Here To Stay
I suddenly felt freezing and I peered about the bright room to find Nick standing in the doorway, holding our comforter and placing his hand on the light switch. The once dark room was now obnoxiously illuminated. "Hey guys." He chuckled. I saw a pillow fly out of the corner of my eye and hit Nick in the stomach. "Ugh, Merry Christmas, Captain. Not so cheery?"
"Not when you wake me up. What are you doing here?" Jon reluctantly sat up, shuffling me. I rolled over and hugged a pillow beside me for warmth. "And why so early." Jon reached over and rubbed my back affectionately.
"It's not early..." Nick shrugged. "Logan and I flew out at nine, got here around eleven, and here I am."
"Where's Logan?" I mumbled into the pillow.
He chuckled. "At the apartment, she wanted to drop her stuff off before she came over, but she'll be here in a few, I suspect. Oh, and Merry Christmas Ellie." I don't know what I said because I was exhausted and not making much sense, but Nick laughed at my attempt at conversation. "What did you do to this poor girl?"
Jon shook his head and yawned, "Trust me, it's the other way around. Did you wake up Kaner?"
"Of course, I went to him first, but he went back to sleep."
I slowly opened my eyes and looked to Nick. "Wait, what time is it?"
"Around twelve I think. We should make ourselves a nice lunch soon. I think I can-" Nick began.
"Merry FUCKING Christmas you fucking asshole!!" a female voice thundered throughout the apartment. We all jumped at the sound which was followed by a thud, boisterous footsteps, and a loud 'slam' of the door.
Nick turned into the living room and checked out the scene. Jon leapt to his feet and took up the other half of the doorway. I slowly crept behind the two and snuck under to see what was going on. I finally focused long enough to see Pat standing in the middle of the living room with his hands down to his sides in fists.
"Pat, what-" Jon began. Before anything else could be said he started for the door, then stopped. Pat grabbed for it like he was going to open it wider and jog through it but slowly closed it instead. "Patrick... what just happened?"
Kaner didn't say anything. His face was red and he looked as sad as ever. He walked to the couch solemnly and slouched in the middle of it. "Stupid...." He mumbled as he leaned forward and let his head rest on his hands.
"Kaner, what's wrong?" I sat down next to him and put a hand on his shoulder. Nick sat on the other side of him while Jon walked into Pat's bedroom to inspect the source of the thud. He returned with a broken picture frame which he brought to the kitchen trash can. "Are you okay?"
Pat couldn't look at me, no matter how hard I tried to get his attention. "Talk." Nick commanded firmly.
Kaner turned and glared at Nick and heaved a frustrated sigh. "At the Christmas dinner last night....it was kind of a party and.... Carcillo invited a couple girls over and..." His voice trailed off as he gripped his hair tighter until his knuckles went white.
"Pat...PAT!" I gripped him by the shoulders until he came back to Earth. "What did you do?!" I screamed into his face. He removed his hands from his face and gave me a pitiful frown.
"I slept with one of them... we were all drunk and-" he began to argue his point when I stood up.
I shook my head, glaring down at him. "You-you don't get it do you. She was really starting to like you-"
Pat stood up. "We are not dating! We both agreed that it wasn't-"
"It wasn't what? Anything more than sex? I know, I get it... but I think she really has feelings for you now, I could tell. And-and if you're stupid enough not to find out if you both have maintained the same feelings up to this point then- you're the sickest man I've ever seen." I spat, furiously.
He growled, "Ellie, it's not what you think at all. We're not dating, it's not happening... it's not my fault she started getting too attached."
"You know what I think? You started liking her too. But you hate the idea of being tied down and you're scared shit-less. Big-bad-hockey-player Kane is scared of commitment to anything other than a hockey stick and a puck, boohoo. Well guess what, you let a wonderful girl and you're best friend slip away because you can't tell her how you feel." I argued.
Pat shook his head. "You know that's not true! Stop twisting things around."
"Whatever... Just fix it. Not for you, but her." I dictated, my eyebrows coming together in concentration. He showed no sign of listening to my last comment. "Merry Christmas, asshole." I shook my head and waltzed out of the apartment without another word.
I didn't completely blame Pat for messing up the relationship, but I blame them both for not properly communicating what they wanted. I thought it was a given... When I got to the apartment, I couldn't find Logan at first. I checked the kitchen, the living room, my room, the bathroom, and eventually her room, but she was nowhere in sight. After some deep sleuthing, I found a trail of tissues by the sliding glass door in her room. She walked out onto the balcony, let her legs dangle off, and she sat there sniffling into some tissues as she looked at the Chicago traffic and sky scrapers.
"Hey..." I sighed. Logan quickly looked away and wiped her tears at the sound of my voice. I slid next to her and let my feet hang over the ledge as well. It's a beautiful view, aside from the smell of smog.
She coughed, "Uh, hey... hey, what's up?"
