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

Brings Me Home

My World.

We sit around the dinner table, all of us engrossed in different conversations. It’s so familiar to me, to Leah. Leah’s an only child, but growing up, she spent so much time with my brothers and me; it was like there was a 5th Staal child.

“Jordan, wait until you see her in the dress,” my mom gushes. I knew Leah always held a special place in her heart, having only four boys to raise.

I smile and squeeze Leah’s knee. I know she’ll look beautiful in anything, but the way everyone has been going on about it makes me think that it’s really special.

“Seriously, Jord,” Eric nods. “It’s amazing.”

“So everyone’s seen it but me?” I raise an eyebrow at my fiancée.

Leah laughs and nods. “Yeah, pretty much. Gotta keep you out of the loop.”

Talk centers around the wedding for the most part, everything from the menu to the music that’ll be playing.

“It’s so close,” Lindsey bounces Michael on her knee. “You have to be getting the jitters.”

Leah and I shrug together. It’s been the same response to that question for weeks. Everyone assumes we’re going to be nervous or have the butterflies, but really, it’s just two best friends promising the other forever.

“I’m sure I’ll feel something walking down the aisle,” Leah consents. “But I don’t feel the jitters now.”

I pull her into my side as we sit on the picnic bench. It’s a tradition in my family. Every Sunday night during the summer, we sit outside for dinner. Over the years, as the family has expanded, we’ve made the seating arrangements larger, adding a second picnic table. Kissing her forehead, she burrows into my chest and I see someone snap a picture out of the corner of my eye. Tanya.

“For posterity,” she explains, showing the picture to Eric.

I see Mr. and Mrs. Emerlee look at their daughter and me fondly. I remember having ‘the talk’ with Mr. Emerlee before I proposed last summer.


It was a warm summer afternoon, one that was leading up to an even warmer day, when I went to talk with Leah’s dad. Up until I got to the door, I wasn’t nervous. This was a man I’d known my whole life, a man that had trusted me to be with his daughter at all times. And yet, I found myself tapping my foot as I waited for the door to open.

Mrs. Emerlee smiled as she pulled open the front door, greeting me in her motherly way.

“Good to see you, Jordan,” she pulled my 6’4 frame down to her tiny level. “You’re keeping our daughter away, you know.” Despite her playful tone, the comment made me nervous. Was that what they thought? “David told me you were stopping by. He’s upstairs in the study. You know your way up.”

I climbed the stairs and pass Leah’s room. It was one I was familiar with, between secret, late night visits and birthday morning surprises. I can remember all of the memories we’ve had.

I knocked on Mr. Emerlee’s office door and waited for him to speak up.

“Come on in,” his voice was always powerful. He would have made a good hockey coach. Seeing me, he stood up. We’re too familiar with each other for this to be very formal, but I had a feeling he knew what this was about. “Anything to drink?”

“I’m good, thanks,” I shook his hand. “You’re free to talk?”

“Of course,” he nodded and motioned towards some leather chairs by the window. “Take a seat.”

After we had sat down, we locked eyes. I was suddenly left speechless. God dammit.

“I want to talk with you about Leah,” I said finally.

“I figured,” David smiled. “And it’s about time.”


David leaned forward in his chair. “You and my daughter have been best friends for a long time. I knew from that day you left that you two would end up together, one way or another. I was a little surprised you already hadn’t.”

He knew? Well, that took a load off my shoulders.

“I’d like to marry her,” I stated calmly.

“Why?” I hadn’t expected him to question me, but the one thing that had seemed concrete to me over the last few years was my feelings for Leah.

“I love her,” I said simply. “She’s been my best friend my whole life. She can put up with my family and my team. Leah… Leah is my world and I want to guarantee that I’ll be able to spend forever with her.”

Mr. Emerlee smiled. This was his little girl, his only child; he wanted to be sure I was the right choice.

“You’ll take care of her?” he asked quietly.

“Always,” I nodded. “No matter where we are, she’ll come first.”

He nodded. Standing up, he extended his hand. As we shook, he locked eyes with me once again.

“Welcome to the family, son.”
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So, NaNo and I have a complicated relationship. I'm handling it, lol. But for the meantime, here's another update for you. What do you think?

Again, I'm leaving multiple links. Well really, only two. One of which is a blog entry that I would ask all of the hockey authors reading this to check out. Another is a link to another story that I'm super excited for.

Let me knew what's on your minds, lovelies.

P.S. And to all my fellow Americans, happy early Thanksgiving!