Status: In Progress

The Icy Lens

Time Exposure

"Ow, Abby It's too cold," Matt winced as she applied another cold pack to his shoulder. Abby was trying to do exactly what the physical therapist had suggested, but Matt was not the easiest patient in the world. "Matt don't be a wimp about it," she said while taking out the ace bandage from the bag. She moved slowly, trying not to aggravate his shoulder further, but he kept fidgeting like an impatient child. He growled at her as she wrapped the bandage around his chest and shoulder, holding the frigged ice pack in place. "There, that wasn't so bad was it," she said once her work was complete. "Next time be more careful, And make the wrap not so tight, it feels like your cutting off the circulation."

And with that last comment, her temper flared. "I did exactly what they told me Matt, but whatever, next time you can do it yourself," she said while getting up in a huff and walking away. Taking care of him had not been easy the past few days, in fact it had been almost miserable. She grabbed him a bottle of water and handed it over, along with an anti-inflammatory cocktail that the team doctors had prescribed. "I've been running myself ragged between work and getting you to and from your rehab," she said in a frustrated tone,"And this is the thanks I get. I know your upset about missing the start of the playoffs, but you don't need to take it out on me." She swiftly turned around to walk away, but he grabbed her arm. "Abby, I'm Sorry, You know how pissed off I am right now." He frowned and continued, "I know, I think it might be the medicine, or maybe It's just the pain, but you know I'm not ungrateful."

She sighed once he finally apologized and sat herself down on the table across from him. "Don't worry so much, I'm sure they will clear you in a few days," she said, "Providing you actually follow the doctors orders." He leaned back on the couch slowly and said, "I will, Believe me I want to get back there as soon as possible." She stood up and asked, "Are you all set? Cause now I have to run off to the morning skate." Matt nodded and said, "I'm going to stay right here and freeze." She smirked and tossed him a blanket, then waved goodbye before heading off to practice.


Abby ran into Console Energy Center, knowing full well she was close to being late. She slipped on her skates, grabbed her camera, and chugged a Red Bull before heading onto the ice. "Someone's late this morning," Kris said while skating over to her. "Yeah, Yeah, But at least I made it before Coach got out here," she said while letting out a yawn. "What did Neal keep you up late last night," he joked. She shook her head and said, "Nope, I was Nurse Abby again." With a slight frown he asked how Matt was doing, and she explained that the rehab was going well, but they were not sure when he could be cleared. "You know exactly how it is, he wants to be out here, not on the couch resting." Kris nodded and said, "Well, all we can do is just hope that he can come back soon."

He skated away and returned to shooting some pucks at Marc-Andre while the other members of the team started to filter onto the ice. She heard someone skate up behind her, and knew who it was without even turning around. He grabbed her from behind into a bear hug, lifting her off the ice for a moment before setting her back down. "Morning Sunshine," he said with a grin as she turned around to face him. "I hope you were able to finally get some sleep last night." She shrugged and said, "Not really, Between Matt and Round One promotional work I only got a few hours." He frowned and said, "You need a night off Abby, You look exhausted." She smiled and said, "We're all tired, Remember they said Sleep is for the weak! Besides, That's what I have my Caffeine addiction for." James shook his head and said, "I should buy stock in Red Bull since you seem to keep them in business."

"How's your thumb," she asked knowing that the reason he sat out was to let it heal before the playoffs. "I have it taped, there's not much you can do for a broken thumb." She smiled and said, "Well apparently I'm a crappy nurse, So I guess you're lucky it's nothing major!" James frowned and said, "I thought you were a good nurse, your kisses do make me feel better." She let out a girly giggle before she heard Geno call "Lazy, We have work to do." James waved him off and said he'd be over in a minute.

"By the way, you are taking tonight off," he said while a a big grin formed on his face, "I have something special planned. I already cleared it with your patient." She tilted her head sideways and said, "What, Why?" He laughed and said, "Wow you really are out of it. Do you know what today is?" She raised her eyebrow and said, "Yeah, it's the day before playoffs start." James continued to laugh as he said, "It's been one month." She smacked her forehead and said, "Wow, I must be the jerk now. I didn't even realize that it's been a month already." He laughed and said, "It's OK Abby. You have a lot on your mind, which is exactly why I'm taking you out tonight." She smiled and said, "OK, that sounds like a plan then, now go over and practice before Geno yells for you again!"


The afternoon was a whirlwind between her running home from practice to take Matt to his scheduled therapy session. After they got home she applied another ice pack, this time without him whining or complaining. Maybe now that he had made some progress his mood was improving, or he just didn't want to piss her off again. Abby showered and put on a simple pencil skirt and a 3/4 shirt since she wasn't sure where he was taking her. She walked out of her room to find Matt asleep on the couch, so she grabbed her bag and walked out the door quietly, trying not to wake him. Just as she got outside, she could see James's Lexus parked outside. He got out and opened the door for her saying, "What took you so long?" She laughed and sat in the passenger seat saying, "Remember I am a girl, it takes time to get ready." He climbed into the car and said, "I don't think I'll ever understand why women take so long. You look good whether your hair is straight or messy you know." She smiled and said, "Hey, we just like looking perfect for our guys."

