My Lucky #13 (Hockey Hotties #1) - Piper Rayne Page 0,1

themselves in the poorhouse for me to pursue a career in hockey. I didn’t have a pro father who worked me tirelessly until perfection. My parents hired coaches and sought out the best teams for me.

“Well, I don’t think that’s my problem.” I slam down on the gas when the light changes, then return the favor to the jerk by cutting him off the same way he did me.

“That was my way of telling you that Gerhardt wants you to see one. In fact, he’s hired a shrink for the entire team and you’re first on the list.”

“Seriously, a psychologist?” Talking about the stress I’m under because I haven’t scored isn’t going to get the puck in the net.

“Gerhardt thinks it’s the golden ticket,” he says.

Gerhardt is Carl Gerhardt, owner of Florida Fury and ultimately my boss. I can’t really say no to his request for me to see a psychologist, but I’m not sure what we’re gonna talk about. Unless they’re some miracle worker with voodoo magic they can sprinkle on me, I’m pretty sure this is gonna be a waste of time. My game is absolutely pathetic these days.

“Fine. When do I have to see her or him?”

“It’s a her, and you’ll see her tomorrow. Unless you can make magic happen tonight. Hey, I heard a rumor about you and a hot blonde on New Year’s Eve.”

This is how out of touch Joran is with what’s happening around him. During the party, he was so consumed with schmoozing that he didn’t know where his date was and has no idea that the hot blonde he’s referring to was his date.

“It was nothing.”

“Did you get a good-night kiss? Maybe that’s the lucky charm you need? Getting laid on the regular does amazing things for an athlete’s games.”

He’s not wrong, but I think sex can do one of two things to an athlete—either become a distraction or help them get rid of the pressure. I haven’t had a serious relationship since I entered the NHL. Too many puck bunnies hanging around locker rooms to trust that they want me and not my paycheck. The women I see never last longer than a few dates and that’s always been in the off-season.

“No good-night kiss.” I’m too embarrassed to say that I went in for a kiss and got a drink thrown in my face.

The memory flashes back through my mind.

“So what do you say? Can I kiss you?” I leaned in, millimeters from her beautiful face, and she closed her eyes as the guy with the microphone announces two… one.

Just as I was about to make contact with her delicious lips, a splash of white wine landed on my face.

I backed away and wiped my face. “What the hell?”

“I’m sorry. I can’t.” She walked away and up the outside staircase of the mansion.

Shortly after, I found out she was there with Joran—when he introduced me to his date, the same woman I’d been flirting with all evening.

“Listen, I need to play some pregame music and get in the zone. I’ll talk to you after the game.” My thumb hovers over the End Call button on my steering wheel.

“Yeah, of course. I’ll be watching and no pressure, Aiden, you’re gonna get out of this.”

“Talk to you later, Joran.” I hang up and let my favorite song, “’Til I Collapse” by Eminem, filter through the SUV, hoping it will drown out all the doubt.

Four hours later.

“Holy fuck!” Maksim opens a bottle of champagne and sprays it over the entire locker room.

You’d think we just won the Cup.

“I bought this on the way here today. I knew today was your day.” He dumps the bottle over my head while I grin.

Ford slaps me on the back. “A fucking hat trick. You’re a damn beast.” He opens his mouth and Maksim pours some champagne down Ford’s throat.

The entire team is all smiles and cheers. I sit in the locker room while everyone’s talking about the big power move, our goalie’s shutdowns, and my blast from the point. Nothing has felt better in a long damn time.

“What did you do? Taco Bell? Socks? You look like you got a haircut,” my teammate, Tweetie, asks from across the room. “What’s the new superstition? Because I speak for all of us when I say that we’ll make whatever it is happen for you.”

I rack my brain, thinking about what I did differently between this game and our last one before New Year’s Eve. I wasn’t lying when I