Oh, he treats me with respect, he says he loves me all the time
He calls me fifteen times a day, he likes to make sure that I'm fine
You know I've never met a man who's made me feel quite so secure
He's not like all them other boys, they're all so dumb and immature

There's just one thing that's getting in the way
When we go up to bed, you're just no good, it's such a shame
I look into your eyes, I want to get to know you
And then you make this noise and it's apparent it's all over

It's not fair and I think you're really mean
I think you're really mean, I think you're really mean
Oh, you're suppose to care
But you never make me scream, you never make me scream

Oh, it's not fair and it's really not okay
It's really not okay, it's really not okay
Oh, you're supposed to care
But all you do is take, yeah, all you do is take

Oh, I lie here in the wet patch in the middle of the bed
I'm feeling pretty damn hard done by, I spent ages giving head
Then I remember all the nice things that you ever said to me
Maybe I'm just overreacting, maybe you're the one for me

(lyrics from "Not Fair" Lily Allen)

Prologue

You meet a guy on a white sandy beach. He's cute. He's got a nice smile. You find out you're from the same city so you end up dating a guy and you like him. He's funny and he treats you like a princess. He's fun in bed, not great, but he can be taught. What's not to like?

The hot days of summer naturally turn to the cooler nights of Fall and that's when he lays it on you. He isn't staying in Buffalo. So it had just been a summer fling, you're kind of good with that. He'd been fun but he wasn't exactly a knight in shining armor. But just when you're expecting the big 'see ya next summer' speech, he puts on this big cheesy grin and pulls a key out of his pocket and asked you to move with him to the windy city.

6 Weeks Previous

"Wanna sign my cast?"

As a pick up line, it bordered on cute and so did the blonde blue eyed boy whose arm the cast belonged to. I looked down at the cast, at some of the crude pictures someone had drawn on it and then up at him and wrinkled my nose.

"Don't think so."

"Not even your number?" he asked, holding a Sharpie out to me. Who brings a pen with them to a bar, let alone a Sharpie like he's expecting to sign autographs or something? In the age of twitter, facebook and iPhones, a guy with a pen was not only an anomaly; it was downright strange and presumptuous in a cute kind of way.

"On your arm, for you to share with all your friends, why don't I just write it on the bathroom wall?" I chuckled and started to turn back to the bar where I was currently waiting for my drinks. It was a new line but he wasn't my type. He was stocky and blonde and clearly one of those beer guzzling co-ed types back for the summer from some southern party college to sponge off his parents and party with old friends. He was exactly the kind of guy I spent most of the summer fending off; guys that didn't fit into the blue collar crowd that made up the regulars at Casimir's; cops, rail workers and shift workers from the nearby Labatt's plant.

"Why don't I give you my number then?" he asked, reaching for one of the coasters on my tray. I arched my eyebrow at him.

"First of all, let's see some i.d. and second of all, what makes you think I'd want that?" I asked as I started to carefully slide the drinks onto my tray; two green apple martinis for the office girls in the back corner and another pitcher for the off duty cops playing pool.

"C'mon, look at this face, of course you do," the college boy said with a grin that I was willing to bet usually stopped traffic on whatever Ivy League campus he was home from; all straight white teeth and a cocky wink.

"Does that ever work for you?" I asked, carefully balancing my tray as I turned to head towards my tables.

"Are you saying it's not working for me now?" he asked, holding the coaster out to me like it was something I should want, like a get out of jail free card. I looked down at the coaster with the boyish scrawl and then up at his goldilocks curls and sky blue eyes and shook my head.

"That's exactly what I'm saying, but good luck with the other townies," I told him and walked past, making sure that I gave my hips an extra swing as I did. I could hear his entourage hollering about his epic failure and loudly giving him the gears about his inability to pull and I had the urge to turn around and tell them that it was unlikely that any of them in their polo shirts with the popped collars were going to have much luck in this place.

"Those guys giving you a problem Beth?" I slid the pitcher onto the raised table near the pool table and shook my head.

"Nothing I can't handle Jack," I told the fatherly traffic cop with the middle aged spread and the greying temples. He looked past me at the rowdy group of young men and looked ambivalent.

"Well you let me know if any of them get out of hand," he offered and I knew what he really meant was that if even one of them grabbed my ass he'd gladly pick them up by the backs of their two hundred dollar Tommy Hilfiger jeans and toss them and their loafers out into the parking lot. I smiled and took his ten bucks.

"You'll be the first to know," I promised, stuffed the bill into my apron and headed over to the pair of giggling secretaries who were eyeing the frat boys like somebody had just delivered a large pizza to a Jenny Craig meeting. "Ladies," I smiled as I put a coaster down in front of each of them.

"Do you know them?" one of the girls in her too tight pencil skirt and fussy silk blouse with the feminine ruffles asked. I glanced over my shoulder to find the one with the cast openly ogling my ass as I put their drinks down.

