A Dash Of Him

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DUKE Chapter 28

I was biting my nails off because the game was so intense. The Los Angeles Saints and the New York Panthers were neck and neck. The Saints were 3 and the Panthers were 4. It was the last period which lasted forever, each team played with stamina and violence. Dash had told me this was his old team but I never thought they hated him this much. I spotted Dash on the rink with his double 77, he wasn't moving as fast as the first two periods. But I noticed his plays were off as well. He was angry and tired I could tell by the way he skated. It wasn't as swift and precise. He was everywhere and wasn't concentrating, something was on his mind.

I glanced at my backpack on the seat next to me and smiled. I wanted to surprise Dash on the first draft of my newest book. I've been busy writing when Dash is at practice or when he goes away for a couple of days to play in another state. I couldn't travel with him because of work but I never missed a game.

I hope he doesn't mind the book is inspired by how we met. The way he asked me out when I was in pain. How fate brought us together again in Mexico. How his big blue ocean eyes gaze into my soul. How he made love to me. I could still taste his salty lips as our bodies melted to each other. I loved him and I hated seeing him so unfocused.

I was cut off from my thoughts when people started to boo. I glanced up and saw Dash being escorted to the penalty bench. Dash took his helmet off and slammed it on the glass protector. I asked the guy next to me what happened. "The other fucken guy faked he was going to hook Dash. Dash got pissed and slammed the other guy from behind," this was a foreign language to me but I know Dash told me some penalty charges in hockey and that was one that Dash did.

I saw Dash standing as I got up and went down towards the benching area. I tapped on the glass protector as he turned around. His hair was wet from sweat, he had dark circles under his eyes, but he managed to give me his handsome smile. I placed my hand on the glass protector as he did as well. He moved his lips and said, "I love you". My heart burst with joy. I told him the same thing. His minutes were up and Dash returned to the rink.

I walked up as all eyes were on me, everyone had a smirk on their face. My cheeks went red. I think they knew who I was. I'm pretty sure with all the pictures floating around of us in the media.

Then I saw someone sitting on the empty seat where my backpack was placed. He had long blonde hair, a full polished beard, and was tall as hell. I was curious about him then it hit me. Dash told me a good friend of his was coming to the game, Matthew Clearwater. But the game was almost over. I approached my seat and this guy gave me his handsome smile.

"You must be Duke?" How the hell did he know my name?

"Yeah that's me," I made my way to my seat and sat down. He handed me my backpack and took out his phone. He put his phone in front of me and showed me a picture of Dash and me. It was a picture of us at the awards last week.

"I'm Matthew Clearwater. Dash sent me this picture of you two not so long ago. Sorry, I'm late, LA traffic is the worst from the airport to here," he had a deep voice as I caught a whiff of his musky cologne. He was damn attractive and hella tall now that I'm seeing him in front of me. His legs didn't fit in these stairs.

"Nice to meet you. I have heard some good stories about you," Dash told me they were a couple in high school but it never worked out because of his dad.

"Likewise, man. It doesn't look too good for Dash's team," his eyes fixated on the scoreboard. The Panthers had scored another shot. I took a deep breath when I noticed Dash was screaming at some guy from the other team. He pointed at him and put his helmet on.

"That's his old teammate, Mark Shepherd," he pointed at the guy that skated away from Dash. Yeah, I remember him from the awards.

"I met him already, he's a real douche," I said. Matthew chuckled.

"You are sweet. Dash is so much in love with you. He's never had a serious relationship so be good to him. He's a great catch," I saw his blue eyes soften.

"Weren't you two together?"

He averted his gaze at me. His blue eyes glowed like stars and his skin had a golden glow. He was tanned and I also noticed a swirl of sadness in his eyes. "Yes we were but our lives were different. My dad was strict with me and when I came out he went ballistic. My parents got divorced and I moved with my mom up north to a farm."

He gave me a charming smirk. "I haven't seen much of Dash since high school. I was going through some complications when Dash's mom passed away and I feel like shit about it. I called him and he told me to not worry about it but deep inside I failed him as a friend." His eyes softened and I could tell that more than just guilt was bugging him. But suddenly everyone booed and I noticed the game had ended. Shit. I glanced at the scoreboard and the Panthers won.

I stood up and noticed Dash had taken his helmet off. His head was low as he walked to the locker rooms. I gasped lightly. "He was doing so good but something has been off with him lately," I turned to Matthew who stood next to me.

"The Saints are still in the game. I just know Dash. He's probably kicking himself for losing. Come on let's wait for him by the lockers," I forced a smile and grabbed my backpack. I followed Matthew who hovered like a giant in front of me. Geez, he's probably taller than Dash.