I shrugged. "You know... Christmas and all... the jolly holiday where you can break girls hearts, scream at your best friend, and chill on a freezing balcony all in one day." I joked quietly, attempting to lighten the mood. I dragged the comforter from her bed and wrapped it around her shivering shoulders. I never understood why she did this, but Logan had a thing where she forced herself into the cold because she 'liked it'. Go figure.
Logan giggled, "Ho ho ho. So much cheer. Oh no, kids, Santa's cheating on Mrs. Clause with one of the elves..." I rested my head on her shoulder, waiting for her to speak again. "I like him and hate him at the same time. I don't get it... I can't stand it. I physically can't."
We sat there for a minute in silence. "You know, I secretly think you two are perfect for one another. I have since we were kids, but I didn't want to say anything." I confessed.
She scoffed. "Yeah.... perfectly insane. Sex and fights, what a relationship."
"Why didn't you tell him that you started to grow feelings for him?" I questioned, ignoring the sarcasm. Logan rolled her eyes. "I'm serious..."
She looked down at me. "Ellie, when was the last time I had a boyfriend?" I didn't answer. "Exactly. I haven't done this in a while... I don't know if I want to be with him.. especially if he still wants other girls... it's stupid for me to try and be with him when I'm the same way too I just-I.... I can't be with him.... that way because I'll want him the other way and vice versa so.... maybe I shouldn't be with him at all."
"Right... just cut him off. No Patrick Kane ever. I mean, forget that one time when Billy Kaigh broke up with you in high school for another girl and he kicked the crap out of him. Or the other time he taught you how to take a wrist shot. Or that one time when he skipped practice to come and watch your play, opening night, because you were nervous and couldn't bare performing without a familiar face in the crowd. That pompous jackass! How dare he-" I rambled with a grin.
She nudged me. "Alright, alright, I get it. But what am I supposed to-"
"Talk to him.... he was really upset when you left... partially because I screamed at him with one of my famous rants... but he sincerely feels bad. Plus, I know Nick is going to kill him-"
"Fuck!" Logan sprang to her feet and took out her phone. I watched her dial as the phone went to Nick's voicemail. "Fuck! He's going to murder Kaner!!" She dialed again until she heard a click. "Hello? Nick, don't you dare touch Pat or I will personally kill you. It's not all his fault and-"
Logan seemed scared as she stared at me. I stood up and mouthed the word 'What?'. Logan put a hand on her mouth and moved the receiver away as she groaned. "Pat... I- that was for- it-... hi." I heard a couple mumbles over the phone as Pat rambled on. "Uh... I'll talk to you- this is not-..... uhm... okay. sure....bye."
"What just happened?" I asked.
Logan sighed, slumping down to her seat. "I hate you... I called Jon's apartment in the hopes that he would keep Pat alive only to hear Patrick answer... He said he's coming over so we can talk it out... Now."
"Great. You going to be okay?"
She nodded. "This whole situation is stupid... I can't believe...." She started laughing and I stared at her until she stopped, which was forever. "Ellie, I want to date Patrick Kane... what the fuck?!" Logan stood up and leaned over the balcony. She threw her head back and screamed, "I want to date Patrick Kane!"
"Me too!" an unknown girl on the ground cheered back. Logan and I fell back cackling at the occurrence. "What did you just get yourself into?" I inquired.
She shook her head. "I have no idea. It's probably a phase... I'm nervous, but it could be really good. We'll have to see..."
Within minutes, Pat was knocking on the door. I had to admit, I was a bit jealous of them both because they solved their problems a lot quicker than Jon and I, us who wait a week before even acknowledging each other.
At the knock, I put Logan's comforter back on her bed as she cleaned up the tissues. Then, the two of us went into the living room. I sat on the couch with a magazine while Logan opened the door. "Uh... hey there." she sighed awkwardly. I glanced up to see Logan blushing a little as Pat walked in.
"Hey, Loge... hey Ellie." Pat avoided my eyes and looked to Logan. I noticed he has a beautiful black eye shining proudly on his face. Fifty bucks says Nick gave him a late Christmas present to the face. "Right so... can we talk?"
She nodded and closed the door. "Yeah... Come on..." She lead him into her room and Pat followed wordlessly.
I smirked as I tossed the random magazine to the floor and jogged into my room. I sat down on my bed and played around on my laptop, quietly listening to their conversation. I heard a lot of Kaner talking, and Logan listening. I couldn't hear much, but it didn't sound bad. Jon texted me and asked if they made up yet. I agreed to keep him updated.
Eventually, Logan was talking and laughing until I heard a couple quick footsteps. There was more giggling and laughing for a couple minutes followed by the sound of Logan's bed spring recoiling obnoxiously. It was at this point that I realized what was going on. "OH GOD!" I squealed. "Not again!" I walked over and banged on the wall. "Knock it off or get the fuck out!"
Logan and Kaner fell silent for a moment. Pat called back with a muffled voice. "You get the fuck out!" he chuckled, banging back on the wall. Logan giggled in response.
