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

I'll Be Right Beside You

Road Trip - Part 2

For the next hour Phoebe and Evelyn hung out with Niklas and Antti, getting to know the two incredibly sweet Europeans. Niklas and Phoebe hadn’t let go of the other’s hand the whole time they hung out. Every so often they would catch each other’s gaze and let out a small laugh, or they would just blush. Every time they did, Antti and Evelyn would look at each other and smile, shaking their heads. They were so cute it was ridiculous.

The boys had to get ready to go to the game, so Phoebe and Evelyn gathered their things and went to leave. “Wait,” Niklas called after them as they stepped into the hallway. “I almost forgot!” He handed Phoebe a jersey and she took it with wide eyes. “Wear it?” He asked her, to which Phoebe only nodded and smiled. Niklas grinned and pressed his lips to hers before disappearing back into his room.

Phoebe turned to Evelyn with wide eyes and a smile, making her friend smile just as wide, “You guys are so cute I want to vomit.” Phoebe laughed and dragged Evelyn toward the elevator, “There’s a compliment in there somewhere, right?” Evelyn laughed and nodded, shoving Phoebe into the waiting elevator. When they got down to Evelyn’s car, Phoebe was still smiling. “Oh god, are you going to grin like that all day?”

Phoebe narrowed her eyes and muttered an only half-way sarcastic, “Bitch,” under her breath, only making Evelyn laugh harder. “Phoebe, you have no idea how giggly I was when me and Ben first met, and then later when we started dating.” Shaking her head, the younger girl said, “I still can’t believe you didn’t start dating immediately, like, I can’t imagine you and Ben knowing each other and not being together.”

Evelyn laughed; it was true. She and Ben were nothing more than friends for the first month they knew each other, and while a month isn’t really that long of a time period, it might as well have been. From the instant they met, there was no denying the chemistry. Even with Evelyn’s mind clouded with school and Ben’s mind only wanting sleep, the two of them were able to see only each other for the few minutes both were inside that coffee shop. And it had been only luck, or maybe even fate, that brought them together when Ben left his wallet on the table.

Deciding how to spend the next two hours before they game started was difficult. They knew that they had at least an hour to kill before they could head back toward the arena. Driving around the streets of Milwaukee, being careful not to stray too far from where the hotel and arena was, Phoebe spotted a coffee shop. Quickly parking along the curb, the girls got out and stepped inside out of the cold.

They ordered themselves coffees and spent the next hour and fifteen minutes talking, about work, about Ben, about the Blackhawks, about the Icehogs, but mainly about Phoebe and Niklas. “It just seems like we’re moving so fast,” Phoebe said, voicing, for the first time, apprehension. Evelyn shook her head, getting into the driver’s seat and pulling it out into traffic. “Does it just feel… right?” Phoebe immediately nodded, elaborating, “The only time I feel apprehensive is when we aren’t together. When I’m with him, it’s like… I don’t think about anything else.”

Only five minutes had passed by the time the girls were parked in the arena’s parking garage. They grabbed their things, Phoebe having put Niklas’s jersey on in the car. They had bought tickets to the game before Niklas could stop them. As soon as they decided they were driving to Milwaukee, Evelyn had gone online and managed to find really good seats to the game, but really, it wasn’t like the AHL was anywhere near as popular as the NHL; sad, but true. They sat down in their fifth row seats, Milwaukee Admiral fans on either side of them, in front of them, and in back. The girls shared a look, knowing if things went in the Hogs’ favor, they were going to be the most hated people in the arena.

“What time does the Hawks game start?” Phoebe asked. Evelyn shrugged, “I’m pretty sure around nine, since they’re on the west coast.” Phoebe nodded, agreeing. “This game should be almost over by then. I know Niklas said he wanted us to hang out with the team afterward. They’re staying here overnight and driving home tomorrow.” Evelyn nodded, “What are we doing?” Phoebe laughed, “I have no idea. I guess we could stay; get a room of our own, but I don’t mind driving home to Chicago either.”

Evelyn shrugged, knowing they’d figure it out later. It wasn’t like this was a planned trip, neither brought anything besides the clothes they were wearing, nor had either of them made hotel reservations. They were winging it, which really, was the best kind of way to road trip. Their attention was on the ice when the lights dimmed and the Admirals announcer ran through the names of the Icehogs starting lineup. While the rest of the arena booed, Phoebe and Evelyn cheered, especially when Niklas’s name was called. Fans around them turned and looked at them, Evelyn being the one to respond, “We’re from out of town, obviously.”

By the end of the first, the game was tied at zero. Each team had taken a couple of penalties, but nothing had been capitalized on. The game was a little on the intense side. It seemed like almost every time either goalie (Corey Crawford was in net for the Hogs) made a save, their was a scuffle in front of the net. “Oh sweet jesus,” Phoebe gasped, as Niklas dropped his gloves. “I am so sorry for making fun of you when you freak out when Ben fights,” She added, covering her eyes with her hands. Evelyn laughed and pried Phoebe’s hands away, making her watch the fight. “This shit is awesome, Pheebs. We have to go to AHL games more often!”

