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Bitter Sweet Heart by H. Hunting

Bitter Sweet Heart by H. Hunting PDF

Author: H. Hunting

Publisher: H. Hunting


Publish Date: September 1, 2022

ISBN-10: 198918524X

Pages: 446

File Type: Epub

Language: English

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Book Preface

Husband and kidlet, you inspire me every day. Thank you for your love.

Deb, I adore you. Thank you for being the Pepper to my Salt.

Kimberly thank you for everything you do, even when it isn’t easy.

Sarah, you’re incredible and wonderful and I’m forever grateful for you.

Hustlers, you’re my cheerleaders and my book family and I’m so grateful for each and every one of you.

My SS team, your eagle eyes are amazing and I appreciate your input and support.

Denise, thank you for sharing your hockey knowledge and insight with me. You’re truly incredible and I’m honored to have your support.

Tijan, thank you for being such a great source of encouragement when I need it most.

Jessica, Christa, Julia, Amanda, thank you so much for working on this project with me and helping me make it sparkle.

To my entire Social Butterfly team, you’re fabulous and I couldn’t do it without you.

Sarah and Gel, thank you for being graphic gurus. Your incredible talent never ceases to amaze me.

Beavers, thank you for giving me a safe place to land, and for always being excited about what’s next.

Deb, Tijan, Kat, Marnie, Krystin, Laurie, Angie, Angela; thank you for being such wonderful and inspiring women in my life. I’m lucky to have your friendship.

Readers, bloggers, bookstagrammers and booktokers, your passion for love stories is unparalleled, thank you for all that you do for the reading community.

Floating on this Cloud


I flip the lid open on the cooler. “Who needs another beer?”

My cousin BJ holds out his hand. “This guy right here.”

I glance over at my best friend, Kody, who I’ve known my entire life. “What about you?”

“I’ll have water, or a soda as long as it doesn’t have caffeine.” He doesn’t look up from the textbook he’s reading.

“Seriously, dude, take a break. That textbook isn’t going anywhere, and we have limited lazy dock days left.” I pass him a beer instead of his requested water or decaf soda. When he doesn’t reach for it right away, I tack on, “It’s light and only two percent. You’d need to drink an entire case to catch a buzz.”

He’s slow to drag his gaze away from whatever he’s reading. “I want to get a jumpstart on my bio-chem class. It was my lowest grade last year.”

“Which was what, ninety-seven percent?” BJ snorts.

“Ninety-five point four.”

The way he says it makes it sound like he almost failed, but he finally grabs the beer I’m still holding out.

“I don’t understand why you get so bent out of shape about your grades.” This isn’t true. I know exactly why Kody gets his balls tied in a knot—he’s a perfectionist. “It’s not like you’re going to use your rocket science degree anyway. Once you get called up, you’ll be making millions a year.” I twist the cap off my own beer and take a long swig. Kody was a first-round pick. It’s only a matter of time before he’s playing for the NHL.

“Yeah, but my career isn’t going to last forever, and when it’s over, I want a solid degree under my belt so I can transition to my second career without any problems.” Kody closes the textbook. “Or I could go back for a master’s, and that’s not going to happen if I don’t have a good GPA.”

“You got a lot of years before you’re going to have to worry about that.” I push up out of my chair and sweat drips down my back, thanks to the summer sun sitting high in the sky. I step out to the end of the dock, turn around, and do a backflip into the water.

I catch Kody’s “Hey!” just before I go under.

I pull myself back out and drop down into my chair. Kody gripes about me getting his textbook wet as he slides it into a plastic bag and then into his backpack. I’ll take his ire, though, because it means he’s given up on studying. Kody and I have been tight since we were kids. Without me around to force him to relax occasionally, Kody would spend all day, every day either studying or on the ice.

“I’m kinda jealous that you two lucky fuckers are going to be done at the end of this year.” BJ drains half of his beer in three long swallows.

“Why would you be jealous? The two of us have to be responsible once this year is over.” I motion between myself and Kody.

“I’m already responsible,” Kody says.

“You know what I mean. We’re already on the ice seven days a week with training. It’s only going to get more intense from here.”