"You guys promised!" I growled, hitting the wall in between words.
Logan whined, "We just made up!"
"You both suck." I groaned as I fled my own apartment.
The two decided that they were not officially dating... just fuck buddies...exclusive ones. Their words, not mine. Logan seemed okay with is, I guess since the boundaries were officially set. I didn't understand it, but I didn't very much care either, as long as they were both happy and not fighting. Jon and I hung out that day because I could not stand being in the apartment when they were still 'making up'.
About a week passed when I finally got a present from my parents in the mail. It was a Flyers Sweatshirt and a picture of my dad with Jaromir Jagr. Apparently, my parents drove out to Philly for a game recently and their car broke down driving out of the parking lot. Mr. Jagr was the last player to leave, so he helped to re-start their car. Mom also got her jersey signed by him which I thought was even more amazing.
Jon, of course, was not impressed when I told him. However, he was interested in the letter I got. Basically, Logan and Nick had ratted me out when they saw my parents and told them that I had a boyfriend; well, this just wouldn't do, to my mother at least. She requested meeting him some time soon.
I groaned at the letter. "Is it that insane that someone would be interested in meeting me?" he teased as I slouched on my couch.
"No... its more that she's going to take things too far." I sighed. Jon plopped next to me. "She'll start asking when we're moving in, how serious we are... that stuff."
Jon smirked and shook his head. "So?"
"It's annoying, and weird... she just wants me to get married like right now for whatever reason and it's kind of bizarre." I explained.
He nodded and laughed. "Ahh I see. She's one of those moms."
"She's really not that bad, just... obnoxious to me about it. She'd never ask you about it upfront." I insisted.
"Well, I think I can handle her. We should drive back to your folks place one day.... you know, when we're both free." he chuckled. I nodded and sighed as I rested my eyes shut. "Alright, you coming with to the practice?" I nodded as he lightly brought me to my feet and led me to the door.
The practice was good. All the guys were looking great and ready to play. That night, they were playing against the Winnipeg Jets and everyone was pumped for the first game back from Christmas vacation. Therefore, it made sense that the team would be working extra hard to get back into the swing of things.
However, it didn't make sense to me why most of them were ganging up on Jon. It wasn't super aggressive, but they would go out of their way to bump him and a couple like Stalberg and Keith playfully dropped the gloves with him. Although Jon was smiling, I could see part of him was annoyed about it, but I couldn't figure out why.
When I stood outside the locker room, however, waiting for Jon, I realized what it was. Stalberg came strolling out early, as usual, when he noticed me. "Hey, Hawks, what's up?" he asked as he walked over with a smile. "I should have known you'd be down here."
"What's that supposed to mean?" I scoffed as he gave me a tight hug. "Should I not be hanging around here?" I crossed my arms over my chest skeptically.
Viktor smirked. "I didn't mean it like that but- Well.... Jon's been.... you and him-you're pretty close-"
"Well, we're dating, So..." I started, confused.
He shook his head. "Yeah which is great and all but... the guys haven't seen much of Jon since you've been together and-I'm not saying it's your fault! It's just, well, the guys are messing with him for it-"
I cocked my head to the side. "Oh, yeah, including you, right?" I scoffed, rolling my eyes.
"Ellie, it's part of my nature. That's like asking the president not to run the country. It's kind of my thing." he insisted with a charming smile.
I waved a hand, forgiving him for his silly ways. It's not easy to say no to the Stalberg charm. "Fair enough... "
"But, we're just joking with him, because he's... well, he's whipped." He blurted out blatantly. "And it's pretty obvious, but I'm glad he's whipped to you and not some other chick." Viktor added brightly as he saw my expression. He patted me on the shoulder, gave it a tight squeeze, and then walked down the hallway as if the conversation had never happened.
I sat there in the hall, gaping at the empty red and white wall in front of me. "You've got to be kidding me." I shook my head in disbelief as I walked down the hall, following the same path as Stalberg. I went outside and sat by Jon's car, waiting for him.
I didn't want to make things worse for Jon, especially before a big game, so I sat by the truck silently as all the players filed out. They looked at me, smiled, and waved, as they passed by, a couple with know-it-all glances. I ignored this until Jon finally came out.
"Hey, why are you waiting out here?" he asked as we hopped in the car.
I shrugged. "I don't know, just.... wanted some fresh air."
"It's freezing," he chuckled, "fresh air or not. Besides, I miss seeing you come into the locker room." He leaned over and gave me a peck on the cheek before he started the car and drove out of the parking lot.
"Really?" I asked, confused. He nodded with a smirk as we drove down the crowded streets. "I...."
"Practice was really good, wasn't it?" he wondered. I nodded. "I feel great. It's going to be a great game, whether we win or lose, you know? Everyone is just in a great mood."
I laughed a little too excitedly. "Even you?"
"Yeah, I'm so pumped." He insisted.
With that, I left it alone until we were in the car on the way to the game after Jon's nap. "You ready?"
"Ready as I'll ever be." he chuckled. "You okay?"
I nodded. "Yeah, I just have a quick question for you."
I looked at Jon as he parked the car and turned it off. "Uh... are you annoyed with the guys making fun of you?" I questioned. Jon gave me a perplexed expression as he turned to face me. He opened his mouth but I cut him off. "I don't know, I just saw the guys teasing you more than usual today, and I heard that they're calling you whipped and since you really didn't like 'Captain Serious' I thought you would be getting upset-" I rambled
Jon beamed down at me. "Why are you smiling? This isn't supposed to be funny!" Really? Of all times this is when Serious himself chooses not to be serious?
"Is that why you stood outside today?" he pushed. I rolled my eyes as if that answered the question. "Ellie, the guys are being stupid. It's not a big deal. They'll get over it."
I shook my head. "That's not the point. Do you miss hanging out with the guys? We've been hanging out a lot and you haven't had much time to see your other friends and I feel bad! I don't want to be that girl that-"
Jon leaned over closer and planted his lips onto mine. I didn't kiss him back at all, but I did enjoy it. Eventually when he pulled away, I glared at him. "Why do guys think that they can fix everything with a kiss? The problem is still-" He repeated the process and I relented, allowing myself to actually enjoy it this time. "Okay that did help...."
He grinned at me and gripped my hand in his, pulling me closer. He chuckled and gave me a peck on the cheek. "Ellie, I love you." he sighed.
The words echoed through my brain for about a minute before I could finally process them. He sat there waiting for me to respond for about a minute while I just stared at him, and all I could come up with was a lousy, "What did you say?"
"I love you."
My mouth hung open. Just say it back. It's simple, like three words! Move your mouth, you idiot! My brain revolted against me as I stood there, as still as a statue. "I-I.... you what?" Jon looked at me cautiously as he let my hand drop. "Did you-you can't.... Jon I-" I sputtered. With that, I got out of the car.
Jon followed suit as we walked through the parking lot. "Ellie-wait!"
"You-you can't just say that to a person that- that's not okay I mean... it's been a month now! That's-that's not long enough to-to-to say things like-" I rambled as I began walking faster down the parking lot.
He grabbed onto my arm and tried to stop me, but I yanked free. "It's almost two months and it's not that difficult to understand. You either love me or you don't"
"I need time to think-" I began. I thought I loved him at one point. I loved him as a friend for sure but like... love love? Still... I couldn't believe he was saying it. It was too early in the relationship. It freaked me out! Also, call me crazy, but all I could see was Jon saying the same words to Diane... and I wasn't ready to be another one of her, especially if it included us breaking up. Amazing how she's out of our lives and still mucking things up...
Jon scowled under his breath as we approached the doors. "You shouldn't have to-!" he boomed. Just then, a worker was passing by and he lowered his voice. "You shouldn't have to think. You should... you should just know."
"This isn't exactly when I thought you would say this... Well, I-these-are you sure? I mean- I drool in my sleep and I... I obviously have trouble communicating emotions and... let's be real, I couldn't play hockey if my life depended on it, and I always leave the house a mess and-" I spat angrily. We were then arguing inside the United Center, just down the hall from the offices, the locker rooms and the elevator leading to the seats.
Jon shook his head and glared at me. I don't think I had ever seen him that upset. It wasn't even a serious face but a fuming one, like a bomb that was moments away from detonating. "Elizabeth Bennett.... I know you don't like talking about this stuff... but now you're toying with my feelings... it's a question with one of two answers. Do you love me?"
I opened my mouth to respond when Hjalmarsson and Frolik were coming through the hallway. They were all smiles, obviously excited for the game, and when they saw Jon, their smiles widened. "Ready for the game?" Hjalmarsson asked.
Frolik patted Jon on the shoulder and tugged him down the hall. with a grin. Jon didn't even budge at the motion. His eyes were trained on me. Frolik and Hjalmarsson turned to me and waited for me to say something, probably something to get Jon to go with them. Of all things I could have done, I blushed, looked down at my feet, and told them, "Have a good game guys."
Jon shook his head and shook off Frolik as he stormed passed them. The two of them looked at me quizzically, but I just gave them a shaky smile and hurried down the hall to the elevator, unable to endure their scrutiny any longer.
When I eventually joined Logan and the other women in our seats, Logan immediately asked to see me in the hallway, assuming she could see past my attempted composure. I sat in the nearly empty hallway, as most people were inside, watching the boys warm up for the game, and took several deep breaths before I told my story. Logan just frowned at me. "Don't give me that look! It was early! Wasn't it early?"
"That's no excuse! You told me you loved him!" she argued as she crossed her arms. I shrugged. "Ellie, you do, don't you?"
I shrugged. "I don't want to get so serious so fast and those are some serious words."
"Oh, people say them all the time now." she waved me off as if it was nothing.
I gaped at her. "Well, they still mean a lot to me and when I say them, I want to be one-hundred percent behind them. It just seems like a huge step..."
"Well, then you should have said that! Anything would have been better than 'I drool in my sleep...'" she teased with a grin. I growled and punched her in the shoulder. "I don't know what it is, but you're so different with him it's strange. You're all of a sudden very scared of commitment, which you haven't been before. It's like you're waiting for him to hurt you or something."
I looked at her for a second and thought about it as critically as I could. "Maybe, it's because he's such a great guy that... I'm waiting to find something wrong with him, so I'm finding fault in everything I can."
"That's deep.... I was just going to say you developed commitment issues, but that works too. Besides, it would explain the past month of issues you two have had." she laughed. I rolled my eyes. "Well, yet again, you have to fix it... so do you know what you're going to do?"
I nodded. "I'll fix it... I'll tell him the truth and I'll try and suppress these stupid patterns of blaming him for stupid shit that doesn't really exist."
"Fair enough... but in the meantime, let's go watch the game." she concluded as we walked back into the box.
Jon's game was more aggressive than usual, noticeably so; the wives asked me if I fed him steroids recently but I promptly debunked the theory. There was no scoring for the first period. Towards the end of it, I had to report downstairs to do the intermission report and then stick around until the end of the game in order to finish the segment. Eric and Mike were nice enough to let me sit with the ladies the first period once they found out about Jon and I becoming an item.
I had difficulty focusing during the intermission. I ended up repeating myself a couple of times and my co-anchor had to keep me on track. Judd Sirott asked me if I was okay during a commercial and told me to calm down for the last minutes of the intermission. I tried my hardest to provide the best information I could. I gave my own little prediction of the end of the game, which is unimportant considering what happened shortly after...
Judd and I went to our usual seats and watched the game excitedly. Shaw scored in the first five minutes of the period, setting the hawks up with some momentum. Everyone was playing a lot better starting then. Unfortunately, the Jets were playing hard too. They started throwing everything they could at the Blackhawks until they finally scored a goal; Evander Kane took a slapshot and scored miraculously within seconds before the period ended.
Judd and I set up the period enthusiastically, insisting that it was going to be a head to head battle until the end with these two teams. We mentioned some characters that were surprisingly more aggressive this game, like Toews and Evander. The intermission ended with us reminding the audience that if they wanted to see some intense hockey, then they shouldn't change the channel.
The third period changed everything in a flash. It's sad to think I could only watch Jon, but it was true. He was railroading people like it was his job, and it most certainly wasn't. I was shocked and nervous. I immediately thought the worst, as is my habit.
As if to confirm all my fears and worst nightmares, Jon was getting a little too physical with Blake Wheeler of the Jets. The two of them were circling each other and the crowd was screaming for a fight. I stood up instinctively and prayed Jon wouldn't do anything. He wiggled his hands, ready for the gloves to drop. Thankfully, for whatever reason, he stopped, gripped his fists tighter, and skated away, his teeth gritted. I heaved a sigh of relief as Wheeler called after him, saying God knows what, and the ref interrupted him.
My peace of mind didn't last very long, however. The third period was coming to a close with only five minutes left. Jon and Wheeler had been bugging each other non-stop for the rest of the period. Finally, after a face off, which Jon won, Kaner got the puck, passed it back to Jon when he was open, and Wheeler was ready to ruin it. As soon as the puck hit Jon's stick, Wheeler rammed into Jon full force, and stapled him to the boards.
Time slowed down as Jon fell back, tried to bracing himself with his arms, and ultimately, hit his head on the ice. He sluggishly squirmed for a moment, trying to get up quickly, but immediately fell back and rested on the cold surface, gripping his head. I moved off my seat and inched towards the ice as if I could touch him and alleviate the pain. The ref blew the whistle and men slowly jogged to help Jon. He slowly got to his feet on his own, attempting to shove away the trainers at first. Eventually, after he dizzily tripped forward, he relented and nearly collapsed in their arms.
I was halfway down the hallway to the elevator when I bumped into Eric. I must have blathered something that made sense, but everything was blurred, even the sound of my own voice. He nodded and patted me on the back, leading me down the elevator to the parking lot. "He'll be okay. Judd will finish the post-game. I completely understand."
I said something about how I had to see Jon but Eric just shook his head trying to calm me down. I didn't feel that nervous about it, in fact, I was numb to everything, or so it seemed. I remember saying "At least he didn't fight...." Eric laughed at this. I didn't think it was all that funny, especially since I didn't know how Jon was doing; it wasn't something to joke about, obviously, yet here I was, speaking so casually about the situation. I don't think I believed it was real.
I walked to my car only to have Eric direct me towards his. I couldn't imagine any other job where my boss would drive me to see my injured boyfriend except this one... "I don't trust you driving right now. You realize you're shaking." I looked down at my arms, but they seemed normal to me. "I am not...." I argued.
