Sequel: Attractions

Counting the Ways to Reject You

Chapter Three

Sure enough Friday morning, Patrick Sharp showed up on my front porch precisely on time, two cups of coffee in hand.

“Two cream, two sugar,” he said as he handed me my steaming cup.

“You stalk me too. No, not creepy at all,” I rolled my eyes, nonetheless taking the cup and getting into the passenger side.

We drove to the airport in silence as well as the plane ride there. As soon as our feet hit the tile of the airport though, it was anything but.

“Natalie!” a voice startled me and I turned to see Jonas Hiller waiting for us with a pair of sunglasses and a Blackhawks jersey.

“Well, I guess that’s one way to blend in,” Patrick laughed, man hugging Jonas.

“I thought it was well thought out and creative,” he winked at me and spun around to show us who was on the back. Patrick Sharp. Big surprise there. “You should feel really special man. It was either you or that Johnny Toews kid.”

“You know, I was labeled the most sexy in Chicago.”

“That’s why I thought I was safe if I went with you. I’d rather have sexy than serious.”

I couldn’t believe they were having that conversation. “Jonas, why are you here to greet us again?” I interjected.

“Kesler, Kopitar, Ovie, and Nash are busy. Come on! We’ve got to get ready for the draft!”


All in all, the draft was pretty much how I expected. The Sedin brothers were split up, Kaner and Tazer were together and Patrick ended up on the other team.

There was a party that night and Patrick asked me to go. I couldn’t really say no. So many of my friends would be there that I hadn’t seen in forever.

We arrived and I immediately gravitated towards Alex Ovechkin and Anze Kopitar.

“Nat!” Ovie cried, crushing me in a giant hug. He shook hands with Sharpie, grinning from ear to ear. “Glad to see you dragged her along. Nat, here. Finish my drink, would you? I need another one.”

Before I knew it, Alex handed me his drink and he wandered off, in search for another.

I shrugged and downed it, feeling the strongness of the drink right away. “Wow. Alex sure knows how to order a strong one,” I laughed nervously.

Patrick eyed me carefully. “You’re not one of those crazy drunks, are you?”

I shrugged. “Not particularly. Depends.”


“How much you give me.”

And that was when the conversation went downhill because Anze heard and then I had glasses of every kind of drink shoved in my hand.

Damn those stupid hockey players.

Sure enough, an hour later I was dancing on tables singing along to P!NK’s Raise Your Glass.

Patrick pulled me down from the table and into his arms. I grinned at him and it was then that I really saw how cute he was. Maybe it was because of the alcohol. Maybe it was because I really got a good look at him. Or maybe the alcohol made me get a really good look at him.

“Nat, you’re drunk,” he told me seriously.

“Psh,” I shushed him. “I am not drunk.”

“Try to walk,” he challenged me.

I pushed him away from me and stood to my full height with my three inch black heels. “I can so walk, thank you very much.” I swung my arms and started parading around the tables, proving Mr. Patrick Sharp wrong. That was until I tripped over the microphone cord and landed flat on my face. I forgot that falling ddidn’t hurt as much when toasted.

Before I could register what was happening, Patrick had scooped me up in his arms and was walking out of the almost empty party room. “I’m taking you back to our room now. You’re beyond drunk Nat.”

“Damn hockey players!” I shouted, tipping my head backwards to see the world upside down. “Got me drunk. Again.” The world wasn’t half bad upside down actually.

“Again?” Patrick sounded curious.

“Anaheim,” I listed off the city. “My celebration for getting hired to work for the Ducks. My first team too so I actually wanted them to like me. Jonas Hiller was my first friend and he got me drunk that first night and from that night forth he’s dedicated himself to being my older brother.”

“I can’t quite see why,” even drunk, I could hear the sarcasm dripping from his voice. “You’re such a good drunk.”

I ignored him. “Washington. You’ve met Ovie. He can make anything into a party and he makes his drinks strrroooong. Didn’t realize that until the next day at practice. Made him skate laps until he almost passed out for that one.”

He chuckled. “Captain Suicide’s first mission. Kill Alex Ovechkin.”

I nodded. “Mhm. And then was LA. Anze Kopitar decided that I wasn’t going to be a goaltender coach anymore and got me drunk and had me sign a new coaching contract. I was assistant coach for three weeks until my lawyer fixed it for me.”

“You’re kidding,” Patrick laughed. “That’s kind of awesome and really well thought out.”

“Tell me about it. Little fucker got Captain Suicide’s wrath!” I punched the air before collapsing back into his arms. “And then Pittsburgh. I got kidnapped to go to clubs. So this is not the first time they got me drunk. Apparently I’m pretty entertaining and worth the hell later.”

“You are.”

I swatted his face. His so very soft face. “Your face is soft. Is it always this soft?”

We had reached the hotel room by that time and he set me on my bed. He took off my shoes and turned to leave when I made a split moment decision.

“Come to bed with me,” I blurted out and grabbed his wrist, making him freeze in his footsteps.

I was coherent enough to realize how much I stunned him because his face couldn’t be more priceless.
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