Here To Stay
We waved as we retreated into the parking lot and hopped into my car. "So... what did Nick say about the job situation?" I questioned as soon as I started the car. Logan only glared at me until we started driving down the street. "You are not mad at me!"
"Why wouldn't I be?! I thought we agreed that I would tell him at the game!" she groaned with a frown, sliding down slightly in her seat. She stared out at the road, shunning me. No surprise there. Still the same Logan, I guess.
I rolled my eyes. "Don't be dramatic. Obviously, you guys worked it out. Besides, now you have it over with, and you don't have to worry about it anymore." She continued to give me the cold shoulder. "In my defense, you brought up my crush on Jon! Which I don't have anymore, by the way."
"Bull shit! Who are you fooling? I know you were nervous because you like him. You were the same around Kane after he made it to the NHL. Bull..." she argued enthusiastically, as she threw her hands in the air. All I could do is cackle in response. Me? Like an emotionless robot, like Toews? Yeah right, in what world?
"You're hilarious." I confirmed after I finally calmed down. After winding through various city streets in silence, I reached my apartment and pulled into the garage. Once the car was off, the two of us sat quietly next to one another. I knew what was coming. "I'm sorry." I huffed gruffly.
Logan nodded and replied, "Me too... And, Nick and I are fine. He told me he could try to get me a job at the United Center, if I was willing to really work hard at it, so we'll see."
"Wow! That's exciting! What do you think you would do?"
She sighed, "Probably something in customer services. What I really hope for, is helping out with marketing for the hawks."
We headed up to my apartment, ready to crash as soon as we stepped inside. "Hey, you never know, the guys may be able to pull some strings. You'll have to wait, and see. But... no reason to stay up worrying about it... I'm beat, and I have work in the morning, so I'm heading to bed." I rambled, wondering if half of what I thought I said actually made it out of my mouth in coherent sentences.
Logan just gave me a small salute as she retreated into my guest bedroom, closing the door behind her. As I slipped of my dress and kicked my heels to the closet, I heard my phone buzz against the walls of my purse. Debating whether I really wanted to check it or not, I gripped my purse in my hand. Curiosity got the better of me (but I wish it didn't), and I plucked the cell from my bag.
I unlocked my phone to see that I had a new text from Pat, which immediately worried me. There was only a few reasons he would text me: to ask to hang out, to ask for a ride, to ask for food, or to make fun of me. Unfortunately, and unsurprisingly, it was the last reason.
Pat: Jon likes it rough. remember that next time you see him ;)
I furiously tapped away at the touch screen until an appropriate message was composed.
I sent back: Fuck you.
Simple, but to the point. As I changed into a random tee-shirt and some shorts, and put my bag away, I heard my phone vibrate, yet again.
Pat: you mean toews? :P
Me: Kaner! I will come over and beat the shit out of you!
I put my phone on my bedside table and prayed that he would go to sleep. I got under my covers, turned out the lamp on my bedside table, and closed my eyes as I got comfortable in my warm, comfy bed. As soon as my eyes shut, the phone's light illuminated the room, and it vibrated obnoxiously. I picked it up and groaned.
Pat: That's the spirit, beat Tazer like that and he'll be begging for more ;)
Me: Pat! Knock it off! I do NOT like him like that! I hardly know the guy...
Pat: You'll know him... I'll make sure of it... Night Ellie <3
If there was anyone I wanted to throw over a cliff, it would be Pat. Then again, at the same time, he can be a none-dick sometimes... especially when he makes people laugh while they are crying. Right now... I wouldn't mind seeing him fall down off a cliff.
The next day, I dropped Logan off at the United Center before work, so she could find out her mystery job. Thanks to Nick, the men at the gate between the regular parking lot and the back entrance to the stadium were expecting us. I let Logan out by one of the back entrances and sped away, fearing I would be late to work. On my way out, I almost hit a gigantic black SUV, only to realize that the jerky driver behind the wheel, was Jon. He made a wide turn, nearly coming into my lane. I honked, not understanding who it was, at first. But when he looked at me, he glared and drove by with a frown, as if it was my fault!
Grumbling when I got in late that morning, I didn't even bother to try and convince Mr. Doyle that my tardiness was nothing but lousy traffic getting in my way. "I don't know how it was in Philly, but here, in Chicago, we appreciate it when our employees are on time. Don't let it happen again," he scolded as he zoomed by, making sure all was running smoothly at the station.
