Chapter no 18 – Cal

Bagging the Blueliner


Vaguely aware that I was standing against a brick wall on a busy street in the tourist section of Nassau, I replayed the events of the last half hour.

Jaxon and Liam had gone off to some jewelry store to shop for the girls’ birthdays. Natalie’s had just passed, and Amy’s was later this month. I’d declined to join them. Hannah’s birthday wasn’t until the end of May, and I wasn’t sure what our situation would look like by then. Things were too new, so jewelry would send the wrong message.

Instead, I’d split off from them with plans to meet them at a bar when they were done. I needed to hit the pharmacy anyway. Hannah had done a decent job packing but managed to forget my deodorant. It was hot down here, even in the dead of winter, so I couldn’t go without. Hannah had offered me the use of hers earlier, but I didn’t want to smell all flowery and shit.

Popping into the first pharmacy I happened upon, I had trolled the aisles until I found what I needed. A flash of color caught my eye from around the corner, and I turned my head just in time to see none other than Hannah, with her head up, reading the signs marking the products in each aisle.

Biting my lip, I’d watched her be utterly oblivious to my presence, passing where I stood and moving further into the store. I knew she was supposed to be enjoying her day with the girls, but maybe I could convince

her to steal away with me for the rest of the afternoon. The guys would understand. I was pretty sure the girls would, too.

Stalking her through the store, I paused, hiding behind an end cap as she found whatever she was looking for.

Hannah looked fucking delectable in a sand-colored open weave cover-up over her hot pink bikini. The strings were calling to me. One little tug and the whole thing would come away from her body.

I was so mesmerized staring at her stunning curves that I hadn’t noticed what she was shopping for. My sexy daydream came to a screeching halt when I realized she was looking at feminine hygiene products.

Guess it was a good thing we fucked last night because it looked like Hannah would be out of commission for the remainder of our trip. Her period just crashed our party.

Come to think of it, she’d never once asked to pause our extracurricular activities since we started sleeping together. Since she came over on Christmas Day, we’d had sex every single day. Maybe she had longer cycles. Living with an older sister, I knew way too much about the inner workings of the female body.

Not wanting to embarrass her—not that she should be—I’d hung back. Once she made her selection, I would get what I needed and pretend to run into her after she checked out.

Hannah reached her hand out, and just when I thought she was about to snag a box of tampons, she grabbed a pregnancy test.

Then another one. And another one.

My entire life flashed before my eyes. I wasn’t just sleeping with Coach’s daughter; I’d knocked her up.

Holy shit. Holy shit. Holy shit.

Panicked, I ran from the pharmacy. Bent over, I tried to keep from hyperventilating, breaking out in a cold sweat. My heart was beating so loudly in my ears that it drowned out all sound.

I should have known things were going too well. Of course, the other shoe was going to drop. I’d flown too close to the sun being with Hannah, and now my life—my career—was over. There was no coming back from this once Coach found out.

“Cal.” My eyes were open, but I couldn’t see anything past the vision of Hannah grabbing an entire basket full of pregnancy tests playing on repeat.


Blinking, I focused enough to make out Jaxon standing before me. “Did you get what you needed?”


“Oh, do you still need to pop inside?” Jaxon gestured toward the entrance to the pharmacy—the pharmacy that would be the background setting of my nightmares for years to come.

“Already did.”

“I thought you needed deodorant?” he asked, confused.

Looking down at my hands, I realized what we were talking about. I couldn’t go back in there. Nope, not doing it. “They were out,” I said in a daze.

“What? You’re not making any sense.”

“What’s with the twenty questions?” I snapped at him.

“Let’s go grab that drink.” He eyed me carefully. I probably looked like a man on the verge of freaking out. Who was I kidding? I was a man on the verge of freaking out.

“Drink. Yes.” Alcohol would take the edge off this situation. Jaxon stared at me. “What the fuck is wrong with you, man?” “I’m fine.” I was the furthest thing from fine right now.

“Whatever you say.” He shook his head skeptically before crossing the street to the nearest bar.

Following, I let him lead me until we were both seated on barstools with beers in hand.

The dark thoughts threatened to pull me under, and I needed to talk to someone. Who better than Jaxon? He’d been in the same situation not so long ago.

Taking a long pull from my bottle, I cleared my throat. “What did you do when Natalie told you she was pregnant?”

Jaxon sputtered, choking on his beer. “Why would you ask me that?” When I didn’t answer, his eyes widened. “Please, please tell me you didn’t get Hannah pregnant.”

Putting my head in my hands, I groaned. “I don’t know.” “What do you mean, you don’t know?” he roared.

I grimaced, looking at my best friend. “I, um . . . saw her buying a pregnancy test in the pharmacy.”

“Oh shit.” Turning to the bartender, he held up two fingers before calling out, “Can we get two double scotches on the rocks?”

“I don’t want a scotch,” I protested.

“Too bad. You’re gonna need it,” Jaxon declared. “Fuck. This is bad, isn’t it?”

“I’m not going to lie to you. It’s not good.” Jaxon ran a hand through his pitch-black hair and blew out a breath.

“I stood there like an idiot, thinking she was buying period products. Even as I watched her, it crossed my mind that she hadn’t had it once in all our time together, but I never put two and two together.”

“Maybe she had it, and you just didn’t know.”

“No. I’d know. Since Christmas, the only day we haven’t been together was when she was sick and missed the game.”

Jaxon stared at me. “Damn. Every day?”

I nodded, throwing back the scotch that had been placed before me. Making a circular motion to the bartender, signaling to bring another, I replied, “Yep.”

Looking at me like I was his personal hero, he asked, “What’s that like?” “Fucking amazing.” I sighed. “Perks of having your girl come on the road

with the team.”

“I’m not even getting it every day when we are home. Half the time, Nat’s tired out of her mind from running the kids around. The other half, Charlie wants to sleep in our bed. If you’d have told me five years ago that a two-year-old would be cock-blocking me, I would have laughed in your face.”

“Sucks, man.” That sounded terrible.

“Don’t ‘sucks man’ me. That might be the future you’re looking at.” Fuck. “I still don’t understand how this could have happened.”

Jaxon sipped his first scotch as my second arrived. “You were being careful, right?”

“Of course,” I scoffed. “Hannah said she was on birth control.”

Jaxon choked on his drink for the second time since we entered the bar. “She said? That’s it? You’re banking your entire future on her word? I mean, you took care of it on your end, too, right?”

Hearing Jaxon’s outrage and disbelief, I knew I’d fucked up. “No. But come on, this is Hannah. I trust her.”

“Are you fucking kidding me? Even I wasn’t that stupid when I slept with Natalie.”

“Yeah, for all the good that did you,” I grumbled.

Narrowing his eyes and crossing his arms, he asked, “So tell me this.

What kind of birth control is she on?”

I squirmed in my seat under the weight of his glare. “I don’t know.” “Jesus, Cal,” he muttered.

“I know. It’s bad. So, I’ll ask again. What did you do when Natalie told you? I’m spiraling here, and I need you to tell me what to do.”

Jaxon pressed the heel of his palms into his eyes. He was stressed out to the max, and this wasn’t even his situation. Who was I kidding? When Coach found out, it was going to blow up the team. I might end up dead in a ditch, but everyone left still standing would feel the effects of his wrath.

“My situation was very different from yours. Natalie and I weren’t together; we had a one-night thing.” He gave a little huff. “When she told me, she wanted me to sign away my rights to Charlie. She didn’t want me involved.”

That was the first time I heard any of this. Granted, they’d kept everything hush-hush because Natalie was newly divorced, had kids, and was hounded by the press.

“What did you do?” I asked.

“I told her over my dead body. Well, I said it in a nicer way, but that was the message. How could I be expected to live next door to my kid and have no contact, no place in their life? Wasn’t going to happen. So, I told her I wanted to be involved, and man, getting past her walls was hands down the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Do you know what it’s like to have the love of your life right there in front of you and know she would rather you disappear?”

Natalie and Jaxon were the happiest married couple I’d ever met in my life. And that included my parents, and my sister and brother-in-law. They made each other better in a way that you had to see to believe. They survived independently—they weren’t co-dependent—but they thrived when they were together. You could literally feel the love pouring off of them.

“It was worth the effort, though,” I mused.

Jaxon smiled, thinking of his wife. “I would fight for her all over again in a heartbeat.” Surveying my face, he asked, “Is Hannah your endgame?”

Oh shit. This was getting deep. “Hard to say.” “No, it’s simple. She either is, or she isn’t.”

This was all too much. I only realized yesterday that I was in love with her.

Sighing, I admitted, “I haven’t let myself think about a future with her.

I’m not sure I’ll be allowed to have one. When Coach finds out . . .”

Jaxon’s phone beeped, and he pulled it out of his pocket to check the message. I instantly perked up. Was it Natalie giving him info? Did he hold the valuable information that I so desperately needed?

“Liam said he got caught up on an errand. He’ll meet us back on the boat.”

Of course. It had been foolish to get my hopes up. What was it Hannah mentioned about the flow of information in this group? Something about circles? Whatever it was, Jaxon and I wouldn’t be the first to know.

