Volume 2 of the Something in the Water series arrives Tuesday, January 30!

Chapter 29: Bad Bounce [Slapshot!]

Chapter 29: Bad Bounce [Slapshot!]


The day was bright and warm; the wind blew in from the bay, making conversation hard to follow, ruffling their hair, buffeting them about. The beach was almost deserted; it was still too early for the denizens of DC to flock to the shoreline. The boardwalk was almost empty, their footfalls clomping along the boards, sand grinding under their shoes.

Sebby plodded along behind Gabe and Ty, who had easily taken the lead, but now did not speak. Ty seemed nervous, fidgety; he kept looking here, there, everywhere, except at Gabe. The few times he glanced back at Sebby, he looked like a startled animal, eyes wide.

For his part, Gabe seemed glum, his hands hooked in his pockets, his shoulders back a bit, his head tilted toward the sky.

A gull cried out above them, sharp and lonely. It wheeled about for a moment, then turned back toward the water.

Half the stalls were still closed up, empty. Some had signs that announced they’d be back in June or “when the warm weather returns!” Some had joyous declarations of returning just after Memorial Day, which was next weekend.

Of the handful of shops that had already opened, there were a couple of food vendors—an ice cream seller who looked decidedly bored, and a fish-and-chips joint that was serving up the greasiest fare Sebby had seen in a while. Brenden seemed not to mind, but Gabe pulled a face, as though his stomach had suddenly turned mutinous.

Sebby couldn’t shake Brenden’s voice echoing through his skull, whispering, ‘They hooked up,’ over and over again. He eyed them warily, scrutinized every look, every word, every brush of hands. Were they … into each other?

Sebby had had his fair share of drunken hook-ups, one-night stands (although he’d never hooked up with a dude, now that he thought about it). He could get that Gabe was maybe a little drunk, maybe Ty had been feeling sorry for himself, and they’d got together.

But that didn’t change the fact it was weird, and it didn’t change the fact that you weren’t really supposed to … hang out … with your hook-ups. Like, sure, maybe you hooked up again, but it was supposed to be this secretive, clandestine thing you did when the two of you saw each other again after some time apart and got drunk or high or otherwise emotionally sloppy, and ended up banging in a shitty motel room somewhere.

At least, that had been most of his experience, and movies seemed to echo that experience.
So they were kind of circumventing appropriate hook-up etiquette—which made it look like, yeah, they were on a date, just like Nicky had suggested. But that was weird too, potentially even weirder than hanging out with a hook-up, because what the fuck? Gabe and Ty? Ty and Gabe?

Sebby couldn’t made heads or tails of it. It was just too weird. Why would they date each other? What would they see in each other? Gabe was tall and gangly and ginger, Swedish and very Euro. He was affable, but boisterous, easy-going but dominating, and he just … didn’t do the hook-up thing, but he also didn’t really do the dating thing. He kind of just was.

And Ty, well, Ty was nothing impressive. A scrawny teenager, really, still had to grow into his body; he was gawky compared to most of the guys in the locker room, and yeah, you could tell he was just nineteen, barely out of high school, scarcely a man, scarcely an adult. His hair was moppish, mousy brown, and his eyes were brown too, and he was nothing special to look at, that was for sure—

And he was your typical Midwestern boy, Sebby thought with a bit of a snarl. He’d grown up on a farm, had too many siblings, probably had something to do with corn or potatoes in Idaho, and he drove a pick-up, listened to country, and generally wasn’t very educated about anything much—probably thought people like Gabe were very strange, weird, unsettling, because Gabe didn’t really fit Ty’s typology of masculinity.

What the hell did they have in common, aside from the fact they both played hockey and they’d banged each other?

Nothing, that was what, they had nothing in common beyond that, so why were they dating? And it was most definitely a date, Sebby had no doubt in his mind, even if they denied it, even if they said it wasn’t, even if they lied through their teeth and said that Gabe had just asked Ty to show him around DC a bit.

Because, yeah, right, why would Gabe ask Tyler of all people to do that? After all, it wasn’t his first time in the city, he’d been several times since Sebby had been traded, and he always could have asked Sebby. If he was really that interested in seeing what was good in DC, he could have just asked Sebby—time and time again, he’d squandered that opportunity, and it didn’t add up that he’d suddenly take an interest in seeing DC, and that he’d just randomly call up Ty to get him to do that.

Brenden sighed heavily, put a hand on Sebby’s shoulder, spun him around. Sebby glared up at him.

“A word?” the blond drawled, then grabbed his wrist and dragged him off the boardwalk, down onto the beach. The sand slipped under their feet. The surf grew louder.

Gabe and Ty paused, but Brenden waved to them, indicating that they should continue on—they’d catch up in a bit.

“What?” Sebby snarled, digging his heels in, forcing Brenden to halt, before he dragged them into the tide.

The blond slapped his hands on Sebby’s shoulders, stopping just short of shaking him. “Knock it off,” he said.


Brenden sighed heavily, looked away. He lifted one hand, ran it through his hair, making it stand up on end. “Look, I know you’re upset—”

“I’m not upset.”

“—but just let it be, hmm? So Gabe and Ty are on a date. What’s the big deal?”

“That they’re on a date,” Sebby retorted, widening his eyes and flaring his nostrils.

Brenden shook his head. “Why? That’s got nothing to do with you. They’re two adults, making their own decisions, and they decided to go on a date. And here you are, throwing a big stink about it—”

“I am not.”

“Oh, you wanna bet?” Brenden fixed him with a look. “I can smell you over the salt, over the deep-fried crab chips, hm?”

Sebby stared at him.

Brenden sighed. “Seb, even if you can’t smell yourself, the rest of us can, and you smell angry right now.”

Sebby huffed. “What would I have to be angry about?”

“I dunno, but you’re wafting here, and you need to stop. Just calm down. So they hooked up and maybe it was good and they’re exploring it. So what?”

Sebby gritted his teeth. “I don’t know,” he spat, “maybe I’m just pissed my friend wouldn’t call me, that he calls up one of my teammates, a guy he hardly knows, and asks him to show him around, like DC is suddenly interesting or something.”

“Mmhmm,” Brenden said.

“Fuck you,” Sebby snarled, “I’m allowed to be mad about that. He’s my friend. So why …”

“Because he doesn’t give a shit about DC,” Brenden replied evenly, “he wants to hang out with Ty and this is a good reason to.”

Sebby chewed at his lip. “So?”

“It’s a date,” Brenden sighed. “Okay? Can you … just let them have their date?”

“No,” Sebby replied instantly, aware of how petulant he sounded. “It’s stupid—they have nothing in common, why would Gabe want to date a guy like Ty, I had no idea Gabe was even into dudes, Ty is all wrong for him—”

Brenden clapped a hand over Sebby’s mouth, apparently unable to do anything else to shut his friend up.

“You’re jealous,” he hissed.

“I am not—”

“You are so, yer jealous ‘cuz you have a crush on Gabe.”

Sebby reeled, blinking furiously. “What? What kind of idiotic idea is that—I don’t have a crush on Gabe, he’s my friend, Brenden—”

“You do so, you have a big ole’ crush on him.”

“That’s ridiculous.”

“You’re bein’ ridiculous. Now man up. Either you keep yerself under control an’ act like a civilized human being, or we leave. I ain’t gonna let you wreck their date jes ‘cuz you got yer nose all outta joint.”

Sebby rolled his eyes. “The only one being ridiculous is you, suggesting I’ve got a crush on my best friend. That has nothing to do with why I’m upset—I don’t even have a crush on the guy.”
“Then tone it down,” Brenden admonished, but there was something sharp in his voice, like a knife that cut straight through Sebby, down to the bone. He paused, staring out at the surf for a moment, then glancing over his shoulder, watching Brenden’s long, lanky form stride back to the boardwalk.

Gabe and Ty were waiting for them, and they sure looked like a couple. Even though they weren’t touching, even though they were standing apart, there was some … togetherness, or something about them.

Weird. So weird.

He trotted back over to the walkway, just in time to hear Brenden saying, “I think we’re gonna go. I ain’t feelin’ too well.”

“Hm,” Gabe said, “I think this would be best.” His expression was placid, belaying nothing. His eyes were hooded; he watched Sebby impassively as he approached.

Were they even friends anymore? The thought struck Sebby cold. He wanted to say yes, but …
He wasn’t sure. Maybe they weren’t friends anymore. Maybe that was why Gabe could call Ty without a shred of remorse.

“Well,” he said, waving a hand to them, “I gotta get B-man back t’ town. Nice seein’ ya, we’ll have to hang out again soon.”

