Status: On Hiatus

I'll Be Right Beside You

Epilogue 2

“Allo Jordan! Come! Sit!” Vero immediately waved me over, little Estelle sitting on her lap. She was nearly two already, and it still blew me away that we were all old enough for marriage and kids and the whole bit. And as awkward as I still felt coming and sitting with essentially just the WAG’s, Andy couldn’t handle the noise in the rest of the stadium. Even with headphones on, up here was loud enough.

“Hey Vero, hey cutie pie,” Estelle just grinned up at me as I sat down next to them, and soon Beau Bennett had made his way over.

“How’s the knee doing?” I asked, and he shrugged as he plopped down beside me, immediately putting his hands out for my daughter. He was nearly as baby crazy as the rest of my teammates had seemed to become; TK and his girlfriend had announced they were expecting, Tanger had a baby boy, us, Fleury’s…. it was crazy. And apparently it was rubbing off on the younger teammates who couldn’t seem to get enough of any of the kids.

“How’s my favorite girl? Hey Andy?” he immediately gained Andy’s immediate attention, talking and making silly faces to get her to grin and laugh. Soon Estelle was interested too, and Beau had his hands full with the two of them while we watched the game.

Waiting after the game was always the hardest. Especially since the Pens had won; the media scrum always lasted much longer after games like these. And especially when there was such a big deal being made about Cam becoming a mother and then returning to play. They also liked to bombard her with questions about me; why I’d decided to play part of a season and then had been a no-show this year, would I be back, would she quit to be a full time mom… it got ridiculous.

Andy began fussing, knowing that her Mom should’ve been on the way and was still nowhere to be seen. I couldn’t put her down though, knowing she’d be boogie-ing into the locker room and causing havoc. She’d learned she could push open the door to the locker room just enough to squeak in, and more than once had done so and began bawling as she wasn’t fast enough to get through the doors without her jersey being pinned in them, and needing to be freed. Let’s just say she let hell break loose and soon every player in the room was rushing to help out the bawling princess in her Penguins jersey, pink tights, headband and slippers.

“Look, there’s Mom,” finally I could say the words she was dying to hear as Cam made her way over, face lighting up at the sight of her baby girl.

“Andy! My favorite girl, did you miss your Mum?” the way Andy clung to her told us what she wouldn’t, and Cam chuckled before kissing me. It was still a little strange, especially after playing last season, to be the one waiting in the family lounge. Even more so with a baby and a diaper bag. The media made no issue about running all kinds of stories about it too. More than once outlets had been called out by both the Penguins and the NHL – letting them know that their stories and articles that were essentially demeaning being a stay at home parent wouldn’t be tolerated. Regardless of the fact that the idea of an NHL player becoming a stay-at-home dad while he could be playing wasn’t really something people heard of. I still got lots of questions about it, but it had stopped bothering me when I realized I enjoyed being a dad just as much as I enjoyed playing hockey. My brothers even expressed envy at the fact I wasn’t missing first steps or words or the things they’d missed with their kids.

“You were great honey,” I told her, and she grinned before kissing me again, then looking between me and our girl.

“Taken care of; Becka almost had to fight Beau for babysitter privileges tonight,” I smirked, and this kiss was a little more intense than the last.

“Oh I love you so much,” she sighed, and I nodded.

“I know,” she only swung softly at me as we laughed and made our way over to our friends, Becka and Sid all but waiting with their arms out to take our baby off of our hands for a few hours. Even if they knew exactly why they got to have her for a while.

“See you around ten thirty,” Becka winked, and with a grin I took Cam’s hand and nodded.

Some things never changed.
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So, this one's a little short, but there's one more piece of the epilogue to kind of wrap up the story.

Again I just wanted to say thank you guys so much for all of your wonderful words and encouragement and support all along the way, and I hope that these little pieces of afterword kind of close out their story :)