Status: in progress

Promises to Keep

dinner

"Cass!" Tayla trilled excitedly. She embraced Tyler's younger sister with open arms, pulling her into a tight hug. Since Tyler was in the midst of practice, she had offered to pick her up from the airport. She would be arriving just in time for game one of the Stanley Cup Playoffs; Dallas Stars vs Vegas Golden Knights, just as she had predicted.

"Tay! It's so good to see you!" she replied with a wide smile. It was strange not having her around home. Even though Tyler had been gone for years, Tayla still always came around to visit her and her parents, and often watched games with them, along with Tayla's parents. "I've missed you"

"I've missed you too, kiddo" Tayla responded as they waited for her luggage to come around. "I'm glad you're here" she added, excited to watch the game with her tomorrow night. It would bring back a sense of home, one to which she missed.

"Me too. I've missed you guys. Mostly you" she smirked, grabbing her luggage.

"I can't wait to watch the game with you; it'll be just like I'm back home" Tayla reminisced, beginning to miss her family. She spoke to her mother and father on the phone rarely, but sent e-mails at work to her dad almost daily. She would often send him the article she had written before she submitted it to be published. In her mind, nobody knew hockey like her father did; she always sought his opinion.

"We all miss you" Cass commented, referring to her parents. "But we're glad you're doing so well. Speaking of which..." she trailed off, wriggling her eyebrows.

"What does that mean?" Tayla asked, laughing.

"Nick! I wanna know about Nick!" Cassidy laughed, as the pair drove back to Tyler's house.

"Oh, Nick!" Tayla confirmed, giggling. "He's great; things are going really well with him so far" she gushed happily. "Honestly he's so attentive and thoughtful, we have a lot in common... it's been great"

Cassidy smiled, happy for Tayla. She had not had romatic luck in the past. She was so caring and giving that a lot of people would take advantage of, and they so often did.

"I'm happy for you, Tay. Do I get to meet him?" she asked excitedly.

"If you want to..." she trailed off, becoming slightly nervous. Sure, Nick had met Tyler briefly, but that was it. She was tentative to take him around her friends and family in case things went south as they normally did for her.

"I know you're nervous, but things really sound like they're going well!" Cassidy reasoned with her, sensing her doubt. "And he's met Tyler, hasn't he?"

"Only briefly" Tayla told her, reciting the story of the day in her office.

"Sorry my brother can be such a dink sometimes" Cassidy rolled her eyes when Tayla finished telling her that Tyler had shown up with the fruit bouquet, and the way he had been acting in the subsequent days.

"Not something new" Tayla reminded her, and the pair laughed.

"Well, I'd like to meet him if you feel comfortable with it" Cassidy finally stated, after a few moments of silence. She thought of Tayla as a sister, and wanted nothing more than to see her happy.

"We could all go to dinner tonight?" Tayla suggested. "He said he'd like to meet you also. Maybe I could have him over? Maybe cook up something?"

"That'd be great! Gives me time for a nap too" Cassidy said while yawning. "I'm sure Tyler would love to get to know him better too" she added.

"I hope so. Not that I need his approval, but I'd like it- you know?" Tayla admitted sheepishly. She didn't need anybody's approval; but she wanted Tyler's. He was one of, if not that most important person in her life; losing him was no option.
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"This is delicious, Tay" Tyler gushed, enjoying the taco pasta Tayla had made.

"Agreed. You're an amazing cook" Cassidy nodded her head in agreement.

"I third that. You'll have to cook for me more often" Nick smirked, and Tayla blushed furiously.

"Thanks guys. I've been having fun trying new recipes on pinterest" Tayla thanked them, taking the last bite of her food.

The dinner was going seemingly smoothly. They all made small talk, talking about past memories, the upcoming playoffs, and asked Nick some questions, attempting to get to know him better. Was Tayla's romantic luck finally changing? Were things going to finally go her way?

"It's been paying off" Tyler said, feeling slightly uncomfortable with Nick being around. He tried his best to behave, and to make it seem like it wasn't bothering him, but it proved to be difficult. He loved Tayla, as much more than a friend, and with each gaze, touch, and flirtaious comment, he felt his heart shatter more and more.

When they had said goodbye to Nick and Tayla had went off to bed, he thought he was in the clear; but he was wrong.

"So. Why don't you like Nick?" his sister asked emotionlessly. Tyler peered over to her, staring at her in the dark. Since Nick had left and Tayla had went to bed, he remained up just talking with his sister. He managed to avoid the topic of Nick; until now.

"What do you mean?" Tyler asked, pretending to be shocked.

"Oh come on, Ty" Cassidy rolled her eyes, placing the bowl of popcorn she was eating on the coffee table in front of her. "You looked like you were trying not to launch yourself over the table and punch him in the face" she laughed, thinking back to how uncomfortable he looked the entire time Nick was around.

"It's not that I don't like him" Tyler confessed, unsure of how to proceed.

"But you love Tayla, I got it" Cassidy completed the sentence for him. It all seemed to come together for her in that moment. This wasn't the first time Cassidy had seen Tyler act strangely towards a boyfriend of Tayla's. For the longest time, she just chalked it up to her brother being an overprotective older brother type; but that was far from the truth.

Once Tayla moved to Dallas and in with Tyler, she knew there had to be more to it than what met the eye. There were very few people that Tyler was close to, and wanting someone to move into another country to live with you? Something seemed strange; and now she knew why.

"I- how did you-" Tyler spluttered, turning a deep shade of red, glad it was too dark to see his face.

"A number of things lead me to the conclusion. I wasn't 100%, but thank you for confirming" Cassidy stated matter-of-factly.

"I hate you sometimes" Tyler grumbled, and Cassidy rolled her eyes.

"Whatever dude. So, have you told her? Well, obviously not otherwise Nick would be not in the picture" Cassidy asked, and backtracked.

"I'm too scared to tell her" Tyler told her softly. "I can't lose her"

"I know, Ty. And I don't think you ever will. Honestly, I always thought you'd end up together" she confessed. Her brother and Tayla were really similar, fun to be around, hilarious, smart and charming people. They knew everything about each other; and obviously the attraction was at least one sided.

"Really?" Tyler asked, hoping they had talked about it.

"I've never asked her" Cassidy noticed him get excited, so she let him down gently.

"I don't know what to do" Tyler sighed heavily, shaking his head.

"I'm not sure Ty" Cassidy told him honestly. "But I'm sure you'll figure it out."

Tyler let her words sink in. He decided he needed to do something, before it was too late.
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