Not a minute later, Briar runs into the office, with Bailey not far behind her.
“AH! Are you serious right now?!” I say getting up
“Hey girl! B and I thought we would surprise you!” Bailey says
“Oh my gosh, this is amazing! How did you do this?”
“We’ve been talking since the wedding!” Jack says
“And why is this the first I’m hearing of it?” I asked surprised
“Um, because it’s been long distance,” Bailey says
“Oh, how did you manage to get off work?”
“I’m between schools right now, so it’s like a short vacation,”
“We’ll that’s awesome! So are ya’ll staying with Jack?”
“What do you think of Briar?” I ask him
“Oh she’s such a good kid! She was shy at first but she got used to me,”
“Aw, yay I’m glad you got to make it out here, this is an amazing surprise!”
“I figured, and I wanted to bring Briar out here this time, especially since she’s a little older too”
“For sure! Well why don’t ya’ll hang out here while the guys practice, then we can go to lunch or something?”
“Sounds good, I’ll tell Tazer. See you girls later,” Jack says as he leaves
“Girl, I didn’t know that you and Jack were still talking!” I tell Bailey as she joins Lauren and I around the desk
“Yeah! Well we spent the night together after the reception,” She says
“Yes, but not like that! We stayed up almost all night talking, then we went to breakfast the next morning, and he didn’t leave until that Monday, so we hung out more around town and the house,”
“Have your parents met him?”
“Yeah, mom loves him! Dad thinks he’s great, and plus he likes that he’s a professional hockey player, my dad knew I didn’t follow hockey often, so I told him that Jack and I met through you,”
“Oh yeah, those hockey players just have some sort of charm,”
“Yeah, and somehow we all get sucked into it,” Mel says
“So what’s going on with you guys? Ya’ll dating…more serious?”
“Well just dating and talking for now, it’s hard because it’s long distance. I like him a lot though, he’s someone I could see myself with,”
“Aww, my little Bay is growing up!”
“I know, shut up,”
“So, realistically, if ya’ll became more serious, and he asked you to move out here, would you?”
“I don’t know, that would be something that I would really have to think about, plus, things would have to be worked out again with Jason and that stuff,”
“Yeah, true, would you ever consider it?”
"Yeah, maybe, it would be nice to get out of New Mexico for a while, but the whole changing teams all the time could be stressful,"
"I know what you mean, well kinda. But I see it all the time,"
We talk for a little more while working, after finishing up what we had scheduled for that day, Bailey and Briar join Mel, Cruise and I to watch the guys practice, as Lauren leaves to pick up the kids from Brian’s sister. We’re the only ones there, so we sit at the glass right behind the team bench.
“Uncle Jonny!” Briar yells as she points to him skating around
“Yeah, B, there’s Uncle Jonny! Do you see Jack?” I say with her on my lap
“No, that’s Kaner,”
“I see him!” she says pointing to Jack
The guys practice for about 30 more minutes when Colby sees all of us and skates right up to the ice, Cruise’s eyes light up so big
“Dada!” he says
“Hi buddy! Hey ladies,” he says, trying to work his charm yet again
So after the boys change, we say bye to all the guys, then Jon and I head to lunch at the Rainforest Café with Bailey, Briar and Jack. It was so good to see Bailey happy again, and I liked that it was Jack who was putting the smile on her face; not to mention how good he was with Briar…picture perfect!
The next day is game day for the final preseason game…that happens to be against the Penguins. Bailey and Briar are with me at the office again, Jack didn’t want them to be bored alone at his house while he was a practice, so they came with him. We were walking back out to the ice to watch them practice again when we ran into Jordan, Max and Deryk Engelland.
“J! How’s it going?” Jordan asks
“Hey Jordie! It’s pretty good!” I say before I introduce Bailey and Briar to the guys
“That’s good, how was your summer?”
“Good, short, but good!”
“So uh, J, when are there going to be little Tazer juniors running around?” Max asks
“Your like the 10th person to ask! But probably not for a while,”
“Wait…Tazer, your married to Toews?” Deryk asks
“Wow, congrats!” He says
“Thanks, what about you guys? No ladies for ya?”
“HA! You know how I roll,” Max says with a smirk
“Yeah, no one for me. And big D over here is a married man,” Jordan says
“Then give him a hard time for kids running around!” I say
“Oh we do!”
“Well, should we catch up with our men?” Bailey asks
“Yes, lets. It was good seeing you boys! Good luck tonight,”
“Thanks!” They say after giving hugs then walking back to the visiting locker room
“Wait…let me guess. You ran into the boys, eh?” Jon asks as we get into the locker room
“You know me too well,” I say sitting next to him, smiling
“Who this time?”
“Jordan, Max and Deryk,”
“What, no Sid??” Colby yells
“I didn’t see him, but I thought you kept better track of him then me,” I say
“Yeah, sometimes, but we don’t talk as often anymore, and he’s got that fiancée of his,”
“Aw, is poor Colby sad because he’s being replaced?”
“Yes, it’s so sad,” He says with a puppy dogface
The girls and I got back to the arena later that night and sat in our normal seats on the glass, with the addition of Mel, Cruise, Bailey and Briar. Our section of seats was now a crowded one, but no one seemed to mind, because we all got to sit together and gossip. Abby and Elina came together, along with Abby’s baby bump that was still growing each day, but the baby girl she was carrying was healthy as can be and would be making her debut in a few short months.
Colby scored his first goal as a Hawk, the game winner after Jon and Campbell scored in the second period, and the guys went on to win their final preseason game, 3-1. The team had a few days off before the regular season started, which was a 3 game stretch at home against the Red Wings, the Sharks and the Maple Leafs.
The first regular season game was against the Red Wings, and it was a special one, because they were raising the championship banner, and the Stanley Cup was back in the building, with the new names etched on it. The guys skated out to the ice, Jon being at the end, with the cup in his hands. He lifts it up right as his skate hits the ice and the arena erupted in cheers. The momentum from the ceremony sticks with the boys throughout the game; the guys benefited from it and beat the Wings 3-2.