‹ Prequel: Madness

Just Bent

You're Pouring a Drink

Camille waited out front of of the Nationwide Arena for Amanda and waved when she spotted her, walking to meet her halfway. She hugged her and smiled widely.

“I am so glad you decided to come tonight. I need a girl friend in the worst way. Surrounded by all those boys, oh my god. I love them but I don’t think I ever realized how how much ego stroking was involved with keeping that many boys happy.”

“You know a lot of them?” Amanda asked.

Camille nodded. “I grew up with a guy that plays for the Rangers so I’ve known a lot of the guys that play there for years. When I met Tara and Duncan and that lot, I became friends with a lot of the Blackhawks. Between just those two teams, there are seven guys I consider very good friends. Then with my team, the Predators, of course I have Shea, plus two of his teammates so there’s ten. They all need attention and coddling and, ugh!” Camille shook her head. “I need a girl to talk to, you know? This weekend is like testosterone overload.”

“It doesn’t sound that bad. The guys I saw last night were all very cute.”

“That is exactly why it’s so annoying. They all know they’re good looking,” Camille giggled. “Anyways, Duncan is really looking forward to seeing you after.” Amanda blushed.

“You two are friends?”

“Yep. Ever since we met. He’s a good guy, always has my back.”

“You dated?”

“No,” Camille said with a sharp shake of her head. “Not me and Duncan.” Amanda knew there was a story but didn't push it.

“So should we go in?” Amanda asked. “I don’t know anything about hockey; you’ll have to teach me.”

“I won’t be able to teach you much tonight. Tonight is the skills competition but Saturday I’ll do my best to explain everything.”

Amanda nodded and followed Camille inside and to their seats, which were located in the end behind one of the goals. Camille grinned and waved when she saw Pekka and he waved back.

“That’s Pekka Rinne; he’s the goalie in Nashville and one of my really good friends. He’s also my favorite Predator,” Camille explained as Pekka slipped his helmet into place.

“He’s cute,” Amanda whispered.

“Super cute,” Camille replied. “The Finns and the Swedes are far and away the best looking men in this league.” Camille’s eyes scanned the players and she pointed. “That is Henrik Lundqvist, aka King Hank. He’s the goalie for the Rangers and more or less always looks like he walked off the runway.”

“Wow,” Amanda breathed as Hank looked their way and smiled and waved. Camille waved back.

“He’s married but there’s no harm in looking. His wife is a total sweetheart.” She pointed again at a man in red coming towards them. “That’s Henrik Zetterberg; he’s the captain of the Red Wings and I will deny this to my dying day if you repeat it but I have a huge crush on him. Huge. I even like his beard better than Shea’s.” Amanda giggled and Camille continued on pointing out players and telling Amanda who they all were. Shea came to a stop near them and Camille smiled.

“My gorgeous husband,” she commented. He turned and winked at Camille with a knowing smile. She blushed and ducked her head. Amanda could see him laugh as he skated away. "I’m sort of in love with Web’s dimple,” Camille said when she looked up again.

“I can see why,” Amanda laughed.

“There’s Duncan!” Camille called out, standing to pound on the glass. Duncan looked over and grinned.

“Nice jersey!” he shouted at her.

“I know, right?” Camille yelled back. Duncan laughed and he looked over at Amanda and smiled at her. She smiled back and waved and he waved back before skating over to Patrick Kane.

“Do you wear Duncan’s jersey often?” Amanda asked.

“Used to, whenever I went to Chicago or went somewhere to see the Blackhawks play. Mostly I wear Shea’s now. I’m wearing his Saturday so I thought I’d wear this one tonight.”

“Shea doesn’t mind? That you wear another player's jersey I mean. I would think these guys would be jealous if their girlfriend or wife wore someone else’s jersey.”

“Some of them probably would be but not Shea. He knew before we started seeing each other I was friends with Duncan and had seen me wearing it before. Since Shea and I started dating though, I only wear Shea’s jersey when the Preds play the Blackhawks so he knows he’s number one in my heart. And I married him so he’s pretty secure in what we have.”

“How long have you been married?”

“Four months.”

“Still newlyweds then. How long have you been seeing each other?”

“We met a year ago in March.” Amanda’s eyes grew wide. “Yeah, it was kind of fast but we had some ups and downs and when we got through them, we just wanted to be together.”

“How did he propose?”

“The first time wasn't particularly romantic; he didn’t even have a ring,” Camille laughed. “I lived in New York City, he was in Nashville, and we had a fight. I went to game seven in Chicago to make up with him and I told him I was thinking about taking a job in Nashville but the guy I was seeing hadn’t asked me to move in with him yet and he told me he sounded like a moron but would I marry him.” She smiled at the memory. “Anyway, I told him to ask me again when he had a ring but my answer would be yes. We spent the summer together at his home in Canada and it never came up again. Then we went to New York to pack my apartment about three weeks before we had to get back to Nashville. On our last night in the city, we went to dinner and then Central Park. We found a spot near the lake to watch the sunset. We were sitting under a tree and I was leaned back against his chest and he had his arms around me when he pulled a ring out of his pocket and asked me to marry him. Luckily he got me home before we could get arrested for public indecency.”

“That sounds very romantic.”

“It was. Shea is surprisingly sappy for such a mean looking dude.”

“Did he pick the ring himself?”

“He did actually.”

“It’s beautiful.”

“Thank you. I love it,” Camille said, holding her hand out in front of her. The ring was platinum with a vintage feel, a round diamond set in a hexagon halo. It was simple and not too showy, the center diamond barely even a carat and the forty small pave set diamonds not even totaling a carat.

“It’s not what I would have expected.”

“Ostentatious?” Amanda nodded. “I’m not that girl and Shea knows it. I knew Shea would have no problem finding the right ring for me even though we never talked jewelry. He gets me and when you find that, you want to lock it up. We pulled our wedding together in less than two weeks."

"Two weeks? That is insane!"

"Shea already had all the paperwork done; he just needed my signature. His family preacher married us and and he had already told our closest friends to come for a barbeque before the season got started and flew in my family. I got lucky and found a white tea length dress while we were still in the city. Hang on, I have a picture." She grabbed for her phone and scrolled to an album of photos of her and Shea at sunset. They were both barefoot, standing in the grass, Camille in a simple but stunning a line dress with spaghetti straps and lace, Shea in black dress pants and a crisp white dress shirt, rolled to his elbows, unbuttoned at the collar. Camille smiled happily at her memories.

"You look beautiful," Amanda said. "And happy."

"Thank you. Shea makes me feel beautiful, no matter how I look. And he knows how to make me happy with a look....and a touch," she giggled. "I'm ridiculously in love with him."

"You can tell the feeling is mutual. I hope I find that one day." Camille smiled and squeezed her hand.

"You will. I have faith."

"You don't even know me," she laughed.

"I know enough and I know Duncan as if he were family. He likes you. He's a really great guy that just needs the right girl to love him back."
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By any chance are any of you readers Canuck fans? Could use some intel on the players if anyone follows them more closely than I do.....

If you read my little Ryan Nugent-Hopkins one shot Castle Walls, I'm posting a sequel to it if you're interested: http://www.mibba.com/Stories/Read/529206/Tumble-and-Fall/

And last but not least, I'll start posting my Mike Richards story tomorrow so come show Richie some love: http://www.mibba.com/Stories/Read/525591/Locked-Out-of-Heaven/