Chapter 4: Hot Streak [Slapshot!]
The puck dropped; the whistle sounded sharp and shrill. They crossed their sticks, lodging them against each other, trying to establish dominance, to clear the puck out of the circle, away from the other forward.
Carson got it, swung it away to his teammates. They broke out, chasing after the puck. Over the blue line, into the defensive zone. Leo all but bounced off of Moose Richardson, who merely rifled the puck cross-ice to another teammate.
Round, behind the net, and Nicky drilled the guy into the boards. The puck got tangled up in their skates, and Ty got into the fray too and another Falcon, and they were all hacking and slashing at each other, trying to make that puck spring free.
The refs whistled play. Back to the circle, another face-off. Carson won it clean again. Luke took a shaky breath and dove after the puck, trying not to think about how he was two for two, a zero percent win rate on the dot.
He couldn’t think of that. He had to think about what was next, not what had already happened.
He collided with the boards, the glass rattling. Scottie followed him in a split second later; Luke stared at his elbow, now just slightly above his head.
No time to dwell on it. They pushed off again, Tucker just a half-step ahead of Luke as they went after Craig Corbin, who had possession for the Falcons. “I’m open!” Scottie yelled, banging his stick on the ice.
Luke skated a little closer, grabbed the puck and darted away with it. Scottie was right behind him.
Another whistle. Tucker drilled him into the boards—everyone was caught up in something behind the play. Nobody saw the hit, not even Luke, who contemplated the glass for a second or two, before crumpling to the ice. He pushed back up to his knees, lifting his head in time to see Nicky heading to the box—holding.
Luke skated to the bench as the penalty killers took to the ice. He gave Mike an encouraging tap as he passed, then clambered over the boards and plonked down on the bench, grabbing up a bottle and spraying Energaid into his mouth. He shuffled down the bench as Ty joined him, followed by Leo.
“Did that fucker get you behind the play?” Leo asked, leaning around Ty.
“Yeah,” Luke said, “took me into the boards after the whistle.”
Leo rolled his eyes. “Fucking Tucker,” he grunted, then spat. There was no love lost between him and Tucker, that was for sure. They’d been teammates once upon a time, but Leo made no bones about disliking the other player.
They shuffled down the bench again. Ty grabbed stick tape from one of the trainers, started taping up his blade.
Leo made a face, then glanced at Luke. He said nothing though, although he seemed vaguely uncomfortable for a moment.
Q leaned over Luke’s shoulder. “I need you to take this face-off,” he said. “Can you do that?”
“Sure,” Luke said, tossed a leg over the boards.
“No,” Q said, “like actually take it.”
Luke resisted the urge to snap back at his coach—he knew what he meant. He needed to win the draw.
He hopped back out onto the ice, skated to the defensive zone. If he didn’t take this, Q was likely gonna bench him.
He skated out to the circle, met Corbin on the dot for the draw. He caught Corbin’s glance—consternation. He looked at Luke uncomprehendingly, then snarled, “Is that you?”
“Is what me?” Luke snapped.
“Focus,” the ref said sharply.
Corbin’s gaze flicked up, and Luke knew it was a trap, but he couldn’t help himself. Not when Corbin said, “You reek like a cocksucking bitch.”
He scooped up the puck in the split second it took Luke to process that—and then Luke dove after him, grabbing him by the back of the jersey.
“The fuck!” Mike barked at him.
“Who’s a cocksucking bitch!”
Corbin whirled to face him, Luke’s fist connecting with his cheek. “You sonuvabitch—“
Corbin dropped his gloves, and they scuffled, whirling about on their skates, each of them trying to get a couple more punches in. Luke clutched at Corbin’s sweater, hanging on as the bigger forward slammed his fist into the back of his head. Luke tried an upper cut, narrowly missing Corbin’s jaw as he jerked away at the last second. They toppled down, Corbin tilting forward at the last second so that Luke went down first. His back connected with the ice, the air rushing out of him—and then Corbin landed on top of him, poised to deck him again.
“Enough!” the ref was yelling. The entire arena was screaming, cheering the victorious Falcon.
Luke spat blood. That hadn’t gone to plan.
One of the linesmen was peeling Corbin away from him, up off the ice. Corbin wiped the back of his sleeve across his mouth. “Bitch,” he spat, “next time I’ll fuck your mouth—”
“Hey,” the linesman snapped, tugging on Corbin’s arm, guiding him toward the penalty box.
