Status: In Progress

The Icy Lens

Melting the Ice

Abby awoke before the sun came up and was unable to fall back asleep. She should have been exhausted after the grueling schedule, but somehow she was full of energy. Claiming defeat, she left her bed and went to go shower. The painful breakup was finally starting to fade even though there were still some scars left behind. She still was experiencing issues with trust, and she also lost confidence in herself. Abby often times debated if she would ever be able to love someone else, but she did still hold out hope that maybe over time she'd heel and be able to finally move on.

After an hour, she heard Matt shuffle down the hallway and into the kitchen. He looked over to see Coffee was already made, and that she was sitting at the bar with her laptop. He yawned and asked in a surprised tone, "How the hell are you awake?" Abby smiled and said, "Couldn't sleep thanks to your snoring" He rubbed his eyes and poured himself a coffee muttering that he didn't snore. "Come on, aren't you excited to have a bit of time off for the All-Star break?" she asked "I know I am. This will be our first break since the season started." Matt sipped his coffee and shrugged, "I guess. I just plan on sleeping in and drinking beer." Abby closed her laptop and said with a smile, "Well I plan on doing anything but work, so I might help you kill a case." She poured him a bowl of cereal and said, "But first we have to get through the last practice."

As Matt sat and ate his breakfast, Abby smiled and made her way back to her room. This morning she grabbed not only her photography gear, but also her iPod and skates. She left her room and said, "I know practice starts at 9, but I want to get out there early and skate a bit." He tilted his head at her and said, "Who are you and what have you done with my Abby?" She laughed and said, "I just want to go clear my head. I'll see you there later, Ok?" He nodded and went back to eating his cereal as she grabbed her car keys and headed off to south point.

Once she arrived at the ice arena she walked inside and straight to the players bench. It didn't take her long to lace up her figure skates for the first time in months. Abby had a feeling that she would be a little rusty, but she was going out there to have fun and relax. She just wanted to enjoy the simplicity of her and the ice, drowning out the world around her. She clipped her iPod nano to her shirt and started up the first song on her playlist, then as her skates touched the ice she smiled softly. Abby had forgotten how light the skates were compared to her hockey ones. After she circled the length of the rink once to get her footing she started to skate to the music. Her speed picked up and she jumped into a single axle. Her first landing was a bit shaky, but she didn't fall. She then proceeded to run through her old tricks including toe jumps, spins, and loops. After a while she finally felt brave enough to try part of her old routine. Abby took a deep breath as she picked up speed, doing a triple triple combination jump, landing both axles with perfection. For that short moment in time she finally felt like her old self again.

Feeling accomplished, she skated back towards the bench to change for practice. After she put her hockey skates on she saw someone glide up to the bench from the corner of her eye. "Never knew you could skate like that," said James while leaning lazily over the boards, "I though you only played hockey." Abby smiled and said, "I started with figure skating, then moved to hockey." He leaned in more and said, "I was just surprised that you actually did something girly for once." Abby's eyes narrowed and she gave him a punch in the arm, which had become a daily occurrence recently. "Hey, I can be a girl sometimes," she said. "Keyword is 'sometimes'" he joked back. She let out a sigh as she claimed defeat, draped her camera around her neck.

"So are you excited to go to the All Star Game?" she asked as she skated next to him. James smiled brightly and said, "Yeah, It should be fun to see what happens. Hopefully I end up against G since he's been razzing me about the late invitation." She did agree that it was total crap that they hadn't included him from the beginning, but she knew that the All Star game was more about ratings for the NHL anymore. "Well I plan on sitting at home and enjoying some time off," she said with a smile, "I'll be sure to watch it on TV though." James looked like he was about to say something else when Geno bellowed from the other side of the ice "Lazy. Stop flirt and come play." James grinned and said, "You heard G, Stop flirting with me, I need to go play." Abby shook her head and said, "You know If I didn't have this three thousand dollar camera in my hands you'd be dead, right?" He laughed and skated away causing her to roll her eyes yet again. It seemed that while she was starting to change, there were still some constants.

