Opposites attract in this second standalone to the Carolina Reapers series, Samantha Whiskey’s newest hockey romance series where the chill of the ice meets sultry southern nights.
“Sorry, but last call was a few minutes ago,” a waitress told me with a wince as she approached another crowded table.
“That’s okay. I’ll take this one.”
The sound of her voice had me turning back toward the bar, and a corner of my mouth lifted into something that was almost a smirk as she came into view, walking toward me from the swinging door that led to the kitchen.
Echo Hayes stopped in front of me, and then stared me down with an arched eyebrow. “Aren’t you a little far from home?” she questioned with a slow southern drawl, staring pointedly at my Pearl Jam shirt.
I took in her black Ramones T-shirt that had been cut so it draped off one shoulder, and let my eyes trail down her cut-off shorts that barely covered her ass, fishnet stockings, and black moto boots. Fuck, this woman had curves for miles, and desperately needed a giant warning sign that read danger all over her. By the time I reached her pixie-shaped face, diamond stud nose ring, turquoise eyes, and purple hair that fell in various shades down her back, I was smiling, and she was glaring.
She was incredibly beautiful and so fucking sexy that I was going to have to shift my jeans if I stared too long.
“You have no idea,” I replied to her snarky question. There was zero chance in the world she remembered me. Maybe if I’d been with Harper and Faith—
“Bourbon?” she asked.
My jaw slacked momentarily in surprise. “You remember?”
“You’re not exactly easy to forget, even if you’re not with the Queens of Reaper Village.” Her eyes took their turn with me, and I felt her gaze on my skin as if it was her hand, stroking over the muscles of my biceps, caressing the pecs that stretched the material of my T-shirt, down to the waist she couldn’t quite see with the bar in her way, then back up, lingering on my neck until she reached my eyes. Then she blinked, her gaze softening. “You look like you need a drink.”
Without another word, she reached for the same bottle I’d had last time and poured it neat. She really did remember.
She slid the drink across the bar and then leaned on the counter so only the expanse of black granite separated us. “Start talking, West Coast.”
I took a sip of the bourbon and savored the burn as it slid down my throat.
“Fields is out,” I said quietly, unsure of what information the Reapers had released.
“Yeah, I saw it.” She tilted her head, exposing the pale, smooth skin along her jawline. “Is that why you’re here?”
“I had a tryout clause in my contract.”
Her eyebrows rose.
“That’s because I was an emergency—”
“Goalie,” she finished, pouring herself a glass of water. “You played in the last minute of the third period during the Sharks’ game.” She took a drink and then grinned. “What, you honestly thought I didn’t know who you were the first time you walked into this bar?”