Let me tell you. Sitting in a hotel room with your 16 year old brother who hates the world and watching a TV with only 46 channels at eight at night is not fun. Bottom-line, I’m not happy.
After I got in the car at the airport and had an internal argument with myself for the entire ride to the hotel about whether or not to give this Kris guy a call, I was kind of distracted. Sure, I remember getting to the hotel and getting our stuff out of the car, and then heading straight to our room where I put on sweatpants, but where my parents have gone, is a mystery to me.
“Hey, Will,” I said, reaching over and plucking an ear bud out of his ear. He glared at me before answering.
“What?” he snapped, annoyed that I dare disrupt his gaming.
“Where are Mom and Dad?” I asked, rolling off of the bed I was lying on and picking up the capris I was wearing earlier. I fished around in the pocket until I came up with the scrap of paper I was looking for.
“I don’t know,” he grumbled, plugging his ear bud back into his ear. He wouldn’t notice if I left, would he?
“Well, I’m going to go out, okay?” I asked. I looked at him, nodding his head to whatever it was he was listening to.
I took that as an okay and threw on some skinny jeans to go along with a white, short-sleeved, cowl-neck sweater that was actually supposed to be a sweater dress. Eh, and flats would do. I never was much of a heels person.
I pulled my phone out and dialed the number on the paper. It rang, once, twice, three times, and just as I was bracing myself to leave a message where I’d probably talk entirely too long, Kris picked up.
“Hello?” he asked. I was slightly disappointed he didn’t answer in French. His French made me want to do unspeakable things to him.
“Um, hi,” I said, pausing to collect my thoughts. “It’s uh, Isabel, from the airport today, and I’m bored out of my mind right now, so you know, you said to call you if I had the time, and I do.” I stopped with that, mentally smacking myself in the forehead.
“Yeah, I remember,” he said. “Georgia girl.”
“Yes, that would be me…” I trailed off, stopping myself from saying something ridiculous.
“So you wanna go out, eh?” he asked. I could hear the smile in his voice. He was almost teasing me.
I looked back at Will splayed out across the bed jerking his iTouch back and forth playing some sort of mindless game.
“There is nothing I’d like more than to go out,” I said, now smiling myself.
So basically, he came to pick me up at the hotel literally ten minutes after I called. He must have expected me to call. I just met the guy and he already had me pegged. From the hotel, he drove down what seemed like sixteen different streets until we pulled up outside of a quiet looking club. A lounge, he called it.
“This looks nice,” I stated, my nerves beginning to calm down, which meant less babbling nonsense, something he probably appreciated.
“It is,” he countered. “It’s my favorite place to come. It’s not over the top loud like the other places. It’s just right, and not many people know about it.”
He locked his car behind him and started towards the door with me a step behind. The bouncer didn’t even question us, which made me wonder how often he comes here, and with how many different girls. I shoved that thought to the back of my mind and following him inside where he slid into a corner booth. I followed suit and soon I was sitting right beside him, so close I could feel his body heat.
“So Isabel from Georgia,” he started, leaning towards me and grinning. “What brings you to Montreal?” Curiosity etched in his eyes.
I thought about my response for a second before answering. “My family goes on a trip every year. This is our yearly trip,” I stated, taking a sip out of the drink that had magically appeared in front of me. When did this even get here and why didn’t I notice it? It wasn’t like me to let things go unnoticed. Whatever it was, it had alcohol in it, which I didn’t protest to. It helped take the edge off.
“Sounds like a blast,” he said, almost as if he were just trying to fill the void. He sat back against the booth, but sprang forward within seconds.
“Have you by chance ever been to a hockey game in Atlanta?” he asked me. I was surprised by this. I probably shouldn’t have been, considering I was in Montreal for God’s sake, as in Canada, as in hockey is practically a religion.
“Nope,” I replied, still slightly confused.
He was smiling now, like a little kid who had a secret he couldn’t keep. I was pretty stoked, seeing that look on his face. It made me want to know whatever it was. I leaned in closer to him, prompting him to elaborate and continue. In the process, I inhaled his scent which I’m pretty sure is the scent of heaven.
“You know, I play hockey,” he said nonchalantly.
“I can only assume,” I replied, giggling.
“Not just pond hockey, but big time hockey,” he continued.
I still had the drink in my hand and whatever it was, was freaking strong. I put it down, already starting to feel my head spin.
“Like, major leagues?” I asked, perplexed by the idea.
“Yupp, like major leagues,” he said. “I actually play for the Pittsburgh Penguins, an NHL team.”
Pittsburgh Penguins? Why did that sound familiar? And then I realized. I saw a flash of the TV, my dad sitting in his recliner watching SportsCenter, hockey clips playing across the screen, a team celebrating, a big silver cup being hoisted into the air. What was that called?
“The Stanley Cup,” I said, putting all the pieces together. The 412 area code was just a piece to the puzzle. My brain was working overtime and I’m sure he could see the gears whirring in my head as he nodded yes.
“You won the Stanley freaking Cup,” I continued, a hand flying to my mouth. I had no idea who this guy was. I just figured he was some random dude in the airport, but now, everything made sense.
“Yeah,” he said, leaning closer to me. “I love that you had no idea who I was.”
I smiled and blushed, my long brown hair falling over my face as I looked down at my lap. “I try,” I said, looking back up at him and feeling my heart melt when my eyes met his.
He reached up to brush a few strands of hair out of my face, his fingers touching my cheek ever so lightly.
I decided I liked this guy.