Monday, December 20, 2010
As always, thanks for your patience. I'm hoping with my Holiday shopping being done I'll be able to knock out a couple chapters this week!
“You’re late,” Carolyn hissed as Edie slid into the empty seat beside her at the board room table. “Nice dress,’ she added giving her friend’s cleavage a skeptical look.
“It was all I could find,” Edie hissed, reaching over for the notes that Carolyn had sitting in front of her. “Who are we meeting with?”
“Judge and Dolph,” Carolyn pointed to the header on the page.
“And what do they do again?” Edie asked, trying to pull the front of her dress together. When Carolyn didn’t answer right away Edie looked up to find her workmate staring at her intently. “What?”
“You always know...you always know all the facts and figures,” Carolyn’s eyes were laughing even as she acted as if they were discussing the agenda for the meeting. “He must have been amazing in bed.” Edie wanted to look outraged but could barely contain a smile, even as she bit down on the inside of her cheek.
“Let’s just concentrate here. So these guys are liquor distributors, okay, and...what? Why are you looking at me like that?” Edie felt her cheeks get red.
“You spent all night with Captain Serious didn’t you?” Edie drew in a sharp breath and clenched her fist in her lap. “You did, you spent the whole night with a professional hockey player and had crazy, amazing earth shattering sex.”
“Carolyn can we just deal with this,” Edie laid her hand flat on the page in front of her, “because I seriously can’t deal with that right now.”
“Oh my god,” Carolyn grabbed Edie by her shoulders and stared at her with a huge grin on her face. “You like him don’t you?”
“Carly, please...just, not right now. I promise we’ll talk about this later but right now we have to get through this meeting and then get on a plane, okay?” Edie begged and Carolyn rolled her eyes but smiled and nodded.
“But you will tell me everything right? All the gory details?”
“I promise,” Edie whispered as the door to the conference room opened and three men in suits walked in. Carolyn rolled her shoulders back and flipped her hair and turned on her megawatt smile. Edie sighed and then turned her own attention to the board members of Judge and Dolph. ‘Gentleman, thanks for meeting with us,” she stood and offered her hand over the table but it wasn’t the face of the middle aged man in the charcoal suit that caught her attention, it was the tie he was wearing, a Blackhawks' tie. “Shit,” she whispered under her breath. “Please don’t tell me that's supposed to be some kind of sign.”
“Thanks for coming. We’re looking forward to your presentation but you’ll have to make it brief, my brother has me going to some sort of lunch meeting at the arena in an hour.”
“Your...your brother?” she asked as he took her hand in both of his.
“Rocky, Rocky Wirtz, he owns the Blackhawks.”
“That’s like five shots you missed,” Kaner pointed out unnecessarily. Jonathan gripped his stick even more tightly in his fist. “I’ve never seen it before. I mean, I’ve had coaches tell me that you can’t have sex before a game but practice? Man, I guess you’re glad that chick is gone huh?”
“Not really,” Jon grumbled, leaning up against the glass as he watched Sharpie line up for a penalty shot. He could feel his shorter teammate staring at him and he didn’t need to look to know that Kaner was wearing an incredulous expression on his face. “Just because you don’t care about anyone doesn’t mean that I don’t have a heart,” Jonathan added quietly by way of explanation.
“I don’t care how good the sex was,” Kaner slapped Jon’s leg with the blade of his stick, “you can’t have feelings for a girl after one night.”
“Maybe you can’t but I think we’ve proved time and again that I am not you,” Jon pointed out, knocking Pat’s stick away with his own.
“So...what? You’re seriously going to stand there and tell me that this pissy mood you’re in is over that chick you picked up at the party last night?” Jon shrugged. The last person he wanted to talk to about the way he was feeling right now was the teammate that took pride in adding multiple notches to his bedpost every night. “Jezus man! It’s just pussy. You’re not supposed to get attached to it. That was the perfect pussy too, the kind that fucking leaves after you’re done with it.” It was a predictable reaction from Pat and Jon didn’t so much as flinch. What good would having an argument do anyway, he asked himself. Edie was gone and she wasn’t coming back. “Oh man, you are pathetic.” Pat continued to berate him. “You cannot get hooked on one pussy when there’s all of those to choose from,” his curly topped teammate added, sending a slap shot across the ice that made the glass vibrate in front of a group of giggling girls. Jon looked up at them and then turned his attention back to the ice.
“I don’t expect you to understand,” Jon mumbled, taking a pass from Brooksy. In two steps he was streaking towards the net. He felt bad for Turco, almost, but snapped a wrist shot at his head anyway. He could hear the net minder cursing him out but it was just background noise to the thoughts filling his head, ideas about how to find her, where she might be now, when she might be leaving and if he could find her before she did. “Fuck!” he snarled, whacking the boards with his stick, breaking it in two.
“Whoa, little buddy, what’s up?” Seabrook grabbed one end of the broken stick and stood, staring at John, slack jawed.
“He thinks he’s in love,” Sharpie answered for Jon, coming to a stop with a spray of ice. “How’d that go, by the way? Is the little lady waiting eagerly for you back at your love nest?”
“No,” Jonathan mumbled. It felt somehow worse having to tell everyone else about it. “I got back and she was gone.”
“Whoa, seriously?” he groaned inwardly when Kaner joined the little group by the boards. “She sounds like my kinda girl. I hate the ones that hang around and expect breakfast.” Jon sent his friend a dark look and then turned back to the guys he expected better, more constructive answers from.
