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DIRTY TALKER, Slayers Hockey Book 4

DIRTY TALKER, Slayers Hockey Book 4

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His mouth is hot enough to melt the ice

Ten days. That’s all I’m asking for.
But not one of my NHL teammates is willing to cough up a sister, cousin, or trusted friend to play my fake girlfriend for this wedding.

Pucking BS.Yeah, my mouth has been known to get me into places I don’t belong. But this Class Five panty melter is on lockdown because the last thing I need is another complication.

I’m about to give up when fate delivers the answer to my prayers.

I’m not her type.
She doesn’t date jocks.
All this sharp, sexy over-achiever wants is a little fun, an escape from her career driven life.

It’s a simple arrangement. So why am I complicating it?

His mouth is hot enough to melt the ice

Ten days. That’s all I’m asking for.
But not one of my NHL teammates is willing to cough up a sister, cousin, or trusted friend to play my fake girlfriend for this wedding...

Intro Into Chapter One

©Mira Lyn Kelly



Another fucking club. Not my scene, but Boomer and Bowie love this shit, Axel too. They can’t get enough of the velvet rope and VIP treatment. The noise that passes for music, and the lights that require a photosensitive warning.

They thought they’d be safe hiding out here, but enough is enough.

I cut past the muscle with a rock the size of my thumb in his ear to the balcony end of the room where my teammates are sprawled across a couple weird-shaped couches surrounding something that’s supposed to pass for a table.

Boomer’s the first one to see me and yeah, that guilty look and elbow jab at Bowie say I was right. They were hiding. Pussies.

Axel’s back is to me, but when he turns, it’s with the lazy smile that says he couldn’t give a shit that I found them. Typical. “Hey, man. Sign your new contract yet?”

“Not yet.” And I’m not about to be derailed by talk about my NHL contract when I’ve got bigger fish to fry. Dropping into an open club chair, I eye each of them in turn. “Swear you don’t have an available sister, cousin, or trusted friend you’re holding back on me.”

I’m supposed to be home in less than a week, and if I show up to my brother’s wedding without a date—

Shit, I can’t take another week of apologizing and coming up with polite ways to extract myself from one soul-baring conversation after another. From the hope and heartbreak and pained disappointment that make me feel like the world’s biggest asshole.

Boomer starts picking at the label on his beer and Bowie’s suddenly mesmerized by the ceiling. Meanwhile, Axel, that fucker, looks me dead in the eye and shrugs.

Christ, I’m the guy who can talk anyone into anything. Yet somehow, not one of these dicks is willing to cough up a sister for me. “What the hell, man? I’m a good guy.”


“I’m dying here.”


I huff, because that’s how far this has gone. I’m arguably one of the toughest sons of bitches—after Static anyway—on the Chicago Slayers hockey team. And I’m huffy because my friends won’t share. “That’s all you’ve got to say?”

“What do you want me to say, man?” Axel rakes a hand through an overlong hank of hair he won’t cut again until preseason. “I’ve got all three… plus a single brother two miles down the road. But you can’t have any of them.” He meets my eyes again, no fucking nonsense in his. “I don’t pimp my sister out for weddings. My cousin would straight-up stab me if I so much as suggested she let one of my teammates act like she was his. And I keep my friends by not asking them for bullshit favors, especially week-long ones.”

More like ten days, but that clarification sure as hell isn’t going to help me out.

Axe sits back. “As for my brother, he’s a dog. He’d be banging the bride before the rehearsal dinner was over. You can do better.”

I’m weirdly touched, but that still leaves me screwed.

I turn to Boomer. “Come on, man. I know you’ve got a sister. Just let me borrow her. One week. Please?”

Ben Boenboom’s one of those guys with a resting goof face. He’s friendly, always grinning at something. But not now.

“Borrow my sister?”


“A week? Of sharing your bedroom?” Bowie leans in next to him, his scowl taking on a menacing glint that reminds me these two have been friends long enough he’s probably as protective of said sister as his roommate.

Boomer’s eyes go hard. “You can fuck right off.”

“Dude, I’m not trying to bang your sister. I would never—”

“Try to borrow my little sister for a week of sleepovers?”

Ten days. But, Jesus. “Yeah. That.”

The guys sit back with matching nods that has me pinching the bridge of my nose.

All I need is one girl. Something I’ve never had any trouble getting. There are women aplenty in the crowded club, bunnies lined up at the bar, just waiting for the signal to come over.

Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink.

I can’t bring any of these girls home. If anything, it would make the whole situation worse.

But now that I’m thinking about it— “What’s with the bunnies?”

