He looks around. “Did you already unpack everything?” he asks, and I just look at him.
“I start work when I get back,” I inform him. “So I didn’t want to come home from vacation and have to unpack everything.”
“Sit down,” he urges, pointing at the stool in the kitchen tucked under the island table.
I sit down as he opens his bag and takes out blue medical gloves. “That’s a bit too much,” I say, and he laughs and feels under my chin toward my ears.
“Your lymph nodes are a bit swollen.” He opens his bag and takes out a tongue depressor. “Say ahh,” he says, “and stick out your tongue.”
“I know what to do.” I glare at him, sticking out my tongue. He presses down on it with the stick, making me gag. “You did that on purpose.”
“Did I?” He just looks at me. “You definitely have strep throat.” He looks at me, and I point at the sink. He turns and walks over to the sink, opening the bottom door and throwing out the stick and the gloves. He washes his hands right away. “I’m going to give you Zithromax since it’s a five-day dose. You’ll start to feel better after day three.”
“Wow, you would think I didn’t go to nursing school,” I remind him, and he just smiles at me.
“But are you a doctor?” He walks back to the black bag and grabs his white script pad.
“I don’t know if you heard,” I share with him as he fishes around his bag for a pen, “Nurses are higher up there than doctors.” He just looks over at me as I shrug. “Don’t hate the player. Hate the game.”
He throws his head back and laughs out loud. “That doesn’t even make sense.”
“What is all this noise?” Gabriella whines from on top of the stairs. “I’m trying to sleep.”
“Your sister has strep throat,” Chase tells her, and she just gasps.
“Am I going to get it?” She puts her hand to her throat, somehow trying to shield herself. “We leave for vacation in a couple of days,” she groans.
“You don’t think I know that,” I hiss at her. “You think I want to go on vacation sick?”
“Maybe I’ll go and stay with Mom and Dad.”
“Yes, do that,” I tell her as Chase rips the paper off the pad. “I’ll drive you.”
“This was fun,” Chase says. “Also, don’t forget that this can mess with your birth control.” Gabriella laughs, and I just glare at him as he holds up his hand. “I have to tell you.”
“Honey,” I yell up the stairs, “got to pick up condoms on the way back home today.”
He just looks at me with big eyes, going from me and then up to the bedroom, “I’m joking, dickhead.” I push away from the counter and walk over to the stairs. “Now, I’m going to go and get this filled, and I’m going to sleep until I have to pack.”
“Are you going to pack your fake boyfriend to go with you?” Gabriella rolls her lips.
“He’s busy,” I deadpan, walking up the steps and flipping her the bird. “He’ll be hanging with your boyfriend all weekend.” It’s her turn to glare at me. Something she hasn’t mentioned since she’s been back is the guy she was sort of kind of, kind of, not sure she was dating, “Don’t mess with the big boys if you are.”
“Shut up,” is all she says. The only thing I can think of is that if I did have a boyfriend, it wouldn’t be the guy I’ve always wanted because he doesn’t even know I exist.
I pull into my parking spot and get out of the SUV, my head still throbbing from ten days ago. I take the keys in my hand and press the button to lock the doors at the same time Xavier comes in and parks his car.
Looking over at the SUV, I decide to wait for him. When he gets out of the car, he looks just like I feel. “How’re you feeling?” I ask him, and he just shakes his head, making me laugh.
“I don’t think I’ve ever drank so much in my whole life.”
I chuckle. “Well, it’s not every day you are a hero and lead your team to win the Stanley Cup.” I roll my lips, knowing this is all he’s heard for the past ten days. Every single time he corrects everyone and says it was a group effort. “Do you have a cape on under that shirt?” I ask him as I pull open the metal door leading into the arena.
There are people everywhere, and I don’t know why I’m surprised since today is clean out your locker day. Usually, it is done as soon as you finish the season, but after winning the Cup, there have been so many fucking parties there was no time to do anything. Thank God my family is down and watched Penelope at night because I don’t know how she would have kept up with all these parties. “I’m going to go home tonight.” I look over at him as we walk down the blue carpeted hallway. “And I’m going to sleep for fifteen hours.”