Home > Jersey Girl (Sticks & Hearts #1)(2)

Jersey Girl (Sticks & Hearts #1)(2)
Rhonda James

"No one in their right mind would let food like this go to waste." I stuff a few bites of melon in my mouth. "This is how I eat when I'm at home."

"Come on. I'll show you Cage's room. He won't mind you're here. He's been up north, staying at Derek's family cottage and coaching a pee-wee hockey team for the last two weeks. Hell, I'll bet he's got some chick riding his—" His face turns a funny shade of crimson, and he cuts himself off mid-sentence.

"Is that your subtle way of saying your best friend is a player? Are you sure it's safe for me to sleep in his bed? I'm not going to catch anything, am I?" I counter sarcastically. I follow Scotty up the stairs, bowl in hand, and he opens the second door on the right.

He throws his head back and laughs, and I revel in the sound. I've missed this since he left for college. "No chance. I changed the sheets this morning. My room is just across the hall. If you need anything, just let me know. His room has an attached bathroom, and if you need towels, they're in the cupboard beneath the sink."

I take a look around the room, enjoying the masculine blue and grey color scheme. A large, king-sized bed takes up a huge chunk of the far corner. There's a desk in one corner, and a dresser on the other side of the room. I can't stop staring at his bed. It's freakishly huge. Who is this guy anyway?

"Is your best friend the Incredible Hulk?" I laugh and make eye contact with Scotty. The look on his face shows he doesn't get my humor. "That's probably the largest bed I've ever seen. You could sleep like six on that thing."

"I wouldn't be surprised if that theory hasn't already been tested," he looks over the room once more. "Listen, I have plans with Ash tonight. Do you think you'll be okay to hang here without me?"

"Oh, sure. I don't expect you to put your life on hold just because I'm here." I smile, doing my best to hide my disappointment. "Go. Have fun. I'll just curl up with a good book until I fall asleep. It's been a long day, so it probably won't take long." I offer up a wide smile to reassure him I won't fall apart in his absence.

"We'll hang out tomorrow. I promise."

"I'm going to hold you to that." I kiss him on the cheek and turn to pull a pair of yoga pants out of my suitcase. He lingers in the doorway for a moment before he smiles and turns to go.

I quickly change before heading back downstairs to have a look around. From what Scotty has told me, I know he lives with guys named Brantley, Jordan, and Derek, but I have yet to meet them. There's a flat screen television mounted on the living room wall, and the largest sectional sofa I've ever seen takes up the rest of the room. A small bookcase sits below the T.V., and I crouch down to check out their selection. Fight Club, Fast and Furious, Die Hard. All the typical choices a guy would make. Not to mention they have copies of every movie made in each series. I continue scanning and see a wide array of Adam Sandler movies, a few chick flicks, and a boatload of porn.

Rolling my eyes, I stand and come face-to-face with a shelf lined with picture frames, each one containing group shots of the four teammates. I notice how happy they look in each setting. In two of them they're wearing hockey gear and holding up a trophy from when they won the Frozen Four two years ago. Scotty has told me he believes they'll win it again this year, since most of the players are seniors who have kicked ass together over the last three years. One of the photos shows them in what looks to be a bar, standing side by side, arms draped over one another's shoulders, with a drink in one hand. The smiles on their faces tell me these guys are the best of friends. I pull that one down and run my finger around the rim of the frame, studying their faces. It dawns on me that I don't know anything about Scotty's life now. We'd always been close, but with him being two years older, and a guy, once he'd taken off for college, we practically lost touch. It's one of the reasons I chose to transfer to this college. I'm hoping we can reconnect before he leaves to play in the NHL and his life becomes filled with traveling and rubbing elbows with famous people. I have a feeling once he's gone, we'll lose touch completely. And this thought hurts me deeply.

I'm still holding the photo when my eyes land on one face in particular. I'm not sure which roommate this is, but he's standing next to Scotty. Where my brother and I have blond hair and blue eyes, this guy is the exact opposite. Dark, unruly hair falls down over his forehead, and the wide smile he's wearing makes the amber in his brown eyes sparkle. I trace a finger over his face, unable to turn away. Until the sound of a ringing phone pulls me out of my trance.

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