Status: In Progress

The Icy Lens

Focal Length

Three weeks had passed since the All Star Game, and things were still the same. Abby felt more like a hot mess than anything; she was overworked, exhausted, and confused by all her developing feelings for James. The flirting had slowed down since they returned, but when it did happen she felt like a teenage girl crushing on the high school hockey star. She just wanted to ask him to take her out, but she just couldn't do it. She would just freeze up when the though even crossed her mind. Sometimes she'd think back to that dream she had, wishing that he would just show up out of the blue and kiss her, but that had yet to happen. It was only a dream.

The next day was the game against Philly, then they had to go up to Buffalo right after for the next afternoon game. Another typical crazy week was ahead of her, so she planned on enjoying her quiet time in her hotel room as much as possible. After Abby took a long shower she decided to unpack and get everything ready for the next day. She went to put her key necklace away in her jewelry bag, but she noticed something was missing. It was her diamond earnings; the earrings her father gave her before he died. She had always worn them to remind herself of him, and now they were missing. She frantically checked her bags and through all her clothes, but they were nowhere to be found. Either she lost them or someone stole them from her luggage. There was a knock on her door and when she opened it she saw that it was Matt and James. Matt instantly noticed the frantic look on her face and said, "Hey what's wrong?"

"My diamond earnings are missing," she said, "I looked through everything and can't find them." He gave her a quick hug and said, "Are you sure they aren't at home?" She shook her head and said, "No I was wearing them on the bus, then I put them in my bag before I fell asleep." James looked over and said, "Well can't you just get a new pair if you lost them?" Abby looked at the ground for a moment and said, "No, They aren't replaceable. My dad gave those to me." Her heart sank, how could she have been so careless? Those earrings had meant so much to her. Matt gave her a sympathetic look and said, "Hey Don't worry, We can check the bus tomorrow" James nodded and said, "Yeah They have to be somewhere on there Abby."

She nodded slightly and tried not to continue to freak out. They were right, she could check the bus when it returned in the morning. "Hey we're going to go grab some food later, you should come," Matt said while leaning on the door frame. She looked and him and shrugged, "I don't know, I have a lot of work to do." James smirked and said," Abby, you're coming out with us one way or another. Nisky and I will have to drag you if necessary." Matt took nodded and said, "You know Neal's right. Be ready at five, that way I can have you back here early." She finally conceded and said she would join them, and they left the room to go get in a workout before dinner.


Abby finished up some work, then decided to get ready for the evening. She changed into a pair of skinny jeans, knee high boots, and a cute stripped shirt. She applied some simple makeup to cover up the dark circles under her eyes, after all she may have felt like a hot mess but she didn't want to look like one. Within an hour she was ready and met the guys downstairs to go get some wings and beer. They headed off to a nearby pub and were able to get a room that had a back deck to have some privacy. It was unseasonably warm for February, so she enjoyed her brief chance to enjoy the warm weather and sunlight. Once they finished eating she took her beer and walked over to the edge of the deck while the rest of the guys were talking. She felt someone put their hand on her lower back and turned quickly, It was James.

"So Nisky explained why you were so worked up about the earrings," he said while leaning against the deck railing, "I didn't know you lost your dad. I'm sorry." She frowned slightly and said, "It was a long time ago and I've learned to accept it. I just can't help but kick myself for loosing those earrings." She took a swig from her beer, carefully setting it back down on the railing. "Well you don't have to worry, You didn't loose them," he said while taking her hand and dropping something into it. Abby looked down and there were her earrings. She looked at the back and verified the initials "AM" on the back of the studs. Her eyes grew wide as she said, "Where did you find them?" He smiled and said, "I had the staff call the bus back and I looked for them. They were in between your seat and Matt's."

Abby started to cry as she put them back in her ears. She was so relieved to have them back, but at the same time she was astonished that he went out of his way to go find them for her. "Whoa, don't turn on the waterworks Abs," he said, "I can't stand to see girls cry." She dried her eyes and looked up at him, she wanted to pay him back for what he did. "Thank you, so much James," she said, "I owe you, big time for this. Anything you want." He smiled and said, "You don't owe me anything, but you need to stop getting yourself into trouble." She laughed and said, "I don't get into trouble!" He shook his head and replied, "I don't know, First ex boyfriends, then Philly players, now lost earrings. It seems I have to keep swooping in to save you. I need to invest in a white horse or something." She smiled softly and said, "Well usually knights get some sort of reward in the books." She stood on her tiptoes, closed her eyes, and planted a kiss on his cheek. "There, is that an acceptable form of payback?"

