Like every good East Coast Canadian kid, Max grew up dreaming of playing hockey with the maple leaf on his chest.
Of course, he imagined wearing it in a tournament that mattered, but just because this one had no real stakes didn’t mean he didn’t want to win. He just wouldn’t sacrifice his body for it.
But he would bring his A game for the chirps. Team USA was playing Grady Armstrong on their first line, and there were few players Max had more fun riling. His sister, Nora, had been in town for one of their regular season games against each other, and back at his house later, they got high and giggly as they watched the replay of Armstrong in the penalty box. “No, but check out the muscles bunching in his jaw when he clenches it,” she’d half tsked, half giggled. “I mean, the look works for him, but he definitely grinds his teeth.”
“Guy’s strung way too tight,” Max agreed sagely. Then he restarted the video so they could watch him lose his shit again.
So maybe Max had had an idle fantasy or three about how to help Armstrong unwind. Or, honestly, not—he’d probably be equally good in bed cranky.
Max would’ve enjoyed the World Cup of Hockey experience either way, was the point. Go team and all that. Plus events like this were prime hookup opportunities—hockey players, hockey fans, hockey capital of the country.
Unfortunately, tonight he didn’t have the energy to hook up in person—not after practice and then drinks with the boys, and with practice again tomorrow. Putting an effort into his appearance at 10 p.m.? In this economy?
This was why God invented Grindr.
Max flopped on his hotel bed and thumbed open the app.
He didn’t use it often. Max’s charm was more potent in person and in limited doses. He knew his strengths. But he was pretty good at taking dick pics that were sexy but still anonymous. Everybody should have a plan B.
He perused the app’s offerings.
The first three guys he passed on were like beers. Young, blond, inoffensive profiles. Not memorable or particularly potent, but they’d quench your thirst. One of them had actually posted the lyrics to “867-5309” under his profile pic, which made Max suspect he was either a douchebag or lying about his age.
Not tonight, Jenny. He swiped on to the next guy.
The following one, Jordan, was a mixed drink. Could be watered-down and flavorless, could knock you on your ass. No way to know until you took a sip. Jordan was cute, but not what Max was looking for tonight. He just wanted to get off and go to bed.
He swiped again.
… and then there was this guy. His face and dark eyes promised the potency of a shot.
The fact that it was Grady Armstrong’s face meant it was a straight-up catfish.
“Seriously, dude?” Max navigated to the message icon before his brain could even engage. Who did this guy think he was kidding? They were in Toronto. If Grady Armstrong wanted to get his dick wet, all he had to do was go outside and smile at someone.
The smiling would probably hurt him, though. It was not the guy’s natural expression. See: evidence of teeth grinding.
Max debated a handful of seconds before settling on the fishing emoticon. He followed up with nice try asshole, in case the message wasn’t totally clear.
A moment later a checkmark popped up to indicate the message had been read.
Max had intended to jerk off tonight, but getting into a fight on the internet was almost as good. He settled in to wait for the reply.