This story starts in October of 2006, Kris Letang's "real" rookie season in which he played less than ten games and many only remember him from last season. Please let me know what you think of this story so that I know if I should continue writing it or not. Thank you all so much for all of your support!!! Continue to read Staal and Le Petit Fleur and spread the word about Offense or Defense?
"Alright James I'll talk to you during the game," Nikki said crossing the foot bridge to the Marriott for the first part of her game day routine. Coming down the stairs from the second floor she stopped, seeing a familiar face. The tall man with soft brown hair and deep chocolate brown eyes was for some reason going to the second floor. Nikki knew that she had seen this man before, at least a few times, while wishing the Penguins luck. "Bonjour," she knew that he was French- Canadian and wasn't the best when it came to speaking English.
"Bonjour," he stopped on the step below her and continued speaking in French, his accent causing Nikki to melt inside. "I'm Kris, Kris Letang," he held out his hand to shake hers.
"Nikki, Nikki James," she said with a smile.
The two continued to talk until they arrived at the arena and to the player's entrance. "Bonne chance Kris, I'm glad I met you."
"Moi assui, merci. Will I see you again?"
"I hope so." She pulled out her cell phone and told him to put his number in. He did as instructed and she called him, her number now in his phone. "Call or text me anytime."
"D'ccord, good-bye." He spoke the last part in English.
Kris entered the arena and Nikki made her way to her place on the wall where she stood wishing all of the players luck. All of the players were very appreciative, but none of them as much as Kris. This may have been because he was a rookie, only playing in his seventh game; nonetheless Nikki was glad that she had made someone feel special.
"Learning French definitely paid off," she said in a text to James.
"I met Kris Letang, who barely knows English."
Nikki and James continued to talk while she wished players luck and as she made her way back downtown to her bus stop and home. Her mind wandered from all of the different Penguins, but stayed the longest on her new friend, Kris Letang. Since it was Friday night Nikki's best friend Cassie was waiting in the driveway when she got off the bus. The dinner discussion was of school and once they took their game seats conversation moved to hockey and Nikki's trip to the arena that day. "I met Kris Letang today," she said with a smile.
Cassie stared blankly, "You're lying to me right?"
"If I was would I have this?" she pulled an ice-time from that season's home opener, the cover displaying Kris' autograph.
"Mhm, I got his number too," she flipped her phone open to show her.
"You could have just put Kris' name with any number."
"You don't have to believe me." Soon the game started and the two girls cheered on their team. Following the game they said good-bye and Nikki went to check her online accounts and quickly shower so that she could get a good night's sleep. Stepping out of the shower she saw that she had received a text message. It was all in English but from Kris, he had probably gotten Sid or Marc to help him out.
'Glad I met you today; would you like to hang out sometime? Maybe get to know each other?'
Nikki smiled, 'I would love to, when is good for you?'
They continued to talk once Kris arrived back in his room at the Marriott and agreed that they would meet the next day at the Marriott and one pm. Saying goodnight Nikki slept peacefully thinking of her new friend. The next morning she awake and picked out a semi-tight Penguins shirt, jeans, and converse before eating lunch.
Catching a bus she arrived downtown with more than enough time to make it to the Marriott. Her brisk walk brought her to the hotel twenty minutes before she was supposed to meet Kris and she decided to sit in the lobby and talk to James. She talked to him a lot, but she could talk to him about anything. He was her ex-boyfriend, but that was two years ago, and he was normally the only one to answer her texts.
'He should be here soon, talk to you later.' Just as she was pushing send Kris placed a hand on her shoulder causing her to smile. She moved over allowing him to sit on the bench next to her and they sat silently for a moment. "Bonjour," Kris finally said.
"Bonjour Kristopher," she looked up, his brown eyes locking with her blue ones. His face lit up as a smile appeared.
"I was wondering," he spoke in French. "What is Nikki short for?"
He smiled, "That's a beautiful name."
After talking in the lobby for a while they moved to Starbucks and sat down in the only comfy chairs there after receiving their purchases. As Nikki would talk Kris would look on with admiration and the same when he would speak in French. He was absolutely perfect, he was handsome, a great hockey player, he was only nineteen, and he spoke French. A backwards baseball cap hid his long brown hair, but Nikki was still drawn to him because of his deep chocolate brown eyes.
It seemed to be the same for Kris. Nikki's blue eyes were like ice, a soft beautiful ice and locked with Kris'. Her dark brown hair was pulled into a ponytail and he wondered how long it was, whether it was wavy or not, but he was sure that no matter what it was beautiful. He had known this girl for twenty-four hours and already he was starting to have feelings for her. He wasn't about to pursue anything other than friendship first of all for fear of scaring her away and possibly ending their friendship, but also because there was talk of him being returned to his junior team before his tenth game so that he would not be paid an NHL salary.
"Well Kris it was great talking to you, but I should go catch a bus so that I can get home at a reasonable time."
"Okay, call me when you get there so I know that you got home safe."
"I will," she said with a smile. They both stood and Kris pulled her into a hug. Nikki smiled even wider as she felt safe in Kris' arms and wished that she could stay there forever. Eventually she let go though, "Good-bye Kristopher."
"Good-bye Nicolette." She always thought that her name was pretty but preferred to be called Nikki. When Kris called her Nicolette though it just sounded right. She smiled as she walked out of Starbucks and around to the front of the hotel. On the way to her bus stop she received a text from James.
'How'd it go?"
'Great, he's such a sweet heart. I think I like him.' She smiled as she wrote this, carefully crossing the last street to get to her bus stop. The bus ride was short, but as always she had to stand the whole time, making it seem longer. Crossing the dangerous intersection and making it up the long driveway she opened the large front door and pulled out her phone.
"Tiens, I just wanted to let you know that I'm home."
"Bon," he said with a smile. They talked for a while longer until Nikki's mom made her get off the phone for dinner. Following dinner Nikki and Kris texted each other until around eleven when they both decided to go to bed and said goodnight to each other.
Nikki had band and Kris hockey practice the next day, but every free moment they had was spent texting each other. Homework occupied the rest of Nikki's day, but she still answered every text from her new best friend. She was now convinced that she liked him and discussed it with James. Kris on the other hand had no one to discuss his feelings with so he sat and thought of her beauty. "You're coming to the parking lot, right?"
"Of course, I love wishing you boys luck," she smiled.
"Come to the Marriott first?"
"As soon as I get out of school I'll be up to see you. As long as you're the first one to get to the arena I'll walk over with you."
Again they talked until deciding to go to bed and school the next day seemed to drag on forever. Nikki couldn't wait to see Kris and the rest of the guys. The bell to end the day rang and she practically ran to her locker, saying good-bye to her friends on the way. Walking at her normal speed, rather fast for most people, she made it to the Marriott quickly. A chair in the lobby is where Kris found her a few moments later and covered her eyes. "Guess who," he said in English.
"Oui." He took her hand bringing her to her feet for a hug. "Bonjour Nicolette."
They made their way across the street and up the hill to the entrance of the player parking lot. "Bonne chance Kristopher."
"Merci," he hugged her and walked into the arena. Knowing that the rest of the guys wouldn't be there for a while she talked to Jamie, the guard.
Kris played an amazing game as he and the rest of the team defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets. Jordan Staal scored on a short-handed penalty shot to give his team an insurance goal. Nikki watched at home, but as always cheered as if she were there. Kris had played eight games and had been playing well causing Nikki to think that he would be staying with the big squad.