‹ Prequel: Chances Risked
Sequel: Life's Chances

The Three C's

Chapter Thirty Three

“How was Chicago?” Sidney asked and I looked at him and nodded my head.

“It was good- Happy to be back with my boys,” I said and he smirked. We were in the locker room throwing our workout gear on because we were going to pass the soccer ball around. We had a game against the Capitals tonight and then head back to Pittsburgh for our game against them tomorrow night.

Beau, who was back from his broken wrist, James, Kunitz, Sidney, Geno, Olli, Marc, Brian Gibbons, Tanner Glass, Brandon Sutter, Jeff Zatkoff and I were in a circle kicking the ball around when Beau decides to plug his throw the stereo on and we listened to some music.

“Come on Gibby, you gotta be better than that!” I teased when Brian just head butted the ball to me when James passed it to him.

“Next time,” he laughed and I smirked and nodded my head, bouncing the ball with my knees and then head butting it to Marc.

“Yo Mags!” Beau called and I looked towards him to see him turning up the music and I laughed at the sound that Beau and I were obsessed with.

“What the fuck is this?!” James laughed as Beau and I were dancing a little in or spot in the circle.

I laughed when Beau was singing the song and we had our backs to each other and we’re dancing against each other, “…When I saw her, walking down the street, she looked so fine, I just had to speak, I ask her name, but she turned away, as she walked away, all that I can say was-“

“Mmm mmm yeah yeah, Mmm mmm yeah yeah, Mmm mmm yeah yeah, all that I can say was, Mmm mmm yeah yeah, Mmm mmm yeah yeah, all that I can say was,” the guys were laughing at Beau and I, we were a bunch of goofballs and we’re having fun, I was going to miss this when I went to Chicago.

When Coach came in a little while later to tell us to get suit up for warm ups I had Austin Mahone’s song ‘Mmm Yeah’ stuck in my head and kept on humming it. I heard James groan and turned my head to see him smirking and shaking his head.

I was moving a little slow today, so I didn’t have time to put my hair in a signature braid, I threw it in a pony tail and would do the braid after warm ups. Like James, I never wore my helmet for warm ups, I didn’t want to mess the hair. When my blades touched the ice, I smiled brightly and grabbed the closest puck to me and shot it towards the empty net.

As the warm ups went on, I looked over towards the Capitals side to see them warming up, I noticed that the one rookie, I didn’t know his name, didn’t even recognize him, so he must have been brought up, but he was watching me the whole time. I heard my name and turned my head to see Geno looking at me, “What?”

“You ok?”

“Yeah, who’s that rookie?” I asked and Geno looked to where I was looking.

“No know, why?”

“He’s been giving me a weird look,” I said and Geno sighed.

“It be ok, you handle him,” Geno said and I smirked and nodded my head, “Come on.”

As soon as warm ups were over, we headed into the locker room, I braided my hair and then finished getting my sticks ready for the game. Coach came in saying that Zatkoff was going to be in the net and that Brooks, Olli, Sidney, Kunitz and I were going to be the starting line. Coach had noticed the Capitals rookie staring at me during the warm ups and wanted to see where it was going to go from there.

We were on the ice listening to the national anthem, when it was over, we got into our positions and waited for the ref. John Carlson, Team USA teammate was next to me and we both bent down, “Yo,” he looked at me, “What’s with your rookie?”

“Which one?” he whispered and I looked back towards their bench.

“Number four,” I said and he looked back towards the bench.

“Lerks? I don’t know, he’s a little weird, just brought him up today,” he said and I nodded my, “Why?”

“Kept on staring at me during warm ups,” I said and Carlson chuckled.

“First NHL game, I’m sure he’s just looking out the enemy,” he said and I nodded my head and looked towards the ref to see he was about to drop the puck. As soon as he did, Sidney won it and passed it to Kunitz, the game was on.

We were Colorado; some of the team was in the lounge room on our floor of the hotel watching the Penguins/ Capitals game. We had a game against the Avalanches in about two days, we had just landed about two hours ago, had practice tomorrow.

“Who is that rookie?” Saad asked as I looked at number four of the Capitals.

“Don’t know, let me pull up his stats,” I said and pulled out my phone to pull up information on the rookie who had been going after Maggie all night.

