Every professional sports team has someone just like me on the payroll. Some leagues, the NFL and the NBA, have more than one travelling with each team.

This is not exactly something I had pictured myself doing in life. It wasn't something I thought of as an option when I attended any of those job fairs in my teens, and it definitely didn't come up during any of my career aptitude tests. I didn't research it or have to apply for the position. I was, as is every member in the field ~ recruited.

It's not rocket science and I'm not exactly changing the world but I'm not ashamed of what I do. Would I want my daughter to grow up and follow in my footsteps? Absolutely not. Like I said, I'm not ashamed of my work but if I ever get lucky enough to have a daughter of my own then I wish bigger and better things for her.

I'm sure my parents wouldn't be too thrilled to know that their youngest daughter regularly services a number of professional athletes… on her knees. Not that I have any intention of contacting them or anyone else in my family and telling them. I haven't seen my most of my family since the day I graduated high school and that suits me just fine. I don't need them to call me names to know what I am and what I do is something they'd approve of.

I've been called a lot of things, few of them complimentary, but then again, having a thick skin is a requirement in this particular line of work. Once a player's wife called me "The Girlfriend" and it stuck, which as long as it didn't bother them it doesn't bother me, but on paper, for accounting purposes, I'm referred to as a Specialist.

Specialists usually don't stay with one team for longer than a single season, two at the outside. It is a precaution, a safeguard to prevent any unhealthy (read: unwise) attachments forming that you can guess can be an occupational hazard considering the intimate nature of the services the specialist provides. I've heard of women doing this that have gone off the deep end after falling for a player, intentionally causing chaos and drama in their personal lives, demanding attention outside of "work", and doing everything in their power to undermine the players' family lives. There have even been a couple of cases where a few girls ended up pregnant "accidentally" on purpose.

Of course these are exactly the types of things that employing a Specialist is supposed to eliminate. There are women, fans, and easy lays everywhere. In hockey they are often referred to by the players as "Pucks" because of the way they are passed around from player to player. But engaging in some naughtiness with a random puck is like playing Russian roulette with your dick. There are a million things that can and do go wrong and it isn't really worth it for the guys with the big contracts or the ones who have wives and girlfriends to go home to. These days fewer and fewer guys are willing to risk a paternity suit or the possibility of sharing a disease with their significant other and the from a purely business point of view, the team and the league has even less patience.

Still, it wasn't easy for the boys to stay faithful. Not that they don't love their wives or have the intent to be monogamous. The difficulty usually comes on the road when they're jacked up with adrenaline after an exhilarating win or equally wound up after a heartbreaking loss. That intensity usually manifests into something...primal.; a very basic and honest need that demands instant gratification.

Sex. A lot of sex.

Chapter 1

It is up to each specialist to replace herself. She knows the players, their preferences, their 'special needs'; do they prefer blondes or brunettes, will the new girl be comfortable with a little s&m, can she move seamlessly between being a top and a bottom.

If the guys help in other cities I don't know. In my case, one was used as bait.

I was sitting on my own at a hotel bar, waiting for a friend, reading a book when he sent me a drink. I declined, with a smile. Even if he was just doing it to be nice, to be sociable, or because he was lonely, I didn't care. I was fresh out of something, not a really big fan of men right at that point and it didn't matter that he had big blue eyes and cute smile. He could have waved a ten inch dick at me and it wouldn't have mattered at that moment. The closest relationship I wanted to have with the male organ right then was something with batteries.

That's when a woman wearing this to die for crisp white blouse, and oh my god how does she walk in that black pencil skirt and stiletto heels sat down next to me, put her clutch on the bar and asked the bartender for whatever I was having.

"My name's Holly," she said, turning to face me, looking like one of those advertisements for shampoo out of an old Life magazine, "and you are?"

"Penny," I reply, taking her hand when it's offered. Her nails are blood red and the way she caresses my hand is purely sexual. If a guy had let his hand linger on mine the way hers had just done he would have earned a slap. When she did it, I could only smile. It's not that I swing that way but every once in a while you meet a woman who makes you think 'yeah, I could tap that'.

