spot.

“Fuck,” she said under her breath.  But she was already taking my growing length in her hand.  With my fingers now free, I quickly felt how ready she was to go again.  Spreading her apart with my fingers was a sure way to make her moan.  Good thing we’d left the box of condoms on the coffee table.

“Weren’t there like fifty in here?” she asked, tipping the box over.

“Thanks, I’m flattered, but I think it was twelve.”

“You’ve been here one night.”

I shrugged.  “Okay, maybe eight.”

“Christ on a...,” she mumbled, showing me the last foil packet.  I’d be stopping by the wholesale store on my way back from practice for sure.  “Come on.”

I followed her naked backside to the bathroom and watched her lean over to switch it to shower.  The condom was on before the water and I didn’t care if we were clean or dirty.  Tori stepped beneath the spray.

Her skin was soft beneath my hands.  The water beaded across her shoulders, soaking her hair, tracking down her face until it slowed at her lips.  I kissed it free.  She turned away and angled her ass out toward me.  I didn’t need to be asked twice.

Slipping inside her Tori from behind was the dirtiest thing I’d ever done.  The curve of her waist and flare of her ass, all bare and begging for me, was almost pornographic.  Her fingers splayed on the tile wall.  I positioned myself behind her and angled myself to the spot.

“I should be at practice,” I said, the squeeze of her body still amazing after so many times.

“You don’t need any more practice,” she told me.  

I exhaled slowly as her ass came to rest against my lap.  It wasn’t fair that it was so easy - her hips were like handles, so I grabbed on and held her while I stroked.

Fucking unbelievable.

“Nuuuhhhh,” was the best way to describe the noise I made.  She was completely tight, hot and completely at my mercy.  Tori moved when I moved her, where I moved her.  Pretty soon I was rocking her hard against her hands over her head.

“Jeff, of God,” she said.  My hands moved themsevles to her breasts, then brought her up to standing and we turned to face the closest wall.  Tori used her palms to keep slipping as I fucked her standing up.  Her wet hair stuck to my face, her back slapped against my chest.  I pistoned my legs up and down, using Tori’s body weight as ballast.  Soon her feet were barely on the floor.

“Jeff,” she whimpered.

“Am I hurting you?”

Tori shook her head.  “Harder.”

Well fuck.

I was going to kill us, either with a slip and fall or by putting her through the wall.  She pushed back, riding my lap, letting me steer.  I took her little noises as encouragement and hammered deep into that soft little spot as hard as I could.  My hand dropped and when I brushed her clit, she moaned.

“That’s right,” I said.  “Fuck yeah.”

I used three fingers.  The shower was no place for detail work.  Instead I rubbed my entire hand against her clit until she was trembling.

“Come on, baby,” I whispered.  “Come for me.”

“Yes, right there,” she rasped.  Tori was still teaching, still telling me exactly what worked.  I went for the spot hard with no mercy.  She yelped, then settled for heaving as I circled and pulled from the front while pounding from the back.  My sources were correct.

“Ohgod!” she cried out as she came.  I held her feet of the ground, one arm around her stomach, and felt an orgasm rip from her like a hurricane touching down, sending this flying and spinning.  Tori jerked against me so hard I gasped.  

“Fuck,” I grunted.  It was unstoppable.  Three more punishing thrusts and I was roaring out my own pleasure.  I flattened Tori to the wall and let her orgasm jerk me off right into my own.  “Fuck, baby, yes,” I said.  She sobbed out tiny breaths as I pumped myself dry.

Pulse still racing, I pulled my beated cock free and turned Tori.  Her mouth was as soft as the rest of her body.  We stood beneath the water kissing for what seemed like forever.

I pushed the hair from her face and held her face, looking into her eyes.

“Remember when you were awkward?” she smiled.


“Oh I do,” she teased.  “You had no idea how gorgeous you are...,” her hands dragged up my bare thighs, “or how hard it was for me to be around you.”

