Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: September 8th, 2014
Published: September 8th, 2014
Jude Sinclair here, hockey player for the Bellevue Bullies and lover of all ladies. Hockey’s in my blood, and not to sound full of myself, but I’m good at it…really good. The draft is within my reach—it’s mine to take—but that’s not the only reason people know my name. They know me because of my way with women. They know the score, and I aim to please. I just tend to stay away from repeat performances. In other words, I don’t do relationships beyond my family and friends. I’m happy with life. However, I should warn you that my story and how I see it playing out is about to change due to a certain redhead on campus.
She’s beautiful. Stunning. Breathtaking.
She’s my game changer.
He’s trouble from the moment I see him. I don’t know what I’m thinking, but from the moment I meet his gaze, I’m his. It’s a scary feeling.
I’ve never trusted anyone outside my aunt and uncle—and even that took months. I didn’t have it easy growing up. My mom was usually strung out, and she didn’t give me a second thought. Drugs and the men who paid her were more important to her. It was horrible, but I’m stronger today. Because of my past, security is what I need most. Money assures me that I can take care of myself today, tomorrow, and next month. I don’t want to ever be hungry or go without again, so I work hard for every penny.
Oh, by the way, I’m Claire Anderson. I’m a hard-studying sophomore at the University of Bellevue, dancer for the school dance team, and a burlesque dancer at a club, but that’s my secret.
You may think you know how our story ends, but you have no clue. It’s not easy falling in love… or living happily ever after. At first it may seem so, but when is anything worth having ever won without a fight?
Especially when you’re boarded by love.
I smile. I love Reese. She’s honestly one of the best people in my life. She was a little standoffish when I first met her, but we soon grew into friends, and now we have this amazing relationship where she’s basically my mom.
“Hey! Quick question.”
“I mean, shit, Claire, can’t you tell me you miss me or anything?”
I laugh. “Ohemgeeeee! I miss you so, Reese’s Pieces!”
She laughs along with me. “I miss you more, Claire. Summer flew by, in my opinion. But anyway, what’s up?”
I know what she means. We spent the whole summer together. We went to Mexico, New York, and Florida for vacation. It was awesome. I lost out on some money, but at the same time, spending all that time with my family is much better than strutting my ass all over a stage.
Going back to the reason I called, I ask, “What do you think of my trying out for the dance team here at school?”
She pauses for a moment. “Hmm, it could be good. Do you have time?”
I think for a second. Do I?
“I think so. Keep me busy so I’ll stay out of trouble, as Phillip says.”
She laughs. “As if you’ve gotten in any trouble in years, but yeah, it will get you out there. Meet some people, make friends, and plus, it will keep you dancing for the future.”
“Yeah. It’s for the school’s hockey team. I like hockey.”
“Yeah, so really, there isn’t a question. Do it. You’ll love it. Do you have a routine in mind?”
I am always putting together dances in my head, and the next thing you know, I’m knocking crap over in my little bitty dorm room. My poor roommate and friend since I moved in with Phillip, Skylar, hates it. I think I have the perfect routine, and glancing at the flyer, I could throw all the required moves into it. Come to think of it, I’ll make Skylar try out too.
I nod. “I think so.”
“Are there required moves?”
“Yeah, nothing I can’t handle, though.”
“Cool, so do it.”
I nod again, my lip between my teeth as I think it over. It could be fun. I like to dance, I like hockey, and sometimes I even like girls my age, so really it’s a win/win for me.
“Can you meet me tomorrow at the studio and watch it?”
“Sure, can we do it early, though? I’m watching Dimitri for Piper so that she can fly out to New York to meet Erik for their ultrasound appointment.”
About the Author
Toni Aleo is the author of the Nasvhille Assassins series: Taking Shots, Trying to Score, Empty Net, Falling for the Backup, and Blue Lines.When not rooting for her beloved Nashville Predators, she’s probably going to her husband’s and son’s hockey games and her daughter’s dance competitions, taking pictures, scrapbooking, or reading the latest romance novel.She lives in the Nashville area with her husband, two children, and a bulldog. Read more about Toni here.
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