As You Please


Brett and I were one of the first few people through the gates. As the woman scanned our tickets, she rambled off a generic saying, but we didn’t stick around to hear it. The second Brett and I walked through security and grabbed our things, we took off in a sprint. Laughter filled the air between the two of us as our sneakers squeaked against the tiles.

The blonde was rambling on, his voice uneven as our feet pounded against the floor beneath us. Every so often I was able to pull a sentence from his rants, but as we made it to the main level and started to slow down, my brain drowned him out completely.

My body was warm as I looked around. I felt like someone had sent an electric shock through my nerves, a needle of adrenaline right into my heart. I felt like a child looking around at the concession stands and wall decorations around me. I had missed hockey so much. I had missed going to games and having fun.

I missed feeling this way.

“Do you know how good these seats are?” Brett waved the ticket in my face as he hooked his arm with mine and pulled me across the hallway. Walking down an entrance to the stands, I felt my heart explode as I stopped moving my feet, the cold air hitting me as we stepped out into the stands.

The ice was beautiful.

“We’re row three. Three, Tessa. I’ll be able to smell their sweat.” Brett turned to me, grabbing my shoulders and shaking me. After a few seconds, he looked down and smiled. “You look like a fucking toddler in that large jersey, holy shit.” He was laughing as I drilled my knuckles into his shoulder. Turning on my heels, I ignored his words as I started looking for a place to get a quick beer before warm-ups.

Thankfully, the lines were short. Hoping on the closest one, Brett eventually wandered over to me and informed me that since I had ‘done what I had to do’ to get the tickets, he’d pick up the alcohol tab.

“Thanks, Sweetheart.” I cooed as we walked up to the counter and watched Brett order four. Rolling my eyes, he paid for them and then handed me two. “I’m going to be on my ass by the first.”

“Good. I’ll show you where I usually stand for practice. You’ll be able to stare at your boyfriend nice and clear.” Brett snickered as I lightly kicked his shin and let out an annoyed growl . As I followed the blonde through the crowd, I felt my heart start to pound in my chest.

I thought back to the short conversation I had with him this morning when he called to tell me the tickets would be at will call. I remember how deep his voice was over the phone. It made me shiver just thinking about it.

I’m not going to be able to keep my eyes off of you.


I was on the ice for barely ten seconds when I saw her standing against the boards.

The world paused around me as my eyes soaked her in..

Tessa was standing there, her long brown hair cascading down past her shoulders in smooth waves. Her eyes were wide as she watched some of the guys that skated out before me shoot the puck toward the net. Those pink plump lips I had been daydreaming about since they brushed against mine were pulled into a beautiful smile and colored a deep red. The color looked like it was made just for her. A Maple Leafs jersey was hanging from her shoulders. It looked so big on her small frame, I wouldn’t be surprised if it stopped around her knees.

I wished it was mine.

“Yo, Matty,” Mitch bumped into me, pushing me into the boards with a light hip check. “Got the wandering eye tonight, huh? Trying to get laid?” I couldn’t find it in me to look at him. “I’ll take that as a yes. Where is… Whoa.”

My head snapped to the side as the man standing next to me fell silent. I could see the predatory glint surface in his eyes as he looked at her, the corners of his lips twitching into a smile. I had seen that smile so many times before. It looked innocent to everyone, but it wasn’t. It was the smile that appeared on him when he saw something he wanted.

Someone he wanted.

“You wouldn’t have a chance.” I challenged, my teeth gritting together as I thought about him standing too close to her, his eyes sinking below her jaw line. The thought of someone else looking at her like that was enough to make me sick. Part of me wanted to skate away and ignore him for the rest of the game, the other part wanted me to shake off my gloves and press my knuckles into his teeth.

“I’m not just going to stare at her like a child.” Mitch huffed as he rolled his eyes at me.

“She’s way out of your league.” I felt a smile tug at my lips as I let memories of her body pressed against mine as we laid in bed rushed through me.

“Fuck off, Matty.” The brunette jabbed my ribs, “I’m going to toss her a puck, maybe put my number on it.” Mitch confirmed as he gave me a wink and skated off into practice. I watched him like a hawk preying on a field mouse. Every time he worked on his stick handling or shot the puck, I would watch him look over at her.

