Authors: Nikki Worrell
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2015 by Nikki Worrell
All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever.
Cover design by David Goldhahn
Editing by Jonathan “J.K.” Miller II
Captain, My Captain (Novella - Prequel to NHL Scorpions Series) – April 2014
The Enforcer (NHL Scorpions Book 1) – May 2013
Goalie Interference (NHL Scorpions Book 2) – November 2013
Stories for Amanda (Novella) – October 2013
What Mother Doesn’t Know (Novella) – April 2014
To my faithful hockey hottie lovers. Thank you for reading and still wanting more!
: The area right between the goalie’s legs.
: Checking in the defensive zone when the opposing team is attacking.
: Checking a defenseless player against the boards, usually causing their face/head to hit the boards first.
: Using the hip or body to knock an opponent against the boards or to the ice.
: When a player handles the puck in a way that makes the opponent move out of position, allowing that player to get past.
: The method used to begin play. One player from each team fights for the puck as the official drops it to the ice between them.
: Checking in the offensive zone in order to get the puck.
: Penalty which results in being ejected from the game.
Gordie Howe Hat Trick
: Getting a goal, an assist and having a fight all in one game.
: Three goals in one game. Fans traditionally throw their hats on the ice.
: Five minute penalty.
: Two minute penalty.
: Ten minute penalty that does not leave the team short-handed.
: When a player crosses the blue line in the offensive zone before the puck.
Penalty Kill (PK):
he period from which a team becomes short-handed due to one or more penalties until they are at full or even strength with the opposing team.
: Poking the puck away with the stick.
Power Play (PP)
: Results in the one team losing a player for two minutes or more, giving the other team an advantage to score.
: Sweeping or kicking out a player’s skate causing them to fall backwards. Usually results in a match penalty (removed from the game and assessed a five minute penalty for statistical purposes).
: Area behind the goalie’s net (behind goal line) where the goalie can play the puck. This is the only area behind the goal line that the goalie can play the puck without receiving a penalty.
: Office in Toronto where video is sent to review a questionable goal.
So, there I was. Cage Booker—Dalton ‘Cage’ Booker to be exact—standing in the home of Vlad and Zoe Bejsiuk, taking in the sights while the happy couple celebrated their marriage with a casual gathering. I, however, being more interested in the party guests than the bride and groom, was on the prowl for my conquest of the evening. I’d already dismissed a bunch of the girls looking my way. I was kind of tired of redheads, but that seemed to be the popular color these days. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t that I didn’t like them—I’d had a bunch of redheads over the past six months or so—I just felt like it was time to change things up.
I was just about to stroll up to a leggy brunette standing by the French doors leading out to the deck when I caught a flicker of blue out of the corner of my eye. I turned my head to get a better look, hardly noticing the small group of my teammates walking my way, talking amongst themselves. My gaze was riveted to that ice blue dress, and the beautiful creature who inhabited it.
Keith Lambert, the captain of our hockey team, the San Diego Scorpions, snapped his fingers in front of my face. “Yo. What’s got you looking like a deer in headlights? Hello? Booker?” Keith followed my line of vision, but there were too many people milling about for him to pick out exactly what had so captured my attention—and then the crowd thinned.
Keith whistled in alarm. “Oh no. Booker, not her. Listen to me, man. Do you hear me? Not her. Pick anyone else in the room, but leave her alone.”
A look of disbelief on my face, I spared Keith a quick glance, and then put my eyes right back on the buxom blonde. “Are you crazy? Look at the tits on her. And Christ! That ass is more than a handful. You know how I love a lush woman with curves. Yeah, I’ll be taking a bite out of that tonight.”
Keith looked around, swearing. “Cage, I’m telling you, man, quiet down. Shut your mouth and look away. Aw, shit.”
“Too late,” boomed a voice I belatedly recognized. Jody ‘Chief’ LaGrange, former enforcer for the Scorpions, had little patience for me. As a matter of fact, he couldn’t stand me, and at six-foot three, two-hundred thirty pounds, Jody was not someone to mess with.
Before I even had a chance to turn on my own, Jody whipped me around and planted his fist in my face so hard, the bone cracking sounded like a clap of thunder. It was attention grabbing to say the least.
Forced to the floor from the strength of the unexpected blow, I sat on my ass with blood pouring from my freshly broken nose. I was stunned that Jody had just decked me for absolutely no reason—and at his best friend’s wedding reception, no less!
“What the fuck, old man?”
Jody was signaling for me to get up. “Come on; get up so I can knock you down again.”
“You broke my fucking nose, you dickhead. What’s your problem?” I didn’t particularly want to get hit again, so I stayed down. Contrary to popular belief, I wasn’t completely stupid.
belong to my baby sister, douche bag. You stay the hell away from her.”