Eric put his arm up to mine and I noticed the difference. "I beg to differ. We'll meet him at the hospital, okay?" I nodded as I sat in his car. I gazed out the window, immediately imagining the worst about Jon as my mind played cruel tricks on me. I felt Eric nudge me and watched his mouth move, but I heard nothing. He nudged me again and brought me back to Earth. "Is something wrong with you two? You were messing up horribly during the first intermission." he commented.
I nodded. "Yeah, we had a fight earlier and he basically- you know, it doesn't matter now. I don't care about it anymore... Just as long as he's okay."
"He will be. If he is able to fight with the medical staff, he's okay." Eric chuckled. I shook my head, not allowing myself to believe it until I saw it. Still, I couldn't help but smirk; Jon would argue with the medical staff that he's fine as he staggers by.
The hospital gave me chills as I entered. It was literally chilly. There were a couple news cars sitting outside, waiting for a sign of anyone who could give them some info on the Toews situation. To be honest, I was still somewhat shocked to see everyone show up so fast. I even saw Dean, accompanied by Kenny. Dean smiled and waved, Kenny glared at me furiously. I waved nervously to Dean and gave a strained smile to Kenny. Anything was better than crying in front of a bunch of guys I didn't know. Eric held my shoulder and led me into through the Emergency Room. "Excuse me, where's Jonathan Toews?" Eric asked the lady by one of the main desks in the room.
She looked up, ready to argue but stopped for a moment. She glared at me and at Eric for a moment or two. "What... you're his friend.... and his girlfriend?" We nodded. "No one that isn't family is allowed to see him right now. Besides, the doctor is still running a few tests and it could take a while before he is brought to his room."
"When can we see him?" I pushed, leaning toward the desk and away from Eric. The lady glanced at me like I was crazy and began tapping away on the computer. "LIsten lady, this is serious! I-"
The nurse stood up and met my face over the counter. "You listen. I have no way to prove that you are affiliated with Mr. Toews. For all I know, you could be the press. So, until Jon is in his room and can confirm your relationship, you'll have to wait."
My face got hotter by the second as her snarky tone pounded through my head. My hands involuntarily turned to fists and I finally noticed my shaking yet again. I opened my mouth, ready to protest when Eric grabbed me by the shoulders. He thanked the woman and yanked me away to the seats that filled the room. "Calm down."
"You calm down!" I shot angrily as I plopped in the seat next to him. "This shouldn't be allowed."
Eric shrugged. "He is a professional athlete. The hospital has to promise a certain amount of privacy to avoid lawsuits and such.... It's protocol. We'll be able to see him in an hour or so at the latest. Besides, hopefully, Stan will come and be able to clear things up."
"Stan?" I questioned.
"Blackhawks GM. They'll listen to him. Anyways..." Eric reached over and picked up a magazine on the table next to him. He handed it to me. "Read... relax... wait."
I stared at the magazine in disgust and repeated the look towards Eric. I snatched the magazine and swatted him in the head. It was at this point that I realized I just hit my boss over the head with a magazine... He gasped at me. "I can't believe-I.... I'm so sorry!" I apologized nervously. What is wrong with me?!
He smirked and shook his head. "It's okay.. just try and calm down a little?"
I nodded and looked the magazine over. "I'll try.... I've never been in this position though..." I sighed as I forced myself through the pages about Ryan Reynolds and Megan Fox. I skimmed the pages, not reading anything for more than two seconds.
About ten minutes after I began reading the magazine, Logan barged in. She skipped to the desk and was soon pointed in our direction. I stood to my feet as Logan ran to me and gave me a tight squeeze. "Is he okay? Do they know what's wrong?" she asked quietly into my ear.
I pulled away and shook my head. Sitting down, I patted the seat next to me and she sat down. "They won't tell us anything and we can't see him... so we're waiting. Where are the boys?" I was referring to Nick and Pat whom I expected to be there with Logan.
"Probably not going to come... Nick told me he and the rest of the team aren't supposed to see Jon injured. Staff thinks it'll psych them out or take their focus off from the game." she explained. "But he wants a full report as soon as we find anything."
I nodded. "Makes sense."
"So... waiting." Logan sighed. She awkwardly leaned back in her chair and rested her hands on her stomach. "I can do that... just sitting... and waiting...." Logan almost whispered. Eric chucked a magazine at her, hoping to ease her excited-ness. "Ooh! One Direction!" she cheered. I rolled my eyes and snatched the magazine from her fingers, switching it with mine. "Ugh...thanks a lot, Ellie."
What seemed like hours passed until we finally gave in to the insane silence that seemed to surround us as we waited. I stood up and marched over to the nurse, upset and ready to burst at any moment. "Hey, so that Jon kid, yeah, can I see him now?" I interrogated.
