Status: Updated approx. once a week!

Picture Perfect

First Day

"Just put the box over the Dex," I say and jerk my head in the direction of an unpainted room.

"Whatever you say, sis," Dex replies with a trace of attitude in his voice.

I brush the loose ends of my hair out of my face and sigh after I place a large box filled with plates in the kitchen. The new apartment was going to need a lot of decorating but I know my best friend Julie and I can tackle the demanding job. I walk over to a set of windows displaying the large cityscape of Philadelphia and open them in hopes to air out the stuffy apartment- I was already sweating like a pig in the mid-September humidity.

"Hey Kat, I didn't know my room was bigger!" Julie yells from my bedroom, "Are you sure you're okay with giving me that room?"

I shake my head and half laugh, "You're kidding right? You have so much more stuff than I do," I say pointing at the surplus of boxes and suitcases already moved into her bedroom.

"If you say so," she says as she makes her way through my door and into the light purple colored walled living room. The sunlight hitting her tan skin makes the red scar that spreads across the left side of her body, down her arm, and up her neck more visible- our scars are almost identical but mine spreads up my face more. I try to shake the thoughts from my head as I shudder at the horrendous memory. We were happy to decide to move to Philadelphia together- we wanted a fresh new start and to forget about the past- we just had to get away.

"Hey, you okay Kat?" Kyle asks me, waking me from my daze. He wraps his arms around me lovingly and kisses my forehead.

"Yeah thanks," I smile.

"Cut it out- stop hangin' on my baby sister and help me with the rest of these boxes," Dex says from the entrance and Kyle complies. Even though Kyle and I have been dating for a couple of years, Dex still gets uncomfortable with any PDA I am partaking in.

After we finish unloading the boxes from the truck and moving van, the guys leave us and we sit in her room with the TV on, unpacking her mountain of boxes and suitcases.

"So have you heard back from the Philadelphia Flyers' organization yet?" Julie asks as she delves into a new box of random stuff.

"Not yet, they said they'd be calling soon enough to tell me if I got the job or not. It's so nerve wracking," I confess.

"You're going to get it," she chimes, "You're an amazing photographer Kat."

"Thanks but you never know Jules. I just don't want to get my hopes up for it and end up crushed," I laugh pathetically. I've been doing a ton of wedding photos, baby pictures, senior portraits and other event-type stuff since I graduated but my ultimate dream has always been working for the Flyers; Flyers hockey and photography- how could it get any better? Julie and I grew up together, both of our families shoulder deep in Philadelphia sports, and our favorite has always been Flyers hockey.

Julie and I order two large pizzas to be delivered to the apartment for an early dinner and start to unpack some of our kitchenware, filling our hallow cabinets with plates, bowls, mugs, and cups. Just after we begin to eat our pizza, I hear my phone ringing from the next room; I run to get it and gasp at the phone number- it was the Flyers' offices.

"Jules look!" I shout, running towards her showing her the number.

"Answer it!" she yells laughing at my freak out.

I swipe over on my phone to answer the call and nervousness takes over my body.

"Hello?" my voice squeaks.

"Hello, Ms. Katina Reilly?"

"Yes this is her!" I say a little too energetically.

"Hi! This is Kelly from the Flyers' offices. So we went over your resume and portfolio, and we love your work!" she says and I feel the weight of the world fall off my shoulders.

"Thank you so much!" I say and Julie exclaims something in Spanish and we jump around the kitchen happily but quiet enough Kelly can't hear our excitement.

"We would love to have you come out to one of the practices this week and take a couple photos so we can give you an idea of what kind of pictures we want- if need be. I will be there to meet with you and give you some paperwork to look at and sign. Is this Wednesday good for you?"

"Yes, of course!" I almost yell with excitement.

"Great, see you soon Ms. Reilly, have a nice day," the woman chimes.

"You too! Thank you!"

Once I hang up, Jules and I go back to screaming and jumping- this was a dream come true; I can't believe it's actually happening.

"We need to celebrate!" Julie says and starts to root through a couple boxes, "aha!" she yells as she finds what she's looking for. She pulls out a huge unopened bottle of vodka with one hand and two shot glasses with the other with an enormous grin on her face. Julie fills up the glasses and we each hold one up, "to your awesome new fucking job!" she yells. We clink our glasses and down our shots.


Before getting out of my car, I check my make up once again, making sure no part of my burn scar is visible on my face. Thankfully, I was able to find my lavender scarf to cover up the burn mark covering the side of my neck. I make my way towards the rink with my bulky camera bag, filled with unnecessary memory cards, batteries, and an extra camera- just in case every single thing goes wrong.

As soon as practice starts, butterflies take flight in my stomach; seeing all of my favorite guys file out onto the ice feels so surreal. I continue to run around the rink all of practice, trying to get the best shots possible and a variety of angles. Some of the players and fans give me strange looks but I wasn't going to worry about how crazy I seemed to be if it meant sacrificing possibly great photos.

