The Good Luck Charm Page 7

She gives me a look I’m all too familiar with. It’s her get-off-it face. “Come on, Ethan—Jeannie must’ve told you by now.”

I give my head a slow shake. “This is the first I’m hearing about it. When did this happen?”

“We’ve been separated for a while. I got the final divorce papers yesterday morning.”

“Yesterday? And I thought my day was shit.”

“They weren’t unexpected.”

“Still. I’m sorry.” I note for the first time that she’s not wearing a wedding band. “He better not have cheated on you.”

She barks out an incredulous laugh. “Fidelity wasn’t the problem. We just want very different things out of life, so it was better that we go our separate ways.” She sighs and looks at the sky. “Anyway, I have rounds, so I should go.”

Obviously there’s more to the story, but she has no reason to share it with me. I wonder why my mom never told me about the separation. Maybe because I would’ve been tempted to reach out to her. Maybe because knowing this makes me wonder if being traded to Minnesota is some kind of omen. The only problem is I’m pretty sure I’m on the short list of people DJ’s not too fond of, so I don’t know if it’s good or bad.

I can work on fixing that, though. Starting with lunch. “Why don’t I bring you back a panini?”

“I have a lunch. It’s fine.”

“So save it for tomorrow. How can you say no to Cosmo’s?”

She sighs but relents. “No raw onions, please.”

“So we can make out later?” I raise a hand in immediate apology. “Sorry. That was inappropriate. I didn’t mean—It just came out. I wasn’t thinking.”

She raises a brow and huffs a little laugh. “On second thought, lots of raw onions.” She turns and walks away, but I can see her reflection in the glass door as she pushes through it, and she’s smiling.

I don’t want to get ahead of myself, or let the superstitions rule me, but all of this—the good and the bad—seems like fate is throwing us back together again.

chapter four




I’m sorry I can’t stay longer.” Tyler sits beside me on the porch swing with a beer in his hand. He has to go back to Buttfuck Nowhere, Alaska, at balls o’clock tomorrow morning. He should probably be sleeping, but instead we’re sitting outside, drinking beers and shooting the shit, since we haven’t had much time for that over the past week. Or over the past few years, really, since both of us travel a lot for our jobs. I’ve missed him.

“Don’t be. I’m here and I’m not going anywhere. Besides, Dad hates all the coddling, and it’s just a matter of waiting. There’s nothing we can do to speed up his recovery.”

Dylan returned to Seattle yesterday, after we got Dad settled at home. He stayed long enough to help us convert the main-floor office—which had been a storage space for all of my dad’s old files—and move the living room furniture around so it’s accessible for a crotchety man stuck in a wheelchair and resistant to using a walker.

At a week post-stroke, some of my dad’s speech has returned, but it’s slow and slurred, like he’s drunk, and his mouth is frozen as if he’s been to the dentist.

“I’m looking for a place in Forest Lake, maybe one with a pool house that can be converted or something.”

Tyler raises an eyebrow. “You want to stay here? Why not live in Saint Paul and be closer to your team?”

I shrug. Under other circumstances, Saint Paul would make sense, especially considering the sometimes tense relationship I have with my dad. He calls me the accident child, and my mom calls me the miracle baby, which says a lot about perception. “Makes sense to stay near Mom and Dad, especially with how much support they need.”

“Right.” He’s quiet for a moment. “It wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that DJ lives in Forest Lake, would it?”

I glance at him out of the corner of my eye. “She’s getting a divorce.”

“Yeah, Mom mentioned that. Said it was just the paperwork or whatnot left and then it was done. You were pretty much together all through high school from what I remember. You thinking about reconnecting?”

“I dunno.”

“Well, you should consider it. She’s hotter now than she was when she was in high school, that’s for sure.”

I punch him in the shoulder. “What the fuck were you doing checking her out when she was in high school, you dirty perv?”

“OW! Fuck, Eth, calm your shit. She practically lived in our house when you were kids. Besides, she’s in her twenties now. It’s totally reasonable for me to check her out.”

“She’s not for you.”

He snorts. “I’m just making an observation. You still have one hell of a boner over her, don’t you?”

“What’re you, twelve?”

“Come on—look at you and look at me. I’m a thirty-four-year-old environmental engineer. My best assets are my glasses and my beard. You’re an NHL player in your prime. I’d kill to spend a day in your shoes, banging my way through your groupies.”

It’s my turn to give him a raised brow. “I don’t have groupies, and my career is halfway in the shitter. Being me isn’t all that awesome at the moment.”

“Jesus. Since when did you become such a pessimistic shit? You’re getting more and more like Dad.”

I punch him in the shoulder again.

“Dude, seriously. What the hell? I’m a delicate flower. I bruise easily.”

“Don’t compare me to Dad.”

“You’re living the dream. I know you like to be the best at everything all the time, but you’ve had the better part of a decade in the NHL. It doesn’t matter that you’re not the number one player or the captain of a team; it’s still a big fucking deal and something to be proud of.”

“Are you done with the pep talk?”

Tyler rolls his eyes but changes the subject. “How much longer are you going to stay with Dad and Mom?”

“Until I find my own place, I guess. I can’t handle that basement for too long, but I don’t want to leave Mom to deal with him on her own yet.”

“Maybe DJ’s got a spare slice of mattress you could crash on.” He wags his brows.

“You’re fucking creepy, you know that?”

“I’m just saying. I see the way she looks at you when you’re not paying attention. She wants to ride your hockey stick.”

I snort. “That was literally the worst pun ever. And she doesn’t want to ride any part of me. She barely even talks to me.” Our conversations mostly revolve around my dad, his progress and what he needs. So far all of my attempts at a real, meaningful conversation have been shut down.

“I noticed that. I thought it was awkward sexual tension. What exactly is the story there, anyway?”

“Dad pushed me to break up with her when I was drafted.”

“But you didn’t and you fucked it up with one of those hockey bunnies?”

“No.” I shoot him a glare. “I took his advice and broke it off.”

Source: www_Novel22_Net

Prev Next