Status: Work in progress...

Brave the Storm

Chapter 9

Eric couldn’t be brought down by anything it seemed. He had his best friend back with no boyfriend. They were the amazing teammates and friends that they should be and for that, nothing in the world could make Eric frown. “So that’s it, you’re just content with being her friend and nothing more?” Hayley asked him as She, Eric, and Jordan were walking down the streets of Ottowa stopping at the occasional store. Marc and his wife Lindsay had gone home to Thunder Bay after the skills competition. Eric had a sneaking suspicion that Hayley and Jordan only stayed around to have this conversation with him.

“What do you want me to do? If it is a choice between being her friend and nothing at all, hell yeah I am content with being her friend.” He retorted while looking at shirts on the rack in front of him. He held up a shirt for her to see. She shook her head no, so he put it back on the rack.

“I want you to make sure she knows what she is missing Eric. This little game you two are deciding to play is just the way to do it. Show her what it would be like if she was with you. You are a great guy, let her realize that.”

“I think she has already realized that,” Jordan told his girlfriend. He came from behind her and wrapped his arms around her body and laid his chin on her head. “I could see the looks she was giving him at her birthday party. She was glued to his side for most of the night. Trust me, she knows, she just won’t admit it.”

Eric gave him a disbelieving look, “That was oddly profound coming from you J’. I’m pretty impressed.”

“He is actually a good catch if anyone would stop ragging on him enough to pay attention,” Hayley pointed out. She put a hanger on Jordan’s arm with a blue button down shirt on it. “Go try this on please.” Kissing Hayley on the cheek he retreated to the fitting room and she turned back to Eric, “Use your Staal charm. I know you have some located in that gigantic body of yours, so get a move on it.”


A loud knock sounded at the door and started Kailyn so much that she tried to hurry out of bed, got tangled in the sheets, and fell to the tan carpet floor with a dull thud. After a string of loud cuss words came out of her mouth, she went to the front door throwing the locks and the door open. “What!” she bellowed. She then rubbed her sleepy eyes with the back of her hand before opening them all the way to see a very startled Hurricanes captain. Her eyes widened and she was instantly awake as she looked back at him.

Eric awkwardly tried to look away, but Kailyn could see his subtle triple take down her body. He was trying hard to suppress the smirk that was trying to overtake his face and ended up biting his lower lip in order to do so. Finally he seemed to collect himself with a deep breath and looked into her eyes. His caramel ones were shining with pure amusement. His smirk won out as he casually leaned against her door frame with his arms crossed against his chest, “Do you always answer the door in a Victoria’s Secret bra and Power Ranger’s boxers? I should knock instead of just going inside more often.”

She abruptly slammed the door and ran to her bedroom. She put on her Bauer pants with her number on them on her right hip and an Avenged Sevenfold T-Shirt. She then ran back to the door and opened it again, “Do you have a reason to be here other than to embarrass the shit out of me?” she asked bitterly.

They were back in Raleigh and had an off day for all the All Stars to get a small break from the activities and fully rest for a day. She had been planning to sleep for most of the day and then watch chick flicks for the rest of it. She was looking for an extremely lazy day, not to be rudely awoken by Eric.

“I did have a reason that I have now forgotten. Your lack of attire wiped it clear from my mind.”

“Smart ass,” she said.

“You love it,” he countered as he took a step towards her so they were barely inches from each other.

“I plead the fifth,” she told him as she let out a ragged breath. Subconsciously she angled her head to the side ever so slightly.

“Then that makes me doubly sure,” he said huskily. He moved in so his lips were a mere centimeter from hers.

Her eye lids fluttered closed as she felt his breath against her lips. He was so close; it would only take a slight move to make their lips connect. She wanted it so badly. She had been secretly fantasizing what it would be like to taste his lips. Her heart was trying to beat out of her chest and the temperature seemed to spike in the room. She wanted to wrap her arms around him and feel the strong muscles of his back as she clung to him. There was no doubt who the dominant one would be; he would claim what was rightfully his.

There was no denying it now. She craved Eric’s attention and affection, she thrived on it. When they were apart for the time they were fighting, Kailyn was miserable. She just wanted to talk to him and laugh with him, have him give her one of his famous to her Eric Staal hugs that seemed to make the world fade around her. When she was in his arms, everything seemed right and that she was perfectly fine. No thoughts of Mike clouded her judgment and she was free if only for a moment, to experience what it would be like to truly be with Eric. She wanted it more than anything with her heart. Now she understood the cliché of the heart doing battle with the mind. Her heart called out for Eric, but her mind told her it wouldn’t last.

But now she was mere milliseconds from throwing out her assumptions and her inhibitions. She would truly experience what it was like to be loved by him. She knew what kissing him meant, he would not let her back down after this but she didn’t give a flying fuck. She just wanted him and for once, him alone. Mike could go to hell for all she cared, it was done, over. She would now let herself move on to bigger and better things quite literally.

“You can take it however you like.”

With a sudden movement, Eric backed off and gave her a cheeky grin, “Then I decide that you secretly love how much I can annoy you sometimes.” Annoyance couldn’t even cover what she felt towards him the moment he backed off his approach. He had been so close, why did he choose to bow out gracefully?


“HE DID WHAT?” Maya yelled outraged.

“Wow, I didn’t know he had it in him,” Hayley commented.

Kailyn had just gotten through the story of how she spent her off day with Eric. Maya was visibly upset with the outcome of the story. There was no doubt in Kailyn’s mind that Maya wanted her and Eric together. She had been team Eric from day one after Zach had told her all about the trip to Raleigh and what Kailyn had told him of Eric’s chivalry.

