Saturday, August 29, 2009

Chapter Nineteen;

Day Six ;

 “WAKE UP, JEFF!” Emily heard being yelled at her, waking her up the next morning. The girls had all stayed over night at Mario’s, not wanting to have to drive home in the snowy and icy darkness. They crashed on some of his couches, which were rather comfortable. Plus they wanted to be there when the guys got back in the morning.
Emily opened her eyes and after they adjusted to the light, she realized who had woken her up. Standing around her with smug grins on their faces were Lauren, Tyler, Ashley, Jordan, Kris, Max, Leah, and Geno.
 “What the HELL?” She laughed, not caring about how stupid she probably looked at the moment. “Since when do you guys watch the Wiggles?”
 “Ha! I told you she’d know what it was from!” Lauren scoffed at them all. When her and Emily used to baby-sit their cousin Zak, he loved watching the Wiggles and the whole ‘wake up Jeff’ thing was something that was on pretty much every one of his videos. No matter how annoying it was, it just stuck.
 “It’s about time you got up!” Jordan laughed at her. He had his arm around Ashley who just smiled.
 “Well excuse me for wanting to get my beauty sleep.” Emily said, crossing her arms. Sleeping in was something she did when she could. Plus she was feeling a bit extra tired than usual for whatever reason.
 “You must sleep a hell of a lot, considering how beautiful you are.” Evgeni said sweetly and sat down beside her. The three other girls plus Jordan ‘awed’. Emily ignored them and smiled.
 “Thanks, Geno.” She said and kissed him.
Kris looked away for the two seconds it lasted. All he could think was how Geno’s week would be up in a matter of days.
 “How long have you guys been here?” Emily asked, wanting to know how much she slept through.
 “Not that long.” Max replied, “You were the only one still sleeping when we got here, though.”
 “Thanks, guys.” Emily said sarcastically to Lauren, Ashley, and Leah. That’s when she noticed they were missing someone. Two someones, actually. “Where’s Ashlen? And Sid?”
 “Oh, they’re around here somewhere.” Lauren said.
 “Sid took her to show her her room.” Tyler added. He was standing noticeably closer to Lauren than usual. He had his arm around her waist and held her close. He seemed to be becoming more affectionate lately.
 “You think they’re trying out the bed?” Jordan asked with a smirk.
 “Jordy!” Ashley flirt-punched him in the arm.
 “What? Just cause I‘m the only one that said it doesn‘t mean I was the only one thinking it!” He threw his hands up, telling them not to blame him for saying it.
 “Actually Jordan, not everyone here is as perverted as you are so you probably were the only one thinking it.” Emily said, causing them all to laugh at his expense.
 “Ha! She told you, eh Jordy?” Max laughed in his face.
 “I think she’s just cranky cause we woke her up too early.” Jordan tried. Emily just rolled her eyes, her head leaning on Geno’s shoulder.
 “I am not cranky.” She stated but Jordan just laughed.
 “Coulda fooled me!” He said with a smirk.
 “Can’t we all just get along?” Ashley joked.
 “NO!” Emily and Jordan said at the same time, trying to sound serious but cracked and ended up laughing.
That’s when Sidney and Ashlen came back into the room, hand in hand.
 “Hey, food’s in the kitchen if anyone wants any.” Sidney announced. All of the guys’ eyes seemed to light up at the mention of food.
 “Count me in!” TK said and the other guys agreed.
 “I thought you said you guys already ate?” Leah asked them, unsure of how they could be hungry again already.
 “Yeah, so?” Jordan asked. He was already half way out the door, following the smell of pancakes and French toast.
 “It’s a good thing you guys are hockey players and work out all the time.” Emily said.
 “Yeah, otherwise you’d all be giant fat asses.” Ashley added, but the guys ignored the comment and rushed off to go eat. Even though the girls were the ones who hadn’t had breakfast yet.
 “Hahaha oh my god,” Emily burst out laughing at the image in her head as her and the rest of the girls slowly got up and followed in the direction the guys went, “Can you just picture Jordan being, like, four hundred pounds of pure fat?”
Ashley cracked up at the thought, “Oh my god, yeah I actually can!” She said and the two of them laughed even more.
 “Would you still date him and all of his rolls?” Emily asked through laughs.
 “Haha of course I would!” She replied. By then they had entered kitchen where the guys were already seated around the island chowing down on their breakfast. Ashley wrapped her arms around her boyfriend and smiled, “I would still love him even if he weighed a ton! We wouldn’t go out in public much, but I’d still love him.”
 “Good to know, babe.” Jordan said and rolled his eyes playfully. Ashley just laughed and kissed him.
 “You two are just too cute.” Ashlen smiled at the two of them from across the island. She was sitting next to Sidney, her head resting in her hands admiring the couple.
 “Just give it a little time and you and Sid will be just as adorable. With all the name calling, eye rolling, and sarcasm that these two share included.” Max joked with a grin. He was sitting next to Leah and Kris.
 “Can’t wait.” Ashlen replied. She looked over at Sid and smiled.
 “And the sarcasm begins!” Kris said making them laugh and go on with more sarcastic remarks.
Emily smiled from her seat next to Evgeni as she watched Kris. He was laughing and joking with rest of her friends, and though she wanted to join in, she couldn’t. She just didn’t feel like laughing anymore. She actually felt slightly sick. Knowing that the time was drawing near that she told Kris she would end it with Geno made her feel nervous. She liked Geno, she couldn’t deny that anymore. And the more time she spent with him made her like him even more. But she was in love with Kris, and no matter how much she liked Geno, she would never feel the same way about him as she did about Kris. Or at least that’s what she kept telling herself.
 “What’s so funny in here?” Mario asked as he walked into the kitchen. He went straight over to the coffee machine and poured himself a cup.
 “Ah, nothing.” Sid said, not wanting to explain.
 “I’m sure.” Mario raised an eyebrow as he took a drink. “You guys better be sharing with the ladies. They need some food, too.”
 “We are sharing,” Jordan objected and took a fork full of pancakes and nearly shoved it in Ashley’s mouth, “See!”
 “Jordan!” Ashley yelled, trying to push the food out of her face. Jordan just laughed.
 “That’s wonderful, Jordy, but I think they can feed themselves.” Mario chuckled.
 “He’s right, ya know.” Lauren said, taking a bite off of Tyler’s plate.
 “Whatever you say.” Jordan gave in with a smirk.
 “Okay, I’ll be upstairs if you need me. So, don’t need me.” Mario chuckled and left the room.
Everyone eventually finished their breakfast and they were just sitting around the island talking about random things on their minds.
 “You know what I haven’t done in a while?” Emily asked as she stared out the window at the falling snow.
 “Geno?” Jordan said with a smirk.
 “Ha ha. Good one, but no.” Emily said sarcastically. Jordan smiled, but she was being serious, “I was going to say, I haven’t played in the snow in forever.”
 “Oh my god, I haven’t either!” Ashley admitted as if she were shocked.
 “We all should, like right now!” Lauren said with a smile, “What d’ya guys say?”
The guys looked at each other and shrugged.
 “Yeah, why not.” Tyler said for them.

