Chaos Theory

It's Time

The familiar beeps of his car unlocking drew her attention from him and he watched as she walked toward it. He quickened his pace, passing her up so that he could open the passenger door for her.

“A Maserati?” he heard from behind him. The smug grin that graced his face was wiped clean as soon as he turned to face her, realizing that she was grimacing while examining his baby with her arms crossed.

“You’re joking, right?” Tyler managed to choke out.

Shaking her head, she bit down on her finger slightly. “I hate small cars,” she admitted, attempting to sound apologetic.

“I doubt you’ve ever driven in anything like this, though.” When she shook her head again, he allowed a smirk to make its way back to his face. “Don’t knock it till you try it.”

He opened the door for her, sweeping his arm in a bowing gesture. “Your carriage awaits, Princess.”

Charlie smiled merrily, a slight blush burning her cheeks, and curtsied to him before she got into the front seat.

Sauntering around to the driver’s side Tyler couldn’t help but notice how nervous she seemed, despite her playfulness. He didn’t blame her. She knew next to nothing about hockey, from what she told him, although he wasn’t sure he believed that entirely. But he was sure she didn’t know much about the Dallas Stars. Even if she did, spending a night out with a hockey team, let alone strangers, had to be intimidating.

He was even a little nervous himself. There was no doubt that Tyler’s presence on the ice warranted respect from the Stars. It was a blockbuster deal that he was the centerpiece of for a reason. But he was still the new guy. His teammates were all welcoming and cool for the most part. He didn’t know if they treated him so well because of his skill as a hockey player or because of him, as a person, a question he found himself wondering more and more recently.But it didn’t matter. They were getting along great and he wasn’t willing to step on any toes anytime soon.

He’d gotten in touch with Jamie Benn right away after the trade and they became fast friends. From there, it just came naturally with the rest of the guys. It would be a completely different dynamic between the team, he could tell already. The Bruins were a great group that he would always consider friends – family, even. Time spent in that locker room was never wasted and there was never a dull moment. He would miss it dearly and would still give anything to get back to Boston, but he truly was looking forward to the new start he would have with the Stars. They were a younger team and most of them didn’t have girls or children to go home to at night either. Not that he didn’t fit well with the B’s; more people in Dallas just seemed to be on the same page.

Tyler shot Charlie a cocky smile as he listened to the engine purr, revving it a few times, earning an eye roll. He laughed as he pulled from the parking lot in the direction of the bar.

“So, since small cars are so beneath you, what type of vehicle do you like?” he questioned, not unkindly.

“Trucks,” she stated simply.

“Like eighteen wheelers?”

“No,” she giggled, “like an Escalade or Suburban or an SUV. It doesn’t have to be huge,” she emphasized with her hands, “I just don’t like small cars.”

“I do have a truck, too,” he said matter-of-factly.

“Oh, is that so? And what, pray tell, do you need two cars for exactly?”

He shrugged, “I got my truck when I moved to Boston and then bought this beauty after we won the cup. I drive – well, drove – this one around the city more, but would drive the other one long distances like when I went home to Brampton or Toronto.”

Charlie nodded, seemingly satisfied with his answer. “I had a lot of fun tonight. Thanks for inviting me.” A sweet smile was on her face as she peeked at him out of the corner of her eye, tilting her head slightly. Was she trying to be flirtatious?

“Thanks for coming. Sorry Team Benn couldn’t pull out a win for ya.”

A flick of her wrist dismissed the comment. “I would say I was a winner tonight. I got to spend the whole night with the cutest little boy in the world. Seriously, Tyler, I was about to kidnap that kid, he was the funniest thing. And he worships the ground you walk on, I swear. I’m surprised he didn’t pass out or something when he got to meet you.”

Tyler smiled appreciatively. The more time he spent in the NHL, the more fans began to bother him. He felt bad about it, but he wished he could just lead a normal life sometimes. There were instances when he would sit inside his apartment for days to avoid running into a fan on the street. Younger girls were the worst. It was inevitable. It only got worse after all of the recent media scrutiny. But then there were people like Matt, or Charlie even, who would put things into perspective for him again. They didn’t treat him like he was any different than the next person and he was grateful for that. But he could still tell that they were in awe of his talent and accomplishments. It was fans like that that Tyler wished he came across more often.