“For sure,” Gabe replied, but the words rang hollow; there was no conviction.

Sebby’s smile faltered, only for a split-second, but he was sure they saw it. “Well, guess we’ll see ya on the ice tonight!” He yanked on Brenden’s wrist, led him back down the boardwalk.
He whirled about, pointing at Ty. “Rookie! You better not get distracted on the ice! Don’t let this guy sweettalk you, he’s an asshole!”

Gabe grinned. “Seb,” Brenden hissed.

Sebby turned about again, laughed. “C’mon, B-man,” he said, “let’s go get some real food.”

They retreated across the boardwalk, the sound of their footsteps fading away as Ty and Gabe watched them go. “Thank god,” Gabe muttered, “what an asshole.”

Ty glanced nervously at him, then back to his feet, the sand scudding around his sneakers. “Uh.”

Gabe shook his head. “Just always thought he owned everyone,” the redhead murmured, “that everyone was his friend, should fall at his feet. Just because of who his father is.”

Ty frowned. “No,” he said, “Seb’s not like that. He … he doesn’t want any special privileges just ‘cause of his dad.”

“He says that,” Gabe murmured, “but he always acted like hot shit in Boston. Knew everyone, knew everything. Drop his name, get into a club, promise tickets, whatever else …”

He shook his head. “Maybe,” he mused, “DC is good for him. Nobody cares here.”

Ty considered him for moment. The redhead landed his hand lightly on the small of his back, turning him about, in the opposite direction Sebby and Brenden had gone. “Anyway,” the Swede continued, “I am glad he’s gone. We do not need that kind of attitude.”

Ty paused, still contemplating his shoes. “Is this a date?” he asked.

Gabe paused. “It is whatever you want it to be. Do you think it’s a date?”

Ty couldn’t look at him. “I … don’t know,” he murmured.

“Then it’s an I-don’t-know,” Gabe said sagely.

They strolled along the boardwalk for some time after that, neither of them speaking. The wind was deafening, the boom of the surf softened by the gale’s ferocity. Gulls wheeled and called overhead, their voices lost in the cacophony. On the horizon, clouds were starting to gather, big piles of white fluff growing larger and larger.

Ty sat down in the sand when the boardwalk came to its sloping end. He closed his eyes and dropped his head. He dug his hands into the sand, tried to ground himself by feeling the earth beneath him.

Everything was spinning, too loud, too bright. He felt sick, faint.

“Are you okay?” Gabe asked, leaning over him, blotting out the sun. Ty glanced up, squinting; the sun had formed a halo around the redhead, and he had turned to shadow.

Ty shook his head.

“What is it, your head?”

Ty gave him the barest of nods.

Gabe glanced around, then helped him to his feet. “I should probably get out of the sun anyway,” he said with a grin, guiding Ty back to the boardwalk. He kept a hand on Ty’s shoulder as they started their way back to the parking lot—whether to steady him or for some other reason, Ty couldn’t tell.


Danny said nothing to Moira or Mel when he arrived home. Moira eyed him with some suspicion—he was in his Sunday best, after all—but he ignored her and headed upstairs instead.

Matt was still in bed, resting, but considerably more lucid than he had been in days. His last treatment had been a couple of days ago, so it was perhaps just the ill effects of chemo lessening. The next dose would reintroduce them.

He closed the door behind him, loosening his tie.

Matt shifted, sat up. He propped himself against the pillows and watched as Danny took off his jacket, pulled off his cufflinks.

“You look fancy,” the alpha told him after a moment of consideration.

“I went to church,” Danny replied.

That seemed to strike Matt dumb for a second. Then he said, “Why?”

Danny shrugged. “Seemed like a good idea,” he murmured. He hung the jacket up and placed it back in the closet.

He drifted closer to the bed, plopping down on it. He reached over and brushed Matt’s hair out of his eyes. The alpha watched him, then said slowly, “You haven’t gone to church in years.”

“I know,” Danny replied.

“So … why?”

He sighed, bowed his head. “’cause I’m scared, Matty. And I don’t know what else to do.”

Again, Matt was silent.

Danny sighed, kicked off his shoes, and crawled into bed with him, curling up around him.

“I thought you weren’t religious anymore.”

A hand tangled in his hair, clumsy and uncoordinated. He closed his eyes, listened to Matt’s heartbeat—the calmest it had been in days. “No,” he murmured, “I was … I was pretty angry. I was confused and lost, and …”

He looked up at his alpha, deep into his eyes, sunken and hollow and darker than normal. He still looked sick.