Kailyn didn’t even have to question whether Hayley wanted her to give Eric a chance. She was almost a Staal herself. She had an instant connection with the Staal clan and the Staal brothers loved her like their own sister excluding Jordan of course. Jordan and Hayley were disgustingly cute together and even Kailyn in her most miserable mood felt tugs at her heart strings seeing how in love they were. Hayley wanted her to experience being loved by a man with such a complete package, handsome, talented, and kind as a Staal had; it was clear in every look she gave Kailyn from the first time she met her.

“He backed away just like that,” Kailyn reiterated as she got her nails painted a bright red to match her uniform. The three girls had decided to get manicures and pedicures after dinner. Maya had planned a surprise visit to Raleigh to have some girl time with Kailyn away from their friends and dragged her ‘new best friend’ Hayley along, much to the protest of Jordan. Eric hadn’t minded, he said they would see each other at his house later. She still had trouble sleeping in a house where she was alone.

“What the hell was he thinking? I mean what the fuck! He needs to get a move on if you are expected to…” She clapped her hands together once and smirked at Kailyn’s now crimson face.

Kailyn glared at her, “You did not just clap at me.” In high school whenever Kailyn wanted to demonstrate a couple kissing or that they had had sex, she would clap her hands together. She found it way less awkward than painting a picture for someone with her words or saying them at all. Kailyn wasn’t much for PDA or discussing it. She only hugged those closest to her.

“Oh yes I did! And when I call Zach he will clap at you too!”

“What are you two talking about?” Hayley asked totally confused.

“Kai has a code action for sex. She doesn’t like to talk about it so when she has to say it, she just claps instead,” Maya explained.

Hayley just laughed, “Really Kai? You banged Mike and you are still shy about it?”

“Let’s just talk about something else please! The awkward is literally crawling up my arms!”

“Oh I am so going to enjoy the rest of the night,” Hayley grinned. It was clear she was going to be up to no good for the rest of the night.

Hayley and Maya simply laughed.


“Eric! You brother’s girlfriend was being mean to me!” She whined as she let herself into the house and shut and locked the door once again. She found Eric lying out on his couch. She did not hesitate in jumping on him. He let out a grunt before wrapping his arms around her so she wouldn’t fall on the floor. She wedged herself in the tiny space in between his side and the back of the couch.

“Why was she being mean to you, because you always pick on my brother?”

“No, she was picking on me because I don’t include a word in my vocabulary. When I need to say them I just clap. My friends know what it means!” Kailyn said defensively.

“What word?”

“Well obviously if I don’t say it, I won’t tell you,” she said while rolling her eyes.

“Tell me what it starts with and I’ll guess what it is.”

“It starts with an ‘S’.” She told him.

“Shit…wait no you definitely say that. Uh,” his eye brows scrunched together while he thought and his lips pursed. “Smut? Smut is an awkward word,” he looked at her to see her face and to see if he was right.

“No but you are on the right track. It a synonym.”

“SEX!” Eric yelled.

She buried her face into his neck and nodded. “It’s just such an embarrassing thing to talk about and saying it out loud doesn’t help me feel comfortable about it at all.”

“No it’s not. You hear it with the guys in the locker room all the time.”

“I never add anything to their conversations, so how do you know if I feel awkward or not. I get out of that locker room faster than I thought possible some days.”

“Well we just have to get you to say it more. Say you would bang Chris Pine, we both know you would, so just throw it out there,” he said while shrugging into the coach.

“No!” she protested, “If you already know, then there is no reason to reiterate it.” She was not about to admit who she was attracted to. Eric had the liability that he might let something slip in the locker room and Kailyn be subjected to locker room joke of the week. She couldn’t stand the guys getting on her case for a week about something they could use to tease her. It just wasn’t what she was looking for in her hockey career.

“Oh come on, here, I’ll go first. I’d totally bang Kiera Knightly.”

“Eric!” She yelled. She scooted him off the couch and on to the floor with a thud. While she was laughing, he leaned up and took hold of her waist, pulling her down on the floor with him. She was underneath his lithe body in a minute. She struggled from under him. She was finally able to army crawl out and tackled Eric by the waist. He fought to keep his arms from being restrained on the ground. He used his leg power to throw her off balance. He then flipped her to the ground and straddled her waist. Making quick work of pinning her arms, he smirked and said, “All you have to do is say it and I will get off you.”

“I’m not saying it. Just get off me.”

He grinned, “It’s called tough love Babe. You’re a hockey player; you are supposed to be comfortable with those conversations. I’m helping you.”

She glared up at him. Looking right into his caramel eyes she informed him with a menacing voice, “I will knee you right in the balls and not even feel remotely sorry about it.”

“Honestly, I am very hurt by your threat. That’s not very nice Kai”

“Well then get off!” she said as she renewed her struggle to get free, but it was futile. She let out a loud sigh. “I would totally bang Chris Pine! Happy?”

Eric chuckled, “Yeah, I’m content with it.” He got off her.


When they were both sprawled out in bed, him on an air mattress and Kailyn in the bed, he rolled on to his side preparing for sleep. Suddenly he grinned, “Hey Kai?”

“ What?”

“Chris Pine.”

She groaned.
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Hey look at that! Another update! I really like this chapter and I hope you do as well. Let me know :) Thanks for all the reviews thus far! P.S. I didn't feel like editing, so if there are mistakes please point them out.