We will not fulfill any book request that does not come through the book request page or does not follow the rules of requesting books. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Comments are manually approved by us. Thus, if you don't see your comment immediately after leaving a comment, understand that it is held for moderation. There is no need to submit another comment. Even that will be put in the moderation queue.

Please avoid leaving disrespectful comments towards other users/readers. Those who use such cheap and derogatory language will have their comments deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked from accessing this website (and its sister site). This instruction specifically applies to those who think they are too smart. Behave or be set aside!

Cocky Score: Chapter 32


I walk out of the hospital room when Autumn and Isaac’s parents come to visit. The hospital room is large, but with five grown adults, it’s a little cramped, and I could use a little breathing room to digest the fact that I’m not a match for my dad, and Isaac is downstairs, unaware that I’m about to give him an ultimatum of our friendship.

The sound of the elevator pings and it grabs my attention. I’ve been waiting patiently for Autumn to come back to the room after leaving with her brother to get his test swab, but disappointment sets in when it’s not Autumn but Isaac instead.

“Hey, man,” Isaac says, strolling over to me, one hand in his pocket.

He looks as though he doesn’t have a care in the world. His usual demeanor unless he wants to put his fist through my face, obviously.

“Hey, how did it go?”

“Easy enough. They said they’ll have the results tomorrow. They’ll call your parents since your dad is going home today.”

I nod. “Listen. I know this isn’t the best time… or the best place to have this conversation, but we need to have it,” I demand.

“You’re not going to back off my sister, are you?” he says, calmer than he’s ever been when discussing his sister and me together.

“Not a chance in hell. I told you I’d fight you for her, and I didn’t realize until now how much I meant it. Beat the shit out of me if that’s what it takes… I’m not backing down.”

He still stands with his hand in his pocket, and the way he’s taking this has me on alert. Is he going to sucker punch me when I’m not expecting it? Fuck it. He can do his worst—I’m not stopping until I get this all out.

“I called my agent a couple of days ago. I’m looking at other teams for next season.”

His eyebrows furrow. “What the fuck? Why? I thought they unofficially already offered you a spot.”

“They did. Three more years and double the pay.”

“I don’t get it.” He shakes his head, staring back at me.

“Autumn can’t take the promotion if I play for one of their clients, so I’m eliminating the barrier between us.”

“Whoa, hold on,” he says, shaking his hands out at me. “Have you talked to my sister about this?”

“Not exactly. She’ll tell me not to do it so that I don’t have to give up anything, but she doesn’t get that she’s the only thing I won’t give up. I don’t want to tell her until I land somewhere so that I know where I’m going to be next year, but I think it will be soon. My agent already has several teams interested.”

“Okay, Briggs… Jesus. I get it now, all right?” He looks away from me and runs his hand over his buzzed haircut. “You can date my sister; just don’t piss away your contract. Call your agent and tell him you changed your mind.”

“Not until your sister agrees to be with me.”

“She already quit the firm to be with you!” he says, frustrated.

“No, she didn’t. She would have told me.”

“Well, she just told me downstairs.”

“When did she do this?” I ask, my mind running a mile a minute.

When did she have time to do this since we’ve been here?

“The meeting she had with her boss before she left for Walla Walla.”

She turned down the promotion yesterday and didn’t tell me. Why?

“Why didn’t she tell me? I would have told her not to. I don’t need to play for the Hawkeyes. I can play anywhere. She should take the promotion.”

“Fuck if I know. Go find her and ask her yourself.”

Shit, he’s right. But where is she?

Then he turns and heads down the hall to my dad’s hospital room. I hear his parents celebrate when he walks into the room. They haven’t seen him in months, and as much as I’d like to get in on that reunion, Autumn and I have a lot to discuss.

I race down to the elevator that Isaac just exited and jump in once the door opens for me.

This hospital is three stories, and she could be anywhere, but my guess is one of the two stories below me.

I decide to stop at level two, and when I step out of the elevator, I find a mostly quiet hallway with Autumn standing a hockey rink length away by herself, staring out the large floor-to-ceiling windows out at the hospital parking lot below.

“Autumn!” I yell to the end of the hallway and begin to move quickly toward her.

She spins around when she hears my voice. “What’s wrong? What happened?” The concern is coating her angelic face as I get closer.

She probably thinks there is something wrong with my dad, but at this point, there isn’t any news on that front, so I’m using this time to right something that never should have gone wrong in the first place.

“Isaac just told me you gave up your job. Why would you do that?” I say, taking the last few rushed steps to her until we’re toe to toe.

I place my hands on either side of her shoulders. I need her close. I need to see her when she tells me why she gave up the one thing she spent the last five years of her career to achieve, only to turn it down the minute she got it.

Isaac may have told me the reason that Autumn gave him, but I need to hear it from her.

