Falling for the Backup – Epilogue

“Mom, please don’t embarrass me.”

Aynslee looked around the arena, trying to catch a glimpse of either Jordan or his mom and dad. She wasn’t sure this was the greatest place for their parents to meet, but since her parents could only get away from the pub for one night, this was going to have to work. Even with the nervousness filling her, she couldn’t wipe the grin off her face; she was too happy. They had been in South Carolina for almost six months now, and things were great.

“I won’t. I’m just so excited to meet Jordan’s parents. I love him so much,” Tully said, while Aynslee’s father shook his head.

“We all know you love Jordan, Tully,” Bowie said before wrapping his arms around his wife’s shoulders. “I think we all do. Huh, Aynslee?”

Aynslee smiled. Yes. She loved him. More than words could describe. And she wouldn’t change the last six months of her life for anything. It had been tough to leave Nashville, but more on him than her. Jordan loved his team and his friends, but thankfully he talked with his former teammates daily. Especially Shea and Elli Adler. They’d had their baby boys in May. They came out healthy and ready to hit the ice, as Shea said. Sometimes, Aynslee felt like Elli regretted letting Jordan go, but she knew Jordan had needed the change. He was so happy now, playing every day, which made her happy.

For Aynslee, the only thing that sucked was leaving Sadie, but they too talked every day, and Aynslee planned to fly back to Nashville when Sadie’s little girl was born, which could be any day now. Leaving her job had been hard and also had made her nervous because she wasn’t sure if she’d be able to get a job for the new school year in Carolina. But Jordan’s boss, Sean, had helped her get a position with one of the best private schools in South Carolina. Aynslee loved her new school and couldn’t have been more thankful.

After everything else had fallen into place, all that had been left was finding a house. For the first couple months, it had been hard since Jordan was constantly training and getting ready for the upcoming season. But Jordan being Jordan, he always made time to be with her and to help in the search for a house. After living in the IceCats condos for the entire summer, Aynslee had gotten to the point where she thought they’d never find one. But after four months, they finally did. A beautiful six-bedroom plantation home that made Aynslee breathless every time she thought about it.

It was in a small little neighborhood, thirty minutes from the arena and twenty minutes from Aynslee’s school, but they didn’t mind the commute at all. It was the perfect house for them. Big kitchen, beautiful living room, a master bedroom to die for, and Aynslee’s closet was a dream come true. It needed a lot of work, which was the reason why they were just now getting moved in, but they’d both felt it was worth the wait. It was everything they wanted, and one day, Aynslee hoped they would come home as husband and wife to this house and maybe even bring their children there.

Then all her dreams would come true.

“I know. I do,” Aynslee said with a smile.

“I just hope you two get married. He is so perfect,” Tully gushed, “So handsome and rugged.”

“I know, Mom. Stop lusting after my man,” Aynslee teased. She then stood when Jordan’s parents, Jackie and Bill, came into view. Tully and Bowie did the same, big grins on their faces as the other couple came to meet them. Aynslee was nervous, but she loved Jackie and Bill and knew her parents would too.

Aynslee quickly introduced their parents to one another because she could tell the guys were about to come out to play. Since she’d started dating Jordan, hockey had completely taken over her life. She wasn’t the same girl who wore an old Ryan jersey, trying to figure out the game. Nope, she knew everything now and loved it.

Wearing a brand-spanking-new Jordan Ryan IceCats jersey, with a number 30 written on one cheek and an IceCat drawn on the other, she hoped she made Jordan proud. Especially with a sign proclaiming how much she loved him and how proud she was. With her sign in her hands, she held it high, and when her hunky boyfriend’s blue eyes met hers, she was smiling so hard, she was sure her face would break. Jordan smiled and waved his glove at her before dropping into position in front of the goal. She loved watching him play and was excited to watch him win his first game as an IceCat.

“How’s the house, Aynslee dear?”

Aynslee looked back from the ice and smiled at Jordan’s mom.

“Great. We get to sleep there tonight. Everything is moved in, and I can’t wait to go home for the first time.”

“We are just so happy for y’all. Hoping for wedding bells soon,” Jackie said with a grin.

If only! Aynslee had dropped every single hint she could think of, but she didn’t know why Jordan hadn’t even acknowledged them or anything! She was ready to be Mrs. Aynslee Ryan. All she needed was for Jordan to want that too.

Smiling up at Jackie, she said, “I’m hoping. Fingers crossed, he pops the question soon.”

