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Open Ice Hit: Chapter 17


Tommy stirred, consciousness dawning softly. He was being pressed against the bed by a heavy weight. It only took him a few seconds to realize where he was—caught in the white waves of Noah’s sheets, the man himself draped over Tommy.

Tommy hummed contently, cuddling closer and grinning when he discovered a very happy part of Noah’s anatomy.

Noah grunted as Tommy wiggled around. “What are you doing? Sleep.”

“I’ve got a better idea.”

Noah groaned as Tommy managed to get his ass right where he wanted it—with Noah’s hot, hard dick rubbing against it.

“You know I don’t like a lot of prep. Just, fuck, you could slip right in. “

“Jesus.” The word was definitely not a complaint as Noah’s warmth disappeared only long enough for him to reach for the lube and slick himself up.

Tommy had never had morning sex before, but as Noah manhandled him onto his side and sunk into him, he decided then and there that it was the fucking best. The stretch burned, but Tommy was used to it—fucking loved it.

“Good?” Noah murmured as he bottomed out.

“Yeah. Yeah, please.”

“I’ve got you.”

What came next wasn’t fucking—it could only be called one thing, although Tommy shied away from the words. The way Noah held him tight, kissing his shoulder and nape, fucking him so slow Tommy could almost fall asleep again in the sea of pleasure—it was the best sex he’d ever had.

He knew how crazy that sounded. Sex with Noah had been a lot of things, but never boring or bad. This, though, was filling Tommy up with something foreign, a sweetness that threatened to overwhelm him.

Tommy clutched Noah’s hand to his chest, moaning softly into the pillow as Noah took his time as if there was nothing else in the whole entire world he’d rather be doing.

By the time Noah wrapped a hand around Tommy’s cock, Tommy’s entire body was a blank, thrumming ball of pleasure. It took a half dozen strokes to tumble him over the edge in the strangest orgasm he’d ever had, simmering heat spreading through him slowly, going on and on and on as Noah came inside him.

“Fuck, baby,” Noah muttered, sounding completely out of it.

Tommy trembled, all his affection for Noah coalescing into something undeniable.

He was so fucked. He was so, so fucked.

Tommy closed his eyes and gave himself one single moment to pretend this was real before letting go of Noah’s arm, burying his face in the sheets and getting himself together again.

He couldn’t let whatever his wild heart was doing show on his face.

“Shower?” Tommy croaked, and Noah hummed his assent.

The shower got quickly derailed, Tommy blushing hard and moaning as Noah plastered him chest first into the tile wall and cleaned out his ass thoroughly with two fingers before kissing the living daylights out of him.

By the time Tommy was watching Noah make them breakfast, all bad thoughts had been thoroughly fucked out of him.

“That doesn’t go there,” Tommy said, snapping awake as Noah tried to throw the egg carton in the same place he’d put the egg shells.

Noah looked at him weirdly. “It’s empty. I’m throwing it away.”

“Yeah, genius, I know, but that’s recyclable. Put it with your papers and cardboard and shit.”

“Oh. I don’t recycle. Not because…I just never got around to it.”

Tommy stared at him. “What do you mean, you don’t recycle?”

“I don’t—shit, shut up. Stop distracting me, or I’m going to burn this.”

Tommy was definitely not shutting up. “Are you kidding? You’ve lived here for how long and you don’t recycle?”

Noah groaned, not turning away from the pan.

“Noah! You—look, I get it. The biggest cause of global warming is businesses that can change practices and goods in a way that would radically reduce carbon emissions and garbage pollution not doing it, but the people on top being responsible for bad things happening doesn’t mean you get a free pass. That shit just means if you’re gonna blame someone, you don’t blame, like, your neighbor, but you gotta do your part, man.”

“Look, I know. I just—”

“You’re killing the coral reef—do you know how delicate those organisms are?”

“I do actually know some things, Tommy.”

“Every ocean is in danger of radically changing due to—”


Tommy snapped his mouth shut as a plate of food was put in front of him.

“I hear you. I’ll get some more—how do you say it in English? Places to put the recycling.”


“Yeah, that. So. Eat your damn food. Don’t you have practice today?”

Tommy grumbled as he picked up the fork. The food did look good, though, plenty of grilled vegetables to go with the eggs as well as some turkey bacon for protein. “Yeah, at noon. Flying out to the West Coast tonight.”

“Oh, same. Well, tomorrow morning, anyway.”

“You’re out west this week?”