He traced his fingers over the other man’s lips. “I still believe,” he murmured, “I always believed, I was just … I couldn’t believe that God would do this to me. But I still believed in Him.”

Matt said nothing, but curled his hands around Danny’s, tightening his grip. Danny held his gaze. “I’m scared, Matt,” he repeated, “I’m so scared for you. What you said the other day … that scared me. So, I … I talked to God. I prayed for you.”

Matt pressed his lips together.

Danny clutched at his hand. “I … I don’t want to lose you, Matty. You mean too much to me, and I was so busy being angry at God, about being omega and gay, and wondering how He could do that to me, and I didn’t … I didn’t thank Him, didn’t see what else He’d given me.”

He stroked Matt’s cheek. “He gave me you, even if you don’t believe it—and I know, it’s not your thing. But I believe it, Matt. I believe God did this, just like He made me what I am—and, and He knows what He’s doin,’ Matt, so He made me the way I am because that’s how I’m supposed to be. And He gave me you to make me realize that, to make me be what I am.”

Matt’s eyes were moving back and forth, reading Danny’s expression, but still he said nothing.
Danny swallowed thickly. “I’m a good Christian too, though,” he said, “or I want to be.”

Matt nodded, a little sheepishly.

“So I prayed for you. I thanked God for you, asked Him to forgive me, asked Him to look out for you.”

Matt wouldn’t look at him now. He cleared his throat. “You know I don’t believe in God,” he said, “at all—I mean, if God exists, in my opinion, he’s one hell of an asshole.”

He paused. “And I don’t think … but, that’s my opinion. So. But … thank you.”

Danny nodded.

Matt offered him a faint smile. “Did you pray for luck?” he asked. “About the game tonight?”

Danny shook his head. “I only care about you right now, Matt—you’re more important than some stupid game—”

“Mmhmm, but I think you guys could use a little. Can … can I wish you luck?”

Danny stared at him for a moment, watched the blush rising to his pale cheeks. “Yes,” he growled at last, rolling them over, pinning Matt to the mattress. He unbuckled his belt, wriggled out of his slacks. Matt fumbled with the buttons of his shirt, his hands clumsy and trembling.

Danny kissed him, hard, furiously, clutched at him desperately. He broke away, panting, grinding himself down against Matt. Matt rolled his hips, pressed up against him.

Danny fumbled with his pyjamas, but slid a hand underneath the waistband, palming him.
He paused. “You’re—”

“It’s fine,” Matt panted, flushing bright. “It’s fine, Dan, really—I—I want you. I do.”

“Are you sure?” He gripped Matt’s limp member, started stroking him.

The alpha shook his head and sat up a bit. “It’s not—I just can’t. Right now. It won’t—so.”

He shucked off his shirt, his pants. Danny tried to not wince; he was black and blue all over, especially down his arms where they’d given him the IV, and he was losing so much muscle mass, so much weight already.

He crawled into Danny’s lap. “Just … yeah?” He tipped his head inquisitively.

Danny stared down between them.

Matt leaned in closer, nuzzling his neck. “Don’t worry about it,” he murmured, “it’s fine—it’s fine. I want you, I want you in me bad, Dan.”

“Are you sure—”

Matt landed his hands on his cheeks, pressing in with all the strength he could muster. “Danny, listen to me—I’m your alpha. Do what I say.”

“Okay,” Danny murmured, dropping his head, resting his forehead against Matt’s clavicle.

“Okay …”

“Fuck me.”

Danny nodded minutely, shifted his grip on Matt’s hips. He pushed inside, ignoring Matt’s grunt of discomfort, the pain of the alpha’s nails digging into his shoulders.

“I missed you,” Matt whispered, wrapping his arms tight around Danny’s shoulders. There was warmth and wetness on Danny’s skin, Matt’s shuddering breath rippling over gooseflesh. “God, I missed you.”

He pulled back, bracing his hands on Danny, using him as leverage, a wall to steady himself against as he started moving, sliding up and down, riding Danny with whatever he could muster—it definitely wasn’t as frantic as usual. The desperation was there, the desire, but Matt was so chewed up, worn out, that he simply had nothing left to give.

