Home > Second Shot with #76 (Hockey Hotties #5)

Second Shot with #76 (Hockey Hotties #5)
Author: Piper Rayne

 

About Second Shot with #76

 

 

My mom always said you don’t get a second shot at making a first impression. I’ve remembered that my entire career. Especially since I’m one of the few black men who play professional hockey.

 

 

* * *

 

I’m calculated and respectful in the way I speak to my coaches, the owners, and the media. I’ve never taken a risk… until her.

 

 

* * *

 

I could blame it on the fact that for once I pushed away the pressure of my career for the ocean waves, the sand, and good times with my new teammates. But those are excuses because the minute I saw her at the airport, something lit up inside me and the best week of my life was spent with her in my bed.

 

 

* * *

 

After our week in paradise, we said goodbye, exchanged phone numbers and both assumed that unless one of us was flying through the other’s city on the opposite side of the country, our vacation fling was over.

 

 

* * *

 

Then one night after practice I see her. She’s here. In my city. Telling me she moved here for a job. If that’s not fate tell me what is.

 

 

* * *

 

I’ve never wanted a second shot more than I do this time, but she’s determined to leave what we were on the island we left behind.

 

 

Most would say I’m living the dream. The veterans on my team, the Florida Fury, tell me to live it up, that it doesn’t last forever. And I have to say, being a professional hockey player, even as a rookie, isn’t bad. Sure, I’m not seeing my jersey on every kid’s back like our first-line center, Aiden Drake, but I get to play my favorite sport for a living.

The cameras, the interviews, the strangers asking for selfies aren’t really my thing anyway. I’ve always been shy in that respect, since my dad put a lot of pressure on me growing up about how I represented myself. He’s always told me that you don’t get a second chance to reinvent yourself. Oh sure, people say you do, but everyone still remembers that thing you did.

My phone rings in the center console of the new sports car I bought when I was drafted down here. Seeing my dad’s name on the screen sours the burrito I just ate. The man stalks me more than the puck bunnies after a game. But I can’t ignore him.

The Bluetooth kicks in as I answer the call. “Hey, Dad.”

“When will you be able to keep your dick in your pants?”

“Franklin!” my mom hollers in the background.

“One of these days, you’re gonna get someone pregnant and you’ll have a baby mama who wants that paycheck of yours, not your dick.”

“Franklin!”

I sigh and flick on my turn signal. I don’t know where he finds this stuff. “What did you see?”

“I search your name every morning and a new article always pops up.”

“And?” I wave to get this conversation moving even if he can’t see me.

“You were in the ocean with some woman. It’s pretty clear from the pictures what you two are doing, even if it is fuzzy.”

I blow out a breath, remembering Ande for a moment before I wonder why the hell some outlet would be reporting about us now. Ande and I had a vacation fling while I was at my teammate, Ford Jacobs’s, destination wedding months ago. Hell, Ande was my start to sleeping with random women. Of course, I hooked up some in college, but that was nothing like what it is in the pros. My teammates are right.

“Dad, I’m young. I’m not gonna apologize for enjoying myself at my teammate’s wedding. Any other guy in his twenties is out there—”

“And how many guys in their twenties are living their dream of playing professional hockey?” He cuts me off with his typical tone of authority.

“Not a lot, but that doesn’t mean—”

“I know what it’s like. I do. But let me remind you that you have a responsibility to your people, to represent us in a positive light.”

I blow out a breath. “I’m just having fun.”

“Well, if the fact that you’re a role model for so many young Black boys out there isn’t motivation enough, how about your mom crying after church the other day?”

My arms straighten and I force my back into the driver’s seat, annoyed he’s pulling a guilt trip on me. “Why was Mom crying?”

“Because of these articles. We’re a small town and you’re not representing us well.”

“Why do I have to represent you? I’m just being myself.”

“It’s an honor to represent your hometown. And if being yourself is having relations with a woman in the ocean with hundreds of witnesses, then you’re not the son I know and raised.”

I groan and wonder if telling my dad about Ande is even worth it. She wasn’t some random, though there isn’t a future there. Hell, what do I have to lose?

“She was different, okay?”

“If she was so different, then why all the women after her… oh.” The light bulb goes off. “She’s the on—”

Now it’s my turn to cut off my dad. “I’m not saying that. I’m saying I was interested in her, but she lives thousands of miles away and I reached out a few times but got nothing in return.”

“So you decided to go on pussy patrol?”

“Franklin!” Mom shouts in the background.

“You know better. That’s not how these things fix themselves.”

“I know, but I’m only young once.”

That’s the line Tweetie told me last season when we were in Chicago and I was on the fence about staying at the hotel with Warner instead of going clubbing with the other guys. Tweetie was adamant that I shouldn’t sit in a hotel room. That’s what guys like Drake and Jacobs did. Men who had found the love of their lives. I’m not sure how he envisions Tedi, his longtime girlfriend, but I will say he didn’t even dance with another woman while we were there. At least when I saw him.

“That sounds like some bullshit a teammate said to you.”

How can he possibly know that? “Maybe I have to experience different women to know what I want?”

He groans. “Your mother is the only woman I’ve ever been with and somehow I knew she was the one for me.”

“I guess you’re better than me.” I check over my shoulder and change lanes, then shift gears and press my foot down on the gas.

“I’m warning you to cut this shit out. I’m not being hard on you because I’m mad about these articles. I called because it’s upsetting your mother and you know whose side I’m always gonna be on when it comes to your mother and someone else.”

“Even your own son?”

“Yes. Unapologetically yes. But if you keep this up, Cory, the talk is gonna be about what you’re doing off ice and not what you’re doing on it. Got it? Is that what you wanna be known for? How many women are in your bed on game nights rather than how many goals you scored?”

“It’s not like I’m getting a ton of ice time,” I grumble, pulling into the parking lot of the Florida Fury arena.

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