She was about to start taking some photos when Coach Dan skated up to her. "Hey Abby, I know you really wanted the weekend off, but the front office want's you to go to the all star game," he said, "You'd have to not only take photos, but also take care of some social media updating." Just her luck, she had one weekend to enjoy herself and they wanted her to go and travel to the game. She soon learned that the guy they were going to send ended up with the flu, leaving her as the only one even qualified to fill in. He promised that they would pay her double and make sure that she was taken care of while she was on the trip. "Ok, I can't argue with the boss," she said with a sigh, "But I'm just throwing it out there that I am not chaperoning those three." Dan laughed and said, "I don't think anyone would ever want to chaperone them." He gave her the packet of information for the trip and instructed her that the plane was first thing the next morning. So she hurried up and took some quick photos before heading home to pack.


They weren't kidding when they said they would take care of her on the trip. They took a private jet up to Ottawa, they had a limo driver take them to the hotel, and she had an amazing room all to herself. As the hotel assistants brought in all her luggage she had to hold back her excitement. There was a huge bed, a whirlpool tub, and even her own balcony. Even though she was working it still felt like she was on a lavish vacation. Abby knew she had a full day ahead of her to prepare for the draft that evening and the private party to follow after, so she decided to get to work. After spending the afternoon updating the website she finally had a chance to prepare herself for the evening.

After a shower and applying makeup she slipped on a tiny black chiffon dress and some nylons. As she put on the diamond necklace Matt bough her a few years ago she looked at herself in the mirror, wondering if her dress was to short. Before she had a chance to debate her outfit she heard a knocked at the door. As she opened it all three of the guys were out front already. "You know we still have a half hour before we have to leave," she said to them. She stood there for a moment and wondered why the heck they were staring at her without saying a word. "What? Do I have toothpaste on my nose or something," she asked. James just stood there quietly, which was completely out of character for him. He didn't even make a smart ass comment, he just stared. "No, I think we think you look good," Geno said with a smile in his broken English. Kris quickly pushed past the other two and kissed her hand before saying, "You do look wonderful Mon Cheri."

"Kris you are such a ladies man aren't you," Abby said as she started to blush from the attention, "I'm not quite ready yet. How about I meet you down in the lobby in 15 minutes?" Kris smiled and said, "Sure, We'll be waiting for you." Geno nodded and said, "Come on Lazy, stop staring." James seemed to snap out of a daze and she stuttered, "Oh, Ok, Yeah. See you down there." She closed her door and her smile grew wider than the Nile river. Maybe it was the compliments, or the fact that she got her hand kissed by Kris, but her heart was fluttering. She finished getting herself dressed and wondered what was up with James. Maybe he was just shocked that she could dress up and look like a girl after all. Abby quickly put on her coat, heels, and grabbed her bag before running off to the lobby to meet the others.


After the draft was over, the private party started immediately afterwords. She checked her coat and camera bag at the door knowing it was time to enjoy herself. She grabbed a mirror from her purse and quickly reapplied her lipstick before she went to look for her entourage. With a grin Kris smiled and locked his arm around her left side and said, "So you're walking into the party with me right?" Abby laughed and was about to say sure when she felt Geno else grab her other arm. "Me too. You look good on me." She giggled a bit as Kris muttered, "G that sounds so dirty." James walked in front of all of them and said, "You two both have girlfriends, I'm the single one so I should walk her in." Kris smirked and said, "All the more reason G and I should walk her in, we'll stay out of trouble." Geno smiled and said, "Yeah Lazy, Tanger's right."

"Ok how about we settle this fairly," Abby said with a laugh, "All three of you can walk me in." Kris took her arm for the first few steps, then Geno, and then finally James. It probably looked ridiculous, but she didn't care. They all quickly separated into the crowd, so she headed straight for the bar. "I'll take a captain and coke please, extra lime," she said to the bartender. She reached for her mixed drink and heard, "I'll take you, straight up." Abby turned her head to see that it was Claude Giroux giving her that slimy guy stare down. Normally she would take that as a compliment, but he was from their biggest rival team. "Thanks, but no thanks," she said with a smile while pulling away from the bar, "I don't date Flyers." She whipped her hair back in a sassy manner, took a sip from her drink, and then walked away.

