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I wasn’t sure how to start to explain what I’d found out about the player they called Goog. I’ve disseminated analytics to team managers and coaches to some of the best funded NHL teams in the league and not everyone understood the significance of what I said. Taz looked so damn serious and I tried to break the tension.
“Did you know that every time I tried to type in Goog’s name on the report it tried to autocorrect to Google.” There. I’d started with a joke, but Taz just stared at me anxiously, and didn’t even crack a small smile. This close, I could see the hazel of his eyes, which today looked green more than brown, and I would love to get an even closer look, but that was wrong.
I’ve been hired by the Railers to assess their development team and provide support. Not have inappropriate thought about their star center. I swallowed hard and coughed to clear my throat, and there must have been something in my posture that he saw, because he slumped back in his seat.
“Shit,” he cursed. “It’s not good news is it. Fuck.”
He wasn’t asking, he said the words very simply. He looked like someone had kicked him in the balls, and then shoved him off a cliff to finish him off.
“Well. It’s not bad,” I hedged.
“Can I see?”
I looked around us, at the mostly empty café now. Evidently the lunch rush had finished. Normally I wouldn’t show my analytics to the world; they were for management eyes only. But this was different. There was a palpable sense of loss in Taz’s eyes, and I wanted to be the one who forced that away. Not that he would understand the way I’d presented the information, but maybe if I just show him a couple of things to illustrate what I’d seen.
I took out the summary sheet, and the overview graphic, turned them to face Taz, and laid them on the table between us. He hunched over to have a closer look and I waited for some comment about how it looked like a toddler had thrown paint on a page, or something equally defensive when he didn’t understand what he was looking at. I was used to that now. The players weren’t always my audience.
“Why is my name on this sheet?” he pointed at the list of parameters that I used.
I indicated the purple shading that showed all the various variables. “The green is an NHL control group, purple shading is you,” I explained. I cleared my throat again. “I needed a subject inside the team for basic analysis.”
“And the blue is Goog.” He traced the green and blue that intersected the purple, and there was that sadness again. Goog must mean an awful lot to Taz for all of this to disturb him so much. More than just a line mate.
“Yes,” I nudged the summary sheet and waited for him to pick it up. He only glanced at it briefly, before shaking his head.
“I won’t understand the words,” he murmured, “I get the colors I think. What is the reason you’d give for the blue not matching my purple? Goog’s on the ice for the same time as me, often with the point for an assist on my goals. His plus minus is good, he’s on the first special teams, same as me, power play, penalty kill, it doesn’t make sense.”
“The biggest correlation I can see is that the shorter his TOI, the less he grabs points.”
Taz looked at me with an expression that spoke volumes, like it was obvious less time on ice, or TOI, meant less goals, and that was true, but I’d found something else.
“And?” he encouraged.
“Look, it doesn’t make sense from an analytical perspective, but the more you use Goog on the ice…” I searched for words to explain what I meant, “the more time he’s on the ice the warmer and looser he gets, seems to me he excels when the times mount up.”
Taz peered at the shading on the overview again. “Is that what this long thin stretch of blue is?” When he looked at me expectantly, I realized I’d lost myself in staring at his hair, which was a mix of mahogany and auburn, strands falling over his forehead, and curling a little around his ears. He was rocking the stubbled look, but not like it was designed, more that he’d just not shaved in a while. I love the feeling of stubble when I kissed a man, adored the scratch of whiskers on my thighs.
“Is it?” He prompted me.
I pushed the glasses back up my nose, and nodded, reinforcing with a firm, “Yes.”
“So, let me get this straight. What you’re saying is that coach keeping him off the ice isn’t a good thing, that he needs longer time out in the game, more shifts. Coach has been switching up my line and leaving Goog riding the pine, which you’re saying is a bad thing.”
“This is only a cursory examination of the data,” I warned him.
“Doesn’t matter, I just need one thing to use as leverage.” As he talked his expression brightened, and he stood up, abruptly.
He leaned over the table and cradled my face in his hands, landing a hard-quick kiss on me and then backing away.
“Mikey, you’re freaking awesome,” he announced, and strode quickly out of the café and down the street. He was out of sight before the door fully shut, and I was left staring at the front of the shop, likely with my mouth hanging open.
He called me Mikey, again, and that was a kiss.
It probably didn’t mean he wanted to kiss me in a hot sweaty sex kind of way. But the gorgeous, sexy, muscly, hockey player, had kissed me.
Score one for the nerd.
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Too sweet❣️ Love a nerdy nerd & a hot jock story 😍
Brains and Brawn, got to love them both.
Woohoo! He got himself a kiss! Now let’s expand on that shall we?
Score one for the nerd! 👊
I want this to be a book. I want this to be a series. And I want them both now! Can I have that? Pls? Pretty pls? There’s bribery involved 😂😍
Full disclosure: I’m an Ice Hockey Addict and have been a long time. Also, an addicted M/M Romance reader… what could be better than Ice Hockey/MM? The story is frustrating to read BECAUSE IT IS GOOD… and I’m used to reading books for hours at a time. Here, I read what’s there and want to turn the page BUT there is no next page! So, I’m not sure my patience would agree to pay money for long-term waiting for short chapters as a way to read. I do things in life straight through to the finish, all attention on one thing. Reading is a very Big Thing to me so books are my payoff for all the busy every-day accomplishments. Chopped up stories are not at all the temptation and delight that having the entire story in a completed book engenders.
Write Books, get them on amazon, or any way to download onto my ipad…no KINDLE nonsense, Kindle Unlimited is a place with mostly crummy, shorts books. WRITE BOOKS (full length books none of this “Vanilla Shortcake” Nonsense) PUT THEM ON AMAZON… we’ll buy them and read them. Otherwise, I lose a great storyline in a genre I would read longterm and you lose business and name recognition over the long haul. Good Luck… I’d love to read the book all at once, Please!
Hi Ellen. I have over 115 books published, and I know VL has a big backlist. Both of us have all of our books on Amazon, and I know VL Has an extensive list of MM Hockey books written. We have written an entire MM Hockey series – you can find details on this website. Book 1 is Changing Lines by RJ Scott & VL Locey.
This serial story is an EXTRA to that series, so I don’t think I will lose business and name recognition for the people who see this as an extra.
Thank you for your comment though.
thanks for your reply! YES! I have all those and check regularly for anything new or upcoming. Please continue to write M/M Hockey. And other M/M, its just I’m stockpiling now for the long Summer vacation reads… all I do is walk the beach, READ, cook for freeloaders showing up at my house (its ok they’re mostly related) READ, Write when I can find a quiet space. Throw out freeloaders in my quiet space! I shall be digging deeper into those backlists to be sure I have it all. Best wishes for your continued success, I honor your hard work so I can READ!
Yay!!! He got a kiss and Taz got some leverage for Goog! Can’t wait for next week!!
I don’t wanna wait a week for the next bit. More kisses!
Love love love it
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