“She won’t come.”
“She will!” Erin protested. Amanda shrugged and put an open bottle of wine on the coffee table, next to three glasses.
“She’d better, or I’m calling Child Protective Services on her ass.”
Erin rolled her eyes. “Ryan is only a year younger than Taylor!”
Amanda stopped, wine bottle hovering at an angle. “Does Ryan act a year younger than Taylor?”
“No,” Erin admitted.
“Does he look a year younger than Taylor?”
“No,” she laughed.
“I guarantee that Taylor has already had sex with more girls than Ryan will be with in his entire life. Darcy is like the first footsteps on the moon. Not a lot of people are gonna get there! Eventually someone else will but for right now, she’s a legend.”
Erin’s laptop was plugged into the TV and the Barons gamecast was just starting. They’d lost a shutout game the night before to San Antonio. Now the team had a chance to redeem itself. Internet couldn’t offer TV video quality, and paled in comparison to a live game, but at least they weren’t missing it entirely. Amanda filled a glass for each of them with ruby-colored syrah, and lifted hers.
“To being in on a Saturday night, watching TV through a computer, like a couple of dorks.”
“Dorks with boyfriends,” Erin corrected.
“Eeeehhhh,” Amanda titled her head back and forth. “You have a boyfriend. Taylor and I are more like friends with benefits. Darcy and Ryan are probably all benefits at this point. I bet she’s working him harder than his real coach.”
“We’ll see if he can skate tonight.”
Five minutes later, the first period was underway when Darcy burst through the door.
“Don’t say a word,” she said before anyone else could say a word. Erin and Amanda exchanged glances. Darcy had her hands on her hips, like a disapproving teacher daring someone to step out of line. Only the sound of the game continued while the three girls stared at each other.
Finally, Erin chirped. “Ryan.”
They dissolved into giggles. Darcy collapsed onto the couch, curling down to hug her knees. Amanda pushed them over to make room for herself. Laughter shook Darcy’s whole body. “I can’t,” she wheezed. “I can’t.”
Amanda emptied the bottle of wine into the third glass. “Truth serum. Drink it.”
Darcy’s face was beet red. She was blushing Ryan-style even as she took a white trash-long slug of wine and rattled her glass back into the table. Erin helped her out of her coat. Amanda refilled Darcy’s glass from her own. They both turned to her and waited.
Darcy opened her mouth to speak, then closed it. And again. She was gaping like a fish out of water, looking for the right first word to begin what she knew would be a long and very dirty description of everything that had happened in the last five days. She would have extracted nothing less from Erin or Amanda if the situation were reversed - exactly the reason she hadn’t seen them in so long.
Well, not the only reason.
Another glug of wine.
“Eleven times,” she said. “Eleven times in four nights, not including last night because he left in the morning.”
Amanda’s mouth fell right open. Erin nearly dropped her wine. A collective imaginary wallop hit them both right in the girlparts.
“Or I should say seven times in four nights, three times in the morning and once in the afternoon when I pretended to have a doctor’s appointment and went to his place instead.”
On TV, the crowd screamed. It set the girls off laughing until tears were rolling down their cheeks. Darcy shotgunned her wine and shifted uncomfortably. Sitting was not that easy.
“My God,” Amanda said, wiping her eyes. “You’ve created a monster.”
“He’s so... ugh,” Darcy groaned. “He’s so grateful! I feel like Dumbledore teaching Harry magic.”
“Well there is a wand,” Erin joked.
“And a lot of exploding,” Amanda added, wailing. “Okay, okay. What about the first time? Did he like cry or anything?”
“NO!” Darcy slapped her arm. “We, uh, we were sleeping and we got kind of twisted up so his hand was, um, well his hand was in my shorts. Right on my ass. I mean obviously it was going to happen anyway and I thought, you know... I was sick of waiting! So I kissed him. And we hooked up. It’s cool, right? I slept there like ten times, he never tried anything but I figured he that eventually we would...,” she stopped, laughing pathetically, “Only he didn’t know, I guess. Or didn’t think. Because I had to get up, get dressed and sneak into Schultz’s room to steal a condom.”
Erin was gasping for breath. Amanda had her hand hands over her face, head down and shaking.
“Ryan did have some, in the bottom of his bag like a fucking lost sock. We used them all too.”
“So it’s... he’s...,” Erin didn’t even know what she was asking. She was proud of and surprised by Ryan, that was for sure.
“He’s good! I mean, surprisingly good,” Darcy said. “And energetic. Jesus Christ, are Taylor and Jordan like that? Like all the time and he never gets tired? He finishes and I’m like a fucking hole in the mattress and he wants to talk about his favorite movies and what he did at camp when he was twelve. I swear to God he needs exactly a seventeen minutes intermission period. Drink a Gatorade and he’s ready to go again.”
