Colorado was different than anywhere Danny had ever played before.

The thirty seven year old man was away from his children for one of the first times in his life. Since his early twenties, Danny had been surrounded by the family he loved more than life itself, but the past two seasons had taken him away. Granted, his children were old enough to be away for extended periods of time, they had school, they had their mother, and they were teenagers, so they didn’t miss him too much; but he missed them.

Danny called them at least once a day. Even when he knew they were busy with school or sports, he made it a point to talk to them for a good hour or so just so they didn’t forget he existed. His ex-wife, Sylvie, couldn’t have been more accommodating if she tried too; the woman went out of her way to get the three boys out to Colorado whenever time allowed, she filled him in on the things they wouldn’t talk to him about, and she calmed his fears that they were forgetting him. She may not have been a great wife, but she was a damn good mother and Danny respected that and loved that.

Six years of his career had been spent playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. In those six years he raised three amazing sons, divorced his wife, and played some great hockey. He held those years and that area close to his heart but it was time to move on after a while, at least career wise. All other aspects of his life, well those were still back in the Philadelphia/New Jersey area.

The day he went to Montreal was tough for him. He knew he was closer to his father and other family, but he would still be far from his sons. That season, Sylvie took the boys out of school more, sent them to Montreal for long weekends, and they all came up for the holidays. It was easier though.

“Danny?” he heard a soft, sleepy voice walk into the room.

He looked up from the pictures of the boys on his IPad, only to be greeted by the only smile that
seemed to ease his pain.

“What are you doing up?” he smiled at Samantha, his girlfriend for the past three and a half years.

The short brunette walked toward him, “What are you looking at?”

“The boys,” he motioned for her to come closer, “I don’t know if you know this, but they were you ng
and cute at one point.”

She giggled, “I think I’ve seen a couple pictures of that.”

Danny pulled her onto his lap and kissed her cheek, “Caelan’s team is doing really well right now. I
think Cameron has a little girlfriend too.”

“How’s Cars doing?” Samantha asked.

“He’s doing good. He’s Carson, always smiling no matter what.”

She frowned, “I know you miss them and I’m sorry.”

He nodded, “It’s rough, especially when it’s getting this close to the holidays. I have you though, you
make up for a little bit of it.”

“Well thanks. They’ll be here though,” she reminded him, “In a week they’ll all be here, taking up
space, making a mess, fighting over the dumbest things, being all teenager and hormonal,” she

“Yeah,” he sighed, “They’ll be here harassing me about everything, wanting to see Talbot, fighting…”

“And being here Dan, they’ll be here with you and it’ll be really nice for all of us.”

He took a deep breath and relished in the fact that Samantha used the word “us” in reference to his
boys. It had taken her a long time to feel comfortable thinking of herself as a part of his family and a
part of him used to wonder if she ever would.

Sylvie and Danny had a rule about introducing significant others to their sons; they were supposed to
wait at least three months into the relationship, and that was only if they discussed it first. With
Samantha, he only waited a month and a half because he knew it would work. he did talk about it
with his ex and Sylvie told him that she felt comfortable with Samantha being a part of their lives and
that she thought the boys would love her.

The boys did love her too. They loved that she was a physical therapist and could help them with
their sports injuries, they loved that she was funny and treated them like they were adults more than
their parents did, and they loved how she made their father smile the way he did when they were
younger. Even though Samantha may not have included herself in their family for a while, the boys
did from the get go.

“Caelan told me that he has to talk to me about something,” Samantha stood and walked toward the

“Oh, did he now?” Danny chuckled.

She shook her head, “I have no idea what he’d want to talk with me about.”

Danny smiled to himself, knowing immediately a few things his soon to be seventeen year old might
want to discuss with her.