Here To Stay
"Thanks for inviting me tonight." Kenny stood in front of my apartment door, hands in his pocket. "I had a great time."
I nodded and smiled. "Yeah, me too. We should definitely do it again sometime." I agreed, tucking my arms behind my back. Kenny leaned down and gave me a quick kiss. He pulled away, ready to leave, but I yanked him back, throwing my arms around his shoulders.
He forced himself to come up for air. "Hey... Logan's not home tonight, right?" he whispered in my ear, giving it a nibble.
A chill went up my spine as he spoke. "Yeah..." I giggled, locking eyes with him.
"Can I come in?" he wondered, tugging at the bottom of my shirt. I opened the door, kicked off my sneakers, and dragged Kenny in behind me. "Stupid question." he laughed as I yanked off his shirt. Kenny's fingers slipped my Kane shirt off. He tossed it onto the couch and scooped me up in his arms, eventually dropping me onto my comfy bed.
He reached for me as he hopped onto the bed, but I stopped him. "Wait!" Kenny froze and stared down at me. I looked him up and down, admiring his tan, chiseled physique, created by gods, no doubt. I huffed, reaching out to touch his firm abs. "Okay... I'm good."
Kenny chuckled and sat up, straddling my legs. He traced the cup of my bra and trailed his finger down the side of my stomach. I laughed, being the extremely ticklish girl that I am. "You're so hot." he chortled, kissing my neck. Kenny swiftly unzipped my jeans and slid them off with ease.
Here we go...
"Morning." he breathed in my ear. My eyes fluttered open as I saw Kenny stare at me. "Sleep well?"
I yawned and buried my face in my pillow. "Great. Great." I mumbled into my cushion. "That was fun." I giggled as light streamed through the semi-closed blinds of my windows. I turned onto my back and heaved a sigh.
"Oh, definitely." he chuckled, sliding a hand under my naked ass. I jumped at the touch of his hand, laughing the whole time.
I snuggled up close to him, nothing between us. "You want something for breakfast?" I asked, imagining eating eggs and toast with him. Too cute.
"Nah..." he huffed. "I actually have to go..." Kenny frowned, looking guilty for leaving.
I shook my head. "No, it's okay. Maybe another time."
"Of course. Sorry, honey." he squirmed out of bed and put on his clothes. It should be a crime, covering up suck a beautiful work of art. "I'll call you later, okay? Max wants me in to talk about something. I gotta go in tomorrow morning too." He put on his pants and reached for his shirt which sat at the foot of the disorderly bed.
I snatched it from under his fingers and held it away from him. He laughed and kneeled on the bed, reaching for the shirt. I scooted away, wrapping myself in covers, as I went. Kenny followed closer, until he was right on top of me and ready to take back his clothes. Just before I gave it to him, I pulled him in and pressed my lips hard on his.
"I bet Max can't kiss like that." I giggled, giving the stunned Kenny his shirt back and lightly shoving him off me.
Reluctantly, he put his top back on and clenched his teeth. Once his head popped through the shirt, he hinted, "You know, you make it really hard for me to leave." He tugged at my comforter, revealing my bare shoulders and threatening to expose my chest.
I laughed and yanked it back, hiding beneath the blanket. "Stay." I insisted, peeking over the covers.
"Don't tempt me." he laughed, slipping on his shoes. "I'll call you later, and we can go to dinner or lunch or something." Kenny sat on the bed and pulled on my blanket again. "One last peek?"
I shook my head as I tucked the blanket under my arms and across my chest. "Uh... no!" He pouted and batted his eyes playfully. I pointed to the door and screamed, "Get out!" He shook his head as he got up.
"I'll be back..." he teased flirtatiously as he left my room.
One thing I noted about Kenny: the back of his shirt had a lipstick stain on it, right by the collar. Problem, it wasn't my lipstick... because I don't wear lipstick.
"What the hell happened to you?! I was going to ask you to come out to dinner with Nick and I! He bought me a car and I wanted to show you, but he said you and Kenny-" Her voice trailed off as she caught sight of my face. I was positively pink and munching on my toast quietly. "You didn't." I glanced away and tried to focus on something else. "You did!" I looked back and locked eyes with Logan who was glowing more than I was at the news. "And you liked it!" She screeched louder. The people surrounding us at the Cafe started to stare.
"Logan!" I hissed angrily. "Keep it down! They can hear you in Sweden." I sipped my coffee and prayed for some silence. I still couldn't stop thinking about Kenny that morning, and it must have shown.
Logan leaned across the table and lowered my cup. "So, how was he?" She beamed at me like a lighthouse. "Give me the details."
"I am not having this conversation with you!" I gasped, setting my cup down. Anything regarding sex was Logan's expertise. Unfortunately, whenever she bugged me about these sort of things, I usually got the 4-1-1 on ways to have more fun with it... at least by Logan's standards.
She whined, "Why not?! I live for this stuff!"
"I know! And thats why I won't! You'll only criticize and tell me how to-" My voice was getting progressively higher as I got further in my argument. I lowered my voice to a whisper. "how to change it up and do it 'better'." I put air quotes around better and leaned back in my chair.
Logan glared at me. "I do not. I just give suggestions. And if it would make you feel better, I won't say anything at all. I promise." she huffed, unsatisfied.
"Alright, fine. We were kissing in the hallway when he asked about whether you were coming back home or not, and then he asked to come in. He picked me up and dropped me onto my bed. We stripped, and ohmygod... he's gorgeous, like abs, biceps, the works. And he went for my neck first and I was done... like jelly."
Logan shook her head. "You're pathetic," she scoffed. When she saw my face, she shrank. "Sorry! Sorry. Continue."
After I finished the play-by-play, she just nodded. "Not as bad as I thought. Sounds like fun."
"Yeah... but then he left this morning... had to go into work." I finished with a frown, staring down into my empty coffee cup.
She scoffed and rolled her eyes. I whipped my head up as fast as I could and shot her a dirty look, waiting for a smart comment to roll off her tongue. When she saw me she laughed and just said, "What? You just got it bad, thats all." I shrugged. "So, tomorrows game is the second to last home game for a bit. Excited?" I shrugged again. "I can actually sit for most of this one. Plus, we'll be with the wives."
