Passing Through (Love/Hate Part Three)

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Part Twenty Three

Chapter Twenty Three

She lit up the room. His eyes had barely left her, despite trying to engage with some new sponsors that Oscar had wafted him in front of. She was sat with Coop's wife, and they were chuckling together, seeing her so natural was a genuinely attractive sight, but it had been the moment his eyes had found hers earlier that had really hit home with him. The look in her eyes, lust, desire, it was the hottest look he'd ever received and it had made him instantly hard...that was something that happened so frequently around Natasha.

Bo took a slug of his beer, not really concentrating on the two men in front of him, this was such a different part of the game to him. Back when he'd played in the NHL they barely encountered fans. There were more interviews, a lot more TV, sponsors, but he'd never been verbally pinned to the bar within an hour of the game ending, by some enthusiastic fans who apparently knew more about a game he'd played for almost twenty years, than he did after watching it for a few seasons. He didn't dislike fans, that was a huge part of the game, they are what sport was all about. Without them they'd be playing on spectator-less rinks, as a hobby. As it was, he'd had it all, everything that the sport had to offer. Whilst he hated that he wasn't there, living the high life that he was used to, there was something about the moment, playing well, having praise heaped on him along with advice, from such enthusiastic was invigorating. And recognition for success, that was something he hadn't realised he craved.

Then he glanced to his right at that beautiful woman who he hadn't stopped thinking about all day, and that kind of topped off the moment.

As he said goodbye to Paul and Tony, having added a signature to the team shirts they wore, he was about to order another drink, when someone brushed against him.

Turning, he encountered a woman, tall, with long blonde hair. His first thought was how heavy her make up was, and he wasn't a fan of these drawn on thick eyebrows that some women seemed to favour.

"Hi," she purred. "You're Bo Holding?"

He nodded, "that's me."

He held out a hand to shake hers, trying to be polite, and preventing any thoughts of kissing his cheek.

"I'm Camilla Pascal." The name meant nothing to him, and he waited rather awkwardly to find out what she wanted. Because people always wanted something.

"I thought you were amazing tonight, especially in the last third of the game."

She fluttered her eyelashes, and it was then he realised that it was him that she wanted. Extremely awkward. He had no interest in anyone but the gorgeous woman with unruly auburn hair at the end of the bar. She was completely unaware of that though.

"So have you played ice hockey for long? I love it. So fast, and all that fighting." she shivered, a little too elaborately. "How you manage to hit that rubber puck thing..."

He started to zone out, she knew nothing about the game, knew nothing about him. He was so past this hook up shit. He wished that he could teleport anywhere but there.

Yet you hooked up with Natasha just the other week.

Not exactly true. They had talked, gone out...became a little bit more friendly. It hadn't been anywhere near a hook up.

Glancing over Camilla's shoulder, he met Natasha's eyes immediately, she was watching him, her face unreadable. He knew how this looked from a distance, he just hoped that he trusted her. If he could portray how much he wanted to be talking to her instead of this bottle blonde, in a single look, he gave it to her. And she smiled back, sexily.

Turning his attention back to the woman in front of her, he smiled, "sorry...I really am needed over there."

Her face was distraught, and she stomped off to two other women across the room who all immediately comforted her.

Grabbing another beer from the bar staff, he strode with purpose across the room, then watched as Freya grinned, eyes wide taking everything in. What was it with women and gossip?

"Hi, hottie."

That was how Coop's wife greeted him. He looked down at her, more than a little surprised, "Me?"

She rolled her eyes, "obviously!"

At that moment, Coop joined him, slapping him on the back. "Shit, those finance guys did not want to let me leave."

He stooped to kiss Freya, who wrapped her arms around his neck and he literally lifted her from the stool.

"Jeez, boss. Put the girl down, or get a room!"

Coop extended a finger, flipping him off whilst still kissing his wife, and supporting her total body weight.

"You did good tonight, Mitchell," she breathed as he finally let her go.

Bo looked at Natasha and rolled his eyes, but she was grinning, "they're quite sweet. Nice to know love lives on!"

