Icing (Aces Hockey #1)

By: Kelly Jamieson

Chapter 1


“Oh look—Tiffany!”

Duncan let out a sigh, trudging along behind Melissa as her high heels tapped on the sidewalk flanking Michigan Avenue. He was already carrying glossy shopping bags from Chanel and Louis Vuitton. This was not his idea of fun on a Friday afternoon. He’d rather be…well, he’d rather be doing anything else. The glass columns of the skyscrapers around him made him feel claustrophobic and all the people and traffic set him on edge. After living in Chicago for the last seven years, he was a lot more comfortable than he’d first been, but even so this was not his happy place.

Luckily he was a big guy and people moved out of his way on the crowded sidewalk. He followed Melissa into Tiffany, past the large dude in a black suit standing at the door. They exchanged chin lifts.

He immediately felt out of place. In his faded blue jeans, worn cowboy boots, and Chicago Aces ball cap, not to mention being six foot two and two hundred ten pounds, he was like an elephant in a china shop. He ignored the glances that came his way, not sure if they were because people recognized him or because they wondered if he should have been allowed into such an exclusive store. Probably looking at his attire and rolling their eyes, thinking he and Melissa were “just looking.”

The Chanel and Louis Vuitton shopping bags should give them a clue. Melissa was a pro shopper and was never “just looking.” His credit card was whimpering in his wallet in proof of it at that very moment.

Melissa fit right in here, in her lambskin jacket and designer jeans tucked into high-heeled Jimmy Choo boots. Her long blond hair hung in a smooth curtain down her back, topped by a cute little fedora. Perfect makeup emphasized her high cheekbones, full lips, and big eyes. She was all class and glamour, which totally made sense since she earned her living as a model.

She wasn’t a top model, but she was becoming well known and had dreams of fashion magazine shoots in New York, and Sports Illustrated swimsuit shoots in the Bahamas, or what the fuck ever.

She bent over a display case, making an almost orgasmic sound. Huh. That was more orgasmic than he’d ever heard her in bed. She was gorgeous and her naked body made him hard as a goalpost, but she always seemed to want it over with as fast as possible. Which probably meant he sucked in bed.

“Look, Dunc! Isn’t that necklace gorgeous?”

He peered into the case.

A salesperson appeared. “Would you like to try it on?”

“Please.” Melissa nodded regally.

Fuck, the thing was all diamonds, glittering in the lights that were no doubt specially designed to make things sparkly and irresistible. Was she going to want this too? He was starting to feel like he was whipped. Maybe it was time to put his foot down. Nicely.

“Isn’t it fabulous?” Melissa looked into a mirror and touched the diamonds and gold.

“Nice.”

She turned big eyes on him. “Can I have it?”

Jesus, she’d dropped hints in Chanel, stronger ones in Louis Vuitton, now she was outright asking. His insides twisted and little warning bells rang in the back of his mind. “Think we spent enough today, Mel,” he said quietly.

She blinked, then pouted. “But I really like it.” She moved closer to him and set a hand on his chest.

“Not saying you can’t buy it yourself. If you want it that much.”

She bit her lip, then turned to the saleswoman. “How much is it?”

“Twenty-two fifty.”

Yeah, he knew she didn’t mean twenty-two dollars and fifty cents.

Melissa’s lips tightened and she turned back to Duncan and whispered, “I can’t afford that.”

Fuck. He felt the pressure but shrugged his shoulders. “That’s too bad.”

Anger flashed in her blue eyes. “Seriously? You’re not going to buy this for me?”

He forced a smile. “How about I make a note of that for a birthday present.” Her birthday was months away, but it was a compromise. Right?

Melissa removed the necklace and handed it back to the woman. “I guess not today.”

Her cheeks red, she turned and walked out of the store. Duncan’s own face heated as he met the woman’s eyes. He made a face, like, “Women, what can you do?” and followed Melissa out. On the street, she started walking at a brisk pace.

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