"Right.. should be fun." I sighed.
"Okay, what the fuck is your problem?!" Logan hollered. The other customers all turned to glare at her. I ducked my head and pretended not to know her. "I mean, you just had pretty ass-kicking sex with a gorgeous guy and you're going silent on me now. What is this?"
I frowned. "I miss him. He kind of ran out on me this morning. It was weird."
"You said he had work." she answered matter-of-factly, nibbling on a scone.
I shook my head and stood up. "I forgot to mention that he had a lipstick stain on his shirt."
"But you don't wear-" she started. Logan looked up and finished, "That Asshole." She leapt from her chair and charged for her car, waiting for me to follow. When I didn't, she came back, grabbed me by my shirt, and brought me to the car by force.
The next morning, I was exploring the station. I asked Max if he had seen Kenny, to which he replied, "What do I look like, his mother?" He eventually gave me a real answer, that Kenny had no reason to be in that day. Bad sign. I walked around the lunchroom, the actual stages, and the offices. Finally, I realized he wasn't here.
Might as well grab my things. I had left a couple things in my office that I wanted to take home: an old Blackhawks ticket and a sweatshirt. As I walked down the mostly quiet hall, I heard some sort of thumping noise. As I got closer to my mini-office the noise got louder. I passed a closet and it had become the loudest. I heard moaning escaping the closet. Unfortunately, I recognized a voice on the other side all too well.
Without thinking, I burst through the door to see Kenny feeling up a disheveled Cynthia. She squeaked and froze when she saw me. Kenny's jaw dropped almost as fast as his hands dropped from Cynthia's sides. "E-Ellie! I-I... wait-" he sputtered.
Everything was kind of a blur after that. All I remembered was that I stormed down the hall into my office without a word and picked up my things. On my way out, Kenny caught me by the shoulders. "Elizabeth-"
"Let go of me!" I screeched, tugging away from him. He tightened his grip, and it was apparent that flailing around wouldn't help me escape. I stomped my foot down on his toes, forcing him to bend over. Still pissed and excited with adrenaline, I rammed my knee up directly into his nose. "Screw you." I growled as a tear escaped from my eye. I wiped it away furiously, hoping nobody noticed
Cynthia ran out of the closet and glared. Thankfully, she was glaring at Kenny, not me. Apparently, she didn't know about Kenny's multiple dates either. She walked over to me and patted me on the back before leaving. I gave Kenny one last shove, exposing his bloody nose to the light. He fell to the ground, giving up the fight.
"Honey..." Logan cooed as I hopped in the car. She reached over to me and tried to hug me over the seat. "He didn't-" she began.
"Drive." I commanded, shoving her away. I didn't mean to be harsh, but it wasn't time for a hug... not yet.
"To Kane's. Now."
I could tell that Logan was still confused about why I wanted to see Patrick. The main reason was because I had a lot of anger and he seemed like a prime candidate to take it out on. He warned me, but he should have done more, like stop me, right? Not that he actually could stop me, but obviously it's still his fault. That's why I didn't give Logan the inside on my trip to Pat's apartment, because it made no sense and I was just too furious to care...
I stormed up to his room, Logan confused but still trailing behind nonetheless. I rapped on the door several times until she heard Pat's voice. "I'm coming, I'm coming! Jeez." He opened the door to see a fuming Elizabeth. Before I could get my hands on him, he backed several paces into the room. "Ellie, what-" he began.
Patrick had a coat on, obviously getting ready to go somewhere. I tugged his coat, but he slipped out of it and ran in the opposite direction. Logan, perplexed, closed the door behind her and sat on the couch as I chased Pat. Eventually, I had him cornered back by the front door and he froze. I threw my fists, ready to give him a few good ones in the chest, but he caught my wrists and held them away. "Elizabeth! What are you doing?" he asked, voice booming.
"Why would you let me go?" I hissed, ripping free of his hands and banging his chest several times. Unfortunately, he hardly felt it; he didn't even flinch. "I hate you!" My emotions betrayed me, and a tear rolled down my face. "It's your fault."
When he saw me start to cry, he immediately knew what happened. I wound up to hit him again, but he caught my fist and brought me in for a hug. He gave me a tight squeeze. "Elizabeth... just stop." That was all it took for me to drop my arms and cry into his chest like a baby. He lead me to the couch to calm me down. "What happened?" he asked.
I sniffled and wiped my tears. "I walked in on Kenny and Cynthia..." I let the sentence fall to the floor, refusing to dignify it with details. Kane opened his mouth to say something, but I beat him to it. "And, we just had sex the day before." Fortunately, neither Logan nor Pat were foreigners to the word, so there was no awkward silence. Just silence.
"I''m sorry..." He just rubbed my arm with one hand and put the other around my shoulders. "He's a jerk anyways." I just nodded in response. "And you're way hotter than Cynthia."
I chuckled at this, even though it gave me chills. The last time someone called me hot, he cheated on me. "Thanks..." He put his head on my shoulder and nudged me playfully. I wiped away the last of my tears, sat up, and put my hands in my lap. "Say it..." I encouraged, waiting.
"What?" he asked, moving away from me.
"'I told you so' You were right. I should have listened. All hail Kane." I rambled. I backed away and bowed down to the all-knowing master.
He chortled and tugged me back onto the couch. "I didn't want to be right, you know. You're like my little sister. I really care about you... sometimes." he teased, giving me a pinch on my shoulder. I laughed, but a couple tears managed to stream down my face...again. I sniffled and relaxed a bit.
I really liked him... Why are they always such assholes? It wasn't really the fact that he cheated on me, it was now more about my own stupidity. It was moronic to believe that I could expect a guy not to take advantage of me when I was willing. Furthermore, I fell for the idea that men actually cared about women as more than sex toys, aside from the average guy friend.
"Hey... what's going on?" a deep voice wondered from behind the three of us. I whipped around to see Jon standing in the doorway to his room. Shit. Forgot HE lived here. He locked eyes with me, when I realized that I was crying and I probably looked like a hot mess. I turned back around to face the coffee table, television, and wall, and more importantly everything except him. I wiped my eyes with my sweatshirt sleeve, hoping he hadn't noticed my wet face.
