Status: Complete. But I still love to hear what you think.

Strange Men in Bars

A Double Order of Hashbrowns

“I never really pictured you like an IHOP kind of guy.” Callie said as she slid into a booth across from Brent. His hair was still wet from the shower and he looked all fresh and clean. He looked downright gorgeous and Callie was struggling to not reach over the booth and kiss him senseless. She reached for a menu to distract herself.

“Why not?” He asked with a small smile.

Callie shrugged. “I don’t know. You have to be in shape and all. I just thought that you could only eat healthy things. Like raisin bran or whole wheat toast with no butter.” She added with a grin.

Brent laughed. “If I ate that, I’d be as scrawny as Kaner. I can’t go crazy, but I have to eat actual food.”

“Good because I love to cook. When I actually have the time and ingredients that is. I make homemade spaghetti sauce that will blow your mind.”

“You’re already blowing my mind, so that will put you over the top.” Brent grabbed a menu too.

“Really?” Callie asked with a delighted smile.

“Yes.” They were silent for a second while they looked at the menu.

“Will you be completely embarrassed if I just get a double order of hash browns?” Callie asked as she put the menu down.

“Potatoes, eh? Go for it. That kind of makes you a cheap date though.”

“What can I say? I’m a low maintenance kind of lady and hash browns are one of the best foods ever.” Callie joked.

“I like that about you.” He paused and reached over to grab her hand.

“Good because I have to warn you now that I won’t always be put together and pretty for you. Sometimes I like to wear sweatpants and hoodies.”

“Thank God.” Brent said and genuinely meant it. “I don’t want a girl that takes hours to get ready. Not to mention that you’re just as beautiful without makeup.”

Callie laughed and gave him a look of disbelief. “Honestly, when I woke up this morning with you next to me, you were the most beautiful sight in the world. And that was without your hair or makeup on.”

Callie was silent for a moment as she studied his face trying to decide if he was serious. “Are you real?” She said quietly finally.

“I’m right here.” He said then blew his straw wrapper at her hitting her square on the forehead. Callie dissolved into laughter.

“Thanks for letting me take you to breakfast, I know you have things to do today.”

“It’s what should have happened last time.” Callie said and blushed a little causing Brent to grin.

“Like you said last night, that won’t happen again.”

“Nope. Not again.”


And it didn’t. For the next six months, Callie and Brent were inseparable and it then finally it was playoff time. The Hawks had already beaten Nashville, and Vancouver; now they were facing San Jose.

“The first two games are in San Jose. But, the next two are here. You can at least come to those right?” Brent asked as Callie rushed past him, both hands full of grocery bags. She wanted to be at least a little annoyed at how preoccupied he was with the ’Hawks Stanley Cup run, but she couldn’t find it within her. She loved him, it was that simple. He took most of the bags from her hands and set them on the floor.

“Yes, Babe. You know that as long as the games are in Chicago, I’m there. Next day classes be damned - my man is competing for the Cup. I’m pretty sure that trumps any conflict. And I’m also pretty sure that Haley will cover for me if it means the cup comes to Chicago.” Callie smiled as she dropped her grocery bags on the floor. In the past months, she and Brent had grown ridiculously close. Somehow she felt like he was her other half, which scared her, but at the same time, it thrilled her beyond imagining.

“Thank God. I was really beginning to wonder.” Brent reached over and kissed her.

“You are such a liar!! I’ve told you I’d be there since the first home game against Nashville, and I have. Every single one, plus one in Nashville and Vancouver. If there’s a third game in San Jose, I’ll go because school will be out for summer.” She pushed him away with a playful shove, but he held her tightly. She could feel a slight tension in his body.

“I’m nervous, Cals.” He looked down at her and the vulnerability in his eyes made her heart flutter. She reached up and cupped his face in her hands.

“You’re going to be amazing. You always are.” Callie ran her fingers gently through the beard on his face. “And you know that I love you either way.”

His eyes widened slightly. They hadn’t ever actually said I love you to each other. Not directly anyway. It was more of a casual, “love you.” But this time Callie was very serious.

“I love you too, Callie.” He grinned and kissed her gently.

“You’re just lucky that you’re actually sexy with a beard. Otherwise, I’d never want you to make it to the post season.” Callie informed him.

“What?!” Brent pulled away to stare at her a little. “You’re kidding right? You should just be happy I can even grow a beard. Have you seen Sidney Crosby’s pathetic attempt at facial hair? Or Toews'? He looks like Wolverine.”

Callie laughed loudly. “I like the manly beard look that you have. I wasn’t complaining, I was just stating a fact. And I like the Wolverine look too. Somehow it’s sexy on him.”

Brent’s brow crinkled at her last comment. “You think Toews is sexy?”

“Are you jealous?” Callie couldn’t stop the amusement that crept into her voice.

“He’s way too young for you.” Brent said, not acknowledging her question.

“Only like two years.” She countered.

“I think he likes Megan.”

“And I love you anyway, so it doesn‘t matter.” Callie reminded him, but was distracted by his comment. “Hold it. He likes Megan? My roommate Megan?”

“You were just teasing me right now, weren’t you?” Brent shook his head at her and continued, “I think so. He pretty much stares at her when we go out. And he’s me asked about her.”

“Megan? She just broke up. I don’t think it’s a good idea.” Callie said in an alarmed voice.

“I just said he asked about her. I’ve noticed that they hangout when we go out.“ Brent shrugged. He didn’t understand why Callie was so concerned about Jonathan’s interest in Megan. Women were odd sometimes.

“I’ll talk to her. I don’t think a relationship is what she needs right now. She’s looking for a job.” Megan said then began to unload the groceries. He knew that he should just keep his mouth shut and not interfere. Although if Johnny wanted to date Megan, he thought that was their choice, but he wasn’t stupid enough to mention that to Callie.


“I have no idea how to do this.” Callie announced to the two women sitting with her at the table.

“Relax, Cals. Brent loves you. Winning, or not winning the Stanley Cup will not make or break your relationship. Just be there for him either way.” Megan rubbed Callie’s arm gently.

“I know, but I have no real idea what it’s like. He’s worked his whole career for this and what if they fail?” Callie asked with a frown. “Not to mention, every single game is 60 minutes of pure agony. I’m on the edge of the sofa, clenching my fists with every shot the Sharks make.”

“Niemi’s on fire, they’re making it to the finals. I can feel it.” Megan said simply. “And I know how you are. We’ve watched every game together. Watching you alone is enough to stress me out. I’m starting to get all tense. Thank god I’m single.”

“Megan is right. You just have to be there. Don’t push, just let him come to you and talk about stuff.” Abby, Patrick Sharp’s fiancé commented. “It’s not always easy to be with an NHLer. There are always ups and downs, but they make you guys stronger.”

“You’re both right. I need to calm down, but it’s not easy.” Callie said.

“Tell me about it. I’ve been with Patrick forever and I still get stressed. You also need to realize that the guys know you’re human too. They don’t expect you to be perfect and say the right thing if they lose.” Abby said, then took a sip of water.

“I don’t think I should ever date a hockey player.” Megan announced. “I’m so far from perfect it would make your head spin. I’m beginning to think I’m not fit to date anyone.”

“Megan, what are you talking about?” Callie rolled her eyes.

“You have no idea the kind of things that roll around in my head. I’m just lucky I have such good brain to mouth control, or you’d hear a lot of ridiculous things.” Megan said.
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Comments are loved and cherished! And if you read my Sidney story, you can tell I have a slight facial hair obsession:) I think Brent's playoff beard is actually extremely sexy. No idea why. Please comment!