Status: co-write!

In the Company

Late Night Walks & Getting It Right

I yawned, stretching my arms above my head. We were just finishing up dinner and were standing in the warm New York night. I was ready for bed, most definitely. As relaxing as my time in Brampton had been, I just wanted my own bed.

“Tired?” Pat smiled.

I nodded, stifling another yawn. “Really tired. I want my room.”

“You’ll be there soon,” he said, brushing my arm.

I groaned inwardly, confused. Tyler caught my eye, winking at me. It had been that way all night.

At the table, Pat sat to my right with Tyler across from me and the rest of the guys filling in around us. Pat managed to keep my attention for a lot of the night, although, I might have let him. On the rare occasion when one of the other guys would strike up a conversation, Tyler had alerted me to the fact that Patrick would stare daggers before darting his eyes back to me.

Were we flirting? A part of me-the professional part and maybe a little heartbroken- wanted to believe that no, we weren’t. But the more relaxed, more girl-ish part of me wanted to believe that we were.

So long story short, I wasn’t sure.

“Night-night, Rose,” Taylor hugged me quick before passing me off to Max and Claude.

“Night guys,” I smiled. “Thank you for dinner. And I’m sure Ry will love this cheesecake when she’s feeling better.”

“No problem, mon cher,” Claude smiled. “Are you sure you’re okay to walk back on your own?”

I gave him an ‘am-I-incapable?’ look and nodded my head. “I’ll be fine.”

“I can walk you back,” Tyler offered. “I got you to Canada safe; I should make sure you at least get back to your apartment in one piece.”

I rolled my eyes. “Jesus! I’ve lived in New York City for years! I think I can handle a few blocks on my own at night. It’s not even completely dark yet.” I sighed. “But thank you for worrying.”

“Let Pat walk you back,” Tyler whispered to me as we hugged goodbye. “He wants to.”

I pinched his arm. “Get lost, Seguin.”

He rubbed his now red forearm and flicked his eyes to the American player. Tactfully, he and the others began to walk away, waving to us with calls to see us in the morning.

“That was so planned,” Patrick laughed shaking his head. “So I’m walking you back?”

I nodded. “Yeah, I guess you are.” I didn’t want to put up another fight- I was too tired for that. And I would just get Tyler back for it tomorrow.

“So you had fun in Canada?” he asked, hands in his pockets.

“Yeah,” I nodded. “It was nice to get away. It was a cool experience to be a part of.”

“I remember my day with the Cup,” Patrick smiled, reminiscing. “I took it up in a one of those cherry picker-basket- things and we got stuck for a good hour.”

“Oh my god,” I gaped. “I’m scared of heights. I would hyperventilate.” I grimaced at the thought of me on the plane. I’d kept my eyes sealed shut until we were cruising in the air and even then I did what I could to fall asleep.

“Really?” he asked. “I wouldn’t have pegged you as one to be afraid of heights.”

“I am,” I shrugged. “Probably because I fell out of a tree when I was little.” Patrick laughed and I had to defend myself. “My brother pushed me! I’m sure of it!”

“Sure thing,” he laughed. I let his fits of chuckles die down and we lapsed into silence, just walking.

“So are you okay?” Patrick’s voice was a little quieter.

I knew just what he meant. David.

I sighed. “Do I look okay?”

Pat hesitated to answer, afraid to give me the wrong answer. Eventually, he nodded.

“I do look okay. But am I?” I decided to answer this question. “No, I’m not. It hurts and it’s depressing and I just want this empty and worthless feeling to go away.” I hiccupped, feeling a few tears trickle over my lashes.

He didn’t look like he knew what to do. Patrick just kind of looked at me and slowly, he reached out his hand.

“He’s not worth it,” Patrick’s voice stayed quiet as he slid a hockey worn thumb over my cheeks to take the moisture away. “You deserve so much more than him, Rosie.”

I gave him a watery smile, positive that my mascara was running. “I just hate feeling like I did something wrong.”

“You didn’t,” he insisted. “David didn’t realize what he had. It’s his fault, Rose, not yours.”

I waited for my tears to stop and my breathing to even out and immediately felt myself blush. This wasn’t the least bit professional.

“I’m sorry,” I back away from his grasp, running a hand beneath my eyes to try and wipe away the black smears. “I don’t know what’s come over me.”

“Don’t apologize, Rosie,” Patrick said. “If anything, I’m sorry I didn’t give that ass what he deserved that night at the club.”

I made a weird laughing noise as we began walking again, getting nearer to the apartment.

“I have a really nasty stomach ache,” I groaned, putting a hand to my abdomen.

“Do you think it’s what you ate?” he asked. “You did ask for your steak to be medium rare.”

“No,” I shook my head. “I haven’t been running in a few days. I should probably go tomorrow.” Another moment of courage struck me and I glanced to Patrick out of the corner of my eye. “Do you-do you want to come with me?”

“Yeah!” he perked up. “I’d love to.”

“Great,” I couldn’t keep the grin off my face. “Do you want to meet here around 7?” We were standing on the stoop of the apartment building, Patrick leaning against its brick walls.

“Sure,” he nodded. “I’ll see you then.” He shifted onto his heels. “Good night, Rosie.”

I smiled. “Good night, Pat.” I placed a hand on his cheek. “And thank you. For everything.”

He looked like he expected me to kiss him. It looked like he wanted me to and for a moment, I almost did. And maybe I was hating myself a little for not.

“See you in the morning,” I waved, unlocking the door. Once inside, I leaned against the heavy barricade, breathing heavily. What was going on with me?