Thirty minutes passed and I talked some more with Matt. He told me to call him that. He told me his father showed at his house the day before Dash's mom died. He was completely drunk and tried to hit his mother. They got into a fight until his mother called the cops. His dad was taken in but his mom was left terrified so when he got the call that Dash's mom died he didn't want to leave his mother by herself. "My mom didn't want to leave the house. I told her what happened but she was just terrified to leave. So that's why I didn't make it to the funeral." I took a deep breath as he hit his head softly on the wall.

"Have you told Dash that?"

"No, we lost touch again. He traveled and I just recently got in touch with him," Matt lifted himself when the doors opened and Dash's teammates came out, most of them with a disappointed face. Mason and Caleb came out.

"Hey is Dash still in there?" I asked Mason whose eyes were red. It looked like he was crying.

"Yeah, he's consoling Aiden. He got a call that his mother passed away. He's not taking it very well," my heart broke. Just thinking of someone passing away breaks my own heart. I swallowed hard as they left.

I didn't care. I opened the door to the locker room as Matt followed. I heard a deep voice crying then I heard Dash. "Aiden, look at me. She's in a better place. I know what you're going through. I lost my mom as well."

"I know, man. She's my mom. How am I supposed to let her go? She loved seeing me at the games but she's been in the hospital for a few weeks now and...." he cried loudly and that's when I saw his face go into Dash's chest. Dash glanced over at me as his eyes softened. His eyes lit up when he saw Matt. He pulled Aiden away. Aiden turned around and quickly wiped his tears away.

"I have to go. My dad is waiting for me. We have to arrange the funeral," he grabbed his bag and lifted it over his shoulders.

He passed by me, that's when I grabbed his arm. "Hey. I heard what happened. I'm sorry for that. Please give Dash details for the funeral," he squeezed my hand with his other hand as his eyes filled with water.

"Thanks, I will." He forced a smile and left.

I quickly walked over to Dash who still had a disappointed face. His eyes averted to the gray pavement. I grabbed his hand and pulled him into a hug. "Baby, it's just one game and you did awesomely," I kissed his neck and that's when he chuckled.

"I love you. I feel better," but his words didn't come out joyful. I pulled away as Matt came over.

"Look at you," Matt pulled him into a bear hug. I noticed Dash's blue eyes swirled with guilt just like Matt's eyes were earlier. Is he hiding something from me?

Dash pulled away and studied Matt. He beamed a charming smirk at him. "You look like a hunky farmer," he joked around with him but that didn't mean I didn't get a tad bit jealous. They both laughed then Dash pulled me by the waist.

"I see you met my handsome boyfriend," my heart slammed inside my chest.

"Yes, he's quiet but I can see he loves you just by the way his eyes light up," my cheeks got warmer as Dash kissed my cheek.

We left the stadium and went to go eat. Dash and Matt talked about high school. They talked about sports but my mind was not in the conversation. My mind was going a million miles per hour on Aiden's situation. He was taking it better than me. I lost it when I found out Emilio passed away. I swallowed hard as a tear came down my cheek. I hardly ate my burger and fries.

Dash squeezed my hand as I came back from my tormenting thoughts. "You ok, babe?"

"Yeah, I'm just tired."

"We can go. I'm beat as well."

Matt followed us towards Dash's truck. He came in his car. "I'm here for a couple of weeks with my mom. Let's hang out some more and catch up, both of you," he was really sweet.

"Of course, man," they hugged as Matt left.

We arrived at my house. Dash took a quick shower and so did I. He laid on his side looking towards the window. The night sky was clear. The lamplight was on as I came behind him and wrapped my arms around his waist. I kissed his neck and took a deep breath. "Babe, is everything ok?"

"Yeah, why?" I could tell by his low voice that he wasn't.

"You've been off these couple of days. You've been quiet and don't tell me you haven't. Talk to me," he turned around as his blue eyes were a dark navy tone. His eyes got glossy and I knew something was wrong.

He took a deep breath. "I've been thinking about a lot of things. Can I ask you a question?"

"Yeah, anything."

"It's hypothetical but if you knew who killed Emilio how would you react?"

My throat went dry and my heart filled with rage. I've always been curious about who it was but Esmeralda told me that it's better not knowing. She didn't want to know either. She said she doesn't hate the person that took Emilio's life. She's a good person with a heart of gold. I, on the other hand, would prefer the killer rot in jail but that wasn't the case. They'll be out soon and I can't do anything about it.

My face went hot like a boiling pot but my heart slit slightly knowing the pain was still there. "I'm sorry I'd didn't mean to ask," I think he saw my reaction. His blue eyes swirled with guilt and I'm trying to figure out what he's guilty about. But I answer him.

I closed my eyes then opened them slowly. "My heart still hurts from the loss of Emilio but I will never forgive the person that took him away from me. I hate them and I wish they rot in jail," Dash's eyes closed and then opened. He forced a grin on his lips and then pulled me into his chest. He smelled so good from the pine-scented body wash.

"I love you, babe."

"I love you, too."

I know Dash is holding something from me but I'm the happiest I've been. But little did I know that the future was coming and the truth would unfold.
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