Usually, they’d be doubled up on Boomer’s lap by now.

“Axe won’t let us invite them over,” he announces sullenly.

I raise a brow, turning to Axel. “No?”

“Got a friend stopping by. A friend. You know, the kind of woman I don’t dip my wick in, and therefore can ask to be my date for a wedding without worrying about her getting the wrong idea. Also, she’s married, so don’t bother trying to poach her.”

“Ha-ha-ha.” Dick.

“There she is.” Axe whistles, holding up a hand to where a dozen girls are making their way up the private staircase. It’s a tide of short dresses, stacked heels, and giddy laughter rolling in.

I should get out of here. Let these guys have fun while I go home and—

Whoa. No way.

From the sea of feminine faces, one stands out from the rest.

I know her. Sort of.

Harlow Richards works at the bank. Not on my accounts. But I’ve seen her on the private banking floor. Ridden the elevator with her. Noticed she wasn’t wearing a ring and might have tried chatting her up a time or two.

Tried being the operative word there.

It’s her. I recognize those burnt-umber eyes and the way she twists the soft spill of her hair over her shoulder. That lush mouth when she takes a sip of whatever girly drink is in her stemmed glass.

I wonder what kinds of plans she’s got over the next few weeks.

Ha, forget that.

The only thing I know about this girl is her name, and that’s because I talked it out of the coffee cart dude from the lobby. I might need a date, but no way am I bringing some unknown quantity home for more than a week with my family. Not without a solid stamp of “psycho-free” from a reliable source anyway.

Still, she’s got my attention.

It’s curiosity more than anything else. With the way my hockey career is finally coming together, I don’t have the bandwidth for a relationship. But a night or maybe just a couple hours?

Who knows.

Harlow’s not smiling. Not scoping out the exclusive area of the club like she can’t soak it in fast enough. Not devouring me and my buddies—because, despite the fact that they won’t share their sisters, that’s what they are—with starstruck, or even curious, eyes.

Maybe this isn’t her scene either.

But she’s veering off from the party, walking our way.

Walking toward Axel, who’s standing up to greet her. Only he said his friend was married and… Then I realize she’s not alone. And it’s her friend who’s sort of happy-dancing into Axe’s open arms with all the thanks for setting her up with the VIP access for her friend’s party.

My teammates invite the girls to join us, and I settle back into my chair. I might be screwed as far as a date for my brother’s wedding, but maybe this night has some potential yet.

* * *


Jocks. Like this night wasn’t bad enough already.

Taking a greedy swallow of my Snowflake Martini, I slide into the open spot next to my work wife and wannabe life coach, Annette Quinto, offering an absent wave to the guys parked around the table as they introduce themselves. Under any other circumstance, I’d at least feign polite interest, but tonight—and possibly for the first time in my life—I just don’t have it in me.

Whatever. Pretty sure these athletes’ egos can handle it.

Turning my phone over in my hand, I glare at the department-wide email congratulating Junior on the job that until sometime in the last twenty-four hours had been mine.

“Turn that thing off,” Nettie chides, grabbing my hand in hers and muscling the phone back to sleep. “Forget about the promotion. I know it sucks. I know it’s not fair. But give yourself the night off from thinking about it.”

Right. A night off was the plan.

I don’t take them. Ever.

Finishing off my second Snowflake, I don’t feel any better. I haven’t loosened up the way Nettie swore I would. Worse yet, I still care.

And I hate that.

Almost as much as Junior’s smug wink when he’d walked past me on the way to his new office.

When will I learn?

Nettie’s talking a mile a minute to the guys surrounding us, becoming best friends with them the way she does with everyone else. The way I don’t do with anyone.

The blond one with the goofy smile asks about the party, wanting to know who the bride-to-be is and which girls are single.

“Yeah.” The grumpy-looking one beside him waves to the guy in the chair. “Grady here’s after a date for his brother’s wedding next week.”

“I’ll go!” Nettie squeals, and I can’t help but laugh. She’s a grab-life-by-the-horns kind of creature, and it’s one of my very favorite things about her.

She would not be sitting idly by while someone with less than half her experience took the job she’d been working toward for the better part of a decade. She’d be letting headhunters woo her and entertaining offers for positions that were better than the last.

She wouldn’t be taking two weeks off while the “restructuring” shook out and a new position was found for her.

Why is my drink empty?

Nettie’s friend, or rather client—both?—shakes his head with a chuckle. “Sorry, babe. It’s for the whole week. And he needs someone willing to pretend to be his girlfriend.”

My brows inch up.

