After years of hard work and sacrifice, Kip Cooper’s dream of playing for the NHL is finally within reach. Soon he’ll be able to leave behind his farm team to taste fame, fortune and the respect that comes with being number one. So he’s not about to allow anyone or anything get in the way. But try telling that to his libido, because despite everything, he can’t keep his mind off his teammate, Sergei. Too bad Sergei is young and openly gay… and Kip isn’t. When a chance encounter leads to a night of passion, Kip realizes he has to make a choice: Sergei or his dreams.
They got off the bus and went with the rest of the team to gather their bags while the team manager went inside to grab the room keys. Devon came over to stand by Sergei and Trey. Whereas Trey had blond hair and an easy smile, Devon tended to be more serious and had dark hair.
“I don’t know what kind of game you two are playing, but it pissed Kip off something awful,” Devon said.
Sergei almost snorted in derision until he remembered Trey’s words. Maybe he really should give Kip a break and stop pressuring him so much to go public. After all, who was he to judge how others handled their lives when his own family’s relationship was the definition of dysfunctional?
“Who are you going to room with?” Devon asked Sergei.
“Oh, shoot! I forgot, now that Chad’s gone, I’m going to have to look for a new roommate,” Sergei exclaimed.
“No, you don’t. You’re rooming with me,” Kip announced as he came up and waved a key.
He didn’t look any less angry than he had during the bus ride. Just a week ago, Sergei would have jumped at the chance to be able to sleep in the same room as Kip. Now he didn’t feel so sure. He nervously gnawed on his bottom lip. “I am?”
“You are,” Kip replied in a firm tone that warned against argument.
“What will Mike do? Don’t you guys usually bunk together?”
“Not anymore. Now come on.”
When Sergei just stood there in stunned disbelief, Kip let out an irritated sound and grabbed Sergei by the front of the shirt. He then proceeded to pull Sergei through the doors leading into the hotel.
Sergei let out a surprised yelp as he struggled to keep up while still managing to hold onto his heavy hockey bag. The entire time, Kip didn’t glance back once, not even when Sergei stumbled a couple of times. Sergei had the distinct feeling that if he did fall, Kip would just drag him facedown the rest of the way to their room.
“I can walk on my own,” Sergei protested.
He may as well have been talking to the walls for all the reaction he got out of Kip. The captain didn’t stop until they reached their room. Kip silently opened the door and all but threw Sergei inside.
Sergei’s bag slid to the floor as he turned to face Kip. After slamming the door shut, Kip started to advance, his blue eyes sharp with anger. Sergei’s heart hammered with anticipation and arousal.
He tried to take a step back, only to trip when his feet hit the bag. At the last second, Kip saved him by reaching out and once more grabbing the front of Sergei’s shirt. He pulled hard, causing Sergei to slam into his hard chest.
All the air left Sergei’s lungs in a whoosh as he felt himself pressed against Kip’s body. While the anger in Kip’s gaze still concerned Sergei, he couldn’t help but notice something else—a certain detail that had his pulse racing with excitement.
“Why, Kip, is that a hockey stick in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?”