Excerpt for Ice Fairy by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Ice Fairy

S. L. Danielson

Published by S. L. Danielson Smashwords

Copyright 2014, 2018 S. L. Danielson

Discover other titles by S. L. Danielson:

Ranch Hands

For the Heart of Phillip

Love by the Numbers


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Chapter One

“….and swing your leg out, that’s it…” He watched Amber’s skinny leg jut out awkwardly as she attempted the maneuver, his eyes trained to her posture as momentum brought her around to face him. “… and land on the pick, and down,” he instructed, as he heard a ‘slap’ of Amber’s blade hitting the ice, not the crisp sound that his made. She’d landed on the flat of the blade again. He looked up into her eyes, which were as brown as the hue of her tightly-bunned hair. She looked nervous, scared actually, but accomplished.

He let go of one of her hands and her mouth was open wide, half-smiling and half-wondering.

“How’d I do, Sam? How’d I do?” She was practically jumping up and down with glee.

Sam scratched his black hair. “You did pretty well, Amber, really. Not bad at all for doing just a few of these.” He wanted to build her confidence. Nothing was ever served by bashing a bad landing, unless it was either technically incorrect or painful to do. If she landed on a flat, so be it.

“So now I can do waltz jumps?” Her eyes beamed and she did a quick twirl on one foot, nearly toppling over at the end of it, which Sam rescued her from.

“Whoa there… watch your footing now. You start just spinning off like that, you’re going to need a lot more practice,” he teased, tapping her button nose. “I’m not your full coach yet, hon. I’ve got my own to contend with, remember?”

He winced, thinking of his harsh coach, the ever prominent Harry Fuchs, which of course, was converted into all sorts of nasty translations when his back was turned or he wasn’t around. But despite his nasty temper, he had been one hell of a figure skater in his day, a gold medalist, and one of the best ever in the region. Sam was in great hands, at least as for the sport. They’d never be friends, which Harry had all but assured him was fine with him.

Amber finally let go of his hand and stood back, her eyes trained on him. “Come on, Sammy, show your best friend one of your waltz jumps again, so I can see how it’s really done.”

Sam groaned, but in complete jest. He didn’t mind being the center of attention, especially when it came to his art, his sport, his craft...hell, his life. Figure skating. Something his mother pushed him into when he was four years old and despite some roughness at first, he’d grown to adore it. He was nearly at national’s level; he had yet to perfect his triple axel though. Most were doing quads, but he didn’t feel that strong….yet.

“Alright, alright, just a few, okay?” He expertly maneuvered away from his friend and began a short drill of back crossovers and finally to a forward three-turn into what he considered a fair waltz jump. He’d mastered it so long ago that the move was now blasé to him, but it was gold to Amber.

She applauded every step he did, even the landing, which he noted she was bent over, seeing how his foot was on the ice. “So that’s how it’s supposed to look.” She fingered her bun, looking nervous. “Sammy… I’m not supposed to land on the full foot, am I?” she pouted, and he couldn’t help but smile at her.

“Sweetie… no. But you’re learning… but no. Harry told me a long time ago the sooner bad habits are broken, the easier it is to move on to how the move is really done.” He held out his hands to her. “I’ll show you again, if you want.”

With a gasp, Amber nodded. “Of course! You’re the best teacher ever, Sammy. I’ll get it right this time, you watch me!” She waggled a finger at him and he laughed to himself. With a firm grip on both of her hands, he led her around in a circle, and then counted out the steps again.

“Now turn, stretch, and point your toe…” He held onto her hands extra tight as she finally landed on the toe pick first, but quickly went to the rest of the blade. It was ideal!

“How was that?” she asked anxiously.

“It was great! You did it!” Sam replied, his voice happy and bubbly.

Amber gasped. “I did? I did!” She realized it at last and pulled him in for a hug. “Thank you!”

Her happiness was contagious and he enjoyed the thanks he received. He wished he got it from Harry too; he waited until he was home to be congratulated by his sister, who was his biggest fan. Kimora, or Kim which is what she went by, was only ten, but was also working her way up the skating ladder. It was only a matter of time until she was ready to compete on a grand scale.