Not once did I see those beautiful blue eyes catch onto his attempt to dazzle her.

I spent a few minutes stretching. I tried to get my head in the game, but every time I was about to control my breathing and give myself the pre-game pep-talk, I looked over at her. Her shoulders would twitch when a guy went to take a shot. Her head would move robotically on her shoulders as she watched one of the guys skate down the center and try to get a shot off on Freddy. She was so into the mechanics of the game, so infatuated with the display in front of her. I felt myself falling for her harder than I already had.

“You going to shoot some pucks, Matty?” I looked up at the sound of my nickname and watched as Patrick Marleau skated over and put his stick over his head. Over the last two years, Patrick and his family had welcomed me into their house and treated me like one of their own. He helped me navigate the NHL, adjust to a new city, and deal with all of the other stressors that come with being a NHL player in an NHL city.

Glancing at him, I nodded my head and hesitated for a moment. I knew the pre-game warm-ups weren’t the right time to ask for fatherly advice, but I needed some words to pull me out of this infatuation.

“She’s here. The Whisky girl.” Patrick’s eyes widened as he looked at me, “Leafs jersey, lower corner. Brunette. The pretty one next to the blonde guy.” Patrick looked over and pressed his lips together, his eyebrows lifting higher than I had ever seen in all of the years that I lived with him. “I’m having a hard time concentrating.”

“Well, Auston, I don’t blame you,” he laughed as he gave me a playful shoulder shove. “If Christina saw me make that face, she’d have my balls in a meat grinder.”

“Mitch has her in his sights, so I’m a little on edge.” I admitted, my eyes bouncing from guy to guy until I found him on the bench, his gloves off, a puck in one hand and a sharpie in the other. I felt a flash of rage rush through me.

“She’s not going to fall for that little shithead,” Patrick laughed as he took his stick and pushed me toward the center of the ice. “Once you start actually practicing, her eyes are never going to leave you.”

“Thanks, Dad.” I called out to him as he rolled his eyes and started to stretch on the ice. After he flipped me off, I scooped a puck from the pile and started to push it around the ice. Focusing on the blade of my stick, I pushed the puck around some more and then looked up at Freddy.

He gave me the nod and after a few moves, I flipped the puck up and watched as it hit the netting right under the crossbar and fell in behind his back. The goaltender rolled his eyes at me, telling me to fuck off, as a few of the other guys started a passing drill on his left side.

Grabbing another puck, I looked up toward the corner and felt my lips instantly form a smile. Her eyes were locked onto me, big and bright as they shimmered in the arena lights. Her full red lips were slightly parted, showing her perfect white teeth as she held her hand over her chest. She didn’t take her eyes off of me as I skated by and started pushing the puck around again.

No matter what I did, I felt her gaze on me. When I passed it back and forth with Naz, I glanced up at her as I waited for the pass back. I watched her shoulders move along with his. When he passed it back to me, she looked up at me, her eyes glued to my hands. Flipping the puck from backhand to forehand, I slipped it between Freddy’s pads.

As my eyes zeroed in on her and the blonde boy I could only assume was Brett, she balled up her fist and drilled it into the man’s shoulder. Her face was animated as she spoke to him, her shoulders leaning like she was explaining the play to him.

“Any last words, Matty?” Mitch skated in front of me, a puck with silver marker on it in the palm of his glove.

I could feel the rush of rage flash through me again as I looked over at her. When I caught her looking at me, I put a playful smirk on my lips and sent her a wink. The brunette’s face was bright red as she slapped a hand against her chest and another on the blonde mans shoulder. Shaking her head, her lips moved, saying something to the boy.

I could hear the hum of her voice in my head.

“Nah, good luck.” I shrugged a shoulder and skated over to where Patty was still stretching on the ice. Dropping down next to him, I looked over and watched as Mitch skated over to the spot right in front of Tessa and pressed his back against the boards.