"Are you alone, Penny?" she says my name like she's committing it to memory and looks directly into my eyes in a way few women ever do.

"I'm meeting a friend," I reply wondering why I can't look away from her red lips or her high, sharp cheekbones.

"Girlfriend or boyfriend?" Again she never takes her eyes off of me, her gaze penetrating as she waits for my answer. I know by the way she says it and the expectant mona lisa smile exactly what she's asking. It's direct and straight to the point and a little part of me starts to wonder if she's hitting on me.

"Girl friend." I make the distinction she did not make and her smile grows by degrees, "and she's late." The answer obviously satisfied some criteria because she relaxes and when her drink comes she even takes a few sips before she speaks again, which makes me just a little uncomfortable, like I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.

"Are you single?" she asked plainly. I nodded and rolled my eyes.

"So single," I muttered and her lips twitched at the corners as if she had either guessed as much or thought it was funny.

"Do you like sex, Penny?" and there it was, the other shoe. I was sure by then that she was hitting on me and had to take a big gulp of the margarita I'd been nursing. When I finally got the courage to look up at her she waiting for my answer, her red lips pursed, her eyebrow arched.

"As much as anyone I guess," I replied, wondering if the next thing coming out of her pretty mouth was going to be her asking me up to her room and if it was would I go? She smiled and tossed her thick mane of honey blonde hair over one shoulder and then leaned conspiratorially towards me.

"But do you enjoy it? Do you like getting…fucked, Penny?" I blinked at her, an image of her with nothing but a strap on and that bemused smile of hers making my palms sweaty enough that I brushed them along my thighs while I thought about my answer. I sipped hard on the straw, draining most of my drink and then holding up my mostly empty glass in the universal gesture for 'I'm dehydrated over here'. The answer was yes, but I was still grappling with the image of her with that battery powered appendage aimed at me and she must have read it in my eyes because she laughed and shook her head. "Him, would you like to fuck him?" she clarified, pointing towards the guy with the big grin and matching big blue eyes.

I glanced over at where he now sat alone at a table, relaxed as he watched one of those UFC matches on a screen and sipped on a beer. He had wide shoulders and thick forearms and the dress shirt he was wearing looked like it was ready to scream for mercy across the width of his back. He had big working man hands with thick fingers that made my lady parts clench and massive, powerful looking thighs that looked like they wanted to burst out of his expensively tailored dress pants.

"Yeah," I replied a little breathlessly , my mouth having become dry so that I was grateful when the bartender placed my new drink in front of me. I sipped at it, careful not to drain it all at once even though I wanted to.

"And if he had friends that looked just like that, would you like to fuck them too?" she asked me. I was still considering what it would be like to be underneath all that muscle I could imagine but not see when the idea of more than one of him surrounding a bed I was lying naked on made me choke on my drink. "I'll take that as a yes," she laughed, not giggled, and paid the bartender for my drink. I turned to look at her but he attention was now turned towards another television set over the bar where another sports channel was just beginning to show highlights from tonight's hockey game in Chicago.

"Are you like…his pimp or something?" I asked almost under my breath. Her lips pulled back across her teeth and she really laughed then, a deep belly laugh.

"No…but…that's an interesting way of looking at it," she chuckled, raising her straw to her lips as she watched the highlights, her gaze riveted to the screen. "Do you make good money Penny? I can see you like nice things," she added with a sideways glance at my purse, which had actually been a gift, not something that I could afford on my receptionist's salary.

"I wouldn't mind making more," I replied cautiously, my brain whizzing ahead, putting two and two together and coming up with nineteen. Oh god I thought, he's her pimp and I'm about to be turned out onto the street.

"Have you heard of the Canucks, Penny?" she asked, the highlight package over. A bunch of guys were talking on the screen. I couldn't hear what they were saying but the Canucks logo was behind them.