Logan stood up from her seat next to me and explained, "The asshole Kenny cheated on Ellie. She walked in on him and Cynthia." I glared up at her and hit her. Sure, broadcast it to the world. This just in, poor, boring chick gets cheated on.
"It's not that bad-" I started.
Kane patted me on the shoulder and insisted, "No, it is. That bastard doesn't deserve someone as awesome as you." God... he can be so nice sometimes. Too bad each moment of sweetness only lasts five minutes before he goes back to being his cocky, sarcastic, and annoying self.
Jon walked over and joined us on the couch, sitting on the opposite side of me and forcing Logan to sit in a chair. "No, Pat's right. He doesn't deserve you. And you don't deserve to be treated like that." I glanced at my shaking hands, unable to look him in the eyes, and nodded. Oh, now you decide to be a nice guy, huh? "Trust me, I know what it feels like. Hang in there." He gave me a pat on the back and let his hand linger by my shoulder for a minute.
Now, I was angry because he was being so nice, and making me like him even more, when he probably had done the same thing to a girl at some point and time. Men... they will be the death of me. Before I could think about what I was saying, I hissed, "Like you would know what it's like? I don't need or want your pity."
Jon clenched his jaw and withdrew his hand from my back in a flash, hurt by my words. He stood up wordlessly and headed back for his room, probably to get ready for this morning skate with the team. I crossed my arms and burrowed my back into the couch.
"Ellie-" Kane started. I gave him an evil look, only to see he had matched mine with a childish-guilty look. I melted then and there. "His girlfriend cheated on him and broke up with him a couple days ago." So? That's not so bad. I caught my almost-boyfriend getting hands-y with my co-worker! "And he was going to propose to her."
Logan gasped. I had nearly forgotten that she was there until she did that. "Oh shit..." I growled. I smacked my hands to my face. I had no right to be crying in the first place! Kenny wasn't technically my boyfriend! We didn't ever make it official or even talk about it... Jon's girl was a soon to be fiance, and eventually wife. Kaner gave me a look that said it all. "I know... I know." I got up and strolled into Jon's bedroom, closing the door quietly behind me. "Jon?" I called.
Jon walked out of his huge closet without a shirt on. When he saw me, he reached for a shirt and shoved it on, covering up the beauty that is his body. If Kenny's body was sculpted by the gods, Jon's body WAS the body of a god. "What's up?" he asked gruffly, hiding the hurt as best as he could.
"Look... I'm sorry for what I said earlier. I... I didn't know-" I sputtered on, trying to finish a sentence, but each time, my voice caught and I got choked up. I began another phrase as he sat on the bed.
Jon patted the spot next to him and I joined him. "I know... it's okay, really."
"No, it's not okay! She's stupid to do that to you because I don't know anyone who's better than you!" I started.
He laughed, "You hardly know me!" I made him laugh? What?
"Yeah, well, Nick speaks highly of you, and he's practically perfect, so that only means you are the definition of perfect. I mean, you're talented, hot, and you have to be smart to keep Kaner in line." I rambled.
Jon smiled and looked at me, wiping a tear from my face with his thumb and holding my face in his hand. "Hot? Thanks..." he replied, slowly drawing his hand away, leaving behind a hot cheek and chills that ran along my spine. "You know... I kind of thought you were too good for him, and I was right."
"...Why are you being so nice to me?" I asked. He turned and gave me a questioning look. "Well, you're always glaring at me whenever I see you, you never laugh or smile when I'm around, and on top of that, I just yelled at you when I had no right to. Plus, it was about something more painful than anything I have endured in my life thus far."
He smirked and shook his head. This soon lead to laughter that echoed throughout the room. I just stared at him. "I'm not glaring at you. I'm just serious a lot, and you know that, don't you?" I nodded.
"Still! Like not even a wink or a nod or something?! I thought you hated me..." I confessed. Jon's face went blank, but he gave me a wink, followed by a nod. "Alright, very funny."
"No, really.. Sorry... And I'm sorry if I lead you to believe that I didn't like you. You're actually a very cool person." he apologized, giving me a smirk.
I nodded and nudged him. "So, are we okay?"
"Yeah, we're okay." he smiled and nudged me back. Unfortunately, I was nudged by Jonathan Toews, not a normal person, so I nearly fell off the bed. "So.. did you hit him when you found him?" He was beaming at me. He knew me too well, no doubt Nick and Pat filled him in; either that, or he knew that growing up around hockey players like Nick and Patrick, I had adopted a few habits.
"I tried hitting him, but he had my wrists tight, so I stepped on his toes and then kneed him in the nose when he bent over." Toews raised his eyebrows and I added, "And his nose was bleeding last time I saw him."
Jon smiled and patted me on the back. "You'll be alright, Elizabeth, you'll be alright..."
"So... since we're all buddy-buddy now.... Can I get an interview with you?" I asked slyly. That would show Kenny! Yeah, I'm awesome, you're not. BURN.
"I guess so, if it will prove that I don't have anything against you." he agreed with a wink as I stood up to give him some privacy.
Later that evening, after a brutal game, Logan and I waited by the locker rooms to console our friends on their loss. I patted Stalberg and told him that it was just an off-game for everyone; it was specifically bad for him, because he had way too many penalties, and not enough scoring chances. Surprisingly, he responded by giving me a hug, still hurt from the last sixty minutes of game-time.
"Hey, where's your Kenny?" he asked as he pulled away. I frowned and just looked down at my feet. Fucking another girl, probably.
Thankfully, Logan jumped inn to my rescue. "Uh- he's no longer in the picture." She put her arm around me and just nodded at Viktor. He took the cue and left us to wait to see our boys. "Alright, let's go in." She pulled me in to the tense room. Silence hit us like a brick wall. "Don't act so excited guys." Kaner flinched at the noise and glared at Logan. Nick just looked up at us and gave us a kicked-puppy face before returning to his routine. Jon didn't even move.
"It was one game, you can bounce back easy...." I tried enthusiastically. Pat glanced down and made a scoffing noise as if the thought was preposterous. Logan shook her head and walked over to sit by her brother. I looked at Kane and reminded him, "You had a pretty awesome goal!" He perked up at that and smiled for a good few minutes.
