Chapter 17

That he was still in my bed when the sun found its way through the curtains and coloured him gold down to where the sheet hugged his hips surprised me. My gaze roamed lazily over the wide expanse of his back and down to where his muscular torso nipped in at the waist in that perfect 'v' that professional swimmers covet for aerodynamics. I toyed with the idea of tugging the sheets aside so I could get an even better look at his thickly muscled ass over which the sheet was pulled taught so that I the hills and valleys of that particular area of his anatomy was prominently displayed.

Big hands, big feet, big ass, big...

All of the muscles in my body quivered at the memory of the things he had done and made me do. Even the slight hiss that escaped my lips as I sat up and the sheets slid over the welts on the back of my thighs was not enough to erase the warm liquid honey feeling of waking up next to the man who had played my body like it was a Stradivarius.

That he was still there, softly snoring, when by his own admittance he should have been at the hotel with the rest of his teammates made my heart skip a beat but I didn't dare hope that it was truly evidence that what was happening here was more than just sex. I knew that would be too simple. He was far too complicated for me to make an assumption that clear-cut about and besides that, there was that other complication to consider. Pat.

Whatever my feelings for either man, they were first and foremost teammates and even from what little I knew of the man with his fist curled beneath the pillow on which he was currently drooling, that relationship would be first and foremost in his mind; hockey first and women a distant fourth, maybe even fifth? Would Pat have put me so far down on his list of priorities? I doubted it but then I also knew that didn't matter.

What I'd felt for Patrick paled in comparison to the mixed bag of emotions I felt now in the wake of last night. Even as confused and yes, excited as I was in the afterglow of the best sex of my entire life, I knew that if this was all there was, all there might ever be, I would take it even thoughI didn't think I would have to. I was almost sure that he'd meant at least some of the things he'd uttered under the spell of desire.

I'd only know when he woke up and maybe not even then which was probably why I was letting him sleep instead of waking him because when it came right down to it, I was a coward.

Of course I knew I couldn't let him sleep all day and as his pants began to vibrate across my bedroom floor for the second time I wondered if I'd already let him sleep too long. I knew all about the Hawks' early morning skates on game days even if I didn't know if their road schedule was different.

He groaned and the arm that had been curled under the pillow stretched out towards the sound of his phone as it vibrated in the pocket of his pants. I slid from beneath the sheets, picked his pants up off of the floor, dug his phone free and put it in his outstretched hand. He opened one dark chocolate eye and regarded me with what looked like amusement and then put his phone to his ear.

"Mmm?" That one dark eye tracked my movement across the room as I pulled a t-shirt from a folded pile in one drawer and pulled it over my head. I shuddered. The slip of cotton over my skin felt like he was touching me. "What time is it?" I glanced towards the old fashioned Winnie the Pooh alarm clock on my bedside table but then realized that he hadn't directed the question to me. "Ten minutes," he yawned, stretched and swung into a sitting position. The sheets remained tugged across his thighs but did nothing to camouflage his morning wood. I stared at it. He smirked. "Make that twenty." He tossed the phone down onto the bed as his gaze heated my skin. I stood there like a doe caught in the light of an eighteen wheeler's high beams, unable to move and unable to break the tractor beam of his gaze. "You're wearing too many clothes," he said and then patted the mattress. I glanced at the narrow expanse of the bed beside him and then back at his eyes. Was it my imagination or were they darker than they had been a minute ago?

"You have to go." I motioned towards his phone.

"After," he said, sliding a pair of handcuffs out from under the sheets and held them up, swinging them from his index finger. I bit back a moan. He'd restrained me with those sometime in the middle of the night. I'd woken up to find myself handcuffed to the headboard with his tongue deep in my twat. I shuddered at that the memory.

"Now?" I squeaked. He snapped open one cuff and raised an eyebrow. I held my arm out and he snapped the cuff around it and then used his leverage to pull me towards him until I had one knee on the edge of the mattress.

"Now," he repeated, reaching for my other hand and then turned to look at the headboard. Obediently I crawled up the bed and let him lock my other wrist on the other side of one of the posts of my cheap, brass headboard. I felt the bed dip as he positioned himself behind me and then I heard the distinct rip of a condom package.

Looking over my shoulder I got to watch the show, his sliding the condom down his long, thick hard dick one handed while, at the same time he slid the palm of his hand very slowly over the curve of my ass until I felt him slide two fingers inside of me and that groan I'd been trying to bite back finally slid off of my tongue.

"I'm going to fuck you hard and fast and you're going to scream my name and then we're going to the rink," he told me in a matter of fact tone that left no room for dispute.

