Chapter 1 - Vinnie
Driving my sister to the airport to pick up my brother-in-law has completely ruined my sex life. Yes, I’m fully aware of just how fucked up that sounds, but it’s true.
It’s raining. Had it been snow, we would have had a beautiful white Christmas like in the movies. But then Garret’s plane probably would have been canceled instead of delayed and my sister, Nicola, would have been miserable, so I guess rain is better. As it is, she is staring at the arrival terminal of JFK Airport like a puppy awaiting her owner and all the while she is giving me shit over the fact that I don’t have a girlfriend.
“Why on earth is having a serious girlfriend a requirement for people to accept that your life is good?” I foolishly ask, knowing the minute I say it I’ve opened a can of worms.
“It’s not a requirement – I’m sure you are perfectly happy.” Nicolas turns to me, pushing her heavy chestnut hair over her shoulder. “However, once you have found someone special, you’ll discover how much better life can be. There’s truly nothing like it, Vinnie. Loving someone who sets your world on fire. I promise you.”
I groan. “You sound like one of those Hallmark movies you’re always watching.”
Nicola rolls her eyes. “I speak from experience, thank you. Don’t you get tired of sleeping around?”
“Vinnie! You’re a pig!”
I don’t know what else she expects me to say. There are always puck bunnies around the rink ready and willing to hook up with the players. They are just as motivated to fuck us as we are to fuck them. It’s a win-win if you ask me. “At least I’m an honest one.”
Nicola rolls her eyes. “You realize that every single girl you sleep with and dump, are Mia and I.”
What? My oldest sister’s logic can be a bit cockeyed at times, but she’s never said anything as messed up as that!
“Good god! What the hell, Nic? That’s the most fucked up thing you’ve ever said!”
She looks at me with blue eyes that are very similar to mine. Hers are a bit deeper like sapphires while mine are a paler blue. But her eyes currently take on a stern look that makes her resemble our mother. “No, it’s not! Every single one of those puck bunnies is somebody’s daughter, somebody’s sister, someone’s granddaughter. Imagine Mia or I dated a guy like you. Imagine someone treating your sisters the way you treat those girls. The next time you think about fucking and dumping a girl, I want you to pretend its Mia or I.”
Fucking and dumping? Not the most inaccurate description of my love life, but I don’t like hearing it come from my sister’s mouth. Groaning, I drop my head on the smooth leather of the steering wheel. “Thanks a lot, Nic. Now I’m scarred for life.”
She smiles sweetly. “That’s what sisters are for.”
I might mutter a few choice curses under my breath.
Nicola’s phone buzzes, lighting up with a picture of her and Garret from their wedding five years ago. Nicola puts it on speaker phone, but I’m already scanning the crowd. Garret stands at a solid six-four. He’s pretty easy to spot.
“Where are you?” Nicola asks.
“Just walking out. There’s a taxi and a white SUV where I came out.”
“I see him,” I tell her, pulling the car forward into the mass chaos of the arrival gate.
Garret dashes out into the rain and jumps into the backseat. Nicola twists around with a squeal that renders me deaf in my right ear and kisses him. “Welcome home!”
“Good to be home,” he smiles at my sister and caresses her cheek. “Missed you.”
I grit my teeth against the sappy, lovey stuff and focus on getting out of this crazy airport. Not that I’m against public displays of affection or anything. I’m happy my sister is happy and Garret’s a great guy. They’ve been together since they were seventeen in one of those epic high school sweetheart love stories they make movies about. My only epic love story has been with hockey.
“Missed you too. Thank goodness you made it home in time for dinner. Put on your seatbelt.”
Garret sits back and I hear his buckle click. “Hey, Vinnie. Thanks for picking me up.”
“Yeah, that won’t be happening ever again,” I inform him as I pull into the Belt Parkway traffic. “Because of you, I’ll never have sex again.”
“I’m sorry…what?” Garret glances at Nicola with a bewildered expression. He’s smart enough to know this has nothing to do with him and everything to do with my sister.
Nicola rolls her eyes. “He’s just cranky because he knows I’m right.”
“Riiight.” Garret gives Nicola a look and mouths: What did you do?
My sister shrugs innocently.