Coming Soon - Body Check by Maria Luis!
The Beast of the Northeast.
And I’m not just referring to my stick play on the ice.
As Captain for the Boston Blades, I’ve spent years working toward bringing home the Stanley Cup.
But when the owners sell us out to Hollywood, suddenly we’re not just playing for thousands of fans, we’re cracking open our lives on a new reality show, Getting Pucked. They want all the dirty details, and I’d rather take a puck to the gonads than peel back the curtains on my life.
Not when it could take me out of the game for good.
I agree to sign the contract on one condition: they hire New England’s reigning queen of media to call the shots.
She’s my ex-wife.
A year without seeing Jackson’s bare chest is like a year without basking in sunlight.
You can get through it.
Hell, some days you might even relish the murky, gray skies and the heavy snowfall.
Until you get a glimpse of what you’ve been missing. It’s straight downhill from there.
“Can you please put a shirt on?”
I hear the words leave my mouth as I visually soak up the panther-like way Jackson’s hands move to the bench on either side of his hips. Jackson’s always been ripped, but this is . . . just wow. His arm muscles flex, the visible tendons that run along his biceps and down over his forearms visibly rippling. I bet if I were to Urban Dictionary “arm porn,” I’d find Jackson’s picture as the only definition.
Dark eyes flit over my body, lingering on my thighs and waist before returning to my face. His grin is slow, knowing. “You look flushed, Holls. Feelin’ overheated?”
I trace my fingers over the cool metal strap of my purse and cling tightly to the linked chain. Since approaching Coach Hall, I’ve combed through this conversation with Jackson a million times over in my head. I’ve pictured him falling at my feet, grateful as all get-out for doing him a solid. I’ve imagined him turning ambivalent, like I’m a little too late to the cause. I’ve even played out entire scenarios where he’s so overcome with happiness that he twirls me around in the air like I’m some sort of Disney princess on ice.
Jackson’s dark brows shoot up. “Excuse me?”
“Your nipples,” my stupid mouth utters without my support, “they’re hard as diamonds.”
Eyebrows still arched high, he sits up a little. Glances down at his chest and rock-hard abs. Like a woman possessed, I count each abdominal ridge as though I’m in pre-k and learning how to count on my fingers with the Count from Sesame Street: one delicious ab, two delicious abs, three delicious abs, ah ah ah.
Girl, you are losing it.
Jackson tilts his head, clearly trying to eyeball his pecs. “How many carats you thinkin’?”
I cannot believe I’m having this conversation right now.
I slam my eyes shut. “One.”
“Yeah?” The blatant humor in his voice is nearly tangible, and I get the feeling that he’s dragging his thumb along his bottom lip, trying to keep a lid on fully-blown laughter. “Just one?”
“Cubic zirconia. Off the shelf of Target.”
“Fitting,” he husks out, “since you’d live in Target if they let you.”