NEHL - Jack

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Fifteen

Chapter Fifteen

Maddie

Is Wow not enough of a word to describe what happened last night. I mean everything I could have imagined and then some, and it was perfect. I was still smiling as I finished showering. Jack took off this morning while I was still asleep but left me a note saying he was going to get us breakfast. He could have made breakfast, but since I wore him out he probably didn’t have the energy.

I giggled thinking about it.

All that time wondering and now I knew, Jack Crabb was the ultimate Panty Dropper, and he was all mine. I finished getting ready, I wanted to look at least passable when he got back and not like someone coming off a three day bender, and looking in the mirror, I would do.

I was just walking out to the living room as he was walking in, and he looked as good disheveled as he did cleaned up. He had a day’s worth of beard and it looked good on him and his hair was still a mess, but I was already planning on running my fingers through it and grabbing on tight, easy girl, slow down.

“Hey you,” he said walking in carrying a bag and a drink carrier.

“Hey you back,” I said walking up to him while his hands were full and latching onto his mouth with mine. His manly scent was intoxicating and I wanted to strip him bare and do what we did last night again.

He broke the kiss with a smile and then he held the bag up. “I’m starving, so I grabbed enough food for four people, hope you have an appetite.”

“Oh I do have an appetite,” I said pressing my body tight against his. I was acting a little slutty, but it was fun getting that look from him. Then I smiled and took the bag and ran to the table.

He was still shaking his head and smiling as he joined me. He had four drinks in the drink carrier, so I grabbed the one I wanted, and left him the other three to choose from. Then I put all the food on the table and he wasn’t kidding he grabbed enough food for four. I took a bagel with cream cheese and left him to sort through all the meaty options he bought.

We sat in silence and ate for a bit. It was a comfortable silence, not one of those awkward ones, and it just felt right. I looked into his eyes and I could still see a fire there so I knew where we both still stood, but our other hunger was calling to both of us at this point.

“So,” he said and I wanted to laugh to see where he was going to go with this. “Um, if I don’t get a contract at the end of the season I was thinking of just finding a job somewhere around here. Do you think you would be interested in a roommate?”

“Oh, that’s so sweet, so stupid, but so sweet.” I said getting a look in return that made me laugh. “Jack, you have already had NHL teams calling about you. You are going to be sought in free agency by a lot of teams. Your days of playing Hockey are far from over.”

“Maddie, I want to be with you. I don’t want to be on the west coast and never see you or down in Texas or something, I want to be here. I mean at least Buffalo I can drive to you, but anywhere else it’s too far away.”

“Well let’s not tell anyone that or you won’t be worth as much in free agency mister. Besides you could play in New York, and that’s not too far a drive.” I said knowing it was a lie, but I didn’t want to ruin his dreams.

“Maddie Maddison, are you listening to me, I want to be with you. If I don’t stay with Buffalo I’m going to do something so I can be here.” Jack said and I was caught up in his emotion.

“Oh Jack,” I said and I knew tears were coming to my eyes. “We have time, we are only twenty five, but I want to be with you too. We’ll figure this out, together.”

I grabbed his hand with mine and squeezed. “I’m not letting you go.”

Jack

I appreciated everything she was saying, but when she grabbed my hand and told me she wasn’t letting me go, then I finally felt secure. This was the woman I wanted to be with for the rest of my life and I knew it. I wanted to make sure she knew it too.

“Maddie, whatever it takes to be with you, forever, that is what I want to do.”

“Oh Jack,” she said squeezing my hand again.

“Maddie, I know it’s only been a short time, but I love you, and you don’t have to feel the same way, and I don’t want to scare you off, but I need you to know how serious about us I am.”

She started crying, oh shit, that wasn’t good. I didn’t know what to say. I mean what could I say that wouldn’t make it worse? I must have been fumbling with the wording because all of a sudden she was sitting in my lap kissing me. Now kissing a woman who has been crying isn’t the sexiest thing in the world, but I wouldn’t have changed a thing.

“I love you too Jack,” she said in a hurried breath before kissing me again.

We forgot about the rest of breakfast for a while as we told each other in a different way how we felt, and by the time we got back to breakfast we had to warm everything.

“So,” I said breaking the ice again since we were finishing breakfast. “I finish the season, then what?”

“Well,” she said. “We get one of the new guys to sub-let your apartment. That is first, no reason to pay for something you won’t need. When you are here you will stay with me, and in Buffalo, I don’t know, I mean right now you are in the hotel, but long term?”

“Long term I want to be with you. I mean the distance is a thing, but it would be bad that if Buffalo offers me a contract, say we find a place together in Rochester.”

She laughed. “I get it, we are both serious about this, but let’s get through this season, and then we can work on the rest. Jack, just know, I am not going anywhere, I will be here for you, If Buffalo doesn’t want you, I will wait while you play somewhere else.”

My heart was so full. Damn I loved her. “Maddie, after my first year I knew I wouldn’t have a lot of time so I have been saving most of my money, I am very careful, and I have a little nest egg built up. I don’t care about playing, I care about you.”

“I care about you too Jack. I’ll take care of things for you here, just leave your apartment key with me, and concentrate on finishing the year strong. We will cross every bridge when we come to it.”

“Alright,” I said pulling her into my arms again. This woman was going to be mine, and I would never let her go.

