I kept my head down and stayed out of trouble, opting for extra workouts and nights at home. I was invited to a new club opening with the rest of the team but declined and stayed at home which was probably the worst thing for me. I haven’t been able to forget about Chloe. I’m planning what I want to say to her. I want to have it all cleared up before I sign my deal. I just need to make sure this time it’s private and not plastered everywhere. I made my way to the arena, we have a big game tonight. I see more journalists than usual. Something has gone down.
I haven’t left my apartment or even had my phone turned on. I just needed to focus without distraction or temptation! I’m making my way to the doors when they start shouting questions I can’t hear properly apart from something to do with Lucas and the other night.
I rush to the door saying no comment. I don’t have time for his drama. I get to the locker room when I hear him bragging. “She was so hot, I mean I was kissing her. I had her pinned up against the wall. It was hot and heavy. I grabbed her real hard and then I was hard for her”. He looks at me and smirks. Some of the guys are looking at me waiting for me to say something.
“I saw you dancing with her she was so fucking hot once you’re done, maybe I can have a little go! What’s her name again? Lucas stares at me. “Her name... Chloe, but seriously man just leave it she turned out to be a real frigid bitch, she started telling me to stop, she was just a prick tease. I knew how much she wanted it.” What the fuck, the girl was called Chloe. it can’t be, I grab my phone and look up Gossip Lips. I scroll down and there it was..... My Chloe pinned against the wall. I heard his version of events. I read the article they completely twisted it, poor Chloe she’s not that type of girl. I’m sure she was petrified. It hasn’t gone noticed Lucas’ behaviour on nights out, rumours circulated when he got transferred to us that shit hit the fan and he needed to be moved. I never warmed to him and knew my instinct was right.
I see red not even normal red I see BLOOD RED. I just charge for him no longer thinking. I have him up against the lockers, punches thrown but I have the upper hand, on the floor all my weight on him, he is shouting at me and the boys are trying to pull us apart. “What the fuck Damien?” he looks at me as he wipes the blood away. “How dare you, you piece of shit the girl didn’t ask for you to force yourself on her.”
“What exactly does it matter to you, if you care.... oh bollocks I thought I recognised her. If it makes you feel better. I couldn’t even get her in the sack but I got closer than you ever did.”
I run at him again ramming his head into the locker. “What the fuck you just say?" The boys haven’t got a good enough grip on me. I’m punching him hard and I’m losing my shit. I have him by the throat when we hear Coach. “What the fuck you call this, we have a game in less than 30 minutes and this is what I find! Sort your shit out now. MCCLEAN GREY MY OFFICE NOW.”
We walk into his office he looks at us with disgust he yells, he yells so loud I can see the vein pulse on his head. “The two of you don’t talk! I don’t care about your love life off the ice. I have warned you both don’t bring your shit here now before I bench you both get out of my sight right now.”
The locker room atmosphere is tense no one can believe what just happened the coach comes in to give the pep talk. “Alright ladies, we have a big game tonight so I want to see you play your asses off. This is what we train hard for so if you fuck this up expect an early start and punishing drills.” We go on the ice and we are all over the place by the end of the first period we are down by 1 goal. Then the second another 2 goals. When the final period counts down we end the game 0-4. Our shit was all over the place whatever tension was off the ice was brought onto it.
We walk into the locker room heads down, exhausted and prepared for a pissed off coach. He walks in, grabs a hockey stick and slams it into the ground, hard smashing it. He is livid and for 20 minutes he rips us all a new arsehole. “Get showered, you will all be here for 5 am tomorrow and you got McClean and Gray to thank!”
Everyone is pissed and giving us daggers, fuck this shit, McClean walks over and charges at my shoulder pushing pass me I lose my temper. “You wanna start? Go right ahead.” My best friend Charlie holds me back. “Enough boys we are all fucked because of what happened tonight.”
Lucas and I are face to face with Charlie trying to push us away from each other, I’m ready for another round when a cough clears from behind us... Mr Jefferies.
“So Mr Gray this is you keeping out of trouble? Quite the performance on and off the ice tonight.” My heart is near banging out of my chest. “Mr Jefferies I can explain.” Mr Jefferies holds his hand up to stop me from saying another word. I lower my head and let out a sigh. “Get showered and meet me in your coaches office, we have to talk,” he says. I make my way toward the coach’s door, I make my way in and both my coach and Mr Jefferies stare hard at me.