College is fun. Unlike Kody, I don’t worry all that much about my grades. As long as my scores are over seventy, I’m happy. Most of my energy goes into hockey. For the rest, I do whatever is going to keep me out of trouble with my parents, my professors, and my coach.

BJ’s phone buzzes on his chair, and he checks the screen, one corner of his mouth turning up in a sly grin as he uses face ID to unlock it.

I nod in his direction. “One of your summer hookups looking for a beard ride?”

He snorts. “Nah. It’s Lovey.”

I arch a brow. Lovey’s my cousin. She and her twin are super tight with my younger sister, Lavender, and we’ve grown up spending a lot of time together. We’re basically one big extended family. BJ, however, isn’t related to Lovey. “Oh yeah? What’s going on there?” I ask.

He gives me the side-eye. “We’re supposed to go shopping later. She’s got a date, and she wants my opinion or whatever.”

“Isn’t she with my sister? Why wouldn’t she go shopping with Lav and Lacey?” I glance over at Kody and am unsurprised to find him fidgeting uneasily. Any mention of my sister makes him antsy.

After living at home and going to a local community college last year, mostly to appease my parents who are overprotective as hell when it comes to her, Lavender wanted the real college experience, which included not living at home. So she’s going to be moving in with me and River, her twin brother. Kody lives a few houses down the street with BJ and Quinn Romero, another of our hockey teammates. It should be interesting to see how things go since Kody won’t be able to avoid my sister anymore. And I love the guy, but by interesting I mean really fucking awkward.

They had a bit of a codependency issue when we were kids, and things got messy for a while. The last time those two saw each other was more than two years ago, when Lavender was still in high school. And before that, I don’t think they’d been in the same room since Kody and I were thirteen. Shortly after that, his family moved to Philly, but now we’re all together again. It’s good, but Kody’s been in avoidance mode for a lot of years. He won’t be able to do that anymore.

Kody glances at me and then away, his ears turning red, and the rest of his face following. He tips his beer back and chugs.

BJ glances between me and Kody, arching a knowing eyebrow. “Apparently my input is more valuable.”

I shake my head. “You’d think between the three of them, they’d have enough clothes that a shopping trip isn’t even required. Lav’s been packing up her dresses, and there are boxes lining the hall. It’s nuts.”

BJ strokes his beard. “I almost feel bad for her.”

“Why?” I frown.

“Uh, because River is like an overprotective, rabid guard dog, and you throw parties all the fucking time.”

“Only at the beginning of the semester. Or when the occasion calls for it.” I grin, though. I’ve been known to throw a lot of parties. For a while, I did it to force Kody to be social. He’s pretty damn reclusive, and unless you know him well, he can be standoffish.

“Every day is an occasion for you,” Kody mutters.

“As my Gram-pot would say, every day above ground is a good day.” I move the conversation away from my sister, though, because I can tell it’s putting Kody on edge, and I don’t want to ruin the easy vibe. That he agreed to come spend the weekend in Pearl Lake is a freaking miracle.

My cousin’s place on Pearl Lake is a twenty-minute drive from my parents’ place in Lake Geneva. Originally, the Lake Geneva spot was their lakefront getaway, but when my dad retired from coaching, he moved out this way, and he and a bunch of his hockey buddies started a hockey-training program. Both Kody and I help coach kids in the summer, as well as attending our own training camp. The kids’ camp ended last week, so we have a free weekend to relax, minus our own practices.

“There’s supposed to be a beach party tonight. You guys up for it?” BJ asks.

“Dakota has a soccer game, and I told him I’d go,” Kody says. “But maybe after, if it’s not too late. And Coach added an early skate tomorrow at seven. I said we’d both be there.”

“Right. Shit, I forgot about that.” I might get a few months of freedom from studying, but hockey is all year round.

We shoot the shit for a while longer until BJ leaves to go shopping with Lovey and Kody heads to Dakota’s soccer game, leaving me alone on the dock. I switch to water. Despite the beer only being two-percent alcohol, I still have to drive, and Pearl Lake is a small town with a tiny police force. My dad might be a former NHL star and a big deal around here, but that doesn’t mean I’m irresponsible when it comes to drinking and driving.

