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Slap Shot

By:Lily Harlem

Chapter One

“Is there an airport around here or is that my heart taking off?”

I looked up, and up some more, searching for the face of the culprit who’d dished out possibly the cheesiest pick-up line ever. Seriously. Airport. Heart taking off?

High above me, chestnut-colored eyes full of mirth topped with heavy black brows sparkled down. Despite myself I couldn’t help but smile back as his mouth stretched wide, revealing neat, white teeth and dimples that just didn’t belong on such a giant of a man.

“I’ve got more if you like that one,” he offered, shoving his hands into his pockets and shifting on the baked pathway that led to the church.

I raised my brows in a “and you seriously think I want to hear them?” kind of a way and clutched my clipboard to my chest.

“Yeah,” he said, his voice deep and rasping. “How about, are you a parking ticket babe, ’cause you got ‘fine’ written all over you?”

I groaned and glanced at the bride and groom who were still busy having their photographs taken. Despite the corny approach, the testosterone-overdosed guy looming at my side was hot, damn hot, hot enough to make a nun break her vow of celibacy. And I, for one, was no nun.

He tipped his head to mine, his mouth only a whisper from my ear. The scent of citrus, honey and amber filled my nose, an aftershave so tantalizing and unique I couldn’t help but suck in a little more deeply than was required. He spoke again and his warm breath tickled my neck. “I wish you were a door, then I could bang you all night long.”

“That’s truly terrible.” I shook my head and took a step away. “Don’t tell me it has ever actually got you anywhere.”

“Once or twice.” He grinned. “I’m Rick by the way.” His huge palm cupped my elbow, preventing me from moving any farther. “Remember that, darlin’, ’cause you’ll be screaming it later.”

I shifted my elbow from his grip. “I think we can safely say that is not going to happen.” My legs stayed firmly together these days. Gone was the old Dana who’d danced and played around, living life to the fullest, partying as though there was no tomorrow. The new Dana was work-focused, determined—a classy, independent woman.

“I’m sorry.” He shrugged and grinned. “My mouth gets carried away sometimes.”

“Is that another line?”

“No.” He laughed, rubbing his fingers over the patch of dark hair beneath his full bottom lip. “But it could be.” He held out his hand. “Rick Lewis.”

I placed my hand in his palm and colossal fingers wrapped around mine. “Nice to meet you, Rick.” I already knew who he was because it was my company, Best Laid Plans, that had been responsible for organizing Mae French and Charles “Wolf” Roberts’ wedding. For weeks I’d been scanning lists of the guests, checking and double-checking invitations and place settings, hotel rooms and personal favors. The sheer volume of famous names from both the world of the NHL and the music industry had required extra security measures. No one wanted the picture-hungry paparazzi or overzealous fans intruding on the big day. The local police had even insisted on checking over security arrangements, something they’d never done before.

“So now you’re at a distinct advantage,” he said, sliding Ray-Bans down from carefully tousled black hair and settling them over his eyes. “You know who I am but I have no idea who you are.”

“Dana Wilcox, and I’m sorry but you’ll have to excuse me, I have work to do.” I glanced at my clipboard.

“Work?”

“Yes, I’m the event organizer.”

“Ah, then you’ll be at the reception?”

“Of course.” And the sooner we got there the better. The Florida humidity was killer today.

“Good, that means you’ll dance with me later then, Miss Dana Wilcox, event organizer.”

“I very much doubt it.”

He smiled again with a mixture of cockiness and challenge. “Wanna bet?”

“If I was a gambling woman then yes, I would bet.” I spun on my heels and strutted away. Although my final words had been cool, I couldn’t ignore the heat of Rick “Ramrod” Lewis’ gaze on my butt. It was like a hot caress, licks of flame curling over my tight pencil skirt and down my calves to my towering, fire-engine-red heels.

As I stepped toward the photographer’s assistant, a shiver of appreciation for the sexy hockey player who’d asked me for a dance snaked up my spine. My walk turned a little more sensual, a little more provocative—my hips rolling just a fraction more than they needed to.

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