After a quick kitchen cleanup and changing into warmer clothes and coats, the gang headed outside into the snow covered yard. It was already pretty deep and it was still falling.
 “Snowball fight, anyone?” Lauren asked and threw a perfectly packed snowball so it hit Jordan right in the chest. Figures he’d be everyone’s choice target.
 “Hell yes!” Jordan yelled after being hit and fired a shot back at her, missing by a mile.
 “Stick to hockey, Jordy.” Sid joked, patting his friend on the shoulder. He replied by sticking his tongue out at him.
 “Teams?” Ashlen asked.
 “I say boys versus girls.” Max suggested.
 “Alright, let’s do this!” Ashley yelled and all the girls got together. Emily was feeling a little more peppy than earlier. Her moods were changing a lot today.
 “Three minutes to get prepared. Then this war will go down!” Max declared loudly from the guys little group.
 “Got it!” Lauren yelled over to him.
 “So, what’s the game plan?” Leah asked. They had all unanimously made Ashley the group leader. She just fit the job.
 “We need to make them think we’re weak at first, then when they least expect it we attack at full strength.” She said just above a whisper so the guys wouldn’t hear.
 “Hey ladies, new rule!” Jordan shouted over to them.
 “What is it?” Ashley yelled back.
 “If you get hit above the waist twice, you’re dead. That means down on the ground, no getting back up!” He replied.
 “Okay, got it!”

Lots of laughs and a hundred snowballs later the war was over and had been won by the ladies. The guys throwing skills had proven to be no match for the girls’. They were all just laying in the snow now, worn out from the fight.
 “You got lucky.” Geno said to the girls.
 “Luck had nothing to do with it.” Lauren replied.
 “I don’t know about you guys,” Max started, “But I’m freezing my ass off out here.”
 “Dude me too!” Ashley agreed.
 “Hot chocolate anyone?” Sidney offered with a chuckle.
 “Hell yes!”
They all went back inside, changed out of their now wet-from-the-melting-snow clothes, and sat around the fireplace in the living room and drank their hot chocolate.
 “Ya know, the snows nice and all, but I can’t wait for summer time.” Ashlen said. Sid had his arm around her as they snuggled on the couch. Jordy and Ashley were on the floor covered with a big soft blanket. Max sat next to Leah and Kris on the other couch. Lauren and Tyler were on one loveseat and Emily and Geno were on the other.
 “Yeah, I can only take so much cold at a time.” Ashley agreed.
 “Funny you should mention that…” Jordan smiled.
 “Surprise time.” Geno whispered so only Emily could hear. She had forgotten about the surprise he had mentioned the other day.
 “Why?” Ashlen asked, noticing the smiles on the other guys’ faces and instantly wondering what they were thinking.
 “Well we were just thinking you guys might wanna take a little trip…” Max said happily.
 “What kind of trip?” Lauren asked.
 “Like a mini vacation.” Tyler replied.
 “But don’t you guys have games?” Leah asked.
 “That’s the thing,” Sidney started to explain, “We’ve got a couple games coming up down in Florida and we thought, why not bring along our favorite girls and party in between games.”
 “Florida?!” Ashley was obviously excited, “Hell yes! When are we going?!”
 “Well,” Jordan began, “We leave tomorrow morning at 7.”
 “Tomorrow?!” Emily was surprised at how soon it would be. “How long are we staying?”
Sidney took it from there, “Well, we’ll get in Miami Thursday, well tomorrow, afternoon and we’ll be free all the rest of the day. Then Friday we have a game versus the Panthers at five, but we don’t really have to do anything else the rest of the day. Saturday we’ll have to head up to Tampa for the game versus the Lightning at three, but then we’re totally free to party till we leave on Sunday.”
 “It’s not that long and we gotta ‘work’ and stuff, but it should make for some fun in the sun!” Max added with an excited smile.
 “And maybe a little fun after the sun goes down, too, if you know what I mean.” Jordan winked.
 “Oh man.” Sid laughed.

 “So this is why you’ve been so happy lately?” Lauren asked Tyler, who had his arm around her waist.
 “Uh, sure.” He replied with a smile.
 “What do you mean, sure?” She asked, narrowing her eyes.
 “I mean, yeah.” He changed his answer and smiled, “Surprise!”
 “You worry me, babe.” She said but smiled at him, “But I still love you.”
 “And I love you.” He replied and kissed her.

