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Authors: rachelle Vaughn

Razors Ice 04 - Hot Ice (28 page)

BOOK: Razors Ice 04 - Hot Ice
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Jace let her words sink in. Man, oh, man. He loved the thought of growing old with Violet. He knew she was right. There would never be a dull moment and that was the kind of love he was willing to sign up for.

Love
.

The word kept popping up like Punxsutawney Phil.

He wanted to yell it to the trees now that she was free to be his. Love. Love! LOVE!!!

“Violet, I…”

“Listen Jace, I know it was just sex, but—”

He held her at arm’s length and looked deep into her eyes.
“It’s not. It never was, Vi. With you, it’s…you’re
amazing
. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had a blast having free reign of your incredible body, but there’s so much more to you. Violet, I care about you. But then again, I’ve been hit on the head a few times, so I may be a little bit crazy.”

“I don’t want your possessions and I certainly don’t want your money
,” she reassured him. “I put myself through the Massage Therapy Institute without any help from anyone.”

He cocked an eyebrow. “Are you finished?”

She sighed and rubbed her eyes. “I guess so.”

“I love you,” he said with a sideways grin.

“What?”

“I love you, Violet James. I love how you get all huffy when you’re upset and you can’t get the words out fast enough. I love you when you get all quiet when you’re working out a problem. I love it when you bite your lip when you’re trying to figure out the right words to say.”

“You’re saying it first?
I
was supposed to say it first. As a matter of fact, that was what I came here to tell you the other day.”

“I saw the empty net and I took the shot
,” he replied with a shrug.

She laughed. “Leave it to you to use a hockey analogy when you’re professing your love to me.”

He smirked. “Can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Hockey’s a part of me. It’s in my soul, just like how you are now.”

She stopped him from saying anything else by planting a huge kiss on his lips. “You said the words. I can’t believe you said it. You weren
’t supposed to say it first.
I
said it first. Well, technically I said it to your door after you slammed it in my face, but...”

“I want to hear it
,” he said. “Say it again.”

“I love you, Jace. And
I don’t want our relationship to be built on lies. I can’t go through that again.”

He grew serious and gripped her shoulders, holding her away from him. “
Then there’s something I need to tell you.”

She blinked and readied herself for what he would say next.
Today was a day full of confessions. “Okay.”

“Shit,” he mumbled. “This isn’t going to work.”

She crinkled her brows together and he focused on the little wrinkles in between her eyes while he tried to tell her what he’d been keeping a secret from her.

“Are you worried about our difference in age?
” she asked. “Because ever since Ashton and Demi, it’s been more acceptable for people to date outside their age,” she joked half-heartedly. “I know they didn’t work out, but—”

He shook his head.
“It has nothing to do with that. Vi, I had a vasectomy four years ago.”

She let out the breath she was holding. “Thank God.”

Now
his
brows knit together. “Do you understand what I’m saying?” he asked her. “I can’t give you children. I can’t give you a family, Violet.”

Her face broke into a smile and she hugged him. “I
do
understand. And it’s actually a huge relief.” When she pulled back, she looked deep into his blue eyes. “I don’t want children, Jace. I never have.”

“But…”

“That was Phillip and his family and my mother always pressuring me. But it’s not what I’ve ever wanted. I never wanted children. I don’t have that instinct or the gene for it, I guess.”

“But what about all the times you gushed about how great Carter is?”

She laughed. “What was I supposed to say? Oh, and by the way, I can’t stand being around kids? Sometimes he can be a little terror, but for the most part he’s a great kid. It doesn’t mean I want one of my own. I want to sleep in. I want to eat breakfast in bed. The responsibility that comes with kids, I don’t want that. I can’t even keep my gas tank filled half the time.”

He smirked.
“Thank goodness for that. Well,” he let out a sigh, “that takes care of that. And here I thought that was a deal breaker.”

“You know what that means,” she said, her lip curling into a smile. “No condoms.”

Jace’s cock lurched at the thought of being able to slide into her with nothing separating them. Suddenly, he couldn’t get her into the house fast enough. He would have taken her right there on the boat dock if it weren’t so damned cold. Maybe, this summer…

But he couldn’t think about that yet. There was something else.
“You’re forgetting something,” he reminded her. “My career is over.”


No,” she said with a shake of her head. “It’s just beginning. You’ve been given a great opportunity.”

He snorted.
“I’ve been put out to pasture and will never play hockey again.”

“Jace, you had a stellar career. You must have known in the back of your mind that it wasn’t going to last forever. The human body isn’t designed to take that much abuse night after night.”

He looked at her like she was a crazy person. “
No
, I didn’t think about that! You
can’t
have that sitting in the back of your mind. Nothing lasts forever, but shit, I wanted my career to last a lot longer than this.”

“Jace, I’m sorry.” What was she supposed to say to him?

