Hendrix (Raleigh Raptors 3) - Page 59

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“Hendrix Malone. I can’t skate.” I shook his hand.

He laughed. “We can solve that problem for you.” He settled into the booth like it was his second home. “I hear you’re one hell of a wide receiver.”

“With one hell of a pain tolerance if my twin is one of his friends,” Nathan added.

The rest of the booth laughed.

“Damn, I missed you guys,” Sterling said before taking a drink.

“I’m still pissed at Silas for letting you go,” Sawyer muttered, rolling his bottle between his hands.

“He didn’t have a choice!” Of course, Nathan defended his one-day brother-in-law. “It’s not like he could put us all on the protected list. Expansion drafts are…” he threw his hands up. “What they are.”

“Seriously, Bangor wasn’t that bad,” Sterling added with a shrug. “I learned a lot, and Silas paid a shit ton to get me back here. Don’t be pissed at him. He did everything he could and went way above and beyond.” He grinned. “Besides, you should see how fast my glove is now.”

The bells on the door sounded, and when I looked up, there were two new guys at the bar with a brunette between them.

The entire mood of the table shifted, lowered.

“Apparently, not fast enough,” Sterling muttered, his eyes locked on the woman’s back. “Fuck my life. I swear to God, if she’s actually dating him—dating either of them, I’m going to puke on the fucking table.”

“Please don’t,” Cannon said without so much as lifting an eyebrow.

“You could try talking to her,” Sawyer suggested. “Novel idea, I know, but sometimes it works.”

Sterling peeled the label from his bottle and glared toward the bar. “I can’t believe he fucking signed him.”

“Now who’s being too hard on Silas?” Cannon asked. “You weren’t exactly open about your relationship.”

“She’s fucking perfect,” Sterling snapped quietly. “Gorgeous, and smart, and really damned nice, which is nothing he deserves.”

The first guy turned at the bar, his gaze sweeping the room until he found Sterling, then narrowing. Interesting.

“I’m going to smash this bottle over his head if he comes over here,” Sterling mumbled.

“It’s plastic,” the quiet guy with a neck full of tattoos that was tame compared to Cannon’s said from the end of the table.

Briggs, I mentally reminded myself. Introductions had been fast tonight.

“Then I’ll hit him really fucking hard, okay?” Sterling sent a glare back to the bar that told me he’d do exactly that. There was some bad blood here.

“Look, I’ll bury a body. I’m down for it. But you’re the one who has to explain his disappearance at practice,” Briggs answered with a shrug.

There was something familiar about the girl—the way she tucked her hair behind her ear, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.

“Man up and go get your woman. Unless you don’t actually want her to be your woman,” Briggs suggested before taking a swig of his beer. Guess he wasn’t on the water-only train.

The woman turned to face us, her smile freezing on her face as her eyes locked with mine.

No fucking way.

Now the hulking figure on her other side made sense.

“And say what? Get away from—”

“Her brother?” I interrupted without looking away from a pair of blue eyes that looked at me like I was a ghost.

“What?” Sterling shook his head. “No. My brother. Maxim Zolotov. The asshole she walked in with.”

“Your brother is Maxim Zolotov?” The name was right up there with Gretsky when it came to hockey.

“Half-brother,” he snapped, crushing the plastic bottle.

“Okay, well, her brother is standing on her other side.” Apparently, hockey teams had more drama than football teams because this shit was worthy of HBO.

“What?” Every head at our table turned to stare at the trio, who were in-turn staring back. Maxim had leveled a glare on Sterling, London stared at me with an open mouth, and Caz looked bored with it all.

“Assuming you are talking about London Foster,” I said slowly. “Which I guess you probably are since she’s coming this way.” I laughed at the absurdity of it all. Sterling was losing his shit over the one woman who could tell me how mine was doing.

Not yours anymore, asshole. I let the anger overtake every other emotion. It was safer, more manageable that way.

“You know London?” Sterling asked, his eyes popping wide.

“This is like being on the set of a soap opera,” I muttered.

“He sure does,” she said, coming to a stop on the other side of Sterling and tucking her hair behind her ears. “How are you, Hendrix?”

Sterling paled. “Oh, God, tell me you didn’t—”

“Didn’t what, Jansen Sterling?” she snapped, narrowing her eyes. “Didn’t sleep with him? I mean, that’s where your thoughts jumped to, right?”

Sterling’s mouth opened and shut a few times, but nothing came out.

“Boys.” She rolled her eyes. “First, if I decided to sleep with Hollywood over here, that would be my business. Not yours. Second, no, I have not slept with Hendrix, though I can admit he’s been naked in my apartment more than a few times.” She smiled sweetly at Sterling.


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