Puck Buddies (Roommates #2) - Tara Brown



February 28, 2015

I stumble down the stairs, leaning on my friend Brady and laughing.

We stagger along the path from my boathouse to the main house, both of us cooling off quickly in the frigid wind.

“Good game tonight, Brimstone.” Fairfield nods at me as he passes us, leading some brunette back to the boathouse at the bottom of the property. She giggles and trips but he catches her, lifting her into the air and making noises like he’s a car. He’s such a douche.

I hate that Carson brought him to my house. We both dislike the asshole. But it’s how society works. Had we slighted him on the invite there would have been parental issues. As in mine would have had a shit fit. It doesn’t matter how old I get or removed from it I become, escaping this world is like getting out of Alcatraz.

But it doesn’t mean I have to like it.

“Did you see that dipshit?” I point behind us when I know Fairfield can’t hear me.

“The brunette with the big boobs?” Brady spins, confusedly.

“No, the dick with the brunette.” I chuckle. “Of course you only saw the girl.”

“What?” Brady scowls. “What does that mean?”


“What about the dick?”

“He’s dating this girl—not the brunette—some other girl. Anyway, he breaks up with her randomly so he can get with other girls. And then when he’s done with them, he gets back with the girl afterward, so technically he didn’t cheat.”

“Bro.” Brady lifts a swaying finger. “That’s a legit play, bro. Don’t hate the player, hate the game. That’s a real way to get off scot-free. No drama.”

“You’re a moron.”

“Whatever.” He grabs his groin. “Men have needs.” He laughs, leaving his hand there too long.

“You mean to tell me if you met the one—the girl who just did it for you—you’d cheat on her if you could get away with it?” He can’t understand the way I do. He’s never been in love. Brady doesn’t believe in it.

“Naw, man. But that’s a unicorn you’re talking about. That girl doesn’t exist. I’m never going to be dumb enough to fall in love. It’s a pain in the ass. My brother used to be cool. Now he’s whipped as hell.” He loses the cocky grin. “But for real, if I ever did fall in love like how he is, and I didn’t kill myself, I wouldn’t cheat. Cheating is something scum does.”

“Right. I enjoyed the kill yourself part though. You’re an idiot.” I steer us toward the house, fighting the breeze the whole way.

“Girls aren’t part of the schedule. Finish my degree and get to the pros, that’s it.”

“Good luck with that schedule.” I chuckle, remembering how I’d had one too. I used to have all kinds of rules.

“My dad never cheated. He was married for a pretty long time, and he never cheated before he died.” He nods his head at the house casually, like he hasn’t just dropped the dead-dad bomb. “I think I need to take a piss. This isn’t the kind of house where you piss on the grass, is it?”

“No. My mom will kill you.” I point to the large door at the far side of the courtyard. “Go through there and go to the first door on the right. I’ll meet you upstairs.”

“Roger that.” He lifts a thumb in the air and staggers for the wrong door. We’ve been friends for years but he rarely comes here. There’s a good chance of my mom hitting on him here.

“He’s going to piss in your mom’s planters.”

Spinning around I come face to face with the girl I was just talking about. “He probably is.” I don’t even turn back to check on him. I don’t care and I can’t look away from her. I have a terrible suspicion she won’t be here if I do and this will be a drunk-induced hallucination.

Only she doesn’t appear the way I would imagine her in this moment. She’s different from everyone else at the party. She’s in jeans, a parka, and a wooly hat—something the Canadians would call a toque. “It’s a cabin fever party.” I point at her jeans. “Bathing suits and flowery shirts.” I glance down at my own bare legs and flip-flops.

“Yeah, I gathered.”

“How are you?” I ask too quickly, desperate for her. It’s the weirdest feeling, but I don't bother fighting it. I gave up on that the moment I lost her.

“Good. I just came to bring a bunch of stuff you gave me when we were in Kentucky. I