Home > Scoring Chance(6)

Scoring Chance(6)
Author: Teagan Hunter

It took me a bit to get used to it, but once I was in, I was all the way in. And I wasn’t bad at it either.

When we wrapped up the game, one of the other dads said to mine, “I don’t say this lightly: that kid has potential—big potential. I’d get him on the right path if I were you.”

That’s how it all started. Afterward, hockey became everything to me, and the bragging rights and money that came with making it pro became everything to my family.

Even knowing now that all I am is a pawn to them, I wouldn’t trade it, because I really do love the game that much.

“How the hell are you even out here kicking so much ass with a baby at home?” Wright says to Lowell.

“Because my baby momma is a fucking rockstar and is killing it.” He grins, looking so damn proud of his girlfriend, Hollis. “And because my daughter is an angel.”

Rhodes huffs. “I beg to differ.”

“You’re only saying that because she spit up on you twice,” Lowell says. “If you’d stop scowling at her, maybe she’d like you more.”

“I don’t scowl at her,” the man in question argues…while scowling.

“You do too, but you can’t really help it. It’s just your default setting,” Wright tells him. He shakes his head. “I still have no idea how you and Ryan got together. She’s like the polar opposite of you.”

Just the mention of Rhodes’ wife has his infamous scowl turning into a grin. He’s so smitten with her. But it really is just like Wright says—they’re opposites in every way. She’s the Beauty to his Beast, and it works for them.

“Unlike you and Harper,” Lowell says to Wright. “You’re basically the same weird horror-obsessed people.”

“Hey, she’s way more into it than I am. You won’t believe her latest request and what she wants me to do with that Michael Myers mask. She—”

Lowell holds his hand up to stop him. “Nope. Don’t want to hear about anything you do with Hollis’ sister. That’s my daughter’s aunt. I’m good.”

“Yeah, but you used to love hearing about all our weird shit before you got with her sister.”

“And now I don’t. It’s just…weird. You’re too much like family.”

“Did you just call me your brother?”

Lowell scowls at the idea, and I laugh, which draws some attention my way.

“What about you, Miller? We all got taken down by love. When’s it your turn?”

I try not to react or slink back in my seat. I’m still trying to forget that conversation with Greer yesterday about the sad state of my love life.

Wright nods toward Smith, who is staring intently at what’s happening on the ice. “Even the old grump found someone.”

“Yeah, someone he definitely wasn’t supposed to be looking for,” Lowell mutters.

“Can you imagine what it’s like sitting around that dinner table? With your former coach turned colleague, who also happens to be your girlfriend’s uncle?” Rhodes shakes his head. “I can’t even imagine that dynamic.”

“Like you’re one to talk, Beast. Now you have to explain to your future children that you drunk-wed their mother in Vegas.”

“Well, technically…” Rhodes starts, but Wright waves him off.

“Technically my ass. At least Harper and I have a normal story to tell our nieces and nephews.”

“First of all, there was nothing normal about how you and Harper met,” Lowell says. “Secondly, are you and Harper still in the No Kids camp?”

“Yep,” he answers proudly. “We’re good being the fun aunt and uncle. Which reminds me—we bought baby Freddie this adorable little glove with knife hands.”

Lowell huffs. “She’s named after Freddie Mercury, not Freddy Krueger, you weirdo.”

“Semantics.”

Not that I’d admit it out loud or anything because the guys would roast me until the end of time, but I kind of love watching them talk about their women. It’s refreshing. My dad never talked about my mom the way these guys talk about their ladies. He’d always roll his eyes or have something shitty to say about her, and then degrade her in some way. She’d take it out on me, of course, but that’s a whole other box of shit I’m not ready to deal with right now.

And I wouldn’t dare say this either, but I think a big part of why I haven’t been able to just lose my virginity to any random woman is because after watching these guys fall in love one by one, I don’t want her to be random.

I want what they all have.

“On the ice, fellas!” Smith calls out, interrupting us.

It’s still so weird to see him behind the bench, especially when we were just out here playing with him a few months ago. I know he’s going to be missed this season. Whoever is coming into his position has some big skates to fill.

We pile back over the boards and take our positions at center ice. We run through a few more drills, working on some plays but mostly just getting a feel for being back on the ice and together again.

It’s exhausting, but it’s fun. It feels damn good to be out here playing the game I love so much with the guys I’ve grown to consider family. I don’t have any brothers, so this is the closest I’ll ever get to having them.

We wrap up practice for the day, then hit the weights for a quick thirty-minute workout. After that, we gather in the meeting room to go over all the not-so-fun stuff we need to get done this season. I really thought hockey was just going to be about playing the game, but there’s so much more that goes into it.

“And that brings us to our annual start-of-the-season fundraiser. As usual, all proceeds will go toward Kid Comets. We’d like to beat the total we donated last year by at least ten thousand. The black-tie charity event is in three weeks, and everyone is required to attend. Plus-ones are not mandatory, but it is encouraged since we need those donations. So bring your dates and bring your checkbooks, boys.” Coach stacks his papers together and closes the cover of his notebook. “Practice is at eight sharp tomorrow. If you need anything else, you know where to find me.”

With that, he heads for the door, leaving us to ourselves for the day.

“You going to bring a date?” Greer asks, popping up beside me. “If you can get one, I mean.”

I glare at him. “I can get one.”

“That’s not what your track record says.”

I glance around, making sure nobody is paying any attention to us. “Shut up.”

“Why? Afraid they’ll learn you’re not the ladies’ man you claim to be?”

All right, fine. So maybe all the guys on the team think I date around more than I let on. And I guess I do go on a lot of dates with a lot of girls I never call back. When the guys ask about it, I always give them a cocky grin and say I never kiss and tell.

But the truth is, there’s never anything to tell because nothing usually happens on those dates.

Greer laughs, clapping me on the shoulder and steering me out of the room. “I’m just screwing with you, man. I’d never say anything about…your thing.”

For some reason, I believe him. Greer may be an asshole and he may love fucking with me, but I also trust him.

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