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

I'll Be Right Beside You

Going Away

May 28th 2009
With Evelyn leaving for New York City on the morning of the thirtieth, all of her friends had gotten together to throw her a going away party. It surprised her how light and happy the atmosphere at the party was, considering the boys had just lost to the Detroit Redwings the night before in game five of the Western Conference Final, but that wasn’t on their minds; Evelyn was. She sat towards the center of the table, Ben beside her to her right and Phoebe at her left. She laughed, tears coming to her eyes as Adam Burish stood up from a few seats down the table.

“I would like to make a toast to Evelyn, and Ben, really. The two of them never had a proper wedding reception, so I guess this will have to suffice. I want to wish Evelyn the best of luck in New York with her studies. Evelyn, you have been one of my best friends in the time I’ve known you. I feel like I can tell you anything, and I think that everyone at this table, whether they know you as well as I do or not, feels the same about you. You are such a goddamn sweetheart, and I love you.” Evelyn wiped at the tears, as Ben gripped her hand tighter under the table. “That having been said… Don’t be a Rangers fan, okay?”

She laughed as Adam started the round of ‘cheers’ that made their way around the table. Evelyn took a sip of her champagne just as the food came to the table. Her eyes stared hungrily down at the assortment of chicken, beef, potatoes, veggies, and pasta. She wanted to eat every single thing, she decided. The group shared stories and jokes as the food was devoured and replacement dishes were brought. Evelyn was sure the restaurant had underestimated just how much a group of hockey players could eat, and there were about fifteen of them there.

After everyone was sufficiently full, Evelyn stood up from her seat, smoothing the sides of her tight red dress out before she cleared her throat, getting everyone’s attention. “I feel like I need to say a few words to every one of you. First of all, this is not a permanent goodbye; it’s only temporary. I’ll be back, officially, before you know it and we can all pick up right where we left off, okay?” She laughed. “Second of all, I didn’t think it was possible to love a city more than I love my hometown, but Chicago has stolen my heart. I love everything about it, down to the extremely cold winters, which really says how much I love this city, originally being an Arizona girl and all.

“You guys have made me the happiest and most loved girl in the almost year and a half I’ve known all of you. We’ve been through a lot together,” Evelyn said. “And you guys are all my best friends, but there are two extremely special people at this table that I need to say something to, and I think everyone knows who they are.”

“It’s me,” She heard Burish whisper to his girlfriend, Kita, causing her to roll her eyes and slap her boyfriend’s arm.

Evelyn laughed, shaking her head, “Phoebe, first of all, you have been nothing but wonderful to me for the past eight months we’ve been working together. We came to the paper around the same time, and we just clicked. I’m sure it helped that you’re a diehard hockey fan who grew up playing the game and I was a hockey girlfriend struggling to learn the rules.” Everyone laughed, as Phoebe burst into tears dabbing at her eyes with her napkin. Her boyfriend, Niklas Hjalmarsson sighed and wrapped his arm around his girlfriend, trying to comfort her.

“You’ll never know how much you mean to me, Phoebe. You’re an angel,” Evelyn finished, leaning down to hug her best friend before standing back up and turning toward Ben. “And I have tried to come up with what I can say about Ben, but nothing seems sufficient enough. I love you more than you will ever know. You took a shy, introverted, college student and turned her into an outgoing, loud, hockey wife, and you’ve made me happier than I ever thought possible. I have nothing else to say except I love you, and I can’t wait to see what lays ahead of us.”

Evelyn sat back down to be pulled into a kiss from Ben, leading to the group surrounding them to hoot and holler. Evelyn blushed lightly and pecked at Ben’s lips again, just as the desert came to the table, a slice of red velvet cake for everyone with a side of chocolate mousse. She groaned happily at the desert before taking a large bite, making Ben laugh and shake his head at his wife. She sure loved her sweets.

