Don't Make Me Spell It Out For You

Chapter Ten

Games three and four, I won’t get into much detail about. All I could say is that we lost and Niemi was begging me to take games five and six.

“No way,” I told him on the plane. I was sitting next to Hammer, my plane buddy and roomie for that trip. I liked him as a roomie. It was a nice break from the craziness. He was quiet and very respectful, though I did miss Andrew and Kris.

“Why not?” he pleaded.

“I have faith in you,” I simply said, flipping a page in my hockey magazine, Pittsburgh edition. I had the Ducks, Canucks, and Capitals editions ready to be read next.

“You are a horrible person,” he said, dead serious. “You want me to suffer and embarrass not only myself, but the rest of the guys. You have no sense of team work.”

He stalked off, simmering quietly next to his plane buddy, Brent Sopel. “Wow,” Hammer whistled. “I didn’t think he had the capacity to guilt, but man do you feel guilty? Because I know I do, and I’m not even a goaltender.”

I shrugged, feeling incredibly guilty, but fully knowing that he was just frustrated that the Flyers bested us the last two games. “He’ll be fine. Just wait until game five.”
“If you say so Baby V,” he said, reaching for the Ducks edition.


I refrained from telling Nemo that I was right after we won Game Five. I literally had to bite my tongue and rant about how I was right to Andrew instead. I had him laughing on the floor and tears in his eyes. That only made me lecture more on how he was so insensitive.

We were back at the house, packing once again to go back to Philly. Kris had decided to get some late night practice in with Kopy and Bolland, his linemates, therefore the house was almost empty.

“Whatcha doing?” Andrew poked his head into my room.

I stared at my open bag with a few clothes in it. “Packing?”

“That’s boring. Want to help me wax the floors?”

I gave him a look. “Because that is so much more fun than deciding what color shorts to bring.”

“Then you’ve never waxed floors before.”

I rolled my eyes, but left my bag half packed and followed him downstairs to where he had the wax sitting out and two pairs of socks. “Really?”

He shrugged. “We have the house to ourselves. Mommy Kris won’t be coming back until later so we can skate around, getting ready to leave in the morning.”

“What time does the plane take off tomorrow morning?” I asked him, pulling on my socks.

“Like eight.”

“Did Tazer post room buddies yet?” I asked, slipping and sliding as Andrew started to wax another part of the house, making our arena even bigger. He appeared back and nearly ran into me.

“Yup. Just me and you this trip, my dear.”

“Where did Kris end up?”


“Hm. Well I guess I can have my own bed this trip,” I said slowly, as he turned to face me, our bodies touching.

“You don’t like sleeping with me?” his voice held amusement, as his hands held tight onto my hips.

I blushed slightly and punched him in the shoulder. “I’m not going to answer that, you player,” I teased him, sliding past him. “You twist my words around.”

“Player?” he sounded offended. “Me? Girl, I am no player.”

I laughed, turning back to him. “Mhm, sure,” I dragged out the last word.

“What, you need me to prove it to you?” he backed up before giving a running start and sliding right up to me, knocking me down on the stairs as we both ended up laughing hysterically laughing.

“And how do you plan on proving that you’re not a player?” I asked him, my elbows propping me up on the stairs as I stared into his grey eyes. “I mean, come on Andrew Ladd. That means you can’t be looking at girl’s boobs anymore.”

“Never!” he feigned a shocked expression.

I giggled, pushing him off of me, but his hand grabbed onto my wrist and pulled me down on top of him. My cheeks glowed and he brushed his fingers against my red hot cheeks.

“Hi?” I smiled meekly, my heart pounding. Could he feel it through the only two pieces of fabric that separated our chests?

“You’re quite cute when you blush, you know that?” he smiled, brushing a strand of hair out of my face.

That only made me blush more. I leaned in just a little and he lifted his head to fill in the extra space. Our lips were so close to touching. My heart was pounding. My head begging for more than a tease.

