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

I'll Be Right Beside You

Keeping Secrets

January 26th 2009
As far as Evelyn was concerned, Mondays could kiss her ass. That was the only thing she could think as she woke up to the annoying sound of her alarm clock at just six thirty in the morning. Ben groaned beneath her and slapped his hand on top of the small clock, shutting it off. Evelyn sighed and went to get up, but Ben pulled her down onto his chest again. “Ben,” She sighed. “I have to get up.” She heard him mumble out a ‘why’ so she said. “I have to go back to work today, you know.”

She slid out of his grasp as he again mumbled about the early hour. Evelyn leaned down and pressed a kiss to his forehead, telling him to go back to sleep; he didn’t need to be up for another two and a half hours so he could make it to practice, after which the team would be flying to Anaheim. The thought of Ben being gone for over two weeks on a western road trip, just to come home for two days to fly to Atlanta didn’t sit well with her. She missed him more than she could have ever imagined while he was gone.

And for him to be gone for two weeks after they had just gotten back from a romantic vacation to Hawaii, well that was plain mean. They had spent every waking minute together in Hawaii, and yet, they weren’t sick of each other. That must earn them some sort of medal, Evelyn thought; they had been together for a year now. After she had turned the coffee pot on, she retreated back into the bedroom, getting ready to take a shower. She glanced at Ben’s sleeping form, more than half of his body had been uncovered through out the night, and Evelyn found it hard to tear her gaze away from his physique. It was something she would never get tired of.

Taking a quick shower, Evelyn wrapped herself in a short and thin black robe, grabbing herself a mug of coffee before making herself a small breakfast. She ate, cleaned up the kitchen, and walked into her and Ben’s bedroom where he was still passed out, but now he was cuddled against her pillow. Evelyn stifled a laugh as she sat down at her vanity and began to do her makeup.

When she was done, she dressed in a black pencil skirt, red heels, and a red blouse tucked into her skirt. Ben stirred in his sleep as she pulled her coat on. “Are you leaving?” He asked her, his big blue eyes half lidded. “Yep,” Evelyn nodded, pulling her black barrette onto her head. “I’ll miss you,” She said, leaning down to kiss him. Ben sighed and kissed back, “I hate road trips.”

“I do, too, but baby, you have to go.”

‘What time is it?” He asked, and Evelyn told him it was a quarter after seven. She needed to leave right away if she wanted to make it to work by eight. Ben groaned and kissed her again, grabbing his cell phone. He told Evelyn he was setting his alarm for an hour from then so he could get to practice. She smiled and kissed his head, grabbing her purse and leaving the apartment.

The walk to work seemed longer than usual. She thought it might have been that Evelyn knew that with every step she took, she moved farther away from Ben, and it would be two weeks before she could see him next. She felt silly, how much she depended on Ben, not for money (she had plenty of her own from work), but for affection and love. She was still in a daze, just thinking about she and Ben when she walked into work. Phoebe jumped up from her desk when she saw Evelyn walk in, but it was painfully clear that the brunette’s mind was not on work.

“Hey, babe,” Phoebe said, placing a hand on Evelyn’s shoulder. “What’s the matter?”

Evelyn had a blank look on her face when she looked up at her coworker and friend, “Every time Ben leaves, it gets harder. You’d think I’d be used to this by now.” Phoebe smiled sadly, “No one can expect you to accept your boyfriend leaving all the time.” Phoebe led Evelyn to her desk and made her sit down at her chair. “Don’t feel silly, I know how much you love him, Lyn.”

Evelyn nodded and sighed, just as Michael sat down at his desk diagonal from her own and just in front of Phoebe’s. He turned to look at the girls, “Hey, Evelyn. How was Hawaii?” She grinned, telling Michael that it had been a great trip. “That’s great,” He told her. “Who’d you go with?”

“Oh, just me and Ben, my boyfriend.”

”You guys been together long?”

Evelyn raised her eyebrows, “A year. Why do you ask?”

Michael shrugged, “No reason, really. I just hear you and Phoebe talk about him a lot… He’s an athlete?”

Evelyn nodded, “He plays for the Blackhawks.”

“Oh, wow, really?”

Evelyn smiled and nodded again as she and Phoebe laughed. They started in on their work for the day, Evelyn mostly placing calls to contacts and getting official statements for stories. It was nearly lunch time when she finally took a break and sat back in her chair, cracking her back. Her cell buzzed on her desk, to show she had a text from Ben. I miss you already, it said. Evelyn laughed, knowing he was being sarcastic, but just a little bit.

Don’t be a pussy, she texted back, adding I love you! at the end.

