Back It up, Baby


When I opened my eyes, I instantly started to panic. I had woken up in my own bed instead of Brandon’s. My first thoughts were that all of last night was a dream, that I had just a very screwed up, under-age drunk dream and that everything was fine. Then Beau sat down on the side of my bed, spoon cereal into his mouth, “breakfast arrived 10 minutes ago.”

“Did you get my-“

“Yogurt, strawberries and granola, yup. Got your orange juice too,” Beau grinned, shoving another spoonful into his mouth. I sat up slowly, looking around at the messy bed spread.

“Umm, how did I get back in my bed?” I asked, cautiously. Beau took a big bite of his cereal, eyes never leaving mine. I waited patiently until he swallowed.

“Brandon carried you over. He had game day morning skate today and didn’t want you to wake up alone,” he spooned more into his mouth, talking with a full mouth. “Why were you in Brandon’s room anyway?”

My face dropped. How could I explain that I freaked myself out to him? That sleeping with him was amazing and terrifying at the same time I didn’t know how to deal with it? I sighed loudly and unintentionally. Beau frowned, “you know, I’m really sorry about taking advantage of you like that.”

“Beau,” I started but, he shook his head, looking down into his now empty bowl. I leaned over and put my hand on his wrist. “Seriously, you didn’t take advantage of me. I wanted to, I wanted to so badly but, it’s complicated. I want to be taken seriously and if it gets out that we’re, we’re, ya know, doing the dirty, it can have serious repercussions for me.”

I had never seen Beau look so sad before. Every picture, every video, every game he looked like he was having the most fun ever and right now, because of me, he looked like I had just told him that they were sending him to the AHL. I bit my lip, “give it time and let me figure it out, okay?” he nodded so, I smiled. “We can still have tons of fun though, I promise. Pass me my yogurt.”

“Demanding,” Beau muttered but, smiled nevertheless. I watched as he got up, dropping his bowl on the tray and bringing over my yogurt, fruit and granola. I ran my fingers through my hair. I really liked this kid. He was sweet, funny and completely comfortable. Would it be so awful to be the one he came home to everyday?

“By the way,” he said over his shoulder, sifting through his dirty laundry. “We have to be in the gym in 10.”

I nearly choked on a spoonful of yogurt. Shit, I had totally forgotten.


Pittsburgh was about to win their game against the Islanders, 3-1 and I couldn’t sit still. To know I was this close to being on the team and having to watch from the box was possibly one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to endure. Every save Flower made, I mentally thought about how I would have done it. I held my breath every time a Penguin took a shot and I almost got out of my seat to run down to the locker room during both intermissions. All I could do was sit there and just watch and it killed me.

“Lily?” A deep voice called from behind me. I turned to see Ray Shero and Mario Lemieux standing in the box doorway, smiling. Ray beckoned me forward, “would you come with us to my office for a second?”

“Of course sir but,” I looked towards the ice, worried that if I left the game would completely turn around even though there were only two minutes left. “The game isn’t over.”

Mario and Ray laughed, “Lily, it’s a pre-season game. The outcome doesn’t really matter,” Mario winked. “I’m sure we both know what’s going to happen anyway.”

I smiled and stood, smoothing out my floral print skirt. I hated the part where we had to look nice for the games but, the skirt was long enough that I could deal. Also, while I followed the big guys in charge down the hallway, I loved the feeling of it swishing back and forth. It was little things like these that made me smile.
Ray ushered me in and gestured towards the empty chair next to the one Mario now currently occupied. I sat down as gracefully as possible and grinned up at them. “As exciting as it is to be in a room with two absolute legends, do you mind me asking what this impromptu meeting is about?”

“Oh nothing, we just wanted to let you know that you’re on the team,” my eyes went huge as Ray smirked at me. Word vomit, again.

“Are you sure you want me on the team? I mean, Zatz is just amazing,” I stopped myself before I actually convinced them that Jeff Zatkoff was a better goaltender than me. Ray frowned and opened his drawer. He then pulled out a black piece of fabric.

“I really hope you’re kidding because we already have this for you,” I couldn’t help it. LARCH in big letters with 33 on the back, a homage to my favourite goaltender, Patrick Roy. My eyes lit up like the fourth of July and must have read ‘GIMME GIMME’ because Ray chuckled, throwing it to me.

Mario leaned over, touching the sleeve of the jersey, “we wanted to let you know immediately and personally. We wanted you to go into tomorrow’s game relaxed and prepared not, stressed and sloppy.”

I nodded, whispering thank you but, at the jersey. I couldn’t tear my eyes away and suddenly, a tear rolled down my cheek. I had made it. This was the moment and God, did it taste sweet. I looked up at both men, my new bosses, “thank you so much.”

“We also wanted to discussion something a little serious, Lily,” Ray sighed. “We just need you to know that its going to be an extremely hard road for you. We’ve both spent extensive time talking to Blake and Katarina and their respective teams about how we should deal with this situation. As you know, those two went through a lot of issues at the beginning of their careers. Both said that it gets easier but, its a long process. Do you understand?”

“Of course I do, sir,” I answered. “I’ve worked this hard to get here and I’ve already dealt with quite a lot. I’m sure its going to be hard but, very rewarding.”

“We agree but, we need you to know that no matter what happens,” Mario reached over and squeezed my shoulder at Ray spoke. “We are 100% behind you. You need to communicate when something is wrong though for us to help you along. You let us know what we can do and we’ll do it, okay?”

I never thought I would get this kind of hospitality. I was on the team for barely five minutes and these two were telling me that that they were going to be there for me whenever I needed it. This was the family I had been missing and I didn’t know I could feel so happy about it. I grinned from ear to ear, “once again, thank you so much.”

“No, thank you, Lily. Now you should get downstairs, the bus to the airport is going to be leaving soon,” Ray said. I nodded, gripping my jersey tight as I shook their hands and running out the office, unsure of who to tell first.


“Fuck, oww, mother fucker,” I stumbled into the locker room after the morning skate in Philadelphia, yanking the hair elastic out of my very short hair. My sweat at matted my hair making it incredibly hard to pull out and super painful. I dropped my mask on the bench and looked down at my hockey bag, placing my blocker and glove next to my mask.

A small keycard, an awful lot like my hotel room card, sat on my bag with another key next to it. I frowned. I must have dropped my card and someone returned it but, what was the key for? Sitting down, I started to pull off my gear as the rest of the team filled in. Beau smiled at me, placing his gloves on the top shelf of his stall next to mine, Neal next to him.

“So, my house renovations are finally finished,” I heard from across the room. I looked up to see Brandon talking to Kris but, staring at me over his shoulder. He spoke just loud enough for me to hear. “So, I’m moving out of the hotel finally. Also, how fucking lucky am I to be one of the only ones without a road roommate?”

We hadn’t spoke since the night I crashed his bed. I bit my lip, looking at Beau as he started to babble about the game tonight and I just smiled.