We are taking book requests on our companion website. You can request books here. Make sure, you are following the rules.

Shameless Puckboy: Chapter 4

OSKAR

I TRY to hold back my laugh as Ezra looks over my shoulder at Lane and says, “Did you convince him to join us yet?”

A strained noise comes from behind me, and I can’t help it. The laugh bursts from me.

Ezra steps away from me. “Well, that lasted all of two minutes.”

“That’s what Anton said. Oh, snap.”

Ezra slaps the back of my head. I think it’s supposed to be playful, but he might have overshot it.

“Ouch.” I rub the tender spot.

“Come on in.”

I walk past him, and as Lane goes to enter, Ezra says, “Hi, Lane. I’ve been told so much about you.”

“Mm, I bet. That show just for me, then, was it?”

“Yep. If Anton knew Oskar’s hands were on my ass, he’d fly home from All-Stars and cut them off, and then San Jose would lose their best defenseman.”

I turn to Ezra, put my fingers in a love heart against my chest, and mouth, “I love you too.”

“There are more players on the team than Oskar,” Lane says.

“None that show up to play like him,” Ezra points out, and I love him even more.

We make our way inside Ezra’s apartment, where I find Ollie Strömberg and Caleb Sorensen already with drinks in hand and talking between themselves.

When they see me, they stand and give me a hug, and the second Ezra and Lane are close, I say, “Sorry, we can’t have those orgies anymore. I have a boyfriend now.”

Both Ollie and Caleb look at me like I’ve grown two heads, but then Lane has to open his big mouth.

“You pronounced babysitter wrong again.”

“Is that why Ezra took off his shirt to answer the door?” Ollie asks. “To mess with your …” He glances at Lane and decides to take his side. The traitor. “Babysitter?”

I throw up my hands. “It’s not my fault that CCTV caught me having sex.”

“Actually, it’s exactly your fault,” Lane points out.

“What’s that, boo? I can’t hear you.”

Ollie offers his hand to Lane. “I do not envy you.”

Caleb agrees. “We thought we gave our PR reps nightmares back when we were the only ones out.”

Lane smiles politely. “If only you’d known back then what can of worms you were opening.”

“Hey, I’m not doing anything straight guys aren’t doing,” I protest.

“Except for, you know, having sex with women,” Ezra says.

“And no one in the league has been caught having sex with two women in an alley,” Lane adds.

“Is everyone against me in this place? When is Tripp going to be here? He’ll have my back.”

And I’m excited to see him too. He’s probably the guy I’m closest to in the league, and since this past summer, where he was the one involved in scandals with his best friend turned husband, Dex, I haven’t seen much of him.

Which is mainly my fault. I was trying to protect him from Dex breaking his heart, but just like when it comes to my own love life, I was way off base. Dex was in love with Tripp as much as Tripp was in love with him.

Turns out I have trouble seeing the best in people. Go figure.

It only goes to prove that I might know hockey. I might know sex. But actual emotions? Letting people see the real you? Why do people put themselves through that when they can get satisfaction from having their brains fucked out by random people?

When Tripp and Dex do arrive, I tease Lane some more about being my boyfriend, throw in some sexual innuendo, and then we settle in to watch the first night of skills, but I keep locking eyes with Tripp.

As if having a silent conversation, he stands and nods for me to follow him to Ezra’s kitchen, where there’s a fully stocked fridge.

Tripp grabs out two beers and hands me one. “Out with it.”

“Out with what?” I ask innocently.

“Tell me how Dex is still going to break my heart, how it’s unhealthy to be in a relationship where you love the other person more than they love you, and how you’re mad I’ve been avoiding you because I’ve known this lecture is coming.”

Wow. Okay, maybe I was too hard on him, but before he and Dex were together, Tripp was a wreck of inner turmoil thanks to unrequited love. Why anyone would put themselves through that is beyond me, but like I told him over the summer, if he’s not going to fight for his own heart, then why should I?

“Okay, first, if Dex breaks your heart, I’ll break his face, but I’m not worried about that happening. When I see the way Dex looks at you …” I turn to where, yep, there’s Dex staring at Tripp like he hung the goddamn moon. “I see it now. That he really loves you and has all along. We were all too oblivious to notice. Well, except Anton, but I’ll never tell him that. Secondly, relationships are unhealthy. Period. Monogamy is so not natural. And thirdly, you can stop avoiding my calls and me in general because there is no lecture and I miss my friend.”

“Y-you do?”

“I’m even happy for you.” I mock gasp. “What? That’s crazy.”

“It is not. I know Oskar Voyjik has a heart deep down. Somewhere.”

“Hmm, nope. Just black sludge.”

“What’s the real deal with you and Lane over there?” He points his beer in Lane’s direction, so I step closer and lower my voice.

“He’s a pain in my ass and not the way I want him to be, but shh. It’s a secret.”

Tripp’s gaze darts to Lane and back again. “I don’t think it’s too much of a secret. He looks like he wants to murder you.”

“Oh, no. I’m a pain in his ass, that’s no secret. But I’m not letting him see that he gets to me.”

“Gets to you how?”

“I have all these rules, and they suck. Can team management really police who I have sex with? I’m not even allowed to hook up in the privacy of my own home anymore. All because of one little sex tape.”

Tripp flattens his lips as if trying to hold in his amusement.

