Here To Stay
Later that morning, Logan and I also had a long talk about Kenny. I told her about how he stopped me on my way home and scared the shit out of me while simultaneously making me feel like a worthless slut. It honestly made no sense for him to have any power over me, but he did. He horrified me, I hated it, and I wasn't going to sit around and wait for him to harass me. That day, I went to work, and did something I never thought I would do. Max was furious, but somewhat understanding.
I left the station and went home in the afternoon. Logan was at the U.C. and I had the place to myself. I found our newspaper and flipped through the pages. When I found what I was looking for, I circled the pages and stuffed it in my purse. Then, I took a nap. Exciting. Finally, I was horribly bored and missing Jon's face, especially since he was now mine.
I slid my phone from my pocket, ready to call Jon when Kaner called me. Literally a second later, I heard a knock at the door. I gripped my phone and answered it as I looked through my peep hole. "Hello?" I called into the phone. I saw Jon standing on the other side of the door, waiting patiently. As I opened the door to let him in, I heard crying on the other end. However, it was not Kaner.
"Ellie! The baby's crying, and I don't know what to do and-Jon left to get food, and- I can't- he- be quiet! Oh, no, i'm sorry little person... shh shhhhh no-no." Kaner was talking a mile a minute and he sounded like he was getting crazier by the second.
Jon smirked as he heard the echo of Pat's voice. He was silent and he put a finger of his mouth as he stepped inside. I mouthed the words "What are you doing here?" before trying to comfort Patrick. "I'm sure he'll be back soon. Just- check her diaper, if you have any milk try that, or just pat her, maybe she has to burp."
Jon slipped a hand around my waist and brought me closer. I struggled to get away but he just tickled me to get me closer. I couldn't help but laugh. Jon froze and let go of me, hoping it didn't give him away. "Jon?" Jon's eyes bulged and I smirked. Ooooh, you're in trouble! "He's there isn't he?" Jon shook his head fervently.
"Yes, Pat, he is here, and I don't know why." I laughed, crossing my arms over my chest.
Pat flipped out. "Jon! You have got to be fucking kidding me! You're leaving me with a baby?! What's wrong with you? Get your ass over here!"
"Be there soon..." Jon grumbled. He grabbed my phone and ended the call.
I shook my head. "You're cruel... leaving your friend hanging."
He scooted closer. "But I left him for you."
I ducked under his arms and shook my head. "You have to go back."
"Come with me."
"Promise you'll apologize to him."
He sighed. "Fine, let's go."
In the car, I tossed my purse in between us, spilling some of my things over the seat. "Shit..." I growled, reaching to pick everything up. Jon leaned over to help. To my dismay, he picked up the newspaper and stared at it for a minute. Shit...
"Uh... why did you circle the employment page?" Jon lifted up the page and showed it to me.
I quickly snatched it away and shoved it in my purse. "Nothing, it's nothing. Logan... she was thinking of picking up a second job so she'll be busy in the summer time..." I lied dismissively.
"Oh...." Jon nodded doubtful.
He spent the rest of the drive explaining how his morning with the baby went. Apparently, the baby spit up on Kaner, and ever since then, he's been hesitant to be alone with the poor child. We stopped by a store and picked up some baby supplies before going to the Sharps house, a cute place on the outskirts of the city.
"I hate you!" Patrick punched Jon in the arm as he walked in. He turned to me and gave me a hug. "I love you." Jon and I just stared at him in awe. He was dressed in a ridiculous outfit consisting of a hockey helmet, hockey pads, oven mitts, and a hockey stick with a bottle taped to it. He whimpered, "Help. Me..."
Jon remarked, "You look like you're prepared for war."
Pat flipped his helmet off. "I can't risk this beautiful face being harmed by baby puke." he argued.
I rolled my eyes and asked, "Where is she?" Just then, I heard a baby giggle straight behind Kaner. I could have sworn he flinched. I charged through the beautiful foyer, away from the huge chandelier and spiral staircase, to what I presumed was the living room. It was very spacious with a large television, a couch that wrapped around half the room, an ornate coffee table, a bubble hockey table, various baby toys, and a gurgling baby girl lying on a blanket in the middle of the room. "Aww!"
I sprinted over to the baby, picked up a toy and started playing with her. "Don't get too close!" Pat warned, ducking behind a wall. Jon chuckled and walked in, plopping himself on the couch along with the supplies. I cooed at the beautiful, blue eyed, brown haired, baby and slowly picked her up. "I'm warning you! She's ready to explode."
I placed a small towel over my shoulder, rested baby Madelyn just below my shoulder, and burped her. "Oh there you go... did the big bad Patty scare you?" I asked in a baby-voice. Madelyn burped in response. "I know.... I know..." she burped again, and then resumed giggling. I stopped patting her and sat her down on the blanket. "See, all better."
Pat dropped his gear and crossed his arms over his chest in frustration. "That's is? You just patted the darn thing and it's all better?!" he exploded.
"It's trial and error until you get to know her... And she is not a thing, she is a human being.... Oh, and keep it down! " I hissed. I returned my attention to the baby and rolled a ball to her. She and I rolled the ball back and forth between us.
The baby stopped rolling the ball and crawled over to Kaner. Kaner inched away nervously. "What is she doing?" Madelyn reached her arm out for his leg and he drew it away quickly. She crawled around and got ahold of his pant leg, tugging at it lightly. "Get her off!" he groaned.
