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The Games We Play


James needed a second. He also needed to catch his breath. This girl would kill him with her mouth if he wasn’t careful, but it was a risk he was willing to take….over, and over, and over again.

“Holy fuck” he uttered, still in awe. He ran his hands over his face, rubbing his eyes and then his head, grabbing his hair. "Amazing." He rested his hands behind his head and he looked down, watching Ali very slowly make her way back up his torso from his dick, where her mouth had just done some serious work.

Ali moved her mouth to the exposed underside of his right arm, running her tongue along the inked letters [i] N E A L[/i]. She felt the muscles of James’ stomach tighten beneath her, responding to the sensation. She drug her mouth over his chest to his left arm, licking and kissing along his sleeve tattoo.

“Baby…” The word came out as a whisper. Was it possible to get hard thirty seconds after an exhausting orgasm?

“Hmm?” She licked his bicep.

“You spoil me…” he managed to say. It sounded stupid to him, but he wasn't thinking clearly.

“I intend on spoiling you again later, too.” Her voice was drunk with lust, and James felt bad he hadn’t returned the favor for her….yet.

She now hovered over him at eye level, her nipples barely grazing his skin, her hair spilling over his chest. It kept every one of his nerve endings alive when he so desperately wanted to relax. His mouth surrendered to hers just as his body had five minutes ago, letting her lead him into a long and slow embrace.

“Rest” she whispered, and eased back against the pillows next to him. She admired the scene before her: James sprawled naked on his back, his hard dick only now beginning to soften, the lines of his muscles exposed in all their glory. It turned her on just looking at him, let alone having just sucked him off. It always left her revved and ready to go, but she wanted him to take his time and enjoy the moment.

James motioned for her to snuggle into him. She felt his arm wrap around her waist as she rested her on his chest. His heart was still racing, echoing dully in her ear. He lazily trailed his fingers up and down Ali’s waist, and eventually, his heart rate came down.

“If only I knew what I was getting into last February” he said. The tone of his voice was relaxed. Below, he felt Ali’s voice on his chest.

“What do you mean?”

James thought back to the day he first saw her. “Who knew I was meeting the most amazing woman that day in the hotel? I mean...what are the chances?”

Ali smiled against his chest, her index finger circling around his belly button. She remembered that day down to the last detail. She’d been visiting one of her roommates from college who lived in Colorado, and they had just spent three amazing days skiing in Vail. The night before her flight back to Pittsburgh, she stayed at the Hyatt in Denver. It happened to also be the same hotel the Penguins were returning to, fresh off a victory against the Avalanche.

“Did you know we’d be staying there that night?” he asked, thinking back.

“I had no idea, but I’m glad I eventually found out.” She looked up at James, and he scratched the top of her head lovingly.

“That was such a crazy night." His fingers went back to the soft skin of her waist. “All the guys wondered what I was doing. They gave me a lot of shit for it, too.”

“I bet! What did you tell them?”

“I told them the truth” James replied. “I said I was going to find the room of the gorgeous girl who waved to me in the lobby, and I was going to get her number whether she liked it or not.”

“You did [i]not[/i]” she laughed.

“I did!” James squeezed her waist. “I went to the front desk and said you were a friend of a friend, and I needed your room number since I lost your cell number.”

“Oh, smooth one, Neal.”

“Hey, it worked, didn't it?” He smiled at the thought, remembering how nervous he’d been. He normally didn't get nervous around girls, not whatsoever. So the fact that he [i]had[/i] been nervous meant something to him…plus, there was no way he was going to let someone with the smile she had go without at least learning her name.

“It was your smile” he added.

Ali looked up. “What was?”

“What I loved about you first.” His gaze was tender when their eyes met. “[i]Then[/i] I got a taste of your personality, and game over. But if you would’ve told me you could swing a golf club and drive a Ferrari three tenths of a mile without stalling it, I would have proposed to you right then and there.”

“Hey!” Ali pinched him in the side, feeling him flinch.

“Sorry, sorry….” He brought Ali in tighter against him, visions of their first interaction still floating through his mind. How could he fuck up like he did when he had a girl like Allison? He would never understand, and he would never forgive himself for it. Their day today had been so comfortable and relaxed. It was the ease he felt with Ali that he craved when so much else in his life was a constant competition.

Knowing his words wouldn’t do him justice, James decided to once again apologize to Ali using action. He rolled over gently, placing himself on top her. He was going to show her he loved her, and he’d keep going until she never thought of his mistake again.

* * *

The next day, Ali got the call she had been waiting for all morning. She answered her phone, practically shrieking.

“Where are you!?!?”

“I just got off 79!” Brittany said. “Where do you wanna meet?”

Ali thought for a moment. “Do you know where the Robinson Center is? It’s right off 376, and close to work. I’ll drive over and meet you somewhere over there.”

“They have tons of places to eat there, right?” her friend asked. “Because I. Am. [i]Ravenous[/i].”

“They do, and so am I.” Ali glanced at her watch. “Let me finish things here and I’ll head right over. Should only take me 10 minutes at the most.”

