Here To Stay
Well, there goes that, I guess. There was no way Toews would agree to an interview with me. He didn't even bother to respond last time I asked. I was doomed. "Toews?" I repeated, hoping I heard him wrong. Sadly, my greatest fear was confirmed as my boss uttered the two words and four syllables that sent chills up my spine.
I walked out of the office, handed my camera to one of the cameramen to pass off to an editor, and gloomily joined Kenny back at our desk. He leaned toward me in his chair and smiled expectantly. "So? What did he say?" he asked.
"I have another six months to a year before he will even consider moving me. And he wants me doing more interviews like that... except he wants Toews." I explained, slumping in my chair like a child going limp and fussing in his parent's arms.
Kenny laughed, "I don't see the problem."
"I'm stuck here for at least six months! And on top of that, my only hope to get out of here is to interview a guy who ignores me or believes I'm insane." Frowning, I held back tears as the information burst from my mouth. So much for going after what you want.
He shrugged and nudged me. "Hey, it could be worse. Max is a hard bargainer. you could have been stuck here for years. Besides, being around me for another six months or so wouldn't be too bad, would it?" he teased with a smirk.
I couldn't help but smile and I perked up the more I thought about hanging out with Kenny. So perfect. I sat up straight and agreed, "Of course not." Kenny nodded and sat back in his seat, ready to go. "Alright, let's do this." I huffed.
"Live in three, two one..." the cameraman whispered.
"Alright, do your worst!" I hollered as I hopped inside. The apartment seemed the same as when I left it, except the door to my bedroom was shut tight, which it never was. "Logan?" I put my jacket in the closet by the door, slipped my heels off, and slid my way over to the door. "Loge!"
I heard giggling from behind my bedroom door and immediately worried about what slutty outfit I could find behind it. "Come on!" she sang, muffled from the door between us.
I pushed the door open to see Logan holding up the skimpiest dress I have ever seen. "No-fucking-way." I said bluntly as I dropped my heels by my closet. I flopped onto the bed and glared at her, realizing that she obviously didn't follow my instructions.
"You said i could pick it out, and I pick this!" she hissed, shoving the tight, red dress at me. I simply shook my head in response and crossed my arms over my chest. I don't know where she even got that dress! It certainly wasn't mine... "Fine... I'll get something else, party pooper! But Kenny would have gone ape shit to see you in this thing!" she whined.
I laughed,"Did you just say ape shit? Where did that dress come from, anyways?" I asked. Logan didn't answer as she shuffled around in my closet. "It's yours isn't it?" She tossed her head in my direction and flashed me a grin. Great, my best friend is a hooker. "So, what corner have you been working?" I teased.
Logan, not amused, threw the short dress at me and grumbled something unintelligible under her breath. I laughed as i fell back onto the bed and caught the dress. "Everyone's a critic..." she mumbled as she meandered through my closet. Moments later, she was smacking my thy, urging me to see her latest choice. She handed me a strapless light blue dress that fell just beyond my knees. It had a black ribbon tied around it just below the chest area. There were a couple swirl patterns that detailed the bottom of it and curved up one side.
It was beautiful, but I had never seen it before in my life. "...That's not mine..." I insisted as I stood up and took the dress from Logan. I held it over my body and went to the mirror to see how the colors looked against my skin.
She stood behind me and smiled. "I know, it's mine. I may have moved some of my stuff into your closet..." I gaped as I looked at her through the mirror. "Well, the guest closet isn't big enough! What can I say? I'm a true fashion-ista."
"I don't know which is more shocking: the fact that you're using my closet, or the thought of you owning a dress that isn't too revealing for my taste." I giggled as I changed into the dress. Logan glared at me, folded her arms, and marched to my bed.
"I am not a whore you know! I just like to look hot." she growled as she flopped down. I shook my head as I tried to zip the dress in the back. "Oh, here!" she huffed, coming to help me. She yanked the zipped up to the top so that the dress squeezed me. I stepped back in front of the mirror to admire the dress. "I did good, eh?" she asked.
I couldn't help but smile. It did look awesome. "I love it. It's perfect. And I know you're not a whore, I'm just messing with you." I replied. Logan nodded as she fixed the ruffles on my dress. She skipped to my closet and brought out a pair of heels with several black straps going across the foot. "What would I do without you?" I asked as I gripped the heels appreciatively.
"You'd clash..." she answered matter-of-factly. Rolling my eyes, I slipped on the heels and wobbled into the bathroom to put my make-up on. After I added the finishing touches, I let Logan pin up my hair in a pretty bun with a braid. "Done... now, if Kenny's heart doesn't stop when he sees you, he's gay."
I shook my head as I picked up my purse and slung it around my shoulder. "What if he just doesn't like the dress."
Logan shook her head and walked into the living room. "No... if he doesn't try to have sex with you, he's gay. I guarantee it." she asserted as she poured herself a glass of water in the kitchen. I followed and leaned onto the counter and smirked. Best friend. Gotta love her.
I opened my mouth to say something snarky, when there was a knock at the door. Logan whirled around and stared at me, wide-eyed. I did the same, and just like teenagers, the two of us hopped up and down next to each other, containing screams as best as we could.Trust me, if you saw Kenny, you'd be doing the same thing.
I stopped and took a deep breath before opening the door. Kenny was looking down the hall at something when I saw him. He was in a nice dark suit that fit him well, and he was holding a bouquet of violets in his hand. "Are those for me?" I asked excitedly. Kenny's head whipped towards me so fast that I thought it would fly off.
He coughed and smiled, extending them toward me. Logan appeared over my shoulder and cooed, "How cute!" I shoved her away and took the bouquet.
I smelled them and gasped, "They're beautiful. Thank you! I'm just going to put them in some water." I waved for Kenny to come in as I waltzed into the kitchen. Kenny walked in and sat in the living room as I played with the flowers. Logan sat next to him, excited at the new boy in the apartment.