"She likes you... just pick her up." I laughed as I moved to the couch.
Pat picked up his oven mitts, put on his helmet and picked her up in his arms. He awkwardly held her a foot away from his body and turned his head away as if she was going to bite him. "Now what?"
"Ditch the lame outfit." Jon teased.
Kaner sat down and ditched his mitts. In that time, Madelyn stood up on Pat's lap and clawed at his helmet. she yanked the cage of the helmet up and tweaked his nose. She smiled at him as he made a silly noise of surprise. Madelyn let go and then did it again. Pat made a funny noise and she burst out laughing. "You made her laugh." I commented.
Pat spent twenty minutes making baby Madelyn giggle and laugh while Jon and I put away the remaining supplies. Soon after, Patrick and Abby Sharp returned home to find Kaner asleep with Madelyn curled up on top of his chest. "Awww, how cute." Abby gasped quietly, flinging her hands to her face.
"How long have they been out?" Pat asked.
Jon beamed. "Half an hour give or take. Kaner tuckered her out."
"It took him long enough to get used to her." I explained.
Abby nodded and moved to take the baby off of his chest when Jon stopped her. "Wait." he whispered. Jon snuck out his phone, took a quick picture of the two sleepy heads, and slid the phone back into his pocket. "Alright, go ahead."
She picked up her baby and walked upstairs to put her to bed. "Kaner.... wake up." Jon shook him vigorously. Kaner snorted and shot up. "Time to go."
"Where's Madelyn?" he questioned groggily as he rubbed his eyes.
Sharp explained, "She's sleeping in her crib. You guys can go home."
"Pat! You're daughter is so smart! I swear, she almost said 'hockey' like ten times! She's going to be a pro someday. I can see her as an enforcer, like she totally did a face-wash on me today! You have to teach her how to skate asap!" he rambled as Pat lead us all to the door.
Sharp chuckled, "Kaner, she's only one and can just barely crawl."
Kaner rolled his eyes. "The sooner, the better-"
"Okay, well thanks guys, I really appreciate it. And you too, Ellie, I didn't realize you were coming." Pat opened the door and let us out.
I nodded. "Neither did I until Kaner called frantic and Jon picked me up. You have a lovely home by the way." I complimented.
"Thank you. I'll see you guys later?" he asked as we left. The three of us nodded and then returned to the car.
Jon and I sat in the front seats of his car while Kaner sat in the back. As we drove through the hectic city streets, leaving the suburbs, I grilled Pat. "So, about you and Logan...?"
Pat jerked his head in my direction and then looked from me to Jon. It was the first time in my life that I had honestly seen Pat surprised, and embarrassed. The tips of his ears flared bright red and he could no longer look me in the eyes. He coughed, and looked out the window. I repeated my questioned and he grumbled, "Nothing...."
"Uh... I think her neck begs to differ." Jon chuckled quietly.
He shook his head. "It's nothing. I was...she-we... it-...." he stuttered a few times before letting himself breath. "I don't know! It just happened.... and stuff..." Pat whimpered.
"Well are you going to ask her out?" I questioned.
Pat whined, "I don't know! Can we not talk about this?" He sounded like a hormonal teenage boy.
"Well, we already got her opinion." I giggled.
Pat glared at me. "What did she say?"
"I'm not divulging this information!" I scoffed.
Pat looked to Jon who shook his head. "No way, I'm not getting put in the dog house for this."
"Tell me!" Pat urged, poking my back.
I countered, "FIne, if you tell me what you're thinking first."
Pat kicked the floor of the car angrily. "Fine!" He took a sigh before starting. "I kind of like her, but I don't want to do anything in case I do something stupid and hurt her."
Jon and I exchanged looks. "Funny, she said the same thing." Jon replied.
I huffed. "Seems like you guys are on the same page."
Pat fell silent. For the rest of the car ride, Pat was speechless. I don't know why, but he didn't say a word. He walked into their apartment wordlessly and immediately retreated to his bedroom. I had no idea what he was planing or thinking, and frankly, I was worried to find out.
"So... I was thinking...." Jon sighed as he turned the car off, moments after Pat had left us. I raised my eyebrows and turned to him. "What are you doing for Christmas?"
I thought about it. I had absolutely no clue. I hadn't even put up my christmas tree yet or bought any presents, yet Christmas was right around the corner. "I don't know... why?"
"I-I was wondering if you wanted to spend it... with me... if that's okay." he suggested. Jon looked down at his hands and frowned.
I leaned over the console and kissed him deeply. "I would love to." I agreed with a smile.
"I thought that you and I could have dinner and open presents and stuff..." he rambled. I nodded, just watching and listening as Jon's face lit up with excitement. "It'll be fun."
"Yeah, it will! Speaking of Christmas, what do you want?" I questioned as we hopped out of his car.
Jon raced around the car and grabbed me around my waist, swinging me playfully. "I already have my present." he chuckled. I struggled to get away, but he only squeezed me tighter.
"Please, let go." I laughed as I sighed.
Jon teased, "Or what?"
"Or I'll..." We both fell silent for a moment. He kissed my neck and I bit my lip, hard. "Stop it!" I whined, trying to get free. "I have absolutely no leverage over you."
