“When were you there?”

“Last year. The NHL has an event called the Global Series, and my team played in Amsterdam, Prague, and Copenhagen.”

“Copenhagen is great. Maeve and I went there right after uni.”

He sticks out his tongue, panting. “The men in Copenhagen are superhot.”

I roll my eyes. “Wow. Tell me more about your European trysts. I would love all the details.”

He laughs and nuzzles me, kissing my jaw. “I didn’t bang anyone, you dick. I’m just saying it would be fun to go with you. We could ogle the eye candy together and then go back to our hotel and screw.”

I laugh. “You fucking pervert.”

“C’mon. That’d be fun, right? Go to a bar. Get some beers. Sit outside, drink, and check out all the tall, strapping Danish men walking by. We could tell dirty stories about what we’d do to them, then go back and fuck each other like horny penguins.”

“Are penguins horny?”

“Have you ever seen them walk? You tell me that penguins aren’t taking it up the ass.”

And I have no choice but to crack up, with deep belly laughs that expand to fill my body. Fitz smiles, looking pleased with my reaction.

When I finally collect myself, I say, “So, fine, we’ll perv on hot Danes together in this fantasy world of yours. Where else have you been enjoying the scenery?”

“Ha. Mostly I’ve gone with my family on some fun vacays.”

I gesture to myself. “As I said, you go with your family and enjoy the scenery.”

“I don’t usually”—he stops to sketch air quotes—“‘enjoy the scenery’ when I’m with them.”

I give him my best smolder. “I see. I’m irresistible. You broke your look-don’t-touch rule for me.”

His expression shifts to serious. “I don’t hook up when I’m with my family, so yeah, you must be irresistible.” He runs a hand over my hip and along my thigh in a lazy, decadent way that makes my skin come alive. “And to answer your question, we’ve gone to a bunch of places. We never traveled when I was growing up. Didn’t have the money at all. So, in the last few years, I’ve tried to make up for it. I took my mom and sisters to Colorado to go skiing, then to Costa Rica a couple of years ago. My sister Sarah loves to surf, so we surfed and zip-lined and hiked, and it was awesome. My other sister, Carrie, is a huge fan of Japanese culture, so I took her and everyone else to Tokyo last year. Had a blast checking out the temples, tea gardens, and shrines.”

There’s such genuine affection in Fitz’s tone as he talks about his family that a grin takes over my face. “You’re good to them,” I say, keeping it simple.

“They’re good to me. And hey, it’s no hardship to travel to some amazing places. I loved all that stuff in Tokyo too, since I was a history major.”

“Then I definitely will show you some of our sites here in London, and I’ll pretend I’m not jealous that you’ve been everywhere.”

“I’m lucky I’ve been able to travel. Have you ever been to the States?”

I shake my head. “No. Haven’t made it that way yet. But it’s all good,” I say, then trace my fingers down his arm. “I keep meaning to ask you about your ink, but every time we get naked, I’m distracted by other things.”

“My dick is super distracting.”

“It actually is. But I won’t be sidetracked now. So, what’s this?” I draw my finger across the tribal band on one arm, barbed lines woven intricately across his biceps.

“Strength, family, wisdom,” Fitz says, letting out a soft rumble as I touch him. It’s heady to know even a curious trace can make him tremble.

“Your pillars?”

“Yup. Exactly. They’re what matters.”

“Couldn’t agree more. And this?” My fingers follow a geometric design like spokes spiraling out from his biceps, winding around his shoulder and upper back.

“Passion. Intensity,” he says, shutting his eyes, breathing out hard as I map his ink.

“And is that for the way you play hockey?”

He opens his eyes, those blue irises glinting. “Yes. That’s how I try to play. Give it my all every time I hit the ice. Nothing less.”

“Your teammates are lucky to have you.”

“Goes both ways. I couldn’t do what I do without them. They’re my guys.” He lets out a low growl as my hand spreads to cover the sunburst. “And this one?” I lower my face, pressing a kiss to the ink.

“Light, truth. It was Emma’s idea.”

“Yeah? Why’d she suggest it?”

“She said I was like that. That I was always outgoing, always up-front, always open.”

I smile. “Sounds like you.”

“It came from a quote she found when she was studying religions in college as part of her core curriculum. ‘Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.’ Buddha said it, and she shared it with me. I like it.”


Tags: Lauren Blakely Romance
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