Maddie

Two more games down and three more points for Jack. He was playing well and Buffalo won both games. My brother, bless his heart, had five points, and was being talked about everywhere. His merchandise was selling almost as fast as the “We Are Buffalo” shirts, and it was something.

We could win out and still never make the playoffs but it didn’t matter, the fan base was growing, and the future was looking good. Eric, after a long talk from Mom and Dad, moved into an apartment with his friend Max, the goalie, and they played video games constantly.

Jack and me talked every day and I knew what we were both feeling wasn’t going to disappear. I was busy with the storm but I did get Jack’s apartment rented so that worry was gone. Jack was happy when he heard, and even happier when I told him I moved all his stuff to my apartment.

I was working with the scouting department getting ready for the draft, and still working on running the same programs the blizzard were, but on a smaller scale here in Syracuse. Everything was going well, so I knew something would happen.

My phone rang and I looked down to see my boss. “Mr. Green,” I said answering it quickly.

“San Antonio and Toronto and Chicago are going to be making a play for our boy. Has he told you anything?” He asked cutting right to work with no pleasantries.

“All he has told me is that if Buffalo doesn’t want him, he doesn’t know what he will do. He even mentioned quitting hockey. I assured him that would not happen, one way or the other.”

“Maddie, we need him to stay in Buffalo.” He said anxious.

“Come up with a contract. If it is reasonable, and about where the market is, I am sure he will stay.” I said.

“Maddie, he has a history of bad play, we can’t take a chance with too much money in case it doesn’t work out.”

“Sir, that’s your decision.” I said and it was. I had no idea why he was talking to me about it.

“Maddie, he likes you, everyone knows, I am sure you could convince him, you know, hometown discount.” He said and he seemed a little of unsure how I would take this suggestion. He was about to find out.

“Sir, with all due respect, I will not persuade him or use our relationship to influence him in anyway.” I was getting hot now. “I may even persuade him to get an agent before free agency begins, and then he won’t be tempted to let his feeling dictate what he should do.”

“Maddie, he is making your brother great. What will Eric do without Jack?”

Oh no you don’t. “He will survive, and maybe if Jack goes somewhere else, maybe Eric will follow him, weirder things have happened.” I countered.

“Maddie, this is not going the way I envisioned this phone call. We both need to look out for the future of this franchise. We can’t do that, if we aren’t working together.”

He did it. He was trying to hint my job may be affected. I never thought he would do this. I had known him for three years and he had always been great, but this, well, I didn’t know what to think anymore.

“Sir, I am willing to do anything for this franchise as I have proven over the years, but, I will not influence my brother, or my boyfriend. If that is not acceptable, then, well, we need to have a different discussion.” That was it. I drew a line. I would hate losing this job, I really loved it, but if Jack was willing to quit hockey for me, well, I had to be willing to make a sacrifice too.

“I see, well, I guess we know where you stand. I’ll get back to you with any other information as it becomes available. Goodbye Maddie.” He said and then hung up.

I wanted to cry, but that wouldn’t help. I could tell Jack, but it would upset him. Shit what do I do now?

Jack

I was waiting to speak to Mr. Green. He had called and wanted me to come in early, and I was here. Maybe it had something to do with the kid, or prospects, or a contract offer. Who knew? All I knew he called and I was here.

“Come in Jack,” He said from his door.

I took a seat in his office and watched as he took his and he just stared at me for a while. “So you and Maddie?”

I smiled. If this was what he wanted to know, this was easy. “Yes sir,” I said not trying to hide my smile.

“I’m going to tell you some stuff, and I don’t want you to fly off the handle. I will explain everything, and then if you want to hit me, then well, I understand.”

What the fuck did that mean? Was he interested in Maddie? Did he forbid her from getting involved with me? The thoughts were running rampant, and none of them were good.

“I told her we wanted to keep you here in Buffalo.” He said.

“Ok,” I said waiting for the shoe to drop. “I even told her I would like her help in convincing you.”

Bastard, he was right I might hit him. He must have seen something in my eyes because he held up a hand to stop me. “She shot me down. She rationally explained,” he said with a smile that was obviously meant to mean anything other than what he just said, “That she would not help in any negotiations with her brother or her boyfriend.”

I wanted to point my finger and scream “yeah suck it” but I didn’t. I waited, trying to remain calm.

“I even tried to press and see how far she would go? It appears that as far as you are willing to go for her she is willing to go for you.”

Oh shit, did Maddie quit?

“I can see by your face, and no she didn’t quit, but if I were to keep pursuing it, she may have. I don’t want to lose any of you Jack, but when this comes out it will be hard for everyone involved, are you prepared to deal with it?”

“I was prepared to walk away sir. I still am. I have saved a little money, and well, it may not be a lot, but it’s enough to start somewhere else. I’ve made up my mind. I have been searching for something for a long time and have finally found it.” I said very straight forward. “I won’t give it up.”

“Ok Jack, I believe you. I know you are a passionate guy, I just wanted to see how far your passion went. Tonight after the game, the press conference may get a little awkward. I want you to stick to your guns and do what you think is right. I’ve gotten word that your relationship with Maddie has come out and that the news networks have a picture of the two of you at dinner together.”

“I see,” I said and I did. I didn’t care. I was tired of hiding it anyway.

“Have a good game Jack, let’s get another win.” He said standing up.

I took that as I sign to leave. I nodded to him and went down to the locker room. I needed to talk to Maddie. I needed to hear her voice.

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