Home > Irresponsible Puckboy (Puckboys #2)

Irresponsible Puckboy (Puckboys #2)
Author: Eden Finley

 

Disclaimers

 

 

This series is about the PR Nightmares of the NHL. These characters are flawed on purpose. We’re talking about the himboest himbos to ever himbo. Warning: there are no brain cells here.

The use of the NHL and any of its teams is a work of fiction. It in no way reflects the policies or opinions of the actual organization. We are aware that Las Vegas has never won a Stanley Cup yet, but their fictional win a few years ago was needed for the story.

Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the authors’ imaginations or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

 

 

One

 

 

DEX

 

 

I’m an eternally happy person.

It’s my thing.

Everyone has a thing. My best friend, Tripp, he’s the sweet one off the ice but has a razor edge when he’s being the best goaltender in the NHL.

I’m the one with bricks for brains who’s always smiling.

Well, I’m not smiling today.

Losing the Stanley Cup to Boston last night stung like a bitch, especially when it was followed up by yet another fight with my girlfriend, but then instead of drowning my sorrows with my best friend, he ditched me for half the night. I spent most of it drinking with the team before they headed home and I holed up in an all-night diner and ate my weight in pie.

My gut is hating me for it, but not as much as my head is hating me for all that whiskey I consumed.

All I want is to go to bed and sleep it off, but she will be there. She’s always there. I don’t even remember when she moved in. Tripp came over one day and asked if Jessica lived with me. When I said no, he pointed out she’d redecorated and all her stuff was there. I’d never lived with someone before, but it didn’t take long for me to realize the worst part of sharing your space with someone. When you fight, you can’t get away. Hence the all-nighter of whiskey and pie.

Hmm. Sounds like a country song.

She called me irresponsible. Again. I want to be offended, but then the waitress asks if I want another slice of pie, and my stomach lets me know it regrets all of my life choices up to this point.

The thing is, I can be responsible. Sometimes. When it’s important. I just don’t see why people choose maturity when the alternative is having fun. She resents my away games, my celebrating and commiserating with the team, and my friendship with Tripp.

Jessica wants to be my whole world, and yeah, I want a relationship, a person I can spend my life with, but that can’t be all I have. I need hockey, my mom, my baby sister I adore, and then there’s Tripp. Tripp’s my bro, and he owns a good chunk of me.

Other women have tried to come between us, and it’s never worked. Without him around, everything is … claustrophobic. Suffocating.

She doesn’t understand.

Jessica mentioned a ring. Again. When I told her I wasn’t ready for that, she got pissed, and then when I said I was going to go out with the team, that was unreasonable. She said she was leaving and to call her when I grow up, but she’s threatened to leave countless times, and I don’t know what to do anymore.

Would she be more forgiving of me staying out all night if we got married? I doubt it. If anything, my teammates’ marriages have shown getting hitched weighs you down even more. I don’t want to stand at the other end of an aisle and promise forever when everyone knows forever doesn’t mean shit these days. Not for normal people, let alone NHL players.

Marriage isn’t something I want, and as much as I want to blame hockey for that, I was anti-marriage even before making it into the NHL.

After my parents’ divorce, Dad took off, and Phoebe and I didn’t have much to do with him anymore. Mom was distraught, and we had to pick up the pieces. But then she became a serial bride, and every breakup was worse than the last. Lawyers, alimony, fighting …

Phoebe and I love our mother, but she’s a disaster when it comes to love. Growing up and seeing what divorce does, both my sister and I vowed we’d never put ourselves through that.

I don’t understand why it’s so important to Jessica. Bragging rights? My money?

We already live together, so how would a piece of paper change anything?

Maybe I should do it and get it over with. It’s important to her, but it’s not to me. But then the thought of being married sends a shiver through me. How could I commit when I’m not even sure I could say “I do” without running from the church or setting myself on fire to get out of it?

I need advice, and there’s only one person I trust to have my best interests at heart. I’m sure he won’t mind me interrupting his hookup now. I’ve given them all damn night.

I leave the diner and take a car to Tripp’s penthouse apartment just off the Strip.

He’ll still be in bed since it’s officially off-season, and it’s where I’d be if not for the shitshow of a night, so I let myself in with my key.

Tripp’s apartment overlooks the Wynn golf course, where we’ll be spending a lot of time together this summer, and the whole living area is flooded with morning sunlight. His bedroom door is closed, so before I go barging through it, I knock loudly and shout, “Cover up, I’m coming in.”

I give them a minute, then push inside.

Apparently, I wasn’t loud enough, because Tripp is still fast asleep, and his hookup is staring at the door through weary eyes.

“Move over,” I tell him before crawling along the middle of the bed and flopping down between them.

Tripp barely stirs, so I lean right into his face, then shout his name.

His hazel eyes fly wide as he shoots upright. “What the fuck, Dex?”

I crack up laughing even as Tripp stares at me in shock. Then his gaze slides across to the other guy.

“Fucking hell.” He turns to face-plant into his pillow. All I can see is the top of his messy red hair.

“Ah, should I go?” the guy asks.

“Actually, maybe you could help.” It doesn’t look like Tripp is planning to resurface anytime soon, so I settle back into the pillows and tuck my hands behind my head. “I think my girlfriend broke up with me.”

The guy’s gaze flicks over my head toward Tripp, looking like he isn’t sure what to do.

“It’s fine,” I tell him. “Dex Mitchale, Tripp’s bestie. This is nothing I haven’t seen before.”

“Okay …” He adjusts the sheets around his waist and gets comfortable again. “Austin.”

“You were our server last night, right?”

“Yup. So, this girlfriend. Why do you only think she broke up with you? Isn’t that kind of thing obvious?”

“She said to call her when I grow up or whatever. So does that mean it’s over for now? Or we’re still together and she wants me to fix my shit before she comes back?”

He cringes. “That sounds like a breakup.”

“Damn.” I rub my hand over my face, thinking. “She said I was irresponsible, so if I fixed that, do you think she’d come back?”

“Why are you irresponsible?”

“How am I supposed to know?”

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