"Glad you like them." he commented with a smile. He turned and faced Logan and gave her a friendly smile. "Hi," Logan waved and smiled back, embracing his beautiful face.
I giggled as I placed the vase of flowers onto the coffee table. "This is Logan, my best friend. Logan, this is Kenny, my co-worker. Kenny, Logan's my new roommate, for now at least."
Logan hinted, "Ellie's told me so much about you."
I blushed and quickly looked away. Kenny just chuckled. "Nice to meet you, Logan. Nice name." he complimented as he reached a hand out to her.
She shook it firmly. "Thanks, most people hate it because they expect me to be a boy."
"No, it's nice. Different." he countered with a smile.
We sat in silence for a moment after this. Nobody really knew what to say. "Well, should we go, then?" Kenny wondered, clasping his hands together.
I nodded, forgetting where we were going because I was staring at his beautiful baby-blues. "Oh, yeah! Of course." I agreed. Kenny stood up and walked to the door, holding it open for me.
"Don't keep her out too late!" Logan called playfully. Kenny locked arms with me and chuckled at Logan. "On second thought, keep her as long as you want. In fact, don't be afraid to take her home with you!" She added as our elevator door opened.
I gasped at this and glared at Logan, who quickly slammed the apartment door shut, before hopping into the elevator. Kenny shook his head and stifled a laugh.
"That friend of yours... she... she really is something." he laughed from across the dinner table at some fancy restaurant and lounge. Kenny tossed a couple blonde strands out of his face as he smirked at me.
I nodded and smiled. "Yeah, she's a pistol. Not the shy type by any standards. I let her pick out my outfit for tonight, and he original choice was something that could make a hooker blush." I rambled, feeling myself get flush. Shut up, shut up! He's just a boy. Relax.
"Hmm, maybe you should have worn that one..." he teased. I bit my lip and looked down, all the color rising to my cheeks. Kenny cackled at my embarrassment and let his head fall too. "So, what exactly did you say about me to Logan?"
I looked up to see his eyes staring right at me, bright as could be. He was grinning from ear to ear, it strangely reminded me of Kaner. I shook the thought away and shrugged, feigning calmness. "Not much. I mean, just that you're a smart guy... pretty nice... and you know your job." Okay, I may have left out the part about how gorgeous I think you are, but who cares, really?
"Really?" he wondered thoughtfully as he peeked over his beer. I nodded. "Well, what was your first impression of me?" I simply shrugged, not wanting to admit what he was implying. Kenny shook his head, leaned over the table, and flashed me a blinding smile. "Alright, I'll tell you what I first thought, though. When I saw you walk in, I thought you might be a new assistant, and I wanted you to be my assistant. Then, when I saw you getting your own room, I hoped that you would be doing sports so that I had an excuse to talk to you. You seemed so adorable."
I blushed and shook my head. "Charming. You smooth-talk all the girls like this?" I joked with a smirk.
Kenny snorted, "No, I don't date too often actually. But I do take pride in making girls blush."
"You're mean, you know that?" I laughed, feeling my cheeks burst with heat. He just smiled at me, enjoying my embarrassment. "Stop it!"
He chuckled. "What? I can't look at you?" I rolled my eyes and took a sip of my wine. Stop drinking! You don't need to dull your senses anymore than they already are! "Sorry, sorry. So, how was your interview? I didn't get to see it."
"Well, I didn't get to talk to Toews or Kane, but Nick was more than willing to give me an interview. They were the last ones in the locker room." I explained, trying to stop myself from babbling on.
Kenny nodded. "All cool guys, or so I've heard."
"Yeah, I'll have to introduce you to them sometime." I replied. Nick would be nice, a little protective, but nice nonetheless. Kaner would... well... I know that there would be a lot of sexual innuendoes involved. And as for Toews... he probably wouldn't care, or say anything for that matter.
Kenny shrugged. "That'd be cool, but you don't have to. Anyways, what made you come here to Chicago in the first place?" he inquired, sipping his beer.
"Well, I wasn't doing what I loved in Philly, and Mr. Doyle is a good persuader... He agreed to give me better pay, and... well, I took the job. And here I am. What about you? How long have you been here?" I asked, sipping my wine.
He sat back in his chair and sighed as if it was a complicated algebra question. "Three years. I've been doing sports here for three years. I worked the station right out of high school, but I kept correcting the original newscaster on sports information, and Max just threw the job at me."
I nodded and wondered, "Do you like it?"
Kenny smirked. "Couldn't be happier. I know you feel differently."
"No, it's just that this isn't my dream job... I want to do bigger stories than just the score of a game and the condition of some player I don't know." I hissed, a little too enthusiastically.
He frowned. "But you're good at it. You're great."
"Thanks... my heart just isn't in it." I elaborated. Kenny nodded, listening and waiting for me to say something else so he could comment and compliment me.
Eventually, our dinner had arrived. I had a delicious salad and a panini. Kenny had a steak. When we went outside, a cold air nipped at my shoulders. The initial blow caused me to shiver from head to toe. I should have brought a shawl. Before I had a chance to warm myself up with my hands, I felt something wrap around my shoulders. "Warm?" he asked as he pushed his suit jacket over my arms. I nodded and couldn't help but laugh. "What?" he inquired as he let go of my jacket.
"Nothing, you're just the king of cliche, that's all." I jibed as I hugged tightly to the jacket.
Kenny put his arm around the jacket. At first, I thought he was just trying to pull me close. "Well, you know, I could always just take it back, if you want. I didn't mind seeing your skin." he teased as he tugged at the jacket. One side slid off my shoulder, exposing my skin to the frigid air.
As the goosebumps started to rise, I slapped him away and argued, "No! On second thought, I love cliche."