The nurse rolled her eyes and made a few clicks on the computer. She eventually looked to me and gave me a fake smile, cheesy as ever. "He's been moved to level 4, recovery. Feel free to go visit him. He's room 17. Don't get mad at me if you're stopped by the people blocking the door though... have a nice night."
The three of us traveled up a few floors and walked out of the elevator. It wasn't difficult to find Jon's door because there were two of the athletic trainers/medical staff from the Blackhawks standing at the door. We casually walked up and moved to enter, but even they stopped us, and they knew us!
"You can't see Jon just yet..." one of them said.
Logan stepped in front of them and crossed her arms over her chest. "And why not, gentlemen?"
The other continued, "The doctor said no visitors for a while... he's still checking up on him at the moment."
"Well, we've waited quite a long time. Is there anyway we could get in there." Eric pleaded calmly, lightly brushing Logan and her abrasive-ness away from the men.
They looked at each other and shook their heads. "Well I'm going in whether you let me or not. So... are you going to move willingly or do I have to force you?" I asked angrily.
They glared at me and huffed. "I don't think so."
"Fine! We'll do this the hard way." I snarled. I stomped forward and sat between them. I turned to one and pushed against him with all my weight. "I'm warning you!" He didn't budge. "I take Zumba classes!" I did the same to the other, stacking my feet against the base of the first man. "Oh, come on, please?" I whined after giving up. the two of them laughed heartily as i slumped against the door.
Just then, there was a knock and the three of us backed away. One of the men opened the door and the doctor came out. "I-oh uh.. hello... you must be friends of Mr. T-"
"Can we see him?" Logan interjected.
The poor man adjusted his glasses and coughed awkwardly, nervous as ever. "Uh... well, yes... but please do not overwhelm him. He's having trouble focusing so I think it would be safer to go in one at a time, for his sake." he elaborated quietly. The doctor calmly walked back inside the room, waiting for someone to follow.
I was in the middle of turning around to ask Logan and Eric if I could go first when I felt Logan thrust a hand onto my back. She shoved me in through the doorway and shut it quickly behind her, careful not to make a loud enough noise to disrupt Jon. I glared back at the door as if she could see me. She probably knew I was glaring anyways. She and Eric quietly stumbled through the door after me, mostly because Eric forced his way in. I, however, hardly noticed this. I just stared at Jon.
How the hell did I get myself into this.... how?! I thought this over and over again as I gazed down at the man in the hospital bed. Huge, buff, with a scar on his head, this man did not appear to be the type to end up in a hospital bed without a good fight. How? How! Handsome, of course. So handsome, that nearly anyone could fall in love. Strongly chiseled features, chocolate brown eyes (which were shut at the time) dark brown, nearly black hair, and a slightly boyish face (aside from the gaping scar which was highly noticeable). His dark pools that one could call eyes sluggishly fluttered open, and as they glanced about the room, examining each of the faces, they came to rest on me.... I was more than thankful to see his eyes open and staring. The idea of him being unconscious terrifies me.
Logan smiled and walked over to him. She patted him on the shoulder. "Hey, how you doing buddy?" He smirked and shrugged slowly.
"Took a nasty hit." added Eric as he moved closer to the bed. "Glad you're doing well though."
Jon nodded and smiled at Eric. "Yeah... well." he chortled gruffly. Jon looked at the two of them and he soon returned his attention to me. I didn't know what to say, especially in the presence of other people. If I had trouble expressing emotions alone with my boyfriend, how was I supposed to talk about it in front of a party of four? As if reading my mind, Jon began, "Uh... guys.... could you-"Logan got the hint immediately, seeing my distraught expression. "Uh... hey, Eric... let's go see if we can find everybody something to eat, hmm?"
"Sounds like a great idea. We'll be back." he insisted as the two of them walked towards the exit.
The doctor, who was scribbling something down, was suddenly yanked at the elbow by Logan towards the door. "That means you too, Doc." she reminded as they neared the exit."Uh-I'll be right outside... five minutes and I have to-" he was stuttering as the door shut behind him.
I focused on the closed door for a moment before coming back to Jon; he was lying on the bed and he had that huge cut on his head. It matched mine. It was stitched up nicely, but he had a couple other bruises on his arms. Jon rolled his head around and looked at me. He smiled, eyes drooping a bit from fatigue.
I gave a small, awkward smile back. "Uh... thanks for not fighting." Jon just nodded. He stayed silent. Whether he was too tired to speak, he didn't have anything to say, or he just liked watching me squirm through my words, I had no idea. "It scared the shit out of me... thought you were really going to fight him... f-for a second."
"Well, I didn't. I remember how upset you got that one day... I was mad, but I would have felt horrible about it... especially if I really got hit..." he laughed. I slowly moved closer to him. I stood by his bed and rested my hands on the cushion. I looked down at my hands and played with them, unaware of what I should stay. "How bad do I look?" he teased.