By the time my makeup was done, I was shoved out in front of the cameras with Kenny. "Are you okay?" he wondered as I took my seat next to him.
I shuffled my papers in front of me and nodded sluggishly. "Yeah... Kind of. Tired. I was out a little too late last night."
Kenny's eyebrow raised a bit. He inquired, "Who with?" I knew exactly what he was implying.
"My friend Logan, and her brother." I sighed
If his eyebrow could arch any higher, it did. "Brother.... brother as in, who?" Protective? And we haven't even dated yet? That's so cute! Or... really obnoxious.... Whichever!
"Nick... Wright." I added. Kenny relaxed, as if to say I couldn't go out with someone as talented, smart, and perfect as Nick, which I probably couldn't... "He's basically like family to me." I could date someone like Nick if I wanted to! Hmph.
Kenny nodded enthusiastically, trying to make up for the invisible foot he had so casually shoved into his mouth. "That's pretty cool. Are you going to the game tonight? You should definitely try and get an interview, if he doesn't mind. I know you would do a better job than Cynthia could ever do!" he proposed excitedly.
I looked up, mulling it over. It was a good idea. I could get Kane and Nick to give me an interview... Maybe, if I did well, Max would be willing to reconsider my request to change fields from sports to news. Just as I was about to express my appreciation towards Kenny's brilliant idea, the cameraman was counting down backwards in that annoyingly loud voice he always uses, but actually doesn't have to.
The day was alright. Kenny and I ate lunch together, again, and we did our segment just fine. However, things started to plummet when Cynthia joined us at our table. "Hey guys! Good job today! Mind if I sit with you two?" she more told instead of asked, as she plopped in the seat next to Kenny. I suppressed a scowl as she scooted her chair closer to Kenny. "So, you guys going to watch the game tonight?"
"Yeah. Actually, Elizabeth is going to it!" Kenny interjected.
Cynthia brushed her blonde, perfect curls out of her face with a hair flip towards me. She beamed at me with her perfect smile and nearly screeched, "No way! That sounds like fun! I have never been to a hockey game..."
Kenny and I just stared at one another in awe. "What do you mean? You-you have to have been... You do interviews with the players! Don't you stay-" I rambled, completely shocked. How could she not take the chance to watch a perfectly good hockey game?! Especially when it's one of the best hockey teams in the league?! People... I don't understand them...
"No... I do before interviews and after interviews... and in between, I go across the street for some dinner. I don't need the tickets. Besides, Mr. Doyle doesn't mind not buying an extra ticket because it saves money, you know?" she replied matter-of-factly as she sprinkled carrots on her simple salad.
Kenny moved his soup aside and hit his head on the table repeatedly, emphasizing his disbelief. "Cynthia... why... what... how could..." I stuttered. She just rolled her eyes and took a bit of her salad.
"You are a sports reporter... and you don't go to the game. How?!" Kenny almost exploded as he lifted his head.
Cynthia shrugged as she munched on a crouton. "The camera guy goes and gets most of the information I need for the interview after the game." she explained.
I glanced at Kenny to see that he was seething with anger. About to throw up myself, I picked up my tray, tossed the remaining lunch in the trash, and went back to my makeup station to get ready for round two of my sports segment of the day. Now I can see why Kenny isn't attracted to Cynthia. Not only does she not know anything about her job, but she is just plain stupid. Free hockey tickets! Free! And she turns them down. Psycho? In a word, absolutely.
When I got home, I found Logan, face down on the couch. I put my jacket in the closet, dropped my bag in my room, and slipped off my shoes before racing into the living room to annoy the shit out of her. I sat on her and rested my feet on the coffee table, heaving a great sigh. Logan's only response was a moan. "Hi Loge.. I thought I was gong to come pick you up..." I sighed as she wiggled around. I hopped up and down, squishing her. I stood up and yelled, "Get up!"
"Why-hy-hy..." she whined as she sat up, hair a mess. "I hate my job." She looked up at me, eyelids drooping. Logan obviously had a rough day, because she always looks her best, unless she's sick.
"It was your first day!" I countered with a giggle. I squeezed onto the couch next to her.
Logan insisted, "So? It was the worst day! I am now the official retail assistant for the stadium. Basically... I go around to all the food and clothing vendors and make sure things are in stock and that everyone is doing their job."
"Logan! That's a great job! Do you know how long it would take for most people to get there? If Nick didn't put in a good word, you probably would have been working as a hot dog vendor! Be happy, ya' bum!" I reproached. Logan can do somethings really well, one of them being complaining.