“She’s flying out today. I’ll probably never see her again anyway,” he grumbled, knowing that he sounded like he was feeling sorry for himself and that he was probably opening himself up for some serious ridicule but he couldn’t really help himself.
“So what are you doing here?” Seabrook asked, giving him a playful shove that nearly sent him off balance. “If she was that hot man, get your ass to the airport.”
“Brooksy’s right,” Sharpie added, leaning against his stick and fixing his younger teammate with an amused look. “If she’s really all that and a bag of chips, what are you doing here?” Jon looked at his teammates who were all looking back at him expectantly.
“You think I should...I mean...should I go to the...no, that’s ridiculous. Kaner’s right. I can’t go chasing after some one night stand that lives half way across the country. What would be the point?” Jon looked at each of their faces in turn and each of them stared back at him like they actually expected him to do something crazy, like leave and go to the airport after a woman he hadn’t even known twenty-four hours.
“Look, I’m not a big believer in fairy tales or shit like that,” Brooksy smiled and shrugged, “but if hockey’s taught me anything it’s that you don’t turn down opportunities. If you send me a good pass and I have an open net, I shoot, you know?” The funny thing was Jon didn’t need any further explanation from his teammate. If an opportunity presents itself, you don’t think about it, you just act on it. There was just one little problem.
“What if she totally laughs in my face?” he asked, mostly under his breath and mostly to himself but Sharpie put his arm around Jon’s shoulders and turned to aim him at the bench.
“It’s too bad you don’t have time to stay for a game,” Peter Wirtz took both of Edie’s hands in his and held them while they stood in entrance, “even if you would probably be rooting against our boys.”
“I’d have enjoyed it, no matter what. I’m a good Canadian girl that way,” she told him honestly. “I love hockey. But you’re right, I don’t think I can find it in me to root for the Hawks.” ‘Even if one of them is super cute and amazing in the sack’, she added silently as she turned her cheek for him to kiss. “But maybe next time we come we’ll have to make sure we have time for you to take us to a game, even if it’s just to sit through that crazy thing you guys do during the national anthem.”
“It’s the loudest rink in the league,” he grinned proudly and she knew she there was no argument there. Hawks fans did seem to be rabid.
“I’ll have to pack my ‘Nucks jersey next time,” she promised and he laughed and then lifted her hands to his lips.
“Until next time then. It was a pleasure to meet you Eden.”
“And you Mr. Wirtz. I look forward to your order,” she added, raising an eyebrow and winking. She was almost sure their business was in the bag but she hadn’t come away with a signed order and if it was one thing she knew about sales it was not to count her chickens before they hatched.
“Maybe you’ll have to come back to sign the paperwork,” he grinned at her flirtatiously. He was years older than her but he hadn’t been lecherous. He just seemed naturally playful.
“Well you certainly have a beautiful city. We’ll definitely be back one way or another,” she said, tasting the truth in her own words. Now that she could see the waiting cab just outside the doors, she felt like she should feel relieved, but she didn’t.
“Come on Ede’s the meter’s already running,” Carolyn called as Peter opened the door for her.
“Sure you can’t stay for the game?” he asked one more time and Eden sighed but shook her head.
“I’d like to but no. We have a sales meeting tomorrow morning,” she replied tentatively, looking plaintively towards the waiting cab. “Can’t miss that,” she added with a sigh.
“I’ll call your boss,” Peter said suddenly, his hand on her shoulder, “tell him you’ve got our business but you have to stay to fill out the paperwork. I’ll even throw in a Hawks jersey for you to wear at the game.” Edie turned and grinned at her client. “I won’t take no for an answer,” he added with a wink.
“Then I guess we’re staying,” she grinned back at him. “Hey, Carolyn, we’re going back to the hotel,” she added turning back to offer her hand to Peter.
“I’ll send a car to pick you up for the game. What hotel are you staying at?”
“She’s not here,” he hissed into his phone, searching the crowd for a woman with her face.
“Maybe there’s more than one flight to Vancouver?” Sharpie asked. Jon knew his teammate was trying to be helpful but as he gripped the ticket he’d had to purchase to get through security, it was something he had to remind himself of in order not to snap Patrick’s head off
“This is the only one and before you ask, I checked the flight to Seattle too. I even paid one of the flight attendants to see if her name was on the list. She’s definitely supposed to be here, but she’s not.” He scanned the crowd for a third time, his heart racing.
“Maybe that’s good news. Maybe she changed her mind and went back to your place,” Sharpie suggested, sounding hopeful. Jon felt his heart stop beating in his chest, but only for a minute.
“Or maybe she was in such a hurry to get away from me she skipped town early and caught an earlier flight,” he groaned as he turned in a slow circle, hoping to catch a glimpse of her running for the terminal, pulling her bag behind her, but try as he might, he still didn’t see her in the crowd.
“Jezus you’re a dark mother fucker aren’t you?” Sharpie laughed. “Can’t you ever look on the positive side? Shit, man.”
“Last boarding call for flight one five nine to Vancouver.” Jon glanced at his watch and cursed as the last call went out over the loud speaker with Edie still nowhere in sight.
“She’s not here dude. I don’t even know what I’m doing here,” he sighed, feeling suddenly resigned to the fact that he’d come all this way for nothing. Pulling his ball cap further down he hoped no one had recognized him in his most desperately pathetic and embarrassing moment ever. “I’m coming back. I’ll see you guys in a bit.”
“I’m sorry Jonny boy,” Sharpie said and Jon believed he really was sorry.
“Me too,” he sighed, “me fucking too.”