NEHL - Jack

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Thirteen

Chapter thirteen

Jack

I kept looking down at the big A on my jersey. After seeing Haley and her family in the stands it was decided before I got back in the locker room that night that I was going to be an alternate captain.

Pierre and the guys all explained that was a job of a captain and alternate captain to notice stuff like that, and then do something about it. I was overwhelmed and the guys were all happy for me.

It would have been even better if the road series had gone better, we lost half the games, but we were in the fight in all of them. It was still hard coming off the losses, but, it still felt good being named the alternate.

We only had ten games left in the season and tonight was a home game against our rivals from Toronto. We were close enough that we would have a lot of their fans in attendance tonight, but we would play hard for our fans because that’s what we do, and we had been.

I had been talking to Maddie every night and I was missing her so much. After tonight we had a two game break before our next home game, and I wanted to see her so bad. I was going to sneak away and travel to Syracuse and see her as soon as I could tomorrow.

With her new job I couldn’t surprise her like I wanted, but when I told her my plan she was on board, I just had to get through tonight and morning skate tomorrow. I was laced up and heading to the ice for the national anthem.

“Jack,” I turned as my voice was called and Mr. Green was waiting for me.

“Yes sir,” I said heading over.

“After the game tonight we are having a meet and greet with some kids from the hospital that saw you on television with Haley. They would like to meet you and talk to you.”

“Yeah, no problem, where, in the player’s family lounge again?”

“Not this time, this time it’s in the news room.” He said sounding a little nervous.

“This isn’t just a publicity stunt is it?” I asked because everyone knew my feelings on that.

“Not for the most part, but the kids asked the television station to set it up, and we are stuck. Miss Alvord will be there, can you handle it?”

“I’ll do anything for kids, but I won’t play nice with her if she just used them to get to us to tear us down.”

“All I can ask, go get em son.” He said slapping me on the back as I headed to the ice.

Maddie

The game just finished and I knew it was safe to say that Jack wouldn’t be coming back to the Storm. He scored tonight, but more important, fans were buying the We Are Buffalo shirts in droves. All of that was because of Jack and the way he faced each game.

I had been working hard on the Storm, and even starting our own junior Storm program like the Blizzard had with their team. I was waiting for the news conference section that I knew Jack would be at, because Mr. Green told me he would, and was working on some finishing touches as I waited.

Jack and Pierre came out with Mr. Green to the conference and were being immediately hit with questions. Mr. Green was fielding most of them, and Pierre took the ones directed at the team and then that Alvord bitch started in.

“You’re quiet tonight Jack, scoring a goal tonight doesn’t mean as much to you as it did?” She asked.

“I love scoring for the team, but my scoring doesn’t affect me. It’s all about the team.”

“We hear that all the time from you, but you are in your last year of your contract and who’s to say you aren’t just saying things that sound good so you can go to another team?” She fired back.

“I am very thankful to the Storm and the Blizzard for giving me a second chance at a career. I have no intentions of leaving.” He said very seriously.

“What’s your agent telling you to do?” She fired back again.

“I don’t have an agent, and before anyone out there gets ideas, I don’t want one. I have someone looking out for me, and she will make sure that my long term goals are taken into consideration, and my goals are here in Western New York.”

I smiled. He was talking about me. I would take care of his Goals all right, starting with tomorrow, the first day we had seen each other in a month.

“You said she, who is this woman agent you have?” Alvord fired back again.

“Look, Mr. Green said there were some kids out here that wanted to meet me. I don’t mind answering questions, but shouldn’t the kids come first Miss Alvord?”

“They are here, and when we are done, you can sign autographs for them.” She said angrily.

“We can do better than that. Why don’t you hand the microphone to them, let them ask the questions they want to ask? Would you kids like that?” Jack asked and the kids began cheering.

To say the look on her face would make a sane person run was an understatement, she was pissed, good, I hated the way she attacked my teams.

“I’m afraid that isn’t possible, we have a lot of fans that want these serious questions asked.” She said.

“Really, the people of Buffalo want these questions asked instead of giving kids from a hospital a chance to be the center of attention. I’m disappointed. I really thought I was on the same page as the fans.” Jack said looking destroyed.

“Mr. Crabb I don’t think you understand how the news works. We ask the questions and you answer them, if for some reason you don’t want to answer our questions then we will interpret that as well. Now let’s continue on..”

The producer stepped forward and said loud enough for everyone to hear “The station is getting a ton of calls from people wanting to have the kids conduct the interview.” She said sounding insistent.

“Fine I will let them ask one question when I am done.” She said pissed.

“Actually, you are to let the kids ask the entire questions from here on out.” She said again with a voice that left no room for argument.

“Fine,” she said looking pissed and the producer took her microphone and began walking to the kids’ one at a time so they could ask questions, it was adorable.

When one little girl asked Jack if he was married, I almost lost it. I watched along with everyone else at home, when Jack turned so red it was priceless. He covered himself well, but the effect was adorable.

“I’m not yet, but who knows what the future holds, but I do have someone that I have my eye on.” He said winking at the little girl.

She giggled and it was cute. Oh he was handling the news and personal appearance so well it showed that he was a communication major. I couldn’t wait to see him.

I was home when the phone rang. I saw who was on the screen and began smiling. “I’m sorry, but I don’t date men who have their eye on someone.”

“What if that eye is on you?” He asked and I began melting again.

“Is it? I wouldn’t want to break that little girl’s heart, but, she may be a little young for you.” I said giggling.

“I told the truth, I have my eye on someone. Now I just need to get my eyes on her in the flesh. Tomorrow, what would you like to do?”

“I don’t care; I just want to see you.” I responded.

“That’s all I want to. How about the zoo, we can go and hold hands and make it our first official date.” He asked.

“I like that. Just you and me and you better wear a ball cap or something or you will be mobbed by fans.”

“I doubt that, but it’s still cold enough that being covered is a good idea, but the animals move better when it’s cold. I’ll pick you up at your place as soon as I can.”

“Ok Jack, I will be waiting. Drive safe tomorrow.”

“I will, see you soon baby.” He said hanging up.

He just called me Baby, ok so that was new. I liked the way it just came out the way it did. How could I be in love with someone I hardly ever see? I mean this was so weird that it was almost funny.

I had no doubts though; I was in love with Jack Crabb.

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