 “You excited?” Sidney asked Ashlen, who was all smiles.
 “Am I ever!” She replied. “How long have you guys been planning this?”
 “Not too long. When we realized we’d be spending a few days down in Florida for games we knew leaving you guys here would suck and a mini vacation for all of us couldn’t hurt.” He said with a grin on his face.
 “It’s gonna be so much fun!” Ashlen smiled and kissed him quickly.
Sid chuckled at her enthusiasm, “You’re telling me!”

Geno pushed a lock of Emily’s hair out of her face and looked in her eyes. She smiled slightly.
 “Was that what you thought the surprise was gonna be?” He asked her. Her smile grew a little bit.
 “No, actually. I had no idea what to expect.” She replied honestly, “I’m glad its this, though. I need a vacation.”
 “Yeah, and I was hoping we’d get some alone time once we get there.” Geno said suggestively. Emily, knowing what he was really trying to say, didn’t know quite what to say herself. She just nodded with a weak grin.
 “That’d be nice.” She managed to tell him. He smiled and kissed her on the lips. Once again her mood had changed, but this time she didn’t know what she was feeling. Or thinking.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Chapter Eighteen;

By the time seven o’clock rolled around, the girls were more than ready to watch the guys play. They had spent the day just chilling and getting to know Ashlen better. They all loved her already and were totally glad she was there. They got her caught up on everything she needed to know about the guys and being apart of their “clan”, as they jokingly called their group of friends.
They all found a seat in front of Mario’s enormous flat screen TV as Paul Steigerwald and Bob Errey chatted on FSN on the Penguins Pre-game.
 “Seriously, guys. How totally hot does Steigy look tonight?” Ashley joked and the rest of them cracked up.
 “Oh god, he’s just so sexy. I can’t take it.” Emily added with a laugh.
 “Ya know,” Lauren started to say seriously, “He actually was really cute when he was a kid.”
 “How do you know that?” Ashlen asked as she laughed.
 “They showed a picture one time. He was pretty smokin’ if I do say so myself.” Lauren said honestly but couldn’t help but laugh.
 “Oooh! Shush, my man!” Ashley made them all be quiet as Jordan appeared on the screen. He was getting interviewed by FSN’s own Dan Potash at the bench.
 “So Jordan,” Dan began, “With the regular season a little more than half way over and the Pens occupying first place in the Eastern Conference, does the possibility of another Stanley Cup become anymore evident?”
 “Yeah of course. I think we all knew it was a possibility the moment we won it last year to do it again. We’ve got what it takes and we’ve proved that.” Jordan replied with a professional sounding voice. That was something you’d only hear from him when it involved hockey. All of the guys were serious when it came time to play their game.
 “Well thanks for your time, Jordan.” Dan told him with his signature grin.
 “No problem, Danny.” Jordy replied. Right before he skated out of the shot, he subtly pulled on the collar of his jersey, something most people wouldn’t even notice. Most people who weren’t Ashley, that is.
 “Did you guys see that?!” She asked the rest of the girls. Ashlen was the only one who was confused with what she was talking about exactly, considering it was her first time watching a game with the rest of them. “That was our sign. He pulls on his collar to say hi to me.” She explained, much like every other time Jordan did it. This was the first time in a while her explanation was actually needed though.
 “That’s a cute idea! I’ll have to tell Sid to make a sign for me and him.” Ashlen said.
 “As long as you don’t announce every time he does it, like a certain someone in the room, then you totally should!” Emily joked and Ashley fake pouted at her. They all laughed.
 “Five minutes till the puck drops.” Leah said, noticing the countdown clock in the corner of the television screen.
 “Let‘s go Pens!” Lauren said excitedly.

The game was a fast paced one. All the guys were playing hard, especially Max. It was pretty obvious he was trying to impress someone. Leah blushed at the thought of that someone being her. She still didn’t believe he liked her though.
As for scoring, Max sure backed up his claims of putting on a show with his two goals and an assist on Sidney’s one goal, which he dedicated to Ashlen. Jordan, who scored a short handed goal, also dedicated his goal to his girlfriend by yanking on his collar with a smile on his face seconds after he scored it. He then crossed that off of his to-do list. Geno assisted both of Max’s goals but didn’t score one of his own. TK also assisted on one of Max’s goals and on Jordan’s.
Not only was the offense on the top of it’s game, so was the defense. Nothing was getting past Fleury tonight. The Islanders weren’t getting many shots off, but when they tried they were blocked. The Pens were looking sharp on all angles.
The clock was ticking down its final seconds of the game. It was still four to nothing. Some New York fans were already getting out of their sets and leaving before their loss was official. The guys didn’t stop playing until the final horn sounded. Game over. Pens win.
 “Yeah, bitch!” Ashley cheered as the Islanders skated off of the ice defeated. The Penguins congratulated each other on the game well played and then also left the ice.
 “I’m sensing a Pens repeat.” Ashlen said and they all agreed.
 “No doubt in my mind.” Lauren said. They all just had a feeling.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Chapter Seventeen;