“Sweet, see you soon!”

Ali hung up and caught John looking at her. “What’s that smile for?”

“You live the good life, you know that?” John replied, his usual good-natured inflection present in his voice. “Your boyfriend gets you off [i]work[/i], you get to watch the Flyers from a front row [i]seat[/i], your best friend gets to go [i]with[/i] you…”

“Oh, John, stop!” she laughed. “I still work [i]here[/i], don’t I?”

John chuffed. “Speak for yourself, honey.” He shifted his eyes over at her and they both laughed.

“So what are the chances I can sneak out of here?” Ali asked, already knowing the answer.

“Oh girl, get going now before anyone yells at you for staying any longer!” John sassed.

“I love you, John” she said, giving him a peck on the cheek as she rounded the corner of the front desk.

“Make sure you wave to the camera tonight” he called after her. “I’ll be watching!”

Ali waved back at him, and then trotted through the glass doors and out to the airport parking lot.

* * *

Series of feet pounded on treadmills lining the wall of the Penguins’ workout facility. James was cranking out a six-minute mile, and was currently working on the eleventh mile. Sweat ran down his temples, the neck of his gray Under Armour shirt soaked and dark. He kept his eyes focused on the football game playing on the tv panels on the opposite wall.

Geno ran on the treadmill next to him, keeping a more relaxed pace. “Lazy fast today” he joked to Sid, who ran beside him.

James looked over. “You should try it once.”

Geno chuckled, his smile beaming. “Try to run beer out of your sweat?”

James snapped his hand across Geno’s arm, but he just laughed some more. He did, however, pick up his pace. Another treadmill down, Sidney’s voice popped up.

“Cut him some slack, G – you’ll need him later tonight.”

“I know, I know” Geno said. “He knows I love.”

James shot him a smile, but kept his focus always ahead of him. Nevermind the fact he’d gotten only four hours of sleep, he actually felt refreshed and on top of things for the first time in awhile.

The treadmill beeped and the running deck slowed. James hopped off to the side rails and took a long drink of water.

“You get everything figured out yesterday?” Sid asked.

“More than figured out.” James shot another bit of water into his mouth. “My guess is she’s happily walking funny today.”

“Ohhh hoh!” Geno nodded his head approvingly. “No wonder you sprint today.”

James’ guilty smile must have been evident because even Sid laughed.

“Niiiiiice. Glad you were able to make up for that shit you pulled the other night.”

He hated how Sid chided him about it. James knew it was all in good fun, but Sid was the one who called Ali in the first place and told her what happened. He wouldn’t forget that.

“She’s probably telling her best friend all about it as we speak.” He lifted the bottom of his shirt to wipe his forehead, sweaty abs bared and heaving.

“Her friend visiting?” asked Geno.

James jumped back on the moving belt and brought his speed up to a jog. “It’s her childhood friend from back home…They practically grew up together, lived on the same street and everything. Ali’s bringing her to the game tonight.”

“No shit” replied Sid. “Then they’re definitely are talking about you.”

James shrugged. “Let ‘em….I left her lots to talk about last night.”

Sid and Geno exchanged a look, shaking their heads in good humor. On the other side of James, Beau joined the conversation.

“So what’s the friend like?”

James laughed, looking his direction. “You’re already trying to hook up with her and you haven’t even met her!”

Beau opened his hands. “[i]So[/i]?!?

“Sunshine’s a player, dontchya know” Sid yelled over the noise of the machines.

“Sucks you’re so jealous, Sid” Beau chirped back.

“Her [i]name[/i] is Brittany” James said, interrupting the razz-fest. “And I’ve only seen pictures, but she seems pretty hot. Super tall, dark hair, green eyes—“

“I fucking love green eyes” Beau replied.

“You love anything that breathes.” James grinned at him, picking up his pace further. “They’re sitting in 104 tonight….Hit the boards and get her attention.”

“I just may” Beau said, and then picked up his pace to match James.

* * *

Ali typed in the code that unlocked the front door. She pushed it open, and lifted her hand. “Welcome to the house that Neal built.”

Brittany stepped inside and scanned around her. “This place is huge, Ali.”

“Way too big for one boy, I know.”

“And he bought it for himself?”

“You should see his car.” She shrugged when Brittany looked at her. “He likes his toys, what can I say. Want the grand tour?”

She led her friend through the first floor, making sure to show her the porch and hot tub near the backyard. Next, the pair went upstairs, and Ali showed her the guest room where she’d be staying.

“Hope it’s comfortable enough for you. I tried to make it homey.”

Brittany was still somewhat shocked by the size of the house, and how plainly it was decorated. It screamed of bachelorhood, but she could tell where Ali had tried to spruce things up.

“I can’t believe you’re dating him” she said, tossing her overnight bag on the bed. “Like…..Ali…..you’re dating a [i]professional hockey player[/i]. Do you understand what that means?”

With a laugh, Ali waved her off. “Cut it out. He’s no different than anyone else…in fact, he’s actually pretty normal, if not slightly goofy. Wait ‘til you hear his accent.”