Jon set me down, but kept me close. "You have one thing...." Jon's hands moved down to my ass and I smirked.
"Stop." I pried his hand off and spun around. "We're in the middle of a parking lot."
He inched closer, giving me a pouty-face. "So?" He looked up and down the parking lot. "No one's here!"
"Jon-" I backed up toward the elevator only to have him chase me. "No!" I laughed. He scooped me up again and smirked against my neck. "Put me down!"
"Make me." he whispered. I bit his ear and he chuckled.
"Restrain yourself." I commanded as I squirmed through his arms.
Jon laughed. "You expect too much of me. Especially when I just got you all to myself." I just rolled my eyes and waited for the elevator to 'ding'. "You fell in love with that baby today, didn't you?"
I nodded and smirked. "Yeah... she's adorable."
"Not as much as me."
I giggled, "I'm just kidding. You're adorable." I playfully pinched his ass.
Jon jumped and laughed. "Hey, getting a little hands-y there, eh?"
"Oh, so you can get all touchy-feely, but I can't make a small gesture?" I argued as we walked up to his apartment. He nodded. "Double standards." I grumbled. "So, the game tomorrow night, you better score me some goals." I laughed.
He questioned, "You think I won't?" I shrugged as I flopped onto his couch. Jon plopped on top of me, practically crushing my body. I rolled him off and gasped for air. Jon chuckled, vibrating the couch. "How much you want to bet, I'll get at least two points?"
"I'd bet on two goals." I insisted.
Jon asked, "Alright, two goals. If I get them, you have to do something for me-whatever I want."
I raised an eyebrow. "Anything?"
"Anything, for as long as I want. Don't worry, it won't embarrass you... that much." He smirked, reaching to play with my hair.
I countered, "Alright, well then WHEN I win, you have to do anything for me for as long as I want."
Jon reached a hand toward me. "Deal. Shake on it." I took his hand and shook it firmly.
"Deal. I hope you're not a sore loser." I teased as I ruffled his hair.
Jon shook my hand away. "That won't matter, since I won't be the one losing and bowing down, Ellie." he joked. Jon gave me a quick peck on the cheek.
"Whatever." I hissed.
Logan picked me up from Jon's later that night and I went home.
The next day, I was awoken by Logan. "Hey, you need a ride to the Center?" she asked. I groggily sat up on my bed and responded with a yawn. Stretching, I rubbed my eyes to see a fully dressed Logan standing in my doorway, playing with my light switch. "There's a game today? i figured you would need to get in early and prep with Dean or something before the interviews.
Shit. That would be great... if I still had my job. "Uh... no, Max isn't covering this game because... Cynthia is doing a huge-big very big segment on... Lacrosse."
"Lacrosse?" Logan inquired incredulously.
I nodded enthusiastically and gave a huge, fake grin. "Yeah, it's becoming... uh very big, here...." I insisted.
"Oh...well, then I guess I'll meet you there in an hour or so?" she asked awkwardly. I nodded and fell back on my bed. "Make sure you wake up in time!" she called as she slammed the apartment door.
I did the routine: went to the rink, got my tickets, found my seats. This time, I sat with the wives and the girlfriends, because I was one... kind of, I think? Logan sat with us as we watched the game.
The Hawks were playing the Red Wings, and the game could not have gotten any rougher. There were three fights in the first period, a whole lot of checking, and too many penalties to count. It was a wonder that Jon could sneak past a defensemen and score a wrap-around goal in the second period. His face lit up, just like everyone else in the stadium, while I just frowned.
Third period, the Wings tied it up, and I thought I had a chance to win the bet. Unfortunately for me, Jon, stupid competitive Captain Serious had to score the game-winning goal.
Needless to say, when I got down to the locker rooms with Logan, I was in a horrible mood. Logan didn't understand, but I didn't bother explaining it to her. When we entered, Jon was nearly bouncing off of the walls.
"I believe I won." Jon sang as I walked in.
I reluctantly nodded and played with my hands awkwardly. i could only imagine what Jon had had in store for me. "Good game guys!" I cheered to Nick and Pat.
For once, Logan was sitting with Pat instead of Nick, who didn't seem to notice. "Thanks." Nick called as he unlaced his skates. Pat gave me a nod but started talking to Logan.
"Why didn't you come in for interviews?" Jon asked.
Logan answered, "Oh... because her boss doesn't want to focus on you guys for once..."
"What? We're the talk of the town!" Nick argued.
I shrugged. "Go figure." I could feel Jon staring at me from the corner of my eyes. I didn't look in his direction and desperately tried to keep my face completely calm and serious, a trick only mastered by Jon himself. When he looked away, I sat down next to him and sighed.
"So, uh, I was thinking you and I could go Christmas shopping... together... you know, for other people.... how does that sound?" Jon asked quietly so that nobody else could hear. No. Paycheck. No. Money. Jon stared at me again. At that moment, I knew he figured that something was up.
I shrugged. "I don't know, I was going to shop for you first."
"You don't have to get me anything, remember?" he asked.
I shook my head. "Yeah, well... we'll talk about it later...." Strategically changing the topic, I pushed, "So... what is my punishment for losing the bet?"
Jon's serious face suddenly turned into a childlike one. The corners of his mouth turned up and I could soon see his teeth as he beaming at me. "You'll have to wait and see I guess."
