Sample: Two Minute Penalties

They lost.

I shook my head in disbelief one more time. I was still sitting on the locker room bench, mentally replaying the game, when Sandy came out of the shower.

“What’s wrong Liz?” she asked. “We played pretty well despite the loss.” She was surprisingly upbeat for the losing goalie. Of course she had stopped 38 shots. Too bad there had been 40.
“You played well! Your offense sucked. Only 14 shots? C’mon!”

Sandy smiled at my reply. “Maybe I should get out of the goal and show them how to skate,” she mused as she started getting dressed and packing her gear.

She probably could too. Sandy had always been a jock—it probably came from following her dad, a local sportscaster, around on his job for so long. We’d met playing little league soccer. She’d found her passion—ice hockey—a few years later. Now she was the top goalie in our league and the only woman goalie. She played well enough that most people forgot she was female.

Including the janitorial staff unfortunately. After the games, she always had the women’s locker room to herself. At the beginning of the season, a male janitor had ‘forgotten’ she was in the building and came in while she was in the shower. He hadn’t been too hasty in beating a retreat when she started yelling at him and so she’d asked me to start coming to the games and standing guard while she cleaned up afterwards.
I hadn’t minded. The games were a lot of fun to watch. I sat with a bunch of the other players’ friends and we got boisterous, cheered loudly, and generally had a good time.

That’s where I met Steve. His roommate was a winger on the second line and he was a diehard hockey fan. For the Red Wings. A phrase that here in Colorado was followed by the word “Suck!” Hell, any given parking lot had at least one “Red Wings Suck!” bumper sticker on a car somewhere in it. How he survived sports bars during the playoffs was a testimony to the general good nature of Colorado Avalanche fans.

Unfortunately, he was also damn cute. He had a devilish carefree charm that seemed cocky at first blush, but on second blush had something deeper behind it. Somehow he seemed to notice everything around him and know exactly the level of playfulness he could get away with.

He’d noticed me first, no doubt. I’d noticed him when my beer had suddenly been refreshed during a post-game party that Sandy had taken me too. I knew it had been close to empty and reached for it to take a final swig, and then nearly spilled the surprisingly full glass. When I looked up, his deep blue eyes were laughing, though his lips betrayed only the smallest of smiles. We started talking and I found out about his hockey obsession and the fact that he rooted for the wrong team. I teased him and tried to flirt, but he seemed oblivious. Eventually we drifted other directions in the party and talked to other people. Thereafter, we’d see each other at Sandy’s games and kid each other a little about our favorite pro teams. Eventually we started sitting next to each other but somehow the conversation never got much beyond the game at hand or the latest NHL news. By the end of the season, I still didn’t know much about him other than he was definitely single and worked long hours as an engineer.

The trouble started in the playoffs. Sandy’s team had made it, which thrilled everyone. At the pro level, so did the Avs and the Red Wings. For a while it looked like they might meet in the semi-finals.

He teased me about that. “You ready for your Avs to get beat by my Red Wings again?”

“No way. The Avs would pull it together to beat the Wings. They looked good against Dallas and the Wings never should have lost to Nashville.”

“Want to bet?” he asked.

“Sure! When the Avs beat the Wings, you buy me dinner!” I figured that was a no lose bet. I’d be able to find out if he was interested in me as more than a buddy or not.

“Hmmm. Okay. I’ll take you out to dinner. But when the Wings beat the Avs, you owe me an hour after dinner. Anything I want.”

There was a confidence and a power in the way he looked at me while he said that, which made me have no doubt that he had some definite ideas of what he wanted. That sent a shiver down my spine. My knees held up though.

“Within reason,” I said.

He smiled and nodded his head. “Agreed.”

Cover for the book Friends and Benefits

 Want more of Two Minute Penalties?

Would you bet your body on a hockey game?

Liz will! Her Av’s are bound to cream hunky Steve’s Redwings!

But the stakes? Two minutes of anything he wants? Well… perhaps she shouldn’t have agreed to that, particularly as she learns about his past…

A lighthearted romantic novella. If you like hockey and sex, you’ll enjoy Two Minute Penalties.