Hold On Tight
[Fourteen] Fuck you, Seguin
Haley rolled her eyes when she saw the rolled-up poster in her brothers’ hands. “Please tell me you aren’t actually going to hold that up.”
Dylan glared at her, still not happy with the bomb she dropped on him the night before. “You can bet your ass I’m holding this up. Every time he’s on the ice.”
She sighed as she shouldered her way through the crowd of the American Airline Center. “Dyl, I’m sorry, okay? It’s not like I wasn’t going to tell you, I just –“
“Weren’t going to tell me.” He stated, deadpanned.
Tugging at the bottom of her dark grey jersey, she picked at a loose thread. “I don’t know what it is, yet. He apologized, and –“
Her brother scoffed as he pushed on her lower back, guiding her to the correct set of stairs that would take them down to her seats. “Wow, he apologized. When’s the wedding?”
Haley glared at him, his sarcastic tone making her want to slap him. “Stop, Dylan. I know he hurt me, I remember how fucked up I was, how fucked up I’ve been, but I’ve never been someone to close myself off to second chances. He apologized, and no, I don’t fully forgive him, but he is sorry, and he’s trying to make it up to me.” She let her eyes roam the seats, her stomach dropped when she spied three heads of blonde hair in the first row. “And I’m going to let him. It might be stupid, and I might regret it, but as my brother, all I need from you is to support my decision. You’ve met him one time, which you didn’t even fucking tell me about, and all you did was lay him out on the ground. Get to know him, I promise you, he’s really something.”
He did nothing but glare at her, and she felt her body deflate. She knew it wasn’t going to be easy to convince him that everything would be okay, and if it wasn’t for a certain brown-haired scruffy man, he wouldn’t have found out until she had a tighter grasp on what was happening. She felt her nerves build again as she remembered her and Tyler’s conversation from the night before.
“So what did you tell your brother?”
Haley rolled her eyes as she laid her jersey out on her couch, not wanting it to get wrinkled before the game the next day. “There’s nothing to tell my brother.”
She heard him scoff on the other end of the phone. “Right, because he’s not going to notice that you’re perfectly okay at a Dallas game. And what about the seat change? He bought the tickets, Hal. He’s going to know something’s going on when you lead him to the glass.”
“I’ll deal with it.”
“And when you guys come to the locker room after the game? What about when I hug you like I haven’t seen you in days, huh?” He paused when she sighed. “I hate to remind you of this, but you kind of hated me a month ago.”
Haley held the phone tighter to her face, keeping an eye on the closed door of her spare room to make sure she could continue the conversation without her brother overhearing. “That’s not going to be a problem, because I’m not going to the locker room after the game.”
“What?” He didn’t sound happy. “Haley, I want you there. I want to introduce you to Av. I want some of the guys to meet you.”
She rubbed her head where a migraine was forming. Why did everything have to be so difficult? “There’s time for that, Tyler. And I just agreed to do whatever it is we’re doing a couple days ago, you’re moving too fast.”
“Too fast? I’ve waited for this for five years, Hal. And even if we’re only ever going to be friends, I would still want you to meet mine.”
A dog barked on his end and she waited for the murmurs to die down before she responded to him. “And that’s fine, Tyler. I’ll meet them. You’ll meet mine. But seriously, with Dylan here we need to just lie low.”
He groaned. “Does lying low mean not meeting my family?”
Haley’s heart raced at the guilty tone in his voice, a tone she knew all too well. “Tyler Paul Seguin, what the fuck did you do?”
“Nothing!” He exclaimed.
“Tyler,” she warned.
She heard him sigh. “The tickets I gave you. The reason I just happened to have two tickets right on
the ice just days before the opening game.”
“They were for my dad and one of his friends, but they couldn’t come because something at work, so when you said you were coming to the game, I asked the arena to transfer the name to you and Dylan. You’re sitting right next to my mom, Cass, and Candace.”
She vaguely heard the guest room door slam open as her brother ran into them as if it was on fire. “Are you okay? What’s going on? Haley?”
On his side of the phone, Tyler sounded just as frantic. “Haley? I’m sorry, okay? I wasn’t thinking, I was just so excited to have you at a game and to have you in my life again. You didn’t meet them last time ‘cause I was too scared, and remember? Fixing mistakes.”
“Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god. Change them, Tyler. Change them now.”