"Oh god, I hate surprises." I huffed, blushing. I could only imagine what he was thinking of.
Surprisingly, Nick was the first to head to the showers. Pat was next, and Logan was about to leave the room as well, giving Jon and I some alone time. However, I could have sworn that I saw Kane and Logan kiss before departing.
"It won't be that bad..." he insisted with a friendly smile. I stared at him, waiting for the catch. "It'll be worse." I smacked him playfully. "Hey, you're the one who agreed to it. Next time, don't underestimate my abilities." He leaned over and gave me a peck on the cheek.
"Maybe I wasn't underestimating you. Maybe I was giving you a push to be the best you can be." I commented quietly. I casually looked away as I could hear the gears in Jon's brain turning madly to piece it all together. I turned back at him, grinning like a maniac. Yeah, I had an extra reason to go through with the bet.
He smirked and wrapped an arm around my shoulders. "Sneaky... very sneaky."
"Thank you." I laughed.
He gave me another peck, this time on my head. "But next time, if you want to get me to play better... all you have to do is bribe me with sex."
I expected a smirking Jon as I looked up into his brown eyes, but all I got was Captain Serious, making the moment even more intense. "I'll remember that," I teased with a grin. The corners of his mouth twitched, but he kept his poker face going strong. It killed me every time. "Stop." I whined, hiding my face behind his shoulder.
"What?" He prodded my head playfully as he took off the rest of his gear.
I removed my head from his shoulder and looked away, feeling his eyes on me. "I hate when you give me the serious face. It makes me feel guilty or something."
"What?" he laughed. I turned back to see him smiling this time. "Oh, right.. sometimes I don't realize I'm doing it. That time, I was just trying to pay attention to your reaction."
i shook my head. "You should work on that." I stood up to allow him some privacy, but I was yanked backward by my elbow. Within a second, I was on Jon's lap. "Oof-hi..."
"Where do you think you're going?" he chuckled, slipping his undershirt off.
I giggled, standing up again. "Outside, to let you get take your shower."
"Or.... you could take it with me." he suggested with an evil grin.
I smirked back at him. "As lovely as that sounds, I have to go get Logan, but we can hang out after." I explained, standing back up.
Jon moaned and stood up, ready for his shower. "But... I can't..."
I tilted my head at him. "Why not?"
"Blackhawks management wants to speak with me about something...I have a meeting." he huffed.
I frowned. "At almost ten o'clock at night?" I inquired skeptically. Jon nodded and shrugged. "Alright, well, I'll see you later then. Call me?"
"Of course." he agreed, giving me a final kiss.
The next morning, I made several calls to multiple establishments: clothing stores, local businesses, restaurants, even McDonald's. I was desperately searching for a new source of income. I left soon after I woke up, dressed for another day at the station, and sat in my car until Logan left the apartment. I crept back in soon after and surfed the web too. Eventually, Jon texted me and told me that he couldn't hang out today because management had him running all over town, doing promotional interviews for the Blackhawks.
"I really wanted to see you today..." he grumbled over the phone.
"I know, me too. But, maybe tomorrow...?" I hinted.
Jon insisted, "Definitely."
"Okay, well... good luck in those interviews." I encouraged.
"Alright, and... Elle....?"
"You know you can talk to me... about anything, if you need to... right?" he pressed.
Letting his words sink in, I choked, "Uh... Y-yeah... yeah, of course." He. Knows.
"Okay, I'll talk to you later..." he called.
"Alright, bye." I sighed.
I spent the rest of the day, searching for employers to no avail. When Logan came home, I told her that I had a horrible day and I wanted to go to sleep. In actuality, I am a horrible liar, and I didn't want to jeopardize my current lie.
The next day, I mistakenly blew my cover to Logan. I forgot to set my alarm for six o'clock and slept in. When Logan barged in to wake me up, not only was I slow getting up, but I didn't even pretend to be upset or worried about being late.
"Okay, what's up?" she questioned as I lounged on the couch. "What's really going on at work?"
I shook my head. "Nothing... I-I have off today..."
"No you don't, it's thursday... you always work thursdays... its your busiest day." she countered with a frown. "What's up? I saw you sitting in your car yesterday, just reading the newspaper. They're going to fire you if you keep missing work."
I looked down and reluctantly sat up. "Well... you see... that's not really a concern for me... right now..."
"What did Jon say about all this?" Logan wondered. I glanced out the window of our apartment and sighed. Luckily, Logan understood my little gestures and Ellie-isms and successfully interpreted what I was communicating. "What do you mean you haven't told him? You have to, some time. This isn't something you just keep from people, especially your best friend who apparently is now paying rent by herself-"
I shook my head and joined her on the couch. "Not for long. I promise, I'm going to get a new job and we'll be fine." I argued, patting her shoulder. "Considering the circumstances, I think quitting the job was more important than rent."
"Fair enough, but you have to tell him... like now." she pushed.
I nodded. "I'll call him and ask him to meet up and tell him today." I agreed, slipping my phone from my pocket. The first call I made went straight to voicemail. I was ready to call again when my phone rang. "Hello?"
"Ellie? It's Jon." he answered.
I pulled my cell away from my ears and stared at it for a moment before bringing it back, puzzled. "Jon? Why are you using Kaner's phone?" I asked.
