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Authors: Sawyer Bennett

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Garrett

BOOK: Garrett
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Garrett
is a work of fiction. Names, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

A Loveswept eBook Original

Copyright © 2015 by Sawyer Bennett

Excerpt from
Zack
by Sawyer Bennett copyright © 2015 by Sawyer Bennett

All rights reserved.

Published in the United States by Loveswept, an imprint of Random House, a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company, New York.

L
OVESWEPT
is a registered trademark and the L
OVESWEPT
colophon is a trademark of Random House LLC.

This book contains an excerpt from the forthcoming book
Zack
by Sawyer Bennett. This excerpt has been set for this edition only and may not reflect the final content of the forthcoming edition.

eBook ISBN 9780553393019

Cover design: Lynn Andreozzi

Cover photograph: Claudio Marinesco

www.readloveswept.com

v4.0

ep

Contents
Prologue
Garrett

The music penetrates the deepest, most satisfying sleep I’ve had in a while. I had set the alarm on my iPhone to go off at six
A.M.
and the bone-jarring tunes of White Zombie’s “Thunder Kiss ’65” blares at me, a song that never fails to get me motivated. Which I need if I’m going to tear myself away from the tangle of arms and legs that surround me.

I dislodge the woman’s head that’s resting on one of my shoulders, and rather than hit “snooze” or turn off the music, I hit the volume button and turn it up even more. Rob Zombie’s razor-wire voice and thumping bass vibrate within me, and the other woman, whose head is resting on my chest with one arm wrapped around my waist, jerks in her sleep.

“Turn that down,” she mutters as she pushes up off my body and looks at me with bleary eyes. Golden blond hair that comes down almost to her ass floats all around her body, and she is quite the vision. I think her name is Donna.

Shoulder-resting woman gives a loud yawn and also pushes up off me, swiping her equally golden blond hair from her face. “What time is it?”

Bringing one hand to her hip, I stroke her skin and give her my most charming smile. “It’s time for me to get on the road. I have to be at the arena in a few hours.”

She smiles back at me, but it’s filled with mischief and hunger. I think her name is Debbie, but I can’t be sure. Both women look eerily similar and could definitely pass as sisters, and hell…maybe they are, for all I know. What I do know is that they brought me home with them last night after we all posed in a photo shoot for a men’s fashion magazine. It was a cheesy spread, in my opinion, where they had me in a tuxedo and the women wearing nothing but thong underwear as they undressed me. As the photographer snapped photo after photo while saying things like “Oh, that is hot. You are scorching my lens” and “More lust…I must feel a little more lust,” I let my mind drift away to the upcoming training camp that would be starting tomorrow.

I was so ready to get back to playing hockey. This summer has been great and I’ve been spending my time burning up the golf course with Alex, my best friend on the Cold Fury team, and hitting the beautiful beaches on the coast of North Carolina. But that can sustain an athlete like me for only so long. Especially when I eat, breathe, and dream hockey.

“How about we give you a nice send-off?” Donna says.

Or is that Debbie?

No clue.

She lays her hand on my chest and scrapes her nails down to my abdomen. The other woman—shit if I know which one is which—leans down to swirl her tongue around one of my nipples.

And, damn…that feels good, and my cock perks up in slight interest. I know what both of these women can do to me, as we did it quite well last night.

But I work my way past the threat of a lust-induced haze and push myself up out of their ministrations to crawl off the bed.

“Sorry, sweet girls,” I tell them with a grin as they both flop down to the bed in a huff. “I have too much to do today. But last night was amazing. Best I’ve ever had.”

That’s true enough. That was my first time with two women at once, and it’s definitely something I’m interested in trying again.

“How about an encore performance tonight, then?” one of them says as she dips a perfectly manicured finger into her mouth and sucks on it.

Yeah…interested in trying that again, just not with these two. They were fucking fantastic last night, but I rarely do repeats because it smacks too much of commitment.

“Can’t tonight,” I say as I lean down and pick through some of the clothing on the floor. I toss a couple pairs of panties at them and then reach for my jeans that had been discarded. Not bothering to look for my own underwear because I wasn’t wearing any to start, I pull my pants on, giving a little hop to get them up around my waist, and quickly zip my fly. “I have plans.”

“Maybe some other night?” the other one asks as she rolls off the bed and starts to get dressed.

“Sure,” I lie through my teeth as I pull my T-shirt over my head. “Leave me your number and I’ll give you a call.”

And then they are both forgotten. I leave the little apartment that belonged to Debbie—or was it Donna?—then mentally start thinking about all the things I need to do today. Eat, shower, and then head to the arena for the team photos. I’m stoked to see all my teammates after a long break over the summer. Most of them have been traveling and spending as much time with their families as possible, because, let’s face it…our game schedule is grueling and we are gone from home just as much as we are here.

