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Rated: ASR · Chapter · Drama · #2278874
the 9th chapter in this story
Mia took a tight hold on Lukas’s hand as the two of them walked down the street from Zeke’s house. Mia’s heart no longer pounded so heavily against her chest and, although still nervous, had calmed down considerably.

She took a deep smell of the fresh air and allowed the chirping of tiny birds fill her ears. The sun warmed her skin and the blue skies overhead were reassuring her that things would be okay.

“Do you think you’ll come to the game tonight, Mia? Even though we’re playing Rocco?”

Mia chomped on her lower lip and squinted her eyes up at Lukas.

She did want to see her team play against Rocco but at the same time, she didn’t want to be effected by his presence. He’d scared her enough for one day.

“I’m a healthy scratch tonight,” Lukas went on, as if reading Mia’s every thought, “so me and Katrina will be with you.”

Mia stepped closer to Lukas and wiggled her hand into his sweatshirt pocket for a brief moment. She hadn’t heard about Lukas not playing in tonight’s game, but his added presence would give her the courage she was lacking.

Yes, I’ll come to the game tonight. I just hope Rocco doesn’t see me.

Lukas rested a hand on Mia’s shoulder and hummed.

“Was this the first time he’s been up close to you like that?”

Mia frowned and shook her head.

No. He’s been close to me before. The scar on his face is from Katrina using her knife on him.

The hand on Mia’s shoulder stiffened and Lukas looked at Mia, eyes widening. He’d always assumed the scar was from being cut with a skate blade. He hadn’t realized it was from Katrina defending Mia.

“She gave him that scar?”

He suddenly felt a ton more respect for Katrina. It made a lot more sense why Rocco had left Mia alone when Lukas had come back from the bathroom. He probably thought Lukas had a knife to defend Mia with.

“She’s a strong lady. And so are you.”
As Zeke circled the ice with Jax, his eyes flickered over to where Rocco and Frankie were warming up. A little over an hour ago, Jax had gotten Frankie and Zeke together and the three of them made a plan. Zeke had been shocked at first, but just like Jax, he knew that the disgust in Frankie’s words and body language were real.

The three of them promised to act normal whenever Rocco was looking, but they had decided that secret little winks was to be Frankie’s signal to them that he approved of their behavior.

“Hey, Zeke, is your sister here tonight?”

Zeke grunted at Rocco’s words and spat in his direction.

“Eat shit, Rocco. You know damn well she isn’t here.”

A dark laugh exited Rocco’s throat as he looked at Zeke from under his eyelashes. Mia had always been the perfect way to get under Zeke’s skin.

“Aww, you think you’re such a pretty boy, eh, Zeke?! Mr. Hot Shot is all mad ‘cause I flirted with your hot sister.”

Zeke longed to punch Rocco right there but held it in and did another lap around the rink.

“I wouldn’t call that flirting, you bastard.”

Hatred and disgust dripped off Zeke’s every word. The way Zeke growled out “bastard” was the clearest sign of his anger.

“Of course it’s flirting,” Rocco snorted as Zeke’s face flamed and his eyes narrowed, “What? Scared, Zeke? Making your way around the rink trying to gather your thoughts?”

Zeke slammed his stick onto the ice and gulped in more air than he needed too. That bastard needed to shut his mouth before he shut it for him.

“Watch your back, Rocco,” he hissed.

Rocco rose to his feet and didn’t bother hiding his smirk.

“You know she has some feelings towards me.”

Jax grabbed Zeke’s arm and yanked him away before his friend could start punching Rocco.

“C’mon, buddy. Let’s show him who’s boss in our own style.”
Lukas took a sip of his Pepsi and watched with narrowed eyes the scene on the ice. He didn’t think Jax would ever drag Zeke away from a fight.
Rocco, Jax, and Zeke had to have some other history besides Rocco always going after Mia. Lukas didn’t know why he felt this, but there had to be. Most other players in the league didn’t know about their enemies’ family members the way Rocco knew Mia.

He glanced sideways at Mia, who’d pulled her sweater over her hands and was resting her head on her knees. Her eyes were wide as she watched her brother try and pull away from Jax. She was silently pleading with Zeke to play it smart, as was Katrina, sitting right next to her.


Mia’s eyes flickered over to Lukas and she tilted her head sideways.

“Do Zeke and Rocco have history? Besides being sworn enemies?”

Katrina opened her mouth to say “no” as she hadn’t heard any other stories but Mia sighed and nodded.

Lukas could tell Mia was hesitant to talk about it so he slipped off his chair and walked over to her.

“Does it have to do with you?”

Mia sat straight up in her chair and shook her head.

No, it doesn’t have to do with me. It has to do with them being former teammates.

Katrina choked on her beer and Lukas hurried to help her. Zeke and Rocco were former teammates? Why was she never told?

A weak laugh exited Mia’s throat at the shocked look on their faces.

Yeah, back in high school. They didn’t get along that well even back then but their relationship was better than it is today. It all started when their coach moved Rocco to the third line while Zeke remained on the first line. Rocco instantly became jealous of Zeke but his jealously grew worse when they started battling for position as team captain. Rocco was more of a tough-guy-macho-leader while Zeke used his actions to lead the team. As you can probably guess, Zeke got selected as captain. When Rocco found out, he hit Zeke so hard during practice that Zeke sustained a concussion and had to be sent to the hospital. He got kicked off the team for that.

Mia didn’t think she’d ever seen Katrina look so surprised in her life. Zeke didn’t like talking about those years that often, but Mia had always assumed Katrina had known. After all, she’d been with Zeke for four years.

“It doesn’t surprise me. I’ve always seen Rocco as a person who thinks he deserves more than what he has and he’ll use any means to get it.”

Mia’s hands grew quiet and as Katrina mumbled curses against Rocco, Lukas took Mia’s arm and pulled her into a private corner of the room. He sensed there was more to the story than Mia was letting on.

“Mia,” he whispered, bending down so he was at face-level with her, “I think a bigger part of Rocco’s jealousy has to do with you.”

Mia gulped and didn’t meet Lukas’s eyes. She hated admitting this to anyone, even Zeke.

Rocco’s never really had a serious relationship. Sure, he’s had girlfriends, but not for more than a year. So he’s jealous of Zeke because of his relationship with Kat. That’s why he goes after him during games. Not only because he wants me to be his girlfriend, because he’s pushed himself into thinking that I’m in love with him, but because he wants what Zeke and Kat have.

“That little….that little asshole. He’s gonna pay for that.”

Zeke grumbled to himself as he trekked back to the locker room from the bathroom. Rocco knocked Jax out of the game with a heavy hit. He had to be carried off the ice on a stretcher.

As he walked along, an object in the middle of the hallway caught his attention. At first, Zeke thought it was a credit card, but as he drew closer, he realized it was a hospital pass. What in the world was this doing here? It had to belong to one of the trainers.

He bent down to pick it up and nearly recoiled at the name he saw on the pass. He couldn’t believe this. Rocco’s name was on this?

He held it carefully between his fingers and frowned. Rocco’s name and picture was on the front of the card…along with something else.

Zeke squinted hard at the word he saw underneath Rocco’s name: volunteer.

Shock wasn’t the right word to describe Zeke’s emotions. He didn’t know what the word was.

Rocco volunteered at a hospital? Rocco had a soft side?

Zeke breathed out a long sigh before heading towards the left wall of the hallway. Near the bottom of the wall was a small secret crack that he often hid stuff in.

He slipped the card into the crack and stood up. He stared at it for a long minute before shaking his head and making his way back to the locker room. This was a secret he had to keep to himself.

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