She frowned and growled at me. "It's not what I love though. I would rather help develop designs for posters or clothing or something!" Logan rested her head on my shoulder and almost started crying.
"Oh... Loge.... Don't-don't cry. If you work hard, you'll get certain privileges, and I'm sure you can move over to advertising and designs." I assured her as I fixed her hair and pet her head lovingly.
She nearly sobbed, "But... I hate this. I-I-I work so hard, and I only get halfway to where I want to be!" Logan snatched a tissue from the table and wiped her eyes. As she blew her nose, I looked up at my wall of failure and had a sinking feeling in my stomach. I know exactly what you mean.
"You can't think like that. How do you think Nick became a hockey player? Also, if he thinks this job is right for you, then it is." I prodded as I stood up. Logan didn't respond, just sniffled. I reached for my several picture frames and slowly took them down. It was time for me to take my own advice. No more looking back on how I never fulfilled anything. It's time for me to go after what I want. Now.
"What are you doing?" Logan wondered as she tossed her tissue into the trash can by the couch. I carried the frames to my closet and piled them in an empty moving box. "Ellie?" she called as I closed the closet. "No!" She snatched the box and started hanging them up again. "I like these... they're like the evolution of Ellie... you don't know what's coming next." I just groaned, giving up on the idea altogether. "What's wrong?"
I shook my head. "Nothing. Come on, lets go to the game. It'll make you feel better. You don't have to work yet... do you?" I asked, hopeful.
She shook her head. "No, I don't technically start until the fifth game of the season. Their original retails assistant is retiring after that." I stared at Logan, waiting for a sign that she was okay. She rubbed her eyes and smiled. "Alright, let's go watch the hawks kick some ass."
"Feeling better?" I asked.
Logan shrugged and stood up, walking towards my room. As she passed me, she tugged at my business skirt and mocked, "Better not be wearing that to the game, Elle." Yeah... she's definitely feeling better.
When we got to the United Center, we drove around back, with our special, new, V.I.P passes which hung from my rearview mirror. Okay... maybe they weren't V.I.P., but they allowed us to park in the back and get free tickets which were always set aside for us. Gotta love Nick.
"I gotta say, having a brother in the NHL is nice." Logan admitted with a smirk as we walked to a segregated area. In the mini-lobby was a desk, and to the right of it was an elevator which led to the locker rooms and the executive offices. To the left was a small set of stairs which led to the main lobby of the stadium.
The graying man behind the desk smiled and asked pleasantly, "Hello. How can I help you ladies?"
"Hi, I'm Nicholas Wright's sister. He said he left two tickets for my friend and I." Logan replied brightly. I could almost feel her milking her brother's fame. "Do you need I.D.?" And then she brings herself back down to earth. Keeping herself grounded.
The man shook his head and brought out the two ticket. "No need, Logan." He handed us the tickets and smiled.
"I... I didn't tell you my name." Logan stiffened a bit at the creepy coincidence.
The man behind the desk chuckled quietly and explained, "You are one of the new employees. Or you will be. I'm supposed to know who all the employees are because they usually come through this entrance."
"Oh well..." she started, Logan leaned over the desk and scrutinized his name tag. "Mr. Williams, it's nice to meet you."
He nodded and extended his hand to greet her. "You can call me Bill. I know your brother pretty well. You two look alike." Logan flung her hands to her head and tired to block out his comment. I laughed and shook my head, which reminded Bill that I existed. "And who might you be?" He reached his hand towards mine.
"I'm Elizabeth. You might see me once in a while too... I just started working for Channel 8 news, the sports edition." I began. Once I realized I was rambling about my personal life a little too much, I shut my trap and just shook the man's hand.
Bill gave me a smile and huffed, "Ah, pretty name. Nice to meet you too Elizabeth. I hope you two enjoy the game!"
Logan and I nodded and thanked him for his warm welcome before we trotted into the busy lobby. Logan, looking beautiful in a number 14 Wright jersey, jeans, and boots lead the way to a concession stand for some pre-game snacks. I jogged behind, trying to keep up, in a number 88 Kane tee-shirt. Thankfully, if Nick or Patrick got me an interview or two after the game, the camera would not be focused on my extremely casual, and not channel-8 material, attire.
After we got some pretzels and a huge soda, we ventured inside to find our seats. The first employee we met directed us back into the lobby to go upstairs. We climbed the stairs to a club box and found our seats at the very front. Nick outdid himself. A club box, with a personal bar and bathroom? I love that boy. We took our seats and munched on our pretzels as we gazed down at the slowly filling stadium.
