As You Please


Brett and I had met about a block out from the center of our apartment buildings. When I noticed the familiar blonde wave his hand through the crowd, I jogged over to him and wrapped him into a tight hug. As he wrapped his arms around me, he rocked us back and forth, letting out a loud yell into the busy Sunday streets of Toronto.

The last week had obliterated the mental stability of the tight friend group Brett and I were a part of. With nearly impossible deadlines and three huge pitches, we were all pushed to the very brink of a breakdown. Most days, the four of us camped out at my house, our laptops all plugged in while we sat at my dining room table and ran through everything us and our team needed to do.

Despite the high levels of stress, we had fun. We worked until one in the morning, slept until six, then got up and did it again. They had cleaned out my fridge and depleted my supply of coffee. All of my dishes were dirty, and I was running low on toilet paper and laundry detergent.

In the end, when we walked in on Friday to Robyn congratulating us on three super successful business pitches, it was worth it. We spent most of Friday catching up and filling out paperwork. For lunch, we ordered in and ate in my office. When it finally hit five o’clock, Robyn handed us each an envelope, thanked us, and told us to have a nice weekend.

As we all exited the building, we made plans to meet for Brunch on sunday. It was a ritual we had started when we all started working there, but as of late, wasn’t able to keep up with. Between huge projects, travel, and significant others, it was nearly impossible.

Luckily, today Auston was away, Lilly’s girlfriend was busy with college friends, and Trevor and Brett were single and ready to embarass themselves in front of ladies once they were drunk off mimosas.

“Auston still texting you non-stop?” Brett asked once we broke apart and started heading into the main section of the city.

A blush appeared on my cheeks as I thought back to the last week. Auston was busy practicing and traveling. They had five games packed into nine days all across the western united states. I knew he was exhausted. I knew he needed to keep his head in the game. I told him. I begged him.

But every night, he called.

When they had a night off, he stayed in his hotel room and skyped me instead of going out with the team. He thought it was a win because the guys weren’t around, but little did he know I had the three most obnoxious friends surrounding me when his face came through on the screen.

The brunette was hesitant at first, but once everyone got their jokes in and let us do most of the talking, he quickly warmed up to them.

I really like your friends.

Thanks, we like you a lot too!

“Yeah, his plane lands tomorrow night. I told him to head home and rest but-” I looked at Brett and watched him dramatically roll his eyes.

“But, the key.” Brett lightly pushed his elbow into my ribs as he wiggled his eyebrows. Rolling my eyes, I turned to him and flicked the tip of his nose.

“Yeah, yeah, I know, B.”

“I called it, I said he was in love with you.” The blonde teased as he poked my shoulder a few times. “Talk about a good-looking power couple.”

“Do you ever hear yourself?”

“Yes, I talk to myself all the time,” Brett snickered as I rolled my eyes and reached into my pocket. Pulling out my phone, I looked down and felt my cheeks heat up again as his name appeared on the screen. “Really though,” Brett started, his eyes locking onto mine as I looked up, “you deserve this.”

Shrugging my shoulders, I opened the message and ran my eyes over it quickly.

Have fun with your squad. Don’t get too drunk.

Glancing over at Brett, I noticed his eyes jerking back to the sidewalk as a huge smile appeared on his face.

My drunk brunch selfies are fuego. Just you wait.

“I’m the maid of honor or we aren’t friends.”

“You’ll have to fist fight Marissa.”

“She hot?” Brett wiggled his eyebrows as he looked back over at me. Pinching the bridge of my nose, I shook my head and sighed.

“Oh Brett, what am I going to do with you?”

The blonde let out a howl of a laugh as he pulled me into his side and messed up my hair. Letting out a groan, I looked over at him and felt a huge smile surface on my face. Everything, for one of the very first times in my life, seemed steady.

As we walked the rest of the way to the restaurant, I filled in Brett with all of the details of the last few weeks with Auston and I. I told him I was spending Christmas with the Marleau’s. I told him Auston dropped the ‘I love you’ and then I told him the one piece of information I was debating on sharing. I figured he would bring it up, so instead of letting him make me blush, I casually mentioned it.

