‹ Prequel: Life Coach
Status: Complete

Act of Kindness

Chapter 1

"Did you talk to Stan?" Jon nodded.

"Yeah, it's all set. Ashley has everything planned out. It'll be nice Kaner. Don't worry." He said patting my back.

I wanted Kara's birthday party to be perfect. She's turning 25 and I'm going to make it a big deal, no matter how much she whines about getting old. The party is gonna be a surprise party with all of her friends and family there.

As a gift from the team, we're helping to fly in her mom and brother and the rest of her extended family. My family and Jon's are coming in as well, along with Kara's friends at the theatre and a few extras. This is going to be a huge party. And she deserves it.

Since coming here to Chicago, Kara has created a life, not just with me, but for herself. She works as an Assistant Stage Manger at the theatre, she volunteers with the Blackhawks Organization, sings to patients at the local hospitals, and she still has time to cook for me.

Everyone she's worked with has fallen in love with Kara because of her welcoming personality. She always says hi to people as they walk by, she'll offer to babysit the kids so a players wife can watch the game. She'll even be nice to the new girlfriends that come to the games, "I'm going to treat them with respect until they've proven that they don't deserve it." She'd tell me when I teased her about it.

The party is only a couple days away and Kara has no idea. I made Jon promise not to tell Julia either until right before. Knowing Julia, she'd blab about it to Kara before I even got a chance. Thankfully Kara was busy most days to even suspect that I was planning this big party.

Tonight Jon and I are meeting Kara's family at their hotel to tell them what's going on tomorrow night.

"You booked the rooms at the hotel?" Jon asked for the thousandth time since I came up with the idea.

"Yes, they're all booked for the weekend."

"Did you come up with something to tell Kara?"

"I was probably just going to say you and I were going over old games at Sharpies house. You haven't told Julia, have you?"

"Of course not. The surprise would be ruined."

"So the hall is booked, we got the caterer, everyone responded to the RSVP thingy, and I have her big gift ready. I think that's everything."

"Pat, everything will be great. You know Kara would be just as happy with a birthday trip to McDonald's."

"But I want to do this for her." Jon patted my shoulder and left to head back to his apartment.

Kara came home about an hour later from the theatre. She was there extra hours today and she looked exhausted, "How was work?" I asked from the kitchen. She mumbled something and then I could hear the plush of the couch cushions move.

I left the kitchen and walked over to her. She was laying on the couch with her arm thrown over her eyes.

"Rough day?" She nodded. "We'll dinner's finish. Why don't you go take a shower or something and relax." She held up her hands and I lifted her to her feet, wrapping my arms around her, "I love you." I said kissing her.

"Love you too." She replied.

"Now go. I'll put your dinner in the microwave." She nodded and headed for the bedroom.

Once out of sight, I pulled out my phone and text Jon that I was leaving in a few minutes. I let Kara's dinner heat up before I went to the bedroom and said, "Hey Kara, I need to run to Sharpie's real quick. You're food is ready too."

"Okay!" She called out from inside the bathroom.

With that I grabbed my keys and wallet and headed out the door. I drove over to Jon's apartment and picked him up outside of his building.

"What time are they getting to the hotel?" Jon asked fiddling with the radio dial.

"They should be there in 20 minutes. So we'll have to wait for them." Jon nodded, I'm not sure to my answer or to the song on the radio.

Like I predicted, Jon and I beat Kara's family to the hotel so we opted to wait in the lobby trying to look not obvious. So far, it was working.

It wasn't hard to spot Kara's family as they walked through the automatic doors. Mrs. Harrison was the first to spot me. Jon and I got up and met her half way, both of us giving her a hug, "How was your flight?" Jon asked.

"Good. I think we're all ready to sleep." Mrs. Harrison answered.

"Everything is set so you can check in and head up. Everyone should get to the restaurant around 6:30 and I'll bring Kara in at 7:00. Feel free to walk around the city. We'll have Kara locked up so she won't see anyone." I explained.

"This is really wonderful Pat. This will make her very happy." I smiled at Mrs. Harrison before she went to check in.

I talked to some of Kara's family members. I had met them a few times over the past three and a half years. I'd like to think they've taken a liking to me but like I said, we only met a few times.

Jon's had an encounter with them once before and it was funny to watch Kara's cousins point and whisper at Jon. Jon tried not to look awkward as these thirteen year old girls looked at him. He just turned his attention to the youngest cousin and listened as he explained some video game to him.