Bill laughed. “Don’t worry, honey. He’s not stupid. He wouldn’t let someone as amazing as you go.”

All four of them smiled happily at Aynslee before she looked back to the ice to watch her man play.

Her man. Yup, she loved that sound of that.

Now, she just needed him to be her husband.

* * *

Jordan was drenched in sweat as he sat in front of his locker with his new teammates around him. They won, but Jordan didn’t like that the Lightning had been able to get two goals past him. It was the first game, though. They were still working out the kinks and still learning each other. He had no doubt that, within a month, the IceCats would be a lethal team.

Looking around the locker room while he swigged from his water bottle, he listened to his teammates laugh and celebrate their win. It wasn’t the same as the Assassins’ locker room, but that was partly because the IceCats didn’t have Phillip Anderson. Anderson was loud and obnoxious, talking shit to everyone. Jordan missed him, but he did enjoy the guys he was on the team with. They may not be loud, but they were a solid group of guys, with whom he knew he would enjoy playing.

“Great game, Jordan,” his new captain, Jackson Madden, said.

Jordan smiled. “Thanks, Madden.”

“Are you all moved in?”

“Yup. We get to sleep there tonight.”

Madden nodded. “Awesome. Congrats. I have to say, though, I’m gonna miss you and Aynslee.”

Jordan laughed. They had shared a unit with Madden when they were living in the IceCats condos. It was going to be weird not seeing Madden every day, but waking up to a sleeping Aynslee in their new home would be ten times better.

“You can come visit whenever you want,” Jordan said with a smile.

Madden nodded before walking away. Like his old captain, Shea, Madden didn’t say much. But when he did talk, everyone listened.

It had been a big change coming to Carolina, but it had been an easy one. Jordan missed his teammates and his home, but everything seemed to fall into place the moment he arrived in Carolina. It had a lot to do with his amazing girlfriend, though. Aynslee made everything easy, effortless, and he couldn’t have loved someone more than he loved her. When he was nervous or worried about something, she would come along and make it all better. She lifted him when he needed a lift and loved him even when he felt like he wasn’t worthy of her love.

His life wouldn’t be the same without her. He decided he was done sitting in front of his locker, and he was ready to go to their new home. He had been waiting for months to finally call their dream house theirs, and tonight was the night. Everything was done, and all their stuff should be moved in and ready. Aynslee had wanted them to do it themselves, but Jordan determined that they were too busy and had hired a designer and movers to get them settled. He knew this would be easier in the long run, especially with him leaving in the next couple days for his first road trip as an IceCat.

After taking a quick shower, he rushed to get changed and then said bye to some of his teammates before heading out to the parking lot. When he opened the door to the outside, the first thing he saw was her flaming red hair. She wore his jersey, which hugged her body, with tight jeans and boots that came up to her knees. Her face, God, it was perfection. When her light green eyes met his, there was no room left in his dress slacks. Freckles dusted her cheeks, and she had her hair down, in curls around her face the way he liked. She was gorgeous and all his.

When he noticed she wasn’t alone, he groaned inwardly. He didn’t want to deal with parents right now. He wanted to take his girlfriend home and ravish the hell out of her in their new house. As he walked toward them, Aynslee rushed to him and wrapped her arms around his waist. He hugged her tightly, meeting his lips to hers for a long, mind-blowing kiss. It was always like this. Every time their lips met, it seemed like the first time, and he couldn’t get enough. He loved her mouth; he loved her.

“Great game, baby,” she whispered against his lips.

“Mmm, thank you,” he said back, his hands bunching up her jersey against her back. “Love the sign you had for me.”

“I’ll have one all the time for you. You just wait.”

“I’m excited,” he said before smiling against her lips. “I can’t wait to get you home.”

She paused and scrunched up her nose in her signature, “Don’t get mad” look. He hated that look because most of the time, he knew he would get mad. It wouldn’t last long, though. She was too fucking cute to be mad at for long. “Don’t get mad, but our parents want to go to dinner.”

“Ugh. Why? Can’t we see them tomorrow? I want to take you home.”

She giggled as her hands slid up into the back of his hair. “I want to go home, too, but if we do dinner now, we can stay in bed all day tomorrow.”

“No, we can’t. I have practice,” he informed her with his face drawn up in a pout.

“Oh my goodness, you are not pouting right now, are you?” she asked with a grin.

“Shut up,” he whispered against her lips before deepening the kiss and slowly running his tongue along hers. “Let’s blow them off.”