After we had a small pretzel fight, we focused on the ice. After about twenty minutes of waiting, the players came out to warm up. We spotted Nick and Kane as well as everyone else like Sharp, Keith, Stalberg, Carcillo, and the rest of the guys. Of course, Jon was there, showing off his "C" to the Chicago crowd. "Hey, there's your boy." Logan whispered in a raspy voice by my ear.
I slapped her and flipped out, completely fed up with all the ribbing. "Shut up! I am so tired of everyone making fun of me for something so stupid." I shouted. Luckily, being in a crowded stadium came in handy, because nobody except Logan could really hear me.
She gripped her face, which I am sure would be red within seconds. "Ouch!" I patted her lightly and apologized. I may have put a little too much force behind my slap. "What's got your pants in a knot?"
Reluctantly, I yanked my phone from my pocket and zipped through my text messages. once I found my conversation with Kane, I shoved the cell into her hand and allowed her to look at the screen. Within seconds, Logan was doubling over in laughter, tossing the phone back into my lap before she completely spazzed out. I smashed my phone into my pocket, refusing to laugh along. "Thats- I can't... Pat..." she spat in between cackles.
I punched her angrily to stop her laughter. Needless to say, it did the trick. Logan whirled around and shot me a couple of daggers with her eyes. "It-is-not-funny!" I nearly hollered.
Logan's frown turned into an evil smile that strangely resembled a grimace. "Why would you care if we made fun of you for something that isn't true? That is... if it isn't true. I mean, you know we're joking. Unless..." she let her sentence trail off, leaving me to fill in the blank. I cocked my head to the side and pretended not to know what she was saying, even though I could feel my hot face filling up with pink-ness, completely exposing my bluff. "You still have a crush on him!"
I guffawed, a little to enthusiastically. "Oh yeah, that's it." I squawked as I picked up my drink and took a swig. When I finally allowed myself to glance over at Logan, she was giving me a skeptical look, as if she didn't believe me. My head drooped, cheeks still burning. "Okay, maybe that's it. But, it's no big deal, right? Just a crush."
She didn't answer at first, probably thinking up a good joke to throw my way. "Of course not." I opened my mouth to shoot back a witty comment out of habit. When I heard her comment, I just froze, waiting for a follow up remark, teasing me. Catching my expression, she giggled, "I'm serious. Why would it matter? I'm sure he gets that sort of stuff all the time. He probably doesn't care."
Surprised by her immediate kindness, I nearly missed the start of the game as the players were preparing for the grand entrance. The loud music blared, the crowd screamed, and the lights dimmed, leaving random strobe lights to flash around the arena as the announcer introduced the two teams. Chicago Blackhawks was playing against the Dallas Stars.
The first period consisted of a lot of hard hits, creating an increasing tension between the two teams. The Stars were playing an aggressive game against the hawks, and their newfound talent shocked Chicago. Toews dished around several harsh blows and endured just as many. Toews, Kane, and Wright had several shots on goal, but none made it past the Stars goalie, Kari Lehtonen. Wright was continually shoved around and chirped at by Ott, and by the end of first period, he had had enough. As they were hunched over, ready for face off, Wright and Ott dropped the gloves and went at it. Both had a few good jabs in, but in the end, it was pretty obvious who won the fight.
The end of the first period left both teams with no goals scored. At intermission, Logan and I took a restroom break, got more drinks, and then returned to their seat. By the time we got back, the second period was a couple minutes from starting. Within the first couple minutes, Kane scored a goal, top shelf. Unfortunately, his celebration was cut short. After the goal, when he was back to playing, Kane was skating into the Star's zone when he felt a stick and elbow crash into his stomach.
He doubled over, lost control of the puck, and nearly ran into the boards headfirst, not focused on his skating. Within seconds, Toews was going after the offender. Toews repeatedly shoved Barch of the Stars. Barch refused to retaliate as Toews punched him in the back and chirped behind him. Toews would have followed Barch to the penalty box if Wright wasn't holding him back. Kane sluggishly got up and skated back to the bench.
The rest of the game continued like the first two periods. The third period included two goals: one for Sharp and one for Morrow from the Stars. That same period, Barch went after Kane again, sending him into the boards. This time, Toews did not get a chance to give him a piece of his mind. Kane was back on his skates within seconds, and he was checking Barch right back, nearly getting into a fight. Wright was at his side, bad-mouthing Barch to the point that Barch was no longer interested in Kane, but Wright. He took a swing, but before Wright could retaliate, Keith was yanking both Kane and Wright away.