Coop guffawed at that, "you are a tonic, Tash, never fail to make me laugh. Frey, they think we're that old!"

Bo couldn't deal with how jealous he suddenly felt that he couldn't take Natasha, be as open as honest with her as they were. But it was all too new, too awkward.

"Can I see you home?" He asked as quietly as he could, not wanting to draw too much attention to the conversation.

Her eyes lit up, and she nodded, "that would be good."

She finished her wine, then stood from the chair.

"Where you two going?" Coop asked, "me and Freya here, are going to this cute little steak house, not far hungry?"

Bo grimaced, he was post match starving, but he was hungry for Natasha more. And he didn't want to let Coop down, as it was, he didn't have to, as she spoke before he could answer.

"That is a great offer, but I made Bo his fave meal, he's going to pick it up when he drops me home. Another time?"

He nodded, "cool. You two kids be good..."

Bo shook his head, "do not say it!"

Laughing Coop clapped him on the back, "but if you can't be good, be careful!"

"Fuck," Bo punched his arm, "what is it with hockey coaches and cliché shit like that? Not even my Dad gives me that shit."

Natasha was blushing as she laughed at them both, and he was grateful that she was taking the ribbing in good faith.

As Coop and Freya left them, Bo leaned in, "you've made my favourite meal?" When she gave a little shrug, he couldn't help but smile, "so you knew it was fish tacos?" They'd talked a lot, but not favourite foods, there hadn't been enough time. She was as desperate to get her hands on him as he was with her.

She nodded coyly, " I haven't made any food..."

"You wanted to be alone with me?" he leaned close, eyebrow lifted quizzically.

He loved the way she blushed, hating the way he had cornered her. Rolling her eyes she barged past him, "wish I'd never bothered."

There was no contempt in her voice, in fact he was sure she was trying not to laugh, and he rushed after her, but before they reached the stairs that led down to the exit of the building, he dragged her through a door, into a storage cupboard.

"Romantic!" she offered boldly, suddenly not as coy as she was.

Nodding, he only gave her a moment, before he silenced everything by sweeping his lips onto hers. Need overtook any witty comeback. Pressing her into a shelf filled with bottles of industrial cleaner, Bo was unperturbed, she was draped around him, and he around her, and he was lost in the passion and fury that existed when they kissed. Every. Single. Time

"Are we going to have sex in a broom cupboard?" Natasha was panting, struggling to fill her lungs with fresh air, but she finally managed to whisper against his cheek, his hands were under her clothes, one cupping a buttock, the other climbing up towards her bra on a mission.

He groaned, reality hitting him like a thunderbolt.

"That's what you do to me. Make me do things I would never normally."

He laid his forehead against hers, "shit."

She chuckled, a low sexy sound, "it's not the most comfortable location."

Kissing her briefly, he smiled, "hardly romantic, as you told me when I dragged you in here."

"And now your teammates will see me sneaking out...I look like a right tramp."

"I'll get us out unscathed, and you are not a tramp."

His kiss distracted for a moment, which is exactly what he wanted. Then he turned and opened the door a fraction, the hallway was deserted, so with a quick grin he pulled her out of the room, and they ran down the stairs together.

Delivered Chinese, ate wearing his t-shirt and shorts between them, at the small breakfast bar in his kitchen. They'd come straight to his house and devoured each other whilst waiting for the delivery, and now, as they sat eating and talking, Natasha felt her heart melt a little more, she was really starting to like this She'd already blushed and teased him when she realised at twenty seven he was four years her junior.

"Age is just a number," he'd kept reminding her as he drove her to distraction with his beautiful body and gifted hands.

He was talented in so many ways, driving her wild before, and then after food.

The next morning she woke in his arms, and groaned.

"What's wrong?" He asked kissing her head.

"Just realised that I'm about to appear on a Sunday morning in the trendiest part of town in last night's clothes. Walk of shame and all that."

He pushed her onto her back so that he could crawl over her, "shame?"

That made her roll her eyes, "it's saying."

He shrugged, "one minute I'm too young, then I'm causing you're lucky I am not a sensitive soul...but it may take some time to make it up to me."

