I was living my dream until one phone call changed everything.
As the second line center for the Arizona Vengeance, my mind has been on one thing—helping my team bring home a championship. But that all changed when I found out my dad had cancer and only months to live. In that moment, nothing mattered more than getting home to North Carolina to be by his side. That meant asking for the unthinkable—a trade to the Carolina Cold Fury.
Now I’m home and when I’m not on the ice with my new team, I’m helping care for my dad. And in the midst of my grief, I find comfort from the one person I never expected.
Calliope Ramirez stole my heart at a very young age. The beautiful, smart, headstrong girl next door, she was my first… everything. She has never forgiven me for leaving her, believing that I chose hockey over a future together. What she doesn’t understand is that every decision I made was for her, and I’ve never given up hope that one day we’d be together again.
Watching my dad slip away is a harsh reminder of how short life can be, and having Calliope by my side makes me realize I was a damn fool before. That changes starting right now. Calliope Ramirez is mine and I’m not going to waste the second chance that I’ve been given.
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“You look like a fairy sea princess,” I tell her truthfully.
She blinks, waterdrops fall.
I can’t help it… I start laughing.
Immediately, I snap my mouth shut and bite down hard on my tongue. “I’m sorry.”
Calliope blinks again and then her lips part.
Her beautiful eyes narrow on me, and the next thing I know, she’s sending a wave of nasty pond water right at me. It catches me full in the face, hits the back of my throat, and I choke on it. I deserve it.
When I clear my eyes, Calliope is bent over, laughing hysterically, her shoulder dipping down into the water. The sound of her lilting voice is music to my ears, and I don’t want it to stop.
So what’s a guy to do?
I splash a wall of water back at her. She sputters and looks stunned for only a moment before her palms slap at the pond’s surface, and I’m caught full in the face again.
Then it’s on.
We both go at each other, laughing and splashing. Calliope comes up to her knees. She wobbles in the sucking mud but gets better leverage on me. I’m entirely doused by wave after wave. I hold up my arms, trying to protect myself, and suddenly realize I need to go more on the offensive.
I lurch up, lunge at her, and grab her wrists to stop the inundation. She’s laughing so hard she barely has any strength left to fight against me. Her face is flushed despite the chill, and I can’t fucking help myself.
I crash my mouth down on hers, feel her freeze in shock for a moment, and then gobble down the sultry groan that warbles out of her. It heats me to my bones, and then we’re clawing at each other.
Grabbing, fisting clothing, attacking each other with our mouths. My hands make their way back to her face, intent on holding her still so I can consume everything she has to offer.
The kiss is atomic, off-the-charts hot, and filled with so much emotion I don’t know whether she’s coming at me with hate or something else.
I’m not stopping.
Then something comes over me…a calm that feels like a steadying hand. I slow myself, make an exploring and leisurely swipe of my tongue against hers, and she melts into my body. An arm around her waist, I pull both of us to a standing position, the water lapping at my lower legs. I haul her into me and kiss her with all the regret I’ve been carrying around in my soul for years—a sincere apology.
About the author:
Since the release of her debut contemporary romance novel, Off Sides, in January 2013, Sawyer Bennett has released multiple books, many of which have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists.
A reformed trial lawyer from North Carolina, Sawyer uses real life experience to create relatable, sexy stories that appeal to a wide array of readers. From new adult to erotic contemporary romance, Sawyer writes something for just about everyone.
Sawyer likes her Bloody Marys strong, her martinis dirty, and her heroes a combination of the two. When not bringing fictional romance to life, Sawyer is a chauffeur, stylist, chef, maid, and personal assistant to a very active daughter, as well as full-time servant to her adorably naughty dogs. She believes in the good of others, and that a bad day can be cured with a great work-out, cake, or even better, both.
Sawyer also writes general and women’s fiction under the pen name S. Bennett and sweet romance under the name Juliette Poe.
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