PUCKED Up hit USA Today!
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Huge yeti-style hugs to all my readers out there who fell in love with Miller!!! 😀
If you haven’t had the opportunity to get to know Miller “Buck” Butterson yet with all the incredible releases this month, here’s your chance!
READ THE FIRST CHAPTER!
Wasted is as Wasted Does
I’m super wasted. Like, messed up to the point that Lance, my teammate, has two sets of eyes.
“I’mma go home.” In my head those are the words I’m speaking, but in reality I think it comes out more like a groan. I take an unstable step toward the line of waiting cabs outside the bar.
Lance puts a hand on my shoulder, his grin sloppy. He’s almost as drunk as me. “Your car’s at my place, Butterson. Come back with us.”
“I can get it in the morning.” My words run together, but he seems to understand.
“Just get in the limo, man.” Lance looks to Randy, another teammate and one of my closest childhood friends, for backup.
“The trainer’ll be at Lance’s at ten-thirty, remember?” Randy says. “You can roll out of bed and right into the pool.”
“Then I don’t have to call you fifty times to get your ass up,” Lance adds.
“Come back with us, Buck!”
One of Lance’s puck bunnies uses the nickname I’ve answered to since I was a kid. My real name is Miller. I wasn’t named after beer. Plus Buck Butterson has a nicer ring than Miller Butterson—too many “ers” in it.
The three girls Lance has convinced to come back to his place are fixing each other’s hair and messing with each other’s makeup while I debate making bad choices.
Lance smiles—all horny bastard—and pats me on the back. “Come on, man, you’re gonna be away for a couple weeks. Last chance to party it up.”
I mumble something even I can’t understand and lean on the limo so I don’t have to hold my own weight. The shooters were a bad idea. There were too many. I might have paid for them.
I wait while the girls get in the limo. As drunk as I am, I still have a few manners left. The last one bends over, and her micro-mini rides up, giving me a full shot of naked beaver before she sits down. I’m definitely not getting in beside her.
Lance elbows me in the arm. “Get in, Buck.”
“You first. They’re your bunnies.”
Going back to Lance’s is not a good plan, but I’ve already said I would, and he has a point about my car being at his place.
He shrugs and holds on to the door frame, sticking his head inside. “Whose lap am I sitting on?” He throws himself into the limo.
The girls squeal, and laughter follows.
I put a hand on Randy’s chest to stop him before he gets in, too. “Don’t let me do anything stupid, ’kay, man?”
“Don’t worry, Miller. I’ll take on two if I have to.” He winks, but he’s serious.
Randy’s one of the few people who uses my real name, aside from my dad when he’s pissed. Growing up in Chicago, he lived down the street from me. We’ve played hockey together since we both learned how to skate. When we were drafted to the NHL in our first semester of college, we ended up on different teams. Five years later, we’re back on the same team again, Randy having been traded to Chicago after the season ended. Being off season, it took him all of two weeks to move back. It’s good to have him here. We’ve stayed tight over the years; if anyone is going to help keep me from fucking shit up, it’s him.
Randy gets into the limo and sits between two of the girls. This leaves the bench seat wide open for me. I slide in and stretch out, taking up the entire thing.
Lance already has his arm around Flash Beaver, and her friend in the middle seems like she’s not sure what to do. When she makes a move to sit with me, Lance hugs her to his side and whispers something in her ear. Her eyes widen, and she bites her lip, but she stays where she is.
Going home in a cab by myself would’ve been the smarter move. Then I wouldn’t be facing unnecessary temptation. Sometimes it’s hard as fuck to make the right choices, like removing myself from a situation in which bunnies will inevitably offer up pussy that I’ll have to turn down.
It’s not that I can’t go without. I’ve just been choosing the alternative for the past five years. And quitting cold turkey has been way more difficult than I ever expected. Lance and Flash Beaver have turned toward the corner of the limo now. I’m pretty sure he’s got his hand up her skirt already, judging by the giggle followed by a moan. I close my eyes and lean against the armrest. I’m tired. And hungry. I need pizza.
I root around in my pocket for my phone. I have messages: a couple of texts and a voice mail from my sister, Violet, and a few more from my girlfriend, Sunny. Well, she’s kinda my girlfriend. I want her to be my girlfriend. Sunny’s the reason Randy—or maybe Lance—is taking one for the team, and I’m sitting over here by myself.
I’ve been doing everything I can to move things in the girlfriend direction for the last couple months, but Sunny’s hard to pin down. Way worse than me, but not in a slutty way. Sunny’s the opposite of slutty. She’s not as easily charmed by me as most women. I actually have to work to get her to date me.