"Nope," I replied, taking the twenty she offered while I searched in my apron for a five to give back to her. "But you should definitely introduce yourselves. Should I drop them off a pitcher from you?" I suggested, holding the five out towards them and hoping they'd ask me to keep it and add another and then they'll push two tables together and order lots of beer and give me a big tip.

"Send a guy a drink?" the one girl with the too bright Barbie pink lipstick and the bottle blonde hair whose roots needed doing looked at me like I'd just asked to try out for the cheerleading squad. Like I'd ever be that stupid; with my boobs I'd end up with two black eyes before the first cheer was over.

"What was I thinking?" I smiled as she snapped the five out of my hand and then held her hand out for the other fifty cents, bitch. I dug two quarters from the deepest recesses of my apron and put them in her hand more gently than I really wanted to. "I'm sure they'll be over soon," I added in as sincere a tone as I could manage before I turned on my heel and headed for the table of factory workers who had just sat down.

"You shouldn't fight it," a voice purred in my ear. I didn't even miss a step but I did laugh.

"I'll give you an A for effort frat boy but why don't you try those girls back there," I suggested, pulling a pen from behind my ear and pointing back towards the secretaries, "they look like your type, cheap." I hesitated just a foot away from the table of big, hungry looking men. If I wanted a sizeable tip, and I did, I knew it wasn't going help to have an advertisement for teeth whitening and axe body spray hanging off me like toilet paper stuck on the bottom of my shoe.

"Let's face it, I'm the hottest guy in here and you're clearly the hottest girl, it was meant to be." He capped off his newest attempt by grabbing my wrist. I looked down at his where his fingers curled around my arm and then up at him and watched my displeasure dawn on his young face. "Okay, it's not cute anymore. Go play with your friends." He took his hand off my arm like he'd burnt it and turned and walked swiftly away. I shook my head and then painted on my best greet the customers smile and got out my order pad.


She was fucking hot. I only had eyes for her from the minute me and the gang stumbled into the bar. We were slumming it, or at least I was. Back in the Windy City I would never hang out in a dive like the one my boys took me to that night but back home it was kind of fun to go hang out where the yokels did and just be one of the guys, just one more annoying privileged college kid home for the summer.

That night we weren't necessarily on the pull, not that I was in the habit of turning down free pussy if it was offered. The goal that night was to get shit faced and probably go to the rippers and then stumble home and wake up the next afternoon and hit the gym. I had promised Coach Q that I'd come back in top shape, that I wouldn't use the cast on my wrist as an excuse to do nothing, get soft and out of shape. I knew I was on thin ice, not just with Coach but the other guys on the team and management too. Maybe I'd let the Cup get to my head...

Okay, I totally had. But fuck, I'd won the fucking Stanley Cup, I hadn't seen the reason to bust my balls to win it two years in a row. I'm not like Captain Stick Up His Ass; I actually like having fun and I'm definitely not busting my hump trying to get tied down. I like being free and I like chicks, all chicks...well hot chicks anyway and she was hot, even if the first thing I saw was just her ass.

She was leaning over the bar, waiting for an order, her ass wrapped in a tight black denim skirt and the artfully ripped black t-shirt revealing some kind of artistic scroll work on her lower back. She was bopping to some heavy rock song with a killer guitar riff and I couldn't take my eyes off that ass. First my guys dared me to go up and spank it but I knew that shit only worked back in the Windy City where I could pretty much get away with fucking anything. So when I turned down the first dare they upped the stakes. Tap it and I wouldn't have to pay for drinks for the rest of the weekend. Considering my accountant had just been on my ass about getting my spending under control I thought that was a bet I had to win.

She was having none of it though but when I saw that her auburn curls and bright green eyes were a match to her fabulous ass I was even more determined to win the bet. I may not be as competitive as Tazer but I don't exactly like to lose either. But when she shot me down for the third time and her eyes got all cold and she gave me that fuck off and die look, instead of deciding that she wasn't worth it and just getting out my credit card, I got my own game face on and sent my friends ahead to the strip club without me.

"I wouldn't bother man," the bartender warned when I asked when her shift ended. I shrugged, giving him one of those 'you don't worry me' grins that I've pretty much got down to a fine art. I'm not a big guy in a world of goons and I've pretty much managed to avoid using my fists so far.

"I'll take my chances," I told him, signing the visa slip and handing it back to him.

"Your funeral man," the guy smirked, separating my copy and handing it to me. I stuck my wallet in my back pocket and headed out the door to wait. She wasn't far behind me and I watched as she pulled her hair from the practical pony tail and shook it loose, sending waves of copper curls down over her shoulders. She was dragging her fingers through it as she looked up and saw me leaning against the passenger door of my H2.

"You're fucking kidding me." She stopped and rolled her eyes but she didn't turn and walk back into the bar or run away, both good signs as far as I was concerned. I couldn't help but smile.

"Drive you home?" I offered.

"In that pimpmobile?" she scrunched up her nose and it almost made me laugh. I feigned being hurt instead, clutching my chest.

