Wow, has it really been that long? Ok so... I could apologise and explain to you guys all the things that came up and all the reasons why I haven't had time to be online and work on anything... but that doesn't really matter lol.
All that you really need to know is that this update is kind of crappy and I didn't stop to proof it, there are more on the way... and I'm going to frantically try to crank them out so that I don't leave you waiting so long again.
Emily adjusted the weight of the nine-month-old, sleeping toddler, on her hip as she waited for Brooks to finish with his interview.
It hadn't been her idea to attend the team meeting and dinner, but she didn't really have a choice. Brooks was adamant about wanting Cosmo there, and she knew it was unrealistic to assume he could watch her and deal with everything else at the same time.
She sighed, not noticing as a woman approached her from the side. "So you must be Brooks' girlfriend." She said warmly, smiling at Cosmo before turning her attention back to Emily.
"Oh... no, I'm just... I'm the babysitter." Emily finally managed to choke out before clearing her throat.
The woman opened her mouth, clearly looking for the words to apologise, but Emily waved her unspoken words away with her free hand. "Don't worry about it... honest mistake." She muttered, hoping the woman couldn't hear her disappointment as she spoke.
They stood in an awkward silence for a few minutes as they both watched Brooks, Mike, Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, field questions from the press. "I'm Melissa, by the way. I'm engaged to Jose." Emily looked over at her and smiled in a silent congratulations.
They continued their idol chit-chat for a while, Emily, happy for the excuse to keep her eyes away from Brooks, as Melissa talked away about hockey, boys and shopping. "It's so nice to have someone to talk to at these things again..." She sighed as the boys began to stand up and leave the podium, descending the short staircase until they were mingling among the crowd of people.
"What do you mean?" Emily asked absently as she searched for Mike and Brooks through the crowd, hoping that they knew where she had been waiting.
Melissa shrugged, her blonde hair jumping around her shoulders as she did so. "I dunno, it just feels like any of the girls I get along with always get kicked to the curb after a while.
You know, Walker and his wife just split." She continued on, unaware that she had gained Emily's undivided attention. "And the saddest part is, she has nothing now. I mean she signed a pre-nup... and he's fighting her for the kids... he'll probably win.
Like, he has a good job and the money to afford to raise them... she's got nothing but what she had when they started."
"That's horrible..." Emily whispered, as Melissa continued on.
"And the saddest part is, they started dating in high school and she moved with him when he was drafted... she's never had a job in her life and doesn't have anything past her grade 12. That's a pretty shitty situation to be in." She finished, raising her hand as Jose worked his way towards her.
He gave Emily a small smile and nodded as he wrapped a long, thin, arm around Melissa's waist. "I'm starved, let's go get something to eat." He said, tugging on her as he began to head back towards the door.
Melissa nodded and turned around, waving goodbye to Emily as she disappeared through the throng of people.
Emily waved back, trying to ignore the sinking feeling in her stomach as she watched them leave.
She was so consumed with her thoughts, that she jumped when she felt someone's hand wrap around her arm. "Jesus, you scared me." She complained, when she turned around to see the culprit smiling down at her.
"Sorry," Brooks grinned sheepishly, as he bent down to kiss the top of Cosmo's head, "I didn't think I'd surprise you... I said your name a few times."
"Oh... yah I was just... I just met Jose's fiancé." She explained, trying to steer the conversation away from anything that related to messy divorces and custody battles. "She seems really nice."
Brooks shrugged, reaching around to grab onto a lost looking Mike. "I guess so, never really talked to her before... where do you guys want to eat?"
"Anyway!" Mike said loudly, his arms wrapped around his stomach. "I'm so hungry I could die..." He complained, in a volume that caused Cosmo to wake with a start.
Her large green eyes peered up at Emily, before she glanced over her shoulder to where the two boys were standing. She yawned, and without a word, plunked her head back down on Emily's shoulder and let out a soft snore.
Brooks chuckled as he reached out, taking her out of Emily's arms and adjusting her in his own. "You guys just wanna go grab something?"
Emily and Mike both nodded - the latter with much more enthusiasm then the first.