 “Welcome home!” Sidney exclaimed, opening the door of Mario’s mansion and leading Ashlen inside.
 “Oh, wow! This is incredible! You live here?!” Ashlen was shocked with how big and amazingly nice the house was. Sidney chuckled at her enthusiastic reaction and wrapped his arms around her waist.
 “Yepp, and now you do too.” He smiled at her and she laughed out of pure bliss.
 “This is amazing. You’re amazing. Everything is amazing!” She said and kissed him on the lips.
 “That was pretty amazing, too.” Sid grinned as they separated.
 “Yes, yes it was.” Ashlen smiled back at him.
 “So, you ready to meet muh frans?” Sidney asked in a ridiculous girly voice that made Ashlen crack up.
 “I fershurr am!” She replied, attempting to mimic his voice but couldn’t help laughing.
Sidney laughed and picked her up, carrying her like a groom would carry his new bride, and walked towards the room where his friends were said to be waiting according to a few text messages.
When the couple entered the living room, Emily was sitting on one couch with Geno next to Kris and Ashley and Jordan. Lauren was with Tyler on the other couch with Leah and Max, who were finally starting to talk a little more thanks to Emily. And Marc-Andre and Eric were each seated in recliners.
 “Sid-naaay! It’s about time, brothaaa!” Jordan exclaimed with a smile. Ashlen looked at Sidney, who was still holding her, with a amused grin.
 “That’s Jordy.” Sid told her with a laugh. He set her down and began the introductions. “Ashlen, this is Kris, Emily, Geno, Ashley, Jordan,” He said pointing them out as he said their names, “Eric, Marc-Andre, Tyler, Lauren, Leah, and Max, who you’ve already met.”
Ashlen smiled at them all, “Hi, I’m Ashlen.” She said, introducing herself. Everyone smiled and either said hi or some other form of a greeting. Emily and Ashley got up out of their seats, to their boyfriends displeasure, and went up to greet Ashlen personally. Sidney left the three of them alone while they talked.
 “Hi, it’s really nice to finally meet you! Sid talks about you non-stop.” Emily said with a friendly smile.
 “Nice to meet you too! And good things, I hope?” Ashlen replied, looking over at Sidney with a raised eyebrow as she said the last part.
 “Only the best.” Ashley assured her with a laugh. “He totally loves you.”
 “That’s what he says.” Ashlen said with an blissful smile on her face. Emily and Ashley looked at each other with slightly shocked expressions.
 “He told you he loves you?” Emily asked, happy for them if it was true.
 “Yeah, it was the sweetest thing ever!” Ashlen gushed and told them exactly what happened.
 “Oh my gosh, that is the sweetest thing ever!” Ashley agreed after she heard the story.
 “I know, he’s amazing.” Ashlen smiled, staring at him as she said it, “What about you guys? You’re dating Jordan, right?” She asked, referring to Ashley.
 “Yeah,” She nodded with a smile of her own, “He’s amazing too, in his own slightly weird way.” She added with a laugh.
Ashlen then turned to Emily, “And let me guess, you’re with Kris?”
 “Oh, no. No I’m actually dating Geno. Kris is like, my best friend though.” Emily corrected her.
 “Oh, I’m sorry. It’s just, you two look like you’d be a super good couple. I don’t know why I thought that.” Ashlen apologized.
 “Don’t worry about it.” Em reassured her that it wasn’t a big deal. She actually liked that she thought her and Kris looked like a good couple.
 “Yeah, everyone thinks they’d make a good couple actually. Except Geno, but ya know.” Ashley added with a laugh.
Emily looked at Ashley, confused. “Everyone thinks we’d be a good couple? Since when?”
 “Since forever and a day.” Ashley shrugged like it was no big deal, “But you and Geno are super cute too, don’t worry.”
 “Oh. Okay.” Emily said, not sure of what else to say.
 “Anyways,” Ashley wanted to change the subject. She didn’t want Ashlen to get some weird impression of them by starting some conversation about Kris and Geno and blahhh. She put on a smile and turned to her new friend, “Welcome to the Burgh!”

 “So you gonna watch me play tonight?” Max asked Leah, not sure what else to say.
Leah giggled, “Of course I am. I watch all of your games.”
Max smiled at her answer, “Well be prepared for this one. You’re in for something special.”
 “Oh, am I?” Leah asked with a smile. She was so happy to be talking to him.
 “Yes you are.” Max nodded, looking in her eyes, “I plan on putting on quite a show, for someone very special. So keep an eye out for me.”
 “Will do.” Leah smiled, wishing she was brave enough to kiss him. Max smiled back and the two were silent, not knowing what else to say as they looked at each other for a while.
 “I like your eyes.” Leah said, breaking the silence but feeling embarrassed as soon as she said it. Max just smiled a little bigger.
 “Thank you.” He said, “I like yours too.”
 “Thanks.” Leah could feel herself blushing.
Just then, Mario Lemieux, himself, walked into the room. He went mostly unnoticed until he spoke up.
 “Boys, we need to get going.” He announced to them all. The guys had to get to leave for New York soon and they didn’t have time to just sit around and hang out.
 “Mario,” Sidney interjected leading Ashlen over to him. “I want you to meet Ashlen.”
 “Hi,” She said nervously as she shook his hand, “It’s so nice to meet you.”
 “You too.” Mario replied with a friendly smile, “Sidney has told me a lot about you. I’m glad he’s finally found himself a great girl, such as yourself.”
 “Wow, thank you. And thank you for letting me stay here. I really appreciate it.” Ashlen said with a smile at his complement.
 “No problem at all. You can just think of this as home.” Mario told her, making her feel, as he said, at home. He then turned to look at each of the guys. “Seriously boys, we need to go.” He said and tapped his finger on his wristwatch.
 “We’re coming, we’re coming.” Sidney insisted with a smirk. Mario smirked back at him with a chuckle.
 “It was nice meeting you, Ashlen.” He said with a smile and continued, “And ladies, feel free to enjoy the place while we’re gone. Nathalie’s around here somewhere if you need anything.”
 “Got it. Thanks Mario.” Emily told him and the rest of the girls thanked him for his hospitality as well.
 “You’re very welcome. See you when we get back.” Mario replied, “I’ll give you boys two minutes to say goodbye. Two minutes.” He said and walked out of the room.
Everyone got back to their own little conversations so the guys could tell their girlfriends goodbye, and the girls could wish their boyfriends good luck.
 “Sucks I have to leave when you just got here.” Sidney said to Ashlen, holding her hands in his.
 “I know, but I’ll be right here waiting for you when you get back.” She replied, looking up into his eyes.
 “Promise?” Sid asked with a smile.
 “Of course! I’m not going anywhere, babe.” Ashlen said, also grinning.
 “Good.” He said and kissed her on the lips. “And I meant what I said earlier, about being in love with you and all.”
Ashlen smiled and hugged him tight, “I know. And I’m in love with you, too.”

