#FF #hockey #romance
Secrets. Sometimes keeping them in confidence is a good thing. Other times secrets can slowly allow a woman’s soul to rot. Whitney Beaupré has been hiding a big secret for years, one that’s beginning to wear her down both on and off the ice. Pretending to be something she’s not is exhausting. Wanting to be free but afraid to break out of her prison is terrifying. Seeking love but then hiding from it is crushing to the spirit, yet Whitney feels compelled to keep living the lie.
Until the night Hannah Kym appears in her life. Whitney’s attraction to Hannah is deep, fierce, and instantaneous. The Temple art major is everything Whitney has dreamed of and more. But those old fears keep clawing at the Venom center, keeping her locked in the closet despite the passion and affection she feels for Hannah. Can love finally break the shackles holding Whitney’s heart and soul captive?
My cosmopolitan arrived. I handed the server a twenty and continued to sit in the shadows, enjoying the dancers and my cocktail. Everyone seemed to be paired up already. Maybe that was for the best. Maybe I should just finish my drink and go home before someone recognized me as a Venom player and—
“Did anyone ever tell you that you have an amazing brow?” A small Asian woman sat down across from me, startling me out of my ruminations. She was adorable, I saw that right off. Her face was round, her hair short and dyed aquamarine. Her mouth was drawn into a studious pucker. She shoved her hand across the table. “Also, your mouth is perfectly aligned with your nose. Hannah Kym.”
“Thanks.” I muttered and shook her hand.
She smiled, and it lit up the club. “Would you consider posing for me sometime?” The music died off and applause broke out for the DJs choice. I cocked an eyebrow. Hannah Kym snickered as a white strobe light moved over our tiny table. When she smiled, her apple cheeks nearly obscured her beautiful brown eyes. It was beyond cute. She was beyond cute. “Okay, I know that sounds like some lame come-on that a guy would hit you with. I’m really an art student. I’m in my junior year at Temple, and I’d love to paint you some time. You have this amazing face. Sensual, sad, sophisticated, sullen.”
“Suspicious.” I tacked on. Another song, this one I didn’t know, kicked to life.
“Here, let me find my student ID.” She stood up and began pawing around in the various pockets of her baggy jeans and sweater, then finally in the overstuffed tote dangling off her shoulder. She pulled out a card on a lanyard and bounced around in circles to celebrate, her arms up over her head. The motion pulled her short sweater up and exposed her stomach. Her tummy was soft, not the hard and toned abs I was used to seeing in the dressing room. Her rump and hips were rounded and lush, and her breasts were small. Men would probably stick their noses up at her curves and tiny tits but I thought she was perfectly proportioned. “There. Total proof that I am indeed one Hannah Kym, starving college student slash artist striving for my BFA.”
I took the ID card and glanced at it. Hannah plopped down across from me, rested her elbows on the table, placed her chin on her hands, and stared at me. The ID card showed a younger Hannah and the red plastic card was clearly a Temple University ID badge. I’d seen Greg Blue Blanket’s a few times.
“I know one of your professors,” I said as I returned the ID card to her. Hannah continued to appraise me. “Greg Blue Blanket?”
“That man is awesome! And so visually stunning. Kind of like you.” I blinked at Hannah, dumbfounded. Our server appeared and asked Hannah if she’d like something. “Oh hey, yeah, how about a rum and Coke?” I handed my empty glass to the waitress and tapped it to signal I’d like a refill. “So, what’s your name and when can I put you on canvas?” She winked impishly.
My body reacted with a flash of heat that made my breasts tingle. “Why would you want to paint me? I’m far from model perfect,” I shouted over the thumping of the current song.
“That’s what makes you desirable,” she yelled, frowned, and then moved over to sit right beside me. Her perfume was fruity. It fit her. “I love women who are confident in themselves. Take that chick over there, totally refurbished from head to toe. When you strip her down, what you get is not at all what you see.”
I looked behind Hannah to see a tall brunette who should be a centerfold in some magazine for straight dudes. She certainly had enough female admirers fawning over her.
“She’s beautiful,” I replied, to which Hannah wrinkled her flat little nose in disgust.
“She’s a fake. You, on the other hand, are perfect in your imperfections. The sharp cut of your jaw, the gap in your teeth combined with the lushness of your lashes and the heavy sway of your big breasts is true feminine beauty.”
“Are you sure you’re not a poetry major?” Hannah laughed, her hand coming to rest on my thigh. A hot curling of desire ignited between my thighs.
“It might be my minor.”