“You too,” the other linesman was saying, pointing Luke toward the box as he got back to his knees, slowly.
“Ya look good like that, Mackinnon!” Corbin hollered, just before they shut the door.
“Fuck you!” Luke cried, his voice breaking at the top. He gritted his teeth.
“Get in the goddamn box,” the ref said, forcing Luke to turn away. He looked over his shoulder, fussing with his gloves. When he turned, he met Nicky’s stern, blue gaze.
They slammed the door shut behind him. Nicky offered him a towel, shuffled over since he’d be let out of the box first. Luke plonked down on the bench, wiping off his face, pitching the towel aside. They watched play resume.
“That was stupid,” Nicky said succinctly.
Luke gritted his teeth. He knew no one was going to be happy with that penalty. Q was probably going to bench him for it. Losing the face-off and taking a five-minute major for fighting when they were already one man short wasn’t what he’d been sent out there to do.
Nicky glanced at him, almost covertly, turned away as soon as Luke looked at him.
“What did he say?”
Luke grabbed the towel up again, wiped the underside of his visor. “That I reek like a cocksucking bitch.” He pitched the towel down in disgust again.
Nicky glanced at him calmly. “You do,” he said.
Luke bristled at his teammate. Nicky shrugged. “Fighting him wasn’t the best way to prove you don’t—just let him get a better whiff.”
With that, the Swede stood up and prepared to exit back onto the ice. Luke glared at the number 27 emblazoned on his back. He could dislike it all he wanted, but when Nicky was right, he was right.
Five minutes was practically an eternity in a hockey game. Luke could hear the fans jeering at him behind the glass, but paid them little head. He watched the game instead, watched his teammates ice the puck, bungle another face-off. He watched the Falcons score the first goal of the game. Sirens filled the air, drowning out the cheers of the fans as the entire arena came to their feet. Luke glanced down, watching the red light wash over the floorboards.
Five-minute majors didn’t end even if the other team scored. There was still a minute and a half for him to serve. And that goal was on his head for taking a bone-headed penalty. Q was definitely gonna bench him. Man, he was gonna be the laughingstock of DC. He wouldn’t be surprised if they traded him in the off-season—clearly, they couldn’t count on him.
There were seven minutes of play remaining when he was allowed out of the box. Unfortunately, the play had rushed down to their end of the ice again—no hope of a breakaway.
He tagged up and joined the play, chasing one of the Falcon forwards around the back of the net, stopping up in the corner when the guy turned back abruptly, trying to deke them out. He tried to poke the puck off the end of the guy’s stick.
Tucker rode him into the boards, hard. He slammed into the glass, felt his neck snap back. He slumped to his knees again.
No whistle. He could hear Q screaming from the bench. Didn’t matter—none of the refs saw it. Luke got back to his skates and headed for the bench. Q was already signaling another player onto the ice.
“Is Tucker after you?” Jake asked, and Luke stared at him for a moment, wondering how they’d ended up side by side.
“No more than usual,” he replied at last.
Jake considered that carefully, then said, “Well, if you need to get him off your case …”
“I can handle myself,” Luke huffed.
“I saw,” Jake said dryly, and Luke gritted his teeth.
From there, it was regular shifts until the end of play. The buzzer went, announcing the end of the period. The score was still one-nothing, and they were playing like shit. They kept their heads down as they headed down the tunnel, rocking from side to side on their skate blades as they went. The fans jeered at them. Philly sports fans were such jerks.
Nobody was worse than Q, however, who slammed the locker room door shut. He was red in the face; he was livid. Spittle flew from his mouth as he gave them a verbal lashing. “The fuck was that out there, boys?! Are you playing pro or not?! You so eager to get out on the greens, why didn’t you all just bring your golf clubs?! Show me some goddamn effort!
“Get your legs moving, stop skating around like someone broke your ankles! Mackinnon, what the fuck was that? I told you to go out there and win that goddamn draw—look what it got us! A one-nothing hockey game, we’re behind! You wanna keep playing on the top line?! Step it up! And that goes for you, Sutherland—take your man! Mackinnon wasn’t even on the ice for that goal—you were!”
And on he went, calling them out on their shortcomings, berating them for not having their shit together in this their final game of the season, their last chance for glory.
