Status: Work in progress...

Brave the Storm

Chapter 5

The next afternoon was spent cleaning up the Lemieuxs’ backyard. Kailyn and Jordan Staal were paired together to clean up empty cans and garbage while others were taking down canopies and taking coolers inside to be cleaned. Kailyn held the garbage bag while Jordan loaded it. Kailyn plugged her nose against the pungent smell of alcohol. Her stomach was doing flip flops and not in a good way. “Dear Lord, how do you guys deal with this? I am so hung over!”

Jordan chuckled as he put another can in the bag, “We are seasoned professionals I guess. The first hangover is always the worst. Didn’t you and Deryk Engelland get Primanti’s for lunch?”

Kailyn’s stomach did another nauseating roll at the thought of her lunch. While it was delicious, it only fixed the problem for a half an hour. “It wasn’t as helpful as he thought. I’ll have to get some for dinner before I go to the airport. Oh shit, the plane, I am going to die. Say something nice at my funeral Staal, none of your other bullshit.” She poked him in the chest.

He threw his hands up in the air disgusted with the accusation and argued, “That was one time! How was I supposed to know you were Sidney’s best friend and not a fuck buddy?” He rubbed his chest where she had poked him and glared at her.

“That’s a terrible justification and you know it. You seriously kiss your girlfriend with that mouth?” She pointed an accusatory finger at him, a silent threat of another of her hard pokes.

“Yes! Hayley is wonderful and don’t worry, there aren’t any more vulgar first impressions. She keeps me in line,” he told her smugly. He crossed his arms and looked at her expectantly for her comeback.

It was true; Sidney was constantly telling her how well Jordan and Hayley were getting along. Jordan had completely changed for the better with this woman around. He treated her with the utmost respect and became a true gentleman. “I heard. Good for you Staal. I’m glad she put you in your place.”

“Now you just have to get my brother straight and we will be good.’

“Kailyn waved her hand in a dismissive gesture, making the cans crash together and the black bag crinkle. “Don’t worry about Jared. He’s as good as pulled up. I’m going to make it happen first thing Monday.”

“No,” Jordan said as he put yet another Molson can in the bag, “I mean you have to get Eric’s love life straight.”

Kailyn rolled her eyes, “I know! But he insists on shooting down every woman I point out!”

“Kailyn,” Jordan said exasperatedly while coming to his full height and meeting his blue eyes with hers, “He doesn’t want another girl. He just wants you and for you to notice him. Eric is so obviously into you.”

Shock. That’s the only thing that registered in Kailyn’s mind at first. Eric liked her? It just couldn’t be possible. I mean this was her, Kailyn Kane. A divorced mess that had just barely got her life back together after six months of hell. Who in their right mind would ever find that attractive? How could he still have romantic feelings for her when all she did was come to him crying over another man? This just wasn’t plausible.

Though this revelation had her thinking about an alternate universe where she wasn’t the ex wife of Mike Green and she had met Eric right off the bat. She would have gone right for him in that situation, but this was different, she had too much baggage. No one deserved to have that shoved on them. But that didn’t stop her from considering the possibilities. She then physically shook the thoughts from her head and narrowed her eyes at the tall man, “Jordan Staal this is not funny. I don’t appreciate your humor.”

“Kailyn Kane, I am not kidding. This is not a joke. I am serious. He is always looking out for you right? Always there for when you are having a hard time? That’s because he has the hots for you dumbass,” he informed her deadpanned before rolling his eyes. He simply continued his clean up as if this conversation never happened. That was a clear indication he wasn’t lying, he didn’t spend his time trying to over convince her as she would have expected from a liar.

Kailyn’s own aquamarine eyes widened in realization, this couldn’t be happening. What was she going to do? She most certainly couldn’t get involved with her team’s captain and she most certainly couldn’t turn him down and hurt their relationship for the team. Only she could get into teammate on teammate conflicts so easily. What the hell was she going to do? She promptly walked away from Jordan, handed her bag to Sidney who gave her a questioning look, and went to hole herself in her guest room at the Lemieux household to think about her next move.


Eric was extremely confused. He and Kailyn had made leaps and bounds in their friendship. While they only knew each other for a few months, he thought they were close. But now she avoided talking to him at all costs and if she did, she gave one word answers and kept things as short as possible. Ever since her birthday she had stayed away from him like he had a contagious terminal disease. What was wrong?

He wanted to simply blame Mike for showing up, but he wasn’t stupid. He knew there was something else bothering her. He couldn’t help but blame the fact that they had almost kissed on the dance floor the night of her party, but that was an accident. He had meant to give her a kiss on the cheek and wish her a happy birthday. She had to know that, so what else had happened?

He was currently sitting in his stall getting all his practice gear off when Coach Kirk came into the dressing room. He looked stressed and therefore made Eric’s shoulders tense. He knew that there was no good news coming and he knew he would have to fix things immediately if it was a team problem. “Kane! What is this official complaint for?” He waved a white piece of paper in the air outraged.