. . .

Walking from the arena, the girls had huge smiles on their faces. The Icehogs had beaten the Admirals four goals to one. After getting into that fight, which was rare for him, Niklas had notched a goal and an assist. After the game, he had texted Phoebe telling them to come to the locker room. The girls shrugged and agreed, Phoebe nearly running down there to see Niklas. Evelyn watched in amusement as he again hugged her, lifted her off her feet, and swung her around. After the boys had gotten dressed, they decided to grab a bite to eat in the hotel restaurant. The girls, of course, had been invited.

Walking into the place, all eyes were on the out-of-town hockey team and the two girls that accompanied them; it was probably a funny site, really. They were seated quickly, since most of the restaurant was empty. Of course, Phoebe sat next to Niklas, who had grabbed a seat in a booth. The other side of the booth was filled with two of Niklas's teammates, so Evelyn had to find a seat elsewhere.

She saw Antti waving her over a few booths down, and Evelyn sent Phoebe a smile, silently telling her she was fine with not sitting with her for a while. "Hey, Evelyn," Antti said, as she slid into the seat next to him. "This is Jack Skille and Jake Dowell," He continued pointing to the two boys across from him. "Have you met them?"

Evelyn nodded, saying that she had. They exchanged pleasantries, as a waitress came to get their orders. “Ah, shit,” Jack cursed after the waitress had left. Evelyn stared at him, “What’s up?” Shaking his head, Jake Dowell responded, “The Hawks aren’t doing so hot.” Evelyn frowned, “What’s going on?”

“It’s beginning of the third period, like five minutes in,” Jack sighed. “And the Hawks are down six to one.”

Evelyn’s eyes went wide and she cursed under her breath, “Phoebe!” The other girl turned toward Evelyn, Niklas’s arm around her shoulders, “What?”

“The Hawks are sucking. Six to one in the third…”

Phoebe shook her head, “Ben’s going to be brooding so bad when he gets home later.”

Evelyn sighed, knowing how true that was. She wished like hell she could be home when he got home, but looking at Niklas and Phoebe, she knew she probably wasn’t going to be. Ben would have to wait, because for the first time since she knew Phoebe, the girl was absolutely smitten, and Evelyn wasn’t going to be a whiney bitch and demand they go home. Turning to Antti, she asked, “If Phoebe wants to…” She cleared her throat, “stay over night with Niklas, what happens to me and you?”

Antti shrugged, “We take blankets and sleep in the hall?” Evelyn laughed as their food came, and she quickly dug in, not realizing how starving she had been.

. . .

The Blackhawks had gone on to lose seven goals to three to the Canucks, but Evelyn didn’t care about all of the numbers. The only one she cared about was the ten minute misconduct Ben had gotten late in the third period. She, of course, hadn’t watched the game, so she wasn’t sure what had happened exactly. She stared down at her cell phone as Ben’s name came across the screen.

“Hey,” She said, as soon as she picked up. All she heard was a grunt in return. Sighing, she asked him, “Baby, what happened?”

“Didn't you watch?”

“I couldn’t. I was out with the guys.”

“The guys?”

“The Icehogs.”

He grunted again, and Evelyn only sighed, “Are you guys heading home now?”

“We’re on the bus.”

Evelyn was getting nowhere with Ben being in the mood he was, “Phoebe wants to stay the night.”

The line was silent for a few moments until Ben finally muttered, “Does that mean you’re not going to he home when I get home?”

She bit her lip, “Yeah.”

“Nice, Lyn… Just… Whatever.”

Before she could say anything, he had hung up. Sighing, she put her phone into her pocket as Antti walked up to her. “Is everything okay?” He asked. Evelyn nodded, “Yeah, fine. Do they have anymore rooms?” Antti shook his head, “That means we’re shacking up with some teammates of mine tonight.” Evelyn laughed lightly and motioned for Antti to lead the way, and she was not surprised when they were soon ushered into the room of Jack Skille and Jake Dowell.

She sighed, thinking to herself that Phoebe had better enjoy her night with Niklas, because her boyfriend was pissed at her as it was. No doubt getting more pissed off when he found out where his girlfriend spent the night. Smiling at Jake, he motioned that one half of his bed was hers. Taking a deep intake of breath, she knew it was going to be a long day when she finally got home.
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So, I took some liberties with the games mentioned. Just to let you ladies know, in case someone wants to call me out on my "facts" being wrong. It's supposed to be this way. (:

Thanks for all the comments on the last chapter! I love hearing from every one of you lovely, lovely girls. It means so much! <3

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