"Hey! That's my brother, you asshole!" Logan screamed as she leapt from her seat
At the end of the game, we got up and went back down to see Mr. Williams. "DId you two enjoy the game?" he asked as we arrived at this desk.
"Yeah, except Pat seemed to get in the middle of everything tonight, which wasn't like him. Plus, stupid Barch tried to fight with my brother." she hissed, still seething after the almost-fight.
I shrugged. "It was alright. At least we won. As long as the guys are all okay..." I sighed, not completely satisfied with the game.
Mr. Williams nodded and let his smile slowly turn into a frown. "I agree.... They won, but it was not the best game. Check on the guys for me? Feel free to go downstairs. You're looking for level 2 if you're trying to see your brother." He smiled and gestured to the elevator to the right.
"Thanks, Bill." I thanked with a smile.
"Greatly appreciated!" Logan called as she shoved me into the empty elevator. I laughed quietly to myself as I clicked the number two button on the elevator. She stared at me. "What?"
I shook my head and leaned against the wall. "You realize Nick was running his mouth at Barch, right? He must have said something really bad to get a hit like that. Even if he was sticking up for Kane." I pointed out.
She nodded. "Oh, yeah. I plan on yelling at him. If his teammates are there to watch, it will make it better. If I embarrass him, maybe he'll quit starting so much shit on the ice." Logan explained hopefully.
As the elevator 'dinged', the metallic doors slid open into a lobby. The walls had two large symbols: The Bulls logo and the Blackhawks logo. As the girls passed the offices and halls they didn't recognize, they came to the locker room exit they had only visited once or twice three years ago. Joining the other family members and friends, they waited patiently as the boys trickled out of the locker room.
"Remember the first time we came here?" I asked with a small smile, remembering it vividly. Logan nodded excitedly. It was Nick's first NHL game, three years ago. We were still teenagers, almost twenty. Nick flew us out to see his game. He scored in the third period, single handedly. To this day, it was one of the most impressive goals I had seen. After the game, when we went down to the locker rooms with his parents, he came out in a nice suit, all smiles. Logan and I leapt into his arms and congratulated him on his first ever NHL goal.
"He was so happy. I think it might have been the happiest moment of his life... until the whole Stanley Cup win..." she added with a smile.
I joked sarcastically, "Of course, I mean, psh, Stanley Cup, no big deal."
The two of us sat outside of the locker room for nearly half an hour as the players came out of the locker room to meet up with friends. As the crowd outside thinned out, the only people left were us. "You have got to be kidding me!" Logan whined, standing up from her seat on the ground. She dragged me to my feet. "Come on!" She tugged at my arm and pulled me toward the door of the locker room.
"Logan- no! What if they're still changing!" I growled, yanking my arm away from her. Logan ignored this and charged into the room without warning. I couldn't hear anything from inside, so I anxiously knocked on the door before entering. Holding a hand over my eyes as I slipped inside, I called, "Is everybody decent?" I fumbled around, touching walls to keep myself headed in what I thought was the right direction.
"Nope!" I heard a familiar voice call. I heard his footsteps before he was next to me. "Want to see?" he asked flirtatiously. I felt his hand grip the hand that rested over my eyes. He pulled it away from my face, allowing me to see. I glanced at Kane, refusing to look down for fear of what I would see. He was topless, so I didn't know whether he was kidding or not. "Disappointed?" he questioned with a smirk as he returned to his side of the room.
I heaved a sigh of relief as I noticed his shorts. "Not funny!" I laughed as I walked to the middle of the locker room. I looked up to see Nick taking off his shirt as Logan hovered around him, poking him obnoxiously like the little sister she is. My eyes wandered to the left. I locked eyes with Jon. He flashed me a quick grin, but it quickly faded, not leaving much friendliness. My eyes couldn't help but wander down his chest at his abs. I hadn't realized that i was staring when I heard Jon cough, probably feeling uncomfortable.
Embarrassed at getting caught, I started up a conversation. "So... good game tonight guys... kind of." I tried. Kane rolled his eyes at me. "How's your stomach, killer?" I teased as I walked over and play-punched him a few times in the shoulder.
Patrick caught my last punches and spun me around, completely overpowering me. He pretended to punch me in the stomach a few times before he let go of my hands. "I'm alright. That Barch is quite the guy..."
