A shadow fell, obstructing the light shining off Theo. Mount Grump, himself—tall, craggy, cranky. This was a much better name than Envy and she’d be happy to license it to Theo.
“Off to the showers, Kershaw,” Levi grunted with a glare at his teammate.
Oblivious—or maybe not—Theo winked at her. “See you for lunch, Hockey Grrl.”
The sudden tension intrigued her. Maybe she could give Levi a severe case of FOMO. “Oh, Theo, we should definitely sit down and chat about your return to the game. I think your fans would love to know more about that.”
“Yeah, they would,” Theo responded with another wink. It’s a wonder he didn’t pull an eye muscle.
When he was out of earshot, Levi turned to her. “Lunch?”
“Why, I’d love to!”
Levi growled. “I mean, why is Kershaw saying he’ll see you for lunch?”
“Because I was invited. No better way to get a feel for the team dynamic than by eating with the crew. I’ll also be traveling to Philly with you guys on Thursday.”
He looked pained, which strangely, was sort of hot. Stupidly hot. And that made no sense whatsoever.
Thrown by that conclusion, she collected her wits. “You haven’t returned my calls.”
“I don’t really have time—”
“To do what your bosses want? Have you already forgotten how to follow orders?”
That one earned her a grunt. Ah, the sweet sound of progress.
Perhaps they needed to clear the thick-enough-to-smother air. “Or is it just that you can’t stand that fate has thrown us together after all these years and you have to spend time with your sworn enemy?”
His mouth twitched. “Fate? Sworn enemy? When did this happen?”
“You’re obviously still holding a grudge about what happened back in the day.”
“You think I have a problem with this because I kissed you?”
“Pretty sure I was the aggressor.”
He narrowed his gaze. “You? Jesus, Jordan, is that what you think?”
“Why else would you be so mad at me?”
“I’m not mad at you.” He scrubbed a hand through his dark hair, like he was mad at something. Maybe his hair?
No. It was him. He was mad at himself. Still, after all these years.
In that moment, something unfurled inside her. A twist in her stomach that had her reassessing the man before her. Levi Hunt was six feet three of Special Forces badassery, his body a honed weapon, his gaze sharp enough to fell the enemy or a weak-willed woman at fifty paces. Objectively, she’d recognized this when she first met him. He had a gruff, dangerous quality that would appeal to many.
She had never considered herself one of them.
Yes, there was The Kiss from Yore. But it had come at a strange time and existed outside the rules of regular attraction. Sad times sometimes led to sexy times.
But she was no longer sad. She was on a mission, and the last thing she needed was present-day sparks with the subject of a story.
Why, Lord? Why must you torment me like this?
Rookie Rebels, Book 1