Make You Miss Me
There was something about the girl that sat behind the player’s bench every home game. Something in her smile, in the way she wore a different player’s jersey weekly. Maybe it was the way she constantly changed her look, from dying her hair to different cuts the whole nine yards James knew she could play the game as well as he did; and he certainly did not mean hockey.
The first time he met Beth seemed like an accident, at least to anyone else but he knew just how to orchestrate it to look that way and watching her sip her drink in the dimly lit bar he got the feeling he was going to like this. She may have been good at this but he would always be better and his main focus was going to be on proving that point as often as he could. Their second meeting proved to be just as ‘accidental’ as the first and he watched with a smirk as she efficiently ditched the man chatting her ear off to make her way across the bar to him.
“Fancy seeing you here” she said with a smirk ordering a drink
“I could say the same” he murmured moving closer to her. The bartender slid her drink on the bar towards her and she nodded in thanks
The two talked for a while slowly sipping drinks before James casually mentioned the man she was talking with earlier “Oh you mean Myles? He’s no one, we’ve gone out a couple times but ya know” she said with a shrug, he couldn’t help but smile at her heavy southern accent, this girl was good. When he looked at his watch again it was 1am and he knew he should go but before he did he leaned down to her ear “I’d make you miss me” he whispered his voice raspy from talking over the music for most f the night. “Oh you would huh?” she smirked; with a wink he left the bar.
She ran a hand through her dark hair, she hated it missed the lighter colors and the way it framed her face, she was due for a haircut, and maybe new boots she thought looking down at her suede gray boots, she slammed a hand down on the counter this was not the point. How could he do that? Have the nerve, the audacity, the power to make her think the way she was now? She paced the floor of her apartment; two could play this game she thought walking into her room and changing her outfit.
Their first actual date was something out of a story book, he’d picked her up wearing a new suit when she opened the door she smiled up at him her hair now a dark blonde instead of a cool light brown she wore a blue dress and her smile shown stark white under that red lipstick.
They talked a little during the car ride to the restaurant but mostly he watched her flip through the radio until she stopped on a song claiming how it was her favorite, before turning the station again half way through it. They talked and laughed over diner and he was the perfect gentlemen taking her home and walking her to the door with only a kiss to the cheek and a smile before turning and walking down the sidewalk back to his car. He heard the slight irritation of her sigh as he turned and winked at her from the car door.
She looked herself over in the mirror for what felt like the 100th time before deciding her outfit was perfect, he loved these jeans, told her that every time she wore them. Which she only did to get that compliment she hated them, they were too dark she couldn't even remember why she bought them, and besides they were old.
She opened her hall closet to grab a jacket she looked them all over before grabbing his old leather jacket, it would be easy enough to pawn off as her own if anyone asked and it was a million times more comfortable than anything she owned; it also smelled like him but she wouldn’t admit that and if she seen him tonight like she knew she would, well then she’d throw it at him for good measure.
“Morning baby” she said her southern drawl even more appealing when he was half asleep. She nudged his hand from over his eyes with her elbow “I’ve got coffee” she said. He cracked one eye open “Thank you beautiful” he said sleep still thick in his voice he smiled sleepily and watched her face light up- what was it with women and men’s groggy voice- he cleared his throat looking at her.
Her hair now a soft auburn which he actually liked, he noticed she was wearing those jeans again, she hated those jeans, so he had made sure to take note of them and then compliment her like crazy when she wore them just to see her wear them again. To him they were just jeans he honestly seen no difference “Baby, I love those jeans on you” he said with a smile pulling her closer by a belt loop and kissing her softly.
He wasn’t here, how dare he, he was always here how could she act like life was great and rub it in his face if he wasn’t here! Damn him.
How could she flirt her face off to some guy get him to think she was interested, then make a small scene-just enough that James would notice- get him to be the knight in shining armor (men loved that crap) and then get what she wanted another night with him without having to admit she missed him?
She had wanted to get him to do it first simply by being her, but that plan was in shambles now, she stared at her drink slowly sipping it and hating this place more by the second.
She felt a hand on her elbow and a smile spread across her face instantly but when she turned she was faced with a man she’d never seen before and didn’t want to again “Sorry, not interested, I’m waiting for my boyfriend so we can leave” she said pointing to the jacket on the bar the guy almost smirked but just then her phone lit up with a call she answered it without looking “Hey babe, did you go out to the car? Ok I’m coming” she said quickly walking away from the bar before speaking to her friend properly when the subject of James came up she quickly found a reason to end the call.
A few minutes later she found herself driving past his place, his car was not in the driveway, she felt the anger below the service starting to rise. He was probably at another bar picking up some skank who knew who he was strictly because of who he was, and he was doing this all to spite her.
She was starting to fall for him, he could tell in the way her eyes would scan an entire room and land on him before a smile would crawl slowly onto her lips, in the way she cuddled into his side when they watched movies on the couch or slept at night. No doubt he was falling to the girl was intoxicating, but she was also infuriating at times she changed her mind faster than you could flip a light switch.
