YOUR DAD LIKES ME
She rests her arms on my shoulders. “I had fun tonight, but I should get home. It’s late.”
With a hand at her hip, I pull her to me and drop my lips to hers. “Don’t go, dream girl.”
Her laughter spills into my mouth. “You did not call me that.”
“Actually, Ash is who started it, but he’s not wrong. I like you. You’re fun and so sexy.” I slip a hand under her shirt in the back and glide it over her warm skin.
“I should still go.”
I lift her shirt and duck my head to kiss the top of her tits above her bra. I can’t believe she flashed me earlier. Wildcat. It fits her just as well as dream girl.
“If this isn’t going to be another one-night stand, then we should take a beat because Jack made some good points earlier. I don’t want to cause trouble.”
“I’ll be fine. Your dad likes me,” I say automatically, because I’m an inch away from having her nipple between my teeth, and I could care less about the consequences.
She lifts my head. “I just told my parents that I dropped out of college. Maybe I should give them a few days before I drop another bomb on them.”
“So we just can’t see each other?”
“That would probably be the smart decision.”
“Seems pretty dumb to me.”
“Let’s just take a few days. You’re going to be on the road a lot over the next week. When you come back, if you still want to do this, then we’ll talk to my dad.”
I run a hand through my hair. “Okay. If that’s what you want, but Scarlett? A week isn’t going to change my mind.”
She smiles and brings her lips to mine. “Then you better hope my dad likes you as much as you think he does.”
We have five games on the road over the next week and a half. We fly to Los Angeles for two games, then to Canada, cross back into the states and hit New Jersey, and our last game is in Pittsburgh.
I don’t mind traveling. A lot of the guys get cranky being away for so long, but it doesn’t bother me.
We’re in the hotel in Winnipeg with some downtime before the game tonight. I’m working on an assignment for class while Ash and Tyler play video games in our room.
My phone lights up on the desk in front of me. Scarlett’s name flashes with a text, Good luck tonight!
I’ve been giving her space, but this text opens the door, and I jump right through.
4 days, dream girl, I fire back.
Oh, she wants to play it like that. Until I take you out on a real date.
Is that a request or a command? I swear I can almost hear the sass in her text.
Which one do you want it to be? And then I add, Will you go out with me?
It’s several minutes before she responds, Ask me again when you get back.
We win three of the five games on the road. The amount of interviews and game wrap-ups I have to do now that I’m an alternate captain has increased, but Blythe has prepped me, and I focus on saying as little as possible while still answering their questions.
We’re heading back to Minnesota, pretty happy with how we’re playing but dog tired.
Even though it’s late when we touch down Wednesday night. I text Scarlett as soon as we land, Just got back. Wanna go out tomorrow night? Or I’m free in fifteen.
I have no ability to play it cool with this girl.
Coach stands at the front of the plane. “Rest up tomorrow. I’ll see you all back Friday morning. We have St. Louis at home Saturday.”
Ash catches me in the parking lot. “Tyler and I are thinking about heading up to the lake. Spend tomorrow on the water, breathe in a little lake air. You in?”
“Maybe. I’ll text you.”
Inside my car, I check my phone. Scarlett’s responded. It’s almost midnight. I’m in bed.
I hit the call button as I drive.
“Helloooo?” she draws out the word.
“Hi, dream girl.”
Her sweet laughter crackles over the speakers.
“Entertain me. I’m driving home, and I am beat.”
“And yet you wanted to go out tonight.”
“Still do if you’ve changed your mind. I will tap into those energy reserves for you, dream girl.”
“You have got to stop calling me that.”
Which, of course, only makes me want to call her that even more. “What are you doing tomorrow? Do you have to go to the arena?”
She yawns. “No. Dad is taking a rare day off. But, I need to practice taking some photos outside for an engagement shoot I’m doing next week, and I should probably continue the job hunt. Anna will be back soon.”
“Come to the lake with me. Ash has a place on Laurie Lake. A nice house right on the water.”
“I don’t know.”
“Bring your camera. You can get some great shots there. I will personally guarantee it.”
She hesitates for a few seconds longer. “Okay.”
I pump my fist. “Awesome. I’ll pick you up at six.”
“In the morning?!” She screeches. “What about nine or ten? I need sleep. You won’t like me uncaffeinated and tired. I am not a pleasant morning person.”
“Nothing I haven’t seen before. I’ll take my chances. Night, dream girl.”
I pull up outside of the Miller’s residence at six on the dot. Coach’s Tahoe sits in the driveway next to Scarlett’s car.
Outside, I text her as I watch for any movement at the door or windows. I did not think this through. Are we telling Coach? Because I’m not sure rolling up at the break of dawn after a long road trip to tell him I’m dating his daughter was my best-laid plan.
And if we’re not telling him, what are the chances he’s up and looks outside? Will he know it’s me based on my car? It isn’t as flashy as Declan’s Ferrari or Jack’s Lambo, but my Jaguar has a custom paint job and sick wheels that are just memorable enough he might know it’s me without seeing through the tinted windows.
Luckily, when the front door opens, it’s Scarlett that steps out. Alone. Her hair is pulled up in a high ponytail that swings around her head with every groggy step. I laugh at the grimace on her face as she approaches the car with a small bag slung over her shoulder.
I hop out to open her door. I’m nervous about getting caught, but I’m still a fucking gentleman.
“Are you crazy? My dad is up. He could see you.”
Okay, so not telling him right now. Got it.
“Morning,” I say, biting back a huge grin at how adorably grumpy she looks. She thought this would scare me off? The opposite actually. It just made my whole day, and it’s just getting started.
She slides into the passenger seat, and I shut her in before rounding the car to hop back in.
“Coffee is in the cup holder, Sleeping Beauty.”
She grunts but grabs it and holds it between her hands, closes her eyes, and leans her head back on the seat.
“Does your dad know?”
Her eyes open. “I’m not telling him until I decide I like you fully-clothed.”
I bark out a laugh and pull away from her house. “Fair enough.”