The door was thrown open and we heard Kris crashing through. Andrew released my wrist and we both jumped up, me trying to get rid of the blush that he caused, him trying to look casual.

“Hey guys! Just wanted–” he broke off, falling to the waxed floor, his stuff spilled all over the living room.

I turned to Andrew. “I am going to finish packing and try to get in a few hours of sleep before the plane leaves. Kris, you’re so clumsy,” I said before taking the steps two at a time, and closing my bedroom door. I slid down and breathed heavily, trying to erase the blush.

What was happening to me? I tried kissing him that time.

Holy shit.

I almost kissed Andrew Ladd.

Holy shit. I wanted to kiss Andrew Ladd.


I stood there, watching the stairs where Rose had jumped them two at a time. Where she had laid on top of me, blushing and almost kissed me.

“Are you going to help me up or what?” Steeger growled.

Right. “Sorry,” I said, helping him up. “We waxed the floors.”

He gave me a look that offered that I was insane. “Why?”

I shrugged. “Why not?”

He shook his head. “Whatever. I’m not even going to go there. You and Rose ready to go?”

“Huh?” I looked up at him. “Oh. Yeah. Yeah, sure.”

He raised his eyebrow. “Do you like her?” he asked suddenly, completely throwing me off guard.

“What?!” I already had a million ways to defend myself against his accusations, no matter how true they were.

He smiled, walking into the kitchen and grabbing a bottle of water and tossing me one as well. At least he didn’t aim it at my throat. That was always a good start.

“You heard me. Do. You. Like. Rose?” he repeated himself.

Act cool Laddie. Act casual. “Uh. . . well. . . you know. . . .uh. . . .” Way to act casual.

He laughed. “You two are cute together. You really bring out the best in each other.”

All I could do was stare as he drank his water calmly. “Is this some kind of sick joke?” I asked.

He shook his head. “Unless you want to use her for sex.”

I chose just then to take a sip of my water and I spit it back out in shock that he would even consider that. “NO!”

“Good. I would have to kick your ass back to Canada.”

“So. . .” I started, my head spinning. “You’re okay with me liking your baby cousin?”

He nodded. “It only really took me a week to get used to the idea of you two dating.”


“It only took me the first week to get used to the idea,” he repeated slower.

“No, I heard you. How long have you been picturing us together?”

“How long has she been here?”

“Since December.”

“So for like six months. You know, I’m kind of surprised you haven’t tried anything on her. I mean, six months. The guys all lost their bets on you. You’ve gone past the two month mark.”

“Wow, thanks guys,” I grumbled, rolling my eyes.

“You’re different when you’re around her.”

“How so?”

He shrugged. “Nemo says during games on the road, you don’t even look at other girls. You’re always looking at Rose. He’s surprised you haven’t slipped in your own drool puddle yet.”

I was speechless.

“And Hammer and Kopy both agree that you play harder now than before she came. They say you’re trying to impress her.”

I smiled a little. It was true, whether that was unfortunate or fortunate, I wasn’t so sure.

“Seabs says that watching you two together is like watching a movie where the guy is completely in love with his best friend and that to the guy, everything is just better when she’s around.”

I played with the cap of the bottle. “She’s like that first snowfall of the season, you know? Absolutely perfect.”

He smiled, and stood up, patting me on the shoulder. “Well I approve of you two dating. Not that it matters, but just so you’re not afraid I’ll beat you up anymore.”

Concerned that he would beat me up? Yeah right. I mean I loved Steeger, but it wouldn’t be much of a fight for him.

He was already out of the kitchen, when I cleared my throat. “Steeger.”

He poked his head back in. “Yeah?”

“What if she doesn’t feel the same about me?”

He laughed. “Man, you’re blind aren’t you?” was all he said before saying good night and going to bed.

I tried to sleep too that night, but sleep was impossible. All I could think about was Rose. Not that it was unusual for me, but I kept thinking of the possibilities and what Steeger said. Was it possible that she felt the same about me?
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