When he didn’t move for a few shooting plays, Tessa put her hand against the boards and gave it a few punches. “Oh, Matty, Mitch is going to be so heartbroken.” Patrick couldn’t keep the laughter from his voice.

“She’s going to give it to her guy friend, just watch.” I whispered as I watched Mitch turn around and smile at her. For a second, she looked taken back from him looking at her. I watched her head move back on her shoulders like she had just got a face full of morning breath. When he held up the puck and motioned tossing it over the boards, she tilted her head to the side and looked over at me.

Patrick shoved my shoulder, giggling, as we watched Mitch toss it over the boards, right into her hands. Tessa took a second to look at it, her big blue eyes tracing over the writing on the back of the puck. When she was finished, she picked her head up, her eyebrows furrowed and looked over at me.

I shrugged my shoulders at her, the smile on my lips too wide for my face as she shook her head and turned to Brett. Right in front of the whole team that was now keeping tabs on the events unfolding between Mitch and Tessa, she handed Brett the puck and gave him a pat on the back. As he clutched it to his chest and looked up at the ceiling like he had just been handed a winning lotto ticket, more than half of the team erupted into laughter.

The guys drilled Mitch about it through the rest of practice, in the locker room, and then again while we took a skate at the start of the game.

Once everyone was finished and guys started to hop on the bench, Babs looked at me as I shot some water into my mouth and nodded his head. “You’re line’s starting, you ready?”

With a nod, I unclipped the strap of my helmet and adjusted some of my pads as I skated to the blue line. Once there, I pulled my helmet off and looked up around the arena. I knew I shouldn’t look over at her, I knew I should look down at the ice and get ready for the game, but I couldn’t help it.

I turned my head, my eyes traveling up a few rows past the center ice line on the bench side until I found her. She was looking right at me, her head tilted to the side, a soft smile on her lips. I sent her a wink again, feeling my heart flutter as a blush started to creep onto her cheeks.

It was so bright I could see it from the ice.

The lights dimmed as the announced the women singing the Canadian National Anthem. Luckily, we were playing the Canucks, so there was one anthem and puck drop. I needed to get my head in the game. I needed to start analyzing plays as soon as possible, because if I didn’t, I was going to be fantasizing about her again.

The anthem went by in a flash. Nylander took the face off at center ice. My heart was racing as I looked up, my eyes tracing over the men in the white jerseys. As the ref held the puck in the air, I thought about her, thought about the bet we had made about the game tonight.

I thought about her watching me, her thin fingers pressed against her chest as she stared at me like I was the only player on the ice .

Like the only man in the world.

I had a bet to win.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I felt like I was in a dream watching Auston play. Through the first two periods of the game, I could barely keep myself conscious as I watched him skate up and down the ice. I swore I was going to let the light-headed feeling consume me. His hands were so quick, his sense was so keen. I couldn’t keep my eyes off of him. Even when he sat on the bench, all I could do was stare at the back of his head. I was in awe.

I couldn’t believe that man out there was Auston.

“You think I should call Marner?” Brett’s question knocked me from my daydream as we stood in like to grab our last beer of the night. Rolling my eyes, I felt my face contort as I thought about the boy smirking at me from the ice, his ego nearly suffocating me as he tossed me the puck with his cell phone number scribbled on it.

Shrugging a shoulder, I let the image of Auston’s smiling face when I handed the puck to Brett in front of the whole team flash through my head. “He seems easy, I’m sure he’ll fuck you.”

Brett snorted as we took a few steps up in line.

We chatted lightly about the game. He didn’t make anymore sly remarks about Auston and I. He was either bored of watching me get embarrassed or had forgotten to constantly remind me that I had a chance to “fuck that” but let him walk out.

You left a man with morning wood, you’re cold

I felt my eyes roll back into my head as Brett’s voice echoed through my head from our extended hangout last night. As soon as Auston left, I text Brett and within fifteen minutes, he was sitting in my living room with a twelve pack of IPAs and a pizza.

I told him everything.

He told me to marry him, after I had sex with him, of course.

Just because he’s a nice guy, gorgeous, rich, completely into you, and famous doesn’t mean he’s good in bed.