She laughed, pulling away from him and out of his arms. Taking his hand, she shook her head. “I swear, if you go to dinner, I’ll give you a surprise.”

He eyed her. “What kind of surprise?”

With a knowing grin, she said, “I’m wearing your favorite pair of panties.”

He paused, his hand squeezing hers as his cock strained against his boxers. “Crotchless ones?”

“You know it.”

He shook his head, a grin pulling at his lips. “You play dirty, Ms. Shaw.”

“I do,” she said before wrapping her arms around his waist. “Now, come on.”

He groaned. “Fine.”

“Our parents are crazy,” Aynslee said with a laugh as they drove out of downtown Columbia.

Jordan nodded as he laughed. “They sure are, but I think they got along great.”

She nodded. “They did.”

“I swear, though, if my mom asks us one more time when we are getting married and having children, I might stab her.”

When Aynslee didn’t laugh or say anything back, he glanced over at her to find her looking out the window. “What?” he asked before looking back out at the road.


“No, it’s something. You got quiet on me.”

She paused, and out of the corner of his eye, he could see her moving her hands. He could tell she was trying to say something. Finally, she said, “I mean, do you not want to get married or have babies?”

“Of course, I do. It’s not that. It’s just, let us do it on our own time.”

“Yeah, I guess,” she mumbled, and he had to hide his smile. The woman was going to drive him insane. She was the most impatient woman in the world. She had been “accidentally” leaving ring magazines everywhere and dropping hints about how their friends were having babies and were so happy. He knew she thought he was ignoring her signals, but he wasn’t. He was just waiting for the right moment.

Pulling into the circular driveway of their home, he parked behind her car and smiled over at the love of his life. “Ready?”

She grinned before throwing open the door and getting out of the car. He did the same and waited until she took his hand before they made their way up the steps of the porch. It was pure luck finding this magnificent home, and Jordan couldn’t be more thankful. Aynslee had a thing for old houses, and he was glad they’d found this one. He could tell by looking at her how excited she was, and it made his excitement grow too. He would do anything to make her happy, and buying this house was the first step to making her the happiest woman on earth.

With big white pillars that held up the second story, the white house with dark red shutters shone on a road surrounded by other old homes. The porch had two white rocking chairs for them to sit and enjoy the country sounds at night when he was home. The yard was huge, and Jordan hoped they could go adopt some dogs from the shelter before he left in the next couple days. There was room for a play area for their children, for them to have parties and just to enjoy life. They would make a life here, and they would be happy. Jordan would make sure of that.

Reaching for the keys in his pocket, he then unlocked the door and opened it, waiting for Aynslee to walk in. As he walked in behind her, he smiled when he looked up to see the first sign she had ever made him hanging in a black frame in the entryway. He loved that she’d had framed it and was glad it was the first thing he saw every time he stepped into their home. They had been at the house earlier that day, so he knew by now everything had been put away and was exactly the way they wanted it. But it still felt amazing to come home to the house he planned to share with Aynslee for the rest of his life.

Kicking the door shut, he wrapped his arms around Aynslee’s waist, moving his nose into her hair, taking in her intoxicating smell. She let out a breath as he slipped his hand up under her jersey, taking her bra-clad breast in his hand. The lace from her bra scratched his palm as she wiggled her ass along his growing erection.

“We aren’t even going to get inside first?” she asked breathlessly as he kissed up her neck to her jaw.

“No, I want you. Now.”

She could only nod as he turned her in his arms, taking her mouth with his. When he picked her up, she wrapped her arms around his waist before he pressed her against the wall, pulling off her jersey and revealing her black lace bra. He groaned at the sight of the dark material on her pale skin. So sexy. Running his tongue down the valley between her breasts, he pulled down her bra and took her nipple in his mouth, swirling his tongue around her taut bud as she gasped for breath.

Knowing he needed to get them to the bedroom, he pulled away before he forgot his plans and had his way with her in the entryway. Holding her close to him, he carried her through the house and up the stairs to their room. Any other time, he would have enjoyed the country-style décor. But right now, he had one thing on his mind, and that was to have Aynslee in his mouth, immediately. Reaching their room, he threw her down on their light-blue comforter and covered her body with his own. When he pressed his hard-on into the heat between her legs, she gasped before he kissed her long and hard.

Drawing back, he admired her as she made quick work pulling up the hem of his shirt until his chest was revealed. She ran her tongue along his pecs before he stood up. Tugging his shirt off, he then removed his slacks and underwear before he was completely naked. She bit her lip, running her hands down her breasts and over her stomach to undo her jeans. Reaching for her boots, he pulled each one off before sliding her jeans down to reveal the gorgeous black crotchless panties he loved.

