Page 19 of Protective Player

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“Well, you’re going to have to learn to deal with it.”

“You’re such an ass.”

“Yeah. I know.”

A few minutes later, I pull into the underground lot beneath the arena, and Devon turns to me with a smile on her face.

“I thought you didn’t want to talk shop.”

“I’m not talking shop.”

“Then what are we doing at your shop?”

“You’ll see.”

I stop at the gate and the attendant comes out of the booth. “Hey, Mr. Davis.”

“How’s it going, Armando?”

“Can’t complain. You’re good to go.”


“You got it. Have a good night.”

“Yeah, you too.”

He gives us a wave and steps back into the booth. A moment later, the gate goes up. I pull in and drive through the labyrinth beneath the stadium until I come to my spot. I park and shut off the engine then turn to Devon.

“Come on,” I say.

“What are we doing?”

“Having a nice evening. So, let’s go. Out of the car.”

She laughs and climbs out. I walk around and take her hand then lean over and plant a soft kiss on her forehead. Devon leans into me while I slip my arm around her waist and lead her into the arena. With no events at the arena tonight, there’s minimal staff. But we’re greeted with friendly smiles by those who are there.

“So, what are we doing? You going to show me your locker room or something?”

“Not exactly.”

I lead her down the long tunnel that leads to the ice, and sitting on a table just inside the gate are two pairs of skates. Devon beams at me.

“Are you kidding me?” she asks.

“Do you see me laughing?”

She laughs for me. “I’ve never ice skated before. I don’t know how to do it.”

“Well, it’s time for you to learn.”

Smiling at her, I sit Devon down in the chair before kneeling and pulling off her shoes. I set them on the table, put on a pair of ladies’ ice skates for her, and lace them up good and tight. Once I have her set up, I quickly put on my skates and help Devon to her feet. She’s a little unsteady and giggles at herself.

“Easy now,” I say. “Just take it good and slow.”

I open the gate and walk Devon to the ice. She’s stepping gingerly, a nervous look on her face but a smile on her lips. The house lights are off, leaving the stands in darkness, while the spotlights over the ice are on, making the smooth, clean surface of the ice glimmer.

“I don’t know if I can do this, Dawson.”

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