I nodded at my accomplishment and walked over to Jon. "Hey, listen, I know it was a rough game, so you don't have to go through with the interview if you don't want to." I insisted, stuffing my camera into my pocket as I sat down next to him.
"No." he said firmly. I turned to look at him. Jon had been staring at me and I was forced to make eye-contact. "Let's do it." He reached into my pocket and slowly took out my camera. He placed it in his hand, put on a hat, and gestured for me to stand up.
"You sure?" I asked, standing up. As I positioned myself in front of Jon and turned on the camera, I caught Pat staring at us from the corner of my eye. "I don't want you to have to bother with me if you don't want to."
He shook his head, reached over, and pressed the record button. "I'm proving that I don't dislike you. I keep my word. Besides, you deserve to catch a break." My face flared, and I still don't understand why, but it happened. I interviewed him about the game, and he gave all the right answers. He showed concern, but confidence in their ability to move forward. It made me feel good about the Blackhawks.
Once I finished, Logan called aloud, "Boys! I propose that Ellie and I take you all out to a maybe-next-time dinner!" The guys chuckled at this, but ultimately agreed. Secretly and silently, I thanked Logan for giving me at least another hour guaranteed with Jon. I could use it. She and I walked to our car and waited for the boys in the parking lot.
When they came, Logan discussed the location of the evening festivities. Pat scooted next to me and pinched my butt. I suppressed a squeal and slapped his chest. "Kaner! knock it off!" I hissed at him quietly as the group talked.
"So, Jon, huh?" he teased, nodding at Jon who was talking intently with Logan. I growled and shoved him, hoping he would stay quiet. "Bounce back fast!"
"Shut up!" I mumbled, blushing. I threw him a pleading glance and he smiled, backing off somewhat. "Thank you.."
He put his arm around me and whispered, "No problem..." Pat squeezed closer and put his lips to my ear. "Mrs. Toews." I elbowed him in the gut and stomped on his foot. He howled in pain and hopped on one foot while clutching his stomach. "Fuck!"
"What the hell Kaner?!" Logan cried, crossing her arms and glaring.
Pat stood up straight and locked eyes with me, threatening to do something drastic. I frowned and bit my lip, praying that my classic pity-me face would work its trick yet again. Thankfully, he gave in and shook his head. Sucker. "Nothing. I stubbed my toe." Nick, Logan, and Jon, shifted eyes from me to Pat and back again before relaxing.
"Alright... well, we decided to go to the Bistro a couple blocks away." Jon spoke up.
We all drove and met up at the Bistro and twenty minutes later, we were sitting down at a table, thinking about what to order. A couple fans happened to be there and wanted pictures with the guys, some got autographs as well. Eventually, they died down and we did have some privacy. "That's got to be a confidence booster." I commented under my breath as I put my jacket on the back of my chair.
Jon, who was sitting to the left of me, mumbled back, "Or a head enlarger for Pat." I snickered, but unfortunately, Pat, who was sitting to the right of me, glared, not enjoying the jibes.
"Whatever." he growled lamely as he looked back at his menu.
I patted him on the shoulder and insisted, "The game wasn't that bad." Kane just rolled his eyes. Disregarding this, I changed the subject. "Alright, now remember, the dinner is on us, so order whatever you want boys!" The boys all chuckled, doubting our ability to pay and the trueness of the statement.
"We'll see..." Jon laughed as he closed his menu. He set it down and draped his arm over my chair casually, not touching me, but pretty close. I felt a kick from Pat, signifying he noticed this. I kicked him back, signifying that it was just stretching that he himself partook in as well.
After we all ordered, Logan and I probed about the next few games. "So, the next game is away?" Logan wondered. The boys grunted in response. "Where?"
"Vancouver. Going against the Canucks." Nick answered, tilting back in his chair.
I nodded and crossed my fingers. "Here's to hoping, right?" Nick smirked and sat forward, crossing his fingers too. "You guys can take 'em."
"You overestimate our ability." Pat hissed dismally.
I huffed, "No, I'm being realistic. You can win, if you want to. You could have won tonight. It just wasn't your game."
"Don't be such a downer, Pat." Jon called out. He waved the waitress over and ordered a round of beers. "We'll take Vancouver down on the power-plays and go from there."
I laughed, "And avoid the Sedins at all costs." Logan threw back her head in laughter. Soon the boys chimed in too. I don't really know why we were all laughing so hysterically, because it wasn't funny. It could have been because we were tired, sad, emotional, or excited for no apparent reason.
"Damn twins... it should be outlawed for them to play on the same team. They're too good." Jon interjected as everyone calmed down. He took a swig of his beer and removed his arm from my chair. Damnit.
Soon the food arrived and we inhaled it like we had been starving for several days. I munched on my food and slid down my chair as my stomach doubled in size. It was then time to pay. The waitress came over and handed us the check. I reached for it, but someone else grabbed it before I had the chance to even brush it with my fingertips.
"I got it." Jon smiled as he took the check. I leaned over him for the check, but he only pushed it farther away from me. He chuckled quietly. "Ellie, really, I got it."
"No fair!" Logan whined, urging me to get the check.
I agreed, "Yeah, we said we would pay. Let us pay, ya weirdo." I lunged for the check, but Jon just poked me in the stomach and I spazzed, retracting into my seat. "Come on, we promised. You guys had a rough night."
Jon shook his head as he opened his wallet. "Ladies should never pay for dinner if there's an honorable man there." Nick and Pat simultaneously rolled their eyes. Jon chuckled, "I know..."
"Captain chivalrous." Pat joked, tossing a salute at Jon.
Nick continued, "Yeah, Knight-in-shining-armor over here is pretty specific about the treatment of women."
I turned my head and stared at him, waiting for confirmation. Jon, probably feeling my eyes on him, looked up at me, and then returned to the check, figuring out the right amount to tip the waitress. "Yeah... I'm kind of goofy about that."
"What do you mean?" I asked, tilting my head.
He shrugged, closing the check and placing it on the table. "I don't know... I just think... girls deserve to be treated special in certain situations. This is one of them."
I shook my head and moved to pick my purse up from the floor. "At least let me pay you back for my meal-" I began, reaching into my purse for my wallet.