“That big mouth.” She huffs, looking anywhere other than up at me.

“Autumn,” I say softly, trying to get her attention, but it doesn’t seem to work. “I called my agent two days ago, right after you told me what Erika said about not dating clients. I told him to find me a new team.”

Her eyes flash up to mine, her eyebrows furrowed, and a frown bends those pretty pink lips in the opposite direction I was hoping they’d curve at my news.

“the Hawkeyes aren’t offering you a renewal? I thought there was an unofficial deal already. Why would they put in all this work with improving your image if they—”

“They did offer me another contract. A bigger one,” I confirm.

“Then why are you leaving Seattle? Why a new team?”

“Because I want you, Autumn. And if playing for the Hawkeyes means I can’t be with you, then… fuck it. It’s not worth it to me anymore. I’ll play for someone else. I’ll live here in the off-season, and maybe you could work remotely. Maybe travel to be with me for home weeks wherever I get placed. We could spend the holidays on Orcas Island, or we can go wherever you want when I’m not playing. I just want to be with you.”

A smile flashes across her face, but she bites down on her lip to cover it up. The fact that her natural first reaction is to smile at the plans I’m making up in my head for us together gives me hope that I’m on the right track.

“Briggs, you love that team,” she says, her hands finally reaching out to touch me. My hands drop from her shoulders to wrap around low on her back as her hands connect against my chest.

Jesus, I’m addicted to the feel of her.

We both watch as her hands come up and smooth over my pecks.

“Not more than I love you,” I admit.

This isn’t the moment I planned to tell her, but now that I’m sure it’s true, I need her to know.

Her eyes connect back up to mine the second the words leave my mouth.

“You do?”

“There’s no other way to explain it. I’ll give up anything for you to belong to me,” I admit.

“For me to belong to you?” she asks, her cheeks blushing as her smile widens.

“Yeah. Because I’ve belonged to you for a long time now… and I think it’s only fair.” I smirk.

She laughs as her hands smooth up over my chest and wrap around my neck. I bend down to kiss her. The feeling of having done everything I need to ensure we don’t leave this hospital as anything less than together feels good. There isn’t a single iota of doubt in me that wishes I wasn’t giving up my team for her.

I’ve already decided I’m willing to give up more if I have to. None of it will feel like a sacrifice to gain a life with her.

She softly speaks against our kiss. “What about my brother?”

“He gave his blessing upstairs outside of my dad’s hospital room.”

She pulls back from our kiss to look at me. “He did?”

I simply nod, watching her reaction.

“Then I should tell you that I came up here from the lab room downstairs because Erika offered me a job.”

“She offered you a different job or the same one?”

I don’t care if this still means I need to sign with another team. I meant what I said. I’ll give up anything, but what does this new job entail, and does it have some stupid as fuck rule that she can’t date a man with the last name Conley or some other ridiculous thing that would attempt to sabotage our newly formed and permanent relationship?

“A different one.”

“What is it?”

“It’s a freelance position with an office next to Tessa Tomlin’s in the Hawkeyes stadium.”

“What would you do?” I ask, hope blooming in me at the idea that Autumn and I might both soon be working for the same team, and if that’s the case, I’m calling my agent and telling him that I want the fact that I’m allowed to date Autumn as part of my new terms for re-signing.

“My job would be to help each player in the franchise individually, and I’d help turn the franchise into the family-friendly image that Phil Carlton wants. They want me to try my hand at a little bit of elbow rubbing to get players more lucrative deals.”

I chuckle, thinking about Autumn running around at the fundraisers, schmoozing with big-time companies in the sports realm.

“We already know you’re good at that. My agent received two calls from the people you talked to at the fundraiser. I have a phone interview with one of them next week to endorse some high-end athletic wear. It could be big.”

“Really?!” She beams.

I nod again.

“Well, the best part of this new job is since I’ll be freelance, I can date whomever I want,” she says, tightening her arms around my neck and pressing her breasts further again my chest.

I dip down and take her lips again.

Why the hell can’t we be home in our apartment when this conversation is happening?

I need her stripped down and bare for me, laying naked on our master bed where I can devour every inch of her body.

My hands trail down to her perfect ass and I grip it with both hands and pull her against my growing cock.

She moans into my mouth on our next kiss.

We’re in a goddamn hospital out in the open where anyone can see us, but I’m about to sit in that waiting room chair by the window, unzip my pants and pull Autumn on top of me, seat her on my pulsating erection, and claim her.

For a split second, I consider the terrible idea of searching out an open hospital room or abandoned broom closet to cement this verbal agreement we just made. Physically claiming Autumn is the only train of thought I have right now, and my desperation has me considering leading her downstairs and taking her in the back of her 4Runner parked downstairs. The thing has tinted windows, and if I lay the rows of seats back, I might be able to fit in the back with Autumn.