After the photos this morning, Alex and I plan to get a good workout in, then tonight we’re having an end-of-summer team party at Coach Pretore’s house, where Alex and I will probably tie a good one on in celebration.

Alex Crossman, my best mate and lineman, who just got engaged a few months ago to one of the coolest chicks I know, is about the coolest dude I know. We’ve become super-tight over the summer, which was made easier by the fact that he gave up his assholeish ways after finding true love with his fiancée, Sutton. We work out together several times a week and golf just about as much. I hang out at their house a lot, and even pal around sometimes with Sutton’s kid brother, Glenn.

Yup…settling in to my life here with the Cold Fury team quite nicely. I had spent two years with the Los Angeles Dragons, three years with the Chicago Vortex where we won back-to-back Stanley Cups, one year on injured reserve with a concussion, and then a few months with the New York Vipers before being traded here. At age twenty-six, I was glad to finally be a part of a team where I not only fit in to their offense like a glove, but have made such a tight friendship with another player. I’m hoping I can live out the rest of my career here—which is probably a long shot in this business—but a man can dream, right?

So, yeah…team pictures today and party tonight, but tomorrow is when it gets exciting. Training camp starts and I’m itching to get back on the ice. It’s swamping my mind with pleasure endorphins, far more appealing to me than the two hotties I just left in the bedroom. Don’t get me wrong. I love women and love fucking them. But they take a backseat to hockey…my one true love.

Always have, always will.

Chapter 1
Garrett

The team party is in full swing by the time I arrive, which is always late, and Coach Pretore and his wife, Suzie, have gone all out. I find them in the kitchen of their seven-thousand-square-foot home, holding court near an ice sculpture set inside a huge crystal bowl teeming with peeled shrimp.

Coach gives me a hearty handshake and a thump on the back. “Good to see you, kid.”

I give him a smile and then bend down to kiss Suzie on the cheek. “Great to see you both. You throw a mean party,” I tell them as I snap two shrimp up.

“Use a plate,” Suzie chides me, and thrusts one into my hands. “So how has your summer been, Garrett?”

“It’s been great, but I’m ready to get back at it. Can’t wait for camp to start tomorrow.”

“Enjoy yourself tonight,” Coach Pretore says, “but not too much. I’m going to work you hard tomorrow.”

“Bring it on,” I say with a grin as I pop the shrimp in my mouth. Setting the empty plate down on the russet-colored granite, I give my hands a quick wash in their sink, then head through their house to the backyard, where I know most everyone is hanging.

I’m stopped no less than five times on the way out back to give and receive high fives and back slaps, as well as one hard smack on my ass from Zack Grantham, our second-line left winger.

Rubbing my stinging butt cheek with one hand, I give him a playful punch on his shoulder with the other.

“What’s up, dude?” he asks as he wraps his arm around the waist of his girlfriend, Gina. He pulls her into the side of his body, and I watch with interest as she wraps her arms around his back and stomach, cuddling in tight. They are about as close as two people can get. They’re not married and have no plans to be, as far as I know, but fuck, they are committed to each other. I think they’ve been together going on close to seven years now, and they have a little boy, Benjamin, who I think may be close to three. He’s fucking adorable.

“Not much. Ready to get back on the ice,” I tell him.

“No shit,” Zack agrees. “It’s been a great summer off, but I’m starting to get bored.”

“So bored,” Gina adds in with a laugh. “He’s driving me nuts at home. Trying to fix stuff that doesn’t need fixing. I’m ready for him to get back on the ice too.”

Nodding, I ask, “Where’s the rug rat?”

Zack jerks his head over his shoulder to the double doors that lead out onto the back deck. “Outside, playing with Andre and Mely’s kids. We took him to Disney last week and he won’t quit talking about Mickey. I think he has the other kids riled up now.”

Laughing, I clap him on the shoulder. “I’m foreseeing some of the other players having to take their kids next summer.”

“Exactly,” Gina says impishly.

“Hey, are Alex and Sutton here yet?” I ask genially. I have the dirtiest joke I just heard last night—compliments of Donna or Debbie, not sure which—and I have to tell Alex. And it has to be done in front of Sutton, so I can watch her blush prettily, then snarl at me to clean up my act. I love torturing her.

“Yeah…got here not long ago. They’re out back, I think,” Zack says as he leans in to kiss Gina on the head. They are always touching and kissing, which is an intimate concept I don’t understand outside of the confines of my one-night stands.

I make my goodbyes and step out onto the deck. The North Carolina air is warm and muggy, and fireflies float all around in the early-evening dusk. Suzie has strung brightly colored lanterns all around the deck, where a few more of my teammates and their significant others hang out. I call out hellos and trot down the steps into the backyard.

I head directly to the open-walled tent that houses a keg of beer set up beside a table, which is laden with even more food. Our backup goalie, Paul Mattara, is pouring himself a beer, so I grab a cup and hold it out for him. “Fill me up when you’re done.”

