Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Some Nights -- Jordan Staal

Some nights, I stay up cashing in my bad luck
Some nights, I call it a draw
Some nights, I wish that my lips could build a castle
Some nights, I wish they'd just fall off

But I still wake up, I still see your ghost
Oh Lord, I'm still not sure what I stand for oh
What do I stand for? What do I stand for?
Most nights, I don't know anymore...
oh woah, oh woah, oh woah oh oh
oh woah, oh woah, oh woah oh oh
Jordan, I love you. You’re a real prick sometimes, but you’re my prick.
Shhhh, don’t talk baby, just relax. Everything’s going to be fine.
Everything hurts. I just want the pain to stop.
Listen. You, and Rachel, are going to be fine.
Rachel, so you found out my secret, eh?
Shouldn’t leave papers on the counter, Jessica.
There was a short laugh, and then he watched as she arched in pain. Monitors started going haywire, she screamed and grabbed his hand, holding onto him for dear life. And then she settled back down onto the hospital bed. He watched her chest rise, and when it fell… the solo tone echoed throughout the room. He pressed a kiss to lifeless lips, and whispered he loved her one more time.

He woke up, sweat dripping down the side of his face and his chest thumping madly. His fists clenched the material of his sheets and he gulped in a few deep breaths to try and calm himself down.

She’s not here anymore. She’s not coming back. Stop trying to bring her somewhere she can’t be.

He knew it was true, but he couldn’t stop the dreams. Couldn’t seem to let go of someone who had been gone for almost a year now.

Jessica had been there through drafts, finals, Cup wins, not making the Olympic team… he’d cheated on her, and she’d forgiven him.

He’d been a downright bastard sometimes.

Always taking for granted that she would be there in the end.

And then…

Last summer, hanging out on the lake with his brothers… he’d gotten the phone call about the accident. And he’d tried to make it back to Pittsburgh, he really had. Probably the one time he hadn’t left her stranded.

But he’d still been too late.

It was a drunk driver who’d hit the car.

And the woman had walked away uninjured but for a couple scratches. And Jessica…

He got up and walked into the bathroom to splash some cold water on his face. Some of it trickled down his chin, his neck, some of it sliding over his chest. It felt cool, and soothing. He tightened his fists to keep from punching the mirror as he looked at himself.

Here he was, healthy once again. All injuries had healed properly, he’d had a pretty decent season, and even though they’d been knocked out early, he wasn’t angry. The playoffs were a tense time, and with the anniversary coming up…

Eric had asked him to come down and relax in Carolina for a month or so, Marc had asked him to come to a game for brotherly support. He hadn’t responded to either invitation yet. At the moment, he just wanted to drown his sorrows in some whiskey and let the pain take a backseat for awhile. So he made his way to the kitchen and was in the middle of pouring himself a hefty sized glass of amber liquid when there was a frantic knock on his door.

It’s almost 3 o’clock in the morning, who would be coming to my house?!

Striding over to the door, he pulled it open and prepared to give someone holy hell for disturbing him. Instead, his mouth froze as he took in the stranger that stood before him. The hair color was different, and she was slightly shorter… but the woman looked exactly as Jessica had, the last time he’d seen her. Right down to the big bump in her midsection.

“Thank god! This was the third house I’d come to! I’m so sorry, but my car is down the road in a ditch and really need to use a phone because I don’t think I’m injured but I don’t know about the ba… Sir, are you alright?”

He snapped out of it and ushered her inside.

“Sorry, little bit of a shocker to see someone stranded out here. My phone is in the kitchen, make any call you need.”

She smiled, and Jordan fought to catch a breath. He was caught between the urge to cry, and to grab her and see if she tasted like Jessica had.

He knew it was madness, that there was no way, but as he followed her into the room, he couldn’t stop staring. He hung back in the doorway, glancing at her. Starting from the top, he mentally ticked off the similarities and differences.

Brown or black hair, not blonde.

Comes up to my chest, not my shoulder.

Big, brown eyes, not sky blue.

Freckles over her nose.

Thicker lips.

Stockier build, not thin and lithe. Sturdy.

He listened to her talking on the phone, and started when he saw her staring at him expectantly.

“Sorry, what?”

“Could I borrow a flashlight to wait for the tow guy back at my car?”

“It’s kinda cold out. Why don’t you have him tow it to the closest garage, and you and I will make a trip to the hospital to get you checked out.”

“Oh, you don’t have to do that. Really, this was enough.”