“You?  Around me?  I always...,” I said all at once, then slammed my mouth closed hard.


Blush.  It was hotter than the water pouring from the faucet.  God was there no end to the times I would feel like I didn’t deserve this?

“I always wanted this... you.  I wanted you.  I never wanted to be just friends.”

“I know,” I admitted.  There was no reason to hide it now, and no way to lie to his face.  All the time I’d been worried about hurting Jeff because I knew I was, at least a little.  I knew he wanted this.  By way of apology, I kissed his softly.

“I’ll be a good boyfriend,” he said, all eager like a puppy.  Who happened to be naked with his hands on my ass.  “And if you ever want to tell people - not now, but if you ever want to - they won’t be surprised.  Not the guys.  They’ve been giving me shit for liking you since last season.”

“You want to tell them.”

It was all over his face.  He knew my reasons were smart but that didn’t leave much room for being happy.  Jeff was so happy to be with my he wanted to tell everyone.  His perfect face was useless at hiding things.  The dimples gave him away.



He shrugged.  “They all think I’m so lame!  It’s hard to be the Justin Bieber of hockey when even he’s getting laid and I’m not.  Can I just tell Eric?”

I trusted Staal to know if we needed to be secret, and to keep ours if necessary.  But Jeff was still grinning like an idiot.  “He already knows doesn’t he?!”

Jeff jumped out of the shower, me right behind him.  He grabbed a towel on his way out the door but I chased him stark naked into the bedroom.

“You already told him!”

“He could tell.  He can always tell.  I was nervous, I needed advice!”

“So you do remember being awkward!” I joked.  Jeff dried his legs and I just stared.

“It would have been so much worse Tor, you have no idea.”

I was dripping on the floor.  It was past ten o’clock and Jeff was officially late, he’d probably have hell to pay.  That only made me think of his with more muscles, sore ones that needed my hands to help loosen them up.  And Jeff could always play through the pain.  So I moved right up to his chest, tossed the towel away and pressed my body to his.

“New homework.  You can tell Eric - but come back from practice with something you can teach me.”

This isn't quite the end, don't worry. And to the anon commenter who left me a story idea - I have about fifty waiting to go, so I can't promise but I'll try!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Shit shit shit.  I was pacing the square in front of my stall, half-dressed and wondering what to do about the two mistakes I’d made:

1. Telling Seguin something that’s supposed to be secret.

2. Telling Seguin something secret that is also a lie.

Practice had just ended, it was nearly noon.  Tori was somewhere in the building now and Seguin would be suiting up by five.  I had to nap, eat... I needed to find her now.  This required a face-to-face talk and I couldn’t bring her down to the locker room, it was still full of my very nosy teammates.  I stripped off the last of my gear, hustled through a shower and threw on jeans and a dark blue pullover Tori had once told me she liked.  The fron offices were upstairs.

“Uh, hi,” I said to the receptionist, a woman in her early fifties.  Thank God she had a nameplate next to the photos of her grandkids, because I’d met her at least twice before.  “Hi Alice.”  

“Hello Jeff.  Can I help you?”

“Tori, the PR intern.  Is she around today?”

Recognition spread across her face like a flower blooming and too late I realized that she was thinking.

Oh hell, let her.

“I think she’s out scouting the pet calendar shoot locations.  Won’t be back for a few hours.”  Alice smiled like she thought she was breaking my heart.

“Oh, okay.  Thanks.”
I sent Tori a text, but she didn’t reply before time for my pre-game nap.  I couldn’t be off my game that night, not just because she’d be watching but because Seguin would never let me hear the end of it.  And if Coach found out I was out with him then played poorly... well, I’d rather not have that conversation.  There was still nothing from Tori when I woke up.

