Icing (Aces Hockey #1)(9)By: Kelly Jamieson
They all nodded understandingly.
“Done with chicks,” he added. “Don’t need ’em.”
“Bullshit,” Hughie said.
Olaf snorted. “Yeah, you do.”
“He just needs his hand.” Rupper grinned.
“Or a blow-up doll,” Olaf said. “They make them really realistic these days.”
All eyes turned on Olaf and silence fell.
“I’ve heard.” His face went scarlet. “Not that I’ve ever used one.”
“Jesus Christ.” Duncan rubbed his face. “Do we have to talk about this?” It was just depressing. Yeah, he did need women. A woman. The right woman. But apparently that was never going to happen.
“Pilker’ll never hear the end of that,” Hughie said gleefully. “Blow-up doll. Christ.”
“Here you go.” Rupper nudged Duncan with his shoulder and lifted his chin toward the two women approaching their table.
Both wore low-cut tops, heavy makeup, and tight jeans. Their eyes were bright and their smiles glossy as they neared the table. Duncan sighed. “Did you not hear what I said?”
“Hi.” One of the women fluttered her eyelashes at them. “Do you guys play for the Chicago Aces?”
“Yep.” Hughie beamed at them.
Duncan’s smile went crooked as he watched Hughie, Pilker, Rupper, and new kid Ryan Kirby flirt with the two chicks. Rupper was smooth. Duncan watched the ease with which he talked to the women, charming them with his smile and compliments. Duncan sighed.
They ordered drinks for them and pulled up more stools, and then a couple more women joined them. Duncan stood behind them, smiling, drinking his beer, pretending to listen.
He was pleasantly drunk. Maybe a little more than he should be, but hey, that had been his plan for the evening and it was progressing well. He knocked back the rest of his beer and looked around for another one.
He spotted Amber across the bar, carrying a tray laden with drinks. Her slender arm supported it as she moved gracefully between tables. She stopped and served the drinks, beaming that wide, white smile at people.
He was going to ask her out.
He liked her. She was pretty and real and nice. She’d been flirting with him earlier, making him think there was a good chance she’d say yes. Why not?
Well, there was that proclamation that he’d given up women. But who was going to hold him to that? Nobody, that’s who.
He started to move away from the table, intending to follow her back to the bar and get her alone long enough to ask her out. She turned to another table, leaning in to get their drink orders, and then as she went to move away, one of the guys at that table he’d noticed earlier reached out and grabbed her hand. Duncan frowned.
He watched her try to pull it away, planting her feet on the floor, but the asshole got her off balance. Jesus, he was pulling her onto his lap!
Fuck that. Duncan slammed his empty glass down on the table, shoved Hughie out of his way, and strode across the bar.
Amber planted her feet on the floor, but the customer tugged on her hand and pulled her off balance. She stumbled a little toward the dude’s chair, her tray falling to the floor with a crash. All heads turned.
Duncan took longer strides, frowning. It was as if a red fog suddenly filled the bar. His back molars ground together and his body tensed as Amber fell into the guy’s lap. He’d never felt this intense, possessive rage before.
Duncan reached her, grabbed hold of her, and lifted her out of the guy’s lap, easily setting her on her feet behind him. She was tall but didn’t weigh much. She gave a squeak of surprise and blinked, her mouth falling open.
“What the fuck,” Duncan growled, turning to the guy who’d grabbed her. He reached for his shirt and hauled him up out of his chair. “Hands off, asshole. Whaddya think you’re doing?”
“Hey, hey,” the guy said.
Immediately the fucker’s three friends pushed back their chairs and stood.
“Let him go.” Amber tugged on his arm. “I’m fine.”
“He touched you.”
“I’m fine,” she repeated.
One of the dude’s friends moved closer. “Let go of him,” he also said to Duncan.