“Look at me now. I’m not even a hockey player anymore. I wouldn’t be surprised if you decided to bail. I don’t have anything to offer you.”


That’s bullshit. And I don’t care if you shovel fish guts for a living. It doesn’t matter. I don’t care about the title, Jace. I just want to
be
with you. There’s this feeling I get when I’m around you that makes me feel sixteen again. I get all warm and fuzzy inside. I’ve never felt that before. It has to mean something. It’s not every day that my knees go week and my palms get sweaty when I’m around someone. I’m not bringing much to the table, either. I don’t even have any furniture. Everything was Phillip’s.” She laughed. “He was a fabulous decorator. No wonder our house looked like a Pottery Barn catalog. I don’t even have my own bed,” she sighed. “Tonight, I’m probably going to have to crash on Pats’ couch.”

“I have furniture. And a bed,”
Jace offered. “A bed is really all the furniture we need anyway, right?”

Violet
smiled, remembering their mid-day, mid-morning and midnight romps in his ultra-comfy king-size bed. “And a shower,” she added.

He grinned. “Yep and don’t forget the recliner.
Come on,” he said and laced his fingers with hers. “Let’s go inside.”


Wait, there’s one more thing.”

Jace braced himself for another secret. Now that
Pandora’s Box was open, today’s surprises seemed endless. “You’re not going to tell me you secretly moonlight as Boopie, the Italian Hippo Trainer, are you?”

“Seriously.
There’s something important you need to hear from me.”

“And what’s that?”

“I promise I won’t cheat on you.”

“Eh,
” he replied with a shrug of his good shoulder. “I suppose it’d be okay if you did.
If
it’s with another woman.
And
you bring her home with you.” He rubbed his chin thoughtfully and nodded. “That could work to my advantage.”

She smacked hi
s arm. “I promise to be honest.”

“Okay, me too.”

They started for the house and Jace remembered something. “I told my brother about you and he seems to think you’re a keeper.”

“You told him about me?”

“Well, not technically. He has keen teenage brother intuition.”

“Sounds like a cool guy.”

“Yeah, he’s cool. Too cool to hang out at his older brothers lakeside convalescent home,” Jace pouted.

“I’d love to convalesce with you.”

“Good. After all of these declarations of love, do you think you’re feeling up to meeting the parents? It just so happens they’re in town.”

“Funny you should mention that. My dad is looking forward to meeting you, too.”

He cocked an eyebrow.

“I’d love to meet your parents.
Just as long as we take some time out for each other first.

Speaking of making time for each other, Violet had a few questions to ask him
to gage his willingness to make time for her. “If I were to ask you to dinner tonight, what would you say?”

Jace started to chuckle, but saw the serious look on her face and decided to play along. “I’d
ask Italian or Mexican food?” He tucked his hands in his back pockets so he wasn’t tempted to touch her while he patiently answered her barrage of questions.

“Okay,” she said, satisfied by his answer. “What would you say if I wanted to make you breakfast in the morning?”

“I’d say pancakes or waffles?”

“No croissants?”

“No croissants,” he answered with a smirk.

“What would you say if I wanted to take you to the movies tomorrow?”

“I’d say yes as long as
I
get to pick out the movie. I’m not sitting through a two hour chick fli— ”

She stopped him with a kiss.

Her lips were cold, but Jace warmed them with his own in seconds. When she finally pulled away, he asked with a twinkle in his eye, “Did I pass?”

“Yes
, with flying colors and excellent answers.”

“Can we eat now? All that food talk made me hungry?
How about we continue this riveting line of questioning in the bedroom under the sheets? With waffles.”

She laughed and tucked her hand in his. “I do have one more question to ask you
,” she admitted.

“Ask away.”

“Is there any chance you would want to get married again…someday?”

“Well,” he said thoughtfully, “if I met the right girl…”

She playfully punched him in the ribs. “I’m serious.”

“Violet, I’d marry you today if you promise
me I can keep my boat when you’re through with me.”

She la
ughed. “It’s a deal.”

 

* * * * *

 

About the Author

Rachelle Vaughn
is the international bestselling author of the Razors Ice books, a series of hockey-themed romance novels. Her first novel,
Home Ice
, consistently appears on bestselling lists years after its initial publication. Rachelle lives in California with her husband and their sassy calico cat. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys watching action movies, cruising Pinterest for inspiration and cheering for her favorite hockey players.

Visit her website at
rachellevaughn.com
.

 

 

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Also by Rachelle Vaughn

HOME ICE

FRESH ICE

WILD ICE

SUBMERSED

MAMA’S INK

WATCH ME

JINGLE ME

TEASE ME

 

Series

The Razors Ice Series

HOME ICE

FRESH ICE

WILD ICE

HOT ICE

 

The Me
Series

WATCH ME

JINGLE ME

TEASE ME

BOOK: Razors Ice 04 - Hot Ice
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