"Uh-huh," I muttered, wrapped my hands around the brass posts and clenched my teeth as he screwed himself slowly into me until I thought I could feel the tip of him behind my belly button. I sucked a breath in sharply between my teeth, the still tender and sensitive areas objecting to the lack of lubrication by reminding me how rough he'd already been with me and how many times. I ignored the twinges and deep ache that filled me as he slowly drew his hips back and then drove his dick back into me as hard and as fast as he'd promised, driving a breath from my lungs with a nearly silent 'whoosh'.

"I want him to see it on your face when we get to the rink. I want him to know you've been fucked and that you enjoyed it." He'd know, I thought as I tightened my grip on the brass bars as Jonathan slammed his cock deep inside me again, because I wouldn't be able to walk or sit down.

"Where's el cap-eee-tan?" I asked as I looked down the aisle of the bus and didn't see his disapproving, scornful face staring back at me.

"All I know is he didn't sleep in his own bed last night," Seabs replied without looking up from his PSP.

"Of course he didn't, we're not at home," I slid into the seat beside the mangy defenseman and peered down at the game. It was some kind of racing game. I prefer the shooting ones, the more blood the better.

"I meant our hotel room moron," he elbowed me in the ribs. I frowned at him.

"Like as in..Tazer's.a dirty stop out? As in, he missed curfew...with a girl?" I rubbed my hands together in anticipatory glee, right up until the point that Sharpie leaned across the aisle and punched me in the shoulder, hard enough to make me wince.

"Like you didn't," he snorted and then snapped open the newspaper again. He was reading the business section. I can see him sitting behind some big desk in some skyscraper in the city one day, doing something important. Maybe he could take over Shanny's job and not be such a dick.

"Hey man I had my mom's homemade pierogis and kielbasa," I told them as I sat back and put both hands over my still slightly swollen stomach. I'd eaten way past the point of being full but I only get so many chances during the season to get homemade food. Indigestion aside, it was totally worth it.

"So you didn't go looking for that hot little red head?" Seabs asked without looking up from his game.

"Nah," I answered going for cool and unaffected. "Whatever. But I bet that bitch knows what she's missing by now," I added with a cocky kind of grin. I'd sort of been wondering if she'd come to the game tonight. I'd promised myself I wouldn't look for her but I wouldn't be surprised if she was waiting out by the bus tonight.

The guys let it drop, which I was grateful for. I didn't like to think about her too much. I'd had enough of the twenty questions from my mother who I'm pretty sure is more disappointed about our break up than I am. Some guys my age get the whole 'get a job, get a career' speech. I get the 'why can't you commit to one nice girl' speech.

"Ugh, how can anyone live in this city?" Seabs asked finally looking up from his game to stare out at the cold grey day. The snow on the ground was gray, the streets were grey, the buildings were grey and so was the sky.

"Because we know how to paaar-tay," I replied, getting up and heading for the front of the bus before it even rolled to a stop. Without Tazer here I could be the first off the bus. This being my hometown I expected to have to deal with the press more here and I didn't want to be the last guy out on the ice.

I had one foot off the bus and into the slush that covered the sidewalk when a taxi pulled up in front of the bus. I recognized Tazer from his arrogant profile but as soon as he got out of the taxi it was pretty apparent he wasn't alone. As he turned to give a hand up to the person still inside he turned and looked directly at me. The expression on his face morphed from his everyday boy next door stupid grin to a smirk that made my hands clench into fists and then quickly to concern as he looked back at the woman he was helping out of the back of the car.

"Fuck my life." She looked right at me as her heels hit the sidewalk and her eyes were big and round. For just a second, I thought she looked apologetic and then she quickly looked down at her shoes as he closed the door behind her and leaned in to pay the cabbie.

She was wearing something businesslike, conservative. Not one of the outfits I preferred. It was all dark, subdued colours and she had her hair pulled back instead of loose around her shoulders and I decided I didn't like it that way. I didn't like the way she looked, it was way too fucking clear she wasn't here to see me.

"Duuude," Seabs stood at my shoulder and ran his big mitt through his hair and winced like he'd just watched me go feet first into the boards at high speed. It was a pretty accurate sensation as I felt the air being shoved out of my lungs. What in the fucking hell was she doing with him?

"I'm gonna go out on a limb here," Carbomb laid his oversize bear paw on my shoulder and I felt his fingers dig in like he thought I needed holding down, "and say he didn't just go and get her so's you two's can have some closure." That thought hadn't occurred to me. No, he'd fucked her and he wanted me to know it. The bright flame in her cheeks told me what his face hadn't, yet.

He didn't say anything, not to us, but bent close and said something near her ear that didn't do a damn thing to change the expression on her face. She looked ashamed. It made me want to break a stick over his stupid head. Then he took her hand and tugged her inside like he was the engine and she was the fucking caboose.

I stared after them, swearing a blue streak mostly under my breath.