He stormed out of the room at last, the door slamming. There was a moment of protracted, uncomfortable silence. Slowly, they started about getting ready again—changing gloves, changing soaked jerseys, wiping down visors, lacing up skates again, taping sticks anew.
Q returned just a couple of minutes before they hit the ice again. He went to the whiteboard and talked through a couple of plays. The horn went and they hit the ice again.
The second period was like reliving the first over again—another fight, not Luke’s this time, and another goal. They had one powerplay, which was disastrous, and they kept icing the puck, turning it over at the lines. They were coming undone, unglued. They were nothing without their captain.
They went into the dressing room again at the end of the period, the score now two-nothing. Q didn’t yell at them this time. In fact, he said nothing. He left them in silence, letting them stew about their own play. His disappointment was tangible. They were so disgusting to him right then and there, he didn’t even want to talk to them. As far as he was concerned, they were beyond his help.
They were still silent as they headed back onto the bench. The arena was exuberant, cheering. The Falcons grinned at them. They had it in the bag, it seemed. They were going to the playoffs.
Luke took a deep breath as he came to center again. There was still twenty minutes to play. And this was hockey—anything was possible.
He took the draw. Puck firmly on the end of his stick, he broke for the blue line, crossing it smoothly and gathering speed as he broke away from the other players. He barreled down on the goal, then he caught sight of a white sweater much like his own.
The pass went tape to tape, and Ty shot it high, rippled the twine at the back of the net. The buzzer sounded loud and clear; the lights started flashing.
“Amazing!” Luke shouted, meeting Ty around the back of the net, wrapping his arms around him. He gave the rookie a pat on the head, and they beamed at each other for a moment. They skated back to the bench, fist-bumping their teammates for a job well done.
The arena was silent as they met back at center ice, ready for another draw.
Luke took the draw, won it, and then they headed onto the bench, Q switching them up to match their lines better to the Falcons.
Thirteen seconds later, Sebby rifled the puck blindly and it shot through traffic, deflecting off Brenden’s stick into the back of the net.
The bench erupted in cheers. Ty and Luke were on their feet, hollering.
The game was tied. They had a chance. They had a fucking chance.
Luke glanced at the clock. They had ten minutes still. They had to stay focused for ten more minutes. They might have had a chance, but it could just as easily slip through their fingers.
He took a shaky breath. It was easier to think about staying calm than it was to stay calm, of course.
Another whistle, another stop in play. The seconds ticked by so slowly, every delay halting time on the clock, dragging play on longer.
Another penalty. Luke looked on helplessly as Q sent out the penalty killers—Luke had been unceremoniously demoted to the second unit, a reprimand for his actions in the first. Of course, it also kept him away from Corbin, and that wasn’t a bad thing, really.
The Falcons hemmed them into their own zone, and Luke was on his feet, screaming at Brenden to get back, to watch Tucker, but everyone else was yelling too. Brenden was just a step too slow, and Tucker got the shot off, rifling it into traffic. It bounced off a skate, then a stick, and Timmo was down, glove up, and then the puck was in the back of the net. The horn blared and the lights flashed.
“Shit,” Luke spat, and then bit his lip because the linesman was signaling no goal, waving his arms frantically.
Luke sighed heavily and looked at Ty, who glanced up at him sympathetically. “They’re gonna have to review it,” he said.
Luke rolled his eyes, then leaned over the boards. Review could take a while, especially if they couldn’t get a good angle on it. They’d likely have to phone into New York, head office.
Sure enough, the refs headed over to the call booth. Luke watched them pick up their headsets as Nicky skated up to the bench. “Moose hit Timmo,” he said.
The Swede nodded. “Goalie interference,” he said succinctly, “shouldn’t be a goal.”
Luke and Ty both glanced out toward the net, watching Timmo. He seemed okay enough, even as he doused himself in Energaid.
The review was a short one—the play was clear enough. The refs were setting down their headsets now; they had the decision. They skated back to center ice, announcing over the jeers and boos of the crowd that the call on the ice stood—“No goal!”
There was a collective sigh of relief on the Stars bench, but it was inaudible as the arena erupted.
“Second unit, let’s go,” Q barked.
Luke and Ty hopped over the boards, passing Nicky as he swung himself onto the bench. They skated to center ice.
Luke lost the draw—unsurprising, really, given how crap he’d been at face-offs all night—and the Falcons rushed back into the Stars’ zone.