When I start to walk to the other side of the rink, I make eye contact with Claude Giroux as he is skating around the ice. We hold each others' gazes for a few moment before I start taking photos again- I have to take advantage of the fact that he is looking at me. Just as I snap the first two pictures, he rams into the glass, sending some of the guys who were watching in a fit of laughter- I couldn't help but to join in. A chorus of chirps follow as he gets back on his feet and I can feel my face blush bright red with embarrassment when Claude and some of players flash glances and smiles my direction.

I make my way to an office near the locker rooms quickly after their practice ends to meet with Kelly. Once I walk in, I am taken back by how young she looks, despite her semi formal clothes. I reintroduce myself to her and show her an array of photos I took. She seems to love them and requests me to email the good ones to her.

"I can't wait to see what else you have!" she says as she looks through more pictures on my camera. "Oh by the way, we were wondering if you would like to also run the Philadelphia Flyers Instagram account as well? It's more pay and you're more than qualified for the job," she mentions nonchalantly and my jaw drops.

"Yes, yes! I'd love to, thank you so much," I almost shout.

"No problem," Kelly smiles sweetly.

"I'm surprised the position wasn't already filled," I say with some confusion in my voice.

"Oh, well the girl who was helping run it got involved with one of the players and when it didn't end well, things got really messy," she informs me, "you'll see all of that stuff in the contract," she sighs. After a few more minutes of talking about my new job, we say our goodbyes.

As I walk out of the rink, I stuff the paper work in-between my middle and pointer finger while I scan through the different pictures I took today, observing the small LCD screen. I hear some laughing and yelling around me but I drown it all out, and focus on the photos in front of me.

Suddenly, I slam into a hard body, fall backwards, and papers start raining down around me.

"Hey G, did you kill the girl?" I hear a voice yell from the car and a few hearty laughs follow. My eyes flicker open and the bright blue sky scattered with puffy clouds come into sight. Suddenly a head with tousled, wavy ginger hair hovers over into my view, "I'm so sorry! Are you okay?" he asks, his French-Canadian accent is hard to ignore.

I blink a couple of times, sit up on my elbows, and notice all of the papers scattered on the ground- not yet realizing the guy staring at me.

"Miss? Are you okay?" he says again and I look up. I stiffen up as soon as I see who I slammed into. I quickly check if my scarf is messed up and I adjust it to make sure the burn spread across my neck is showing.

"Uh-uh- yeah," I stammer. He extends his hands and helps me get up on my feet. I feel electricity ripple through my body when his hand wraps around mine. His black gym shorts, tan flip flops and a flyers shirt tight in all of the right places look way too good on him.

"I'm Claude," he smiles warmly and shakes my hand firmly.

"I know- I mean hi I'm Katina, you can call me Kat," I say and give him a smile. I suddenly see some papers fly away around my feet so I immediately chase after them; luckily, I catch them without making a huge fool out of myself.

Claude crouches down and helps me pick up the remaining papers off the hard pavement. "I'm so sorry though- really. I wasn't even looking where I was going," he says apologetically.

"Oh, it's fine don't worry, I wasn't looking either," I laugh softly, looking up at him and we exchange smiles as I brush my hair behind my ear.

"He might seem smart on the ice but he's actually an idiot," Jakub says behind him loudly shaking us from each other's gazes and I can't help but laugh at his comment. Claude flushes a shade of red as we both get back up on our feet, and punches Jake in the shoulder.

"Get any good pictures?" he asks me just after shooing Jakub away with a shove. I give him a confused look but then he motions his head to my camera hanging around my neck.

"Oh uh- yeah I think so," I smile, holding up my camera. Suddenly I see the outside filter on my lens is shattered and Claude gasps.

"Oh my god, I am so sorry! How much do those cost? I will buy you a new one!" he yells worriedly.

"Don't worry about it, I have a ton more like these really," I say trying to calm him down.

"Are you sure?" he asks, his hazel eyes making my heart flutter wildly.

"Yes I promise," I repeat while I try not to grin like an idiot.

"If you say so," he says and a silence grows between us, feeling a bit awkward.

"Uhm- well," we say together in unison and he motions for me to talk.

"It was very nice meeting you. I guess I'll get going- I don't want to keep you any longer," I laugh nervously.

"You don't have to worry about that," he says with his signature panty melting smile, "I hope to see you again soon Kat." Claude runs a hand through his hair and places his hat back on his head; we hold each other's gaze for a few moments but it is broken off by someone calling his name from the parking lot. We run into each other twice more before correctly passing each other.

"We've got to stop doing that," he grins genuinely.

"I guess so," I laugh, and I know I am blushing a bright red.

"Bye Kat," he says, his voice deep, soft and genuine all at the same time.

"Bye Claude," I chime. As I walk back to my car, I look over my shoulder and to Claude- what a hell of a first day.
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Hey guys! Hope you like this first chapter! I'll probably be changing and updating a couple things in it the next few days. Not sure when the next time I'll be able to update will be since finals are this week and the next - but hopefully I'll get some time. Let me know if you like it so far or not, I love feed back!

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