Status: Coming Soon!

Everything Has Changed

Making Me Feel Like

“Are they here?” she asked, and I nodded, feeling embarrassed already.

“Yeah, uh, two of my sisters-in-law were in line for your autograph… they flipped on me for knowing a famous person and not telling them,” I answered, laughing when she blushed again. I’d missed that – she blushed so easily and it was adorable.

“Oh, wow… I don’ t know what to say,” she admitted, and I just shrugged, before realizing Liza and Brett were nowhere to be found.


“Knowing them? Off doing what we just were,” she laughed, the sound bright and carefree. Her smile went all the way to her eyes this time, and I kissed her forehead, relieved at how quickly we seemed to go back to the habits we’d gained in those few days we’d had together.

“They’re still attached wherever possible?”

“Oh God, they’ve got worse since we were in Charlotte. Ever since he came up from Viking to visit any time they have more than two seconds together they’re making out like a couple of horny teenagers,” she nodded, her brown eyes sparkling as she laughed at our friends’ expense.

“They seem happy though,” I concluded, and she nodded again.

“Liza’s never been so happy with a guy – Brett’s really good for her. He’s been up to Edmonton quite a bit, and he took her to his family’s big get together thing to meet everybody – she’s head over heels for him,” she sighed, and I merely tightened my grip on her, knowing that we could’ve had the same thing, if she’d let us try.

We stood there talking for a while longer, until my phone went crazy again. I was half-way through texting Jordan back when I felt Cheyenne tug on my shirt gently.

“I don’t think you have to text him back,” she whispered, and I turned to see Liza and Brett getting my family across the barriers. Lindsay and Tanya looked like they were trying really hard to keep calm, but everybody else looked relatively normal – as normal as we got, anyway.

“There you are Jared! We were wondering where you disappeared to,” Heather had a big smile as we walked toward them. Cheyenne was all but hiding behind me, feeling nervous at the prospect of meeting everyone.

“Just here,” I answered, and saw the smirk on Jordan’s face. Of course he’d take it the wrong way, he wouldn’t be Jordan otherwise.

“So, uh, this is Cheyenne. Cheyenne, this is Heather, Lindsay, Tanya and Marc – you met Jordan and Eric,” I introduced her, and Heather stepped forward and offered her hand for Cheyenne to shake. It made her relax a little, especially when Marc did the same thing. Tanya and Lindsay however, looked a little embarrassed or unsure of what to do, and I attributed that to the fact that they’d met her like a half-hour ago in an autograph line.

“Hi,” Lindsay finally managed to speak and wave, and Tanya nodded, giving her a reassuring smile, her cheeks still pink. Cheyenne returned the wave, before laughing at how awkward the three of them were being and relieving some of the tension.

“Sorry, it’s just…” Tanya started to explain, and Cheyenne nodded, understanding completely.

“I get it – it’s okay,” she assured her, and Tanya visibly relaxed as well. Brett introduced Liza to everybody. Soon it was starting to get dark out, and then my stomach was starting to growl.

“Anybody up for some food?” Liza suggested, and we all nodded, glad that somebody had brought it up. My brothers and sisters-in-law turned to Marc and I, because we’d both played hockey here, so they assumed we would know where to go. Marc looked to me, because I was the last one here, but I was struggling to think of anything.

“There’s a really cool pizza place I know of,” Cheyenne shyly offered, and Eric smiled.

“I think pizza sounds great,” he agreed, and soon everybody else did too. We started walking toward the parking lot, when I realized that Cheyenne probably wasn’t parked where we were, and that we wouldn’t all fit into Jordan’s Escalade.

“Um, how do we want to do this?” I asked, and Brett shrugged.

“D’you want to hop in with us? Then you guys can follow our car?” Brett suggested, and I shrugged, not wanting to be the one to decide. Cheyenne was still tucked into my side, and I really didn’t want to let her go, but I didn’t want to seem too clingy either.

“That would work – where are you guys parked?” Jordan asked, and Brett explained where they were to him and where we would meet him before heading into town to the restaurant. As soon as Jordan had it figured out where we would be we split up, Cheyenne and I following Brett and Liza.

“Hey, um, are you free tonight? Like after,” I asked quietly. She nodded, looking up at me.