“Tyler?” She completely forgot her brother was in the room.
Haley slapped a hand over her eyes. Her mind was racing too fast, her heartbeat sounding like it was pounding in her eyes. Dylan couldn’t know, not yet. She wasn’t ready for this.
She didn’t say anything more to the stupid boy on the phone, just hung up her phone and turned to look at her brother with wide eyes. He was staring back with a hard look on his face. “You know, I thought I heard you say the name Tyler, but I have to be mistaken, right? You don’t know another Tyler, and, I mean, there is absolutely no fucking way you would ever talk to thatTyler.”
Her phone vibrated in her hands. I’m not changing them.
She let out a soft sigh. “Uhm, so… here’s what happened.”
The sound of her name being squealed broke her from her thoughts, and she looked up with dread, knowing that the blonde-haired girl bouncing towards her was going to cause more questions she didn’t have any answers too.
Tyler was trying not to continuously look towards where she would be sitting as he warmed up with his team. Every time he had before panic would start to fill him when he found them still empty. She hadn’t responded to his text when he told her he wasn’t changing her seats. He wanted his mom and sisters to meet his girl – even if she wasn’t really his yet. He had messed this up before, terrified of what meeting the parents meant for them. It was too much, too much of a commitment and too much pressure before.
He had zoned out, his thoughts on how he could make Haley see how serious he was this time around when he felt someone nudge his shoulder. His eyes snapped up from his stick to see Jamie looking in the direction he knew Haley and his family was sitting, his eyebrows furrowed. “Uhm, why is Candace attacking Haley?”
His heart in his throat, he rushed to find them in the crowd. He practically stopped breathing when he saw his younger sister with her arms excitedly wrapped around Haley, while Dylan, his mom, and Cass all looked at them in confusion. Focusing on the expression on Haley’s face, one of awkward recognition, he knew that he needed to talk to her. He needed to talk to her now, because if he wasn’t mistaken, the way Candace and Haley were interacting suggested that they had met before.
He didn’t say anything to Jamie as he skated in their direction, his eyes trained on the most important women in his life as he tried to dodge around the sea of green practicing on the ice. He raised his eyebrows at his sister, before furrowing them as her face flushed red. He knew that look, and it knew it well. She’s given it to him countless times when he caught her doing something she wasn’t supposed to be doing. What. The. Fuck.
Haley took the seat right next to the one Candace sat in, trying to ignore the looks of shocked confusion coming from her brother and the two other women that had stayed seated. She took a glance out onto the ice and could actually feel her stomach drop when she saw Tyler making his way towards them on the ice, his eyebrows so far up his forehead that she would've busted out in a laugh if she wasn’t so panicked.
He wasn’t ever supposed to know that his sister had reached out to her after they ended their relationship. That they had sometimes exchange a random text throughout the years. It was supposed to forever stay between Candace and her because nothing like this was ever supposed to fucking happen.
“Uhm, honey? Who is this?” The older of the three Seguin women asked, looking at her daughter with apparent shock written all over her face. Haley flushed as she felt eyes taking in her dark grey Golden Knights jersey, the number eighteen proudly displayed on her arm. The poor women had no idea why her daughter had welcomed a fan of the other team so aggressively.
A thump on the glass brought everyone’s attention to the ice, and Haley could feel Jackie and Cassidy’s shock rise when Tyler looked at her with that damn smile of his, the smile that never failed to make her heart skip a beat, the one that she had only experienced when they were alone and she was doing something ridiculous in order to make him laugh. It was the smile she had fallen in love with, and the one that told her he had loved her, even though he would never say it.
God dammit. She was trying to keep some of her guards up again him, but he was making it so damn impossible, not with that look on his face and the seats next to his family. This was all she had ever wanted from him, and she wasn’t prepared to fight against him when he was finally giving it to her.
Of course, her brother had no qualms with continuing to hate him. Tyler’s eyes widened when Dylan slapped a piece of cardboard against the glass right in front of where Haley was sitting, forcing the center to read it. Fuck you, Seguin.
He had made it the night before after she had explained what happened. He hadn’t said anything, just glared at her and then rummaged through her desk where she kept markers and glitter for the nights she babysat James. He didn’t show her until their car was parked and they were walking up to American Airlines Arena, probably knowing that she wouldn’t want to cause a scene around a large group of Dallas Stars fans while she was in a James Neal Knight’s jersey.
