Captain Cold Shoulder
"I seriously wish I could skip this road trip," I shout from my bedroom as I stuff clothes into my suitcase, "I can't stand Captain douche bag," I groan in frustration. I ball up another shirt and throw into my bag hastily. I make sure to pack all of the cute clothes I have with killer shoes and jewelry- if Claude really meant what he said, he'll be changing his mind soon when he sees me in these clothes. If he was going to be a jerk, I was going to fight back with ultimate sass and slay every day with my outfits. I look up to see a concerned Jules standing at my door with Sean who's chuckling at my remarks. I laugh softly, "Sorry Sean, I know he's your friend."
"Nah, it's fine- he's a jerk most of the time," he admits with a comforting smile.
"Just ignore him, alright? Take your pictures and don't talk to him," Jules offers- easier said than done.
"Yeah, just stick around with me Kat- it'll be fun, I promise," Sean comments, "we gotta get going soon Jules."
She gives him a pout and he responds with a warm tight hug- I can't help but to wish I had someone as sweet as Sean to hug me like that. "We'll be back in a week and a half- it'll go by fast- I promise," he adds. I zip up my bag as I watch their cute "friendly" interaction.
"Yeah, yeah easy for you to say- I'll be here in an empty apartment, watching my friends visit cities without me!" Julie teases, trying to give us a small guilt trip.
Sean just shakes his head with a soft laugh and kisses her forehead, "you ready Kat?" he asks turning my way- I give him a nod with a small smile. He makes his way to the living room to collect his bags, leaving Jules and I alone.
"I didn't know friends kiss each other on the forehead," I taunt with a grin.
"Oh shut up," she laughs, "I just don't want you coming back and telling me Claude and you kissed like the last time," Jules says with a more serious tone.
"Trust me it's not going to happen," I admit truthfully. I give Jules a hug before Sean and I leave to go to the Skate Zone where the bus was going to pick us up.
As the guys and I file onto the bus, Sean sticks close to me, helping me with my heaviest bag, storing it in the top bin for me. Sean and I quickly engage in conversation; he is so easy to talk to, unlike a certain someone that loves to tease me endlessly. A specific good-looking ginger steps onto the bus last with freshly washed, wet curls- I tear my eyes from his face before he notices my gaze.
"You good?" Sean asks, noticing who just got on the bus.
"Yeah, yeah fine- thanks," I smile.
The bus ride goes smoothly and all of the guys are pumped up for the game tonight in New Jersey- secretly I'm as hyped as they are. "You ready for tonight, Kat?" Simmer asks me with a huge grin as he leans over the back of his seat while the bus is still moving.
"Yes- how could I not be?" I retort with enthusiasm, "you have to beat them; I hate the Devils more than the Penguins if you can believe that."
"Really? A Flyers fan who hates a team more than the Penguins, eh?" he laughs softly, "Hey boys," he yells out to the bus, "we've got a special request from Kat to kick some ass tonight!" I can hear everyone chuckle and turn in our direction; I hear a few "Alright Kat" 's and "you got it" 's which my makes my face flush red with embarrassment. Sean laughs at my expression as soon as Wayne sits back down in his seat, "you know, Simmer loves giving everyone a hard time- you should come hang out with us all again like you did before the season kicked into gear. I mean I know you talk and joke with us at practices but you should hang out with us when we're not wearing skates- a lot of the guys want to get to know you better," Sean confesses and I give him an uneasy look.
"I just- I mean- Clau-" I start to say but catch myself before I finish his name, "you-know- who isn't my favorite person in the world right now."
"Well don't worry about him we just won't invite him," Sean smirks with a chuckle.
"Well," I hesitate, "that'd be awesome," I admit truthfully with a small smile- it's impossible to say that I'm not looking forward to hanging out with them on this road trip- I've always wanted to get to know them better but Claude was always there to distract me. Now that I have Sean to pulling me head first into hanging out with the team, my job is bound to get even more fun than it already was. I just made the NHL Flyers Snapchat account last night and this new-ish friendship is going to enable me to start posting videos and photos to the account, giving the fans an inside look on all of the guys off the ice.
