Part Twenty Six
A/N Hope you all had a great Christmas if it's your thing. I'm hoping to get another chapter out before then, but just in case can I wish you all a Happy New Year, thanks for all your support, reads and comments. MZxxx
Chapter Twenty Six
"I'm not wearing a suit for a dinner party with friends."
Bo leaned against the door frame wearing a pale grey shirt and black linen trousers, it was casual, but they were going to a friend's house, it was hardly a swanky restaurant. And it wasn't jeans.
Natasha had been in the hallway, applying lip gloss when he knocked the door, and her lingering gaze seemed to have given him the wrong idea. She was memorising every inch, enjoying him, he thought she was viewing him with scrutiny and distaste.
Turning to face him, she flicked the knee length skirt of her strappy dress, then smiled up at him, "I didn't say a word, in fact I was wondering if we had time to close the door and get carried away for a moment." She reached out and ran a hand down the front of his chest, "this shirt clings to all the right places."
That made him roll his eyes, then when he realised she was serious, and kicking shut the door, he came at her like a steam roller. Laughing she brushed him off, "we'll be late. Plus you have a taxi waiting downstairs, it'll be the most expensive shag of your life."
He huffed, "you haven't met NHL calibre girlfriends."
That made him smile, "you saying I'm too low maintenance."
"Nah, just that you're not high maintenance."
Taking his hand in hers, she dragged him back to the door, "come on, you're gaffer awaits."
"You mean my coach?"
Laughing she locked the door behind them. "when in Rome and all that."
Leading her to the taxi he leaned close and whispered, "I don't need to go to Rome to give you a few orgasms!"
Then it was her turn to blush.
The other couples were present when they arrived, but Freya reassured them that they weren't late. Bo had met Freya ad Lizzie several times, and obviously knew the three men, but he hadn't more than smiled in the direction of Michelle, Blake's wife.
Blake was a true captain, he judged situations and people amazingly, he always knew what to do, what to say, and he immediately saw that his wife was the exact match for him. She was heavily pregnant with what Blake proudly told them was their third child. Virile he'd called himself, until both Oscar and Coop reminded him that they too had three children each.
But Michelle, yep she was as far from the trophy wife that he associated with his friends back in the States, she wasn't a model, wasn't all lithe, buxom and blonde. No, like the other women present, she was natural, beautiful and really funny.
As they all chatted in the kitchen stood in a group, he couldn't help but think back to the last time he'd been out like this, couples. He and Daniele had dated for eighteen months, they did most things together, but he'd never stayed at her house for a whole night, and he'd never let her stay at his. He held her at arm's length, always. Maybe that was why she abandoned him?
He hated that he was back there, so vividly. But those weeks and months were only ever a heartbeat away. He'd just had the second operation on his knee, he was in agony, hating the fact that he'd lost everything, and he was hanging on to the possibility of getting back to play.
Then the doctor had come to see him, told him that they weren't sure he'd ever have full function in his knee again. He'd cried. Physically cried in front of the medical team. Hockey had been the catalyst to all that he was. All that he'd achieved. He'd survived high school, been liberated from his family, become independent, become famous, become successful, and become desirable, not to mention rich. All because he was a hockey player. And a good one.
When the doctor said that he was unlikely to play again, after he cried...he immediately got out of bed, got dressed, and discharged himself from the hospital. A taxi took him home, the driver gushing at having the Bo Holding in his cab. And he'd hobbled up to his penthouse apartment and collapsed inside. Knowing he wasn't the Bo Holding any more.
He could call his parents, but he rarely spoke to them, he'd rebelled against his comfy childhood, and he could hardly call up in tears now his dream was over. So he washed, taking care not to wet the dressing on his leg, changed into smarter shorts with flip-flops, then got a cab across town to Daniele's. They weren't as close as maybe he should be, but he needed someone who knew him, who wanted him. She was always desperate to see him, spend time with him.
She had a small condo across town, and the taxi took just ten minutes to get there. He had a key, though he never used it, so he knocked. And waited.
Daniele eventually answered the door wrapped in a robe, a nervous smile on her face. He had presumed that she wasn't expecting to see him, every time that he relived that moment, he spotted the awkwardness on her face, the way she jittered as he hobbled past her on crutches.
They'd talked, small talk, in her lounge, he couldn't bring himself to tell her all that had happened. Couldn't tell her that his career was over, because as he looked at her, he could tell in all honesty how little they shared, how little they trusted each other, how shallow things were.
And then he heard it, a cough.
Like a ridiculous radar, his ears pricked up and he glared at her. She was flushed, anxious. Now he could see that.
Reaching for his crutches he started to march towards the direction of the cough...her bedroom. She ran after him, trying to get past him, to stop him, but he used an elbow crutch to block her path.
"What is it, Daniele?"
She floundered as he pushed open the door. But she had the last laugh. Because sat on her bed, looking as guilty and as nervous as her, was Nathan Price. His best friend.
In that moment, he lost everything. His career, his best friend, his dignity and worst of all his confidence. That moment, that day, life as he knew it fell apart. And he'd never felt the same since.