Brenden poke-checked Tucker, shot the puck out and down the ice. The penalty was over; Leo stepped back onto the ice.
Seven minutes to go. Nikulin came out of his crease and played the puck around to Jordan Myers, who picked it up and carried it back over the blue line, then to center ice. Ty stripped him of the puck and turned play back, re-entering the Falcons’ zone, before play ground to a halt again.
Off-side. Q glared daggers at Luke from the bench. Luke tried not to cower as they headed back into their own zone, readying to take another defensive zone face-off. Luke knew he’d caused the off-side. He really needed to win this draw; to lose it risked handing the game over to the Falcons. He didn’t want that resting on his shoulders.
He lost the draw, but the puck took a wild bounce and Brenden cleared it, allowing them to change. Matt and Danny were over the boards, Mike following them as Brenden came in.
They shuffled down the bench, watching with bated breath as the fresh players headed deep into the offensive zone. They were all hoping against hope, but no one could say anything. They couldn’t risk jynxing it.
The puck popped free of the zone again.
“Enstrom, Mackinnon, Beckham! On the ice!”
Luke, Ty, and Nicky were over the boards again. Nicky picked the puck up at center ice, stealing it from Myers. They skated into the zone—no off-side this time.
Nicky passed the puck to Ty, then skated around the net, scarcely keeping ahead of Moose Richardson.
Ty batted the puck out of the air. It hit his stick, then tipped up, over the glass, into the crowd.
The whistle echoed through the building. “Delay of game!” the linesman was shouting.
“That’s bullshit!” Ty spat.
“That’s not a penalty—it was an accident, it wasn’t intentional—”
“It’s over the glass, it hit your stick—”
“Why would I even want to delay the game, that makes no sense—”
There was no use arguing, apparently. Ty went into the box, and they were a man short for another two minutes.
Q called time-out. Luke sighed and glanced at the clock again. Two minutes and thirty-four seconds.
They skated to the bench, and Q went over the plan with them, scribbling on the mini whiteboard, showing them where he wanted them, what he wanted them to do.
The horn sounded. The group broke apart again. Luke went back to the dot, probably not for the last time that evening.
Puck-drop. He won that draw, thank god, and shot the puck over to Nicky, who cleared it straight out of the zone.
Scottie Tucker skated back to pick it up from Nikulin. Nobody from the Stars went after him; they were unlikely to get a shortie, tired as they all were, and that wasn’t in Q’s plan.
The Falcons came back, this time with six men—they’d pulled Nikulin to get the extra attacker on the ice. They gained the zone easily, and then they were all in front of the net, the Stars collapsing in like Q had told them, and the Falcons seemingly on every side.
Time was grinding down. The Falcons couldn’t get a clear shot at the net; they just kept passing. Corbin to Myers, Myers to Tucker, Tucker to Myers, Myers to Richardson, Richardson to Corbin, Corbin to Tucker—back and forth, all of them switching their positions, trying to draw the Stars forward, make them break formation.
The crowd started booing loudly again. They were bored. The stalemate wasn’t exciting, much as it was nerve-wracking.
Luke glanced at the clock. Forty-four seconds left. Another ten seconds before Ty would be free. More than half a minute before the buzzer would sound, and they’d be on their way to overtime.
He dove at Myers. It was a risk, really—if he didn’t come up with the puck, he’d have given the opposition a clear line to fire at their net. But Myers coughed up the puck with ease, and Luke shot it down the ice as hard as he could, hoping it would clear the zone if nothing else.
It skidded down the ice, and they all watched as it slid just past the goal post, eking its way into the empty net, across the line.
“Atta boy, Macks!”
Nikulin was making his way back to his net now, shaking his head a little bit. Luke just kept staring at the other end of the ice, even as Nicky clapped his gloved hand on his head, shook it a little bit. Leo was clapping him on the shoulder.
He skated past the bench, fist raised, shaking with elation and adrenaline as he met his teammates’ gazes.
Back to center ice. Five seconds until Ty was loose again.
Luke lost the draw, and the Falcons rocketed back into their zone. Luke hopped off on a change as quick as he could. It was a sloppy, ill-timed one, but he couldn’t be on the ice any longer. He’d already been on too long.
Sebby shot by him, entering their zone and catching up to the Falcons. Brenden was sweeping his stick back and forth, trying to get the puck away from Corbin.
