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

I'll Be Right Beside You

Say Goodbye to Easy

May 11th 2009
Evelyn fixed her perfectly curled brown hair as she stood in the bathroom of the bar Ben had dragged her to. Practically the entire Blackhawks’ roster was there, celebrating their win against the Canucks in game six of their playoff series, and propelling them into the Western Conference finals. They had beaten the Calgary Flames in equally as many games, but the win against Vancouver was even more special; they had won it at home in front of their fans. There was no doubt the United Center was their favorite place to play in. Why wouldn’t it be?

Leaving the bathroom, her stilettos clicked on the wood floor of the bar. She slid back onto her stool, taking a sip of the fresh drink that Ben had no doubt ordered for her. Smiling at her bearded husband, she pressed a kiss to his cheek. Grinning stupidly at her, he moved forward and rubbed his face against hers, making her squeal with laughter. It was no secret to anyone that knew her that Evelyn was a huge fan of beards.

“Get a room!” Phoebe yelled from a few seats down the bar, a familiar twinkle in her eye letting Evelyn know she was joking. Evelyn shook her head, wrapping her arms around Ben’s neck and placing a final kiss on his face. She kept her arms around his neck, as she stood in between his legs, his large hands gripped tightly at her waist. Smiling back at her, his blue eyes locked with her brown ones.

“I love you,” He told her quietly, grinning crookedly at her. Evelyn closed her eyes, a small smile on her face before leaning her forehead against Ben’s. Kissing his lips softly, she unwrapped herself from him and let her eyes fall to the other side of the bar where Phoebe and Kita were frantically trying to get her attention. Jerking her head in their direction with an amused look on her face, she directed Ben’s attention to them. He laughed and motioned for her to go over to them.

She gave his thigh a light squeeze, laughing when she heard him groan as her manicured nails dug into his flesh through his jeans. She laughed even more at the smirks on her best friends’ faces, thoroughly enjoying the teasing their friend was doing to her husband. The girls were clearly enjoying the celebration as much as their significant others. While their men were sitting at the bar laughing and talking with each other, the girls were slowly migrating to the dance floor. All with drinks in their hands, they were obviously letting loose.

Evelyn was three songs into her night of dancing, when she felt a pair of arms wrap around her from behind. Her first instinct was to hit whoever was touching her, because she knew it wasn’t Ben. But when she saw his seat at the bar vacant, and she looked down at the arms that had winded their way from her back to her front, she relaxed. It was Ben. Turning in his arms, she stared up at him curiously.

“Since when do you dance?”

“Since the night we got married?” He questioned back to her, thinking back to the night he had made Evelyn his wife and the songs they had danced to. Though, the fast paced music they were moving to was nothing compared to the slow, soft love songs of Elvis Presley they had shared on their first night as a married couple. Either way, Ben wasn’t a good dancer, but he was trying, and that was enough to make Evelyn extremely happy and highly amused.

She couldn’t believe it had been almost a month since she and Ben had been married. They were so busy, her with work and making sure she made it to every home game, and him trying to get his team to the Stanley Cup finals, and then to the cup itself. Their life was a whirlwind, and Evelyn had a hard time grasping just how much harder the playoffs were for the players and the people in their lives than the regular season.

It was crazy. She felt like she barely had time to breath, but it was possibly the most fun she had ever had. The constant smile on Ben’s face (even though he was getting into so many fights, and those usually kept a scowl on his face) were enough to keep Evelyn in a constant state of smiling, too. His smile was contagious, after all.

Ben was the first to stop dancing, and he pulled away from his wife and grinned goofily at her. She stared up at him, a look of confusion etched on her face. “What?”

“I think we should go back to our place and continue celebrating, privately.”

Evelyn stared at him, her mouth hanging open and her eyes wide, completely at a loss for words. He laughed at her face and laced his fingers with hers, bringing their entwined hands up to his mouth so he could press a kiss to her knuckles. She blushed lightly and pushed him away from her, “You are so inappropriate.”

