Looking for You (Oh Captain, My Captain #1)

Looking for You

An Oh Captain, My Captain Novel

by Lindsay Paige and Mary Smith

 

Looking for You

Copyright 2014 by Lindsay Paige and Mary Smith

 

This publication is protected under the US Copyright Act of 1976 and all other applicable international, federal, state and local laws, and all rights are reserved, including resale rights: you are not allowed to give or sell this book to anyone else.

 

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All rights reserved. Except for the use of short passages for review purposes, no part of this book may be reproduced, in part or in whole, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronically or mechanically, including photocopying, recording, or any information retrieval system, without prior permission in the form of writing by the author.

 

This book is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any person, living or dead, is purely coincidental. Any actual places, products, or events mentioned are used in a purely fictitious manner.

 

Cover Designed by:
Bailey Ardisone

Edited by:
K² Editing

 

Chapter One

Hudson

 

I’ve been weary of women for a while now, and this girl supports my reasoning. We’ve been seeing each other for about a month, and I just called it quits. There are a lot of problems with her, like the fact that she has no boundaries whatsoever, and she’s asked to “borrow” money already. Okay, maybe she would pay me back, but I doubt it. Not to mention the fact that she insists on telling
everyone
about the fact that she’s dating an NHL player. A captain to be precise.

She wasn’t happy, which was clear by her yelling as I left her place. I don’t really care. With a sigh, I drive across town to one of my favorite bars. Is it really too much to ask for a girl who doesn’t want me for my money, stardom, or anything related to being the captain of the Portland Vikings? I want a relationship with a girl who dates me for all the right reasons, so I can share this crazy life of mine with someone. I’m sick of all this other shit. I’m getting too old for it.

Being twenty-seven, still single, and having to hear my mother talk about grandchildren every time I talk to her, is getting to me. My older brother has two kids already, but my mom wants more grandkids. There’s not much I can do though. Not until I find the right girl. At this rate, that’ll never happen. Too often, I’m seen as nothing more than a hockey player. There’s more to me than that. Eventually, I’m sure I’ll find who I’m looking for.

“Where’s your woman?” Jim, the bartender, asks with a slight smile. He knows me well, and I consider him one of my friends.

“Gone. Are you going to fix my drink or not?” I hide my grin when he laughs.

He gets to work on my rum and coke. Earlier today, since I had a free night, I made plans to meet my baby sister, Whitney. She goes to school in Seattle and is coming down for the weekend. She was supposed to be here hours ago, but got caught up in traffic. Whitney is the youngest of my mother’s three children with me in the middle and my brother, Ethan, at thirty. Ethan is married with two kids, living in Orlando. I don’t see him a lot, but the three of us are really close.

There’s a tap on my shoulder and when I turn around, I see my sister wearing a big grin. She has the family traits of brown hair and brown eyes. Standing, I pull her to me in a bear hug.

“It’s about time you got here! How bad was traffic?” I ask, releasing her.

She sits on the barstool next to mine and says, “It was terrible. Better be glad I love you enough to drive in that for you.”

I chuckle. “How’s school?”

Whitney groans. “I’m sick of it. There should be more partying and less studying, but you know little, ol’ Whit. I’m doing more studying than partying.”

My sister wishes she was the bad apple of the bunch, but she’s far too responsible. “You’ll be done soon enough.”

She nods before changing the subject. “Are you ready for your game tomorrow? How did the breakup go?”

“She was angry. I blow things out of proportion apparently.” I shake my head at the thought. “Anyway, I’m ready as always.”

“You are the most level headed person I know, Hudson. Don’t let a bunch of rotten girls get to ya. Eventually, the odds will have to be in your favor and you’ll get the girl you’re looking for. I, on the other hand, have met my match.”

Without meaning to, I narrow my eyes at her. “What are you talking about?” Am I the overprotective older brother? Yes, I certainly am. Sometimes I don’t like hearing my baby sister go on and on about boys, but if I get to complain to her about girls, it’s only fair she can do the same.

Whitney smiles like she has a secret she’s dying to tell. “His name is Drew and he’s in one of my classes. We’ve been study buddies for three weeks now.”

“So what’s the problem?”

“He hasn’t asked me out yet.”

“You ask him.” Her eyes get so large. I’m surprised they didn’t pop out of her eye sockets. Before she can object, I add, “I know that’s not something I would usually say, but what the hell? It couldn’t hurt.”

“I’ll think about,” she says after a moment. “Have you talked to Mom and Dad or Ethan?”

