The alarm on my phone and the alarm clock in the apartment go off simultaneously, waking me up effectively. Why did it have to be 8am already? As much as I hate to get out of this bed that feels like it's worth more than my camera and lenses added up, I can't miss the bus taking us to the airport and I'm in major need of some coffee.
I throw up my hair in a ponytail, slip on some light blue jeans and tank top and my Flyers half zip and matching baseball cap- wasn't sure if this was the best thing to wear in north Jersey after the Flyers beat the Devils but I'll take my chances. Walking out of the hotel, the cold air greets my face- it really was getting cold fast- good thing I brought my gloves with me. I look up on my phone where the closest coffee place is from the hotel and thankfully, it's only a quick 4 minutes on foot. As I walk to the Starbucks with my headphones in listening to music, I can't help but to think about last night. I can't believe how big of an idiot I am believing Claude was actually a good guy. Just put him out of your mind and get over it, I think to myself.
As I push through the front entrance of the busy Starbucks, I'm welcomed by the freshly brewed aroma of coffee and warm atmosphere. I peel off my gloves swiftly and check my email as I get in the long line. 1 unread email from the organization informing me of the itinerary for the next couple of days; bus at 11:00am, then airport by 12pm and plane leaves around 2:30pm for Vancouver. My stomach turns in my abdomen- I've always felt uneasy on airplanes- maybe Sean can hit me over the head with his hockey stock so I can be knocked out for the flight. I stuff my phone back into my pocket and wait patiently for my turn to order.
The barista gives me a warm smile, "Good morning, what would you like?"
"Morning," I smile back, "Could I get a pumpkin spice latte, venti, and a blueberry muffin please?"
She nods and punches in whatever into the register and tells me the total. Just as I'm about to hand her the money, a hand reaches from beside me with a 20 dollar bill. What the heck? Does this guy think he's a hot shot or something?
"I'll pay for hers," a familiar French Canadian accent pronounces and my heart knots up. Of course it's him who else would it be? I turn to see Claude flashing the barista a panty-melting smile. The girl blushes and looks back to me, waiting for my response once she tears her eyes from his attractive features.
"No I'm fine-don't bother," I say blankly, "here," I hand her the money once again as Claude retracts his $20. The barista gives me an odd look probably wondering if I was insane for not letting 'such a handsome guy' pay for my latte. She takes the $10 and gives me my change before Claude can persist. I quickly get out of line and move over to the second counter to wait for my drink. I tap my foot impatiently, I knew I should've went to a coffee shop further away. I silently pray that the guy making my latte hurries up- the last thing I want to do is talk to Claude.
I see his figure moving towards me out of my peripheral vision- please don't come over here. "Katina," he says as he approaches. His hat, identical to mine is pulled down far so no one can see his face particularly well- also to hide his unavoidable bed head. I recognized the grey hoodie he was wearing from his bedroom, which makes my stomach turn; try not to think about that night ever again, I think to myself as I put on a tough face so he can't see how much it hurts thinking about it. "What do you want Claude? I really don't want to talk right now," I admit, hoping he'd just back off.
"Woah, why so bitter Kat?" he winks with a cocky smirk; immediately I could tell he was really implying about last night. Thankfully, the guy calls out "Venti Pumpkin Spice latte!" and I leave Claude to grab my drink. Before I turn to leave, I approach Claude, "Listen up Giroux, I have half a mind to take this," I raise up my hand clutching the latte, "and dump it all over your fucking head. But I won't only because I don't want to waste it and I really need my coffee in the morning. Next time you talk to me, have the decency to take a shower first so I can't smell your last fuck's perfume all over you," I bark under my breath to avoid causing a scene. I make my way towards the door but I stop in my tracks once the cocky hockey player opens his mouth.
"Don't be jealous Kat," he remarks as he goes to grab his coffee they just put out on the counter, but he stops as soon as he sees me coming back towards him.
I look him up and down, "You know what? Now that I've thought about it," I pause, take the lid off the cup in my hand, and throw the contents of the cup all over his sweatshirt and neck, "it's not that big of a waste throwing this all over you." All eyes are on me as I smirk before I push past Claude and grab his coffee waiting for him on the counter. He stands there speechless, along with everyone else, as I slip by him towards the exit, "thanks for the coffee Claude!" I wave without looking back to his frozen face.
The frosty air cools down my warm face as the adrenaline pumps through my body; I can't help to let out a giddy laugh as I strut down the busy sidewalk confidently to the hotel. That felt so good, I smile to myself as I take a sip of Claude's coffee.
As I pack up all of my stuff before heading down to the lobby to check out of the room, I hear a rapid knock on the door, startling me. I prepare myself while I make my to the door, half expecting to see an angry Claude wearing a pumpkin spice stained sweatshirt. I pull the door open, to find Brayden standing there. "Oh hey Bray," I say with genuine surprise.