Kailyn, from her stall beside him, simply shrugged, “What? It’s not like I’m leaving or something. I just demand to be put on the second line. I don’t wish to play on the first line any longer.”

More like she didn’t want to play alongside him any longer. Eric gritted his teeth while making fists and held his outburst in. He would deal with this matter privately. He didn’t want to cause a scene in front of the team and he knew that wasn’t what she wanted either. He had to figure out what the hell was going on. If she was choosing to affect the team with whatever she held against him, he would have to take care of it. He just had to figure out what he had done in the first place.

“What are you suggesting? We’ve been practicing the new first line for weeks now!” Coach Kirk’s face was going redder and redder as this official complaint became more of a reality for the team. He was realizing that this was not a prank and she was totally serious about rearranging the lines of the team. He was breathing heavily, a sign that he was absolutely seething.

“I’m saying that we need to balance our power out a little. Jeff isn’t a natural right wing anyway. Let him and I take the second line with Rutuu. Staal and LaRose take the first line,” she told him indifferently.

Hearing her call him Staal and knowing that he wasn’t even good enough for first name basis now hurt. He didn’t even know what he did wrong! He knew what the line change thing was about; he just couldn’t help but take it personally as well. She was benefitting herself double time. She got Jared up from the minors and got away from being close with Eric. He was quickly learning how conniving she could be to get what she wanted and he would be just as conniving to get what he wanted. Game on.

He knew she liked him. It was obvious by the way her eyes lingered on him and how differently she talked to Jeff and his brothers as compared to him. The way she would blush after he paid her a compliment that another person had told her and she didn’t act sheepish then. It was all there right in front of him and now he just had to exploit it and get her to admit she liked him as more than a friend.

“Well Ms. Know-it-all, who do you suggest to be Eric’s right wing?” the coach asked as he crossed his arm and tapped his foot expectantly. Coach Kirk was completely pissed if he was resorting to such childish actions. Eric knew he was reaching his limit of sanity and Kailyn was about to blow it to bits.

“Jared Staal,” she told him in matter of fact tone. She met the coach’s eyes determined to get what she wanted and Eric knew the Coach Kirk was not about to deny his new powerhouse forward what she wanted. She was too important to the team for her to demand to be put on waivers. The whole team knew that was where she would go next as they silently watched the encounter between coach and player.

The coach’s face became fully red with anger and his shoulders tense up even more. Eric winced as he waited for the impending explosion, “You want me to WHAT? Do you know how hard it is going to be to train a new player within two weeks Kane? We can’t be fiddling around during clinch time!”

“For the love of God, he’s from our farm system! It won’t be that hard! He will be fine and the first line will be better for it, just watch. Give him a trial run tomorrow and see how good of a line it will be.” Kailyn was now standing with her lower half still dressed for practice and her hands on her hips. She gave Coach Kirk a hard stare.

Finally he threw his hands up in defeat, “Fine! You want him Kane? You have him. It’ll be your ass if the boy doesn’t perform!” With that he stormed out of the room to, what the team assumed, pull Jared to the big team. Kailyn then quickly went into the shower area after she stripped to her Under Armor without a word.

The look on Eric’s face must’ve told everyone to leave him alone while he made his way to the hallway to call Jordan while still in his full gear excluding his helmet. Jordan picked up on the third ring and greeted, “Hey bro, do you miss me already?”

Eric sighed angrily and told him, “Cut the shit and give me Crosby’s number.”

“Why the hell do you need Sid’s number?” Jordan asked curiously. Eric could tell he caught his little brother’s interest and could now go about demanding things. Eric was not in a patient mood and he was glad Jordan had sensed it. This would get him what he wanted sooner.

“I need to know what happened down in Pittsburgh that has Kai avoiding me like the plague and I figured he would know,” he said simply while tugging at the ends of his hair and holding the phone to his ear with the other.

“Aw shit,” Jordan said annoyed. “She’s a real piece of work. You try to strike up a conversation and this is what she does.”

Eric huffed, equally annoyed, “Just tell me what you said to her that has got her so wigged out.”

“Well, what had happened was,” Jordan started, “We were cleaning up the backyard, right, and she was talking to me about Hayley. I may or may not have told her you had the hots for her.”

Eric’s stomach dropped and he almost dropped his phone. He was busted and now he knew it. He felt the dread seeping through his entire body. She had reserved the right to terminate their whole binding experience and this would definitely make her do so. She was cutting her contact with him as much as she could. He knew immediately her avoidance was her trying to salvage the situation for the sake of the team. He had to get her to talk to him enough that he could explain things to her. A.K.A. get her to admit she liked him first. That was the only way he could get her to not be angry with him. He had to divert the attention from him. “Jordan I’m going to kill you.” Click.
♠ ♠ ♠
This chapter is dedicated to the lovely Penguins11 because she is awesome. Thanks for the comments and subcribes! I appreciate it greatly!