"Mine literally just died as you called. I'm stuck doing interviews for the day, so I can't really talk too much. I wanted to say that maybe tonight, you and I can go out to dinner or something?" He spoke way too fast for me to catch it all at once.
"Uh.. yeah, sure.. that's fine. Why are they asking you to do all these interviews in the middle of the season?" I wondered.
He groaned, "I told you, it's because they want more hype... and I'm sorry... it feels like we haven't really gotten the chance to be a couple."
"No, it doesn't..." I agreed.
Jon pleaded, "Please, just be with me tonight?"
"Alright Toews, you wore me down." I laughed, as if I was going to argue. "Text me when you're free."
"Will do. Have a good day."
"I take it he was a little preoccupied?" Logan asked as she scrounged through the fridge for some food.
I nodded. "Management has him scrambling around the city doing more interviews than I can count on my hands... Whatever.... he and I are going to hang out tonight so I'll tell him later." I rambled, slightly hurt at the continuous feeling of being ditched that was growing in the pit of my stomach.
Logan and I spent the day organizing the United Center. No, i mean organizing the whole thing. Where t-shirts are sold, what food goes where, which entrances got which snack guys- oh yeah, it was exciting stuff... Overall, it wasn't too bad, and Logan's boss gave me a little tip money for helping out which is always nice. Normally, they had special workers to take care of that stuff, but for some reason, a handful of employees did not show up. They suspect it was a schedule mix up, but regardless, my hands were immediately put to work.
When we got home, I was so tired, I collapsed on my bed and fell asleep just after my head hit the comfy, cool pillow. Therefore, I missed Jonathan''s call to go out.
I stirred in the middle of the night to feel him sneak into my bed. "Hey..." he whispered in my ear, making me jump. "Oh, sorry, didn't mean to scare you." he chuckled quietly.
"Shh... sleepy." I breathed, welcoming his arms as they tugged me closer to him. "Can we just sleep?" I asked lamely.
Jon kissed my head. "Of course. But tomorrow, you're mine. My reward for the bet begins tomorrow after my game."
"Ugh... fine. Just go to bed." I mumbled, smacking him with a pillow. Jon chortled and whispered something that sounded like gibberish in my ear. Without opening my eyes, I questioned, "Hmm?" He merely laughed and repeated himself, but it still made no sense to me. It sounded like 'Do-revchev' or something. I moaned and flipped over to face him. "Okay, tell me, what are you saying?"
Jon smirked and turned back over. "Nothing, get some sleep." he joked.
I tugged him back towards me."I give, okay. I'm awake now. Talk to me..." I sighed.
"You're too easy... I said 'Doux rêves, chef." he replied, tucking a stray piece of my hair behind my ear.
I gave him a blank stare, blinking my eyes a few times. He didn't say anything, so I voiced my thoughts. "Yeah.. that doesn't help me... What language is that, and what are you saying?" I questioned, crossing my arms over my chest. I was beginning to think he was just making fun of me, but he was successful in grabbing my attention nonetheless.
He chuckled and gave me a peck on the cheek. "It's french." He yawned, stretching and playfully laying his arm on my face. I swatted him away "And, It means 'Sweet dreams, chief'." he explained with a flirtatious smile.
I shook my head and matched his yawn with one of my own. "Charming.... oh so charming. I'm liking the nickname though..." I commented with a smirk. "Uh... bon soir... er-how do you say Captain?"
The bed shook as his boisterous laugh echoed throughout the room. "Capitaine, and we'll have to work on your accent."
"Can't we do that in the morning or something?" I pleaded, flipping my pillow to the cooler side and getting comfortable.
Jon commented quietly, "I thought you had work tomorrow morning, like me?" My eyes flew open. Why can't he stop snooping around. I'm not talking about this now! "Elle..." I sighed, hoping he would think I was sleeping. "I know you're awake." Reluctantly, I turned to see him glaring at me. Small as an ant. "What's going on?"
I opened my mouth to speak, but couldn't. I locked eyes with him and realized I couldn't bring myself to lie to him. But this was not the time to talk about it. "I-I.... It's..." I sputtered. Jon pulled me into a hug and stroked my hair.
"You can tell me... just talk to me." he cooed.
I shook my head and wiggled away. "Can we talk about this tomorrow?" I asked. Jon's face fell about a thousand feet. "I promise... I want to talk... I just- Right now... I'm tired, and... please?"
There was no use denying the fact that I was sneaking around, and I knew Jon had an idea about what was happening. Still, I felt pathetic having to talk about it with him. After all he and I had talked about, all he had said to boost my confidence, and I let him down. Tomorrow, I would tell him exactly what happened... right after some sleep. Jon nodded with a frown and just watched as I turned over onto my stomach and went to sleep.
The next morning, attempting to continue my facade, I got dressed for 'work' and walked to my car again. Instead of risking the previously sleeping Jon catching me sitting in the car, I drove down the street to a restaurant for some breakfast and coffee. When I was positive that Jon had left for the game, I returned home to pick up my camera.
"You ready to go?" I asked, snatching my camera from the table.