He laughed, "No, I wouldn't want to be too cheesy." Kenny tugged at the other side of the jacket and it slid right off.
"No!" I insisted, holding my shoulders.
Kenny put the jacket back on and strode right in front of me, grinning like a weirdo. "Mmm, you made it toasty warm for me." he joked, hugging it tight to his biceps.
I caught up to him and gripped the jacket. "Kenny! Not fair! I was kidding." He laughed and wiggled from beneath my grip. "Come on, you're so mean." I snickered.
He glanced at me and shrugged. "I thought you didn't want it."
"I do!" I whined, like a child. I gave him puppy-dog eyes and whimpered by his side. Eventually, I wore him down and he slid his jacket off and put it back around me, letting his arm hang across my shoulder. "Thank you." I smiled and warmed up under the jacket.
Kenny chortled, "Yeah yeah..."
When we finally reached my apartment, I leaned against my door, not wanting to acknowledge that the date was ending. He put a hand on the door behind me, like in the movies. Again with the cliches. I smiled and crossed my arms, still wearing his big suit jacket. "So..."
"So..." he responded with a small smirk. He looked down at me with his killer eyes.
I sighed, "This is it..."
"Yeah... you're apartment." he laughed.
I nodded. "Well... I had fun tonight. A lot. You're a pretty cool guy." I complimented with a grin.
"Pretty cool? I'll take it. I never told you how beautiful you looked tonight, but you do... look beautiful I mean. And I'm glad you agreed to go out with me." he sputtered with a smirk.
"Well, when a hot guy asks you out, you'd be stupid to say no." I blurted out. I immediately wished I could take the words back, but it was too late. Stupid alcohol, you betray me again! Kenny stared down at me, twinkling like a christmas tree. "I-I didn't mean that- I mean, I did, but I didn't mean to say it... not that it's not true, because it is! I mean-"
Kenny cut me off with a kiss. He leaned down and passionately pressed his lips to mine. It shut me up alright... It took me a second to realize what was happening, but when I did, I kissed back. It felt like our lips were dancing around for hours. They parted a few times, and my tongue got some action as well.
When we finally separated, I was out of breath, and I completely forgot what I was jabbering on about. "uh... yeah." I coughed, still reeling from the tingling sensation that darted across my lips. I looked down, fighting a blush.
Kenny sighed letting his arm fall to his side. He stared down at his feet, shoving his hands in his pocket. "Yeah... fun stuff...."
We looked up at each other and couldn't help but laugh, like giddy school children. How did i get such a beautiful man. And a good kisser too. "But, anyways, as I was saying, before I was so rudely interrupted-" I teased, poking his chest.
"Rudely? You were flusher than a rose, and I was distracting you. Plus, I'm pretty sure you didn't fight it. And if i'm not mistaken, you kissed me back." he opposed, crossing his arms over his chest.
I was sickened by our wicked and cute banter. It was like we were a married couple in the honeymoon phase. "No comment."
"Yeah, that's what I thought." he chuckled.
I shook my head and crossed my arms over my chest, mimicking him. I bit my lip and looked down. I didn't want him to leave. i wanted to invite him inside, watch a movie, cuddle, and see where things went from there. Actually, i knew where things would go, but regardless... However, Logan was inside, no doubt. She was probably expecting Kenny to take me to his place anyways. Kenny was a gentleman though, and besides the kiss on the first date, he didn't do too much too fast. I definitely was not opposed to the kissing.
Kenny tilted my head up with one hand as I was contemplating all this. He used the other to move a stray strand of hair that fell over my eye. "You're gorgeous, Elizabeth." he whispered. I looked into his clear pools most people would call eyes and almost melted right then and there. He carefully moved in, watching me the whole time. He gently placed his slightly parted mouth over mine and gave me another kiss.
Out of habit, I closed my eyes, unable to see if Kenny was still watching. He scooted closer, pressing me up against the door. His finger traced the edge of my chin, while the other slipped around the small of my back and pushed me closer to him. Kenny's body was hard up against mine, and it took all of my will power not to rub my hands all over him.
I allowed them to roam through his perfectly blonde hair. It was so perfect, and soft. He kissed my cheek and slid his lips over my neck, just brushing my skin. Unintentionally, I let out a quiet moan. Let's just say it had been a while since I had been touched like that... Kenny froze and his eyes were on me in a flash. I opened mine and covered my mouth.
"What was that?" he asked playfully, now inches from my face.
If I thought I was red before, I was wrong. I was so red, I made Elmo look pale. "I-I have to go!" I laughed, unable to contain myself. Still pinned to the door, I reached around for the doorknob and twisted it violently.
Kenny was chuckling uncontrollably by this time. He reluctantly let me go and backed away from the door, shoving his hands into his pockets again. "Wait, what was that noise?" he pushed.
I shook my head as the door gave under my pressure. "Shut up! That was nothing." I insisted as I hopped inside. "Bye!" I called, closing the door behind me. Gripping my mouth, I backed to the door and slid down until i was sitting. Just as I calmed down, there was a knock at the door.
"What?" I asked as I opened the door. Kenny was standing there, with one hand rubbing the back of his neck and another in his pocket.
Kenny laughed, "I-uh... I need my jacket..." He gestured at the suit jacket that still hung big over my shoulders.
I nodded, slipped it off, and handed it to him, hardly making eye contact. "Sorry..." I huffed, embarrassed.
Kenny pecked me on the cheek before gliding down the hallway. "Goodnight Elizabeth." he called behind him as he went. I watched him walk to the elevator. Great ass... As if he heard my thoughts, he pressed a button on the elevator panel and turned to see me watching him. I averted my eyes. "See you at work." he laughed, calling attention to my eyes.
