Sequel: Attractions

Counting the Ways to Reject You

Chapter Eighteen

“Tazer!” I flagged down the captain. “Where’s Corey Crawford?”

He looked around. “Saw him running through the stands a few minutes ago, holding a piece of paper. He’s quite graceful you know,” he smirked, knowing all about my attempts to get my goaltenders to run.

“I will torture you in your sleep,” I warned. “Did he mention where he was going or anything?”

“Something about. . . . yeah nope. Don’t remember. Good luck!” he said and he was off on his merry way.

“He is probably the most useless captain ever,” I mumbled.

“Locker room,” Kaner looked up from his phone.

I headed toward that way, ready to beat up Chicago’s number one goalie. No regrets.

“Corey Crawford!” I shouted, stepping in and I froze instantly.

There was no rouge goaltender in the locker room. Only Patrick Sharp. Holding my resignation letter, a look of shock on his face.

“What is this Natalie?” he waved my letter.

I walked up to him and plucked the paper from his hand. “You know what it is Patrick,” I mumbled.

“Why?” he asked. “What is wrong with you?”

“A lot!” I snapped. “Okay? A lot. So I think it would be better for you if I just left. Cause I mean this team is going bat shit crazy. It’s like there’s a full moon hanging around for the past few weeks,” I made an attempt at a joke.

He didn’t laugh. Or even crack a smile. “Natalie, you can’t leave.”

“Patrick,” my voice cracked, reaching for my letter with shaking hands. “I’ve already hurt you more times than I ever wanted to. When you proposed. . I just. . . freaked. I’ve never had any guy care about me this much ever, besides my daddy and well. I think I’m just meant to be an old, lonely demon bat for the rest of my life.”

“When will you stop looking at yourself like that and see yourself the way I see you Natalie,” Patrick said. “You are beautiful, caring, smart, tough, you don’t take anyone’s shit, you make me a better person. You’re fun, daring, unique. You’re the one I want to fall asleep to and to wake up to, first thing in the morning. We don’t have to get married right now Nat and I do regret asking you, because we should have talked it through first. I didn’t mean to ambush you like that and you never told me you had an anxiety disorder,” he gave me a pointed look.

“It’s kind of a recent thing,” I laughed shortly. “Patrick, it’s not that I don’t want to marry you, I do. I don’t know why I reacted the way I did. I guess I’m just not quite ready yet. I’m sorry,” I found my shoes quite interesting then.

He lifted my chin with his finger so I had to look at him. “I’ll wait for you. But you’re the only one I’ll ever wait for.”

I smiled and through my arms around his neck. “I love you Patrick Sharp.”

He lifted me off my feet, spinning me around. “I love you too Natalie Whitt.”

“So, I accidently dropped your resignation letter in the street outside where it conveniently got run over by a bike messenger,” Corey was leaning against the doorframe. “My bad. Oh Sharpie. That’s where I put her copy. I knew I left it with someone useful.”

I gave him a look. “Get Razor. Start running the rink since you’re so graceful, as Tazer says.”

“Seriously?!” he looked appalled. “I help you build up your relationship again and this is how you repay me?!”

“No I’m grateful. But the running is for being an ass every other time I’ve asked you to run. Get your fat goalie ass out there.”

“You can always print out another copy!” he reminded me.

I shook my head at everything. My life basically. “I’m starting to think that this full moon thing is permanent.”