She seemed a little more nervous now that his initial shock had worn off.

“Please, I wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t do everything I could to help a woman in need. Jordan, by the way,” he said as he held out his hand.

He watched her look at him as though he was going to eat her alive, and then she tentatively brought up her hand to shake his. When he felt her icy fingers slide along his palm he looked down, noticing for the first time that she had on only a thin shirt, and bruises up the length of arm he could see.

“What in the…”

She pulled her arm back quickly, and he watched her wince.

“Are you…”

“I’m fine. I just need to get my car fixed so I can be on my way.”

“Are you running from something? Or someone?”

“Listen, you don’t know me. You don’t need to concern yourself with this.”

“I don’t know that ‘this is! You didn’t even tell me your name!”

Jordan noticed how she shrank away as his voice got louder and he mentally berated himself. Someone had already abused her, he didn’t need to add to it.

“Listen, I didn’t mean to yell. Please, let’s just get you into something warmer, and get you to the hospital, okay?”

“Okay,” she said timidly.

“You can trust me. I won’t do… that… I won’t hurt you. Do we need to go to the police station, too?”

“No. He can’t hurt me anymore.”

“Because he’s in jail?”

“No. Be-because… because he killed himself when the cops came to arrest him.”


Amy didn’t know how she got the sentence out, or why she’d told this giant man, but she felt safe for the first time in her life, and even though that scared her, she somehow knew that she could trust him. Even now, as a dark look crossed over his face, she didn’t cower in fear.

“Let’s go upstairs and find you something to wear,” he said in a gruff voice.

She followed him up a set of stairs, her legs shaking as she questioned her sanity.

Who finally gets free of an abusive relationship and then goes up the stairs of a giant stranger’s dark house? What kind of idiot does that??

“You can look in the closet, I’m sure there’s something in there that will fit.”

She scanned the room quickly. It was very masculine, very modern. No touch of feminine grace in her vision. But when she walked into the closet he’d pointed to… colors, ruffles, and girly items screamed at her. And some of it looked like pretty high end stuff. She quickly walked back out into the dim bedroom.

“I can’t borrow any of that. It’s too nice. You’re wife wouldn’t want any of that to be used by some stranger.”

There was a bark of humorless laughter, and she looked at him. There were circles under his eyes, his cheekbones were defined and regal, whiskers of the start of a beard, and she wondered why he looked familiar.

“Oh dear God… I’m so sorry I barged in on you tonight! Please, tell your wife I’m so sorry for disturbing you guys! If you could just find me an old hoodie or something, I’ll get out of your hair and…”


“Sorry, I tend to ramble when I’m nerv..”

She pressed her lips together as he held up one hand.

“You don’t need to be concerned. Trust me, Jessica was a very nice woman, and she’d have bitten my head off if I hadn’t suggested you look in there.”


“Yeah… she was killed last year in a drunk driving accident. I don’t know why, but I just never boxed up her clothes.”

“I’m so sorry. I didn’t… It wasn’t my intention to… I’ll just go grab something real quick.”

As she headed back into the spacious closet, she heard Jordan tell her to look on the left side, just through the door.

There were spring colors there, and a purple top caught her eye. She doubted it would fit her current condition, but it called to her, so she moved the hangers to see the tag. And her heart broke a little. It was a maternity top. That meant that she had been… when she was hit she was… she just needed to change and get out of here before she caused him more pain.

Taking the shirt off the hanger, and grabbing a jean jacket, she popped back out and asked where the bathroom was. He threw his thumb over his shoulder and she started to go by him. Then she stopped and reached out to place a hand on his shoulder.

“Thank you… I’m Amy.”

He just nodded, and she hurried into the bathroom to change. She looked in the mirror and sighed. The wind had done wonders, bad wonders, to her new ‘do. But that was okay. Also, in the brighter light, she could see that the black eye was almost faded, and the cut on her lip had healed nicely. She started to pull off her shirt when a spasm of pain hit her and she gasped as she dropped down to her knees.

The soap bowl clattered to the floor and she heard the bed squeak as Jordan got up and came over to the door.

“Amy, are you okay?”

“Something’s not right. There was a sharp pain in my stomach!”

The door flew open and she looked up at him. He was white as a ghost and panting.

“We need to get you to that hospital. Now.”

“Go put some decent clothes on,” she scolded and he grabbed the jeans that were lying beside her on the floor.

