Page 40 of The Keeper


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“What about the band?” I ask as she sits back to sip her wine, her spiel finished, and I suspect finished talking about her “complicated” family relationships as well.

“What about it?” She lets out a bitter laugh and takes another drink of her wine.

“Well, you hated all the show business stuff, but you’re in a band. You don’t totally hate performing, then.”

“True. But I’m no actress. And I’m no performer or dancer. The band is for me. It’s on my terms, though my band mates certainly hate that I won’t use my parents’ clout to get us a record deal.”

“They don’t know you’re in a band, your family?”

She shakes her head. “Nope. It’s none of their business.”

“That still doesn’t explain why you need a fake boyfriend.”

“Oh, well, my mom has her heart set on me marrying a celebrity or studio executive. It makes me want to puke, just thinking about the terrible men she could hoist on me. I’d rather her think I’m involved than have to spend the evening being forced to chat with men I’m not interested in, you know what I mean? Plus, fake boyfriend or not, I like hanging with you. Your presence will make the whole night more bearable.”

Interesting.“Well, I’m happy to play fake boyfriend, and I’m really enjoying hanging with you, also.”

She grins and tips her wine glass to clink against my own. “What about you? You have family back in Montreal?”

I nod, biting the inside of my lip a little as I think about Montreal. Strangely, I haven’t thought about going back over the last few days. Funny the effect Billie Hirsch has on me.And perhaps I am finding my groove in Vegas.But I do still miss my family. “I’m an only child but I have lots of cousins and other family there. My grandparents were the ones who really supported my interest in hockey growing up, more so than my parents. So, I do understand how family can put pressure on. My parents are both academics. Professors in math and science at Bishop’s University in Sherbrooke where I grew up. It’s about an hours’ drive from Montreal, so everyone is a Habs fan from birth by default. I was good at math and science, so I was supposed to go to MIT and follow in their footsteps but here I am, playing a game for a living.”

“Oh, the horror! A professional athlete in the family—what will we tell the neighbors?” Billie teases. Her ability to make jokes as easy as breathing. They’re funny too.

I grin and she stares at my mouth as if she’s never seen me smile before. “What?”

“It’s just, you don’t smile that much. I’ve seen you do it several times tonight and I’ve decided it’s going to be my daily mission this weekend to make it happen again because you have the freaking cutest dimples I’ve ever seen when you smile.”

“Dimples?”

“Yes, sir. So cute. I want to kiss them.”

“I would allow it.”And so much more, beautiful Billie.

“Would you now?” She tilts her head at me and licks her bottom lip but then goes the extra step of biting down on it in a wicked sexy way that shoots a whole lotta heat straight south.

The waiter delivers our main entrees, breaking the chemistry that’s built up between us as I gulp down some more wine.

I need a minute to return to focus now that my cock iswide awakeat the thought of her tongue and her lips…and what she might do to my dimples.

16

sexual frustration is a crazy thing

Billie

Good lord, I am having fun with Calum Lefleur. He’s less awkward tonight, for the most part. I feel like he’s opening up a bit and I like it. A lot, which is probably not a good thing. We do still have to work together on the music lessons for the kids.

Still, the way he looks at me? I don’t think a man has ever looked at me that way and I can’t say I hate it. It’s dark and sexy and intense. And yet, he’s also smiling. Well, grinning, at least, which is an upgrade. He’s so sexy with those dimples.

We finish dinner and head to the show, arriving just as the opening band finishes, which bums me out but seems to please Cal. He says he hates sitting through “shitty no-names,” and then I explain that, technically, Love Scrum is also a “shitty no-name.”

“Always putting my foot in my mouth,” he answers as we stand in line for beer.

“Yeah, I’m learning that about you, Cal,” I say with a wink.

“I really like your band. And I’m not just saying that to make up for my stupid comment.”

“I know you do…but it’s only because you want to fuck the drummer.”

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