Andy stood close to the wall and looked up and the niches holding bottles of wine. It was a small space but luxuriously done, akin to a display in the front of a fancy wine bar. Like the place they’d been earlier. She rolled a few of the bottles, reading labels though she didn’t know what most of them meant.
Mike was in the kitchen, two empty glasses on the table and a corkscrew in hand. He watched her as he cut the foil and turned the bottle. A drop of red splashed onto the granite countertop – he couldn’t look at her and pour the wine.
She put one shoulder against a cabinet and sipped. Mike leaned his back against the edge across from her. They just looked at each other for a long moment.
He did want to ruin this, didn’t want to shatter the illusion Andy created for him. But he couldn’t shake the look that had crossed her face when Alex leered at her in the restaurant, like she was his for the taking whenever and however he pleased, as long as he made the call. She had looked sick, but more than that angry and humiliated all at the same time. Andy covered it quickly and well – she was a pro. It was killing him, wondering if she’d made that face about him too.
“Andy, am I making you do something you don’t want to do?”
The question hung in the air like a guillotine, rope fraying as the blade gleamed deadly sharp. I have to know, no matter what, he told himself.
He thought she would tell the obvious lie: you’re not making me do anything. But he was, and he knew it. When he held her, or she smiled, it was easy to forget that she had no choice in the matter. He didn’t want to forget that. He moved to her with authority. He couldn’t change their situation, not right now, but he could do something for her after all she’d done for him. “If you don’t want to stay, I’ll take you home. I won’t tell anyone.” His unspoken words were loud shouting: I’ll still pay you.
The look on her face was unreadable. “So I’m free to do whatever I want?”
A shiver of panic ripped down his spine. Damn this trying to be mature, learning to treat people well! But he managed a small nod.
“I’ll just be in your room then.” She took the wine glass with her.
She heard footsteps hurrying. He reached her at the open door, pressing her against it and kissing her deeply. I can’t believe he asked. Andy was stunned – she was scared to talk about it and obviously Mike was terrified, but he still asked. From someone else she would have begged for an out like that. From Mike she never wanted to leave, especially now that she knew what was out there waiting.
Andy began unbuttoning, repeating the ritual she’d performed the night before. The satin of her dress was quick beneath his hands, the zipper offering no resistance. It shushed to the ground in a little parachute of red fabric. He stepped to arm’s length and admired her red strapless bra and matching g-string underwear. She gave him a wink and did a little turn.
“Hmmmm,” he said, searching for a remark to make but coming up empty. “Gorgeous.”
“Capitals red,” Andy reached for him.
Well fuck, that does it, he thought. They tumbled onto the low platform bed before Mike’s clothes were off. Andy giggled as he barrel-rolled them into the center. Their mouths collided as his hands lifted her easily, moving her into position under him. He took his lips to her breast, Andy ran both hands strongly through his hair.
“Are you allowed to have sex before game nights?” Andy asked, figuring he must because who would pay just to have dinner with her? And there was no stopping now.
Mike released her skin from between his lips. “No, actually. It’s frowned upon by the coaches.” It wasn’t the sex Mike was paying for. Well, not just the sex. She shimmied, rubbing her thigh along his naked erection in a torturous little twist. The smile on her face was wicked.
“Don’t let me get you in trouble,” she taunted, twisting again. “Don’t spend all your energy on me.”
Mike shut her up with a kiss and took her breath away in two places as at once. Feeling her go tense in his arms, her sweet, soft core giving way beneath his pressure he got such a surge of blood to his cock he thought he might faint. So good, she is so good… Mike refused to let the thought finish. Andy held onto his shoulders and closed her eyes. It was warm in the room, warm beneath his body and hormones flooded blissfully through her body.
Fuck the money, fuck Ovechkin, fuck it all. Andy was right where she wanted to be.
“Mike,” she breathed. He got harder that the sound of her voice, the desire he heard and the weakness he felt for her. It was easy to lose himself with Andy – there was so much that he wanted. He forgot everything else and the world didn’t seem so heavy anymore.
They took their time with each other, exploring and learning what they’d caught of a glimpse of before. Andy told herself she was going easy because she didn’t want to tire him out. Really she was enjoying every second if it more than the last.
