Chapter no 6 – Cal

Bagging the Blueliner

MY BODY HURT LIKE hell after laying a hard check during tonight’s game. All I wanted to do was go home and ice my shoulder. Especially knowing we had another game tomorrow night.

That plan flew out the window the minute I heard Natalie excitedly tell Jaxon that Hannah was going to Spades tonight with someone on the Indy Speed staff.

Natalie was a hopeless romantic. She was forever trying to pair everyone off, and Hannah proved to be her greatest challenge.

That girl was a magnet for losers. It was like she turned her nose up at decent guys in favor of the idiots she picked up at the club.

I promised Coach I’d keep an eye on her this season. We weren’t on the road, but something told me that if she was meeting a staff member of the Speed, there was a strong chance the players wouldn’t be able to resist the temptation of a club.

Hannah was proving to be more of a pain in my ass than I ever anticipated.

Having worn a suit to the game, there was no need to go home and change. Heading straight to the downtown nightclub, the bouncer let me in at the door.

The Comets were regulars, and it was good business for the club to be known as our favorite late-night hangout, so they comped our cover, letting

us skip the lines.

Normally, when we were home, this was the place I picked up chicks, but tonight I was aggravated. The last thing on my mind was pretending to enjoy dancing with some dolled-up bunny while buying her overpriced drinks.

I had one mission tonight. To make sure Hannah didn’t do anything stupid.

Ending world hunger would be an easier task.

Skirting around the sweaty mass of bodies, I worked my way to the VIP section entrance and up the stairs. Needing to keep my wits about me, I declined the offer of alcohol from the waitress making her rounds, ordering a bottle of water instead.

Standing with both hands braced against the railing of the balcony overlooking the dance floor, I searched for signs of Hannah.

Letting my eyes adjust to the darkness, I scanned the brunettes in the crowd.


My grip on the railing grew so tight I feared putting a dent in the metal. Hannah was in the center of it all—I don’t know why I expected anything less—plastered against a man I knew all too well. Maddox Sterling was the captain of the Indy Speed, and we’d played in college together. He was a decent guy but wasn’t good enough for Hannah.

Oh, and you are?

I remained laser-focused on Hannah’s movements—noting the way she moved her hips, how her chest rose and fell with her rapid breathing. Without warning, she turned around, and I caught sight of her face.

Club Hannah was sexy as fuck. Always had been.

My body betrayed me as I watched her with another man, blood rushing south, my dick tenting my pants. She drove me wild, and I pictured her pressed against my body instead. I could almost feel her soft ass grinding against my cock in that skintight dress.

Arousal turned to anger as I watched her loop her arms around his neck and twist for a kiss, which Maddox gave willingly. I wanted to tear him apart for touching her, tasting her in a way I knew I never would.

Acting as if no one else was in the room, one of his hands gripped her full breast while the other dropped to tease the skin of her thigh. Hannah placed her hand over his and brought it between her legs.

Suddenly, I was moving.

Blinded by rage, barely aware of anything else, I didn’t stop until I reached the pair. Both sets of eyes were closed—lost to lust while engaging in a very private act in a public place—but popped open when I growled, “Get your fucking hands off her.”

Hannah stared wide-eyed as Maddox tried to place me in the darkness. Recognition dawned, and he tightened his grip on Hannah. “Back off, Berg. I got here first.”

Turning, Hannah whispered in his ear before stumbling toward me. Poking her finger into my chest, she slurred, “I don’t need your help Ca-la- lum. Go home.”

Reaching an arm out to steady her, I groaned. “Jesus, Hannah, you’re drunk.”

Frowning, she thought about it for a moment before protesting, “No, I’m not.”

Maddox stepped forward, putting his big paws on Hannah, trying to release her from my grasp. “You okay, love?”

Lord, give me the strength.

Through gritted teeth, I said loud enough for him to hear over the music, “She’s not your love, Sterling.”

“She’s none of your business,” he shot back, a challenge in his eyes.

My erection died when I saw him put his hand up her skirt, and I was about to return the favor. Looking him dead in the eye, I delivered the fatal blow. “You might be right. But maybe there are enough cameras in this place that a video ends up on the internet, featuring you finger-fucking Ace Moreau’s daughter.”

Hannah’s mouth dropped open, and Maddox’s eyes grew wide as he dropped his hands from her body and stepped back.

That’s right, pretty boy. Back away.

Turning, Hannah faced Maddox. He cut her off before she could say anything. “Is he telling the truth? Are you Ace’s daughter?”

