A LAKESHORE U BONUS EPILOGUE
BREAK THE ICE
“Look at yourself, shortcake.”
Noah ran his nose up the side of my neck, feathering kisses over my jaw, his eyes locked on mine in the mirror.
We were in his room, positioned in front of his mirror. Me wearing nothing but his jersey, cradled in his thighs as he sat behind me, his long fingers teasing my pussy as he praised me, touched me, showed me just how much he loved every single inch of me.
“You’re a fucking vision.”
“Noah,” I gasped as his thumb passed over my clit. A slow, sensual drag that made my body arch into his touch.
“I can’t get enough of you, Aurora. You make me so fucking hard.”
As if I needed any reminder with his impressive length digging into my back.
He pumped his fingers in and out of me, watching me the whole time. It was so deeply intimate but whenever I got all up in my feelings, my negative thoughts, Noah did something like this.
Because although I knew he loved me irrevocably, sometimes I didn’t love myself. Sometimes the voices in my head became too loud and I fell back into the vicious cycle of doubt and self-hatred.
Therapy helped. Jordan, Harper, Ella, and the girls were all amazing. My brother too. But it was a process. A journey. One that hadn’t ended simply because I was in love.
And I was. Deeply, truly in love.
But it wasn’t only the way that he loved me, it was the way he made me love myself.
Noah was patient and kind and he made me laugh every single day. But he also pushed me to step out of my comfort zone. To face my fears head on. I didn’t always get it right and, more often than not, I freaked out. But he was always right there to comfort me.
My biggest cheerleader.
My best friend.
“I love your curves,” he went on, trailing his hand up my stomach, the soft material of his Lakers jersey brushing my skin and making me shiver. “I love your hips and your ass. God, I love your ass.”
He watched me do yoga at least twice a week. It usually ended up with him pouncing on me and showing me exactly how much he loved my ass… and my boobs… and the rest of my curves.
“I love your smile and the way you cry my name when you come.” He grinned, his hand moving higher. “And your tits. Fuck, I love these.”
He massaged one breast then the other, making me whimper and pant as his fingers kept working me.
My eyelids fluttered, the sensations crashing over me too powerful.
But then Noah’s hand curved around my throat. “Look at me, shortcake,” he rasped. “I want to see your eyes when you come for me.”
“Noah,” I cried, parting my thighs a little so he could go deeper.
I couldn’t take my eyes off the spot where his fingers disappeared inside me. It was so freaking erotic watching him touch me, and something I could never have imagined myself, even in my wildest dreams, doing before him.
“Come for me, Aurora.” He pinched my clit, sending sparks through me. “Now.”
He rubbed his fingers deep and I went off like a rocket, my body trembling as I cried his name over and over.
“Such a good girl,” he kissed my shoulder, holding me as I rode the intense waves of pleasure cascading through me.
“My girl,” he added.
“I love you,” I breathed, everything going lax and sated inside me.
“I love you too, shortcake.” He smiled, his eyes glittering with adoration. “Always.”
Life was good.
No, scratch that.
Life was fucking amazing.
The team was on fire, winning four out of our last five games. And it was almost the holidays.
I’d never really cared for shit like that before. Growing up, the holidays were just another reminder of how shitty my life was. But this year, I planned to holiday the fuck out of it with Aurora.
I had a whole list of things I wanted to do with her. Skating at the outside rink downtown. The Christmas market. A holiday film viewing at The Regal. Tree picking at the local tree farm, although Connor had insisted we had to do that with him and Ella. Which was fine by me. I fucking loved my family.
The family I’d chosen. The family who’d chosen me right back. Buffalo was firmly in my past. Aurora, the team, hockey… they were my future.
And I’d made my peace with that.
My old man was still alive. He’d tried to reach out again before Thanksgiving. But I was done. Cancer or no cancer, I refused to let him back into my life.
Aurora, Austin, and their mom were a different story. A work in progress, Aurora liked to call it. I’d only met Susannah Hart once and it was enough for me to know I wasn’t in any rush to meet her again.
Thankfully, though, she hadn’t sent Aurora anymore care packages or tried to expend any advice on her daughter. Because if she ever pulled that shit again, it wouldn’t only be Austin she had to deal with.
I’d be first in line to set her straight.
“Yo, asshole, you ready?” Austin bellowed from downstairs.
“Coming.” I shoved my wallet in my jeans pocket and grabbed my hoodie.
“What took so long?” he asked.
“It takes time to look this good, you know.” I smirked and he rolled his eyes.
“I still don’t know what she sees in you.”
“You need to get over it, Aus. It’s been almost three months. I’m not going anywhere. Besides, secretly I think you’re pleased I’m dating Aurora.”
“What the fuck would make you think that?”
