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Cocky Quarterback: Eric Cocker (Cocker Brothers of Atlanta #12)
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Eric Cocker is Jake’s (Book 1) youngest, which means he’s Ethan (Book 9) and Emma’s (Book 11) brother. And even those who don’t know the sport won’t feel left out. You can read this series in any order. Enjoy the family
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“Hey sweet tits, can we get another pitcher over here or what?” Mott yells. Actually, it was more of a loud grunt, but whatever.
The ponytailed brunette arches her pretty eyebrow above densely packed, tipsy bodies, her copper eyes locked on Mott. For a second it feels like she’s going to give a nod, a smile, something normal for a waitress. But after two suspenseful beats, with everyone in our group of twelve watching, she throws a tattooed hand up, heavy with silver rings, middle finger extended in a salute he can sit on. If he had wings.
The team guffaws with laughter.
I slap his oversized shoulder. “Read it and weep, Mott!”
“You think you can do better, Cocker? Go get us some beers! On you!”
Throwing my million-dollar hands in the air I announce, “Watch and learn, fuckers. If you need to take notes to improve your game, there’s an app on your phone to store ‘em. Be prepared. You don’t want to miss this!”
They chortle, joyous that Mott got served a dish of humble pie and hoping I’ll make him eat it. Everyone’s in a mood. We’re about to start the season and we Falcons are ready for it. Training Camp was grueling and we loved every sweaty second. Now we’re revving up, the second Exhibition game went well today. We’re feeling glorious, impervious, and that makes Mott getting flipped the bird that much funnier.
It’s an eighty-two degree, seventy-seven percent humidity Sunday. Sticky bodies undulate in conversation and cravings of every kind.
I make my way through the throng, eyeing all the sweet-scented females who are silently begging me to choose them for the night.
“Lookin’ good, Eric!”
Flicking a glance to my right, it takes me a second to recognize a girl I’m pretty sure I fucked last season. Can’t remember her name though. Regardless, I pull her willing hips against mine. “Hey there…Long time. Looking good yourself.”
Long eyelashes flutter to my mouth as she pouts, “They didn’t play you very much today.”
“You were looking for me?”
Along with a sultry smile comes the slow tease, “Maybe I was, maybe I wasn’t.”
My eyes are locked on her bottom lip as she bites it.
Because I’m still interested, I teach her, “These pre-season games are for evaluating rookies, getting them used to big crowds so they don’t lock up when the pressure hits. I’ll be playing, just not as much. Can’t have the quarterback getting hurt before go-time.”
“Can’t have that,” she purrs sliding her hands up my back and pressing everything closer. Her volume drops as she smiles, “I had fun last time.”
Did we fuck more than once?
What the hell’s your name again?
Burrowing into her neck I offer a vague, “You were a blast.”
“Hey Cocker! We’re thirsty!”
Well, look at that.
Totally forgot my mission.
Glancing over to Mott I grin at him. He points me to the bar and swirls his finger like, get it done!
Tearing free from the girl who’s practically a stranger to me, I offer an absent, “You take care now.”
Disappointment replaces flirtation.
Her friend blurts, not quietly, “He could have at least lied and said he would call!”
“I don’t lie.”
Their mouths drop open and I head for the waitress.
I grew up in a family where confidence was taught as soon as we took our first breath. You don’t get the name Cocker without being raised to own it. Especially because during grade school the nicknames are brutal. Never heard so many children gleefully say the word cock in your life. Never bothered me. For the most part nothing can. And I have my dad to thank for that. I remember the nights he’d tuck me in, deep voice filled with determination while he instructed…
Believe in yourself.
Everyone is unique—that means you.
Everyone means everyone.
When you go to sleep tonight, little man, ask yourself these two questions: Who is Eric Cocker? Who do I want to be?
Ask every night.
You get to decide.
Nobody will do it for you.
You are your own master.
You either hold your power.
Or you give it away.
That decision is always up to you.
No matter what anyone says.
Hold your power.
Good. After you’re done asking, get some rest. I love you, buddy.
And I did what he taught me. All three of us did—my siblings Emma, Ethan and I—we all asked that question nightly.
Who am I?
Who do I want to be?
It’s why the three of us are so different. And why nothing can shake us for long.
When you bring a foundation with you there’s no need to rely on other people to give you theirs.
Our cousins are the same. Every one of us is different and we all know our own worth. We’re Cockers. That name must be lived up to. For funny reasons and not so funny ones.
But Dad nor any of his brothers, even with all the ass I know they got as young men, could have prepared me for the surplus of tail I’m offered since I was made quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons.