Kings and Queens


It took a little bit of convincing on my part, but I managed to get Langley to agree to going to the hockey game. Her argument had been that people would recognize me and that it would be too crazy and that we didn’t have tickets. I bit my tongue and didn’t mention that she could be just as recognizable as I was, instead explaining that Mike was leaving tickets for us at will-call.

I’d met Mike briefly before earlier during the hockey season, but our schedules kept us busy and it was rare that I saw him other than when we climbed into our cars or if we took out the trash. But today, we’d caught each other on the beach with our dogs.

We struck up a conversation for once and he explained he was having trouble taking his nap. I must have looked confused because he went on to explain he was getting ready for a big game that night against the San Jose Sharks, both teams fighting for a playoff berth. I had admitted I’d never been much of a hockey fan, nor did I know much about the sport. He’d insisted on me coming with my sister in tow.

“You’re sure these are their colors?” she asked as we walked down to my Mini Cooper.

I looked over our outfits. Neither of us owned any Kings apparel, so we’d played it safe with purple, black, and silver.

“That’s what Mike said,” I nodded. “Oh, and I’ve been thinking…”

“Oh, lord,” my sister groaned, teasing me.

I ignored her and continued. “You left something big off your list.”

“Pro or con?”

“Depends on how you look at it,” I hesitated. “Mom and Dad.”

“Shit,” Langley muttered. “Definitely not doing it.”

“Don’t do that, Lang,” I chided her. “It’s a big decision. You need to think on it.”

“It’s easy for you to say!” she threw her hands up in the air as I navigated the crowded LA streets. “You’re not the one being asked to pose naked!”

“I could be,” I winked. “You just wouldn’t know.”

“Not funny,” she huffed and crossed her arms. “And not helping.”

“Let’s just enjoy the game, yeah?” I tried changing the subject. “Maybe figure out how the hell it’s played?”

She quieted, tapping around on her phone and I drummed my fingers against the steering wheel. Langley was a worry wart and stubborn as a donkey. She was barely a year older than me, only 13 months, but she acted like my mother out here.

“You know he was traded from Philly?” she must have Googled Mike.

“Yeah,” I shrugged. “So?”

“Says he partied a lot,” Langley read from the small touch screen. “Playboy, typical athlete.”

“You’ve never met a professional athlete!” I chastised her. “What would Gran say?”

“You don’t judge a book by its cover,” we both said it together in our native Southern drawl that we’d worked hard to cover up. “Or a man by his past.”

Eventually, we found a half empty lot and paid the ridiculous amount for parking before venturing inside the arena. It was packed, a mix of purple and teal. Langley pointed to a sign directing towards will-call and we stood in line behind two college guys.

They whispered back and forth for a few minutes before turning around and smiling. Soon enough, I stood in the middle of them as Langley snapped our picture.

“We’ve already got our tickets for Can’t Stop Now,” one of them said. “Probably spent a month talking about Cheater’s Game after we saw it.”

“Great,” I faked a grin that would have made my publicist proud. “I’m glad you liked the first one so much.”

“Nice,” Langley snorted in my ear as they turned around to pick up their tickets.

I rolled my eyes at her and waved to the fans as they left for their seats. I loved interacting with fans, of course. But I wasn’t a fan of being drooled on.

“Name?” the man at the till said, not looking up.

“Uh, Bridgette Washington?”

The man’s eyes shot up and he stared for a second before whipping around and rummaging through a shelf or two. He returned with two packages in his hand along with an envelope.

“Enjoy the game, Miss Washington,” he smiled.

I thanked him and we stepped to the side to open our parcels. Mike must have assumed we didn’t have anything to wear because wrapped up were jerseys. The package with my name contained a Richards jersey, and as I pulled it on, I found Langley rolling her eyes at it with an ‘I told you so’ look.

She donned another purple jersey with the name Carter on the back. “There’s a note.” Langley picked up a small sheaf of paper that had fallen to the ground. “Bridgette, Figured you might need to show your LA pride. Passes in the envelope will get you down to the locker room after the game. Mike.”

“Well that’s considerate,” I said taking the note and tucking it into my purse with the passes. “Let’s find our seats.”

Mike had arranged for us to sit next to a glass box that Langley explained was where players served a penalty. I hadn’t a clue as to how she knew, but I still felt guilty having such nice seats to a game I knew nothing about.

He glanced around for a minute before Mike’s eyes found us and he waved, nodding to our jerseys. A blonde skated up beside him, bumping their shoulders. Mike said something, making the blonde raise his eyebrows before looking to us. His eyes bugged out of his head and he skated away, displaying Carter on his back.

“Where’d you get the jersey?” someone tapped Langley’s shoulder. It was an older man. “It’s his first game tonight! I couldn’t find one anywhere.”

“Oh,” Langley shifted in her seat. “Uh…”

“It was a gift,” I jumped in. “We know someone.” It felt like I was spending a whole lot of time acting that night. Once he was gone, Langley was furiously paging through her program, looking for a list of players.

“Jeff Carter,” she said. “Huh.”

“He’s cute,” I smiled earning a stare.

It was a fast paced game, constantly moving around the ice. The first period was scoreless, both goalies playing well. Actually, I didn’t know that for sure. I just listened to the guys behind us.

In the second, there were two penalties called against LA and one against San Jose. The LA fans seemed pretty mad, so Langley and I went along, watching Mike and another player, Dustin Penner, head to the penalty box.

Mike smiled, giving us each a head nod. Langley bumped my shoulder, smirking, to which I wiggled my eyebrows at her and bumped her back. Mike’s teammate, Dustin, was watching Langley curiously.

The lone goal of the period came from San Jose, going right between Jonathan Quick’s legs. But LA would have half a minute advantage when the third period began. On the big screen over our heads, there was an interview being conducted with the coach talking about a power play.

The last period was a furious effort on LA’s part to gain the upper hand. And eventually they were rewarded. Dustin Brown put one into the net five minutes in to tie the game. They had the crowd at their backs and it was easy to get sucked into the excitement.

For the next ten minutes, both teams battled it out, taking shot after shot. And finally, the tie was broken. Mike blasted a puck into the back of the net and the Kings were able to hold onto their lead for the last few minutes of the game.

After the last buzzer, he passed us, winking. Stars were announced and players came skating out, number one of which was Mike.

“So,” I stood up as people began filing out of the arena. “How do you think one gets to the LA Kings’ locker room?”

“That was an adventure,” Langley sighed as we finally made it into the inner rooms of the Staples Center. We showed our passes and filed down a narrow hall.

It had taken us a while to find our way down and it seemed a lot of the players were down in the locker rooms and were coming out to meet family. Langley and I shared a look before sinking against a wall, trying to stay out of the way.

“You’re here for Richie?” a voice asked and I recognized the player as Penner, from the penalty box. “Come with me.”

He led us into the locker room where a few people remained. Mike stood talking to the blonde, Jeff. By the looks of it, they were pretty close; laughing and goofing off.

Mike’s shirt was undone and his hair a mess and the same could be said for Jeff. Simply put, they were both attractive men.

“Hey!” my neighbor grinned. “You guys made it down here!” He came towards us and enveloped me in a tight hug that caught me a little off guard before turning to Langley and giving her a hug too. “Sorry I didn’t give you directions.”

“We managed,” I assured him. “I don’t think you two have properly met. Mike, this is my sister, Langley. Lang, Mike.”

He smiled to her before turning to the other two men in the room. “This is Dustin Penner,” I noticed a frustrated look on his face as he read something on his phone before he jerked his head up, faking a smile. “And this man is Jeffy. We go way back.”

The tall blonde grinned in a way that I’m sure made all the ladies panties fall off before extending a hand.

“We were thinking of going out,” he said. “I’m sure Mike would love to have you along.”

I looked to my sister. “Don’t you have something tomorrow?”

Taking out my phone, I double checked. “Free until one. I have a dress fitting for the premier. I’m in if you are.”

“We’ll have to change,” she consented. “Meet you at Bass?”

Mike nodded. “Penner? You in, man?” His teammate hesitated, scratching his neck. “Come on, man.” Mike insisted. “She’s not worth it.”

Dustin cracked his neck to the side, thinking. “Yeah, sure.”

“Awesome!” I smiled. “Oh! Gotta commemorate this!” I took out my phone and motioned for them to get behind me.

Jeff grabbed Dustin while Mike draped an arm around my sister and me. I snapped a picture or two and began tapping away.

“Twitter worthy,” I smiled at the last one.

“Tag me,” Langley, Mike, and Dustin said together.

I got the boys’ handles and as we walked out, I happily posted the memory to the internet.

@therealbridge87- Had an awesome time at my first hockey game with @langleywashofficial! Thanks for hooking us up@M_Richie10! Great game to him and @Dustinpenner25!
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Tah-dah! Another update. And now we involve the boys... Exciting stuff, lol. We hope that you're enjoying this so far! And let me tell you... the stuff we're prewriting right now? It's freaking awesome. Yeah.

And the 'Hawks! Hot damn! If it couldn't be my Pens, then I'm happy it was Chicago. Andrew Shaw is a robot, I am convinced. And Saad is bringing the Cup home to Pittsburgh! God, this is all fabulous.

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

Oh! And check out this link below, yeah? The layout needs fixing, but other than that, I should start updating later this week!