Saturday, April 16, 2011

Chapter Thirty Eight;

“Not gonna lie,” Philippe said, smirking at Kris as the two walked back outside onto the boardwalk. The door to the little barber shop made a faint dinging sound as the door closed behind the two, “I like the short look on ya. Looks more sophisticated, refined even. Much better than your long hair.”
“What was wrong with my long hair?” Kris raised an eyebrow at Bouch’s final comment as they walked aimlessly down the walkway. He liked having his hair long. There was just something about it, the way it looked, the way it blew in the wind when he skated, just something that he liked. Sure, some of the guys joked with him about it every once in a while, but that’s how it was with everything. He never really realized there was something wrong with it.
“Nothing I suppose. It just looked more, I dunno, disheveled.” Boucher shrugged, “Like I said, I like this look better on ya.”
Kris lifted a hand up to feel the back of his now short hair. The locks that once came down the length of his neck now lay on the floor of the shop. In a way he missed it. He didn’t regret getting it cut, it wasn’t that big of a deal and would most likely grow back before it really set in that it was gone, but he did feel a little bit less like himself. His hair was kind of his thing and a lot of the fans, mostly female fans, took notice to it.
“The ladies loved my sex hair.” Kris stated matter-of-factly, using the terminology the fans used for his mane.
Boucher chuckled, “They did. I can’t argue with that.”
A smile found its way to Kris’s face but disappeared just as quickly as it came when a new question came to his mind. What did Emily think? Would she be upset with his new look or happy to see the old one go? Kris racked his brain to try to remember anything she’d ever said or done to show her preference. He thought back to the times before their relationship spawned into something more than just friendship; to the times before their sexual encounter. He recalled times where she would play with his hair when it was long and others when she would ask to feel it when it was freshly cut, but no specific instances came to mind where she made her choice clear. Kris then thought to the most recent times, the ones after their feelings for each other were out there; after their sexual encounter. Once again, nothing. The last time period to search in was what came in between; during their sexual encounter. He could vividly remember her running her fingers through his hair while he was on top of her. She certainly seemed to be enjoying it then. She was one of the few girls who got to experience his literal sex hair, and as far as he could tell, she liked it.
“And don’t look now,” Boucher interrupted his thoughts, “but looks to me like they still do.”
Despite the don’t look now part, Kris turned his head to the left where Philippe was looking. Standing next to a booth selling sunglasses and handmade jewelry stood three considerably attractive women who were smiling and eyeing Kris up.
Kris suddenly felt upset and it was visible on his face. He didn’t want any other girls, no matter how pretty they might be. He just wanted his girl.
“I told ya not to look.” Bouch shrugged.
“I thought it was just an expression,” Kris replied, taking another quick peek at the girls who made it no secret that they were checking him out, “Shit. They’re coming over here. What am I supposed to do?”
“What any other guy would give to be you right now.” Bouch shook his head jokingly. But Kris’s scowl made him get serious, “Just talk to them. Maybe it will take your mind off of things.”
As the girls got closer, Kris considered making the best of it. Hell, shouldn’t he deserve to have some fun while Emily was off gallivanting with Geno? But nothing would be the same with some random chick as it would be if he was with her. So why bother?
But it was too late to turn around and leave now.
“Hi,” The sole brunette in the group of blondes cooed, “I’m Kylie.”
“I’m Erika.” The taller of the two blondes chimed in.
“And I’m Mia.” The final one added with a glossy smile.
“Kris.” He told them, figuring it was his turn to introduce himself.
“And I’m his mentor, Philippe.” Bouch interjected with a joking smile. But the girls were about as interested in him as Kris was with them; not at all. Philippe knew that, and really didn’t care, “I’m gonna go get a drink. I’ll leave you guys to, uh, chat.” He smirked and, to Kris’s displeasure, walked away.

“I’m definitely getting one of these shirts before we leave tonight.” Ashley announced. Her, Jordan, Emily and Geno were stopped at a stand with random souvenirs that, even though they said Miami Florida on them, were totally generic to any other tourist based location.
“Why? They’re so weird and cheesy!” Emily scrunched her nose in disgust as she held up a shirt that read, ‘Shit happens when you party naked,’ as an example.
“Hey, I like that one!” Jordan grabbed the crude t-shirt out of her hands defensively. Emily rolled her eyes but couldn’t help but utter a laugh.
“Really, Jordy? I took you for more of a ‘Beach Bums’ kinda guy.” Evgeni joked, holding up a pink shirt with three cats wearing sun glasses and Hawaiian shirts on the front and their rear ends on the back.
Jordan shrugged, “That one ain’t bad either.” And he took it from his hands as well.
“Babe,” Ashley turned to Jordan holding up a new shirt, “if you love me, you will buy me this right now.” The shirt was light yellow with the face of a cat wearing big blue sunglasses right in the middle. Underneath in a fancy font it said, ‘Cool Cat – Miami Florida.’
“We can match!” Jordy exclaimed with a smile on his face as he held up his own cat shirt.
“What I don’t get is how cats have anything to do with Miami.” Emily shook her head, amused by the stupidity of it all.
“You and me both.” Geno chuckled in agreement.
Jordan and Ash went to pay for their new tops. Emily stood, staring out beyond the t-shirt stand with an unreadable look plastered to her face.
“You sure you don’t want one?” Evgeni asked her, referring to the t-shirts, trying to lure her back into focus.
“Positive.” She said, offering him a small smile so he wouldn’t think she was angry at him or anything. She really wasn’t angry at him or anyone for that matter. Sure Max was getting on her nerves, but she felt too…odd to be truly mad at him for the time being. She took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. Maybe she was just tired, or not quite adjusted to the temperature change yet. Regardless of the reason, she felt different than she had ever remembered feeling before. She didn’t know how to describe it, and she didn’t know why.
“Fireworks should be starting soon.” Geno tried again. This attempt worked better than the previous.
Emily looked up at him, “That should be nice.” She said, for lack of anything better coming to mind.
“Yeah. Once those clowns are done we can go to beach to watch them.” He took her hand in his as he spoke.
She smiled sincerely now, and the pleased look on Geno’s face showed that he could tell.
“I’d like that.” She said honestly. Maybe he wouldn’t be her first choice as the guy she’d like to experience it with, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t enjoy the sure-to-be-beautiful sight anyway.

“This shit’s rigged!” TK angrily exclaimed after failing for the third time to knock over all six milk bottles.
“Calm down, Teek.” Lauren giggled and rubbed his arm to comfort him.
“Max, why don’t you try?” Leah asked Max, who was standing and watching as Tyler was throwing the baseballs without saying anything.
Max refocused on what was going on and smirked, “I guess I could show the poor kid how it’s done.”
“Two balls for a dollar,” said the lanky man running the booth. Max pulled one out and traded him for the balls.
“Here, you take this one,” Max said and handed the second ball to Tyler, “I won’t be needing it.” He added with a wink.
TK shook his head, “Yeah right,” but he accepted the ball anyway. He didn’t want to waste all of his own cash on this silly game.
“Yeah,” Max said as he got ready to throw. He aimed and fired, knocking down every last one of the bottles in the tower, “right.”
Leah and Lauren cheered for him as he took a little bow. TK just shook his head, surprised that he actually did it.
“I’m impressed!” Leah smiled at him, trying to flirt like Lauren and Ashlen had told her to.
“Eh, it was nothin’.” Max smiled back at her.
“Here ya go, sir.” The man behind the booth said as he held out Max’s prize. It was a medium sized stuffed purple monkey.
Max took the prize and thanked the man, then turned back to a still smiling Leah. “For you.” He said and handed her monkey.
“Awe, thanks Max. I love it!” She said and hugged her new favorite stuffed animal.
“No problem.” Max chuckled.
Leah could hear her heart beating loudly in her chest. It was working; Max was flirting with her. He was flirting with her, right? She couldn’t help but think how Max had probably never won Emily a stuffed animal before. And even though he wanted to be with her right now originally, he was having way more fun with her now. Right?
“Come on, Teek. Try again!” Lauren urged her boyfriend who was clearly jealous that Max won and he hadn’t yet.
“Okay, okay. I got this fersure this time.” Tyler said more to himself than to her.
He took the ball and tried his best to imitate what Max had done moments earlier. He threw the ball and watched it hit the bottles, but unfortunately for him, only got three of them down.
“God dammit!” He stomped his foot while Max and Leah laughed at him. Even Lauren couldn’t help but giggle.
“Maybe this just isn’t your game, mon frère.” Max shrugged.
“Damn right it isn’t. Let’s try something else.” Tyler said and grabbed Lauren’s hand. “On to the next one, eh.”
Seeing Lauren laugh and smile as she held TK’s hand, made Leah want to reach for Max’s to do the same. But his hands were in his pockets as he walked alongside her. It was too soon anyway, though. But it was just a matter of time till he would finally be hers. Or at least she hoped so.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Chapter Thirty Seven;

“Are you sure you want to do this?” Boucher asked for about the hundredth time.
“Yes, I’m positive. You’re the one who told me to stop moping around and to pick anything I want to do. This is what I want to do. So just let me do it.” Kris told him. He was getting irritated with him. “Not that I need your permission.”
“I know, I know. I just want to make sure it’s not something you’ll regret later.” Philippe shrugged. He knew there was no stopping Kris from doing what he wanted but he wanted to make sure he was at least serious about it.
“I’m sure about this. I need a little change. It’s not that big of a deal. Besides,” He said as he sat down in the chair the man at the counter pointed him towards and let his long locks fall out from under his hat and into his face, “it’ll grow back.”