“Yeah, why?”

“Just… can we talk? Hang out? Do nothing? Just… anything?” I asked, and she buried her face against my chest again, so I didn’t know whether to take it as a good sign or not. We walked a little further in silence, and I had a bad feeling in my stomach she would refuse.

“Sure,” she finally whispered, and I let out a sigh of relief, kissing the top of her head as we got to the car. I knew it would be hard, but there were a lot of things I needed to say to her.

Brett and Liza dominated the conversation in the car on the way there, Cheyenne and I were content to sit in the backseat and listen, her tiny fingers laced with mine. That was all I needed, and seeing as Brett and Liza were happily filling me in on their summers I didn’t need to do much else.

We pulled up outside of the restaurant, Jordan right behind us and then piled out to go inside. The waitress looked shocked to see all of us, and after exclaiming “It’s the Staal brothers!” with a gasp she ended up asking Cheyenne for an autograph, and she just beamed as the waitress gushed over her performance earlier, and how she’d asked one of the other employees to cover her shift for two hours just so she could go watch. As soon as she left to get our drinks Cheyenne began blushing again, making all of my brothers laugh at her shyness.

“I think you picked the wrong profession Cheyenne,” Jordan said, and the girls – minus Cheyenne – all gasped at him, our sisters-in-law swatting at him.

“I’m not saying she can’t sing! You can sing,” he assured her, before continuing. “What I mean is you’re pretty shy for a job like singing.”

“I’ve always been really shy – I had ridiculous stage fright when I was younger until I started playing some of the bigger stuff. I still freak out before I go onstage,” she replied, and Jordan’s eyes widened, as did Tanya and Lindsay’s.

“No way,” she nodded, laughing and fiddling with her hair nervously.

“It’s true – the first time she was supposed to sing in front of people she made herself so sick,” Liza piped up, and Cheyenne was doing anything in her power to keep her friend quiet, rather than embarrassing herself further.

“That’s crazy! And you’re still performing?” Marc asked.

“I love it. I love to sing, I love to play, and I love to write. There isn’t anything I’d rather do,” she shrugged, like it was simply that black and white.

“I get what you mean,” he nodded, and then our waitress returned, with a second waitress to help, with our drinks. We ordered a couple of pizza’s and settled in some more. Cheyenne was starting to relax a little, and I watched as my brothers teased her much as they had each other’s wives before they got married. And soon enough the teasing and goofing around had her feeling enough like part of the group to comeback at their teasing, getting some good laughs from everyone.

When our food arrived it was like sticking raw meat in front of a pack of wolves; all of my brothers and Brett were starving – so was I – and they all went for the pizza before the poor girl had hardly got it on the table. I had to give Brett credit though for snagging Liza a piece in the pandemonium. Cheyenne and I just waited patiently for them to start filling their faces before getting our pizza.

Things were quiet until everybody was at least on their second piece, then everyone’s eating slowed down enough to allow for some conversation. I didn’t miss the fact that Tanya and Lindsay were still a little awestruck of Cheyenne, and I wished they’d get over it. It wasn’t like she was Taylor Swift, and she definitely didn’t act any differently than the rest of us, so why they continued to act so strange around her I didn’t understand. Heather liked her music and managed to be normal with her.

“So… any plans for tonight?” Eric turned to Jordan and Marc, who both just shrugged, leaning back and making themselves comfortable. I’d quickly lost count of the amount of food they’d eaten, and then we’d all ordered dessert on top of that. Cheyenne looked surprised, until Heather had assured her this was the norm.

“Not really no,” they both answered, and he looked to the rest of us for an answer. Heather, Tanya and Lindsay all shrugged, and Cheyenne took my hand softly underneath the table, waiting for me to answer. I looked across the booth and saw Liza and Brett looking sheepish.

“We were gonna head out to a movie or something,” Liza answered, and Eric merely grinned.

“That’s awesome! We aren’t keeping you are we?” Eric asked, and Brett looked to Liza before shrugging.

“Nah, we’re good. The movie we want to see isn’t until quarter to eleven,”

“You know it’s like ten right now,” I pointed out, and Brett pulled out his phone to check. I don’t think he believed in wearing watches.

“Oh… maybe we will head out then…” he looked to Liza who obviously didn’t want to be making the decision before they scooted out of the booth.

“How much do I owe ya?” Brett asked, and Eric merely shook it off. Brett insisted however, and put a ten down on the table to cover his and Liza’s pizza, because they’d paid for their own desserts. We all said our goodbyes before they left the restaurant, and I realized then that it meant we’d be giving Cheyenne a ride to wherever she needed to go. Not that I minded, but I didn’t know if she’d want to spend that much time with my crazy family.

“You guys?” Eric asked, and Cheyenne immediately turned to me, wanting me to answer. I floundered for a minute, before sending a look to my brother that I hoped would explain the things my words couldn’t.

“Not sure yet?” Jordan offered, and I nodded; I was glad for any understanding, because I struggled to make any sense wherever Cheyenne was concerned.

“Yeah,” I mumbled, rubbing my thumb over the soft skin on the back of her hand, getting the satisfaction of her sighing slightly and leaning into me after. I pressed my face against her hair at her temple, deciding the quick gesture would suffice for now instead of a kiss in front of my family that would get them suspicious and on my case about getting something happening. But the look Eric sent me told me otherwise, so I silently willed him to keep his mouth shut.

Luck seemed to be on my side tonight, as after some debate and more chatter everybody figured out what they wanted to do. Heather, Jordan, Marc and Lindsay wanted to go out to a movie, while Eric and Tanya were more than happy to just go back to the hotel and call it a night – they didn’t usually get any time to themselves with the kids around – which was understandable. We paid for our food and headed to the vehicle, but I slowed up, keeping Cheyenne with me as everybody went ahead.

“What do you wanna do? Do you want to go to a movie or just hang out?” I asked, and she shrugged.

“What do you want to do?” she whispered in response, and I kissed her forehead quickly.

“Be with you,” was my response, making her blush and get flustered before she tugged on my hand and led me outside to where Jordan and Heather were waiting for us.

“So, you two have a plan yet?” Heather asked, and Cheyenne shrugged.

“We might just hang out and see if there’s anything good on TV,” she answered, and I smiled as we piled into the backseat. Jordan was driving, so Heather called shotgun, and Lindsay ended up squishing in the very back with us as Marc, Eric and Tanya got into the middle row of seats. We dropped the four of them off at the movie theatre, and then I realized I should maybe ask whose hotel we wanted to go to.

“Whatever’s fine Jared, honest,” she insisted, and I rolled my eyes at her. Her brow furrowed as we got nearer, and when we pulled into the parking lot she started to laugh.

“What?” Eric asked, and she just shook her head.

“This is my hotel too,” she finally responded, and then the rest of us joined in.

“What’re the odds?” I teased, and she just shrugged before pressing a quick kiss to my cheek before getting out of the car ahead of me. Before she got too far I took her hand, and she wiggled her fingers between mine, grinning up at me before the four of us went inside. I decided to say screw it and we’d go to my room, because I didn’t have to share with anyone, and was surprised when she walked right past it, pulling out a room key.

“Mine’s right here… which did you want to go to?” she asked, and I shrugged.

“Doesn’t matter – mine’s actually clean,” I admitted, making her laugh. She put her wallet in her room and brought out her wall charger for her phone before walking back over to me and curling into my side as I opened my door. Tanya and Eric had went into their room as soon as we got out of the elevator, and I was glad that they were a few rooms down, just in case. We walked in, taking off our shoes and light jackets before flopping down onto the huge bed that took up the majority of space in the room.

“You did pretty good on the bed situation,” she teasingly told me, making me think of the first night I’d met her.

“Yeah, I guess so,” I agreed, pulling the pillow underneath my head and holding out my arm.
Immediately Cheyenne cuddled up to me and rested her head on my chest as I flicked through the channels to find something to watch. I settled onto watching Arrow, having seen a few commercials for it before, and Cheyenne sighed.

“I like this,” she whispered about ten minutes in. I nodded, keeping my chin leaning against the top of her head, softly rubbing her back while she traced patterns onto my chest.

“Me too,” I agreed, and let my lips linger against her temple as I kissed her.
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