The Not-Outcast

Page 8

“You okay with this?” My voice was soft now, so fucking soft. I moved my hand up, cupping the back of her neck.

I felt her tense at my hold, then she dipped her head again. Another nod.

Some of the tension was lifting. I wasn’t scaring her. Thank Christ.

Then, I was not a guy who messed around. I asked, “You want to get out of here?”

Her eyes lifted all the way to mine with that question. My God, her eyes.

It clicked. Right in that moment.

They were like ice. They were glacial.

Whatever it was, something fell in place and this girl was really mine. She saw it now, too. Past lives, maybe? I didn’t know, but it felt right and I should’ve been weirded out about how right it felt, but I wasn’t. I couldn’t bring myself to feel that way.

But I had to make sure. “You drunk? You know what you’re agreeing to? And if you don’t want to, that’s fine. We can find a corner, have a talk—” Her hand shot to my chest, and she put her entire palm there. She could feel my heart beating a mile a minute, too. I was just as affected as she was.

Then, another moment, as words wrung from her. “Take me home.”

A growl came from me. “Fuck yeah.”

I was primed.

I took her hand.

From: Cheychey

To: Koala Boy

Subject: I’m in trouble.



He looked good.

He looked damn good.

I felt him in the party. Like, the whole time. I’d been horrified, then relieved when I saw him hand Sasha off to his other teammate, and by the way, I knew every single one of them. Season tickets and all, not that anyone knew I had season tickets, but so be it. It was my thing.

And him. He was definitely my thing.

I couldn’t get over how good he looked.

I saw him on the posters and gigantic murals. I saw his picture on ESPN, and YouTube, and any and all places where local celebrity athletes had their pictures posted, but in person… Yeah, it wasn’t the same. Cut was always pretty.

He’d not been built in high school. He’d been a lean guy, and that made him fast on the ice. But he had pretty eyes, high cheekbones (though still boyish), and his hair was a dirty blond back then. Watching him in college, then throughout the NHL, he had morphed.

He was all man now.

He was still fast on the ice, one of the fastest in the league, but he was definitely not the same boy anymore. He was standing there and he was virile.

The air felt like it was rippling off of him.

Smoldering dark eyes. His hair was cut short and a little darker now, but his jawline was filled out. Square. Those cheekbones, there was nothing boyish about them anymore.

Lush everything on him.

Lush lips. I wanted to burrow in his shoulders, his chest, that glorious chest and I’d gotten glimpses of the valley road on his chest and stomach and there was a reason he was heavily talked about on all media platforms. The sports shows, but also the gossip ones, not that the gossip sites had much to talk about. Cut was private, hella private, and it drove them nuts.

I had felt him when he noticed me, and it was like my lungs were inflated balloons and someone took a needle to them, unable to take in air. As he prowled over to me, I’d been unable to do anything.

He walked over to me like a predator, but I was willing prey. I was freaking out because no way was this real life.

This was just all too much.

Too fast. Too much.

But no, not at all.

I’d been in love with Cut Ryder since high school, but he had no clue. Not one. What I did know was that he didn’t remember me because I knew I didn’t look the same. I mean, my eyes were the same. Who could forget my eyes? Well, someone who never noticed them before. And come to think about it, there was only one time he looked at me. One time that I know about.

It was all weird, but damn.


He came over and he called me ‘babe’ and that would normally sketch me out, but it was the opposite reaction with him. And he asked if I wanted to leave, and now he was holding my hand and we were leaving—I was seriously trying not to hyperventilate trying to wrap my head around everything coming at me all at once.

There’d been a driver service for the players, so we got one of those, and the whole drive to his place, a whole thirty minutes, and that was because of traffic, we had our eyes on each other. I even knew where we were going, how laughable was that? He thought I had no idea. He thought he was taking me somewhere unknown?

I could’ve given the driver directions.

I should tell him.


What was I thinking?

One night.

That’s all.

One night.

After he found out, and I knew he would find out. He’d find out in the morning, for sure, and that was if everything happened how I thought it was going to happen, but one night. One freaking night. After that he wouldn’t want anything to do with me because of who I was.

But I couldn’t walk away now, even if someone was holding a gun to my head.

I couldn’t tell him. That would be the same as walking away.

Okay. Yeah. One night. I could handle this for one night.

There were no words exchanged on the ride. I mean, what could we say that wasn’t already said with our eyes and our intentions back at the party. We sat in the back, apart. He was against one side. I was at the other. The driver driving, and then we were at his place. Well, Chad’s place, too. I knew they were roommates.

Not creepy, right?

We were exiting the car now.

Just breathe, Cheyenne.

He was leading me up the walkway.

Even in the dark, I could see all the brick, but then we were inside.


He pushed me against the door, reaching down and locking it.

He moved in, almost touching me.

Nope. He was touching me.

His hand was on my hip and it slid up to my stomach, moving under my shirt. He bent in, his lips grazing my shoulder and I was already melting. I reached out, both my hands to his waist, just holding him there. I needed to anchor myself to him in some way.

“Are you sure you want to do this?”

Even the question, said against my neck, was making me want to jump him. I didn’t need any more ammunition.

“What?” A slight hitch in my throat. My pulse was skipping all over the place, too.

He grazed his nose up my jawline, moving over until his lips were lingering just over mine. Not touching. But there.

“You didn’t say a word in the car. Are you having second thoughts?”

I had to bite my lip to keep a half-hysterical laugh from bubbling out. If only he knew. But I shook my head, still biting my lip, not trusting myself to say much else, all I could muster was, “Nope. I’m good.”

His hand moved to my neck, palming my head and tilting me to look up at him. He drew his head back, his eyes watching me from the full moon shining through the window. “You sure?”

I nodded, my eyes lost as I moved over his face, falling to his own mouth. I just wanted that on me, anywhere, everywhere. I’d been wanting that for ten years.


His hand moved.

I thought he would kiss me.

He didn’t. He so didn’t.

His other hand moved south, bypassing my skirt, pushing my thong aside, and he found my opening in point two seconds. And oooooh!

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