Our first outing as an official couple comes on a Saturday night after a home game. Butterflies flutter in my stomach as we walk in to Wild’s, hand in hand.
Ash is the first to see us, and he stands from the bar and hugs Leo, slapping him on the back and smiling at me. “Miller!”
He rests a hand on his hip and keeps smiling at us. “So happy to see you two out. What do you want to drink? I’m buying.”
We grab drinks, and when Tyler and Maverick get up to play pool, we take their seats at the bar.
It’s still busy with fans from the game, which means the guys have people coming up to them constantly. Leo takes the attention in stride. He shakes hands and makes small talk with anyone who approaches, but he never turns his back to me.
When we get a moment by ourselves, he runs his hands up my bare thighs and rests them on my hips. I wore his favorite black skirt tonight, and I love the way he can’t stop touching me.
“Wanna play darts?” he asks, voice low and husky.
I shake my head.
“Not unless you do.”
His head moves side to side. “Not particularly.”
“We sort of got in a routine of celebrating on our own, and now it’s all I can think about.” Sex… it’s my new favorite way to celebrate.
“I promised Ash we’d hang for a bit.”
“Okay.” I tilt forward and brush my boobs against his shoulder.
His eyes darken. He stands, drains his beer, and pulls me to my feet. “Pool. Let’s play some pool.”
Laughing, I follow along. If Leo thinks watching him lean over and shoot a pool stick is going to make me want him less, he is mistaken. The man is seriously fine, and he’s all mine.
I glance over my shoulder as I line up to take a shot and catch him punching Tyler next to him.
“Eyes off her ass.”
“Dude. I wasn’t looking,” Tyler says with a chuckle but moves off to the side.
“Aww, let them look, baby. I’m only leaving with you.”
He grumbles under his breath.
Fully-clothed celebrating isn’t so bad either, I suppose. If nothing else, it’s delayed gratification for the naked celebration I know is still coming.
And, I enjoy hanging out with the guys. Now that my dad knows they all seem more relaxed around me.
“Is that Ash’s girlfriend?” I ask Leo when I see his friend at the bar kissing a pretty girl with legs that never seem to end. Her blue hair is twisted into a braid that falls down to her ass.
“Sort of. They have a mutual interest.” Leo’s lips twitch.
“Hockey or hockey players?” I ask.
“The latter for her.” He shrugs. “Her name is Talia. I’ll introduce you if they come up for air.”
As I look around, I realize very few of the guys have girls with them.
“Does no one have an actual girlfriend?”
“Well, I do,” Leo says, getting an eye roll from Tyler. “And Maverick does.”
At his name, Maverick looks up and shakes his head. “Nope, not me.” He raises his left hand and shows off the wedding band on his left ring finger.
“You’re married?” I ask, unable to hide the shock in my voice.
He grins. “Yep. Three months now. She’s coming up next weekend.”
I did not peg him for the type that’s settled down at such a young age. “I’d love to meet her.”
“We can probably give up an hour or two of sex.” He nods to himself like he’s thinking it over. “Yeah, let’s do it. Party at my place next Saturday.”
Leo and I stay for one more game of pool and then head out. It’s cold outside, and the wind is gusty. I pull my coat snug around me, and Leo’s big hand shields mine as we hurry to his car.
We make it home, but not all the way inside before Leo takes me in his arms and kisses me hard. He sets me on the hood of his car, and his fingers slide under the hem of my sweater. I shrug out of my coat and then work on his jeans. We might have strung out the delayed gratification a little too long.
“This skirt is my favorite,” he says as he steps between my legs. It has buttons up the front, and he loves undoing them. I lean back as he works his way from the bottom up. When he gets high enough to realize I’m not wearing any panties, his gaze snaps up. “Fuuuck, baby. You’ve been naked under here all night?”
“And bending over the pool table?” His eyes are like saucers.
“I didn’t bend over that far.”
He hooks an arm around my right leg and pushes me back onto the hood of his car. He wastes no time covering my pussy with his mouth. I’m too keyed up, too high on this connection between us. My orgasm builds quickly, and he doesn’t let up even when I warn him I’m close. Leo knows exactly how to get me there and exactly what pace my body and soul needs at any given moment.
He takes me over the edge with my heart racing and my body tingling from head to toe. He kisses his way up to my stomach and then pulls back to stare at me.
“Now, this is a fucking vision. You naked on top of my car.”
We get in the hot tub next, where I return the favor, bringing him to orgasmic bliss with my mouth. He slides into the water from where he was sitting on the edge, and I sink down in front of him so that my shoulders are under the water. I press my chest to his, and Leo’s arms circle my waist.
His hair is messy, and water drips down his chest.
“That first night, I thought about what it would be like to photograph you like this. You are very sexy all wet and naked.”
I wrap my legs around him and place my head against the left side of his chest. I can hear his heart beating at the same rhythm as mine. Neither of us speaks for a long time; instead, we just hang on to one another.
There’s something very reassuring about getting to that point with someone where you don’t need to say a word to know you’re on the same page. It’s too soon to talk about love and forever, but those are my thoughts as he holds me in the dark. For the first time in a long time, I’ve found someone that I can see a future with. It’s exhilarating and absolutely terrifying.
The next day I go with Jade on another writing assignment. She has a meeting with a hotshot wedding planner for an article, and I convinced my sister to join us and do some shopping for the baby.
“I saw photos of my favorite celebrity couple on Instagram this morning,” Jade says as she pulls into the parking lot. “I rescind my concerns.”
“Not necessary. If it weren’t for you, I might not have had the balls to ask him straight up where we stood.”
“And is that place you’re standing heading toward wedding bells?” Her eyes light up. “I could do a story on you two. It would be epic!”
“Slow your roll there, Katie Couric.”
“I’m just saying, Vivian is the wedding planner, so you might want to book her just in case.” She pulls into a parking space and cuts the engine.
My phone pings. “Cadence is here.”
“Okay. This shouldn’t take long. She could only fit me in for thirty minutes. I’ll call you when I’m done and catch up. Don’t buy too much adorable baby stuff without me.” Jade heads off in one direction, and I go the other.
My phone rings before I’ve reached the door. I stop and move off the sidewalk, expecting Cadence or Jade, but it’s Rhyse’s number flashing on the screen.
My pulse thrums loudly. I must hold my breath because when I finally exhale, my lungs burn.
I keep staring at his name while it seems that everything else around me ceases to exist. I answer out of sheer curiosity. If I don’t, I know I’ll wonder. And I don’t want to waste any more time wondering about Rhyse.
“Scarlett.” I can hear the smile in his voice. “Hi. Hello. I wasn’t sure if you’d answer. How are you?”
“Good. I’m good.” I fall silent. This is too weird. The polite thing would be to ask him how he is, but Rhyse and I haven’t been on polite, speaking terms in months. Our breakup wasn’t exactly messy, but it was final, and neither of us bothered to keep in contact. We were at a stalemate, and there was nothing left to say.
“I’m in the States,” he says. “We have a race next weekend.”
“Austin?” I ask because, try as I might, I still remember his schedule.
“Yes, but I came early hoping to see you. I’m in Minnesota.”
“What?” I look around like his being in the same state makes him visible.
“I’m at the airport. Can I see you?”
“I’m not home, Rhyse. I’m out shopping with Cadence.”
“I’ll come there. Just give me an address.”
“I don’t think that’s a good idea.” The thought of facing him again makes me anxious. Not now. This is all wrong.
“Ten minutes, Scar,” he says. “There are things I need to say.”