In the Penalty Box
Seattle Marauders, Book 2
Erotic Male/Male Contemporary Romance
Buy it here at Loose Id
Read an Excerpt
For four years, writer Landon Quinn has struggled to forget the one night he spent with Seattle Marauders defenseman Gregory Samson. Then Landon’s life takes an unexpected turn, and he finds himself back in Seattle and face-to-face with the man who broke his heart.
Samson doesn’t know what he did to run Landon off all those years ago, but he’s sure Landon’s leaving was for the best. The bright, beautiful young man Landon had once been was far too adoring, far too open, for the closeted hockey player’s peace of mind. The intervening years have only made Landon an even sexier temptation — and Landon’s return presents Samson with a whole new set of problems.
Attraction sizzles between them, but having been burned once by Samson has left Landon twice shy. Even as Samson convinces Landon to let him out of the penalty box and into his life, Samson has to face the fact that his closely guarded secrets may come to light. Caught between the ghosts of his past and the promise of a future with Landon, the hockey star must decide if now that he’s come off the bench, he’s ready to come out of the closet.
Four years earlier
The hand that snaked across his leg to cup his jeans-covered cock almost made him swerve onto the sidewalk. Landon Quinn’s heart leaped in time with his dick as he righted the steering wheel, keeping the car on course.
“Jesus, Gregory. Shouldn’t you be resting?” He tried to sound disapproving, but he knew he spoiled it by grinning, giddy as he was with a mixture of happiness and lust. Finally. After three years of his staring, dreaming, hell, practically salivating in plain sight over the Seattle Marauders’ hottest defenseman, Gregory Samson had finally noticed him. Really noticed him, not the casual chatting, “be nice to Assistant Coach Bryce’s sort-of family” kind of way that he normally did.
Maybe doing a header onto the ice had knocked some sense into him.
It was summer, but a bunch of the Marauders had rented ice time to practice together. It had been late in the afternoon. Summer session classes had ended for the day, so he had dropped in and played ref for the guys. He’d watched them square off, four on four, and since he had a job to do, he’d actually succeeded in taking his eyes off Gregory for the first time in he didn’t know how long. Then it came.
Kyle had checked Gregory, but things went south. As Landon watched, Gregory fell, his head hitting the ice and almost bouncing on impact. Gregory’s helmet toppled off on the rebound; then his head cracked against the ice again. Everything stopped for a moment before the guys spurred themselves into action and administered some basic first aid. Gregory hadn’t lost consciousness, his vision was clear, and he’d insisted he was fine aside from a headache. Still, in the absence of any trainers to check him out, Gregory had been outvoted by everyone there. After he’d changed into some street clothes, one of the other guys had taken his gear and Gregory’d let Landon drive him to the ER. There hadn’t been any signs of a concussion or internal bleeding, so the doc had cleared Gregory, giving him orders to take a shit ton of Tylenol and take a break from the ice—just to be on the safe side—until his regular doctor checked him over.
A stroke up his crotch broke Landon’s thoughts. His breath hitched, and he pressed his foot harder on the gas pedal as he raced toward the western end of Bellevue. He tried to hear the GPS over the pounding of his blood, but it was getting to be more difficult. With regret, Landon shifted a bit, praying Gregory would take the hint before the two of them wound up wrapped around a telephone pole. Despite the morbid imagery, he grinned, his mind going instantly to the “telephone pole” he’d felt against his back when he’d been fumbling for his keys to unlock the car. He’d dropped the keys in shock at the time. Never had he dreamed a knock on the head would lead to this. Gregory wanted him. His actions were so uncharacteristic that Landon had been afraid once they’d gotten in the car, Gregory would change his mind. The man wasn’t “out and proud,” to say the least.
The very least. In fact, Landon had never heard a peep about Gregory’s sexuality. And he had looked and listened since the moment he’d first seen Gregory on the ice. Landon had just started his freshman year at the University of Washington back then. He’d seen Gregory on TV before, but the cameras didn’t do him justice. Landon had gotten hard as a rock just watching Gregory during practice.
Thank God his half sister’s stepdad was the Marauders’ coach, or he’d never have had a damn clue that he could have a shot with the walking wet dream of a D-man. He’d kept his attraction under wraps, not wanting to embarrass himself in front of the guys and not wanting to risk making a move before he was sure he could get Gregory. But the past three years of stealing any time he could to be around the defenseman had paid off. He’d had his answers in the form of the fake interest Gregory had shown toward the puck bunnies. The man put on a good front, that was for sure. But watching Gregory as Landon had… He’d found what he had been looking for: a lack of enthusiasm when studying a hot woman and, more importantly, the incredibly rare times that he’d caught Gregory subtly checking out a hot male ass. What really sealed the deal, though, were the “blink and you’ll miss them” yearning glances Gregory directed at the Marauders’ openly gay left wing, Kyle Harper.