Tyler winced and she couldn’t help the feeling of guilt that passed through her. Then she couldn’t help the anger that immediately followed. She shouldn’t feel guilty because people in her life didn’t like him. It wasn’t her fault that he was an ass and though she had spent a couple of drunken nights ranting and raving about him to people she knew in Boston, namely her brother, she never once said something that wasn’t warranted. He was an absent boyfriend. He was a jerk. She felt that she was only wasting her time. She loved him, where else she wasn’t even sure if he even liked her. She could do better. She deserved better. Those anger-filled words would always lead to tears as she thought of how he was when it was just the two of them, and then she would wistfully croon over how amazing he was and how he was the best boyfriend she had ever had, save that one blue-eyed boy she dated for one summer after her senior year of high school. Of course, everyone after that wasn’t much of an improvement.
The sound of an amused cough sounded next to her and she dragged her eye from Tyler as he rejoined his teammates to look at Candace. “So… this a thing again?”
Haley’s face heated. “I don’t know.”
“Oh, come on, Haley!” Candace’s hands gripped her arm as she pleaded. “It’s been-“
A gasp came from the other side of her and then Jackie was staring at her with wide eyes. “Wait a minute, Haley? As in the Haley from Boston?”
Haley let out a nervous laugh. “Uh, yeah?”
She didn’t know what she expected when Tyler informed her that she would be meeting his family, but she definitely didn’t think she would hear a loud girly squeal come from the one woman Tyler cared the most about. Candace laughed at the wide-eyed look Haley gave her right before a body was launched at her.
She could hear Dylan grumbling from the seat next to her, knowing that he was not happy about her being friendly with the family of the man that emotionally destroyed her all those years ago, and if she was being completely honest, she didn’t know if she was happy about it either. She hadn’t experienced this the first time around and she could stifle the little voice inside her head that told her how hard it would be to lose them when Tyler decided he didn’t want her again.
Jackie mistook her flinch. “Oh, I am so sorry, honey. I just never thought I would actually get to meet you – never thought that you would ever be here.” Excitement lit up her eyes as her and her youngest daughter retook their seats. “Are you two back together?”
Haley jammed her elbow into her brother’s ribs when he scoffed and muttered an ‘over my dead body’ as she tried to avoid Jackie’s hopeful gaze. “No, we aren’t back together.”
She could practically feel Cassidy roll her eyes. “Then why are you here?”
Haley tried to not read too much into the young girls’ harsh tone. She tried to reason with herself that Cassidy was young when her and Tyler were together and that she didn’t understand the history that seemed to have Haley in a death grip, unable to let her go. All she knew was that Haley was a woman who seemed to have some sort of hold on her older brother and after years of absence, she randomly shows up at a hockey game – the first of the season – taking of seats that had once belonged Cass’s father, without confirming if she even cared about the one they all came to watch.
Haley was a little sister. She understood the drive that prompted her to want to protect her own brother’s heart, remembered how unforgiving she was to girls who she didn’t think deserved it and blind to the actions of her brother that may have prompted some to lash out.
Haley shook her head at Candace, wordlessly telling her that it was alright. Instead, she turned to the young blonde with a kind smile and pointed to her brother. “My brother and I wanted to come to the first Knights game. When your brother found out I was coming, he offered me the tickets meant for your dad since he and his friend weren’t able to make it. I hope it’s okay with you if I sit with you guys, Tyler apparently doesn’t well respond to the word no. I’ve told him that our old seats were perfectly fine, but-“
“But he’s stubborn,” Jackie interrupted with what looked to be a proud smirk.
Haley rolled her eyes playfully. “If that’s what you want to call it.”
Tyler’s mom smiled kindly at her, and she felt herself relax just a little bit. She didn’t know what she expected when she showed up, not knowing what exactly Tyler told his family about her, but she was glad that there didn’t seem to be any tension. At least on their side. She couldn’t speak for the anger she could feel coming off her brother in waves. She sighed when she felt him tense as Tyler skated past their seats, a wide smile on his lips as he met her eyes.
