Status: Give it a try, you might enjoy it.

Crashing the Crease

Carry On

It was the Ducks home opener. The sold out crowd roared in anticipation of hockey finally being back in Southern California. Each player took the ice after their introductions, only to get more and more noise out of the excited crowd.

Charlie let out a satisfied sigh as she watched the players be called out to the ice, hearing just how happy their fans were that they were back home. She was also glad to be back at Honda Center, where her entire career had started.

The game was underway at Honda Center and it wasn’t exactly a great start for Anaheim. They struggled for the most part, letting five goals through the entire game while they scored none.

While the crowd was looking forward to a three game winning streak, they were satisfied with the fact that hockey was back in Anaheim, California.

Charlie rubbed her temples, trying to ease the headache that had formed while she went over all of her work she had cut out for herself. She gathered her things and said goodbye to her fellow coworkers.

She gave the security guard a friendly wave as she exited the building, searching for her boyfriend Justin, who was told to wait for her right outside. Spending a few long minutes waiting for him, she gave up and pulled out her phone from her purse.

Scrolling through her contacts, she found Justin’s number and called him. She held her phone and waited for him to pick up. “Hey baby.” Justin answered.

“Where are you?” She asked with an aggravated tone. She didn’t want to wait around the arena when she had a ton of work to do at home.

“You didn’t get my text? Mr. Sheffield needed me, I had to run to the office.” He said.

“Are you kidding me? It’s ten at night for fucks sake. You were my ride, remember?” She reminded him.

“I know, but I’m sure you can get one of the players to drive you home or something.” He hinted. Charlie groaned in frustration and sat on the edge of the curb, knowing she’d be there for a while.

“Thanks a lot, assface.” She said mildly, hanging up the phone before he could get his reply in.

Dan said bye to a few teammates and started making his way for his car, seeing Charlie on the curb and catching the end of her conversation. His mind quickly started racing with wonderment of who she was talking too as he adjusted his bag on his shoulder.

Charlie cracked her neck, already feeling how tense she had gotten after talking to Justin. Setting her phone on speaker, she dialed her friends number in hopes she would pick up. A groan fell from her lips as it went to her answering machine. “Ams, call me back. Justin’s an asshole and I don’t have a ride home.” She ended her call, but went right back to her contacts to call her again.

“Charlie, right?” Dan spoke as he approached her, grabbing her attention. She quickly turned to see who it was before she stood from the curb and gave him a light smile.

“Yeah.” She replied, feeling suddenly nervous as she stood before him. Her stomach seemed to tie in knots when she spoke to him and she had no reason why.

“I didn’t mean to eavesdrop but I can give you a ride home.” He offered. Charlie looked at her phone, seeing nothing new from anyone. She saw no harm in receiving a ride from him.

“If you don’t mind.” She said, another smile gracing her face.

“Not at all.” He said, returning her smile.

Dan lead the way to his car, Charlie following close behind him. He was actually extremely timorous as they approached his car. Talking to girls usually came easy to him, he had some sort of charm but Charlie was definitely different. He wanted to make sure he didn’t mess anything up.

Opening the car door for Charlie, Dan threw his stuff into the backseat and allowed her to get in before getting into the drivers seat. “Thanks.” She said appreciatively, fastening her seatbelt.

“It’s really no problem.” Dan said, a smile spreading quick across his face.

After Charlie gave Dan the instructions to her apartment, the ride pretty much stayed quiet until Charlie’s phone began ringing. Amy’s name and picture flashed onto the screen and Charlie answered it. “Hey, Amy.”

“Oh, my God, are you still stuck at the arena? I’ll come get you right now, I was in the sho-”

“It’s alright, Amy.” Charlie cut her off. “I got a ride home with one of the players.” She said. Dan tried to refrain from listening into her conversation but it wasn’t working out so well.

“Oh, who is it?” Amy asked out of curiosity before instantly jumping to conclusions. “Please tell me it’s Pears, I miss him.” She said. Charlie could practically hear the pout on her face, making her chuckle lightly.

“No, it’s not. I’ll be some soon though.” She informed her.

“Who is it then? Wait, is he cute?!” Amy asked extremely loudly over the phone. Charlie closed her eyes and covered half her face with her hand in embarrassment, knowing Dan heard that comment. His lips perked up into a smile, not from what Amy said but the reaction Charlie had.

“Bye, Amy.” Charlie murmured, quickly ending the call before she had any other embarrassing questions she wanted to shout over the phone.

Again, the car ride became silent and Dan was trying to bring up something to talk about but his mind was drawing a blank. “How are you liking California?” Charlie suddenly asked, both of them thankful the silence was finally broken.

“I love it. I can definitely get used to the weather.” He said honestly, a smile gracing his lips. Charlie smiled at his response. “How long have you lived here?” He asked, continuing the conversation.

“My whole life.” She replied with a half smile. Not all of her memories in California were great ones but she had some pretty amazing ones here too.

Soon enough, Dan pulled up to her apartment complex. Charlie unbuckled her seatbelt and grabbed her purse from the floor of the car, slinging it over her shoulder. “Thanks again for the ride, Dan. You saved me.” She said with an easy smile.

“You’re welcome, Charlie.” He returned, a smile finding his lips. She opened the door and exited the car before giving him one last wave, walking towards the apartment.
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