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Luck of the Irish


I crack my neck to the left and right, yawning. It had been a long morning skate and now I’m left with the lingering exhaustion from my late night jaunt about the city. But it had been worth it, if only to spend a little time with Jane.

I’m not sure what it is about her, but she makes me curious. Maybe it’s the way that she called me out on my shit or the fact that she didn’t seem to care about who any of us were, but I liked it. Jane is probably one of the most normal women that I’ve met since being drafted.

“You hear me, dude?” Shaw’s voice interrupts my thoughts and I turn to him.


He rolls his eyes. “I was talking about the girl last night…Joan.” He throws her name in at the last minute.

“I don’t need to hear about your sexcapades,” I shake my head, shocking myself with how much I sound like Tazer.

“Not that,” he says.

“Then what?” I press him. Sometimes, getting him to share information is like pulling teeth.

“Well,” he straightens up. “This morning, we got to talking. And-,”

“Andrew Shaw? Sticking around after the first round?” I chirp him.

“Do you want to hear about your girlfriend or not?” Shaw’s voice rises a bit and I quickly quiet him. “And you taught me everything I know.”

I groan inwardly, but remind myself about what Jane had said the night before. The good and the bad.

“Anyway,” he continues. “We exchanged numbers and she told me where she works.”

“What’s this got to do with Jane?” I ask, not sure where he plans on taking this conversation.

“I figured you probably didn’t get any last night and if Jane’s anything like her sister said, then she probably didn’t give you her number.”

No, not her number.

“So I thought, ‘I’m going to be a pretty awesome teammate and take my buddy, Peekaboo, to go see Joan and get in touch with the twin.’” He does the fly on his pants. “You in? I was headed over now before I napped.”

Before my shirt is over my head, I’m practically out the door.


“Stay on your toes,” Mike chastises me.

It’s a silly mistake to make, especially in the boxing ring, but I’m so tired I just can’t help it.

I give a few more jabs, ducking his return punches, and wait for him to call a break. It’s relatively late for me to be at the gym-it’s just after 10 in the morning-but I got a late start today thanks to a lack of sleep, an empty coffee pot, and a long line at Starbucks.

Eventually, he lets me out of the ring and my trainer, Carla, holds the ropes open for me to climb out. She hands me my water bottle, sadly no coffee, and I plop down on the bench next to my duffle. Carla pulls my gloves off to examine my fingers.

“Gotta be watchin’ your pinkies, bambino,” she instructs in her Italian accent. “Can’t take a beating like they used to.”

“You make me sound like I’m 80 and not 24,” I smile. “I’m fine, Car, really.”

She gives me a look. “Just be careful, yes? Don’t need our star boxer gettin’ hurt before Boston.”

“Or Golden Gloves,” I remind her.

“Boston first,” she says, patting my knee as she stands upright. “Then we think about that.”

She walks off to find Mike and I see my sister coming towards me. I’d left before she and her bed buddy could awaken that morning and no doubt she wanted to fill me in on how good Andrew Shaw was in bed.

“Hey, slut,” I say, sipping my water.

“Hi, prude,” Joan sits down next to me. “You’re looking good up there.”

I grunt in response, relacing my shoes.

“Guess what?” she pokes my firm, nearly six pack, stomach.

“He wasn’t any good?”

Joan rolls her eyes. “How about the opposite of that? But that’s not what I’m here for.”

“Okay?” I’m busy on Twitter now.

“I think he’s stopping by today,” Joan’s grin says it all. She actually really likes him.

“The apartment?” I groan. “Jesus. Hey, Carla! Looks like I’m staying with yo-,” Joan clamps a hand over my mouth.

“No! I meant here! To the gym,” she explains.

“Well that’s professional,” I almost laugh. “Although the showers are bigger here.”

“And you say I’m the slut,” Joan shakes her head.

“I’m just joking,” I assure her. “You like him, then?” She blushes. “Good. I’m happy for you.”

“Holy shit,” she looks towards the door.

“What?” I start to turn around, but Joan grabs my shoulder.

“Don’t do that!” she scolds. “Do you want to make it obvious?” Joan looks again. “Looks like he brought your boyfriend too. By the way, how was that?”

“How was-,” but I don’t get a chance to finish. A deep voice is behind me, greeting my sister.

“Hey, Joan,” it’s Andrew Shaw. My sister rises and hugs him briefly and I see Patrick standing beside him, looking at me.

Suddenly, I’m very self-conscious of the fact that I have no shirt on, just a sports bra, and that my face is probably as red as my hair. I snatch up a loose Nike shirt and toss it on.

But his smile is a little encouraging and I find myself standing up too to greet them.

“You work here too?” Andrew asks.

“Work out would be a better term,” I shrug. “But yeah, I’m here pretty often.”

“You’re a boxer?” Patrick asks. “You didn’t mention it.”

“It didn’t come up,” I say. “And guys are usually kind of intimidated.”

“Jane!” Mike’s voice bellows from the ring. “Enough flirting. Let’s go!”

I grimace, both at his comment and the fact that it’s time to get back to training. I love what I do and boxing has been a part of my life since I was little, but my body was aching everywhere and all I wanted was a big pot of black coffee and an Ibuprofen. But I know that the moment I step up across from Mike, a smile will break across my face and I’ll love every second of it.

Stuffing my hands into my gloves, I let Joan lace them up instead of Carla, nod to the two surprise guests-avoiding Pat’s gaze-and step back into the ring.


Joan and Shaw talk to my left and I watch Jane go to work. She’s really good from what I can tell and it looks almost effortless. Jane has a bounce in her step and even as she protects her face with one purple glove, I can see a faint grin.

Her trainer stops her and gives a few instructions, demonstrates something, and then they are back to work, sparring.

“She’s got a big match coming up,” her sister says, addressing me. “In Boston.”

“What is it?” I ask, assuming it has a title involved.

“Nationals,” she explains. “Jane won’t admit it, but she’ll take it for sure. Especially after London.”

“London?” I ask.

Joan gives me a look. “You didn’t know? Jane was on the Olympic team. Took gold.”

That leaves my teammate and I silent with our mouths agape a bit. I wonder what else I didn’t ask Jane about last night.


“Stop talking about me,” I groan as I climb out of the ring. My sister acted like my second mother when it came to my accomplishments.

“It’s all good stuff,” she counters and hands me a towel that I use to wipe my face and now tapeless hands.

Once it’s around my neck, I look to the two hockey players. Shaw’s watching my sister and I see a lot more than a one night stand or a bed buddy in his eyes. It scares me a little.

“So gold, huh?” Patrick asks, hands in his pockets. “That’s really impressive.”

“Better than a silver,” I tease with a smile. I motion for them to wait and I walk to the back wall where many an accolade for trainees here hang. In the center are mine with my Olympic medal hanging in its frame. I remove the glass box from the wall and lift the back off to take the award out.

I bring it back to the group and I see Andrew’s eyes widen a little bit. I forget how young he is.

“So you stood at the top of the podium,” Pat shrugs, winking. “Big whoop.”

“Better than first loser,” I smile and I’m surprised that he seems so confident. Maybe he’s comfortable with his teammate by his side or being surrounded by other athletes makes the environment more familiar.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah.”

My sister clears her throat and I want to wipe my sweaty towel across her face to get rid of the shit eating grin that’s plastered on it.

“So as I was saying,” Shaw says as he smirks at his teammate. “You’ll have tickets at will call. I assume you’ve got some Hawks stuff?”

Joan turns and nods happily. “Between the two of us, it’s too much. We’ll see you at the game.”

It’s an awkward goodbye, to say the least. Mostly because I’m too shocked to say much of anything, Patrick’s suddenly in his shell again, and Shaw can’t stop yawning.

Once they’re gone, I turn to my sister.

“What the fuck?”
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Sorry it's been so long! Life's been crazy. Accept this extra long chapter as my apology. In other news, I have a BizNasty contest entry in the works, so I'll leave a link for that. Check it out! I'm about to start drafting it. Let me know what's on your minds, lovelies!

Workout Clothes

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