The visiting locker room was pretty far from our room, but the way the building was designed you had to walk past it to get to the Canes locker room and the offices.  So I knew the Bruins were already in the house because I could hear them loud and clear on my way past. I turned the corner toward the offices and stopped.  Halfway down the hall, Seguin was leaning against the wall with one arm popping him up.  Even from the back I could tell he was flexing his abs under that spandex shirt.  And standing in front of him was Tori.

She wasn’t close.  But she wasn’t leaving either.  They were just talking.  Her shoulder length blond hair was tousled like she’d just been touching it.  My brain cut to an image of that hair fanned across the pillow on my bed.  Fucking Seguin wouldn’t know that, no matter how far away you could see his six-pack.  Tori shifted her eyes and caught me watching.

“Hey,” I said, picking up my feet and trying to act natural.

“Hey Skinns!” Seguin announced loudly.  “I was just talking about you with Tori here.”

Tori’s beautiful face was a pleasant mask, but her eyes told a different story.  They were slightly wide and too still: she was uncomfortable.  I might not have noticed if I hadn’t seen her so comfortable so often lately.  If I could just get her alone, I could explain.

Hell, I wouldn’t get a word out before kissing her.

As if to drive home the point, Tori was chewing on the pink curve of her lower lip.  Tyler looked from me to her and back, that shit-eating grin on full blast.

“She was telling me how much fun you guys are having getting to know each other.  And that keeping it secret is tough around here.”

If he ruins this I’ll kill him.  I’ll take his body to Boston and dump it near a college.  It wouldn’t be tough to make it seem like a jealous boyfriend caught him in the act and threw him in the river.  I watched him workout all summer: more looking in the mirror than lifting weights.

“It’s great she’s graduating soon, then you can tell everyone.  Just in time for the playoffs.  If you make it.”  He said the last part like he was offering the last piece of cake, just before he snatched it back and ate it himself.

“Well,” he turned back to Tori, “I’ll let you guys have a minute alone.  I know they’re rare.”  He squeezed Tori’s arm with one big hand, slapped me on the back and sauntered away, whistling.

She bit the corner of her soft lip and my heart skipped a beat.  I hadn’t forgotten how pretty she was, but it was the first night I’d gone without her since we made this crazy deal.  And I had missed her.  I stood there flatfooted, wiping my hands on my suit.  This wasn’t the kind of alone I knew how to maneuver: this was accidentally alone in public that could end any second.  But she was right there, all curvy and gorgeous in a red cardigan with white polka dots buttoned over what looked like a delicate, clingy top that probably had lace and thin straps and would come off so easily... STOP.  I wiped my hands again.

“What the hell was that about?” she whispered sharply as soon as he rounded the corner.  “Walked right in, asking for me by name.  Half the office now thinks I hooked up with him!”

I moved into the space Seguin had left - it was almost too close to be without touching her.  I reached for her but she stepped back at the same moment I caught myself.  What am I doing?  My hands fisted themselves instead.

“I’m sorry, Tori.  He... fuck.  I was telling him about you, I should have known he would want to meet you.  He’s….”

“Telling him what about me?”  Her face was a mask, the fake smile she’d given Seguin was gone.  There was a chance she was really asking – and a chance Tyler had already told her exactly what I said.

“I, uh….”

I was getting to know Tori more by the second.  For example, right now she thought I was full of shit.  The corners of her eyes crinkled as she narrowed them, her eyebrows came together in the center.  I exhaled a long, slow breath, carefully selecting my words.  Then I quietly told a half-truth.

“He wanted me to hook up with some girl at the bar and I just wanted to shut him up so I told him about you.”

Tori’s eyes got wider and her jaw set in a tentative line.  “You told him about us?  Jesus, Jeff!  No wonder he thought I’d want to meet him after the game.”


She slapped my chest.  “Shhhh!  Are you fucking trying to get me fired?!”

A red haze fell over my field of vision.  My teeth ground together.  I hissed a curse, grabbed her arm and pulled her through the nearest door into the skate-sharpening room.  Then I threw the door closed.