A comfortable silence had settled in the car. Tyler tinkered with the radio before settling on a station. The song ended almost immediately after he put it on, and he felt his stomach drop as the tune of the next song flooded through the speakers. He was just about to reach over to change it when a small voice spoke up.

“I love this song so much,” Charlie said, beaming.

He watched as she lip synced the words, her eyes set on the road ahead of them.

So this is what you meant
When you said that you were spent
And now it's time to build from the bottom of the pit
Right to the top
Don't hold back
Packing my bags and giving the academy a rain check

I don't ever wanna let you down
I don't ever wanna leave this town
'Cause after all
This city never sleeps at night

It's time to begin, isn't it?
I get a little bit bigger, but then I'll admit
I'm just the same as I was
Now don't you understand
That I'm never changing who I am

The last time Tyler heard this song was in a video the Bruins had made after the season as a thank you for the fans and the city of Boston. It brought tears to his eyes when he watched it. It had been one of the most emotional seasons of his life as a hockey player for so many different reasons; the lockout, the Boston Marathon bombing, the Stanley Cup loss, his frustration with the way he was playing. The only thing that kept him going was looking forward to the next season he would have with the Bruins. He was certain they would come back stronger and hungrier, making another run for the cup, now knowing what it felt like to have it ripped away from you so suddenly. Then he was blindsided by the trade.

He hadn’t been able to listen to the song since.

“Do you know the story of How The Grinch Stole Christmas?” Charlie asked, breaking him from his thoughts. He nodded, pretty sure everyone did. “That’s how I feel whenever this song comes on. Like my heart grows to be three times its normal size.” She ran a nervous hand through her hair and let out a shaky laugh. “I probably sound crazy,” she spared him a glance, “it’s just something about this song. It’s like it gives me hope every time I hear it. No matter what I’m doing or thinking or feeling at the time, whenever it comes on, I just know that everything will be okay.”

“What makes you say that?” He was genuinely interested in her reasonsing.

“I think the meaning behind the song, at least by my interpretation. It’s about growing up and following your heart. Being true to yourself, even if it isn’t living up to the standards of what other people want. My favorite line of the song is when he says ‘I don’t ever wanna let you down, I don’t ever wanna leave this town.’ The way he says it gives me chills every time. It’s like he’s talking to someone he cares for deeply, someone who wants or expects so much from him. He’s carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders and all he wants is to be able to provide for this person and make them happy. But I don’t think he’s necessarily able to do it. I think he’s trying to be everything he can be, but it’s not who he truly is. I think this person is trying to form him into who they want him to be, and he wants to be that person…or maybe he doesn’t, I’m not sure. Either way, he’s not being true to himself. So that’s when he says he’s never changing who he is. And I believe that’s where the hope comes in.”

That struck a chord with Tyler. If he was the singer and Boston was the someone he cares for deeply, then she hit the nail head on in terms of how he felt.

He wanted to say something to her, wanted to admit how difficult it was to listen to this song. He wanted to finally break down and let someone in on how hurt and betrayed and heartbroken he was by the trade. Nothing compared to the pain that he felt the day that he got that call. Not even losing the cup. Tyler never let anyone know just how much it killed him. Whether it was a lame attempt to try to preserve some pride or dignity or make it seem like it didn’t bother him as much as it did, he never once talked about it with his friends or family. He spent the summer partying harder than he ever had before, partially because it’s what he loved doing with his friends during the offseason, but mostly as a big “fuck you” to the higher ups in the Bruins organization, the media, and the haters. It wasn’t mature and it probably wasn’t the best course of action he could’ve taken in preparation for his big move to Dallas, but it was the coping mechanism he chose to pursue.

“Are you okay, Tyler?” Charlie’s soft, tentative voice drew him from the emotional depths he hadn’t truly allowed himself to reach yet. Her eyes were focused on his white knuckles from the death grip he didn’t realize he had on the steering wheel.

