The night of February 22 when it all began……
Closing Time – Semisonic
So gather up your jackets, move it to the exits
I hope you have found a friend
Every new beginning comes from some other
I know who I want to take me home
Take me home
After the game, everyone was stoked over the win. We had only played the Islanders but we needed the 2 points. The next morning we had an early practice, and then had to fly out to Montreal for a game there. We had planned to go out, but with the threat of the early morning skate ahead of us, everyone bailed on me.
I know I’m new in this city, but after a win you celebrate. So I decided to go for a beer before heading home. I walked into the packed pub and made an “A” line for the bar to order myself a beer. That’s when I saw her. She was with a friend, this really short girl; Boyce would like her I think. They were laughing and joking, sitting at a four top table, away from the bar.
I called the bartender over “See that girl over there? I’ll pay for her drinks for the rest of the night. Whatever she wants, it’s hers.”
“Which one? There’s a lot of broads in here tonight!”
“The one with the blondish-brown hair and the scarf with the short brunette, over there” I nod my head in the direction of her table and hopefully at her.
“Oh, the ice queen, she drives a hard bargain that one, you’re the third guy who’s tried to by them drinks tonight, she just keeps shuttin’ ‘em down and sendin’ ‘em back”
“I’m not sending any over to her, just let her order, give her her drink, and walk away.” I hand him a fifty.
“No problem. You want me to tell her you’re buying?”
“Nope, I’ll do that myself” I say as I hand him my credit card to start our tab.
I ran outside and called the only person who I really know in this city, Clark, and begged him to meet me. I know he has a girlfriend and I’m not trying to fuck with that. He’s a decent guy and a good friend and agreed to meet me to be my fake wingman for the night. What can I say, guys work better in packs.
I resumed my spot sitting at the bar. I had the perfect view of her from here, well a side view anyway, but it was clear of obstruction. I watched in amusement as she approached the bar and gestured to the bartender that she needed 2 more of whatever her and her friend were drinking. He mixed the colourful liquid, and then strained it into 2 large martini glasses. He placed the drinks in front of her, nodded his head, then turned on his heel and left her there. He walked over to my end of the bar, making eye contact with me before busying himself tending to the next patron.
She tries to get his attention by waving her arm. When that didn’t work, she stepped up onto the foot rail to give herself added height then leaned over the bar to get his attention. As she moved her body forward, her shirt pulls down in the front and exposes a fantastic view of her long neck and ample cleavage. ‘Holy Shit’ I could feel my pants getting a little snug. “Excuse me sir, I didn’t pay you!” she says. I could barely hear her over the music but I could read the words on her lips.
After a few attempts she reaches further over and places a twenty on the bartender’s side of the bar. I couldn’t believe this girl, who doesn’t just walk away when a bartender ‘forgets’ to charge you for a drink? I watch her hop down from the foot rail making her breasts jiggle. She grabs her drinks and begins her sexy little walk back over to her table. The way her hips sway when she walks is mesmerizing. It’s not exaggerated like most chicks in bars looking to pick up. No, hers is completely natural and sexy as hell; I take a long haul from my beer to cool down a bit. Where the hell is Clarke? The bartender looks at me and shrugs his shoulders. I motion for him to bring me her cash.
I finished my beer while watching them talking and laughing. She seems cheerful but a little reserved for the first bit, but then I guess the alcohol started to kick in, and she starts to get really quite animated when she speaks. Moving her hands, making gestures, this was hilarious to watch. I don’t know what she was talking about, but at one point she grabbed her throat, crossed her eyes and flopped back in her chair pretending to drop dead. That earned her a slap on the arm from her friend then they both started cracking up laughing.
I couldn’t help myself, she was so damn cute and I chuckled out load at the amusing site. “What’s so funny?” Clarke asks me as he slaps his hand down patting me in the back. I gesture to her with the neck of my bottle and he smiles. “Already zeroing in on the kill are we?” He laughs while I order us a round. “So, why is it exactly that you need me to be here, if you already found what you’re looking for tonight? It’s not like you need the help selecting, if their breathing it’s on with you eh?”
“Fuck off” I’m not going to admit to him that I find myself a little insecure living in this new city by myself. Or that my ego took a hit with the trade, it was something I took really personally this time, it would be hard not to. I tell Clarke that I need him to distract the friend so I won’t look like such a horned up guy hitting on her.
Let’s be realistic though, I left Anaheim 2 weeks ago and I need to get laid. With the stress of the trade, the criticism of whether I’m worth it or not, moving and the pressure from playing here, I need some release. In California, it’s a nightly occurrence. The girls are just easy and willing to please.
I fill Clarke in on the plan and my agreement with the bartender. We watch as her friend comes over to pick up the next round, she orders and does a quick scan of the people lined along the bar including us. Her drinks are brought over but she doesn’t bat an eyelash when the bartender leaves her there, drinks in hand. Instead she laughs smiles to herself then turns and walks away. ‘She knows what’s going on’
About 20 minutes later my girl comes over for another round. She gets her drinks, goes to pay and of course the same thing ensues. I let her get back to her table and get settled for a few minutes before I decide to make my move. I send Clarke over. It’s just like in junior, he goes to break the ice, wins them over, then I come in for the kill. I chug down the rest of my beer for some extra liquid courage.