It doesn’t help that her brother, Alex Waters, is one of my teammates. He’s also engaged to my sister, and he’s captain of the team. Waters hates me. It’s complicated. The first night I met Sunny, I considered—for half a second—sleeping with her to get back at him. I’m a player, not an asshole. Besides Sunny wasn’t interested in getting naked with me. She actually wanted to talk. And I liked her. So I got her number instead. That was months ago. She still won’t sleep with me. Yet. I’m hoping to change that soon.
I try to read my text messages, but my vision is blurry, and the words all jumble together—even worse than usual. I can’t use the text-to-speech app in here like I normally would because the music’s too loud and everyone will hear my business. Plus sometimes my sister’s messages are assholey. She has no filter. At all.
“I’m hungry. Anyone else hungry?” I yell over the music.
Lance is too busy sucking face, but Randy raises his hand. The girls on either side of him shrug. The one stuck in the middle of everything looks like she’d rather be anywhere but here.
I pull up Siri and ask her to call my favorite pizza joint. It takes a few tries to get her to do what I want, partly because I’m slurring my words and partly because the music interferes. Finally someone turns it down so I’m able to put an order in.
“Is the address five-two-one or two-five-one?” I ask Randy when they get to that part of the ordering process.
“You’re sure it’s not two-five-one?”
Lance takes a break from sucking the chick’s face off to get on my case. “You’ve been at my house a million times, and you still can’t get the address right?”
I flip him the bird. “I’m dyslexic and drunk, but thanks for being an asshole about it.” I probably shouldn’t have said that. It’s not something I usually talk about in front of bunnies. It’s frustrating to be twenty-three and shitty at reading. I give the pizza guy the right address. Then I end the call and slip my phone back into my pocket.
Ten minutes later, we pull into Lance’s driveway. I’m the first out of the car, and I practically fall up the steps to his door. I use the doorjamb for support while I wait for everyone else. I should know the code to get into the house, but I always forget it.
Lance and Flash Beaver are last to get out of the limo. True to her name, she gives us all a beaver shot—my second of the limo trip—as she slides across the bench. When her feet hit the ground, Lance steps in front of her, blocking her from view. He leans down to adjust her skirt, which is nice. When he’s in a mood, he’ll let girls makes fools out of themselves and laugh about it later. He can be a dick sometimes.
Her friends are giggling and whispering, being bitchy and judgy. Well, the one who was sidled up to Randy is; the other one looks uncomfortable. Of the three girls Randy and Lance picked up tonight, she seems the most reserved. Maybe she’s not all that excited about sharing a dick.
“You’re the best, man. Have I told you that lately?” I ask Randy, while I rest my head on the closed door and attempt to hit the doorbell. I keep missing it.
“That’s what the girls tell me.”
I scoff and aim for the doorbell again, hitting it this time. The tone is actually a line from a movie. I can’t quite remember which one, but it’s funny, so I keep punching it until Lance and Flash Beaver finally make it to the door.
Lance keys in the code. “I don’t think that’s a good place to stand, Butterson.”
“I’m fine.” My eyes are closed. I’m feeling like bed might be a nice place to be. Screw the pizza.
His meaning doesn’t register until the door gives way. I put my hands up to grab for the jambs, but I’m not quick enough. I fall face first into his front foyer. The hardwood floor doesn’t make it a soft landing.
I grunt on impact, and one of the girls rushes over to help me while Lance laughs his ass off. I tell her I’m fine and lie there for a few seconds before I roll over onto my back. Flash Beaver gets me again. I can see right up her skirt from the floor. It’s like a loose meat sandwich up in there. I’ve seen more beaver in the last thirty minutes than I have since I started trying to date Sunny.
Randy puts a hand out to help me up.
I wave him off. “I’ll stay here until the pizza arrives, yeah?”
“That could take a while. Let’s get you a couch.” I take his hand, but make no effort to help with the whole standing-up business. When he’s about to give up, I yank his arm and he ends up on the floor with me. I put him in a headlock.
He scrambles to get out, but he’s drunk too, and I have the element of surprise. “Fuck you, asshole,” he tells me.
“Oh my God!” One of the girls screams while we wrestle on the floor like idiots. “Are they seriously fighting? Shouldn’t you stop them?”
“They’re fine.” Lance puts a hand on two of the ladies’ lower backs. “Come on. Let’s get some drinks and hit the hot tub.”
Randy elbows me in the side, and I let him go. He rolls over and pops up, weaving as he follows Lance and the bunnies. It’s a lot of work to get my ass off the floor, but I manage. I slide-walk down the hall with my shoulder against the wall to stop from falling over again.
I need water—and that horrible drink my trainer, Natasha, gives me when I’m hungover. But Lance’s kitchen is way far away. I stumble into the massive living room and over to the unoccupied couch. When my knees hit the arm, I fall forward like a tree. My aim is bad, and I’m on an angle, so I roll off and smack my head on the coffee table.