The rest of the game didn’t get any better for Haley either. She didn’t know how to react when Tyler scored the first goal of the night, torn between the want to scream in joy with his family and the urge to curse his natural ability for getting the best of her team. When the name and number she was sporting on her back rammed full speed into him in the last seconds of the second period, she felt her breath freeze in her lungs with worry about whether he was okay or not – all the while feeling that thrill run through her as James Neal did exactly what she loved him for. When Neal scored the Knights’ only two goals of the game and effectively won them their first two points as an NHL team, she jumped up to celebrate with her brother, screaming louder than she could ever remember doing before. Then, just as she looked towards the ice after pulling away from Dylan’s joyous hug, her eyes met a pair of sad brown ones and she could feel herself deflate in a realization of just what the Knights’ winning meant to those dressed in green.
She felt torn as she followed the Seguin women to the door that would lead them to locker rooms. She wanted to see Tyler, having missed him more than she would allow herself to acknowledge, but the twisting in her gut from the emotions that were pulling her back and forth throughout the game prevented her from wanting to follow his family down the tunnel that would lead her to him. Her decision was made when she felt an arm wrap around her shoulders and she caught sight of the enormous gloating grin that wouldn’t leave her brother’s face.
Haley stopped walking, pulling Dylan to an abrupt stop, and cleared her throat. “Guy? We’re going to head home – I have to get up early and I doubt Tyler’s going to want to see us in these jersey’s right now.”
Candace turned to her with a deep pout but threw her arms around her anyway. “I’m so happy you and Tyler are talking again. I’ll text you later – I want to meet up before we leave town.”
Haley nodded her head as she smiled gently at her. “I’d like that.”
Not knowing how to interact with the other two, Haley gave them a shy wave and a quiet “bye” before she practically manhandled her brother towards the exit.
“Just a second, Haley,” Jackie grabbed Haley’s arm as she turned to walk back down the corridor that led to where her car was parked. The sadness in older woman’s eyes clued her into what she was going to say. “I’m sorry for the way my son behaved in Boston – for how he treated you. It wasn’t how he was raised, and though I don’t know the extent of what happened, I know he is to blame for the way you two ended things. I don’t have any excuses for him, and I’m sure you’ve already heard many coming from his mouth, but I just wanted to apologize. I have two daughters of my own and I would never want them to be treated with the lack of respect you were shown.”
Haley tried to ignore the tears that filled her eyes as the kind words she never expected from Tyler’s mother. The hand on her arm tightened when she didn’t do that good of a job and a couple of tears leaked and cascaded down her cheeks.
“I didn’t mean to bring up old wounds, though I’m sure the past has been revisited more than you have liked with Tyler back in your life. I just wanted to take the time to assure you that no matter what you choose to do, whether you allow him back or you find it too hard to move forward with him, you have people on his side that will understand. We will not hold it against you.” Jackie’s serious expression transformed into a playful one. “Though I am a little biased and think you should give him another chance to show you the man I know he can be.”
Haley stared at her, her mouth no doubt opening and closing like a fish as she tried to think of something – anything – to say to the woman in front of her. Finally, after a harsh jab to her ribs snapped her out of whatever trance she had been in, she swallowed hard. “Thank you for understanding, Mrs. Seguin. I’m slowly talking myself into opening myself up to your son again – and he’s managing to break down my walls faster than I can build them up again. I’ve seen how he’s changed, at least a little bit. I promise I won’t just string him along.”
Jackie squeezed her arm warmly. “I really hope I see you again, Haley.”
She blushed. “I do too, Mrs. Seguin.”
Dylan was quiet as they made their way out of the arena, his previous smile turned down in a fierce scowl. It wasn’t until he sat down in the driver’s seat of her car that he even acknowledge her presence again. With his eyes aflame with anger, he looked at her and hit his against the steering wheel. “You’re going to forgive him. You’re going to fucking forgive him for everything he did to you – for turning you into a fucking ghost – and there’s nothing I can do to stop it.”
Haley turned her head away from him, watching out the window as hordes of fans continued to flow across the parking lot to their cars. She couldn’t respond to him, mainly because she couldn’t say the words he wanted to hear – and she didn’t trust herself with the ones he didn’t.
I am so sorry this took so long! School and work are in full spring, but I promise I am dedicating time to writing this story. Things are picking up as well, so it's going to get fun and interesting!
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P.S. Is anyone on here? I don't know this is reaching anyone on this site so I'm thinking of discontinuing this story on hockeyfanfiction.