Sequel: Breathless

There Are Still Rules To Break

Invasion of Privacy

With everyday it seemed the weather got warmer. To Amanda, summer brought mixed feelings nowadays. She loved winter, and she loved hockey, but both things were done or almost over at least. She remembered being younger and in grade school; summer was her favorite then. No school was a wonderful thing. Now, with a year round job she loved, the seasons came and went without much thought from her.

Waking up on the morning of April 29th, Amanda had an uneasy feeling in her stomach. She knew it was because of the day ahead of her. She’d be heading to the Bruins practice, the first time she’d be using her press pass to get into the locker room. She was totally excited, but nervous at the same time.

Even though she was a huge hockey fan, it really being all she cared about from October until April, May, or June (depending on how well the team did) she was afraid of making a fool out of herself in front of her favorite players. Sure, she knew all about hockey; she wasn’t the average female but still… She was headed into a hockey players’ locker room and she wasn’t sure she’d be able to focus on her job. Could anyone blame her?

All through her drive to the TD Garden, Amanda sipped her coffee and tried to distract herself from the looming torture she was going to be putting herself through. She drummed her fingers to the beat of the song on the radio as she sat in traffic. She wasn’t sure what it was, but she liked it. When she finally pulled into the parking lot, she was late. Not really a surprise to anyone that knew her.

She took a seat a few rows up from the glass with her notebook, pen, and tape recorder. She let her eyes fall to the ice, following the maze of players as they weaved in and out of each other. Of course, it wasn’t long before her eyes fixed on the number thirty seven as he seemed to glide along the ice. She smiled lightly, but the queasy, uneasy feeling came back when she realized she’d be in the same locker room as him in a little under an hour.

She fingered the media pass around her neck, as she and around fifteen other reporters and journalists waited outside the doors. She felt underdressed. Did reporters always come dressed up in suits and dresses? She shrugged, looking down at her dark wash jeans, thin black sweater and black ballet flats. She didn’t have time to worry any further as someone from Bruins media relations (she assumed) came out and told them they had thirty minutes. Amanda sighed and adjusted her glasses and hair before following everyone else into the large (and smelly) room.

Immediately Marc Savard, Milan Lucic, Tim Thomas, and a few of the other players like Wheeler, Kessel, and Thornton were swarmed by the fourteen other reporters. Up until that moment, Amanda had figured she was going to be writing an article about the team, of how they were shutting up the non-believers, but when she saw the dark-haired and quiet French-Canadian sitting alone in the corner of the locker room, she suddenly changed her mind.

Approaching him slowly, she didn’t want to startle him. He didn’t seem to be paying any attention to the room around him. He sat, undressing himself and Amanda wanted to make sure she got his attention before he continued. (Well… kind of.)

“Hey,” She said when she was just a few feet from him. He looked up, raised his eyebrows, and scooted over tapping the bench next to where he was sitting. Amanda took a deep breath and tried to focus on anything but the fact that Patrice was only in a pair of shorts. She breathed in, trying to stay calm. Oh, boy. He wiped his face with the towel and smiled at her, waiting for her to begin their interview.

He shifted his body so he was sitting with one leg curled up underneath him, facing her. He said nothing but looked at her expectantly, waiting for her to start. As much as he was intrigued by her, he wasn’t going to make this any easier for her. She had turned him down, after all.

Her notebook and recorder was to the side of her and her hands were in her lap. She wrung them together nervously, not knowing what to say. “Sorry.”

“For what?” He asked, a hint of a laugh in his voice. Amanda wanted to glare at him, but she couldn’t even look at him. “For turning you down like that.”

He shrugged, “It’s alright.”

“And for leaving you on the sidewalk like I did a few days ago.”

He nodded. “Look,” She started. “Truth is, I didn’t mean to turn you down.” He looked confused, but Amanda continued. “I was planning on coming to your practice the next day, somehow someway I was going to talk to you, give you my phone number.”

He raised his eyebrows and was about to say something, Amanda could tell, but Matt Hunwick came out from the showers, wearing only a towel. Amanda only realized after she had been staring how unprofessional it must have looked for her eyes to be glued to the young player’s muscular form. She heard a laugh from in front of her and turned to see Patrice smirking at her. The way he had his arms folded over his chest had his muscles bulging… and, she thought, I shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a Boston Bruins locker room again.

She smiled shyly and opened her notebook, where her questions were written down, “Can we start?”

He motioned with his arm as he nodded, “Go right ahead.”

Amanda took a deep breath and looked down at the first question she wanted to ask him, but before she could, Patrice took her notebook from her and put it in his locker. Amanda frowned, “My questions.” Patrice laughed and shook his head. Crossing her hands over her chest, she sighed, “The notebook’s going to be all gross now.”

“That hurts,” He told her, winking. Amanda felt a shiver run down her spine. Shaking herself from the feeling, she thought about what she wanted to ask him. “Okay,” She said, turning her tape recorder on and tucking a piece of hair behind her ear. “It may be a stupid question, but thinking back to this season, being number one seed in the east. Just… All of it.”

He smiled widely, “It’s an amazing feeling, and what made it even better was the fan support. It wouldn’t mean anything if we didn’t have the Boston faithful.”

Despite the fact that she was supposed to be professional, she grinned and told him the city was proud. Oh well, she figured. ‘Professional’ had gone out the window when she had molested Hunwick with her eyes.

Thinking of her next question, she realized she couldn’t remember. Amanda asked Patrice for her notebook back, but he shook his head and said she was doing fine. He had placed his hand on her arm and gave it a light squeeze. Amanda looked down at his hand and smiled lightly, a blush creeping to her cheeks. She was thankful that Patrice didn’t seem to notice. Or say anything, at least.

“Oh! Uhm, okay. A lot of NHL players do charity work. Why did you decide to start Patrice’s Pals?”

His smile grew even wider, “That program is something I am so proud of. I’m here living my dream and some of these kids, well, they’re just fighting to live. If I can take them away from their troubles for one night and give them good food, good drinks and a good hockey game, and hopefully a smile on their face, well, then it’s all worth it.”

Nothing compared to how she was swooning after hearing his answer. Here he was: a big, tough, hockey player who had a very big soft spot for making kids smile. Amanda couldn’t stop the grin that broke out onto her face after he answered.

“Wow,” She said.

He looked over at her curiously and she blushed.

“I’m sorry. It’s just amazing that you do that. I mean, some hockey players are real fame whores that only care about their paychecks and - ”

She stopped herself, looking at Patrice’s amused expression with wide eyes.

“Yeah…” She mumbled. “Sorry, again.”

“Quit apologizing,” He laughed.

Manda sighed and ran a hand through her hair, standing up. She had made such a fool out of herself and Patrice freaking Bergeron probably thought she was an idiot. Too bad, she had thought she had made a good impression at the ballgame. Patrice watched her closely, as she picked up her tape recorder and notebook.

“Where are you - ”

It was her turn to cut him off, “I have all I need. Thanks.”

Patrice stood, too, “Oh, no.” He grabbed her purse, probably an invasion of privacy, but he couldn’t be bothered. Grabbing her phone, he realized just how out of character this was for him, being so forward Punching in a few numbers, he called his own phone before saving his number in her address book under ‘Pat.’

Amanda stared at her phone as she headed toward the door, not looking where she was going. She was almost to the door when she crashed into something or someone once again. Milan Lucic looked down at the small brunette in front of him and asked if she was alright. Amanda was too busy staring at his bare chest and abdomen to say anything. She just nodded and walked out of the locker room.
♠ ♠ ♠
For Amanda, as always.
Comment, please?? <3