"Alright, we're all check in!" Mrs. Harrison announced. The family got together and said goodbye to Jon and I and headed to the elevator.

"We set up taxi's to come pick you up at 6:15." I informed Kara's mom. She nodded and headed toward the elevator with the rest of the family.


After I dropped Jon off at his apartment, I headed home. Tomorrow we have practice and then I have to try and entertain Kara until the party.

The apartment was dark inside except for the small kitchen light that Kara left on when I returned home late. I turned it off and made my way to the bedroom.

Kara was curled up in the middle of the bed, her breathing even as she laid there. I got changed and got in beside her without waking her up. As soon as I was by her side, she wrapped her arms around me. I kissed the top of her head and closed my eyes, sleep taking over.


Waking up around noon was what I needed after the stressful week I've had. I've been bouncing around from the theatre to meeting with the Hawks organization to the games and the hospital visits.

To say I was tired was an understatement.

Waking up around noon by the smell of bacon and eggs was defiantly how I want to wake up every morning. The day keeps getting better.

I rolled onto my back in time to see Patrick nudging the door open with his shoulder as he held a tray of food, "Happy birthday old woman." He said. I groaned and put a pillow over my face, "I'm just messing with you. You don't look a day over 20." I let out another groan, "Oh shut up and enjoy this fabulous breakfast I cooked for you."

The pillow was tossed off my head and Pat was standing over me. I sat up and he placed the tray on my lap. When he sat on the side of the bed, I recognized the smell of his body wash and saw his hair was wet. Practice must have been cut short since they usually get out later.

"This looks really good," I picked up a piece of toast and taking a bite."So what do you have planned for the day?" I asked Pat, handing him a piece of bacon.

"I've got some things I need to do with the team but after that I'm all yours. We're going to go to a nice resturant and celebrate you getting older." He's just an ass.

"Do you really have to put it that way?"

"Kara, I would love you if you were wrinkly and getting gray hair."

"I'm starting to wrinkle? Gray hair?" My hands flew to my face, stretching back the skin and then to my hair, pulling at the strands to see the color of them.

"Will you stop it? You're young and beautiful."

"And I'm younger than you." I stated with a smirk. Patrick just rolled his eyes.

"I have a present for you." Pat rolled off the bed and walked over to the dresser. He pulled a long white envelop out of his top drawer and came back over to the bed, handing me the envelop.

"So that's where you keep all the good stuff." I joked.

"Don't you go through my underwear drawer."

"Wouldn't be the first time." I mumbled opening the envelop. Inside was a letter stating a scheduled appointment for today at one of Chicago's nicest spas.

"Abby helped pick out the little activity things you girls do. You can even bring a friend."

"This is amazing Pat. Thank you." I leaned over and kissed him,

"I thought you deserved it after the past few weeks."

I set the tray down on the floor and straddled Pat's lap. His hands instantly went to my hips as I kissed him.

"You know, you're appointment isn't until 2:00pm."

"What are you suggesting?" I said matching Patrick's smirk.

"Why not start your birthday with a bang?"


"This is fucking amazing!" Julia gushed as we stood in the entrance way of the extravagant spa. As much as I wanted to shush her for the language, I was speechless looking over the room. It was elegantly designed in warm colors with bright pillows and paintings making everything pop. It was fucking amazing.

"You must be Kara and Julia." The woman behind the counter said, "If you can just sign these forms we can get started." She handed Julia and I clipboards to fill out and sign. We gave them back and she told us to follow her as she explained the schedule, "We'll start you two off with your massages, then you'll have your mud baths. After, you'll get washed up and then have your mani/pedi's. Then you'll have your hair styled and make-up done for you."

"Remind me to thank Pat later." Julia whispered to me.

"Here are your changing rooms. You can keep your belongs in here as well. You'll need to strip down and put on the robes that were placed for you. When you finished, go right into that room and lay down. Someone will be with you shortly." We thanked the woman and went to our separate rooms to change.

By the time I got to the massage room, Julia was already laying down on the table, eyes closed. I traded the robe for the towel and laid down on the table beside Julia.