“How were the rides?” Marc-Andre asked the three just returning from riding them. They made their way to the table where everyone else was still sitting, now including Sidney and Ashlen who recently joined them. Ashlen, who was in Sidney’s arms, was holding a cute stuffed Panda in her arms.
“Pretty good,” Tyler answered. He was holding Lauren’s hand, “How was the food?”
“Delish. Try some.” Jordan retorted and tossed a fry at TK’s face without warning.
Despite the lack of a heads-up, however, Tyler caught the fry in his mouth and smiled in triumph. The girls applauded and Sid and Geno laughed.
“How did you…?” Flower began to ask, puzzled.
Jordan simply shrugged, “Practice.”
“So what’s everybody doing now?” Lauren asked, changing the subject. They were done with their snacks now and it was time to find something else to do.
“I wanna take a look around some of the shops and stuff,” Ashley proclaimed, mostly speaking to Jordan who nodded in agreement. She then turned to Emily and added, “You and Geno should come with us.”
Jordan and Evgeni exchanged glances. Jordy gave him a little smirk and eyebrow-raise that said I gotchu, bro. Geno smiled instinctively and turned his attention to Emily who was seated next to him.
“Okay, sounds good to me.” She replied, then looked to Evgeni for his opinion.
“Yeah,” He nodded, “Let’s go,” And got up from the table, as did the other three.
Lauren and Leah started discussing ideas of what they, Tyler, and Max could do, but Max didn’t hear a word. “Wait!” He called out to Emily and them before they could stray too far from the table.
They all turned around, all with looks of confusion. Except Emily who was visibly annoyed.
“What, Max?” She asked for them all.
He walked over towards them and Emily released Geno’s hand to step closer to Max.
“I’ll come with you guys,” He told her. His eyes took a peek over Emily’s shoulder at Geno who now also looked annoyed, “Ya know, just in case.”
“Ugh, Max,” She sighed in aggravation. She didn’t want to be mean to him, but she just wasn’t in the mood for this right now, “I’m perfectly capable of taking care of myself for five minutes. I told you to chill out about this; he’s not going to do anything while we’re here. I appreciate you caring,” she paused and took a breath, then angrily hissed, “but I don’t need a bodyguard.”
Max awkwardly rubbed the back of his neck, “Oh, okay.” He wasn’t expecting that reaction out of her. Though, he figured he did need to calm down about it all… that is until he remembered the conversation between Jordan and Evgeni earlier that day regarding her. Geno was definitely planning on getting some tonight, and Jordan was personally going to make sure of it. Max wanted to explain that to Emily, but before another word could come out of his open mouth, she put a finger up to silence him instantly.
Go hang out with Leah,” She instructed him. Leah was watching Max with hopeful eyes; most likely hoping both that the convo he was having with Emily wasn’t going well and that he was going to decide to come join her in her loneliness instead, “She clearly needs you right now. I don’t.
And with that, Emily turned on her heels and went back to Ash, Jordy, and Geno; re-lacing her fingers with his as she returned.
Max just stood there kind of slack-jawed from events that just took place. He felt bad for obliviously making her so angry at him, but couldn’t help but still feel like she needed him. Maybe she was just tired and not in the greatest mood; Max hoped that her anger wouldn’t last or maybe she’d even unleash it on Geno later if he did, in fact, try something with her. Whatever the reason, not being with her meant not being able to help her, which once again, hopefully she wouldn’t need. In the meantime, Max figured he really should do as she said and hang out with Leah. He owed it to her after rudely ditching her earlier.
He walked back over to the table where Leah, Lauren, Tyler, Fleury, Sidney, and Ashlen now sat.
“Looks like you’ll be joining us?” TK asked him as him and Laur stood up.
“What are we doing?” Max asked implying that he would be. Leah stood up now too.
“Playing games.” Lauren smiled brightly and wrapped one of her arms around her boyfriend. “Teek said he’s gonna win me a cute animal to snuggle with tonight since we can’t be together.”
Fleury laughed out loud at Tyler who was blushing at what he clearly wasn’t planning on hearing Lauren tell all of them that he said.
“How sweet of little Teek.” Marc teased him.
Tyler just brushed him off, happy that Jordan wasn’t there to make it any worse.
“I think that’s cute!” Ashlen assured him. She was still hugging her own stuffed animal Sid won for her, “We’ve got the sweetest boyfriends in the world, huh Laur?”
“Got that right.” Lauren agreed and gave Tyler a kiss that made it all better.
“We going or what?” Max asked, interrupting the cute boyfriend-girlfriend moment.
“We’re going.” Leah answered for them. Until Max started acting like a sweet boyfriend towards her, she knew she was going to keep feeling left out. It was only a matter of time though.
“We’ll see you guys later.” Sidney told them. He, Ashlen, and Flower were just going to chill there for a while.
“Peace.” Max told them, throwing up the peace sign behind him as the group of four walked away.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

This is nooot over!

Even though it's been months, I just wanted to let you all know that this is not over! I have a lot written for future events, I just need to find time to get back into writing it. Hopefully I can get the next chapter up soon, I feel bad it's taking so long :p But hopefully you'll continue reading this and there will be more to read very soon! :)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Chapter Thirty Six;

“See that blue one, top left above the two green ones?” Sidney asked, pointing with the red-tailed dart in his hand.
Ashlen nodded with a grin, “Yeah.”
“Well, now ya see it,” He said as he pulled the dart back behind his ear, focusing in on the blue balloon he pointed out to her. With a quick, well-aimed toss, the dart hit the balloon dead on, popping it instantly. “Now ya don’t.”
The man behind the booth handed Sid his prize, a big plush panda with a little red bowtie. “Good job, Mr. Crosby. And great game today.” He told him, looking and sounding star struck to be talking to Sidney Crosby.
“Thank you.” Sidney thanked the man who was still grinning like a fool, and then turned to focus all his attention on Ashlen, “A panda for my lady.”
Ashlen smiled and took the bear from his hands, giving it a hug and Sidney a smile. “Who knew all that skill you harbor on the ice was good for popping balloons with darts, too.” She joked, making Sid chuckle.
“I try.” He shrugged, interlacing his fingers with hers.
“Is it weird?” Ashlen asked, suddenly curious, as she took a last look at the dart-throwing booth guy before the two of them and the panda started walking away.
“What? Throwing darts?” Sid was clearly confused.
“No, I mean how people act around you. Like they’re in awe or something.” She explained, “Does it bother you?”
“Not always. It was kind of weird at first, but I’ve gotten used to it. It only bothers me when it interferes with things. Like I can’t do some of the things that the other guys on the team can without making too much of a fuss back home. Simple stuff like going to the mall usually ends up getting me swamped by fans asking for autographs or pictures and stuff. I can deal with it, but sometimes I wish I didn’t have to.” He said, looking forward as he spoke. He then turned his head to look at Ashlen, who was looking up at him already. He smiled, “That’s why I like coming places like this where I have more freedom. And one of the many reasons why I love being with you. Cause when I’m with you, the rest of the world doesn’t matter. It’s like it’s just you and me in our own little world. Perfect.”
“I love you, Sidney.” Ashlen said with a smile.
“I love you too, Ash.” He replied, and covered her smile with his lips.

“Three words,” Jordan announced, holding up three fingers, “Best. Funnel cake. Ever.”
“Gronk, that’s definitely four words.” Marc-Andre corrected him with a laugh.
The two of them plus Ashley, Max, Emily and Geno were all sitting at a little picnic table eating the snacks they got to eat.
“No way. One, two, three.” Jordy protested as he counted on his fingers, “That’s three. I can count!”
“Funnel cake is two words, dumbass.” Flower laughed again at his teammate’s stupidity.
“Is not!”
“Jordan, it definitely is.” Max jumped in, as he devoured his own snack, which was a plate of French fries. He was craving some after Emily mentioned them earlier.
“Um, excuse me but did anybody ask you, fatass?” Jordy asked, full of attitude, “And didn’t we tell you to lay off those? You’re sure puttin those fries away.”
“Well I figure it’s vacation, why not cut loose. Live a little.” Max shrugged as he put another handful in his mouth.
“Whatever.” Jordan dismissed him with a flick of his wrist, “Ash, please tell these imbeciles that funnel cake is a singular word.”
“Just let him have this.” Ashley begged them, rolling her eyes at him.
“Jordan, the sign on the damn funnel cake stand says ‘Funnel Cakes’ as in, funnel space cakes. That means it’s two words. Funnel and cake.” Emily tried to explain. Jordan looked at the sign she was referring to and just kind of sighed.
“They told me hockey players were dumb, stupid even. But I said no, that’s just a myth.” Max chuckled and Jordan stuck his tongue out at him.
“Who needs brains when you’re me?” He asked overconfidently. Hugging Ashley with one arm and making a muscle with the other.
Geno chuckled, his arm around Emily, “Obviously not you.”

