Hooked by Love (Bellevue Bullies #3)(7)

By: Toni Aleo



No. That can’t and won’t happen.

Nowhere in that plan does it say get involved with a dude who has a great body and hot eyes.

Nope.

But then, sex is fun, right?

Yes.

So sex, yes.

Involved, no.

I’m a genius.

Easy peasy.

Letting out a breath at my internal struggle, I’m actually thankful for it. Before I came to Nashville, I didn’t care about anything but getting here. I had spent so long just trying to be okay with the fact no one wanted me, that when the opportunity to leave came, it became my only goal. I didn’t try to attract guys anymore; I didn’t consider sex with anyone. But that’s mostly because no one wanted me. Having a brother like Matty Haverbrooke really didn’t give me that option. One, everyone was obsessed with him, and two, no one wanted to even try to holler at me for fear of him killing them.

Little did they know Matty wouldn’t have noticed or cared because I’m not a hockey stick or a frozen biscuit.

Nope, just his twin sister.

Nothing special.

“What are we going for here?” Mekena’s head falls to the side as she takes me in. She looks adorable in a little sundress, her pale skin glowing from the shimmer powder she’s doused herself in. Her long, black hair is up in a puff thing that looks amazing on her but would look dumb on me since my hair is so thin. Hers is luscious and thick, and I’m jealous. I am. She’s also tiny, short and skinny and crazy smart. She’s kind of a threat but super quiet, so no one pays her any mind. I do, though, and I think she’s awesome. Must be because no one pays me any mind either, unless I have blood dripping from my wrists.

You have to have a hockey stick and a dick to be important in the Haverbrooke household. Which really makes me wonder why I am trying to holler at this guy. He’s everything I don’t want or need right now. So why am I completely attracted to him and thinking about our interaction like mad?

Glutton for punishment, I guess.

But really, since the moment he walked away, I’ve been thinking about him. It’s weird. When I decided to come to school here, I didn’t want to be begging for attention from anyone. I’ve done it for too long, and I need to just do me now. But with him, I want to sing from the rooftops just so he will throw money at me. When I shot my video, the smile on my face was for him. He won’t ever see it because he doesn’t know my name, so what in the hell is wrong with me?

I don’t want to feel all gooey inside for a guy.

I don’t want to sing for him.

And I sure as hell don’t want to get involved with some dude who’s probably going to break my heart.

Dudes are trouble.

Especially hockey players.

And yet, as I glance at myself in the mirror, I want to be pretty.

Jesus, I’m an idiot.

Glancing at Mekena, I shrug. “I think I want to come off as available.”

She nods. “Then go with the heels. But really, you could do the Converses and still look hot.”

I smile as I kick off the heel. As much as I want to be sexy in those heels, my one foot already hurts. Putting on my other shoe, I tie it up as she asks, “Who you trying to be available for? You’ve only been here two weeks. Have you already met someone between making videos and classes?”

I chuckle as I glance over at her, my hair falling into my face. “I don’t know his name. He threw some money into my guitar case today and invited me.”

She smiles sweetly, her eyes glossing over. “Oh, sweet! What a story to tell the kids,” she teases with a cheeky smile.

“Whoa, kid, slow down,” I laugh as I stand up, pulling my shirt down a little and my pants up. “I’m looking at him as a lay.”

She grins at that as she nods. “Well, the Bullies’ house party is a good place to pursue that. But since he invited you, he must play.”

“Oh, yeah,” I agree, sitting down and opening my makeup box. “He’s a hockey player for sure.”

Her face twists in confusion. “Who is he?”

“I told you I don’t know. I dubbed him Lame Line Larry.”

She laughs. “That could be any of them.” Shaking her head, she lines her lips before asking, “What does he look like?”

“Sex,” I answer because it’s the only thing that comes to mind. “He’s, like, hot. Superhot. Green eyes to die for, tattoos up his arms and one huge one on his thigh. He obviously has money. He drives a blue BMW, and he was hanging with a big, beefy African American guy who was also very hot.”

She whips her head to me and grins. “Markus Reeves? And you think he plays hockey?”

“Yeah, for sure,” I agree and she nods.

“Then it had to be Jace Sinclair.”

