Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Cover Artist: Allyse Karam
This book is a sequel to Two Man Advantage
Life has been treating Victor Kalinski well, which is a surprise for the ginger-haired forward with the venomous tongue. His career is somewhat stable, at least for another season. His relationship with Cougars alternate captain Dan Arou is deepening, despite the fact that Daniel has yet to come out of the closet.
It’s typical Kalinski luck when a puck bunny he shared a drunken night with several months ago slaps him with a paternity suit. Despite the sizzling passion and painfully heartfelt connection between them, Dan doesn’t take the news well, and heads back to Canada alone.
If he wants to make things right and win back the man he loves, he has no choice but to swallow his pride—and nobody’s prouder than hot-headed, ego-driven Victor.
Reader Advisory: This story has graphic sexual language and scenes—no closed bedroom doors (or other rooms) here!
An adult male/male romance from Ellora’s Cave
Pages or Words: 32,500
Categories: Contemporary, M/M Romance, Sports Romance
I found Dan in our bathroom running a Q-tip around his right ear as water from his recent shower ran from his hair. He smiled at me, a special kind of light in his eyes. I stalled in the doorway, my summons wrinkled in my fist. The smile disappeared from his face as I stared blankly at him. He tossed the swab into the trash, which needed to be dumped, and turned to face me.
“What’s wrong?” he asked. My gaze roamed over him clad in nothing but gray cargo shorts that hung off his hips. If not for the fact that my heart was beating so hard I was scared it would blow up, I would have gotten all over the man. He still torqued me up like no one else ever had. “Vic, what’s wrong?”
I handed him the wadded-up legal document. His gaze darted from my face to the crinkled papers then back to my face.
“I don’t know who the fuck this chick is, but she is playing me,” I managed to cough up. I looked around the room, trying to get the palpations under control. The walls had ugly flowered wallpaper on them. The counter was plain white. Two razors lay side by side next to the sink. Sometimes, like right then, I wanted nothing more than to grab my razor and my toothbrush and get the fuck out of Dodge. Just seeing Dan’s personal shit playing cozy-cozy with mine scared me to death. Most days when that urge to fuck this thing up overtook me, I swallowed it down like a bad oyster and forced myself to get past it. Today, then, there, that second, those two razors were about to push old Vic K. over the brink.
“Paternity test,” he whispered as the papers blew in a stiff summer wind. I couldn’t look away from those two disposables.
“Someone is playing me, Dan,” I grunted, then spun from the Schick love-fest occurring on the chipped white bathroom counter. I pounded out to the living room, my feet squelching in my wet sneakers.
“Well yeah, obviously this Heather chick is trying to pin this on you. Big-name sports star. It happens like daily, you know?”
I nodded as I paced the small but homey place where we spent most of our downtime, aside from the bedroom. I jammed my fist into my other hand and began grinding as I circled the sofa.
“Yeah, but why me and why now? Why not do this when I was pulling in the big bucks in Beantown?”
Dan dropped onto the couch and put his bare feet on the edge of the coffee table. As I paced, he flattened out the summons on his thick thighs and read. My gut was in turmoil. My head felt light. My heart still thundered in my ribs. A kid. My kid. I barely made it back to the bathroom. I threw up the fancy lunch that we had eaten at the golf club earlier. Dan didn’t come in, which was wise. I don’t like people fawning over me when I’m sick. Dear old Mom never did. I could handle myself. Been doing it since I was about five. I’d had a head cold the month before and nearly ripped Dan into bits one day for making me chicken noodle soup. Why that man was still with me, I do not know. I retched a few times, then slammed the lid and flushed. Over to the sink for a swig of mouthwash. Do not look at the razors, Kalinski, or you will make a bigger twat out of yourself.
“You okay?” Dan called.
“Yeah, just some ptomaine from the clam chowder at lunch,” I replied, my throat and nose still burning. “I’m taking a shower.”
“Okay. I’ll read this over close while you wash.”
The shower didn’t last long enough, nor did it help one damn bit. Aside from having nuts that smelled like an Irish glen, I was still this close to hyperventilating. A kid. Holy fucking goat titties, I needed a drink.
“Hey, you need to call a lawyer in the morning,” Dan said when I shuffled into the living room in nothing but an old pair of cutoff jeans. “This paperwork is crazy legal, but according to what this Hillary—”
“Heather. Heather Pavlick. Who the fuck is Heather Pavlick?” I asked the kitchen table.