If we get caught having sex inside, we run the risk of getting kicked out of the hospital that my dad might still spend many more days in. I don’t need Security denying me access if he’s ever admitted again.


He told his agent to find him another team? My heart melts. He was going to give up a team he loves and a group of guys who have become as close as family to be with me.

This is not what I expected. I could never live with myself if I let him sign with a different team to be with me. He has dreams of retiring with this team and because I love him as much as I do, I’d never let that happen.

With Sam’s request to Erika, and Erika’s creative ability to solve an issue, even when it comes to my employment, neither Briggs nor I have to give up anything. We get to keep everything. Even if something happened in our future and one of us had to switch our job situations out, there are plenty of Public Relations firms in Seattle and with Erika’s letter of recommendation that she agreed to give me with my resignation, I could find something else.

“Come on,” Briggs says, pulling his mouth off mine and his hands off my bum.

He reaches for my hand and links them together, pulling me behind him.

“Where are we going?”

“Somewhere I can get these clothes off you.”

“Briggs….” I giggle as he pulls me towards the elevator. “We have more than enough time for that now. Let’s go see our family.”

“Our family,” he whispers to himself with a smile while pushing the button the elevator call button. “I like how that sounds. You’re right, we should go see them,” he says as the elevator opens and pulls me through with him. “Can I announce that you’re my girlfriend when we walk in?”

I chuckle. “Everyone already thinks we’re together.”

“I know but now that we’re not faking it anymore, I want to tell everyone that we’re together,” he says, looking over at me and squeezing my hand as the elevator doors close. It starts moving up to the top floor.

“OK,” I smile back, loving that this is important to him.

“Hey Autumn…” he says, wrapping his arms around my waist from behind and bending down to press his lips against my neck, right below the soft spot behind my ear.

“Yeah?” I ask, my eyelashes fluttering at the sensation of having his mouth on me.

“Will you move in with me?”

My heart squeezes at his request. “We already live together,” I remind him.

“I know but our lease on the apartment that Penelope got us ends next month and I want us to stay together even when our time at the apartment is up.”

“Where would we live?”

“I don’t care. We can live in the penthouse I own across town during the season and my house on Orcas Island in the off-season. Or we could live in your studio apartment for all I care, I just want to call the same place home. I want to be wherever you are.”

My smile stretches so big that it almost hurts. Usually, I would think this is fast to be moving in together, especially after becoming a couple all of twenty minutes ago but we already live together so what would be the difference now?

“Ok,” I agree. The doors to the elevator open when we get to the next level. We walk out into the hallway and I can see Briggs’s dad’s room at the end of the hallway. “But can we stay in The Commons? I like being close to all of our friends and I’m going to be at Penelope’s for all of your away games anyway to watch you play.”

Briggs pulls out his phone and starts typing with one hand.

“What are you doing?”

“Texting Penelope to see if she can help us find a bigger apartment on her floor.”

My brows furrow together. “Does any of that matter as long as we’re in the same building?”

“I like the idea of you on the same floor as Penelope for when I’m away. You two can look out for each other.”

“Ok, I get that. But why the bigger apartment? It’s just the two of us and that apartment was huge as it is.”

“We’ll need room for the dog.”

“A dog?” My ears perk up.

I’ve always wanted a dog but I didn’t peg Briggs as an animal person.

“I like the idea of some huge man-eater around to protect you when I’m not home. I was thinking of a Doberman.”

“Really? Because I’m thinking a French Bulldog who wants to curl up and watch chic flicks on the couch with me while I eat ice cream and fast food when you’re away sounds more my speed.”

He shakes his head and grins. “What’s that tiny dog going to do if someone breaks in?”

“Kill them with cuteness.” I beam up at him.

We walk up to the hospital room, and everyone’s hugging. Mrs. Conley and my mother are crying happy tears. My dad pats Mr. Conley’s shoulder as they share a smile. Everyone seems to be celebrating. My brother and the doctor are discussing something amongst themselves off to the side.

“What’s going on?” Briggs asks.

“Isaac is a match,” my dad says.

“They’re going to start treatment immediately!” Mrs. Conley says.

I look up at Briggs but he’s looking at Isaac.

Briggs pulls me along with him as he heads straight for my brother, wrapping his free arm around Isaac’s shoulder. The two collide in an emotional embrace.

“Thank you,” I hear Briggs whisper to Isaac, his voice thick with emotion.

“We’re brothers, Briggs. I’ll always have your back.”

“I know you do. And I have yours.”

Isaac pats Briggs’s back as their hug ends.

Briggs turns to the other people in the room, the rest of our family. We both face them, hand in hand.

“I guess this is the best time to announce since we’re all here….” Briggs stops and looks down at me, something flashing in his eyes like a new idea just came to him, and his lips uptick to one side.