“Yep. Let me guess, you’re getting a few days off around Frisco.”

Tommy snorted. “Yep, over the weekend.”

“Same as us. We play the Sea Lions two days before you, I think.”

“Oh, yeah. Duh.” Tommy might have been following the Phantom’s schedule a little more closely than he normally would. “We should hang out or something if you want.”

Tommy only realized how unlike them that suggestion was when Noah tensed visibly. Tommy opened his mouth to take it back when Noah replied. “Sure.”

Tommy choked on his own spit after hitting the breaks on his little moment of panic. “Sure?”

“Yeah. Why not.”

Tommy could think of three reasons off the top of his head why spending one of their days off in San Francisco together was a bad idea, but he wasn’t about to name any of them. “Okay. Great. It’s a d—I mean, it’s, uh…it’s great.” Jesus fucking Christ, someone put him out of his misery.

Noah eyed him knowingly but didn’t call him out on how Tommy had almost called what they were doing dating.

They definitely weren’t dating. No way, no how.

He just had to convince his fucking heart of that.

The fish market smelled pungent but fresh, stands piled with ice and clear-eyed snappers and tuna and salmon. As one of the sellers told it, fish got sent there to be reviewed as sushi-grade before being frozen and sent somewhere else.

“Seems like a waste of fuel,” Tommy muttered, earning an eyeroll from Noah.

The day was sunny and chilly, fog hanging in the distance and hiding the iconic red bridge from view. It was early enough that the city was only just waking up, the quiet hush of the air interrupted abruptly by the chaos of the market.

“Oh, here. I wanna try these.” Tommy dragged Noah to a stop, eyeing the oysters happily. “Fresh-caught, right?” he asked the woman manning the stand.

“Yep. Wanna try?”

“Ooh, please. We’ll take two.”

Noah took a step back. “It’s not even seven in the morning. No way.”

“Oh, don’t be a wuss.” Tommy elbowed Noah in the ribs, grinning wildly at the ensuing grunt of pain.

He paid for the food happily, trying to hand Noah his, but Noah just squirmed away. “Nope. That’s gonna give you food poisoning.”

The lady at the stand made an offended noise as Tommy let out an exasperated breath. “This market specializes in grading seafood. You’re fine.” He held the oyster up to Noah’s mouth. “Don’t tell me you’re too scared.”

Noah’s eyes immediately sharpened. “I’m not scared.”

“Bottoms up, then.”

Tommy slurped his oyster down shamelessly, Noah watching with a crinkled nose before doing the same.

“Oh, man, that was good,” he told the seller while Noah slapped a hand over his mouth.

“Ah, äcklig.”

“That means delicious in Swedish,” he assured the lady before dragging Noah away. “Really, you big baby?”

“You just made me eat slime. I just ate the snot of the sea.”

Tommy snorted loudly. “How are you this much of a drama queen? Seriously, where did your cool and mysterious persona go?”

Noah was too busy scraping his tongue with his fingers to reply.

Tommy watched him with a grin on his face. Noah’s sudden lack of composure should not have been so fucking endearing, but there Tommy was, insides melting at seeing him so open and unguarded.

Tommy had passed the point of expecting Noah to just stand him up when they arranged to see each other, but, somehow, it’d still been a surprise to see Noah show up at the arranged meeting place, looking perfectly put together in light-wash jeans, a white t-shirt, and a light green bomber jacket. He’d seemed a little tense like he always was when they first saw each other, but by the time they made it to the port, it had bled out of him, the skin beside his eyes free of stress, shoulders relaxed and loose.

Tommy had promised himself he’d keep it together, but he already wanted to pull Noah into a dark alcove and kiss him senseless.

Despite Noah’s initial protests, he was more than happy to try chunks of raw tuna and salmon, listening attentively as one of the fishmongers told them all about the salmon farm where they got their goods.

“People think wild is better, but there’s a higher chance of toxicity like that. And tapeworms.”

Noah froze with the next piece of fish halfway to his mouth. “Tape…worms?”

“That’s what you can get from low-grade salmon unless you freeze or cook it. Then you’re just eating dead tapeworm, I guess.”

Tommy laughed at the look on Noah’s face. “Welcome to the world of sashimi, mon loup.”

Noah cut him a searing look. “What did you just call me?”

Tommy shrugged, not about to reveal the meaning behind my wolf—he might not be from Quebec, but he had enough French-Canadian friends to know it fit Noah to a tee. “Dickwad.”

“Tsk, okay. Fuck off.”