He halted abruptly, panting, grimacing with the exertion. Danny rolled them over, pushing the alpha flat against the mattress. “Let me help,” he rasped, digging his hands into the sheets beside Matt’s head, staring down into the alpha’s eyes—brighter now, flushed like the rest of him.

Matt nodded, gasped for breath. He wrapped his legs around Danny’s waist, turned his head to the side. His eyes slipped shut, and his cries were breathless little moans, scarcely voiced, his lips moving around the syllables, then going slack, letting his mouth open wide, a silent scream.
“Dan,” he breathed, at last, clawing at the omega’s forearms, “Dan. Take it slow, slow—I’m not gonna—so. I just want you here, want you in me, wanna feel you …”

“I’m here,” Danny whispered, “I’m right here, Matt.” He slowed his motion, stilled.

Matt inhaled deeply, exhaled like a sigh of relief. “I feel you,” he replied.

Danny kissed him, gently, then laid his head on his shoulder, listened to his heartbeat, felt his chest rising and falling. Hands in his hair, skeletal fingers raking through his locks, shaking, trembling. The alpha’s breathing was so ragged, so broken.

Danny closed his eyes, gritted his teeth. He didn’t care about the game, didn’t care about anything except holding Matt as close as he could, for as long as he could. He’d be happy if he could hang on to Matt just a while longer, just a little while longer …

Matt gasped, and the moment shattered with a kick to the door and fuck, fuck, fuck, he’d forgotten to lock the damn thing and—

“Holy shit!” Moira screamed, then ducked back out of the room, slamming the door shut behind her.

“Goddammit, Moira!” Matt barked. “How many times do I gotta tell you, you gotta wait after you knock, don’t just barge in—”

He sighed again, then looked up at Danny. “Done?” he asked and he looked, sounded … disappointed.

“Yeah,” Danny murmured, shame burning at his cheeks a little. He had no desire to get busy in front of Matt’s family members—not even when he was already mid-act.

Matt laughed lightly. “Good,” he all but whimpered, “I’m beat. Fuck, Dan, way to wear me out.”
They slid apart, Matt patting Danny on the shoulder. “Good luck tonight, huh?”


The sirens were screaming in the Telefira Center, and Gabe glanced out at the ice, watched the red strobe lights flicker across the pad. The crowd was a sea of red, twenty thousand hockey fans on their feet, swathed head to toe in red jerseys, their faces streaked with fanatical warpaint, as though they could invoke some magical luck god to smile down upon them. Their cheering was their incantation and sure enough, smoke began to billow from the other entrance as the Stars shot onto the ice, gliding about the ice as the announcer boomed their names and numbers.

“Nervous?” Shawzy asked, his lips quirked up in a nasty smirk. Gabe sometimes wanted to punch the little puke.

“Why?” he asked. “We won here the other night. We will win again.”

“Shhh!” Ryan hissed at him. “Don’t say that kind of shit, man, you’ll jinx it!”

Gabe rolled his eyes. Like he believed in such casual magic. “Oh, what, like we’ll win the Cup too?”

Shawzy clapped a hand over his mouth. “Sh, sh, sh!”

Ryan had stuffed his fingers in his ears. “Lalalalalala, not listening!”

Zee had strolled up, and paused now, glancing at Gabe. He pointed at Ryan and Shawzy in turn. Gabe just shook his head and shrugged.

Zee shook his head in return, smacked Shawzy’s ass, all but shoving him toward the door. “Get going,” he said.

Ryan followed, and then there was a line of them waddling down the hallway, Zee bringing up the tail. They hopped onto the ice, one by one, testing their legs, readying themselves.
It was game time.

The lights went up, and the music, the cheering died away. Gabe skated toward the bench, glancing over his shoulder as he scanned the line-up for Beckham.

He wasn’t on the ice, and he wasn’t on the bench. He glanced up toward the crowd, the private boxes. Ty was likely up there somewhere.

A jolt. Sebby grinned broadly at him. “Lookin’ for me?” he asked, waggling his brows.

Gabe wanted to punch him, but grinned back instead. “Good to know where you are,” he said, “I will make sure you’re behind me most of this game.”

Sebby shook his head. “You know which one of us is the faster skater,” he jibed, “and it isn’t you.”

Gabe snorted—that much was true. He landed his hands on the boards, helped himself back onto the bench. Sebby skated back, holding his gaze, then twirled a little and made his way to center ice.