Jon grabbed my wrist and forced me to look at him. "No." He commanded, completely straight-faced. Welcome back Captain Serious. I felt like a dog being scolded by her master. His dark eyes melted my previous instinct. My arm went limp and Jon released me, returning back to his smiling self.
In the parking lot, we all said our goodbyes. I hugged Nick tightly and wished him luck in Vancouver. I just patted Pat on the back, but he forced me into a snug squeeze. I teased him about his goal going unnoticed. Finally, Jon actually approached me and pulled me in for a hug. He smelled like cologne and soap; it was enticing.
Eventually, I pulled out of the hug and hopped into Logan's new mid-sized GMC SUV. "Can you believe it? A car! Now I don't have to mooch off you for any rides to work! And it has a functioning radio! My last car didn't even have a radio." She rambled as she pulled out of the parking lot.
I nodded and 'uh-huh'-ed as she did so, watching the boys hop into their respective cars. "Nice..." I agreed as my eyes focused on Jon as he slid into his black Escalade. As I let my mind wander, things seemed to almost slow down, the more I thought about things. Before I got too far into my thoughts, I felt a tight pinch on my shoulder that brought me crashing back to Earth. "Ouch! What?!" I hollered, gripping my shoulder, even though it really didn't hurt that much.
"What are you doing? Who are you drooling over?" she scoffed, looking through the parking lot. Logan caught sight of Jon on my side of the parking lot and just laughed. "Bounce-back Queen... Wow." I just shook my head. I had no dispute. She was right. I mean, I hoped things would go well with Kenny, I really did, but Jon always seemed to hold my focus. I couldn't get him out of my mind, and he was the perfect distraction from the last messy situation, so why not think about him? "And I thought you had it bad for Kenny..."
I rolled my eyes and glared out the window as we pulled onto the main city street. My face was burning, again, but it was too dark to tell, thankfully. "Just drive, Loge. I didn't ask for your psychoanalysis."
"Fine..." she giggled to herself.
About an hour later, I had gotten home and I was replaying the interview I had gotten with Jon. I was going to show Max the next day, and I was more than excited to do it. I hopped onto the internet for a bit while I waited for Logan to finish her shower. I logged into Facebook and looked through my news feed, trying to figure out what was going on with everyone.
A friend suggestion popped up on the side of my screen. It was for a Jonathan Sweot. I tilted my head at the peculiar name and clicked on the mutual friends. The only friends we had in common were Pat and Nick, who's names were unintelligible to the untrained eye. Oh... Sweot... Toews backwards... clever.... I clicked on his profile and saw that his profile picture was a picture of him as a child, and you couldn't tell that it was him at first glance. I hovered my cursor over the friend request button for a minute.
My heart said Click it, but my brain said Fuck No. What if he says no? Psh... crazy. After fighting internally with myself, I accidentally clicked the button. My finger twitched and clicked the mousepad. Shit. I heaved a sigh and sat back in my chair, letting the action sink in.
Knock Knock Knock. I got up and walked to the door, still in my Toews shirt. I looked through the peep hole in the door and saw a tall Jon standing a couple feet away from the door, holding something in one hand.
I squealed quietly and raced to the mirror in my room. I ruffled my hair, reapplied my foundation and reached for my lipgloss when I realized I was in no position to try and impress Jon. And, on the other hand, Jon was probably in no mood to be impressed.
I dropped the pink tube and returned back to the door. I cleared my throat and opened the door. "Oh... Hey Jon. What are you doing here?" I asked as casually as possible, trying to keep the nervousness out of my voice.
He gave me a small smile and held his hand out to me. My jacket hung from his fingers. "You left this behind at the restaurant. I thought, since I probably won't see you for a few days, might as well give it to you now before we go away."
I gasped and took the jacket back. This is one of my favorite jackets, and I left it at a restaurant? Shows how distracted I was. "Thanks so much! I-I can't believe I forgot it." I thanked, giving him a smile back.
Jon nodded and smiled, stuffing his hands into his suit pockets. "Yeah, yeah... no problem!" he insisted as he rubbed his neck. He stood there awkwardly in my doorway for a couple seconds.
"Oh! Right, I'm sorry, would you like to come in?" I asked, finally. I backed up and opened the door wider, exposing my living room to Jon. He smirked and walked in. I gaped behind him and closed the door, silently thanking God for the special gift. "Sorry, I'm kind of out of it tonight. So, how did you like dinner?" I sat down on the couch and invited him to join me.
He nodded and put his elbows on his knees as he leaned forward on the couch. "Yeah, it was fun. Lots of fun. I like it when you and Logan come and hang out with us. We don't always get to see that many people other than our teammates and trainers and stuff like that."
"Good. I'm glad. And you know I'll have to pay you back sometime for the dinner." I laughed as I stood up. "Do you want a drink?"
Jon chuckled for a moment and answered, "A water, please." I nodded and skipped into the kitchen. As I poured him a glass, I heard him laugh, "And you're not paying for anything. Neither will Logan. Where is she anyways?"
"Shower. And I will too! Just wait. When you're least expecting it, I will pay you back. It may not be monetary, but it will happen." I chided as I brought our glasses of water into the living room. When I joined him, Jon was looking at a couple pictures I had set on on the coffee table. I placed the water in front of him and sat back down on my couch.
He shook his head and smiled as he gazed down at the old picture. It was one of Pat and Nick, decked out in hockey gear, holding a trophy they had won. Logan and I had our arms around them, even though they were much taller than we were when they were on skates. "You guys have all been friends for a while, eh?" eh. cute.
"Yeah, since what seems like forever. I'm glad I get to work so close to them now." I divulged. Jon took a sip of his water and looked up at me, as if he wanted me to continue. "How do you like playing with the two of them?"
He smirked. "Nick's nearly perfect. Great at passing, bangs bodies when I need him to, and we are pretty good at helping each other get some points."
"And Kaner...?" I asked, a grin creeping across my face.
He let his head fall and laughed. "Yeah... about that. Ahh, he's alright. He's a good player, but he doesn't always listen to me. Very hard-headed like that. But I mean, we have a pretty good chemistry still, so I guess it's not as bad as it could be."