“Teeeek.” Lauren groaned, “Can’t you use your social status to jump us to the front of the line?”
“My social status?” Tyler laughed.
“Well, you know. Your being a famous hockey player and all. That should earn you some front of the line privileges.” She explained, holding his hand and swinging their arms back and forth as they stood in line for the mini coaster. “Right, Leah?”
“Yeah, what’s the use of hanging with you if we can’t take full advantage of your job?” She joked.
“Well that might work back home, but I don’t think Florida cares as much.” He shrugged, “Besides, this line isn’t even that long. We’ll get on next run fersure.”
“If you say so.” Lauren gave in, leaning against his chest as she waited. TK smiled, rubbing her arm and holding her close.
“I wish Max and me were like you too.” Leah sighed.
“Don’t be all pouty! He said he’d come hang with you a little later. You two will be an adorable couple in no time!” Laur insisted.
“You sure like him a lot don’t you?” Tyler asked, although it sounded more like a statement.
Leah nodded, “Yeah. I do.”
“Well he’d be stupid not to see how good you guys would be for each other. A guy like him needs a girl like you in his life.” He added honestly.
“You really think so?” She asked, a hint of a smile showing on her face.
TK nodded, “Yeah I really do.”

”No offence or anything, but being here with you isn’t exactly the same as it would be with her.” Kris sighed, looking at his feet as he and Philippe walked around aimlessly.
Bouch chuckled, “I wouldn’t expect it to be.”
Kris just shrugged and kept on walking. Until Philippe stopped him, putting his hand on his shoulder and making him look up at him.
”Listen, I know you want to be with her. But ya just can’t be right now. So quit moping around and at least try to have a little fun.” Boucher told him seriously. Kris nodded, feeling a bit bad that he was complaining so much.
Bouch was right. He should at least attempt to enjoy himself, rather than be upset about something that he can’t do anything about right now and write himself out before he could even try.
”What should we do then?” Kris asked him.
”Well, what do you want to do? Anything you want. Just pick something.”
Kris looked around at the people and places surrounding them. There were stands offering random souvenirs, kids carrying around balloons, small shops selling things, and plenty more. But the one thing that caught his eye was the neon orange sign in one of the shop windows. He wanted to be impulsive. That’s the only way he’d get anything done. Too much thinking about things usually resulted in backing out or changing his mind. So he decided not to think anymore, not tonight. He was just going to do.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Chapter Thirty Five;

By the time everyone arrived at the festival it was already dark out. Christmas lights and paper lanterns strung on the trees and above where people would be walking assisted the moon and stars overhead at providing lighting for the festivities. Booths and tents were set up down the long boardwalk, offering food and fun and other things for the Floridians to enjoy. At the end of the pier there were a few carnival type rides, including a Ferris wheel and a small rollercoaster. The festival extended down onto the beach, as well, where there was a big bonfire already started. There was something for everyone. Even Coach Bylsma and the rest of the coaching staff, who quickly went off to have some fun on their own.
“I bet they’re all gonna get hammered tonight.” Jordan laughed as he watched them scurry away.
All of the girls and their boyfriends plus Max and Fleury were standing in a group, surveying the area and figuring out where they each wanted to go.
“If they do, you ought to get on Dan’s case about it and fine him for breaking the rules.” Marc-Andre suggested with a laugh, “Reverse the roles. See how he likes it.”
Jordan smirked, “That idea’s not half bad.”
“Here’s an idea,” Lauren began, talking mainly to Tyler, “let’s go ride some of those rides!”
“Okay, I’m in.” TK smiled, grabbing her hand.
“I’ll come, too.” Leah added. She turned to face Lauren.
“Okay.” She said but used her eyes to point to Max, trying to get Leah to take the hint to ask him to come too. Leah nodded, understanding, and remembering that her and Ashlen advised her to spend time with him tonight.
“Um, Max,” She turned and called his name, her voice sounding shy.
Max raised his eyebrows signaling that he heard her, but she noticed his eyes were focused over on Emily and Geno who were standing relatively close to the group still, but sort of off on their own. Geno held her close to him as they talked. He looked happy but she seemed slightly uninterested.
“Huh?” Max finally asked, still barely paying attention to anything but Emily, which made Leah a bit jealous.
“Um, do you wanna come with me, Laur and TK to ride some stuff?” She asked him hopefully.
“Oh, uh, maybe in a little bit.” He told her, feeling bad that he declined but feeling like he needed to stay to watch out for Emily.
“Oh, okay. That’s fine.” Leah sounded disappointed but she tried to hide it. “Later then.” She said and turned away from him. Knowing she was upset, Lauren put a hand on her shoulder to try to comfort her as they walked towards the rides.
“Don’t worry,” Lauren whispered, “He said he’d come in a little bit. You’ll win him over then.”
“If you say so.” Leah sighed.

Geno looked at the sights around him, kind of in awe, his arm around Emily’s waist as he did so. She chuckled at the look on his face.
“What? Don’t they have Friday Festivals back in Russia?” She asked with a hint of a smile on her tired face.
“Not Floridian ones.” He replied as he took a final glance at his surroundings before his eyes moved back and focused on his girlfriend in his arms.
“I love all the lights,” She said, observing the strings of the tiny twinkling bulbs overhead. “They look so pretty.”
“Not as pretty as you,” Geno smiled, “But I love them too. They remind me of the first time we kissed.”
Emily thought back to that night. Not one of her finest. She pictured the scene, the snow dusted ground, the faint sound of music in the distance, and those famous lights strung on all the trees. It was beautiful then and it remained beautiful in her memory, she couldn’t deny that. No matter how badly she wished she could go back in time and change the outcome of that night. Things would be so much easier that way.
“Hey guys,” Max interrupted her thoughts and her and Geno’s private conversation when he popped up in between them, a smile on his face and one of his hands on each of their shoulders. “Whatcha doin?”
“Just talking.” Geno said, not pleased with the interruption but tried not to show it too much.
“Oh, well I didn’t mean to impose…”
“But you did.” Geno said flat out.
“No, it’s okay,” Emily added before either of the guys could get angry. The last thing she needed right now was a fight. “We should all go find something to do anyway.”
“Okay, you’re right.” Evgeni agreed. He couldn’t get mad at her. “Let’s go see what Jordy and them wanna do.”
As the three of them walked back toward the others that remained, Emily and Max fell a few steps behind.
Max,” She began, using French to hide from Geno’s ears, “I know you’re just trying to look out for me, but you can lay off a little. I think Geno’s getting suspicious again. He knew you were watching us when we were alone. It’s just, I don’t want him to get mad, and I can handle it for now. Okay?”
Max sighed, but nodded, “I’m sorry. It’s just, I think he’s gonna try something with you tonight.”
That’s what you said last night.” Emily reminded him, not fully trusting Max’s instinct, “Plus it’s not like he can do anything here. Don’t be paranoid.”
Max nodded as they rejoined the circle. Despite her apparent confidence, he wasn’t as convinced that everything would go over smoothly tonight. But for her sake, he agreed, “You’re right, I’ll lay off.”
“Lay off what?” Marc-Andre, the other French-speaker, asked and the rest of the group looked at Max and Emily questionably as to what they were secretly talking about.
“Um, lay off the French fries.” Em said quickly, blurting out the first thing that came to her mind. She turned to Max and pointed at his stomach, “Starting to lose his figure.”
Max shot her a look that said ‘excusez-moi?’, but nodded as to not blow their cover.
“Ya know, I was starting to think the same thing.” Jordan admitted, giving Max an ‘it’s true’ nod.
“Okay, I’m fat, I know.” Max said, letting them have their laugh at his expense, “Let’s go do something instead of just standing around.”
“Well what do you guys want to do first?” Ashley asked.
“How bout we go get something to eat?” Max suggested, trying to get them moving along.
Jordy chuckled, then whispered loud enough for everyone to hear anyway, “Fatty would suggest that.”
Max shook his head but smirked nonetheless, “Look what you got me into.” He actually whispered to Emily. She let out a laugh.
“Oh, hush. It’s not a big deal.” She replied, giving his abs a pat with the back of her hand just before Geno swept her up and out of Max’s reach. He frowned as the couple laughed.
“We’ll meet up with you guys in a bit.” Sidney announced, holding Ashlen’s hand in his.
“Why? Where are you two going?” Fleury asked, his voice sounding a bit suggestive.
“Just to look around,” Ashlen assured him, “See what they have at some of those booths and stuff.”
“Alright, well you’ll know where to find us.” Max told them as he pointed to where all the food stands were.
Sid waved with his free hand as they turned to go in the opposite direction, “See ya in a bit.”

