‹ Prequel: Chicago City Lights
Sequel: Make It Back to Me

I'll Be Right Beside You

The Rest of Our Lives

March had flown by rather quickly in Evelyn’s opinion, and then the first week and half of April seemed to fly by as well. All of the boys on the team were more serious. They had two more regular season games, both against the Redwings (one at home and one in Detroit) before the playoffs were due to start. More and more time was being spent at the rink, not necessarily training hard, but doing light skates together as a team. If the Blackhawks were going to go far into the playoffs, they needed to play as a single unit, as Coach Quennville had said. Evelyn, when she heard this from Ben, had never heard a more brilliant plan. It was hard not to have high hopes.

They were pretty sure their first round opponent was going to be the Calgary Flames, but just a couple games could change the standings completely. The only thing that was sure going into the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs was that the road to the cup went through the Detroit Redwings. And things weren’t looking good for the Hawks; the Wings had had their numbers all season long.

Evelyn came home from work Saturday the 11th of April with Phoebe and trailing behind her, carrying the food they had picked up on their way home from the office. They had agreed to go into work for a few hours to work on a story that their boss insisted needed to be run in the Sunday edition of the paper. Stopping at her and Ben’s mailbox, she blindly grabbed the envelopes inside before hurrying to where Phoebe was waiting with the elevator.

“Anything good?”

Evelyn shrugged, “I don’t know. It looks like the usual bills and whatnot.”

“Well, I see a letter stamped from CUNY.”

Evelyn’s eyes went wide and she took a deep breath, trying not to let herself come off too excited. She had already told herself that she wasn’t going to be going to New York, but if the letter in her hands told her she was accepted, well, she didn’t know if she could stick to her plan of staying in Chicago.

When she got into her apartment, she threw her purse onto the couch before setting the rest of the mail down. Taking the envelope from CUNY into her hands, she took a deep breath and glanced at Phoebe who had a nervous look at her face. Tearing the thin piece of paper, Evelyn unfolded the letter. All she needed to see was the big and bold Congratulations! at the top of the letter to tell her she had been accepted.

Throwing herself onto the couch, she handed the letter to Phoebe who glanced at the same thing. Phoebe sat down with her and wrapped an arm around her best friend’s shoulder in comfort. “What are you going to do, Lyn?”

“I don’t know, Phoebe. I knew applying was a bad idea. I mean, Ben told me I should, but I never intended. I just wanted to see if I [i[could get in, and now that I have… I just don’t know.”

“Talk to Ben.”

“He’s just going to tell me to go.”

“So what if he does? He loves you. He’s not going to give up on what you have.”

Evelyn nodded her head, but didn’t say anything. Going through the rest of the mail, she threw away the junk and left the bills on the kitchen table. She put her acceptance to CUNY and the further instructions on how to register into her dresser, deciding she would look at them later when she had the guts to show her acceptance to Ben; He didn’t even know that she had applied. She settled down on the couch with Phoebe and their pasta, barely being able to pay attention to the movie they had rented. It was completely unnecessary to say Evelyn’s mind was instead focused on the letter of acceptance and the hockey player who loved her in Detroit.

. . .

The whole United Center was abuzz with excitement as the boys took to the ice during warm-ups. Their opponents, of course, were familiar to everyone in attendance. The Redwings and Blackhawks had brought out the best in each other the day before in Detroit, and now they were in Chicago for round two. The weekend was a chance for revenge for Hawks fans (who had to bare witness to their team losing in the outdoor spectacle known as the Winter Classic), wanting nothing more than to beat their hated rivals before heading into the playoffs.

Evelyn, Phoebe, and Nikkita were into the spirit of the game more so than usual. They were ready for their boys to go into the playoffs, beat other team’s asses, and come out with the Stanley Cup hoisted above their heads. Maybe they were getting ahead of themselves, but it was nice to be positive.

“I hope Ben scores another goal,” Evelyn laughed, referring to the big one he had scored the night before, tying the game when the Hawks had been down a goal. Phoebe and Nikkita laughed and nodded their heads, adding that they hoped their men would score a goal, too.

“Really, though,” Kita said softly as Adam skated by doing laps on their side of the ice. “I’d be happy with a fight…”

“I don’t know how you stand to watch Adam fight,” Evelyn mumbled, staring glumly at the ‘55’ on the back of Ben’s jersey. Phoebe and Kita laughed, Phoebe adding that she hoped Niklas never got into a fight. She had seen him fight on Youtube, and it didn’t turn out in the young defenseman’s favor, to say the least.

As the game got underway, the three girls (who were each sporting a jersey with their man’s name on the back) got into the chanting the rest of the Blackhawks fans were doing. Laughing with each other as they yelled Detroit sucks, Detroit sucks, Detroit sucks, they almost didn’t even realize how fast time the game was going by. How come all games didn’t seem to go by that fast?

“We should be this into the game every game. It’s making time fly!” Kita laughed, as they stepped onto the concourse following the end of the second period.

Evelyn nodded, but said that it must have had to do with the fact that the Hawks were up by two goals to the Redwings zero. The other two girls nodded their agreement as they stood in line for beers. Evelyn picked up the tab this time, it being the third round and the other two girls had paid first, before they headed back to their seats.

“I feel like getting good and drunk, but I know I shouldn’t.”