The one who needs a date groans. “Dude.”

Ouch. Well, at least I’m not the only one facing down embarrassment tonight.

Client Dude waves him off. “Relax, Nettie and Harlow handle our money. They’re not running to TMZ.”

He’s right about TMZ. We would never. But the money? Not quite. While Nettie’s a senior account manager in the sports division of private banking, I don’t work with anyone’s money directly. In fact, until the announcement this afternoon, I’d been heading up compliance.

Nettie taps a red-tipped nail against her chin, giving Dateless the once-over. “But you’re hot.”

It’s true. His body is insane, if you’re into that solid-packed-muscle thing.

“Why can’t you get a date?” She turns to Client Dude. “Is he a dick?”

Dateless tips his head back and covers his eyes with the heels of his hands. And whether he’s a dick or not, the bulging thing that happens with his biceps and already broad chest is kind of wow.

“Nah. Grady could probably land a date before our next round arrives.” And like he was some kind of magician, a girl in a short, glittering dress breezes in and starts unloading drinks… including another Snowflake Martini for me. Client Dude winks. “He just can’t score the unicorn he’s hoping for.”

Goofy shakes his head. “Fucking picky. He wants a girl who’s not into him in any way. A girl who won’t get ideas.”

Wow. What a catch.

But then this date-thirsty, built egomaniac shakes his head, shooting what looks like a worried glance… my way? “Yeah, because I don’t have time for a girlfriend right now, and I don’t want to end up hurting someone’s feelings.”

Dateless, don’t worry about me. I don’t handle your money and I don’t care.

Only, I guess I do. Because there are a lot of jerks out there who never factor in other people’s feelings.

Nettie nods slowly. “I thought all you pros had teams of people on staff to help you out with stuff like this. Isn’t there some pop princess your PR team can pair you up with?”

Goofy answers for him. “Sure, but what happens when her IG feed blows up the next week with some boy-bander’s tongue down her throat? Too easy to debunk.”

Grumpy adds, “And said unicorn needs to come with references. No more than two degrees of separation.”

“Right, right,” Nettie agrees, a furrow digging in between her brows. “You don’t know whether she’ll sell your story to the Enquirer or take a kidney while you’re sleeping.”

Okay, and I love Nettie. Because the expression on poor Dateless’s face right now? He’s totally thinking of his kidneys. And it’s pretty funny, actually.

I have another sip of my drink as the guys all start chiming in.

“No randoms.”

“No celebs.”

“No hookers.”


“No bunnies.”

Bunnies? What are these guys into?

Nettie bounces in her seat, clapping her hands. “I’ve got it! Don’t any of you have a sister?” There’s a round of coughs, grumbles, and cleared throats. “Okay, so no sisters.”

I can practically hear this Dateless’s molars grind as he casts his buddies a killing glare. “I’m. A. Good. Guy.”

Nettie bites her lip, but then something catches her attention from across the room and she’s standing to go. “Hey, I gotta check in with my bride-to-be.”

She turns to me, navigating carefully around the mile-long and triple-wide legs surrounding us “Just give me a minute and I’ll be right back.”

“I’ll be here.” I don’t know the bride that well. I’m only at the party because another girl from their department canceled last minute and Nettie essentially dragged me out with her. The truth is, I never say yes. I never do the impulsive thing. The fun thing.

I never do any of the things that would leave my father—a man committed to career above all else—bristling with disapproval. But tonight, I’m sour over how the career I committed to has treated me. I’m hurt by his disappointment. And maybe… some petty little part of me is loving how much my father would hate this scene.

The club.

The party.

The frilly drinks.

The jocks.

The jocks he would hate most of all. I smile and snuggle back into my seat.

The guys have resumed giving Dateless a hard time. But rather than getting pissed, he shakes his head and starts to laugh.

It’s this deep, rumbly, good-natured sound that’s really kind of nice and makes me want to laugh too. After the day I’ve had, that’s no small feat.

I look back at Dateless, catching his eyes on mine again.

He rubs a hand over the neat clip of his trimmed beard.

He really does have a nice face. Nice eyes. Nice smile. Nice laugh. Nice shoulders that stretch his fitted shirt in a pretty nice way.

Shifting in his seat to hang a nice arm over the back, he appears to be gearing up to something. I’ve got a fair idea what.

I hold up a hand, turning to Client Dude. “Is he?” I wave my glass toward Dateless and ask again. “Is he a good guy?”

Shrug. “Yeah, sure he is.”

Okay then.

Downing the rest of my drink, I turn back to Dateless. “I’ll go to your wedding.”

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