Passing Through (Love/Hate Part Three)

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Part Forty Six

 Chapter Forty Six

Bo couldn't believe the hug he got from Andreas, but then it was probably two years since he'd last seen him. He didn't look any different, the son of a bitch was a good looking man, all blonde Scandinavian features that had always been a hit with the ladies.

"This is Natasha," he introduced the two, and he was tempted to refer to her as his girlfriend, and that almost shocked him, he'd never wanted to do that in the past. It was torture to watch Andreas take her hand and pull it to his lips, all charm and suaveness. He felt outclassed for a moment, until he felt her other hand slide into his, squeezing his fingers. He knew that she could sense his anxiety, that much was obvious. They really were in tune with each other, and that made him like her even more.

"So, Natasha," Andreas had a rather unique accent, half American and half Swedish, which meant it sounded clipped, almost abrupt. "How did you meet this man?"

It seemed a little direct, and a little intrusive to Bo, but she gave him one of her huge engulfing smiles.

"He came for breakfast in my cafe, he made it so that I couldn't resist him."

He almost sprayed his drink across the room, it was a million miles from the truth, but it made Andreas open his eyes wide, then nudge him rather deliberately.

"Still got it, my friend." Then he leaned into Natasha, "he was always chased by women, never did the chasing, I think this is a great move."

She chuckled, "ha, very true, he had to work very hard in the beginning."

That made Andreas grin, then he turned and introduced the men he was with, half of the European team. Bo had met a couple and recognised a couple more.

They were all staying at the hotel, the North American team were in a different hotel, they'd just come from a training session and there was another one planned for the following morning. They'd all just emerged from the hotel dining room and a late carb fest to replace the energy they'd lost.

"So you're coming to the game on Saturday?"

Bo couldn't help but feel flattered that Andreas was so keen to spend time for him, there was the training, the game and then the party afterwards. He'd put him on the guest list for all of those.

As they players were about to leave, he pulled Andreas to one side, "is Nathan here?"

His friend nodded, "he is. He said you'd finally spoken to him." When Bo shrugged, Andreas added, "what he did to you was wrong. Bro code and team code broken. I'm just angry for you that he's playing and not you."

Bo smiled, "it's taken me a long time to let it go."

"A beautiful woman helps, Daniele was never that."

Bo nodded, "you're right. Will you come see me play, once your season is over?"

Andreas' eyes lit up, "I would love to. That, bro, that is a date."

A man hug happened, and then he watched the players leave the room, in a burst of energy that no one could miss. And he missed that. The presence, the furore, dominating rooms, the camaraderie. It was all as important as the time on the ice.

As he felt his bravado slip, that hand returned, squeezing his, and he looked down at the woman who meant everything to him.

"Thank you."

She looked at him quizzically, "for what?"

"For being there, for being you...for making things bearable." As he spoke he pulled her into his arms, and wrapped her arms around her, "and for making me feel like I've won the lottery."

His eyes sparkled at that, and her eyes, a pool of emotions, suddenly were filled with promise. He needed to get her

In the elevator, he groaned, and Natasha's body lit up. The whole evening had been a slow burn, they got closer, promising so much, and as the doors closed, he pushed her across the small cart, and up against the mirrored wall. Then he devoured her with the pent up passion and frustration of a night of innuendo and promises.

"There's probably a camera," she managed to murmur against his neck as he bit at hers, his hands sliding under her coat and shirt to her smooth skin, and she feared that they'd get carried away in the small enclosure. But he merely huffed at that, not even worrying about a reply.

She was glad of the ding alerting them that they'd arrived at their floor. He practically chased her along the corridor, and she got three steps into the room before he started to strip her, as they reached the bed, they were both naked and he was tasting every inch of her with an unrivalled enthusiasm.

Her body throbbed, as she chased the highs he pushed her towards, and despite a long and hard climax, nothing would make up for feeling him inside her, joining her at the height of pleasure, but he seemed intent of teasing her even more.

So she had to act, bowling him over with her legs, and when he landed on his back, she dived on top of his, gyrating wildly as he reached for a condom and slipped it on himself. Then she went to town, enjoying every moment of controlling him. Cockily he started with his hands behind her head, goading her, but with in moments his eyes were screwed tightly shut and he was panting out of control.