 “So when am I gonna find out what the surprise is?” Emily asked Geno. She was sitting on his lap on the couch.
 “Once we get back. And when the guys are ready to tell I guess.” He told her with a smile.
 “Should I be nervous?” Emily asked. She had no idea what to expect from them.
 “Ha, no. It’ll be fun. Don’t worry.” Geno assured her. He kissed her lips and she smiled.
 “Okay. I won’t.”

 “Seriously,” Lauren looked her boyfriend in the eyes, “What are you so excited about?”
 “It’s nothing. I’m just in a good mood. It’s a nice day out.” Tyler shrugged, but Lauren wasn’t buying it.
 “Teek, it’s like 12 degrees outside.” She said, arguing against his excuse of it being a nice day.
 “I like the cold.” He smiled. Lauren rolled her blue eyes.
 “It’s been like that for weeks and you weren’t ever this happy.” She said. She really wanted to know what was up with him, but he wouldn’t give in. He was being stubborn. “Just tell me what’s up.”
 “It’s nothing.” Tyler tried to get her to quit, but she was persistent.
 “It has to be something. Are you excited to be away from me? Is that it?” She was becoming aggravated with his secret.
 “No, no, no! Laur, babe, I love you. So, so, so, so much! Believe me, trust me. Let’s just say there’s gonna be a surprise. Please don’t be mad at me for trying to make you happy.” Tyler said with his hand on her cheek. She looked up at him and a smile sprouted on her face.
 “Okay, I’m not mad at you. And I love you too. I just worry when you start acting weird cause I don’t know what you’re thinking.” Lauren said.
 “But if you knew what I was thinking, then the surprise would be ruined.” TK replied with a grin.
 “Oh jeez. What kind of surprise is it?” She asked, not too fond of the idea of a surprise at all.
 “One that you’ll like a whole freaking lot.” Tyler chuckled, “Or at least you better or I’ll be a very, very depressed man.”
 “Oh, well if that’s so then I promise I’ll love it.” Lauren told him and kissed him.
 “I hope so.”

 “Bitch, I’m gonna miss you.” Jordan said to Ashley. She smiled.
 “I’m gonna miss you too, Asshole.” She replied, making him smile as well.
 “I love you, Ash.” Jordan told her. His arms were wrapped around her, holding her close to him.
 “I love you too, Jordy.” She replied and kissed him. “Play like a champion tonight. Kay?”
 “Um, last time I checked I was a champion. So playing like one is, like, a given. It happens naturally.” Jordan said jokingly confident in himself.
 “Alright then, go out there and play naturally. Score some goals for me.” Ash smiled up at him.
 “I’ll put that on my to-do list.” He winked and smiled back.
 “You best put it at the top of that list.” Ashley warned him.
 “The very top is where it shall be.”

 “So,” Leah started, looking at Max with a small smile on her face, “Good luck tonight. I’ll be keeping an eye out for you.”
 “Thanks,” He replied, “You’re in for a show.”
 “Can’t wait.” Leah said. The two of them were silent for a moment.
 “So did anyone tell you about the surprise the guys were planning?” Max finally asked her. She shook her head no.
 “Not that I can remember.” She said. “What is it?”
 “Well, I can’t really say. But are you going to be free the rest of the week?” Max asked, trying not to give anything away.
 “Yeah I should be.” Leah told him. He smiled at her answer.
 “Okay, good.” He said. “It’s gonna be fun.”