I'd hoped to make it into the arena before I'd had to face Pat. Kaner was actually the least of my concerns. He'd be angry but as soon as the next tight assed puck fuck batted her eyelashes at him he'd forget about Beth. The rest of the guys on the other hand...

"I want you to wear this." She was sporting the pained and apprehensive expression I'd expected. I wanted to erase the fear from her eyes. I turned and took the long thin velvet box out of my jacket pocket and held it out towards her. She looked down at the box as if she expected it to grow fangs and bite so, impatiently, I lifted the lid.

She looked inside and then up at me. It wasn't diamonds but I didn't think the girl from the other side of the tracks would expect that kind of extravagance this soon.

Because she didn't I took the necklace out and set the box aside. She stared at the gold chain and the miniature pair of handcuffs pendant and then back up at me, again.

"Turn around." She did and swept her fiery hair aside and I slipped the necklace around her neck, fastened the clasp and then pressed a gentle kiss against the nape of her neck. "You're mine now," I reminded her quietly. "Whatever anyone says, whatever happens, you are mine." I felt her shiver as I brushed my knuckles down the back of her neck.

"Yesss," she whispered and I couldn't help but smile.

"Good," I told her, pleased, just as I heard the door to the arena swing shut behind us. I waited, counting to three in my head before I turned to face the judgement of my teammates but only Pat was there. I swore under my breath. He looked like he was going to fucking cry.

"Can I...can I talk to Beth...alone?" he stuttered, his gaze focussed on her. I considered telling him no, that anything he had to say to her he could say in front of me but with her fingers playing over the golden handcuffs she stepped around me, putting me behind her.

"It's okay," she said, to me I thought but maybe to him too.

"Are you sure?" I asked, brushing my lips over her temple, possessively placing my hands on her shoulders.

"Mmmhmm," she replied, reaching up to touch her fingers to mine and just like that I was dismissed. Not that I was going far.

I told myself that I wasn't worried about him, about anything he might say or do because I wasn't worried about Beth changing her mind. I realized, as I walked down the cold concrete corridor towards the dressing rooms, I just didn't want to actually give him the chance to even try.

"So you broke the cardinal rule?" Seabs asked the minute, the second, I walked into the visitor's dressing room. I shrugged my jacket off and carefully hung it up. Rules. Usually I was the enforcer of them. Sometimes I wasn't. When I wasn't I didn't give two shits about the rules. "Do you actually care about her or did you just do it for shits and giggles?"

"He never does stuff like that," Bicks spoke up for me. I glanced over at him and smiled. "Not for no reason, right?" he added, sounding less certain.

"Right," I replied pulling my tie over my head and rolling it carefully around my hand.

"Okay so it's not just because you can," Carbomb waded in, levelling his beady little eyes at me, "it's still not fair to the guy." I smiled at my toothless teammate and shrugged.

"Life's not fair," I shrugged and then toed off my shoes.

"I'm sorry." There was very little else to say and those two words hardly covered all the bases but it was just about all I had. Pat looked at the ground. He looked young and hurt and mad all at the same time.

"Why'd it have to be him?" he asked petulantly after a moment of silence. I took a deep breath. This was the question I'd anticipated. It wasn't that I'd fucked someone else. There was no doubt in my mind he'd had other women in his bed since I'd left. What was bothering Pat wasn't that I'd fucked someone else. It was that I'd fucked Jon.

"He pursued me," I responded truthfully. Pat made a contemptuous sound deep in his throat and I knew that he wasn't surprised. As competitive as he was, Jon was that and then some. "I wanted him to," I added because I deserved to share the blame. I wasn't going to stand there and tell him about all of the times I hadn't given in. That would be petty and besides, I knew it didn't matter now.

"So...are you like...into him or what?" I could see what it cost him to ask that and that and I was almost glad that I didn't have a ready answer for it. I ran my fingers over the miniature chain holding the two sides of the tiny handcuffs together around my neck.

"Maybe," I replied with a shrug. It was better than admitting that my panties were soaked through every time the Captain of the Hawks looked at me and that I'd let him do whatever he wanted, wherever he wanted to me. Pat nodded again and then sighed, his shoulders rising and falling before he looked up at me through his long, pale lashes. His blue eyes held anger but they were also filled with the sort of ache that can only be left behind by a severe wound.

"'re gonna come back to Chi-town with him?" he asked me. I'd been told that I'd be sent for. That Jon would find another apartment for me, close to his, somewhere 'convenient'. He hadn't asked me but then I was certain that I'd made it clear that I wanted to be with him. It wasn't ideal but I would take it, for now, so I nodded. "Fuck," Pat grimaced and kicked at an imaginary stone with the toe of his shoe.

