Home > Kane( Arizona Vengeance #8)

Kane( Arizona Vengeance #8)
Author: Sawyer Bennett

CHAPTER 1

 


Kane


“I really need to get going, darling,” Nalia says as she attempts to extricate herself from my arms.

While my body doesn’t have anything left to give her physically because we haven’t left my bed nearly all weekend, I still pull her back in close. Nuzzling her neck, I mutter, “Call in sick. Stay another day.”

Her laugh is husky, but her demeanor is efficient, a product of her British upbringing, as she pats me on the cheek. “I can’t just call in sick, Kane. It doesn’t work that way. Besides, this is the last hop I can get to Raleigh today.”

I loosen my hold, not having intended for her to stay. It’s just the nice thing to do when someone I care about—and I do care about Nalia—is leaving soon. No telling when we’ll see each other again. It could be weeks—maybe even months—but our relationship has worked like this for the past two years.

Not that it could be called a relationship.

We’re nothing more than a periodic booty call, something that worked well when I played for the Carolina Cold Fury and lived in Raleigh. Nalia is a flight attendant. While she works on many international flights, she often has duty on the direct Raleigh to London or vice versa. She would usually stay overnight before the return leg, and she and I would… well, fuck like rabbits in the minuscule amount of time allotted.

As I said, it worked well. Nalia loves traveling, and she’s far too independent to settle down. And as for me, well… I don’t know what in the hell I want. Until I figure it out, a hot hookup and friends with benefits is perfect.

Unfortunately, Nalia and I haven’t seen each other much since I was traded to the Arizona Vengeance a few months ago. We were finally able to plan a weekend trip for her to visit, and we made up for lost time. Not sure I could even manage another hard-on right now, as we thoroughly depleted each other.

Taking the opportunity, Nalia rolls out of bed. I turn onto my side, prop my head in my hand, and unabashedly watch her. She’s a stunning woman—exotic due to her Lebanese heritage—with black hair and almond-shaped eyes, but that British accent and dry humor just amp up her attractiveness.

Naked, she’s beyond words.

I like Nalia.

Quite a lot, but not enough to make this into something more than it is. I think if I made an effort, Nalia would be on board with us discussing exclusivity, but I have to listen to my gut on these things. And every instinct I have screams that she’s not ready, I’m not ready, and our careers wouldn’t provide many opportunities to be together.

No, it’s better we just keep to our little moments together, enjoy them, and realize that’s all there will ever be.

“Want to join me in the shower?” she quips, glancing over her shoulder.

She catches me staring at her ass.

Her lips tip up, but she doesn’t admonish me. Hell, we’ve run around naked this entire weekend. She’s used to me leering.

I consider her invitation because it has merit. While I thought my dick was dead from over-usage this weekend, I bet it would work just fine with a naked, soapy Nalia in my arms.

But she’s on a tight schedule. She needs to catch her free return flight to Raleigh, and I have to head to the arena soon. We have our first team meeting at noon, which will include our team pictures, and training camp starts next week. I wanted to get a quick workout in before then.

During the off-season, I’ve been working out with some of the guys who share the second line with me, so I’m in better shape than I’ve ever been. Five days a week, I meet Jim Steele, Jett Olsson, and Bain Hillridge at the arena gym, and we put in two to three hours of hard work. We haven’t met the other defenseman on our line yet—Riggs Nadeau—as he’s coming to us from the San Diego Renegades in a late-summer move by management. I’ve heard he’s a bit prickly to work with, which kind of sucks, since Jim, Jett, Bain, and I get along well, which always translates into success on the ice.

“Shower?” Nalia says, snapping her fingers to get my attention from the doorway of the bathroom.

I blink and grin, giving my head a quick shake. “How about I make us both a quick breakfast?”

“Lovely,” she replies as she moves into the bathroom. “Make it portable for me, please. I do need to get going.”

“You got it,” I reply, nabbing a pair of sweatpants out of my dresser and slipping them on. Naked time in my condo is over for now.

In my kitchen, I grab eggs and a pack of English muffins from the fridge. A quick breakfast sandwich should meet her portability requirement, and I happen to know Nalia likes eggs. Ironically, I’d only learned that this weekend, as this has been the most time we’ve spent together in one visit. In Raleigh, our hookups were overnights. She’d have to rush to catch an early flight the next morning, often slipping out of bed while I was still asleep.

I command Alexa to play my favorite’s list, feeling inspired by the Arctic Monkeys. After I crack open six eggs, I scramble them with a fork and add salt and pepper while my skillet heats up. I spray the pan with olive oil before tossing the English muffins into my toaster to crisp, then set coffee to brew in my Keurig. By the time I pour eggs into the pan, Nalia walks out of my bedroom, rolling her carry-on case behind her. She’d put her dark hair in a messy bun, and she didn’t bother with makeup except something on her eyes that makes them pop. Dressed casually in a pair of white jeans and a navy tank top, she looks like she’s ready to jet off for a fun weekend rather than just finishing one.

I study her while I stir the eggs, realizing I like her just the way she is. Just the way we are. Hookups when we can, with no expectations beyond that.

“Coffee’s ready,” I say, nodding at the Keurig.

Wrinkling her nose, she admonishes me as she moves that way. “I expect you to have a decent tea stocked the next time I’m in town.”

“I promise,” I assure her with a grin, giving the eggs a last scramble before pulling them off the heat.

“And when might that be?” she inquires, opening my fridge. She grabs the milk and turns my way, letting the door swing shut on its own. “I mean… when would you like me to return for another visit? Or maybe my flight schedule might mesh with the dates you’ll be in Raleigh playing the Cold Fury. You have your schedule already, right?”

Her request gives me pause. Usually, we aren’t the “let’s make plans” type of people. We typically kiss goodbye with vague promises to let each other know our schedules to see if we can make something work. But right now, Nalia is asking for a date.

She pours some milk in her coffee, pulls the cup to her mouth, and blows across the steaming surface. Her eyes meet mine over the edge of the cup as she takes a tentative sip.

“This is okay?” I ask hesitantly, waving my spatula to indicate the space between us. “The way things are between us?”

Nalia tilts her head. “What do you mean?”

For some reason, it embarrasses me to say it aloud—not on my behalf, but because I don’t want Nalia to think she’s less than by the loose nature of our relationship.

When I don’t answer right away, she takes a stab. “You mean, with being just a booty call?”

I grimace. She’s not wrong, though, so I nod. “It works for us, right?”

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