HALFTIME BY KIM FINDLAY
Release Date: April 26, 2021
Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/39YYUyC
Moo U Hockey: https://hearteyespress.com/wotn#/moo-u-hockey/
Cover Design: Christine Coffey
There’s no halftime in hockey, but maybe there’s one in love…
Drunk dialing your girlfriend to tell her that you didn’t really cheat is a bad idea–a lesson Seb Hunter learned the hard way. It was no surprise when she cut him completely out of her life. Now he’s finally moved on, and he’s looking forward to sophomore year at Moo U. Until his ex arrives on campus.
For goalie Faith Devereaux, cheating is a hard pass. She grew up knowing all too well how destructive infidelity can be. She’s gotten over Seb and picked the college of her dreams. The fact that he’s a student there will not be a problem. Hockey is her priority. Not guys, not dating, definitely not exes.
But when an exhibition game forces them into close proximity, it isn’t long before their old attraction flares. Regaining trust is hard, though, when the heart plays a good defensive game.
But when the goal is love, one more shot might be all they need.
I went up to my room, and Coop knocked on the doorframe.
I looked up from my textbook. I wanted to get on top of my reading. I’d told Holly I’d be tied up until after the game. The women’s team was hosting a party after, and I’d promised her we’d go together. Faith was not going to mess with my head anymore.
“Got a minute, Hunter?”
I put my book down. I was on my bed, and he sat on the desk chair.
He stared at me for a minute, and I wondered what was wrong.
“Is Faith the one?”
I froze. I couldn’t speak. I wasn’t ready to talk about Faith. How the hell had he worked this out?
“Devereaux. You two obviously know each other, but you pretend you don’t.” I shook my head a bit, and he held up a hand. “She didn’t swear at any of us or call us by our first names.”
At least Faith was the one who’d messed up.
“Plus, you knew she’d done that newbie shoot-out thing before, but then you disappeared. And her name is Faith.”
I’d mentioned her name last year when it had all gone down. I hadn’t said she was a hockey player. I hadn’t said much about her to anyone those first couple of weeks before the big blowup, but I had said her name. I’d hoped no one had remembered.
“She’s from Toronto, and you were playing like someone else while she was in net today.”
Cooper was listing everything off like I was on the stand and he was cross-examining me. Had he switched to a prelaw major? He leaned back, waiting for me to respond. He knew. No way I could deny it. I forced my muscles to relax. I hadn’t committed a crime. It was just embarrassing.
“Yeah, she’s the ex.”
I’d gone out with a couple of girls last year before Holly, but Faith was the ex. The others hadn’t been a big deal. With those girls, we’d gone out and had some fun, but it had never been like with Faith.
“Have you talked to her?”
I’d said her name and almost kissed her back on that first day, but no, we hadn’t talked.
“Only when she called me out on the ice today.”
“That means she doesn’t know what really happened?”
I shook my head.
I’d been so drunk when I talked to her last year that I still didn’t know exactly what I’d told her. I shouldn’t have tried to contact her until I was sober. My teammates had tried to convince me. They’d taken my phone. I’d been petrified she’d find out from someone before I could explain, so I’d found a phone and called her. Whatever I’d told her hadn’t explained it clearly. I’d made it sound like something had happened.
That misunderstanding had been too much for her. She’d never taken another call from me and blocked me on every avenue I could think of to reach out to her. I’d been desperate enough to try a lot. If the team hadn’t stopped me, I’d have driven to Toronto, if I could have found a car.
It had been hard to accept that we were over. It had hurt that she hadn’t thought we were worth enough to at least let me explain. I’d thought we were going to be forever. I’d been wrong. And hell if I wanted to talk about it now, not with Cooper or Faith.
“You should tell her. Let her know what really happened.”
Like she would listen to anything I said. “Why? I’ve moved on, and I’m with Holly now.” I almost flinched. I was with Holly, but it wasn’t like Faith and I had been. To be fair, Holly and I hadn’t been together that long yet. I’d been with Faith for most of two years. Of course, the thing with Faith had been more intense. It had ripped me to shreds when she’d cut things off, so I was okay with things being a little lighter right now.
“Sure about that?”
“What the hell are you talking about? Of course, I’m with Holly.” I wasn’t going to admit I’d just been comparing my feelings for Holly and Faith.
“I mean,” He was speaking slowly, like he thought I was stupid. “Have you really moved on from Faith?”
Fucker. Maybe I hadn’t totally, but I was working on it. “Why wouldn’t I have moved on? It’s been a year.”
“Maybe because she still doesn’t know what really happened, and you two can’t even look at each other?”
“Not your business, Coop.”
He shrugged. “You’re good now, you know you didn’t cheat, and you’ve got another girlfriend. But what about Faith?”
I frowned. “What about her? I don’t know if she’s got a boyfriend, if that’s what you mean.”
He shook his head. “She thinks you cheated on her.”
I rolled my eyes. “Yes, I’m quite aware of that.”
“How do you think she feels about that?”
“She refused to talk to me, so I’m guessing she isn’t too thrilled.”
He looked at the ceiling. “Can you look at it from her side for a minute? She believes that the first chance that rolled around, you either forgot about her or decided she wasn’t worth it and cheated on her. Fucked someone else. Decided she wasn’t enough.”
The words hit hard. I’d felt this way once when I hit the boards helmet first. Like I was suddenly drifting above my body, not really attached to it anymore. Shit. I hadn’t thought about that part of it. Faith had been so perfect for me that it was hard to think she might have felt she wasn’t good enough. How had I missed that? Because I’d been so hurt myself, I’d felt like I wasn’t good enough. Had she felt that way, too?
Damn Coop. What was I supposed to do with that now? How could I explain what had really happened without sounding like I was just trying to get her back? Especially after that run-in at the arena, the one where I’d almost kissed her. Plus, there was Holly. It wasn’t fair to her, and Faith would think I was two-timing Holly. Why the hell did Coop have to bring this up now?
“She won’t talk to me. It’s just going to upset her if I try to bring it up. It’s better to let it go.”
“Sure about that?”
“Yeah, I’m sure. It’s ancient history now.”
“I hope you can play tonight when she’s in net.”
“Don’t worry about me.”
Cooper stood up. “Okay. I just don’t want to do suicides because you’re wound up about our goalie.”