"I'll be your cover for the night," James whispered from behind her. She turned on her heel and said, "Oh, so you can save me from the big bad Flyer?" He flashed his smile and put his arm around her shoulder and shot a glare in Giroux's direction. "Well someone has to keep an eye on you." Abby could see that he was still looking at them, so she played along and snuggled into his chest, "Ah, so Matt put you up to it, didn't he?" After he took a swig from his beer he said, "No, This one's all me." His hands moved slowly down to her waist, causing her to feel the excitement from the touch of his hand. She stopped for a second, taking his warmth and the smell of his cologne. Was he flirting with her? Or was he just being nice? She took a sip from her drink and was about to ask him about what he meant when Kris interrupted.

"You two look awfully cozy there." Neal slowly pulled his hand away as he said casually, "Oh I'm just helping her get away from Giroux." It was at that moment she realized he must have just been being nice to her, he wasn't flirting. After all, why would he flirt with her anyway? She buried the thought and moved onto the conversation saying, "Yeah worst pick up line ever. I told the bartender I'd take a captain and coke, and he said he would take me." Letang's head moved in a wave as he looked at Giroux. With a snarl and made the "I'm watching you" motion before turning back to the two of them.

Abby burst out laughing and said, "You guys are too much. First James gets cozy, now your threatening him with you stare." Kris smirked and said, "Well we can't let anyone but us take you back to the hotel, Matt would murder us all." She giggled like a schoolgirl and said, "Great now I have three brothers. How am I ever going to find a new man with all you of boys hanging around?" They both shrugged at the comment so Abby responded, "Fine, since I'm not allowed to take anyone home, then one of the three of you better ask me to dance."


The hotel shuttle dropped them off in front, and Abby stumbled slightly as she got out from the alcohol. She could see Kris and Geno were way ahead of her so she whined, "Slow down, my feet hurt." She stopped for a moment and pouted, but then she felt herself be scooped up from behind. "Don't worry, I gotcha," James said with a smirk, "Remember, I am supposed to be your knight in shining armor." Abby giggled and said, "But I'm not a damsel in distress." As they entered the elevator he joked back, "I don't know, You did have not only Giroux, but then two other players hit on you as well." She drunkenly leaned her head into his chest and said, "Oh I was fine, besides I shot all them down anyway. They were not my type." He continued to carry her off the elevator and to her room. One he reached her door, he set her down carefully and she dug for her key card.

She fidgeted with the card until she got the door to open and walked inside her suite. She literally kicked off her heels and looked over at James who was holding the door open. "So what exactly is your type," James asked with a big smile. She leaned up against the wall and began to rattle off, "I want someone sweet, funny, and they have to be trustworthy. I'm a total closet romantic too, but don't tell anyone that. But what I really want is for that person make me feel special." She smiled brightly at him and said, "Oh and Matt has to like them too. What about you?"

"I usually go for girls that don't punch me," he joked, "But I'm much less picky than you. She has to be smart, fun, and beautiful." Abby tilted her head and said, "Wow that is short. Then why haven't you found someone yet if your not picky?" He laughed and said, "Oh I've found girls, I just have problems trying to snag the right one." She let out a tiny yawn, closing her eyes for only a second before she blinked them open again. "You're tired and I should let you get to bed," he said while taking a step further into her room, "I've been warned that you are not a morning person." She shook her head and said, "I'm not as bad as Matt makes it out to be." She watched as he leaned towards her, poking her nose with his finger saying, "Well I don't want to find out firsthand." She stood still and felt her heart start to flutter inside as he was inches from her face. She watched as he closed his eyes and kissed her forehead softly. As James slowly pulled away he grinned while saying "Goodnight Abby" before closing the door behind him.