Home > Scoring Chance(3)

Scoring Chance(3)
Author: Teagan Hunter

He pauses just before he takes a bite of his fourth donut, then quirks a brow. “I’m sensing there’s some unresolved shit going on with you given the comments you’ve made, but I’m not going to go into it because I’m a respectful asshole.”

“You’ve got the asshole part right,” I say, and he just laughs, completely unfazed.

“That I am.” He grabs a napkin and wipes the remaining mess off his hands. “All right, if we’re done bonding for the day, I’m heading out. I need to stop by the practice barn and check out my new helmet.” He rises, towering over the table with a stern look. “We’re not done talking about this, though—the virgin thing, I mean. We need to get that fixed.”

“We?”

“Yup. Can’t have you out on the ice in these conditions. It’s clearly eating you up. We don’t need you distracted. We got a Cup to win, baby.”

He’s not wrong about that.

“And that,” he says, nodding toward the truck. “Fix that.”

“Scout?”

“Yes. I’d like to enjoy my breakfast peacefully and not feel like I’m about two seconds away from being chased off with a broom. You need to apologize to her.”

“I’ve tried,” I explain. “Several times. She hides or puts up her Be Right Back sign and then never returns. Hell, she even shoved a kid to the register once.”

“Try again. Nobody wants to eat donuts in these conditions.”

“Fine. I’ll talk to her.” I rise to my feet. “But I just have one question before you go.”

“What’s that?”

“Did you like it?”

“Huh?”

I lift one finger in the air, wiggling it around with a grin. “Did you like it?”

His cheeks pinken, and he looks about two seconds away from leaping over the table and swinging at me, but he can’t. We’re in public, and Coach would have our asses if we got in trouble for fighting.

So instead, he flips me off, which makes me laugh even harder.

I swear I hear him call me a dick as he heads for the makeshift parking lot.

With a sigh, I pick up our trash and head for the garbage cans up front, readying myself for my second embarrassment of the day: apologizing to Scout.

She can’t hide from me forever, right?

 

 

2

 

 

SCOUT

 

 

Some things in life genuinely suck.

Having a piece of food stuck in your teeth and nobody telling you. A bird crapping on your car as soon as you wash it for the first time in months. Not being recognized by your crush.

That last one?

It happened to me. Just two weeks ago, actually.

Now that same guy is walking toward my food truck, and what the hell am I doing?

Hiding.

As in I am physically ducked down and hiding because he caught me staring at him not once but twice today. Now he’s coming up here presumably to talk, something I want no part of.

“What the hell are you doing?” Stevie asks. She’s my older sister, and today she’s also my savior for bailing me out and helping in the truck this morning when my other baker flaked on me for the second time this month. I’m really starting to think I need different help.

Stevie stares down at me with her brows pulled tight together, her hazel eyes narrowed in confusion as she waits for me to answer.

What am I supposed to tell her? That I’m hiding from the ridiculously hot hockey player who’s walking this way? Not going to happen. I’ll sound insane for so many reasons.

“I’m… Inventory,” I tell her.

“You’re inventory?”

“Yes. Well, I’m doing inventory. We need more nutmeg.”

She crosses her arms over her chest, a smirk forming on her lips, clearly amused by me making a complete and utter fool of myself. “Nutmeg?”

“The nuttiest of meg,” I answer.

She laughs. “Get up, you weirdo. A customer is coming. Are you… Oh!” Realization dawns on Stevie’s face, and she drops down next to me. “Are you hiding from him?”

“Yes!” I whisper, though it comes out as more of a hiss.

“Why?” Stevie questions. “Wait—is that the guy?”

I nod reluctantly.

Stevie knows all about The Guy.

The Guy who, when I first saw him, I swore was the most beautiful man I’d ever seen.

The Guy who, when I first talked to him, made me more tongue-tied than I’ve ever been before, and I’ve met three of the Backstreet Boys and Keanu Reeves, thank you very much.

The Guy who makes my heart flutter.

And The Guy who, despite coming to my donut truck almost weekly for the last year, doesn’t seem to have a single damn clue who I am.

“Is it safe to assume your crush on him is still going strong if you’re hiding?”

“No. I’m hiding because he’s a jerk,” I counter. “And I do not have a crush on him.”

It’s a lie, and we both know it.

Can I be blamed, though? He’s Grady Miller, star right winger for the Carolina Comets. Not only is he incredible and charismatic on the ice, he’s also the same way off it. I can’t count the number of times he’s been bombarded by rabid fans here at my truck, and he just smiles, signs all the things, and takes countless photos with them. I’ve also seen him order a box of donuts and share it with Eddie, the man who sits on the corner just up the street, never once slinging an ounce of judgment his way.

And just because that couldn’t possibly be enough, he has to go and be the hottest man I’ve ever seen. If he weren’t a hockey player, I have no doubt he could be a model with his midnight black hair that’s always messy like he just rolled out of bed and a jawline so damn sharp the TSA should consider it a weapon. And his eyes… It’s as if someone poured a tumbler of top-shelf whiskey right into them.

I shouldn’t be crushing on him. He’s so far out of my league that we’re not even playing the same sport.

He’s an NHL player. I’m a donut maker. There’s no way we would ever make any sense together.

My little crush on him? It’s a fantasy, just like what I read about in novels. I never had any intention of doing anything about it, and now I’m confident I never will after the incident two weeks ago where he introduced himself to me like he doesn’t stop by my donut truck regularly.

“I still can’t believe he didn’t recognize you,” Stevie says.

I can. I can believe it because it’s what has happened to me all my life.

I’m invisible. People don’t see me. They never really have.

I’m the girl in the background of every movie who is just out of the camera’s focus, watching while the popular girl gets the popular guy. I’m not saying that to hate on myself, and I’m not saying it because I don’t think I’m attractive enough or worth getting—because I am on both counts. I’m saying it because it’s true. I play it safe and don’t step out of my comfort zone. I’m good with being safe and remaining the background or secondary character. I’m content with my life.

But sometimes…just sometimes…I wish I weren’t.

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