Pucked Love Page 2

His brow furrows, making the sharp lines of his face even more severe and slightly ominous. “Because I’d like to have lunch with you.”

I surreptitiously place my hand on the armrest, near the door handle. Just in case. “You need a non-disclosure agreement for lunch?”

He runs his hands down his thighs. “I’d like to take you to my house.”

“For lunch?”


“Is lunch code for something?”

I get more of his furrowed brow. “Code?”

Maybe the rumors about him are true. Maybe he really is some kind of Dom and he’s looking for me to be his next submissive. I’m not sure how to feel about that. I’ve read all the Fifty Shades books, and sure, some of that stuff sounds like a fun time, but I don’t like to sign contracts for anything outside of work and banking. Even then, it makes me uncomfortable.

“Yeah, like, is lunch a code word for some kinky sex games or something?”

His furrow turns into an arch, and a slightly sinister smile tugs at the corner of his sinfully sexy mouth. The same mouth that was recently suctioned to mine.

“No. Although I’m certainly not opposed to kinky sex games if that’s what you’d prefer in lieu of lunch.”

I pick up the folder, which he’s left on the dash between us and flip it open. The agreement is several pages long.

I glance at Darren and raise my own eyebrows.

“Take your time. I can wait.” He smiles again, but it seems more like a grimace.

I scan the contents. It’s incredibly thorough, with a whole bunch of clauses. There’s even one pertaining to a credit card and a budget for clothing and lingerie. What in the actual fuck?

I close the file folder and pass it to him. “I’d like you to take me home.”

He grins widely and produces a pen. His smile is so pretty I almost forget why I want to go home. Then I remember the pre-date paperwork.

I hold up a hand. “No, you’re not understanding. I’d like you to take me to my house, not yours. I’m not signing an NDA agreement for a lunch date—especially this type of NDA.”

That smile of his drops, and he blinks rapidly, fingers tapping against the manila file folder. “But I thought we were enjoying each other’s company.”

“We were. But there’s no fucking way I’m signing this, so if you want to have lunch with me, you’ll have to do it without an NDA.”

He’s clearly experiencing some conflict over this because he stares at me long enough that my skin grows hot before he finally says, “It’s meant to protect us both.”

“It’s not a condom, Darren. It’s an NDA. The next thing I know I’ll have some kind of tracking chip and I’ll be tied to your bed.”

He tips his head to the side and seems to be fighting a smile. “Would you like to be tied to my bed?”

“Not if I have to sign an NDA.”

“And if you don’t have to sign an NDA?”

The answer to that question is still no, I think, but I shrug, because even him asking makes things happen in my panties.

“I’m a very private person, Charlene.”

“So am I. Doesn’t mean I make all the people in my life sign an NDA because of it. If you want to have lunch with me, you can do it without asking me to sign away my rights.”

He regards me for several long, intense moments in which I have to fight to hold eye contact. Jesus, I’m nervous.

“Okay, no NDA,” he finally concedes. “But I have rules for dating, Charlene.”

“So do I, and we can discuss them over lunch.”


Two years later

We arrive at my house, two huge vehicles filling up the driveway. Normally, we’d go to Alex’s house after practice (my best friend and teammate), but his wife, Violet, is working from home today, and he doesn’t want us to pose a distraction. My place is the second closest to the rink, and I don’t live with anyone, so I’m the default.

My house is a modern build with solar panels and floor-to-ceiling soundproof windows you can see out of but not into, because I like my privacy. I also like having sex with my girlfriend against the ones that overlook the front lawn.

Our teammates, Lance, Randy, Miller, and Rookie, pile out of Lance’s Hummer while I grab my stuff from the trunk of Alex’s muscle car. I key in the code, and they follow me into the foyer, where I dump my hockey bag.

“I’ll grab some beers, and we can head out back.”