We only waited a couple minutes until two gentlemen walked in, "Good evening ladies. How are we today?" Julia and I mustered up some response but we were starring at these two guys. Both tall, dark and handsome. "My name is Garret and this is James. We'll be taking care of you today. If you can give us a second, we'll be right with you." The two guys walked behind us to do whatever but when I looked over at Julia she mouthed, "Oh my god!"

"Calm down girl. You've got a boyfriend." I said back. She just rolled her eyes.

Soft, soothing music began to play through the speakers and the air smelled of something sweet.

"Alright ladies. Just relax and enjoy." Garret said. James stood beside Julia's table and began rubbing lotion onto his hands. I only assumed Garret was doing the same.

And then...one of the most amazing feelings spread throughout my back as Garret began rubbing my back. I think I might have let out a relaxed sigh that was held in for weeks.

I was dead in this guys hands. He cracked my back and rubbed out the knots. He released any tension I had and made me feel like a new woman.

"I have to teach my boyfriend how to do this." I heard Julia say from the other table. I just laughed and considered the idea......

Thirty minutes of pure relaxation and bliss. I didn't want to get off the table but the mud bath called. After we got dressed, the woman from before showed up to the mud pools. While we sat in the mud, out faces were massaged. This day couldn't get any better.

After thirty minutes in the mud bath, we got our nails done, "Does Pat have something planned tonight?"

"He's taking me out to dinner."

"What are you wearing?" She asked. I hadn't thought about it since I practically forgot my birthday was coming up because I was so busy. But now that it was brought to my attention...

"I have this blue dress I might wear."

"You should paint your nails the same color." Julia suggested. I knew there was a reason I kept her around. So I got my nails paint a royal blue while Julia got her's painted a dark pink.

Our hair was done next. The stylist couldn't make up her mind when she tried to do my hair. She thought about it as she trimmed it. She ended up putting my hair into giant curls down my shoulders and pulled back the sides, weaving the hair into a black clip.

Julia's hair stylist dyed her hair a lighter brown, almost auburn. Her hair had that slight waviness and curliness, sort of like Taylor Swifts hair, "Damn girl. Now you just need to sing about Jon's mistakes and you could be the next T-Swift." I joked when Julia was finished. She just stuck her tongue out at me.

Our make-up was done fairly simple. We both had a smokey eye design and light foundation that made our skin look fair compared to it looking painted on.

"Kara...we look hot." Julia commented as we looked at ourselves in the mirror.

I drove Julia back to her and Jon's apartment and headed back to mine. By the time I got there, it was 5:30. Pat still wasn't home so I took the opportunity to check my email. Of course my inbox was filled with requests to sing at the hospitals, plans for the upcoming Blackhawk events, reminders for Pat since he seems to forget somethings, and news from the theatre. Even on my day off, I was still working.

I responded to most of the emails when my phone buzzed, "Hello?"

"Hey sweetie."

"Hi mom. How's it going?"

"Pretty good. I'm with the family celebrating the February birthdays. We miss you."

"I miss you guys too. I wish I could have come out but with everything going on, it's tough."

"I understand. Just promise you'll come home soon."

"As soon as possible."

"Good. Well Kara, I need to go. We're getting ready to eat."

"Okay mom. Tell everyone I said hi. I love you."

"Love you too Kara. Happy Birthday baby."

I shut my phone and signed off my computer before more things popped up. I walked out of the little office Pat and I shared and into the front of the apartment.

"Hey, you're home. How was your...spa day?" Patrick said as he flipped through the mail on the kitchen counter. When he first looked up, he obviously didn't see me the first time because he did a double take. "...wow."

"Wait till tonight." I said sending him a wink.

"Or we could skip everything and just order pizza and stay in bed." He suggested walking over to me.

"But you had the night all planned out. You can't change it now." I told him. He let out a defeated sigh.

"You're right. Well I'm gonna jump in the shower so we can get ready." He said kissing my cheek and walking to our bathroom. Because of his earlier shower, it didn't take Pat long to clean up and get dressed even though he failed to put his shirt on yet. He was walking around the apartment with this determined look on his face and I was afraid to break him from his trance. Instead, I just slipped into the bathroom to change and do some little touch ups on my make-up. I slipped on my black heels and put some earrings in my ears. I searched through my little jewelry box looking for my claddagh ring I always wore but it was missing, "Hey Pat! Have you seen my ring?" I yelled through the doors. I had forgotten to put my ring on because I had been painting at the theatre and didn't want it to get dirty so I didn't wear. Of course the time I want to wear it it's MIA.