Revenge and power were a heady combination.

Much later, he held her, and she toyed with the hair that circled his nipple, every now and then running her nail over it, watching it became more and more taught.

"You know what you're doing, Miss Ingram?"

Before replying, she moved to lash her tongue over it and he moaned, long and low.

Grinning she propped up on an elbow, and stared down at him, "how are you feeling?"

She knew how hard the meeting with his friends had been, and whilst he seemed normal, nothing was that simple.

"Other than fucking shattered?"

That made her grin, and she swatted at his shoulder, "you know what I mean."

"It felt far easier than I imagined. I can't say there wasn't a part of me that wanted to walk off with them, but a far bigger chunk wanted to stay there, with you." He reached out and traced her jaw with his finger, "I almost introduced you as my girlfriend..." he sighed. "I wanted to introduce me as your girlfriend."

She blushed, they had avoided putting any label on what was happening between them, and she'd never really qualified as a girlfriend to anyone before, and it was scary, but also insanely sweet, and her body melted even more into him.

"Are you my boyfriend then?"

He cocked his head at her for a moment, then chuckled, "I haven't been a 'boy' for a long time."

That was very true, he was all man, that was for sure. "Man friend sounds rather clandestine, like you're my secret affair."

Grinning he pulled her closer, "I don't want anything to be secret, I want everyone to know that we're together."

She swallowed the emotion those words caused, because with the pleasure of his commitment to her came the anxiety of someone being that close, someone being so reliant on her. It scared her, but she was bigger than that. She had to be.

"I think I can go with girlfriend, though I rather lover."

Closing his eyes, he moaned, "fuck...just one word sends me crazy, I can't believe it."

She waggled her eyebrows, "what...the word lover?"

With that he threw her onto her back and devoured her all over again.

Natasha woke before Bo, and basked in the bliss of the moment. It was so special being there with him, being so open, so honest. She'd never had a relationship, Torrie was the closest she had got to developing a bond, to spending time with someone. And the disaster and fall out of that had put her off for life. But then somehow, somewhere, he'd got under her skin, he'd made her want him, need him, more than anything.

She'd been terrified of ever getting to this point, but the way that he spoke to her, treated her, worshipped her...she felt so cherished, so special, that she couldn't believe it was wrong.

He stirred beside her, and she turned to study him, he was lying on his front, his face turned to her, long eyelashes fanning his cheeks, the blemish free skin, full lips and the stubble that had developed over night, then there was his arm stretched over her, protectively.

Impulsively she leaned forward and pressed her lips against his, and before she could pull back, he had turned to his side and wrapped his arms around her. She was trapped, and she loved it.

"Not sure I'll ever get sick of waking up with you," he offered against her hair as they both fought to regain their breath. Everything between them was explosive, earth shattering, and neither of them had any control over it.

"Hmm," her eyes were closed, her heart racing and she struggled to form words, all she could do was nod her agreement.

"We've got a busy day planned, but I don't want to leave this bed."

She sighed, "we may never come to Helsinki again, we have to get up, look around. But we don't have to rush."

His chuckle at that, against her neck just seemed to refuel that desire all over again.

Sightseeing in a Scandinavian city was cold, and energy zapping. It was early November and the temperature was unusually cold. They'd expected it to drop to almost freezing at night, but at midday in the midst of the stark amount of sun that the city received, it was well below that. Sitting outside was a no-no, and they weren't able to use the open top bus that Bo's friend had recommended. So they walked a bit, then ducked into a shop or cafe...the occasional museum, and saw the city in patches.

Finland was famous for it's glass wear, and Bo could only marvel at Natasha's enthusiasm for buying things. When he voiced a concern, she laughed, "you are the man appreciating the cosiness of my home, it comes from buying beautiful and treasured items."

Rolling his eyes, he took yet another bag, another purchase and traipsed along like a pack horse.


They deposited their purchases back at the hotel, then headed in the direction of the arena. The open skate was for the public to view, but Andreas had gotten them VIP tickets which included a meal, drinks, and a meet and greet afterwards.

So they didn't need to organise dinner before the ice arena.

Their seats were high up in the eaves of the arena, but were in front of a box that had screens showing the latest sports channels, and tables filled with hot and cold food...oh, and a bar.