Bo grinned as he watched her catch his drift, her eyes widened, "really?"

He nodded, placing his hands behind his head, as if to offer her his body for her apology.

She should deny him that, be angry at his brazenness, but she wanted him as much as he wanted her, and she wasn't about to deny her self at the same time, instead holding his gaze, she let her hands slide down his muscular body, to cover as much smooth skin as she could manage.

"I'll see what I can do."

Any cocky response died as he muttered, "shit, you are going to kill me."

Who needed more power than that?

A Sunday morning practice preceded his afternoon game, Natasha didn't go as she was meeting some friends for late lunch and a few drinks across town. She had a small network of friends, her past meant that she wasn't one who trusted easily. But the group she met once a month like this Sunday, were those she'd met at catering college, they all worked somewhere in the food and hospitality industry within the same region as her, and she loved hearing all their stories, the latest news, and of course gossip.

There were up to eight of them that met up, today it was just six, but the other three women and two men were as successful as her. Jane, one of her closest allies had just had a baby and had pulled out last minute as the little girl wasn't very well.

Other than that everyone was chipper, enjoying the Indian summer which seemed to be more reliable than the summer months. They sat out on a terrace, and drank crisp white wine whilst waiting for their lunch.

Natasha couldn't resist checking her phone every few minutes to see if the score had changed, the Hornets were winning by two goals, the internet didn't tell her who'd scored, but she could only imagine that Bo was involved in it all. If her friends noticed her distraction, they didn't comment, and eventually they all separated, arranging a meet in a few weeks time.

It was a bright sunny evening, and so back at her home, the two stories above the shop, she threw open some windows and turned on the radio. They were playing old classics, The Beatles following the Rolling Stones, and Fleetwood Mac, and she knew the word to almost all of the tunes and she busied herself around the kitchen not even paying attention to the cookies that appeared in front of her. She didn't even remember making them.

As she scooped them off the bake sheet and onto a cooling rack, she heard her phone bleep.

Hey, how was your day? We the party is in full swing here

He didn't ask her to come, but she could sense the question in his message. And she wanted to go, wanted to see him, but it was too soon. She knew they needed to hold back a little, she still barely knew him and yet they'd spent the last three of the last four nights together. And that seemed a little much, too much too soon.

I'm already in my pjs, or I'd have come and join you. Have a drink for me.

It was a lie, she wasn't dressed for bed, but it meant she could decline an offer he hadn't made, politely. A coward's way out, admittedly. But she still wasn't sure if she was reading more into this relationship than he was. It was her greatest fear.

PJs are OK, no one here would mind, and I definitely wouldn't

She laughed out loud at that, at least he was playing along, that was a good thing.

You have a thing for my pyjamas? I'm sure there's a medical term for that!

No reply made her wonder if she'd over done it, pushed a little too hard, that was the problem with a new relationship, the treading on eggshells, trial and error, baby steps. It was as cliched as it got.

And then her phone rang.

"I like you pyjamas on you, Natasha, but not as much as I LOVE seeing them on the bedroom floor!"

She gulped, firstly at the sound of his voice and the effect that had, then at the actual words he'd spoken, "wow."

She managed a quiet breath. Then heard him laugh softly, "sorry, but it's true."

"I saw you won, did you have a good game?"

"Let me just move outside..." she could barely hear him for the din, presumably of the bar,and was glad when he moved somewhere quieter. "So, Coop was happy. I got two and an assist. So I have to be happy, that and Nails scored, which is his first as a pro, so we definitely celebrated."

"That's good, I'm glad."

He murmured in agreement, "almost a perfect day."


"Well, I'm sat here, watching all the other players with their partners...that's why I text you."

She faux-gasped, "what?! Mr Holding is admitting to both missing me and enjoying his time here? Wow."

Groaning, he was quiet for a moment, "I like playing, I can switch off for five minutes."

"I've just finished baking cookies."

She swore she could hear his stomach rumble along the phone line. "Choc chip?"

"Is there any other?"

"A taxi will take ten minutes..."

She laughed, her body warming at the thought of him arriving, "they're still warm. Make it five?"

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