Aynslee was stunned as he hurried to the car and quickly disappeared inside. Then, still not able to catch her breath—or move, for that matter—she watched the driver get in and pull away from the curb. Unexpected tears rushed to her eyes as the car drove away.
He was gone.
“He just drove away?”
Aynslee nodded as she leaned against the counter in the teachers’ lounge of New Life Christian School. Her friend and colleague Sadie Wallace looked as confused and shocked as Aynslee had felt when she’d watched Jordan ride away. It still didn’t make sense! In her head, he’d asked for her number, they’d chatted for another second or so, and then she was flat on her back in that town car. It would have been a long and satisfying trip home. For both of them. Aynslee would have seen to that.
Looking up at Sadie, Aynslee shook her head. Sadie had been married for four years to her sweet nerdy husband, Phil, and was pregnant with their first child.
Stupefied, Aynslee said, “Yes, with nothing but a see-you-later! I swore, Sadie, that we had chemistry; I could feel it in my bones, and I really thought he was into me!”
Sadie nodded her head in agreement. “Well, of course he was—you’re hot as hell, Ayns—but it doesn’t make sense. Do you think he’s, like, a weirdo or something and that’s why? Or maybe he’s g*y!”
“That man was not g*y. I know a g*y man when I see one, and, let me tell you, this man had sex written all over him. Hot, lusty, yummy, female-on-male sex, and, God, did I want him.”
Sadie giggled a little as she rolled her eyes. “Okay, well, then, I have no clue,” she said, chewing on her lip.
“I really thought he could be the one. I felt the sparks when he looked at me, Sadie. I couldn’t believe when he walked away.”
Sadie smiled as she asked, “Are you sure it wasn’t just lust?”
Aynslee shook her head. “No, there was lust and want too—believe me, my dress wasn’t the only thing that was wet. But, seriously, it was more than that. At least I thought it was. And now I will probably never see him again,” she sighed.
Sadie reached out, taking Aynslee’s hand and squeezing it the way she did with her third-grade students.
“If it is meant to be, y’all will find each other,” Sadie said in a reassuring way, and then she asked, “Have you tried to Google him?”
“That’s creepy. I’d be like a stalker or something.”
Sadie laughed. “No, you won’t. You know his full name, right?”
Aynslee nodded. “Yeah, Jordan Ryan.”
“Interesting … I swear I know that name,” Sadie said, as she pulled out her phone and entered his name. Aynslee watched as she typed. When Sadie added Nashville, all of a sudden the word Assassins came up beside it. “I knew it!”
Aynslee looked up at her, confused. “What? Knew what? What is Assassins?”
Sadie touched Jordan’s name, and soon his picture, along with other information, was on her phone. Aynslee had no idea what any of it meant, but Jordan’s beautiful face was staring back at her. His hair was falling in his bright eyes, while his face was covered in the sexy dark scruff that made Aynslee’s knees weak.
Sheesh, he was hot.
“He is a hockey player! He’s the backup goalie for the Assassins.”
Aynslee was even more confused. The sweet, socially awkward guy she had shared a plane ride with was a hockey player? Weren’t hockey players ass**les who loved to fight and beat people up? She always thought most of them didn’t have any teeth. Didn’t they have females at their beck and call?
“Yup. He used to be Phil’s favorite player, but then Odder was brought up when Ryan was hurt, so now Phil’s an Odder fan. Ryan hasn’t been the same since the injury.”
“Injury? When was that?”
“Like, two years ago? Ryan has been filling in while Odder had some family stuff going on. I think his girlfriend was hurt or something—I don’t know, I’m not obsessed like Phil is. I only watch hockey for the hot guys. Have you seen Shea Adler or, hell, even Jakob Titov? Holy mother of hot hockey players!”
Aynslee said, “Not only do I have no clue what you are talking about, but I had no idea you loved hockey so much.”
Sadie laughed. “Oh, yes, hockey is a part of life.”
Aynslee shook her head. “I always thought hockey was a violent sport, for violent people.”
Sadie put her hand on her chest, obviously offended by Aynslee’s words.
“Hockey is violent but no more so than football, and, besides, the guys are amazing. The Assassins are very involved with our community. They came to the school last year and did things with the kids, and they hold events for disadvantaged children too. They are awesome guys—I mean, look at Aiden Brooks.”
“Yeah?” she said, knowing that Sadie was talking about one of Aynslee’s third-graders.
“His dad is a hockey player; he’s a forward for the Assassins.”
Aynslee was completely shocked. “Really? He is such a sweet guy. Nice to look at and he has all his teeth too.”
“Right! Told you! Jeez, Ayns, I am totally offended that you are so clueless about this.”
Aynslee laughed as she said, “My mom never let the girls watch many sports; she said it was too much for our sweet minds.”
“This is the very first time I do not agree with your mama. Hockey is amazing, and the men are hot to boot. I think I need to give you a hockeymacation.”