"You've gotta tell me all the details- I just saw Claude come back with a huge stain on his sweatshirt, mumbling something in French and I'm pretty sure I heard your name," I snickers and I feel my face go red.
"Well- uhm let's just say he walked out of Starbucks smelling like pumpkin spice and not that girl he fucked last night," I laugh. I try to keep a strong face for Brayden, not letting him see how phased I was from seeing Claude take home a girl.
"Oh shit," he grins, "that's what I'm talkin' about Kat!"
"Yeah he was definitely surprised," I say as I walk back to my suitcase to continue packing; Brayden sits on a lounge chair close to me.
"So you saw him bring home a girl?" he hesitates to ask.
"Yep," I say popping the 'p'. I try to keep up my tough facade but it's wearing thin around Brayden; it's comforting that I don't have to hide from him or Sean about what really happened the night of the Halloween Party since they already know.
"Are you okay? That must've sucked- G's a huge jerk sometimes when it comes to girls," he stops my hand from folding another t-shirt by putting his hand on mine- I hadn't realized he was standing now next to me.
"I can't let it bother me- I know he's a jerk but it's just I thought it was all real- what he felt for me- and it blew up in my face- I knew it would," I mumble, fighting off the urge to cry.
"Katina," Brayden says, the genuine concern in his voice sends chills down my spine, "are you okay?" His proximity to me makes my heart flutter for some reason, why was he acting so worried? He turns me to face him, so I'm looking in his eyes. The dull light coming in from the window illuminates his face softly; why did hockey players have to be so good looking?
I look down to the floor and turn back to my suitcase, "uhm- no but I know I will be. Thanks though Bray," I smile- I never would've thought Brayden was the emotional type.
He nervously clears his throat, "Sorry if I- uh- freaked you out there- I just hate to see G hurt you this bad," he stammers as he rakes a hand through his hair.
"Don't worry about it- you didn't freak me out," I reassure him.
"Okay- cool. Need help bringing that down to the lobby? Sean and I have all of our bags packed- we could go down together?"
"Sounds good, I'll meet you in a half hour outside your door?" I propose.
"Yeah sure, I'll tell Sean- see ya Kat," Brayden says as he leaves the room.
While I continue to pack, I turn my music on shuffle and coincidentally, Hello by Adele comes on. I go to turn it off, but I decide not to- something about the song and her voice provided some bittersweet comfort. I finish packing early so I upload some of the photos from last night's game onto to my laptop and edit a few to post to the website.
Downstairs, Brayden, Sean and I, check out and hand in our room keys as well as get our boarding passes for the plane ride to Vancouver from the help desk. We quickly file onto the bus along with everyone, trying to avoid even looking for where Claude was. He's out of sight and out of mind until we get to the airport; his hair is still damp from a recent shower- he definitely needed one after some of that latte went down his hoodie. While we wait to board the plane, Brayden informs Sean about what happened this morning between Claude and I.
"Are you serious?" Sean asks amusedly, "I wish I was there to see it. Kat you've got to give us the details."
"Yeah- I only got a little part of the story- what really happened?" Brayden practically begs.
"Fine," I give in, putting my book down. I fill them in on all the details from when G tried to pay for my drink all the way up to when I took his coffee and walked out of the Starbucks. By the time I'm finished telling them, they're both laughing their asses off.
"Hey what's so funny over there Schenner?" Steve calls out and Raffl nods his head in agreement.
"Inside joke Masey," I reply back to them and they just shake their head at me. I find Claude's disgruntled face next to Steve's and I can't help but to laugh even harder- wonder if he washed the pumpkin scent out of his skin.
We begin to board the small plane for the team and I check my ticket for my seat. Sean and Brayden were both sitting towards the back while I was towards the front- great. I pull my back pack straps tighter as I walk onto the plane and focus on the numbers above the seats. "3, 4, 5,... 6," I murmur to myself as I look for an empty pair of seats. Sean and Brayden quickly make their way to the back just after checking if I need any help with my bags.
As I come up to my seat, I realize a certain ginger looking down at his phone is sitting in the seat that's mine. My heart beats rapidly- this can't be right. I double check my boarding pass and the seat that reads 8A. "You've got to be kidding me right now," I grumble. Claude looks up from his phone to my disappointed -ridden face and gives me a devilish smirk, "hey seat buddy- ready for the next 6 hours?"
Hey guys! Hope you enjoy this chapter! I think I'll be posting the next chapter tomorrow or a little later over the weekend. Sorry the chapter is short- I wanted to split it to give you two updates rather than just one.Thanks so much for reading, commenting, and subscribing! I love seeing what you have to say! (: Hopefully the Flyers win tonight- crossing my fingers.
Updated the cover photo for the story- hope you like it!