“You are very welcome.” He patted her hands and let them go. So many people thought that they were an item, but nothing could be further from the truth. They were the best of pals, on and off the ice, but that was all. Sam’s heart lay along a different destiny, one which his parents did not know about, nor his coach. It was hell not being able to tell them he was gay; not even in a sport where a few of the other boys were as well, but he dared not speak about it. He’d found solace in Amber being the only one to know, and it was enough for him. At least for now. A gentle whack was felt on his arm and he turned to see Amber grinning at him. “Buy you a soda if you want. I don’t have an apple for the teacher.”

He rolled his eyes. “Oh, no thanks. I’m good. I’ve got my water bottle over there. Too much soda will keep me up too late and give me cavities. Can’t have that.”

“Oh, heavens no,” she agreed and after a quick push-off on her blade, she was gone.

Sam let out a deep sigh. It’d been quite the January afternoon with Amber there. Just the two of them… and the few dozen other skaters who fought their way around the oval like they were on a cold treadmill. The oval was never enough for him; he had to do more.

A sudden wave of boisterous voices broke his silent reverie as he nearly slipped from the prep for a scratch spin. Oh shit, he thought as he saw what they were wearing. It was the hockey players… what he called the ‘demons’ of the ice. They left ruts so deep he’d requested the Zamboni nearly scrap the surface down to the base. He dug his toe pick in, fists balled, and snatched his water bottle from the top of the wall before the rude, crude boys could make their way over to it and knock it over, or maybe spit in it.

You won’t touch my bottle, oh hell no. Why did they have to share the ice with these assholes? Why couldn’t they have an entire rink devoted the athleticism and beauty of figure skating and not the boorish, blood sport show that hockey was. What was the whole point of it anyway? To see how many fist fights one could get into in a single game? Sam shuddered at the thought. He’d seen these games in action and the teeth flying out of their mouths. No thanks.

As the boys passed by, a few called out to him as he stood by the wall and drank his water; he retreated the closer they came. “Takin’ a break, Sammy boy? I’m sure that’s such hard work, huh?” One of the boys started harassing Sam. He looked over his shoulder at his chuckling brethren.

Sam didn’t respond but continued drinking. He wished they’d just go away and leave him alone.

“Hey, where’s your hottie, Sammy?” another asked, obviously referring to Amber. He wanted to reply, but why give them what they wanted by responding?

After most of the line passed, carrying their enormous overstuffed bags and spitting randomly into the seating area, Sam glanced up and saw someone he kinda knew, unfortunately. It was that big kid, Brett Z…something. He could never remember last names of the people who got on his nerves. His parents had worked with him to remember names, but he still had a tough time with it. Like now.

As the tall, built blond passed by, Sam caught his eye briefly - that was a mistake. Brett stiffened and shot him a look back.

“What the fuck are you lookin’ at, ice fairy boy? You just go about your little twirls and shit. This is a man’s sport.” He held up his bag and slapped it, fairly snarling like a grizzly bear afterwards.

Sam narrowed his eyes, but didn’t respond. He’d been called all sorts of names from his classmates; this was nothing new to him, unfortunately. Amber usually was there with him, but he’d trained himself to ignore their digs. Go ahead, what will it be this time? Dweeb? Loser? Geek? Princess? Faggy boy? The moniker ‘ice fairy’ was somewhat new to the repertoire; it must’ve been made up by Brett himself. How precious.

As he felt his ire rise and the coolness of the ice fade with his warming blood, a refreshing sound was heard next to him.

“What’s going on, sweetie?” Amber asked, putting her soda down next to his water bottle. “Is this Neanderthal giving you trouble again? Whatsa matter? The other cavemen leave you behind for your afternoon gruntings?” she shot at Brett, with Sam hiding the smile he so badly wanted to show.

“Nope, just makin’ sure this little princess ain’t giving me any looks. I’ll bust your ass, boy, you just wait.” He pointed a threatening finger at Sam, and he had to admit, the gesture was more than a tad scary, especially given Brett’s size. But the bigger they were… at least that’s how he calmed himself enough to not look petrified.

Another voice broke the scene. “Brett… you stirring up trouble over here again?” A tall, slinky blond skated up and gave Brett a kiss unlike he’d ever seen. His parents would certainly never do that in public, much less in front of him. It was as if their faces had melted together and morphed into one big, blond beast.

Brett slipped an arm around her very slim waist, and it nearly went around her circumference. “Just making sure I’m not gettin’ the eye from this one. I gotta go practice, babe. See you later, hottie.” He kissed her again and he squeezed part of her anatomy, which brought a blush to her face.

“Okay, baby. Be careful now. I’ll be watching.”