It's not fair how hot he was. Honestly, he made Ryan Reynolds and Bradley Cooper look like trolls! ...Okay, maybe not that gorgeous... but he definitely could give them a run for their money! I groaned as I fell back into my apartment and flopped onto the couch. It was probably about twelve in the morning, so I wasn't expecting to tumble onto Logan. "Ouch! Get ooooff!" she hollered, shoving me off of her and onto the ground.
Thud. Nice to see you too, Logan. I'm fine, how are you? "Why do I let you stay here anyways?" I mumbled as I stood up and went to a chair on the opposite side of the room. The cushion sank and sighed as I leapt onto it. "What are you doing up?"
"Waiting to see if that Kenny was going to bring you home or just take you to his place...." she answered, letting the sentence hang for a moment. I was bundled up in the fluff of my dress. I moved it around as I looked at Logan, waiting for the questions I knew were coming. "He kissed you." I nodded silently. It wasn't really a question. Logan just knew me and my expressions... too well, in my opinion. "He kissed your neck, didn't he?"
My hand flew to my neck, confused. Alright, she may know me like the back of her hand, but how the hell did she figure that one out? He didn't kiss me hard enough for it to become a hickey! Or did he... "Lo-but how did you-?" I began.
"I heard you." Logan got up, dropping the blanket that was wrapped around her to the floor. She set down a novel that she was reading and then folded up the blanket and placed it on the couch, smiling.
I buried my face in my dress and shook my head. "I didn't mean to!" I exhaled and lifted my face to look at her. Logan was in the kitchen, cleaning out her glass. "I had a couple glasses of wine... and I miss men... and he's gorgeous! It kind of just slipped."
"I was surprised you guys didn't bust the door down." she teased, sitting in the chair next to me. I shook my head and gave her a sad look, as if to say was it really that loud. Logan, reading my mind, nodded and laughed, poking me lightly. "I thought he would take you to his place, and... you know-"
"Stop!" I shouted. Most people hint about sex, but Logan would go into full detail about exactly what should happen in the event that I did go to Kenny's. Logan's idea of sex seemed more to me like a olympic sport than anything else. No need to think about it, especially since I wouldn't be able to accomplish any of it tonight...
"Well, whatever... does he seem like a boyfriend or a bed?" she asked. 'Bed' was Logan-talk for a potential a guy to just have sex with. Don't ask me why she came up with terms like this, but she did. I opened my mouth, but she beat me to it. "Boyfriend, right?"
I nodded. This was standard activity for us, when it came to boys at least. I always said 'boyfriend' and she always said 'bed', hardly ever the other way around. "Yeah... we'll see." I pretended not to care, as if I didn't think he was boyfriend material.
"Sure got your mind off of Toews, huh?" she added. Not anymore, thanks to you... I shook my head and stood up. "Come on! I'm only joking," she chided, following me. "I know it's just a crush!" I was already in the bathroom by the time she apologized, stripping down and hopping into a hot shower before bed.
The next morning, I was awoken by Logan instead of my usual alarm clock. "Geeet Upp!" she squeaked in my ear. She hopped up and down on my bed next to me, rocking me back and forth. I stirred sluggishly as I got my bearings. "Coooome oooon Ellie!" she whined.
Instinctively, I sat up and pushed her backwards, sending her off the bed. She fell onto her bed and I earned a few seconds of peace, burying my face into the cold side of my pillow and dragging the comforter over my head. "Go away!" I called angrily.
Just as I closed my eyes against the brightness of my room, I felt a push from my left side, sending me to the opposite side of the bed. "Loooogan!" I exploded. Untangling myself from the blankets, I sprang up on the bed and glared down at Logan who was sitting next to my bed. "What do you want?!" My hands were balled into fists, my hair was a mess, and I was wearing a random marathon tee-shirt and short shorts. Hottest girl in town, I know....
"Game today?" she wondered.
I just stared at her, glanced to the clock on my bedside table, and growled, "You woke me up to ask me to go to a game with you that isn't for another ten hours? Its' eight in the morning!"
"Yeah, get up!" she laughed, yanking the blankets out from under me. I fell to my ass on the bed and bounced a little bit. "Come on, if I have to go into work today, you do too."
"But this is my day off!" I hissed, nuzzling the pillow next to me and trying my hardest to warm up without the blankets around me. "You don't need me to check Joe-schmoe at the concession stand." My voice was muffled by the think pillow I laid upon.
"Joe-schmoe actually sells tee-shirts, ya brat!!" she hollered sarcastically. Her voice was quieter though, as if she was farther away. I heard Logan, but her voice was a little farther away. "I can't get her up..." she sighed.
"Let me try..." I heard a deep voice reply. My eyelids flung open, and I clenched the pillow tightly. "Oh Eeeellie!" Pat called.
I felt him before I could properly react. His hand was on my ankle, and he dragged me to the edge of the bed. I kicked away as hard as I could with my free leg, but he soon grabbed that one too. God damn strength... "Kane-er! I-will-kill-you!" I warned, smacking him with my pillow as he scooped me up into his arms.
"Ouch!" He flinched as I smacked him with the pillow. "You know, it's funny, most girls would kill to have me chase them." he laughed to himself. His chest shook forcefully, acting as a mini wake-up call for me. "Come on, you don't want to miss breakfast with your three favorite guys, right?"
Pat brought me to the sliding glass doors that lead to my small balcony. The cold October air chilled my skin, causing goosebumps to pop up all over my body. "Pat!" I whimpered. I tried to hit him with my pillow, but I was too cold. "Not... f-f-f-fair!" My teeth chattered and I was forced to snuggle up to Kane for warmth, key word forced.
"I'll let you back inside if you promise to get ready." he bargained. I looked up into his blue eyes. He was smiling. I hate his smile. He's always happy. "Your choice." I frowned and nodded, letting my pillow drop into my lap. "Say it!"