I jerked open the cupboard under the sink and reached for the bottle of Yukon Jack, one of three or four bottles of booze we had on hand for cocktails at night if the mood struck. Dan kind of liked Jack over ice. Did I want ice? Did I want a glass? Nah. The whiskey burned my raw throat like gasoline. I lowered the bottle, coughed, and ran the back of my hand across my tingling lips. I saw Dan appear in the doorway, papers still in his hand. He looked upset.
“I wish you’d use a glass,” he grumbled, then stalked around me to get two tumblers from the cupboard next to the fridge. I sucked in some air through my teeth in reply. His whole body twitched at the sound. “Two fingers, and stop making that fucking noise,” he said after he returned to my side. I glugged some Jack into both tumblers, my eyes on Dan’s. He handed me a glass. We both knocked the whiskey back then went out to the couch, him with my summons and me with the Jack.
“Okay, so this is obviously some sort of rip-off,” Dan said after we’d dropped our asses back to the sofa. Thankfully he’d left the boob tube off. I was so not in the mood to talk over his science shows. I poured myself another two fingers. Dan held up his glass, so I refreshed him. “Heather Pavlick. Is that the girl you were serious with?”
I shook my head as I swirled the Canadian whiskey around my glass. Mr. and Mrs. Rupert’s voices, as well as the smell of meat grilling, rolled in through the windows.
“No, her name was Gina. We were careful. I mean, we were obsessively careful every time we fucked to prevent any kind of kid-making.” A kid. I couldn’t get the glass of whiskey to my lips fast enough. Ah, what a nice burn.
“This is why you should just identify as gay and be done with it. You don’t have to worry about knocking me up.”
“Yeah well, if I could just pick my sexual identity like I do my socks, I would. But I kind of like pussy once in a while. Stop badgering me, gay boy.”
“That’s just weird,” Dan muttered, and sipped his Jack.
I nodded. Yeah, to a gay dude, wanting pussy probably did seem weird. And while I didn’t crave it anymore because, yeah, Dan Arou, back in the day I’d taken some great delight in leaping from twat to cock with wild abandon.
“Maybe you can talk to someone in the team’s legal department. I mean, this will come out. They’ll want to know about it beforehand so they can handle the bad PR.”
“Fuck. My. Life.” I dumped more of the amber liquid into my glass. My stomach rolled and bucked as whiskey met empty gut. Whatever the landlord was cooking was making me queasy.
“This is just fucked,” Dan said after a long moment of silence punctuated only by my stomach speaking up. “See, this paper says ‘unborn child’, and that’s impossible. You and me have been tight since Thanksgiving of last year. That’s nine months, right? November to July is nine.”
“If you count November.”
Christ on a unicycle. Dan and I really been doing the monogamy thing for nine months. I mean, I knew that we had, but hearing him say it out loud drove the point home. No wonder those razors made me twitchy. That was fucking incredible. Even with Gina, I’d bailed at six months. That had been the most solid relationship I’d ever been in before Mr. Stumpy and I had hooked up. Someone call Guinness. We got a new world record here. I threw another two fingers of Yukon down. Dan made a noise about the speed of my ingestion, I assume, which I ignored.
A moment ticked by. Two. Three. Dan sipped and repeatedly read that summons, counting and recounting the months. This was major fuckery, because there had been no one but Dan since the first time I’d punched him in the face.
My gaze rested on the Xbox under the flat screen. Our games were scattered on the floor. I tipped my head to stare at the artwork on a World War I battle game that Dan and I liked. It showed a German zeppelin dropping bombs on some European city…
It hit me like a semi that had lost its brakes. Ms. Goodyear. That blonde with the incredible tits. I’d rolled her the night I’d tried to drink Dan away. Had her name been Heather? Had she said? Did it matter? Guess so.
“Ah, fuck,” I moaned, then closed my eyes.
“What? Did you figure out who this woman is?”
Shit. Just shit. This was going to be bad. I inhaled through my nose, blew out the breath and started sucking on that Jack bottle like a hungry babe. Dan jerked it from my hand. Whiskey sloshed down my chest. I swallowed what was in my mouth, licked my lips and turned to find Dan looking at me with concern tinting his lapis eyes.
This was going to suck.
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V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, two dogs, two cats, a flock of assorted domestic fowl, and three Jersey steers.
When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of
Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand. She can also be found online on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and GoodReads.
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