Hm. Jace. I test the name, and a grin pulls at the side of my mouth. I like it. Good name.

Mekena doesn’t notice me trying his name on my lips, though, and keeps talking. “Who is über hot, and boy, his brothers are also gifts from God. Jesus. The oldest one, Jude, total manwhore. Like he was the manwhore of Bellevue until his wife came along and crushed all the dreams of every girl on this campus.”

“Oh, the tragedy,” I comment offhandedly, but I’m listening. For some reason, I want to know everything before I see him again. Maybe give me a little leverage.

I feel I may need it.

“It was. But then Jayden, the middle brother, holy hot, emotional guy… He is so sweet and oh so hot but not sleazy. When he talks to you, he looks you right in your eyes. Gah, he’s so dreamy. But then Baylor Moore, the first girl ever to play on the Bullies, came along and Jayden was a goner. Married her as soon as they got drafted, like, that day.”

“Wow.”

“Yeah, so then, that leaves Jace. He’s cool, hot, of course, but he’s kinda sleazy like Jude. Or at least, that’s the rumor. Not sure if it’s true.”

I smirk. “I’m good with sleazy, Kena. It isn’t like this is forever. One and done.”

“Yeah, that’s how my sister does life. I want forever, though.”

“Good luck with that,” I say, and then I pause when I realize she knows way too much about the Sinclair brothers. “How do you know all this? You don’t, like, want a chance with Jace, do you? ’Cause I’ll back off.”

She shakes her head, laughter bubbling from her throat. “I’m not Jace Sinclair’s type for one, and for two, Jayden used to date my sister. Well, not date, screw, until they decided to part ways. And that’s how I got all the info.”

“Not Jace, though?”

“No. I don’t know anyone who has actually been with him or dated him here. This is only his second year. And last year, he was kinda dating some chick from out of state.

That confuses me. “I pegged him as a player.”

She shrugs as she nods. “Maybe, but you can really trust the rumor mill around here. According to anyone you talk to, everyone sleeps with everyone around here.”

“True,” I agree. “But that’s cool. Maybe he isn’t a full-out player so I won’t have to go get tested in a month.”

She laughs. “I didn’t peg you as a player.”

“I’m not, but maybe I’ll become one.” I’m not one hundred percent committed to the idea, but I can’t hate on it. Get pleasure and never depend on anyone to love you? Sounds like the life I want. It gets tiring begging for love, and I refuse to do it any longer.

But Mekena doesn’t agree. “No, you don’t want to be a ho. You’re too gorgeous to be a ho.”

I wave her off bashfully. I’m not ugly by any means, but gorgeous? Come on.

But then I think back to the way Jace looked at me, and yeah, I felt gorgeous.

For the first time ever, I felt special.

Which is insane. I mean, come on, we were in front of each other maybe five minutes. But in that time, it just was intense. I felt something. A connection.

A horny one.

“Whatever. I haven’t decided,” I say, standing up and smacking my thighs as a way to say I’m done with this conversation. But apparently Mekena isn’t.

“But you’ve decided to inspect the length of Jace Sinclair’s stick?”

I laugh. “Clever, Ms. Preston.” I applaud her. “And yes. I am invested in that task. I will report on the girth, length, and curve.”

“Good, I expect an extensive report.”

“I will be very thorough in my investigations,” I say with a wink and I try not to smile. But soon, I can’t hold it in and we both dissolve in laughter. When I lie back on the bed, my body shakes with my giggles and I can’t remember the last time I laughed this hard. Mekena is great. I really like her and she is making coming to Nashville worth it. I have a feeling we are going to be good friends, and I’ve always needed that. I never had a hard time making friends; it’s just keeping them that was an issue. Coming from a serious hockey family, one where my brothers were bred to be in the NHL, the friends I had didn’t stick around long because their families were jealous of mine.

We are the Kennedys of hockey in New Jersey.

But I don’t want to think about that. I want to be thankful for the friend I have made. Glancing over at Mekena, I smile. But before either of us can say anything now that we’ve stopped laughing, my phone dings with a text message. Bringing it out of my pocket, I see that it’s from Matty, and that surprises me. I haven’t heard from him since I left. Hell, I haven’t heard from any of my brothers.

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