At one time Devon Canton and his two brothers were the talk of the NHL. Set to become the next superstars of the sport, they had lucrative contracts and numerous endorsements within their reach. Then the bottom fell out of their world and everything changed. Now struggling to make ends meet, they have been reduced to playing in the minor leagues. To make matters worse, they all end up playing for the same dead-end team, the Battle Creek Hawks. Not only hasn't that team won a game in three years, but their arena is falling down around them and is in danger of being condemned. Then Devon and his brothers hit a new low when they get thrown out of their first game for getting into a brawl...with each other.
Battle Creek Times sports reporter, Saul Davis, knows the instant he see the three brothers beating the snot out of each other that he has a story. It only takes a little digging to find out how far the once promising hockey players have fallen. Intrigued, Saul tries to pin down Devon for an interview, only to be rudely rebuked. Unfortunately for Devon, that only makes Saul more determined to get to the bottom of the story.
Then Saul uncovers something about the brooding hockey player that could not only destroy the man's reputation, but also ruin any chance of him every playing on the professional level again. Saul knows he should go ahead and run the story, but as he finds himself growing closer to Devon, he realizes that his feelings for the other man are too strong to ignore. When a rival reporter also discovers Devon's secret, Saul recognizes that he may have to make the most painful decision of all - his own journalism career or Devon.
The team began to trickle out. While Saul realized he should be stopping some of them to get a comment, he let them all pass. The only one he was interested in speaking to had yet to leave.
His fingers curled into nervous fists as he thought about the prospect of being able to see
Devon again. It was a crazy notion, since the man made it perfectly clear he wanted nothing to do with Saul.
Finally, Devon came out, his brothers flanking either side of him. They were all smiles, but grew sober as soon as they spotted Saul.
Not the best way to start a conversation. Saul cringed under their glares. “Congrats on the win,” he tried with a feeble smile.
Devon nodded to his brothers. “I’ll catch up in a second.”
“Why don’t you just want me to squash the bug and get it over with?” Chad asked, his upper lip curling in aggression.
“We promised Coach no more fighting. That goes for off the ice, too.”
Chad shot one more murderous glare before he stormed away. Trey hesitated a second. “Are you sure you don’t want me to stick around?”
Devon shook his head. “Nah, I can handle this one alone.”
“Okay, but hurry up. First drink is on me.”
After Trey left, Saul asked, “Is he even old enough to drink?”
“He’s twenty-three.” Devon hesitated, his eyes narrowing suspiciously. “Does that disappoint you, because you were hoping to write about Trey’s underage sins in the paper tomorrow?”
Saul gave a soft chuckle. “No, I’m not that kind of reporter.”
“What kind is that?”
“The one who looks for a scandal just to boost their careers.”
“Every reporter is like that, who are you trying to kid?” Devon scoffed bitterly.
That comment made Saul more convinced than ever that the brothers were continuing to hide something. The fact that he wanted more than ever to pursue that story made Saul wonder if Devon had a point. It left Saul feeling low and more than a little slimy.
He glanced up from under his lashes at the taller man. Damn, if Devon didn’t get better looking each time Saul saw him. He’d changed into a dark shirt, dress slacks and red tie. The look fit Devon perfectly, making him appear dark and sexy at the same time.
His body hummed with excitement as he fantasized about taking off every stitch of that clothing so he could get some skin-on-skin action. Something told him that Devon was the type to take charge in bed and that suited Saul just fine. He’d love nothing more than to give in to the hockey player in every way possible.
“Why don’t you let me take you to dinner?” Saul blurted, surprising even himself with the offer. Usually he was too shy to take the initiative with that kind of thing.
“So you can spend the entire meal grilling me? No, thanks,” Devon replied curtly.
“That’s not why I invited you. It would be casual and everything would be off the record, I swear,” Saul rushed out. The last thing he wanted was for Devon to think he’d been trying to buy him off with a meal.
Devon leaned in closer.
Saul swallowed hard as he realized that he was effectively pinned against the wall and they were the only ones in the hallway. Devon dipped his head down until their lips were just inches apart. It took all of Saul’s self-control not to lean up so their mouths were touching. He held back though, not sure if Devon would welcome the kiss.
“Why Saul, did you just ask me on a date?” Devon asked, his voice laced with amusement.
Saul’s heart thumped in response. How was it possible that Devon could make a simple question sound so sexy? His cock, which had been half-hard since Devon first walked out of the locker room, grew stiff. Devon stood so close there could be no way he missed it, yet he didn’t remark on it.
“Yes, I did,” Saul admitted.
Devon ran his thumb along Saul’s bottom lip. “You are so cute. If I didn’t know that you’d turn against me the first chance you got, I’d be tempted to take you up on that offer.”