Brett ordered two more beers and paid. It was my fourth of the night and his sixth. For so much alcohol rushing through his blood stream, I was impressed with how sober he seemed. Then again, if I had to introduce someone to a stereotypical Canadian, it would have been Brett.

“You think he’s going to get that hatty?” Brett asked as we leaned against a wall in the hallway and watched the people walk by. Sipping my beer, I nodded my head and let out a small sigh.

“Oh, he’s not going to lose that bet.” I felt my body grow warm as my mind thought about his words in my head. A secret. How was it a secret.

“See,” Brett turned to me, resting his shoulder against the wall, “I originally thought he wanted the goods,” he motioned to my crotch. “But, after further thought and consideration, I don’t think it’s that.”

I felt my heart skip a beat. “No?”

“Nah. With everything I gathered from you about him, which was literally everything about him.” I felt my cheeks burn red. Instead of ignoring the feeling, I put my cup of beer to my lips and tilted it back. “He’s not that guy. He’s not trying to get in your pants. He’s in love with you.”

I gasped mid-sip, sending the little foam that was still sitting on the top of the liquid spraying all over Brett. Balling my hand into a fist, I lightly punched his chest and turned from him, my heart slamming against my rib cage.

“I liked it better when you joked about me sleeping with him.”

“Facts are facts, Tessa.” Brett hummed as he moved next to me and glanced over to the store. After a few second, he wiggled his eyebrows. “Want to check out the store? I think you need a jersey that doesn’t make you look like you’re turning two.”

“You’re such an asshole,” I roared as I wrapped my arm around Brett’s shoulders and pressed a kiss to his temple. “Let’s go.”

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

There were two minutes left in the third.

We were up 5-3.

I had two goals and two assists so far. Vancouver was pulling their goalie for the extra man, and I was next to join the play. Chest filling with air, I watched as Tavares quickly jumped on the bench. Throwing my legs over the boards, I pressed my skates into the ice.

After some back end play, Boeser had the puck.

He was cutting right through the neutral zone. His hands were fast. His head was up as he ran his eyes over the blue jerseys scattered across the offensive zone. He was planning his moves, planning his pass. I knew he was dangerous. His eyes dropped to his stick and jerked to the left. With that movement, he left an opening right as he crossed the blue line a few feet in front of me. Checking to make sure no one else was near in a white jersey, I swiped the ice near the blade of Boeser’s stick and watched as the puck floated right into my skates.

The arena roared as I kicked the puck up to my blade and started sprinting into the Canucks zone. Looking from right to left, I watched as a white jersey flashed in my peripheral vision. I crossed their blue line, the jersey not coming into view, and quickly flicked my wrist, sending the puck flying across the ice.

Just as one of the Canucks came up on my right and shoved me, I watched as the puck slid through the blue paint and right into the back of the net.

The goal horn was deafening as it sounded across the ice. The arena erupted in cheers as I raised my arms and turned back to my teammates. They met me in center ice. I wrapped my arm around Nylander’s shoulders and felt myself start to drown everyone out.

I got the hattrick.

I felt my heart race as I turned toward her section and looked up.

Tessa’s was cheering her one hand holding an empty beer cup straight up in the air. Brett was holding her, his arms wrapped around her torso as he shook her back and forth. They were high-fiving the people around them as the goal song started to play.

Once she started to settle down, she looked out, her eyes instantly snappign to mine. Shaking her head, she slapped a hand against her heart as cupped her cheek with the other.

Hats started to fly on the ice as I pointed at her and blew her a kiss. Before I could see her reaction, I got consumed with my teammates congratulating me on my third hat trick of the season.

It was only December.

I didn’t get back on the ice for the last minute. It went by in a blur.

The game ended 6-3.

As we celebrated in center ice before heading back into the locker room, I found myself looking for her again.

When my eyes met hers, she shook her head at me, that big beautiful smile never faltering. Putting her finger up, she quickly turned around and dipped out of my line of sight. When she reappeared, I felt my heart explode in my chest. Hanging between her thin fingers was a Leafs jersey with my last name and number pressed against the back.
♠ ♠ ♠
Again, you're all amazing.
Thank you :)