“Why did we even come to this thing?” Kris asked bitterly as he walked down the boardwalk with Philippe at his side.
“Well, all the rest of the guys are here. I figure it’s better than just sitting in the hotel.” He replied with a shrug, “Plus it can help take your mind off of things. Just enjoy yourself.”
Kris sighed. How was he supposed to enjoy himself? If anything, being here made him think about things even more. And by things both of them knew it meant Emily. Everywhere he looked he saw a happy couple, either holding hands, or sharing a pretzel, or giving each other a kiss. It infuriated him that he couldn’t do that with the girl he loved. Not yet. Instead, some Russian clown got to tote her around showing everybody his grand prize. It wasn’t fair.
“Come on, don’t be angry. You had a great game today, kick back and celebrate it.” Boucher tried again to no avail.
Sure, one assist. One hell of a game, eh? Kris sighed again. His silly little assist wasn’t much of a match against Geno’s two plus a hat trick. Just another thing he had to one up him at.
But Kris opted not to sound like a whining child anymore. Philippe was obviously trying to make him feel better, so even though it didn’t work, he didn’t want to be rude to him.
“Sucks Coach didn’t put you in, though.” Kris said, his voice not sounding harsh like it had been.
“Yeah, well that’s life for an old player like me.” Bouch shrugged like there was nothing he could do about it.
“What are you talking about? You’re only like, thirty-six.”
Philippe chuckled, “Well when you’ve got young guys like you and Goose to choose from, thirty-six sounds a lot older to a coach’s ears. Plus it’s not like I was missed. An eight to nothing win doesn’t really scream ‘lineup change needed.’ And I’m okay with that. I had my time to shine, now it’s yours. I wouldn’t take that away from you.”
“You wouldn’t be taking anything away from me.” Kris told him as they continued to walk.
“Regardless, I’ve had a long run. Hell, I’ve been in the league since you were four years old.” Philippe told him with a chuckle at the realization of the age difference, “I’ve been a part of an all-star game, my name’s on Lord Stanley’s cup, I met some great friends along the way,” He gave Kris a playful elbow to the side at the last one, “What more could I ask for from the game?”
Kris looked at his face, sensing that he was keeping something from him, but he didn’t know what. “What are you trying to say?”
Boucher shook his head and put a firm hand on Kris’s shoulder, “Nothing, son. Forget I said anything.”
Kris sighed for a third time. Unfortunately with thoughts of Emily and Geno continuously popping into his head, it wouldn’t even be that hard to forget about this conversation. For now, at least.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Chapter Thirty Four;

Everyone was at the Bank Atlantic Center. The Pens and the Panthers were on the ice doing their thing. The girls got seats up with Mario and company in their box. Emily was particularly happy about that since it wouldn’t remind her of her seats from her dream earlier.
Halfway through the first and the Penguins were already up two to nothing. Geno showed up as was expected and scored the first unassisted, and Jordan knocked off $500 with an assist on the other goal scored by Matt Cooke. There were a good bit of Pens’ fans in the crowd so cheering could be heard over the Panthers’ fans’ disappointment.
The first period ended with no additional scoring. But by the end of the second Geno had found the back of the net once again and also assisted on Sidney’s power play goal. Jordan got another assist, this time on a goal by TK, but he was still looking for a goal of his own. Fleury was standing tall in net and blocking every one of the few shots coming his way. The team went into the locker room feeling pretty confident, but not about to quit trying just because they had a five to nothing lead.

“Do I smell a hat trick coming from my BFF Geno?” Jordan exclaimed with a smile once they were back in the locker room.
“I’m feeling it.” Geno said and Jordy gave him a pat on the back.
“Dude, not only are we gonna be debt free but we’re totally getting laid tonight!” He said, obviously excited.
“Yeah, yeah. You’re gonna have to score a goal first before you get to score anywhere else.” Geno joked. Not only was he playing good, but he was feeling real good too.
“I’m working on it, man. It ain’t over yet.” Jordan promised and flashed a smile.
Evgeni laughed, “If you say so, J.”

While Coach Bylsma was talking to his players in the locker room, the girls were having their own conversation up in their box.
“So it’s looking to me like Jordy’s going to win me this bet.” Ashley said to Emily and Ashlen.
“He’s only got two points. Geno’s got three.” Emily pointed out.
“Well Sid’s only got one so I think we know who lost.” Ashley joked.
“Hey!” Ashlen protested, “It’s not over yet. They’ve got another twenty minutes.”
“We should’ve brought hats for Geno’s hat trick.” Ashley said, changing the subject.
“So you think he’s gonna get one?” Emily asked.
“Don’t you?” She replied, shrugging her shoulders.
“Well, yeah probably.” Emily shrugged. To be honest she hadn’t really even thought about it until now. She honestly didn’t care if he got a hat trick, or any points at all for that matter. Her mind was still imagining the fight she dreamt about between Geno and Kris. She didn’t think anything like that would actually happen. At least, not in the middle of a hockey game. She was more focused on Kris when the teams were out on the ice. He didn’t have any points so far, but he had a few shots and some good hits. She loved to watch him skate. And the way he waited for everyone else to go in before he left the ice. It was like he was doing his own thing sometimes. Like when there was a TV time out and he would just skate around on the ice while the rest of the team, other than Fleury, was on the bench. It made her smile. It was the little things she couldn’t help but love about him.
The guys came back out onto the ice and the third period began. You could sense the Panthers’ determination to try to get back into the game by the way they were playing, but despite their efforts, they just couldn’t get a goal past Fleury. It wasn’t until about nine minutes into the period that the lamp was lit again, this time by an ecstatic Jordan Staal.
He flashed a huge smile as he went down the bench, tapping his teams’ fists along the way. He stopped when got to the door and got a seat next to Geno.
“Coach is probably shitting himself right now.” Jordy joked and Geno laughed.
“Not so much.” Jordan turned his head to see Dan with his arms crossed, right behind him. Geno laughed harder. “Good job, though.”
“Thanks, Coach.” He smiled, “Hey, you think you could put me and Geno on the same line for the rest of the game? We’ve been working on some plays that might just make you soil your shorts for real.”
Dan couldn’t help but crack a smile. He scanned the bench, where most of his players were while the TV timeout was going on. “Okay, why not.” He gave in and proceeded to inform the rest of the guys of the minor change.
“Dude this is going to be awesome, am I right?” Jordan smiled, his mouth guard hanging out of his mouth.
Geno chuckled at how big of a deal Jordan was making this, “Hell yes.”

Their next shift on the ice, it was Jordan, Geno, and TK. A Panther took a shot at the goal, only to have Fleury knock it away. Kris retrieved it on defense and passed it up to Jordan, who was calling for it. It was the opportunity he and Geno had been waiting for. Jordy came down the left side while Geno took the right. He faked a shot to distract his man while Geno came shooting around from behind the goal. Jordan snuck him a quick pass past the defense and Geno put it top shelf, netting his third goal of the game.
Had they been in Pittsburgh, celebratory music would be playing, the goal horn would be going off, everyone in the sold out crowd would be on their feet, and most importantly, hats upon hats would be raining down onto the ice.
Since they were in Miami, it was quiet other than the Penguins fans who happen to be there cheering, and only two hats made their way onto the ice.
“I told you we should’ve brought hats!” Ashley exclaimed as her and the rest of her friends stood up and cheered for Evgeni.
“Damn.” Emily shrugged as she clapped. She was more preoccupied with the fact that Kris got his first point of the game assisting on the goal rather than the fact that it was Geno who scored it.
“Well looks like you two are tied for the bet.” Ashlen pointed out.
“There’s still a few minutes left. Anything could happen.” Ashley replied.
“Like Sid could get four quick ones here and I could beat you both?”
“Well,” Ashley smirked, “Maybe not anything.”

As it came down to the final minute, the Panthers decided to pull their goalie in a last ditch effort to retain some dignity and break Fleury’s shutout. Instead, Geno did what he does best and stole the puck off of them. Being the unselfish guy that he is, he passed it up to Max who easily netted it. The Pens fans were on their feet and the Panthers fans were halfway out the door as the final seconds ticked off the clock. Final score; Penguins eight, Panthers zero. That would most likely put them in a good mood for the festival.
The girls waited around until they were allowed in the locker room. The guys were mostly all dressed, their hair still wet from the shower. Lauren saw TK sitting by his stuff and she went to sit next to him. Leah followed her, but was kind of left out when the couple started talking and then kissing.
When Jordan saw Ashley, he immediately swept her up in a hug and a kiss.
“Hell of a game, eh babe?” He smiled brightly.
“Hell yeah it was!” She smiled back at him.
“Me and Geno only owe $8,500 now. Coach shit his pants.” Jordan told her excitedly.
Ashley laughed, “That’s great, babe. But your buddy Geno got a point more than you so I lost the bet.”
“Bet?” Jordan sounded confused.
Emily was standing near them. Geno was just coming into the room now and joined the three of them.
“Yeah, we bet on which one of you would score the most points.” Emily informed the two guys.
“And you lost.” Ashley told her boyfriend, who frowned.
“Sorry, Ash.” He told her and kissed her to hopefully make up for it. Her smile told him he was forgiven.
“So what did I win you?” Geno asked Emily.
“Bragging rights for a month.” She told him and he smiled.
“Sounds like a good prize to me.” He grinned.
Emily nodded, faking a smile and wondering where Kris was.

Ashlen looked around at her friends with their boyfriends and wondered where hers was at. She finally spotted him in the corner surrounded by reporters and camera people. Not even the star of the game, but it was captain’s duties. She got close enough to hear what he was saying and stood, watching and waiting.
Sid was explaining his take on what a shutout meant to Fleury at this time of the year, microphones and tape recorders all up in his face. Ashlen wondered how he could stand it without getting irritated. She laughed to herself, imagining him getting angry and telling them all to back up out his grill.
“Sid,” One of the reporters called, “How do you think the upcoming Olympic break is going to impact your game once you return?”
“Well,” Sidney started to answer and looked up, catching a glimpse of Ashlen. She smiled at him and he smiled back, loosing his train of thought. “Um, I, ugh,” He searched for the words, “It should be positive.” He said hoping that response made sense so he could go be with his girl, “We’ll just have to wait and see.”
With that being said, he told them he had to go and the seas parted so he could get through.
“Hey.” He smiled as he finally got to Ashlen.
“Hey, great game!” She congratulated him.
He put his arm around her, “Thanks, but I think the double-mint twins over there stole the show tonight.” He said, motioning over to Jordan and Evgeni.
Ashlen laughed, “Come on, I think they’re all waiting for us.”
“Friday fest, here we come.”

