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What Are The Odds?: Epilogue 1

Fair compensation

Levi.

I walked inside, setting my keys down.

“Grace?”

Music was coming from the kitchen. Loud music. That was the first thing I’d learnt when Grace and I moved in together. She never stopped playing music. While she cooked. While she cleaned. While she showered. I stepped into the living area, pausing to lean in the doorway. Grace was moving around the kitchen, dancing and singing while she prepared a smoothie. She bounced to the fridge, then spun away as she kicked it closed and skipped to the blender. This was one of my favourite things to do. Watch her whilst comprehending how fucking lucky I was. We’d been living together for almost seven months, since we’d moved out here straight after graduation. I missed living with the guys. Even Will’s grouchy morning moods. And Tripp’s near nakedness. And Ryan’s TikToks. But having Hughesy instead was fair compensation. Grace had secured a job at a local high school as the assistant coach of the swimming team. She also instructed baby swimming lessons at the local pool in between, which I had to admit, was pretty fucking cute. Both the school and swimming centre had lucked out. Grace was overqualified, and a better swimmer than either could have imagined helping out. When she’d given up swimming competitively after college, I’d been worried she’d regret it. She hadn’t. Not at all. She still swum most days. But now it was a choice. She didn’t have to slip out of bed each morning at five-am anymore. Now, she’d usually wait until I was getting up for practice too, and on my off days, she was happy to spend the mornings in the sheets with me instead. That was definitely one of the best perks to Grace’s retirement. Morning sex. She bumped a cupboard door closed with her hip then cranked the blender. We were a week out from Christmas, so Grace was dressed in more layers than I owned. As though she was outside in the snow and not in our house that literally had a heater in every single room. Including the floors. When I was home, I spent most of my time in a t-shirt and shorts because Grace always had the heat cranking. I crossed the room, snaking my hands around her waist and resting my chin in the crook of her neck. She startled at first, having not heard me over the music, before quickly relaxing. Reaching forward, she switched off the blender.

“Hey.”

“Hi.”

Turning in my arms, she craned back her head, smiling at me. I pressed my lips to hers. We’d been together for over a year now, though each time I kissed her, it was like the first time. The honeymoon period had never ended with Grace. It just kept getting better and better.

“Do you want a smoothie?” she asked. “I made extra.”

I checked the oven clock. I had time. I’d just returned from my morning skate. I had a home game tonight. Grace was coming. She came to most of my home games. Noah Mittelstadt, a Canadian playing at a div one college in Minnesota, had been drafted the year after me. A few injuries meant he’d been called to Colorado earlier than he was expecting. Despite not getting to see out his senior college year, it’d worked out for the best for Grace and me. Grace got along well with his girlfriend, Anna. Although Grace had made friends with other wives and girlfriends, Anna was her favourite. Having been dating since they were in high school, Noah’s abilities on the ice were never what drew Anna to him. For some guys on the team, it was easy to pick the girlfriends that had come after making it in the league. Whilst most of the partners I’d spoken to were genuine, there were clearly a few there for fame. Or Instagram followers. Anna wasn’t like that. Which is why Grace liked her so much. Not to mention they were the same age. For Noah and me, it was good peace of mind knowing Grace and Anna had each other. Especially for away games. After tonight, I had one more home game before a three-day break over Christmas. Then I’d be gone for my biggest stretch yet. Eight away games in a row. Eighteen days on the road. Eighteen days away from Grace. It was going to be torture, and I knew she wasn’t looking forward to it. But I had a plan in place.

“Where’s Tripp?” I asked.

That’s right. I didn’t really miss Tripp, because he’d been living with us the past two months. A few things had happened, which put him in Colorado for the time being. It’d been Grace’s idea that he stay with us while he figured out his next steps. The house was certainly big enough. It literally had a guest house, with its own bathroom and kitchen. Not that Tripp used that kitchen. He was in here more often than not. When I came home late, Grace and Tripp would generally be watching TV together, or eating dinner, or building flat-pack furniture whilst they argued like brother and sister. As much as I heckled him about living here, I truly didn’t mind. If anything, he was doing me a solid. Grace hadn’t wanted this house. She’d wanted something much, much smaller. Knowing he was here with her, keeping her company when I couldn’t, was reassuring. If anything, I was the third wheel to them now. They were always speaking about things I wasn’t looped in on, or cracking inside jokes.

“He’s meeting a tradie at his new house.”

I raised one eyebrow. “Tradie?”

“Tradesperson,” Grace filled in. “He’ll be gone for a few hours still.”

Good. I tucked my hands under Grace’s ass and lifted her onto the bench. Positioning myself between her, I stepped closer and brought my mouth over hers. The smoothie was forgotten as she tangled her fingers in my hair, anchoring me closer. Despite being in the midst of a Colorado winter, Grace still smelt like tropical fruit and coconut. I slipped my hands beneath the oversized sweater she was wearing and ran my fingertips along her warm skin. Kissing Grace was dangerous. She was like an intoxicating drug, one that made me dizzy and forget everything else. I pulled back to whip the gigantic sweater over her head. Next, I tugged down the sweats she had on. She went with it, lifting her ass to help me. Dipping my head, I dragged my tongue over the softness of her upper thigh, eliciting a shiver. Another perk to not having three other roommates. Being able to fuck Grace wherever, whenever. Tripp had complicated things a bit. But between his new house and work, he was out enough. Besides, in a few hours, I wouldn’t be able to do this for the foreseeable future. I needed to make the most of it while I could. Hooking Grace’s legs over my shoulders, I inched my face closer to my prize.

“Levi.” She attempted to squirm out of my embrace. “I was in the pool all morning. I haven’t showered since getting home from work.”

“Don’t care.”

“I’m still in my bathers.”

So I noticed. I pushed them aside, my fingers parting her. Despite what she was saying, she wanted this.

“Give me your pussy, Hughesy.”

She relented. The sweetest sound escaped her lips the second I dragged my tongue over her clit. I knew all Hughesy’s tender spots now. Knew how to make her squirm. Knew how to get her right on the edge. Knew how to get her there fast. And how to drag things out for her. Inside my training shorts my dick was screaming to be given attention. He’d have to wait. I needed to keep all my testosterone for the game later. Something I’d come to learn that fuelled that was to rile myself up by getting my fix of Grace first. Nothing brought out a more carnal part of me than her. I sunk my fingers into her thighs that were quivering around my ears. She was close. I inserted one finger, then another. Grace’s moan echoed off the high ceilings. In the background, music still played loudly, but all I focussed on was Grace’s breathy moans. As she fell over the edge, she slouched against the bench, knocking over the container of coffee pods. I slowly lapped at her as she rode out her high, chest heaving up and down in slow, strained pants. God. I loved this girl so fucking much. In no universe could I imagine being without her. Unhooking her legs, I gently set them back down. She smiled lazily at me, the blush travelling from her cheeks, down her neck, and across her chest.

“I’m going to miss that when you’re gone,” she whispered.

“I’m going to miss doing that.”

I kissed my way back up her body before settling between her legs again. In nothing but her bikini bottoms, goose bumps broke out across her skin. She wasn’t wearing the skimpy bikinis I favoured, but given she’d spent this morning in the pool with countless young dads, I was willing to let it pass. I pulled her against my chest, wrapping my arms around her.

“Eighteen days,” she grumbled. “Eighteen days without you. Or your tongue. Or your fingers. Or your dick.”

I chuckled. “All four of those things will miss you immensely. But I have a feeling you’re going to be okay while I’m gone.”

She snickered at that. “Doubt it.”

Boy. She had no idea. She was going to be okay. I’d made sure of that.


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