They were in the middle of the second period, the score tied at two and Maggie had one assist, forty six seconds into the game, Kunitz scored a goal with Crosby and Maggie assisting. I brought up the information and found that Brian Lerks was a Canadian from Vancouver, was drafted two years ago and played on the Hershey Bears for two of those years; this was his first time being brought up.

“What’d ya find?” Sharp asked.

“Not much, his stats are decent, must have really needed another player to bring ‘em up,” I said and passed my phone around, looking at the screen just in time to see Lerks cross check Maggie and earn himself a penalty. I could see the frustration on her face and I figured she was getting ready to burst.

“Tripping, hooking, high sticking and now cross checking- This kid’s really asking for it,” Jon said and I nodded my head.

We ended up winning the game against the Capitals with the final score of three to two. As soon as the game was over, we headed into the locker room, did out interviews, showered, changed and headed for the bus for the four hour trip back to Pittsburgh.

I sat in the window seat and looked out at the dark sky, I felt someone plop next to me and turned my head to see Beau there and gave him a small smile, “I’m happy to have you back, Sunshine.”

“Trust me, I’m happy to be back,” he said and I giggled and laid my head on his shoulder.

Some of the boys played their video games during the bus ride back, some listened to music, Craig Adams read, or like me, some slept. As soon as Beau got comfortable in the seat next to me, my head went back on his shoulder and I went to sleep.

We arrived in Pittsburgh just after four in the morning and I couldn’t wait to get to my bed and pass out for a few hours. Olli and Beau were already asleep in my Escalade before I even got there. As I was about to open the door I heard my name and turned to see Jayson and Brian, two boys that were brought up a few times.

“What’s up?”

“Do you mind if we crash on your couch? We were staying at Nealer’s and I think he’s got a girl over there,” Brain said and I smirked and nodded my head, “Cool, thanks.”

“No problem, um, yeah, I’m out of beds, but I have big couches,” I said and they nodded their heads.

“It’s fine, that’s what we were sleeping on before,” Jason said and I nodded my head.

“Hop in,” I said and the two threw their bags in the back of the Escalade and then snuck into the backseat with Olli, ‘…Why do I always get stuck being the hotel?...’ I thought remembering when Coach announced a while ago that when we brought people up from the AHL, they were no longer going to put them in hotels. According to Coach, it was a bonding experience if they crashed with us, which was fine, so far it had worked for Olli and Beau, I loved having them around.

When we pulled into my driveway, I shoved Beau awake and he looked at me and then looked in the backseat to wake up Olli, but saw Brian and Jayson, “When did you two get there?”

“Been there the whole time, Sunshine,” I smirked and got out of my car and went to the back to grab our things, “They’re gunna stay with us because Nealer broke the ‘bros before hoes’ code,” I teased and the guys chuckled, “I do gotta tell you two, I’ve got dogs-“

“No big deal,” they said and I nodded my head.

“This is gunna be one giant sleepover,” Beau said and I laughed.

“Are you gunna let me paint your nails?” I asked Beau looked at me.

“Only if we can have a naked pillow fight-“

“You’re such a dork,” I laughed and playfully shoved him as we walked to my front door and as I fumbled with my keys, I could hear the dogs barking.

“How many dogs do you have?” Jayson asked.

“Three,” I said and they nodded their heads, “Just let them sniff you and you’ll be fine.”

“Bella’s my girl, she snuggles with me,” Beau said and I giggled, “And Olli won’t say it, but he like’s Stanley.”

“No, Stanley likes me,” Olli said and I laughed and opened the door and started to push the three dogs back as everyone walked into the house.

“Ok, well, it’s late- Early- I don’t know, I’m going to bed,” Beau said and I nodded my head, “What time do we need to be at the rink?”

“Five thirty,” I said and he nodded his head, “But we’re going to Flowers for lunch at one.”

“All right,” Beau said and he and Olli went up the stairs, I let the dogs outside and then motioned for Jayson and Brian to follow me.

I set them up downstairs on the couch and then went back upstairs; brought the dogs in and watched them all run to the basement, most likely to see who our company was. I left the basement door opened and then walked up the stairs, seeing Beau and Olli’s doors cracked open for when Stanley and Bella sneak into their rooms.

It felt like forever before I was able to climb into my bed and go to sleep, but as soon as my head hit the pillow and my brain shut off, I went to sleep.