I shook my head and put my hand on his shoulder. I teased, "Let it out, let it out." The two of us chortled at our occasional dislike for Pat when there was the sound of a door closing. The two of us whirled around to see Logan in pajamas standing by the bathroom door. She glanced from me to Jon and back again. "Oh... Logan, Jon just came over to drop off my jacket."
Jon waved and elaborated, "She left it at the restaurant."
Logan nodded, eyes still shifting to and fro. "Right. That's nice of you. I didn't miss anything?"
"No, he just got here." I replied, shooting her a glare, hoping she would take the signal.
She smiled and waved us off. "Alright. Well, I'm kind of tired. I think I'm going to go to bed a little early tonight. Night guys." Logan called as she headed for her room.
"Night Loge!" I called.
Jon echoed, "Goodnight." He set his glass down and heaved a sigh. "I'm tired myself."
No! Don't leave! "Yeah, well you've had a long day. I could only imagine..." I sighed. He nodded and relaxed back on the couch. "So excited to travel a bit?"
He nodded and smirked. "I'm pumped to go to Canada. I miss it, you know?"
I shrugged. "I guess. I mean, I've never been to Canada, but I know what it's like not to be home for a while."
"You've never been to Canada?!" Jon boomed. His eyes bulged and for the first time in a while he was not serious or happy. I shook my head and recoiled, laughing at his expression. "I figured Pat or Nick would have taken you sometime... Well, I'll have to show you around my hometown sometime then."
I smirked. "Sure, but I'm paying for the gas or the airplane tickets." I joked.
He rolled his eyes and chuckled heartily. "Will you give up on that thing already? Can't you just let it go? It's a nice gesture." Jon smirked and locked eyes with me. His chocolate brown eyes made me want to give in to anything he asked of me.
However, I held strong. "Nope. I'm a stubborn and independent person. Unfortunately, some of Kaner's habits have rubbed off on me over the years."
Jon chuckled and shook his head. I laughed and took a sip of my drink and traced the pattern on my couch a few times as the room grew quiet. I felt Jon's eyes on me, but I refused to look back at him. "Did you and Pat ever date?" he asked abruptly.
The question caught me off guard and I nearly choked on my own breath when I heard him say it. "What?" I asked, letting myself lock eyes with him. His eyes never wavered, serious as ever. "I-I never... no! Never ever!" I cackled at the thought and doubled over on the couch. "What made you think that?"
"I don't know... he's always near you and he's always flirting with you." Jon mentioned, staring hard at me, probably trying to figure out if I was telling the truth or not.
I shook my head and beamed at him. "No... he's just a very touchy-feely kind of guy. He's basically my big brother, except for the whole hands-y thing. I don't think I could ever see us dating... I don't think he could either. It'd be too weird." I rambled, trying to emphasize my point. Jon nodded. Why do you care anyways?
"Good... because, I mean, I like Pat and all, but he doesn't date women who are respectable and... I didn't want him to like... hurt you or anything like that." Jon sputtered uncomfortably.
I held back a smile and put on my poker face. "Right, thanks. He would never.... not to me anyways. Besides, Nick would beat the shit out of him before he even touched me."
"I guess I could be included in that too." he pointed out. I nodded and smiled. He actually considers me to be a friend? Jon and I stared at one another for a minute or so before he coughed and shifted on the couch. "Well... I'm glad I could return your coat to you, and it was pretty cool seeing your apartment, but I should be getting home. Big day tomorrow." He stood up as he glanced at his super expensive watch.
I stood up and opened the door for him. "Sure, need some sleep if you expect to play well. And yeah, thanks for coming. I really appreciate it. I don't know what I would do without my jacket." Jon smiled and walked out into the hallway. "So, I guess I owe you for a couple things now: the check at the restaurant, and my jacket."
Jon shook his head and just laughed as he walked down the hall towards the elevator. "You never give up do you?"
"No!" I called back as I watched him click the down button.
The elevator dinged and the door opened. Jon hopped in and yelled back, "You're determined. I like that." He poked his head out and smiled. "Goodnight, Elle." And with that, his head disappeared back into the elevator and he was gone for the night.
I walked back inside to see Logan waiting for me on the couch. "What the fuck was that?" she nearly screamed. I opened my eyes and gave her a whole body shrug as I sat down next to her. "He just showed up, randomly? And how did he know where we live?"
"I have no idea. And why couldn't he wait until he saw me next? I mean, we go to all the games..." I countered, shaking my head. I spread my legs over Logan's and laid back against a pillow, getting as comfortable. "I so wasn't expecting it."
Logan's eyebrows arched high and she commented, "Yeah, well don't you think it's weird? He could have given it to Nick or Pat to give to either of us, but he decides to find our address and bring it to you instead? Why is he all of a sudden being so nice?"
"I don't know." I answered honestly, running my hands through my hair.
She questioned, "What were you two talking about in his room earlier?"
"I just apologized... I also told him that I thought he hated me, and he told me that he didn't. He even told me I was too good for Kenny. Then he agreed to let me interview him to prove that he and I were alright as far as friendship goes." I explained, sitting up on the couch.
Logan shook her head and scratched it thoughtfully. "Hmm... something is missing here..." she stated vaguely. "Call up Kaner and ask him about the jacket real quick."
Here we go with Detective Logan... I did as I was told and clicked Pat's number from my contacts. "Hello?" I called.
"Hey, what's up?" Kane responded groggily.
"Oh, did I wake you?" I asked.
After a brief pause, he insisted, "No, it's fine. What's going on?"
"Well, I was just wondering about my jacket and-" I started.
This perked Pat right up. "Oh! Did you get it back from Jon?" he almost sang into the receiver. Of course he had something to do with it. I knew he could probably picture me blushing at his statement.
"Yeah... uh how did he know where I lived, exactly?" I wondered, trying to avoid the topic Pat was so focused on getting to.
"I gave him directions after he suggested that he drop it off."
"He wanted to drop it off?" I nearly gasped at the thought. This complete turn around in Jon's behavior was shocking. I knew he was serious, but now he decides to be all nice. What is this?
Pat chuckled, "Are you surprised?" I nodded as if he were in the room with me. "I guess he wanted to see you. Go figure." I rolled my eyes, again as if he could see me. "Want my opinion? I think you're going to become his new buddy."
"What are you talking about?" I asked. At this point, I put Pat on speaker-phone so Logan could listen in on the conversation.