Without another word, Brett slipped by the other two and into the locker room, and thankfully he shut the door. The overwhelming din from there already hurt Sam’s ears.

As if a switch had been flipped, the tall blonde turned to them, an accusatory finger pointing at them. “You two leave him alone, you understand? He needs to work on his game and he doesn’t need your distractions, fairy boy, doing your little twirls. I see you out there, you show off!” She put her hands on her slender hips and harrumphed at him. My, my, someone was jealous!

Sam beat down the laughter inside of him that wanted to come pouring out, and he kept a tight grip on it. “I’ll certainly try to tone it down, Tiffani. I wouldn’t want to get anyone injured.” He tried to keep the smarminess from his tone, but at this moment, it was too irresistible.

Tiffani was a pain the ass, a hockey cheerleader, of course, involved, apparently quite heavily, with the captain of the team, who was mister fabulous caveman, Brett. She was a tall drink of water, at 5’11”, and all hair and mouth. There was little physique to her. Amber was slim, but this one disappeared when she turned sideways. Too thin in Sam’s opinion, but that was him.

With a sneer, Tiffani skated off, back to doing the ovals that she’d mastered. What pride she must have in that accomplishment…not. Oh well. It wasn’t for him to judge. … but with that attitude, he wouldn’t dare approach her to offer lessons in this lifetime.

He took Amber’s hand as he caught the guard coming out with the orange cones to separate the rink into two areas; one for them, the other for hockey. “Come on, let’s have fun while we still can.”

With a smile, she nodded and joined him. “Sounds good, sweetie. Come on.”

Within ten minutes, the two were laughing and having fun again. Sam sported a lovely scratch spin and spiral just for Amber who had requested that. She tried the moves herself, but had slipped both times.

A bang of the metal door interrupted them again as the loud hockey team made their way to the ice for their practice. It was like watching a horde of killer robots approach you and here you were, trapped in the center, with no weapons except your might and your words. It wasn’t fun, but Sam tried to adapt to the rink’s not-so-brilliant brainstorm of shared ice time. It was all to make money, of course. Hockey brought in the bucks, not figure skating. Wait, scratch that, it did, but only if it were a major competition, but they hadn’t won a bid for one of those in years. Hence the hockey goons and hence Brett.

Sam had to admit they all looked very buff in their uniforms. They didn’t have all the gear on for this, but just the jerseys looked nice on their built bodies. He also had to admit, Brett did look good, but that was all that was good about him. He wished silently that they practiced at the other rink a few miles away, but it was too small he supposed. As for them sharing the ice, he’d have to deal with it or go home in defeat and hell no, that was not happening. Amber steered his gaze away from the others. “Come on, show me a toe loop again. I keep getting confused on what’s what.”

How could he say no to that? He couldn’t. Not with those eyes and the sweetness that was Amber. He wished so many times he weren’t gay and they could be a couple, but as hard as he tried and fought things, it wasn’t meant to be; he was who he was and he was very happy to have a dear friend like her.

“Alright, I’ll show it to you step by step, okay?” he offered, appeasing her wish and began to make the move. “Remember now, three turn, then pick, then kick… and then land.” He glided backwards on his blade and she applauded.

“I’ll never get that one,” she pouted.

He stopped in front of her and groaned. “Stop saying things like that. You’ll start to believe them and make them come true. Come on now, you can do it. I know you can.”

As patiently as he could, Sam led her through the steps, slowly and methodically. He caught a blur going by them from time to time, one who was barely there and figured it was Tiffani. She circled them like an anorexic vulture. But the other blur, was a big one. It was Brett. What the fuck was he doing this close to their zone?

He ignored it for now and continued helping his friend. “Alright, now put your toe pick in, then turn…” She looked scared to death, but he clamped her hands tighter. “I’ve gotcha, it’s okay.”

When her nerves were assuaged, her movement continued… and he guided her to rotate and finally land on the other foot, shakily, but it was something.

“How’d I do?” she asked.

Sam patted her arm. “It needs some work, but not bad for your second one of those…ever.” He laughed. “It takes months to years, Amber. Trust me, and it’s different for everyone. Just because I can do it, doesn’t mean you can do it just like me.”

“Lemme see yours again!” she requested. With a sigh, Sam nodded and let go of her hands and began his entrance to the jump again. He’d keep it to a simple single, not only to go easy during the practice, but also not to overly ‘show off’ for the vulture.