A song ran through Andy’s mind: Crash and burn girl. You don’t mind the fall until your face hits the ground.
She lay on top, perfectly aligned and moving her whole body up and down along his. On the way up, her breasts rubbed firmly into his chest. On the way down, her clit pressed against his pelvic bone and rang her body like a doorbell. Their kisses were deep and long, the slightest stubble on his chin rasping against her chin. As he stroked her hair and back, he thought what he’d have missed if he never made that phone call. She went under when he turned. His upper body was a sight to behold as he hovered, pushing on her shins to bend her knees. Catching them with his shoulders, he stroked into her. Mike watched as his cock disappeared inside her body, the friction and heat making his mind swim. He’d have given anything to keep watching her soaking core take him all the way in, but he needed to be near her. This has to be real, he repeated. He had never, ever felt like this.
She kissed him again, having missed his mouth as her body started to shoot tiny fireworks. I shouldn’t, I can’t… Andy’s body gave up before her mind could.
“Yesssss,” she moaned loudly, digging her nails into his ass and holding him deep as her body pulsed against his dick. “Oh my god,” her breath caught as her orgasm crashed.
Mike let go, all at once, of the control he’d been holding since she joked about the color of her underwear. He pounded into her three times and buried his face in her hair. A groan tore from his throat as he came, growling against the soft, fragrant skin of her neck.
“Andy, you are saving my life,” he panted
He said it without thinking. Instantly he wanted to take it back: Too much! He waited, breathless, for her reaction. When her cheek moved he knew she was smiling.
“I think you’re saving mine.”
Saving me from really becoming what I’ve agreed to be. From my situation. Saving me from myself.
“Will you come to the game tomorrow night?” He had been thinking about asking since the morning. The guys used anything they could think of to break a slump, searched desperately for a good luck charm. And the superstitions – maybe he needed a new one. He would play well with her there, he was sure. He felt better knowing she was near.
“Of course.” Her eyes lit up.
I love you, he wanted to say. What he meant was that he didn’t, not yet, but he was very sure that he would. Soon. And if his game turned around he would credit it all to her, like a man clinging to a raft in a storm. Distantly he knew it was not fair to put that on her but he was grasping at straws. She made things different.
Yes, let me help, Andy thought. She knew that last night, in the hotel, he’d just needed someone to be there for him. The connection between them was like a downed power line, shooting sparks and threatening to set fire to everything it touched. But even without that, he needed someone to lean on. Someone to give him a fresh start. Andy wanted to be that person.
“I will be really nervous though!” she admitted touching his bruised face for emphasis. He closed his eye under the gentle brush of her fingertip. “Promise me you’ll be careful.”
He kissed her hand. “I promise.”
The morning came quickly. Mike woke first and watched her sleeping, legs curled and hand tucked beneath her cheek. He poured himself an OJ and waited for Andy to wake up.
She rolled over in the empty bed, feeling around for Mike but coming up empty. A wicked smirk crossed her face.
“Morning,” Andy said from the kitchen doorway. She was wrapped in the dark blue sheet from his bed, something she’d always wanted to do. The juice glass nearly slipped from his hand, knocking clumsily to the counter before he fumbled it upright. Guess that worked, she smiled. The sheet trailed behind her, covering some thigh but leaving long legs visible. Her bare feet tapped quietly on the floor tiles as she crossed the room and took the last sip from his cup. “Making me breakfast?”
Mike nodded stupidly, unable to find his words. Holy hell was the only phrase that came to mind. Long, dark hair was tangled and tossed – perfect porn-star bed-head. Her eye makeup was mostly intact and her lips were moist with the hint of orange juice. Beneath his sweatpants, his body stirred awake.
He captured her mouth, tasting oranges. Annie smiled and let the sheet fall to the floor. She pressed her naked body to Mike’s sweats and was rewarded with a deep groan.
“Fuuuuuck Andy! I can’t… last night… oh God.”
She laughed and stepped away, only wanting to tease without torturing. “I intend to see your best effort on the ice tonight, Mr. Green. I will not be wearing you out before then.” With that, Andy turned and bent over slowly, gracefully right in the middle of the kitchen. She caught the sheet in her fingers and dragged it out of the room behind her swaying hips.
