Sequel: Work in Progress
Status: Short Story for contest



I hated Christmas shopping. It was always me rushing around, trying to get everything that I needed without fans noticing me, and usually resulted in me having to take stuff back before the holiday even rolled around because I just grabbed stupid things without thinking. This was not my time of year.

Despite hating the shopping portion of Christmas, I did actually like the holiday itself. I loved having my family in one place, waking up to open gifts with all of them, smelling my mom’s homemade cooking, and just having a couple days off to be with them. The only part I didn’t like was that I usually spent it in Chicago. While I loved this city, the fans, my teammates, and just about everything else, I missed Winnipeg around this time of year. I missed the guaranteed snow, the cold, and the extended family I hardly ever got to see anymore. In Chicago there wasn’t always snow, sometimes it was fifty degrees in the middle of January, and my extended family and friends weren’t around.

I was at the perfume counter at Macy’s inside Water Tower Place, the bane of my existence. I had been seen a couple times, but thankfully the fans had just stopped to talk and kept my presence to themselves. I started for the purses; my mom had shown me a one she wanted a while back so I figured I would try to find it. As I rounded a corner to go up an escalator I bumped into something
small and lost all my merchandise on the floor.

I bent down to gather my things and then I noticed what I had hit, “I’m so sorry,” an annoyed feminine voice said to me.

I looked up quickly and saw her bending down to gather the things that had dropped from her arms. Her face was down and all I saw was a messy bun on the top of her head, “It’s okay,” I mumbled.

I noticed a smell and heard her cough, “Shit,” we both cursed.

One of the perfume bottles had broken inside its box and was no longer purchasable. I groaned, knowing already that it was mine. “I think that was the last one,” the girl sighed as she reached for it.

I looked at the box and saw we had the same one in our pile of stuff, “Here,” I nudged the intact one toward her, “Take it,” I was too damn nice.

She finally looked up at me with a cute smile and big hazel eyes, “No, there’s a Perfume Hut or something upstairs.”

I stopped picking up my things to stare at her; she had hazel eyes that were huge, very expressive and beautiful, rosy cheeks, and a beautiful smile. She was stunning in such an understated way that it threw me off. I had seen girls look beautiful in a lot of makeup, looked cute as hell in the morning with little to no makeup on, but I hadn’t seen a girl look this beautiful without any makeup at all. I knew she wasn’t wearing any because I could see a pimple that was healing and a couple dark, patchy spots on her face, but none of that took away from the natural beauty.

I hadn’t even notice that she had all her things back in her arms, “Well,” she sighed, “Sorry again.”

I stood up without picking up the rest of my stuff, “I’m Jonathan Toews,” I held out my hand.

She giggled, “I know Captain. I’m Brooke Caldwell.”

I stepped forward and onto the box with the perfume in it, then listened to it shatter, “Son of a bitch,” I chuckled.

“Nothing like waiting til the last minute,” she giggled.

“How about we buy these things then go up to that Perfume Hut place?” I suggested with her hand still in mine.

“Sure,” she blushed.

I picked up the rest of my things and we both made our way to a checkout counter. The girl behind it recognized me immediately and gave Brooke a dirty look. I had to hold back a laugh because if half these women who thought I was some kind of God knew me well enough, they would realize I was nowhere near that point.

“Okay,” I looked at Brooke, “Where is this place?”

She walked over to the mall map and pointed, “Sixth floor.”

I looked at the line for the elevator before directing her to the escalator, “I don’t want to deal with all those people.”

“Understandable,” she nodded.

“So, it’s four days before Christmas, what is Captain Serious doing at this hell hole?” she asked after a minute.

I chuckled with a groan, I still hated that nickname, “Road trips, practices, games; time slips away.”

“Makes sense,” she smiled at me.


“Lazy,” she nodded with a laugh, “Work kind of takes up a lot of time and I don’t have much to get anyway.”

“What do you do?” I asked her.

“I’m a history teacher.”