With his toe pick firmly in the ice, Sam kicked his free leg around and made a perfect rotation in the air, and landed on the takeoff foot perfectly, just like Harry and the book showed how to do. But wait…there was something else… what the?

With the force of a brick wall hitting him, or at least akin to it, Sam collided with something or someone…and they didn’t budge. He pitched forward and fell down, knee-first on the ice. His face contorted and his fingers, ungloved, clawed at the cold surface for a grasp, to stop his forward movement. It didn’t work. He was aware of voices, and laughter, loud, raucous laughter, with one higher pitch tone screaming out. It had to be Amber. The vulture was too busy laughing.

Finally, his motion stopped, friction, thank goodness. He tossed his black hair to the side and looked up, seeing all the faces around him. There was Amber, Tiffani, and the guard. Tiffani stood way back, right next to Brett. The guard and Amber were right there though, with waiting hands to help him up.

“You alright, hon?” It was Megan, the sweet rink guard that was his age and in his class. She always kept an eye on him.

Sam started to nod at first, but he was still in shock over the collision. What had he hit? His dark brown eyes darted around, wondering if he’d hit the wall. No, too far away. It had to be… he glared at Tiffani. Of course… but wait, her body was slimmer than his, surely she wouldn’t feel like a brick wall. There was only one who could feel like that… and he trained his eyes on Brett.

“Wha…What happened, Amber?” he asked her, hoping she could supply the answer.

“You…and Brett hit each other…as you landed… he swung out of his side and into ours.” She had gritted her teeth and had an angry look he’d luckily only seen a couple of times. So it was Brett!

Sam took Megan's hand in one and Amber's in the other and they hoisted him back to his feet.

He grunted and glanced back at Brett, who looked like the cat that swallowed the canary.

His ire rose and he stared the blond down, as much as he could at his height and all hunched over.

"You! Why'd you run into me?" He pointed his finger at the smarmy teen and felt his blood start to boil.

"You could've really hurt him!" Amber added.

Brett put up his hands and backed away. "Geez, chill the fuck out, willya? It was an accident!"

Amber tsked at him. "Ha! I'm not buyin' that! You tripped him on purpose!" she practically screeched. Sam didn't like it when she sounded that way; it reminded him of nails on a chalkboard.

"I did not!" Brett shot back, but he was defeated by the looks Sam and Amber gave him.

A sweet voice broke the stare fest. It was Megan. "Are you alright, Sammy?" She'd always picked him up after his falls or collisions with the other skaters.

In the back of his mind he could have sworn she had a crush on him, but perhaps it was all in his head.

With a soft grin and a gentle touch to her hand, Sam responded with a nod. "I'm fine, Megan, thanks again. You're my guardian angel."

She blushed lightly and patted his shoulder. "Anytime." With a last quick glance, she dug in her toe pick and with a fast push, skated off.

Amber didn't seem convinced. "Are you sure you're okay?"

Her hands were on her hips...uh oh. A sure-fire sign she was pissed.

"I'll be okay, Amber. I think I'll go take a breather."

He looked over his shoulder at Brett, who was being corralled by his hockey goons.

He didn't look the least bit remorseful about any of it, especially not with any of them around. Though, his mouth was open and his hand was reaching out... until the others showed up.

Was there even hope he was truly human after all? No. Couldn't have been. He was a jackass, and that's all there was to that.

As Sam dug his toe pick in, his knee twinged and he felt pain in it, but wouldn't let on, not in front of all those assholes. They were practically salivating, waiting like a pack of wolves over a fresh kill. It was nauseating.

"Let's just go in."

With a quick nod, Amber took his hand and they skated quickly to the end of the rink and walked into the warming room.

Chapter Two

After Sam and Amber left the ice, Brett glanced around and saw a mixture of expressions on the faces of the other people. There were those of his teammates, especially Cole, who slapped him on the arm as a congratulatory move. Others simply shook their head, while still others scowled at him. He brushed all of them aside and focused on his super hot girlfriend.

Tiffani was on his arm already and putting his hair back into place. Damn she smelled good and was so into him; he ran his large hand over her ass again and she snuggled in even closer to him.

Everyone else he could ignore, but he somehow couldn’t dismiss the look he’d gotten from Amber. It was one of pure disgust and hatred. As for Sam, he hadn’t gotten a look from him at all. His cocky mind said it was out of fear of course, but was it maybe indifference? Nah. How could that ever be? He was Brett Zephyr. One of the star forwards on the Celtics hockey team. Sam and his girlfriend, or whatever she was, they were nothing but a show-off and his groupie.

