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Open Ice Hit: Chapter 18


Tommy jumped on Mayo as soon as they made it to the locker room. “You fucking animal,” he shouted in his ear, sweat dripping from both of them.

The rest of the team crowded around them, tapping Mayo on the head hard enough to give him a damn concussion.

They’d finally clinched a spot in the playoffs, the two points from that night’s win putting them over the edge. None of them had doubted they’d make it. They all thought they could make it all the way to the end again, winning the Cup in two consecutive years for the first time since the last expansion, but it felt fucking good to do it anyway.

The Houston Aces had put up a goddamn fight too, but the Sea Dogs third line had come out big that night, responsible for three of the four goals scored by the team. Mayo, especially, had been on fucking fire, getting a shorthanded goal in the second period that had swung the momentum in their favor.

“Let’s go fucking celebrate, boys,” Schmidty crowed, grinning at the chorus of Yes, Captain he got in return.

Tommy knew there were a lot of things to be taken from being victorious—the satisfaction of contributing to the team, of seeing hard work pay off, of sharing something with your brothers.

Sometimes, though, it just felt good to win for winning’s sake.

They all made it to their usual bar in Astoria still thrumming from the game. Even the guys with kids who often begged off to go home early had made it out, the team taking up half the booths in the joint.

“We’re gonna crush it this year,” Jacki said in his ear, plastered against him on the vinyl-covered booth.

“We’re gonna fucking kill it,” Tommy replied, clinking his shot glass against Jacki’s and swallowing it down. They were four shots and a beer deep into the night, and he could already tell it was gonna be a long and joyful one as the jukebox blared in the corner, some of the guys arguing about what song to pick next.

Jacki elbowed him lightly in the ribs. “You gonna tell me where you disappeared to when we were in San Fran?”

Tommy choked on his own spit. “What—don’t fucking ambush me when I’m drunk.”

“Fuck you,” Jacki laughed. “You’ve been wily this whole season. I’d say you’ve got someone stringing you along, but I dunno why you wouldn’t have told me.”

Jacki didn’t sound hurt exactly, but Tommy’s stomach clenched anyway. “It’s not…I haven’t told anybody about it,” he confessed, not wanting to outright lie.

“And here I thought I wasn’t just anybody.”

“Come on, Jacks, you know that’s not it. It’s just…complicated.” That was one way to put it, anyway—what did you call a relationship when you were in fucking deep while your partner seems to be allergic to talking about feelings?

“What’s so complicated?”

Tommy sighed. Trust Jacki to corner him when he was happy and open, the sneaky fucker. “I just…I guess I’m not sure how he feels.”

“Not like you to not talk about shit.”

He doesn’t want to talk about shit. Even if he felt the same way, just bringing it up would make him bolt, I think. I know that sounds fucked up—”

“Took the words right outta my mouth.”

“But when things are good…they’re so fucking good, Jacks. He makes me feel, like…I don’t know.”

“And when things are bad?”

Tommy shook his head, fighting off the blush that had risen as he thought about exactly how good Noah could make things. “It hasn’t been bad in a while, honestly. I just…I think I’ve gotta be patient, you know? And maybe that doesn’t get me anywhere. Maybe at the end of the season I’ll bring it up and he’ll shut me down, but I’ve gotta try, you know.”

“So he lives here, then.”

“Yeah. I mean, not in Queens, but. Yeah.”

“And he’s in hockey.”

Tommy startled, giving it away instantly. “How—dude.”

“You’d tell me his name if I didn’t know ’im. Someone on the team?”

“No, God, I’m not gonna shit where I eat.”

“Uh-huh. So you’ve gone and fallen for someone on the Phantoms.”

Tommy felt his face go red. He should have nipped the conversation in the bud when it started, but it was too late for it now.

“You might as well tell me who it is, man.”

Tommy groaned. “Can’t you just drop it? You’re gonna be mad at me.”

Jacki frowned. “Why the fuck would I be…No.”

Tommy buried his face in his hands. “Please, just—”


Tommy covered Jacki’s gaping mouth with his hand. “Not so loud,” he hissed, but Jacki was already wrestling him off his face.

“Are you—that fucking—are you serious?”