Kris looked around the room at his friends and teammates. It made him sick watching the couples hug and kiss and act all flirty with each other. Particularly Emily and Geno. He was trying to be patient and wait for her to dump his ass, but it was hard and he didn’t know how long it would actually take. The fact that Kris would wait forever to be with her, didn’t mean he actually wanted to wait that long.
 “What’s wrong, Tanger?” Eric asked him with a smirk, noticing his gloomy expression. “Don’t got anyone to kiss goodbye?”
 “If I’m not mistaken, you don’t have anyone either.” Kris replied, trying to sound a little more lighthearted than he was feeling.
 “And I’m okay with that.” Godard chuckled, sounding blissful.
 “What’s gotten into you?” Kris asked.
 “Life, man. You should try it.” He replied with a smile.
 “Are you high or something?” Kris wasn’t sure what was up with him, but it was different than how he usually acted.
 “Ha, no! I’m just living my life without worries. No sulking around about useless shit. Just enjoying every breath I take and making the most of every second. You only got one life. Might as well live it up.”
 “Easy for you to say.” Kris sighed, taking a glance over in Emily’s direction.
 “Yeah it is easy for me to say. Wanna know why?” Eric asked him with a look on his face that said he wasn’t going to take no for an answer.
 “Sure.” Kris didn’t fight it.
 “Cause someone very close to me told me something that changed my life. And now I’m gonna tell it to you, and I’m gonna change your life.” Eric said, looking Kris in the eyes.
 “Okay, I doubt that but go ahead anyway.” He told him, feeling kind of awkward.
 “Everyone wants to be happy, right? Right. But everyone tries too hard to be happy. I’m here to tell you that it’s not worth the trouble. Skip the drama of chasing that great girl you just can’t have, or the hassle of finding the perfect house to live in. Man, happiness is like a butterfly. The more you chase it, the more it eludes you. But if you just focus on other stuff it will eventually come right up and land on your shoulder.” Eric placed his hand on Kris’s shoulder as he spoke, “Look at me, man. I’m not stressing about nothing. I’m just enjoying my life the way it is, and that beautiful butterfly I like to call happiness is perched upon my shoulder. Right now. It’s there and it’s not going anywhere. I’m happy, man. You need to take my advice.”
Kris was quiet for a moment, Eric figured because he was taking in his little speech.
 “Seriously, you sound like a stoner right now. Are you sure you’re not high?” Kris asked, a little disturbed by Godard’s weird behavior.
 “Man, if I’m high, then it’s on life.” Eric said with a smile, “But seriously, Tanger. Just think about what I said.”
 “Okay, sure. I won’t forget it.” Kris said, trying to get him to lay off. Hearing about how happy Eric was wasn’t making him feel any happier himself.
 “Good. Now we better get outta here before Mario starts the jet up without us.” Eric told him and then spoke up for everyone in the room to hear. “Let’s go guys! Two minutes is most likely up. Kisses to the misses, see yinz when we get back!” And with that being said, Eric walked out of the room and to where Mario was waiting outside.
 “What’s he on?” Jordan asked with a laugh.
 “I don’t know. He was talking about some butterfly happiness shit.” Kris said rolling his eyes.
 “So our tough guy's a pansy now? That’s just great, considering how well the rest of us are at hockey fights.” Sidney said, looking directly at Jordan during the last comment.
 “Hey!” He protested.
 “Whatever guys. He’s right that we have to leave so let’s go.” Marc-Andre said, laughing to himself at his teammates.
The girls said their final goodbyes to their boyfriends. Kris rolled his eyes again, not seeing why they were making such a big deal. They had away games they couldn’t come to all the time. Just cause Sid’s new girlfriend was here didn’t mean everyone needed to kiss any more than usual.
As dumb as Eric’s happiness speech had sounded, Kris decided to take his advice and not “chase” after Emily to say goodbye. He was walking towards the exit, following Fleury, when he heard his name being called.
 “Kris, come here!” Emily called after him. Geno didn’t have the most pleased look on his face as he stood next to her, but he didn’t say anything to protest. Kris turned around and Emily ran up to him and gave him a hug. “Don’t even think about leaving without telling me goodbye!” She laughed, making Kris smile.
 “I wouldn’t dream of it.” He said. If happiness really was a butterfly, then Emily must be some kind of big beautiful flower that butterflies are attracted to because when Kris was with her, he couldn’t be any happier.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Chapter Sixteen;

Day Five ;

It was finally Tuesday. Sidney drove to the airport extra early to wait for Ashlen’s flight to arrive. When he got there he went straight to the gate where her plane let off. He signed a few autographs for traveling Pens fans that noticed him while he waited. Finally, after waiting for what seemed like years, the door that led to the plane opened.
 “Sidney!” Ashlen yelled, running up to him after being the first passenger to step off of the plane.
 “Ashlen!” He yelled back with the biggest smile possible on his face. Ashlen dropped her bags at her feet and engulfed him in a huge hug.
A few bystanders awed at the couple’s reunion. It was obvious to just about everyone that the two had missed each other more than anything and were even happier to see each other again.
 “You’re even more beautiful than I remembered.” Sidney told her, holding her face in his hands. She looked into his eyes and smiled.
 “They say absence makes the heart grow fonder.” She said, wanting to kiss him so badly. They were so close.
 “Well I think they’re right. I thought I might be in love you before,” Sidney started to say in the sweetest voice and right before he closed the small gap between their lips to place his on hers, he said, “And now I know I am.”

Emily was sprawled across her bed with her phone pressed to her ear. On the other line was Geno, who she had been casually talking to for the past half-hour. She had her iPod plugged into its dock so that it played music quietly as she talked to her boyfriend.
 “So what time do you guys have to leave for New York?” Emily asked Geno.
 “In about two hours.” He replied. “I really wish you could come.”
 “I know, me too. I’m gonna miss you.”
 “Same here. But I think the guys are planning something that you and the rest of the girls are gonna like. I wasn’t suppose to say anything about it, so that’s all I can say now.” Geno told her and she smiled, thinking of what they could possibly be planning.
 “That sounds exciting. Surprises are fun.” Emily laughed.
 “Especially this one.” Evgeni added.
 “Oooh! Now I’m super excited.”
 “You should be.”
 “Trust me, I am.” Emily smiled. She stretched her legs out, still lying on her bed.
 “So, you still listening to music?” Geno asked her. She had told him she was earlier on in their conversation.
 “What song?”
 “Sand in Your Shoes, by This Providence.” Emily said as the song played in the background.
 “That’s a good one.” Geno replied.
 “It sure is.” Emily laughed quietly to herself. She was still tired but Sid called all the girls and made them wake up so they were ready when Ashlen came. They were gonna go to Mario’s to watch the game since they couldn’t all fly to New York. Sid wanted Ashlen to feel welcome and he kept stressing that to everyone. Emily didn’t think making her feel welcome would be a problem. From what Sidney told her about her, Ashlen seemed super nice and fun to be with. She’d fit right in.
 “You should of seen Sid this morning before he left for airport. He was freaking out. He wanted to look perfect to see Ashlen.” Geno said with a laugh as he thought about how crazy Sidney had acted.
 “Aw, I think it’s cute. He really likes her, doesn’t he?” Emily asked.
 “He really does. I’m glad he finally found someone he cares about that much. He always had trouble finding good girls.”
 “He certainly did have trouble with that.” Emily chuckled, remembering some of the past failures of girls he had been with. “But, it can be really hard to find the right person sometimes.”
 “Yeah.” Geno said with a smile in his voice. “I must be really lucky.”