I turned my face to her, “Seriously?”

“Yes, why?” she stopped smiling.

I shook my head, “I would have paid so much more attention if I had a history teacher like you.”

Brooke blushed so hard at that and it was so fucking adorable. I knew, right then and there, that she would be dominating my thoughts for quite some time.

We made it up to the perfume store and were lucky enough to get what we needed. “Well, I’m done,” she took her bag from the sales girl.

We walked back out into the crowded mall, I swear this place had to be violating some kind of fire code, that’s how packed it was. I let out a sigh, “What are you doing the rest of the day?”

She shook her head, “Nothing.”

I took a step into her and reached for her bags. I took them and started walking away, “Hey, I don’t think you want me yelling that a certain someone stole my stuff, do you?”

I turned my head and laughed, “You’re stu…” I wasn’t looking where I was going and hit the back of a bench, falling over the back of it a little.

Brooke laughed, “Not so swift,” she walked up to me, “Are we Captain?”

I shook my head and chuckled, “Guess not.”

“Don’t worry,” she took her bags from me and touched my bicep softly, “you’re secret’s safe with me.”

“I have a couple more stores to go to,” I told her, “Come with me?”

“Ahh, so you weren’t stealing my bags?” she looked at me.

“No,” I shook my head, still blushing from how stupid I was.

We walked to a few more stores and talked for about another hour. I told her how excited I was that my family would be arriving in a couple days, about our traditions, and about the things I was getting them for Christmas. In turn, Brooke told me about her families’ traditions and that she would be going home to LaSalle, Illinois early Christmas Eve. She would spend the holiday with her mother, grandmother, aunt, and uncle because she didn’t have a big family. She didn’t seem too excited about her plans until she mentioned that she would be going out the day after Christmas with some of her friends from back home, which was when her eyes lit up.

“You’re not close with your family?” I asked.

“Not my Aunt and Uncle,” she shook her head, “They always harass me about everything.”

“Like what?”

She looked at me with a small smile, “I don’t want to get into that, you’ve got better things to worry about, like your game against the Blues tomorrow night.”

She changed the topic so quickly that I didn’t even notice, “Do you like hockey?”

Brooke nodded, “I hate to admit it, but I didn’t even watch it until the Winter Olympics in 2010, then I forgot about it until you guys were in the Finals that year…I feel like a terrible fan,” she laughed, “But ever since then, I’ve been hooked.”

“You go to a lot of games?”

“No,” she shook her head, “I live on a teacher’s salary.”

“I know a guy who might be able to get you a couple seats to tomorrow’s game,” I smiled.

“Really? I never would have guessed,” she joked.

“Yeah. He would probably be willing to keep a couple at will call, but only if you promised to go,” I smiled.

She looked at me out of the corner of her eye, “Good seats?”

Ouch, that was a kick in the balls.


She shook her head, “You should save those for your family or something.”

“I get seats for every game, it’s a perk. If you want them, they’re all yours.”

“I don’t know, I feel awkward about taking them from you. I mean, I’d have to pay you back or something.”

“Consider it a Christmas gift for tagging along with me all day,” I said as we walked outside into the chilly Chicago air.

Brooke bit her bottom lip, “Fine, but you have to win.”

I smiled, “I’ll talk to the guys, let them know I made a Christmas promise and we have to win.”


“So, I’ll leave two tickets at will call. You can bring a friend, a boyfriend, whatever,” I told her, realizing we hadn’t discussed our relationship statuses and she probably had a boyfriend.

She nodded, “Thanks Jonny,” she squeezed my arm, “And shopping with you wasn’t so bad,” she said as she walked away.

I started to walk toward my car when I realized I didn’t get her number. I cursed myself over and over again for the rests of the day.
♠ ♠ ♠
So, chapter one...ya like???

It's for this contest:
and can only be 10 chapters MAX...soooo if I get a good feedback then I have an idea for something else with the story...I like it, so i HOpe you guys do too :)