“Tell me every word he said to you.”

Tori went white.  In a flash she realized that I was furious – and I wasn’t kidding around.  I would march into the visiting locker room and… no.  I’d have LaRose do it.  Or Eric.  Depending on if I wanted Seguin dead or only mostly dead.

“Tori,” I growled.  My hand was still on her arm.

“He asked what I was doing later, if I wasn’t… busy with you I should stop by his hotel room.  Promised to make it worth my while.”  As she spoke, Tori regained her angry edge.  Repeating Tyler’s insulting insinuation was getting her back up again.  “He said he could teach me a few things.”

The words fell to the ground between us like a bomb and we both waited for them to explode.  Why had he chosen those words?  I hadn’t said anything about our arrangement.  Clearly Tori thought otherwise.

“Fucking asshole,” I turned my face away, growling.

“I thought I could trust you.”  Now Tori’s set jaw was quivering a little, her voice faltered.  She wrenched her wrist free and crossed her arms over her chest.  In that second she hated me for giving us up.  In the next she’d be ending this un-relationship.  No time to waste.

“I told him you were my girlfriend,” I said in a rush.  “I didn’t say anything else, just your name.  I didn’t tell him about us, I would never.  No one.  Especially not him.  I don’t think of you… I just told him you were my girlfriend.”

I was so busy concentrating on what I was saying that I didn’t watch Tori.  The crinkles at the corners of her eyes and mouth softened, her shoulders relaxed and dropped a few inches.  The tension eased from her forehead.  By the time she spoke, all the anger had faded from her beautiful face.


What a stupid thing to say.  It just came out, as surprised as I was at Jeff’s confession.  I had been so irate from the first word out of Tyler’s mouth that nothing else came to mind.


I wasn’t supposed to want that.  I wasn’t supposed to want anything beyond sex and secrets.  But Jeff said the word and it didn’t just make me feel better.  It made me feel great.


His adorable face was red, but not with blush.  Jeff was as mad as I was, maybe more.  I thought he was caught out by someone spilling his secret - it was just a different secret entirely, one Tyler had actually kept.  Not out of friendship but out of opportunity.

Jeff started apologizing again.  A vein in his neck trembled as he detailed the precise way he’d kill Tyler and all the reasons he deserved to die.  I only heard the words “skate,” “murder” and “bury.”

“He thinks everything is his for the….”

I grabbed Jeff by the back of the head and kissed him.  Every ounce of feeling in the week since we made our deal went into it – the heart-racing jolt of our first kiss, the sweet awkwardness of our first time, the drowsy relaxation of waking up together.  It took him a minute to catch on that I was kissing him, really kissing him, in an almost public place.  If Ward or Staal blew an edge this morning he could be walking in the door any second.

And I don’t give a shit.

Jeff’s body rounded toward mine, the coiled anger disappearing like water down a drain.  His arms wrapped tight around my back.  He wasn’t letting go anytime soon.  My hands were in his hair, holding his mouth to mine.  We kissed in that closet for what seemed like an hour.  Finally, Jeff pulled his lips away.

“Tori, I….”

I waited for him.

“I don’t want to be friends.”

His eyes were so dark, so worried.  No dimples here.  Just Jeff’s milky skin, that perfect little mouth and the most honest face I’d ever seen.

“We can still keep it secret, I want you to – I mean I need you to work here.  I won’t tell anyone.  And I won’t hurt you, I promise.  You don’t have to… please don’t worry, Tori.”

Even when I thought all guys were assholes I never thought that Jeff could be a bad person.  After my run-in with Tyler, who was probably just an opportunist, I was reminded that few people in the world could ever be as good as Jeff.

“Okay,” I agreed.  Just like that.

He froze.  Those lips I’d come to know were sightly parted as he straight stared at me waiting for the punch line.  It was a long pause before the news reached his brain.