We finally pull into the hotel that we'll be staying at for just tonight's away game around noon. I stretch for my bag on the shelf above our seats when I see Claude making his way towards me. Just as he's about to reach for my bag, Sean springs up and snatches it from the shelf. I let a silent sigh of relief, "thanks Sean," I say and avoid acknowledging Claude's presence behind me.
"No problem," he replies sweetly and I see his gaze shift from me to Claude; his face tenses and his smile disappears from his mouth. I shuffle past Sean quickly and make my way down the aisle of the bus with him close behind me. I can't believe how quick Sean has been to have my back in these types of situations- did he consider us to be friends after this short amount of time already?
I'm shaken from my thoughts abruptly when I trip over something sticking out in the walkway. I try to steady myself but I can't- I'm heading down the stairs head first- what a way to start the road trip. I close my eyes tight and brace myself for the pain about to greet me. Suddenly I feel a pair of arms around my torso like a rushed hug and a breath of air leaves my chest. Unfortunately, the arms around me aren't the familiar ones I've been fantasizing about for so long- but at least my face isn't smashed into the pavement.
"Kat are you okay?" Steve says as he unwraps his arms from around me and steadies me down the bus steps.
I try to laugh off my embarrassment, "uh-yeah thank you so much, Steve."
"No problem- just be more careful next time," he replies with a sincere smile. A bit of an awkward silence passes as I focus on Claude staring me down with a worried glance. Just when I think he's about to say something to me, he continues to walk past and looks to the ground instead of my eyes.
"Kat?" Steve says shaking me from my daze and I look back to his face, "you okay? Twist anything?"
"Yeah, yeah I'm fine," I reassure him. He picks up the duffel bag on the ground behind him- I guess he dropped it when he swooped in like superman to save my face from meeting the pavement.
Sean picks up the heavy bag in my hand and carries it for me; I try to protest but he cuts me off before I do, "don't need to give you another chance to break your face Kat," he chuckles. I smile and nod in reply- trying to not seem too preoccupied by Claude's gaze on me - did he really not care enough to simply ask if I was okay? Isn't that common decency? Just ignore him, forget he even exists Kat, I think to myself. When we all gather in the lobby and check in all at once, Sean, Steve and I make our way to our rooms- I was on the same floor along with the rest of the guys.
Steve finds Michael Neuvirth, the relatively new goalie on the team I was excited to get to know, swiping into the room they were sharing. I can't help but laugh to myself as I wave hi to Mike; Jules and I swear he looks like Freddy from iCarly.
"Ready to hit the gym roomie?" Brayden yells from down the hall as soon as he sees us.
"Yeah just give me a few minutes to get ready Schenner," he replies then turns to me, "he's always this eager when we get to the hotel- he never lets me relax," Sean grumbles. "What room are you in?"
I glance down at a piece of paper in my hands along with the hotel key, "Looks like I'm in 713."
"Awesome, that's a few doors down from us," he smiles, "need any help getting settled- I don't mind skipping the gym before warm-ups."
"Nah I'm good- but thanks though," I answer- I'm really starting to appreciate this relationship that sparked up with him and Jules. As we get to my door, Sean sets down one of my bags, "alright, I'll see you later Kat."
"Thanks again Sean for all of your help," I say as I swipe into the room.
"No problem," he smirks and heads to his door down the hall with Brayden already nagging him to hurry up and change.
Opening up the door, I already see some bags on the bed next to what I'm presuming is mine- that's weird, I wasn't told I was sharing a room with anyone. As I walk in further into the room, I am greeted by the sight of a familiar ginger that I'm trying to learn to hate, standing shirtless in just gym shorts. His toned torso and sculpted arms capture my gaze; I try to look away before it qualifies as creepy. I tear my eyes away from his chest and try to throw on an angry face, "Claude what the fuck are you doing in here?"
"I should be asking you that- this is the room they assigned me," he rolls his eyes at my attitude, "you know you could say something like hi."