Ty was back on the ice, and Luke settled himself on the bench, closing his eyes. He couldn’t watch. He listened instead, to the sounds of bodies crunching into the boards, the glass rattling. He listened to the scrape of blades and pucks, his teammates yelling at each other. The crowd roared in discontent behind him.
A hand on his shoulder. “You okay?” Danny asked, concern swelling in his eyes.
Luke swallowed, then tried to remember how to breathe. He shook his head a little. He was suddenly aware of how much he hurt, how warm he was.
Danny patted him on the shoulder, nodded at him. He leaned forward, putting his head between his knees. Throwing up on the bench was probably a bad idea.
The horn sounded at long last, and that was that. He exhaled, shutting his eyes tight. He felt so sick.
Danny was clapping him on the back. “Good job, Macks, good job—”
He was up, off the bench, heading down the tunnel. He couldn’t. He was gonna puke.
That was fine, really; Danny followed him, and Q was off the bench a second later. There was no point in celebrating their win on the ice, not in front of an angry crowd of nearly 20,000 people. They didn’t need to shake hands with the Falcons; it was just a regular season game. Everyone else would be along shortly.
Luke was first into the locker room, and he stumbled to his stall, tossing off his jersey, fumbling with his skate laces as he collapsed into the stall, panting. His heart was pounding, and it wasn’t just adrenaline, he knew that much. The painkillers were wearing off; the suppressants weren’t working. He swallowed tightly.
He took a few more breaths, then dug out his phone. He was shaking so badly, he could scarcely hold it.
“Jesus,” Danny breathed.
“Calm down,” Q advised, “it’s over now. You done good.”
Luke nodded, then clicked through his messages as the others started filtering into the room.
He paused and stared at the screen for a moment, uncomprehending. Then he dropped the phone, let his head roll back with a low groan.
“What?” Brenden asked.
“Everything okay?” Danny inquired, shuffling a bit closer. A few of his other teammates looked to him; others continued about their business.
Luke stared at his phone, reading and re-reading Mason’s message until his eyes crossed.
‘so, i screwed up my dates and im in DC now.’
The game had been rough enough; his body was still backsliding into that most primal state. The suppressants Brenden had scrounged for him weren’t working—they were too weak to overcome how much inducer was still in his system. Either that or he was having what was known as “breakthrough”—the body suddenly stopped responding to suppressants, usually as a result of someone having been on them too long without a break.
That was entirely possible, he thought. He hadn’t taken his normal break last summer, so it was now well over a year since he’d been in heat. He’d gone longer without breaking and never had a problem, but maybe …
“Macks? Are you okay?”
Jake was hovering nearby in the background, Sebby and Mike on either side of him. Neither of them could scent, but Jake’s eyes were bright, which meant Luke was likely throwing pheromones like no one’s business.
Matt crinkled his nose and looked at Danny. “You’re sitting beside him on the plane,” he instructed.
Danny didn’t even argue, but both of them glanced back at Jake. Luke dropped his phone, concentrated on holding himself together. Just the thought of Mason already being in DC was enough to unravel his tenuous grasp on himself. He didn’t know if he could make it through a shower, never mind traveling back to the District.
“Does it hurt bad?” Danny asked.
“Huh?” Luke blinked.
Danny’s expression dripped sympathy and understanding as he said, “Your ankle. You rolled it pretty good out there.”
Luke stared at him for a moment, then realized Danny was trying to cover for him. “Oh,” he said, “yeah, it’s pretty bad.” He gritted his teeth and dug his nails into the bench. He was going to hurt, but not for any good reason.
“We’ll get some stuff,” Danny said with a knowing nod, and it dawned on Luke that Danny was omega, and fuck, how had he never noticed that before?
The crowd began to break up as Danny went back to his stall, grabbing some pills. Matt was standing guard—the alpha overseeing his omega interacting with another.
It was really rare for omegas to rut together, but it wasn’t unheard of, especially if one of the omegas was in heat. Omega pheromones usually inspired increased aggressiveness in other omegas, which often led to them trying to fight the other omega off, especially if they felt that the omega in rut was angling at their alpha or beta. Sometimes, that meant the other omega simply mounted the omega in rut, keeping alphas and betas from laying claim to the body in heat.
