Sequel: Attractions

Counting the Ways to Reject You

Chapter Eight

“What are you doing?” Kaner’s words froze me solid like an ice statue. I tried to slip the bottle up my sleeve and turned to exit the house the way I came. Through the window.

“Freeze there ninja woman,” Kaner pulled me back in and sat me down in one of his kitchen chairs. “Are you trying to poison me? I said I was sorry already earlier this week!”

I removed my ninja mask and sighed. “Not you. Star.”

“You’re trying to poison your best friend. You do realize you’re running out of people who actually like you, right?” he said with a straight face.

I rolled my eyes. “Poison isn’t the right word. Too deathly.”

He raised an eyebrow. “Drug?”

I snapped my fingers. “Bingo baby.”

“You’re trying to drug your best friend?” he repeated the whole sentence out loud.

“I’m drugging my best friend,” I confirmed. “I’m like a whole new level of bitch,” I sighed. “She promised she would go to this boring dinner party with me tonight but she turned her back on me an hour ago and said you had plans.”

He sighed. “She made them, not me.”

I held up the bottle of NyQuil. “Hence the drug in her drink. She’ll think it’s alcohol. She’ll pass out. You hand her off to me. I throw her in the car and doll her up for this fancy shmancy dinner party and have her your girl back to you by midnight at the latest.”

He narrowed his eyes at me. “Star is not my girl.”

“How many times have you two slept together?” I asked.

“Doesn’t make her my girl.”

“Her toothbrush here?” I crossed my arms.

“Tazer’s toothbrush is here too,” he argued.

“Bet you his bra and panty set isn’t. The blue one before you ask, among her other boxes of stuff that she is putting away in your room as we speak.”

“Give me that,” he took the drink from the counter. “Star! Want a drink before we go?”

“And that is how it’s done,” a quick victory dance before ehading to my choice of exit.

“She knows what it is,” Kaner came back down, the NyQuil and sprite drink over his blonde little head.

“Dammit,” I swore. “I don’t want to go!”

“What fancy shmancy dinner party is this and why wasn’t I invited?” he asked, taking a towel to wipe off the liquid.

“My father’s annual fancy shmancy dinner party. I’m required to go, smile, speak about my work thus far, and promote the sport.”

“Take a boy and actually aim to impress your father,” he sneered playfully. I knew what he was hinting at. The number ten flashed in his eyes like a neon sign.

Just to piss him off I said, “Maybe I’ll call up Crow. He can take me.” I winked and stealthily crawled through the window and into the night.

Yeah right. More like to my car.

I drove home after sending out a quick text to the man himself and started getting ready when he said he would pick me up in half an hour.

“Wow,” he purred, standing in my doorway as I put in the last earring. “You look beautiful Natalie.”

I turned around and smiled. “Thanks Crow. You look dashing yourself. Ready to go promote the Blackhawks?”

He laughed. “Always. I’ll get to meet your father finally.”

I smiled as he opened the car door for me. “You’ll like him. All he can talk about is hockey, food, and how beautiful Canada is.”

“I didn’t think there was a thing as a zero impression. Doesn’t matter. I like him already,” he chuckled as he sped on the highway. “So why did you ask me to accompany you to this fancy shmancy dinner party?”

“Star knew the NyQuil was coming. Kaner was an ass and didn’t sell the NyQuil well enough and I knew you weren’t at the practice tonight.”

“And how’d you know that?” he challenged.

“There’s a New American Pickers on tonight and I know how much you hate to miss your show.”

He turned slightly red in the face. “How did you know?”

“You’re my goal tender. I make it my business to know everything about you.”

“What about Sharpie?” he asked tentatively.

I didn’t know how to answer so I was grateful when we came to a stop in front of the banquet hall. Instead, I offered up an eye roll and said, “We’re here.”

And that was the end of that.
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