. . .

As much as they tried to hate Michael, Evelyn and Phoebe couldn’t. It wasn’t really his fault that management was looking over employees with more seniority, to make him an editor. And then he volunteered to take both girls out to dinner and he would pay. They had gotten off a reasonable hour, just after six, and he asked the girls if they had plans for dinner. Both told him no, and then he told them, “Good, I’m treating you.”

“Why?” Phoebe asked as she and Evelyn got into Michael’s car. He shrugged, “You’ve helped me out a lot since I’ve been working, which I know means a lot. I hear the rumors going around about me.”

Evelyn shared a glance with Phoebe, but neither girl said anything. “I know nothing about management making me editor, really. I’m just happy to have a job.” The girls smiled as Michael continued to assure them that he had no idea about the company’s plans. It was less than ten minutes when they pulled up to a nice restaurant. “Michael, you don’t have to take us to a place like this,” Phoebe said.

He only shrugged, ushering the two girls inside and out of the cold, immediately getting seating. He told them to order whatever they wanted, but both felt like they shouldn’t splurge. Both opted for a simple pasta dish, while Michael ordered a steak. They spent the entire night talking, laughing, ordering more wine. Both girls were surprised how easy they got along with Michael; it was almost ironic when they remembered how much they hated the idea of him before they even knew him.

No one paid attention to the time until it was time to leave. Evelyn took her cell out of her purse as the three of them walked back to Michael’s car. She had a few texts from Ben, and even a missed call. “Shit,” She mumbled, realizing it was after ten o’clock. “What’s the matter?” Phoebe asked. Evelyn shook her head, “I missed Ben’s call. We always talk around nine when he’s on the road.”

Phoebe smiled, “You guys are too cute. It’s only one night. He’ll get over it.” Evelyn nodded, deciding that as soon as got home, she’d call Ben. She was sure he would still be awake, seeing as the team didn’t play until Wednesday.

Michael dropped Phoebe off first, since her house was closer to the restaurant. Phoebe gave Evelyn a hug and told her she’d see her the next day at work. Evelyn smiled and told Phoebe to call Niklas, to which the young girl responded that she was already planning on it. Michael laughed at the two girls as he again pulled into traffic, “Who’s Niklas?”

“He’s one of Ben’s teammates,” Evelyn settled for saying. There was no need to go into the details of the AHL and the NHL’s call-up system when the man in the driver’s seat clearly knew nothing about hockey. “They kind of hit it off when me and Ben introduced them.”

“That’s awesome; Phoebe’s a great girl.”

”She is,” Evelyn agreed, smiling at Michael as he pulled up to her and Ben’s apartment building. He nodded at her and told her he’d see her at work, and Evelyn moved to step out of the car, but Michael held her back. She furrowed her brows and silently asked him what he wanted.

“Nothing,” He sighed. “It’s stupid.”

“No, what?” Evelyn asked.

“I was just going to say how lucky this Ben guy is to have you.”

Evelyn raised her eyebrows, laughing nervously, “I’m the lucky one.”

Michael shook his head, “You’re so naive. You’re beautiful, smart, funny, the perfect package.”

She felt more and more awkward as he kept talking. She wanted to scream out, tell him to stop; she had a boyfriend! Though, that would do nothing. Michael already knew she was taken.


“I know, I know. We’re just friends, coworkers, really. I know.”

Evelyn smiled sadly, “That’s how it has to stay.”

“I won’t mention it again.”

She nodded, telling him goodnight before getting out of his car and running into the building. As soon as she was in the apartment, she kicked her heels off and flopped herself onto the couch, calling Ben. He answered quickly, “You ignore me all night, and then wait until eleven to call me. Am I your late night booty call or something?” He asked, laughter in his voice.

“I love you,” Evelyn told him.

Ben stopped laughing, noticing how serious Evelyn sounded, “Hey, I love you too. Is everything okay?”

She nodded, even though he couldn’t see her, “Mm, just perfect. I miss you.”

“You’re going to make these two weeks awfully hard, Lyn,” He said, referring to her ‘I love yous’ and her “I miss yous.’ Evelyn laughed, glad to be talking to Ben later than never. Just his voice could comfort her in a way that no one could. Though, even as they talked, she couldn’t shake thoughts of Michael and what he had told her out of her head. Fucking asshole, she thought. Way to ruin the friendship.

The only thing she knew was that Ben could never know about how Michael felt about her, that was for sure.
♠ ♠ ♠
Thank you gals for the continued amazing response. :D
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Also, new layout!! Ain't Chi-city just beautiful? <3

I have chapter 6 finished.

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