Welcome back! Today we have another excerpt from Full Strength, the last book in Victor Kalinski's trilogy. In today's excerpt we 're going to have some hockey action! I do love sports action in my sports romances, don't you? Please be kind if you find any errors. This has not been seen by my hockey beta-readers or an editor yet.
Also, be advised that there is mature language because it's Victor Kalinski and he's a hockey player. Enjoy the snippet and when you're done skate on over to Ellie Mack and Cathy Brockman's blogs to see what they've been working on!
Maybe being knocked down had been a good thing. Maybe it had taught me something. Or maybe I was accepting the fact that I probably would never see the inside of an NHL arena again if I didn't shape up and play my fucking heart out.
I was starting to sound like Dr. Weasley. She always said we should work to better ourselves but be happy in the person that we are today. Tra-la-la, let's weave daisy chains and wear them on our heads. Someone break out the bong and the Moody Blues vinyl.
"I want to punch someone," I shouted and a team full of burly men with sticks and attitude met the call, sounding off that they did as well. I love hockey so much I would marry it if I could. "I want to punch someone from Toronto," I bellowed and rose to my stocking-clad feet. The team roared in agreement. "I want to punch someone from Toronto and shove my puck firmly between the legs of whatever loser they have in goal!"
"Sounds just like you, Kalinski!" Mario yelled then flung a roll of tape at me. The guys laughed along, all except one. Prescott worked a wad of gum in his mouth violently but had enough sense to keep his yap shut.
When we hit the ice twenty minutes later the Cougars were fired up. The Toronto team had spiffy green uniforms. They looked like those pine tree shaped car fresheners on skates. I mentioned that to the first line center when we met up for a faceoff a few minutes into the game.
"Well at least I'm not—"
"If you were going to say 'Sucking the dick of my alternate captain every night' you'll need to come up with something different. That's been used already, but hey, A for effort."
"Why are you such a sarcastic asshole?"
I glanced at the ref over at the timekeepers table, so I continued the charming conversation with my new pine tree friend.
"It's either one of two reasons, Nobby." I stood with my stick in my hand and my wingers staring at the scoreboard overheard. "One is that I like you and feel comfortable giving you shit. Two is that I hate you and I don't care if you know it. Good luck trying to figure out which one it is."
"I know which one it is, dickhead."
"Do you? That's incredibly insightful for a man dressed up like a spruce tree."
He gave me a slash that made me drop my stick. Oops. Whistles blew. I smiled at Piney as he made his way to the penalty box. That may have been a new record. I winked at the winger who came in to take Piney's place, asked him about his mother and how she was faring, and then won the faceoff cleanly.
Mario picked up the puck, banked it off the boards to me, and then trucked some poor slob in a green sweater. The Toronto goalie was ready when I rushed the crease. He poke checked the puck away from me after coming out of his net. I complimented him on the good play then headed down the ice to steal the puck away from one of the Toronto wingers. No way were they spending time in our zone during our power play. The second power play unit was due to come on.
Mario was going over the boards to get back on the bench. Dan's skates hit the ice. I shuttled him the puck after stealing it in the neutral zone. It was a crisp tape to tape pass. Knowing I had to get off the ice, I rushed to the gate, got just inside it, and then locked my eyes on Dan's back. He deked left and the goalie bought it. Dan flipped the puck over the goalie's glove. The goal horn blew and the Cougar fans got all sorts of happy, happy, happy.
I stood and tapped Dan's glove as he skated past. His goofy smile made me feel alive inside, like the top of my soul tank was now full again.
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