Amanda laughed; Taylor was out like shout the second they were done, then woke up horny an hour later. Erin couldn’t help but smile. Laying in bed with Jordan - before or after - was her favorite thing going.
Darcy leaned back. “We need more wine.”
Amanda stood in the middle of her room, looking over her shoulder at her ass in the mirror and tugging her clingy dress down another inch. She wore bright blue, strapless and tight. After a few days of wondering what present to buy the NHL superstar in her life, she’d settled on this dress. Taylor would appreciate it. On her feet, she’d also gotten a pair of adorable vintage-style heels in white and blue with blue ribbon ties. Taylor probably wouldn’t even notice those.
Erin had called in a favor at Wild Wings: one of the 21+ bars in town to agree to let Ryan in. He was forbidden to drink, of course, but since this was Oklahoma City he would not be recognized for his famous face. Most of the rest of the team was of age and they’d be there too. There wasn’t much to be done about Taylor’s birthday falling mid-week, but the Barons would bring the party with them. The bar had live music, cheap drinks and a bathroom with a door that locked.
“Wow,” Darcy said, flopping down on the bed. “You look like a stripper trying to appear respectable for a court date.”
“And you?” Amanda shot back. Darcy wore tight black pants, ankle boots with a spike heel and a purple tank top with studding. “You look like a band keeps you in the back of their tour bus.”
“Hey, hey.” Erin came in, texting. She had on a mini skirt with gold and silver metallic sequins, a gauzy grey top and black stilettos with a strap around the ankle. “She’s wearing pants to keep Ryan in check. He can’t drink, so he’s gonna need something to do with his hands.”
“I can’t wait to see him with you,” Amanda said to Darcy. “This is going to be priceless.”
“You look good, man,” Jordan said as he threw an arm around Ryan’s shoulders. The kid had changed so many times that Schultz was calling him ‘The Devil Wears Prada.’ Eventually he’d gone with a dark grey v-neck t-shirt and dark jeans. Nothing fancy, just blend. Like an underage kid in a bar. With a hot girlfriend. HIs palms were sweating.
Jordan and Taylor picked Ryan and Schultz up in a cab. They pulled up to the curb to find Erin, short-skirted and high-heeled, rubbing her arms against the chilly night and laughing with a bouncer. The guy was the size of Shea Weber and gave Jordan a sarcastic once-over as he approached. Jordan couldn’t blame him: she looked like a million bucks - way out of the league of any guy bar-hopping on a weeknight. He pretended not to notice the bouncer’s sneer, but let his hand fall on Erin’s sequin-clad ass.
“Mmm, hi,” Erin purred. She’d had two shots already. Not that it mattered once she saw Jordan. The collar on his black wool pea coat was pulled high, dark color accentuating his messy hair and dramatic eyebrows. Up close his eyes were as blue as ever, and that gap between his teeth still hit her like a bus. She wrapped around him as suggestively as she dared.
“You look too good, I’m gonna have to fight off every guy in this bar.”
Erin smirked. “Promise I’ll make it up to you later.”
Inside, the band was playing a loud country song and a few people were already on the dance floor. At the side of the bar, Darcy, Amanda and a few of their girlfriends were passing out beers to some of the Barons who had arrived early. Mark Arcobello and Tanner House were browsing the merchandise.
“Happy birthday!” Amanda carefully worked her way between bodies to throw herself on Taylor. He dipped her to the floor and kissed her to the whoops and hollers of their little crowd. Erin was busy watching Ryan instead. He was blushing. She could hardly think of him any other way. Spots of color like stop lights blazed high on his sharp cheeks and his hair fell forward as if he hoped to hide underneath it. From the neck down though, no one would ever think of Ryan as a boy. He wore a dark shirt and jeans like they were lucky to be along for the ride.
“Hey,” he said shyly. It was the first time he and Darcy were together in public, and how public it was. They should have done a dry run with just the six of them first.
Darcy leaned on the bar for support. Ryan looked... there wasn’t a word. The perfect mix of aw shucks and hell yes, all the reasons she had waited and all the reasons she had slept in his bed that whole time anyway, torturing herself with the sheer potential. Now he was delivering nightly and it wasn’t easy to see anything else.
“Hi,” she said with a smile. Ryan’s face lit up. Darcy’s heart fell right through into her slutty boots.
“God, get a room!” Taylor hollered, having just set Amanda back on her feet. He pushed Darcy toward Ryan, took her spot at the bar and ordered one of everything for everyone. Except Ryan.