Jeff jumped on me.  His hands were everywhere and it was a damned good thing that Jeff was wearing half his hockey gear.  I wondered if rooms like this had cameras.  Jeff apparently had the same thought as he tried to pick me up and wrap my legs around his waist.

“Stop,” I giggled.


I wiggled free of him and pointed toward the door.  “Go to work.”

“I’m going to kill him.”

“Just beat his team and take me home.  Seguin can suck it.”

That got dimples.

I left that equipment room with a girlfriend.  And a handful of her ass.  Tori went one way and I went toward the locker room.  My mind was on Seguin and how to humiliate him on the ice, so I didn’t see Eric till too late.

“What’s up, Skinns?” he grinned down – I’d crashed into his chest.

“Uh, nothing.”

“You were gone a long time.”

I shrugged.  What was he, the official timekeeper?

“Sharpened the shit out of some skates, eh?”

“Uhhh....” My hands were empty and my feet were bare.

“Don’t worry.  I’ve gotten my blade rubbed in there a few times.”

“Eric!”  How did he know I’d even been in that room?  How did he always know everything?  Fucking Staals were fucking psychic.  Add it to the list of reasons to hate them.  I punched him in the bicep.  Eric didn’t even feel it.  He just threw an arm around my neck and dragged me toward my locker.

“Rookie of the Year,” he laughed.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


I didn’t lift my face from the pillow.  I just lay there in the morning, holding onto Tori and wondering how I was going to make her breakfast when I couldn’t bear to get out of this bed.  Her skin was so soft beneath my fingers, her breathing so light it made no sound at all.  Eventually I forced myself to unravel and pulled the blanket over Tori’s bare shoulders.  I didn’t have any clothes but my suit, so I found my shorts on the floor.  She walked around my place half-naked all the time now, it was time for some payback.

My mom had taught me how to make pancakes from scratch ages ago, and luckily Tori had all the right ingredients.  I doubted she’d be impressed if I made Cheerios for breakfast.  I lined up all the pieces and as I started scooping flour, my phone rang.  I found it in the pocket of my pants where I’d left them at the foot of the couch.

Oh the couch.

Then I rolled my eyes when I saw who was calling.

“What’s up, bro?” Tyler Seguin asked.  I could hear him smiling.  Girls fucking loved that smile.    We going out tonight?

I’d been so wrapped up in Tori I’d never forgotten we were playing the Bruins tomorrow night.  They’d be in this afternoon and over the summer I’d agreed to go out with Tyler and show him some Raleigh nightlife.  I was surprised he’d believed me, and a little flattered.  

Yeah, I go out.  Just like you do, Segs.


“You’re not gonna want to hang out after the game, ‘cause we’ll kick you ass,” he said smugly.

“Uh, yeah.  Sure, tonight’s good.  There are a couple of places that will let us in.”

“Sweet.  Call you when I know where we’re doing team dinner.  Bring some girls, eh?”

Hmmm, I might just be able to manage that.  For me, of course. Tyler can cause his own trouble.

Halfway through the first batch of pancakes I heard the bedroom door open.  Tori shuffled right up, rested her hands gently on my waist and peeked over my shoulder.  

“You have to make this every morning!”  A light kiss pressed to my shoulder blade, then she went in search of juice.  She wore a green t-shirt and black panties.  

“Class today?”

“Mmhmm,” she nodded, mouthful of OJ.  “I have a paper to finish too, because someone has been keeping me up at night.”  Those dark eyes flashed playfully over the rim of the glass.  I pointed the spatula at her like a sword.

“You can bring your work over, you know.  Or, I could just come here.  I like it here.”

In fact I loved it here.  Everything in Tori’s apartment was so full of her - a million pictures and stories and pieces of junk that I didn’t know the stories behind.  I might have been the supposed celebrity, but I hadn’t visited half the places she had or done half the things.  There was a lot more to learn than what to do in bed.

“The Bruins are coming in, Seguin just called.  He wants to go out tonight.”

