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April had come into Carlisle on a gentle little gust of spring air. If a person hadn’t been paying attention to the subtle change in the weather, they would have missed it. Seemed some changes were like that, easing into your life unnoticed. Others? Well, other changes were huge, and rode into and over your existence like stampeding bison, demolishing everything in their path. I rolled to my side, and there was Sam, sound asleep on his belly, his arm tossed over his head, his back rising and falling steadily. The window over our bed was cracked and the fresh smell of a new season and a new life blew in. My skin prickled as the wind moved over all that exposed flesh. When we’d dropped off last night, we’d been overheated. Now I was chilled and so I wiggled closer to Sam, draping my arm over his lower back. He never moved, just sighed in his sleep which made me feel good. Even in his sleep I eased him. I liked knowing that.
My gaze moved over the bedroom, touching on the oils stacked in the corners, two on easels drying, and felt a glow of contentment in my belly. He’d gone back to landscapes only recently. We’d taken rides out to the farmlands when I was home, and he’d gotten some lovely stuff down, but something was missing. My sight darted from the last painting, a snowy field muddied by dairy cows, to the luggage piled up by the door. I was taking him home, to Finland, and we were renting a cabin by a river. Not the same one we had stayed in back when we had been secretive. Neither of us had wanted that. We’d both wanted a different cabin in the woods, one that was part of the new Elo and Sam. The couple who were out, free of all the chains and lies and deceit.
“You’re cold,” Sam murmured into his pillow.
“Mm, someone opened the window last night.” I nuzzled the back of his neck after wiggling closer.
“You made me hot,” he groggily replied.
“You’re always hot.” I nipped at his shoulder, the tingle of knowing a summer of love and peace ahead of us.
“Sweet talker,” he chuckled, rolling to his side so that his ass was pressed to my half-hard dick. If I’d not have loved him so well last night, I might have thought about sliding into him again this morning, but I was sated and happy to lay here, him close to me, and watch the sun rise on Pennsylvania. He fell silent. I knew where he had gone.
“Sam don’t go there. Your father is going to get a fair trial.” He inhaled deeply but remained quiet. I rubbed my thumb over his hip bone. “He’s lucky that the league didn’t go after him with all their legal guns blazing.”
“Him using my mother’s illness and the medical bills that ensued was such a fucking sympathy grab.” He was growing stiff and restless, his legs moving and twitching. “Like hell he needed money to pay off the debts. Clever fucking lawyers.”
“Hey, come on, let’s not do that today, okay?” I laid my cheek on his shoulder. He drew in a breath and then let one out. “We have a whole summer ahead of us.”
“I’m sorry all that shit with Dad impacted the team so badly,” he whispered as if our lack of reaching the playoffs was on him somehow. It wasn’t. It was on us. Sure, the upheaval had been distressing and the selling of the team to some new owner from Canada had shaken things up. But that was on us, the players. We’d let it into our heads and so we’d slipped out of contention.
“Were you on the ice?”
“Well, no but…”
“No buts. We didn’t play well enough.” I grabbed his hip bone and pulled him to me, moving to allow room for him to roll over. His gaze was haunted now. That couldn’t stand. “So, hey, we come back in the fall and we do better next season. So tell me, what’s the first thing we do when we get to Finland?”
I brushed some fine hairs from his brow, watching the worry lines smooth out as his thoughts left his father and drifted to painting by a river.
“Visit your mother,” he said, a soft humor now tinting his words. “She already threatened us with bad hair cuts if we didn’t see her first thing.”
“Ah, God, she’s so good at bad haircuts!” I chuckled, recalling some of the ones that I’d had when I was a schoolboy. “She used to have this bowl that she’d put on my head…”
He reached for me, his hand curling around my neck, and pulled my mouth to his, cutting off the haircut bowl story. I went to my back, taking him with me, as he licked deeply into my mouth, his toasty skin resting on mine, warming me nicely. He rested lightly on me, his knees and elbows keeping his weight from dropping onto my chest. Not that I couldn’t handle the sleight weight of him.
“I love you,” he said on a shaky exhale, his lips brushing mine as a songbird trilled on the windowsill.
“Mm, that so? Wasn’t it you just last night who said I was a big dunderhead who didn’t know how or what to pack?” I cupped his cheeks, drinking in his beautiful face. The glow of his eyes, the pinkness of his lips, the new whiskers that were abrading my palms, the way his nose sat on his face, and the twist of his mouth as a smile tried to break free.
“I meant that in the most loving way possible.” He snuggled into me, pressing little kisses along my jaw, moving his hips just so to tease me into something that a moment ago I’d said I hadn’t wanted or needed. The man did things to me. Wonderful wicked things. Amazing things.
“Which is why you packed all your clothes by yourself.” I slapped his tight ass playfully.
“Well rolling things into a ball and lobbing them into your suitcase is not proper packing procedure. Even Mike said so,” he stated, his nibbles beginning to be less impish and more sensual. As was the way he was rolling his hips.
“And Taz backed my method.” I massaged the hard cheek I’d just swatted, my dick rousing quickly with Sam riding me so provocatively.
“You hockey players always stick together,” he mock whined, his mouth moving down my throat, to that spot where shoulder meets neck. He’d start sucking there soon, gyrating against me, luring me into taking him one more time before we had to leave for the airport.
“And you are stuck with me, always.”
“Always, Elo, always. You, me, and our cabin beside the river.”
“Will you marry me by that cabin beside the river?”
He stopped nibbling. His head jerked up and he stared into my soul, his lips rosy red from rubbing them over my whiskers.
“We never talked about that,” he whispered.
“We are now,” I replied, taking both ass cheeks in my hands to plaster him to me. Just in case he thought he might wiggle free to pace or paint or do something Sammish.
“Love each other. Marry me in that cabin beside the river. Just a small ceremony. Us, my mother, the guys from the team…”
“A whole hockey team isn’t a small ceremony, Elo. That’s going to require lots of planning. Are there hotels near the cabin?”
“I’m sure there are hotels nearby that can accommodate a few hockey players and their dates.” We’d chosen our rental because it was far enough from the masses to be remote but close enough to a small resort town so we could drop in biweekly for supplies. “Is that a yes?”
“Isn’t invited,” I quickly said, patting his backside with both hands which made him snort in amusement.
“I may have to fly back to testify, Elo. We don’t know the date and—”
“And we’re not living our lives to his schedule or whims anymore. Marry me. We’ll live here in the winter and go back to Finland every summer. Say yes, you know you want to, I can see it in your beautiful eyes.”
He nodded then pushed out a shaky ‘Yes’ that made us both laugh aloud. Which led to some kissing which led to more loving which led to us nearly missing our flight. We didn’t miss it though, we made it. Sam and Elo. We’d broken free.
Due to our crazy schedules over the holidays, we’re going to take the month of December off. Not to worry though, we’ll be back in 2019 with more from the Rush. Keep your eyes and ears open for news about when things will pick up again. Thank you all so much for supporting the Rush, the Eagles, the Railers, and the two giddy women who so love writing them.
Hugs and happy holidays!
RJ and Vix
*a new episode appears each Sunday, check the master list for updates.