"Well this is a huge mistake- I'm going back down to the desk to sort this out," I answer, my patience running thin.
"Anything you can do to get away from me," Claude chimes, I try to think of something snippy to say but I just leave with huff as I shut the door behind me with all of my bags on my shoulders. I hesitate walking back in there and yelling at him, telling him how big of a friggin' jerk he is and how much I deserve an apology for what he said at the practice but it's not even worth it.
The sight of his naked chest floods my mind and my heart flutters- this is not good. I shake my head to get rid of the image just before storming down the hallway to the elevator to demand a much needed room change. Just as I am about to step into the elevator I hear someone behind me yell my name.
"Kat! Hold up!"
I turn around immediately expecting to see Claude ready to apologize, but my heart drops when I see it's not, "Oh- hey Wayne," I try to smile through my disappointment.
"It seems the old switcheroo was done and you got my room key and I got yours," he says as we get closer to each other, "I saw I had a single room and I was close to keeping it but I knew I couldn't leave you and Claude alone together," he laughs softly and my eyes go wide. What? Does he know? Did Claude brag about me being his conquest with my name involved? I swear I'm going to give Giroux a black fucking eye when I'm done with him. "I heard you yelling at him; he's such a jerk to live with- and not the cleanest guy," he adds, "wouldn't want you to have to deal with that. Hell, I don't know how Reader does it."
"Ohhhh," I let escape my mouth when I realize he's as clueless as Kelly of the situation, thank god; Wayne gives me a strange look, "I mean yeah- never would've guessed Claude was the messy type," I laugh nervously trying to throw him off. I take the hotel key out of my back pocket and we trade keys. He leads me to my room which just so happens to be across from their room; I try not to look miserable when Wayne points out we're "across-the-hall-neighbors."
"Yeah, awesome," I try to say enthusiastically as I wave goodbye to him. I swipe my key and push past the door into a beautifully decorated Claude-less room. It had a little lounge area along with a good-sized TV. The queen size bed is adorned with fluffy sheets and about 8 ornate matching pillows, "this place looks more expensive than the entire apartment alone," I mumble under my breath, "I guess the guys are used to being surrounded by expensive things like this."
"Are you ready for some hockey Devils' fans?!?" an unfamiliar voice yells over the speakers.
"Boooooooooo," I say quietly under my breath as I take a few more photos while the guys are lined up on center ice- I hate the devils- I mean really hate them. It all has to do with the most obnoxious girl that lived on my floor sophomore year of college- she had to have been the most annoying Devils fan I had met in my life- still is too. Once the puck drops the stadium quiets down- everyone is absorbed in the game being played before them. During the game, I make my way around the stadium and take photos at different angles for the website.
I pull out my phone and take a couple photos as the Flyers skate down into the Devils zone where I am standing behind the net. In a flash, I see Giroux, Simmonds and Sean setting up for a goal; anticipation builds in my chest. I watch the puck land in the back of the net and jump and down screaming filled with energy while most of the stadium is booing. The guys celebrate, tapping each other's helmets and smiling, right in front of me and I take a few quick photos of their celebration with my camera. Once I put down my camera from my face, I see a pair of hazel eyes staring down at me as he skates away. Why was Claude acting so cold? OH yeah because he's a liar and a jerk- a great combo.
The game ends with the Flyers winning 5-3; definitely an exciting game and a great way to start the road trip. I make my way into the locker room and take some photos of the guys being interviewed to post on Instagram and Snapchat- how lucky am I to have this job? As the press clears out, Sean calls me over to his cubby. I've never noticed how built he actually is underneath the big padding and enormous jersey- Jules is a lucky girl. I walk over to him with a big smile, "good job on getting a goal- I bet Julie was screaming when she saw," I admit truthfully, "mind if I get a picture of you to post on Instagram and such?" I ask, pulling out my phone with a hopeful smile.
"Yeah sure- should I put on a shirt?" he asks about to pick up his t-shirt by his feet.
"No, no, it's fine stay like that," I pull out my phone and take a photo- really this wasn't getting posted on Instagram; I snicker to myself as I quickly open up iMessage on my phone and send the shirtless photo to Jules, she's going to freak.
