“Really? Rice for breakfast?” I ask, slipping back into bed.

“Don’t knock it unless you’ve tried it,” she says. “You know, you never did tell me how you got into marketing.”

Question time? That’s a first.

“Maybe because you never asked,” I tell her.

“Okay,” she says, positioning herself so she’s on her side, head propped up on her hand. “I’m asking now.”

I reach over and pull up the sheets so they cover her breasts. “I’m sorry but I can’t talk to you when your tits are out like that.”

She glares at me mockingly. “You’re such a pig.”


“And don’t change the subject.”

“I’m not,” I say, even though I guess I am. I clear my throat. “I got into marketing because I’ve always been interested in business.”

“Was this before or after the NHL?”

“Before. Way before. I grew up in the frozen north, remember? I was in the middle of nowhere. All we had up there was hockey, and if you were lucky maybe your parents owned a tourist trap in Dawson City. We had that for a while. My father was straight off the boat from Lisbon, don’t really know why he picked the Yukon but I guess he visited once when he was young and fell in love with the land.”

“I heard it’s beautiful up there,” she says.

“You wouldn’t like it,” I tell her. “In the summer there are mosquitos the size of your hand.”

She grimaces. “I’d have to up my game.”

“You’d need a rifle. Anyway. My dad bought a bar of all places. He thought he could inject a little Portugal into the arctic. But he didn’t have a clue about business, and throughout the years he lost more and more money and pretty soon we couldn’t afford our shack in town. We were relegated to a trailer in the woods and while there are a lot of trailers in the woods up there, you want to be close to people when you’re that isolated. The town is all dusty dirt roads and gritty can-can girls like they have in the Moulin Rouge, and either eternal darkness or the midnight sun.” I close my eyes and I can see the sun in July, dipping over the breadth of the Yukon River but never setting behind those mountains. I sigh, missing home, or at least the memories of home before things fell apart.

I go on. “And less than two thousand people live there year-round. But those two thousand people count for a lot when you’re in the middle of nowhere. My mother fell into a depression and she left when I was fourteen.”

“I’m so sorry,” she says softly.

“Don’t be,” I tell her. “I never blamed her. She needed to go. She didn’t know it would be like that. And she wanted me to go with her, to start over again in Ohio. She was American, and wanted to be with her family. But as much as I loved her, I didn’t want to go. I had just gotten into hockey in a major way. I couldn’t fathom starting over.” I reach out and brush a wayward strand of hair off Nova’s face. “So I stayed and I trained. I knew that if I worked hard enough I could support my dad but I also knew that I had to have a business plan. I had to go to university, get a degree, get business smart, make the right choices. I knew that no matter what happened with hockey, I could never depend on it. And, well, you know the rest.”

“No, I don’t.”

“I eventually moved down to Edmonton, then Vancouver. I was in junior hockey, then farm teams for the NHL. My father moved back to Portugal. I never went to school, I was brought onto the King’s as a defenseman. I got injured, couldn’t play again. And I decided I would do whatever it would take to make sure I wasn’t sitting on my ass and counting NHL checks. I applied for a job with a hotel and that was it.”

“So where is your father now, still in Portugal?”

I nod.

“Do you talk to him?”

“Sometimes. I’ll call him Christmas morning and on his birthday, but he was never really the same after all that. He has a new family now, I think he just likes to pretend that the Yukon never happened.”

“And your mother?”

“She died a few years ago. Ovarian cancer. I made it to the funeral, at least. We were never that close either.”

Nova studies me for a moment. I have to say, I rarely talk about my past because all it does is bring about pity and people feeling sorry for me when they shouldn’t. It’s just life and life happens to everyone. No one is immune.

But Nova doesn’t seem to pity me, maybe because she understands this thing called life too. Maybe she knows that when you open up, you’re not looking for anything more than for another person to understand you better. At least, I hope that’s what she thinks.

“I’m glad you told me,” Nova says. “I feel like a dick now.”

“Why do you feel like a dick?”

“All those years of ribbing you over your motives. I just thought you were another guy trying to be a hot shot in the corporate world.”

I laugh. “Well, I am trying to be a hot shot in the corporate world. But my motives are the same. I don’t want to ever just rely on one thing. Hell, I don’t even know if I’ll stay in this corporate world forever.”

