As the captain of the Chicago Aces, Marc Dupuis is all business. The apartment he shares with his teammate and best friend, Duncan, is a refuge from the pressures of fame. But when the sexiest woman he’s ever seen interrupts his early morning coffee wearing only a skimpy cami and matching panties, Marc can’t exactly say he minds. Their chemistry is off the charts. Unfortunately, this girl’s no random puck bunny. She’s Duncan’s little sister—and she’s moving in.
Lovey Armstrong could stare at Marc’s chiseled abs and listen to his French-Canadian accent all day. She just has no idea what’s going on inside his head: When he’s not charming her pants off, Marc makes a Zamboni machine seem warm and cuddly. Lovey knows the team’s bro code says no messing with sisters, but all these mixed messages are hard on a girl’s self-esteem—especially since she’s finally getting her new life together in Chicago. She decides he’s worth another shot . . . because if anyone can melt the ice around Marc’s heart, it’s Lovey.
Marc chuckled all the way to the Land Rover dealership, annoying the hell out of his teammate and roommate.
“What the fuck is so amusing?” Army snarled.
“If she wasn’t your sister, I’d call you pussy-whipped.”
Marc laughed outright. “Just never seen you so outclassed, dude.”
“What am I supposed to do?” Army demanded. “Turn her out onto the streets of Chicago?”
“Of course not. And she knew that.”
“She didn’t even tell me she was coming.” Duncan rubbed his forehead. “Christ. She quit her job. Just when she seemed to be settling down. Last I heard, she had a pretty serious boyfriend too. Guess that’s over.”
A boyfriend? Not fucking likely, the way she’d been looking at him. Marc shot Army a sideways glance as he drove. “She does this often?”
“Eh. She quits. She gets fired. She flits from one job to another like a fucking hummingbird. One boyfriend to another. This guy she was seeing actually lasted more than a few dates. Now all of a sudden she wants to move to Chicago. Jesus.”
“She’s not that young. She’s twenty-four. Only three years younger than us. She needs to settle down.”
Marc nodded. “Yeah, but think, man, we were on our own when we were teenagers, basically. We were playing and living in an adult world before we could even drink legally. Pro hockey makes you grow up fast.”
Army sighed. “Yeah. True. Heh. Especially you, Captain Codger.”
Marc rolled his eyes at the nickname. It didn’t bug him as much as it had at first. He knew the guys liked to jerk him around, but they did it with respect. And he’d earned the reputation of being serious and responsible, on the ice and off. That was him, and it was important to him to take his career and his responsibilities seriously.
Army shook his head. “I’ll let her stay for a while, but seriously, she’ll have to find her own place. Don’t worry.”
Marc shrugged. “I wasn’t worried.”
That wasn’t entirely true. Army’s little sister was smokin’ hot. At first Marc had thought his roommate had a hot chick visiting him and he’d been all Whoa, way to go, dude, but when he’d learned she was Army’s sister, he’d backpedaled fast. He couldn’t get out of there before she’d jumped up and rushed at him with a fucking dazzling smile, so goddamn gorgeous he couldn’t get his feet to move and could barely string two words together. Her smile was luminous, all white teeth and dimples and glowing face. Long, wavy red-gold hair gleamed in the sunlight and, fuck him, even though she’d been wearing clothes that covered her from chin to toes, her body was stellar—a soft blue sweater outlined high, firm tits and a small waist that curved into round hips. He couldn’t see her legs, but they were long, her snug black pants revealing slender thighs.
She was Army’s sister and therefore waaaay the fuck off-limits.
And that was why he was maybe a little worried about her living with them. Just a smidgen worried. But hey. He was Captain Codger. He had no issues with self-control, self-discipline, or being responsible. He could easily ignore a hot babe living in the apartment with them. No problem. No problem at all.
Army’s phone pinged and he peered at the screen. “Great. An email from my mom warning me Lovey’s on her way. Thanks, Mom.” He shook his head as he tapped a reply. “She wants me to make sure Lovey’s okay in the big city. Jesus.”
Yeah, Lovey seemed like she was going to be okay.
They arrived at the dealership and while Army signed the paperwork, Marc wandered around looking at the vehicles, trying to ignore the attention from the staff, male and female. The receptionist approached him for an autograph.
“You’re my favorite player.” She let out a breathy laugh. “I watch all the games.”
“Yeah?” He obliged by scrawling his messy signature across the Land Rover pamphlet she held out, adding his jersey number beneath it. “You watch that last game against Philly?”
“Of course! You guys played great.”
He stuck his tongue into one cheek and nodded. “Thanks.” They’d sucked. They’d lost three-one, probably their worst game so far, another game added to their losing streak.
“D’you speak French?” Her eyes widened.
“That is soooo sexy.” She stared at him.
Câlisse. He resisted the urge to sigh and smiled instead. “Merci.”
He wanted to frown. He barely had an accent. He’d been raised by a Francophone mother and Anglophone father, and although his education had been all in French growing up in Quebec, he spoke both languages fluently. Maybe there was a bit of an accent. Whatever.
“Hey, Armdog,” he called to his friend. “I’m gonna head out. Meet you at the Sin Bin?”