"Lucky you have a nice guy like Jon who has your back." I commented, throwing a cursory glance at Jon who had been listening to the conversation. He smirked and shrugged at this.
Pat chuckled as if it was a joke. "Yeah, right. No offense, Jon, but you're not as good at fighting as you are at scoring."
Jon threw an elbow pad at Patrick who tried ducking. The pad just grazed his head. "l should have hit you FOR him." he joked as he tugged at the rest of his gear. I giggled, secretly agreeing with him (Kane can be a little cocky). Returning my eyes to Kane, he raised an eyebrow and smirked at my laughter, ready to say something smart.
Before he could, I turned to Nick and asked, "So, how about you Nick? How are you feeling after the game?"
Nick glanced up at me excitedly, happy to finally get Logan to stop yelling at him. "Well, Logan would say I was stupid. Barch got a little out-of-hand tonight... someone had to do something." The bruise on his face proved that Barch had gotten a punch in.
"Does it hurt?" I questioned, as if I would get an honest answer. He scoffed as if the question was not worthy of an answer. I shook my head and smiled. Logan had stopped her rambling, but she looked to me hopefully for some back up. "Stupid question... Anyways, uh, what I think Logan is trying to say is that you should be more careful." Logan joined me in the middle of the locker room so that we were looking at all three boys.
Shaking his head, Nick argued, "I'm fine. You guys are crazy." Jon just shrugged, ignoring the comment completely.
"It's so cute. You guys still have a crush on me." Kane mocked with a grin as he got up to take a shower. Logan, clearly annoyed by this, marched over and wound up to hit him. Pat flinched but caught her hand before it could make contact with his shoulder.
"Shit-" she started. Logan knew what was coming. In seconds, Kaner had Logan's arms twisted behind her back tightly, just enough. Logan moaned as she tried to wiggle free, learning that resistance was futile. "I hate you!" she growled
Patrick pulled a little tighter, making Logan whine. "I-I'm sorry, what was that? I couldn't hear you." he chuckled. Nick and I locked eyes, sharing the same look. It was as if we were saying "Really? Again?" SInce Nick grew out of physically messing with his little sister, Pat has taken over.
"I love you..." Logan huffed exasperatedly. When Kaner didn't let up, she repeated louder, "I love you!" she yelled.
This had Jon, Nick and I all cracking up, which just egged Pat on. He tugged a little tighter and asked, "Who's the best hockey player you know?"
Logan smirked at this and glanced at her brother. "Nick Wright." Kane squeezed her arm, making her flinch. "I mean Patrick Kane! Patrick Kane is the all around best hockey player I know." she confirmed grudgingly.
Pat could have continued on for hours, after all, he loved making Logan squirm. Nick reluctantly spoke up (he secretly would not have minded seeing his sister grovel a little bit more). "Alright Pat, let her go." he chuckled as he sat down on the bench.
Kane loosened his grip on Logan and lightly shoved her away. Logan moved to hit him, but Pat was already racing to the showers. "Yeah, you better run!" Logan hollered as he left the room. She shook her head as she walked over to me.
Logan gave me a weird look, nudged me, and patted my pant leg by my pocket. I had almost forgotten! I slid my hand into my pocket for my mini-hd camera, nothing like the huge cameras the station crew used on important segments. "Hey, guys, while you two are still here, can I get an interview?" I wondered quietly. Sure, I knew Nick well enough, and I figured Jon wouldn't mind, but it was still awkward, probably because I knew them.
Surprisingly, Toews didn't even acknowledge me. He dropped his gear and proceeded to the showers like Kane, completely ignoring me and not even sparing me a glance. "Who put the stick up his butt?" Logan remarked acidly. I elbowed her, silently scolding her for overreacting. In actuality, I did feel kind of hurt that he blew me off completely.
I turned to Nick, hopeful. When he locked eyes with me, I knew he was willing to help me out. "I love you," I confessed, as if he didn't already know. Walking over, I brought out the camera and turned it on.
Nick beamed at me and nodded. "I know... you owe me one." As I pressed random buttons on the camera, I felt his eyes on me the whole time. "By the way..." he coughed, trying to get my attention. I sluggishly looked up, finally fixing the camera to my specifications. "Don't take it personally... Toews. Today wasn't really his day... he had a fight with his girlfriend... I promise, once he cools down, and he gets to know you two, he'll be friendlier.
I nodded, feeling a twang of I don't know what as the words fell from his mouth and crashed to the floor. I held down the record button on the camera until the blinking light went from green to red. Time for the interview... and my chance to move up in my job.