They drank and danced, one country or rock song after another, just like Jordan was used to in Edmonton. In fact, aside from being recognized, this was a lot like being at home. Erin and the girls were overdressed, but even in jeans they’d have had aces over any other woman in the place. Every time he looked down a fresh, full glass of something had appeared in his hand. Erin clinked hers to it, tipped her head and tossed it down her throat. The arched back, the breasts rising beneath her shirt, the soft brush of her hair against his hand - Jordan nearly missed his mouth when he tried to drink. Erin snickered and pressed against him. Her lips found his ear.
“I am getting drunk tonight,” she said, punctuating the phrase with taps of her nails along his collar, “and then I’m going to let you wear this skirt as a headband.”
He laughed and reached for two more shots lined up on the bar. Erin licked her lips and drained it. As the hot flash of alcohol hit Jordan’s tongue, she pressed her closed lips to his and he was forced to swallow, hard and all at once, while she kissed him. She was fiery tonight.
“Better get Taylor really drunk,” she whispered. “He thinks we were loud last time.”
Erin could not have said what came over her. She could have described it as excitement and hormones mixed with happiness, shaken not stirred, with a nice cold piece of fear stabbed through with a little cocktail sword. Everyone here would be gone someday. All of these relationships, tossed around like shiny toys, would break when they hit the ground. But for now, she felt invincible. Real things were happening - things that would be remembered: Taylor’s birthday, Ryan’s first time. Life was going on here and she was holding on. Jordan was in her arms, happy friends surrounded her and somebody else was picking up the tab.
They tumbled onto the dance floor as the first strains of “Sweet Home Alabama” started. Every drunk person everywhere loves this song. They nearly collided with Ryan and Darcy, who were still grinding to the last song that ended minutes ago. The pants had definitely been a good idea - Ryan’s hands were crammed so far into the back pockets he might lose them for good. On the other side of the dance floor, occupying one stool with two bodies, Schultz was making out with a red head from Amanda’s office. Taylor was at the bar, one arm around Amanda and one hand around a beer. Erin pasted herself to Jordan and just danced.
At some point, Schultz and the redhead disappeared to the bathroom. Arcobello knocked, then pounded, then gave up and collected everyone to watch the door until it opened. Justin stumbled out, shirt and belt half-open. The girl’s hair was a mess, her lipstick gone. A cheer went up so loud it drowned out the band. Ryan Martindale and Tyler Pitlick both looked at Amanda’s short, blond neighbor standing between them like she might want to go next. The girl cackled and called for another drink.
Jordan’s hand snaked around Erin’s waist, holding her so close she could tell what he wanted to talk about. Or not talk at all. It wasn’t late enough to leave, and she would never be drunk enough for that bathroom. But she did shoot him a look as she shimmied her ass against his lap. He breathed out hard.
“Or what?” she said, straightening one leg and swiveling with no mercy.
“Or I will throw you on this bar and later on, when we’re arrested, hope your hands fit through the bars of my jail cell,” he growled.
She turned and kissed him all in one movement. The velvety brush of his tongue spilled goosebumps right down her spine. Everything was a little slurred, a little drowsy. Erin closed her eyes and sank into the kiss. Jordan pressed her to the nearest surface and did his best not to hump her leg.
He wanted more than to be with her like this. He wanted all of this to be real, yet somehow superimposed on his regular life. Put the NHL back into the mix, shake all the pieces around but none could fall out. They would all land somewhere, still together. His fingertips brushed the bare skin at the back of her thigh, suddenly smooth where the sequins ran out. It made him shudder. Erin wrapped her arms around his neck and they were fully making out in the middle of the bar. It as a heady freedom that even being drunk couldn’t give Jordan at home.
A very familiar voice came over the microphone.
“Happy birthday to you....”
Amanda stood next to the lead singer, two hands gripping the microphone stand for stability. In her little party dress and golden hair, she stopped every conversation in the bar. With a convincingly sultry voice and little sway of her short skirt, she rasped out a Happy Birthday worth of Marilyn Monroe singing to the President. The guys pushed Taylor toward the front until he was right in front of her. More than one leering spectator looked very disappointed to find her singing to a guy who looked capable of kicking their asses.
“Happy 21st birthday!” she squeaked at the end. The crowd burst into applause. Taylor swung her around with a whoop and carried her back toward the bar.
Erin was smiling hugely. She looked a little foggy from drinking, but so was Jordan as he admired her. It only made her hair darker, her skin more porcelain. The round curve of her bottom lip looked especially delicate, flushed as it was from kissing him so hard. Charcoal eyeliner was smudged at the corner of one eye. Everything about her promised that what he saw now was only the beginning of what she could give.
In the warm, crowded bar and from the bottom of his lost-count drink, Jordan put his lips to Erin’s ear and said, “Love you.”
“Oh my God, stop! What if they....”
