Home > Heavy Shot (Nashville Assassins Next Generation #7)

Heavy Shot (Nashville Assassins Next Generation #7)
Author: Toni Aleo






I hate how intimidated I am by Shelli Adler.

I may have only been in her presence for ten seconds, but it doesn’t take long for me to realize that truth and to pop the rubber band at my wrist.

Snap. Snap. Snap.

I don’t know why, but the pain still gets me, and I crave it. I pull myself from my inner monologue and focus on the incredibly powerful girlboss coming toward me. She’s medium height, with long, luscious brownish-auburn hair and bright-blue eyes that are framed by long dark lashes. Her makeup is light but with a deep-red lip that means nothing but business in my opinion. She’s wearing a pair of jeans and a tank with a blazer over it and rather high, high heels. I’m pretty sure I see a bump, but surely not with how high those heels are.

As she walks toward me, I am immediately intimidated, but I don’t know if it’s because of the power that rolls off her in waves or if it’s because my peepaw’s words are playing repeatedly in my head.

Don’t. Fuck. This. Up.

Snap. Snap. Snap.

I don’t know why his words are messing with me or why I feel the need to punish myself for feeling so nervous. It’s a normal emotion, in my opinion, yet I’m scared. While I am the most responsible one out of all my sisters, I know this is a very important opportunity for my family. I’m not even the eldest. I’m the middle, with two older sisters and two younger, but I’ve always been the one who didn’t push back or try to go against the grain. Well, I guess that’s not true since I was the one to leave New Beginnings five years ago.

Something I am still in awe of myself for doing.

We didn’t grow up with my peepaw. He tried—man, did he try—but my mother was so deep into New Beginnings, there was no getting out. No matter what my peepaw did, he couldn’t get her away from my father. I honestly don’t know what hold the cult had over my mother, but even when my father passed, she wouldn’t leave. She was even offered an out, before she was given to the next-in-line male, but she stayed.

When word got back to my peepaw that my father had died, he did everything he could to get us back. He offered the Grandmaster money, he offered my mother money, he tried to get the court involved, but nothing worked. Even when our colony moved to hide us so he couldn’t “influence” us to leave, my mother’s hold on us—or really, the Grandmaster’s hold—was too much. That is, until I found my voice.

Snap. Snap. Snap.

Jesus, just thinking of all this has awakened my flight senses, urging me to run away. I can’t, though. Not now. I’m away from them, and this is not how I want to start this meeting. I push my dark hair off my shoulders and stand tall. Shelli may be powerful in her own right, but so am I.

I escaped a cult. I can do literally anything.

“So, are you excited?” she asks, gesturing her hands toward me in a very animated way. Her welcoming smile eases my nerves, and soon, I’m smiling right back at her. With a nod, I start to follow her down the concourse. Shelli’s eyes sparkle as we walk through the compound. It’s easy to see how much she loves her job and the legacy her family has built. The Nashville Assassins is one of the best hockey programs in the country, maybe the world. Banners hang everywhere, highlighting their achievements and past players. Everyone wants to play for the Assassins.

The organization looks at each player as a whole. Not just what they can offer, but what the program can offer them. Since Shelli has been in charge, they have developed two new parts of the program, a mental health side and then an advanced physical health side. That is what my peepaw wants to do. He already owns a baseball and basketball team; next is hockey, he says. Since he only wants the best, he wants to mirror our future hockey compound on the Assassins.

It’s fun to see it all completed and ready to go, rather than the heap of dust ours is now. When my peepaw told me he was buying a hockey team, I laughed. And when he told me I’d be the general manager, I promptly stopped laughing. While I went to college for business management, I don’t think any degree can prepare you to manage a hockey team.

I think you’re just born to do it, like Shelli is.

“I am scared out of my mind,” I admit, and she laughs.


“Don’t be. It’s going to seem like a lot, but I promise, it’ll be fun,” she assures, her eyes just so inviting. She is very personable, and it feels like I’ve known her my whole life. “When Mr. Davenport reached out to me, I didn’t hesitate to help. We need more hockey in Tennessee, and this is gonna be a badass program for our up-and-coming boys.”

“That’s the plan.”

“Don’t worry. You’re going to be training with some of the best in the biz. This year, you’ll learn more than ever.”

“Awesome,” I say softly as she checks her phone.

“Did my assistant send you over your itinerary for the week?”

“Yes. I have it all loaded in my phone.” Jesus, my hands are shaking as I raise my phone. I use my other hand to hold it still as I meet her gaze. Either she doesn’t see my shaking hands, or she doesn’t care.

Because Shelli’s face only shows a bright smile. “Great!”

Together, we continue through the compound, and I meet all the people I will be corresponding with daily. I am basically Shelli’s shadow for the season. I will live, breathe, and eat hockey. When I am not training under her, I will be training with coaches and staff to make sure I will be able to provide our hockey team with the same perfection that Shelli does. I’m unsure how the deal for moving the Assassins’ farm team to Tennessee came about, or even how my peepaw got involved, but he is excited and so is Shelli. I would be too…if only I weren’t so overwhelmed by my feelings of concern. I aim to make this a success—and to make my peepaw proud.

It’s the least I can do when he fought tooth and nail to get my sisters and me back into his life and safe from the shitshow my mother had gotten us involved in.

“So, Mr. Davenport said you’d drive back and forth to Knoxville daily?” Shelli asks her question with a look, and I nod grudgingly. “That’s a long freaking drive in the morning.”

“It is,” I agree. “But our home is forty minutes outside Knoxville, so it’s only two hours.”

“Austen, that’s insane. I have a place you can stay—for free.”

I wave her off quickly, resisting the urge to pop myself with my rubber band. Peepaw said not to inconvenience the Adlers, no matter what. “No, I couldn’t impose on your home with your child and all.”

Shelli grins. “You’re totally always welcome in my home, but actually, we have apartments for our players. I have an open one you can use.”

“Oh,” I say, and the pure joy of not having to drive all the damn time fills me. “If it’s cool with my peepaw, I’d love that.”

“I’ll make sure it is,” she says with a wink. “It’s fully furnished and ready to go. Mom leases two floors for incoming players and single ones. We want our boys to feel at home, and we don’t want them stressing.”

I quickly take notes and mentally search Knoxville for a similar building.

“We don’t want them staying in hotels, so we just do apartments, and it works great. A lot of teams are starting to do it.”

Hot Books
» House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1)
» A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire
» From Blood and Ash (Blood And Ash #1)
» A Million Kisses in Your Lifetime
» Deviant King (Royal Elite #1)
» Den of Vipers
» House of Sky and Breath (Crescent City #2)
» The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air #
» Sweet Temptation
» The Sweetest Oblivion (Made #1)
» Chasing Cassandra (The Ravenels #6)
» Wreck & Ruin
» Steel Princess (Royal Elite #2)
» Twisted Hate (Twisted #3)
» The Play (Briar U Book 3)