I trooped up the steps, not wanting the time alone in the elevator to think. Unlocking our door, I found a surprise waiting for me on the couch.

Nestled together were Ryleigh and Brayden, both sound asleep. Her back was against his chest and he had his arms wrapped firmly around her waist. For a sick girl, she looked pretty content. I hated to interrupt my friend from her sure to be happy dreams, but I needed girl time. Pronto.

Prodding her side lightly, I whispered to her.

“Bradley Cooper is standing shirtless in our living room.”

She jerked up, bringing Brayden with her.

“What!? Where?!”

Brayden groaned, releasing her, and rubbing his eyes. “What’s going on?”

Ryleigh frowned at me. “Nothing. Just Rose being mean.”

“Wow,” I smiled. “What a welcome back.” I laughed. “Thanks for taking care of her Bray.”

“No worries,” he assured me. “And welcome back.” He yawned. “You have a good time in Canada?”

I nodded. “Sure did. And I would love to fill you in right now, but I really need my best friend here. So tomorrow?”

Getting up from the couch, he hovered next to a now upright Ryleigh, unsure of what to do.

“I’ll be in my room, Ry,” I scooted out of there, hoping she’d have the courage to do what I didn’t when with Pat.

Stripping my clothes off, I pulled on leggings and a t-shirt, feeling a draft. Soon enough, I heard the front door shutting and Ryleigh tramped into my room.

“I don’t know whether to be really pissed off with you or happy that you’re back,” she grumbled, coughing.

“Don’t get your sickness on my bed!” I pushed her off and let her settle into a chair instead. “And I hope you’re glad I’m back because I need you.”

She stretched. “I’m only willing to listen if you’re going to give me an answer about the question I asked you the other night.”

I sighed. “Kinda sorta.”

“Go on.”

“I feel…good around Pat. I mean, I’m still so confused about how one guy can make me feel so confused and yet happy at the same time. I don’t get why he won’t let other people see the sweet guy we see him as and I feel like it’s not fair to him. And I love that he’s not afraid to be flirtatious because it makes up for me being the opposite. But then there’s something about him that makes me…come out of my shell a little.” I stopped talking, throwing my phone to her with it open to the messages from the previous night.

“Girl,” she giggled. “You got it bad.” Ryleigh practically mimicked Tyler.

I rolled my eyes. “Tell me what to do, dammit!”

“Well tell me this,” she leaned forward. “Did you talk with him all night?”

I nodded.

“Did he walk you back here after you said no to everyone else?”

Again, I nodded.

“And did you make plans with him already?”

I blushed, looking away. There was a reason Ryleigh was my best friend and knew everything about me.

“It’s summertime,” Ryleigh reminded me. “Anything can happen. Spend some time around him when you’re not being professional. Get to know him on another level. See where it takes you."

I nodded; relieved that she was taking my usual role as the level headed one while I was busy being conflicted. “Okay. Okay. That makes sense.” I cocked my head to the side, watching her as she began texting on her own phone. “Who are you texting?”

She glanced up and then back down, not responding. That was answer enough for me.

“You know,” I said, getting up get my suitcase from the living room where it had been deposited earlier by one of the guys. “Maybe you should follow your own advice. Not all guys are going to be like Nathan.”

She would hate me for bringing that up, but I had to make a point. And by the time I returned, she was gone, no doubt pouting in her room.


In the morning, I had yet to hear from Ryleigh. When I was heading out the front door with a note on the counter letting her know where I was going, I was only hearing the first sounds of life from her room.

I hopped down the steps and out onto the stoop, finding Patrick in much the same position as I had left him the night before. Had it not been for the change of clothes, I would have thought he’d never left.

“Ready?” I smiled brightly.

He stifled a yawn. “Coffee later? It’s early.”

“You didn’t have to agree,” I poked his side. “But maybe we’ll stop somewhere.”

With a groan, Patrick started following me as I began a light jog down the block.

“Come on, Patty Cakes,” I called over my shoulder as he neared me. “No coffee if I don’t see some sweat!”

“Oh, I’ll make you sweat,” he smirked, joining me at the corner as we picked up our pace.

“I’m going to assume that wasn’t sexual,” I laughed, glad that I was so used to running at this pace and could keep up a conversation. Patrick certainly didn’t seem to be struggling either.

“For now,” he smiled. “Race you to the park!”


“So how far was that?” Pat asked as we collapsed onto a patch of grass after our run.

“Not including the sprints and suicides we did after?” I teased. “Probably a little over five miles.”

“Damn,” he groaned. “I’m out of shape.”

“Nah,” I assured him. “You just need some…conditioning.” I hopped up and extended my hand. “Come on. I promised coffee if I saw you sweat.”

I pulled him up off the ground and I expected him to drop my hand. He didn’t. And you know what? I didn’t pull away.

Hand-in-hand we walked to the coffee house where we had inadvertently met and paused out front.

“Let me try this again,” Pat said, releasing my hand. Pulling open the front door, Patrick gestured for me to walk in ahead of him. “I want to get this right.”
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And wah-la. Another really long update from yours truly. It might be a little bit before Hayley updates again, as I know she's busy with school and work. Hopefully, this can tide you all over.

I hope that you've all had a good St. Patrick's Day weekend and that you've eaten something green. (Does frosting count?) And in the spirit of the Irish holiday, I have decided to write a quick little hockey/St. Patrick's Day oneshot. It should be up later today. I'll leave the link below! (Hint...It's Patrick Kane.)

Let us know what's on your minds, lovelies!

Luck of the Irish