Monday, May 31, 2010

Chapter Thirty Three;

Emily’s eyes moved back and forth, following the rubber puck as it was passed from Penguin to Penguin on the ice. The score was tied at two at the mid-way point of the third period. The third line consisting of Jordan, TK, and Matt Cooke, was on the ice. Jordan took a shot but it was gloved and held by the Panthers’ goalie. The ref blew the whistle and the lines switched during the TV timeout.
Emily adjusted her position in her seat, right behind the Panthers’ net. Ashley was on her left and Lauren on her right. They were in their own conversations with Ashlen and Leah, though. Emily looked out to the ice and saw Evgeni skating her way. His line, including Pascal Dupuis, Ruslan Fedotenko, and himself, was making their way to the circle for the face off. The defensive pairing was Kris and Mark Eaton.
Geno smiled and waved at her. She did the same back. But stopped when she saw Kris glaring at Geno when he noticed them. He said something to him, but she couldn’t hear what. Geno looked mad and said something back. Kris responded, and that’s when things got bad.
Geno yelled at him and gave him a cross check to the chest. Emily could hear the confusion from some of the people in the crowd around her. Kris cross checked him back, and more people were paying attention now. The rest of the Penguins and the Panthers gave each other confused glances. The refs didn’t do anything to stop them.
After a few more shoves and foul words, they threw their sticks on the ground and dropped the gloves.
“Oh my god!” Emily stood up from her seat, her hand over her mouth in shock.
Kris got in a quick left, but Geno shot back and got him square in the jaw. He shook it off and the two of them continued to go at it. Neither of them showed signs of stopping.
Some people in the crowd cheered, for lack of knowing what else to do. Emily could almost hear the announcer saying, “Never in all my years have I seen something like this!” She couldn’t believe no one was trying to stop them. She pounded her fists on the glass and yelled, in effort to get their attention. She didn’t want them to fight. Especially like this and because of her.
“Stop!” She yelled again in desperation. But whether they heard her or not, they continued their brawl. “Stop! Stop! Stop!…”

Emily shot up in her bed, awaking from her nap and getting out of that dream. She rubbed her eyes and sighed. Ashley wasn’t in her bed, but she could tell she once was by the way the covers were strewn about. She could hear the sound of the shower running in the bathroom and assumed that’s where Ashley was. Although she had already showered before breakfast, you could never be too clean.
Not moving from her spot in her bed, Emily heard the front door open and moments later Ashlen appeared.
“Hey, how was your nap?” She asked seeing that Emily was awake.
“It was alright.” She replied, remembering her dream. She wanted to change the subject, “Where were you?”
“Oh, I just went to get a smoothie.” Ashlen said, holding up the pink drink in her hand with a smile. “Want some?”
“No thanks.” She passed. “Were you here when she got up?” Emily asked, referring to Ashley.
“Yeah, she seemed to be feeling better. She said she wanted to take another shower to refresh herself after her nap though.” Ashlen replied with an amused tone as she explained what she had said.
“That’s Ashley for ya.”
“Yeah, well once she gets outta there we better get ready to go. Don’t wanna be late for the game. I’m personally looking forward to seeing Geno and Jordan owning everyone. Sid texted me and told me they’ve been practicing some secret plays together.” Ashlen said and took a sip of her smoothie.
“Figures they would be.” Emily chuckled, “You think they’re actually gonna score a bunch?”
Ashlen shrugged, “I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.”

“You know, his birthday’s only a couple weeks away.” Lauren said to Leah, speaking about Max. “If you two are dating by then, what do you think you’d get him?”
The two of them were just hanging out in their room, watching TV and talking while they waited until it was time to go to the game. They were both already dressed and ready. Leah had on a white skirt and a colorfully stripped polo. Lauren had on light blue shorts with a loose white tank from Forever21 that read 'Drunk with Love'.
“Hmm, I’m not sure. What do you think he’d want?” Leah asked as she tried to think of something herself.
“I’m sure having you would be all he could ever ask for.” Lauren replied cheesily and Leah laughed.
“Yeah, I’m sure.” She replied sarcastically.
“Don’t doubt it.” Lauren smiled, “I’ve got a feeling that if things go well tonight between you two, you’ll be a couple in no time at all.”
“I hope we’re as cute a couple as you and TK.” Leah said with a grin.
Lauren smiled and shrugged, “Well it takes time and a lot of love to be as cute as we are, ya know. It won’t be easy, but you two might be able to match us someday.”
“If you say so, Laur.” Leah laughed.
Lauren smirked, “Oh, I do.”

Emily looked in the mirror. Her hair had a soft waviness to it, and she took a couple of bobby pins and used them to clip some of the hair on the left side of her head back and out of her face. She was wearing a strapless navy tank from Hollister with a purple, orange and light green flowery design on it paired with light yellow short shorts. Her and the other girls were dressed not only for the game, but also the festival afterwards since they were planning on going straight there from the arena after the game.
“You almost ready?” Ashley asked as she walked into the bathroom, her reflection appearing in the mirror. She had on a short denim skirt paired with a purple and light blue racerback tank from Victoria’s secret. She was looking and feeling better after having taken a nap and shower and relaxing for a bit before she got ready. Plus she was excited for the game that Jordan insisted he was going to do wonderfully in.
“Yeah, pretty much.” Emily replied just before she swiped a thin layer of gloss over her lips.
“Ooh, gimme some.” Ashley held her hand out for the sparkly pink tube. Emily laughed and handed it to her.
“Hey, you guys coming?” Ashlen asked as she stepped inside the room. She was wearing a cute pair of white shorts and a baby blue cami.
“Acourse!” Ashley replied with a smile and tossed the lip gloss back on the sink counter.
“Sounds like someone’s feeling better.” Ashlen laughed.
“Well, that second shower helped.”
“I’ll remember that for the next time I get trashed.” Ashlen joked and the other two laughed.
Emily heard her phone vibrate on the table in the other room. She went to go check it while the other two continued to chat about the game and such.
Em picked up her phone and saw it was a text from Lauren.

From: Laurennn(:
me and leah are in the lobby. u guys ready?

She typed up a quick response and hit send.

To: Laurennn(:
yeah. we’ll be right down.

“Laur and Leah are waiting for us.” She called to her friends as they stepped out of the bathroom.
“Alright! Game time!” Ashley exclaimed, obviously excited.
“Who do you think’s gonna have more points today? Sid, Geno or Jordy?” Ashlen asked either of them, also sounding excited for the game.
Emily, not as enthusiastic due to her dream, thought about the question.
“I’m gonna have to go with my boy, J.” Ashley replied without hesitating, “He’s so determined to get out of paying Dan. He’s probably gonna be a goal monster out there today.”
“Honestly, I’d say Geno for sure.” Emily answered after thinking about it. Sid was currently the top point getter on the team, but today he didn’t have the same motivation that Geno and Jordan would cause of the rule breaking incident. And when Geno has real motivation like that, he plays the best games of his career. “He’s gonna turn it up quite a few notches today. I can feel it.”
“What do you say we make a bet out of this?” Ashlen smirked, obviously on Team Sidney. “Whose ever boyfriend gets the most points today wins full bragging rights for the next month?”
“Sounds good to me!” Ashley agreed.
“Okay, I’m in.” Emily decided. “But we can’t tell the guys about it until the games over.”
“Kay, deal.”

Monday, May 3, 2010

Chapter Thirty Two;

Kris and Philippe finally entered the restaurant, where the rest of the team was now. But Kris immediately noticed someone missing. After further inspection, he realized that four someone’s were missing. He didn’t know whether that was a good or bad sign. Though he wanted to see Emily, he didn’t want to see her with Geno.
“Yo, Tanger.” Max called to him from his seat at his table with Sid, TK, Marc, and the other three girls.
Kris looked to Boucher, who told him to go ahead. He’d be over with Billy G. Kris walked over and took a temporary seat next to Max.
“What’s up?” He asked as he sat down, hoping at least some one’s response would be the explanation as to where Emily was.
“Dude you missed it,” Tyler began with a smile, “Danny B found out about Jordy and them sneakin out last night. He’s back in some room probably still yellin at them bout it now.”
“Oh, well that sucks.” Kris replied, not really sure if it did or not.
“For them.” TK said and laughed.
“How long they been back there?” Kris asked, assuming they’d be coming back out soon and he’d have to leave.
“A while.” Sid said. “They probably got fined and knowing Jordan, he’s most likely trying to talk his way out of it.”
“Oh, here they come now.” Ashlen said and they turned to see the four of them coming back into the restaurant. Ashley and Emily first, followed by Geno and Jordan.
“Uh, I’m gonna go get some food.” Kris said and got up from his seat.
“Kay, dude.” Max said, giving him a sympathetic smile. Kris gave a quick wave and walked over to where Philippe was.
Tyler, Lauren, Sid, and Marc immediately began hassling Jordan and the rest of them the second they made it back to the table. Emily sat down next to Max and Geno, but ignored the conversation going on around her and turned to Max.
Did you talk to him?” She asked quietly and in French. She had seen Kris get up from the exact seat she was sitting in now and go to a different table just before she came back. It hurt her a bit inside, but she understood why he left.
Max shook his head, “Barely. Just hi and bye.”
“Oh, okay.” She sighed, wanting to speak to him herself. But she remembered what he said, he didn’t want to talk to her. Not today or the next day or the day after that. That hurt too.
“Sorry.” Max tried, not wanting her to be sad. She gave him a half smile to show him that it was alright, even though it wasn’t.
“Fifteen thousand dollars?!” Ashlen sounded shocked when Jordan told them the amount they owed.
“Yeah for a bunch of bull shit rules we broke.” He made a face.
“But they’re gonna score a bunch of goals today so Dan will have to lower it.” Ashley explained, obviously confident in Jordan and Geno’s abilities.
“Ha, good luck with that.” Tyler laughed, not as convinced as Ashley was.
“I’m on your line, dumbass.” Jordy stuck his tongue out at TK. “So if I don’t get any points, you most likely won’t either.”
TK scowled at him, “Whatever.”
“So how’d he catch you anyway?” Sidney asked, changing the subject.
“He had the surveillance videos from the elevator.” Emily replied.
“Ha, did he have any from the halls?” Marc-Andre asked.
“He didn’t show us them if he did.” Geno said.
“That’s lucky for you then, huh?” Marc said to Sidney and Ashlen.
Sid shrugged, “Yeah I guess so.”
“Wait, you guys broke the rules too?” Jordan asked, unaware.
They nodded.
“What the hell?! How did you get away with it?”
“I guess we’re just smarter than you.” Ashlen laughed.
“And apparently more bad ass.” Ashley added, raising an eyebrow at her boyfriend.
“Curse you, Crosby.” Jordan shook his head slowly, looking at Sidney with a narrowed eyes.
Sid laughed, “Sorry, Staal.”