He dropped his shorts and pulled the denim up his legs quickly before pulling a t-shirt out of thin air and throwing it over his head. Then he scooped her up and made his way, very quickly, through the house and to the garage. He put her in the passenger seat of a giant SUV and told her to buckle up as he ran around the vehicle.

The door was up, and the car in reverse, before she’d been able to move her hand to grab the seat belt.

“My bag is still in your house,” she moaned as another pain shot through her and he growled out a curse word as he threw the vehicle in park and flew back into the house. Thirty seconds later they were on their way and he was calling the tow company, giving them directions to what she assumed was a body shop.

Then he was on the phone again, talking to someone about the ER, and needing privacy, and she had no idea what was going on. It seemed like only moments before they were pulling up in front of a very large hospital, and he was over to her door and scooping her into his arms once more. She was half tempted to tell him she could walk when a searing pain exploded and she felt something leak out of her.


“Did you water just break?!”

Amy didn’t answer him, but he saw her eyes close and felt her nails dig into her neck as she fought not to cry out. As they got through the double doors he was already shouting for help. He hoped that the call to the Pens PR lady had helped with the situation now at hand. And as he saw her head pop up from a chair, he knew that things, at least on his side, were going to be fine.

Two men in scrubs rushed over with a gurney and he set her down gently before they whisked her away. Jenn was standing beside him as he watched her disappear around a corner and he closed his eyes. Then he heard the gasp from beside him.

“Jordan, what’s going on?? Why are you covered in blood?!”

He was running before he could stop himself, heading down the direction he’s seen them wheeling her. He was just about to start down another corridor when he heard her cry out. He back stepped and listened. When he heard it again he burst through the doors, ignoring the click of Jenn’s heels behind him.

Three voices shouted at once.

“Sir! You can’t be in here!” “Jordan, explain this!” “Oh gooooooood, make it stop!”

A nurse and Jenn were in front of him, but with his towering frame, all he could see was Amy.

“She needs me,” he said as he continued to stare at the woman he’d just met.

“Are you the father?” “Jordan, what does she mean?” “Please, is my baby okay?!”

“Get. Out. Of. My. Way.”

The two women parted and he shoved his arms through the hospital gown that was slammed against his chest. He found a spot near the head of the gurney and he slipped his fingers through Amy’s hand. She looked up, those brown eyes frightened. It transported him back to a year ago. Only the eyes looking helplessly at him were blue.

“Make it stop, Jordan.”

The words were the same. The monitors were beeping like crazy. He wanted to leave, to never set foot in a hospital again, but the grip this time was strong. He blinked and saw brown eyes again. This wasn’t Jessica.

“You’ve gotta breathe, Amy. Okay? You gotta just breathe.”

“What’s going on? I can’t see anything!”

“I don’t know, they’re gonna fix it though. You’re going to be fine.”

She cried out again and she went limp.

Not again.

He listened for the tone. The mocking tone that would signify death. But the beeps continued.

“Sir, are you the father?”

The new voice, older, masculine, brought his eyes away from the now closed brown ones. He looked up at the stranger in blue. The doctor.

You told her, now you have to tell yourself. Breathe, man, breathe.

“Are you the father?”

“No, the father is no longer in the picture. It’s just her.”

“I don’t know what’s going on without opening her up, and I don’t know how far along she is. This could kill her, if we don’t figure out what’s going on, but we could kill the baby if he/she isn’t far enough along.”

“I don’t know! She showed up on my doorstep like an hour ago. Her car was in a ditch and she needed to use a phone! All I know is her name is Amy! Just… just help her!”

The doctor nodded and told him that he needed him out of the room. He hated it, but knew that the man was right. As he stepped out, Jenn was in the hallway, chewing on her pen.

“What the hell is going on Jordan?!”

He motioned her over to two chairs and started explaining what happened.


Amy heard Jordan’s voice, but another contraction, or whatever was happening, ripped through her abdomen, and she let the pain take over.

Then she was on a lake.

Well, in a boat, on a lake.

It was beautiful. The sun was out, glistening off the top of the water. She could hear birds in the distance, and the hum of the motor. She closed her eyes, resting her hands on her belly, and then shot up when she realized there was no bump, no belly, and no baby.

But there was a woman sitting across from her, holding a bundle.

“Who are you?”

The woman looked up and smiled.

She was radiant. Long, blonde hair swept back in a clip, dancing blue eyes. Stunning was the first word that came to mind.

“Isn’t it beautiful here? It’s my favorite place to be. You must be Amy.”

Even her voice was beautiful.

“Is… is that… is that my baby?”

“This little one? No, this one is mine. This is Rachel. Had she been a boy, it would’ve been Ethan.” Amy watched the woman coo at the bundle before she stood and walked over to sit beside her. “Would you like to hold her?”

Amy nodded and the woman placed the baby in her arms. She felt so tiny, but so heavy. She had little blonde whispies, and a cute little face. She smiled at the infant, and then frowned.

“I’m dead, aren’t I?”

“No, not dead.”

“But I’m dying.”

“At the moment. But the doctor is fixing that. He’s going to save you.”

“And my baby?”

The woman looked away. Amy blinked rapidly. The baby in her arms fussed and so she jiggled her slightly, wiping her tears away. When the woman turned back, there were fresh tear tracks down her cheeks as well.

“You’re going to get the chance to have another baby. That’s going to have to suffice, okay?”

The tone was firm, but gentle.

Amy nodded. She wondered who she would end up with in the end. Who would give her the child she’d wanted before… the one she’d wanted so badly that she’d settled for the wrong person. The person who had beat and abused her. How would she learn to trust men again? She thought of Jordan, her white knight.

“He’s rather amazing, isn’t he?”

Jerking her head up, Amy stared at the woman. There was no malice in her voice. But she suddenly knew who was sitting beside her. And who’s baby she was holding.

“How is this possible?”

“Anything is possible. I’ve kept an eye on him. I knew he needed someone to help him find his way again. To help him be him again.”

“We don’t know anything about one another!”

“What new couple does?”

“He still keeps all your things…”

“Help him with that. You two will both be grieving. Help him let us go, and he’ll help you let go of your pain, and your past.”

“Is this all a dream?”

“It’s whatever you think it is.”

“Thank you, Jessica.”

“Don’t make things too easy for him, okay? He loves a challenge,” she said with a wink.

Then she held out her hands and Amy slid the now sleeping baby back into her mother’s arms. Jessica smiled down at the baby, then back up at her.

“Just don’t leave papers on the counter. He’s nosy,” she laughed. “Now, watch that first step, Amy. It can be a doozie.”

Amy was wondering what that meant when suddenly the scenery changed and she was at the top of a set of stairs. She almost didn’t want to go. But she thought she could hear a voice. And it sounded so desperate to her, she had to go help the person. She took that first step and fell.


“Please wake up. Just those few moments we had made me realize what I’ve been missing in my life. Please open up your eyes. Come on… open them. Please!”

He held her hand in both of his, and let his forehead rest on the bed. He didn’t see her lids flutter with movement, didn’t see her open them and look down. But he heard the soft gasp. Jordan lifted his eyes and stared into the brown ones that he had been praying for the past three hours to see.

“They couldn’t save the baby, could they?”

Shaking his head slowly, he recited what the doctor had told him.

“There had been swelling from the car accident. His brain… he didn’t make it. And the pain you felt was your body’s attempt to… get rid of him… I’m so sorry.”

He lifted his hand and stroked her cheek. It was the first time, other than when he was helping her, that he’d touched her skin. It was soft, smooth, and warm.

“There is always the possibility of another child. They were able to save my life. I’m thankful for that.”

“The doctor said that you could probably be released tomorrow. But he needed you to be somewhere relaxing. I didn’t know where you were coming from, or where you were headed, so I gave them my address.”

He watched to see if she got angry, or defensive, about what he’d done. The truth was, she was special. He didn’t know why, but he wanted to help her.

“I’m not a good patient. I’ll probably give you a lot of grief.”

“I love a challenge,” he smiled.

“Well, she said not to make it too easy on you.”

“Who did,” he asked, completely puzzled. He’d been with her since she came out of surgery, so she hadn’t been able to talk to anyone.

“I dreamt about you while I was unconscious. There was a lady in my dream. She said… she told me that we could help each other with the pain. And that you were rather amazing, but that you loved a challenge, so not to make myself too easy for you. It was a rather intense dream.”

“What did she look like?”

“It’s weird, I can’t remember now.”

Jordan looked at her. She stared back at him, but he knew she was lying. There was one person who always said that he loved a challenge.

“Well, I’m just glad she didn’t talk you into following a white light.”

“No, there was no white light. We were on a boat. Out on a lake. It was so beautiful. The water was calm, I think that was what lulled Rach… It was soothing. That’s why I wasn’t scared when I woke up. She said that I’d be okay.”

“Amy, please… what did she look like?”

“She was beautiful Jordan. I can see why you fell for her.”

He felt his eyes burn with tears. He knew that logically it wasn’t possible. But the other part of him, the superstitious part…

“Did she look happy?”

“She did. She wasn’t in any pain. And Rachel was there. She was precious Jordan.”

“Did… did she tell you to tell me anything?”

"She wants me to help you heal. And for you to help me heal… And she said not to leave papers on the counter, because you’re nosy.”

Jordan felt the first tear fall and gently wrapped Amy up in his arms. They both cried, him for the woman he’d never grieved over, and her for the baby she’d lost.

That was how the nurse found them later, fast asleep but holding onto one another. She shook her head, but smiled, and decided to check on them later.


Epilogue: Three years later

“There’s not making it too easy for me, and then there’s being a pain in the ass!”

“Listen, I’m not telling you! You were too busy to come see the ultrasound, you don’t need to know.”

“We were on a Western Canadian road trip! How is it my fault? Why didn’t you schedule it for when we got back. You’re being highly unreasonable right now.”

Amy laughed and leaned in to kiss Jordan’s lips. He was growing a bit of a beard for the holidays and his whiskers tickled her cheeks.

“I don’t know what to tell you,” she said flippantly. As she turned to go upstairs she hollered at him. “Can you please bring some juice up with you? This child is making me crave it ALL THE TIME!”

A few minutes later, he was in their room and handing her a glass of cran-apple juice. And he had one of those ‘cat who ate the canary’ looks on his face.

“What are you so happy about,” she asked him. He just smiled even larger. “Jordan Staal… you weren’t snooping, were you?”

“It’s not snooping if you leave it out on top of the counter in plain sight!”

“Well… I suppose you’re right,” she smiled back. “So, what do you think?”

“I think that we should make the nursery hockey themed.”

“Of course you do. I meant about a name, doofus!”

She relaxed back against the pillows as he rubbed one giant hand over the swell of her stomach. They had both been nervous when she’d first thought she was pregnant. But she found a great doctor and he had assured them both that everything was going along just fine.

“I have one name that I’ve always wanted.”

“I bet I know what it is,” she teased.

After they’d returned to his house three years ago, she had stayed in the guest bedroom. They had been in a platonic relationship until after that next season started. Then, after a particularly bad loss, he had come home in a funk and one thing had led to another. And they had shared a bed ever since.

They’d learned about one another, been good friends before they were intimate, and it had been rewarding. She’d told him all about the dream, or vision, or whatever it had been. Except for the name thing. For some reason, she’d always held that part back. Maybe this was why.

“Oh, really? You think you know it? Have another dream while I was away? Other than erotic ones about me, of course?”

“Nope. Jess told me something that day. I never told you, I just never knew why. I think I do now.”

He didn’t question her, didn’t get antsy because of the talk about his former girlfriend. She wasn’t a burden between them. They both had let go of her together. So, she knew that saying what she had wouldn’t freak him out, or upset him.

“And it wouldn’t bother you? Using that name?”

“I think Ethan is a wonderful name.”

Amy watched Jordan’s face break out into a smile.

“Did she give up the middle name too?”

“I wasn’t unconscious for that long, you know. It’s not like she gave up all your secrets!”

He chuckled and pressed a kiss to her belly.

“What do you think, little guy? Ethan Stuart Staal?”

There was a faint kick against her stomach and they both laughed. Then there was another one, on the other side.

“What was that?”

“That was the surprise that I was able to hide from you! You better come up with another name.”

Jordan’s smile was brilliant, and as he rose up to claim her lips for a kiss, she gave thanks to her guardian angel who had led her to this man.

*~*~*~*~ The End ~*~*~*~*


  1. Oh...that was...wonderful!! So sweet!

    1. Thanks!
      Looking at your name, I've been trying to get out an Ovi story. I really have.
      It just will not come to me like I want! And it's driving me crazy!!! But I'm trying!

  2. Amazingly perfect. Oh how I've missed reading you're writing. :)

    1. I <3 you, and thank you!!
      I've missed writing, I really have!

  3. So perfect :) That really cheered me up! :)

  4. This was the most amazing thing I've ever read. Seriously, I've read it like three times now. Anything with Jordan and babies is good in my book lol. Keep up the good work!

  5. Fantastic story! Well written.