The lake is calm today, so still it’s almost like a pane of glass. It’s late afternoon now, the sun starting to sink toward the horizon, the heat of the day beginning to settle. The muggy July nights have turned into cool August evenings, perfect for sleeping with the windows open.

I notice a paddleboard floating in the distance. It looks like someone is lying on it, sunbathing maybe? It continues to float toward the dock. It’s close enough now that I can see it’s a woman in a pale green bikini. Her dark hair fans out along the top of the board, and the paddle floats along beside her. There’s something resting on her stomach, and a bottle is tucked between her arm and her side. She’s wearing sunglasses, and her lips are parted. She’s also a little sunburned.

I push up out of my chair and drop to one knee at the edge of the dock as the board bumps against it.

“Hey there,” I say, but don’t get a response.

Which is when I realize she’s asleep.

I clear my throat and gently prod her shoulder.

She gasps and sits upright, sending the zippered baggie on her stomach flying, along with the hot pink travel bottle. The paddleboard tips. I grab for her to keep her from being dumped into the water along with her things, but it backfires when she latches onto me and pulls me in.

I release her right away, but she clings to me, grabbing my shoulders, kicking and flailing, almost nailing me in the groin. I grip the edge of the dock to prevent her from pulling me down, and we both pop up at the same time.

Her face is inches from mine, and despite her shocked expression, she’s gorgeous. Her sunglasses are no longer covering her eyes, which are a stunning gray ringed in navy. Freckles dot the bridge of her nose, and she has full lips. Her face is heart-shaped, and her long, chestnut hair floats on the surface of the water, swirling around her arms.

“Holy shit!” She clutches my shoulders and looks around. “What the fuck? Who are you? Where am I?”

“I’m Maverick, currently your buoy and possible knight in a wet bathing suit. As for where, you’re in Pearl Lake. I think you must have fallen asleep on your paddleboard.” I nod toward the board, which is now floating about fifteen feet away from us, but slowly heading back our direction. “I’m sorry I scared you.”

“Pearl Lake? Oh crap!” She lets go of my shoulder and swims over to retrieve her paddleboard. While she does that, I grab the water bottle bumping the edge of the dock and the zippered baggie that contains a book. I think the sunglasses are probably a new addition to the bottom of the lake. I toss the items on the dock and swim over to help her with the paddleboard.

“Why don’t you come on up and get your bearings?” I suggest.

She glances around. Two docks over there are a bunch of people still swimming. And several more are dotted with people drying off. “Yeah. Okay. Thanks.”

I clip the paddleboard to the ladder and motion for her to go first. I try not to ogle her as she steps out of the water, shaking her head back and forth and twisting her hair around her hand, pulling it over her shoulder. But damn, she’s smokin’. She’s all curves and hips and long legs. Soft around the edges in the most appealing way.

I look up at the sky and mouth thank you as I follow her up onto the dock.

She runs her hands through her hair and then crosses and uncrosses her arms like she doesn’t quite know what to do with them. And then she looks down at herself. Her hands go to her stomach. “Oh fuck me. I’m so burned! How am I going to get rid of this?” In the center of her stomach is a very obvious book-shaped tan line.

I bite my bottom lip and try not to laugh, but her expression is priceless. “I guess no crop tops for you this weekend, huh?”

“I’m too old for crop tops.” Her gaze meets mine and then drops, moving over me on a slow sweep. “I just pulled you into the water, didn’t I?”

“I was planning to go for a dip anyway.” I grab the towel from the back of my chair and pass it to her.

“Getting dragged into the water and willingly jumping in aren’t quite the same.” She drapes the towel over her shoulders. “I’m sorry. I think you introduced yourself, but I missed it because I was panic-flailing. I hope I didn’t hurt you.” Her gaze roves over me again. “You don’t look hurt, but you do look like you could do a lot of damage in a fight.”

I grin. “Should I take that as a compliment?”

She drops her head, hiding her smile. “If you want to, sure.” She peeks up at me again. “Do you know what time it is? I have no idea how long I’ve been floating.”

“It’s closing in on five thirty, last time I checked.”

Her eyes go wide. “No. You can’t be serious.”