It’s early April, but the weather has been unusually warm, so at least we can get some fresh air while we discuss the impending expansion draft. Vegas is starting a new team, which means they’ll be cherry picking a player from every established team in the league. So far, only Alex and Randy are safe from the draft with their no-trade clauses.

I stop short and breathe a curse when I reach the living room. My erection is nearly instantaneous. It’s also very confused because I shouldn’t be seeing what I’m seeing.

“Holy shit,” Alex says from my right.

“What the fuck?” Randy bumps into me from behind.

“I knew you were into some kinky shit!” Lance’s thick Scottish accent makes me acutely aware that what’s supposed to be for my eyes only is not. I consider, very briefly, the ramifications of scooping out my teammates’ eyes with a melon baller. I decide it’s in my best interest not to act on that impulse. I don’t think prison suits me, and it’s hard to play hockey without eyeballs.

A low whistle comes from my right. I glance over to find Rookie blinking rapidly, his bewilderment apparent. “Dude, are you having some kind of fucked-up party? ’Cause if you are, I might want to get back on the bunny train for a night.”

Randy smacks him across the back of the head. “That’s not a bunny, asshole.”

He’s referring to puck bunnies, the groupies of the hockey world.

“Ow! Fuck!” Rookie rubs the spot.

In the middle of the room, halfway between kneeling and standing, is Charlene. My girlfriend. Naked. Well, apart from her pearl necklace and a pair of fuck-me heels. Her gorgeous hazel eyes are deer-in-the-headlights wide as they meet mine, and then they dart down to her naked form. Seeming uncertain how to proceed, she stumbles a few steps and drops back to her knees on the pillow. She bars one arm across her chest, the other moving to shield the apex of her thighs.

Rookie seems unable to process the scene with anything but stupidity. “Is that a ball gag? Who the fuck wears that mask? How do you even breathe with that on?”

“Shut it, Rook,” Miller says.

I hadn’t even noticed everything else. But I pull my gaze from Charlene and look at the items littering my living room. This is pretty damn far from ideal.

“Everybody out,” I snap as I cross the room, nab the throw from the reading chair—Charlene’s reading chair—and step over the dragon dick dildo Charlene purchased when she was in her Game of Thrones phase. I drape the blanket around her, which sends some of the light, lacy pieces of lingerie fluttering across the floor. But the blanket does the job, hiding every inch of bare skin covered in goose bumps.

That my teammates have now seen.

I grit my teeth against the possessive anger and exhale a slow breath, trying to find some calm.

Here’s the thing, finding Charlene mostly naked in any given room in my house is not necessarily out of the ordinary.

Even the selection of lingerie arranged in a very neat circle around her—everything from virginal satin to a studded leather corset—isn’t particularly unusual. Charlene enjoys dressing up, and her choices often tell me a lot about what she’d like to have happen in the bedroom—or whichever room we’re having sex in—and prove helpful in allowing me to gauge her expectations. Leather often indicates she’s feeling feisty. It’s cute when she thinks she wants to be in charge.

What is highly atypical is the second circle, which consists of a wide variety of assistive pleasure devices, many of which have been on Charlene’s I think I might want to try that eventually list. It’s a long list. Almost as long as her I thought it would be fun but I changed my mind list.

Charlene and I have been extraordinarily careful about keeping what she feels is our sometimes colorful sex life private. What happens behind closed doors should remain behind closed doors, as far as I’m concerned. It’s the reason I’ve always insisted on an NDA—until Charlene, anyway. Not particularly romantic or enticing when starting a new relationship, but my privacy has always taken precedence.

In lieu of signing a non-disclosure agreement, Charlene promised not to discuss our details with her girlfriends. Those women love to share, especially her best friend, Violet, and I have a feeling they might not fully understand the complexities of our relationship, since sometimes even I struggle with that.

“I’m sorry,” Charlene’s voice shakes along with her hands as she clutches the ends of the throw.

“Stay here, please.” I bend and press a kiss to the top of her head, hoping the simple gesture helps dispel some of her anxiety.

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