Pucked Page 88

Violet isn’t with Sidney and Skye in the prime seats at the next few home playoff games, and Butterson is tight-lipped. I put my energy into practice and games because there’s no other option. We make it to the third round, and I want to share my excitement with Violet, but it’s been more than two weeks and she isn’t talking to me, so I can’t.

Tired of the media constantly dogging me, I tell my new agent, Janette, I need an image overhaul to dispel the rumors about my “heartbreaker” ways. She’s in agreement, so she sets up a TV interview with one of the big entertainment syndicates. This interview is about my personal life, not my hockey career. It won’t go live for several days, which gives me time to work on Violet, not that I’ve gotten anywhere in the weeks since my epic fuck up.

On the day of the interview, I discover Violet is moving to her new apartment on the weekend. Charlene passes the information through Darren. Media snapshots of Butterson loading a moving truck act as additional proof.

Darren has almost forgiven me, thankfully. He’s not mad about being punched; it’s the stupid endorsement he’s not quite willing to let go of yet. He does divulge the proximity of Violet’s new apartment, giving me a general location to work from.

Desperate for any kind of contact, I check her Facebook profile. She’s blocked me there, too, so I try Butterson’s page. New pics of him with Violet toasting beers and packing boxes highlight his Facebook profile. In the background, the stuffed beaver I gave her hangs from a ceiling fan with a makeshift noose tied around his neck. Angry at myself and my situation, I tear into a bag of Cheetos and inhale the entire thing while I wait for Janette to pick me up for the interview. She won’t let me go on my own, concerned I’m going to self-sabotage. By the time she arrives I’ve eaten my way through the whole bag, and I’ve used my shirt as a napkin. It’s in this state that I open the door.

Janette’s smile slides off her face. “You’re supposed to be ready to leave.”

“I should fix my hair?” I run a hand through it. If feels greasy.

She pushes past me, her heels clicking on the tile floor, and heads for the stairs.

“Where are you going?”

She stops halfway up and motions to the ceiling. “I assume your bedroom is this way.”

“Uhhh . . . yeah?”

She rolls her eyes. “You can’t go to an interview like this.”

I glance at my stained shirt. She has a point. My bedroom’s a mess. I haven’t let my housekeeper in to clean since the last time Violet stayed over.

Janette makes a face at the sight, or possibly the smell. It’s ripe in here. “Why are boys so disgusting? Get in the shower.” When I don’t move right away, she prods me toward the bathroom. “I’m interested in getting you your girl back so you don’t screw up the playoffs and ruin all your endorsement opportunities. You need to look and smell less pathetic.”

“I don’t care about the endorsement opportunities.”

“That’s fine. You don’t have to. However, it’s my job to care about them, so get your ass in there.”

I shower while she scours my closet for appropriate attire. Twenty minutes later, I’m dressed and ready to head to the news studio.

She inspects me as she would a side of beef.

“Don’t look at my beard. It’s playoffs.” I stroke it affectionately.

“You look like a homeless man in expensive clothes. It should work in our favor.” Janette ushers me out the door. She hands me a folder once we’re in the car, heading to the studio. “These are the questions they’re going to ask. You will not be evasive.”

I leaf through the sheet of questions. “These are pretty personal.”

“That’s the point, Alex. You’ve spent the last seven years acting like a womanizing asshole in the eyes of the media for no good reason I can see. You want Violet back in your life?”

“Yes. Definitely.”

“More than you want the endorsements?”

“Of course.”

“Then you need to show her you’re not a total dick. To do that, you have to be honest for once.”

I nod and review the questions. I’ve barely finished reading them when she grabs the sheet from my hand, balls it up, and tosses it on the floor by her feet.

“What are you doing? I haven’t memorized them yet.”

“I don’t want you to memorize them, and I don’t want stock answers. You need to speak from the heart. How do you feel about Violet?”

“I love her.”

“Then make sure she knows it by the time you’ve finished this interview. Oh, and there will be a print version coming out next week with the interview as well. We want to cover all the bases.” She pats my cheek. I hope I don’t fuck this up, too.

We avoid the reporters lining the street outside the studio. Never in my life has the media paid so much attention to me as they have in the weeks since messing up with Violet. No one cares about the playoffs or how close we are to the Stanley Cup. All the media wants to hear about is why I broke Violet’s heart on national TV, because clearly we were in a relationship.

Janette accompanies me to the green room. She shoos away the makeup people. “You look like hell, I want to keep it that way.”

I assume she knows what she’s doing, so I don’t argue.

“How do you feel?” Janette adjusts the collar of my shirt and tries to smooth my hair.

Source: www_Novel22_Net

Prev Next