After everyone was done with breakfast the guys had to head to the arena for their morning skate. So the girls had to stay at the hotel. Lauren, Leah, and Ashlen went out by the pool while Emily and Ashley opted to stay in their room.
“Think I should take a nap? My head’s killing me.” Ashley said as she laid down on her bed as soon as her and Emily walked in the room.
“Sounds like a good idea. There’s not much else to do till five.” She shrugged, “I might take one too. I’m not feeling very good either.”
“You think last night was even worth it?” Ash asked, her eyes were already closed as she laid there.
“Not at all.” Emily couldn’t help letting out a chuckle as she replied, shaking her head. She was laying on her bed now, too.
“I’m sorry I made you go.” Ash said, laughing a bit as she spoke as well.
“It’s okay.” Emily forgave her.
“What did you and Geno do when you guys left us?”
“Just walked and talked and, kissed a little.” Emily replied, remembering what Geno told her and decided to tell her friend, “He told me he loves me.”
Despite how tired she was, Ashley opened her eyes at Emily’s last comment and turned on her side to face her, “What did you say back?”
“Nothing.” She admitted, “That man started chasing us before I had time to even think of what to say.”
“So your feelings for him didn’t change? You still like Kris?”
Emily shook her head, let out a sigh, and stared straight up at the ceiling, “I still love Kris.” She said, “And those feelings will never change.”

“I’m so glad the guys brought us down here.” Lauren said to Leah and Ashlen. The three of them were sitting in the hot tub relaxing and drinking fruit smoothies.
“Tell me about it. This is a perfect break from all the snow back home.” Leah agreed.
“It doesn’t even feel like January here.” Ashlen took a drink and continued, “It’s so beautiful.”
There were a few other people out by the pool, but not many. It was quiet and peaceful and they could hear the sound of the ocean waves crashing against the shore.
“It’s just too bad the guys have practice.” Lauren sighed, thinking about Tyler.
Ashlen nodded, thinking about Sidney, “I know. It’d be nice to have Sid and TK with us right about now.”
“And Max.” Lauren added with a smirk, looking at Leah through her oversized sunglasses.
Leah blushed, “Lauren!” She exclaimed, but couldn’t help but smile. She knew she was right.
“You like Max?” Ashlen asked, intrigued with this new information.
“Well, sort of.” Leah replied.
“By sort of, she means yes very much so.” Lauren explained with a laugh.
“Awe, that’s too cute!” Ashlen smiled, “Are you two gonna date?”
“Well, I don’t know. I mean, I thought he might like me, but it seems like he lost interest. He didn’t really talk to me much last night or today.” She told her, looking a little upset as she spoke. Leah then turned to Lauren, “He seems more interested in your sister.”
“Em? No way. She’s got Geno.” Lauren assured her.
“Well,” Ashlen began, not as sure as Lauren seemed, “Her and Max are together a lot. And they speak in French sometimes, like they don’t want anyone to know what they’re talking about. And before we got down here even Geno thought something was going on between them.”
“Yeah, remember when Max got mad at him when Geno kissed her before we got on the bus at your place?” Leah said, reminding her.
Lauren scrunched her eyebrows, thinking about what they said and what she knew, “You know, he did call me asking for girl advice the other day. I thought he might have meant you, but maybe he meant…” She paused, thinking to herself. The two of them had gotten noticeably closer over the course of the past week. They had been friends for a while, but suddenly they seemed like more, “You don’t think there’s something going on between Max and Em, do you?”
“I don’t know, but if there is Geno’s gonna be pissed. He likes her so much.” Ashlen said.
“He won’t be the only upset one.” Leah admitted, stirring her drink with her straw.
“Awe, Leah don’t worry. I don’t think Em would do that to Geno anyway. She wouldn’t cheat on him. Her and Max are probably just becoming better friends since her and Kris haven’t been talking much recently.”
“Yeah, that’s true.” Ashlen agreed, mostly for Leah’s sake but she also could see what Lauren meant, “It’s almost as if her and Kris are avoiding each other. Like today at breakfast when he left when she came back. They must of gotten in a fight or something, and she just needed another guy friend to talk to.”
“You think so?” Leah wasn’t fully convinced yet, but she was considering.
“Yeah, I do.” Lauren told her, “Tonight at the festival you should hang out with him. Em will probably be with Geno, Ashley, and Jordan. Once you two get to talking more you’ll be a couple in no time!”
“Alright, I’ll try.” Leah said, feeling a bit better about the situation after hearing their explanations.
Ashlen smiled, “Good. You guys would make a mega cute couple.”

The team was out on the ice of the Bank Atlantic Center, going over some plays and practicing things they needed to work on for the game later that day. Geno and Jordan were working together to perfect their shots and scoring techniques so that they could prove themselves and make Dan cut their bill in half. After a while of working on it, the two of them took a break over at the bench to re-hydrate and talk.
“So I figure we ought a score a bunch today so we can score with our women later tonight.” Jordan smirked at Geno as he squirted some water in his own face and down his back, “I know Ash loves it when I have two plus goal games. Get a hat trick and I guarantee Em will be all over you. Then you can finally get some.”
Geno rolled his eyes, but laughed, “We’ll see.”
“I’m serious, dude. You say you’re taking it slow, but I know you, man. That’s not what you really want.” Jordan smiled watching Geno’s expressions. He knew he was right, “You oughta get on that tonight. It’s the perfect timing.”
“Oh, and why’s that?” Evgeni asked, trying to hide the fact that what Jordan was saying was actually appealing to him.
“Cause, dude,” Jordy replied like it was obvious, “You got that Festival tonight. Everyone’s gonna be there. You tell her you wanna go back to the hotel for something, tell her she looks real pretty, turn down the lights, and get it on. Coach can’t complain cause he’ll be partying it up back at the fest. And your roomie won’t be there either. You’ll pretty much have the place to yourselves. Then if you finish up there you’ll even have time to come back to party before curfew.”
Geno thought about what Jordan had said. It did sound like a foolproof plan, in a sense. “Maybe.” He finally said after considering the idea.
“Ah, you know you like the sound of it, don’t cha?” Jordan shot him a grin and a playful punch in the arm.
“Yeah, yeah.” Geno laughed, as Max skated over next to them.
“What’s so funny?” He asked with a smile as he got a drink. “Is Jordy trying to convince you he’s a hardcore bad ass again?”
No,” Jordan sneered at him, “We were just talking about how Geno’s getting laid tonight.”
“So he says.” Geno added with another laugh.
Max didn’t like the sound of this. “By who? You?” He raised his eyebrow at Jordan.
“He wishes.” Jordy scoffed. “Obviously we mean Emily. You know, his girlfriend? Duh.”
“Don’t be a bitter little bitch.” Max smirked at him, ignoring the seriousness of this for the time being.
“Who’s bitter? I’m not bitter.” Jordan replied sassily, “How bout you, Geno? Are you bitter?”
Geno shook his head, “No, I’m not bitter.”
“That’s what I thought. Maybe you’re the bitter one here, eh Talbot?” Jordan returned Max’s smirk with one of his own.
“Maybe I am the bitter one, Staal. But at least I’m not the one that owes Coach fifteen grand.” He stuck his tongue out at him, then squirted some water in his mouth, and skated away.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Chapter Thirty One;

