Just kidding! <g>
‘You can’t keep me.’
Shawn ‘Easy’ Pischlar has given his speech so often, it should be written on the white board in the Dartmouth Cobra’s locker room. Too many of his own teammates have heard the words.
And the games he’s played are finally catching up to him.
To hang on to his freedom, Shawn gave up on ever having someone to call his own. A young woman who expects nothing from him slips into his life and has him ready to toss the rulebook. While the man he loves tempts him to burn it.
Keeping them both would be easy, only…caring about them isn’t.
Because when he lets himself care, he remembers why he wrote the rules in the first place. Every lover, from the casual, to those who steal a piece of his heart, shouldn’t expect more than pleasure. More than passion.
Playing the game, on and off the ice, is his whole world. One he isn’t ready to change.
Except, life doesn’t stop for the game. And when old scars are ripped open, and he’s left bloody and beaten, the rules won’t help him put the pieces of his life back together.
To win this fight, he’ll have to break each and every one.
© Bianca Sommerland 2016
*unedited first chapter*
Ian White stepped up to the door of his best friend’s apartment, a place he’d spent more time at than his own, and for the first time couldn’t bring himself to just walk in. He had the damn key, on the Deadpool keychain Pisch had given him, but he left it in his pocket.
Things were different.
I fucked up.
But this was freakin’ Shawn “Easy” Pischlar. Sex didn’t mean a thing to him, no matter who it was with. There were some lines that couldn’t be crossed though, and Ian had trampled all over them like the big, dumb meathead he was. Fine, Pisch had fucked other friends, but he didn’t see them all the time. He had his rules and made sure everyone understood them before he worked them out of their clothes and did what he was so fucking good at.
‘Don’t fall in love with me or anything, Bruiser. I’ll break your heart.’
Love. Screw that. Falling in love with Pisch was the fastest way to get him to fucking disappear. And no way was Ian gonna risk that. Not for sex.
Not for anything.
They’d had fun. Shared a hot chick. That was over and now things could go back to normal.
Then why are you still standing in the fucking hall?
He jabbed his hand into his pocket to grab the key.
The door opened, revealing Pisch with a smirk on his lips as he leaned against the doorframe. “Finally grew your balls back, Bruiser?”
Ian scowled, staring at the center of Pischlar’s bare, tattooed chest, because he couldn’t deal with that damn arrogance aimed at him. Not now. “I just came to get my comic book. I wasn’t sure if you were still sleeping.”
“It’s past noon.”
“Yeah, but you were out late last night at the club.” Probably fucking some cute little twink some Domme—or Dom—had decided they wanted to share. Someone who wouldn’t get all fucking confused and imagine the man would want more.
Maybe Tyler again. He ground his teeth as he pictured the Dartmouth Cobra’s golden boy, Tyler Vanek, all small and wiry and in love with his Master and Mistress. Perfect for Pisch to play with.
He blinked at the weird little voice in his head he was sure had never been there before. He so needed to hack the source up into little pieces and bury it.
“Don’t think so hard, you’ll stress yourself out.” Pisch gave him a playful slap on the arm. “Come in. And don’t lie to me about why you’re here. You gave me that comic book as a peace offering.”
Yeah, I did. And he didn’t really want it back, but he couldn’t think of a better excuse, so screw it, he’d pretend he was desperate to get his hands on the damn thing. “I know, but I still haven’t read that one yet… Can I borrow it?”
“Sure.” Pisch’s brow creased slightly as he held the door open wide, waiting for Ian to pass. “Sorry for being an asshole. I thought you came to get laid.”
The laugh escaped Ian before what Pisch had said fully registered. He blinked, stopping with one foot over the threshold. He glared at Pisch. “Are you fucking serious?”
Careless expression smoothing all the lines on his face, Pisch lifted a shoulder. “Not that I’d have minded, but I had to mess with you a bit. Keep things light.”
“’Course you did.” Ian made his way across the hall, heading to the kitchen to grab one of the beers from the case he’d bought last week. He twisted the cap, taking a few gulps since his mouth was suddenly fucking dry and he couldn’t face Pisch yet.
This was why fucking Pisch had been the most phenomenally stupid thing he’d ever done in his life. He’d be shoved into the category of potential repeat fuck. So long as he didn’t get too comfortable.
He liked how comfortable things had been before.
“Hey, I thought we were good. What’s eating at you, White?” Pischlar’s voice came from much too close. He touched the small of Ian’s back.
And Ian almost broke another tooth on the lip of the beer bottle. He took a deep breath and managed not to jerk away. Or move closer.
This man should be illegal without a damn prescription. One with a warning ‘Might cause fatal addiction’.
Deep. Pisch’s tattoo were all full of meaning—most of which Ian didn’t get—and people who paid attention to them might see him as a sensitive man. But he wasn’t. Pisch was damn tough. Ian was tough himself, but he wasn’t sure he could deal with the pain of a needle jabbing into his damn foot.
“There a reason you’re not looking at me, man?” Pisch put his hand on Ian’s shoulder, turning him fully.
Giving Ian no choice but to meet his eyes. Eyes that were an odd green shade, like fog over the lush green prairies where he’d grown up near Manitoba, Winnipeg. Eyes that never missed a thing, but hid so much.
Ian shrugged and glanced down at Pisch’s chest again. The man was freakin’ tight. Not bulging with muscles so much as carved with sharp definition; not a damn ounce of fat on him. Covered in wicked ink, nipples pierced, all bad ass and I-don’t-give-a-fuck attitude seeping from his very pores.
Ian had never lusted after a man in his life, but Pisch…Pisch wasn’t just any man.
He’s my best friend.
Forcing what he hoped was a smile to his lips, he brought his eyes back to Pisch’s face. “Just making sure you’re whole, buddy.”
Pisch smirked, like he wasn’t buying what Ian was trying to sell, then made a dismissive motion with his hand. “All good. So I’m guessing you don’t wanna talk about the fact we had sex?”
The beer that had been going down nice and smooth with that last gulp tried to drown him. Ian sputtered, coughing as the liquid hit his windpipe, handing Pisch his beer so he could cover his mouth while he hacked up a lung.
Gently rubbing his back, Pisch leaned close to whisper in his ear. “This would go so much easier if you admitted you wanted me.”
All right, that was fucking enough. Ian growled and latched onto Pisch’s forearms, shoving him against the counter by the fridge. The shock in Pisch’s eyes gave him some shallow satisfaction as he brought his lips close to the other man’s.
“You think anything about this is easy, Easy?” His whole body trembled as he struggled not to drop his gaze as Pischlar’s eyes hardened. He’d tried to remind himself he was straight, so this thing between him and Pisch couldn’t happen. The confused emotions were new and the playoffs were the wrong time to be exploring all this messed up shit.