“Because one day, we might be more than just friends.”
“The fuck you talking about?” He gawked at me, and I chuckled.
“We might be brothers-in-law.”
The blood drained from his face. “Take that back, Holden. I swear to God, take it back right fucking now. Connor,” he yelled. “He’s doing it again.”
“You called?” Connor stuck his head around the door.
“He’s talking about marrying her again.” Austin grumbled.
“Could be worse.” Connor shrugged. “Rory could be dating Adams or Cutler.”
“Seriously, man, you need to let this shit go. Noah is a changed man. Maybe if you hadn’t screwed things up with Fallon, you would feel differently about—”
“I didn’t screw things up. I ended it. There’s a difference.”
“Sure, keep telling yourself that. Know what I think? I think you caught feelings, got scared, and ran like a pussy.”
“You don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about.” Austin scoffed.
“He has a point,” I added.
“Oh, fuck off, both of you. I happen to like being single. It’s too much drama having a girlfriend.”
“I thought she wasn’t your girlfriend.”
Me and Connor shared a knowing look. Austin was full of shit. The first sign of things getting serious with Fallon and he had bailed.
“Whatever,” he murmured, grabbing his car keys. “We doing this or what?”
“Hells yeah,” Connor grinned. “Let’s go pick my girl a ring.”
“Did you and the guys have fun?” I asked Noah as I stirred the spaghetti.
I’d spent the afternoon with the girls at Zest while Noah and the guys enjoyed a rare Saturday off.
“Uh, yeah. It was fine.”
Glancing over my shoulder, I frowned. “Fine? What does that mean?”
“It was just a few drinks, nothing exciting.”
“So why are you being all cagey about it?”
“Noah.” I glared.
“Shortcake.” He grinned back.
“You’re hiding something.”
He got up and stalked toward me, hooking his hand around my waist and turning me in his arms. “Would I ever lie to you?”
“You tell me.” I narrowed my eyes, fighting a smile.
He was impossible to stay mad at.
Lowering his face, Noah went to kiss me but I slid my hands against his chest. “Not so fast, hotshot. You’re trying to distract me.”
“No, I’m trying to kiss my girlfriend.”
My heart fluttered. I loved hearing him say those words.
His lips brushed mine, once, twice, and I felt myself start to fall under his spell.
“Noah,” I murmured. “You don’t play fair.”
The fork slipped from my fingers, clattering to the floor as I wrapped my arm around his shoulder, drawing him closer.
“You taste good.”
“Dinner is almost ready.”
“Can’t we skip it and go straight to dessert?”
“No, I made spaghetti.”
“We can reheat it.” He trailed warm wet kisses over my jaw and down my throat, making a shiver run through me.
“Wait,” I said, curling my fingers into his hoodie. “What’s going on?”
“Shortcake,” he groaned, burying his face in my shoulder.
“Is it Austin?” I asked. “Did he—”
“Not Austin.” Noah lifted his eyes, hesitation swirling there. “If I tell you, you have to swear not to breathe another word to anyone. I mean it, shortcake.”
“My lips are sealed.”
“Connor bought a ring.” His mouth twitched.
“Oh my God. He’s going to do it? He’s going to propose?”
A slow smile spread over his face. “Yeah. He’s got this whole elaborate Christmas morning thing planned. But you can’t tell him I told you. He’ll kill me.”
A secretive smile played on my lips. “I would never.”
“Shortcake…” Noah’s brows pinched. “Why do you look so… unsurprised?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I went to turn around but he caged me against the counter with his hands.
“You knew, didn’t you?” Realization dawned in his rich brown eyes.
“I may have known… something.”
“He told you. That asshole told you.”
“Actually he told me and Dayna. He wanted advice on the ring style.”
“That sneaky fucker. He told us—”
“That nobody else knew.” I looped my arms back around his neck and flashed him my best puppy dog eyes. “He didn’t want you to feel left out.”
“I can’t believe he told you first.”
“I think it’s sweet.”
“Mm-hmm,” Noah mumbled.
“Is it beautiful? The ring?”
“As far as rings go, yeah, I guess.”
I rolled my eyes. “That’s quite the endorsement.”
“He looked so fucking happy when the woman handed him the box.”
“Well, yeah. It’s a big deal,” I said. Ella was going to freak when he popped the question but if anyone would go the distance after college, it was the two of them.
“It is.” Noah gazed down at me, the air growing heavy with anticipation.
“Noah?” I breathed. Because it no longer felt like we were talking about our friend’s big news.
“One day, shortcake,” he whispered.
At least, I thought I heard the words before his mouth crashed down on mine and he stole every rational thought from my head.
Just like he’d stolen my heart.
Mason's story, On Thin Ice, is available here. For more Lakeshore U bonus content head over to my PATREON