“Look, I swear to God he’s not that bad. Like, yeah, maybe at the start—”

Jacki let out a truly concerning growl. “If that motherfucker hurt you—”

“Jacki, fuck—he didn’t do anything I didn’t want him to.” And, okay, maybe that wasn’t strictly true—everything during sex had been fully consensual, but the aftermath those first few times had been rough as fuck. Still, Tommy had to take some of the responsibility—he’d kept coming back for more too.

“I can’t fucking believe this. I can’t fucking believe this. Viklund? Really? After all the shit he’s said about you? That fucker doesn’t deserve you! And I can only imagine the way he’s treated you in private, Jesus Christ—”

“Okay, stop. For real. I’m a goddamn adult—”

“You’re nineteen.”

“Are we really going there right now?”

Jacki sighed explosively, deflating a moment later. “I just…I wish you woulda told me sooner.”

“Yeah, I can see how that would’ve gone.”

They stared at each other for a long moment before Tommy sighed.

“I get why you’re concerned, okay? But you need to trust me a little too. Yes, okay, it was mean at the start, but that wasn’t just him—we were both looking for something. For, just…release. But it’s so fucking different now, Jacki. He’s the one that took care of me during my concussion. Showed up outta nowhere when you guys left on the trip. Made me food, kept me away from screens.”

“You shouldn’t have been looking at screens anyway,” Jacki grumbled, voice rough but noticeably calmer.

“The dude has issues that have nothing to do with me. He can be closed-minded, and…I don’t know, has a hard time changing tracks, you know, but he’s a good person. And he makes me feel good.”

Jacki eyed him speculatively. “You wouldn’t bullshit me about that, right? That he treats you right?”


“And if he did, if he ever—”

“He’s not.”

“But if he did, you’d come to me?”

“If you promised not to hit him.”

Jacki rolled his eyes. “Sure. Unless he starts it.”

“He’s not—urgh. Yes. I’d tell you, okay?”

Jacki shook his head, obviously unhappy but seemingly ready to let it go for now. “Fine. He better fucking…appreciate you or whatever.”

Tommy smiled, bumping their shoulders together. “You big softie.”

“I’m not a softie. I’m a big, mean, hockey machine.”

“Okay, big guy.” Tommy laughed.

“Jesus, I need a drink.”

“Amen to that. And let’s wrangle the jukebox away from the rookies—what the fuck are they playing?”

“The day they get confident enough to play music in the locker room is the day I request a trade.”

“Don’t even think about it.”

The Phantoms had clinched a spot in the playoffs a game before the Sea Dogs, Tommy helping Noah celebrate by inviting him over to his apartment and getting fucked into a wall by a very happy and tipsy Noah.

The final stretch before the playoffs started was the calm before the storm, both of them playing less minutes as they prepared for the brutal games that awaited them—four best-of-seven rounds against the best of the league.

Despite everything Tommy had to think about, the conversation with Jacki played in his mind, especially late at night when his worry about the playoffs got mixed up with his concern over what would happen between him and Noah when the off-season started, but it was a lot harder to let those thoughts overtake him when he was actually with Noah.

“Why doesn’t she just turn the lights on? You’re in your house, just turn a damn light on,” Noah complained, gesturing to the screen where the scary movie they were watching was playing.

“That would ruin the ambiance, Noah. Come on.”

“What’s ruining the ambiance is her not—she’s gonna get murdered by this fucking village.”

Tommy laughed into Noah’s shoulder, sprawled over him on the couch. “Absolutely no sympathy over here.”

“Who the fuck is going to even buy that house? It’s in the middle of nowhere. Not to mention all the baby-killing villagers. Pretty sure that drives down the market value of real estate.”

“There’s something fucked up about the babies, though. It’s, like, mercy killing.”

“Oh, sorry, I guess that’s all right then.”

Tommy huffed an amused breath, nuzzling into Noah’s neck. “Wanna make out?”

Noah twisted to look at him incredulously. “What about this conversation is turning you on exactly?”

“Nothing! You’re hot.”

Noah’s expression cracked into a smile as he rolled his eyes. “Look who’s talking.”

Tommy sat up, delighted at the comment. “Wait, you think I’m hot?”

“Oh, shut up. You know you’re hot.”

Tommy moved them so he was straddling Noah, feeling the grin on his face widen. “Yeah, but I like hearing you say it.”

Noah raised a sardonic eyebrow, holding Tommy’s hips loosely. This—that easy, solid confidence Noah had even when Tommy was squirming on top of him—was one of the things that made Tommy melt for him. “Yeah? You need your ego stroked now?”