"I want to get ready..." I huffed.
Patrick squinted at me and bent his ear toward me. "I'm sorry, what?"
"You win! Now let me inside, you asshole!" I yelled, still visibly cranky.
Kaner chuckled and brought me back inside, dropping me back onto my bed. Logan was in the doorway, shaking her head and laughing to herself. I shot her a glare. I stood up and shooed the two of them out of my room. "Haha, very funny, Ellie's sleepy and last to wake up. Now go away." Pat joined Logan outside my room. "Why do you always have to make people beg?" I questioned as I shoved Pat away.
He smirked and smacked my ass playfully. "I only make you and Logan beg. By the way, nice pajamas." he teased, trotting into my living room. If it was anyone else, i would have hit him, but it was Pat. That sounds wrong, but honestly, if you knew him, you'd understand.
I shoved on some jeans, boots, and a nice blouse. I snatched a fleece jacket from my closet, and put the blankets back on my bed before heading into the bathroom. I washed my face, put on deodorant, and did my make up. Before heading into the living room, I picked up my camera, in the hopes that i could get an interview in.
"You think I could get an interview with you, Pat?" I asked in his car. He sped along the road to a small diner a couple streets away from the United Center.
Kane chuckled, "Maybe...depends." Oh god... here we go.
"On what?" I asked, staring out the windows at the passing skyscrapers.
Pat jibed, "When I get to see you in your pajamas again." I rolled my eyes silently. It was going to be that kind of day. If only Nick could hear him. Logan slapped him as he approached a red light. "Ow! What?!" he grumbled, pulling the SUV to a complete stop. He rubbed his arm and turned to scowl at her.
"She's dating someone now! Lay off of the jokes for a little, eh?" she nagged. Logan... why do you have to bring these things up to the worst people? Kane's mouth slowly curved into a grin, and Logan immediately gave me an apologetic look.
"Who's the new boyfriend?" he sang, thrilled. I shrugged him off and ignored the question. Best not to say anything, or he'll just instigate something again. When I didn't answer, he baited me. "But Elizabeth, what will Tazer think? We can't have him knowing that you are interested in someone else, right?"
I wailed, "Shut up!" Kane chuckled to himself. "Seriously, I dated this guy once! And I don't like Tazer- I mean Toews- I mean Jon! He has a girlfriend." After ranting, Patrick was still laughing. "What now?"
"Nothing, nothing. So who's the lucky fella?" he pressed.
Logan interjected, "A guy from the station, and he's fucking stunning!" I know she was just trying to show Pat up, but this is how we always get into disputes with Kaner, by giving into his stupid little games. We never learn.
"Oooh, what's his name?" Pat wondered as he pulled up to the diner.
I replied reluctantly, "Kenny. He does the sports with me." Pat didn't respond immediately. For the first time ever, Patrick didn't say something smart! It's the apocalypse! "What?"
"I don't like that guy..." he said honestly, parking the car. "I've seen him around and he gives off a bad vibe."
As Logan hopped out, she spat, "Well, then I guess it's good that you're not dating him, huh?" She bumped him as she walked to the door. I followed closely behind, trying to ignore Pat's comment.
He caught up to me, grabbed my elbow, and stopped me before entering. "Ellie, you guys didn't do it, did you?" he asked abruptly as he yanked me in front of him.
I gasped, "Kaner! God, that's none of your business! You can't just ask people that, or at least not me!" I bit my nails, immediately feeling awkward. Still, it was Kane, and I shouldn't have expected anything less.
"Just answer the question!" he repeated, fighting a smirk at my disgust. I shook my head. Kane heaved a sigh of relief and held the door open for me. "Good."
I slammed the door shut out of his hands. Logan was staring at us from inside the lobby of the diner. I waved for her to find the guys, and she did so, assuming i'd tell her what we were talking about later. I turned my eyes on Pat and furrowed my brows. "Why?"
He shrugged. "I don't know..." He shoved a hand in his pocket and ran the other along the blonde scruff dangling by the top of his neck. "Just don't for a while... okay?"
I laughed, "You don't dictate my life-" Patrick opened his mouth to argue, considering he had in fact dragged me here in the first place. "Okay, let me re-phrase. You don't dictate all of my life, and you most certainly don't dictate my sex life!"
"Seriously, you know that I care about you... and I wouldn't say anything if I didn't think it was important..." I could have sworn he tensed up a little after he said that.
A smirk escaped over my face that eventually grew into a full out grin. "Awww, are you getting jealous, Kaner?" I teased, tugging playfully on his cheek.
He shook me off and growled, "Elizabeth!" Pat opened the door and pointed me inside, giving up on getting through to me. "Don't say I didn't warn you..." he mumbled as we walked into the lobby. He lead me past the podium to a huge booth of hockey players and their girlfriends laughing and talking loudly across the table. "Good morning!" He called to the rowdy bunch.
Everyone's ears perked up at the sound of his voice. "Ayy!" several guys cheered, waving him over. Logan, who was sitting next to Nick, gave me a questioning look. I rolled my eyes in response, waving it off as nothing. Patrick lead me over to the table and squeezed in next to Logan.
"Who's this?" Brent Seabrook wondered, putting an arm on the table.
Viktor Stalberg chimed in with a smile, "Yeah, Kaner, you didn't tell us you found a girlfriend!"
Patrick put an arm around me and gave me a peck on the cheek. "Yeah, isn't she beautiful?" I scoffed and shook my head, covering my face before anyone could see me blush. I peered over my fingers and caught Jon staring at me from across the table. He was sitting next to a beautiful blonde girl with hazel eyes, most likely his girlfriend.
I guess I looked like I was begging for help, because Jon threw me a bone. "Like Kaner could ever get a girl like her. That's Elizabeth, she's Kane, Nick, and Logan's family friend. She also is a sports reporter for Channel 8 news."