When I told him we had finally slept together, he threw his hands into the air and screamed incoherent sentences at me for nearly two blocks. Although everyone around us thought he was a maniac, I couldn’t help but blush and laugh.

When he calmed down, he leaned into me and lifted his eyebrows. “How was he?”

“Oh my god,” I shrugged my shoulders up as I looked over at him. “Best I ever had, hands down.”

“That’s right!” Brett screamed, “my guy out here killing it!” He threw his hands in the air a few more times before calming down and pulling me back into his side. “God, that’s such a relief. He can’t walk around being who he is without killing it in bed.”

“Are we done?”

“Fine, I won’t ask for details.” Brett huffed as we turned a corner.

Not even a minute later, a familiar high pitched scream filled the air. As bystanders looked around in horror, Brett and I braced ourselves as Lilly and Trevor sprinted down the sidewalk, gently shoving people out of the way. When they reached us, their arms pulled us into a tight hug.

“BRUNCH SQUAD!” Lilly screamed into the air as she and Trevor rocked us back and forth a few times. As we stumbled and bumped into people, I couldn’t stop myself from laughing. I had missed seeing my coworkers outside of the office. I missed smiling and having fun. I missed this version of myself.

“Tessa you, me and bottomless mimosas.” Lilly pointed to me as she grabbed my hand and dragged me along the sidewalk to the front door of the restaurant. When we walked in, Lilly took a hold of the conversation, leaving me a few seconds to check my phone.

Of course, he had text me.

The guys and I are impatiently waiting. Lilly is letting me down.

“Auston is waiting on some drunk mimosa selfies.”

“Oh, tell him and his little buckaroos to hold onto their horses because this is going to be litttty” Lilly gave me a wild smile as she jerked her head toward the hostess that was motioning us to follow her. Walking close to Lilly, I quickly typed a response.

Bottomless mimosas in about ten minutes. Give us twenty. Lilly said it’s going to be ‘litttty’.

When the hostess sat us at our table, I took a seat next to Lilly and let the two guys sit against the wall, giving them a wide view of the poor helpless woman in the restaurant After we settled in, Brett and Trevor started to scope the area as Lilly and I ordered our first of many drinks.

Like she had promised, Lilly had me tipsy within twenty minutes of being sat at the table. Looking at the menu, I could only giggle as I struggled to read the words. After a few attempts, I looked up and watched as Brett looked at me. When he noticed the red on my cheeks, he started laughing and leaned across the table.

“I really need to pee,” I sighed as Brett let out a loud laugh and smiled at me.

“You’re breaking the seal already?”

“I’m going to ex...explode if I don’t.” I widen my eyes as I felt the pressure in my bladder.

“Did you say drunk girl trip to the bathroom?” Lilly said quickly as she pushed out her chair and stood up. “Trev, avocado toast, two egg white tuscan omelettes, make sure these glasses stay full!” Lilly ended with a small stomp of her foot as she grabbed my hand and pulled me out of my chair.

Stumbling along behind her, we made our way to the bathroom. Just as she pulled out her cell phone, I broke from her grasp and quickly ran into a stall. Once I was done, I flushed, walked out, washed my hands and watched as Lilly turned to me with a devious smile.

“Come here gorgeous,” she grabbed my hand and pulled me over to the mirror. “Look cute for your hot piece of ass.”


As the blonde laughed wildly, she pulled my cell phone from my pocket and handed it to me. Fixing her hair, she waved her hands and gave me an annoyed look. “Let’s go stretch, we have a photo to take. Let’s do it.”

Rolling my eyes, I put my hand down on the counter and sucked in a huge breath. Holding my phone up Lilly and I smiled wide as I snapped a few photos. When I was done, I handed her the phone and turned so I could rest against the counter. Letting out a deep breath, I tilted my head back and listened as the blondes nails clicked against the screen.

“Damn, you sleeping with the whole Leafs team?” Lilly snickered.

