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Dominik (Arizona Vengeance #6)
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I built myself up from nothing. A product of the foster care system, I learned early on how to fight hard to get what I want. Whether it was starting my first company in college, earning my first billion, or buying my first professional sports team, I know how to get what I want, when I want it.
Willow Monahan is fierce, independent, and hot as hell. She also takes great pleasure in shutting down my advances. The younger sister of one of my star players, Willow intrigues me to my very core. And while she may have willingly given me her body, she is hesitant to offer up more. Now I’m on a mission to find out why.
I’ve decided to approach my desire for Willow like I’ve approached much of my life; with persistence, determination, and a whole lot of that Dominik Carlson alpha charm. Buying a hockey expansion team, building the Arizona Vengeance from the ground up, and bringing home a championship may prove to be an easier feat than winning Willow’s heart.
But I’ve never been a quitter.
Willow Monahan… I’m coming for you.
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There are those who think they know me. They see a man who’s generous with his money and attention, which makes them think they can command me. They’d be wrong.
I’m already wide awake when my alarm clock goes off at eight. Since it’s Saturday, I’d allowed myself the luxury of sleeping past my normal six o’clock wake-up call. I let the blaring go on a few moments, causing the woman beside me to stir before I finally shut it off. I turn on my side to face her.
Typical Southern California woman with golden hair and a fantastic bikini body. Stretching, she flutters her eyes open—gorgeous baby blues—and smiles. Her voice is husky with sleep. “I’m thinking we should go out for brunch, then maybe take a drive down the coast.”
She doesn’t know me at all.
Disabusing her of the notion we’re going to spend the day together, I roll off the mattress. Grabbing my robe from the foot of the bed, I shrug it on and give her a sympathetic look. “Afraid I have to work today.”
“But it’s a Saturday.” Pouting, she luxuriously stretches again, which causes the sheet to slither to her waist. I don’t even let my eyes flick to her breasts.
I tie the belt of the robe around my waist. “Still a workday for me.”
“I’m sure I could think of ways to make it worth your while.” She strikes a sexy pose. Admittedly, it’s slightly tempting.
But when a knock sounds on my bedroom door, I’m immediately refocused. “Come in, Mrs. Osborne.”
The door swings open and my executive assistant walks in, holding her iPad with her Bluetooth pen poised and ready to take notes. The woman in the bed quickly pulls the sheet over her breasts, her expression shocked.
Mrs. Linda Osborne is fifty-seven, and she has been my executive assistant for nine years. She dresses the same way every day—even though I continuously insist there’s no dress code—in a black pantsuit with a crisp, white, collared shirt underneath and modest, two-inch block heels. Her blondish-gray hair is pulled into a severe knot at the nape of her neck. She always has a pair of horn-rimmed glasses perched on the edge of her nose, secured around her neck with a nondescript, beaded metal chain.
“Your driver will be here to take you to the ESPN studios in half an hour,” she relays, reading off the iPad screen. “After that concludes, you’ll be returning here for your interview and photo shoot for Rolling Stone. Your plane is on standby, ready to fly you to Phoenix after that.”
I give her a short nod. “Thank you. Can you send someone out to pick up my dry cleaning?”
Mrs. Osborne motions with her hand to the woman in my bed. “Come along, my dear.”
The blonde whips my way, her eyebrows shooting up. She appears slightly affronted.
“Mrs. Osborne is my executive assistant,” I say with a smile. “She’ll make sure you get home safely.”
“But I thought—”
With a shake of my head, I put a knee to the mattress and lean over to take her hand. “Last night was great, but I’m going to be traveling for the next several weeks. Perhaps we can get together when I return in June.”
“June? But it’s April,” she whines, and I try not to grimace at her tone.
“And it’s the playoffs,” I say brightly. Releasing her hand, I rise from the bed.
I cut my gaze over to Mrs. Osborne in time to see her roll her eyes. Biting the inside of my cheek, I try not to laugh.
The blonde sits up, still holding the sheet. “But I thought your team lost in the playoffs.”
She’s talking about my NBA team… the Los Angeles Quakes. They lost in the first-round last week, which was tremendously disappointing. But I’ve got a diva superstar who needs to be brought down a peg, along with a coaching issue to work out. I’m hoping next season will be better.
Frankly, I’ve put the Quakes out of my mind, instead focusing my attention squarely on my professional hockey team… The Arizona Vengeance. They’re an expansion team I bought last year, and they are in championship contention. For an expansion team to have done as well as they have is practically unheard of, and they are the talk of the sporting world right now. Hence the reason I have an interview over at ESPN studios this morning.
Over the next several weeks, I’m banking on my team to take it all the way to the finals.
It will take four rounds.
They’ll have to battle through two divisional rounds against elite teams, a conference final round, and then the actual Cup final. Each round is the best of seven games. Right now, by virtue of our winning record, we’ll have home-ice advantage. That means the first two games out of seven will be played in Phoenix, then the next will be at our opponent’s arena. The last three games will be alternated back and forth.