Wild Heart (Viper’s Heart #2)
by Beth Ehemann
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For Lawrence “Viper” Finkle, hockey isn’t just a sport, it’s a way of life. Since the first time he stepped onto the ice at just eight years old, he knew what he was meant to do, and he does it well. When his career takes an unexpected hit, and his relationship is pushed to the breaking point, he’s left sidelined and wondering what his future holds.
Just when he’s sure things can’t get any worse…they do.
Can Viper pull himself together in time to save his career, his girl, and his sanity? Or will he be permanently benched?
Lucy, Piper, Matthew, and Emma ate fast and scampered off to play Ping-Pong in the basement while Grace and Maura toddled around the family room, chewing on everything they could get their hands on.“Want a glass of wine?” Kacie asked as she put the last of the pizza in the fridge.
“Um . . . nah. I’ve been fighting a headache all day and that would just make it worse.”
Kacie nodded and filled her wine glass with Riesling. She grabbed a water bottle from the fridge and balanced the drinks carefully in her hands as she stepped over our makeshift baby gate of pillows and an ottoman.
“Thanks.” I took the bottle from her, ready to relax and watch our boys play. The second period was just starting and the Wild were already up 2—0.
I didn’t think the day could get much better.
Kacie plopped down roughly, giggling when she spilled a little wine down the front of her shirt. “Oh well.” She shrugged and took another sip.
“Thanks for tonight, Kacie. You have no idea how much I needed this.”
“Oh my goodness, don’t mention it. It’s been so fun. I think this should be our new road trip tradition.”
“I’ll drink to that,” I said as I held my water up in the air. She grinned and immediately leaned over, touching her glass with my bottle.
We relaxed back into her oversized couch happily, while our babies played and boys kicked ass on TV.
Just before the second period was ending, there was a breakaway play and Viper was all alone, dribbling the puck down the ice toward the goal. Kacie and I both sat forward in our seats, praying for another Wild goal. He skated along the boards, nearing the goalie, when out of nowhere Ricky Young from the St. Louis Blues barreled into him, sending him crashing into the glass.
“Holy shit!” I jumped up and covered my mouth.
Hard hits were nothing new in hockey, but that one was brutal, and it was obvious by the way his body flew that Viper had no idea Ricky was even near him.
“He’s okay. He’s totally fine,” Kacie tried to reassure me, taking a step closer as she put her hand on my arm.
But . . . he wasn’t okay.
Within a couple of seconds, the station cut to a commercial break and fear exploded inside of my chest.
Not again. Oh God, please not again.
Beth Ehemann lives in the northern suburbs of Chicago with her husband and four children. When she’s not sitting in front of her computer writing, or on Pinterest, she loves reading, photography, martinis and all things Chicago Cubs. She’s represented by Jessica Watterson of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.