Logan looked up at me while slipping on her pumps. "Uh... yeah, I'm ready... but where are you going?" she questioned. I gestured to the door and opened my mouth to answer when she stood up and wagged a finger at me. "You didn't tell him, did you?!" she shrieked. I rolled my eyes and slouched. Logan flung her arms above her head furiously. "You have got to be kidding me! I heard you two talking last night, I thought you finally got it over with. Why don't you want to tell him?"
I shrugged and growled, "I don't know, Logan! I don't know! I guess I'm ashamed."
"Ashamed-" she began.
I flopped on the couch. "Logan, how many times do I have to fail before I do something right? I-I'm tired... I'm tired of having these problems that cause me to flip my life upside down to start over. I'm tired of-of... feeling stupid every time I can't seem to stick with something. And I am so very very VERY tired of never fulfilling a dream of mine... I come so close, yet I never reach it...."
Logan stared at me, speechless, her jaw hanging. "Elle... I-I didn't....."
"And I am certainly not telling all of that to Jon, the boy who was drafted into the NHL at a young age, asked to be Captain for a wonderful team, won the Stanley Cup as well as a gold medal in the Olympics. The man who achieved every single dream he could have possibly dreamt up would never understand the feeling I have had growing in the pit of my stomach for the past several years...." I rambled, finally taking a breath.
I didn't realize I was crying until Logan was hugging me and I saw the tear drops stain the cotton-y fabric on her shoulder. "You're a smart, funny, beautiful, wonderful person. And you quit for the right reasons. You forgot to mention that part. You have made a complete turn around recently. I have never been more proud of you."
I backed out of the hug, looking up at her, and I inquired, "What do you mean?"
"You stand up for yourself. I don't think I've ever seen you so... assertive. If anything, you're getting closer to reaching your dreams..." she concluded. I was shocked to hear Logan say anything sentimental or emotional, especially not that. "Alright, now quit cryin'! This got way too Disney for me with all this dream shit..." That's the Logan I know.
The game was pretty good. Jon didn't get any goals, but he had an assist. He passed the puck to Kaner who wound up for a slapshot and scored within the first five minutes of the game against the Nashville Predators. Nick also gave an assist to Dave Bolland in the second period. The Predators scored in the third period, but it wasn't enough to catch them up or to win the game.
Carcillo got into a fight with some random Predator that I didn't recognize. There were a couple of chances for other players to start, but none of them really escalated too much. Duncan Keith did get hit with a high stick and was sent into the locker room halfway through the game. he came back with stitches over his forehead in the third period. The final score was 2-1; another win for the Blackhawks.
Logan and I trotted down into the locker room soon after the game ended. Ready with my camera, I snagged an interview or two before leaving the room to allow the boys some privacy. I felt Jon's eyes on me the whole time as I bounced from man to man with my video camera.
Once it cleared out some, Logan and I walked back in. "Good game." we congratulated with smiles. The boys all thanked us and smirked.
"Pretty fancy goal if I do say so myself." Kaner chortled, yawning and stretching. Logan poked his stomach, causing him to double over instinctively.
"Don't get ahead of yourself." she chuckled.
"So, are we going to see those interviews on tv later tonight, or what?" Nick asked as I sat next to Jon.
Jon's eyes as well as Logan's shot to mine. I averted both of them and just stared at Nick. "Uh... well, it's not set in stone... I mean. Maybe."
"Yeah, and where's your official camera guy?" Kaner spoke up.
I coughed and fiddled with my hands. "He's uh... he's covering the uh... basketball interviews... tonight." I fibbed, face growing pink. It made absolutely no sense, but no one questioned it.
"Oh, well maybe next time..." he sighed, standing up to go to the showers. "Are you going out to lunch with the guys?"
Logan peeped, "I'll go."
"Yeah, sounds good." Nick agreed.
I looked to Jon to see if he had wanted to go, but he shook his head. "Uh, no... we'll have to catch up with you guys later."
"We?" Nick repeated.
Jon placed his hand over mine carefully. Shit. How does he not know? "Uh... yeah.... Nick, I kind of forgot to tell you... We... Elle and I... We're kind of... dating..." Jon stuttered.
If you were to look up Explosion in the dictionary, you would more than likely find a beautiful picture of Nicks' red face. He said nothing, hands balled into fists, jaw clenched, eyes glaring like daggers at Jon. I guess Mr. Clueless was the only one who didn't hear of this... "Nick-before you say anything-"
Logan was by him in a flash. "Don't even Nick. They're happy." Nick was about to charge at Jon, but his little sister stopped any thought of it. "You need to calm down and be her friend here, not a big brother- dad type thing."
Nick cautiously pushed his sister aside. "I specifically said... no one on the team- I trusted you-" Nick stammered as he stomped towards Jon. Without warning, he wound up and punched Jon square in the face. Jon staggered backward but soon regained his balance.
"Nick!" He groaned, clutching his face, but refusing to fight back.
"Nicholas Wright!" I hissed, standing in between him and my boyfriend. "You knock it the fuck off this moment!" Nick was completely surprised by my outburst. I don't think I had scolded him like that since we were kids. Kaner was yanking him away from Jon while Logan pushed him as well. "I am not a child and I can make my own decisions. I'm amazed that you think you can control my life! In fact, the only thing stopping me from kicking your ass for threatening your teammates was Jonathan! So you should have thanked him."
