Kara browsed through the racks of dresses in the Nordstrom store with her younger sister, Katie. Katie had transferred to the University of Pittsburgh from Ohio State. She was twenty-one years old and a junior at the university majoring in secondary French education.
“James is so cute,” she told her sister freaking out over the fact that her sister lived with the Penguins winger, “Seriously, you need to go for it.”
“Shut up Katie, we’re just friends,” Kara snapped as they continued looking through the racks of dresses.
“So, you’re going to this event with him for shits and giggles.”
“You’re hopeless, seriously, James asked me to go to this fundraiser with him because he didn’t want to go alone and he knows I like doing charity things. I help Anne all of the time,” Kara said feeling guilty.
Katie gave up on bugging her sister, “What fundraiser is it anyways?”
“Geno is having a fundraiser for the families of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team that was killed back in September.”
“That’s cool,” Katie said, “Who’s going to watch Craig’s kids?”
“Anne said that she got one of the Lemieux kids to watch them.”
“I would have watched them, Craig is gorgeous.”
“You’re impossible, just shut up and help me look for a dress.”
They finally found one that Kara loved as soon as she saw it, it was an emerald green satin mini dress that fell slightly before her knees with sleeves that were long yet flowy. It was perfect for a casual formal event like the fundraiser.
“I love that dress on you,” Katie said, “Green is definitely your color.”
“I think we finally have a winner.”
“James is going to jump your bones when he sees you in that dress.”
“Seriously, shut the fuck up. You are on my last nerve.”
“Bitch, you owe me lunch.”
“I don’t owe you shit!”
“You need laid,” Katie smirked at her sister as they headed to the register to pay for the dress.
“For your information, I get laid very frequently. Thank you very much.”
“I knew it, you are totally fucking James.”
“No I am not; I swear on Nana B’s life that I am not nailing Nealer.”
“Who is it then? Are you a hooker? That’s how you afford that apartment.”
“Oh fucking get real, it’s some guy I work with,” Kara replied partially lying to her sister.
“What’s his name?”
“Justin,” Kara lied.
“Tell me more.”
“No, we’re fuck buddies and that is all you need to know. We’re not serious or exclusive.”
“You’re such a dirty slut but just remember it’s all fun and games until someone gets pregnant.”
“SHUT THE FUCK UP,” Kara yelled at her sister as they walked to the car.
“Can James come to lunch with us, please? I really want to meet him.”
“Please,” Katie pouted, “You live with him for God’s sake. I’ve been here almost two months and haven’t met him yet.”
“He’s hanging out with Matt today.”
“Invite them both then, that way Matt isn’t the third wheel.”
“Are you high,” Kara asked, “How much weed did you smoke with Terrelle Pryor?”
“Go fuck yourself,” Katie replied.
The two sisters laughed as they drove back into the city. It was unusually warm for the month of November in Pittsburgh so the two of them decided to take the dress back to Kara’s apartment before walking to get lunch.
“James’ car is still here so I guess that means he is still home.”
“YES,” Katie squealed as she got out of the car.
“Fair warning; treat him like my roommate and friend, not James Neal the hockey player. He hates it.”
“I’ll be good, mommy,” Katie smiled while pouting, “I promise.”
“How old are you,” Kara scoffed as she let herself into the apartment.
"Hey Kara," James said from the couch.
"James, this is my sister. Katie, Katie this is James."
"It's nice to meet you," James replied standing up from the couch to shake Katie's hand, "Kara has said great things about you."
"It's nice to meet you too," Katie said, "Kara has said many great things about you too."
"I can't believe you've been here two months and I am just now meeting you."
"Well Kara isn't the brightest bulb in the lamp," James joked.
"Fuck you both," Kara snapped, "Is it pick on Kara day today?"
James and Katie looked at each other before turning back towards her, "Yeah!"
"Pretty much," James laughed.
"Where's Matt," Kara asked quickly changing the subject, "I thought you two assholes were hanging out today.”
“Ool, he’s cute too,” Katie whispered causing Kara to elbow her in the ribs.
“He is on his way over here, he got stuck in traffic. Fucking Tom Cruise is filming his movie again.”
“Jesus Christ, Tom is fucking everything up. Look at Halloween down here when we all went out.”
“Oh, so you went out on Halloween and didn’t invite me,” Katie huffed, “I see how it is.”
“You weren’t twenty-one yet, bitch.”
James laughed at the two sisters arguing when Matt knocked on the door. James decided to leave the show for a couple of minutes to let Matt in.
“Hey there, Frisky Nisky,” Kara smirked, “When are you taking me out on our date?”
Matt blushed causing James to laugh and Katie to swoon. Kara always joked with Matt because she knew how shy he was, which made the guys make fun of him.
“Hi Kara,” he barely said as Katie introduced herself.
“Hi, I’m Katie,” she said sticking out her hand, “You must be Matt.”
“Nice to meet you,” he smiled shaking her hand.
“She’s Kara’s sister,” James whispered, “Don’t worry dude, she’s normal from what I’ve seen in the last 10 minutes.”
“Katie, come on let’s go,” Kara said when she returned from her bedroom where she put the dress that she had bought with the other bags.
“Where are you guys going now,” James asked.
“Mallorca for lunch,” Katie replied, “Have you ever been there?”
“Can’t say that I have,” James said, “Matt, want to go to lunch with them?”
“Say yes, please,” Katie whispered to Kara.
“Shut up,” she said, “Don’t start.”