“Are you seriously trying to mess everything up for yourself son?” Mr Jefferies asks. Coach looks at me to take a seat. “You have 10 minutes to explain what tonight was all about depending on what I hear will help make my decision to bench your ass for the next 3 games. you’re an important member of the team so please don’t make me call it.” I slump on the chair and explain about Chloe, but go into the detail about what I heard McClean say and what the article said. I also told the coach about the rumours on why McLean was transferred here, to begin with. I defend my actions stupidly but they both nod at me. My 10 mins are up and my heart is near out of my chest, my palms are sweating and my leg is doing the nervous bounce. Mr Jefferies looks at me. “Is that everything?” I nod. “Yes sir.”
Coach clears his throat. “Well if what you say is true we are going to have to prove it we can’t have that kind of behaviour from our players.” Mr Jefferies looks at me. “You say this Gossip Lips keep saying they have a source for the articles obviously it’s the same person they are someone you know as they have been targeting Miss Summers and yourself. Could you maybe get them to give up the source that way we can see what they have to say for themselves?” I sit up straight. “I could try it’s the least I can do Chloe doesn’t deserve any of this.” Coach stands up towering over me. “Ok as long as you get me the proof, I won’t bench your ass but tomorrow you are here at 5 am and you will be running double drills.” I stand up.” Yes, coach.”
Mr Jefferies pats my back. “Now get yourself home and work out how we fix this before you end up with a career in tatters.” I collect my bag. I’m the last one left. I walk out of the arena. A few fans are waiting to get my autograph and picture, along with a few journalists. I go over normally we do post interviews in the conference room so this is out of the ordinary for me we don’t answer questions outside but fuck it I’m already in the shit may as well make it count. I answer a few with our usual rehearsed answers and I’m about to walk to my car when I hear a female voice.
“Mr Grey, I’m Melody Mitchell from Gossip Lips. Can I ask you a few questions?” Well, that was too easy. “I should be pissed at you does anyone there write the truth?” Melody gives me a sad smile before she responds “We all have to start somewhere but I never wrote any of the articles about you or your teammates.” I let out a sigh. “You can ask me some questions, just not here. Is there anywhere we can go a bit more private? She gives me an address and I’m driving over there now. I’m trying to work out how to approach this. Reporters never give up their sources. I pull up in an empty car park and I see her pull into a space beside mine. I wave and we head inside. It’s quiet and very private. We found a booth in the corner.
“This place is nice, didn’t know it existed.” Melody smiles at me. “It’s a good place to meet people for stories and privacy. So you will answer my questions? I nod. “I will do one better, you have been running a lot of stories about someone I know a Miss Chloe Summers.”
“I have been aware of this, why?” I take a sip of my water. “You have a source I need to know is it reliable?”
Melody lets out a sigh. “I do know of the source and I would say it is reliable.” I scoff. “It’s full of shit that doesn’t look good for journalistic integrity, I’m here to make you a deal.” Melody sits forward. “What kind of deal?”
“I will give you an exclusive interview only for you, I will give you all the details about my endorsement deal, the full truth about Miss Summers and any other questions you are busting to ask me.” Melody tilts her head. “What’s the catch? It has to be pretty big for that kind of interview.”
“I need to know who the source is? She looks at me and laughs. “That’s not how sources work, if we give them up, no one will ever give a story again, my career is over.” I lean back. “If you don’t give me the source and I go to a competitor reporter giving them my story and tell them that you are using a source that has absolutely zero reliability you think your career will survive that?” She’s looking at me. She doesn’t know whether to call my bluff.
“If I were to give the source up, how fast would the interview happen?”
“Within 24 hours” I see Melody mulling over my proposal. “Ok, when would you expect me to publish it, I mean you haven’t signed the deal yet. I assume as nothing has hit the media” I give her a stern look to let her know I’m not fucking about. “You would release it the same day I sign. You can hit the publish button as I sign the contract the ink won’t even be dry, which is only a few days away.”
I can feel Melody’s foot tap under the table. “And you are sure it’s not reliable?” I glare at her. “You hear the deal I’m offering? What do you think?” I hear her let out a loud breath. “Don’t make me regret it.” I smile at her. “You have my word, you want to make a pinky promise too?"
Melody looks at me and I watch as she bites her lip.
“No your word will do, the source is...
...Mr Clive Black.”