Landon frowned. Kyle had followed them to the hospital, apologizing profusely and giving the other guys updates as to Gregory’s status. At least he had been until the doc had told them there was no reason to be overly concerned. Then Kyle’s attention had turned to the nurses’ station, and he’d begun flirting with some nurse Landon himself would have definitely taken a second look at if Gregory hadn’t been there. Except Gregory had been there, looking at Landon…and Kyle. When Landon volunteered to take Gregory home, Kyle had checked with the D-Man and, with a nod, had then wandered off to take a seat while the nurse handled the discharge paperwork. No doubt as soon as that nurse was on break, his scrubs would be around his ankles in a stockroom somewhere. Landon wasn’t exactly sorry to see him go, considering Kyle’s absence was his gain.
Landon stayed with Gregory, touching him whenever he could find any excuse to do so. At first he was worried the other man would pull away, but though he didn’t return the gestures, Gregory hadn’t brushed Landon off. There’d been desire in his eyes—Landon swore it had to be directed at him. And when they had gotten back to Landon’s car…that was when Landon’s dreams had come true.
They had, right? His dreams were coming true, weren’t they? Gregory wanted him, didn’t he? The guy had taken a knock to the head and he was still feeling up Landon in the car, so that had to mean something. Samson had definitely been turned on before, even though his head had to be pounding as much as Landon’s cock was right now. And he’d been looking at Landon. He had. This had nothing to do with Kyle or the damn nurse.
Biting his lip, Landon stole a sidelong glance at his companion, who was now tapping his hands on his thick, muscular thighs. His head was laid back against the headrest, his expression unreadable in the darkened car. Landon shook his head, dismissing the doubts that threatened to send malevolent butterflies racing around his stomach. Tonight was the night. It was. It had to be.
He jumped, breaking out of his thoughts as the GPS voice signaled they’d reached their destination. Excitement began to race through him once more as he pulled into Gregory’s driveway. As soon as he put the car into park, Gregory unfastened his own seat belt. He leaned over and skimmed his teeth up the side of Landon’s neck, teasing as he made his way over to nip his ear. Landon jerked as Gregory’s hand reached across to cup him again. They were in the driveway. No one could see them, but still. Cars weren’t the most comfortable places to play.
“Greg—” His protest was cut off when he felt the buttons on the fly of his jeans come undone. One large, strong hand reached inside, past his briefs. Cars are a great place to play. What was I thinking? He leaned back as best he could and turned his face for a kiss, but the other man was too intent on the nape of his neck. The hand that jerked him was dry, a bit rough. Landon winced for an instant, then looked down and forgot everything else. Gregory’s hand was encircling his shaft. How many times had he jerked off to that fantasy alone? Precum dribbled from the tip, and his eyelids closed of their own volition as Gregory’s thumb swiped across the head of his dick, smearing the liquid.
Then Gregory’s hand began to move in that perfect rhythm that had everything in Landon focused on the sensation of the here and now. Gregory was pumping him fast and hard—no rest, no relief, just stroke after stroke after stroke. Landon jerked as Gregory’s other hand squeezed his sac. He felt himself draw up and tried to calm himself, to make it last, but with Gregory teasing him, there was no way he could hold out. With a shout, he came, calling out Gregory’s name as his cum dampened his clothes.
By the time he opened his eyes, Gregory was already out of the car. Dazed, Landon stared for a moment, watching as the other man fumbled with the key in the house door before opening it. The postorgasmic, relaxed feeling vanished. Gregory wanted him to follow, right? He wouldn’t have just…done what he did otherwise.
The open front door was his answer, and Landon grinned, rolling his eyes at himself for all the second-guessing he was doing tonight. Pull it together, Quinn. Do you really want to look back on your first time with Gregory and remember how much time you wasted sitting in the car with your dick hanging out?
Stuffing himself back inside his jeans, Landon pulled them up and swiftly rebuttoned his fly before he bounded from the car and into the house, locking the front door behind him. For a moment he stopped and stared at the interior. Gregory’s place looked comfortable enough, but the elegant creams and neutrals and perfect house junk artfully arranged made it clear that Gregory definitely hadn’t decorated the place himself, nor did he spend much time in this showpiece part of the house.
He walked farther into the house and found Gregory. The living room was, fortunately, less intimidating than the area he’d just been in. The couch looked like it had been sat on, there were shoes, remotes, a laptop, and assorted sports gear lying around, and a giant television was mounted on the wall. Gregory was looking out the window, but he turned when Landon came in the room.
