Status: You've all requested that it continue, so lookout for the next chapter in the coming days!

Luck of the Irish

An dea-agus an droch.

Jane leads me to a small, hole-in-the-wall diner a few blocks away from the bar. It’s nearly empty and I don’t have to duck my head to avoid being seen. She waves to a waitress behind the counter and settles herself into a small booth by the window.

I take the seat across from her and look around. It’s your typical, nondescript American diner- the type of place I haven’t been to since I left Buffalo. Oddly enough, I like it. Or maybe it’s just the redhead sitting across from me.

“The usual, Jane?” the waitress asks, not leaving the diner’s counter.

“Make it two,” she says, not looking away from the window. “Thanks, Mel.”

“You’re here a lot?” I ask, hoping that a real conversation will start.

“Too often,” Jane smiles tiredly and I feel a little bad, keeping her from sleep. “It’s my safe haven on nights like tonight.”

I furrow my eyebrows and Jane leans forwards, adjusting her jacket to suit the warm air around us.

“My sister,” she smiles, shaking her head. “Cannot keep her panties on when it comes to guys like Andrew Shaw.” She sits back. “It’s as simple as that. I love her to death, but it’s the truth.”

I half expect her to say something about how it’s usually me with girls like that, but either she’s too tired to make a quip or she’s being polite.

Jane’s ‘usual’ is made up of coffee and apple pie, I find out, as it comes to the table still warm.

“Thanks, Mel,” Jane smiles to the older woman who is looking at me curiously. “How’s Dean?”

“Still asks about you,” the lady says. “I’ll tell him you said hi?”

“You do that,” she sighs. Once Mel is gone, Jane lowers her voice again. “Don’t ever agree to go on a date with a sweet old lady’s son. Ever. It won’t end well.”

“Well I’d hope I’m not going on a date with a lady’s son,” I tease as she pours herself a cup of coffee- black.

“You know what I mean,” she rolls her eyes. “Smart ass.”

We lapse into silence for a minute before I see Jane watching me intently from the corner of my eye.

“Take a picture,” I grin.

She shakes her head, smiling. “Just trying to figure you out, is all.”


He catches me staring. It doesn’t surprise me, as I was just looking at him- not blinking. The definition of staring, I suppose.

“There’s not much to figure out,” he shrugs. “I’m just a hockey player.”

“But you’re human too, right?” I say, sipping my coffee. “A human with flaws, interests, vices. The good and the bad.”

He considers my words and I can’t help but be a little proud. My inner English major loves to spout little tidbits and it often gets the best of me.

“Yeah, I guess,” Patrick nods, turning his head to look out the window again.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see Mel watching us and I realize what this looks like. I’d revealed a lot to Mel over the years and never has she uttered another word about any of it unless I brought it up. But I worry that this might prove too good not to share. Patrick probably doesn’t need-nor want-any more media coverage on his personal life.

With both our pie plates nearly empty and coffee cups getting to the dregs, I stand up surprising him.

“Come on,” I nod to the door. “Let’s get out of here.”

He looks up at me and begins reaching for his wallet. I reach out a hand and stop him.

“My treat.”

Patrick rolls his eyes. “Yeah, the day my mother dies.”

I sigh and let him leave a few bills on the table and with a wave to Mel; I lead him out and into the too-brisk Chicago night.

“Where to now, exactly?” he asks, keeping pace with my quick steps.

I turn to him. “I don’t know about you, but I’m heading home. Hopefully, I don’t walk in on anything.” I look around at the empty, cab-free street. “Is your car back at the bar?” I don’t want him to have to trek back there.

He shuffles his feet, turning back into the unsure Patrick. “No. I, uh, took a taxi. Didn’t want any…chances.”

“Ah.” It’s logical and conscientious of him. Or maybe it’s just a good publicist and agent.

“You want to find one?” Patrick suggests as we slowly near the waterfront.

“The slower I get back there, the less likely it is that I will have to see unwanted sights,” I sigh, even though I actually want to get into the back of a cab with him.

“Then I’ll walk you to your apartment,” he says. It’s not a question.

“Please,” I roll my eyes. “You live where? Trump Towers? That’s practically on the other side of town.”

“I’ll get a taxi from your place,” Patrick shrugs. “Come on, I should make sure you get home safe. I am the reason you’re out.”

That’s certainly true. Had it not been for him and my horny sister, I could be at home in bed by now.

“Only if you promise me that I won’t have an angry mustache coming after me because you’re tired at practice tomorrow,” I say.

“Scout’s honor,” Patrick raises a hand, smiling.

I roll my eyes and snort a little. Scout’s honor my ass.

“So you’ve been here all your life?” he starts asking questions again.

I nod. “Since birth and all through college.” I blush a little at his surprised expression. “I just couldn’t leave. This place is my home more than anything else.” I shrug. “And my parents have been here for a while too. My mom is from Boston and she met my dad while he was visiting his uncle there. In a bar, actually.”

“And people say real relationships don’t start there,” Patrick prods my side.

“Hey now,” I eye him suspiciously. “Who said anything about a real relationship?”


I was hoping you would.’

I’d been prepared to tread on thin ice with my comment on real relationships, but the one thing I didn’t expect was to fall right through.

I try to hide my disappointed expression and Jane looks away, afraid to add salt to the wound she’s just inflicted.

“I, uh,” I clear my throat, trying to stay cool. “I was hoping we could do… this again.” Whatever this was.

Jane slowly stops walking, pausing outside a small, brick building. “I don’t know about that, Patrick.”

I like the way she says my name, even if it is hesitant. It sounds right, good even. Better than it’s sounded coming out of any other girl’s mouth before.

“You’ve already taken a chance tonight,” I remind her. “And if it’s about my…past, I’ll tell you right now that it’s all behind me. And-,”

“It’s not that,” she puts a hand up, stopping me. “I just… now’s not a good time for me.”

“Oh,” I fall back onto my heels. “Sorry I didn’t mean to-,” She interrupts me again, this time a hand on my arm squeezes lightly.

“Listen, I have to be up bright and early tomorrow,” Jane says. “Luck has a way of working things out. Maybe I’ll see you again.”

This time, I can’t keep the disappointment off my face and the deflation out of my voice. “Yeah, maybe.”

Jane looks me in the eye and smiles just a little. “You’re a good guy with a couple of bad scratches on his record. It’s what you learn from them that matters.” She squeezes my arm again and turns to leave. I watch her go.

But at the door, she stops and turns back around. There’s a look of hesitation on her features again and I hope that she’s about to change her mind.

Quickly, as though she’s afraid someone will see, Jane bounds back down the steps, extends her hand, and wiggles her fingers.

“Phone,” she says as I stare at the extended body part.

All too fast, I drop the device-unlocked-into her waiting palm and she taps quickly on it. She nearly throws it into my hand before she’s saying goodnight. But this time, it’s a lingering hand on mine.

Once she’s inside and I busy myself with finding a cab, I can’t help but wonder what that night is considered. Was it the ‘good’? Or was it the ‘bad’?

What she left on my phone wasn’t any help in deciphering it either. Instead of a phone number under her name, there’s an address.
♠ ♠ ♠
Lots of Patrick!

I just got back from Chicago for the first time on Monday. It was spectacular and I have all sorts of new things to incorporate into the story. But for now, I'm ready for Penguins playoffs!!

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