Matt didn’t seem overly concerned, and Danny didn’t seem too interested in putting Luke down. He dumped some pills into Luke’s hand, glanced about. “Suppressants,” he said.
“They’re not working,” Luke replied, his voice high and whining.
Matt’s body stiffened; he was responding to Luke more than he was letting on. Danny glanced at him, then said, “I know. That’s why there’s also some of the oxy—”
Luke nodded. “That’s a good idea,” he murmured. The oxy would knock him out for a bit, likely delaying the onset of hard heat.
They waited for a bit, until the room emptied out a bit. Then Danny helped him into the showers, nudging him to limp. Matt followed them, still watching. Jake snarled at him a bit.
Luke was thankful the showers were empty and that Danny had the foresight to take them to the end of the row. They undressed in silence, Luke fumbling with his laces, zippers, and buttons.
Danny cranked on the water, then caught Luke by the waist and dragged him in close. Their hips bumped together, and Luke let his head loll back at the contact. He gripped Danny’s shoulders, swallowing a throaty moan. His breath came faster.
Danny kissed him, then nipped at his neck. Luke’s pulse fluttered; his knees buckled. Danny licked salt and sweat off his skin, murmuring, “You smell so damn good,” his breath washing over Luke’s overheated flesh.
He tightened his grip, dug his nails into Danny’s shoulders.
Danny shoved him up against the wall, lifting under his knees. He wrapped his legs around the other omega’s waist. He looked up at him, silently pleading.
He wasn’t sure what he was pleading for.
Danny slipped a finger in him, wriggling it in deep. Luke screwed his eyes shut and whimpered. It felt so good.
“Hey!” Matt’s voice echoed at them. “The hell are you two doing?”
Danny exhaled sharply and pulled back, letting Luke down. Luke whimpered again, this time in disappointment. He felt worse now, needier and more feverish.
Matt was glowering at them from across the way. “None of us is thinking straight,” he said, “but keep it together. Neither you really wants to do that, do you?”
Danny made a noise in the back of his throat, one that went straight to Luke’s cock, blood rushing in, swelling his flesh.
“What?” Matt asked, sounding exasperated.
Luke risked a look up at Danny, who was flushed, his eyes bright. He was just about as gone as Luke was, high on Luke’s scent. His eyes were locked with Matt’s, however, staring the younger man down.
“You could get between us,” Danny choked out, and Luke slipped lower in the shower, clutching at the wall. “You could fuck him while I’m fucking you, Matty.”
Luke shook harder. “Oh god,” he groaned. Just thinking about it was making him even harder.
“No,” Matt said sharply.
“Or,” Danny breathed, slowly letting Luke down, so he could sit on the floor of the shower, “we could double-stuff him—”
“Danny.” Matt’s voice was pinched now. “You said you wouldn’t do this—”
“Please,” Luke groaned, “oh, please.” He was on the edge of coming just listening to them. He clutched at the floor.
“Neither of you is thinking straight—”
“Please, Matty, it’ll be so hot—”
“Not here,” Matt snapped.
“But he needs help—“
“Not here,” Matt reiterated, glancing about furtively. The sound of a locker banging followed by the door closing echoed through the room, emphasizing that they weren’t necessarily alone.
“Fine,” Danny said.
Luke could have screamed. He tried to hook a leg over Danny’s hip, but the other omega wasn’t having any of it. He pushed Luke back under the water.
“Finish up,” Danny told him, his eyes glinting in the the low light.
Luke swallowed, then wrapped his hand around his cock. “I’m not gonna,” he started.
“You can’t go out there like that,” Matt said.
Luke squeezed his head, bit his lip as he thrust into his own calloused palm. “Yeah, but,” he countered.
He wasn’t gonna come. He couldn’t. He could feel it—he was too far gone now. His body was on fire, and he wasn’t going to calm down any time soon.
“Hurry up,” Danny said.
Luke shook his head and released his hold. “I can’t,” he panted. “I can’t, I’m not going to.”
“Danny,” Matt said, drawing the other omega’s attention.
The brunet sighed, then shut the water off and tossed a towel over Luke’s head. “You’re pretty bad,” he said. “Think more suppressants will help?”
“I don’t know,” Luke said. He honestly didn’t.
Danny finished wrapping a towel around himself. Matt started herding them back to the lockers. They dressed in silence. Luke winced as he pulled cloth over his over-sensitized skin. He wasn’t sure how much more he could bear.