Bo got them both a beer, then led her out to the ice. There he sat with her, pointing out most of the players on the ice, which team they played for, and if he'd ever played against them.

It was an intense training session, both teams flinging themselves around the ice, drilling shots at the netminders, and weaving through cones and flags. They were all great skaters, graceful despite their size, but she wasn't sure that they were more graceful than Bo, because he seemed to glide on the ice, weightless, frictionless.

She felt his pain as they sat there, watching something he could have been part of...should have been part of. If it wasn't for one night, a night of celebrating that saw his career as he knew it end.

"You wish you were down there?" She asked, squeezing his hand.

He shrugged, eyes locked on the ice for a moment, then he turned to her, "I did, with all my heart. But things change, I've come here, I'm having fun, I'm living life...I'm alive."

That was the truth, in all honesty, he could have died, if his head had hit those steps he was pushed down and not his knee, he wouldn't be here. That was a sad thought.

"I'm glad that you are."

He lifted an eyebrow, "hmm, thinking of all the pleasure I've given you by any chance?"

She laughed at that, "cocky much?" When he grinned, gave her another shrug, she placed her second hand over their joined one. "Seriously though, I am so pleased, to see you like this."

"Accepting the shit thrown at me?"

She gave him her best indignant look, "so I'm shit now?"

He laughed again, "OK, OK. I get it. And it's you that's made me accepting, understanding. I've told you that before."

Wrapping an arm around her, he pulled her close, "lucky none of the guys are here to hear me talking like this, I'd never live it down!"

Craning her neck, she reached up to kiss his cheek. He was so honest, so open. She loved every minute of it.

"Shall we leave? Go back to the hotel?"

She knew what he was asking, and she shook her head, whilst a few more hours spent wrapped around Bo was more than appealing, she knew how healing this whole weekend was for him. "We're here to see your friends, I promise we'll have lots of time for us later. I'm not going anywhere."

Beaming down at her, he replied, "that's all I need to hear."

The two hour session passed quickly, there was enough happening that they weren't bored. But all too soon, there was a commotion behind them, and Natasha looked back to see half a dozen huge players arrive, Andreas in the middle of them, laughing and shaking hands, all the while his eyes searching the room, only stopping when they landed on Bo and Natasha.

His face lit up and he marched across the room, pulling Natasha into a hug, "so glad you made it, I presume since we've already met that I can hug you."

She laughed he was a charmer, and she couldn't be angry with him. Turning to Bo he grunted, "you're OK, too!"

There wasn't a hint of jealousy as Bo clapped him on the shoulder laughing, "don't know why we bothered."

Then they hugged, like the old friends they were.

"I hear the food here is good?" He half asked, turning to the tables behind them.

"Not sure there's enough for you hungry athletes."

He laughed at Natasha, "there's a tab back at the hotel, so we can fill up there if not."

He came back to them later, and after introducing them to more of his team, he leaned in to Bo and whispered, "Nathan was asking if he can come up here. He's been nagging at me since we arrived here."

Natasha watched Bo, a range of emotions sweeping over his face. It was a long time before he answered, "I don't care, Andreas, I really don't."

His friend nodded, "can't say I blame you...but think about it. Chance to have your say..."

"I'll think about it."

None of the players were partaking in alcohol, but the place got rowdy rather quickly, as with the hotel, they were with the European team, and none of the North American one, as they were enemies until the game ended the following afternoon. Then one hell of a party was arranged.

As much as it was fun, both Natasha and Bo were desperate to get home.

After saying their goodbyes and fending off the pleas from some of the guys to stay a bit longer, they escaped out of the room, and as she giggling, Bo pulled her into a dark corner and kissed her as though he was dying, and she responded. All evening the tension had been mounting and they were both desperate to get back to the hotel, and more alone time.

"Come on, let's get back." He finally offered, lifting his lips from hers. When she nodded, he smiled, dropping his lips for a final chaste kiss.

As they reached the elevator that would take them to the exit and a waiting taxi, the doors opened, and Natasha sensed Bo's unease, and before she could look up at him, three men came our of the lift car, and the middle one, the tallest froze.

"Shit, Holding! I have been looking everywhere for you."

She didn't need an introduction, she knew that this mountain of a man was Bo's former best friend. Nathan.

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