She frowns. “What do you mean?”

I shrug with one shoulder. “I like the hotel world and I think I’m good at it. But I like hockey more. I’d like to get back into that side of things for a bit. Maybe open up a hockey school.” I pause. “Here.”

“Here? In Hawaii?”

“I went to that skating rink – they take their hockey pretty seriously. I was talking to the guy there for a long time and maybe there’s a future there. It would take a lot of funding and time and I don’t know if I’m ready for that at this stage of my life but it’s there and it’s nice to know that there’s always another path to go down.”

“Something tells me that you’ll be great at whatever you decide to do.”

“You’re paying me compliments again. Is being nicer to me part of your resolution?”

“Maybe,” she says slyly as she inches closer to me, sliding her hand down my chest and to my dick. I’ve been semi-hard just being in the same bed as her, naked. “I can be nicer.”

I raise my brows, interested to see where this is going.

She smiles like a devilish angel as she moves down the length of my body and sticks my cock into her mouth. I watch, unwilling to take my eyes off her as she proceeds to give me head, sucking and licking with her perfect blow-job lips. Nova has never been one of those girls who sucks me off as a chore, she does it because she genuinely loves having my dick between her lips, loves what it does to me.

But I’m not coming again like this.

I need to come inside her.

“Hold on,” I tell her. “Come up here.”

As she moves up, I reach over and grab a condom from the stack on the bedside table. And yeah, they’re Magnums, no piña colada dick for her anymore.

I open the foil and slide the condom on, then grab Nova by the shoulders and flip her over so she’s on her back. She giggles as I attack her neck and my hands go under her ass, hiking her hips up. I slip a pillow underneath her for leverage and then in one swift motion, push inside of her.

Fuck. Me.

A lustful groan escapes me as she envelopes my cock, so hot and tight and slick. Her hips buck up into mine and I slowly start working myself in and out of her, biting and licking at her nipples. We have a rhythm together, something easy and fluid, our bodies working together in time. I know every inch of her as she knows every inch of me and it’s kinetic, electric synergy.

I piston my hips into her harder, the headboard slamming back against the wall. My ass muscles flex as I pound and pound and pound, my cock deep inside, sweat dripping off of me and onto her, the air smelling like our decadent sex.

“Fuck yes,” I growl, one hand gripping her hip, the other slipping over her swollen clit. She stares up at me in awe and wonder and pleasure and fear just before I stroke the right sensitive bundle of nerves and she’s going over the edge.

This is raw. This her split right open.

She cries out and then she’s coming hard, creaming all over my cock and I’m letting myself loose, fucking her harder in quick, sharp jabs until I’m letting out a hoarse cry.


I spill into the condom again and again and it’s like the orgasm never ends and I can’t stop coming until I’ve filled it to the brim. I wish I was inside her bare, filling up every cell inside her.

Then I’m drained, emptied, sated, and I collapse on top of her in a sweaty heap of pounding hearts and ragged breaths.

“Jesus,” I swear, wondering when the world will stop spinning and if I’ll ever come down off this god damn high. My heart is so loud in my head it sounds like someone knocking at the door.

Oh shit.

Someone is knocking at the door.

Room service.

I stare at Nova’s sated eyes and smile.

“Hope you’re still hungry.”

God knows I’ll always be starving for her.

Chapter Fifteen


“Nova, what does wahine mean?” Hunter asks, looking at me with his floppy sun hat all askew.

I do a double take at him, impressed that he’s picking up Hawaiian.

“Wahine means woman,” I tell him, adjusting his hat. “Like me. And Kane means man, like your dad.” I gesture to Kessler who is lying on his back on a poolside lounger, soaking up the sun and looking ever so much a man.

Since it was my new year’s resolution to be real and more open, Kessler’s resolution was for the two of us to work less. That hasn’t really happened. It’s been four weeks since New Year’s and with the year underway, both of us have been working late trying to get our projects pushed through for the summer ahead.

But we are making time for fun.

Every Saturday and Sunday, Loan gets time off from being a nanny, and Hunter and Kessler come out to see me on the North Shore. Sometimes they just stay the day, sometimes the night, sometimes the whole weekend. But whatever time we get, we make the most of it.