They wandered away from the market eventually, walking toward Pier 39 as the sun began to climb out of the mist.

“Do Swedish people eat fish for breakfast?” Tommy wondered.

“Maybe traditionally but not anymore. Some people eat fish paste on bread, I guess—I haven’t been back there in a while.”

Tommy was taken back to the night he’d found Noah drunk as hell at the ball, slurring about what a fucking bastard his dad was.

Tommy might have been paraphrasing slightly, but that had been the gist.

“Right. I’ve got a French friend who has Nutella on toast every morning. Literally thought that was a joke, but he genuinely thinks it’s healthy. I’m, like, dude, I get it gives you a lot of energy, but come on. It’s chocolate. But he’s not an athlete so whatever. I’d probably eat Nutella for breakfast too if I could.”

“Of course you would.” Noah laughed. “How the hell do you even have time to have friends outside of hockey?”

“I mean, he’s a friend from school. He’s still in my hometown up in Nova Scotia. We all joke that he’s the worst Canadian ever ’cause he’s not really into hockey, but, honestly, it’s nice to have people not so caught up in this whole thing, you know? It can feel like such a small world when it’s all I think about.”

Noah was silent for a few moments as they walked down the boardwalk, ocean glittering to their left. “Yeah, I guess it can,” Noah said quietly.

Tommy glanced at him, disquieted by how distant Noah sounded, as if he were miles away. “Not healthy to only have one thing in your life, eh? No matter how good that thing is. The poison is in the dose and all that.”

Tommy let the silence lay between them for a while, the salty breeze eroding the heaviness of the conversation away into smooth little pebbles they could carry in their pocket without weighing them down.

“Oh shit,” Tommy crowed eventually. “The fucking sea lions are out! Hell yes.”

He grabbed Noah’s hand unthinkingly, trotting toward the splayed rolls of blubber sunning themselves on the pier.

The air smelled like fish, like seaweed, like the big, chunky mammals below them. The rough snorting of their calls had already attracted a fair number of tourists who were taking pictures and laughing as one of the bigger animals rolled themself right into the water without bothering to use their flippers.

Noah made a noise like a dying thing. “What the fuck is that smell?”

Tommy blinked at him. Granted the sea lions didn’t smell like roses, but—

“It’s not that bad.”

Vicki’s eyes were legit watering. He said something in Swedish before lowering his hand slowly, his face scrunched up. “I can do this.”

Tommy laughed, rolling his eyes at Vicki’s little personal pep talk. “Such a drama queen. Oh, man, I love that big fat one.”

Noah turned his head to look, smiling as the male sea lion propped himself up on his flippers and made some really attractive snorting noises. “Sounds like you in bed.”

Tommy gasped. “You fucking asshole. No, it doesn’t!”

Noah cracked up, and Tommy couldn’t help but beam at him happily, ridiculously glad Noah was having a good time doing something other than skating and shooting a puck.

“Oh,” one of the women beside them exclaimed. “Look at the babies.”

Tommy’s gaze followed her pointing finger to two sea lion pups playing in the netting below the pier, made especially to give the animals somewhere to be without being harassed by people.

“Oh my God,” Tommy melted. “They’re so fucking cute I’m gonna puke.”

Noah laughed again. “That seems like a little bit of an odd reaction, there.”

“Nuh-uh. Loads of people react to cuteness in, like, an aggressive way almost? Haven’t you ever seen a puppy you just wanted to hug so hard its eyes pop right out of its head?”

Noah stared at him. “So…I just realized I need to go. Think I left my oven on.”

Tommy punched him in the arm. “I’m telling you, it’s not weird. Or, well, it’s weird, I guess, but it’s not uncommon. It’s called cute aggression or something. People who do stuff like laugh when they get bad news have it a lot, it’s, like, an overload, you know? Body doesn’t know how to deal with an emotion, and it just leaks over.”

“Maybe you should learn how to repress your emotions until you develop an ulcer like us healthy adults.”

Tommy let out a honking sound. “That’s the most you thing you’ve ever said. Stop repressing things, Noah. Just…scream into a pillow or something.”

“Wow, thanks. I’ll start carrying a pillow when I’m with you, let out my frustration.”

“Yeah, yeah. You know you love me.” Tommy poked his tongue out, even as Noah’s face did something weird, twitching for a moment before closing down a little.

“Screaming in three, two, one…”

Tommy slapped a hand over his mouth. “Not in front of the children.” On the pier, a sea lion snorted loudly, agreeing with him.