"What ring?"

"My claddagh ring!"

"...What's a claddagh ring?" I dropped my head.

"It's the ring I always wear on my ring finger! I can't find it!"

"Did you drop it someplace? Check your jeans!" I did what he said but came up empty.

"It's not there!"

"You'll find it babe. Don't worry, but we have to get going!" I sighed and cleaned up the mess I made in the bathroom. I joined Pat by the door where he was holding my coat for me.

When we got to the car, he held the door open for me then got in himself. On the way to the restaurant, Pat's phone kept going off. He picked it up at a red light and read the text, "Stop texting and driving." I joked.

"I'm not driving. I'm stopped." Such a smartass. But once the light turned green, he put the phone on his lap and drove forward.

Five minutes later and the valet took Pat's keys to park his car. Patrick's hand went to the small of my back as we walked through the entrance of the elegant restaurant.

"How can I help you?" The hostess asked as we approached the bench.

"Reservation for Kane." Pat answered. The girl smiled.

"One moment please." Then she walked off. I furrowed my brows when I watched her walk by the empty tables around the place. They can't be that busy. But she returned nonetheless, "You can follow me this way." And again she walked past the empty tables.

Where the hell are we going?

She led us down a small hallway and held open a door for us.

"Surprise!" Erupted the quiet hallway as I looked into the room filled with my family and friends. I covered my face, Pat pushing me into the room.

"Happy Birthday!" Everyone said at different times.

I was speechless. My family from New York and down south were all here along with everyone from the Blackhawks Organization and the theatre I worked at.

"You gotta say something babe. Is this a happy speechless or a mad one?" Pat asked.

"This is amazing! I can't believe this!" I said. Patrick smiled and pulled me into a hug.

"Happy Birthday babe." He said.

I spent the next 45 minutes walking around the room talking to everyone and thanking them for coming. I couldn't believe that Patrick put all of this together. I didn't even want to think about what everything had to cost but whatever the amount, Patrick was willing to spend it for me. God do I love him.

When I finished talking to everyone, the guests sat at the various round tables scattered around the room. Each one was decorated in a beautiful royal blue tablecloth with a glass bowl in the center. Inside was blue and white rose floating in a clear gel, and blue and white candles circled the bowl.

My mom, my brother, Patrick, Jon, Julia, and I sat at the first table closest to the small stage where a DJ was placed. Between the stage and our table was a small dance floor, the only part of the room that wasn't carpet.

"Pat, this is beautiful." My mom commented looking around the room. Everything was decorated in blue and silver, and even some red and black for the Hawks.

"You'll have to tell that to Event Planner, Ashley. I just told her what color I wanted. The rest was all her." He told her.

"I can't believe you did all of this." I said still trying to get over the fact that this was all for me.

"The night's not over yet." He said with a smirk and a wink. Patrick Kane had something up his sleeve and I was slightly scared.

Champagne was passed around to each table as Jon stood and walked up on stage, clinking his glass. He cleared his throat as he approached the microphone, "Evening everyone. I just have a few words to say before Kaner comes up here and gushes over how much of a great guy he is and make me look bad," Jon joked earning a chuckle from everyone, "On behalf of the Blackhawk Organization, we just want to say happy birthday to you, Kara. You've had such an impact on everyone since you agreed to go out with that goof. Even from Rochester, Kara kept not only Pat, but the rest of us in our place. She helped out as much as she could from New York, always volunteering and making her mark on the organization. Though she's still a Sabres fan, she's always cheering us on from the sidelines. She's one of few that can make us smile after a bad game. She was even gentle when we lost to the Sabres, trying not to rub it in our faces.

"Without you, Kara, the Organization wouldn't be where it is today so thank you. Happy 25th birthday and we toast for another 25 more. To Kara." Jon raised his glass, causing everyone to raise theirs as well. "Too Kara." The crowd repeated and took a sip of their beverage. Jon returned to the table and Pat too his place at the microphone.

"Wow. I'm not sure how I'm going to beat the Captain's speech but I'll have to try. I just want to thank everyone for coming and celebrating and not telling Kara we were having a party. And Julia, that's why we didn't tell you," Pat said to my friend. Everyone laughed as she stuck her tongue out in response, "Like Jon said, Kara has had an impact on everyone but she's made such a change in my life that I wanted to do something special for her. I was able to work with Ashley, our wonderful Event Planner, and the Blackhawks Organization to make this all happen and they did a great job." Everyone clapped.