“I like it when you’re nice to me.”

“Really?” Noah asked, his hands tightening around Tommy. “Because I think you like it when I’m a little mean to you too.”

The sharp, knowing edge of Noah’s voice had Tommy inexplicably blushing. It wasn’t like that was news, but it felt different when Noah was a little nasty among the sweet, instead of just straight-up uncaring.

“How about you tell me what you want, and I’ll decide if I’m going to give it to you,” Noah drawled, the movie well and truly forgotten.

“I want you to…I want…”

“Come on, Tommy. Tell me.”

“I want you to spank me a little, and I want you to fuck me, and I don’t want you to let me come until you want me to,” Tommy said all in a rush. There was no fucking reason for this to be so embarrassing, but sex was a lot harder to talk about than do in his experience.

Tommy watched with wild pleasure as Noah’s expression darkened, eyes swallowed up by the wide pupils drinking Tommy in.

“Please,” Tommy said softly, grinding down.

That really was the magic word when it came to Noah. Tommy yelped as Noah sat up and got to his feet, Tommy still wrapped around him, and yeah, sure, Tommy was short for hockey, but he was still pretty fucking heavy.

“Noah, oh my God.”

“Shut up,” Noah ordered, dropping him on the bed. “Undress.”

Tommy didn’t have to be told twice, flailing madly on the bed as he stripped. Noah made a satisfied sound as Tommy kicked off his boxers, crawling on top of him and kissing him senseless.

Fuck, Noah was a good kisser, slow and brutal, knowing exactly how to take charge without just sticking his tongue in Tommy’s mouth. By the time Noah pulled away, Tommy was putty on the mattress, moaning when Noah manhandled him into position, spread on Noah’s lap, ass up.

Noah stroked a hand over Tommy’s cheeks. “You thought about this before?”

“Yeah,” Tommy admitted, burying his face in the sheets.

“My hand on you? Telling you how good you are for taking it?”

Tommy shuddered uncontrollably at that—at Noah knowing it wasn’t about being punished but about being good. “Yeah. Yeah, please, Noah.”

The first smack came with a little bit of warning, Noah tapping him lightly before his hand came whistling down. Tommy jerked forward at the impact, the sound of flesh hitting flesh filling the room. It didn’t quite hurt yet—a little bit of a sting, maybe—but it could only get more intense.

Tommy didn’t know if it was Noah’s first time spanking someone—he’d guess yes based on Noah’s whole repressed personality—but he was fucking good at it. Not that Tommy had any experience with this either, but he could tell Noah wasn’t just going crazy with it. Instead, the slaps were measured, spreading from the center of his ass outward, not spending too much time on one particular spot.

The sharp pain turned into a deep, thick ache as Tommy writhed on Noah’s lap, taking hit after hit after hit, Noah’s lulling voice dripping all over him.

“That’s it. Fuck, you’re being so good, Tommy. Just a few more, okay?”

All Tommy could do was moan, overwhelmed by the care Noah was taking, the wave of stinging heat that was enveloping him.

By the time Noah stopped, Tommy was a mess, driven from his head and leaving something clean and needy behind. Noah put his hand on the heated skin of Tommy’s ass, pressing there and making Tommy gasp and arch his back.

“Look at you. So fucking pretty, baby. So fucking good.”

Tommy liquefied, flowing around Noah to wherever he directed. He widened his thighs, trembling as Noah fingered him open slowly, carefully, up to just two fingers before Tommy was begging again.

“Okay,” Noah murmured. “Okay, lie down. Let me take care of you.”

Tommy rolled onto his back, hissing as his abused skin rubbed against the bed, but the sensation only heightened his need for Noah to come close, to own him.

Tommy clung to him desperately as Noah sank into him, urging Noah on as soon as he slid all the way in. He wanted to feel it, to feel Noah, to be reminded the next day that Noah was his, even for this thin slice of time.

“Fuck, you’re tight. There you go, hjärtat matt, you can hold off a little more, can’t you?”

Tommy had no idea what he’d just been called, but it sounded sweet to his ears. “Yeah. Just, I’m so close.”

“A little more.” Noah didn’t even slow down his thrusts, splayed over him and snapping his hips so Tommy was stuffed full relentlessly, hard cock dripping onto his stomach, holding off his orgasm by sheer force of will.

“Please. Noah, Noah—”

“Fuck, there you go, let go, baby, let me see you come for me.”