Nick shook his head, sitting down in his stall. "You have got to be kidding me. I'm just looking out for you-"
"No, you're being a parent. I don't need a parent, I've got two back home. I need a friend. You trust Jon." I began. Nick rolled his eyes and looked away. "I said, you trust Jon, correct? Look at me!" He reluctantly nodded, glaring at Jon. "Look at me!" Nick's frustrated face soon turned to fear at my tone. "You trust all of the guys on the team, on and off the ice, right?" He nodded again. "And you trust me and my judgement." Another nod. "Then you know very well that the boys and I can make our own GOOD choices, and I've made mine. If you can't deal with it, then I'm sorry, but that's just the way it is."
Nicholas glanced around the room. He looked to Logan who was giving him a sassy look with her arms crossed over her chest. He locked eyes with Kaner who couldn't maintain eye contact. Finally, he stared at Jon who was leaning forward with a guilty look. Eventually, Nick's eyes fell on me. "Did everyone know before me?" Everyone gave a slow nod. "Why?!"
"Psh, I wasn't going to tell you, especially after your... uhm... suggestion about... not dating... the girls.." Pat explained quietly.
Logan nodded. "Yeah, telling you is like a death wish."
Jon added, "Obviously, considering you socked me in the face."
Nick chuckled to himself and ran a hand through his hair. "I-I'm sorry.... really, Jon. But... Ellie, you cant blame me. You're basically my sister and- I just worry about you."
"I know... but please don't... at least not in this area of my life." I sighed.
Nick nodded and stood up. "Well considering your last boyfriend, can you blame me? I'm going to go cool off... I guess I won't see you two for the rest of the day?"
Jon stood up and put an arm around my waist. "Probably not, I have some debts I have to pay off..." I huffed, rolling my eyes. Nick shook his head and went into the showers.
Once he was inside, Logan and Kaner looked at one another, sending subliminal messaged. "Yeah... he's going to kill me..." Pat chuckled as he walked into the showers.
"I can only imagine..." Logan groaned as she left the locker room.
Jon sat down and stripped down to his underwear. "You know, I think they do it on purpose."
"What?" he asked as he slipped the underarmour off of his torso.
I plopped down next to him. "Leave so that it's only the two of us."
"I'm not complaining." he chuckled, giving me a peck on the cheek.
Smiling, I commented, "How's your eye? I thought you told Nick already!"
Jon shook his head and allowed me to tilt it towards me. I ran a finger lightly over the spot where he was hit. It was red but I doubted that it would swell too much. Jon didn't flinch when I touched it, which was good, but he was also a 'tough guy'. "Me telling Nick is like begging for a fight. And I'm fine... I'm surprised..."
"About?" I returned my hands to my lap and rocked back and forth slowly.
"Everything. I mean, he knew we liked each other... it shouldn't be that shocking that we're together.... And, how you responded to him... You told him what's what- I... I wasn't expecting it." Jon laughed as he leaned back.
I smirked and furrowed my eyebrows. "Yeah? Is it a good thing?"
Jon snuck a peek at me and grinned back. "Oh, it's a very good thing. Very sexy." He snuck a hand under my shirt and grazed the sides of my stomach, sending shivers up my spine.
"Really?" I giggled, squirming under his touch.
Jon scooted closer to me. "You have no idea." He grinned and leaned in for a kiss.
I almost silently sighed, "Jon, listen..." Just tell him. "I...."
He chuckled. "So, ready for the pay-up?"
I looked to him, momentarily forgetting the previous issue and pouted. "Do i have to?" I frowned and leaned onto his shoulder playfully.
"Yes, you promised." he insisted with a devilish grin. "It'll be fun... well, more for me."
I picked up his shirt and tossed it at his head as I stood up. "Yeah, yeah, I'll be waiting outside Capitaine..." I attempted Capitaine with my best french accent, but it came out like garble and Jon just laughed louder.
Twenty minutes later, Jon was driving me to God knows where silently. I had a blindfold on, courtesy of the Captain himself. "Can I take it off yet?" I asked.
Jon chortled. "Ask me that about anything else and I would gladly agree." I reached out into he darkness and slapped him. "Ouch... just saying."
"Can you at least tell me where we're going?" I pushed, crossing my arms over my chest.
He huffed, "We're actually here. And you won't be that excited."
A moment later, I felt Jon's hands on my waist, lifting me out of the car and setting me on the ground. He slammed the door behind me and lead me... somewhere. I realized that we were in a hotel, apartment, or building when I heard the ding of an elevator. "Almost there."
I heard a door open and close as he guided me into a new room. He untied the blindfold and I blinked my eyes open, allowing them to adjust to the bright light. "We're... in my apartment?" I asked, glancing around the messy abode. "Why?"
"Follow." he commanded with a smirk. Jon was so proud that he had me stumped as he took me into my room. He rummaged in my closet and brought out a bright orange shirt. "Here." He handed the shirt to me.
I stared at it as I unfolded it. The Flyers logo was soon spread out in plain sight. "My Brayden Schenn Flyer's shirt? What about it?"
"We're going to burn it." Jon informed me, arms behind his back, face as bright as the sun.
I nearly choked on my own breath. "W-what?" I laughed at his joke. "Yeah, okay, sure. V-very, very funny, Jonathan."