“Jesus, is that all? I talk about all the chicks like that. Christ, it’s nothing personal.”
Keith looked at me in utter wonder. In hindsight, I’m sure he was wondering how I could be that dense. As captain of the team, he tried to keep the peace, but damn, I admit that I made it hard for him sometimes. “Cage, man. You’re making it worse. Just sit there quietly and bleed, will you?”
Vlad sauntered over to our little gathering and clasped Jody’s shoulder. “Hey, Chief. You, ah, think you could do this some other time? My new wife isn’t real happy about the display of muscles on her wedding day.”
“Ah hell, Vlad. I’m sorry. You know this asshole gets under my skin. I caught him talking about Karen’s, ah, attributes.”
Vlad and Jody were both former NHLers, Vlad as goalie, Jody as an enforcer. Now they worked together coaching a youth team for the Scorpions’ franchise. They also shared a lack of tolerance for me. I was Vlad’s backup when he was with the team, and yeah, sometimes I had a chip on my shoulder not being number one in the rotation.
We were drawing a crowd as people heard the commotion. The bride, looking incredibly fuckable herself in a very non-traditional red dress, poked her head through the circle of players. “Would someone like to tell me why Cage is bleeding in my kitchen?”
Vlad pulled Zoe aside and told her what had happened. He hadn’t wanted to have their celebration at the house in the first place. “I knew we should have had the reception somewhere else.”
Zoe stared at Jody in horror. “Seriously, Jody? You couldn’t have at least taken him outside? In his defense, Karen’s a beauty and it’s
You know how he pants after the curvy ones.”
I still hadn’t gotten up, not sure that Jody wouldn’t punch me again. “Look. I’m sorry. Really. I didn’t mean any disrespect, but my God, look at her.”
“Shut up, man!”
There was no shortage of incredulous exclamations from my teammates standing around us at my inability to keep my trap shut. Anyone who’d ever known Jody knew he had a, shall we say, a protective nature. He tended to go a little overboard if you asked me; however, it was part of what had made him a great enforcer.
“I’m going to kill him. Out of my way, Vlad.”
Karen took that very opportune moment to step in front of her brother so he couldn’t get to me. “What on Earth are you doing, Jody? Is that Dalton Booker?”
“Yeah. He was lecherously admiring you, and I’m convincing him to look elsewhere. Right, Booker?”
“Huh?” All I heard were background voices as I was busy openly staring at Karen, my tongue all but hanging out of my finally unmoving lips.
“You hit him? Jesus, Jody. I’m so over this big brother thing.” She looked down at me and offered me her hand. “I’m really sorry. He’s a little over protective. Come on, I’ll take you to the hospital.”
Jody pulled her hand back. “No you won’t. He’s fine, see?” He leaned over, and quick as could be, placed his thumbs on either side of my nose, re-aligning it with an audible crunch.
“Fuck!” My hands flew up to my face to cover my formerly broken nose.
“I can’t believe you just did that!” Karen pushed Jody toward his wife. “Lacey, please do something with him.” She put her hand out to me again, and I took it. “I don’t know what to say. I’m so sorry. Come on, I’ll drive you home.”
Jody was about to make another physical protest, but Lacey gripped his arm. “Leave it, Jody.”
“Fine, but if he lays one hand on her, he’s mine.”
At twenty-eight years old, I’d only been out of college for a few years. I loved my job working with special education children, but the school I worked in was being redistricted, and since I was one of the last employees hired, I was one of the first to be let go. I wasn’t even able to stay until the end of the school year. My time was up in mere weeks, and it was only March. That was actually why I was here. Jody knew I was upset when I got the news and insisted on flying me out to California for a long weekend. So I took my last two vacation days, packed a dress for the wedding, and jumped on a plane. And I’d been having a wonderful visit, until now.
“Oh, Dalton. Look at you. I’m sorry. I can’t believe Jody hit you like that. I don’t know what else to say. You can bet I’m going to have a long talk with my dear brother over this. I’m really sorry.”
Cage grinned at me and winced as the action caused a stab of pain to slice through his face. “Yeah. You said that a couple of times. It’s okay. Trust me; it’s not the first time I’ve been hit. I can take it.”
“Oh, crap. I didn’t get Jody’s keys. I’ll be right back.” We were standing in front of Jody’s car when I realized I was empty handed. I turned to run back into the house when Cage’s outstretched arm stopped me.
“Here. Drive my car.” He handed me the keys to his BMW.
I took them, but then asked, “How will I get home if we take your car?”
He moved in closer, until he was only inches from my ear. Fanning his breath across my neck, he whispered, “You won’t.”
Now I’d heard the stories about the womanizing Cage Booker. I’d heard how women flocked to him, and threw themselves at him. And now I knew why. Those two suggestive words whispered in my ear gave me shivers, and I wasn’t even a puck bunny.