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Crashing the Crease

Burning Bridges

It was the teams first home game since their longest road trip of the shortened season and everyone was glad to be back home. They were the facing the Columbus Blue Jackets and looking for another win to add to their record.

Charlie was praised by her boss after she reported to work that morning. He was impressed with the amount of work she had done while on the road trip. He insisted she take the day off but she couldn’t let herself.

Taking her usual seat on the Ducks bench, she watched them take their morning skate, making conversation with a few other reporters that were there.

A smile grazed her face for a moment as she watched each of the players, admiring their talent and strive to win.

The game was underway and it was a quiet couple of minutes until Columbus’s Vinny Prospal scored, taking the lead for the Blue Jackets.

The game continued on and the Ducks’ battled heavily, trying to take the lead for themselves. Just that happened when Peter Holland and Ryan Getzlaf had back to back goals in the matter of twenty seconds to take their first lead of the game.

Corey Perry went on to score in the second period, only for Columbus to answer back with another goal of their own and cut Anaheim’s comfortable two goal lead.

A scoreless third period came to an end with the Ducks’ able to hang on to their lead and the two points against the Blue Jackets.

Charlie wasn’t up for sticking around the arena like she normally did. “God dammit.” She cursed and stopped in her tracks, realizing she had forgotten her phone in the locker room. She needed that if she was going to get any work done for the night since she had all her interviews on there.

She turned her body and collided with a large one, immediately apologizing, only to have Dan chuckle down at her. He held her phone in his hand and gave her a smile. “Thank you.” She said genuinely, taking the phone from his hand and stuffing into her back pocket.

“Don’t mention it. Are you going out with everyone to dinner?” He asked hopefully. He didn’t like to admit it but he missed Charlie.

“No. I got take-out and work waiting for me at home.” She smiled. Dan returned it. He kept his gaze on her eyes.

Neither of them could look away, they were drawn to each other. His eyes drifted down to her lips, suddenly wanting his against hers and Charlie had very similar thoughts.

“Baby.” Someone called out, breaking their attention from each other and looking towards the source.

“Justin.” Charlie said in almost a whisper. Her stomach left her as she looked between him and Dan. She wasn’t expecting him to show up here.

Dan wasn’t impressed with Justin. His dark brown hair was gelled up and slicked to the side. His eyes matched his hair; shit brown. He wore a suit that was too expensive to wear anywhere. Even a movie premiere. It was obvious he was compensating for something. He wasn’t very tall, 5’9” at the most. He seemed to lack muscle tone, which almost made Dan laugh.

As he examined him, Justin wasted no more time and quickly joined his lips with Charlie’s. He liked everyone to know that she was his. He always took the opportunity to disappoint any guy that showed interest in Charlie.

She pulled away from Justin awkwardly, making it obvious to Dan that she did not enjoy the kiss that she had just received. She looked between the two, unable to put the right words together.

“Justin.” He introduced himself, sticking his hand out with almost a sly smirk resting on his lips.

Dan gave his hand a firm shake, but it was more of a ‘I can kick your ass’ kind of hand shake. “Dan.” He returned.

“Okay, baby, I called off work for the entire week. We can do whatever you want.” Justin informed her, a smile dancing on his face.

“That’s great.” She said, giving him a smile. If only he knew it was fake. Justin wrapped his arm around her waist and started to guide her back to the parking lot. “Bye, Dan.” She said. He waved slightly and gave her a half smile.

“You know what? I forgot something.” He said to Charlie once that had walked a few yards away. He made his way back to Dan and shook his hand again. “It was nice meeting you, Dan.” He said loudly, making sure Charlie heard him before lowering his voice. “Stay the fuck away from her.” He warned, patting his back and giving him another smile before walking back over to Charlie.

“Fuck off.” Dan said quietly with a smile, getting daggers from Justin in return. He already made it relevant that he could quick his ass in two seconds, he didn’t understand why he was threatening him.

“I have so much planned for us this week. It’ll just be us, all week. I even got reservations at the restaurant you like in Newport for tomorrow. And I figured you can come back to my place for tonight.” He suggested, a smirk gracing his face for a few mild seconds as they walked out to their individual cars.

“Sounds great, babe. I’ll just go home and freshen up.” She told him. He smiled, giving her a quick kiss before letting her get into her car.

A long sigh pushed passed her lips, hitting her head on her steering wheel. Dan popped into her head and she realized just how close she was to kissing him. What are you doing, Charlotte?

While Dan told himself he would keep his thoughts of Charlie to himself, Andrew Cogliano was able to crack him.

“Tough, man. What are you going to do?” Andrew asked after Dan had given him the short version of what was going on between the two of them.

“I have no idea.” He admitted with a sigh, taking a swig of his beer and looking down at the bar. “I mean, what am I suppose to do? She has a boyfriend.”

“I don’t think she really cares that she has boyfriend with the way she’s acting.” Andrew pointed out.

“Not helping, Cogs.” Dan said. “I just need to forget about her.”

“Good luck with that. I’m sure it’ll be easy with you having to see her everyday and all.” He said sarcastically, patting his back for motivation.
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