I watch as Clarke approaches their table. He’s a natural; chatty and jovial. Women don’t find him threatening only charming. He chats to them both at first but starts to focus on “Short stuff” and I watch her ask him to join them. I see him gesture in my direction indicating that he’s not alone and she nods. That’s my cue and I grab the 2 beers I preordered so it looks like I was getting us another round.
When I make it to the table I make eye contact with her immediately. I catch as her eyes go wide for a fraction of a second, then the look is gone and a shy smile appears on her lips. I set our beers down on the table. Clarke makes the introductions.
“Ladies, this is my friend Joffrey, Joffrey this is Jenn” he says and the short one offers me her hand to shake. “Nice to meet you” I say as we shake hands and I give her my best smile.
Clarke then turns my attention towards my target, I make eye contact with her and hold it. “And this is Michele” I can’t help the smile that’s plastered on my face ear to ear. “Michele, nice to meet you” I reach over to take her offered hand and shake it. It’s so soft and warm that I don’t want to let it go. Out of the corner of my eye I catch Jenn give Michele a devilish grin. I wonder what that’s about.
Clarke and Jenn start chatting away so I decide to take advantage of the opening.
“Do you come here often?” I ask in a lame attempt to make small talk, though I realize the minute I say it, it sounds like a cheesy pick up line.
“Never actually, this is my first time here. You?”
“First time for me too. I just moved here so I’m slowly starting to explore” I inform her.
“Oh, really? Where from?”
“Well that’s quite the change. Why would you come here to the freezing cold and snow, when you could be in the sunshine and heat all day?” She looks at me with a surprised look on her face.
“I didn’t really have a choice, I came here for work” I smile at her.
She nods her head in understanding. “If you don’t mind me asking what do you do for work that would require you moving here?” She asks matching my smile.
“Well it didn’t require I move here specifically, I was traded here, I play hockey professionally”
“Hockey? Like for the Marlies or the Leafs or something like that?”
“Yup, the Leafs”
“Wow, that’s an interesting career. I’m a hockey fan actually, I’m sorry to say, but I don’t really follow the Leafs too closely.” She says apologetically.
“Well I guess we’re going to have to change that”
“Maybe. I guess I’ll have to keep a closer eye on them now.” She shoots me a flirtatious grin. “How do you like it here so far?”
“It was hard to adjust at first, but it seems to keep getting better every day” I smile and wink at her.
We fall into conversation and it flows easily. Michele is very easy going and witty with a sarcastic sense of humor, which I like. We talk about what she does for a living, what we like to do outside of work, hobbies, T.V show, anything and everything and I feel like I’ve known her forever.
I notice the girls need refills and my beer is running low. “I’m gonna grab another round, I know Clarke needs a beer, but does anyone else want anything?”
Jenn pipes up. “Sure we’ll each have 2 more martinis. Michele, why don’t you go with Joffrey to get the drinks, he can’t bring back 4 drinks all by himself, with only 2 hands.” Jenn flashes Michele a huge grin. “Can do” she answers cheerfully.
We get to the bar and I signal to the bartender that we need 2 more for me and 2 more for her. “I got it” she says pulling cash out of the front pocket of her jeans.
“It’s already taken care of, I have a tab”
“Thank you” she says lightly touching my arm while looking up at me. The soft heat from her hand is setting my body on fire. I make eye contact with her. For the first time I notice that her eyes are the most amazing shade of blue.
“You’re welcome” We stand there looking at each other for what seems like forever. I need to say something before I kiss her. “We really should get back to those two” I tell her reluctantly.
“Yes, we should” She smiles.
We’re on our way back over in time to catch Jenn dragging Clarke to go dance to ACDC’s ‘You shook me all night long’.
“Do you want to join them?” I ask offering her my hand. “Yes please.” she exclaims happily. I’m not a big dancer but sometimes you just have to suck it up.
I guide her to where our friends are flailing around on the small dance floor. She starts twirling herself with my hand and singing at the top of her lungs. I couldn’t help but smile and sing along. When that song ends, we dance to a few more before a slow song came on. I pull her against me and we start swaying slowly. As the song went on we kept getting closer until there was absolutely no space between us and we were moving as one.
I was trying to not think of how close we were, I didn’t need to embarrass myself now, things were going really well. My hands were low on her back. My fingers sneaking under the hem of her shirt, tracing little circles on the small of her back. She looked me in the eyes then her eyes flickered to my lips and back up again. Her arms were draped around my shoulders pulling me closer and she started twirling the little hair I have between her fingers as we moved. She smiled up at me again then pulled her bottom lip between her teeth. I couldn’t resist any longer, I bent my head down and lightly brushed my lips against her mouth. Her lips were soft and she responded immediately deepening the kiss and pressing her soft body even tighter into mine. Her firm breasts felt amazing pressed up against me, moving gently across my chest with movement of our bodies. I brush my hand over her cheek and slide my tongue along her lips begging for entrance, she met my tongue with hers and we playfully dueled until she started to pull away. I grabbed her bottom lip between my teeth and let it slide out suggestively. Our eyes locked and bend my head down and kissed her cheek, I leaned in further and whispered in her ear “Do you want to get out of here?”
“Yes” she answered breathlessly as she nodded her head.
We quickly said our goodbyes, grabbed our coats and scarves and ran out front to hail a cab.