She refilled her glass and one for me.  “I thought you didn’t like him.”

“He’s alright.  Just a little full of himself, all that swagger.  Will you come with me?”

“I can’t.  I have to write this paper, it’s due in the morning before I go to work.”

My heart fell, taking my shoulders with it.  I hadn’t thought she might say no, so I hadn’t thought to control my reaction.  I sagged like someone just took my dessert away.

“Hey,” she reached out and stroked the delicate skin inside my bicep.  “This is your chance to show him up.  You’ve... done some things.  And,” now she stepped in to pull my arm around her back, “you’ve been really confident these past couple of days, Jeff.”

“That’s you.”

It was her.  I had been better - less stuttering, possibly less blushing - and here I was in my underwear in her kitchen.  But it was Tori’s presence that drew me out: I wanted to be with her, so I tried to be what she wanted.  And it seemed to fit.  

“As much as I would like to take credit for everything, you’re doing most of the work.”  Tori put two fingers to my stomach, tracing the hint of a line developing between my ab muscles.  She turned her face to me, speaking quietly, “And you’re a very quick learner.”

I kissed her.  A wave of adrenaline flashed ice cold through my body, I locked my arms around her.  Tori gasped in surprise but I didn’t stop.  I kissed her till she opened her mouth and kissed me back.  My tongue slipped between her lips, my hands under her t-shirt and my thigh between hers.  She was so much soft, bare skin and I was mostly naked too.  


We broke away, Tori laughing.  The first few pancakes had burned black right next to us and I hadn’t even noticed.  She waved a towel toward the ceiling, bouncing in all the right places as her t-shirt snuck up to reveal the curve of her stomach where it disappeared into her panties.  I flipped the pancakes into the trash.  

“I’m not hungry,” I told her, wrapping my arms around her again.  She squirmed.  

“Pancakes!  You’re such a tease!”

If anyone was a tease, it was Tori.  Writhing against me, barely dressed... I groaned and dropped my grip.  Tori moved outside the danger zone.

“This is an important lesson, making a girl breakfast.  You’ve still got a few things to learn.”

Between classes and the library, it was nearly four in the afternoon before I got home and started on my paper in earnest.  A short break for dinner and it was nine at night before I knew it.

“Hey,” Jeff said when I picked up the phone.  “Finish that paper?”

“Not even close.”

I’d figured Jeff would call to check.  He really didn’t want to go out with Seguin, especially not alone, even if he wouldn’t admit it.  But he didn’t want to be lame either, which was how we’d ended up where we were.  I thought it might be a good thing for him - something about Seguin made Jeff feel inadequate and inexperienced.  I knew first hand that there was nothing inadequate about Jeff, and we’d been taking care of experience too.  He just needed a little push.

“You two won’t have any problem picking up girls.  And he’ll bring Marchand, I’m sure.  They can make out and you’ll have all the girls to yourself.”

I didn’t think before I spoke.  I just told Jeff he should go out and find a girl, or girls.  To do what?  Make out?  Hook up?  What constitutes a hook up anyway?  Is that what Jeff and I were doing?

“I won’t.”

And there was Jeff on cue, telling me in not so many words that he didn’t want to.  Not that he couldn’t.  It would be easy to miss the nuance.

“Jeff,” I said, wishing he were here so I could see his face, “go out and have whatever kind of fun you want.  If Seguin’s annoying tell him to fuck off.”

He laughed at that.  “I wish you could be there to do that.”

“If I were there he wouldn’t give you shit about girls.”

Tyler wore a t-shirt with the shortest sleeves I’d ever seen; it showed off his last name tattooed in Gaelic script down the back of his arm.  We’d had no problem getting into this little Irish-style bar - if anything they looked surprised to see me.  The guys came here fairly often but usually without me.

We ordered draft beers, since we couldn’t be seen holding bottles.  Surprisingly he’d left Marchand at the hotel.

