What follows is a major spoiler if you haven’t read the end of Full Mountie yet.
So go and read that first.
Okay? Got it?
Because SPOILERS FOLLOW when you click read more.
At the end of Full Mountie, Tate has a chapter. (We do this in each book; Max had a chapter at the end of Prime Minister, Lachlan had a chapter at the end of Dr. Bad Boy).
In the upcoming Mr. Hat Trick, we’ll see that scene again, but from Sasha’s point of view. Want a sneak peek at the start of that?
(unedited, may change)
Six weeks earlier
From the moment I walked into the coffee shop and saw Tate taking a selfie with two teenage girls—gross—I was totally ready to lay a strip into him. Who the hell does he think he is?
And then he has to say the one thing that could knock me off my plan to dress him down.
“I was traded an hour ago to the Vancouver Lumberjacks.”
This is not a conversation for outside a coffee shop.
I grab his hand—ignoring how good it feels, because gross—and drag him around the corner to my apartment building.
He blessedly stays quiet until we settle in my apartment. He’s not normally a private person, but I guess making a scene on a day like today might not be great for his image.
And while I want to be a good friend to him right now, I’m so not down for being linked to his over the top public persona.
My kindness has limits, and they’re bound by the gossip blogs on one-side and sports talk radio on the other.
I curl up in my favourite chair and Tate takes the couch.
When he doesn’t say anything, I decide to storm ahead. That’s kind of my thing in general. “The Lumberjacks?” Wait… We were literally just with the owner of the Lumberjacks at Ellie’s wedding in June. I know business is a whole separate thing, but that feels kind of weird. “That’s Jack Benton’s team. Did you know this was coming at the wedding?”
He shakes his head. “No clue. And he’s in the processing of selling the team. This decision was made quite recently, too. It’s a long, complicated, stupid story.”
“When do you go?”
“Soon. I need to find a place to stay, because I won’t like whatever hotel the team has arranged. I have a month before training starts, but I want to find a house.”
“Do you need help with that? Maybe you could stay at Gavin’s place.” I snap my fingers together. “No, you’ll want to be closer to the arena, right?”
“Of course, you won’t want to buy right away, so maybe we can find you a sublet.”
“Hey, Hot Stuff, settle down for a second. I don’t need you to play real estate agent for me, but I appreciate the offer of help.”
My mouth drops open. Hot Stuff? And he’s clearly not coping well with this, of course he needs my help.
“What I really needed was someone to hear it from me first. To say it out loud. I’m being traded. Now that I’ve done that, I can move forward. It’ll be fine.”
Oh, maybe he doesn’t need my help. Damn it. I’m good at being helpful. I’m less good with sticky emotions. “Right.”
After a long stretch of silence, he gives me a sideways glance. “Sorry for calling you Hot Stuff.”
“It’s better than calling me a bitch.” Which he almost did when I snapped at him about hanging on the teenagers.
“I stopped myself.”
“It was in your head, though.”
“Not really. No, seriously, I don’t think you’re…Jesus, Sasha, I promise you I don’t think you’re a bitch, not in a bad way. I think you’re made of steel and you fucking turn me on like crazy when you pop your claws out.”
Wait. What? My eyes bug out of my head. I turn Tate on? Tate, who goes to sex clubs and lounges like a king. Tate, who probably picks up puck bunnies by the half-dozen for adorable bunny orgies. He thinks I’m made of steel?
I turn him on?
“Ignore me. I tend to just say shit like that.” And that’s a lie. He’s totally lying, I can see it on his face. And in that moment, a few things slam together.
The memory of sitting next to Tate on a couch in Max’s basement for the kinky holiday play party. What that felt like, the sexuality that radiated off of him.
My general dislike of everything that he is, but my personal, grudging like for who he is. I’ve never had a hate fuck, because principles and all that, but…Tate could be that guy. Check off that fantasy.
Add in the fact that he’s living the city, and I hear myself off him a single night before I can stop the words from sliding out. “One night.”
He does a double take, because really, who saw that coming? Not me. But his double take comes with a side of guarded interest. “Pardon?”
Oh yeah, hockey boy. I glance out the window and school my features. Can’t be too excited about this. I’m a bitch, after all. And a whole night is excessive. “One afternoon.”
“I don’t follow.”
If he’s going to play hard to get, I’m out. “Never mind.”
He grins. Right, he likes the claws. And he’s not playing hard to get any longer. “You’re talking about sex? I’m in.”
I hold up my finger. “I want it officially noted that I still don’t like you.”
“And you’re okay with that?”
“Hot Stuff, I’m more than okay with that. If you want to tell me that you hate me while I’m balls deep inside you, you’ll feel just how much I don’t mind that kind of smack talk.”
“This is a terrible idea,” I whisper.
He stands up and peels off his t-shirt.
Okay, no, it’s a crazy good idea. I point toward my bedroom.