Shoulders drooping, she admitted, “Yes.”

Looking over her head, he acknowledged me. “Thanks, brother.” Nodding, I replied, “Anytime.”

Maddox looked at a slowly wilting Hannah, saying softly, “It was nice to meet you. I’ve gotta go.”

With that, he pushed through the crowd, disappearing from sight.

Hannah whipped around, the quick motion on heels in her intoxicated state causing her to bump into the dancer beside her. Righting herself, she glared at me with brilliant blue eyes, only made more prominent by her dark eye makeup.

“You’ve ruined everything!” she cried over the music. Folding my arms across my chest, I wasn’t sorry. “Too bad.”

“Too bad,” she huffed. “Too bad! Who put you in charge? Huh? Last time I checked, I was a thirty-one-year-old woman who didn’t need a babysitter.” “Could have fooled me. You were openly engaging in sexual acts in public, Hannah. He’s not some random guy. He draws notice. How can you

not see how immature you’re acting?”

“I’m immature?” She gaped at me. “You’re immature.” “Oh, good. Glad we’ve established that.”

Her eyes narrowed, glinting with determination. “Fuck you, Cal. There were three other Speed players here tonight, and I know for a fact that at least one of them was interested before Maddox staked his claim. The night isn’t over yet.”

“That’s where you’re wrong.” Confused, she asked, “What?”

Without another word, I bent down, placing my shoulder—the non- injured one—to her stomach before rising to my full height. Banding my arm around the back of her knees, I carted her out of the club while she pounded on my back, demanding I put her down.

By the time we passed through the door and into the cool autumn air, Hannah’s body had gone slack, and she went quiet. Jostling her gently, I asked, “Hannah?”

Getting no response, I concluded that she’d passed out. If she was unconscious, she couldn’t tell me how to take her home. I knew she’d moved out of Coach’s house and had her own place now, but hell if I knew where. It was late, so the idea of taking her to Jaxon and Natalie’s was instantly ruled out—they had little kids. Amy and her husband were currently in Europe, so that wasn’t a possibility either.

That left me with only one option.

Sliding her down my body to hold her cradled against my chest instead of over my shoulder, I began walking the three blocks toward my building. Hannah was about to spend the night at my place.

Fuck my life.



Keeping vigil over Hannah all night was a rare form of torture—her features relaxed in sleep only made her look more beautiful. The only thing worse was getting a glimpse of her naked body as I removed her dress and slid one of my T-shirts over her head, trying to make her more comfortable.

Yeah, that was probably unnecessary, but I couldn’t help myself. It wasn’t sexual, but it felt infinitely more intimate, gently caring for her.

Giving her my bed, I slept in the lounge chair in the corner. The inability to spread out had my shoulder on fucking fire when I woke up.

Hannah was still asleep, so I forced my stiff muscles to activate, pushing out of the chair, stifling a groan.

As I walked down the stairs of my penthouse apartment, the sun was beginning to rise over downtown Hartford through the wall of windows spanning both floors. Shuffling into the kitchen, I poured myself a cool glass of water before popping some painkillers.

Taking care of my body needed to be top priority at my age if I wanted to continue playing. But instead of coming home last night and taking it easy when I knew we had a quick turnaround, I’d followed Hannah’s ass to the club.

Thank God I had.

That girl had no common sense.

What was she thinking, encouraging Maddox’s hand up her skirt in the middle of a crowded club?

You’re just jealous because you wish it was you.

I knew firsthand how people tracked professional athletes. If they saw them on the street, their phones instantly appeared. If you didn’t record it, did it even happen?

Hannah thought it was all fun and games, with no care for the consequences. She might act tough, but if a video of that intimate moment was plastered all over the internet for the world to see, it would crush her.

She was strong, but nobody was strong enough to brush that off. It would destroy her life.

My anger for her careless actions renewed, I poured a second glass of water before snagging a bottle of ibuprofen and heading back upstairs.

Placing the items on the bedside table, I carefully dropped my body into the lounge chair once more.

Not carefully enough, because I was unable to stop the pained sound from escaping when my elbow hit the armrest, sending a shock wave up to my bad shoulder. I tried to stifle it, but it was too late.

Hannah’s body began shifting, signaling she was moments away from waking up. I was suddenly very aware that she was in my bed while I sat in the corner watching like a creeper.

Raising her hands above her head, the sheets fell to her waist as she groaned, stretching her body. Silky brown curls fanned around her head like a halo, one side of her cheek pink and marked with pillow creases. Even with the smudged makeup around her eyes, she was stunning.