Relaxing his fingers, he gave her a reassuring smile. “Yeah, I’m fine.”

Apprehension flashed across the features he’d become so enamored with in the short amount of time he’d known her. She didn’t believe him, but she didn’t push the subject.

He almost wanted her to.


Charlie’s eyes darted back and forth at the skimpy clothing on the girls that surrounded them as they walked into the building. It was definitely more than a bar, but not quite a club. The room they stood in was huge, dimmed lighting showing tables scattered throughout the area, as well as pool tables, dartboards, and other random bar games in a corner. At the center of it all was a huge bar, stocked full with all different assortments of liquors and beers. Just to the right was a staircase with a long line at the bottom of it. The bouncer at the top as well as the flashing lights and faint sound of heavy beats gave tell to a dance floor on the second level.

She looked up as she felt Tyler place a hand on the small of her back, pointing to an area of the bar that seemed to be drawing a lot of attention from everyone else in the room. He guided her gently through the crowd towards who she assumed was the team.

It’s do or die time.

The large group of guys looked up as they approached, wide grins plastered to their faces as they greeted them cheerfully. Tyler received a chorus of “Seggy!” and slaps on the back. It was obvious that they’d started drinking already.

He turned to introduce her, pulling her in front of him. Charlie had never felt so small in her entire life. She leaned back into Tyler’s chest slightly, drawing comfort from knowing that he was there.

“Boys, this is Charlie. Charlie, this is Jamie, Jordie, Brenden, Cody, Ryan, Alex…” Tyler pointed at each of their faces as he named them. There were more that she couldn’t remember and some that she didn’t catch as she was given a high five or hand shake. A few of them even pulled her into a hug.

After the initial meet and greet, Charlie calmed down monumentally. Most of the team was around the same age, if not just a few years older. They cracked jokes at each other and asked her questions, helping to take the pressure off. She’d forgotten what setting they were in until one of them – Brenden, perhaps – yelled out for another round of shots.

“Pick your poison, Charlie!” he shouted to her across the mass of bodies.

There was only one drink that would help her get through this night. It was her go-to in the event of hoping to make a good impression. Not the type of impression you would want to leave on a potential employer or boyfriend’s parents, but one that would let a new group of people know that you could let loose, have a great time, and be lots of fun.


“I like your style, girl!” a voice rang out from somewhere.

“This one’s a keeper, Segs,” Jamie winked from beside her.

She felt her cheeks get hot and realized she was still wearing her jacket. Slowly unzipping it, Charlie pulled it off, one sleeve at a time. It was unintentional how seductive her actions were; she just wanted to make sure her strapless top hadn’t fallen down. She suddenly became aware of all eyes on her.

Her already tanned skin looked even darker in the dim lighting. Charlie was athletic and fit, but was graced with curves that most women would kill for. The corset style of the top gave her a certain lift that she was sure they weren’t able to ignore. She bit her lip, feeling self conscious, but then it hit her. There was a stock of men in front of her clearly mesmerized by what they saw. Deciding to throw caution to the wind, she pretended to accidentally drop the wristlet she carried.

“Shoot,” she muttered before bending over, making sure to give them an unobscured view of her ass as she picked it up off the floor. It reminded her of the bend-and-snap scene from Legally Blonde and she felt ridiculous, but laughed anyway, grateful when she came face to face with the bartender carrying their tray of shots when she stood upright.

Hands reached from every direction to claim a glass and one found its way to her hip, resting there lightly. Tyler’s gaze nearly knocked her off balance and she was thankful for the support he offered without knowing it. There was a fire in his eyes that she hadn’t seen before. Charlie chalked it up to the scene she’d just caused and hoped, more than anything, that the small show of affection was his way of telling his teammates that she was there with him tonight.

Ever the captain figure, Jamie stepped to the center of the group, lifting up his glass. “Cheers,” he said simply before knocking back his shot.

Tyler’s eyes never left Charlie’s as he lifted his shot up to her. She mirrored him, tapping her glass to his lightly. “Cheers.”