“No way.” Brittany’s smile widened. “You know I have a thing for how Canadians talk. Their accents are so ridiculous.”

“Get him drunk and ask him to say ‘South Carolina’….it’s hilarious.” Ali was pretty sure James wouldn’t mind that she was divulging everything about him, from the way he pulled her hair during sex, right down to the way he talked. They had so much to catch up on, and that included all the dirty details.

“So. What do you wanna do now?”

“You never showed me you guys’ bedroom.” Brittany lifted one of her shapely eyebrows. “Gotta see where all this amazing sex goes down.”

“My [i]god[/i], Britt” Ali laughed. “You don’t wanna go in there.”

“Why not?” Brittany had already headed for the hallway.

“Because it’s a fucking hot mess, that’s why” she replied, following her.

Brittany walked into the bedroom the James and Ali shared, and began to laugh. Ali appeared behind, grimacing at the sight. She didn’t have any time to clean up their room that morning, and in the time she did have, she focused on setting up Brittany’s room. As a result, bed sheets were left strewn about, and pieces of clothing (mostly James’, she noted to herself) were tossed here and there. When Ali tried to look at the room with new eyes, she was thankful the size of the bedroom made the mess seem less offensive.

“A typical boy’s room, really” Brittany replied. “I like the jersey on the wall.” She pointed to the lightbox that held James’ All Star jersey.

“There’s more where that came from. Want to pick out what jersey you want for tonight?”

“Ooooo, yes!” Brittany clapped in excitement. “Oh this is going to be an absolute riot tonight, I can just feel it. If they win, they always go out afterwards, right?”

“Ohhhh yes. Yes, they certainly do.” She realized she’d said this with a bit of sarcasm. Earlier, over lunch, Brittany got an earful about the past couple months she spent living with James. She decided she didn't want to spill about the incident in Boston. Instead, she kept the conversation to all good things, as did Brittany when she dished all the details about her relationship with Tyler.

Ali opened a large closet in the hallway. “Okay, so we have Away Jersey, Home Jersey, a green St. Patrick's Day jersey, a Dallas Jersey…” She tossed that one back in the closet. “You don’t want that one.”

The sound of the garage door opening interrupted them, and Brittany smiled at Ali.

“It’s go time!” Brittany said, delight in her eyes.

Ali felt kind of nervous as she and Brittany headed down the stairs. She hoped Britt would see past the flashy lights and star studded’ness that came along with the name 'James Neal'. She wanted her to meet the man, not the hockey player, who’d stolen her heart.

When James emerged from the garage, Brittany inhaled quietly.

“Jesus, he’s gorgeous” she whispered into Ali’s ear.

He was dressed in red mesh shorts, a black workout shirt, and Reebok trainers. Thankfully, Ali noticed he’d showered after practice, his hair standing up in all directions.

When James saw the two women standing there, he couldn’t help but grin. One had the familiar look of love and admiration on her face; the other looked like she’d seen a ghost.

“You must be Brittany” he said, heading towards the one with wonder in her eyes. He took her in for a hug, then turned to Ali. “Hi babe.”

“Hiii.” Their lips locked for a moment and Brittany looked on with happiness. She could tell how comfortable they were together, just in those initial moments.

Ali leaned into James side, his arm around her. “So…this is James” she patted him on the stomach. “And this is Brittany.”

“It’s so great to finally meet you” Brittany said. “All those times I’ve seen you on tv, and now you’re in front of me, in my girl’s arms.” She met Ali’s eyes and smiled at her. The mystery of meeting James had finally ended, and Ali couldn’t have been more proud.

* * *



Thank you so much! Amazing people still read it and enjoy it so much. That was my goal :)

Winter22 Winter22

I absolutely adore this story! I've read it a few times and it gets better each time!

Lolo2020 Lolo2020

Love love loved this :) great work!!

Mapleleafer Mapleleafer

Just started reading. Can I say that they do not have to do anything but acknowledge people if even that when they are in a club. If girls are approaching them they can say no, they can just chose to ignore them. So James saying there was a s slip up is crap. He is allowed to be friends and talk to other girls and all but having someone literally just hang off of him. No

6-28-14 ** A NOTE TO MY READERS **

As a result of James getting traded, I've found myself at a loss for words; a loss I'm not sure I'll be quick to recover from. The trade was a hard hit, and it will take some time for me to get over the initial hurt.

I wanted to post a message to at least tell all of you who have followed my stories up to this point that after this, I'm not sure how long it's going to be before I post a new story. James will forever be a Penguin to me, and likely to many of you as well. I'm just not sure how to go forward right now. As a result - I can't promise I'll be back, but I hope to be. I really do.

Let's let the dust settle and the hurt fade...and maybe we'll find one other again on this wonderful site.

Thank you all again for your support...It really has made writing so much fun for me, and I don't want to go forward with another story until it's fun again. Right now - that doesn't seem plausible.

I'll leave it open for any of you to message me anytime, if you'd like. I will occasionally check in just to see how everyone's doing. :-)


Winter22 Winter22