Guiding Light


“C’mon Harley, you can’t even find time to hang out with your best friend anymore? I feel so betrayed.”

She scoffed at her outlandish friend and kept walking through the frosty streets of Boston. Tyler Seguin stomped through the snow and pouted like a little kid behind her, but she pretended not to notice. Though Harley had lived in Boston all of her life, her and Tyler had met a few weeks after he got drafted to the Bruins; he had bumped into her and spilled coffee all over her shirt while she had spilled hot chocolate all over his pants. Needless to say their friendship had only blossomed from there. Though she loved him like a little brother, he definitely lived up to the irritating aspects that all little brothers seemed to have. He had spent the last two hours trying to convince her to come over to his house for a “social gathering” he was holding later that day. While Tyler was pretty much a hockey superstar who could party and get plastered as much as his little heart desired, Harley had responsibilities and had to wake up at some horrific hour almost every morning for her job, or she had to study for whatever quiz or test her professor threw her way.

“You just don’t want to go because you have a crush on Patty.” He giggled and made kissing noises, noticing how red Harley’s cheeks got. She tried to tell herself that it was just a silly little crush, but Harley was starting to fall hard for Patrice Bergeron and his bashful personality. They had started to talk more and more, and the more she learned about him, the more her crush started to develop. Harley knew he didn’t like her the way she liked him though; she wasn’t nearly as beautiful or funny as any of his ex-girlfriends and with him being four years older than her, he was way more mature. Harley was fine with their friendship though, it’s not like she had time for men in the first place.

She didn’t even have time for her best friend.

“I’ll think about it, okay?”

He struggled around with her textbooks in his arms and tried not to drop any of them, “Well, you should seriously consider it, we haven’t partied together in forever and I miss my drinking buddy.”

“Ah, those days are over for me,” Harley shakes her head as she recalls the last time her and Seguin decided to drink together, “It’s fun until you start blowing chunks in your roommate’s bed while she’s still sleeping in it.”

Tyler cringed and made a gagging noise, “Fine then, no drinks for you because you can’t hold your own.”

She rolls her eyes and pushes him into a street light pole, “Not all of us have livers of steel. Now go away party boy, I have some studying I need to do.”

“Yeah, yeah,” He dumps all of her textbooks in Harley’s arms, “Go be a responsible student and study until you die of boredom. Text me if you decide to come tonight.”

She smiles at him and bids him a goodbye, entering the little café that she usually likes to study at. The waitress greets Harley like she always does and escorts her to a little table in the corner of the café. She tugs her black peacoat off and smoothes down the material of the navy blue dress she’s wearing. She orders orange juice and a blueberry scone like she always does and opens her psychology text book. Taking a fleeting glance out the window and into the snowy streets of Boston, she sees Tyler leaning against his car, talking on his cell phone with a mischievous grin on his face. Her Blackberry vibrates against the table, and she figures it’s probably just Tyler trying to annoy her. Harley is semi-surprised when she sees Patrice’s number, and quickly looks at his text.

‘Are you going to Tyler’s barbeque tonight?’

She rolled her eyes again, it seemed like Tyler had forced him into sending the text or bribed him with food, ‘Idk, I might if I feel up to it.’

She set her phone back on the table only for it to vibrate not even a minute later, ‘Brad and Nathan are singing karaoke.’

That makes Harley laugh, and the people sitting around her throw her disgruntled or odd glances, ‘Is that suppose to persuade me to go? If anything you have just guaranteed my absence at this party.’

‘Tyler says if you don’t go he’s going to burn all of your textbooks and you better sleep with one eye open’

‘Jeez, I’ll go. You guys make it sound like the end of the world if I don’t show up.’

‘It will be for me D:’

It was an incredibly clichéd thing to say, but Harley thought it was sweet and an enormous smile arced across her face. He was always saying sweet things to her, but it was just in Patrice’s nature to have such a kind personality. It was something Harley had always admired about him, mainly because it was refreshing to actually meet a chivalrous guy who respects women. She knew all athletes weren’t the stereotypical arrogant meatheads, but that still didn’t mean they don’t exist. Having been raised by a bitter single mother, she had been taught to trust no man and had been told numerous times that “they only want what’s in your pants Harley, that’s all they want from you”.

She knew Patrice was different though, and she knew she could trust him.

“look at him… it’s so pathetic.”

Patrice glanced in Harley’s direction and realized that she was watching Brad show off his nonexistent skills at the karaoke machine. He was singing -- or rapping, to some song Patrice had never heard and though it was very entertaining, it was also a train wreck and nobody could tear their eyes from the pitiful scene. He cringed as Tyler came up next to Brad, threw his arm around his shoulders, and started to sing into his red cup like it was a microphone. Johnny watched with just as much horror as Harley as the two teammates continued to sing out of tune. Patrice gazed at Harley with a grin; she looked exceedingly beautiful with her lengthy blonde hair in natural waves and her mischievous cobalt eyes shining so brightly. She had a couple of freckles that were delicately sprinkled across her cheeks and across the bridge of her nose, but he knew that she despised them, and more often than not covered them up. The navy blue dress she wore fell down to her upper thighs and Patrice quickly diverted his gaze from her legs that seemed to go on for days; he felt like a pervert staring at her like that. Instead, he fixed his attention to her delicate facial features; he noticed she was hardly wearing any makeup. She had this natural beauty to her that made her extremely endearing to Patrice, and this charming personality that made people gravitate towards her.

“Do you want to go for a walk?” Patrice asked seemingly out of nowhere.

She seemed surprised but nodded anyways, “Yeah, I could use some fresh air… Brad’s voice is starting to give me a headache.”

He grinned at her as she set her plastic red cup on the coffee table and blushed as Patrice lightly pressed his hand to the small of her back after she tugged her pea coat on. The pair took their time walking down the street, and Harley tried to take no notice of the way his hand slid from her back, down her arm, and into her cold hand. They were silent as they wandered aimlessly with no goal really in sight, just blissful smiles across both of their faces. Downtown Boston could be seen in the distance so they used that as a source of guiding light.

“Are you cold?” Patrice asked compassionately when he notice Harley wrapping her thin arms around herself. She could see him motioning to take his jacket it off and she quickly stopped him, her hand brushing against his bicep.

“I’m fine, really.”

“Are you sure? I can never really tell with you.”

“Please,” She smiled brightly at him, “I grew up in Boston, I’m used to this weather.”

He pouted and she resisted the urge to just reach out and touch his stubbly cheek, “At least let me give you my scarf?”

She was about to protest, but before she could even open her mouth he had swiftly taken his scarf off and draped it around her slender neck. Harley blushed furiously as his fingers grazed against the delicate flesh and he quickly apologized when she flinched away from the unexpected contact. His touch was electric on her skin and everything about him overwhelmed her. Harley’s heart was pounding so hard she could hear it in her ears and she didn’t even hear his soft voice when he asked her a question.

“I-I’m sorry, what was that?” She stumbled over her own words like an idiot.

His lips curved into a small smile, “I asked if you would like to go see the Christmas tree in the plaza? They’re supposed to be lighting it soon.”

“That sounds great, I haven’t seen them light the tree in forever.” She mumbled, trying not to let the melancholy show in her voice. It was something her grandmother always took her to see when she was young, all the way up to her death when Harley had just been 11 years old. Her mother had never really been one to get into the Christmas spirit, everyone had always referred to her as the scrooge or Grinch.

Patrice noticed the slight change in her behavior and scratched the back of his neck; he always hated seeing people sad, especially women.

He squeezed her hand, “We don’t have to go if you don’t want to.”

“No,” She shook her head and her eyebrows furrowed, “I’m just being a downer aren’t I? I had a good childhood and a loving family, I don’t know why I’m getting sad over something so stupid.”

“It’s okay to be sad once in a while, shows that you actually have a heart and you’re not some ice queen or something.”

She merely smiled at Patrice’s kind words, it seemed like he was always saying something wise to cheer her up. Harley remained silent as they walked to the plaza, now they both knew exactly where they were going and exactly how to get there. Patrice continued to offer her his jacket, which she kindly declined every single time.

“Here it is.” Harley said softly when they reached their destination, staying behind the throngs of people and deciding it was best to watch from a distance. She glanced up at his face as he stared at the exceedingly tall Christmas tree in front of him with great interest; the innocence in his eyes fill Harley’s chest with warmth. She leaned against Patrice and rested her head on his comfortable shoulder, he responded by wrapping his powerful arms around her and pressing his itchy chin to the top of her head. He laughed when she tried to pull her head away from his, and Harley noticed the mischief that filled his eyes to the brim. Patrice pulled her close to his body and rubbed his cheek against hers, grinning as she broke out into a fit of giggles.

“Stop it you caveman.” She squealed as his fingertips glided against the material covering her ribs. Her face turned as red as a strawberry as Patrice continued to tickle her scrupulously, causing some people to look over their shoulders to see what all of the commotion was about. She tried to escape the warmth of his arms but as she stepped backwards her lack of coordination caused her feet to slip from underneath her on the icy cement of the sidewalk. She expected to feel the unyielding impact of the ground beneath her, but Patrice’s hands jolted out and pulled her securely against his body. There were tears streaming down her face from when he had previously been tickling her, and Patrice couldn’t stop himself from reaching out and brushing the back of his thumb against her wet cheek.

“You look beautiful tonight.” He whispered as he let his lips skim against the porcelain skin of her cheek; he couldn’t help himself. He wanted—needed her so badly that he just couldn’t stop himself. It wasn’t even a sexual thing for him, he just craved her presence and everything else about her. The fruity scent coming from her skin was overwhelming in the most pleasurable way possible; Patrice just couldn’t get enough of her.

“I can’t get you out of my head,” She murmured as she pressed her forehead against his, “It’s driving me crazy.”

Boisterous cheering and enthusiastic applauses met their ears as the stunning white lights lit up the dark night, but Patrice and Harley didn’t even notice. Both of their eyes closed as their lips met each other’s halfway, ignoring the stares and glances full of recognition when they saw Patrice.

She whimpered when he wrapped his arms around her torso; he was being so affectionate to her and she couldn’t get enough of it. His lips felt like fire against her and it seemed to set a fire somewhere deep within her; a fire that couldn’t be extinguished. She let her tongue glide against his lower lip and shuddered as he grunted roughly. They pulled away when they finally needed to breathe and she played with the short hair at the nape of his neck.

“You have no clue how long I’ve wanted to do that.” He whispered as she nestled her nose into his collarbone.

“I think I have an idea.” She responded breathlessly.

They both finally gazed at the beautiful Christmas tree, standing there in the snow until it was only them and a few other people left.

When Harley finally pulled away from him, she noticed the small grin on his face.

“I couldn’t get you out of my head either, and I don’t think I ever will.”
♠ ♠ ♠
This takes place before the lockout :]