“You’re killing me!” Mike yelled after her.
“What does a hooker wear to a hockey game?” Andy asked the phone.
“A price list, baby,” Vivian laughed. “No, seriously. Susanna always says ‘cute and classy’ for casual events – you don’t want to look like those puckbunnies she was making fun of. You can wear something tight, but long sleeves, so skirts, that kind of thing. Just look like you fit in.”
“I usually wear a double-XL jersey and sneakers,” Andy flicked through hangers.
“Well, not that fitted in. I’m wearing a sweater and flats. Don’t think I’m their type anyway. But as long as you tell me which color to cheer for, I will learn quickly.”
“You’re my type, Viv.”
Vivian picked her up at 5:30 PM. True to her word she wore a gray knit sweater with a v-neck that hinted at a lot of available cleavage. The knit was so soft that Andy wanted to touch it – she assumed that was the idea. Jeans and metallic ballet slippers finished off the outfit. Andy wore dark jeans with high black riding boots, chosen because she thought heeled boots were too much for the arena. She didn’t want to fall to her death in the first intermission. On top she wore a long-sleeved, thin white sweater with her #52 t-shirt over it. The girls-cut shirts never fit perfectly, but she figured it was the thought that count.
Andy gave her name at will call and they took seats in the lower bowl, about ten rows back from the benches and ordered drinks from the section attendant. The arena was only half full and there were a lot of #52s walking around. At least half of them were girls and it seemed a disproportionate number of them were pretty. Very pretty.
She texted him, not knowing if he checked his phone before games. Awesome seats – thanks! I’m the 4,812th girl wearing #52.
He texted back minutes later: Come down by the glass, I want to see.
Andy: If I can get through the wall of screaming fans.
Mike: I thought you took kickboxing?
Andy: Quick hi, no distractions. Near blue line on bench side.
The crowd went crazy as the Caps took the ice. Vivian pressed in close, anxious to see Mike in person. Andy smiled at her enthusiasm – it was like they were watching a real friend. The team circled quickly, rushing past the glass, before setting up at center ice for a shooting drill. Mike saw her first, he skated over and backed into the glass right in front of them with a boom. His helmet was off but they couldn’t see his face.
“Woo!” Vivian shouted. Andy blushed and laughed. Mike took a turn in the drill, then came back smiling. He was fifteen feet inside the glass, facing a thousand fans, but there was no question he was looking at her. She gave him a little half-turn, so he could see the number on her back, looking over her shoulder.
It has never looked so good, he thought.
Brooks Laich slapped Mike on the calf with his stick. “Fuck Greenie, how come my fans never look like that?!” Then he waved at Andy, making her cover her face. She watched over her fingers as they went about their drill, shooting and skating. They took places for a quick-shot setup and Andy signaled she was going back to her seat and give Mike a cheesy thumbs-up. He tried not to laugh, just nodded.
Andy watched him take a shot, then stepped back to leave. Turning toward the bench, she locked eyes with the guy standing just inside the glass, looking at her from just a few feet away. He smiled too, gapped teeth and all: Alex Ovechkin.
She gave him a little wave. Susanna had said that a “very regular client” had referred Mike, so Alex must be a big spender when it came to the organization. Andy didn’t want to sleep with him, but she certainly didn’t want to ruin anything and get herself in trouble. A few rows up she let herself have a little shiver.
The game was tight and the Capitals played well. Really well. But so did the Stars. Mike was all over the ice, speeding up plays and launching slap shots. His teammates seemed on it too – a huge improvement over their last few games. In the second, Dallas got a goal and the Caps answered immediately with a wrist shot on the power play from Laich. Mike got a +1, and Andy and Vivian whooped and hollered along with everyone else. Late in the period, the Stars got one more and took a lead to the intermission. Andy was completely tense – the Capitals play had played well, but she wanted them to win. Needed them to win. She prayed they weren’t in the room losing momentum because they were down a goal. Her fears were relieved during the third, the game even faster than the first two periods. Attempting to stop a 2-1 rush, Mike took a tripping penalty and the Stars scored. Andy’s heart sank. If they have to loose, please please don’t let it be his fault. She sat on her hands to keep from biting her nails.