I hold out my arm with my smart watch and tap the face so it lights up. “It’s five thirty-eight.”

“I’ve been floating for nearly six hours. I don’t understand how I got here. I don’t even know what side of the lake here is.”

Pearl Lake is a lot smaller than Lake Geneva, but it’s still a lot of water to cover on a paddleboard. “You’re on the north side.”

“The north side? Yeesh.”

“Where’s your cottage?”

“In Pearl Bay, on the south side of the lake.”

“You wanna use my phone to call someone? A boyfriend maybe?” I’m totally fishing.

“That was subtle.” She arches a brow and gives me a wry grin. “I don’t have a boyfriend.”

“That’s excellent news. I don’t have a girlfriend, in case you were wondering. And my name is Maverick.” I extend my hand.

She blinks. “Maverick? Is that a nickname or a given name?”

“Given. And surprisingly, my parents aren’t hippies.”

“Did your mom like Top Gun or something?” She slips her hand into my palm.

I watch as goose bumps rise along both of our arms. “Actually yeah, she did. At least until Tom Cruise sort of . . . went out of style.” I reluctantly release her hand.

“Ah, well, that’s fair. I’m Clover.” She dips her head, and if her cheeks weren’t already pink with too much sun, I’d guess she was blushing. “And my parents were absolutely hippies. Please don’t make a joke about four leaves and being lucky.”

“I wouldn’t dream of it, Clover-without-a-boyfriend.”

We smile at each other for a few seconds. She’s definitely older. Maybe mid-twenties. My size makes me look a little older than I am, and so does the fact that by the end of the day I have a hint of shadow on my cheeks, unlike my older brother, Robbie, who can still get away with shaving twice a week.

“Can I get you a bottle of water? Or a soda? You must be parched.” I flip open the cooler and rummage around, setting cans on the arm of my Adirondack chair.

“Water would be amazing. Thank you.” She plucks a bottle from between two cans of soda and then looks up toward the cottage set back on the hill behind us. “Oh wow. Are you renting this place?”

“My aunt and uncle own it.”

“Wow.” She lets out a low whistle. “What are they, movie stars or something?” She cringes. “Sorry, that was so rude.”

“My uncle’s a retired NHL player.”

“Oh yeah? There are a lot of those guys on the lake, aren’t there?” She drains half of the bottle in three long gulps.

“Seems that way. Do you watch hockey?” I ask.

She gives me a somewhat embarrassed smile and glances at the dock where her book is sitting, slightly wet and still in the baggie. “I’m more of a reader than a TV watcher.”

That’s when I realize the cover of the book has a shirtless dude holding a hockey stick on it. “I play hockey,” I inform her.

Her eyes flare. “Professionally?”

“No. Not yet anyway.”

“You’re very athletic. Hockey players have great stamina.” Her eyes lift to mine. “At least that’s what I’ve read.”

“I’d say it’s an accurate assessment.” I nod to the chairs. “Do you wanna sit?” On my face?

She glances at the chair and then at the sun, which is slowly making its way toward the horizon. “I do. Absolutely. But it’s probably going to take me a while to paddle back to my place.”

“I can drive you, if you want. I’ve got a truck. We can put your paddleboard in the back.”

She tugs on her bottom lip with her teeth. “That’s nice of you to offer, but, uh, I’m sort of in the don’t-take-rides-from-strangers camp.”

“As someone with a younger sister, I can totally appreciate that stance. There’s a beach party later tonight. Maybe I’ll see you there?”

“Yeah. Maybe. I think I’d like that.” She takes another long gulp of her water. “I should probably get going.”

“Here.” I pass her my T-shirt. “Why don’t you take this? It’ll keep you from turning into a beet.”

“Are you sure? Aren’t you going to need it?”

“Nah. I’m good like this.” I run a hand over my chest.

“Not gonna argue with that.” She pulls my shirt over her head. It’s so long it hits her mid-thigh. She ties a knot on the side, presumably so she doesn’t end up with another bad tan line.

I help her get back on the paddleboard and send her off, hoping I’m going to run into her again.