On the drive over he wouldn't tell her where they were going, he insisted he wanted it to be a surprise. He even threatened to pull over and blindfold her if she continued to ask. But it didn't take long to arrive at their destination on Mount Washington, the Georgetown Inn. James got out of the car and opened the door for her, taking her hand as she exited. He tossed his keys to the valet before walking her into the restaurant. "I have a reservation under Neal" he said to the hostess. She looked up and seemed to be starstruck at first, but soon pouted when James gave her a kiss on the cheek. "Right this way Mister Neal," she said while walking them to the back room to a table next to the window. The sun was just setting, so the city was starting to glow in twilight.

"Wow, the view is amazing," she said while taking a seat, "You know I've lived here for three years and this still never gets old." He smiled and said, "Well then I'm assuming you like the restaurant choice." She nodded and smiled, and grabbed his hand from across the table, "I Love it." They ordered their food and had two glasses of wine to relax, and just sat and talked about everything but the playoffs. He asked her about her upcoming Gallery display back home, and even brought up vacation ideas for after they won the cup. After they finished desert and he paid the bill, they left and took a short walk to one of the overlooks.

Abby stood there with him for a few minutes taking in the night view before he said, "I know you will probably punch me, but I got you something." He pulled a long box from his jacket pocket, placing it in her hands. She removed the red ribbon and opened it up slowly. Inside there was a silver diamond bracelet with a number 18 charm hanging from it. "Oh my," she stuttered out, "It's beautiful!" He grinned and offered to put in on her wrist, and it fit perfectly. "I thought it would match your diamond earrings," James said, "Plus this way I can show that you're my girl." She jumped into him giving him a hug, trying not to cry. The gift was not only beautiful, but thoughtful. He didn't just buy her a bracelet, he picked something that would match her favorite earrings, and even had it custom made to fit her. "I love it," she said while looking up, "But not as much as I love you."

She could see the smile on his face, and the spark in his eyes as she said those three words. Three words that she thought she wouldn't ever say again to someone. He bent down and kissed her hard on the lips, and slowly pulled away after. "I love you too," James said while taking her hands in his, "Now come on, I need to get you back to my place and into bed before you turn into a pumpkin." Abby laughed as they walked back to get his car and said, "It was actually the carriage that turned into the pumpkin, It was her dress that disappeared." He said with a wink, "Well I can make your dress disappear, but I don't need the clock to strike midnight for that."


Abby laid in his bed, wearing nothing but the bracelet he had given her earlier. James snuggled up next to her, still breathing heavy. "You have goosebumps. Are you cold or was it just that good?" She smiled and said, "Both." He left her side to crawl out of bed, grabbing her a t-shirt from the closet before tossing it to her. "Don't worry, that's one's washed, I think," he said while getting back into bed. She sniffed the t-shirt jokingly to be sure it was indeed clean before sliding it over her head. "You need to get some sleep Abby, it's getting late." She smiled and said with a giggle, "Wow for once you actually want me to go to sleep." He wrapped his arms around her while saying, "I can't have you falling asleep tomorrow behind the camera when I score my first playoff Goal this season." Abby answered softly, "I will fall asleep if we stay like this." He moved his head, kissing the side of her neck the whispered, "Well then I won't move at all." She closed her eyes, and soon was able to fall asleep as she listened to the sound of his breathing.

Around 4AM she woke up to find that she was alone in bed. Abby rolled out, her feet touching the cold wood floor as she walked downstairs. She could see the glow from the TV as she walked into the room, then her eyes soon fixated on the game footage he was watching. "Hey, you should be asleep," he said as she sat down on his lap while facing him."You should be too," Abby said while looking at him concerned, "You're nervous huh?" James shook his head, but she knew better. She took her hands and rubbed his shoulders for a few moments before saying, "You're muscles tell me you're lying." He paused the game footage and said, "I'm not nervous, just anxious. I couldn't sleep. I just kept replaying the games we lost against them in my head."

She smiled softly and said, "But that was the past. If I were you, I'd focus on what your strengths are while being aware of your mistakes." He put his hands on her hips and said, "You've been listening to Dan too much." Abby leaned into him, letting her nose touch his. "Well we do work at the same place you know." He smiled and said, "Really Abby, I'm fine. You though should get back to bed. I want to finish this, then I'll be back up." She shook her head and instead laid down on the couch, this time placing her head on his leg while pulling a blanket off the back of the couch. "I'm not leaving without you," she said while covering herself, "so I'm going to stay right here while you watch your video." He snickered slightly, knowing not to argue with her. Instead he hit play on the footage, and placed his hand on her shoulder as she drifted back to sleep.