"Well, Jon likes to have friends that are girls, like most people, but after his last break up, he lost a lot of those friends. So... looks like you could be next." Pat hinted. I shook my head and Logan shrugged, trying to stay silent. "Well, we'll see. If he asks me for your number tomorrow, I'd say it's fair to assume that you're going to be the new lady friend, and Logan's next."
"What?" Logan hollered. I slapped her for giving away our secret and she winced in pain.
Pat just chuckled, "Classic girls. I'll see you later."
"Good luck!" we sang together.
"Thanks guys. Goodnight." Pat hung up and Logan and I were left with silence.
Logan looked at me and smiled before heading to her room. "Goodnight, Jon's new b-f-f." she teased. I mumbled something unintelligible at her before going to bed.
The next morning, I stared at my camera in my hand as I sat in my car. I looked around the gray parking lot and slowly creeped out of my warm shelter, into the dark, rainy, depressing day. I skidded into the station, managing to keep myself mostly dry. As I strode in, I saw Kenny sitting at the desk in front of the camera. He stared at me with a hurt face as if I did something. I turned away as I marched confidently into Max's office.
This time, I had a whole new spin on things. I knew what I wanted, and I knew how to get it. I just had to reach for it. Now or never. I pushed open the office to see Mr. Doyle scribbling earnestly on a piece of paper. I closed the door and unintentionally startled him. He coughed and shook his head at me. Max silently waved me over as he pressed his fingers to his temples. "This better be good news, Bennett."
At least he got the name right... "It is, sir." I sat down and passed the camera to him wordlessly. Sitting back, I stared at him as he studied the camera. Max cautiously removed his hands from his head and inched toward the camera as if it were a bomb. He looked at me as he picked it up, and I just nodded for him to press play.
Half way through the interview, Max stopped and set the camera down. "Wow. I think that's the most in depth interview I've seen. He answered your questions and then some! What's your secret?"
Making friends with the person is a start. "Never mind that. I still would like something in return." I began
He chuckled, "I told you before Bennett, you'll work up to the position-"
"Oh, no, I know that. I actually had something else in mind." I countered with a smile. Max raised an eyebrow and kicked back in his chair, indicating his curiosity. "Well, I was hoping I could change up my time..." As I paused, he waited for me to continue, not completely denying my request. "I thought I could switch places with Cynthia, cover the games live and introduce the post-game interview the next evening."
Max leaned forward and set his hands on the desk in front of him, folding them tightly. "What brought this on? One second you're begging me to take you off sports, now you want to get the prime time spot for it? What happened?" I just shrugged in response, hoping I could keep myself calm. "Spill it. If you really what the spot, I'll give it to you, because you earned it and you know more than Cynthia the barbie, but you have to tell me what's going on."
I huffed and frowned. Just get it over with. "I went out with Kenny recently... and I found him cheating on me with another girl... I don't feel comfortable working near him." I confessed, leaving out major details.
"That would explain why I saw you storm out of the building the other day." he sighed, standing up. I looked down at my hands and remained silent. "I'm giving you the time slot. Cynthia will be with Kenny. Just... do the bit today with him, and you won't have to for the rest of your time in sports."
I nodded as I stood to leave. "Thank you." I almost whispered. My hand was on the handle when Max started talking again.
"Elizabeth... You're going to be fine. Especially with the way you are handling everything." he commented.
I gave him a small smirk before heading out to get my makeup done. Unfortunately, I slid into my chair next to Kenny and immediately wanted to vomit. Time to really plaster on that fake smile. I looked through my prep papers silently as he strolled over to me.
"Hey... I called you." he hissed at me. I ignored him and slipped a paper to the back of the bunch. "Look, can we talk." I tapped the papers on the table so that they were in order. "Come on, are you really giving me the cold shoulder?" I cleared my throat and set the papers down. "You'll have to say something during our segment."
Kenny rolled back to his spot and looked at his papers for a moment before the camera's started rolling. "Thanks Bill. In sports, the NBA is still in a major lockout, and there is no word of when it will end. This could result in pushing back the season more than anticipated." I said with a concerned face.
He added, "Thankfully, in baseball, the Cubs have started practice and Head Coach Lou Piniella confirmed that they plan to bring the heat next time around. You think they can do it, Eliza-?"
"In other news! The Blackhawks unfortunately lost their most recent game against the Anaheim Ducks. Captain Jonathan Toews gave us this exclusive interview about the event and his hopes for future games." I concluded as the cameraman signaled for us to relax. I sighed and patted my papers excitedly.
"Way to cut me off..." Kenny breathed. When I didn't respond, he continued. "So, you got that interview with Jon after all..." Nothing. He opened his mouth to say something, but we were being waved back into action. Kenny smiled wide at the camera. "Well, we look forward to seeing the Blackhawks win their next game. But for now, I'm Kenny Walters."
"And I'm Elizabeth Bennett for Channel Eight Sports Edition." I finished with a cheesy smile as the cameraman counted us out. Once we were clear, I leapt up from my seat and fled the scene before Kenny could catch up to me. Thankfully, I was done for the day, and I could visit Logan at the Stadium before returning home to watch the game.
"Hey Bill." I greeted as I walked in the rear entrance. He waved and stood up from his seat. "Do you know where Logan is right now?" I asked.
He nodded with a smile. "She should be on lunch break right now, last time I checked. She promised me she would bring me a snack from her lunch. She'll probably be down any minute."
I nodded, glanced away, then dramatically stared back at him. "Wait... she's sharing her food... with you?" I asked, stunned. If anyone was a food-hog, it was Logan. As long as I'd known her, she never gave any of her food to anyone. Not even me! That was kind of how we became friends. I asked her to trade my gummy-bears for her cookie in first grade, and she nearly bit my head off. I gave her my gummy-bears anyways. Instant friendship. Eventually, she did give me her cookie, but it was the only time I can remember getting something edible from her.
"Yeah... I helped her out earlier, and she told me she would give me a treat for my assistance." Bill elaborated, giving me a confused look. "Why?"