As we walked into my dark apartment, I nearly screeched, "He has a girlfriend!"
"So, it's safe to say you do have quite the crush on Mr. Ignore-everyone-on-the-planet?" Logan scoffed as she closed the door and locked it behind her. I flopped on the couch, face down, only to feel Logan sit on me a few seconds later. "Do you think you would actually go after him, even if he wasn't in a relationship?" she questioned.
I sat up on the couch, wiggling out from under her. She was right, I wouldn't do anything. Too shy. But, the NEW me is supposed to go after what she wants... key words being supposed to. "Probably not..." I admitted with a frown. "But... hey, it was nice to dream, right?"
Thinking about it, I realized that it was actually extremely far-fetched for me to believe that Jon would even consider going out with me, whether i asked him out or not. Plus... I forgot all about Kenny! I still had the date with him the next day, so who knows, maybe that would lead to something. Speaking of Kenny, how did I get him? I still don't understand that one...
"Well... I am heading to bed... big day tomorrow. Work, and then date." I sighed, getting up from the couch. I heard Logan before I felt her. The taps of her footsteps on the wooden floor reverberated throughout the living room as I stepped into my room.
I was about to change into my pajamas when she yanked at my shirt. "What? A date? With who?" she prodded excitedly. She let go momentarily, allowing me to get out shorts and a tee-shirt.
"Kenny, from the station." I answered matter-of-factly. I changed into my comfy clothes and sat on the edge of my bed, expecting her rapid and never-ending questions.
She laughed, "Kenny? The fucking god. Kenny?" I rolled my eyes and fell back on my bed. "Banging! He's like a model, Ellie!"
"I know... I know!" I giggled, remembering Kenny's light blonde hair and bright blue eyes.
Logan questioned skeptically, "And you were jealous of Jon's girlfriend? Dude, Jon's hot, I'm not going to lie to you, but Kenny... he transcends above all others. He is like the iPhone of men: new, beautiful, and fricken awesome to play with." She let her last words hang in the air, hinting at an innuendo.
"You know me! It's not like I would have asked Jon out anyways... he's just a crush." I reminded her with a smirk. I stood up and shooed her from my room. "Now, I need some sleep, or I'll end up looking like a troll tomorrow." Logan tried to stop me, ready to protest. "Logan! If you leave now, I'll let you pick out my outfit for the date tomorrow night."
Logan stood in front of her bedroom door, staring at me. She raised an eyebrow, unsure if my bargain was reliable. "You promise you'll wear whatever I give you?"
I shrugged. "Depends. Nothing too whore-y, please?" I huffed, knowing Logan too well. If it were up to her, I'd be in a thong and a bra.
"Deal. Nighty-night!" she giggled with an evil grin as she bounced into her room. Oh god... what did I just agree to?
The next day, I went to work, had the war paint smeared onto my face, and sat next to Kenny in front of the cameras, as usual. However, I almost forgot my interview with Nick. As I took my seat next to Kenny and rearranged the papers in front of me, Kenny greeted me. "Hey, how was the game?" he wondered, as if he didn't know already.
"It was great, but you probably know that from watching. I didn't agree with all of the calls, but the guys worked hard and won in the end." I rambled as I picked which sheet I wanted to reference first.
Kenny nodded as he leaned back slowly in his chair, arms resting behind his head in a surprisingly relaxed position. "So, what did Max say?" he questioned with an excited smile.
I jerked my papers across my fingers before I froze, forcing a paper cut onto my pointer finger. Within seconds, I ditched my papers and leapt up from my seat. Kenny chuckled as he sat up straight in his seat. "You forgot to tell him, didn't you?" he wondered with a smug smirk.
I nodded as I whirled by him. "Yup!" I called back as I sprinted, as fast as I could in heels, to Mr. Doyle's office.
I rapped on the door rapidly several times in a row until I heard a gruff voice shout, "COME IN!" I flung the door open, slammed it shut, a little too hard, and marched toward Mr. Doyle's desk. He was massaging his temples when I barged in, and when he saw me, he rolled his eyes. "Oh, now what?"
"Sir, I-" I began, overexcited.
Max stood up from behind his grandiose desk with several pictures, trophies, and a name plaque. Mr. Doyle has been in charge of the news station for years, and each year, he wins more recognition for his hard work. Even I will admit, that even though he is a pain in the ass and he works everyone too hard, he runs a pretty awesome station. "That dimwit Nelson can't research if his life depended on it! All the information he is getting on the Wallace Trial is false. Do I have to do everything myself around here?" he complained.
