Sequel: Breathless

There Are Still Rules To Break

Can't Wait

Amanda had to admit that as fun as it was playing hostess, it was also one of the most stressful things she had ever done. She was used to working under pressure at Boston Beat, especially with the sleeping habits she had grown accustomed to in the past. She would sometimes finish an article less than five minutes before it was due, give it a quick read-over, and email it to her boss who always seemed to know exactly how close she had cut it. But, hosting both Patrice’s family and her own at their place for the Christmas holiday was a different kind of stress.

Even though she knew her mother and brother loved Patrice, and his mother, father, and brother loved her, this was the first time both families were together, and for Amanda, it was something she had been so excited for and dreading at the same time. She had food to cook, an apartment to decorate, their families’ accommodations to fill, and at the end of it, she felt she had to make herself seem as unstressed as possible.

“Please, Amanda,” Patrice said, coming into the kitchen where she was getting his mother a glass of water. “No one expects you to do all of this.”

“I just - ”

“I know; you want everything to be perfect and you want our families to get along. Amanda, everything is perfect, and our families are getting along; relax.”

Amanda sighed, realizing her boyfriend was right. She supposed she was nervous about another big step in their relationship simply because every other step they had taken as a couple before had gone perfect, too. Something had to go wrong at some point. She wasn’t being pessimistic; she was being a realist. Patrice, however, was the biggest fucking optimist she had ever met.

Smiling up at him, she found herself wrapped up in his arms for what felt like the first time in days. Had she been so busy that she didn’t even have time to hug her boyfriend?

“Merry Christmas, mon ange.”

“I almost forgot it was Christmas,” she laughed. “I’ve been driving myself crazy.”

“For nothing,” he stressed, giving her a small, playful glare.

Amanda laughed and wrapped her arms tighter around Patrice’s body, her head against his chest. “Merry Christmas, Patrice.” She leaned up and pressed her lips against his in what was supposed to be a short kiss, but the sly French Canadian held her against him as he pressed his lips back against hers, giving her one of those kisses that always took her breath away.

When they pulled apart, Amanda looked to her left to see her mother standing there with a small smirk on her face. Blushing, Amanda grabbed the glass of water and handed it to Patrice, telling him to take it to his mother. He smiled and quickly ducked out of the kitchen, leaving the two women to themselves.


“Mom, don’t start. I know you’re going to tell me that you’re ’concerned’ that me and Patrice are moving too fast.”


“Don’t you think I’ve thought about that? He has too. We’ve talked about it together, actually. We both know the risks, mom, but we’re willing to chance it because we love each other.”

Amanda’s mother was silent for a minute, before she nodded and said, “Okay.”


“Okay,” she repeated. “You seem to know what you’re doing; I just wanted to be sure. You can’t blame me for being worried.”

Amanda nodded, “Yeah, I guess I can’t.”

“Me and your brother are going to head back home. I think Patrice’s family is heading to their hotel, too.”

Letting out a sigh of relief, Amanda told her mother she was going to be thankful for not only the peace and quiet, but to also have absolutely nothing to do. She was ready to change into her pajamas, lay down on the couch, relax, and maybe watch a movie with Patrice, too.

She hugged everyone goodbye, standing back as her boyfriend ushered everyone out of their apartment, closing the door behind them with a final goodbye yelled down the hall. He grinned and turned to Amanda, seeing her already half way to their bedroom.

“What are you doing?”

“Changing!” She called back, causing him to follow after her. She laughed when he barged into the bedroom and stood against the wall, watching her change into a pair of sweats and a tank top. “You’re something else.”

He laughed, grabbing her at the sides before she could leave the bedroom. Holding her in place in front of him, he simply stared down at her for a minute before kissing her cheek lightly and suggesting she pick a movie and curl up on the couch while he changed. Agreeing whole-heartedly, she made her way into the living room, grabbed a DVD off of the shelf and popped it into the player, and pulled a blanket onto herself as she cuddled into the couch.

“What’d you pick?” Patrice asked as he flopped onto the couch next to her. Amanda pressed ‘play’ on the remote and grinned when It’s a Wonderful Life started to play. She heard him groan next to her, and she laughed.

“What? It’s Christmas!”

“Technically,” Patrice countered. “It’s after midnight. It’s the twenty-sixth.”

Amanda shrugged and kept her eyes on the movie, but when she felt her sides being grabbed, she glared up at her boyfriend. “I want to watch,” she whined. “What are you doing?”

“I didn’t give you your present yet.”

“Yeah, you did. When were all opening presents… you gave me those awesome sweaters.”

Patrice laughed, “That was like, a starter present.” She raised her eyebrows, questioning him as he made his way to their bedroom, but he only responded when he got back to the couch and handed her a small bag, “Yeah, a starter present.”

“What is it?” She asked, trying to peek into the bag past the gold tissue paper, making her boyfriend laugh and roll his eyes before muttering at her to ‘just open it.’ She sighed dramatically and pulled out the box inside of the bag, immediately knowing it was jewelry. She was skeptical; she wasn’t much of a jewelry person, and Patrice knew that. Trusting that he knew what she did like, she snapped the box open and stared down at the bracelet in front of her.

A charm bracelet. It was something so simple, but Amanda thought it was beautiful. It was a thick, silver chain, a few charms hanging from it. “I love silver,” she commented as she took the first charm between two fingers.

“It’s actually platinum…” he told her. Amanda’s eyes widened as she looked at him, but he seemed so nonchalant about it, so she just shook her head and continued to examine the charms. The first one that caught her eye was the shimmering number ‘37' that was outlined in diamonds.

“Patrice,” she started to protest but he cut her off with a small kiss. She sighed and moved onto the next charm, a platinum maple leaf. She smiled and moved onto the next one, a letter 'P.'

“These all have to do with you, don’t they?”

“Of course; that way you’ll never forget me,” he laughed.

Amanda laughed too, but as she did she wrapped her arms around her boyfriend, let her laughter subside and asked him seriously, “How could I ever forget you?” He shrugged, his eyes lighting up as he looked down at her. He couldn’t believe that after eight months of knowing each other, he could be so in love with Amanda. A chance meeting at a Red Sox game, followed by another on the streets of Boston had given him the most wonderful and amazing girl he had ever known. And apparently she felt the same way about him. That, he still couldn’t believe.

He was just a young kid from Quebec who had gotten lucky enough to be in the National Hockey League. And now, in just a few days, he and his team would be facing against the Flyers in hockey’s spectacle known as the Winter Classic, in what Amanda told him was easily one of the most historic sports buildings, ever. He wasn’t sure if he was more excited, or if she was, but whatever the case was, he needed to get that win, for himself (to hopefully turn his team’s season around) and for his girlfriend, too.
♠ ♠ ♠
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