Pink Pucks and Power Plays – Excerpts
Today, Vicki is sharing excerpts from Pink Pucks and Power Plays, the first of the “To Love a Wildcat” series. Enjoy!
“Okay, girls,” I opened the gate onto the ice, “Let`s show them what Busy Bee Scouts can do with a puck!” I cheered. The other moms in the stands sat on their hands. A few of the older boys guffawed as my girls stumble-bumbled onto the ice. Most went down instantly, their spindly legs splaying out like Bambi`s when he tried to cross that frozen pond. Sticks went flying and spinning across the glassy surface. “And that`s lesson number one of how to fall down without hurting yourself!” I announced brightly, hauling a thin young black girl with braces on her teeth back to her skates. Alain and Bruno assisted getting the girls back up. I could hear the barely veiled guffaws from the spectators.
“That is how we all started out,” Alain told the girls who looked close to tears as they hung onto the boards in humiliation. “There is not a player here . . .” his baritone carrying through the rink, “. . . that has not fallen on his backside. As I told your Coach Land, it is how we learn to get up. Now, let`s practice learning to skate forward.”
Holding hands we worked for thirty minutes on the same principles of forward momentum that Alain had showed me. The girls picked it up much faster than I did. Once the coach was happy with going forward, we then went backwards. Giggles and laughter replaced frowns and threatened tears when someone would fall down. And yes, that included me. When our hour of practice was up, the girls were ecstatic, their mouths running overtime as they wobbled around on the ice in a last circle of the rink.
“Coach Lessard, can we have pink pucks?” Amy Tang, the D&G glasses borrower, asked as I herded the skaters through the gate. We had boys chewing at the bit to hit the ice for practice. Alain reached up to rub the back of his neck.
“Well,” he hemmed, “I am not sure if pink pucks are regulation, but, there is pink tape that you can wrap your sticks in.”
“Why should we wrap our sticks in tape?” a pudgy scout with braids asked.
“There are lots of reasons. One is to help puck handling. Another is because the tape adds cushion, so the puck does not bounce off. Also,” he added as the last little Bee left the ice,” We think because we use black tape the goalie cannot see the puck coming off the stick as easily. Tricky, yes?” he asked, closing the gate.
“Very,” I replied. His hand latched onto my wrist. I glanced from his hold on me to his face.
“Tonight?” he asked softly. I studied him for a long moment before nodding. There was something deep in those hazel eyes, something that would hold a woman securely and keep her sated and secure.
“When Mrs. Abernathy was Queen Bee we never had to walk anywhere,” a disgruntled Bee mumbled. I gimped along with my cell phone over my head praying for a bar.
“Yeah, and she didn`t make us go to stupid basket weaving classes.”
“I want to learn how to shoot zombies.”
I paused and glanced at the round little faces behind me.
“Are they offering zombie defense merit badges now?” I asked wincing at the new beat the percussionist inside my head had discovered while I slid a flip-flop off to ease the blister.
“No,” said a pudgy Asian girl with flowing black ponytails and a button nose, “But they should. That would be a more realistic life skill than basket weaving,” she informed me. I could not argue.
“So then, when I was ten, I decided Violet required more curl in her hair, so I gave her a home perm we had found in Aunt Penny’s bathroom. To this day she will not allow me to touch her hair,” I snickered then dipped a fried shrimp into a little Solo container of cocktail sauce.
Alain chuckled at the story and offered me another French fry. I had politely refused the fries when he had fired up the deep-fryer in the snack shop, but ever since he had sat down at one of the four round tables inside the eatery, I had been eyeballing them. Being a gentleman, he kept feeding me fries one glorious hot, long, fried potato at a time. I won`t even tell you about how I removed some unwanted ketchup from one of the lengthy fries but Alain got the gist, trust me.
“I miss not having any brothers or sisters,” he confessed, dipping and placing a single fry between my ruby red lips. “Sometimes it was lonely growing up, you know? But, my mother, she was not a good woman for breeding, no,” he shook his head at my rounding eyes. “I meant she was not healthy enough for more babies. She got sugar high when she carried me. Very bad, so they had only me.”
“Why tamper with perfection?” I asked, watching his eyes shift from blue to green as different emotions tangoed within him. It was as natural as breathing his leaning over the table to kiss me
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Remember to enter Vicki’s giveaway for a chance to win an Ebook copy of Pink Pucks and Power Plays.
Giveaway will close at 6:00 AM (CST) on Sunday, February 23.
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I want to thank Vicki for being my guest author at Seasons of Love.
Tomorrow, I’ll be announcing the winner of her giveaway, plus sharing links on where to buy Pink Pucks and Power Plays”.
Thank you, again, Vicki, for being my guest this week.