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You Started It


Jon didn’t look over his shoulder as the locker room slowly emptied. When he’d arrived, most of his teammates got dressed on the double and headed to the ice for practice. He lingered. So did Viktor.
“Sorry about yesterday,” Jon finally said, turning as he did. He meant it even if he was reluctant to say it. Hitting a teammate over a girl was not only unacceptable from a captain’s point of view, hitting a friend over a girl was a dick move anyway you looked at it. It was Jon’s responsibility to make the first move. He couldn’t help adding, a little under his breath.
“You know I like her.”
Stalberg had his head down, tying his laces. He shrugged those huge shoulders. “The only thing I know is that you treat her like shit.”
Jon’s anger flared, his muscled clenched until his back was perfectly straight. The teeth at the back of his mouth ground together. It bought him the moment he needed to realize he couldn’t argue that point.
“So you’re really going to to do this?” Jon wished he could sound threatening or angry. But he just sounded sad.
“Where I come from Jon, you don’t show a girl you like her by proving how many other girls you can get into bed.” Viktor finished with his skate. He got to his feet and pulled his practice sweater over his head.
Including her, Jon wanted to say. But he couldn’t use that either - it was the only private thing he and Fiona had. And Jon was about as disgusted with his behavior that night as he was about all the other nights it hadn’t been Fiona at all.
“You show her by keeping her away from guys like that.” Viktor grabbed his helmet and headed for the door.
“I’m seeing her today,” Jon called after the door closed. ____
The day he met Fiona, Jon had strolled into the bar for lunch. It was still very much summer and his collared shirt was open over tan skin. Bright blue stripes went the long way around a broad chest. Dark khaki shorts did nothing to conceal his extremely sturdy lower body. His eyes locked on hers the second she looked up and Fiona felt like every step he took toward her was another inch she sank into the floor.
“Jonathan! Welcome back!” her uncle Danny called, swinging through the kitchen door. He owned the bar, plus another like it across town. He was working on franchising opportunities nationwide and would be traveling most of the winter to warmer climates. So he’d invited his university graduated niece to take her first real job keeping an eye on the place, under his supervision. And since he wasn’t going to be staying in his apartment, she could use that too.
“Fiona, this is Jonathan. Jonathan, my niece.”
He touched her hand; she was sure she’d fall and knock herself out.
“Fiona’s looking after this place for the winter, and my condo. You’ll be neighbors. Jon lives on the top floor.”
“If, uh...,” Jon said stiffly, “If you need anything, let me know.”
“Okay, thanks.” Fiona just heard herself giggling inside.
“Jonathan is a celebrity around here - the captain of Chicago ice hockey team. Big deal, they are. Won the championship two years,” Danny said. “The town’s mad for them, including a lot of our customers.”
And just like that, Fiona came back to Earth.
Well no wonder, she thought a little harshly. No wonder this guy looked like a demigod and oozed confidence. He fit the profile exactly. She’s worked in a Dublin bar popular with the local football and rugby teams - big deals back in Ireland. And she’d see just how well those boys did of a night on the town.
“Nice to meet you, Jonathan,” she said with impressive coherence.
“You too.”
Jon was so dazed he left without even eating lunch. Halfway around the block he realized, and thought how stupid he must have looked going in there for no reason. As if he expected to be introduced to a spectacular girl at every hour of the day.
Fiona. He liked the name. He had barely heard her accent but was sure he’d love it. Her dark hair and her snow white skin were a beautiful contrast to everything he’d seen for months. She looked like winter, even in the height of summer, and winter had always been Jon’s favorite season.
Why does she have to be Danny’s neice?! The team had been frequenting the bar since before their Cup winning season, when everything had changed. Now there weren’t many places they could go to be low-key and they guarded those few places jealously. Fiona would be there now, she would be in charge. And she lived in his building. He couldn’t let something so close to him go wrong.
That wasn’t the only problem. For the first few moments, Jon had watched his presence have the same effect on Fiona that it had on nearly every woman he met: like the water pulling quickly away from a beach, just before a huge tidal wave crashes over it. The way they moved - biting lips, touching hair - the way they talked - low voices and soft laughter - and the look in their eyes - like he could have it anytime, anywhere - had all been there. And then it was gone.
The moment Danny said hockey, champion, celebrity, Fiona had gone cold. Like a bucket dumped on fire. Whoosh. Nothing.
Jon toyed with the idea for blocks as he passed another twenty places to eat. She’d want him once she spent more time around him, he was pretty damned sure of that. Maybe there was something else though. He’d been considering having a girl who was also his friend. Not a girlfriend - God, no - too tough with his job and too limiting for his lifestyle. But there was something about having a girl around, the way it changed the dynamic when his teammates were getting sick of each other. They gave good advice, had good taste and sometimes, though his teammates were like brothers, there were things he just couldn’t talk about with the guys.
A girl friend. Hmm. ____
Fiona did errands and chores until she could find no others, anything to keep her from waiting around all day for Jon. She went to the gym, showered and spent half an hour blow drying her hair, staring in the mirror wondering what the hell she was supposed since it was only three o’clock. Maybe agreeing to meet him was a bad idea, but she wouldn’t call him first.
She had feelings for Jon. It was impossible not to, she reasoned. He moved like a hero, smiled like a Boy Scout and could talk a girl out of her panties in twenty words or less. But her feelings were not limited to the kind that tingled below the waist. Despite her misgivings at their first meeting, Fiona and Jon had become fast friends. She reasoned it was okay because he never hid anything from her. Jon had a lot of girls, a lot of fun and more than his share of drama. She saw it all. Since he wasn’t trying to act like a great guy, Fiona couldn’t really fault him for not being one. Until it came down to her.