After the dinner was said and done, and Evelyn shared a tearful goodbye with everyone at her little get-together (even Adam, but he insisted that he had gotten something in his eye. Burish men don’t cry, after all) she and Ben made there way from the restaurant out to the valet stand. Handing the valet their ticket, they waited for their car to be brought to them as the breeze picked up and Evelyn shivered a little. She hugged herself close into Ben, not being able to steal a suit jacket like she normally would. He hadn’t brought one, but instead wore only dress pants and a light grey button up, the sleeves rolled to his elbows.

She grinned when Ben’s Navigator pulled up in front of them, the valet jumping out to help Evelyn get into the passenger seat as Ben walked around the driver’s side. Climbing into the cabin, he turned on the heat very low so his wife could warm up as he pulled out of the driveway of the fancy downtown restaurant and made his way home.

“That was really nice,” Evelyn finally commented as they walked into their apartment. “I really liked everyone being there, you know?”

“Yeah, it was really all Adam’s idea, Lyn. He’s actually really broken up about you leaving.”

“He’s fucking precious,” She laughed, sitting down on the couch and kicking her heels off.

Ben sat down next to her, pulling the clip from her hair, letting the loose brown curls fall down to her shoulders before he put his hand on her neck and pressed his lips to her jaw. Evelyn groaned at his touch, her stomach clenching with the familiar feeling Ben gave her. Bringing her hand up to his freshly shaved face, she pressed back against his lips, letting him know she needed more than just a kiss. Ben smiled into the kiss, picking her up and carrying her into the bedroom.

She didn’t let him detach his lips from hers. She kept her hands on his jaw, locking his head in place and his lips against hers. There was a certain desperation in her kiss, Ben could tell, and he was sure his was just as desperate to her. His hands quickly moved to the back of her dress, undoing the zipper and sliding the material off of her body until he could grab it and throw it across the room. Evelyn fell onto her back, bringing Ben down on top of her, her hands moving to the waistline of his pants, un-tucking the shirt from his pants before undoing the buttons.

“Ben,” She gasped against his shoulder as he moved his hips into hers. “Don’t be like that,” She almost whined, making him laugh. “I need you so bad right now.”

Smirking down at his wife, Ben put his hand under her shoulders and lifted her up, his hand unhooking her bra and sliding it off of her before she could even comprehend what he was doing. Smirking up at him, she pounced on him, making him fall back against the bed as she attacked his neck with her lips, her hands undoing his belt and the button on his pants, sliding the material down his legs.

It was Ben’s turn to pounce on her. After practically ripping the last of their clothes off, he pressed his lips hard against hers as he moved into her. She shuddered around him, her fingers digging into the flesh of his arms as she buried her head in his chest and neck. Looking up at him, her eyes locked with his as he moved in and out of her. There was something different about the way he was looking at her that was nothing like any way he’d ever looked at her before. Evelyn bit at her lip as a moan escaped her mouth, Ben’s eyes looking away, almost as if it was too painful to look down at her.

She knew she was taking a risk by moving to New York, but she’d said it time and time again that she had to try. Ben knew she did, too, but he still didn’t want to her go. He grabbed onto her sides harder, moving to lay on his side and facing her as she kept his pace with her. She licked her bottom lip before closing the space between them, their lips connecting.

“I love you,” She told him, her brown eyes staring into his blue ones.

“I love you,” He repeated, but Evelyn looked away and frowned. She had heard the sadness in his voice, and it made her feel absolutely terrible that she had been the one to cause it. Ben Eager should never have such a sad tone to his voice. It wasn’t right. And, his wife had been the one to make him so hurt, and there was nothing she could do to fix it, except for staying with him Chicago.
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ONE chapter left!!

With all the response I got on the last chapter, every single one of you told me you were interested in a third part of the story. So, there WILL be a third part.

It is already called Make It Back to Me and the preview page can be seen

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The LAST chapter of I'll Be Right Beside You should be up by the weekend. I have it done, already, actually! So, It will be posted... Saturday. Unless I get a SHITLOAD of comments. I may be persuaded to post it earlier than that. ;)

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