What I wouldn’t give to wake up with her in my bed for real.

Keep dreaming, Cal.

Hannah’s blue eyes opened, and when awareness dawned that she didn’t recognize the room she was in, her body bolted upright. Then, those brilliant baby blues locked on where I sat, and the temperature of the room dropped twenty degrees.

“What the fuck?” Looking down and realizing she was wearing my clothes, she yelled, “And what am I wearing?!”

Rubbing a hand over the stubble along my jaw, I sighed. “Calm down, Hannah. You drank too much and passed out on our way out of the club. I don’t know where you live, and even if I did, how would I get in? My place was only a couple of blocks away, so I brought you home. You got the bed. I slept in this chair. That’s it.”

Plucking the fabric of the black T-shirt away from her body, she accused, “You changed my clothes.”

“Are you really complaining about me making you more comfortable?” I shot back.

Narrowing her eyes, she challenged, “Did you violate me, Berg?”

Oh, for the love of God.

My temper flared, but I tried to keep it in check. “Jesus, Hannah. Get over yourself. I did not ‘violate’ you.” I used air quotes for effect.

Running a hand under the sheets, she twisted her lips in thought. “I’m not sore, but that doesn’t mean anything. Maybe you have a small dick.”

I growled at the intentional insult to my manhood. “Trust me, if I had been between your legs, you wouldn’t be able to walk for a solid twenty-

four hours.”

Hannah rolled her eyes. “That’s exactly the type of bravado you would expect from a guy with a tiny penis. Big ego, flashy car—the evidence is mounting for overcompensation.”

She knew exactly which buttons to press, and I snapped, roaring, “For the last time, Hannah, I didn’t fuck you!”

“I don’t know.” She shrugged. “I should probably head straight to the ER to be examined for signs of assault and tested for STDs. God only knows where that micropenis has been.”

My hands curled into fists. I wanted to strangle her. She was provoking me, and she damn well knew it.

I didn’t know what was worse, Hannah thinking I had a small dick or the agony of knowing she thought about it in the first place.

Eyes widening, she scrambled out of bed with alarming urgency. Instinct took over, and I stood quickly, ignoring my muscles screaming in pain.

Scanning her body clad only in my shirt—so long it reached mid-thigh on her—I asked in a panic, “What? What’s wrong?”

Giving the bed a look, she wrinkled her nose. “It just hit me how unsanitary your bed must be. All the dirty, desperate bunnies you bring home.” She pretended to gag to emphasize her point.

Closing my eyes, I prayed for the patience to deal with this infuriating woman. Taking a calming breath, I opened them, replying, “I don’t bring women home.”

Placing both hands on her hips, Hannah scoffed. “Yeah, sure. Like I’m supposed to believe that?”

I shrugged. “That’s what the bathrooms at the club are for.” “That’s disgusting.”

Her words said one thing, but I noted the way her breathing hitched and her pupils dilated. The idea of being railed quick and dirty against a wall turned her on. I made a mental note to remember that, even though I would never have a chance to put the knowledge to use.

“Let me take you home,” I offered.

“No, thanks. I can call a car. I just need my purse.”

Knowing better than to argue further with her, I gestured to where her dress lay folded on my dresser. Her purse was to the side, along with her heels.

Crossing the room, Hannah dug inside her purse, pulling out her phone. Tapping a few buttons, presumably pulling up a rideshare app, a small wrinkle appeared between her eyes.

“Huh,” she muttered. “Something wrong?”

Shaking her head slightly, she brushed me off. “No. If you could give me some privacy, I need to get dressed. The walk of shame is calling my name.”

Keeping my mouth shut, I didn’t point out that I’d already seen everything. Leaving my bedroom, I latched the door behind me.

Venturing downstairs to the living room, I stretched out my body on the massive leather sectional.

Thankfully, Coach made today’s pregame skate optional. If I was going to play tonight, I needed a massage, stat. Texting my regular masseuse and requesting an in-home emergency appointment, I tried to take stock of what hurt the most. My body was one solid wall of pain.

Getting old was a bitch.

A door opened upstairs, and Hannah appeared in the hallway that stretched through the middle of the penthouse. Walking down the floating staircase, her heels clacked on each oak step.

When I didn’t move to stand, she held up her hand. “Don’t get up. I’ll see myself out.”

Her sarcastic tone had me itching to bend her over my knee. Whoever ended up with her was going to have their hands full.

As she left my apartment without another word, I closed my eyes. What a fucking night.

You'll Also Like