Lauren’s phone buzzed next to her head, startling her out of her daydream she was having. She had been awake for a little while, thanks to Sidney, but didn’t want to get up yet. She opened her phone and saw she had received a text message from Tyler.

From: Tyler<3 :]
Good morning beautiful(:

Lauren smiled at the sweet words on the screen and typed up a response.

To: Tyler<3 :]
Morning handsome ;) Call me!

Not surprisingly, about a minute later Tyler’s picture showed up on the screen as it vibrated since he was calling.
 “Good morning.” Lauren greeted him when she answered.
 “Yes it is.” Tyler replied happily.
 “Sounds like somebody’s in a good mood today.” Lauren chuckled.
 “If that somebody you’re talking about is me, then you are correct.”
 “What’s got into you?” Lauren asked him, amused with how lighthearted he sounded.
 “Ah, nothing. I’m just excited.” He replied, still sounding just as happy as before.
 “For what? The game?” She was a little confused.
 “Sure.” Tyler went with that for now.
 “Sure?” Lauren asked, not sure what he meant by that.
 “Sure.” Tyler repeated with a chuckle.
 “Okay then.” Lauren gave up and changed the subject, “So am I gonna see you before you guys leave?”
 “If you’re ready and get to Mario’s within the next two hours, then yes you will.”
 “Then ready I will be.” Lauren stated with a smile.
 “Okay then, I guess I’ll see you there.” Tyler said, starting to end the conversation.
 “Yes you will.”

 “I’m in love with Emily.” Kris finishing by saying, looking anywhere but Boucher’s face. Kris was at his house explaining a lot of what was going on between him and Emily, leaving out most of the details they both promised not to tell anyone. But he felt that since she had Max to talk to about him, he deserved someone to talk to about her. Philippe was the most sensible choice. He was one of Kris’s best friends, he knew he could trust him to keep a secret, and he would be sure to have good advice. Only thing was, Kris didn’t know how he would respond to it all.
 “It’s about time you admitted it.” Philippe chuckled causing Kris to look at him, confused.
 “You knew?” Kris asked him, not recalling ever mentioning how he felt to him before.
 “Well, I knew you loved her. I didn’t know you told her that, but now I do. I’m happy for you, Tanger.” Boucher said with a smile on his face. Kris half smiled back. All he really told him was that he went over to her house, they got in that little argument, he told her he was in love with her and she said it back and they kissed, he skipped the sex and went straight to watching movies and the rest of the stuff they did, claiming that he simply stayed the night there.
 “Thanks. I just wish I could be with her, ya know?” Kris said with a sigh.
 “Well, from what you told me it sure sounds like she wants to be with you too.” Bouch said trying to cheer him up.
 “Yeah, but there’s Geno…”
 “But she’s in love with you.” He pointed out, “I highly doubt she would tell you that if she didn’t mean it.”
 “I know but we have to be all secretive about it, and I don’t like that.” Kris said honestly.
 “What’s Geno gonna do if he finds out?” Philippe asked as if the answer was nothing.
 “Murder me.” Kris replied flatly.
 “No he wouldn’t.” Bouch laughed at the idea.
 “Trust me, he would. He’s really protective of her. He likes her a lot.” Kris said, getting angry talking about it.
 “It’s not like she can help who she loves. He can’t kill you for being the one. You guys just spent some time together and realized your true feelings. It‘s not a big deal.” Phil tried comforting him. It was working, at first. “It’s not like you slept with her or anything.”
Kris hid his face in his hands at that last comment. He was sure to know now.
 “Oh. I take it that you did?” Boucher said awkwardly.
Kris looked up at him with eyes drained of emotion and nodded.
 “Well, then. I take back that last remark.” Bouch said, not sure of what to say.
 “What do I do?” Kris asked finally.
After a moment of thought Philippe replied, “Wait for her. She said she wanted to be with you, right?” Kris nodded and Bouch continued, “Then wait for her to break up with Geno. She’s a good girl, watching out for his feelings. Just give her a little time and then you two can live happily ever after.”
 “You really believe that?” Kris asked him.
 “Yeah, I really do. You two are meant for each other. Something’s gonna happen and you’ll be together in no time.”
 “How can you be so sure?”
 “I just gotta feeling.”

Friday, August 7, 2009

Chapter Fifteen;

Kris and Emily laughed as they drove away from the store.
 “How insanely ridiculous was that?” Emily laughed, just thinking about everything that happened.
 “Very.” Kris replied, “I better call TK and let him know we left.”
 “Good idea.” She said.
Kris dialed Tyler’s number and waited for him to answer.
 “Hello?” TK’s voice finally said.
 “Hey, me and Emily just wanted to let you guys know that we all left.” Kris told him, making Emily chuckle to herself at how he said it.
 “Okay?” Tyler replied.
 “Yeah, so you’ll have to take Laur and all the stuff back in your truck.” Kris added.
 “Okay, no problem.” He said, “You guys sure made a mess back here, ya know.”
 “Trust me, we know. Just don’t let anyone know you know it was us.” Kris told him.
 “I won’t say a word. But I gotta go. Talk to you later.” Tyler said and hung up the phone.
Kris shrugged, putting his phone back in his pocket. He then turned to look at Emily, whose eyes were focused on the road while her lips formed into a small smile.
 “What?” Kris asked curious as to why she was smiling.
 “Oh, nothing.” She said, not losing focus.
 “It must be something.” He tried.
 “Well, to be honest, I don’t know what it is. I just feel happy, is all. I have this strange, but good feeling and I’m happy.” Emily told him with a smile plastered on her face as she looked at him while they were stopped at a traffic light.
 “Well, that’s good. That’s really good.” Kris smiled back at her, glad to hear her say that.
 “Yeah, it is.” She agreed. She really wasn’t sure why she suddenly felt so overjoyed with life. It could have been from the crazy experience they just underwent. Or maybe it was being alone with Kris again. Anything was possible, but she didn’t really care what was causing it. When life gives you lemons, don’t question it, just enjoy them.
 “You can put on the radio if you want.” Emily told Kris after a little while. He nodded and turned it on 96.1, where the Pittsburgh version of I’m In Miami Trick by LMFAO was finishing up playing.
 “So, what exactly were you trying to prove with the whole ‘you smell good’ thing back before Max destroyed the baby isle?” Kris chuckled thinking about it.
 “I wasn’t trying to prove anything, just looking for reactions.” Emily replied, “Plus, you do smell good.”
 “Oh I see. Well, thanks then.” He said.
A second later the song changed to one that was familiar to both of them. Secret Valentine by We the Kings. Emily looked over at Kris, who was looking back at her with a smirk on his face.
 “Are you thinking of us?” She asked, remembering the night they chose the song as their own.
 “Yeah,” He nodded, “And it’s amazing.”