He could tell she was trying to push him away the instant it happened, the first time she’d gotten angry at him and started a fight for calling an interviewer sweetheart on TV, and in the way she flirted her way around the locker room their last fight had been a bad one, both of them at each others throats about what he couldn’t even remember all he remembered was the crescendo that made him walk out
“I’ll leave” she sneered “And then what will you have? When I walk away? Tell me James?!” she yelled grabbing her sweater from the hook by the door. He cornered her then his hands on the way on either side of her
“I’ll make you wish that you were sleeping in my shirt, I’ll leave you lying about a jacket I left here trying to pass it off as yours” she snickered then and he moved closer his voice just above a whisper “I’ll leave you wishing that every time your phone rings that it’s me. Just wait Beth you’ll miss me long before I miss you. And that you can take to the bank”
She spun on her heel then stalking off towards her room “You know nothing about me James, I run through men like you like water, you’re nothing special just another guy”
“You think it’s so easy? Nice try the only reason you’re any good at this is because every guy you ever met was forgettable, I’m not going out like that sweetheart” he grabbed her wrist gently pulling her towards him her hair falling in her face he kissed her soft and slow then lowered his voice pushing her hair out of her eyes he said “You love me, don’t you Beth? And you can’t stand the thought that maybe just maybe you met your match, that I’m just as good at this love ‘em and leave ‘em game as you are. That maybe I made you fall in love with me just to walk out on you, and you can’t handle that can you?”
“Oh piss off you self righteous prick” she said pulling her hand out of his he smirked and nodded
“You got it, but one night you’re going to call me and all you’re going to say is ‘come and get me’ and the best part is I will, because maybe I love you too” he says frustration in his voice. He turns slowly before walking out the door.
She stares at her phone sitting on her bed, it would be so easy, just a quick phone call and if he wasn’t lying the last time she’d seen him, that fight. What he said that night if it was all true it would just take one phone call and he’d be here and she wouldn’t have to wonder what he’s doing, who he’s with, or what’s going through his head; she would know.
She wanted to know, it was driving her crazy, had been driving her crazy every night for the last month. But if it was true how was he just sitting at home or wherever he was and not doing something about the fact that she was here! She picked up the phone unlocked it and stared at his name, it couldn’t be that easy, she put the phone back down…. Or could it?
He was miserable, he’d seen her tonight at the bar they met at, he knew it would happen, hoped it would happen and was relieved when it finally did. And yet he couldn’t let her know couldn’t let her see that he was a mess that he actually missed her, never in his life did he think it was possible.
And yet, when she walked in wearing those fricken jeans that he did actually really love on her and his leather jacket he disappeared. When he seen her talking to another guy a few minutes later although she seemed entirely uninterested he had to leave he couldn’t watch that. So now he sat at home hoping the phone in his hand would ring.
He fell asleep there his phone waking him from uncomfortable position he was in on the couch, he smiled at the display running a hand through his hair and grabbing his keys before he even answered
“hey baby” he say sleep still laced in his voice he could almost hear her inner monologue through the phone
“could you… I mean would you mind if…. James I” she stammered and he chuckled softly starting his car almost as his answer
She heard the engine roar to life through the phone her ridiculous babble stopped instantly “I’m on my way” he said a smile weaving its way through his voice.
When her doorbell rang she threw the door open almost too quickly to see a smiling James on the other side “So you were right” she said with a sigh pushing her hair behind her ear “And now that you know that…” she trailed off looking at the floor lost in her thoughts she just wanted him to say something.
His hand was around her waist a moment later puling her closer his other hand brushed the small piece of hair that had fallen forward out of her face.
“I have been waiting for this for a month” he said quietly “The most miserable month of my life, if you hadn’t called tonight I don’t know wha-” she cut him off with a kiss running her hands through his hair
“I don’t care, I’m just so glad you’re here” she says before kissing him again.
“Beth” he says quietly in the early dawn hours his alarm had gone off a few minutes ago and he needed to leave soon if he was going to make it to practice “baby wake up” she opens her eyes groggily staring up at him standing next to her bed in his jeans.
“what?” she mumbles
“I need my shirt” he says with a slight laugh, she huffs getting up and changing quickly before handing him his shirt, he stops her from crawling back in bed and pulls her closer kissing the top of her messy slept in hair.
“One more thing, Beth I love you, no maybe’s about it” she looks up at him with wide eyes suddenly wide awake he winks and turns to leave for practice
“James” she calls after him chasing him out into the hall he turns and smiles at her pulling her tightly into him “I already know sweetheart” he says quietly
“Yeah well, I don’t care that you know it. I love you too James. Now go to work”
Song: Make you Miss Me- Sam Hunt
I honestly don't even know where this came from I was listening to this song yesterday at work and the way the chorus hit me with the female harmony sounding so separate from the main vocal had me picturing this scenario with a female character thinking back on the words of the male character from the past. And when I thought of James Neal (thanks to my friend Ashly) I just couldn't picture this story with anyone else but him. Sorry it's been so long I would love to get back into writing so hopefully this starts something good.