Cocky Roomie(Cocker Brothers of Atlanta Book 1)

By: Faleena Hopkins

For those who are letting age get in the way of love.


WANTED: Roommate. Two-bdrm, one-bath in Old Fourth Ward near the Beltline. Yeah, this is the coolest neighborhood in Atlanta but no douche-bags allowed. And no hipsters pretending they’re loners who are really clingy, needy, insecure fuckers, allowed. No starving-artists who think money’s evil allowed. It’s not evil. Stop pretending you don’t want it.

Must pay your fucking bills on time.

Must fill the shoes of my younger brother.

Good luck with that. He just enlisted in the Marines and is gonna be a hero. Not many like him and I doubt you’re one of the few.

If this didn’t scare you off, write me, but I’m not promising anything.

I don’t need a roommate. I just want one.

Wow. Okay. So that happened. And I must have reread it a thousands times wondering why I was drawn to this listing above all the others. But did I really have to ask? How could I pass that blunt honesty up? It’s like a fresh lemonade shower on a July afternoon after what I’ve been through.

Also, I’m running out of options.

Finding a roommate has proven harder than I expected. I can’t take another sleepless night at Bernie’s.

Most of the Craigslist posts are fake, which is disgusting. Apparently they’re designed to lure naïve, small-town people like myself in with gorgeous photography and crazy-cheap rent. I almost gave my bank account and social security to a couple scammers before I even saw the places, because that’s what they asked for. At first I was confused but thought, Well, if this is how they do it here in Atlanta, then…

Before I hit the send button, thank God my instincts told me not to reveal my private financials to a complete, sight-unseen stranger. Can you believe I never heard from them again, when I told them I wanted to see the apartment first? Jerks. If there is a scammer-hell, I hope they rot in it.

At least this guy seems real.

It doesn’t bother me that he sounds like an asshole.

Not at all.

At least he doesn’t try to hide his asshole-ness like Edward did. He was so charming that it took many years for me to realize my husband couldn’t be trusted.

Correction: soon to be EX-husband.

It’s not just that I’m not proud of how I’ve lived a sheltered life… I dislike that I have. But it is what it is. I can’t change the past, but I sure as hellfire can change my future! Sweet baby Jesus, smile on me now!

Hmmm. Nice building. Intricate crown-molding on the ceilings. Maybe used to be a hotel? From the brick exterior and decades of layered paint, I’d say this was built in the 1920’s. Just imagine the gorgeous dresses that must have strolled through here! Look at this winding staircase! Oh, I love it!

Oh, I hope he likes me.

I wish these heels weren’t so loud. The dark, hardwood floors are beautiful but they sure do alert someone you’re coming.

Truth be told I was surprised when he responded. I’d said little in my email.

Hi. I’d love to see the place. I can never replace your younger brother, but I’m very grateful to him for serving our good country. I’m responsible, and not needy. I don’t know what a douche is, so I hope I’m not that. Just looking for a place I can afford because I have to get out of where I am. Please, if you’ve read this far, give me a shot. Thanks, Drew.

That’s the best I could offer — just say my truth and hope it’s enough. I don’t know any other way. Not one that works, anyhow.

This is it. Apartment 11. First floor.

Oh lordie, am I nervous!

Here goes.

Knock knock knock.

The door opens and I nearly spit out my gum. In an effort not to, I swallow it.

Starin’ back at me is hands-down the most gorgeous man I’ve seen up close and personal. Dark brown eyes sparkling with confusion take me in as I stare at him in speechless shock.

I am not aware of it, but my mouth is wide open.

Stunned. Flabbergasted. Beside myself. I am all of these.

If this is Jake Cocker, I can’t live here.

He’s wearing nothin’ but a white towel. It’s normal-sized, not one of those bath sheets. My point is, it barely covers him so pretty much all of his gorgeous, tanned, and chiseled-to-perfection body is on display. To make matters so much worse, sweet-smelling beads of water are takin’ languid strolls down his chest muscles. Gaping at him, I follow their happy journey down that amazing row of ab-mountains between hips so narrow even my sweet old Nana would imagine wrapping her legs around them.

I bite my lip, trying to remember my own name.

With one hand, he shakes his wet hair out and asks, as beads of water spray around his head, “You lost or something?”

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