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The Pucking Wrong Number: Chapter 15


I was fucking late.

I hated being late.

And he’d even sent a car to take me to the game. Which was both thoughtful and infuriating since I wouldn’t have the need for a car if he wasn’t forcing me to go to the game in the first place.

I’d been asked by Dr. Kevin to stay thirty minutes extra to fix files that he had messed up, which had led to me being late for the bus and missing it. Because of course it had been on time today for the first time since I’d come to Dallas.

The car had already been waiting outside when I got home, and I had to hurry and take a shower and get dressed, because there was no way I was showing up to Lincoln Daniels’ game looking like the swamp rat that I resembled after running all the way home.

Now here I was, in a car that was so nice I was afraid to touch anything—late.

I thought about jumping out of the car at every stoplight. Running home and forgetting this whole stupid thing.

But of course, I stayed.

And it wasn’t just because of his promise to pay for everyone’s tuition.

It was because I knew he was special. Magical. A once in a lifetime, or five lifetimes kind of moment.

There was the possibility that he could be the greatest thing that had ever happened to me.

And I didn’t want to be the fool that walked away.

The game had already started when the driver got to the arena. He drove around the side, to a deserted-looking part of the building with more shadows than lights, which gave me a bit of a stranger danger vibe. Before I could freak out ridiculously, he stopped the car, got out, and opened my door, gesturing to the illuminated entry that had just appeared in front of us.

“Thank you,” I murmured, a fluttering sensation building in my stomach, as if a thousand tiny wings were beating against the walls of my gut. The sensation grew stronger with every step towards the smiling woman standing in the doorway, like a swarm of butterflies were dancing within me, twirling and pirouetting, a kaleidoscope of colors and movement. I took a deep breath and tried to calm myself.

But there was no calm to be found.

“Monroe, welcome to American Airlines Center. Mr. Daniels is so thrilled you’ve chosen to join us. I’m Ashley.”

The words sounded so unlike the Lincoln I’d been getting to know, so much more polite than the roughed up alpha personality I associated with him.

But what did I know?

“Sorry I’m late,” I responded lamely, but she just continued to smile at me in a weird, overly enthusiastic way.

“No worries. Let’s get you to your seat. We’re only about ten minutes in.”

The click of her heels echoed through the bright hallway she led me down, and I fidgeted with the jeans and white tanktop I’d thrown on, wondering if I’d misjudged the proper attire for a hockey game. She was dressed to the nines, her body accentuated by a tight pencil skirt that hugged her every curve. The smart blouse she wore was the color of fresh cherries, and it was tucked into the waistband of the skirt. As she walked, the fabric swished and rustled with each step.

“You’ll love these seats,” she told me once we’d gotten to a metal door through which I could hear the faint din of a crowd. She opened the door, and the din became a roar, motioning for me to walk down the tunnel in front of us. Right as I moved to walk, she held up a bag in her hand.

“I almost forgot. I have a jersey for you! Mr. Daniels was very insistent about that.”

“Oh, okay,” I said as she reached into the bag and pulled out a Knights jersey. Except…

“Is it supposed to have Ari Lancaster’s name on the back?” I asked, a little confused.

Ashley burst into almost hysterical laughter, having to wipe a few tears from her eyes. “That’s too good. He’s going to freak,” she finally breathed.

“So, I’m not supposed to wear it?”

“Oh no, you’re definitely supposed to wear it,” she squeaked out while continuing to chuckle.

Alright. I guess this was a joke you had to be in on.

I slipped on the jersey, and I couldn’t help but admire how nice it was. In fact, it was the nicest freaking thing I’d ever worn.

We headed down the tunnel, towards the ice I could see at the end.

I stepped out of the tunnel, and a rush of sound hit me like a tidal wave. The crowd was a chorus of voices, each one clamoring to be heard above the others. The ice stretched out in front of me, like a vast, frozen lake, shimmering under the bright lights. There was a chill against my cheeks, the air cold and crisp. The scent of popcorn, hot dogs, and beer filled my nose, making my mouth water. Colorful dots moving across the ice, the players’ skates scraped and their sticks clacked as they played. It was a sensory overload, and my heart raced with excitement.

“Pretty cool, right? I fucking love my job,” she giggled, leading me to seats that were on the second row, right across from the Knights bench.