“Ow! Fuck!” There isn’t enough space for me to turn onto my back, so I lie there instead, wedged between the couch and the coffee table.
Lance laughs. “You all right, Butterson?”
“There’s a spent condom under here.”
“Oh yeah? Wanna get that for me.”
“Pretty sure I don’t.” It’s covered in dust, but I can tell it’s red—so he definitely got it from me. Or maybe I’m the one who used it. I have no idea. I always order the assorted rainbow pack that comes with the big container of lube.
I’ve nicknamed the condoms according to color: red is for devil dick, green is the green giant, blue is for smurf cock, and the black is the sledgehammer. I’m not a fan of the yellow ones; they look less banana-y and more like my dick has jaundice. My personal faves are the glow-in-the-dark ones, which make my dick look like a big glow stick.
“You gonna lie on the floor, or are you coming outside to hang in the hot tub?”
“I’ll be out in a few minutes.”
“Whatever you say, Butterson. But if you fall asleep there, I’m not waking your ass up.”
I watch pointy heels teetering toward the patio doors.
“I don’t have a bathing suit,” says Flash Beaver.
Lance puts an arm around her waist, his hand settling on her ass. “Who needs bathing suits?”
Loud music blasts through the house and the outdoor speakers. I hear a distant splash and a scream. Someone got thrown in the pool. I lay with my cheek mashed against the floor, staring at the dusty condom, wishing I’d gone home instead of coming here. I must pass out like that, because the next thing I know, the doorbell’s ringing. It takes me three tries to get up. Then the door isn’t staying still, so it’s hard to get to.
I pay the pizza guy with my credit card and take the boxes and six-pack of soda. I don’t bother to call the other guys. If I know Lance, he’s got those girls down to their bras and underwear—except for the one who wasn’t wearing any in the first place.
I take the pizza over to the coffee table, crack a soda, and chug it. I need to hydrate so I don’t puke like a pussy during tomorrow’s training session. Water would be better, but I’m already sitting down. Before I dig in, I take off my pants. I’m not worried about spilling food on them; I’m just tired of wearing jeans. I also like the freedom from clothes. I run hot, so it’s nice when I can strip down to the bare essentials, which is often nothing.
Since I’m not in my own house, I keep the boxers and T-shirt on. I don’t normally do underwear, but clubs are hot. They make my balls stick to my leg otherwise. I get comfortable on the couch. It’s white leather, which is a stupid color choice, but whatever. I flip open the pizza box, groaning at the sight of melted cheese and piles of meaty awesomeness.
When Sunny and I order pizza, there isn’t even cheese. She doesn’t eat anything with a face, or that came from something with a face. I don’t think I could live without cow in my life, but that’s me.
As I tear a slice free, the cheese clings to his brothers like he’s terrified of his fate. I lean over the box—I’m too lazy to go to the kitchen and get a plate—and take a huge bite. It’s hot. Like, out-of-the-oven hot, which is crazy because it’s clearly not just out of the oven. If I was less drunk, I might have paid attention to the puff of steam when I tore out the first slice, but I’m in too much of a hurry to get food in my belly.
The cheese scalds the roof of my mouth and strings settle on my chin, burning that, too. I drop the slice, half of it drooping over the edge of the box onto the coffee table and the most recent edition of The Hockey News. Cracking another soda, I chug half the can to cool my mouth. I suck at life tonight.
While I wait for the pizza to cool, I search for the remote. It’s not on the coffee table or under the pizza box. I find it stuck between the couch cushions along with a pair of panties. I leave those where they are.
Two in the morning doesn’t boast much in the way of quality programming. Other than infomercials and porn, I have a choice between sports highlights and old sitcoms or the music video channel. I flip aimlessly, pausing at some bad porn. I doubt I’ll have the energy to whack off later. I might be drunk enough to have whiskey dick, even though I don’t drink whiskey.
I settle on the music video channel and get back to the pizza, which is now cool enough to eat. I devour half the box and nod off on the couch. The only reason I wake up is because my phone rings. It’s in my pants, which are on the floor about twenty feet away, so I miss the call. I decide I’d rather sleep in a bed than on Lance’s couch. I’ve crashed here enough times since I was traded mid-season to have a room I call dibs on when I get too wasted to take my ass home.
I have no idea if Lance and Randy are still outside with the girls. If they are, there’s a good chance that hot tub is going to need a serious cleaning tomorrow. I almost trip over my pants on the way upstairs. I drag them with me to the second floor and crash into the spare bedroom.
Kicking the door closed, I pull my shirt over my head, drop my boxers, and fall face down on the mattress. Music still pounds through the speakers outside, making the whole house vibrate. It’s not pop anymore; it’s some cheesy love ballad from the eighties. It sounds like something Sunny would like.
