Status: Completed

Dead Man Walking



“Come on, Mel. Come to Thunder Bay with us for the summer. You don’t have to stay here alone all summer.” Lindsay touched her arm, always motherly.

“You know I can’t afford to take the trip. I wouldn’t have anywhere to stay.” She whined. Marc gave her evil eye from his place in the kitchen.

“If you think that we wouldn’t cover it, we haven’t been kind enough.” He murmured.

“There’s no doubt that you have been. I still have to work this summer so I can survive next semester.” Mel thought she had them there. She did need to work over the summer and attempt to start paying off some of her huge debt.

“Already taken care of, you can work on my dad’s sod farm.” Marc smiled at her when she made a horrified face. “Not actually on the farm, just some administrative work.”

“I can’t impose on your vacation time guys, you put up with me all through hockey season and you let me stay with you. You deserve that time alone.” They both laughed.

“None of that time is alone. There’s a clan of Staals up in T-Bay. We don’t really get alone time until about three weeks before the season and that’ll be around the time you need to be back in New York anyways.” Lindsay smirked at her.

“I really ca-“ Marc cut her off.

“We already have your ticket and arrangements set up. You can’t say no. Plus, you’ve been our little bird for about two years now, might as well meet the parents.” She swallowed loudly as Marc explained. “They already love you.” He continued when he saw her panic. “Plus, we love you Mel.”
She nodded and smiled at them. If this is what they wanted, she’d do that for them.



Jordan smiled as the Canadian sun hit him. The pain of not making playoffs was finally wearing off. He spotted his dad’s truck waiting for him on the curb. He couldn’t help but smile as he threw his bags in the back and gave his Pops a hug.

“Jordan.” He murmured. “Great season kid.”

“Yeah, yeah. I talked to Eric and Tanya before I left. They assure you they’ll be headed this way once the kids finish their school year.”

His father nodded, glancing at him sideways. Jordan had been getting this look from everyone in his family since he announced he divorced Heather six months before. It was like they all expected for him to be unhappy, that wasn’t the case. Splitting up had been what was right for them, they were happier apart.

“Dad, stop looking at me like that. I’m fine. Nothing is wrong with me.”

“Are you sure you don’t want to stay with us. You know Marc and Lindsay are brought their little bird with them back?”

“Yes. Marc told me all about her. If they like her, I’m sure I will too.”

The topic of the young girl seemed to distract Henry. “She’s a funny little girl, that Mel is. You’ll like her.”

“I never got the full story on why she’s staying with them.”Jordan prodded.

“Well, when she was interning with the Rangers two years ago, it was obviously the poor thing was struggling. Marc would see her taking orders and looking like a twig, tired. She was just in over her head with bills and school.”

“What about her parents?”

“They’ve disassociated themselves with her, Jordy. Some are not as lucky to having a loving family. Anyways, Marc wasn’t the only one who noticed. Eventually, Lindsay got her to open up and before you know it, they ‘staaled’ her into moving in with them. Put up a battle she did, they told me, doesn’t let them cook or clean. The girl is an angel.”

Jordan smiled, this little girl probably made Marc and Lindsay so happy, he couldn’t wait to meet her. The rest of the ride, Jordan and his father talked about the season, the weather, and their sod company. It wasn’t long before they rode up to Marc’s place.

“There not in right now. Went out for some groceries but you know where the key is. Come by soon, Jordan. Your mother wants to see you.” He got a clap on the back from his father before having to get up and retrieve his bag.

Jordan smiled as he took in the brick front house that was not four houses away from his parents and Eric’s. He listened to the sounds of the lake in back as he went to grab the key from behind a brick and unlocked the door.

Sounds of soft singing came to him. It wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t amazing. It soothed him in way he couldn’t explain. Leaving his bags at the door, he followed the sound. It wasn’t long before he glimpsed inside the open door of a room.

It was the first guest room the house, on the bed was a bright pink suitcase. The bed was strewn with bottles of lotion and shampoo and other things he had no clue about. The singing came from the closet at the far end of the room. He stood there for a moment.