“Seggy,” Jamie slurred as he slung an arm around his shoulders. “My main man. How did you two meet exactly?” He pointed back and forth between Tyler and Charlie.

They’d had a few more rounds of shots and the team dispersed throughout the bar. As the night went on, more and more people started to recognize them, but the more they drank, the less they cared. Tyler, Charlie, Jamie, and a few of the other guys were still hanging out at the bar.

Tyler chuckled. Jamie was obviously drunk considering inviting Charlie to the scrimmage and out with them afterwards had been his idea in the first place. “The plane ride on the way here, remember?”

Jamie’s eyes widened and he did a double take, getting in Charlie’s face to examine her more closely. If it was anyone else Tyler would’ve been right in his face in return, but Jamie was harmless and he trusted him. They’d only been friends for a short while, but Tyler knew a good friend when he saw one.

“That was you?” he wondered aloud. Charlie nodded with an amused yet confused expression on her face. “Why do you look different?” Jamie asked as though it pained him that he couldn’t piece this together.

She laughed lightly, pointing a finger to her head. “It’s probably the hair.”

Tuning out of their conversation, Tyler watched as she ran her fingers through it. The heat had caused it to lose some of its straightness but it looked even better now. Sexy, especially paired with her darker eye makeup and top. That top. The clothes she wore on the plane did nothing for her stunning figure. Her little stunt before drove him crazy and it took every ounce of control in him to not pull her to the hallway towards the back and take her right there. He was slowly unraveling at the seams as the night wore on and they both became more uninhibited, but he swore to himself that he wouldn’t let anything happen with her.

He couldn’t explain the way he felt about her. It didn’t make any sense. They met just days ago and this was only the second time he was seeing her, yet something inside of him was telling him that he shouldn’t let her go. He cared for her. He wanted to talk to her and protect her and hold her and call her his.

It scared the shit out of him.

Bodies moving past him brought him back to the bar. “Let’s go, Wisco!” he heard Jamie yell, leading Charlie towards the stairs that would take them to the dance floor. She looked back at Tyler over her shoulder with a pout on her face and mouthed ‘sorry’ as Jamied dragged her through the crowd of people.

He let out a long sigh, rubbing his hands over his face. What the fuck was he doing? Scratch that, what the fuck was she doing to him? Tyler waved down the bartender and ordered another shot of tequila and a beer to take upstairs. He welcomed the burning sensation of the liquid as it slid down his throat, helping to quiet all the chatter in his brain. Grabbing his beer, he weaved through the crowd to find Jamie and Charlie.

They bypassed the line and found the majority of the team already dancing. He heard Charlie’s laughter and watched helplessly as she grabbed Jamie’s hand, leading him towards their group in the mess of people. He stood back for a moment just watching her. While everyone else was grinding on each other like their lives depended on it, Charlie was forcing Jamie to twirl and dip her, her grin widening each time he did. Tyler felt a smile form on his face before a pair of arms snaked around his waist.

“You look like you could use some company,” a silky voice purred in his ear, breasts pressed against his back. A groan escaped his lips, though he wasn’t sure why. He was enjoying standing on the sidelines, not in the mood to dance with anyone but a 21-year-old Wisconsin student. The heat he felt underneath his belt told him otherwise as the mystery girl’s hands began to roam. She squealed as he gave in, pulling her to the floor to join his team.

This girl was a smokeshow with platinum blonde hair in a tight black dress that didn’t leave much to the imagination. He spun her around and placed his hands firmly on her hips, allowing himself to get lost in the music and the feeling of friction between them. She moved well with him and Tyler silently thanked whoever put her in his path that night.

The song changed and they stopped moving temporarily, waiting to readjust to the new beat. As soon as the music began to flood through the speakers again, Tyler took a long swig of his beer. He almost choked when he saw that Jamie and Charlie were dancing directly in front of him.

Apparently the shift in music had caused a shift in attitude in Charlie. Her eyes were closed as she let her hips sway methodically to the rhythm of the music. Her arms were wrapped behind Jamie’s neck, but she quickly removed them to run through her hair and down her own body. It was so sensual. Tyler couldn’t take his eyes off of her.