Pull it together, Mike told himself. It was just a penalty, just a goal. He was feeling good tonight and if he let the mistake go maybe he could help get it back.
He didn’t have to. Ovechkin lifted one over Lehtonin’s shoulder through a screen in front, tying the game. The crowd went crazy and Mike breathed a sigh of relief. As he hugged the big Russian he almost forgot about the way he’d looked at Andy.
With six minutes left in the period, tied 2-2, the Caps got a power play off a delay-of-game call. The Stars’ zone looked like a shooting gallery as Washington pitched shot after shot, catching their own rebounds and denying attempts to clear. The Verizon Center was at Defcon One, the fans feeling that one puck had to drop. Andy and Vivian were on the feet, along with everyone, jumping around like they could tilt the whole arena toward the Stars’ goal.
Backstrom cued one from the hash marks, tossing it into a pile of bodies at the net. Ovechkin swiped at it, right into the goalies blocker and it bounced back out on a long rebound. Mike was right in the lane – he wound up and fired a laser into the back of the net.
Andy was on her feet before the puck touched the twine, with 18,000 people right behind her. Mike was buried briefly under a pile of teammates, then skated the length of the bench giving everyone a fist bump. The girls screamed the entire time, and again when the announced called Mike’s name for the scoring sheet. Andy’s heart rate was dangerously high and she sank into her seat, laughing.
“I’m coming with you every time. This shit is tense!” Vivian yelled.
The Caps won 3-2 on Mike’s goal. In truth it was no different than 15 other goals he scored every year – maybe not game winners, but usually slap shots on the power play. But this one felt like he’d won something more than a game, like maybe he’d won back some of his confidence.
Alex stood near Mike’s stall in the locker room, as if waiting for him to come out of the shower. “You bring your friend to the game.”
Mike’s stomach dropped a little – he didn’t think Alex had seen Andy. “She’s a big fan.”
“Always she wears your number?”
Is that a question or a challenge? Mike thought.
“Yeah, she’s had that shirt for years.”
“I thought I was having a heart attack,” Vivian said, taking a sip from a cocktail glass. They were in a bar nearby. Mike was meeting them, after which Vivian would drive herself home. “After I meet him, obviously.”
Mike: Almost there. Andy watched the door.
When he did arrive, freshly showered and dressed in a gray suit with a blue shirt, she could have melted off her barstool into a puddle on the floor. He looked lighter. He was smiling, a full smile that he never showed on TV. The bruise around his eye was black as ever but for the first time since they’d met, he looked happy.
“Game over!” Andy threw her arms around his neck and squeezed all of her excess energy into him. He kissed her cheek, then her lips, then her lips again. He was warm and damp, he’d obviously hurried.
“I knew you were good luck.” He released her. “And you must be Vivian. I think I heard you screaming.”
She blushed. “Gotta put on a good show if I’m the only black girl in the whole place!”
They had a drink, peppering Mike with questions and reliving some of the moments. Andy laughed at the way they carried on like the Caps had just won a playoff series. Vivian reluctantly excused herself after half an hour, leaving Mike and Andy alone at their table.
“What happened to your shirt?” he rubbed the white cotton of her sweater between his fingers. He’d never seen her in anything but a dress and heels and wondered how someone could look so good in jeans. They hugged her legs like his hands wanted to do, wrapping her up rather tightly. He ran a hand up her thigh, the denim soft beneath his palm. “Not that I mind, of course.”
“I thought it would be a little much if I wore your number while waiting for you in a bar. Someone might report a stalker,” she bussed his cheek. “I’ll wear it later if you want.”
Later came sooner, as they finished another round and headed to Mike’s car. It was a black SUV, big and luxurious but definitely less flashy.
“No Lamborghini tonight?”
“No high heels, no Lambo,” he teased.
Andy hauled herself into the Escalade, only briefly computing how much it cost to own both of these cars. Then Mike was next to her and she didn’t care anymore. As he pulled out onto the road, Andy had the impression of riding in a tank.
“I feel like you’re Secret Service. Maybe I should ride in the back, like I’m the goods.”
“If you go back there, I’m coming after you,” he smiled without looking at her.