“This is my seat?” I asked, a little awe in my voice.

“You must be doing something right.”

I blushed a bit at the heavy insinuation in her voice…choosing to ignore it.

She didn’t leave until I was settled in my seat, promising that someone would be by to take my food order in just a few minutes. I finally allowed myself to breathe a bit as she hustled away to do whatever it was she did for the Knights.

As I sat there, the energy of the crowd washed over me like a warm blanket. The stands were absolutely packed with fans, each one wearing the colors of their team and waving signs in support—most of them having to do with Lincoln. A Jumbotron displayed player stats, replays, and the occasional message from sponsors. An announcer’s voice boomed through the speakers, adding to the frenzied atmosphere.

Players moved with lightning-fast speed, gliding across the ice and slamming into each other with thunderous force. I could hear the thud of the bodies hitting the boards and the crack of the sticks as they collided. The crowd roared with every move they made. The energy was palpable, and I felt myself getting swept up in the excitement of the game.

I scanned the ice, my eyes searching for Lincoln.

And then I saw him, gliding across the ice with a fluidity that was almost otherworldly. From the internet search I’d done on him, I knew he was considered a phenom in the hockey world, and even with my limited knowledge of hockey, it was obvious why. He wore the number 13 on his jersey—something pundits made a big deal about—and it seemed like every time he touched the puck, something incredible happened. He moved with such grace and precision that it was almost mesmerizing. I could see the concentration on his face as he weaved in and out of the opposing players, his stick deftly handling the puck. He was like a magician, performing impossible feats with ease. My heart rate sped up as I watched him, and awe trickled through me.


I stepped onto the ice, feeling the familiar cold seeping through my skates and into my bones. It was game day, and I should have been fucking pumped. Instead, I was worried as shit.

Would she show up?

Had I done enough?

I’d left right after her class, leaving her alone except for sending a text with directions and arranging a car to pick her up since I knew public transportation was unreliable as shit, and it drove me crazy that she used it to begin with.

I tried to shake off the feeling of unease as I joined my team for the pre-game skate. My coach was yelling out orders and the other players were joking around, but I could hardly hear any of it. My mind was consumed with thoughts of her.

Every time I glanced up at her seat…she wasn’t there.

The buzzer sounded, signaling the end of the warm-up. I took one last look up at the stands, hoping to catch a glimpse of her. But her seat was fuckin’ empty. My heart sank like a fucking rock.

I tried to focus on the game, but my mind was gone. The clear-headed coolness that I’d made famous was nowhere to be found. This girl was driving me insane, somehow rearranging my cells into a creature I no longer recognized.

I was out of control right from the get go, laughing madly when I was checked hard against the boards.

I needed the pain, anything to help erase this ache she’d created inside me.

And then…when the first period was halfway done…

There she was.

The most gorgeous thing I’d ever seen in a hockey jersey.

It was as if someone had shot me with a rush of adrenaline. The pumping thud of my heart echoed in my ears, drowning out the screams of the crowd.

I’d never been nervous playing hockey before.

Until now.

She was so dazzlingly beautiful.

My own dream girl.

I wanted to make her first time here perfect.

I wanted to make all her first times perfect.

Down boy, I cursed as my dick tried to make an appearance.

This game would go down in history. I’d make sure of that.

But it wouldn’t be because I’d popped an erection getting thrown into the boards.

I chased down every loose puck, made every pass with fucking perfect precision, and shot every chance I got. The other team couldn’t keep the fuck up.

In the second period, I scored a goal. And then another. And then another. I got a hat trick, but that wasn’t enough for me. Not with my dream girl watching me. The crowd fuckin’ roared as I neared five goals.

But the only person I gave a fuck about was her. I looked up at the stands and saw her on her feet, screaming her sexy heart out.

The energy in the arena grew more and more intense. It was electric, the energy unlike anything I’d ever experienced.

Further proof that my girl was fucking magic.

The crowd was on their collective feet, screaming my name.

And as I scored my final goal, breaking the record for the youngest player to ever score five goals in a game…I pointed to Monroe.

The arena exploded the sound barrier.

But all I saw was her…

And the fact that she was fucking wearing Ari’s fucking number on her back.


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