I shrugged off Pat's arm and nodded , smiling at everyone. "Hi."
Seabrook questioned, "How come Nick and Kane have been hiding you away?" He gave me a wink.
"I just moved out here so I could work on Channel 8." I answered, smiling back. On the inside, my heart was pounding, and I was glad that Patrick wasn't still holding me, because he probably would have felt my pulse race. Surrounded by gorgeous men. No big deal. On the other hand, it might have been nice to have someone keeping me rooted, steady, to the ground.
Daniel Carcillo piped up, "Where from?" He took a sip of a cup of water that was sitting in front of him.
I smirked and nodded at him. "Same place you just came from." I picked up a menu that Nick passed to me and looked through the options.
"Philly girl?" he questioned with a smile. He reached an arm over the table and gave me a fist-bump.
Stalberg interjected again, "You're not a Flyers fan, are you?" I reluctantly locked eyes with him. I tried hiding a smile, but my cheeks gave it away. "Aww, no! Get out." he jibed, pointing at the exit.
"Hey, they're a good team!" I insisted excitedly.
Stalberg stuck his tongue out at me and argued, "Yeah, well who beat the Flyers for the Stanley Cup in 2010?"
I gaped theatrically and feigned being shot in the chest. "Wow, you just went there."
"Actually, I think the more important question is who scored the winning goal in that game?" Kane hissed in my ear. The table erupted in 'oohs' and howls of laughter. I grimaced and punched Pat in the shoulder twice. "You love me," he insisted.
I shook my head and resumed my search of the menu. "You wish."
The conversations resumed after my little introductory ribbing. The girls talked to me and Logan and said that they wanted us to sit with them whenever we went to games. Jon's girlfriend, however, was glaring off into space. I don't know whether she didn't like Logan and I being there because we weren't dating any of the players, or if she was fighting with Jon, or if she was just in a bad mood, but she was visibly unhappy. Why should I care? I shouldn't. But I do... NO I don't!
Jon didn't seem all that happy either, to be honest. He glared at me a few times as well. I guess we're back to this again, eh? He has a special way of making people feel small, and during breakfast, I felt smaller than an atom.
Afterwards, the boys had to practice before the game, and Logan had to go prepare for the evening festivities. I had the option of going home and sleeping, or going the United Center with Logan and staying there for over eight hours.
A couple hours later, I woke up to a text message from Logan. The phone rang obnoxiously on my bed stand until i picked it up.
Logan: When you come tonight, you can take my ticket. I can't really sit tonight, I have to run around the whole time. You should bring Ken ;)
I typed back a thank you before calling Kenny. "Hey, Kenny! It's me." I almost sang into the phone.
"Hey, hon, what's up?" Hon... And there's my heart, in a puddle, on the floor.
"Hey, Uh, Logan can't actually watch the game tonight, so, I thought you could come with me. I could introduce you to the guys. I mean, if you're busy, I'lI understand... or if you just don't want to go, that's cool too, I mean-" I rambled. Why must I ramble at the most inopportune times?
"Elizabeth!" he called. I fell silent. "That sounds great... I'll pick you up in an hour, okay?"
I sighed. "Sounds good."
"Bye," he chuckled.
An hour later, I was dressed in jeans, a pair of nice sneakers, a fuzzy jacket, and a Patrick Kane jersey underneath of it, waiting by the door like a puppy. Seconds later, there was a knock a the door, and Kenny was standing behind it. "Hey!" I greeted, all smiles, as I opened the door.
He opened his arms and matched my expression. "Hi! You look cute." He gave me a hug, a peck on the cheek, and put his arm around my shoulders as I closed the door behind me. "You weren't expecting someone else, were ya?"
I poked him in the stomach as we went down the elevator and hopped into his car. I told him about our breakfast earlier and how I was teased for being a Flyers fan. I forgot that Kenny was born and raised in Chicago, and he had no sympathy for me whatsoever. He was prompted then to tease me about it as we walked inside to get the tickets.
"I'm not in Philly though, so there's nothing important there," he joked as we walked in to see Bill, waiting for me.
"Stop talking about Philly!" I lightly shoved him as I approached Bill. "Hey, Bill, this is Kenny, my date for the evening. Logan's working tonight and said I could use her ticket."
Bill nodded and smiled, handing me our tickets. "No problem. Now that we're getting into the season, I have your passes." He handed me two lanyards with laminated special passes on the end. "You won't have to fuss with security this way."
"Thanks Bill. Maybe I'll come in between periods and bring you a snack." I suggested with a wink. Bill winked back before sitting down and clicking away at his computer.
"Treat her right, Kenny! She's a keeper." Bill called form behind his computer screen.
Kenny chuckled and agreed, "Will do, Sir."
We found our seats in the same club box seats as the last game, slightly secluded for friends and family. Somehow, we were nowhere near the wives though. I had to remember to ask Nick about that one. After we found our seats, we went back outside to get some snacks.
Kenny and I split a large soda, some french fries, and a hot dog. He was nice enough to pay for it. "Good?" he asked as he handed me the soda. I sipped it gratefully and nodded. We went back to our seats in time to see the boys warming up.
"And then thats Kaner... he's funny, and a softy on the inside, but he's a real smart ass most of the time." I rambled on about the different teammates that I had met. I intentionally left out the part about Kane hating Kenny. "And finally, Nick. He's the nicest guy, and he's basically my big brother. You'll like him."
Kenny chortled, "I can't wait. They all sound great. You missed one though."
"Who?" I wondered, running through the list of players in my head. "No I didn't."
He pointed down at number nineteen on the Blackhawks who just took a shot on Corey Crawford. "Toews." he corrected, sticking his tongue out at me before stealing a fry.