Lauren and Tyler finished putting the grocery bags in the back of his truck and they both got in in front.
 “I’m glad we’re the responsible ones. We got all the grocery shopping done, while all the rest of them did was break things and get in trouble.” Lauren said, shutting the passenger door of the black truck.
 “You’d never guess they were all in their twenties.” Tyler chuckled. He started up the engine and got ready to pull out of the parking lot.
 “Immature, is what they are.” Lauren joked.
 “Exactly.” Tyler agreed with a smirk.
As the couple drove through the snowy city streets, they were mostly silent. Not awkwardly silent, more like peacefully silent. They didn’t have to talk to enjoy the time they spent together.
The truck came to a stop behind other cars while the red light shined overhead. Tyler turned to face his girlfriend and just smiled. Lauren smiled back, not sure what he was thinking but had a feeling it was something good.

 “Ya know, I feel like I accomplished something today.” Jordan said to Ashley as they drove down the road towards his place.
 “What exactly did you accomplish?” Ashley laughed at him.
 “I don’t know, I guess doing something daring and badass and got away with it. And it was kinda fun.” He explained proudly but Ashley just laughed again.
 “Oh please! You didn’t do that on purpose. You just accidentally did something bad and got scared of getting in trouble so you ran away.” She told him and he pouted.
 “Thanks for shitting on my new found pride!” He said as if he were appalled.
 “Shitting on your pride? What the hell, Jordan?” Ashley cracked up at his word choice.
 “You know what I mean! You demoralized me. It’s like you took a big fat shit on my self-esteem and how badass I am.”
 “Okay, first of all, you’re disgusting.” She said with a smirk, “Second of all, you aren’t that badass in the first place so get over it.”
 “What? I am totally badass!” He protested. Ashley rolled her eyes.
 “Oh yeah? Prove it.”
 “Well first off, did you not see my hardcore, totally badass hockey fight yesterday?” He asked her as if it were a given.
 “That was so not badass at all! You and Ginge were just laughing at each other the whole time until you slipped and fell on top of him!”
Jordan scowled at her. “Oh yeah, well what about the time I got arrested?” He said, bringing up the result of his older brother Eric’s bachelor party gone awry.
 “Jordy, you and like twenty other guys were just being loud and annoying early in the morning. How is that badass?” Ashley asked.
 “It’s badass cause we got in trouble with the police! And don’t forget I was only eighteen and I was drinking. That’s two charges in one. So badass!” He said, bringing up his pride in himself again, only to have it knocked back down by his girlfriend.
 “Puh-lease. Like you’re the only teenager who’s ever gotten drunk? And you didn’t even spend the night in jail like your brother and his friends.” Ashley wanted to laugh at the expression on his face, but tried to stay sounding serious, even though she was just messing with him. “Just face it, babe. You are not badass.”
 “That hurts. Right here. That is an intense bitch slap in the face.” Jordan said, shaking his head side to side.
 “Aw, I didn’t mean to make you cry, babe.” Ashley said and placed her hand on his arm. “I still love you.”
Jordan glanced at her for a moment and his face showed signs of a smile coming. “That helps a little. It doesn’t sting as bad anymore.” He said and kissed her lips, stopping the car when they came to a stop sign.
 “Good. You don’t need to be a badass for my love.” Ashley said with a grin.
 “That’s reassuring,” He replied with a chuckle, “But I will eventually prove to you that I really am badass.”
 “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

 “I’m super excited for tomorrow morning!” Ashlen exclaimed, nearly jumping up and down with her phone pressed to her ear as she talked to Sidney.
 “So am I! It’s torture without you here, seriously.” Sid said dramatically, making Ashlen smile.
 “Trust me, it’s just as bad here without you. Probably worse, actually.” She said, falling back onto her bed. She was exhausted from packing and saying her goodbyes to her friends and family. Plus the fact that she stayed up extra late talking to Sidney each night.
 “How did we survive without each other?” Sidney asked melodramatically.
 “I honestly have no idea.” Ashlen responded.
 “I’m having a hard time keeping myself from heading to the airport right now to wait for you. I miss you more than anyone’s ever missed someone else before in the history of the universe.” Sidney gushed making her smile.
 “The whole universe? Sidney, you flatter me.” She laughed, laying on the bed with her eyes closed. She tried imagining she was with Sidney as they spoke. It wasn’t quite the same as really being with him, but it was better than nothing.
Sid chuckled. Even hundreds of miles apart, no one made him smile like she did. “I try.”