“No one heard me.”

Everyone heard you!”

Ben shook his head, laughing, but when he looked around at the people around them, he saw all of their friends were definitely staring at him, the girls all giggling and his teammates all smirking. He looked down at Evelyn to see a scowl on her face, but he could tell she was amused by the look in her eye. He wrapped his arms around her and laughed into her shoulder.

“My bad.”

“Yeah, yeah,” She mumbled, trying to shove him away from her, but she had no luck. She didn’t know why she bothered trying to overpower him; it was simply never going to happen. Shaking her head, she slightly nodded her head and told Ben she was ready to go home. She laughed as his eyes lit up and he loudly announced they were leaving. “See you Mr. and Mrs. Eager!” Phoebe yelled after them, causing half the bar to break out in laughter as Evelyn and Ben left, wide smiles on their faces, wondering if they would ever get used to that new title.

Ben didn’t think he could ever get enough of his wife. A year and a half ago, he never would have even thought of settling down. He was in Philly, living it up with his teammates, picking up chicks at bars, and not having a care in the world. Even before that, he never saw himself being a married man until he was around thirty. He had been happy as a bachelor, but Evelyn had come along whether he had been expecting it or not, and he was sure he’d never been happier than to be in Chicago and married to the perfect woman.

When had big, bad, tough Ben Eager become such a sap? When he met Evelyn; that was when.

- - -

Evelyn stood in the kitchen in nothing but her robe, bending down in front of the fridge trying to find Ben something to eat. He was always hungry after sex. Always. Pulling out the peanut butter from the cabinet and a jar of jelly from the fridge, she set them down in front of the bread box and got to work on making two PB & J sandwiches. She poured two glasses of milk and as she set them down at their table, Ben came walking from the bedroom, only dressed in a pair of boxers.

Kissing her neck, he trapped her against the counter, making her squirm underneath him.

“Ben!” She laughed. “Eat your sandwich.”

And he did. She was only done with her third bite when he had already finished. Shaking her head at her behemoth boyfriend, she watched him sift through the stack of mail on their counter. It was almost ridiculous how much they really did get. He let out a deep, bored sigh as he looked at plain white envelope after plain white envelope until he got to the bottom and saw the familiar gold papering of the acceptance letter addressed to Evelyn from CUNY.

He had completely forgotten about it. How was he supposed to focus on anything but hockey for the past three weeks? They had faced Calgary and then Vancouver; he had been one hundred percent hockey in his mindset.

Picking up the envelope, he walked to the table where Evelyn was just finishing her sandwich. He sat down in the seat he had previously occupied and put the letter in front of her. He watched her reaction as she stared at the piece of paper, wide eyed.

“I forgot about that…”

“Me too,” Ben mumbled. “Want to fill me in?”

Evelyn shrugged, “I applied, just to see if I could get in.”

“And you did.”

“I did.”

“Evelyn! Come on… Don’t bullshit around with me. Do you want to go to New York, or not?”

Looking up at Ben, she sighed and shrugged, “I… don’t know.” Ben stayed silent, shaking his head, he wasn’t sure what he could say. He was more hurt than anything that Evelyn was keeping things from him.

“Were you planning on talking about this with me?”

“Ben, I have no idea what I want to do. I told you and myself that I didn’t want to, but now that I’ve gotten in…”

“We could have talked about it together.”

“I know, Ben. I’m sorry.”

“Yeah, me too. Talk to me when you figure your shit out, okay?”

Evelyn stood up after Ben, trying to grab his arm and get him to stay; to talk to her. He shrugged her off, shaking his head before walking into their bedroom and closing the door behind him. Evelyn groaned and sat back down at the kitchen table. She had fucked up, hurt Ben, and started the first fight of their very new marriage. The only thing she could think as she sat in the silent apartment was, “Shit.”
♠ ♠ ♠
I love you so, so much, & I hope your day was wonderful.
And I hope 26 is a phenomenal year for you, too!

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