On the Ice Sterling knows what he has to do, off the ice, he has never had an issue with the woman, fast cars or partying, but after a horrific tragedy, and his world rocked him to his soul it takes everything for him to keep his world as simple as possible.
Unfortunately, he needs help with his day to day life.
Only he never saw her coming.
Bronwyn sat at her favorite cafe sipping her coffee and stared out at the rainy streets of her hometown of Vancouver watching the endless people running to their place of work, home or where ever they had to go. It was a day off, one that she didn't need to go anywhere. Looking down at her phone again her foot rose in quick succession as the nerves set in. She hated this part of dating, the end. She liked Cole he was sweet, thoughtful and very successful but she just didn't have that spark with him he was handsome in boy next door type, but it was not lusting, or need to be with him. So here she sat waiting for him she would let him down, then she was swearing off men for a while.
The bell above the door rang she turned to see a young couple walk through all smiles and bright-eyed, and laughing. Turning her head back to the window when she saw Cole walk by she swallowed the air as she tried to calm her frayed nerves.
"Bronwyn, so sorry for being late the traffic." he kissed her cheek quickly, and she smiled back. "How are you?"
"Good just enjoying a cup of joe." waving to the seat next to her when he pointed to the front. She snaked her hand out and grabbed his arm.
"Cole, take a seat after you hear what I have to say. You may not want to have that coffee." Cole sat down beside her and gave her a small smile.
"You are done aren't you? You don't want to be with me anymore?" He cocked a brow at her and tilted his head to the side.
"I..I. You are a great guy, Cole but this you and I just isn't working for me anymore. You deserve a woman who wants everything with you. I am truly sorry. Maybe stay friends." Bronwyn even cringed at the last line. She watched Cole as he dropped his head and nodded.
"Bronwyn, I think I always knew it would come to this. Thank you for being honest with me." Cole raised his head and smiled at her before he stood and kissed her cheek. "You take care of you. Okay?" He grabbed his umbrella and headed for the door.
Bronwyn sat quietly watching as he left she felt a sense of relief, or maybe it was sadness. She was mad at herself he was a good guy, sweet, caring and had his shit together. Yet she just couldn't be with him he didn't give her that desire to be with him like he was the air she needed to breathe.
What was wrong with her? Bronwyn was jealous of her brothers, they were all successful and had crazy amazing lives. York the firstborn was an owner of his own architecture company. Jace the second born was a TV broadcaster for the Local News station. Eli the third born was a Hockey player of the local team he was always traveling and was her best friend.
Yet here she was still trying to find her way. Still working dead-end jobs, no idea where she wanted to go in life. She worked in an Accounting firm as a bookkeeper but really it was not something she saw herself doing for the rest of her life. She always thought by now she would be happy in her career, or in her life but she was still just kinda lost.
Bronwyn finished her coffee just as her phone beeped at her she glanced down and saw the text from her brother Eli. She looked at it and huffed out a breath 'Wyn, don't forget the birthday dinner at the Cloud 9 on Robson.' shaking her head she stuffed her phone in her back pocket before, grabbing her jacket slipping it on and she headed out of the cafe in to the liquid sunshine of her hometown.
Running the short distance to her car, she slipped in. Locking the door before tilting her head back closing her eyes doing her best to shake out the nervous energy. She had wondered what she did wrong, what was wrong with her was she damaged goods? She always had a problem connecting to men, on an intimate level.
Fuck them. Yes. Meet the parents? Hell no.
Bronwyn came from a family of four kids including herself. Three older brothers, all raised by a single mother who managed to raise, them all after their father left. She often wondered if it had something to do with that or was she just tired of dealing with men? Bronwyn shook her head as she quickly started the car heading back home. The short drive to her apartment she had the thoughts running through her head but pushed them back to the depths of her mind she parked and headed to her place. She shared her home with her best friend from high school walking in the door the sounds of screams and moans filled their little apartment.
"Fuck." she turned around locked the door and left her apartment. She didn't need to hear Sasha and her fiance going at it. "Just fuck my life," she whispered to herself as she heads out of her place, walking the short distance to her mother's home. She needed to speak to her mom and wish her a happy birthday.
"Mom," Bronwyn yelled as she stepped into the small rancher house.
"In the back sweetheart." Her mother's voice flowed through the house.
Slipping out of her jacket dropping it on the back of the couch. Walking to the end of the house she knew where she would find her mom in the one room that was her sanctuary. She stepped in to see her mother with paint all over her coveralls, her hair pulled back as a vast canvas took up most of the room and bright colors swirled around. Bronwyn's mother was an older version of her self Bronwyn stood taller than her mother by one inch, same auburn hair that was sprinkled with grey and slightly frosted around the face. She had a rounder midsection, but long fingers and gentle eyes. She turned smiling at Bronwyn.
"Good morning, sweetheart. What are you doing here?" She leaned back as Bronwyn kissed her cheek.
"Sasha and Rafe are at it again. I can't wait till they are married and I don't have to hear it anymore." her mother laughed.
"Young in love. Soon Wyn. The wedding is less than two weeks away. You and Sasha will be so busy with last minute prep that she won't have time to make whoopie with Rafe." Wyn chuckled she could only hope for that.
"Happy birthday, Mom. Eli called to remind me about dinner. I assume he doesn't have a game tonight." Her mother put down her paintbrush and turned to face her.
"You know he doesn't Wyn. Yes, an evening with all my babies. It happens so little with all you kids busy." pushing herself forward till she was close to Wyn she laid her hand on her knee. "Now why don't you tell me why you look so sad?"
"I'm not." Bronwyn feigned craziness.
"Wyn?" her mother gave her a pointed look.
"I broke up with Cole. It just wasn't working." her mother squeezed her hand and gave her a small smile.
"I didn't much like him either. He was not strong enough for you, baby." her mother stood up and pulled her out of her room and down the hall to the kitchen before she dropped her hand and went about making coffee for the two of them.
"You think, I am being too picky? He was a nice guy, but he just didn't have..."
"The lust factor. That I need you now, on the couch or floor." Plugging her ears and saying words to drown out her mother's words. "Mom!" Her mother laughed before it got quiet again.
"What is wrong with me?" leaning against the door jam she tried not to have a look of disappointment on her face. Bronwyn's mother always had an odd way of reading her emotions maybe it was because her mother had spent years learning to deal with her illness or perhaps she just knew her better then she knew herself.
"Nothing is wrong with you, baby. Why would you say that?" Her mother just stared at her, but it made Wyn look away.
"I just can't connect to men. I mean secretly. Maybe I'm broken. I don't know I watch all my friends getting hitched, having babies and here I am still single." crossing her arms over her chest her mother just laughed.
Wyn stared at her. "Wynnie there is nothing wrong with you. You just haven't found the right man yet. Mark my words when he comes along he will fight for you, he will not give up so easily. You just have to stop being so prickly."
"I am not prickly." Her mother held out a cup of coffee. "If you say so, baby. I beg to differ you go into dates looking for fault for something to hate or annoy you. I think that has to do with the fact you are scared to open up to others. It is a protective mechanism. If you break it off first, you don't get hurt." her mother shrugged her shoulders. "What do I know though." she cupped her cheek as she walked past and stared at her. "You will find someone before you even know it has happened."
Bronwyn's phone beeped at her then started to ring. Grabbing it she saw it was Eli hitting the talk button, "I know dinner tonight, Eli."
"Har Har. Wyn. No, I have a job for you if you want it. You remember Sterling Mcallister?" she heard chatter in the background of a restaurant.
"Vaugley. You do know I have a job right?" taking a sip of her coffee.
"Wyn, You hate that job, and this is right up your alley. He needs a personal assistant. You would be running his day to day shit, plus taking care of his basic bookkeeping. I am bringing him to dinner tonight so just bring your resume," then the line went dead.
"Eli!" Bronwyn yelled at her phone before she scrolled through till she found her brothers number and tried to call him back. It just went to voicemail, and she huffed out a breath.
"What was that all about?" her mother asked.
"Eli is trying to set me up on a new job working for one of his teammates. Sterling McCallister as his personal assistant."
"What is wrong with that Wyn. You hate your job may be a change of pace is just what you need. Plus it is Sterling he is yummy."
"MOM!" she screeched.
"Wyn, I am old but not blind that man is divine."
"Whew!! Well, then he is your birthday present because Eli is bringing him by for your birthday dinner." she raised a brow at her mother.
"More the merrier, Wyn." she laughed as she walked out of the kitchen. Bronwyn just stood in the kitchen in shock. "Fucking brothers."
"Bronwyn, language!" blowing a wayward strand of her hair out of her face she turned to go spend some time with her mother before heading back home to get ready for dinner.
Sterling sat at the table with his teammates family he was not big on family functions, but this was more about business, it just happened to be at Eli's mothers birthday dinner. He had dressed up he knew most of Eli's brothers and had met his mother at a few home games, but he had never met the sister. He asked why Wyn never came to games Eli just said she spent too many years in cold ice rinks at ungodly hours for many years of her life and it only happened when they made playoffs.
Sterling listened to the conversation around him he felt like a massive eyesore among the Duvall clan. Sterling towered over the rest at six foot six Eli was six foot five, but he didn't mind having a quiet evening out even if it was to meet Eli's sister.
"Where is she?" What Eli asked he looked at his watch.
"You know her she is not always on time," York said with a slight annoyance in his voice. Ms. Duval lightly smacked her sons arm.
"York, we are early, she is not late yet." Just then Sterling looked up and saw a beautiful redhead in a dark red dress that fit her like a glove the soft rise of her chest showing just a minimal amount of cleavage, her big almond-shaped eyes, slight hips flared out her tiny waist. Sterling was lost in thought of what he could do to her. She was coming towards the table with all the guys stood up, Eli hit Sterling on the shoulder.
Sterling leaned into Eli. "This is the infamous Bronwyn?" Eli just nodded as she went around and hugged her brothers, York, Jace then Eli she held out her hand to him.
"You must be Sterling? A pleasure to meet you." she smiled up at him she was tall like her brothers in heels she was at least Six foot one, her delicate hand slipped into his, and he nodded, feeling an instant spark. Her voice was slightly husky but feminine.
"Same. Sorry for intruding on the dinner." pulling her hand away Bronwyn shrugged.
"Mom said it would be nice to see other faces than our ugly mugs." she sidestepped him before leaning down and kissed her mother's cheek and walked around to sit right across from Sterling and sit next to York.
"It's about time, sis." York scoffed.
Bronwyn shook her head and dug in her purse and pulled out her small present for her mother and placed it beside her plate.
"Oh just showing us up Wyn?" Eli chuckled.
"Shut it, asshole." her mother stared at her and York, as Jace laughed.
Sterling just stared at her watching her trying to catch his breath how had he never met Eli's sister she was beautiful in a classic way. She had a Marilyn Monroe body her blue-gray eyes, small dainty nose her plump lips. She was not as thin as a stick but not overweight she was just healthy her cheeks flush pink her long swan-like neck. She looked at him giving a small smile before she looked down at the table. The waiter came taking their order as they all enjoyed pre-dinner drinks, but he saw their mother just stuck with water same as Sterling.
Everyone was chattering, picking on each other; she spoke a few words to Sterling, but he mostly interacted with Eli and his brothers. He was about to ask her questions when the waiter brought the food. They all enjoyed the dishes and spoke about the weather, talking about a few hikes they wanted to do this summer. The chief in Squamish and the Kayak the islands. Sterling noticed her brother Jace was volunteering to go with her.
"We should head up to the Okanagan also. Hit up some of the wineries. I have heard of a few new places that are looking for possible investors." Jace smiled
"Wino!" York shook his head at his brother.
"Yeah, so what is your point. Wyn, likes wine also." he pointed to her smirking at York. Sterling chuckled he was more of a beer drinker himself.
"I head about a few new microbreweries around there also," he spoke to Jace.
"Yes, some amazing ones." Jace took a bite of his food.
"Are you interested in beer for drinking sake or investment sake?" he turned to smile at Bronwyn.
"Both? Or is that too easy?" the whole table laughed as they all finished their dinners.
Sterling ate as he quietly watched the family interact he noticed that Bronwyn didn't interact with her older brothers as much as with Eli. He had to wonder why he saw little things about the family interactions that he found both endearing and alarming.
Sterling himself was an only child he always wanted to be a sibling but it never happened, and he was so busy playing hockey as a kid he never really had a chance to miss too much. He envied the close-knit family and enjoying small interactions.
"So Sterling I heard you are looking for someone to run the day to day life for you as a personal assistant?" Sterling looked up from his plate at the creature that had bewitched him.
"I am. I have many things that need attention as of late, but between travel and practice, I am usually unable to keep up. My last assistant left me to get married. It was Eli who said you may be interested." He watched her fiery red hair fall over her shoulder as she leaned forward and pulled the wine glass to her lips before she nodded.
It left Sterling cock stirring to life, he wondered what her pink lush lips would feel like around his cock he looked away before she noticed his impure thoughts and for himself before he was lost in need to feel her body touch his.
"I am not so sure that I would be of any use to you. I am a bookkeeper not into playing referee with all the puck bunnies you players have to deal with." Sterling and Eli both laughed before Eli spoke to his sister.
"Wyn, come on now. It is not our fault about them plus you wouldn't need to be around the rink." Eli shook his head and gave Stirling a forlorn look.
"No. You would be at my home working in the office. Not at the rink. Your brother has told me that you are not one for hanging out at the rink." giving her a small smile he took a sip of his beer.
"I will think about it." Sterling just politely nodded his head. As the waiter brought the bill to the table as he quickly snagged it before others to take care of it others protested but he just smiled. "No, it is my pleasure."
He turned and looked to find a pair of beautiful blue-grey eyes watching him closely and he had an intense moment he wanted to asked what it was she was thinking. It would be the eyes that would haunt him for the night, and Sterling knew it.