Thinking about her makes my dick excited, which sucks because I don’t have the coordination to do anything about it. I hate that she doesn’t live closer. Canada isn’t that far from Chicago, but it’s enough distance that it makes this whole dating thing that much harder.
I want to call her. I know it’s a bad idea. I’m drunk, and she’s probably asleep, considering it’s after two in the morning. Or maybe it’s already five. I can’t read the clock. My logic filter isn’t working, so I feel around for my pants. They’re on the floor. I almost fall out of bed trying to get them. I dig the phone out of the pocket. The battery reads nine percent. It’s enough for a quick call. It’ll probably go to voice mail anyway.
As predicted, it rings four times, and I get her message.
“You’ve reached Sunshine Waters. I’m probably busy cleansing my chi, but when I’m done I’ll give you a dingle. Remember, karma is your friend!”
I hang up without leaving a message and call again. I get voice mail a second time. On the third try, she picks up.
“Hello?” Her voice is raspy with sleep. It’s similar to how she sounds when she comes. I’ve only been able to do that with my fingers so far. Sunny wants to take things slow. I need to get control of the puck before I can score my favorite kind of goal.
“Hey, sweets. Did I wake you?” It’s a stupid question. Of course I woke her; I called three times in the middle of the night.
“I’m sorry. It’s late isn’t it?” I roll over onto my back and starfish, letting my balls breathe. The rustle of sheets filters through the phone. I imagine what she might be wearing based on our late-night Skype chats. She’s a baggy-shirt-and-shorts girl. Sometimes she wears one of those sheer shirts so it’s like she’s naked, but not. Sadly, she always wears a sports bra with it. Those things are the worst invention in the world. They ruin perfectly good cleavage.
“What time is it?”
“Uh,” I squint at the clock on the nightstand, as if that’s going to make it easier to read the numbers. I’m better with analog clocks than digital ones. “Pretty early.”
“In the morning?”
“Is everything okay?”
There’s a long pause in which neither of us speaks. “Were you out with the boys tonight?”
The softness in her voice is replaced by sharpness. “Who?”
“The usual. Randy Ballistic and Lance Romero. A few of the other guys showed up later.”
“So you’re drunk?”
I knew I shouldn’t have called. I wish I had someone around to stop me from doing stupid shit all the time. At least Randy kept the bunnies occupied and away from me. Most of the time Lance isn’t much help. He encourages bad decision-making.
“I had a few drinks. I wanted to hear your voice.” It sounds like a line, but it’s not. I really do want to hear her voice, even if that makes me seem whipped.
She makes a little noise, like maybe she’s stretching or trying to get comfortable. It goes straight to my dick, inflating it like a helium balloon.
“That’s sweet, Miller,” she says on a sigh. I love that she uses my real name instead of my nickname. “But don’t you think it would be better to call when you’re sober and it’s not the middle of the night? You interrupted a nice dream.”
“What kind of dream? Was it a sex dream?”
“I’m not telling you.”
“It was, wasn’t it?”
“I’m not saying anything.”
“It’ll be a million times better when you let me get you naked in real life.”
“Don’t get ahead of yourself, Butterson.”
“I’m just sayin’, when you let it happen, it’s gonna be awesome times a billion.”
“You should sleep off whatever you drank. Are you still coming tomorrow?”
“I’ll come for you right now, baby.”
There’s a knock on the door. I hear Randy’s voice followed by a giggle. I cover the receiver, at least I think I do, and shout, “I’m sleeping!”
“Are you at home? Who’s with you?”
“I’m at Lance’s.”
After a sharp inhale she asks, “Are you staying there overnight?”
“Natasha’s coming in the morning.”
“Our trainer. We’re using the pool for plyometrics.” I’m way less slurry now, so I can get that word out without messing it up. “Plus my car’s here, and I’m being responsible by not driving.”
“Are there girls there now?”
“Lance invited some friends back. I’m in bed.”
“How many friends?”
“Are any of them your friends?”
“No, baby. The only friend I have right now is my left hand.”
A long silence follows.
“Sunny? You still there?”
“I’m here. I should go, though. It’s late. I have to teach yoga first thing in the morning.”
“You sure you don’t want to tell me about that dream you were having?”
That gets a half-hearted laugh. “You’re impossible. You should lock your door. ‘Night, Miller.”
My phone dies before I can answer her. I don’t have a charger handy, and I’m too tired to put clothes back on and look for one. Instead I shut my eyes and picture Sunny in her bikini—that’s the least amount of clothing I’ve seen her in—and grab onto my kinda-hard dick. I don’t have enough coordination, brain power, or energy to keep the image in my head and rub one out, so I just hold my handle in one hand and my dead phone in the other.
Then I pass the fuck out.
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