He looks up and gives me a grin as he tops off his own cup and takes mine. “Good summer?”

“The best. Carolina beaches and hot women,” I tell him as I look around for Alex and Sutton.

“If Karen weren’t standing just five feet away,” he says in a whisper as he leans toward me, “I’d demand deets on the hot women.”

“Man…you got your own hot woman,” I tell him as I accept the beer he poured. “You don’t need my details.”

“True enough,” he says, and then walks off to join his wife.

I take a sip and glance around the backyard. Many people I recognize, as I’ve gotten to know my teammates’ families over the course of last season. Some I don’t recognize, and I’m sure they are other members of the organization I haven’t met, or even friends of some of the other guests.

My eyes scan around, looking for Alex and Sutton, my dirty joke practically burning on the tip of my tongue to get out.

And that’s when I see her.

Holy fuck, is she gorgeous.

Tall and willowy, with long hair in the most unusual shade of caramel I’ve ever seen. I can’t tell what color her eyes are from this distance. She’s standing by herself, delicately sipping a glass of wine, and before I know it…my feet are moving and my body is following, in her direction.

She’s glancing around at the other partygoers with interest, a slight smile on her face and her foot tapping on the ground to the beat of the music that is playing in the background. I scan my eyes down her body before she sees me, noting the long white skirt she’s wearing that hangs almost to the ground, with a wide, brown leather belt cinched around a narrow waist. She has on a white shirt that hangs off both of her sun-kissed shoulders, revealing just a tiny shadow of cleavage.

Absolutely beautiful…in a fresh, bohemian sort of way.

When I get no more than five feet from her, her eyes slide to mine and she gives me a cautiously welcoming smile.

“I don’t think we’ve met before,” I tell her as I stick my hand out. “I’m Garrett Samuelson.”

She accepts my hand, and although the bones in her hand look fine and delicate, she gives me a firm grip and a tinkling laugh, “Of course I know who you are. Star right winger for the Cold Fury. Everyone who is a hockey fan knows you. I’m Olivia Case.”

Her smile is wide and open, revealing perfectly straight teeth cushioned by lips that would make Angelina Jolie break down in a fit of jealousy. Holy shit…they are perfect. Just the most perfect set of lips I think I’ve ever seen.

Now that I’m closer to her, I notice that her hair is an actual riot of colors, with big, thick chunks of amber, honey, and chocolate streaks. Her eyes are a mossy green and she’s sporting the sexiest little diamond pierced through one nostril.

Putting on my most dazzling smile, which I know for a fact pops my killer dimples, I can’t help but hit her with brutal honesty. “I’m sorry…but you are one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen.”

It’s true. That is not a pickup line, although if it gets her in my bed…score!

She chuckles and flutters her lashes at me. “Pretty lame, Samuelson.”

“I’m dead serious,” I tell her in a low voice. “You’re stunning, and I just had to tell you that. But now…sadly, since you think that was a cheesy pickup line, I will just be on my way. It was a pleasure to meet you, Olivia.”

I turn away from her, but her hand immediately shoots out and rests on my wrist…just as I expected. I can tell she’s not one to turn down a challenge. “Wait a minute, tiger. If that was a true sentiment, then thank you.”

Turning around, I give her a grin. “So, I can stay for a while in your magnificent presence?”

Olivia throws her head back and laughs, her eyes lit from within, and I notice large, sparkling gold hoops in her ears, adding to the overall gypsylike allure of this woman.

“Only if you lay off the cheesy lines,” she says.

“Okay…you apparently know who I am and what I do. So, tell me about yourself.”

“I’m an astrophysicist,” she says solemnly.

“You’re kidding?” I ask, astonished, because why isn’t she wearing horn-rimmed glasses and a pocket protector?

“Yeah…kidding. I’m a nuclear engineer,” she deadpans.

I cock an eyebrow at her and hold her stare.

Reaching her hand up, she fingers a delicate gold necklace with a peace symbol charm. “Well…actually, I’m a floral designer by trade. I work at a little shop called Fleurish in Chapel Hill.”

“Ahhh,” I say with a sage nod. “I took you for an artistic type.”

She arches a beautiful, golden brown eyebrow at me, which gives me a hint at the true color of her hair. “Artistic type? What gave that away?”

Shrugging, I tell her, “I’m not sure. Maybe it’s the way your hair is colored…almost like a beautiful painting of a sunset. Or maybe it’s the bohemian vibe you give off with your long gypsy skirt and little gold toe ring I noticed.”

I nod down toward her foot, because, yeah, I saw that tiny piece of jewelry down there too.

Her head drops and she holds her foot out for inspection; it is encased in a pair of white leather sandals with peach-colored crystals dotted all over them. “You’re pretty observant,” she muses as she sets her foot back down.