“You and me tonight, bro!”

It wasn’t five minutes before Tyler had browsed the talent and selected a booth full of girls drinking clear cocktails from highball glasses.  He simply leaned against the end, one arm bent and on full display, and asked, “Mind if we join you?”

The two girls on his side had the lowest cut tops.  He made one get up and let him sit in the middle of the bench.  I took the end on my side, next to a girl with a dark bob haircut in a clingy blue top.  She was pretty enough, and ignored her friend to turn toward me.  We made small talk and I signalled for another round of drinks.  Tyler had an arm around each girl and had them asking stupid hockey questions he could answer at top volume.  

“Jeff here was an All-Star last season.  And Rookie of the Year,” he announced, wiggling his eyebrows toward the girl on my left.  She had known who I was, but my accomplishments seemed to be news to her.

“Wow,” she giggled enthusiastically.

I excused myself to the bathroom and sent Tori a last-ditch text about which bar we were in.  She didn’t reply right away.  On the way past the bar, two guys recognized me and stopped me to talk.  The girl in the booth watched us the entire time.  Tyler was up and dancing with one of the girls from his side.

“Your girlfriend’s waiting,” one said, shaking my hand goodbye.

“Oh, she’s not my....”

He cut me off.  “Well she wants to be.”

Seguin had the same idea, and met me halfway across the floor.  “Dude, you gonna get with that girl or what?  I’m gonna kick March out and take this girl back to the hotel in another song or two.  Easier sell if one of her friends leaves too.”

“No, I’m not going to....”

“Jeff,” he said, apparently everyone was cutting me off today, “listen.”  He started saying something about making the most of being famous and being young when I interrupted him.

“I have a girlfriend.”

Somewhere in the corner, a mouse squeaked and ran back into it’s hole.  That was the only noise, though the bar was loud with glasses clinking and music playing.  A flash of surprise crossed Tyler’s face then narrowed into something like disbelief.

“Where is she?”

“Writing a paper.  She’s in college.”

“What’s her name?”


He nodded, satisfied that I’d at least thought my lie through a little.  “She hot?”

“Uh, yeah.”

“I’m impressed, Skinns.  You guys keeping it secret?  I should have heard about it by now.”

“We’re new.  And yes, secret too.  She’s an intern for the team.”

I thought that would satisfy him.  Boy was I wrong.

“Do I get to meet her tomorrow?”

Shit.  Tomorrow was Tuesday.  Tori would be working, running around the rink all day.  The Bruins would be in the building before five o’clock and if he wanted to find her... ugh.  I shouldn’t have said her name.


He grinned like the Cheshire Cat.  “Don’t hold out on me, Skinns.”

True to his word, Tyler left with his girl twenty minutes later.  I made up a reason to leave too, much to the disappointment of the girl at my side.  I guess it wasn’t that hard, meeting girls.  If you didn’t mind who they were too much, or care how they felt about the whole thing.

Scratch that.  The girl who just left with Seguin looked pretty fucking happy about it.

They went one way and I went the other, toward my car.  Tori still hadn’t answered my text.  Zero percent chance she was coming out tonight but I messaged her that I was leaving, like a kid checking in with his mom, home by curfew.

Yeah, that’s sexy.  Going home alone, aren’t ya?

I shut my phone off so I could work.  The truth was, I really wanted to be out with Jeff to see how he handed being with Tyler.  No doubt Tyler would pull a girl if he wanted to.  I wondered if Jeff would, just to prove that he could.  Or if Jeff was still Jeff even when I wasn’t around.  I didn’t think he had a boastful bone in his body, still it was hard to feel someone was showing you up all the time.

Just before bed, curiosity got the best of me and I clicked it on.

Jeff: We’re at McGinty’s if you finish.  I’ve even got a beer.

Jeff: Headed home.  You know the place.  If you want.

I did want - it scared me how much.  So I ignored them both and hit the light.