Body Check(5)

By: Elle Kennedy


Scowling, he lifted his head just as the source of his distraction drew near.

“You could do it over,” Mike said quickly, fumbling for the white ball and placing it back on the table. “It’s called a mulligan or something.”

“That’s golf,” Brody muttered, his gaze glued to the approaching brunette.

A few years ago an interviewer for Sports Illustrated had asked him to describe the type of women he was attracted to. “Leggy blondes” had been his swift response, which was pretty much the exact opposite of the woman who’d now stopped two feet in front of him. And yet his mouth went dry at the sight of her, his body quickly responding to every little detail. The silky chocolate-brown hair falling over her shoulders, the vibrant green eyes the same shade as a lush rain forest, the petite body with more curves than his brain could register.

His breath hitched as their eyes met. The whisper of an uncertain smile that tugged at her full lips sent a jolt to his groin. Jeez. He couldn’t remember the last time a single smile from a woman had evoked such an intense response.

“I thought I’d play the winner.” Her soft, husky voice promptly delivered another shock wave to Brody’s crotch.

Stunned to find he was two seconds away from a full-blown erection, he tried to remind his body that he wasn’t a teenager any longer, but a twenty-nine-year-old man who knew how to control himself. Hell, he could control the puck while fending off elbows and cross-checks from opposing attackers; getting a hold of his hormones should be a piece of cake.

“Here, just take my place now,” Mike burst out, quickly pushing his cue into her hands. His gaze dropped to the cleavage spilling over the scooped neckline of the brunette’s yellow tank top, and then the kid turned to Brody and winked. “Have fun, man.”

Brody wrinkled his brow, wondering if Mike thought he was graciously passing this curvy bombshell over to him or something, but before he could say anything, Mike disappeared in the crowd.

Brody swallowed, then focused his eyes on the sexy little woman who’d managed to get him hard with one smile.

She didn’t look like the type you’d find in a sports bar, even one as upscale as this. Sure, her body was out of this world, but something about her screamed innocence. The freckles splattering the bridge of her nose maybe, or perhaps the way she kept biting on the corner of her bottom lip like a bunny nibbling on a piece of lettuce.

Before he could stop it, the image of those plump red lips nibbling on one particular part of his anatomy slid to the forefront of his brain like a well-placed slap shot to the net. His cock pushed against the fly of his jeans.

So much for controlling his hormones.

“I’m guessing it’s my turn,” she said. Tilting her head, she offered another endearing smile. “Seeing as you just blew your shot.”

He cleared his throat. “Uh, yeah.”

Snap out of it, man.

Right, he needed to regroup here. He played hockey, yeah, but he wasn’t a player anymore. His love-’em-and-leave-’em ways were in the past. He was sick to death of women fawning all over him because of his career. Nowadays all he had to do was walk into a place—club, bar, the public library—and a warm, willing female was by his side, ready to jump his bones. And he couldn’t even count the number of times he’d heard, “Do you like it rough off the ice, baby?”

Well, screw it. He’d been down the casual road, had his fun, scored off the ice as often as he scored on it, but now it was time to take a new path. One where the woman in his bed actually gave a damn about him, and not the hockey star she couldn’t wait to gush to her friends about.

The sexual fog in his brain cleared, leaving him alert and composed, and completely aware of the flush on the brunette’s cheeks and the hint of attraction in her eyes. If this woman was looking to score with Mr. Hockey, she had another think coming.

“I’m Hayden,” his new opponent said, uncertainty floating through her forest-green eyes.

“Brody Croft,” he returned coolly, waiting for the flicker of recognition to cross her features.

It didn’t happen. No flash of familiarity, no widening of the eyes. Her expression didn’t change in the slightest.

“It’s nice to meet you. Brody.” Her voice lingered on his name, as if she were testing it out for size. She must have decided she liked the fit, because she gave a small nod and turned her attention to the table. After a quick examination, she pointed to the ball he’d failed to sink and called the shot.

Okay, was he supposed to believe she genuinely didn’t know who he was? That she’d walked into a sports bar and randomly chosen to hit on the only hockey player in attendance?