As if she felt she was being watched, Charlie’s eyes fluttered opened slowly, instantly meeting his stare. He felt like he should look away but something didn’t let him. There was a look of pure lust in her eyes and he wanted nothing more than to believe that it was just for him. She ground her hips harder into Jamie as her gaze became darker. The chorus of the song came on and he realized she was moving her lips along with the words. He listened closely trying to make out the words, wondering if they had any significance.

I need your love
I need your time
When everything's wrong
You make it right
I feel so high
I come alive
I need to be free with you tonight
I need your love

His breath hitched in his throat and his grip on the girl’s hips tightened, causing her to lean into him more. It almost made him sick. He wanted what was just out of reach. It’s not like he couldn’t have her, and, if all the signs he was reading were correct, it’s not like she didn’t want him.

This one’s different, he told himself.

Tyler downed the rest of his beer in a matter of seconds. He didn’t know how he would be able to control himself for the rest of the night; all he knew was that he would need to find the strength. There was no rhyme or reason for the way he was feeling, but it was something he couldn’t ignore. He hadn’t felt this way about anyone before in his life. The only thing that came close to describing it was the way he felt whenever he stepped onto the ice to play a game. He didn’t know how this was going to work; he didn’t even know what he wanted to work, but he resolved right then and there that he was going to find out.


Charlie giggled as Tyler grabbed her arm to steady her as they stumbled out of the bar. “I swear that step wasn’t there when we first got here.”

He chuckled and ran his hands through his hair, looking around, for what she was unsure of. It was clear that neither of them was in any condition to drive and she assumed that he was going to hail a cab for her and catch one for himself.

“Where’s your hotel?” he asked, suddenly serious. She gave him the address and he seemed to be thinking something over.

“It’s pretty close to here, I think,” she said, though she really had no idea. “I can just take a cab back.”

Tyler immediately shook his head. “I don’t trust you in a cab by yourself right now.” She scoffed at him. She could take care of herself just fine, thank you very much. “Just hear me out, okay? My condo is just a couple blocks away from here. You can crash in my bed, which is very comfortable, I can make you breakfast to cure the hangover that you will inevitably have, and I will have you back at your hotel in time for you to get ready for your interview. No funny business,” he promised.

Charlie raised a suspicious eyebrow at him and chewed the inside of her cheek as she thought it over. “It would be nice to not have to eat crappy hotel breakfast food,” she muttered, defeated.

Tyler grinned and held out his arm for her to link hers through. She allowed herself to lean most of her weight onto him as they walked and he didn’t seem to mind. She was drunk and tired, but mostly she just wanted to be close to him. She felt safe in his arms. Plus, he smelled delicious.

No matter how intoxicated she was, be it by tequila or his scent, smile, muscles, charm, she wouldn’t allow herself to give it up to him tonight. She wanted to badly, but she wouldn’t be just another notch on his bedpost.

It was nonsense, she knew, but Charlie honestly felt like she was already falling for Tyler. If that was even possible after knowing him for all of a few days, having only seen him face to face twice, she wasn’t sure. There was no denying the butterflies that fluttered in her stomach every time his name lit up her phone screen, though. Anytime he touched her she was afraid she was going to turn into putty. The sound of her name rolling off his tongue sent shivers down her spine. She couldn’t help but think to the future, wondering what could be if she did end up moving to Dallas.

“This is me,” Tyler gestured to a grandiose building and turned them towards it. He nodded to a doorman as they walked through the door. He winked at Tyler as he saw Charlie, making her stomach drop and not in the good way.

It became evident that this was not the first time that Tyler had brought a girl back with him. She was kidding herself for even thinking that there was a chance that anything would happen between them. It was Tyler Seguin, for God’s sake. Playboy extraordinaire. She never stood a chance.

As they stepped onto the elevator, Tyler leaned against the wall, apparently as tired as she was. Their arms were still entwined forcing Charlie against the wall as well. Tyler unhooked his arm from hers to press the button to the penthouse before placing his hands on her waist, shifting her to stand in front of him. He wrapped his arms around her shoulders and pressed his cheek against the top of her head, breathing out a content sigh.