“You got ‘em, baby.” Tiffani gloated as she moved within his grasp, his large hand still planted on her pert ass.

Yes, he’d gotten them, but he…was feeling odd about it. What the fuck? He rarely felt guilt, much less remorse. That couldn’t be, no fucking way. He had learned not to feel remorse, especially after how much he was penalized for high-sticking and cross-checking his opponents. He was a demon on the ice with a temper to match. But Tiffani didn’t seem to mind, nor did Cole or his other teammates. Eh. Fuck ‘em. Whatever.

“Come on, I’m thirsty. Need a drink, babe?” He kissed Tiffani’s glossy lips and she squealed.

“I’d love one. One big one with a big, fast straw. You know how good I am at sucking on a straw.”

Damn, did he ever. There was no questioning her sexual prowess and their time together, usually in the basement at her parent’s house. They were too busy to mind her usually, so they enjoyed their alone time. The girl was all over him and he drank up all the attention he could. Of course, his conquests in the bedroom arena earned him major points with the other guys. They’d all have very graphic descriptions of their weekends and some weeknights. Smiling, Brett reached for his wallet, which had been tucked away under his jersey and handed her a five dollar bill.

“I do know it, baby. Let’s bolt.”

He took her hand and they made their way to the warming room. With money in-hand, Tiffani separated from him to go get the drinks. Brett shuffled off to the side and came face to face with a firestorm named Amber. Her arms were crossed, and her dark eyes were full of flash, fire, and hate.

“You proud of yourself, you jackass?” she spat at him.

Brett rolled his eyes but wondered silently where her sidekick Sam had run off to. They were usually joined at the hip.

“Chill out,” he growled back. “Go nurse your boyfriend back to health.” His words came out softer than he’d planned and he found that he felt a tiny pang of guilt, which he promptly squashed like a bug.

Amber grabbed his arm. “I can’t go in the locker room, you idiot. Buffoon! He’s tending to his knee that he hit when your idiotic self tripped him. He’d better be in perfect condition or your ass is grass!” She tried to shove him, but he was a solid wall.

He shook his head for a second. He couldn’t have hit it that hard, he wasn’t going that fast. He glanced at the locker room door and back at Tiffani heading his way with their drinks in tow.

Here you go, baby.” She handed Brett his drink which he took quickly and slurped down a large gulp of it. His eyes flitted from her to Amber to the locker room door. Shit. Dammit. He groaned. What the hell was this guilt thing?

Brett shook his drink. “Gotta go piss. I’ll be right back, babe.” He handed the soda to her and she held his face for a second and kissed his cheek.

“I’ll be here.”

With a determined and somewhat angry look on his face, Brett tromped off into the locker room. He was pissed at even having to go apologize at all. That wasn’t his way, was it? Sam was nothing but an ice fairy twink that got on his last nerve. All of the figure skaters did, but he did in particular. But there was something about this whole situation that made his stomach churn a little. Was it Amber’s reaction and lecture/threat? Was it Cole and the other guys’ reaction and celebration of what he’d done? Or was it all just to get attention?

Shit. He doubted Sam would even give him the time of day anyway. Why would he? He could cut the boy in half if he wanted to; it wouldn’t be hard at all. He was nothing and Brett was everything. That was it, right? Power and ego and his incredible good looks over Sam’s smaller stature, and being a wallflower otherwise?

Whatever it was, Brett stuffed it away in his mind and opened the door to the locker room. He did have a legitimate reason to be in there, other than, having to use the john. After doing his business and rinsing his hands, he heard a light moan come from behind the wall of lockers. There was no one else in there that he’d seen, except for Sam. It had to be him.

Brett rolled his eyes and walked over to the first aid cabinet. He grabbed a small ice pack and popped the sides and shook it to activate the crystals. It felt cold instantly and after taking a deep breath, he walked back behind the lockers and saw Sam on the bench, his knee bent upwards, with his hands over it, massaging it.


Sam looked up instantly, his dark eyes wide with surprise and fear. But he tried to cover the fear by looking away. His dark, silky hair covered his face.

“What the hell do you want? Here to push me over or knock me down?”

The tone was gruff, and Brett admitted he deserved it. He had done a rotten thing. But that’s what he was so good at. He didn’t know how to be nice or comforting. So, he went with his strength.