I remained silent as he whined to me. After a minute or two of venting and pacing the floor behind his desk, he put a hand back to his head, and plopped back down in his seat. "I'm sorry... what-what were you coming in for again, Ms. uh..-er..." he stuttered.
"Bennett... Elizabeth Bennett, sir." I finished, wondering whether my news was of any significance. "I... uh, never mind." I huffed as I backed toward the door.
He insisted, "Stop. What did you come in for? Tell me." He has placed his hands on his desk, and for once, I saw him like an actual boss.
I shook my head as I hit the door with my back. "No, no.. its nothing important. I'll just go-" I started as my hand reached for the handle.
"Stop." Max commanded. My hand dropped to my side. "Come." Mr. Doyle raised his hand and motioned for me to approach him. Reluctantly, I did as he told and walked toward his desk. "Sit." I flattened my skirt as I slid into one of the two leather chairs which sat in front of his desk. "Now... speak."
I cleared my throat awkwardly and reached into my pocket. I took out the small camera and placed it onto his desk wordlessly. He glanced at it, hands still folded on his desk. Mr. Doyle looked from the camera and back up to me before picking it up. "Sir, I went to the Hawks game last night, and I got an exclusive interview with Nicholas Wright about the game."
Mr. Doyle turned the camera on and watched about fifteen seconds of the interview. He shut the camera off, set it down on his desk, and slid it back to me. He leaned back in his chair, reminding me of Kenny, even though he was not nearly as gorgeous as Kenny. "How did you get that?" he asked.
"I'm close with the Wright family. I get tickets to the game anytime I want, and access downstairs by the locker rooms to meet him when he comes out." I explained matter-of-factly, as if it was no big deal. It was and will always be a big deal to me. Especially since I had not been to the locker-room area since Nick's rookie year, three, almost four years ago.
Max scratched his face and pondered this for a second. "What are you angling at?" he asked. Damn... he is too good at reading people.
"Who says I am angling at anything except the chance to help my boss get the inside scoop on the Blackhawks?" I argued innocently as I batted my eyelashes and flashed a friendly grin.
He sat forward in his chair and chortled, "Because, I may not know you, but I knew you well enough to understand how much you hate covering sports. You want to change branches, eh? Is that it?" Damn you, Max. Damn you!
"Mr. Doyle..." I hissed under my breath.
Max stopped me before I could counter. "Don't even try, you know its true!" he burst out laughing. I couldn't exactly understand why. It really wasn't funny, or at least, I didn't think so. "Oh, Bennett..."
"What? Why is it so funny? You know I could do it!" I growled, getting annoyed as he mocked me.
Mr. Doyle shook his head and frowned, suddenly becoming serious. His facade abruptly reminded me of a certain hockey player... but I quickly shoved the thought from my mind. "Elizabeth... I laugh because you are just like me... When I was your age, I was pushing to move up faster than I should have. I have no doubt that you could do it, its a matter of how well you would be able to do it. I brought you here from New Jersey because I wanted to bring someone fresh to the station. I knew where I wanted to put you, and I know where you want to be.
"However, you are doing great here, and I want you to continue with sports for at least a year-" I stopped paying attention after those dreadful words left his mouth. A year? A year!? How could.. I'm not... What?! I started listening again once I had come up with a way to dispute the idea. "...and once you work your way through sports, gaining a name for yourself, I will consider it. But you need experience, patience, and thankfulness. I didn't have to give you a job at all. This is a huge opportunity for you, and I don't think you're taking it seriously." he concluded.
I held back a gasp as I regained control over my thoughts. "Sir, with all due respect, I think i have a resume that speaks for itself! I mean, i have done my time with small town news for a year. I moved up to Philly, if I remember correctly, not New Jersey when you found me. Pretty big, you know? I thought I would be able to finally get the job I've been dreaming of, here."
"One year.. that's all I'm saying." he repeated with finality. "You can roll this during your segment with Kendall," I had no spirit left, so i didn't bother to correct Mr. Doyle on calling Kenny 'Kendall', "...and maybe if you continue to get quality interviews like this, I'll consider cutting the year down to six months." he hinted with a wink.
These were the reasons why I loved Max sometimes. Okay, maybe not loved, but tolerated. "Wait, what?" I almost gagged on my gasp.
He chuckled and shrugged. "I need someone bigger though, like uh-that Kane kid, he's pretty big here. No! Toews! I want Toews."