“Fuck, you are so hot,” he muttered before dropping his mouth to her wanton pussy. She was wet, and the way she tasted blew his mind. Spreading her legs apart, he moved his tongue along her lips to her firm clit, where he flicked his tongue over and over again until she was screaming his name. Sucking her clit into his mouth, he slid his fingers inside her, curling his middle digit as he slowly fucked her with his fingers. She was thrashing underneath him, and he knew she was almost there. Pumping his fingers faster, he flicked his tongue along her clit until her body tensed and she came undone.

Smiling, he kissed up her body, giving love to her nipples before taking her mouth with his. She was breathing hard, her body still shaking under his, and he wanted more. Now.

Rolling off her, he lay back on the bed and smiled over at her. “Get on top of me.”

She nodded and tried to straddle him, but he stopped her. “No, I want your back against my chest.”

She gave him a sneaky, sexy smile before turning and allowing him to guide her down on his hard cock. They let out simultaneous moans at being connected in the most amazing way before she lay back against his chest. Jordan glided his mouth up her shoulders to her neck, placing sweet kisses as he slowly slid in and out of her. She was so tight, and he swore he would never get enough of her fantastic body. Of this intense connection he shared with her.

He molded his hands to her breasts and squeezed her tits as he continued to move in her. Her body squeezed his, and it took everything out of him not to spill into her. Turning her head to face him, he rested his forehead against hers and looked deep into her eyes as his hand stroked down her body and into the fold between her legs until he found her throbbing clit. She gasped against his mouth as he swirled his fingers around her clit, flicking it and rubbing it, trying to bring her to another release. Moving his other hand up to her face, he cradled her cheek as he fingered her, his cock still buried deep inside her, until her body started to contract around him from her release.

“Look at me,” he demanded when she tried to close her eyes as she came.

She did as he asked, her eyes full of lust and love as she looked deep into his.

“I love you,” she whispered before he rolled them to their sides and started to thrust into her, his groans mixing with her gasps and moans. Gripping her hip in one hand and her breast in his other, he pounded into her, biting into her shoulder as he came hard inside her. Gasping for breath, he leaned his head against her back, stroking his hand slowly up and down her hip as he tried to catch his breath. Kissing up her back, he nuzzled his nose in her hair and softly whispered, “I love you too. So much.”

Turning her head, she smiled at him and then met her mouth to his. Cupping her jaw, he kissed her for long minutes before pulling back to look deep in her eyes. He loved this woman and always would. Nothing would ever change that, and he knew she was the only one for him.

“Marry me.”

Shock filled her beautiful face as she asked, “What?”

“You heard me. Marry me. Give me the honor of calling you my wife, Aynslee Kathleen, because I want to be your husband for the rest of my life. I want to wake up every morning after a wild night of sex with you. I want to make babies with you. I want to be with you forever and always.”

Her face colored as her smile grew. “I thought you’d never ask, Jordan. The answer is yes.”

His mouth collided with hers, and he kissed her thoroughly before pulling away to reach under the bed for the ring he’d bought two weeks ago. It had been hell waiting, but he knew he didn’t want to ask until they were in their house. He sat up, and she did the same as she watched him open the little Tiffany’s box to reveal a four-carat princess cut diamond ring that he knew would look amazing on her hand. She gasped at the sight of it, and as he’d known she would, she started to cry as he slowly slid the ring down her finger. She glanced down at the sparkling ring before looking back up at him, tears running down her beautiful face.

“I love you, and I can’t wait to be yours for the rest of our lives,” she cried before wrapping her arms around his neck and knocking him back against the pillows as she delivered long, drugging kisses. Pulling back, she kissed his nose, his eyes, and then his mouth in another passionate kiss. Words could not describe how he felt at that moment. All he knew was that his life would never be dull with his fiery redhead in it. He couldn’t wait for the moment he’d get her pregnant, which could be right now since he hadn’t worn a condom. He was more than fine with that. He wanted it.

Looking down at her, he moved a stray piece of hair out of her eyes and smiled when she did. His heart constricted with love for her, and he was excited for their future. It wouldn’t be easy, but as long as they were together, they could do anything. Who could have known that would be the best cup of coffee he’d ever have bought? He sure hadn’t. But thank God he’d spilled that coffee on her. She may have come into his life at what he’d thought was the wrong time, but he wouldn’t have changed it at all.

She was his everything.

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