Sorry it's taken so long to update, I've been so busy with school and the playoffs... But the chapter is here now, I hope you all enjoy it. Comments are greatly appreciated. =]
"Kris, can I talk to you for a moment?" Ray said at practice the next day. Kris stopped and turned to speak with the general manager. "You've shown great skill over the last seven games, but I'm sorry to say that we're returning you to your junior team."
"I understand, thank you," he said before turning towards the locker room. He changed into his street clothes before returning to his room at the Marriott and taking his phone from his pocket. It was only one o'clock so he quickly texted Nikki who still sat in school. "Bonjour Nicolette, can you come up to the Marriott after school?"
Receiving the text Nikki stealthily removed her phone from her pocket and quickly read Kris' message before replying, "Of course, I'll see you around four."
Nikki attended a performing arts school which she had absolutely hated since freshman year. Her parents wanted her to get a good education and since it was the "best" Pittsburgh Public School she was forced to stay. Thankfully with each passing day she came closer to finishing her high school career as a vocal major.
The bell finally rang to end the day and as quickly as possible Nikki gathered her things and made it through the crowd in front of the school. After a few minutes the hotel came into view and when she arrived the door man pulled her aside. "Excuse me, Ms. James?"
"Mr. Letang asked that I show you to his room." He led her to the elevators and it
stopped on the eighth floor where she was led to his room. "Mr. Letang, Ms. James is here."
Kris opened the door and Nikki smiled upon seeing him and thanked the door man. She followed Kris into the room where she saw his suitcase and a pile of clothes on the bed. "Kris, what's going on?"
"I've been sent back to my junior team, I just wanted to see you before I left. My flight leaves in a few hours."
"Oh," was all that she could say.
"I hope that we can still be friends," he said, hope in his voice.
"I will always be your friend Kris," she wrapped her arms around him as he wrapped his around her. Her head rested on his chest and she breathed in the scent of Irish Spring and Old Spice. "I'll miss you Kristopher. But don't worry we'll talk and I'll convince my parents to let me come visit."
He smiled, "I'll miss you too Nicolette." He still held her and took in the scent of her brown hair. 'God I'll miss her,' he thought to himself.
"I'll let you finish packing," Nikki said pulling herself from his arms.
"I'll call you when I get to Val-d'Or, good-bye Nikki." She nodded before leaving the room and quietly closing the door. She leaned against the wall and slid to the floor, her head in her hands. On the other side of the door Kris did the same, his hair fell to his face but he didn't bother to move it.
A few moments passed and Nikki brought herself to her feet, starting towards her bus stop and home. Kris eventually brushed his long hair from his eyes and stood to finish packing, all the while thinking of how much he would miss Nikki. With one last look around the room he made sure that he hadn't missed anything and closed his suitcase.
Slowly walking down the long hall he finally made it to the elevator and pushed the down button. The doors opened on the first floor and he checked out before going outside to the car that awaited him. The driver was someone from the Penguins' organization but didn't bother to make conversation. The made radio made things less awkward as they sat in traffic on the way to the airport, rush hour was a real pain. By six o'clock they had arrived at the airport, checked his bags, and been through security. The gate for the flight to Montreal is where he sat eating a light dinner and awaiting his boarding call. It finally came at six-thirty and the plane took off shortly after six forty-five.
Nikki sat trying to concentrate on her English essay, but every five minutes she found herself looking to her phone. She had no idea when Kris was leaving let alone landing in Montreal. Every time she looked up she would force herself to focus on homework, telling herself that Kris would in fact call her.
The flight took two hours and Kris quickly gathered his things before finding his best friend who would be driving him back to Val-d'Or. "Thanks Luc, do you mind if I call someone?"
"Don't worry about it, is this someone a girl?"
"Yeah," he said taking his phone from his pocket. It was just after nine o'clock so he figured that he would have a decent amount of time to talk to Nikki before she had to shower and go to bed.
Nikki had just finished and was double-spacing her essay when her phone vibrated on the desk next to her. Her face lit up and a smile appeared when she saw the called id display. "Hello," she said with excitement, but trying to hide that she had been awaiting his call.
"Hey Nikki, just landed in Montreal and now I'm on my way to Val-d'Or."
"How was the flight?" she asked, saving and printing her paper.
"Pas mal, I miss Pittsburgh already," he paused. "Et tu." Nikki smiled, he was thinking about her. Luc also smiled although his was a curious smile. Kris was all that Nikki had thought about since she left his room hours earlier. "Is that wrong?" he asked when she didn't speak right away.
"No Kris it's not wrong, I miss you too."
Kris smiled and tried to make himself more comfortable in the front seat of Luc's car, he figured that they would be talking for a while. They discussed when they would be able to see each other again but knew that it couldn't be until at least December. "I try to convince my parents to let me come up over Christmas break; maybe spend two or three days."
"Are you sure?" Kris asked somewhat in disbelief that she would want to come see him in another country.
"Yeah, by then I'll really miss seeing your smiling face. Maybe Cassie, Michelle, and I could come up, we could have fun." She thought of all of the fun they could have and how much she would miss Kris over the next two months.
Again Kris smiled. "I'll have to meet these two, are they like you?"
"Oh yeah. Cassie is almost exactly like me and we've been friends since fifth grade. She's a big hockey fan and it's all because of me. Michelle's a lot like me, but crazier. I'm pretty laid back compared to her; although she's crazy I love her. She's a big hockey fan too, partially influence by me. She liked it before she met me and I guess you could say that I corrupted her."
"Bon," he said with a laugh. They continued to talk until ten forty-five, all the while ignoring Luc.
"Text me tomorrow to let me know how the first day back goes, okay?"
"You'll be the first to know," he said with a smile. "Bon huit Nicolette."
"Bon huit Kristopher."
They hung up at exactly the same time and their thought were only of each other. Luc snapped Kris back to reality and he told of how he had met Nikki. He had seen her only a few hours earlier and missed her already; he didn’t even want to think of how much he would miss her by the end of the two months they would be apart.
Nikki went to shower and as she did she couldn't keep Kris from her thoughts. After showering she sat down at her computer and eventually found the Val-d'Or Foreurs website and saw that they had a game the next night. She sighed resting her head back against the big leather chair knowing that she wouldn't be about to talk to him the next night. Exiting out of internet explorer she put her computer on stand-by before lying down in bed. "Goodnight Kristopher," she whispered before drifting off to sleep.
Luc and Kris soon made it to their apartment and in a way Kris was glad to be home.
Kris and Nikki's dreams were of each other and each woke smiling, only to remember that they were hundreds of miles from each other. Nikki got ready and left for school only a few hours before Kris got ready for his first Foreurs morning skate on the year.
He quickly showered and pulled a baseball cap over his long hair and waited for Luc to be ready. They made their way to the arena and Kris easily found the locker room and his stall, he could have done it with his eyes closed.
There hung his jersey, it was red and white with the name 'Letang' and the number twelve stitched across the back. He ran his hand along the sleeve before sitting down to begin putting his gear on for practice.
In a way he was glad to be back, but he would much rather have been in an NHL locker room, back in the big leagues.