“Heads up, Ogawa.”

Just as Sam looked up, Brett tossed him the ice pack. Sam caught it with both hands and immediately slapped it over his injured knee, a look of relief taking the place of the very angry one from a moment ago.

“Thanks,” he whispered. “Why did you feel the need to do that now? You want a medal or something?” Sam grumbled at him.

At first, Brett wasn’t too happy with the response, but he had to figure that’d be the reaction and he had it coming. He sat down on the bench a fair distance from Sam and took in the other boy’s appearance. The slender kid was slight, but toned and all muscle. With his pant leg rolled up above his knee, he could see that his hairless legs were very built and strong.

“No, no medal needed. Just thought you’d need an ice pack. I know where they keep ‘em here. I’ve sent plenty of kids to the ER,” he boasted. “I…” He scratched at his hair, which fell to his collarbone. “I guess I’m sorry, alright?” he managed to spit out at last.

Sam’s dark eyes looked up and met his. “You guess? You guess you’re sorry? Wow. What a complete jackass you are, huh? Not that I didn’t know that already.” He whipped away the ice pack and tossed it back at Brett. The kid had a surprisingly good arm and aim. “Fuck your help, Zephyr. I don’t need your fake pity and I don’t need your ass in here with me. I’ll be just fine.”

Now he really was angry, that was beyond obvious. He watched Sam roll down his pant leg again and attempt to stand, but when he put weight on it, he pitched forward a little, catching himself on the lockers. Brett stood immediately and tried to help, but the look he received was one of pure hatred.

“Stay the fuck away from me,” Sam hissed at him. “You did this to me.”

Yes, he had done it to him. Was it on purpose? That was questionable at the moment, but Brett was wondering about his motives regarding a lot of things right now. Seeing Sam vulnerable was one thing, but when he fought back, that was a different matter entirely. One he never thought he’d see.

In one swift motion, Brett grabbed Sam’s arm and sat him back down on the bench, and shoved up his pant leg again and slapped the ice bag on it.

“Keep it there,” he commanded.

Sam reached for it again, but he could tell just by the relief that washed over the small, pale face that it was helping to dull the pain and he really didn’t want to get rid of the one thing that was helping.

No words were spoken between the two for what seemed to be the longest few seconds ever. Brett leaned forward. “Sam, I’m sorry I tripped you.”

A small noise escaped Sam’s small mouth and his dark eyes glanced up again. “Do you really mean that or are you just covering your ass again?”

Okay, maybe part of it was covering his ass again, but he really did feel guilty for what he’d done. “Believe it or not, I really am sorry. I’ll try to stay out of that half of the rink next time.”

Sam shook his head and laughed. “Ha! Since when do you follow rules other than your own? How do I know this won’t happen next week and or the week after that? You hockey players are all mindless jerks that just want to cut me down. Fine. Cut me down. I’ll keep getting back up and fighting you! I’m not afraid of you, Brett Zephyr. “He pointed a small, soft-looking hand at him, which was marred with a scrape, likely from the ice.

Brett felt his anger rise, but his guilt was fighting him too. He rocketed off the bench and got another ice pack from the first aid cabinet and chucked it at Sam, narrowly missing his face. “You don’t believe me? Fine. Whatever. I’m sorry for this time. Keep that knee iced down, it’s swollen. Get your hand cleaned up too.”

The look on Sam’s face was priceless as he waited a few seconds for a response. When none came, he gritted his teeth, stormed out of the locker room and swiped his soda from Tiffani’s grasp.

“Hey! There you are. What took so long?”

With a glance backwards at the door to the locker room, Brett grumbled to himself. “Let’s just get outta here. I’ll meet you outside in five minutes.” She kissed him quickly. “Fine with me, baby. My folks are out of town today, some wine thing. Come on over to my place and we can practice our own body checking.” She spoke seductively into his ear.

He turned to her and despite his warring emotions, he couldn’t help but enjoy the offer. He grabbed her by the hips and kissed her deeply. “You can give your mouth a workout all you want, baby.”

A grunt of disgust was heard as Amber passed by. He saw her roll her eyes and make a gagging motion. “You two make me sick. Get outta here.”

Instead of firing off a snappy comeback, Brett, for once, did what someone else other than Tiffani asked. He grabbed her hand and left the warming room. After getting his hockey gear zipped up in his enormous gym bag, he tossed it over his shoulder, slung an arm around Tiffani’s hips, and they were off to her house.

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