“Coach is going to kill me,” I whispered.

Jaxon gave me a sympathetic look. “He might be overprotective, but he loves her.”

“Overprotective is an understatement. Amelia is almost thirteen. Would you tell her who she can date?”

The mention of his oldest daughter brought a soft smile to his lips. “No. Even if she and Nat weren’t completely triggered by being controlled, that would still be my answer. She should get to live her life. Make her own mistakes. But I can tell you one thing—I will always be there to catch her when she falls.”

“See! That’s what a father should do. An all-out ban is excessive or, as you pointed out, controlling. How is this my fault?”

“You made a conscious decision knowing it was the only unbreakable rule Coach laid out. What did you think was going to happen? Secrets always have a way of coming out.”

I laughed humorlessly. “Do you know my last thought before I let her push me past the breaking point?”


“That if I had to, I would retire. I had a good run. I wanted Hannah so badly I was willing to give it all up.”

Jaxon smirked. “Then I think you have your answer on whether or not she is your endgame. Go talk to her. Maybe the sky isn’t falling, and it was

a false alarm. It’s been known to happen. Nat has a panic attack every time she’s a day late. It’s always nothing. I’m sure it’s fine.”

“Did you ever think we’d be sitting here talking about babies and periods?”

“Not in a million years.” He chuckled. “My, how times have changed.”

As much as I hated to admit it, Jaxon was right. The only way I would stop freaking out was if I got the truth from Hannah.



Back on the yacht, I sat on our bed with my head in my hands as every possible scenario ran through my mind. Instead of calming down, I’d somehow managed to rachet up my panic. I was barely hanging on by a thread when I heard the door to the cabin open, and Hannah sighed in relief as she closed it.

“You’re back.” She sounded exhausted. “Uh-huh.” I didn’t lift my head.

“Are you okay?” Her hand touched my shoulder, and I was wound so tight I jumped at the contact.

Embarrassed by my reaction, I forced myself to look up at her face. The hurt in her blue eyes mirrored my own at discovering her secret. Why hadn’t she come to me first? We were in this together. No matter what.

“No. I’m not okay.”

Hannah gave me a knowing smile. “What? Drink too much?”

The thread I was hanging on by snapped, and I lost my temper. “Are you fucking kidding me right now?” I stood, towering over her. “Is that all you see when you look at me? A party boy who gets drunk in the middle of the day?”

Backing up, she rolled her eyes. “Well, excuse me. I thought we were on vacation. My mistake.”

“Some vacation,” I muttered. “Why did you even bring me down here?” My voice rose in volume. I was losing it. I knew I wasn’t being rational, but my head was so fucked I couldn’t think straight.

Blowing me off, she walked to the bedside table and dropped her purse. Grabbing her phone, she began scrolling the screen and tapping. The longer she ignored me, the angrier I got.

“Fucking answer me!” I roared.

Blue eyes flicked up to me in annoyance. “I don’t know what your problem is, but this isn’t the sexy, angry Cal I ordered. Get your shit together and fast. I don’t have the energy to deal with your dramatics. I’ve had a hell of a day.”

“Mine wasn’t exactly sunshine and roses either,” I growled.

“And that’s somehow my fault?” Hannah threw her phone down on the bed and crossed her arms, cocking her hip.

I knew that pose. She was preparing to go to war. “I FUCKING SAW YOU!” I screamed.

She flinched but held her ground. “You need psychiatric help. You’re clearly losing your mind. Too many hits to the head, perhaps.”

“There’s nothing wrong with my head. I saw you in the pharmacy this afternoon.” My chest heaved in anger as my heart raced, knowing this was the moment of truth.

Hannah let out an annoyed puff of air. “Oh, that.”

“How can you be so calm about this?” Dizzy, the room began to spin.

Maybe I should sit down. “They weren’t mine.”

“What do you mean, they weren’t yours? I saw you buying them.” Narrowing her eyes, she kept her tone level. “I’ll say it again. They.

Weren’t. Mine.”

“Oh.” I collapsed onto the bed. They weren’t hers. But wait. “Well, whose were they?”

“Sorry. That’s above your clearance level. Inner circle business.”

My eyes widened. The fog cleared around my brain, and I could think logically for the first time in hours. If they weren’t for Hannah, that left only two other options.

I might be in the clear, but someone else’s vacation was about to get a lot more interesting.

“Why did you buy so many?”

Hannah shrugged. “Simple answer? I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. Until today, I’d never bought or taken a pregnancy test before.”

My jaw dropped. “You took one? Today?”