“I talked to Ethan this morning and talked to Mom and Dad yesterday.” The bar is starting to get crowded and busy, so we leave for my place.

We watch whatever movie is showing on TV and eat a large bowl of popcorn drizzled with chocolate syrup, just like when we were younger. After the movie, I turn on my laptop and we FaceTime with Ethan.

“Baby number three should be here in roughly seven months,” he says with a smile before we can even say hello.

Whit squeals and congratulates him.

“Damn, didn’t she just have one?” Whit hits me on the arm and Ethan laughs. “Seriously. You’re like a baby-making machine. And you know Mom is going to really start pushing for me to settle down. Every time you have a kid, she doubles the pressure.”

“Stop being a wimp, Hudson. You’re a hockey player, act all tough and stuff.”

The conversation steers back to the pregnancy when his wife appears on screen and starts talking to Whit. An hour later, I shut down my computer, and we go to our respective rooms to get some shut eye.

 

~ ~ ~

 

One of my favorite things about playing hockey is my teammates and the atmosphere in the locker room. It’s not something that everyone sees all the time. I think that bit of privacy adds to why I like it. We’re a family, close enough to play together, but not close enough to be heartbroken when one of us gets traded to another team. The thoughts are pushed aside as I skate onto the ice and the roar of the crowd drowns everything else out.

When I prepare for the faceoff, crouching just a little, focusing on winning this task, the world is still there. My eyes follow the puck as it drops and the world falls away. It’s the other guy and me battling for the puck with me coming away as the winner this time. Hockey is a fast-paced game, even from the bench between line changes. We really want a win tonight, especially with the last two being losses.

A grin forms when one of their men is sent to the penalty box in the third with the score tied at 2-2. We have an excellent power play record so far this season. The play starts. We lose the faceoff and after struggling along the boards to regain possession, I manage to get the puck. I pass it to one of my boys and after a few more passes, it makes it back to me. A guy tries to put his stick in my way, but I crash the net and score!

3-2, baby! With three minutes to go, we dominate to protect our lead until the buzzer sounds. And that’s precisely what we do.

Afterwards, a bunch of the guys want to go out, and I know that Whit will want to catch up with some of them, so I agree to go. She meets me at the players’ entrance, and we ride over. We get a large round booth in the corner, and Jim sends over our drinks. Whitney sits next to me with the rest of the guys on either side of us. A couple of the rookies gather at the bar instead of sitting with us. They are the wilder bunch anyway, so I’ll keep an eye out on them to make sure they stay out of trouble.

“How is little Whitney King doing?” Gerald, one of my defensemen asks from next to my sister.

“Pretty good. I had to come see my favorite men.” She bumps his shoulder. “And Hudson, of course.”

Gerald laughs and another one of the guys asks her a question. My sister fits right in with us. A couple of them, like Gerald, see her as one of their little sisters too. One thing is for sure, no one will ever mess with her with all of us around.

Slowly, my adrenaline from the win fades as the night progresses. I like celebrating a win with the team and even with Whitney, especially when we make a bet against the rookies. Whitney has no problem playing the innocent girl.

“Hudson, show me how to do this one more time,” she says, looking at the dart like it’s a foreign object. She’s already missed two “practice” shots.

I silence my laugh as the rookies look at each other with a grin. They know I’m only okay at darts, but they have no idea how good Whitney really is. One hundred dollars is on the table, and they are planning to take it home because they don’t think she can hit the bulls-eye. They are about to get hustled.

“Alright, Whit. Don’t overdo it,” I tell her quietly.

She nods. Once I’ve stepped back, she gracefully throws the dart, hitting the bulls-eye. The pair of newbies exchange glances. Whitney throws her second, landing just outside the bulls-eye. When one of the guys opens his mouth to say something, I raise my hand to stop him. She throws her last one, making all three bunched close together.

“That was fucking bullshit,” one of them finally says.

I laugh as Whitney shrugs. “I’m just a girl, boys. If you don’t like it, deal with Hudson. It was his idea. However, this,” she grabs the money and stuffs it in her pocket, “is still mine. Thanks for buying my next pair of shoes.”

She walks away, and all I say before following her is, “Now you know better than to make bets.”

It’s getting late, so Whitney suggests we head home. She wants to leave early in the morning because she’s hoping to meet with that guy, Drew, for a study session before their test Monday. On our way out, a chick stops me.

“Hey, aren’t you Hudson King?”

Not again. Being recognized isn’t something I’m fond of right now. Maybe I should just stop confirming it.

“No, but I get that a lot,” I answer before leaving her behind.

 

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