Hoops Holiday (Hoops #2.5) by Kennedy Ryan
A jock, a journalist and a second chance . . .
MacKenzie Decker was a question Avery never got to ask, much less answer.
They met when she was a young reporter fueled by ambition, and the ink on Deck’s first NBA contract was barely dry. Years later, they’ve climbed so high and lost so much, but one thing hasn’t changed. The attraction that simmered between them in a locker room before is still there. With success like theirs, everything has been possible . . . except them.
That was then.
But what about now?
*Hoops Holiday Collection consists of FULL-COURT PRESS, a HOOPS novella originally published in the TEAM PLAYER Anthology. It has been expanded with all-new, never-before-published content & epilogue.
It also includes Christmas-themed short stories for characters from LONG SHOT and BLOCK SHOT, books 1 and 2 of the series.
Excerpt Hoops Holiday (Hoops #2.5) by Kennedy Ryan
Deck pulls me closer by the shoulders while tears course over my cheeks and dampen the fine cotton of his shirt. I can’t catch my breath. Weeping quakes my body with the stupid tears I promised myself I wouldn’t shed today. I was so determined to forget all of this tonight, and here I am, a sloppy mess all over Mack Decker. His wide, warm palms roll over my arms when his jacket falls from my shoulders and hits the thick pile carpet. He rests his hands at the curve of my neck and shoulder when my tears finally subside, his thumbs under my chin, lifting, forcing my eyes to meet his.
“Hey, you okay?” he asks softly.
I concentrate all my senses, all my focus on where his hands have been. My arms are warm from his touch. The sensitive skin of my neck tingles where his thumbs caress. The faint smell of alcohol and his expensive cologne flares my nostrils. My heart slams into my ribs like I’ve run and leapt and landed. Wordlessly, I scoot forward on the stool, widening my legs until he’s between them, bracketed by my knees. The bold action forces the dress up to the juncture of my thighs, offering a glimpse of my black panties. His eyes drop between my legs and snap up to my face. He tries to step back, hands falling away and jaw ticking, but I latch onto one leanly muscled arm.
“Don’t.” I scoot forward more until I’m barely on the stool. “Please don’t leave me like this, Deck.”
“I’m not leaving you, Avery. I . . .” He gives a decisive shake of his head. “You’re not in a good place tonight and I won’t take advantage of that. I want to help you, not . . .”
His words trail away and his eyes are distracted, following a path along my collarbone, between my breasts, over my stomach and between my legs. I spread my thighs another inch, showing him what he’s wanted for a long time and inviting him to take it tonight.
He licks his bottom lip, a fascinating swipe of his tongue that I lean forward and mimic with my own. His pleasured groan vibrates against my mouth, but he pulls back, drawing in a deep breath and shaking his head again.
I grip him by the neck and lick the seam of his lips. His jaw drops on a gasp, and I push my tongue in, exploring the warm, silky interior of his mouth. My hands venture between us, finding him lengthened, hardened. When I squeeze, he growls into our kiss. His hands, which have remained in deliberate discipline at his sides, encompass my waist. They’re so big his fingers almost meet at my back and his thumbs rest under my breasts. My nipples tauten in proximity to his touch.
“You’re playing with fire here.” His voice emerges rough as Brillo.
“I know exactly,” I say, my voice husky while my hand pushes up and down over his dick. “what I’m playing with.”
“Avery, we should—”
“Make me feel,” I cut in, steadily pumping him through his pants. “You want to help, then make me feel.”
Tears gather at the edges of my eyes, trickling unchecked over my face and into the corners of my mouth.
“Make me feel something other than pain, Deck.” I meet his eyes, and they reflect my sorrow back to me. He groans when my hand persists.
“Promise me,” he finally says, searching my face. “Promise me you won’t regret this tomorrow.”
A dissonant laugh flows out of me, misplaced in the grief and lust permeating the room around us.
“I can’t promise you I won’t regret this tomorrow.” I stare back at him, not hiding my pain or my passion or my confusion or my need. “I can only promise that I want it like hell tonight.”