And I’m not disappointed, because a few hours later, I find her on the beach. Kody bailed on the party, and BJ is already being chatted up, so I take the opportunity for what it is. “You want to sit on the pier, away from the noise?” There’s a huge bonfire, but it’s loud and rowdy. The pier is quiet and calm.

“That sounds good.” She takes a sip from her travel mug; it’s a different one from earlier.

I tap my travel water bottle against hers. “What’s in there?”

“Spiked hot chocolate; what about you?” She falls in step beside me.

“Just water. I have an early practice and I’m not much good if I’m hungover.”

“That’s very responsible of you.” We reach the end of the pier and take a seat on one of the benches. “Do you go to a lot of the beach parties?”

I stretch my arm across the back of the bench. “It’s not really my scene. How about you?”

“Not really mine either. I only came because of you.” She glances at me out of the corner of her eye and sips her hot chocolate.

“You’re the reason I came, too.”

She smiles, her gaze fixed on the moon hanging heavy in the sky. “If beach parties aren’t your thing, what is?”

“Hockey is a big one, but when I’m not on the ice, I like this.” I motion to the lake, the moon reflecting of the surface. “And Scrabble and origami.”

“Origami?” She tips her head, like she’s trying to decide if I’m joking or not.

“Yeah, it’s calming, and I don’t do stillness well, so it helps keep my hands and my mind busy.”

She shifts so she’s facing me. “You’re an interesting guy, Maverick.”

“I’m glad you think so.” I adjust my own position, and when I do, she reaches out and brushes something off my shoulder. Innocent flirting that speaks volumes about her comfort level with me. Which is good. “Now tell me what you’d rather be doing since beach parties aren’t your thing either.”

We spend the next couple of hours talking. But when the breeze coming off the lake cools, and Clover wraps her arms around herself, I suggest we take off.

She fiddles with the strap of her purse. “Do you want to come back to my place?”

“Not worried about stranger danger anymore?” I ask.

She shakes her head. “Not now that I’ve had a chance to talk to you. Just let me tell my friend I’ve got a ride home.”

I wait while she checks in with a group of people before we leave the beach and make the short walk to my truck.

Once we’re settled, Clover gives me directions to her place.

“Are you renting, or . . .” I let it hang, wanting to keep the conversation flowing.

“It was my parents’ place,” she says. “But they moved to Florida a couple of years ago. They were going to do the snowbird thing, but then they decided to stay there, so it’s mine now. It’s a small, two-bedroom cabin. Nothing like the places on the north side of Pearl Lake.”

“Eh, they’re more like houses on a lake than actual cabins. I kinda love the smaller places on the south side, where all the locals live.”

“Me too, it’s a little more . . . laid-back.”

A few minutes later, I pull into the driveway and park the truck beside a dark blue Prius. The cabin is exactly what I expected it to be: cute and sweet and like something that belongs in a fairy tale. There’s a small, covered porch with two Adirondack chairs off to the right. Hanging baskets of flowers flank the entry.

“This is one hundred percent you, isn’t it?” It matches the woman I got to know on the pier.

She smiles and ducks her head again. “It really is. I’ve spent a lot of time here this summer.”

“It’s too bad this is the first time we’ve crossed paths.” I feel like I should give her an out in case she’s having second thoughts. “You sure you want me to come in?”

She nods once. “Yeah. I’m sure.”

“Okay.” I cut the engine, and we open our doors at the same time.

I meet her at the hood and follow her across the driveway to the front steps. She unlocks the door and ushers me in, closing it behind her and flipping the lock.

I take in the small space. It’s perfect—the kind of cabin that instantly feels like home. “This place is great.”

“I like it.” She tosses the keys on the counter and turns to face me. “Do you want to see my bedroom?” Again, if her cheeks weren’t already pink with sunburn, I’m sure she’d be blushing.

“Straight to the point. I like it. Do you want to show me your bedroom, Clover?”

She arches a brow. “Are you going to answer every question with a question?”

“Only the ones I feel require verification and confirmation.” My body is already responding to the idea of seeing her bedroom—and getting her into bed—but one step at a time. She may decide she’s not as into me as she thought after the clothes come off.

“Maybe, before you show me the rest of this place, our lips could introduce themselves to each other.” I tap my own. “Just a little warm up. See if the spark hits us the way I think it could.”