All thoughts Charlie had previously were wiped clean. Something about the way he held her to him so tightly yet gently conveyed everything he was feeling. She wanted to deny that it was true, that it couldn’t possibly be happening, but the thumbs drawing small circles on her back and the cheek grazing back and forth across her soft hair wouldn’t allow her to. She knew that he was feeling the same way she was.

“Don’t be freaked out by the lack of anything inside,” he mumbled from above her, his hot breath hitting her neck, raising goosebumps on her arms. “I’m in the process of shipping most of my stuff.”

She nodded and almost groaned in frustration as the elevator dinged indicating they’d reached their destination. He fumbled through his keys and she giggled at the look of concentration on his face as he tried to find the one that would let them in. She knew she was still tipsy, but hadn’t realized that he was, too.

Finally finding the one he was looking for, Tyler let out a triumphant “Aha!” and opened the door. He was right. There was almost nothing inside. She couldn’t help but hope she got the chance to see it when it was full of everything that was meant to be there.

The sound of blinds opening drew Charlie’s attention to the window that took up almost the entire wall and a hand flew up to her mouth. It was breathtaking. She slowly walked over to it, careful to not walk into anything, not that there was much to walk into. He kept the lights off so that she could get the full effect of the view of the city lit up at night.

“Tyler, this is beautiful,” she whispered.

“I figured you might like it.”

She could sense a smile in his voice and could feel his eyes on her though she didn’t take her eyes from the window to look. Tyler pointed out a few places to her and let her soak it in for a few more moments. It killed her that he thought to show her this.

“Come on, I’ll get you all set up for bed,” he prompted her and she followed him through the spacious condo to his bedroom. He walked over to a dresser and pulled out a shirt and shorts. “You can wear these tonight. The bathroom is right there,” he pointed behind her, “I don’t know what your normal nightly routine is, but you should find everything you need in there.”

She accepted the clothing and made her way into the bathroom, quickly changing, brushing her teeth with a finger, and washing her face with a generic brand of facewash she was glad to find he had.

Charlie opened the door and dropped the contents in her hands, along with her jaw. Tyler was changing his shirt right in front of her. She’d seen pictures of his body, but they didn’t do him any justice. Before his head emerged from the opening of the shirt, she scrambled to pick up the clothes she dropped, attempting to keep her cool and erase the picture of his abs from her memory. It was so unfair. He was like a god.

“Oh, hey,” he smirked at her and she wondered if he’d waited to change his shirt until she came out of the bathroom on purpose. “You all done in there?”

“Yep!” Charlie set her things on the floor by the door before moving to sit on the bed. He was right, it was comfortable. She laid back, groaning in approval. She heard Tyler laugh as he walked into the bathroom.

Thoughts raced through her head and she did her best to shoo them away, trying to relish the moment. This had to be a dream. She was lying in Tyler Seguin’s bed. Her heart beat faster as she realized it didn’t even matter who he was in the grand scheme of things. The Tyler who she met on the plane and who he showed her was an amazing guy. It didn’t matter that he was an NHL player or that he made millions. He comforted her as a complete stranger so that she wouldn’t be scared of the turbulence on the plane and he took her home as a friend so that she wouldn’t get attacked by a psycho cabbie in the middle of the night. She chuckled.

“What’s so funny?” Charlie hadn’t even noticed he’d come out of the bathroom. He was pulling pillows and blankets out of his closet with the intention of sleeping on the couch tonight. That didn’t sit right with her.

“Nothing. Tyler, you don’t have to sleep on the couch! If anything, I should.”

“No way. You’re the guest. Don’t worry about it,” the corners of his lips pulled up into a sweet smile.

“Why don’t you just stay in here too?” she suggested. He turned to look at her with a surprised look on his face. If she wasn’t mistaken, there was a hint of accomplishment as well.

“Really? Are you sure? The couch is fine, I promise. I’ve slep-“

“Tyler, I’m sure,” she cut him off. “This bed is big enough to sleep like, five people comfortably anyway.”