I glanced up at him to see him grinning. Amazing. Not an hour ago, he was mad at me, and now, he was trying to ease my nerves like everything was peachy keen. "You look fine... great even... better than I was imagining-" I sighed. I didn't exactly know- no, I didn't want to say what I was actually thinking, so I didn't say anything at all.
"Then why won't you look at me?" he questioned. I looked at him and smiled, humoring him. "You know what I mean... were you worried?" I nodded quietly, averting my eyes again. I was extremely relieved to see him living and breathing like a normal human being, and joking for that matter. I wanted to tell him that. I wanted to tell him that I was worried sick and I wouldn't know what to do if he was more seriously injured. I wanted to tell him that the last two hours were the worst two hours of my life and they had been resolved in the mere seconds it took for me to see his smiling face.
I started crying. Like the earlier part of the night, I didn't feel it or notice. Jon did, of course, so he sat up, straining painfully, and wiped a tear away. I grabbed his hand and held it there. "Don't... don't hurt yourself." I insisted. I tried to push him back, but his hand just gripped mine tighter.
"I'm fine..." he sighed with a reassuring smirk. I shook my head and started crying harder. "Come on, Chief, don't. I'm okay! See." He waved his arms goofily and put his hands on my shoulders. "Please don't cry... I didn't fight and I'm not too badly hurt so.... everything is okay, right? Please-"
I gave in and flung myself into his arms. Jon groaned a little from the pain and gasped as if I had knocked the wind out of him. "I love you." I whispered quietly, hoping it would convey everything I was thinking and feeling at the time. Jon's grip on my grew considerably tighter. "I thought I was going to miss my chance to say it, forever."
We sat like that for a while. I think Jon was letting the words sink in. I hoped that he knew how many thoughts and feelings I was really putting behind the three simple words. I prayed that it was enough.
"I'd put myself in the hospital like this every week for the rest of my life if it meant you would say those words...finally" he breathed back. I smacked him lightly and he moaned. "Ouch-still sore."
I giggled, "Don't joke about that stuff. I would say those words to you all day, everyday if it meant keeping you out of this place."
Jon shook his head and laughed, "It's not going to happen either way.... You're not just saying it to make me feel better, right?" He pulled away, locking eyes with me, searching for a hint of a lie or fib. I glared back.
"No, of course not, you asshole. And if you ever scare me like that again..." I hissed, wiping my face and smearing some makeup around. Jon leaned over and gave me a hard kiss, pulling me closer yet again.
He chuckled and smiled as he sat back on the bed. "You feel any better?" he asked.
I shrugged. "I should be asking you that. You were hit pretty bad...." I leaned over and touched the stitching carefully. He stared at me, not even flinching as I began probing the other bruises he'd obtained.
"What are you thinking?" he questioned.
I dropped my hand and joked, "Your scar is pretty sexy."
"Oh yeah?" Jon chuckled. "So is yours..." He reached forward and touched my forehead. I forgot about the stitches, mostly because they had dissolved on their own. I didn't want to know what my scar looked like.
I nodded and gave it a light peck. "Is your head okay? Your arms?"
Jon nodded and sighed. "I have a concussion... and my arms are fine, just some bruises."
"Well... how bad is it?" I asked.
He frowned and laid back. "They said minor... but only time will tell."
"Does it hurt?" I questioned.
Jon gave me a strange face, I couldn't quite explain what it was. "Like a bitch. I'm super sensitive to light and I have a massive headache. It sucks."
"Well... when can you come home?" I asked, pouting as the bad news mounted higher and higher.
Jon smirked. "Tomorrow."
"Why are you smiling?" I inquired.
He shrugged. "I like you being here. Last time I was here, Kaner came, but that was because we were having a bye week so there were no games. And the time before that, it was just me..."
I pulled a chair up next to him and leaned forward. "Well, I'm going to stay the night and make sure you're okay. I'll take you home tomorrow and get you settled."
Jon rolled his eyes and teased, "Gee, thanks mom. Are you going to tuck me in too?"
I glared at him. "Well, you can't drive and Kaner is obviously not going to be waiting on you hand and foot, right?"
"Are you going to wait on me hand and foot?" he chuckled. I smirked and shook my head. "That's what I thought."
I shrugged. "I'll still help out when I can." i insisted.
"Thanks, I appreciate it." he thanked. Jon yawned and stretched his arms over his head.
I asked, "You sleepy?" he nodded. "Well, I think the doctor wants to see you before you drift off." I moved to leave and open the door. Jon whimpered in response and I turned to see him frowning like a little kid, staring at me. I walked back to him and gripped his hand. "Hey... I'm here, and it's just a couple minutes, okay?" I leaned down at kissed his forehead lightly.
"Ugh. Stay with me... forever." he laughed, letting his head fall back on his pillow.
I grinned "I'm not going anywhere."
Thanks for the kind comments everyone! Hope you ejoyed the story! Is anyone interested in me putting up the epilogue? It's really very short, but it's up to you guys. Thanks again for reading!