Noah shook him off. “Your hand smells like fish.”

“Your face smells like fish.”

“Your dick smells like fish.”

Tommy gaped. “Wait. Since when are you funny?”

“Since always. Try to keep up, yeah?”

Tommy really, really didn’t know if he could.

The whole day felt like stepping into another dimension where Noah had shed the constricting shell of his persona back home, replaced by some spontaneous, malleable version of himself Tommy was equal parts delighted and unsettled by.

Yeah, it was great to see Noah like this, but Tommy couldn’t help feeling like the rug was going to be pulled from under him at any moment.

That foreboding sensation didn’t stop him from enjoying their day off, though. Tommy convinced Noah to go down to the beach, taking him out on the rocks during low tide to look at the crabs scuttling to and from their dark little hiding places.

Tommy cried out in alarm as Noah tried stomping one. “What are you doing?”

“I thought we were catching these.”

“To do what with them, you psychopath?”

“Eat them? Obviously?”

Tommy blinked at him. “This from the guy that almost puked eating an oyster.”

“That’s completely different. That was gross. Crabs are edible.”

“These crabs are tiny, Noah. They barely have any meat. Come on, you oaf, let’s get you away from the tiny, innocent creatures.”

Noah huffed. “Okay, don’t make it sound like catching crabs is that weird. People do that. It’s a thing.”

“You tried to crush one with your foot.”

“Yeah, what was I supposed to use? My hands? Your fat head?”

Tommy gasped. “Excuse you, I have a perfectly proportioned head.”

“Looks pretty big from here.”

“That’s probably because you have tiny little…rodent eyes.”

“Well, you have a tiny rodent dick.”

“Stop talking about my dick,” Tommy hissed, trying to stop himself from smiling. “Shut up, and let’s go swim.”

Noah looked around as if Tommy could possibly be talking to anyone else, but on a Tuesday morning in early April, there was just the blue sea, and the blue sky, and not much else. “There’s no way in hell I’m getting into that water.”

Tommy grinned at him as they finally made it onto the sand again, jumping deftly from the rocks they’d been trekking on. “Last one in the water is a rotten egg,” he shouted, kicking his shoes off.

“I’m not—fuck you. Oh, fuck you.”

Tommy didn’t even look as Noah stripped beside him, cursing all the while. They left their boxers on, streaking through the cold air and into the even colder water, the shock of the temperature stilling the air in Tommy’s lungs for a second.

“Fuck,” Noah cursed loudly as they hit the waves.

“Three dunks or it doesn’t count.”

“What the fuck does that mean?”

“You gotta go under the water three times or it doesn’t count.”

“That’s just—oh Jesus Christ, this is the worst fucking idea you’ve ever had.”

Tommy took Noah’s hand and pulled both of them into the spray, letting the freezing sea take them over.

Time stilled, slurring, every thought wiping out in an instant. It was just quiet, and darkness, and the turmoil of the water around him. Noah’s fingers clenched around his, a glowing ember in the wild blue.

They surfaced gasping for air. Noah wiped water from his eyes with his free hand, looking at Tommy with the savage delight of someone who’d just been reminded they’re alive.

“Again,” Tommy said.

This time when they went under, Noah didn’t resist.

By the time they made it back to the hotel room they’d gotten away from their respective teams, Tommy felt as if he’d been cleaned right through, soul disinfected by the salt water and the clear, happy light in Noah’s eyes.

After they had gotten out of the water, shivering and laughing, Noah had stopped battling against Tommy’s suggestions. It was weird, really—Tommy had started to suspect Noah didn’t usually let himself play. There was a sudden childlike enjoyment in how he joined Tommy in running down the beach, or throwing sand at each other, or ordering large margaritas with dinner and laughing over nothing but the fizzy, bubbling air between them.

Even in the darkness of their hotel room, Noah seemed lighter. He backed Tommy against the wall with a smile on his face, the hand around Tommy’s throat making him melt, even as Noah’s mischievous, nipping mouth made him laugh.

They climbed into the shower together, soaping each other up slowly, carefully, a cleansing ritual that held them suspended in the middle of their lives without being touched by anything else but their hands and mouths and tongues.

Tommy barely made any noise as Noah fucked him into the bed slowly, feeling swallowed up by an emotion too big to name. He closed his eyes and let the sensation of Noah’s cock stretching him overwhelm him, Noah’s arms tight around him, his whole weight on Tommy’s back until they were melded together, a creature with two racing hearts.


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