“Eh, you should do it anyway. I’m sure Ben will enjoy taking care of your drunk ass,” Phoebe laughed.

“He could end up having a lot of fun with you being all vulnerable,” Kita added thoughtfully.

“You are a pervert, and I love it,” Evelyn laughed, making the middle aged woman next to her shake her head with a smile.

“I don’t know how those poor boys handle you three.”

. . .

Throwing themselves onto the couches in the lounge area of the locker room, all of the girls were a bit tipsy. The game had ended with a Hawks' win, having three goals to the Wings' zero.The other wives and girlfriends, the ones who preferred to sit in the private box rather than the stands, just laughed and asked how many drinks the girls had had. Jonathan Toews was the first player to emerge from the locker room, though he was not dressed or anywhere near ready to go. Evelyn watched as he walked up to a petite girl in the corner of the lounge, wrapping her in a hug before giving her a kiss.

“Aw, when the fuck did Tazer get a girl?” Phoebe laughed, turning to Evelyn who only shrugged. “Jeez, Lyn, you’ve been a girlfriend of one of the guys longest. You should know these things.”

“I don’t really talk to Tazer much, more than just a quick conversation here and there.”

“Yeah, I forgot that Kaner is your BFF on the team.”

“Damn straight,” Evelyn laughed. “I love that damn kid. He’s always making comments about how he’s going to steal me from Ben. It’s so funny.”

After some of the other girls had followed Tazer back into the locker room, Evelyn stood up a little wobbly, but overall, she was of sound mind. Ben immediately looked up from what he was doing, as if he had sensed his girlfriend walk into the room. Grinning at her, he tilted his head to the side as she approached him.

“Are you drunk?” He asked, amused.

“No,” Evelyn shook her head, coming to a stop directing in front of Ben, her body in between his legs and her hands on his bare shoulders. “Just tipsy, but it would probably be best if you drove home.”

Laughing, he stood up and put his large hands on the side of her face, “Your cheeks are red and your face is hot.”

“I get flushed when I’m drunk!”

“So, you are drunk?”

“I hate you,” Evelyn pouted, pulling away from Ben and sitting down in an empty spot on the bench. He only laughed and sat down next to her, resuming his after game routine. Evelyn sat in silence, watching as both Kita and Phoebe shared their own semi-drunken greeting with their own boyfriends. Niklas was most amused, Evelyn came to the conclusion as Phoebe roughly grabbed her quiet, Swedish boyfriend around the neck and pulled him down into a kiss. Well, Phoebe was the drunkest out of all of them.

When Ben was ready to go, he put an arm around Evelyn’s shoulder and led her from the room, barely allowing her time to bid the girls a goodnight. Pulling her into the hall, he pressed his lips against hers roughly, making her lose her breath. Kissing him back, Evelyn let her back hit the brick wall behind her. She suppressed the smile that threaten to stretch across her lips; Ben never seemed like the ‘let’s make out in the hallways of the UC’ kind of boyfriend to her, but hey, she wasn’t complaining.

When he finally pulled away from her, Evelyn was the first one to talk. Her eyes still closed, she mumbled, “What was that for?”

“I love when you wear my jersey,” He said quietly, his voice coming out rough and low.

Evelyn opened her eyes and locked her gaze on Ben’s. Biting her lip, she tangled her small fingers with his large ones, “I love you so much.”

Ben grinned, “I love you, too. Now, let’s get home.”

Evelyn readily agreed, letting Ben pull her out to his truck. The only sound in the cabin of the car was the soft music coming from the radio. Evelyn lightly hummed along to the song as she played with Ben’s right hand, which had previously been gripped onto her knee.

“So, how drunk are you?” Ben asked as they got closer to their apartment.

Evelyn laughed, “I’ll remember everything from tonight in the morning, and I doubt I’ll even be hung over… maybe just a small headache.”

Ben nodded, taking a turn. Evelyn was also sober enough to realize that the route Ben was driving was not their usual way home. In fact, it wouldn’t take them to their apartment at all.

“Ben, where are we going?”

He shook his head, “I just want to show you something.”

But Evelyn doubted he wanted to ‘show her something’ when he pulled into the parking lot of O’Hare airport. Pulling his truck into the extended stay parking lot, he hopped out of the car and walked to Evelyn’s side of the car. Opening her door, he reached in to unbuckle her seat belt as she looked at him with a confused expression.

He put his hands on her legs and turned her so she was facing him. Keeping his hands on her legs, he said, “I have bags packed for us in the trunk and two tickets for a non-stop flight to Las Vegas.”

“Okay…” Evelyn said, unsure of where he was going with this.

“We have two options. Either we can go home,” Evelyn tried to interrupt, but Ben stopped her. “Or, we can get on that fight to Las Vegas, immediately find the nearest wedding chapel, and make you my wife.”

Evelyn’s eyes went wide as Ben reached into his pocket and pulled out a black ring box, showing it to her.

“What do you say, Lyn?”
♠ ♠ ♠
First of all, I know you are going to be so mad at me for ending this chapter there but I promise not to take another month to update. College, work, and life got in the way for a bit... I'm so so so so sorry! :|

I would lovelovelove to know what you all think of this chapter!
What's Evelyn going to say to Ben's surprise proposal?
Is she going to bring up her acceptance to school in NY?
Thoughts? Opinions? Suggestions?
(: (: