Hooked by Love (Bellevue Bullies #3)(2)

By: Toni Aleo



“No, I don’t fail; I just let them play their little game of hard to get. I’ll get them sooner rather than later.”

Actually, they were seniors and both had slept with my brothers.

I guess they weren’t down for a hat trick of the Sinclair brothers.

“They blew you off,” he accuses and I roll my eyes.

“No, I don’t get blown off. I’m Jace Fucking Sinclair—girls flock to me.”

Markus scoffs. “Keep dreaming, brother. You know the only reason they flock to you is to get to this chocolate dreamboat.”

I pause, laughter bubbling inside my chest. “Did you really just say that?”

Laughing, he nods. “Damn right, that’s what Leslie called me last night.”

My face wrinkles up at not only the mention of Leslie but also at the very graphic humping action Markus is displaying. “I think I just puked a bit.”

Still laughing, he somehow keeps up with me as I cross into the quad quickly. It is full of people, everyone enjoying the last couple weeks of summer weather. It is hot, not balls-hot, but hot. Girls are lying in their bikinis tanning, while dudes are running around with no shirts, trying to impress them. If I didn’t have somewhere to be, I’d throw off my black tee and join in on the game of football that has everyone’s attention.

But I have to go.

Checking out the many gorgeous women my school offers me, I ask, “So, you two are serious, then?”

“Um, no. I don’t do serious, bro. I got priorities.”

I couldn’t agree more. “Preach it.”

When it comes to girls, we both live by the motto: “My cock can play, but my heart is on the bench.” No matter how great the girl, how gorgeous she is, or how cool she is, she will never be what hockey is to me. Hockey is life. Hockey is my next breath, and it’s all that matters. When I get older and it’s time to settle down, I’ll let my heart off the bench. But right now, I don’t need some chick fucking with my heart and breaking me. I watched my mom go through some serious heartbreak, and I’m not about that life.

Neither one of us is.

I mean, don’t get me wrong. I’ve seen good relationships. My brothers and their wives are great and happy and all that jazz, but it’s hard to forget watching your older sister cry from the soul as she holds her daughter because her douche-ass husband left her for a skinnier and younger version of herself. Or watching my brothers duke it out with my dad because he not only cheated on my mom with some stripper, but he tried to hit her. Yeah, relationships are messy and I’m okay without that. Not everyone finds their soul mate. The good ones like Jayden and Jude do, and I’m cool with that. I’m not some girlie-girl dude like they are. I don’t need a chick to complete me. I’ve got hockey and a family that loves me. I’m good.

Plus, why settle for one when you can have ten?

That’s the real question.

I hold my fist up, and Markus bumps it. “But she’s fun, though. I like her.”

I nod at his honesty. “Don’t fall for her.”

He snorts loudly then, shaking his head. “No way, I don’t have time for that. Season is about to start; I got parties, work, training, and more chicks to go through. You know what I mean?”

“I hear you, hundred percent.” I throw him a grin, and he nods as we make it through the quad. It is loud today. Everyone is amped up for the start of the year, ready to work for his or her dreams, or they are miserable because their parents are making them come to BU. Either way, the quad is buzzing, and soon a grin is on my face. If this is the way it is now, everyone so excited, I can’t imagine how the party is going to be tonight.

Actually, I can.

It’s going be freaking awesome.

“Thank God I see your car. My legs are killing me.”

I see my car the same time Markus says that, and I nod because my legs hurt too. Practice kicked our asses this morning and I know I am walking a little funny from it, but still my pace is quick as I pull my keys out. Just as I go to unlock it, I hear an arresting, throaty voice that has me pausing.

“What?”

“Do you hear that?” I ask, looking around until my gaze falls on a girl leaned up against a tree with a guitar in her arms. The guitar is bigger than she is, but it looks right at home in her lap and hands. Her straight brown hair is cascading down her shoulders as her fingers move perfectly across the strings of the guitar. All of a sudden, I can’t move. Her voice is so raspy, like she has been smoking for years, but beautiful at the same time, and I like it. I like it a lot. As lyrics leave her lips, I immediately know the song: “Tee Shirt” by Birdy, some girlie shit Baylor used to listen to all last year. I hated her music, but listening to this girl sing actually has me wanting to sit down and enjoy the tune.

