The Pucking Wrong Guy: Chapter 14

ARI

This fucking sucked. All my careful planning to make sure Blake and I were always together…and mother fucking nature had screwed it all up. What a bitch.

Blake had been scheduled to fly out after her shift, and then the storm of the century had rocked La La Land, grounding all flights…even the private flight I’d had scheduled for her. I was going crazy, checking the fucking app every five seconds to make sure she was still at her house.

What if fucking Clark showed up? What if he or some other guy tried to take her away? All that beauty. All that perfection. Her. How could they not?

I Facetimed her for the millionth time, just needing to check. She was alone. She was safe. She was still mine.

Sharp relief sliced through my veins when her exquisite face popped up on my screen. Blake was lying on her bed, the soft glow of the television reflected on her features. I kissed the phone and she giggled, that melodic little sound that she rarely graced me with.

“Aren’t you supposed to be getting ready for your game?” she murmured, shifting, and fuck…she was wearing my jersey in bed.

I groaned and grabbed the front of my pants because now was not the time for Little Ari to make an appearance.

I couldn’t hit people with a hard on.

They might fall in love with me.

“Ari?” Blake said gently, and I sighed, because being away from her was making me feel sick.

“I miss you,” I murmured sullenly, and she blushed, like it was unexpected I would say that.

Fuck, I must not be doing a good enough job of proving to this girl, I’m gone for her. Destroyed. Forever changed.

“I miss you too. Go out there and kick some ass and come back to me,” she ordered, and I nodded my head, determined.

“You’re going to watch, right?” I asked anxiously.

She flipped the view around so I could see her television was tuned to the pregame show.

“That’s my girl,” I grinned, right as Coach came in, his eyes like a laser missile on my phone. “Damnit, I’ve got to go. I—,” I caught myself right before I said I love you because fuck, I couldn’t say it when I wasn’t there to catch her if it scared her and she tried to run. I sighed and blew her a kiss before I hung up.

Blake couldn’t miss another game. Even if I had to sneak her in my luggage, she had to be there with me. I couldn’t concentrate properly otherwise.

Coach’s voice thundered in the locker room, his words dripping with intensity. ‘Listen up, boys. We’re up against Minnesota today, and you know they play rough. But guess what? We’re gonna be rougher. We’re gonna hit ’em harder, skate faster, and shoot like there’s no fucking tomorrow!’

The locker room filled with grunts of agreement and the sound of sticks pounding the floor.

He continued, his gaze unwavering. ‘I don’t wanna see anyone flinching out there. This is our game, and we’re gonna play it like it’s our last stand. We’re not here to back down; we’re here to stand our ground and show ’em what we’re made of.’

The team responded with a chorus of fierce nods and determined expressions, our competitive instincts kicking into high gear. Coach pounded the whiteboard for emphasis. ‘When you hit that ice, remember, you’re not just players. You’re warriors. You fight for every inch of this territory. This game is ours, and we’re gonna claim it, no matter what it takes!’

We roared, Walker leading us in a chant of “Cobras” that made me scratch my eyeballs out because Soto was right across from me, sneering at me. And I missed Dallas so fucking much.

The team dispersed, ten more minutes before we got on the ice, and I turned to Walker, needing to get my head on straight.

‘Walker, it’s time to shake it off.”

Mr. Prince Charming shook his head stubbornly, his expression unwavering. ‘Not happening. That’s not even a real thing. I’m not falling for it this time.’

I raised an eyebrow, and solemnly threatened, ‘I’ll call Lincoln and have you kicked out of the circle of trust.’

Walker’s eyes widened, giving me his best puppy-dog eyes. ‘What’s the “circle of trust”? Am I in it right now?” He squinted at me. “Wait, is that from Meet the Parents?”

“Get your ass up and dance me with me, Disney,” I snapped, flicking my hips around as I got myself ready.

He groaned, but a second later he was up, goalie pads and all. “Start the music,” he sighed.

I swiped through my options before clicking on ‘Bejeweled,” beginning the banger with a cheeky shimmy of my shoulders. Then, I let my hips sway side to side, my arms following suit, flailing in the air as if I were mimicking an inflatable tube man outside a car dealership.

The other guys on the team watched us with a mix of amusement and disbelief. Some even pulled out their phones to record our performance. Soto couldn’t hide his irritation and let out a snarl, muttering, ‘Fucking idiots.’

Which I ignored, of course.

I busted out a series of ridiculous spins, my limbs moving with wild abandon. Walker added a bit of footwork to the mix, his skates gliding across the floor in a ridiculous display of fancy footwork.

At one point, I grabbed Walker’s hand, and we performed an exaggerated cha-cha, complete with synchronized twirls and dips.

Tay-Tay stopped singing and I stared at Walker with a big grin. “There is no circle of trust,” I told him, and he groaned as the whole team burst into laughter.

We headed towards the hallway that led to the ice and I slapped him on the ass as I passed him by. “But if we had one, you’d be in it, Walker!” I yelled to him.

He flipped me off, as one does in the presence of greatness, and we got ready to kick ass.


The atmosphere in the arena was insane as we skated onto the ice. Coach hadn’t been exaggerating when he talked about how aggressive and rough Minnesota played. From the moment the puck dropped, it was clear they were willing to do whatever it took to win.

