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Juicy Rebound (IceCats #1)
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Chandler Moon’s career as a defensemen for the IceCats is on fire. However, his marriage has gone up in flames…literally. He’s resigned himself to the single life and being the best dog dad he can be, but he still holds out hope that one day he’ll find “The One.” So, imagine his surprise when he runs into “The One Who Got Away.”
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The puck stays at the end of my stick as I move it through my legs, back and forth. I’ve been doing this since I was a kid. It’s almost how I move, in a way. When I was younger, my mom would be scolding me for something—laundry, my room was dirty, hockey shit everywhere—and while she talked, I was moving the puck across the hardwood. There wasn’t a moment when I didn’t have a stick in my hand and a puck at the end of my blade. Dad had to replace the floor four times while I was growing up. I always felt bad for that, so when I was signed to the South Carolina IceCats, I made sure not only to give them new floors, but I also bought them each a new Lexus since my hockey gear had stunk up their cars too.
I pass the puck up and against my goalie’s pads. My eyes aren’t on my buddy, Nico Merryweather, as he speaks, but he knows I’m listening. He doesn’t even seem to mind that I am using his pads as a bounce board.
“So she’s going to town on me. My cock is so far down her throat, and I’m almost gone.” I quirk my lip at the side as I lift my eyes to meet his gaze. He’s got this euphoric look on his face, but then it turns to disgust as quickly as my puck comes off his pad. “Then she farts.”
I miss the puck as I gawk at him. “No way.”
“Dude, I shit you not. I guess she thought it was going to be silent, but it was loud. Her ass clapped, and I couldn’t help it, I started laughing.”
I explode with laughter. “Shit, what did she say?”
“She kept going until the smell hit us.”
I almost fall on the ice. “You’re lying,” I somehow get out between my laughs.
“Dude, she left. I don’t even think she wiped her mouth. She just walked out. Worst hookup ever.”
I lean on my stick and shake my head as our laughter fills the Malcolm Peterson Arena. Yes, our owner named the place after himself. I guess if you throw a couple hundred million into an arena, you have that right. “That’s what you get for using Tinder. I’ve told you a million times, stop swiping right.”
He chortles as I skate out to get the puck I’d let get by me. As I round it, the crunch of my skates on the ice is welcoming. We’re the only ones here. Practice is over, the guys have hit the showers, but I wanted some extra time on the ice. It’s better than going home and doing a whole lot of nothing. I do need to get Sadie from my parents’ house since I’ll be home for the next four days, but for the time being, I need to unload a bit.
I go to the blue line, and thankfully, Merry knows to set up. He’s a huge goalie, 6’9” and built like an agile bull. Not sure those exist, but if they did, they’d look like Merry. I use my stick to dump out the bucket of pucks, and then I line them up to shoot. I square up, pull back, and use all my momentum to shoot the hell out of the puck. This is what I’m known for. My hard-as-hell shot that makes it through the defense and, more than once, through the goalie. This is why the scouts wanted me for the IceCats. I’ve been here for five years, and things are good. Real damn good. I love it here, and most of all, I love being a franchise player.
The pucks come for Merry with no mercy whatsoever. Some go through; some come off his pads. He is like a wall, and I have to find the cracks and holes in it. Fifteen minutes and over fifty pucks later, I feel way better. I reach down for the bucket and start for Merry as he pulls up his mask.
“So what did she do now?”
Funny he asks. I try not to roll my eyes as I lean back on the boards, playing with a puck as I meet his concerned gaze. “She feels I should keep paying her rent until she is fully on her feet. She’s apparently between jobs.”
Merry raises a brow. “What part of prenup doesn’t she get? The fact that you paid for the divorce and let her keep her car and all that sparkling shit you kept buying her, in my opinion, is enough.”
I shrug. I hate when he reminds me of that. I feel like an idiot. “It was her shit. I didn’t want it.”
“Still. What did you say?”
“I told her no. Told her I’m not paying shit, and that’s that. She left me, not the other way around.”