"Of course," I replied. I wanted to add that everyone growing up in this city knows about the Canucks but I didn't because I realized suddenly who that man was sitting at the table behind us. The next thought in my head was 'oh my god she's Chris Higgin's girlfriend and I'm about to be asked to join a three way'.

"Do you like hockey?' she asked. I was wiping my hands on the thighs of my jeans again and wondering if I had the guts to say yes to the next thing I was sure she was going to ask.

"I do," I replied, afraid to say more than that.

"Then I'd like to put a proposition to you Penny," she said quietly, reaching for her clutch. I held my breath, waiting for her to ask me to join them in his room. I stared at her hand as she reached into her purse and pulled out a card. "Meet me at this office, tomorrow at nine. We'll talk."

I was flabbergasted as I mutely took the card she held out towards me. It was smile and white and had the Orca crest of the Canucks on it as well as her name, an address and a phone number. I stared at it, trying to make sense out of the questions she'd been asking and the professional, authentic looking business card I was holding in my hand.

"Specialist?" I asked, looking up into that bemused, lips pressed together smile.

"That's right," she smiled warmly, laying her cool palm over my wrist. "How'd you like to fuck hockey players for money Penny?"

I was sitting in a room full of pretty girls feeling out of place. Not because they were the obvious prom queen kind of pretty but the girl next door runner up kind of girl; the always a bridesmaid and never a bride kind of girl which seemed apt. After all, as it had been made crystal clear to me during the screening interview all of the girls in the room where here to be trained to be exactly that, second fiddle.

They seemed to be the girl that plays touch football with the guys on a Sunday morning and didn't care if they got a little muddy or a little bruised. They reminded me of the girls in high school that never seemed like she should be a threat to the popular girls, could burp the alphabet but gave hella good head under the bleachers and always seemed to have a bunch of guys that wanted to sleep with her.

I'd never thought of myself as one of those girls. Oh I could be one of the guys and I'd been praised for some of my particular talents but I'd never even considered playing the field. I liked being a one man women. Of course I didn't tell the selection committee that and that might have been my first mistake.

I knew I'd made a another mistake the moment they brought out the pole.

Holly must have realized she made one too when I showed up that morning in jeans. They were nice jeans, paired well with a loose knit sweater, a newsboy cap and riding boots – typical daily apparel for the urban Vancouverite.

Except… no one else had worn jeans.

I couldn't understand what the hell I was still doing there after the "etiquette" lesson. If they hadn't realized how poorly I was suited to all of this after the Great Rimming Debate then I was sure someone would have clued in when I nearly choked to death trying to beat out the three other girls in the deep-throat contest. If they're open to suggestions then next time they might consider using something that won't break off and require the Heimlich as a rescue; an English cucumber perhaps. Deep-throating a banana is all fun and games until someone chokes and dies.

A blonde named Tonia had won that round. And I give the girl crazy props because that thing went all the way down and she didn't even blink. She claimed to have no gag reflex. She's probably really popular wherever she called home.

Absently I rubbed at my breastbone where some guy named Frank had doubled his fists and pumped the fruit out of my windpipe with a single heave from behind. The bruise would fade long before that story would lie down and die.

Across the room I could see that Dionne was still soaking up the praise after her spin around the brass. The "judges" had been very appreciative of her routine, especially when she had abandoned the pole entirely and went full out Striptease on all of us.

I admit that she did a really good job. And getting naked was a brilliant way to draw attention away from the red mess of matted hair piled on top of her head. I winced every time she started to reach for what had been nearly waist length synthetic tresses and every time she'd aim a vicious glare in my direction.

In all fairness it wasn't entirely my fault. Our Sensual Massage class had been going really, really well right up until my aromatherapy candle had gone out. Mandi, my partner, had been in the middle of turning me absolutely boneless with her talented hands and I hadn't wanted her to have to stop to find a match.

I always carry a lighter in the pocket of my jeans.

Without looking, I dug it out and lit it to show her that I had the solution to our problem right at my fingertips.