She bites her bottom lip through a grin and takes a step closer. Her warm palms settle on my chest and smooth over my shoulders. I rest my hand on her waist and dip my head down but wait for her to make the first move. She pushes up on her toes and brushes her lips over mine. Then she comes back again, this time lingering for a few seconds before she strokes along the seam with her tongue. I part my lips.

Her fingers slide into the hair at the nape of my neck. It’s longer than it should be, but I’ve been too lazy this summer to care. She makes a low, throaty sound, and her soft body presses against mine as our tongues meet and tangle.

Heat moves through my veins, and electric want zings down my spine, my erection swelling behind the fly of my jeans. I don’t know how long we stand here kissing, but when we finally come up for air, we’re both panting, and I’m really fucking hard.

“I absolutely want to show you my bedroom,” Clover says breathlessly.

“Okay.” One-word answers are about as good as it’s going to get since half the blood in my body has rerouted itself to my far-less-evolved head.

She laces her fingers with mine, and I follow her across the living room, taking in the tiles on the Scrabble board as I pass, and then we’re in her bedroom. It’s feminine and pretty, everything in soft shades of yellow and cream, with pops of vibrant green. On her nightstand are several books and magazines, including an old copy of Psychology Today.

I don’t have much time to process more of my surroundings because Clover leads me over to the bed and turns me so the backs of my calves hit the frame. She lifts her shirt over her head and drops it on the floor.

I bite my lip to suppress my grin when she looks down at her stomach and tries to cover the book-shaped outline.

“I would feel a whole lot sexier without this.”

“You’re sexy with or without a book tan line,” I assure her.

She rolls her eyes, but she’s fighting her own smile.

“Don’t worry, Clover. The last thing I’m worried about are your tan lines.” I sit down on the edge of the bed and part my legs, inviting her to stand between them.

She steps into the empty space and tugs my shirt over my head, discarding it on the floor before she runs her fingers through my hair again. “God, you are beautiful,” she whispers.

“So are you.” I drag my fingertips along her side and settle my hand on her hip.

She reaches behind her and unclasps her bra. I groan as the straps slide down her arms, revealing pert nipples and perky breasts.

My fingers flex on her hip. “I would really like to touch you.”

A slow smile spreads across her full lips. “I would like that too.”

I skim the swell of her right breast with gentle fingertips, circling her nipple, watching it pucker further, and then I lean in, taking the taut skin between my lips, sucking softly.

She climbs into my lap and when her fingers skim my belt buckle, I pause. “Just to be clear, I don’t have any expectations here, so if at any point you need to call a timeout, tell me and we can dial it back, okay?”

“Okay.” She nods.

When she goes for the button on my pants, I move back on the bed and flip us over. “Can I focus on making you feel good for a while?”

“You’re already making me feel good.”

“I’m aiming for orgasmically good.” I kiss my way between the valley of her breasts and down her stomach. “You okay with me taking these off?” I tug at the belt loop on her jeans.

“Yes. Absolutely.”

I fold back on my knees and pop the button, then drag the zipper down. “Like unwrapping an early birthday present.”

She laughs, and it’s a little breathless. “How old are you? Wait. Don’t tell me. Mid-twenties? Or maybe early? But definitely over twenty. You must be. That’s the only way you could have the body you do. Years of training.”

“Do you want me to answer that or not?” I kiss below her navel and drag her pants down her legs, tossing them over the edge of the bed.

“Yes. No. Yes.” She shimmies out of her panties, and they join the rest of the clothes on the floor. “You don’t have to be specific. But you’re in your twenties right?”

“Yeah, I’m in my twenties.” I place another kiss below her navel and stretch out between her thighs.

“Okay, that’s good.” Her toes curl against my side. “Are you being honest?”

“I wouldn’t lie. It doesn’t do either of us any good if we’re feeling guilty.” I turn my head to the right, kissing the inside of her thigh, sucking lightly on the skin.

“You are such a tease,” she groans.

“Just building anticipation.” I drag my tongue along the length of her, and she bows up off the bed.

“Oh fuck, yes, please.” Her legs fall open, and she grips the hair at my crown.