“You about ready?” Emily asked her friend who was in the process of scrunching her hair. They were both showered and dressed now, but still a bit out of it. They both had on short pairs of shorts and tank tops. Emily’s being purple and Ashley’s blue.
“As ready as I’m gonna get.” Ashley shrugged, giving her hair a final spray to keep the waves just right. Emily on the other hand just put her hair into a messy bun. She didn’t have time to dry it yet so she figured the lazy up do was good enough for now. The guys’ game wasn’t until five, she would have time to freshen up before then.
The two girls slipped on their flip flops, turned out the lights and left the room. They walked towards the elevator, and found Max waiting for the door to slide open.
“Mornin’ ladies.” He smiled warmly when he noticed them.
“Hey Max.” Ashley nodded, giving a grin.
“Late night wit yo boys?” Max chuckled.
“Uh-huh.” Ash mumbled as she yawned. She was not a morning person.
“Is everybody else already down there?” Emily asked, changing the subject.
“I don’t think everyone is but I know your sister and Leah are. And so are Geno, Jordy, and Sid, so I’m assuming Ashlen is too. Those are the only ones I know for sure.” He replied and Emily nodded.
The elevator doors slid open and their conversation died off as they stepped inside.
Max studied Em’s face as she stood, leaning against the handrail on the wall of the small elevator. She looked tired, but still pretty. He could tell she hadn’t put on any makeup, but it wasn’t necessary anyway. Her eyes held a look of pain in them as she stared off into space. He could tell what she was thinking by reading her expression.
He told me he meant it. Geno, loving you, that is.” Max told her, in French, answering the question she chose not to ask.
Ashley raised an eyebrow, confused.
Do you think he’s completely serious?” Emily asked calmly in response, “Do you honestly think he’s in love with me?”
I don’t know. He says he is, but he can’t know for sure. You two haven’t even been dating two weeks yet.
With her arms folded and a scowl on her face, Ashley sighed. She knew they spoke French when they were hiding something, and she felt completely left out. But, the fact that she had a massive headache already kept her from objecting to their use of the foreign language.
Max, were you being serious when you told me not to drink anything last night? Did Geno really tell you he was going to try to have sex with me?” Emily looked at him with a solemn expression. Her eyes were wide, reminding him of a sad puppy. He had prayed she wouldn’t bring this conversation up again, but now she had and he had to come up with an answer fast.
Well, not in so many words…”
Max, you basically told me he was going to get me drunk and rape me.”
Whoa, whoa. I never said that!” He protested, though as he thought back that probably is what he made it sound like.
Then why did you tell me not to drink anything?” Emily asked, not quite angry at him, but confused.
Max shrugged a bit, his hands in his pockets, “It was just precautionary.” He said, “I’m a guy, I know how guys think. I know what we want and do when we’ve got some booze in our system and its late at night and we’re alone with a hot girl. I figured if you were sober, he wouldn’t be able to take advantage of you if it came to that. Plus, look at Ash. She obviously got trashed last night. I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t wanna feel that today, right?”
Emily nodded, considering what he was saying, “It’s not like I feel much better anyway, though. You had me worried sick the whole night, emphasis on the sick.” Her hand rested on her upset stomach, “But, I mean, thanks for looking out for me I guess.”
The elevator came to a stop and the doors slid open, revealing the lobby area of the hotel. Ashley walked out ahead of the other two towards the restaurant. Max placed a hand on Emily’s shoulder as they followed.
“You’re not mad at me, are you?” He asked, returning to using English.
Emily turned to meet his gaze. He was smiling innocently, and even if she actually was mad at him, it’d be impossible not to forgive that face. “No, Max. I’m not mad.”

All seven heads turned to look in the direction Leah was looking, an uneasy expression covering her face. When they all saw what she had, they knew why.
Dan Bylsma was staring directly at Jordan from across the room, his arms folded across his chest and an eyebrow raised up high, accenting the displeased look the rest of his face showed. He was slowly shaking his head, making whatever disapproval he was feeling more apparent.
“Shit.” Jordan cursed only loud enough for his table to hear. He quickly looked away from Dan and down at his coffee.
Lauren, Tyler, Sidney, Ashlen, and Marc-Andre cracked up.
“I knew you weren’t gonna get away with it! I just knew it!” Tyler exclaimed, still laughing out loud.
“Oh, shut the hell up.” Jordan demanded, but no one listened. “You don’t know if that’s why he was looking at me like that. Maybe he’s mad cause I took the last hash brown.”
“Oh, yeah. That must be it.” Lauren agreed sarcastically. Her and TK just kept laughing.
“Face it, Jordy.” Sidney smiled, “You’re in trouble and you know it.”
“First of all, if I’m in trouble so is my boy Geno, here.” Jordan stated, Geno just shrugged, “Second of all, if we were in trouble, wouldn’t Coach be coming over here and saying something to us bout it?”
“That’s true.” Geno agreed, though he wasn’t so sure.
Marc-Andre laughed, “All I have to say is I hope you guys brought cash. A lot of cash.”

Ashley was the first of the three to enter the restaurant. She immediately spotted Jordan and went over to him and the rest of his table, Max and Emily following close behind.
“Morning baby.” Ashley greeted her boyfriend with a kiss. He motioned for her to sit on his lap, so she did.
Max took a seat by Sid and Geno, leaving Emily with her own boyfriend’s lap. Before she could sit down, however, she was called from a voice across the room.
“Jordan, Geno, Ashley and Emily.” Dan Bylsma’s voice yelled sternly, “I need to speak with you four, now.”
Shit.” Jordan swore for the second time.
“What’s going on?” Ashley asked as she stood up.
“You guys are screwed!” Lauren sang with a grin.
The two girls and their boyfriends stood from their seats, looked at each other without speaking, but didn’t make an attempt to follow Dan. That is until he yelled, “Now!” again.
Their table, along with the others occupied by Penguins, didn’t try to hide their amusement as the four of them walked past and towards the room Dan had just entered. Emily could guess what this was all about. Dan was probably going to say he knew about them sneaking out last night, that broke the rules and Evgeni and Jordan would each owe him a thousand dollars. For a couple of million dollar making hockey players, one grand wasn’t going to kill them. She figured this wouldn’t take long, and then she would be able to get some breakfast.
“I told ya the kiddos were gonna break the rules.” She heard Billy Guerin chuckle right before they left the restaurant and were in a small, dimly lit room. It had a desk, some chairs, a television set and some plants. Dan was seated at the desk when they walked in.
“Have a seat.” He said calmly, and they did as they were told. “I expect you know why I called you in here?” Dan continued.
Jordan, not ready to be convicted just yet, tried a last ditch effort to get out of it before it began, “I’m sorry, Sir. I haven’t eaten my hash brown yet, you’re welcome to have it if you’d like.”
“Excuse me?” Dan asked, not having a clue as to what Jordan was speaking of. The looks on the girl’s faces showed that they didn’t either.
Jordan looked around innocently, “Oh, you mean this isn’t about the hash browns?”
“What? No. No, this isn’t about hash browns.” Coach was still confused, but he tried to stay serious, “I have reason to believe that the four of you snuck out of the hotel late last night and went to the beach.” He said, looking each one of them in the eyes as he spoke with confidence.
Emily and Ashley looked at each other and then at their boyfriends, who were looking back at them. There was no way to get out of it now. But leave it to Jordan to try.
“The beach? Late last night? Snuck out? Us?” He sounded utterly shocked with the accusation. “You must be mistaken, Coach. I assure you we did not partake in any such activities.”
It was tough to hold back the grin that was making its way to Emily’s face as Jordan spoke. There was no possible way anyone would buy a word the boy was saying.
“Oh, I apologize then. It’s my mistake. Of course you guys didn’t do that.” Dan said, a hint of sarcasm stood out in his voice, “But before I let you guys go, maybe you could help identify these people for me so I can figure out who really snuck out.”
With the click of a button on Dan’s remote, the TV set turned on and a black and white overhead video of the inside of an elevator was on the screen.
“Let me fast forward. Maybe you can identify these faces.” Coach fast forwarded to when a familiar group of four people stepped inside the elevator. Two boys and two girls.
Going down.” Ashley said on the screen and she pressed the button. Dan paused the tape then. The shot gave a relatively clear picture of each one of their faces. It was obvious it was them.
When none of them said a word, Dan spoke up, “So doesn’t ring a bell?” He asked, “Here, how about I fast forward it to a little later. Maybe you’ll be able to make out the faces better.”
The images on the screen sped up until Dan finally pressed play right before the part where the four of them got back in the elevator to go back up to their rooms. “This is my favorite part.” Dan whispered while on-screen Ashley exclaimed, “That was fun!”.
And we made it back without getting caught!” Jordan cringed, watching as he shot himself in the foot, “Suck on that, Danny B!”
Dan turned the volume down but left it play as he stood up. “So enough with the games, kids.” He stated calmly, “You didn’t take me seriously when I said I’d fine you if you broke the rules. But here we are, doing just that.”
“You want it in cash?” Jordan asked, done messing around. He reached for his back pocket to get his wallet.
“I didn’t even tell you how much you owe yet.” Dan smirked.
“Yeah, you said a thousand dollars, right?” Ashley said, though the look on his face made her unsure.
“Ashley, Ashley, Ashley. I did say a thousand dollars, that is correct.” He was pacing back and forth now, still smirking as he talked, “But I said a thousand dollars per rule that is broken.”
Emily and Evgeni looked at each other, unaware of the number of rules they could have possibly broken. As they recalled, Dan hadn’t even told them all of the rules he had. Geno took her hand in his as they sat there waiting for Coach to continue.
“Do any of you want to take a guess at how many rules the four of you broke last night? Any one? Geno, how bout you. Take a guess.”
Geno’s eyes moved from Emily to Dan. He shrugged, “Four?”
“Oooh, good guess, but no.” Coach was quite obviously amused with himself, “How bout you, Em. Take a guess.”
“Um, I don’t know. Five?” She guessed. All she really wanted to do was go eat and get out of this cramped room. She was beginning to feel claustrophobic.
“Noooo. Not five. Ashley?”
Ashley shrugged, “Seven?”
“Wrong again.” Dan chuckled, “Jordan, what do you think? How many rules did you four break?”
“How bout you just tell us, Coach.” He replied.
“Fifteen. You somehow managed to break fifteen rules in one night. Fifteen.” Dan looked and sounded serious again. He picked up a piece of paper from his desk and read its contents aloud, “Sneaking out of the hotel. Staying out past curfew. Disturbing the peace. Male and female contact after hours. Drinking an excess amount of alcohol. Drinking that alcohol on an alcohol free beach. Littering. Lying. Insulting the coach. Insulting the coach’s intelligence. Public display of affection. Breaking and entering. Trespassing on private property. Breaking the rules. And thinking you weren’t going to get caught.”
“I object!” Jordan exclaimed when all fifteen ‘rules’ were stated.
“Overruled!” Dan shot back.
“Coach, come on.” Geno said, his voice pleading for him to say he was kidding. None of them thought all of those rules were legit. Obviously sneaking out and trespassing were a couple ones they couldn’t argue with, but Dan’s last two sounded like ones he pulled out of his ass.
“I assume none of you have fifteen thousand dollars on hand at the moment,” Dan continued, ignoring Geno’s last comment, “But Jordan, Geno, you guys owe me the money by next week. Got it?”
Jordan sighed, “Coach, you’re being a bit unreasonable..”
“Got it?” Dan repeated, not caring about Jordan’s protesting.
“Got it, Coach. We’re sorry. Not happen again.” Geno said for everyone. He could tell Emily and Ashley weren’t comfortable being stuck in the situation. He didn’t think the money was that big of a deal, especially for the two of them. They had enough that it wouldn’t hurt them much at all. But Jordan wasn’t worried about the money, he was more concerned with his pride. Jordy knew the guys would mess with him about the whole thing. It wouldn’t be the first time he did something he shouldn’t have and got caught in the process. This would hurt his non existing bad-ass reputation.
“Thank you, Geno. This ought to be the last time you boys defy me. I’m not afraid to add on to that list and your bill. Don’t try anything funny tonight. You can still go to that festival and enjoy yourselves, just don’t do anything that you know will cost you.” Dan said, seriously, “We’re here to play hockey. I said it once and I’ll say it again. You guys need to focus if you wanna repeat this year.”
“Dan,” Ashley began, her voice quiet, “Are you mad at us?”
By us, Dan knew she meant her and Emily. She felt bad, thinking that she was responsible for the lack of focus Jordan was showing. She didn’t want to be the reason for the Pens to lose the cup this year. And she didn’t want Dan to think she was.
He shook his head, “No Ashley, I’m not mad. But I don’t want it to happen again. Okay?”
“It won’t. I promise.” She swore.
“Good. Now go get some breakfast.” Dan smiled, “As for you boys, let’s make a deal. For every goal either one of you score today, I’ll take a thousand dollars off of your total.”
“What about assists?” Jordan asked, liking the sound of Dan’s proposition so far.
“Five hundred. Sound good?” He replied.
“Sounds very good.” Jordy smiled. He was getting a good feeling about this game.
Dan nodded, “Alright then. It’s a deal. Now get outta here.”
“Thank you, Coach.” Geno said as he stood up to leave.
“No, thank you.” Dan smiled, hoping that some good would come out of this. Preferably in the form of a win.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Chapter Thirty;