"So we were wondering if you wanted to go to out tonight- we were thinking a bar near here," Sean proposes, "we weren't going to be long since we have to be on the bus tomorrow morning for the next game- you should definitely come."
"Uh -well," I look to Claude who really isn't paying attention, "I guess if you guys weren't planning on being there all night, that'd be fun," I admit. I'm not going to let Claude ruin my fun- besides I have a really cute outfit underneath this 'Staff' fleece and it'd be a shame to let it go to waste. I figure if I never go out with the guys I'll never get to know them better.
"Katina," I hear a thick French-Canadian accent pronounce, "do you want to share a cab over to the bar?"
I turn to see Claude looking up at me from his locker, why was he being nice all of the sudden- he's giving me whiplash. As much as I want to talk to the nice Claude that decided to show up to the locker room- I can't fall into his act again. "Uh- no I think I'm getting a ride with Sean and Bray," I say and before I can add a 'thanks though' he looks back down and starts to grab his things from the floor- totally finished paying me any attention- I don't know what to expect from him anymore.
Once Sean and Brayden are done getting changed, we get on the bus to head back to the hotel. From there, they get quick showers while I touch up my make-up on my scar and face for tonight. My phone buzzes telling me Sean sent me a text. "We're almost ready- just waiting for Schenner to finish perfecting his hair," the text reads. I laugh out loud imagining Brayden in front of the mirror gelling up his hair.
I reply back: "We'll be here all night then lol- I'm ready now- I'll wait outside." I hit send and stuff my phone in my back pocket. I grab my jacket and zip it up tight- the November air was beginning to turn colder and colder by the day. I place my purse on my shoulder and head out the door without forgetting my hotel key. I close the door behind me and check my phone for any new texts from Sean.
"Waiting for Bray to text you?" I hear Claude comment from across the hall.
"Are you implying something Giroux?" I ask with some edge in my voice.
"Of course not," he says sarcastically.
"Roo let's go!" I hear Wayne yell from down the hallway and Claude walks past me without saying anything else. "What the hell," I grumble, why the heck was he aggravating me so easily? I make my way towards the other end of the hall towards Brayden and Sean's room- they come out just as I get there. (Kat's Outfit)
Downstairs, the three of us take a car to the nearby bar supposedly everyone is going to. When we get there, most of the guys are already there, including Claude, who was chatting up a couple girls hanging on him. My stomach churns with jealousy and Sean tries to distract me by taking me to where most of the guys were already sitting.
"Hey Kat! It's great you could come," Steve says as the three of us approach the tables.
"I'm glad I could make it," I smile. I unzip my jacket revealing a plain maroon crop top showing of my midriff- Jules would be proud of my revealing outfit. Claude meets eyes with me just before he takes in what I'm wearing and what I'm showing off. He quickly looks away, and continues talking to the girls that are loving his attention. I slowly look back to Sean who's noticed my gaze on Captain Douche Bag- I hope nobody else did.
"So what's up with you and Claude?" Brayden blurts out and Sean hits him abruptly in the shoulder causing him to keep his mouth shut. Does Brayden know something? I shoot a look to Sean, but I can't read his expression.
"What do you mean Schenner?" Steve asks- confused along with Del Zotto, Neuvirth, and Simmonds.
"I uh- I meant- uh-" Bray stammers, "you two seemed to be friendlier to each other and now you guys barely talk." My mouth goes dry as the guys shift their focus to me.
"Well- uh- I don't know what you're talking about- we just kind of stopped talking as much," I lie, "there's no friction between us," I lie again. You should've seen us the other night though- a lot of friction then, my subconscious remarks.
Thankfully everyone stops staring at me and changes the topic. Sean has a lot of explaining to do- I know Brayden must know something. The rest of the night goes smoothly, I don't see Claude 70% of the time and the guys tell me amazing stories that have me laughing so hard I cry. I even get some pictures of the guys and I together on my phone to submit to Kelly for the Flyers Wives Charity book. When we get back to the hotel, most everyone is getting there at the same time. Instead of heading back to my room, I follow Brayden and Sean into theirs- I have some questions that need answering.