Suddenly, a tiny brunette with long wavy hair walked out of the closet, singing and humming to her heart’s content. She didn’t notice him so he leaned against the door frame. She was pale; he had to remind himself that he lived in the south, where the sun was around year round. Her hair was long, it reached the curve in her back and fell in waves way too messy to be artificial. Her legs showed under her light blue dress. They looked tone and smooth. His eyes were drawn to her bare shoulders, from where he stood, Jordan saw dark freckles kiss her skin everywhere, even leading to an ample chest.

She stopped for a minute, eyeing a shirt. His heart skipped a beat as she reached for the hem of her dress. “I don’t think you want to do that.” He said. She jumped so high he worried that she might hit her head. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to sneak up on you.”

Her eye were large and golden, at the moment, they were staring at him in confusion. Not an ounce of fear passed through them, which relieved him. “Hi, I’m Jordan.”

“Marc’s brother. I know. I see your pictures around the house all the time.” She stuck her hand out and smiled. It nearly took his breath away, she was gorgeous. “I’m Melanie. Mel for short.”

“Mel.” He tested the name on his tongue and liked the way it sounded.

“Thank you for stopping me before I became indecent.” She blushed dark enough to match the Canadian flag.

“Trust me, nothing about you getting undressed is indecent,” he winked as she blushed even deeper.

“Marc and Lindsay will be back soon. We should go to the kitchen.” Mel murmured. He agreed with her and followed. Jordan watched her body, at that point he knew, he was a dead man walking.


The six foot four man in front of her, on paper, was no different than any of the other Staals, but in person, he was nothing like any of them. She’d met Eric and Jared before. Jared came to visit and he was as charming as Lindsay warned her he would be. Eric visited when the Hurricanes played the Rangers. Jordan had been sick that week.

Now with him in front of her, she wondered if he’d have the same affect had she met him with his brother’s around. He stood there, grinning at her with his crooked teeth and chin dimple. Blue eyes shone unlike anything she’d ever seen. He was the most gorgeous man she’d ever seen.

“How old are you, sweetie? Senior right?” His pet name for her made her blush and think about when he made the comment about her being undressed. She could feel herself flush again.

“Twenty. I’m twenty. Next year will be the last year before my graduation and then I stop being such a burden to Marc and Lindsay,” she joked. On the inside, she felt terrible for imposing on their lives and only stayed out of necessity and love for them.

“Don’t say that. You make them so happy. You don’t hear them talk about you but we do and they love you to death, Mel. You’re a part of their family now. You’re an honorary Staal.” He paused. “You don’t have a boyfriend do you? Because if you’re an honorary Staal, I’m obligated to kick his ass.”

She laughed. “No, not really interested in the guys who I go to school with.”

“New York is a really big city, Mel. It’s not limited to that college you go to.”

“But it really is, all I do is go to school… and hang out with Staals.” He smirked at her again, she wondered what she’d said.

“Yeah, well, lord knows you can’t have any fun with a Staal.”

“Jared has a girlfriend.” She quipped back.

“That he does, Mel. That he does. And well, I wouldn’t want to be a dead man walking, now, do I?” he murmured, eyes grinning at her.

“No, you wouldn’t. Plus, you’re pretty old.”

“Twenty-eight isn’t old.”

“It is when you’re twenty.”

“Okay, you got me. I am old. But with age comes wisdom,” he paused “and experience.” The tension between them built. She could feel them getting closer and closer.

A loud crash came from the door. “Dammit, Jordan! Why didn’t you put your bags away?” Marc’s voice rang loud and clear, not ten feet away from them. The moment was gone. Mel flushed and tried to calm herself to face Marc.

“Hey,” the ginger Staal smiled at her before going to hug his brother. “I see you met, Mel.”

Jordan turned to wink at her and gave Marc and Lindsay a huge smile. “Great kid, she really is.”

“Whatever, old man.” She retored. Everyone laughed.

“I knew you two would get along. Now, Jordan get your bags out of the door way and Mel, you’ve got dessert duty tonight.”

“Got it, boss.” Jordan and Mel happened to say at the same time, which ensued another round of laughing.