“Okay, fine. The leaked footage was a bad idea, but it was so fun it almost makes it worth it. Not worth having my own personal parole officer though.”

“Hmm,” Tripp says and sips his drink.

“Hmm, what?”

“Nothing. I’ve just never seen you so rattled over a guy before. It’s refreshing.”

“I’m not rattled. I’m frustrated.” I point at him. “But that is a secret you have to take to your grave. I can’t let Lane think this isn’t fun for me.”

And I have to admit, messing with him is fun, but there’s also a point where even I know it’s getting old.

“God forbid anyone outside of me and the Collective find out you’re human,” Tripp says.

“You take that back.”

Tripp throws his arms around me for a hug. “I really hope Lane knocks you on your ass.”

“I hope he does something else to my ass.”

“Not happening,” Lane sings on his way to the bathroom.

“I can’t even have a private conversation anymore?” I yell after him.

He laughs.

“Do you see? Do you see what I’m putting up with?” I exclaim.

We head back into the living room to join the others, where all eyes set on me.

“What?” I ask.

“We like him,” Ollie says.

“Probably more than we like you,” Ezra adds.

“Well, aren’t you the best friends a guy could ask for.”

“Why don’t you be nice to him?” Soren says. “He’s only trying to do his job.”

“Did you really open the door naked when he moved in?” Ezra asks.

“I always walk around my place naked.”

“Ten bucks says they’re fucking by the end of the regular season,” Tripp says.

“Another ten when Oskar becomes the last single guy in the Collective to fall head over heels for someone,” Ollie says.

That’s the most hilarious thing I’ve ever heard. “I’ll take that last bet definitely. Because if there’s one thing I’m sure of, I will never fall.”

Ever. I don’t think it’s even possible. I’m never in one place long enough to catch real feelings. I don’t even know what real feelings are. I swear it’s all a conspiracy. The whole love of your life thing.

“We need some new blood around here if I’m the only single one left,” I say. Preferably someone to take the heat off me.

Lane gets back and takes the seat next to me. “Good. You didn’t sneak out while I was in the bathroom.”

“Don’t give him ideas,” Ezra warns.

I try to suppress a smile because I had actually contemplated an escape, but I’m not at that level of desperation. Yet. I’m close, but I’ll wait for a more opportune moment to make my move. Tonight, I want to hang out with my friends.

Babysitter or no babysitter.

But all too soon, the skills challenges wrap up, and that’s it for the night until tomorrow for the actual All-Star games.

Ezra stands. “Okay, everyone out. My boyfriend is going to be calling any minute to tuck me in and fuck my brains out over video call.”

I almost ask if I can stay and watch because I’m itching for some action, any action, but I already know the answer will be no.

Monogamy is contagious anyway, so I wouldn’t want to witness it. It might rub off on me.

“Where are you guys staying?” I ask the others as we all file out into Ezra’s hall and hit the call button for the elevator.

All four of them are staying in the opposite direction to us, so we say our goodbyes in the lobby and go our separate ways.

It doesn’t take long for Lane’s smug voice to let me have it. “Tonight was fun.”

I sense a trap.

“I couldn’t help notice the lack of orgies though. You talked all this big talk and didn’t deliver. I’m disappointed.” He’s so not disappointed. Just like I push his buttons, he’s trying to do the same.

It won’t work. “If you want, we can have an orgy right now.”

“Isn’t the definition of orgy more than two people?”

“We can bring my current boyfriend along for the ride.” I hold up my right hand. “And my side piece.” Now my left.

“No, thanks. Street sex really isn’t my thing. I know it’s yours, but some of us have dignity.”

“There’s nothing embarrassing about being shameless. It’s actually really freeing. You should try it sometime.”

“I would, but my pride would get in the way.”

“Ah. There’s your downfall. Dignity. Pride. They’re not worth it when people will strip them away from you anyway. People can’t take what you don’t have.” I tap the side of my head.

Lane searches my face as if trying to work out if I’m being serious or dramatic. “I’d say that’s very philosophic of you if it weren’t so depressing. Do you really have that little self-worth?”

Now there’s a loaded question and a half. One I don’t want to look into too deeply. I shrug instead.

The truth is I got rid of my self-worth years ago when I realized people would underestimate me or want to use me because of my outside appearance. No one cared to know the person on the inside, the person under the façade, because they either thought I had nothing worthy to say or because they simply didn’t care. Being treated as an afterthought, as someone who isn’t worth people’s time, really does a number on you if you let it.

Either way, it didn’t take me long to realize if people were going to take what they wanted from me, I wasn’t just going to sit back and let it happen. I was going to take what I wanted too.

“You okay?” Lane asks.

“I’m horny. How long am I going to be in team-enforced celibate hell?”

“Hmm, maybe about the same amount of time it took us to bury the video of you fucking two guys in an alley.”

“How long was that?”

“Oh, my guys are still sending out takedown notices to various websites.”

Urg.

“Sorry. You’ll be stuck with your boyfriend and your side piece for a while yet.” Now, he holds up his hands.

I stare over at Lane, at how calm he is … confident. I wonder how confident he’ll be later tonight while he’s asleep and I’m at a club getting my rocks off.

I’m experienced in sneaking past my PR handlers, though this will be trickier seeing as we’re in the same hotel room.

Lane says he’s playing by kindergarten rules—well, I’ve upgraded them to high school rules. How to sneak out of home without anyone knowing.


Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Options

not work with dark mode
Reset