Home > Risk on Ice (Boys of Winter #11)(9)

Risk on Ice (Boys of Winter #11)(9)
Author: S.R. Grey

Taking a bite of his eggs and quickly swallowing, he says, “Yeah, that’s true.” His gaze meets mine as he adds, “So you keep up with hockey, huh? That’s cool. I like it.”

I smile. “Of course I keep up with hockey. Not only am I a big fan of the sport all on my own, but Sebastian would be crushed if we couldn’t talk about it. We’ve been doing that since we were kids.”

“That’s nice,” he says. And then, quietly, he asks, “You two are pretty close, huh?”

“We are,” I confirm.

Our eyes meet again, but this time we look away quickly.

Yeah, we have a connection.

But it can’t be pursued.

I wouldn’t want to put either Alex or my brother in any kind of an uncomfortable position.

Not to mention, I have to live here with this guy for a while.

What if we hooked up and it all went sideways.

Yikes.

Yeah, no, Alex Hartwell is sadly off-limits.

 

 

I Am So F*cked

 

 

I hate to admit it, but Kelsi is on my mind a lot over the next few days. I don’t see her since the Wolves kick off the new season with a few away games, but damn, do I think about her.

Those legs, that ass, the flecks of gold in her big brown eyes, her sweet smile…

I could go on and on.

But the bottom line is that she’s hot, and I’m majorly attracted to her.

It’s more than just her looks.

Her personality is great too.

And I like her as a person.

Even though she’s Sebastian’s sister, I want to get to know her better.

That’s why I’m majorly amped when, on the late Thursday night flight home from three great wins, Sebastian, seated across from me on the team jet, tells me he and Bettina are planning a Friday night cookout for the four of us.

“Are you up for that?” he asks.

I nod excitedly. “I sure am. I don’t have anything else planned.”

“Cool. You’ll finally get to meet my sister.”

“Er, uh, I kind of already did,” I confess.

Seb’s brow creases. “You did? When? We’ve been out of town for the past several days.”

Leaning back, I explain, “I met her that day after practice when you told me I could grab a loaf of bread from your house. She was in the kitchen, making breakfast. We actually ate together.” I pause and frown. “I’m surprised she didn’t mention that to you.”

He shakes his head. “No, she hasn’t said a thing. But you haven’t either.”

He’s got me there.

“True,” I concede. “I guess I was just focused on the games.”

I was, but Kelsi was on my mind a ton. Not that I’d share that with her brother.

“Makes sense,” Sebastian says, shrugging.

I just sit and think for a minute. It seems odd that Kelsi wouldn’t say one word to her brother about us eating together that day. She clearly didn’t even mention it to Bettina, who surely would’ve told Sebastian.

Maybe I didn’t make that much of an impression, certainly not like she did with me.

That sort of bothers me, as I thought we hit it off extremely well.

Whatever, I’m not going to dwell on it. I guess we’ll just see if we still have a connection at this cookout.

Clearing my throat, I ask Sebastian, “Do you need me to bring anything?”

“Just yourself,” he says. “Oh, and bring a hearty appetite. Bettina told me she bought four steaks. Hers and Kelsi’s are smallish filet mignons, but ours are huge-ass rib-eyes. On top of that, we’ll be having baked potatoes and a salad.”

“Sounds great,” I say. “I can’t wait.”

It’s true, I can’t.

Though I don’t tell Sebastian I’m excited to see Kelsi again.

And one thing is for sure—this time I’m going to make sure I make a much more memorable impression.

 

 

Friday evening, as the sun is setting off in the distance, I walk around to the back of the house where there’s a big flagstone patio, an in-ground pool, and the grill area.

Even though there’s soft lighting illuminating the grounds, several tiki torches are lining the way, their flames flickering in the wind.

I follow the path to Sebastian, who’s standing at a huge stainless steel grill, turning over steaks that smell delicious.

Reaching him, I say, “Hey, man.”

“Hey.”

He looks over at me, and I ask, “Do you need any help?”

Jerking his chin to a black wrought iron circular table behind us, he says, “Can you hand me that bowl of marinade with the brush in it?”

“Sure.” I pick up and pass him the bowl, careful not to disturb the four vivid, colorful place settings on the frosted glass tabletop.

“Cool colors,” I say, nodding to the cobalt blue, fire-engine red, bright orange, and sunshiny yellow plates and bowls.

“Oh, yeah, right.” Sebastian chuckles as he brushes marinade onto the steaks. “Bettina has been dying to put her new fiestaware to use.”

“Ah, got it. Speaking of Bettina…” I blow out a breath, glancing around. “Where are she and Kelsi?”

“They’re inside putting together the salad. They should be out in a minute. The steaks are almost ready, and…” He opens the smoker side of the grill and says, “These potatoes look like they’re just about done.”

“Great. I’m fucking starving.”

“Yeah.” He sets the marinade on the side of the grill. “I am too.”

Casually, or as casually as I can pretend, I keep checking the set of french doors leading out from the kitchen.

I blow out a breath.

I’m kind of nervous to see Kelsi again. I wonder what she’ll be wearing. She looked damn good in that simple long T-shirt, so I’m sure whatever she has on, she’ll look great.

I hope I look okay. I opted for dark-wash jeans, a baby blue polo-style shirt, an unzipped navy hoodie, and beige Chucks.

I wanted to keep with the casual feel of a cookout but still look nice.

While Sebastian flips the steaks again, I try not to fidget.

Jesus, this is so not like me to feel so fucking nervous.

Placing my hands on the back of one of the chairs, I glance over at the french doors once more.

And shit, this time they’re opening.

I swallow hard.

Here we go.

Let’s see if Kelsi seems happy to see me.

But it’s not Kelsi coming out. It’s Bettina, holding a big-ass glass salad bowl filled with what looks to be mixed greens and assorted garden vegetables.

Nodding over to us with a smile, she says, “Hey, guys.”

She is what I’m coming to find is her usual pert self. She’s dressed in a cute red shorts set, and she’s blowing up the bangs of her pixie-cut dark hair as she walks over to the table.

“Alex, it’s good to see you again,” she says cheerfully.

“You too.” I reach for the salad bowl. “Here, let me take that for you.”

“Aw, thank you. Always the gentleman, huh?” she chirps as she hands over the bowl.

I smile, but Sebastian coughs out from over at the grill, “Ha, don’t let him fool you. He’s a dick at heart.”

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