Home > A Heart So Wild (Atlanta Siege Hockey Romance #1)(6)

A Heart So Wild (Atlanta Siege Hockey Romance #1)(6)
Author: Raine Thomas

Their server arrived with their drinks, giving Callan and Christian a minute to consider their choices. Callan was impressed with how smoothly the blonde shared each bio. There had been no hesitations or pauses that might have tipped them off to a lie.

“Well, which do you think is right?” the blonde asked Christian after the server departed.

“I’m going to guess the third one,” he said.

The ladies’ attention shifted to Callan, who replied, “I was leaning the same way. Either that, or it was clever of you to add the nickname in there to throw us off.”

She shook her head and laughed. “Nope. Option two.”

“Allison?” Christian said.

“Yep.” She reached over and brushed her fingers over his forearm where it rested on the table. “But you can call me Allie.”

Christian smiled. “Nice to meet you, Allie.”

Turning to his mystery woman, Callan said, “Your turn.”

“All right.” She lifted her hand to count off the options as she spoke. “Option one: my name is Roxanne, or Roxy for short, I’ll turn twenty-nine in November, and I’m a real estate agent. Option two: my name is Gina, I’ll turn thirty in September, and I’m a single mom who manages a children’s clothing boutique. Or option three: my name is Gloria, I turned twenty-eight last month, and I’m a hairstylist.”

Callan’s eyebrows lifted. Once again, the recitation had been given without any hitches or hesitations.

“Have you two rehearsed these or something?” he wondered.

Both ladies laughed. “No,” Allison said. “My friend suggested we mix our own bios with the bios of a couple of our closest friends. That way we don’t have to make up any of the details.”

His mystery woman nudged her in the side. “You shouldn’t have given them any tips,” she said in an amused tone.

Allison clapped a hand over her mouth. “Whoops.” Waving the hand in dismissal, she said, “Oh, well. Too late now. So, who wants to guess first?”

Callan looked at his mystery woman. “Please tell me your name is Roxy.”

Her lips curved and she turned to Christian, who said, “I was thinking option three again.”

“You’re pretty awful at this game,” Allison teased him. Turning back to Callan, she said, “You got it.”

Her name was Roxy.

Learning her name had his heart working overtime, an odd reaction. Shrugging it off, he said, “Nice to meet you, Roxy.”

“Nice to meet you, too…”

She trailed off, hinting that he should go next. He nodded and brought to mind two of his friends so he could attempt to deliver his “bios” as smoothly as the ladies had.

“All right,” he said when he was ready. “Option one: my name is Callan, today is my thirtieth birthday, and I’m a professional athlete. Option two: my name is Dylan, I’m thirty-two years old, and I’m a hedge fund manager. Or option three: my name is Christopher, Chris for short, I’m thirty-three years old, and I’m an oral surgeon.”

No sooner did he stop talking than Roxy lifted her glass in a toast. “Happy birthday, Callan,” she said.

His gaze narrowed. He’d been sure he nailed his delivery. “How did—”

“Roxy’s the best at this stuff,” Allison enthused, also lifting her glass. “For the record, I was leaning towards Dylan the hedge fund manager myself. But happy birthday!”

Christian also lifted his glass in good spirits. “Happy birthday.”

Callan continued studying Roxy, wondering if he’d just been played. Although he and his teammates weren’t as well known and recognized in the city as many other professional athletes since hockey was still the area’s least popular sport, there was certainly a possibility Roxy was a devoted hockey fan and had recognized them.

Deciding it wasn’t a big deal, he accepted defeat and also lifted his glass, touching his to everyone else’s. “Thanks.”

After they all sipped their drinks, Roxy looked to Christian. “I’m guessing it’s safe to say you’re also a professional athlete judging by your build.”

Was that how she pegged him? Callan wondered. This was the time of year when he and his teammates weren’t nearly as focused on their conditioning as they would be closer to the season and throughout it. Instead, they were largely relaxing and healing up all the injuries they’d sustained during the rigorous season. He and Christian had both put on about ten pounds each over the past couple months, but he supposed they were both still larger, fitter, and more muscular than most of the guys around them. Identifying them as athletes wasn’t much of a stretch.

“Yeah,” Christian said. He shrugged and leaned forward. “I’ll work with that. Here we go. Option one: My name is Matthew, or Matt for short, I’m twenty-eight years old, and I’m a professional baseball player. Option two, my name is Henry, I’m twenty-seven years old, and I’m a professional soccer player. Or option three, my name is Christian, I’m twenty-six years old, and I’m a professional hockey player.”

“Ooooh,” Allison breathed. “Hockey!”

“Agreed,” Roxy seconded.

“Too easy,” Callan said to Christian with a head shake. “You should’ve at least tossed football into the mix.”

“Wouldn’t have mattered,” Roxy assured him.

Callan found that doubtful. It was far more likely she already knew who they were, a fact that didn’t sit well. Allison saw his dubious expression and smiled.

“I know,” she said. “Kinda crazy, right? But Roxy’s a whiz at this stuff. Oh!” she turned to Roxy as though a thought had just occurred to her. “You have to read his palm.”

Read his palm? Callan almost laughed over the suggestion. Then he realized Roxy was giving him an assessing look.

“You read palms?” he asked her.

“On occasion. But only for people who are receptive to a reading.”

He held his palm out.

She shook her head and took another sip of her drink. “You don’t believe in any of that, Callan,” she said. “You’re thinking that I already knew who you guys were before I proposed this little game. Otherwise, how could I have possibly known who you were with such certainty?”

His jaw loosened in surprise. How the hell was she doing this?

Evidently, Christian had the same thought. “So, how did you know?” he asked.

She let out the softest sigh, telling Callan she was used to having to explain herself…and she found it tedious. In that moment, he believed her, no explanation needed. But idle curiosity had him waiting for her response.

“With Callan,” she said, “it was a process of elimination. Judging by his tailored clothing, the five-figure wristwatch he’s wearing, and the stack of cash in his wallet, he’s either from a wealthy family, has a successful career, or both. I ruled out oral surgeon because his smile, while charming, isn’t perfect. He’s got a couple of chips in his teeth that an oral surgeon would likely have repaired. I went with professional athlete over hedge fund manager because of the chipped teeth, slightly crooked nose that tells me it’s been broken at least once, and the way he crossed the club. He moved like an athlete.” She tilted her head consideringly. “In fact, he moved like a hockey player gliding along the ice.”

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