"What's wrong with her? She's beautiful?" I cried and that made her laugh, even though she tried to cover her mouth and turn away. It was too late. I'd already seen it.

"If you drove that thing into my neighbourhood the cops would think you stole it," she told me seriously, "and if you dropped me off in that thing, they'd bust me for soliciting."

"I'll chance it if you will," I told her and meant it. I was getting an eyeful of her legs, long dancer's legs, legs with muscular calves that I was already imagining wrapped around me.

"Yeah well," she dug into her purse and pulled out a bus pass, "I'm not much of a gambler."

"C'mon," I tried appealing to her, pushing off from my Hummer and following her as she headed away from the bar and from me, "what kind of gentleman would I be if I let you take the bus this time of night. Who knows what kind of perverts and ruffians might be on the bus at this hour."

"Ruffians?" she stopped, turned and looked at me with a single, raised brow.

"What? It's a word," I grinned, not actually sure if it was or if it was something my dad had just called me when I was little. She pursed her lips and gave me one of those once over looks that had nothing to do with checking out what labels I was wearing or how big my biceps were and everything to do with trying to decide if I was a rapist. I could hear voices in my head that sounded a lot like my teammates laughing their asses off at my expense.

"Gentleman huh?" she asked, crossing her arms in front of her chest and aiming this unimpressed look at me, her head tipped to the side, her curls falling over her bare shoulder. She'd taken off the ripped t-shirt and was now in just a tank top with thin spaghetti straps.

"You won't know unless you give me a chance," I offered, my arms out, giving her my best innocent look. She narrowed her eyes and gave me a long hard look before she heaved sigh and shrugged.

"I guess if my time is up, it's up." I felt like I'd won a game. I could feel the big goofy grin on my face and she rolled her eyes again at me but the corners of her mouth turned up and I could feel it in my bones. I was winning her over.

Not my Hummer though. Even as she climbed inside she looked thoroughly displeased with her surroundings. It was such a different reaction to the girls I usually picked up that it made me laugh which made her frown at me.

"What?" she asked, her arms once again crossed defensively in front of her.

"You hate my ride. You really do," I pointed out as I turned to look behind me as I backed her out of the now mostly empty parking lot.

"Well it's kind of...ostentatious and, besides, who needs anything this big?" she asked, giving me that look that, without saying it out loud, asked if I knew that I was trying to make up for not exactly being the tallest guy in the world.

"Ostentatious?" I repeated and she rolled her eyes again. Tazer does that to me sometimes. He also does it when a puck bunny I've brought for dinner makes a 'chicken of the sea' comment. That's why he never bothers to ask their names; he just calls them all Jessica, whether they have big boobs or not.

"So does it usually impress the girls you pick up?" she asked, not bothering to give me a definition. I'd guessed it wasn't good anyway.

"I guess," I replied casually. I knew that half the girls I picked up would have said so even if I'd been driving a Prius but I liked my ride and didn't much care if they did or not. It kind of impressed me that she didn't say she liked it just to make me happy though. It was kind of novel, like getting a new stick.

"So did you win the bet then?" she asked, turning to look at me when we cruised up to a stop light. I shrugged and she snickered. "Yeah, I guessed there was something like that going on. So what do you need for proof, my panties or something?"

"It's a little more complicated than that," I admitted, keeping my eyes on the light; not because I was worried I'd blush like Captain Chastity Belt would have but because I didn't think the smirk on my face was going to help me get to what would win me the bet.

"Oh, I see. So that's why you haven't asked me which way we should be heading?" she asked and I could feel her gaze boring into the side of my head like one of those drills they use on you at the dentist. "So you're not even going to ask me? You're just going to assume because I got in your fancy ride that I'll sleep with you?" she asked in a tone that was not very encouraging.

I glanced over at her, gave her my best, most dazzling 'trust me' smile and said, "yeah."

"Wow," she sat back and just stared at me, open mouthed. "What fucking school do you go to where this shit actually works?" I'd already figured out that she thought I was a frat boy and it was obvious she didn't recognize me and I didn't really think that putting her in the pictures was actually going to help me at this point, so I played along.

"Chicago," I said, not knowing the actual names of any of the schools.

"Wow, fuck off, and this shit actually works? This whole smooth operator shit you've been laying on me actually works for you there? Wow," she shook her head and smiled. "I'm hella impressed."

"Thanks," I said and meant it which made her laugh, the kind of laugh that started with a snort and ended with her wiping tears from her eyes.

"Jesus, please tell me you're joking," she sighed, reaching for the sunshade, pulling it down and checking her mascara in the tiny lit mirror.

"About the lines working or that I want to fuck you?" I asked, straight up. She paused, one hand on the sun shade, the other under her eye.

"The lines," she said slowly and I grinned.

"Oh yeah, they do sometimes. I'm totally taking you home and fucking you though." She blinked, tucked the sun shade back up and gazed over at me.

"Uh huh. I got that," she smirked and then turned and stared out the passenger window and didn't say another word.