Sighing, she dug in her bag again. “Calm down. When I came back with too many, we all took one as a show of solidarity.” Pulling out a white

plastic stick with a pink cap, she held it out to me. “Here. See for yourself. Big fat negative. The H on the back confirms it’s mine.”

Desperate to confirm what she was telling me, I snatched it from her. The little key on the side showed one line for negative and two for positive. The one held in my hands only had one pink line.

All the air left my lungs. Crisis averted.

Crawling into my lap, our little irrational spat forgotten, she pushed the hair back from my forehead. “Don’t take this the wrong way, but I have no interest in growing what promises to be giant Viking spawn that would likely rip me in half on the way out. Your dick has already caused enough damage down there.”

It took me a minute to process what she was saying. I stared at her in shock. “You don’t want kids?”

Hannah bit her lip. “No. I don’t dislike kids, but I don’t exactly want my own. I want to travel, and I really like my new job. If I had a baby, I wouldn’t be able to go on the road with the team anymore.”

Didn’t all women want babies? Leave it to Hannah to be an enigma from beginning to end. She was going to keep me on my toes, that was for sure.

When I didn’t respond, she asked, “Is that okay?” “I don’t think that’s my call.”

“Isn’t that something people in relationships normally talk about? To see if their plans for the future align?” The way she spoke in questions made me realize she was unsure.

“Wait. You don’t know? Are you saying you’ve never been in a relationship before?”

Sheepishly, she shook her head. “No. Have you?”

“No.” For once, it seemed we were on equal footing. Hannah’s jaw dropped. “Not even in high school or college?”

“For someone who knew my scouting report probably better than I did, have you forgotten how scrawny I was when the Comets took a chance in drafting me?”

“Yeah, but surely girls were interested.”

I shrugged. “Given the choice between me and some of my grown-man teammates, it was no contest. I didn’t mind. I needed to keep my eye on the prize.”

“So, you’re saying that I am your first-ever girlfriend?”

I pondered that for a moment and smirked. “Well, there is the small matter of a playground wedding in second grade. Seemed pretty binding at the time.”

There was a sparkle in Hannah’s beautiful baby blues. “Give me her name. I’ll order the hit.”

Laughing out loud, the last bits of the tension surrounding the earlier misunderstanding left my body. “I think you’re safe. Last I heard, she lives in Vancouver with her husband and three kids.”

“She’s lucky. I won’t tolerate someone trying to stake a claim on my man.”

Her man.

Damn, that sounded good rolling off her tongue.

Chewing her lip, she stroked the side of my jaw. “We need to circle back.”

Dropping my mouth to her neck, I murmured against her skin, “Circle away.”

“You know where I stand on the whole ‘having a family’ business. How do you feel about that?”

“After speaking to Jaxon about how it affects his sex life having kids in the house, I’m not too keen on the idea. I’d much rather have the freedom to bend you over a balcony any time I see fit.”

Hannah gasped, pulling back to look at me. “You really are the perfect man,” she breathed out.

Bringing up Jaxon and our earlier conversation reminded me of something he mentioned. “Can I ask you a personal question?”

“If I answer, will you fuck me so hard we both forget our names?” Chuckling, I nodded. “Deal.”

“Okay, what do you want to know?”

“When I was freaking out earlier, I realized I had no clue what kind of birth control you were on.”

Relaxing, clearly preparing for something worse, she smiled. “Standard implant. No muss, no fuss. Good for three years.”

My mind started working overtime. Most of what I knew about female birth control was the pill. “How does that affect your periods?”

Hannah smirked. “Oh boy, we must be deep into it now if you’re tracking my cycles.”

“I wouldn’t say tracking. You haven’t had one since Christmas. That I do know.”

“You’re going to love me.”

Oh, pretty girl, I already do.

“I haven’t had a period in years,” she declared.

The pieces of the day’s events fell into place, and I finally learned my lesson. Both my sister and Jaxon had recommended talking to Hannah, and I silently vowed to work on our communication. Today could have easily been avoided if we’d had the more uncomfortable conversations earlier.

Grinding her ass onto my lap, Hannah begged, “Fuck me now. Please.” God, she was perfect for me.

Growling, I flipped us over, pinning her against the bed. Lowering my mouth to her ear, I whispered, “Well, since you asked so nicely.”

Skimming my lips down her body, I smiled against her skin when I reached her hip bones. Taking the end of the string that held together her bikini bottom between my teeth, I pulled until it came undone, repeating the action on the other side.

Like magic, the stress of the day was erased when I caught a whiff of her unique scent.

Fuck, she smelled incredible.

Losing myself in her body, I was fully prepared to enjoy the rest of our vacation without any additional drama—no easy feat when Hannah was involved.

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