Home > Scoring Chance(5)

Scoring Chance(5)
Author: Teagan Hunter

“You really did,” I agree.

“Truce? No more hiding from me?”

“I wasn’t hiding,” I insist. “I was doing inventory.”

“Right.” He smirks. “Inventory.”

“We need nutmeg,” I say defiantly, but it’s a lie. We have plenty of nutmeg.

Luckily, he doesn’t call me out on it.

“I’m glad you finally talked to me. I’m glad we can be friends.”

I snort out a laugh. “I never said anything about being friends.”

His eyes widen again, and he takes an actual step back like I’ve just knocked all the wind out of his sails. “Are you saying you don’t want to be my friend?”

“That’s exactly what I’m saying.”

“Why not?”

“Well, for starters, you forgot who I am…”

He groans. “I told you, I’m—”

“An idiot. Yeah, I picked up on that. But secondly, you don’t really want to be friends with me.”

“Yes, I do.”

“No, you really don’t. We have no business being friends.”

“Why not? You’re friends with Lowell, aren’t you? Smith too, so why not me?”

Do I know Lowell better than the other guys? Yes, but only because we went to high school together, and Smith is only friendly toward me because my niece has some sort of weird attachment to him. She’s obsessed with hockey and idolizes the guy ever since he sponsored her soccer team.

“Because we’re two totally different people, Miller.”

“Grady,” he says. “That’s what my friends call me.”

“Yeah, that’s what you said at Smith’s party.” He looks sheepish again, a tinge of red popping back up on his cheeks. “But we’re not friends, so you’re just Miller the hockey player to me.”

A dark look crosses his features, and it’s almost as if I’ve hurt his feelings.

Then, almost as quickly as it came, it’s gone, and he’s grinning again. “You’re going to be my friend, Scout.”

“I’m really not.”

“You will.” His smile widens, and it even reaches his eyes this time. “I’m going to come here every day until you agree to be friends with me,” he promises.

The thought of having to see Miller every day has my stomach in knots because I’m not sure if my lady bits can stand it. Hell, they’re barely able to stand it right now with the way he’s grinning up at me. How is it possible he’s this attractive?

I scramble for a reason to get him to stay away.

“I don’t think your coaches would like you eating donuts every day,” I rush out.

“Probably not.” He pats his flat stomach. “But I think I can work it off.”

I’m sure he’s not lying either. I’ve gone ice-skating a few times, and every single lap ended with me being winded. I can’t imagine the skill it takes to handle a stick, chase a puck, and get hit by other large dudes, all while trying not to die from exhaustion.

“What if I kick you out?”

“Then I’ll sit across the street.”

Dammit. Why does he always have to have an answer for everything?

“What if I never become your friend?”

“That’s not really something we’ll have to worry about.”

Another grin—another zing right between my thighs.

My face starts to heat up, and I swear it just got ten degrees hotter outside.

Goodness gracious. Get it together, Scout.

“Anyone ever tell you you’re cocky, Miller?”

“Confident, not cocky.” He taps the counter a few times. “I’ll be back tomorrow, Scout.”

“Uh-huh. I’ll believe it when I see it.”

He shoots me one last grin before turning on his heel and trudging to the parking lot toward the shiny, fancy sports car he’s always driving way too fast.

I watch him the entire time. Every stride he takes, every rock he kicks…I see it.

Which is why I don’t miss him turning back my way once he reaches his car and shooting me a wave.

And I don’t miss the way my heart flutters at the little movement either.

I pray he doesn’t come back…because I’m not sure how long I’ll last.

 

 

3

 

 

MILLER

 

 

“Come on, Miller. Get those fucking legs moving. We need speed, speed, speed!”

I clench my teeth and push my legs harder at Coach’s request. I know I can do it. I can get to where he wants me to be, but, fuck, my legs are tired as hell.

It’s always grueling getting back into the game after taking time off. Not that I actually take time off, but when it’s not hockey season, my time on the ice is significantly reduced, and right now, I’m feeling it everywhere. My thighs, my ass, my lower back—all of it is aching.

But I need to push because we have a lot riding on this season after our first-round exit last year. We need to prove to everyone that we aren’t just a one-Cup-and-done team. We need to prove we can do it and are here to stay at the top of this league.

“That’s it! Tape to tape, boys,” Coach hollers when I smack the puck to Lowell and it lands on his stick effortlessly. We’re in sync, which is a good damn start for our first day back at it.

Lowell takes the puck to the net, trying to get Greer to bite on it. He does, and that’s when Lowell sends the puck my way, then I shoot it straight to the back of the net.

Lowell skates over to me with his glove out, and I bump mine against his. “Nice fucking play, kid. A perfect read.”

It was, especially considering we didn’t practice this at all. While I’m damn proud of what we just did, I’m a little worried about Greer biting on the fake-out. Those are the small things that can really blow a game for us.

Greer doesn’t look happy about it, but in typical fashion, he doesn’t let it show beyond the glower on his face. Even under pressure and when he fucks up, he takes it in stride and keeps pushing. That’s what keeps my hope up that just maybe we’ll be okay.

“From the top!” Coach yells, and we all take our positions again.

We run the play once more. This time, Greer’s ready for it, and he beats us glove side.

The next line hits the ice, and we take our places on the bench.

“Fuck, my legs are killing me,” Rhodes, our biggest and meanest defenseman, comments as he gulps in breath after breath.

“Dude, you’re telling me. This shit is exhausting. Remind me again why we do this?” says Wright, another defenseman and Rhodes’ partner.

“Because we love the hurt,” Lowell answers. “And money.”

They all grin, because our captain’s not wrong. That’s exactly why we do it.

I still remember the first time I stepped onto the ice. Well, step is a nice way of putting it. I fell, like immediately went down on my ass. It hurt, but the embarrassment that crossed my father’s face hurt more. So, I didn’t say shit. I just got up and tried again. I went down so many times that day, but I never gave up. Instead, I asked to go back again sometime. My dad liked my determination and took me. This time there were some older kids playing hockey. They invited me over and handed me a stick. Even though I’d never played or even watched a game before, I went all in. I loved every damn minute of it.

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