“When something interests me,” I respond. “So, do you have a boyfriend?”

Her head snaps up to me and a small grin forms on her face. “Nope.”

“Husband?”

“Nope,” she says as she holds her left hand out and wags her fingers to show me no wedding ring.

“Lover?”

She smirks at me. “No.”

“Potential lover?” I ask, raising my eyebrows.

“No,” she says and chuckles.

“Damn,” I say miserably as I clutch at my heart. “So there’s no hope for me?”

“Not at the rate you’re going,” she quips, and it makes me give a hearty laugh in return. She’s fun to jest with.

But playtime’s over.

Leaning in toward her, I ask in a low, seductive voice that has garnered me dozens of dates before, “Is there any chance at all…no matter how miniscule, that I could get you to go out with me?”

She takes a small step back from me, which probably means the amount of charm I just laid on her was sorely lacking.

“Sorry,” she says with a sympathetic smile, “but I don’t think we’d have a lot in common, so I’d have to decline.”

“Now, that’s just throwing in the towel a little too soon,” I chastise her. “How do you know we wouldn’t have anything in common?”

I certainly know the mutual orgasms we’d have would satisfy us both tremendously.

Olivia gives a tiny laugh of amusement and lays her hand on my arm. She squeezes me gently…almost sympathetically. “No offense, Garrett…but you have sort of a reputation as a playboy. You’re dangerous.”

Ouch. That hurt.

Not my feelings, but my chances with her. I’m getting close to striking out completely, and that isn’t something that happens to me.

Ever.

I take a sip of beer and then lower my cup, giving her my most devilish, charming smile. “A playboy, huh? So what exactly have you heard about me? I need to be able to set the record straight with you.”

She circles one finger over the rim of her wineglass as she drops her eyes from mine. “Oh, you know. Just that you never go out with the same woman more than once. That you’re a player.”

I snort, not because that’s untrue.

It’s so true…almost. “I’ll have to take exception to that. I’ve gone out with a woman more than once.”

She cocks her eyebrow at me in skepticism. “Oh, yeah? Do tell.”

“Well…I went out with one woman at least three times that I recall,” I tell her with my lips curved upward in a smarmy grin. No need to tell her it took me three dates to get in that woman’s pants because the first two dates were cut short since she was a doctor and got called to the hospital.

“Oh, wow.” She gasps in false amazement with both eyebrows rising high. “Three whole times. That’s incredible.”

I give her a smug look. “See…I have layers that you can’t even dream of.”

Olivia gives me another jovial laugh, from deep within her belly, and I’m glad that at least I’m amusing her. I’m perilously close to bombing out, but at least I got a gorgeous smile on her face for the time being.

“You’re hilarious, Garrett,” she says, as her laugh winds down into the cutest chuckles. “Seriously…you crack me up.”

“Which is why you should totally go out with me,” I assert quickly. “At least I’ll have you laughing.”

And in my bed before the night is out,
I hope to myself, because that is my main intent right now. But hell, even if it took a few dates to get her there, I’m thinking this bright, funny, and totally hot woman would be worth the extra effort.

“Hmmm,” she says thoughtfully as she eyes me up and down. “While you are very tempting, in this rough, good-looking sort of way, I think I’m still going to say no. I’m just not much into dating.”

“Okay,” I tell her in capitulation as I raise my arms out to my sides. “You got me. No dating. How about we just have one night together of incredible, explosive passion? Something to put a satisfied smile on our faces and then we both go our own ways.”

Olivia grins at me, and I’m glad to note I haven’t offended her, because that was a fucking serious offer I was making. “You’re that good, huh?”

“Only one way to find out,” I say as I wink at her.

“Jesus, Garrett,” I hear from behind me, and I start smiling before I even turn to face the newcomer. “Can you go five minutes without hitting on a woman?”

I glance at Olivia briefly before I turn to face Alex. Her smile is still amused, and I hope she keeps it there and lets me pick back up where I left off.

“Dude…where have you been?” I ask Alex. We give each other a quick fist bump and then I lean over to hug Sutton, who is standing beside him with her hand linked in his.

“We’ve been walking around looking for you,” Sutton says, and then she glances at Olivia. “And I see you’ve wasted no time in making a move on my cousin.”

I jerk slightly and turn to look at Olivia. Her eyes are twinkling with merriment. Turning back to Sutton, I ask lamely, “Your cousin?”

“Yup. Olivia’s mom, Maryana, is Jim-Dad’s sister.” Jim is a cool guy. He’s Sutton’s stepdad, who basically rescued her and her mother, Penny, from a women’s shelter years ago.

Okay, I’m so busted by Sutton, who caught me shamelessly ogling and hitting on a family member, but I decide to own it. “How come I never knew you had a cousin that was so freaking gorgeous? How did you keep that hidden from me?”

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