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Spiked by Love – Bellevue Bullies
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Allison Titov and Asher Brooks have been best friends their whole lives. Brought up together as part of the Assassins family, they might as well be related. But… Ally has never felt anything sisterly toward Asher.
In love with Asher since she was a teen, Ally has gone pro at keeping her feelings a secret. It’s been easy… as long as he’s stayed halfway across the country at college and she has a volleyball to slap her frustrations out on. But now, he’s home. And having his quick wit, heart-filling laugh, and adorkable smile so close is going to test her like never before.
After being dumped by his fiancée, Asher is at a loss what to do next. He craves stability, but with an unexpected kiss, Ally might as well have spiked Asher in the face with a volleyball. Now he’s faced with the dilemma of his life. Does he keep Ally in the friend zone, or does he take the ultimate risk for love?
If they’ve learned one thing growing up in the glow of hockey greatness, it’s that you can’t win it all if you don’t play the game. And by serving one hell of an ace into the middle of Asher’s safe little life, Ally is ready to claim victory.
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“Push! Push! Push!”
My shorts are going up my ass, and I’m sweating like a whore in church, but it doesn’t matter when I’m on the volleyball court. This is my home. My why. When I was younger, watching my dad play hockey, I always wondered why he lived and breathed it. It’s cold, people are always trying to knock you into a wall, and you’re attempting to get a small little puck past a huge goalie. I would get so frustrated watching him play, but he loved it. He adored it, and soon I fell in love with the game too. It’s kind of hard not to when it’s all I know. Everyone we know is either a part of the National Hockey League or the Nashville Assassins. They’re either in the organization or they play for the team. Growing up as an Assassins kid, you’re bred to bleed purple and black. We all wear our daddy’s numbers on our backs. We go to every game. We all want to be them.
I was a black sheep for not playing hockey. But in my defense, my auntie Elli gave me a volleyball at a backyard party, and I was done for.
Elli Adler isn’t really my aunt by blood, but my mom always says you choose your family, and she’s right. I am closer to the Adler family than I am to my own aunts. That’s not anything against my aunts—they’re wonderful, but they were so much younger than my mom—Mom just tends to hang out with her best friend rather than her sisters. Her sisters are twins, and it was hard to get a word in edgewise with those two. In a way, Elli is like my mom’s twin. They grew up together and, to this day, still do everything together. They added in Fallon Brooks, another hockey wife, and the three of them live their best lives. Though, I’m pretty sure all us kids are about to boycott Elli since she is trying to make everyone carb-free.
I don’t know who thought it was a good idea to take away carbs, but I’m pretty sure there is a special place in hell for them.
Not my auntie Elli, though. She’s the most amazing, sweetest, strongest woman I know. She loves hard and is hell-bent on teaching us to love ourselves, no matter what. To choose ourselves. She is awesome like that and has always taken credit for my love of volleyball. When I was a senior in high school, I was offered a scholarship to six schools, and she told everyone it was because of her—she gave me the volleyball. But my mom would fire back that it was because of my grades. The two of them weren’t wrong. Not only am I talented, I’m wicked smart. Problem is, I make snap decisions and hardly ever think anything through. Instead of taking one of those scholarships, I decided to travel. I lost a lot of the offers, but it was okay because I always wanted to go to the University of Bellevue.
I always wanted to be part of the Bullies.
And here I am.
It’s my senior year, and I’m ready to kick some major ass.
I move on the court, calling plays and pushing my team. I have been the captain of the Bellevue Bullies’ volleyball team for two years now. I love it. I love my team; I love my girls. We aren’t ranked yet, but I feel this could be our year to make our mark in the NCAA. It’s my goal, at least, to get my girls in position to be the best they can be. I set the ball for my hitter, and she spikes it perfectly and with ease. We meet in a huddle, patting each other, and then I high-five my hitter, who is also related to me in a really drawn-out way.
But that’s how life is when you’re associated with the Nashville Assassins. You’re someone’s aunt, cousin, uncle, brother, next of kin, sleeping with this person, Grandma’s dog.
Yes, that makes no sense and is completely irrelevant, but that’s how it feels most of the time.
Angie Paxton, my hitter, is my mom’s sister’s husband’s great-niece. We’re cousins? Not sure, but she’s one cool-ass chick, and I love her dearly. I get to take credit for giving her a ball. So, no wonder Elli likes to brag. It’s fun. Angie is way better than anyone I’ve ever met. She is so smart and has great hands. She’s good and tall and can knock the hell out of the ball.
We are even roommates in our dorm—my doing since her mom, Lucy Paxton, wouldn’t let her stay on campus unless she roomed with someone she knew. Apparently, Lucy knows the trouble her brothers got into when they all went to Bellevue. They’re legendary around here, the Sinclair brothers. All of them went to Bellevue, and all went first round in the draft. They all still play, though the middle one, Jayden Sinclair, who is also the captain of the Assassins, is out with an injury.