He laughed and ran a hand through the scruff on his chin. “That is true. Well, are you all set? I’ll get the lights.”

Charlie moved over to one side of the bed, tucking herself under the covers to show that she was more than ready for sleep. Tyler turned the lights off and struggled to make his way back to the bed, darkness and drunkenness causing him to stumble a few times. Finally, he collapsed onto it and the feel of the added weight of his body lying next to her had her reeling, regardless of the distance kept between them.

Everything was quiet for a while and she thought that he just passed out when Tyler’s pained voice cut through the dark.

“Charlie, that song we listened to on the way tonight…” He trailed off and she quickly turned over to look at him. Her eyes had adjusted a little, but the dark curtains didn’t let much light in so it was hard to see. From what she could make out, he was utterly broken.

“What is it, Tyler?” She wanted to reach out to him, but there was so much uncertainty in the given situation. They’d had the time of their lives, drinking and dancing with the team. He had a smile on his face the entire night that matched her own and the sudden 180 in his attitude threw her for a loop.

“I miss Boston,” he admitted so quietly she almost didn’t catch it.
Charlie was speechless. That was the last thing she expected to hear. There were no words she could think to say to him. She wasn’t even sure what she should say, what he would want her to say. She remained quiet while he finally let his walls crumble.

“I miss it so fucking much, it hurts. I’m trying to move on and I really am looking forward to things here, but nothing will ever compare,” he confessed. She wasn’t sure if he was crying, but his voice broke a few times as he spilled his heart out to her.

“That song just brought back a flood of memories, and then when you explained it to me the way you did – I feel like I lost my family. Everything that I ever knew and worked for was suddenly just ripped out right from underneath me and there wasn’t a goddamn thing I could do to stop it.” He took a deep breath, calming himself slightly. “I never even saw it coming, that’s the worst part. Obviously, after the draft I knew something could still happen, but I talked with Chia and thought everything would be fine. I just got my contract extension and thought I’d be spending the rest of my career in Boston, honestly, and then the trade happened. The world of professional sports can be harsh, I know that, but it didn’t make any of it any easier. I still feel like I have a knife lodged in my back with a spoked B engraved on the handle. But what I wouldn’t give to be back there, skating alongside Bergy and Marchy in the Garden again.”

The desperation was thick in his voice and Charlie cracked, allowing the tears she fought so desperately to hold back to flow freely down her face. As an avid sports fan herself, she’d had her fair share of painful moments watching favorite players get traded or retire. It was something that was inevitable in his world, but like he said, that thought was never comforting. She never felt as sorry for an athlete as she did in that moment, though.

Tyler looked over at her for the first time since he spoke and his detached expression instantly softened when he saw the wetness on her cheeks. She should’ve been the one comforting him when he so badly needed it, but instead she felt strong arms pull her into his chest, wrapping around her tightly and never letting go.

He stroked her hair as she sobbed, soaking his shirt, and she clung to him. The intensity of the emotions she was overwhelmed with wiped her out. Before sleep could claim her she pulled back slightly, looking into Tyler’s eyes.

“You deserve the very best out of life and I hope that you find happiness.”

His arms tightened around her as his lips pulled up into a small, sad smile. She laid her head back down against his chest, right above his heart. Another tear escaped her eyes as she closed them, but this one wasn’t out of sadness. As she listened to his heartbeat, she realized that she hoped the happiness he’d find would be with her.
♠ ♠ ♠
That's it for what I wrote this summer, so, unfortunately, it will likely depend on how much spare time I have between school and work and life in general before the next chapters are written and posted. I've kind of had a love/hate relationship with Tyler lately so ideas aren't coming to me as easily as I'd like them to, but I know where I want this story to go, it's just a matter of getting there.

For anyone who didn't already know and may be interested, the song lyrics in the chapter are "It's Time" by Imagine Dragons (one of my favorites) and "I Need Your Love" by Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding. ​​​​

And how about that Bruins game last night?! I hope that's a preview of what we'll be getting when the season truly starts.

Thanks again to all the readers/subscribers/commentors/fellow Seguin lovers!​​​​​​​​​​​​