One Week to Go! Fun excerpt from Pipe Dreams

Hey Brooklyn fans! Here's a fun excerpt with your favorite players from the rest of the series.

The conversation around him seemed to fade away while he watched her silk-clad body maneuver between two men in tuxes. His eyes weren’t fooling him, either. She was wearing the dress he’d bought her on the weekend he’d spent all day trying not to remember. But there it was—a column of silk the color of flower blossoms, clinging gently to the feminine shape of her body. It draped teasingly across the line of her bosom.

She’d worn it. Here, of all places. His throat constricted, and his chest got tight.

“Beak, your tongue is hanging out. Hey.” Patrick O’Doul snapped his fingers in front of Mike’s face. “You okay?”

“Not really.”

“What’s the matter?”

He shook his head like a waterlogged dog. “Seeing Lauren every day. It’s killing me. I feel like I’m watching a highlight reel of my own life.”

O’Doul put a big hand on his shoulder. “Dude, I’m sorry you miss her.”

He spent a moment being surprised that the captain wasn’t giving him shit for that kind of sentimental talk. But Doulie was a lucky man these days—in love with Ariana, and still in the honeymoon stage of the relationship where nothing is ever wrong. Lucky bastard.

Once you’d tasted the sweetness of it, you were never the same.

“You never hook up,” O’Doul pointed out. “Maybe there’s someone else here who will catch your eye?” He looked pointedly toward Connie who was now chatting up Silas. Maybe she really did have a thing for goalies.

Slowly, he shook his head. This roped-off section of the beach was crammed full of attractive, moneyed people who could pay five hundred bucks to chat with athletes and their billionaire team owners. The women were all tanned and dressed to kill.

“You’re right. I don’t hook up,” he told O’Doul. “I have a thirteen-year-old daughter who’s gotten very good at noticing everything I do. God forbid I spend the night with some chick who snaps a photo of me, or brags about it on Twitter. Try explaining that to my nosy teenager. If I take somebody to bed it has to be somebody I trust. It has to be worth it.” Unbidden, his eyes cycled back through the scene to find Lauren again.

“Well.” O’Doul chuckled. “I hear you. And I never really had much interest in the hookup scene, either. But then you need another hobby to burn off some of your energy. Shuffleboard, maybe. Or wakeboarding.”

“Let me ask you something.” He tore his gaze off his ex. “Let’s say you bought Ari a beautiful dress. The first time she wore it, the two of you had frantic sex in a hammock on a Florida beach.”

“There are hammocks on the beach?”

Mike cuffed Doulie’s shoulder. “There are. But focus, okay? So, three years later, Ari wears the dress again, at a party on a Florida beach. What do you think that means?”

O’Doul stroked his chin. “I think it means—let’s have sex again in a hammock on the beach.”

“Who’s having sex in a hammock?” Leo Trevi asked, stepping between them. “You and Beak? Does Ari know? And how big is this hammock?”

“You are such a comedian,” O’Doul grumbled while Leo laughed at his own joke.

“Are there really hammocks nearby?”

Mike sighed. “Yes, and you’re welcome.” He scanned the crowd again for Lauren. “It’s not over between us,” he said suddenly. If it was over, he wouldn’t still feel like this—as if just standing in the same zip code with Lauren had his body humming with newfound possibility.

“What’s not over?” Leo Trevi asked, sipping a fresh beer.

“Beak wants his girl back,” O’Doul explained. “But he’s facing some pretty steep odds.”

“I waited six years to get mine back,” Leo said.

Shit. “I don’t have six years. I don’t even have six weeks. Once the play-offs are over, she’ll be gone. You assholes better put some goals on the scoreboard in Tampa. I need to take this thing all the way to the Cup.”

“That’s the weirdest motivation I’ve heard for wanting to reach the finals,” Leo said. “But whatever works for you, man.” Laughing, O’Doul high-fived him. “Some people play for glory. Some want the money.” “But Beak plays for the puss . . . Hi, sweetheart!” Leo changed his tone in a hurry as Georgia sidled up to him.

“What inglorious conversation have I stumbled into?” Georgia asked, relieving Leo of his beer and taking a gulp. “With twice as many athletes present as usual, I’m sure the smack talk is flying. It better not be about me.”

“Never,” he said, kissing her jaw. “Dance with me?”

“Only if you share your drink. The line at the bar got long all of a sudden.” She took another sip.

“Of course.” Leo cupped her elbow in his hand, guiding her toward the dance floor. “Want to take a walk on the beach, later? I heard there were hammocks . . .”