The restaurant was packed, but the staff whisked Brooks, Mike, Emily and Cosmo away to an empty set of tables on the upstairs level. Of course Mike and Brooks had never even heard the term ‘reservation’, not since their arrival into the notoriety of the NHL, but it was something Emily still wasn’t use to.
It wasn’t that she didn’t have the money to eat anywhere she wanted; but she didn’t have the fame - and from the stares of people as they passed, she wasn’t sure she wanted it.
They sat down and she tried to ignore the looks as the boys began to look over their menus.
Emily had a nagging need in the pit of her stomach, to talk about what she had learnt earlier, with Brooks, but she also wanted to sound nonchalant about it.
She waited until the drinks were in front of them, their meals had been ordered, and Cosmo was ‘drawing’ on the placemat with some crayons, before she started to talk. “So… I heard today that Walker and his wife just broke up, he must be going through a hard time… has he been talking about it a lot in the dressing room?”
Brooks snorted into his drink. “Not likely. Walkers been fucking around for as long as I’ve known him… I honestly don’t think he gives a shit one way or the other.”
“Yah, Theodore doesn’t look like he’s gonna last either.” Mike added, nodding towards Emily; like she needed the reminder that she had just met José’s fiancé earlier.
“You don’t think they’ll last?” Emily asked quickly, feeling bile rise in her throat at the thought of the overly friendly girl on a road to heartbreak.
Brooks shrugged. “Most guys in the NHL who get married don’t make it.” Emily gawked at him as he continued, surprised by the casual tone of his remark. “I mean, most of them have more money then they know what to do with… women throwing themselves at them… and they spend more nights away then home.”
Emily leaned back, pulling her arms off the table as the waitress came towards them, her arms laden with steaming food.
She placed everything down on the table and the boys immediately dug in, while Emily started to cut up some chicken for Cosmo. “So you think those are good enough reasons for someone to cheat? For someone to leave their family?”
Brooks chewed on a piece of rib before he answered. “No. I don’t think there’s ever a reason to cheat. If you don’t want to be with someone now… dump them. If you don’t want to be with someone forever… don’t marry them. It’s pretty simple.”
“… and the girls?” Emily pressed, trying to still appear as if she was just making dinner conversation.
“What about them?” Mike grunted, pulling his face out of his food long enough to comment.
Brooks glanced at him and rolled his eyes. “Again, it’s simple. If you care about someone, it doesn’t matter how many girls throw themselves at you, you aren’t gonna see them. Guys that cheat, do it because they’re idiots… it’s got nothing to do with how many girls hit on them or not.
A guy could have a million girls hit on him, and stay faithful… another guy could have one girl look at him, and he cheats. Some people do it… some people don’t. It just seems that a lot of the guys that do, end up here. It’s a superiority complex, they think because they’re the breadwinner in the family, it gives them the right to do whatever they want.”
“But you wouldn’t do that…” Emily said quietly. Brooks wasn’t sure if she was asking or stating a fact, but the conversation turning towards him, caught his attention.
He set down a bone on his plate and glanced up at her.
“Is something up?” He cleared his throat and watched her reaction. She bit her lip and shook her head, directing her attention back to Cosmo; but not before colour rose up in her cheeks. He wanted to press on, figure out what she was trying to get at; but he thought it might be better to let it go.
Beyond the blush that was creeping through her face, pain was visible in her eyes.
The conversation moved onto other things, but Brooks kept his focus on Emily for the rest of the meal.
They went home right afterwards, and Emily retreated quickly back to her own apartment, claiming that she was exhausted and need to get some early shut eye. Mike, not realizing anything was off, started to build a fort with Cosmo in the living room.
Brooks sat back and watched them play; sipping on a beer as he thought over everything that had happened that day.
Of course he had heard about Walker, but he didn’t think anything of it… as he had already said to Emily, Walker wasn’t a one-woman kind of guy. As for Theodore, it wasn’t that he was like that, he was just fickle and could never seem to make up his mind.
The rest of the guys on the team… well… they couldn’t all be painted with the same brush, but he liked to think that when it came to relationships, he’d be somewhere near the top as far as honesty and fidelity went.
So, maybe, that was due to the fact that he was one of the few who hadn’t really been in a relationship, per say, but he was positive he’d be a good boyfriend.
He could easily prove that too, if Emily would give him the chance.