"Sean-uhm can I have a word with you, in private?" I ask.
Before Sean can answer Brayden blurts out, "I know about you and Claude!"
"What?!" I practically yell as my heart races.
"Can you not yell it so everyone on the floor can hear it!" Sean says to Brayden, whacking his arm. He looks to my panicked face, "I didn't tell him I swear Kat."
I walk up to Brayden stomping, "How do you know? I swear if Claude said-"
"G didn't say anything- I heard them talking about "Cinderella" at practice and then I saw him giving you back your shoes you left at his apartment- I just put it together that you were Cinderella. I haven't said anything to anyone I promise- Sean said he'd kill me if I told anyone," Bray explains.
"Shit- why didn't I think about people seeing us?" I groan to myself, "thanks for not telling anyone Bray."
"No problem Kat- I don't want you to get fired, you always get my good side," he teases trying to lighten the mood.
I smile pathetically at his joke and he suddenly wraps his arms around me squeezing me, giving me a tight hug. "Claude's a jerk for saying that stuff about you Kat," Brayden says, practically demolishing my ribs.
"Let go of the poor girl Schenner you're crushing her!" Sean chuckles.
"Sorry," Brayden says as he lets go of me giving me a sheepish smile.
"It's okay," I laugh softly, "I kinda needed a hug like that," I admit shyly.
After a little while, I say goodnight to the boys and make my way down the hall towards my room. Just as I get to my door I hear a loud giggle coming out of the elevator followed by a deep voice I wish I hadn't heard. He pushes her up against the door, speaking French to her like he had to me that night. I try to turn away, and get the hell in my room but I'm paralyzed. Suddenly the gorgeous blonde from the bar makes eye contact with me and responds with a disgusted look, "what the hell are you looking at." Claude looks behind him only to see my dumb face trying not to cry. The look in his eyes is only ice cold as he turns back around and goes into the hotel room with her body tightly wrapped in his arms.
The door slams shut, waking me from my paralysis. I push open the door after I swipe in and close it hard behind me. I lean against the door, and slide down it until my butt hits the hardwood, wrapping my arms around my folded knees tucked into my chest. Why did this hurt so bad? Thoughts of the one night we shared together flood my mind. Just like that, he was over me so quickly and onto the next, making conquests. The Claude that had walked around Boston with me, kissed me, got coffee with me, ran in the pouring rain with me, watched movies on a rainy day with me was all a crafty facade; the Claude is gone for sure now.
I wipe the tears rolling down my face and try not to feel bad for myself but it's no use- I'm dumb if I thought Claude wouldn't sleep with the next girl that threw herself at him. Hell, he probably was screwing half the girls he met while he was tricking me into thinking he was actually a good guy. I shed off my clothes and get into my pj's before making a b-line for the mini fridge. I grab the expensive dark chocolate covered almonds and indulge in them while I watch the only thing that's on this late at night: infomercials. I know it's bad to be up this late when we have to be on the bus at 11am tomorrow to take us to the airport but I feel restless.
A light bulb goes off in my head as I scroll through some of the photos on my phone that I took tonight. I come across an adorable photo of Brayden, Sean and I'm in the middle while the two boys are towering over me with our arms around each other. I post the photo to my Instagram, captioning it with "A couple of my favorite guys and I - such a fun night #hockeyplayersaresotallholycrap #thatheightdifferencetho #philadelphiaflyers."
"Two can play at this 'jealousy' game Giroux," I murmur under my breath.
Hey guys! Hope you enjoy the chapter and are enjoying the Flyers vs Bruins game right now- hope the Flyers win tonight of course. ANYWAYS sorry this chapter is so friggin long and I was going to split it but that would've been dumb. Thanks so much for reading, commenting, rating and subscribing- you guys are the best! Next chapter will be up, unfortunately, within these next two weeks- school has been taking no mercy lol. Hope your weekend coming up is awesome! Thank you! (: