Icing (Aces Hockey #1)(6)

By: Kelly Jamieson


His head came up. “Oh.”

“I can sit down with you for a drink,” she offered.

She wasn’t usually this forward with guys, but he seemed to have no clue that he was freakin’ hot, and he wasn’t putting any moves on her. He wasn’t on the rebound—as he’d said to her, he was the dumper. She was curious about why he’d broken up with poor Melissa. Although he claimed Melissa wasn’t brokenhearted, she’d been pissed, which probably meant she was hurt.

“Sure,” he said slowly. He stopped tapping his phone and set it down. “I can text them in a while.”

She made eye contact and smiled, then pushed away from the bar to head over to the empty table. She quickly cleared the glasses and wiped the table down, got rid of her tray, and filled a glass with Diet Coke. She carried it around the bar and slid onto the stool beside…

“Geez,” she said. “I don’t even know your name.”

“Amber.”

“No,” she said patiently. “That’s me.”

He laughed. “Yeah, I know that. That’s what I meant. I know your name. I’m Duncan.” He held out a hand and she extended her own to shake. His large hand swallowed up hers. His grip was warm and strong and for a moment they looked at each other, holding hands. Heat built between them and a little shiver worked over her skin.

“Nice to meet you, Duncan.”

“Yeah.” He released her hand.

“So tell me why you dumped Melissa.”

“Who?”

She grinned. “I feel sorry for this girl.”

“You shouldn’t.” His mouth tightened. “Not that she was an awful person. I mean, I don’t like to say anything bad about her.”

Her heart tilted a little at his chivalry. “Okay, never mind. Don’t want to make you uncomfortable.”

“Let’s just forget about Melissa. She’s history.”

“Okay. Tell me about you. Are you from Chicago?”

“Live here now. Grew up in Wisconsin.”

“Really?”

“Yep. On a dairy farm.”

“You milk cows?”

“Don’t mock me.”

“I’m not!” She paused. “Farm boy.”

He groaned. “Please. I get ribbed enough about it.”

“It’s nice,” she said. “So really, you know how to milk cows?”

“Sure, but we had milking machines that mostly did it. It’s a lot of cows.”

She almost wanted to laugh. It was adorable. “I’ve barely even seen a cow.”

His eyebrows snapped together. “Seriously?”

“I grew up in Los Angeles. Moved to Chicago to go to college.” Among other reasons. She held out her hands. “City girl.”

“Damn.”

She laughed. “What does that mean?”

“Eh. Nothing. Are you still in college?”

“Yeah. Last year. Almost done.”

“I can’t tell how old you are.”

She grinned. “I guess that’s good.”

“It’s weird.”

Now she laughed. “What? Why?”

“I dunno, I just feel like I should be able to judge your age, but when I look at you, you could be…eighteen, or you could be…never mind. I’m just gonna get myself in trouble.”

“I’m twenty-four. I started college a little late.” Ugh.

He nodded. “Okay. That’s good. Twenty-four.”

Their eyes met again. “You?” she murmured.

“Twenty-seven.”

“I’m guessing you do something physical for a living.”

His chin lowered. “Oh yeah? Why?”

She waved a hand up and down. “The muscles.”

“Ah.”

“Pretty sure you’re not milking cows here in Chicago.”

“You got that right.”

He wasn’t forthcoming about what he did for a living. But that was okay. They were just flirting for a few minutes. Though if it turned into more, she wouldn’t mind…

No.

She had no time for sex, romance, flirtations, or liaisons. Between classes, exams, her thesis project, volunteering, and working two part-time jobs so she could keep sending money to her mom, she had no time for romance. Which could make her feel pretty damn sorry for herself if she thought about it too much. So she didn’t. She just kept working away. She was in her last semester of school and soon she’d be starting her new career, paying off her debts, and doing what she loved.

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