I make her come with my mouth, and then a second time with my fingers, because watching her come is damn well addictive. She’s gorgeous and sexy, and it’s so much more gratifying than when I’m with someone closer to my age, where everything is tentative and they’re worried about losing control.

As soon as Clover regains control of her limbs, she pushes on my shoulders. I flip over so I’m on my back, and she straddles me. Our mouths connect in a hungry kiss, her long hair tickling my skin. She pulls back and braces her hands on my chest. “I’m so glad I fell asleep this afternoon and floated into your dock.”

I laugh. “Me too. And here I thought tonight was going to be another boring beach party.”

She shimmies back, and suddenly the lightness of the moment disappears. Her excitement is overshadowed by my anxiety as she pops the button on my jeans. I shimmy out of them and toss them on the floor, leaving me in black boxer brief. Clover tugs the waistband down and frees my erection.

For a few seconds, I’m met with stunned silence. The look on Clover’s face says it all.

It’s better than the nervous laughter I sometimes get—or worse, the slack-jawed head shaking or the “there’s no way that’ll fit.”

It didn’t matter how much my dad drilled into my head that lube would forever be my best friend when it came to sex, it never fully prepared me for the realities of being exceptionally well endowed.

I’m not packing in the boyfriend-dick, fits-so-nice kind of way.

More in the this-might-be-uncomfortable-even-with-all-the-foreplay way.

“Holy wow.” Her eyes flare. “Sweet baby Jesus riding a unicorn.” Her gaze flips between my face and my cock, which is now lying on my stomach.

I say the first thing that pops into my head. “I have lube.”

Her eyebrows rise, and she nods slowly. “Yes. Yes, I bet you do.”

“But we don’t have to have sex.”

Her fingers circle the shaft. “Now I understand your attention to foreplay and why you were trying to get your entire hand in my vagina,” she muses.

“Foreplay is the best part of sex,” I offer. “And essential.”

“I can see why you feel that way.” She shifts forward, pressing the length against her stomach. The head covers her navel by half an inch. “I hope you have condoms, because I don’t think the ones I have are going to be the right . . . fit. You’re definitely way above average.”

“I have some in my wallet.”

It’s on the bed beside us. I flip it open and pass her one, pulling out the small packet of lube as well. She plucks the foil packet from my fingers, tears it open, and rolls it down my length while I open the lube and squirt a little onto the tip.

“Just take it slow,” I warn her as she braces a hand on my shoulder and lines my cock up with her entrance.

“I don’t think there’s any other way to take you,” she murmurs as the head disappears inside her. She pauses.

Her gaze stays trained on the place where our bodies meet, and she keeps up with the slow hip rolls until her ass meets my thighs. Her fingers trail past her navel, going lower to skim over her clit, stopping at the base of my shaft. “It’s almost obscene how full I am.”

“Just tell me if you’re uncomfortable.”

“I’m not, but if that changes, I’ll let you know.” She rises a few inches, and her mouth drops open, head falling back when she lowers herself. I hold her hips, helping her find a rhythm.

She urges me to raise my hands and presses hers to mine, palm to palm. She laces our fingers together, leaning into them as she chases down her orgasm. Her rhythm falters for a beat before she starts to move again, long, slow strokes that tip me over the edge too. It’s fucking bliss.

“You want to stay the night so we can do this again?” She presses her lips to mine.


We make a snack, and then have sex again in the kitchen. We shower and make out. Wake up in the middle of the night for round three. Try for round four with her condoms but end up sixty-nining instead.

At six in the morning, my alarm goes off, signaling skate practice. Clover is passed out beside me. For a moment, I consider waking her up to say goodbye, or leaving my number, but it’s obvious she’s got some years on me—in the best possible way—and I don’t want to make it awkward for her. Besides, I’m heading back to college soon, and she’s got a life to live.

Instead, I write a note on a piece of paper, fold it into an origami crane, and leave it on the nightstand. I walk out of her life twelve hours after I walked in. Maybe next summer, when I’m en route to a professional career in hockey, we’ll cross paths again. Whether or not that happens, I’ve now got a sweet memory tied to this place.

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