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DIRTY DEAL, Slayers Hockey Book 5

DIRTY DEAL, Slayers Hockey Book 5

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I'm not exactly "Daddy" material...

Fatherhood blindsided me.

There I am, working to get a rise out of my cranky little rule-following, fun-wrecking, soon-to-be ex-neighbor when my one-night stand from last season shows up… in labor.

Next thing, I’m a single-dad begging for a crash course in caring for this tiny miracle from the neighbor who loves to hate me.

Turns out, Nora raised half her siblings.

She knows things.

And I know my son needs her.

Unfortunately, she’s not impressed by my NHL career, my legendary charm, or the rumors surrounding the size of my stick (all true btw).

But I’m not trying to impress her. Not anymore. I can’t.

I’m asking her to help me out, because my son deserves better than some player who hasn’t even had a chance to read the manual yet.

Which means no matter how hot I find her spitfire mouth and those rules she doesn’t break… Nora is off-limits.

I'm not exactly "Daddy" material...

Fatherhood blindsided me.

I found out I was going to be a father two hours before my son was born. This tiny miracle deserves better than a dad who hasn't even read the manual yet... 

Intro Into Chapter One

©Mira Lyn Kelly

Chapter One


“Five minutes,” I hiss, my finger jabbing into the space between his apartment and the fifth-floor hallway where I’m in full-on meltdown mode. “Just five to be with my thoughts and feel my freaking feelings and mourn.”

Axel Erikson props a massive arm against the frame of the door. Casually. With one of those lazy smirks slanting his lips, he grips the towel hanging lower than the legal limit around his waist.

Yep, he’s in a towel. Dripping water all over his hardwood.

“This isn’t funny,” I seethe, trying not to focus on the way his bicep bulges when he leans into it.

God, I hate him.

“Right. But just so we’re clear… This is about a dead houseplant?”

My jaw clenches, molars grinding loud enough to spur one of his still wet brows to arch, tugging the corner of his mouth along for the ride.

And seriously, with the gratuitous abs and the heavily balled shoulders. The deep grooves cut between hi-def muscles giving those free-range droplets a waterpark experience. A normal person would have thrown on sweats before answering the door. A robe, maybe.

Something tells me, with Axel, I should be grateful he bothered wrapping the towel around his waist at all.

“It’s not. About. The plant.” Fine. It’s a little about the plant. Stella represents something important to me. A goal. And as ridiculous as I’m realizing I look standing here clutching her brittle remains, I had a point to make. Hence, Exhibit A.

“It’s about you, Axel, and your total lack of respect for anyone other than yourself. It’s about me not being able to take—”

“Five minutes,” he supplies with a wink, “to mourn your dead plant. What’d you overwater it?”

Oh, no, he did not.

Deep breaths. “Five minutes out of a week that has been a total dumpster fire without being interrupted by yet another one of your packages being delivered to Diane’s place instead of here.”

His eyes light up. “Ooh, a package. The way you were pounding on my door like you were going to take it down— Hell, I thought maybe you were here to tell me I was showering too loud.” And then, “Where’s the package from?”

I blink, my eye starting to twitch. “I don’t know. Somewhere good. Come and get it. Along with the other five that are taking up space in Diane’s entry.”

“That many? You’re a true friend.”

“We aren’t friends, Axel.”

He bites his bottom lip and leans even further into the doorframe as his stupid baby blue eyes meet mine. “We’re better than friends. We’re neighbors. Of the next-door variety.” His voice goes low. “There’s a certain intimacy to that. A kind of bond that goes beyond friendship.”

What a piece of work. “Yeah, there’s nothing better than hearing you bang your girl du jour through my bedroom wall. Thanks for the memories.”

Just thinking about the staccato squeals from last weekend has me wanting to spray down the space between us with a full can of Lysol.

Axel straightens, his expression suddenly less casual. He opens his mouth, but I give him a hard shake of my head.

“Look, I don’t have time for this.”

Not with the movers coming tomorrow. Not while the clock is ticking down on me finding a new job with next to no experience and a new place to live with even less savings. Which would be way easier if I’d had more than a week’s notice, but Diane’s landlord was only willing to break the lease if we could be cleared out by the eighth.

Diane swears she’s going to find me a job with a friend, that I’ll be okay, but so far, nothing. And if I have to go home after how long it took me to get out of there…

I won’t. I’ll find something. Somewhere. I have to.

But first, I have to get those damn packages out. So, I suck a breath and hold up a hand. “Put some pants on and come get your crap.”

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