Vaughn Johansson is the Nashville Assassins’ star player. He’s brash, cocky, and talented. And he isn’t afraid to let anyone know it. He lives his life on his own terms, never forming romantic attachments, and only allowing his very closest to see his true, caring self.
Brie Soledad has the weight of the world on her shoulders. As the staff reporter for the Assassins, she balances her high-profile job and its heavy travel schedule with being the sole provider for her adult brother with Down syndrome. Sure, she’d like to find love. But who has time for that when there are bills to pay?
Brie has been the match to Vaughn’s gasoline since the day she first held out her microphone to him. They strike sparks off each other, keeping their friends, the team, and the Assassins fans in stitches. Brie’s refusal to fawn over Vaughn sets his teeth on edge and his blood boiling. Especially in that body part…
Brie’s been let down by love before, but she knows she deserves nothing less than real, forever love. Vaughn’s past has left deep, hidden scars, and there are some secrets he cannot bear to reveal. As much as Brie wants him, Vaughn may be too big a risk for her wary heart to take. But he is at his best under pressure. When the delayed call is in effect and he has no choice but to score, Vaughn always delivers.
“I need help with a couch.”
“A couch?” Vaughn asked, sliding his feet into his tennis shoes as Jensen did the same.
“Yeah,” Shea said as they both followed him out. “Brie Soledad was telling Elli she wasn’t sure how she was going to get her couch up into her apartment because it won’t fit in the elevator, and I said I’d come help. I thought it wouldn’t be a problem, the doorman can help or something. But apparently, he’s on restriction from lifting shit, so that brings you two into this. Plus, this couch isn’t cheap, and it’s heavy.”
Hearing Brie’s name, Vaughn stopped, glaring. But Jensen pulled him along, shaking his head to keep him from saying anything. Which was probably the right call. Shea didn’t need to hear his drama, and also, there was the possibility of dropping the couch on her.
He didn’t mean that.
Okay, he did, but he didn’t want to kill her. Maybe just break her toe.
No one needs all their toes.
Well, she would if she wore those naughty red peep toe boots she had…
Rolling his eyes at his pathetic obsession with her, he looked at the ground as they rode the elevator down as Jensen said, “I don’t know why she didn’t hire someone to move her.”
Shea shrugged. “I don’t know.”
“I don’t think she has the money,” Vaughn found himself saying, and Jensen looked back at him.
“Don’t be a douche.”
“What? I meant that nicely,” he tried as the doors opened. His eyes landed on Brie, who was standing by a big-ass sofa, her arms crossed over her chest and her little chin up in the air. She didn’t want this, it was written on her face, but then, no one said no to Shea Adler.
Well, except Elli Adler.
And his daughters.
“Nothing you say is ever nice,” Jensen shot back as they got out, and Vaughn’s eyes met Brie’s. Heading toward her, Jensen called out, “Brie, I told you that you could call me to help.”
“I don’t ask for help very well. Elli had to ask Shea,” she admitted with a shrug. “Sorry about this.”
“Don’t be sorry. It’s fine.”
“Yeah, it’s only six floors worth of stairs, but who’s counting?” Vaughn joked.
Brie’s gaze cut to Vaughn’s. “I didn’t ask you to help.”
“Technically, you didn’t ask anyone, but here we all are.”
She glared, and he glared back as Jensen rolled his eyes. “They fight a lot.”
“Are they dating?” Shea asked.
“God, no,” Brie yelled, which made Vaughn scoff.
“No, thank you.”
“No? No, thank you, what?”
“No, I won’t date you,” he said calmly, which only made her face turn bright red as the rage settled in her eyes.
“You asshole, I was saying please because I wouldn’t date you if you were the last man on earth and I hadn’t been laid in years!”
Vaughn paused as Jensen shook his head and Shea looked on excitedly. “Well, that’s not nice. How dare you not want to help the world make a comeback? Do you not care for humankind? It would be our job to bring back the human race.”
“No, and I’d probably kill you just to make my point.”
Feigning shock, Vaughn held in his laughter as he accused, “You’re ruthless, Ms. Soledad.”
“You have no idea, JoHo.”
My name is Toni Aleo and I’m a total dork.
I am a wife, mother of two and a bulldog, and also a hopeless romantic.
I am the biggest Shea Weber fan ever, and can be found during hockey season with my nose pressed against the Bridgestone Arena’s glass, watching my Nashville Predators play!
When my nose isn’t pressed against the glass, I enjoy going to my husband and son’s hockey games, my daughter’s dance competition, hanging with my best friends, taking pictures, scrapbooking, and reading the latest romance novel.
I have a slight Disney and Harry Potter obsession, I love things that sparkle, I love the color pink, I might have been a Disney Princess in a past life… probably Belle.
… and did I mention I love hockey?