Tommy broke apart, pain and pleasure coalescing as Noah came at the same time, shaking apart above him, face buried in Tommy’s neck.

Tommy let the aftershocks of his orgasm tremble through him, wrapping his arms and legs around Noah, their heaving chests pressed against each other.

“Tommy,” Noah whispered before pulling back just enough to kiss him.

It almost ached, how simple and sweet the press of lips was, as if everything between them wasn’t still tangled and confused.

Now, at least, Tommy didn’t have to be scared Noah would just up and leave. Instead, they wiped themselves off perfunctorily and then cuddled under the sheets.

“You good? Does it hurt?” Noah asked after they had finally cooled down.

“It’s good,” Tommy mumbled sleepily, but the question had poked a little hole in the membrane between Tommy and reality. He felt himself tense as the world dripped in slowly.

“What’s wrong?” Noah asked, obviously sensing something was off, and wasn’t that a change from the first times they’d slept together?

“Nothing,” Tommy tried to brush it off, rubbing his face on Noah’s collarbone.

“Tommy. What’s wrong? Was it too much? Did I—”

Tommy shook his head, cutting him off. “No, I just…Sorry. It’s ridiculous.”

“I won’t think so.”

Tommy took a deep breath, closing his eyes and bracing himself. “I’m scared you’ll hate me again if we face each other during the playoffs.”

There it was—whatever they had together had taken a full season to build, but Tommy was still scared it would crumble under the pressure of the playoffs. He’d said that to Noah once before, but now it was more real than ever.

If Noah started hating him again…this time, Tommy didn’t think he’d be able to deal with it.

Noah froze for an instant before wrapping Tommy up in his arms. “That’s not gonna happen.”

“But what if—”

“I was wrong, Tommy. Me, not you. And I promise, okay? That’s not going to happen. All that shit I said…I take it back, and I’m sure as hell not going to make that mistake again.”

Tommy sighed, letting his body relax little by little. “Yeah?”

“Yeah. I promise.”

Tommy didn’t have the strength or the will to fight against the idea that everything would turn out okay.

In the end, Tommy shouldn’t have worried—the Sea Dogs got knocked out of the playoffs in the first fucking round.

It was a brutal series against the Austin Rebels. The first game started with a bang as one of the Rebels got a five-game suspension for taking Mayo out with a hit to the head. They lost that game but managed to scrape a win in the next two. The series got pushed to seven, overtime stretching the last match until it ended with a weak play from the first line and an unlucky bounce of the puck.

Tommy didn’t understand what had happened at first as the Austin rink exploded with cheers. He looked up to catch the replay, heart sinking as he saw the puck slip between Dima’s legs and into the back of the net.

Tommy sank onto the bench. Eighty-two regular season games just to get there, and they’d blown their chance in the first fucking round.

The reigning Stanley Cup champions taken out, just like that.

The locker room was deathly silent after the handshake line, everybody stripping mutely until Schmidty stood in the middle of the room, looking around with bloodshot eyes. “We had more to give. I know we did. We all know we did. But goddammit, I don’t want a single one of you to forget what we’re capable of, what we did do. What we’ll do again. You hear me?”

Everybody in the room nodded, mumbling their assent. It was too soon to see the good in anything—right now, the loss was just too fresh.

They all suffered through the postgame presser. Tommy, at least, had proven himself to be a playoff asset, posting up three goals and seven assists in seven games. It hadn’t been enough, but at least he could hold his head up in front of the media and not let them see how heartbroken he truly was.

Despite their exhaustion, Tommy was pretty sure most of them got a crappy night’s sleep before the flight the next morning. By the time they landed at JFK, Tommy’s brain was soup, sloshing around his skull.

He didn’t even think about it before taking an Uber to Noah’s apartment. He couldn’t be alone right then, and all his body wanted was to sink into Noah’s arms and be taken care of.

If Noah was surprised to see Tommy turn up at his home, he didn’t show it, pulling Tommy in for a tight hug.

Tommy shuddered, eyes burning. He didn’t have the energy to cry, but the shame in what a disappointment the playoffs had been was eating him up.

“Come on,” Noah said, guiding him to the bedroom. Noah must have gotten up not too long ago, but he still closed the curtains, turned the AC on low, and climbed under the sheets with Tommy.

In the cool, dark safety of Noah’s room, Tommy finally drifted off to sleep.


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