I had my work cut out for me helping protect Walker in the net. Minnesota’s forwards were relentless, constantly testing our defense with their speed and physicality.

Early in the first period, I was in a race to retrieve the puck in the corner. Just as I was about to gain possession, Soto came barreling in from behind and tripped me up. It was a deliberate move, and I couldn’t help but shoot him a “what the fuck” look as I picked myself up off the ice.

‘Watch your step, Ari,’ he sneered, a taunting grin on his face, like it was perfectly normal for your own fucking teammate to trip you up.

I shook my head and skated away, refusing to engage in his mind games. It was no surprise Soto was the king of the idiots, but I had bigger things to worry about—like defending our net.

Throughout the game, Soto continued with his antics. He “accidentally” kicked my stick while we were sitting on the bench, and pushed me when I was hoisting myself over the boards.

As the game progressed, I was getting closer and closer to shoving my stick up his ass.

Midway through the second period, it finally all came to a head. I was battling for position in front of our net when Soto decided to take a cheap shot, cross-checking me in the back.

“Do you want to die tonight, Soto?” I raged. Tommy came up behind me and held the back of my jersey as I skated forward. “What the fuck is your problem!?”

Soto got up in my face, the veins on his forehead looking like they were staging a protest, bulging and pulsating theatrically. ‘One of these days, I’m going to fuck your little girlfriend’s cunt, show her how a real man’s dick feels. I think I’ll do it bare. Yeah. Fill her with my cum, leave it there for you to find it…’

Any sanity I had left snapped. Before I even had a chance to think, I ripped off my gloves, tore off his helmet, and my right fist shot forward like a rocket, connecting with Soto’s jaw with a satisfying crack. His head snapped to the side, and for a split second, there was stunned silence on the ice as everyone processed what had just happened.

But that split second of quiet didn’t last long. Soto spit his mouth guard out and roared in fury, launching himself at me with a wild swing. I dodged his punch and countered with a swift uppercut to his gut. He staggered back, clutching his stomach.

I didn’t stop though, I continued landing blows with calculated ferocity. Soto’s attempts to fight back were feeble in comparison. He swung wildly, but I bobbed and weaved, evading his hits with ease.

As the crowd roared, my focus sharpened. I could see the shock and disbelief in Soto’s eyes as he realized he was outmatched. He tried to tackle me to the ice, but I spun out of his grasp. In a final, desperate move, he lunged at me, but I sidestepped him and delivered a crushing blow to his ribs.

Soto crumpled to the ice, gasping for air and clutching his side in agony. The referee rushed in to separate us, and my adrenaline-fueled rage began to ebb away, replaced by a sense of satisfaction. The crowd was on its feet, some cheering, others stunned into silence by the spectacle they had just witnessed.

I stood there, panting, my knuckles aching from the impact of my punches. Soto, on the other hand, was a mess, his face swollen and bruised, blood trickling from a split lip.

He looked fucking pathetic. People had better be seeing pictures of this because I wanted Lincoln to see my work.

He’d be so proud of me.

The refs were trying to figure out what to do with me for attacking my own teammate, Coach was going insane, his face a dark shade of red like he’d swallowed a ghost pepper…but I didn’t care. Soto had it coming.

“Fuck, Ari, you have a little bit of crazy in you,” mused Walker, elbowing me as we watched the refs argue back and forth.

“Disney, you have no idea,” I drawled.

I was given five minutes in the penalty box, but I couldn’t have cared less.

When I finally returned to the ice, my heart was still racing with adrenaline. Soto hadn’t returned, because he was such a fucking pussy…and the team was better off for it.

The rest of the game was a relentless battle. Minnesota shit-talked me a bit for beating up my own teammate…but they also seemed a little more timid than before. We pushed to our limits, upping the intensity with every shift. In the closing minutes of the third period, I found myself in a pivotal moment, defending Walker as Minnesota pressed for a tying goal. I blocked a frantic shot and cleared the puck…the clock ticking down. When the final buzzer sounded, we’d fucking won.

As we celebrated on the ice, I couldn’t help but cast a glance in Soto’s direction. He was staring at me, absolutely seething with anger—gritted teeth and all. I blew him a kiss just to drive it in deep.

Later on in the hotel, I sent a text to Lincoln.

Me: Hotel Californication.

Lincoln: No. Just no. That’s not right at all.

Me: There are too many songs about Cali, so I’m combining them.

Lincoln: Cali now, is it?

Me: Look, I’m trying to immerse myself in the culture. Be a good teammate and all of that.

Lincoln: Oh, is that what you call that fight you got into with Soto tonight.

Me: Aww, you do love me. You’re stalking me!

Lincoln: …

Me: Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone.

Me: And yes, I think punching Soto in his fat nose was being a good teammate. Walker agrees.

Lincoln: Since when do we care what Walker thinks?

Me: Aww, and now you’re jealous. Best Day Ever.

Lincoln:..

Me: Don’t worry. I still love you the mostest.

Lincoln: …

Me: Say it back.

Lincoln: …

Me: Come on. I know you want to.

Lincoln: Sigh. Fine…ILY.

Me: VICTORY IS MINE!

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