Erin spun her shirt over her head like a lasso and it hit Jordan in the face. “You really want me to stop?”
“Taylor and Amanda are gonna walk in,” he glanced toward the door. Erin was busy shimmying out of her skirt, tugging it right down over her thong. It fell to the floor like a bunch of little sequin bells ringing. Jordan’s protest died on his dry tongue.
It wasn’t every middle of the night that a hot girl in high heels and lingerie stood in his kitchen. Well, it probably could have been if Jordan were that kind of guy. Right now he was very, very glad that Erin felt like being that kind of girl. She carefully freed her feet - drunk in stilettos turned life into an obstacle course. She never thought about taking them off.
They hadn’t made it to the bedroom yet. In truth they’d barely made it through the front door. After one more song making out in the bar, hands getting lower and the room getting fuzzy, Erin twisted her fingers into Jordan’s front pockets and suggested they leave. He slid across the hood of a cab outside. Erin sat there, cool as ice, and stroked the skin of her thigh where it disappeared beneath her skirt. Jordan’s hands were fists trying not to rip it off her in the car.
Now she was taking care of her own clothes, right in the middle of his apartment.
Don’t stop, Jordan thought. Never stop. Erin performed a perfect little bend and snap, scantily-clad ass high in the air. It was a pure stripper move right down to the way she flipped her hair. If Taylor had walked in at that moment, he’d have stuffed a twenty into her panties. Now Erin’s skirt hung from one hand and Jordan’s mouth hung wide open.
She giggled. It may have taken a bottle of liquid courage, but Erin was finally in control of one damned thing in her life. Make that two, if she counted Jordan. She intended to make it last. With her heels clicking across the kitchen tile, she stalked right up to fully dressed Jordan, put a hand on his chest, and guided him backward into the bedroom. He was drunk too, a little squintier than usual, but his heart pounded beneath his shirt. She made quick work of that. Jordan reached for her, and got nothing but air. Erin was already on her knees.
“Oh God,” he whispered. She had him stripped and stiff and slipping past her lips in a blink. Jordan wobbled on unsteady legs. With a little push, Erin sat him on the edge of the bed. She moved between his legs and went down on him again.
Jordan moaned. He was glad Taylor wasn’t here - though he would have understood that when a beautiful girl is sucking your dick there’s no being quiet. Probably the neighbors wouldn’t get that but Jordan did not care. He managed to lift his head, to see Erin’s usually smiling mouth doing another very happy thing. She caught his gaze through thick lashes. He saw a gleam there just before she pushed his tip into the back of her throat.
“OhGodfuuhhkkk.” The room spun. His blood was poison and it rushed south, abandoning his brain in a hurry to join the party. Fingernails pricked the delicate skin of his sac, slipping into the seams. He barely got a breath before she swallowed him again. Forcing himself not to collapse, Jordan kept his eyes on the beautiful site below his waist.
I told her I love her. And this is what I get. Love in amazing. I love love. Drunken thoughts sloshed around in his mind, periodically wiped clean by the twist of her tongue along his shaft.
Erin loved this power. It turned her on enough to forget how badly she wanted him, how hot she’d been all night for him to get her off. Adding her hand to the tug of war, she flicked it along his length in time with the slick press of her lips. He groaned, throbbing harder in her fist. She giggled, deep in her throat, and let the vibration pass right to his body.
“Yesbabyyesss,” he said needlessly. Erin required no encouragement. Growling against the ache between her own legs, she moved harder and faster, drawing him out forcefully and gagging herself on the way back. Jordan grabbed a firstful of her hair, as if the guide her up onto the bed.
“I’m gonna come,” he rasped. Even drunk he was never rude. If he came, she would come - it was just manners. That and she was hot, nearly naked and polishing him like pro. He only wanted to play fair.
Erin caught his balls with her nails, just a quick flash of almost-pain. He flinched and let go of her hair. She would not be told what to do, even if it was to get fucked in return. Jordan was at her mercy and she would decide when to set him free. Which was soon, it turned out. Twisting her lips as Jordan bucked, Erin tasted the first salty drop of his desire. She smiled with her mouth full. One deep breath, one heavy thrust. Jordan’s hips and thighs locked as he came, back arching off the bed, trying to shove himself down her throat.
Stars. Instead of seeing Erin, Jordan saw stars. It looked about the same. He cried out like the orgasm had been ripped from him, and felt her softly swallowing load after load. It wasn’t until he collapsed that he felt her tongue do one last pass.
He couldn’t move. He was boneless, gravity a hundred times stronger, smeared across the bed. Erin crawled up next to him and sprawled onto her back. If he could have turned his head, she was quite a sight. Instead they both closed their eyes and fell asleep.