"Oh, yeah... well... he uh... I don't think he likes me very much." I mumbled as I took a sip of soda. Kenny stared at me and raised an eyebrow. I averted my eyes and slurped the soda, staring at the Jumbo-Tron.
"Elizabeth... what makes you think that?" He had to say my full name.
I shrugged. "He just always glares at me, he hardly talks to me when I'm around, and he almost always ignores me." I took a bit of the hot dog then held it out to Kenny who took a bite as well.
"Well, he's insane not to like someone as kind, smart, and pretty as you. Besides, isn't he known for being serious?" he reminded me. I rolled my eyes and nodded. He pecked me on the cheek and insisted, "Don't worry about him anyways."
The game was interesting, to say the least. The Blackhawks were playing Philadelphia Flyers, of course. I felt like a traitor for wearing a Blackhawks tee-shirt, but on the inside, I was fervently rooting for the fly-guys to kick some Chicago ass. Claude Giroux scored a short handed goal halfway through the period for the Flyers.
The next goal was scored by Stalberg. He was smiling too big for a goal, and there was something else behind it. I had a feeling I knew exactly what that something was, too. Later on, Patrick Sharp had a break away and scored one, top-shelf. Another for the Blackhawks.
Last period, Nick got hit in the face hard with an unintentional high stick from Matt Carle. He didn't return for the rest of the game. Jon, obviously excited from the loss of a teammate, got one past Bryzgalov, five hole. I was happy that they were winning, but I wanted the Flyers to win, and if they had to lose, I didn't want it to be more than a one point difference. Finally, as if they were answering my prayers, Max Talbot scored the final goal of the game, back door.
Afterwards, I lead a beaming Kenny down to the locker rooms, where we waited as the various players filed out, showered and tired from a long day's work. "So, I'm sorry, but who won?" Kenny whispered in my ear. I nudged him away and growled a curse under my breath. "I should have bet something."
"Flyer's are top of the league right now, just under Chicago, right? They'll bounce back. It's one loss." I countered as a couple family members joined us by the locker rooms. Kenny chuckled and put his arm around me, kissing my head. I crossed my arms over my chest and feigned annoyance.
Unfortunately for me, Stalberg had just walked out while I was making a childish, angry expression. He caught sight of me and smirked as he sauntered over to us. I shook my head and rolled my eyes. "Kenny, this is Viktor, Viktor, this is my- m-my... uh my Kenny." I sputtered. Kenny gave me a poke to the stomach before he removed his arm from my shoulder to shake hands with Stalberg.
"Hi, Viktor. Great game tonight." he greeted with a smile as he shook hands.
Viktor smirked and shook his hand. "Thanks, Elizabeth's Kenny." Stalberg threw me a wink when he mentioned Kenny. And here comes the blushing. "Did you see my goal?" He directed his question to me as he let go of Kenny.
My jaw dropped. Here we go. "Yeah, what about it?" I scoffed.
"Well, you know, the only reason I scored was because I knew it would get under your skin if we beat your favorite team... which we did." he pointed out with a triumphant smile.
If I knew him better, I would have hit him right then and there. "Lucky shot... a rookie could have done it in half the time you did." The insult rolled off my tongue like a runaway train. Living with Logan has been a bad influence on me...
Viktor's eyes lit up at my acidic comment, surprised I had the guts to match his wit. He hid a smirk as best as he could. "It was all skill. Besides, the better man came out on top in the end, right?" Stalberg flicked the hem of my Blackhawks shirt and laughed as he left. "Nice shirt by the way."
"He's a character." Kenny chuckled as he watched Viktor leave. I shrugged. Of course you would like him.
Slowly but surely, the locker room emptied until three boys were left. As the area thinned out, I knocked on the locker room before entering with Kenny in-toe. "Knock knock!" I called, covering my eyes as I walked in.
"All clear!" Nick called from inside. As I heard his voice, I yanked my hand away and searched the room for him. He sat directly opposite me, and within an instant, I crossed the room faster than any of them could hope to skate.
"Nick!" I hollered, remembering that he had been hurt earlier. I threw my arms around the half-naked hockey player who stood by the bench. He staggered back a little bit before regaining control. "I thought you were really hurt! Are you okay?" Nick hugged me tightly before setting me down. He just nodded. I gazed into his somehow boyish face. He has a big, scabby gash under his eye, but it wasn't big enough for stitches.
"Yeah, fine..." Nicholas gave me a weak smile before backing away. "Did you like the game?"
I nodded and reached to touch his cut. As my fingers grazed his scrape, he flinched back a bit. Simultaneously, Jon cleared his throat, and I remembered that I was not back home after one of Nick's youth hockey games, acting like a mini-mom, but I was in Chicago, and there were other people in the room.
"Oh, sorry guys. This is Kenny. Kenny this is Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, and one of my oldest friends, Nick Wright." I introduced as I brought Kenny into the center of the room. Nick waved with a smile, Jon nodded, but Pat ignored him altogether.
"Great game tonight, guys." he commented. The three of them grunted their appreciation as they undid multiple layers of gear. I stood there awkwardly with Kenny, not knowing what to say. "Uh, didn't you want to ask something, Elle?"
He patted my pocket where I had my video camera. "Yeah, I almost forgot!" I turned to Jon who was messing with his tangled skates. "Uh, Jon?" He jerked his head up and stared at me with those stupid eyes. "I-I um..." What was I going to say? Shit... Jon looks really-Stop! "Oh! Right, yeah, I was wondering if I could get an interview with you about tonight's game."
Jon's chocolate brown's flickered from me to Kenny and then back to me. Why? No clue. He sat up straight and coughed. "Yeah... uh... no. I'm-I'm just not feeling it tonight. I mean-I... I'm not up for it, you know? Maybe... another time...."
