Foreplayer (Rookie Rebels #4) - Kate Meader Page 0,1

wedding, wasn’t it?”

Those dreamy eyes flashed with surprise at her gush. Or, that’s the interpretation her fragile ego clung to rather than the alternative that he might feel trapped in her presence.

“Definitely. Levi’s one of my clients, you know.”

She did know. She also knew that guys liked to drop knowledge on the ladies. “Oh, really?”

“Yep. Such a transcendent story, sacrificing his NHL career to enlist in Special Forces, then losing his best friend in Afghanistan, and now marrying that same friend’s widow.” Tommy smiled, appreciating Levi’s journey before another, less pleased expression took over. “Of course, he could have capitalized on it more with an in-depth interview or a long-form story on ESPN.”

“I heard he doesn’t like to talk about his military service.” Dull, so dull. She searched for something more positive to say. “Are you close to signing anyone right now?”

“Now, Mia, you know I can’t talk about deals in progress, but …” He leaned in and his aftershave almost gave her an orgasm on the spot. “I have a couple of irons in the fire.”

She mirrored his body language, a move she’d read about on Bustle this morning. “My lips are sealed.”

He wagged a finger which made her think of all the things she’d like that finger to do. “No can do. So how’s the training going?”

“Good. I’ll be getting serious about my regimen next week on the rink.” An amazing honor, she had been invited to try out for the US Women’s Hockey Team as they chose the players heading to the Olympics in February. She couldn’t wait to prove her mettle after two years away from competition. So long.

Too long. The bitterness that threatened to engulf her every time she thought of her exile hazed like a red rash before her eyes. Tommy was saying something and she struggled to focus through the anger and pain. So much for being over it.

“Vadim said you wanted to coach girls’ youth hockey for a while …” He paused and took a good look at her. “But he seems confused by that decision. Can’t say I blame him. Would’ve thought you’d want to build on the momentum of your great play at NCAA level.”

Yes, that would have been preferred. But we don’t always get what we want.

“I like coaching the little ones, especially girls. But now I’m ready to get back into it.”

“Heard you parted ways with your agent.” More like was dumped. He looked sympathetically blank, and she wondered if his poker face was as good as her brother claimed.

“Not a lot of money in youth hockey.” She smiled sweetly while inside, her heart screamed: back off from this line of questioning!

“That’s what I told Vadim. A woman with your, well, resources doesn’t need to fight for a place on a hockey team that’s paying a pittance. Only—a word of advice, Mia.” He leaned in close, his ocean-blue eyes steady and caring. “The Olympic committee isn’t going to look too kindly on a girl who comes off as less than committed.”

Desperate to stave of the tightening of her throat and telltale prick of tears, she dug her nails into her palm. Of course, that’s what it looked like. Mia Wallace, youngest winner of the Patty Kazmaier award, a family legacy of hockey greatness, girl-most-likely-to-play-anywhere-she-damn-well-pleased had given up her dream to go pro for what looked like no good reason at all. Now she was inching her way back by trying out for Team USA, but all anyone would see was a trust fund baby who didn’t need hockey like she needed her next breath.

“This is what I want and I’ll do whatever’s necessary to get it.” Too many people had tried to smash her dreams. She was taking charge and now it was her way or the highway.

A smile teased his lips. “That’s what I like to hear. I’ve always thought you have an amazing future ahead of you. Maybe we should talk about that over lunch soon.”

She swallowed, shocked at her unexpected success. “That would be great.”

He handed her his card. “Call me anytime.”

She rubbed her thumb across the embossed lettering. Tommy Gordon, Sports Agent, and his number. Not that it would have been hard to get, but a personal card delivery when she was looking semi-decent seemed much more meaningful. Surely, a sign.

“I’ll definitely be in touch. Thanks, Tommy.”

“You’re welcome. Listen, I need to chat with that guy. It was great catching up with you!”

He glided away in Italian loafers, leaving Mia—and her heart—floating on a

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