Or her.

“She’s good.”

“Yeah,” he agrees as both of us watch her, listening to the music coming out of her like she was put on this earth to sing.

“You know what they say about girls who sing,” I say as she finishes the last verse.

“Nope, I haven’t heard that one.” His voice has laughter in it, which makes me grin.

Unable to tear my gaze from her, I say, “They are good with their mouths.”

That has him shaking with laughter, and suddenly, my legs are in control and I start for her.

“Dude, what the hell?”

But I don’t stop. “Give me a second.”

“I thought everyone was waiting for us.”

“They are. Shut up.” My voice must have interrupted her because she looks up and everything just stops.

I hear no noise from the quad.

No music.

No nothing.

All I see are her eyes.

What in the hell?

But they are so green, almost turquoise, and are brought out by the darkness of her lashes. Her eyes tilt a little, her nose complementing her face perfectly while brown freckles dust along her nose and cheeks. She tried to cover them with makeup, but they aren’t coverable. I want to see her without makeup.

I want to see her freckles.

Unaltered.

“Um, hello?” Her bottom lip is bigger than her top, I notice as she speaks, and I soon realize I am just staring at her.

Like a dumbass.

“Oh, my bad.” Quickly, I push my hand down into my pocket and pull out a couple of bills, dropping them into her open guitar case. I take notice of her black Converse that she wears with her jeans and black tee. Why she’s wearing jeans is beyond me since it’s hot, but they are tight, and I’m sure if she stood, she’d be hot in them.

I meet her gaze again and her lips are quirked up at the side as she laughs. “Oh, I’m not taking money.”

Wow, her laugh is almost as great as her voice.

Electrifying.

Shit, what the fuck is wrong with me?

Shaking my head, I smile. “Oh. Well, I pay for what I like.”

Her brows rise. “Is that some weird, hidden innuendo that you’re trying to buy me?”

“Wait, huh?”

Her face breaks into a full-out grin then, and shit, I am breathless.

Who the hell is this girl?

“Don’t hurt yourself trying to figure out what an innuendo is.” Her voice is playful as she winks at me in a very cute way.

Chuckling, my eyes narrow as I hold her gaze.

She is a smartass, apparently.

“I know what it is.”

“My apologies then, good sir,” she teases, her eyes twinkling.

Crossing my arms, I can’t tear my gaze from hers as she looks up at me expectantly. I know I should say something, but it is hard when I am drinking in her beauty. There is something about those eyes that have my stomach in knots, and I want to know why. I want to know who she is, but before I can even think of what to say, her mouth is moving.

“Usually, this is the part where you say some corny line about getting together later and I quickly decline, because… Yeah, I don’t have a good reason, except that I have no time for that. And then you walk away, dejected.”

My mouth curves as I slowly shake my head. “I don’t get dejected.”

“Aw, cute. Are you one of those persistent kind of guys? The one who knows he’s gonna win, no matter what?”

“I always win,” I say simply with all the confidence in the world. I even shoot her a winning grin, but she laughs.

“Well, big boy, chalk me up as a loss, because I don’t have time for lame lines that are invites to things I don’t want.” She moves her hands down the strings as if her words were lyrics.

Not missing a beat, I ask, “Who said anything about dating?”

“Oh, that’s right. You want to buy a night with me.”

She’s funny and I love the color her cheeks are turning. They are glowing almost like she just came hard. It’s hot.

Grinning, I shake my head. “I don’t pay for sex.”

“Whoa,” she says quickly, holding her hands up, her eyes wide and intoxicating. “Don’t make me use my pepper spray, you perv. I thought you wanted to buy me to have someone to watch Netflix with you.”

I can’t help it; I laugh and I laugh hard. She watches me, her eyes full of light as I bend over laughing. “You’re funny.”

“I try.”

She is quick and witty. I like that. “So, if you aren’t busy watching Netflix because some dude paid you—”

“Ugh,” she moans. Instantly, my cock comes to life in my jeans as she leans against the tree, acting as if she is bored, her palms up, arms hanging beside her. “Is this the lame pickup line?”

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