“Lil, really?” I groaned as I pinched the bridge of my nose not mentally up for explaining how they all followed me in an two minute span. After a minute, I gasped and turned to her, my eyes connecting on her evil smile as she quickly finished typing and then handed the phone back to me, the screen off.

“What did you do!” I screamed as I quickly unlocked my phone. Navigating to Instagram, I placed my hand on my forehead and watched as my latest photo appeared.

tesslaw22 SQUAD BRUNCH with @lillypads @trevorcannon @brettsnaps @auston_matthews

brettsnaps WTF @lillypads she can’t even stand, what have you done?
lillypads MY JOB

“You tagged him!” I cried, putting my hand against my forehead as Lilly grabbed my other hand and started to walk me out of the bathroom. “He’s going to think I’m a child, he’s going to be freaked out he-”

My phone buzzed halfway to the table. Moving it to in front of my face, I stumbled back to my chair and plopped down as I unlocked the screen. When I saw it was a cluster of Instagram notifications, I let out a long sigh and reluctantly opened them.

brettsnaps WTF @lillypads she can’t even stand, what have you done?
lillypads MY JOB
cal_vin_007 BRUNCH WITHOUT US? @derwinger47 @rissawrites @jessmckennaaa
rissawrites my girl looking FUEGO
auston_matthews what a babe. Absolutely stunning
marner_93 either of you free this weekend? ;)
auston_matthews THEY ARE NOT
williamnylander be still my HEART. hello ladies @lillypads @tesslaw22 ;)
austun_matthews I WILL STILL YOUR HEART
zachhyman come drink with us, pls
auston_matthews no !!!

“Are the Maple Leafs hitting on us? Should I tell them I have a girlfriend… or?” Lilly laughed as she turned to me, her eyes just as wide as mine as I looked up from my phone. Laughing along with her, I shrugged my shoulders. I went to shut my screen off and rejoin the conversation at the table when I noticed a text from Auston.

I’m sorry about them

It’s all good, babbbbbbe

Are you really level 10?

You betchya. Two more levels and I start taking my clothes off

WHOA. Wait until I get home
Unless you feel like sharing the view

Why do you think I took off Tuesday?

You WHAT !!!!!!

There goes the surprise

You’re amazing

Rolling my eyes, I went to type back when I felt a hand on my shoulder. Looking up, I watched as everyone at the table turned and stared at me in horror. Shaking my head, I went to speak when I heard a familiar voice.

“Tessa,” my stomach felt like it was full of cement as I turned around and watched the man come into view. Blinking a few times, I parted my lips to speak when he continued. “Can I… talk to you… Outside… For a minute?”

Shaking my head a little I turned back to my phone and felt my thumbs move quickly as the world around me started to spin out of my control.

Hunter is here. Just walked up to me and asked to talk. Can I catch a break?

Holding my phone tightly in my hand, I pushed my chair out and crossed my arms against my chest. Steadying the slight spin of my head, I motioned for the boy to walk. As he headed toward the I took a few steps behind him and then heard someone's chair scratch against the hardwood floors. Turning, I watched as Brett quickly walked up behind me.

“Brett, I-”

“If he lays a single fucking finger on you, I’m beating the shit out of him.” Brett’s eyes were cold, colder than I had ever seen them before, as he put his hand on the small of my back and walked me through the restaurant.

“It’s okay, Brett, I don’t want you to-”

“Listen to me,” Brett spun me around and looked me dead in the eyes, his hands held my face gently making sure I couldn’t break my eyes from his, “you are my best friend. He’s hurt you enough for three lifetimes. I’m not letting it happen again. No fucking way. Okay?”

Nodding my head, I pulled Brett in for a quick hug, kissed his cheek, and then turned to the door. As I walked out into the chilly air, I could feel my phone wildly buzzing in my back pocket. Instead of looking at it, I sucked in a deep breath and pulled my head up. Our eyes connected instantly.

The man paused for a moment, his eyes running up and down me a few times before he swallowed hard.

“I owe you a huge apology.”
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