“Kara, he’s so cute. Look how freaking cute he is,” Katie mumbled as her and Kara walked behind James and Matt out of the door.
“He’s so shy, poor guy wouldn’t know what to do if someone grabbed his dick.”
"You are fucking twisted. He's so freaking adorable."
"He's a human being not a puppy, Katie."
"Look at that smile," Katie sighed causing Kara to roll her eyes, "You got to get me the hookup."
"NO! You need to focus on school, no boys. That's why you are back home anyways."
"I am not back here because Bryan was an asshole. I was homesick when my roommate graduated and I had no friends left."
Kara called out to James who stopped walking to wait for her to catch up to him, leaving Katie and Matt to fend for themselves.
"So...," Matt said beginning the conversation, "You're Katie's sister."
"Unfortunately," Katie joked causing Matt to laugh.
"Has she always been crazy?
Katie laughed, "She just likes to joke around a lot. She means no harm, so, where are you from?"
"Born and raised here in Pittsburgh, I did go to Ohio State for school but I just transferred to Pitt."
"Didn't like Ohio?"
"I was home sick," Katie said, "I missed Kara and my parents. Plus my younger sister will be a senior next year and I wanted to be here for her."
Matt held the door open for Katie as they walked into the restaurant, "Thank you," she said smiling as they followed Kara and James to the table in the back of the restaurant.
Katie took the seat across from Matt and they fell back into their conversation. Katie brought up football and James smiled as the two of them argued over Brett Favre.
"Where are you going tonight," James asked Kara.
"The girls I work with wanted to go get some drinks at Mario's. Did you want to come?"
"Jordan said something about heading down to Diesel but I'll see if Mario's is okay instead."
"You don't have to change your plans just because I asked you to do something. Go out with the guys, you need it for putting up with my bullshit."
"Your sister might want to see Matt again," James whispered as he nodded his head towards Matt and Katie who were talking to themselves completely ignoring James and Kara.
"She doesn't need a boyfriend," Kara began, "She has school to worry about, not a relationship."
"Just know if you could trust anyone on the team for her to date, it'd be him."
"She's not going to date him, ever," Kara said warning James to drop the subject.
Kara's phone rang and she excused herself from the table to answer the call, "Craig, hold on one second," she said as she shuffled her way towards the exit.
"What are you doing," he asked as Kara leaned against the wall.
"Having lunch with James, Matt, and my sister."
"Can you meet me later?"
"I'm going out with the girls that I work with for drinks."
"Meet me after then."
"I'll see how long we are out."
Craig laughed, "If I don't hear from you by 11, I'm coming to hunt you down."
"Good luck finding me," Kara challenged
"All it takes is one phone call to James. All I have to do is say we need a babysitter and it's a done deal," Craig replied.
"Mario's, we're going to Mario's."
"I'll book us a room at the Greentree Radisson. Don't be late."
"Wouldn't dream of it," Kara replied.
"I'll let you get back to your lunch. I meant what I said, if I don't hear from you by 11, I'm coming to get you."
Kara laughed, "Bye Craig!"
Craig chuckled, "Bye sweetie."
Kara sighed to herself, her brain was screaming, "No," but her vagina was telling her yes.
Kara returned to her seat and smiled at James who was challenging Matt to which one would score the next night. Katie was laughing as they debated on who was better at defense Matt or Paul Martin.
Katie agreed Matt was better and Kara shoved a churro in James' mouth before he could protest.
The waitress brought the check and both James and Matt split the cost. Kara and Katie thanked them before Kara took Katie back to her apartment while James and Matt headed to the gym.
"Bye, Matt," Katie said, "It was nice meeting you."
Matt smiled, "It was nice meeting you too, see you around."
"I hope so," Katie replied causing him to blush. James looked at Kara with a smirk and they both laughed at the two's exchange.
"Come on, Kara," Katie pleaded as they drove towards the University of Pittsburgh, "Hook me up with him."
"No," Kara replied.
"I need you to focus on school, the last thing you need is a boyfriend. Besides, Matt already has a date next Saturday with one of Heather's friends.
"Staal's girlfriend," Katie asked, "Oh, please! What do Thunder Bay girls think they get dibs on every hockey player now,since the Staals have like a hundred kids?"
"Will you stop," Kara said pulling up to Katie's apartment, "Go study and quit being jealous."
"I'm not jealous, just pissed off," Katie said as she got out of the car, "I'll call you later tonight."
"If I don't answer, text me. I'm going out with Chrissy and Holly."
"Alright love you."
"Love you too be careful."
Kara watched Katie as she walked in the door of her apartment building and waved to Kara letting her know she was ok.
Kara drove back to her house enjoying the silence. The fundraiser was the next day and she was looking forward to it. The Lokomotiv crash not only had an effect on athletes but everyone who loved sports. It was a wake up call to many professional athletes but hit close to home for Geno who knew some of the men killed. Kara had volunteered to help out and James needed a date.
Kara took a shower when she got home and immediately began looking for something to wear to the bar. Looking through her drawers, she found a matching set of lacy black boy shorts and bra set to wear under her outfit.
Meeting Craig was becoming frequent and to say Kara was at the point of not giving a damn about being a homewrecker was an understatement. She hadn't felt well throughout the last couple of weeks and didn't feel like going out tonight but time alone with Craig was a rarity.
Kara sighed as she pulled the stick off of the counter and took a deep breath before looking at it.
Kara gaspes before bursting into tears, she tried to deny it for weeks but her worst fears became a reality.