Scoring Off The Ice ~Excerpt

My thighs burn from the quick movements. I probably shouldn’t have put in the extra time once I arrived back home, but I’m determined to be the best. Always. Despite the sacrifice. Still, I need ice, a heating pad, and a gallon of water to rehydrate.

I reach the front door, tighten my fist at my hip where my towel sits and fling the door open.

“What is wrong?” 

The pretty girl I have seen ducking inside her apartment across the hall whips around. Her blonde hair comes first, tied back at her neck and her green eyes are huge.

She is so pretty. No. That word does not say enough. She is verkelig smuk. Very beautiful. Vidunderlig.

Immediately catching my gaze is a squished up, red face, with huge dark eyes and an odd-shaped nose. That is all I can see peeking out from beneath a blue and white striped hat. 

I have never seen her with him before. She seems so young. Around my age, I thought. My mouth drops open and I point. “You have a baby?”

She is snuggling the baby close to her and at my words, she moves the baby away. Her expression changes into something I don’t like. Not even a little bit.

It feels like doom.

Like the look on my father’s face the day I didn’t make the junior league hockey team despite being the only kid my age invited to tryout—two years younger than anyone else.

That look should not be so familiar on a stranger.

Whatever it is. It is not good.

“No,” she says. It’s the first word she’s ever spoken to me other than hello, but it’s as pretty as the rest of her. “I think… well, I think he’s yours?”

“What?” I’m already stepping back. I had only opened the door far enough to poke my head through but as I move back my door opens. “I do not have a baby.”

“I’m guessing the note I found when I heard this little guy crying out here is going to say you’re wrong about that.”

What note? Before I can ask, she's holding a white envelope directly in front of my face. I reach for it, and at the same time, get a drastic waft of cool air across my waist.

“Oh shit,” the woman says, holding a baby… gaze dropping to my—

“Shit!” I crouch down and grab the towel, holding it in front of me. I am now naked in front of a woman claiming I have a baby. I’m pretty sure I passed out in the shower. I had to have slammed my head into the marble tile and this is all a dream.

Everything since I opened the door is entirely impossible. Plus, I’m now naked. If I could write a list of top ten worst first impressions to make on a pretty woman, I’m pretty sure this will take the number one slot.

Not to mention my naked state.

“Oh!” She spins, putting her back to me. The baby in her arms starts crying and I am speechless.

One weekend. I was careful. She claimed she was too.

What in the world am I supposed to do? There is no playbook for situations like this. And that’s all I know. Studying hockey. Studying games. Being better. Faster. Stronger. People… they are not where I succeed.

“Sorry. I am so sorry about that. But that—” I point at the squished up face. “But this cannot be my baby.”

Her blonde hair sways as she bounces the baby who is now crying louder. “Well, there was a note in the baby’s blanket. He was crying outside your door and there is a diaper bag next to it. And like I said, he was outside your door, not mine, so…”

“I haven’t…” I close my mouth.

I am not admitting to this girl who I’ve always thought is so pretty that I have only had sex with one woman.

One weekend. My twenty-third birthday. The weekend my teammates finally convinced me to let go. It was no secret before then I was a virgin. I’ve played for the Carolina Ice Kings since I was twenty. Hockey is my life. Always has been. It’s been my sole focus. But our season was off to a rocky start. I wasn’t playing well. And for the first time, I allowed myself to be pulled into the mayhem of after game partying. I allowed Newman and Maddox, my teammates, to drag me to a bar… and then I brought a woman home with me.

Angela. She taught me what she liked, and I was a quick learner. Then I realized I liked it a lot of different ways. She was more than willing to let me experiment, let me figure out everything I liked and how to please her.

Two mornings later, she woke up, and after I told her thank you, she smiled and laughed a gentle laugh. There were no promises.

But I also did not think there would be consequences. Not of this magnitude.

“I…” I have no idea what to say but quickly scramble. First, I need to get dressed. In lightweight clothes because I’m sweating like I’ve finished a workout. As I tighten the towel around my waist, I realize I’m shaking. “I don’t know what to do.”

Her pink lips spread into a smile and I’m momentarily distracted from the fact I’m naked and there’s a strange baby screaming in my hallway.

Her smile is that distracting.

“Well, you could go get some clothes on. Take the note and the baby and let me get back to my Friday night.”

Right. The note. The baby. Possibly my baby. This cannot be.

She does have a point. First, I need clothes.

RELEASE DATE: APRIL 7TH

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Tackle hugs and kisses, 

Stacey Lynn

Stacey Lynn is a wife and mom to four kids. She currently resides in North Carolina.

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