‹ Prequel: Takes Me Back
Sequel: Leads Me Here
Status: Rated 'R' for language. Will start soon!

Brings Me Home

Love You.

I’m just saying, dude,” Max put his hands up in the air before the game days later. “She’s hot.”

“She also happens to be my best friend,” I warned him as we laced our skates before warm-ups. “Don’t go getting any ideas.”

“Staalsy like,” Geno chimed in with his broken English. “He tell me.”

Max smirked at me knowingly. “So I was right. Have you told her?”

I looked down at my skates, not answering. Leah had been staying with me in my condo for a few days now and every time I got even the smallest amount of courage to speak up, she would do something that left me awe struck. Like yesterday, she remembered that the day before a game I liked to come home from practice and have a movie marathon. She’d dug around for all our old favorites and had them ready with a bowl of popcorn and our favorite soda. And this afternoon, when we got to the rink, I had started to walk in the other direction after showing her in to the arena. Leah ran up behind me and punched my shoulder. I’d forgotten an old game day tradition, our hug.

“Knock ‘em dead,” she had whispered.

Just like she was doing to me.

“Grow a set and tell her,” Max prodded as we skated onto the ice and he nodded to her seat on the glass.

I looked over to her and gaped. I had purposely given her that seat to the right of the aisle because I knew that no one ever sat in the seat to its left. But right now, there was some dick there trying to flirt with her.

It was obvious that she was trying to get him to leave by acting uninterested, but he wouldn’t catch on.

“Go do something about it,” Max said as we circled the ice.

I didn’t need telling twice. I skated up to the glass and tapped it with my glove.

Her head snapped around and a smile spread across Leah’s face. She raised a hand and tapped it against the glass as well, another game day tradition.

I narrowed my eyes at the guy next to her, meeting his stare. I jerked my head to the side, motioning for him to scram.

“Get lost,” I mouthed and nodded to Leah.

A look of realization dawned on his face and he got up, flustered and walked away with his head down.

Leah smirked at the guy’s retreating back and laughed. Looking back at me, she nodded towards the ice.


I winked at her once before skating over to my teammates to begin stretching.

I loved having Leah around again.


“Babe,” a voice draws me out of my thoughts. “You in there?” Leah’s pointer finger tapped my temple.

“Oh, sorry,” I say as she settles onto my lap. “Just thinking.”

“You do that a lot,” she smiles. “Dinner’s almost ready. Your mom wanted me to tell you.”

“Your parents coming?” I ask.

“Mhmm,” Leah nods with her eyes closed. “The guys come up tomorrow, right?”

“Yeah, Pittsburgh flight gets in at noon and the rest of them are flying in later on in the day,” I say. Some of the guys with kids had stuck around in the city for the summer months, while others had retreated to the own summer homes.

“Good,” she smirks. “I miss Max.”

“You know, if you weren’t marrying me, I’d think you and Max had a thing,” I joke.

“Eh,” she tilts her head. “If he were still a Penguin, maybe,” she laughs. “But there is no way in hell I would have a relationship with someone in orange. That’s a warning for you, Staal.”

We laugh together, despite the seriousness the talk had developed. Leah was aware my time with the Penguins was most likely limited. I had turned down a big offer from them just weeks before and with the draft occurring in Pittsburgh on the wedding date, anything was possible.

“Don’t worry,” I assure her. “There’s no way I would do that to you or the guys. Although, you do look nice in orange.” Last Christmas, Max had sent her a Flyers Talbot shirzey as a gag gift. Leah won’t wear it out of the house, but she’ll sleep in it now and again. It’s a little odd sometimes, but I couldn’t deny the fact that she and Max were close.

“Come on,” she stands up and extends her hands to me. “I’m hungry and if we don’t get in there now, your pig brothers will eat everything.”

I pull her into my side and kiss her head. “I love you, future- wife.”

Leah smiles up at me. “I love you too, future- husband.”
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