Icing (Aces Hockey #1)(5)

By: Kelly Jamieson


“Not exactly.”

She leaned on the bar, eyes fixed on him with that undivided attention—even though he knew she was completely aware of anyone around them who needed service. “What does that mean?”

“It means I’ve given up on women.”

She gave a solemn nod. “Switching teams, huh?”

At first his mind went literally to hockey. As it would. Oh wait. Surprise made him laugh out loud.

“My best friend is gay,” she said, straight-faced. “I could introduce you two.”

He caught the glimmer in her eyes. “Maybe I should switch teams.”

“That would be a waste.”

Christ. Was she flirting with him? And she had no idea who he was. Nice.

“You’re not gay.” She gave his shoulder a bump with hers.

“No,” he agreed. “And I guess I can’t just turn.”

“Pretty sure it doesn’t work that way.”

Her smile was really…nice. Warm. Wide. Her straight white teeth gleamed and her full lips made him think about kissing them. His gaze dropped to her left hand. No ring.

He frowned. Christ, he’d vowed to give up on women and hadn’t even made it through the rest of the day.

An hour later he was well on his way to being shitfaced. The bar got busier. More serving staff arrived, including a bartender, which sadly meant Amber didn’t have to get his beers anymore. She got busier too. And he was still sitting there alone. Other than when Amber had a few minutes to stop and talk to him.

“You know what?” She leaned next to him on the bar, holding a round tray up against her. “I think your friends stood you up.”





Chapter 2


Amber watched the big guy on the bar stool who’d downed several gallons of draft but was apparently not completely tanked. He was just so damn…cute.

Maybe “cute” wasn’t the right term to describe a big bruiser like him…oh hell, yeah, it was.

“They wouldn’t do that. Oh wait. They didn’t actually know I was coming here tonight. I was supposed to be with Marissa. No, Melissa.”

She frowned. “You have two girlfriends?”

“No! It was Melissa. I just got confused. Marissa is my buddy’s ex.”

Poor Melissa. “I hope you never called her Marissa to her face. That is the worst thing you can do to a woman.” Bitterness burned inside her at the memory.

His mouth dropped open. “Fuck no. I’ve never done that.” His forehead creased. “Someone called you the wrong name?”

She grimaced. “Yeah. In the middle of sex, no less.”

“Ouch.”

“Meh. It was for the best. He was a douche.”

“Obviously.”

“So you were supposed to be out with Melissa, but you dumped her ass and your friends don’t know that yet.”

“Nope.”

“They probably changed their plans.”

“Yeah, apparently they did.”

“Can you find out where they went?”

“Guess I could text them.” He frowned at his phone.

Okay, maybe he was a little drunk. The size of him, it probably took a lot of booze. He was taller than her, and at five foot nine she was often as tall as a lot of men, even taller in heels. Not that she wore heels very often. Mostly in her other part-time job.

He was also big. Very big. Very muscled. She found this very attractive. His lack of ego was also attractive. Nothing turned her off faster than a guy who thought he was all that and a pack of gum. And then his face…gorgeous. His dark chestnut hair had glints of red in it, though she couldn’t see much of it under that ball cap. The cap should’ve made her shake her head, but it was kind of endearing. Just the right amount of beard stubble shadowed his jaw. His deep-set eyes were a startling green and when he smiled she was charmed by white teeth that were perfect—other than his eye teeth, which were just a tiny bit prominent. No braces for him as a kid, probably, but it gave him a bigger, engaging smile.

He started tapping the screen of his phone. “This is probably gonna end up on the Internet,” he mumbled. “Drunk texting. Autocorrect could kick my ass tonight.”

She tried not to smile. “I’ll be back. I’m just going to clear that table and then I’m on a break for fifteen minutes.”

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