"I'm serious." Jon's smiling face soon turned into his neutral expression that I knew and, right now, hated. "We're going to burn it, and we are going to fit you with a new 'I Love Tazer' shirt, custom made."
I shook my head. "Jon, I love this shirt! It's one of my favorites!" I gripped the tee shirt tighter to my chest.
"ONE of your favorites! You have like ten Flyers shirts. Besides, then you can buy another one, right after this day is over. They only cost like, what, twenty bucks?" he reminded me. Yeah, that wouldn't be a big deal... if I had any money. Somehow, I think he was silently sticking it to me for not telling him what was going on.
I nodded and sighed. "Alright, fine. You won the bet. I'm sucking it up, and being a gracious loser." Jon reached out and pulled me to him as we walked out of the apartment.
Jon drove me to some random, abandoned parking lot. I placed the shirt on the ground and took the lighter from Jon's hands. "I'm sorry for what I'm about to do, Brayden Schenn..." I apologized, as if he could hear me. Jon rolled his eyes as I reluctantly lit the shirt on fire. Jon gave me a skeptical look. "What? He's having a good season! What if this jinxes him or something?"
"Oh, I'm sorry, did you want to say a prayer or something?" he teased. I scowled at him as the shirt burned. "Dear Hockey Gods, please don't let Brayden Schenn be angry with Logan for burning a shirt with his name on it. Please don't take it out on poor Brayden, after all-"
I ran over to him and playfully pushed him. "You're such a dick, you know that?" I laughed.
Within moments, the shirt was charred black, mostly. Jon was satisfied and stomped the shirt out. "Still want it?" he asked, carefully picking up the burned shirt and holding it towards me. I glared at him and hopped in the car wordlessly. Jon tossed the shirt in a trash can near by.
When he joined me, he handed me a new, bright red shirt. I stared at it as it sat in my lap. "What is it?" I asked. He gestured at it and drove out of the parking lot. I lifted it up and examined it. It was indeed, a shirt saying 'I Love Tazer' with his famous number 19 sitting under it on the back and the blackhawks logo on the front.
"Put it on... You're wearing it for the rest of the day." Jon commanded. I sighed and put it on.
"You seriously got a shirt custom made... You take your bets seriously." I laughed as I slipped my arms through the sleeves.
"Super competitive I guess..." As we rolled to a stop at a red light, Jon looked at me. "Wow, looking better already."
"Shut up! What's next?"
Apparently, next on the list of humiliating things was making me dance in a practically empty bar. Jon sat in a booth by himself towards the back as I danced awkwardly, hopping up and down like a maniac, in the middle of the dance floor. A few people came in for drinks or lunch and just stared at me.
My face grew redder by the second when even the bar tender just watched me dancing alone. Jon must have pitied me, because fifteen minutes into my ensemble, he came onto the dance floor and swept me away from the establishment, rescuing me from further embarrassment.
"I hate you," I laughed as we walked out of the bar. I punched him in the chest.
Jon shook his head, trying to contain his laugher. "Well, Elle, I loved that one move." Jon tried to imitate this ridiculous dance move where I hopped on one foot and flailed one arm in the air and put the other behind my head. "So classy."
"Oh god... I can't believe you." I growled, smacking him as he nearly fell. "Besides, you're doing it wrong. It's like this." I demonstrated the proper execution of the dance and continued walking down the sidewalk like everything was normal.
"I'm pretty sure the bartender thought you were high or something." he laughed, throwing an arm around me.
I shook my head. "Yuk it up, Toews. I'll get you back... one day."
"Yeah, yeah... at least you can rest easy knowing I'm thoroughly enjoying this." I shook my head and bit my lip angrily. "I don't think I've ever seen your face get so red before." Jon tugged at my shirt and pecked my cheek.
I slapped him again. "You are such an asshole. Why do I like you again?" I joked. Jon stopped me, in the middle of the crowded Chicago sidewalk, tilted me back, as if in a famous movie, and gave me the hardest kiss I had ever felt. My eyes blinked close as I lost myself in the kiss.
The applause slowly brought me back to reality. I opened my eyes to see a group of people cheering excitedly at the scene. Jon stood me back up and chuckled. I blushed and looked down, trying to avoid eye contact. Jon gave his audience a wave before leading me away. "That's why you like me..."
"Because you embarrass me?" I giggled, feeling my hot face grow hotter. "You're insane, and most would not expect that of Captain Toews."
Jon smirked. "Yeah, well... you make me do crazy things... comes with the territory. Ready for the last part of the bet?"
"Please, God, yes!" I huffed. "I'm ready for this day to be OVER!"
He hopped in the car and we slowly pulled out of the parking spot. "Hey, I could have done worse," he teased with a smirk.
I raised an eyebrow. "Oh really?" Jon stole a quick glance in my direction before looking back to the road. "Like what? Mr. Big Bad Wolf." I scoffed, folding my hands in my lap.
"I could have made you wear my jersey..."
"And nothing else." he added with a grin.
I threw my head back and laughed. "Who's to say I would object to that?"
Jon looked me over for a moment and grumbled. "Damn... Is there enough time to change my prize?" he chuckled with a pouty face.
"Uh, no... you had your chance. Take me to your last little celebration, and then I'm done for the day." I laughed giving him a playful flick on the shoulder.
"Fine, I'll have to use it next time I win." he commented as he pulled the car into the United Center.