Guy was such a douche, Gabe thought. He glanced over at the Stars bench again, wondering …
He frowned. Ty hadn’t been very well this afternoon, so of course he wasn’t playing. If the way he’d acted at the boardwalk was any indication, he had a concussion.

He watched Zee instead, focusing on the big D-man’s back.

It was a scrappy, chippy first period. They had too many turnovers, not enough shots. The only good news was that they were shutting down the Stars, left, right, and center.

Sloppy passes, shots that went too wide, fanned on the shot—Gabe was rolling through his inventory of hockey sins, watching each execution error on the ice.

The Stars weren’t much better, and the arena was alight, the fans screaming, banging on the glass, calling for metaphorical blood. Never mind that the entire arena looked like it was drenched in it already.

The period ended nothing-nothing, and the only reason was because both goalies were standing on their goddamn heads at either end of the ice.

Ten minutes was scarcely long enough to collect themselves, but they tried, shooting back out onto the ice with the horn, facing off at center ice again.

First thing they did was take a penalty when Shawzy tipped the puck over the glass. The whistle went, and the little shit shrugged and grinned like he hadn’t done it on purpose—but the refs didn’t buy it and into the box he went.

Gabe was very thankful the Stars’ powerplay was shit. Although he supposed it helped that their penalty kill had Zee, who just swept the puck out from under their opponents, sent it hurtling headlong down the ice.

The Stars goalie actually had to make a spectacular save on that, something Gabe found amusing.

They opened the scoring at 7:56 of the second period, finally tallying when Ryan tried to dodge a Zee shot and accidentally deflected it into the net instead. A goal and a broken hand—Gabe wasn’t sure he’d want the glory if it meant taking Zee’s shot to the hand, fracturing three fingers. Ryan skated off the ice before they even announced the goal, clutching his mitt, grinding his teeth together, struggling not to scream.

It wasn’t just opponents who got hurt when Zee played with purpose.

The Telefira Center was dead after that, the fans silenced by the Bears’ absolute puck dominance. They forced turnover after turnover, and Gabe rode the wave, high on adrenaline. They could put this series to bed, they could win tonight and move on …

He slammed Sebby into the boards, twisted his elbow in hard, grinning raucously as they dug for the puck against the boards. The biscuit popped free, and Sebby tried to shove him out of the way, so he slammed him back against the glass and held him there.

“Oh, sorry,” he said, “didn’t see you there.”

“Fuck you,” Sebby spat, and Gabe skated off, laughing.

He forgot. He forgot to stay humble, to stay thankful for every good save, for every bounce in their favor.

Zee took a penalty for tripping. The Stars actually scored on that powerplay, which, fair, they were allowed to be kind of good at special teams sometimes, Gabe supposed.

The arena came back to life, the crowd’s cheering echoing from the rafters. Gabe could feel the noise vibrating through his veins. His chest tightened.

The rumble built to a dull roar, and then exploded in the dying seconds of the period when the Stars scored a second, scrappy goal off a bad bounce. Sutherland fired the puck and it smacked Sebby in the leg, misdirected, and hit the back of the net.

The locker room was a volcano of obscenity—Coach was livid, seething, but he said nothing, preferring to let the players chew each other out. And that they did, yelling, baring their teeth, shoving one another.

Then Zee was the voice of reason, booming across the room, telling them to get their heads on straight, they were all being shitheads.

And he was right of course, so they all filtered back onto the ice. And they funneled their rage into smashing Stars into the boards, but they couldn’t get the puck back. Whistle after whistle, but no penalties, and the crowd was booing.

But it didn’t matter; penalty or no, the Stars were ahead, up by one, and they were too busy hitting, too angry to bother with the puck when all they saw were those red sweaters and, like bulls, they were incensed into charging against them.

Later, Gabe would admit that it was one of the stupider games he’d played in his career. But then and there, in the heat of the moment, it was bitter disappointment when the horn went and he could see the shattered opportunity that lay before them—they’d dropped the game, they’d fucked up the sweep.

And it was easy to be angry, easy to blame the Stars—the stupid fucking Stars—and he almost threw his phone against the wall when he saw the text from Ty—mocking him, mocking him!
Instead, he powered the device down, shoved it deep in his duffle bag, and packed up. He got on the bus with the rest of the team, headed to the airport. It was back to Boston for Game 5.
And this time, they wouldn’t fuck it up.


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