Andy sat on Mike’s couch, contemplating why there were two televisions. One was stuck to the front of the fireplace, the other was where a TV should be. He brought her a glass of water, sat down and lifted her legs into his lap. He pulled off her boots and rubbed both thumbs into one arch, making sigh with pleasure. He thought of how she’d massaged him, touched him and known just what he needed only two days ago.
“I feel so much better tonight,” he said. “Thank you, Andy.”
“You did tonight all by yourself. You guys looked great out there. I was freaking out, of course. Do you have to play 33 minutes a game? I might have irreversible damage to my nervous system.” She held her hand out, shaking exaggeratedly. “And you’re going to do it again on the road.”
Mike worked on the ball of her foot. “We leave in the morning, back in five days.”
Andy slid down till she was lying in the couch, sprawled out while Mike rubbed her feet. She knew that he wanted to ask the big question: will you see anyone while I’m gone? She hadn’t told him that she was only meant for NHL players. Now that she knew one, it sounded horrible for him to be aware that she would only be sleeping with his friends, enemies, teammates, people he saw all the time. He shouldn’t know that. Part of it was denial – she hadn’t done anything yet, and if she never said it out loud then it wouldn’t come true.
“Guess I’m on vacation, then,” she tried, giving him a smile meant to calm his fears.
Don’t ask questions you don’t want to know the answers to, he told himself. The Caps’ schedule had been set for months. Whoever handled the bookings might have filled Andy’s next five nights long ago. Honestly he was surprised someone like her had been free three nights in a row, someone who would clearly be in demand by any man in his right mind. Maybe her regular clients were on vacation. Regular clients. It made him want to throw up. But now he was a regular client too.
“Vacation?” he ventured. Not really a question.
She nodded. “Plenty of time to watch all your games.”
They lay around the living room for a while, both thinking about what they couldn’t say. It was hard for Andy to keep Mike in the dark, but she didn’t know enough about the system yet to foresee what might happen next. And she didn’t want to promise him something that would not come true. Mike thought about ways to get Andy out of her business, not really knowing how it worked, and figured that it was not easy. But he had a lot of money and those few years of flash had taught him that money could get away with almost anything.
His hand cheated up her leg and the rest of him followed until he was laying on top of her, taking up the entire couch. She pretended to struggle beneath him but she was trapped. The game ended when she slowly, lightly ran her tongue over the patch of skin just behind his earlobe. Then her tongue was in his mouth, her hands untucking the back of his dress shirt and reaching underneath. When she brushed bare skin, he broke away. He squatted next to the couch like he was going to scoop her up, but she skittered out of reach.
“Too heavy, can’t have you getting hurt!” She stood on the couch, spun him around and climbed onto his back. He pretended to bump into everything between the living room and the bed.
He dumped her on the mattress. She pulled her shirt off, breasts bouncing as she tossed it away and opened her jeans. He stood watching as she rolled them off her hips and kicked them down her legs. With impressive flexibility, she hooked fingers into each sock and removed those too. Andy lay there in matching pink lingerie with black trim and motioned for Mike to undress himself.
He went slowly through the buttons and draped his shirt over the back of a chair. His t-shirt came next, making sure to flex his abs and biceps as he drew it slowly over his head. The way her eyes lingered on his body made him hard. That is real desire, he told himself for the millionth time. Her eyes were heavy, admiring and there was no mistaking the lust in her gaze. As he reached for his belt, she slid a hand across her stomach.
Oh God, he thought. Her fingers passed her belly button, waistband and came to a stop right over her crotch, where they pressed into the lace of her panties. She flinched slightly at the first contact, showing him how keyed up she already was. Two fingers reached between her open legs, running over the fabric that barely covered her, before she rolled the tips down into her clit again, her whole body moving with it.
Mike could barely get his belt off he was so hard. He desperately unzipped without killing himself and had to stretch his shorts way out to get them over his hard-on. The whole pile got kicked away as he made for the bed. Andy kept watching him and touching herself.
“Such a rush,” she whispered as he put his hand over hers, between her legs. “I wanted to show you what I’m going to do on my vacation.”
When I’m completely desperate for you and you’re a thousand miles away, she didn’t say. Earth-shattering sex three nights in a row would be a tough act to follow, but Andy knew she'd miss more than that.