"But this isn't the only present you'll be getting tonight. This next gift was from the entire team. While Kara was away at school, it was tough to see her everyday. The guys will even tell you that I sulked around most of the time while Kara was at school. And I can honestly tell you, I do not want to go through that again." Where's he going with this?

"I was thinking about this next gift as I was planning the party and knew that it was something I wanted to give you. With a little help from the team and the Organization pulling some strings, we were able to get you this present." Now I'm really scared. "Kara, can you come up here for a second?" I stood up from my chair and joined Patrick on stage mouthing, "What are you doing?" He just winked and continued his speech.

"Kara, I love you so much. And being your 25th birthday I wanted to make it extra special." And right after he said it, the guests erupted in cheers, standing to their feet. It was when I turned around that I knew why.

Walking up onto the stage was my dad dressed in his formal military attire with a giant blue bow on his head.

Instantly my eyes filled with tears as he walked up to me and wrapped me in a hug. I hadn't seen my dad in almost seven years and here he was in flesh and blood right before me.

"Happy birthday baby girl." My dad whispered into my ear.

I couldn't believe Pat was able to do this. He flew my dad all the way here from overseas. Just thinking about it kept the tears running down my face.

If I had known I was going to be crying this much, I wouldn't have done my make-up so nice.

My dad pulled away but kept an arm around me. His other hand asked for the microphone, "I just want to thank Patrick, the team, and the organization for doing this for my Kara. It's been hard the past couple years missing holidays and not seeing my children grow up. But while I'm gone, I know that Patrick is taking good care of my baby girl and that's all a father could ask for." My dad shook Pat's hand and gave back the microphone.

"You have my blessing." My dad said to Pat but only Pat and I heard it. I had no idea what he was talking about. I was too distracted by seeing my father in person that I didn't see what Patrick did next.

Patrick knelt down on one knee, the microphone laying on the floor. He grasped my hands and looked up at me, "Kara, I love you so much and the thought of not being with you for the rest of my life is not something I want to do. Will you marry me?" He pulled out of his pocket a silver ring with a diamond in the center and two smaller ones on either side. I starred back and forth between Patrick and the ring, literally trying to wrap my head around everything going on. But when it finally clicked....

"Yes...yes! Of course!" Patrick smiled and slipped the engagement ring onto my finger. He stood up and kissed me, everyone letting out another cheer. Cameras flashed as people captured the moment from the crowd. Pat and I might have been smiling in the pictures, but no one could ever understand the actual feelings we felt as we stood there side by side, engaged.


"My face hurts but I can't stop smiling!" I complained as Pat and I walked into our apartment around 2:00am.

"Good, that way I can always see that beautiful smile."

"I still can't believe you did all of this. There is no way I can express how happy and thankful I am." I said wrapping my arms around his neck.

"By you saying 'yes' was enough of a 'thank you' I could want. It might be your birthday but it was my Christmas and birthdays for the rest of my life."

"Look at you being all cute and romantic." I teased kissing his lips.

"It will defiantly be worth the teasing I'll get from the guys."

"If they start bothering you, you tell me. I'll straighten 'em out."

"Just what I need, my fiance fighting my battles for me." He said rolling his eyes. "Oh I have something for you, by the way." He went into his pant pocket and held out my claddagh ring.

"You had it this whole time?" I asked taking it back.

"How else was I suppose to get the right ring size without telling you?" He looked so innocent shrugging his shoulders.

"I suppose I can forgive you." I said non-nonchalantly as I walked to the bedroom.

"Oh good, I can sleep better now." He replied following me.

This had been the best birthday I had ever had. I was able to talk to my family and my friends. My dad had come home for only the weekend but he was here nonetheless. Patrick had proposed after almost four years of being together. What else could a girl want?
♠ ♠ ♠
Another chapter! I should be writing a paper but my brain was thinking about this instead of my final so here it is. It's probably really choppy and not that great but I would write then stop then write and then stop again.

I just hope you all enjoyed it even after the long wait. I've got a week and a half left of the semester and hopefully I'll write more over break. I've been trying to keep my other story up to date but as you can see, it's taking me a while.

Good luck to all those in the midst of finals. Keep reading, keep subscribing, and keep commenting. I really appreciate it :)