"I'm sorry. I know that will be...awkward," I offered, reaching out to touch his upper arm. He flinched and withdrew. I stepped back.

"Ya think?' he looked up at me again with his blue eyes; eyes that were now more full of anger and disappointment than they were tears. "Fuck," he repeated and jammed his fists into his jacket pockets.

"I'm sorry," I repeated again because I didn't know what else to say. Was there a greeting card that you could send someone when you'd just slept with their best friend and worst enemy? Was there a song I could download onto his iPod that would explain all of this better than I could?

"You know it's not fair right?" I tried not to smile but the way he'd screwed up his face made me want to pinch his cheeks so badly I nearly couldn't resist. It was more like he was being told he was being grounded and would have no use of the family car for a month than that his girlfriend had fucked someone else.

"I know." I didn't try to fight with him about it because it was true. This wasn't fair. Not even to me and I was the one walking around with that kind of ache that made you want to curl up under the covers with a stupid grin on your face. I did want to tell him that I'd tried to make it work, but then I knew that he had as well and it was too late for that to make a difference. The milk was spilled. All that was left was cleaning up the mess.

"So I supposed to wish you well or somethin'?" he grumbled. I bit down on my bottom lip.

"You don't have to but I hope you'll be okay. Not today but...soon," I told him honestly. He made a face that said he clearly thought I was spilling a bunch of bull to pacify him. "You will make some girl really happy Pat," I promised him. He looked up at me and all of the hurt I'd caused filled his sky blue eyes. "You just need a little more relationship practice I think," I added softly. It wasn't meant as a barb; more like constructive criticism but the moment I'd said it I wished I could withdraw it.

"Practice? Fuck you, I get fucking lots of practice. I bet I fuck a girl before the game tonight." I drew in a sharp breath and I refused to laugh. His was hurt. I had no business poking pins in his ego. I knew better than probably anyone in this building just how fragile Pat's ego actually was.

"You're right. I'm sorry. I hope you do. I hope you fuck a lot of girls." It was sort of the same thing. Maybe one of those girls would speak up, would help him learn how to find the g-spot, to do more than grunt and sweat over her, that it wasn't all about the effort and that he needed to use some of the finesse he displayed out on the ice in the bedroom. Maybe someone would want to do that for him. It just wasn't me.

"Yeah, you're not that hot. In fact I don't know what I saw in you." I smiled and let him say it. Whatever helped him I'd happily accept just like I took the punishments Jon doled out like candy.

"Fuckin' take that back shrimp." Jon appeared half way down the hallway. Neither of us had heard him and the whites in Pat's eyes made it clear that, had he known his bigger, more heavily muscled teammate had been there he'd never have said it out loud.

"Fuck you," he muttered but shrunk in on himself as if his body didn't agree with words coming out of his mouth and I could see why. Jon was big in every way but in skates and full gear...he was like Godzilla.

"It's okay." I looked at Jon and hoped he could see that it was only sticks and stones. If I wanted whips and chains that would be up to him. His dark gaze searched mine and then he visibly relaxed.

"Quit yer bitchin' and get dressed," he growled at Kane. Pat looked back at me one more time and there was a certain longing in his eyes that made me want, at the very least, to give him a hug. I didn't. I stood there and smiled at him in what I hoped wasn't a motherly sort of way before he turned and trudged down the corridor, his shoulders up around his ears. I watched him glance sidelong at Jon who glared down at him as he passed. Alpha males...,or at least one alpha and one junkyard dog who wanted, very badly, to be an alpha. Maybe one day.

"Okay?" Jon asked when he was certain we were, once again, alone. He reached out with his gloved hand and touched my face. I smiled up at him. I was now.

"Okay," I agreed. Seemingly satisfied he leaned down to briefly brush his lips across my eager mouth. I wanted more, wanted to grab his practice jersey with both hands and pull his mouth back down on mine but instead I just stood there and waited for him to make the next move. It wasn't my place as his sub to make those kinds of moves.

"Get your things, wait at the hotel?" It was an instruction but it sounded like a question. I liked that he wasn't one hundred per cent sure of me. I kind of wanted to keep it that way.

"If that's what you want," I prompted, looking up into his eyes, my hands still itching to touch him. He growled, shook off one of his gloves, grabbed a hold of my ponytail and pulled my head back enough that he could capture my mouth more easily. He kissed me until my toes curled, until I could barely breathe, until I knew I'd need to change my panties at the earliest opportunity. Mental note to self, carry extra panties while around Jon...or wear none at all.

"Amongst other things," he growled in my ear so that I shuddered and all of the muscles south of my belly button clenched.

"Then yes," I whispered and went up on tip toes to press a chaste kiss to his lips before turning and, being sure to swing my hips in what I hoped was an enticing manner, I walked back out to the still waiting taxi with my head held high.