Their eyes locked and she found herself getting lost in them. his mouth was about to move when she heard Matt's voice. "Hey everyone wants to head back before it gets dark." She looked down at the ground and cursed. Why is it that they kept getting interrupted? "Oh, Ok well I better go close out my bill then," James said moving away from her and going back towards the waitress. Abby turned around and looked at Matt, Punching him hard in the arm. "OW, What was that for," he asked in a confused tone. "That was for interrupting," she said in an annoyed tone. He looked at her oddly and said," What do you mean I inter--Oh...wait, what was going on?" She shushed him and said she would explain once they got back to the hotel before walking over to join the group and walk back.


As Matt closed the door to her room he said, "Ok, So what is going on?" Abby sat down on the bed and said, "James went and found my earrings." She brushed aside her hair to show that they were back in her ears again. "Wait, He went looking for them," he said while joining her on the edge of her bed, "I knew it. I knew he still had feelings for you." She was about to begin explaining everyhting when what he said registered in her brain."Wait, what do you mean by still," she said confused. "Well he thought you were hot since the first time he met you back in Dallas," Matt said spilling the beans. He explained that when she would visit him he caught Neal checking her out, and told him that she was engaged. Then when they were traded up to Pittsburgh and lived with her for a month, he could see James still had a thing for her. "I just never said anything because you were with David and I didn't want to make things awkward." Abby went on to recap the entire story about the flirting, and the full events at the All Star Game.

"You like him too huh?" She exhaled slowly and nodded. She felt horrible inside for keeping it from Matt this long, so she apologized to him. He pulled her into a hug and said, "Abby You know I love you like you're my sister right? Well All I want is for you to be happy. And if that's with him I'm ok with that." He smiled down at her and said, "Though if he breaks your heart, I will not hesitate to kick his ass back to Canada." Abby smiled and laughed at the comment, "Now Promise me that you are not going to try and play matchmaker." The last thing she needed was for Matt to start teasing her, or to scare James away. "If something happens, It'll happen over time," she said while sitting back up. "I promise, but you need to keep me in the loop," he said with a smirk, "otherwise I'll have to go to him for all the details."

He stood up and let out a yawn saying, "I should go back to my room now. You make sure you get some sleep. You don't want red bloodshot eyes if you plan on snagging yourself a boyfriend." She threw her pillow at him and said, "Thanks Jerk!" He laughed while he threw the pillow back at her, "Just remember I still get to walk you down the isle." She shook her head and said, "Matthew Norman Niskanen, You better quit while you have a head start." He grinned and ducked out the door as he told her goodnight. She laid back on her bed, staring up at the celing wondering if James would make the first move, or if it would be her.


After the 6-4 Win in Philly everyone piled onto the bus since they were immediately leaving for Buffalo. Abby took her usual seat in the back, but this time Matt chose to sit with Jordan so they could play some PSP game together, or at least that's what he said. She was sitting alone in the back of the bus, so she curled up with her travel blanket and her iPad and began to read her book again. Just as she started to get in the zone, she heard someone sit int eh seat next to her. She didn't need to look over, she knew who it was by the scent of his cologne. "What are you reading, More fairy tales," he asked, "Or is it some cheesy romance novel?"

"I'm reading The Canterbury Tales in Old English," she aid while showing him the text. He peered over and said, "Wow that's reading." She giggled softly and said "Craig turned me back onto classic literature, so I figured I would give it a shot." He shook his head and said, "I think angry birds is more my thing." She handed over her iPad and said, "Well if you can beat the level I'm stuck on, you can play all the Angy Birds you want." She watched the boyish grin appear on his face as she began to play the game on her tablet. It didn't take him long to beat the level and continue on. He then showed her the secrets of the game and how to figure out the objective of the levels. Abby was finally starting to feel tired from the long day, so she leaned back in her chair and set her alarm for an hour. "I think I'm going to take a nap. Don't beat the entire game by the time I wake up." He smiled and said, "Ok, I'll try not to." She curled up in the bus and quickly fell asleep.

She woke up to find herself snuggled on James's shoulder as he was sleeping. She closed her eyes and remained there, taking in the warmth from his body. She felt so happy, so calm. It was perfect. Abby didn't want the moment to end, but she felt him stir in his chair. She kept her eyes closed and pretended that she was still asleep as he woke up. She felt him softly brush her hair away from her face and then pull the blanket over her body. She could almost hear his heartbeat as she remained still and motionless. And that's when she felt his lips touch her cheek before he leaned back in his chair. he waited till she heard him start to lightly snore before exhaling. He was exactly what she was looking for, her prince charming. Now all she needed was for him to really sweep her off her feet and carry her off into the sunset.