Unfortunately a good portion of Dionne's synthetic weave was ALSO close at hand.

I swear to God that my lighting her hair on fire had NOTHING to do with the way she was openly berating Mandi's massage technique. Everyone else seemed to believe me but Dionne was still very, very angry.

Mandi had found me during the break as we waited for the smell of burning hair to dissipate and gave me a big smacking kiss on the lips. "Thanks, Doll."

She was cool. It had been her suggestion to get someone to clean the pole after Dionne humped it to hell and back during her routine. That reprieve offered me a couple of minutes to think of something, ANYTHING, I could do to put myself on par with the rest of the recruits.

Not that there was anything. I couldn't do any of what the others had done. Mandi had earned applause from all of us, using her legs in ways that I'd heard about but never witnessed before. The judges had loved her too. Each one of those executives had a smile on his face and his legs crossed… very carefully.

The captain liked her for sure. Hank grinned and took notes – notes! – as she gyrated and moved her hips like a pro.

Dionne didn't have much to offer with the hip action and I was all but certain she WAS a pro.

But now it was my turn. Any moment the beat would drop and I was finally going to get voted off this surreal little island. There wasn't a chance in hell I was going to be able to pull this off and finally they would toss me out of here on my head.

Of course there was the very real possibility I could fall off the brass and crack my head open first.

Sweet Jesus, what the fuck was I doing here?

My palms were damp and I wiped them on my thighs as I turned my back to the room and faced the pole. This was not going to end well.

Seriously, I can't believe I wore jeans.

"I can't believe it's down to just you and me," I told Mandi honestly as we lay on our side by side single beds and stared at the television screen. I wasn't really watching. It made me uncomfortable to watch this kind of thing with someone else in the room. Truth be told it made me blush when I watched it alone but it was part of our homework. Apparently professional athletes watch hours of porn on the road.

"You're going to win," she said, all of a sudden, just like that. I gaped at her because I still couldn't really understand how I'd gotten as far as I had and I hadn't really made up my mind that I wanted the position anyway.

"The idea isn't just to be willing and sexy," she smiled, her naturally plump lips that permanently looked like she'd been sucking a guy off for an hour, pulling back from her perfectly white teeth. "You have to be non–threatening too and babes, you have that in spades." It was a compliment and I knew that was the way she meant it but it made me squirm. "They're the kind of men who want to feel like they're in charge...until they don't. You've heard of that whole Madonna whore complex, well this job is the epitome of that dichotomy." It made perfect sense when she said it. I wasn't sure how that simple concept hadn't formulated in my brain already through all the discussions of rules and regulations mixed with fantasy scenarios and catalogues from both Victoria's secret as well as Bebe, Prada and Lacroix.

I wanted to tell her that I thought she was prettier than me, that she would kick ass out on a dance floor and if I swung that way I'd definitely consider her in my top ten chick list but I was too busy realizing that I was getting very close to officially becoming The Specialist for the Vancouver Canucks.

I didn't know if I was ready for it. I hadn't really taken it very seriously up to that point. I'd been seriously flattered to be considered. Parts of the 'training' had even been fun but at no point had I thought I'd actually come out on top. The main thing that had kept me in the running was I hated to lose.

"Before you say no," she sighs, lying back on the bed and giving me one of those 'mother knows best' looks, "remember, the money is...well, pretty amazing."

Oh yeah there was that part. What other job did I have lined up where I was guaranteed six figures and I'd have the whole summer off?

"Maybe I'll fail miserably on the date," I offered and watched as the corners of her full lips turned upwards.

"And maybe I'll get the rookie and scare the shit out of him. But seriously, may the best woman win," Mandi said, offering a fist bump which was such a guy thing to do it made me laugh out loud.

Now I just had to get through a date with a Canuck and I wouldn't know who until he arrived at the table in the restaurant. With luck I'd drop salsa on my boob, get hammered and make an ass out of myself and not have to sleep with a complete stranger, no matter how cute and how loaded he was.