Landon smiled at Gregory, his nerves making him bounce on the balls of his feet a bit. Gregory studied him for a moment, seeming to weigh something in his mind. Before Landon could ask what was wrong, Gregory walked over and grabbed his hand. He led him out of the room and up the stairs. Concern about Gregory’s head vanished from Landon’s mind at the speed they were going. The man was obviously okay, because if they moved any faster, they’d have been running. That was fine by Landon; he could get the ten-cent tour in the morning.
When they reached a door he assumed led to Gregory’s bedroom, he swore he felt Gregory’s hand tremble. Must be nerves. He was pretty nervous himself, given the occasion. He saw the big bed when Gregory opened the door and clicked on a lamp on the nightstand. Gregory grabbed a condom and some lube out of the drawer. In the next breath, the light was turned back off. Only the dim lighting coming in from the hallway kept them from being pitched into total darkness.
“Don’t you want—” His question was cut off when he felt his shirt being tugged up. He raised his arms obediently. Next time he’d make sure the lights were kept on. There was no way in hell Gregory was getting through the whole night without Landon seeing his incredible body up close and personal. He reached for Gregory’s shirt as the other man started working on Landon’s jeans again, and felt a grin spread across his face a bit as he tried to stumble out of them while undressing Gregory.
In the next breath, Landon was on the bed, his shoes, socks, and jeans freed from his legs. Apparently Gregory was fast off the ice as well. Laughing, he moved to roll over, but Gregory was quicker, wrapping an arm around Landon’s waist and shifting him to his knees. Landon looked over his shoulder, but Gregory’s large frame blocked the meager light. A sliver of disappointment streaked through him before he pushed the feeling back. Next time.
Gregory moved, his jeans-covered erection pressing against Landon’s ass. Landon pushed back, eager to feel more, hating the material between them. He felt rather than heard Gregory move again, then startled as his dream man’s lips pressed gently against the back of his neck. Down, down, down the kisses trailed, gently following the length of his spine. Landon wasn’t sure if it was he or Gregory who shivered, but the butterfly-light touches of Gregory’s lips were both erotic and surprising. And as Gregory flicked his tongue against the base of his spine, a sense of comfort filled Landon. This was what he wanted, and he hadn’t even known it. Gone were the hasty touches that, while exciting, had made him worry if it was him Gregory wanted or if any man would have done in this moment. Now he could silence those stupid doubts. Gregory wouldn’t be like this with someone he didn’t truly want. Tonight was their beginning.
Copyright Protected Work.
Riley Shane, Author. Loose Id, Publisher.
“Landon was an easy character to like. He’s sweet and caring. The love for his family and friends is clear within the pages. So it’s no shock that his heart is still open to the one man who broke it four years prior. I really liked how Landon kept his composure around Samson. It was a good game of cat and mouse. He wasn’t intentionally trying to make Samson jealous but it worked and made for some entertaining reading…Samson has an unpleasant backstory that brought a tear to my eye. The fear of the unknown can rule a person’s life and it has taken control of Samson’s. The author did an excellent job of getting Samson’s pain across; a very touching story..[I]t was the touching storyline and in-depth characters that had me falling in love with the book. This is a book that definitely puts your emotions on a roller-coaster ride from beginning to end.
“If you’re a reader who likes a good dose of drama in your happy ever afters then this is a must read for you.” – A 4.5 star review from Coreopsis at Long and Short Reviews
“This was a very enjoyable story, not only was there they will they/won’t they story for Landon and Gregory there were some great side stories as well. It looks at a time when the NHL has an openly gay player, which was awesome. It takes a deep look at what can keep someone in the closet, even though they desperately want to come out (this part of the story was quite moving and Shane did a great job with the revelations around this).
“The core of the story sits between Landon and Gregory and these two characters are great. Shane uncovers how both men have grown in four years, but how both are still hurt. You root for them from the beginning and the tension around where their relationship could end up kept me turning the pages. There is another book in the Seattle Marauders series and I will pick that up soon to see what else this team gets up to.” – Jeff at JeffandWill.com
“[T]here is a lot of hockey action which made the story come alive. The players Landon hung around with were long time friends and their personalities were engaging, especially Flynn, and I felt like I was actually in the locker room or out clubbing with them. The action on the ice and behind the scenes was believable and being in a pennant race for the Stanley Cup gave the book a feeling of realism and excitement. The book had enough hockey for the true sports enthusiast but it was a backdrop for the romance and not the main event so if you’re not into sports you can enjoy it just as much.
“Landon’s and Samson’s romance was hot once they resolved their issues but Riley Shane didn’t sugarcoat the difficulties facing our heroes…the story was a cut above the usual sports romance…I have no hesitation recommending In The Penalty Box which had a lot of complexity and three dimensional characters that I loved.” – A 4.5 star review from Reviews by Jessewave