He didn't include Daniele in that list, because he honestly didn't care, the only hurt was at the rest of it all. Maybe never had. But the betrayal of his best friend, from college to NHL and beyond...Nathan had been everything. And as Bo spiralled downwards, losing everything. Nathan got offered a new huge contract at another NHL club, and headed to greater things. Whilst abandoning Daniele, because he didn't care about her.
"You OK?" Natasha tapped him on the arm and he almost jumped.
Wrapping an arm around her, he smiled, "sorry. I was miles away."
Chuckling, she nodded, "I know that, Coop just called you a grinder...and as much as you are a bit of a heavy in this team, you'd normally squeal defensively if someone called you that."
He felt his nostrils flare, beyond his control, the girl knew him so well, he was far too skilled to be a grinder, a heavy...nothing against them, they were a valid part of the team, but not him. Turning, he glared at Coop, who burst out laughing.
"A grinder, by definition is the man with the most penalty minutes...that's almost you...yet I signed you as a cultured ex-NHLer. Thought you'd be a fairy, flitting around..."
Half of him wanted to snap, punch Coop, because he was never far from the line between truth and insult, the other half wanted to laugh, cos he was like a fairy compared to the rest of the team. Seven pairs of eyes were trained on him, and he knew they were all anticipating his reaction.
"Well, I hear that lightweight fairy was your job role before I arrived."
Blake whooped, clapping Coop on the back, "owned by your newest player, coach. You are the posiest skater before him."
He shrugged, "background of figure skating, works every time."
Bo laughed, "and we are the only first team NHL regulars in the squad, so that makes sense."
From almost animosity to bro code, the two hi-fived, and the whole room rolled their eyes.
Freya was a great cook, Natasha thought as they sat at the huge dining room and tucked into an amazing Beef Wellington. The conversation was light, humorous, and the eight of them had lots in common.
It was a long time since Natasha'd had so much fun, Bo was relaxed and happy, which was a bonus, and as they finished their main course, his hand had moved to her thigh. Then had remained there since, his little finger idly rubbing her inner thigh. She had no idea if he realised what he was doing, it seemed unconscious, but it was starting to drive her wild.
When she wriggled, trying to move closer, or away, she wasn't exactly sure, she spotted his eyes glance towards her, a smile fleeting over his lips, and knew that he was completely aware of exactly what he was doing to her. Before they'd finished dessert, she was a quivering mess, she couldn't concentrate on the conversations, her whole body was pulsating, and she was gulping wine like it was going out of fashion in an attempt to quench her dry throat. And still his fingers kept teasing, they were under the edge of her knickers now, and she rued wearing a skirt. Because he wasn't stopping, and she wasn't about to make a scene.
"Excuse me," she knew that Blake was deep into an enthralling story about something, but she'd lost the thread a few minutes ago. "I just need the bathroom."
Freya looked at her a little concerned, then gestured down the hallway, "take the upstairs one, top of the stairs on your right."
Giving her a grateful smile, she excused herself.
The bathroom was as perfect as the rest of the house, a huge walk in shower, a tub that would fit the whole family.
Her heart pounding, body shivering, she moved to the sink, bracing both arms on the edge of the vanity unit, staring at herself in the mirror, her eyes were glittering, her cheeks flushed, she looked a mess...and he hadn't even touched her.
Lowering her head, she splashed cold water on her face, and it was welcome relief, helping to cool her heat filled cheeks. But as she lifter her head once again, she met Bo's eyes in the mirror over her shoulder. He almost jumped as she hadn't heard him approach.
"You adding stealth stalker to your repertoire?"
He didn't respond to what she hoped was humour, instead he moved forward, pressing his hips into her backside, bracing her against the unit. Smouldering, that was the only way she could describe his gaze, then the contact was lost as he lowered his head to bite at her shoulder.
"Frey wanted me to check you were OK..." A second bite, "but I was coming anyway, cos you drive me fucking nuts."
Any resistance to him died as his hands slid up her thighs, lifting her dress and tearing at her knickers. Finding her ready, he reached in his pocket for a condom, and was inside her within seconds and when the moment came, he stifled her screams with his hand, over her mouth.
"I can't go back down there," she breathed, fluffing her hair. "They'll all know."
Bo smiled at her, "not because of how long we've been... that was super quick."
Natasha smiled back at him, "It made my legs go numb and gave me this 'just fucked' hair do. Time means nothing."
He beamed, he did that. He'd undone her and he loved it. "We can't leave yet. There's coffee..."
Using both hands he smoothed her hair so that it hung down her back, then swiped under her eyes with his thumbs. "Just tell them you felt a little dizzy, we'll be fine."
He led her to the door, then glanced over his shoulder, "they won't think that we just did that, I mean...me...less than five minutes? They'll just laugh."
She punched his shoulder, "Mr Legendary Lover!"
Grinning he held the door open for her, "they just look at me and know that I'm a legend. That's all."
Rolling her eyes she moved in front of him, "and so modest with it. I am so lucky to be graced with your company."
Suddenly the humour left his eyes and he pulled her into his arms, "it's me that's lucky. I have never done anything like this before, I physically couldn't take my eyes off you, or my hands...all night."
That little confession made her grin like a buffoon, and that's how they rejoined the dinner party, blushing, giggling and ignoring the knowing looks of the others' gathered.