Then he turns to me and gets down on one knee.

I gasp out loud and my eyes go wide as saucers. I hear both of our moms shriek with excitement and run to each other embracing as they watch this take place.

I glance up quickly to see an unreadable look on my brother’s face but I think I see a slight smile.

I’m not hallucinating because everyone else is seeing the same thing I am. This big hockey player down on one knee still holding my hand.

“Autumn. I know this started as fake—”

“Wait, what?!” our moms say in confusion and unison.

“…and I didn’t know it right then, but I realized that it stopped being fake for me the second you jumped into my arms at the restaurant that first day.”

Tears begin to well at the realization that all that doubt over the last month was for nothing. He wanted me too.

“Someone once told me: “’It’s always the person you least expect. The girl right under your nose that ends up being the one.’ And I wasted a lot of time not taking that advice.”

“That’s right,” Mrs. Conley interrupts, “but actually, it’s always been your dad that knew that you two were perfect for each other. Since the minute she started showing up at our house and he told her where you boys were hiding,” Mrs. Conley tells Briggs.

“Hey! What?!” Isaac objects and shoots a playful shocked look at Mr. Conley.

Everyone in the room starts laughing.

Mr. Conley just shrugs and then sends me a little wink.

Briggs glances over at everyone in the room with a disapproving frown. “Ok, I’m proposing over here, can you all shut up?” he teases but the confirmation that’s he actually proposing has butterflies fluttering in my stomach.

Briggs turns back to me. “I love you and I’m sorry that I made us both wait over twenty years for me to realize that I always had the one.” He bites down slightly on his lip as he pauses before he asks the real question. “Will you stop the wait from continuing any longer and marry me?”

“Yes!” I nod vigorously. “Of course I will. I love you too. I always have.”

He stands and pulls me into him. I toss my arms over his neck and tighten my squeeze on him.

“I’m sorry I almost missed you,” he whispers against my ear.

“It wasn’t our time then,” I whisper back and then pull back to see his face. “But it is now,” I tell him and then he leans in and kisses me passionately, pulling me against his chest, my feet dangling off the ground.

He sets me back down when my brother clears his throat—obviously, Isaac’s had enough of our PDA.

“I didn’t get a ring… since, up until an hour ago, I wasn’t sure if we were real or not.”

“Uh, is someone planning on explaining that to us?” my mom says.

“Nope,” Briggs says, smiling down at me.

My mom looks at Isaac and he just shrugs.

“Well, in that case, I believe I have something for you,” Mrs. Conley pipes up.

We look over to find Mrs. Conley looking down at Mr. Conley and he nods in confirmation.

Mrs. Conley walks up to us, smiling at us both, and then turns to me.

“We could never have dreamed up a better wife for our son and we can’t wait to add you to our family.” She smiles, rubbing my arm and then her right hand reaches for the heirloom wedding ring that was Briggs’s great grandfather’s, brought over from Italy when he immigrated here. I’ve never seen the ring off her hand my whole life.

It’s a large two-carat solitaire. Simple in design but perfectly classic. I’ve always admired it as a kid, the way it sparkles effortlessly in any kind of lighting.

I’d never admit it but I used to imagine wearing the ring when I was younger. Daydreaming of what it would feel like to wear the Conley ring and to belong to Briggs.

It feels too surreal to now be offered everything I’ve dreamed of.

“If you’d accept this ring, Mr. Conley and I would be honored for you to carry on the tradition and pass it on to your firstborn.”

My throat clogs with emotion. The Conley family accepting me so instantly into their family within a minute of Briggs’s proposal and the idea of building a family with Briggs…my heart is bursting at the seams.

I look at Briggs for approval and he nods. “If you want it but we can get you something else if you—”

“No,” I practically shout, my eyes widening at the thought that he thinks I would want anything else. “This is exactly what I want.”

I turn to Mrs. Conley, and she beams back at me, pulling the ring off her hand, and separating the diamond-encrusted band from the solitaire.

“I’ll hold on to the wedding band since he bought that for me to go with the heirloom,” she says, slipping the band back on her finger. “Maybe you two can pick out a wedding band together,” she says, handing Briggs the engagement ring. “Here, put this on your fiancée’s hand.”

Hearing that title makes me want to jump around and scream into a pillow like a lovesick teenager.

“Then you’ll have something new and something old,” my mom says, walking up to us.

“You’ll just need something borrowed,” Mrs. Conley says.

“How about my last name.” Briggs winks.

“No… that’s something I plan to keep,” I say, turning to face him.

He nods with a grin and then pulls my left hand into his and slides the ring onto my finger.

“It’s a perfect fit.”

“That’s because it was always meant to be yours. Just like you were always meant to be mine.” Briggs says.

And then he seals this moment with a kiss.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


not work with dark mode