When her phone rang, her heart nearly stopped.
“Hey. Still okay to meet?” Just the sound of his voice made her heart hurt.
“Yeah, okay.”
“I’m home, I can come down.”
“No,” she knew the only place this couldn’t happen was near the scene of their previous crime. It would already be on her mind, Fiona didn’t need it in her face as well. “Let’s walk.”
Jon cursed as he hung up. He’d been hoping to get her alone, really alone. His presence still had an effect on her and he would need all of it to win her over. Instead he pulled a knit cap over his ears and headed for the elevator.
She was already in the lobby. The doorman bid them good afternoon as they left. Fiona led in the direction of a small nearby park sheltered between two buildings. It was guaranteed to be empty in the cold. They claimed a small bench between some shrubs, protected mostly from the wind. Jon was aware he took up much more of the seat than she did.
He started talking immediately, clumsily. “Fi, I know I shouldn’t have flipped out on him but....”
“Jonathan,” she cut in. He stopped. “You apologized to him. You don’t have to say it to me.”
“But I punched him because he kissed you.”
“No. You punched him because I let him kiss me. And I kissed him back.”
Well fuck. Of course that was it. Jon didn’t care who Viktor kissed so long as it wasn’t Fiona, and that could only happen one way - she wanted it too.
“What do you want from me, Fi?” he asked, unprepared to be put in his place so quickly.
“Why are you doing this?”
Because it took seeing you with someone better than me to realize I might lose you forever. He knew the words to say. But boys never took the easy way out.
“I like you,” he said stupidly.
She put a mittened hand on his arm. “Just now?”
“No, always!” he said with more force than he meant.
Goddamn it, can’t she tell? Does she think I share all that stuff with anyone else? Who is the only person I ever want to sleep close to, the only person who helps me sleep at all? The only one I call for help who always comes?
But he had to stuff all that back down his throat, because Jon had never said any of it before.
“Always,” she repeated, afraid he was going to say that, “when you had so many chances to do something and never did? Always when I was right here, Jon?”
He had missed so many chances; had them and given them away.
“Always when you were with all those other girls?”
“They didn’t mean anything, Fi.” He was sure she knew that, that she could see it and had felt it even when she was in the room with him and one of his conquests. There was nothing but dead air between him and those girls. And nothing but spark between him and Fiona when those girls left.
She stood up so quickly Jon didn’t catch her. So much for quick reflexes. The sun was behind her, forming a halo of light along her outline as he looked up. It took a moment for his eyes to adjust to her face in shadow, a moment to see what he thought might be tears in her eyes.
“They meant something to me, Jon.”
Fiona didn’t want to cry in front of him. She was upset as much with herself as him - if anything, Jon had always been as advertised. If she had expected more then she was the fool. But here he was, telling her there had always been more.
“Fi, wait.” He stood, she retreated until there was more than his arm’s length between them. Again Jon ached to think she felt physically afraid of him.
“Why didn’t you tell me before?” she asked.
There was nothing else to say but the truth, even if he couldn’t explain it. “I didn’t think I was good enough for you.”
Fiona nearly screamed in fury at his nerve. All her energy focused into a little point of white light. He hadn’t been good enough and he hadn’t ever tried to be better and fuck her, she’d liked him anyway, despite herself. But he couldn’t trust her to give him that benefit. He couldn’t climb up to reach her.
“And now you’ve brought me down, Jon. You’ve had me like one of your whores and what’s good enough for them is good enough for me?”
Her voice dripped with venom. It was harsher than she felt but her back was up and she was seething. To know he’d been thinking about her, about something between them and still taken those other girls to his bed... it was worse than if he’d never been interested in her at all.
“No, Fiona. That’s not why I... why we... you wanted it too!” His grip on calm was slipping. Jon closed the distance between them in a stride and towered over her. To Fiona’s credit she didn’t step back. “You didn’t turn me away, remember? You didn’t exactly tell me to go to hell while you were letting me tie you up and make you scream.”
He had to stop. He was shouting at a woman in a public place - he’d end up on the news, arrested, fired. Frustration overwhelmed him; he couldn’t say what he wanted, he shouldn’t even have to say it. Jon thought Fiona knew. He thought she’d always known. There was only one thing left to do and it might be his last.
Jon grabbed Fiona by the back of her neck and kissed her. His mouth crashed onto hers with a grunt, teeth and lips mashing. She gasped and Jon jumped at the chance to snake his tongue into her mouth. Fiona moaned in protest. He didn’t stop, just locked his other arm around her waist and kissed her until she bit him.
“Fuck,” he hissed, dropping her and wiping the back of his bare hand across his lower lip. A tiny streak of blood came away with it.
Fiona glared at him, her green eyes bright against the wintry air. She was fit to scream and scratch his eyes out and rip him open and then just lay down and cry for how fucking good it felt when it kissed her. Jon didn’t lose control - not ever. Yet twice he’d lost it with her. She should have known then that he meant it.
“Don’t go with him, Fi. Don’t make me watch you be with someone else.”
Fiona blinked once. It was closer to the truth than anything Jon had said yet and still painfully inadequate. A different choice of words and she might have been all his. Instead she shook her head.
“You started it.” ____


Just found this,read it all at once and enjoyed it. Starting the sequel. Thanks.
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