My brain didn't register the rejection at first. By the time I was caught up, Kenny had put a comforting hand on my shoulder. Jon gave me a frown, but it came out more like a grimace, before he continued unlacing his skates. "Oh... well, right. That's okay. Thanks anyways." I stumbled through my words, trying to bounce back and play it off like it was nothing. Ignoring me is one thing, but rejection is a completely different story. Burn.
"I'll do it!" Patrick was on his feet in a moment. Whether he felt pity for me, or he genuinely wanted the attention, I will never know. I laughed and nodded. "Remember to get my good side." he teased, waving me over.
"Wait, you have a good side?" I giggled as I sauntered across the room.
"So funny... you're killing me." he huffed sarcastically, rolling his eyes.
I shook my head as I turned on my camera. "Yeah, well, maybe I wouldn't rag on you so much if you scored a damn goal once in a while." I spat back. I honestly don't know where all this spunk came from, but for every set back I experienced, I fought back with a harder hit.
Jon and Nick both 'ooh'-ed at my comment. Kane's ears flared up, and I was the one who did it! "Like you could do a better job!" he shot back.
I nodded and argued, "Yeah, the way you were playing tonight, I could have skated circles around you! And that's saying something." Kane's final defense was making hissing noises to insinuate that i was being a bitch. I shrugged and started the interview.
During the Interview, Nick and Kenny sat across the room, whispering about God knows what. I fired through questions as quickly as possible, anxious to go home and get back to bed. Jon stood up and crossed the locker room to the shower. I saw him out of the corner of my eye; it took all of my willpower to keep my eyes on Pat and not the half-naked Jon strolling only inches from me. He's doing this on purpose, I swear!
"Thanks for speaking with me, Patrick." I concluded lamely.
"Thanks, Ellie." he responded with a smile before I clicked the camera off. "You know, you're really good at that." he commented, standing up from his seat.
I tucked my camera away and put my hands on my hips. "Good at what?" I wondered.
"Interviewing. You ask the right questions, but in the best way... you make a person, kind of, want to answer them... like you're interested in their response." Pat's arms had crossed over his chest and he was actually serious, for once.
"Thanks! And, don't worry about the whole goal thing. You've got talent, obviously... I'm just messing with you." I confirmed, feeling bad about my recent attack on Pat.
The corners of Kane's mouth twisted upward abruptly. "Thanks, but never apologize for a good burn... that's like rule number one. I was wondering where that comment came from, though. You mad at me, or somethin'?" he pressed, creating his own explanation hidden behind his smile.
I shrugged as I threw a glance at Nick and Kenny to make sure they were still alive. "I don't know... I guess I've just been in a bitchy mood lately. Sorry."
He nodded and walked for the showers. "Bitchy mood.... sure." I heard him mumble under his breath.
"Nothing! See you later," he chuckled on his way in.
I turned around and saw Nick stand up, probably ready to get the sweat off of his body. "Do you know where Logan is?" Nick said as he and Kenny joined me in the center of the locker room. I shrugged, still reeling about Kaner's comment. "Can you two find her? She's staying at my place tonight."
"What? Why?" I questioned, confused. When did this happen?
"She needs a ride to work, and she didn't want to bother you since tomorrow is another day off. Plus... I'm going to surprise her." Nick beamed down at me, ready to burst with his juicy secret.
Kenny joined in. "Yeah, he was telling me about how the manager of the United Center loves Logan. He says that she's been working extremely hard, putting in more hours than most other employees, and just going the extra mile in everything."
"Wow! So, what are you getting her?" I asked.
"You can't tell her." Nick stated.
"What, you don't trust-"
"Well then..." I scoffed. He was right. I would be the one to blow a surprise, especially if it's one for my best friend. He raised an eyebrow as if he should expect anything different. "Nick, I swear not to tell her, no matter how awesome it may be."
Nick sighed, "Alright... I'm getting her a car. She needs it, you know? She's working now, and she seems to really like it here so... i figure, she deserves it."
My jaw dropped. I want a big brother! A biological one at least. The closest thing I have, besides Nick, is Kaner, and he'd never buy me a car, unless I agreed to do something in return... I almost started crying, but just then, Jon walked back in, coming to say goodbye to Nick, so I bit my tongue to suppress my tears.
"Good game, killer." Jon joked, clasping Nick on the back.
Nick chuckled and patted him back. "You too, keep the goals coming."
"I'll try. Bye Elizabeth." Full name. Heart just skipped several beats. Jon let go of Nick and moved over to me. Surprisingly, he hugged me, and he wasn't hesitant about it. I squeezed him back, praying he wouldn't let go.
"Bye, good game. Great goal, by the way." I added with a smile as I backed away from the fresh, clean smelling man. Jon simply nodded, not a smile in sight. At least it's not a glare.
"Nice meetin' you, Kenny." Jon shook hands tightly with Kenny.
"You too, man." Kenny smiled as Jon jogged away. Once he left the room, Kenny bent over and gripped his hand. "Dammit, he's got a strong grip!"
I pouted and kissed Kenny's hand. "Sorry, buddy." Kenny laughed and shoved his throbbing hand into his pocket.
"Alright guys, well, if you see Logan, point her in my direction. I'll see you guys later." Nick shook hands with Kenny and then moved to hug me. I got one whiff of him and sprinted in the opposite direction. "What? What is it?"
"You stink worse than an old gym sock!" I blurted out, covering my nose as I hid behind Kenny.
Nick shook his head and chuckled. "Okay, that's it!" He chased me around the locker room for about a minute before he caught me, holding me tightly and spreading his post-game-stank all over me. "Love you!" Nick backed off and ran for the shower.
"You suck, you smelly jackass!" I called, shivering from the disturbing scent. I caught Kenny chortling at me from the other end of the locker room. "Oh, shut up and take me home." I grumbled as I lead us out of the locker room.