Day Eight ;

Morning came early, much too early. Emily awoke to the sound of a hairdryer blowing at its full power from the other side of the bathroom door. She sat up in her bed, feeling like she had been punched in the stomach. She rubbed her eyes and pushed the covers off of her legs, getting ready to get up despite the ache in her gut that told her not to.
“Ashley.” Emily said to her sleeping friend, her voice sounding tired.
Ashley didn’t even flinch. She was laying face down on her bed, her head tilted just enough to give her room to breathe. She was still wearing the outfit she wore to the beach the night before and wasn’t even under the covers. It was apparent that she wasn’t planning on waking up any time soon.
“Ashley!” Emily tried again, this time tossing a pillow her way to help. It landed on her back and interrupted her sleeping. She moved but didn’t awaken, mumbling something to herself subconsciously. Emily tossed another pillow at her, not feeling up to getting off her own bed yet. This time the impact caused Ashley to open her eyes slowly, groaning as she did so.
“I don’t want to get up.” Ashley whined, shoving her face in her pillow.
“You think I do?” Em sighed. Going back to sleep sounded like the perfect idea in her mind, too, but she knew they’d have to meet up with the guys soon and they needed to get ready.
“I feel like I got hit by a truck.” Ashley complained as she made a weak attempt to sit up.
“How much did you drink?”
Ashley thought for a moment, “I don’t remember.”
“I’ll take that as a lot.” Emily smirked. Ashley just shrugged, running a hand through her hair as she yawned.
The door to the bathroom swung open and out walked Ashlen, smiling and ready for the day. She had on a cute, red Hollister cami, shorts, and a grin on her face that made it obvious she was having a good day already.
“Oh, good. You guys are up.” Ashlen said, “I was gonna wake you earlier, but I figured it’d be better to let you sleep a little longer. I’m gonna go meet up with Sid. He said him and some of the other guys were headed down to get some breakfast. You guys can come down when you’re ready.”
“Okay, thanks.” Emily replied, still sounding groggy.
“Late night, huh?” Ashlen smirked and Emily nodded. “I figured. You guys don’t look too good. No offence.”
“None taken. I don’t feel too good either.” Emily said, her hand on her forehead. She felt slightly nauseous and considerably tired. Looking to her left, she spotted Ashley passed out on her bed again. This time she was snoring.
Ashlen chuckled when she noticed her. “Alcohol does that to ya.” She stated with a laugh.
“Yeah.” Emily agreed, not bothering to mention that she hadn’t even had anything to drink.
“Well, I’ll leave you guys to get ready.” She smiled and slipped on a pair of brightly colored flip flops. “You want me to tell Geno you’ll be down soon?”
“Uh, yeah. Thanks.” Emily replied. The sound of Geno’s name made her sigh, bringing thoughts of the drama back into her head.
“No problem. See ya down there.” Ashlen waved and was on her way.
Emily took a deep breath and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. Despite her lack of alcohol consumption, she was feeling the aftereffects of having drank her fair share. Why she felt queasy, she was unsure. It was possible it was due to something she had eaten at the seafood restaurant the previous evening. That wouldn’t surprise her, she wasn’t the biggest fan of food from the ocean. Or maybe it was just from being out so late and running around so much. That could have made her sick. Then again it could be due to the lack of food in her system, which could easily be fixed by going down to get some breakfast.
Deciding upon the last explanation, she got up and headed towards the bathroom to take a quick shower. She left Ashley to rest a little longer. Sleep would be the best thing for her right now.

“Yo, Tanger? You almost done in there?” Philippe called, knocking on the hotel’s bathroom door. Kris barely heard him over the sound of the shower running, the hot water hitting his skin as he stood with his eyes closed.
Taking a nice, hot shower was something he liked to do to relax, and although he had pretty much just woken up, he was in desperate need of some relaxation time. His sleep was filled with dreams of Emily and now that he was awake, reality was setting in. She was still with Geno. And he was going to have to see them together and deal with it. It was hard enough knowing they were together when he wasn’t around, but watching them, seeing the way he touched and kissed her, was a whole other story. The only thing that gave him the hope to go on was the thing that was hurting him the most. He could see her face in his mind and hear her voice telling him she was in love with him. He knew she was sincere each time she had said it. And he wanted to hear her say it again. But all he could hear now was Boucher’s fist hitting against the door.
“Yeah, I’m coming.” He called out to silence him as he turned off the water. He shook his head to shake off some of the excess water from his dark, shaggy hair. He grabbed a towel off of the hook and wrapped it around his waist. Kris took a look in the mirror, his gloomy looking face staring back at him. He hadn’t bothered to shave or feel like doing anything special to improve his appearance. There wasn’t much of a point. Not until Monday, at least.

“Good morning, beautiful.” Sidney greeted Ashlen with a kiss when she made it down to the hotel’s restaurant. They had a breakfast buffet that was open to anyone staying there. About half of the team including Lauren and Leah were already down at it and eating.
Ash smiled, “It is a very good morning.”
“I’m glad you think so, too.” Sid put his arm around her. “You hungry?”
“Very.” Ashlen nodded. Sidney had waited for her before he ate anything himself, so he was in agreement.
The two of them got themselves some food and went to sit down at the table with Jordan, Tyler, Lauren, Leah, Geno, and Marc-Andre.
“There they are!” Marc smirked at the two of them playfully as they sat down.
“Here we are.” Sid responded, shooting him a funny look. Marc just laughed.
“Oh, Geno. Em said she’d be down soon.” Ashlen told Evgeni. He smiled.
“Okay, good.” He replied.
Jordan set down his mug of coffee. “What about my lady?”
“Well, she was still sleeping pretty soundly when I left. But I would assume she’ll come down when Emily does.” Ash told him.
“Was she alright?” Jordan asked.
“They both seemed a bit hung-over.”
“What were you guys even doing last night?” Tyler asked Jordan, who shrugged.
“Chillen. Partying it up. You know.” He replied with a smile.
“If you say so.” TK threw his hands up with a chuckle.
Lauren sighed, “I really don’t know how you guys got away with it. I was sure you’d end up getting caught.”
“Well, when you’re as awesome as the four of us are, you can accomplish a lot of things that people wouldn’t expect.” Jordan told her, smirking and trying to sound cool. “Right, Geno?”
“Yeah. Right.” He agreed.
Leah shook her head, noticing something that the rest of them had overlooked. “I wouldn’t be so sure.”