I laughed, "Bill, I don't mean to be a downer, but I don't think you'll ever get that snack. You see, Logan-"
"What about me?" I heard shortly after the elevator in the office 'dinged' her presence. Turning, I saw Logan, holding a brownie and a cup of something steaming in her hands. My mouth dropped as she placed the items down and slipped a napkin out from her pocket. "Here you go, Bill. Enjoy. Thanks again."
Bill smirked down at his coffee and brownie and licked his lips. "Aw, thanks sweetie. I appreciate it." Bill sat back down, took a bite of his brownie, and sipped his coffee; A.K.A. the perfect combination of food during a workday.
"Come on, Ellie." Logan tugged at my elbow to leave Bill in peace. We hopped in the elevator, and once we were a level above the main floor, I yanked my arm away from her and gaped at her. "What?" she laughed.
I shook my head and crossed my arms. "What's wrong with you?" Logan shrugged and smirked. "You never share your food with anybody."
"Bill really saved me today. I was supposed to find out which shirts needed re-stocking, but I forgot whether it was Sharp or Kaner shirts that we ran out of last night." she began dramatically. Always the actress. "And my boss was furious, I thought she was going to kill me! And I needed desperate help, and then Bill said that he noticed that all the shirts at the stand were there, except Sharp and- Well... needless to say, I was spared my life." Logan wiped her forehead and made a 'phew' sound.
I raised an eyebrow, still skeptical. "Yeah... okay. Other than that, is there something you're specifically excited about?" I asked, probing to find the real answer.
"Yes." She squealed, grabbing my arm as the elevator slowed to a stop. She skipped out down the office corridor. I followed to a door at the end of the hall. I entered to see a small office, all to herself. "So, what do you think of the office?"
I nodded and smiled. There was a picture of me and her on my desk as well as one of Pat and Nick when they were teenagers. Her lunch, a salad, was still sitting on the desk next to a closed laptop. It was average size, but nowhere near the size of an executive's office. She sat in her chair and took a bite of her salad. "Very nice. So, maybe trying out this retail assistant position wasn't so bad after all, hmm?"
Logan smiled with her mouth close to hide the lettuce leaves she was munching on. Once she finished it, she elaborated, "I actually have a somewhat important role in this place! It's great. Anyways, down the important business." Logan gestured for me to sit on the couch to the side of the room, and I did so as she became serious. What is she getting at? "Now, I'm sure you're wondering why I called you here."
Rolling my eyes, I groaned, "Come on, out with it."
"Alright, remember how when you were in Philly, you went to that 'Flyers' Wive's Fight for Lives' carnival thing or whatever?" I squinted at her, trying to find her angle, but I still nodded. I went to it several times and I met the players (again) and interviewed a couple. "Right, well, I was explaining it to my boss, and how we could sell a lot of Blackhawks gear if we had something like that, but half the money would go to a charity. And you know, I just mentioned it as an idea, just spitballing, but she totally bought it!"
My eyes widened. She was better at the job than I thought she would be! Not that I doubted her efforts. "What? That's great! I'm so proud of you!" I squeaked, running over to give her a hug.
She held up her hand to stop me. "Wait! There's more." Spare me the cheesy infomercial jargon. I sat back down and patiently awaited her explanation. "Well, it's going to be a toy drive. And any girlfriends or wives are supposed to help, but before-hand, there's going to be some sort of raffle. If you enter, you get a chance to go out to dinner with one of the blackhawks after the toy drive is over. It's like a team dinner thing where most of the players will be there at the same restaurant, but they'll be like an escort."
"Did you come up with all this yourself?" I asked, grinning at the idea. Logan nodded and smiled back at me. "That's great! I mean, if people don't already love the guys, they will now, right? You deserve a raise or something. You should be in charge of like activities or something, not retail."
Logan smiled as she reached under her desk and picked up a brown box. I walked over and peered inside to see a lot of the belongings that looked like they should be in her office: tissues, pens and pencils, paper, laptop charger, desk plaque with her name on it, and many other things. "I'm moving to Assistant Events Manager."
"Logan!" I almost screamed. I ran over to her and the two of us hopped up and down, squealing like little girls the whole time. "This is amazing! Did you tell Nick? He's going to be so proud of you! Loge!" I rambled.
She nodded and jabbered in response. "Nick knows! He said as soon as he gets home, we're all going out to celebrate!" I gave her a tight hug before backing away. "I never thought I would like it here." she admitted quietly as she sat down, smirking to herself.
"See, and you like it, don't you?" I didn't need an answer, I could see it on her face. For once, she was appreciated for her creative contributions. Logan shook the moment away and began munching away back at her salad. "So, did you tell Nick about your original plan and the raffle dates?"
Logan giggled, "Yeah... Nick said that you should enter for him so he doesn't get a 'crazy old cat lady who smells like mayonnaise'... exact quote."
I laughed and insisted, "But that would be way more entertaining. You should enter for Kaner. I'd get a kick out of that one too."
"I wouldn't." she stated curtly. I chuckled and shook my head at the thought of them on a date together. She scowled at me and finished up her salad before throwing it away. "Maybe you should try for Toews instead, since he likes you so much."
My mind went blank at the statement. Where the hell is this coming from? "What? What are you talking about?" I asked, honestly perplexed.
"I watched your segment today... I saw the way he lit up when you interviewed him." she said quietly with a smile.
I scoffed and nearly slid off the couch form laughing. "You have got to be kidding me, right? He just lost his almost-fiance, we have finally become non-enemies, and you're insisting that he's all of a sudden interested in me?"
She shrugged. I hate it when anyone shrugs for an answer. When she caught me glaring at her, she elaborated. "I just call 'em as I see 'em." Logan, noticing my shocked face, changed the subject. "I could be crazy. Anyways, I saw you're little snubbing of Kenny too. Do you still have to work with him?"
I frowned at the mention of his name. "No. I used my interview with Jon as a trade. I agreed to let him use it if I could change time slots with Cynthia and cover the sports live, pre-game, and post-game. Anytime when Kenny wouldn't be there."
"But- I thought you were going to use it to convince him to let you cover the big stuff!" she argued. I gave her one pitiful look and she dropped the topic. "Alright... well, good for you. I'm surprised you had it in you to take what you wanted." I smiled at my own progression. "Well... you're a little late, and I have to move my stuff, but I'll see you later at home, alright?"