Mike propped himself up on one arm and sat close, watching her slender fingers trace over the thin material. She knew what she liked, and he tried to memorize every move. Before long, the center of the fabric right over her entrance was dark with dampness. He reached for her, but she pushed his hands away. Instead Andy lifted her ass and slid her panties off herself, making every hip movement count, until they were halfway down her thighs. Then she returned her fingers to the scene and swiped around her own juices.
In the back of his mind, Mike’s inner frat boy made a guest appearance. Fucking hottest thing ever! he shouted. New Mike was inclined to agree. Andy closed her eyes as she slid a single finger into the slick folds of her pussy. Mike was stroking himself absently, hard as a rock but unable to concentrate on anything but the show Andy was putting on. Her finger came out glistening with her juices. With a dirty smile, she reached up and ran it across Mike’s lower lip. His tongue came out in search. She tasted of heaven, of delirium and the weak spot he still felt between his heart and stomach.
He couldn’t stop himself, couldn’t even try. Mike rolled quickly down to her waist and pulled one of her legs over his head. His lips brushed her creamy inner thigh only barely before his mouth found her peach.
She giggled at the first swipe of his tongue. “Game over.”
He mumbled something into her, the vibration and warmth of his breath making her gasp. Holy shit, Andy thought. She’d wanted to give him a little something extra before he left, so he’d know she was thinking about him while he was gone. And she’d been horny as a cat on a hot tin roof, ever since he took the ice at the arena. Hockey players had always turned her on, but she’d never come close to orgasm because one of them scored a goal. If not for Vivian, she would have mauled him at the bar. And in the car… his joke about the backseat had not gone unconsidered.
He moved his attention to her clit, making her twitch against the duvet. Then he slid a finger inside her, soaking his hand in the process. Another joined it. Andy grabbed at his hair, encouraging him to stay put. Mike was a quick learner. It only took a few minutes before his quick, strong licks and the insistent hardness of his fingers had her trembling inside and out. Somewhere deep inside her, that burn was getting out of control.
I have to have her, he thought. He had to make her come this way, he wanted to make her come every possible way so she’d never think about another man. Never look at one or let one touch her. He wanted to be the one so badly he was willing to work all night for it.
“Mike,” she moaned as it built. He went hard and soft, fast and slow, teasing her along. She bucked her hips, grinding onto his circling fingers. He tried every trick in the book – humming, warm and cold air, spelling out his name. Her pussy pulsed around his fingers, body pumping and he knew he was close.
“Oh god,” Andy whispered. It was right there, so close, it was coming on its own now. He waited as long as he dared, then crooked his fingers slightly forward and rubbed along her inside till he found that slightly raised spot, the hot button. And he pushed.
Andy’s back arch involuntarily, as if she were hit by lightning. Her eyes squeezed shut. A crash of heat slammed into her body, rippling outward through every finger and toe. Then it came again. Three, four times, she lost count. Stars burst inside her and rained little sparkles into every corner. When it finally broke, she went limp.
No one has ever done that before. No one. But she couldn’t tell him that because it sounded like exactly what a hooker would say. Instead, she whimpered weekly, turning her head to the side.
“Okay?” he asked with a smile, brushing hair from her neck.
“Don’t leeeeaaaaavvvvveeee,” she whined pitifully. He laughed and climbed on top of her.
“I won’t leave till I’m done with you.” He waited for Andy to open her eyes and smile, then he slipped the tip of his cock into the space sweet space he’d just devastated. “It probably won’t be very long.”
She laughed out loud at his honestly, a big, surprising laugh. Then she pulled him into a kiss. I love you, she thought, vaguely aware that she’d also lost her mind.
Mike couldn’t remember the last time he’d had sex with someone while laughing. Not drunk laughter or embarrassed, but that rare kind of sex where you enjoy someone’s company as much as you enjoy their body. Well, almost as much. He made it past a few minutes, but not much longer before the hot core of Andy’s body had him feeling pins and needles. She cried out softly as he drove into her, probing her sweet darkness with the only part of himself that seemed to know where it belonged anymore. When he came, he pressed his mouth to hers to keep from telling her the truth that had almost slipped out a few times now. I love you.