Something So Perfect(5)

By: Natasha Madison

“He had been drafted number one over all when he was seventeen.”

I started to go through the file he had given me, taking in all his stats.

“He’s got a bad rep.” My father started, but I put my hand up.

“Bad rep. He got sent down after a couple of years for partying too much. It says”—I looked back—“and I quote, that he slept through a whole game before he realized he missed it.” I threw the file on the table. “How could you have actually signed him? He has trouble stamped all over him in big bold letters.” I waited for his answer.

“His stepfather is Cooper Stone.”

My eyebrows shot up. You couldn’t be a hockey fan and not know Cooper Stone.

“Plus, the new coach wanted him”—he looked down and blew out a breath—“and I agreed, but only if he would have a chaperone.”

All the pieces started clicking into play. “You are not serious!” I asked, “You want me to babysit him?”

“No,” he replied, “I want you to make sure he doesn’t get into trouble, and all his publicity will be handled by you. I want you to feed stories to the press. I want to make sure by the end this guy looks like a reformed monk.”

“Dad”—I shook my head—“you can spin this however you want to spin it. You want me to make sure he doesn’t get in trouble. You want me to watch him and hold his hand. It’s a babysitter.”

“You are the perfect person for the job. Besides, it’s an entry-level position, so no one is giving you anything. You would also have to travel with him to every single game, as well as let him have a room in the brownstone.” His eyes moved to the floor while he said the last part.

I flew off the couch. “Are you insane? You want me to live with a menace to society? What if he’s a serial killer and we don’t know? What if he’s a cross dresser? What if he brings home hookers, or better yet drugs, and I’m stuck in the middle?” My voice rose. “You can’t honestly think this is a good idea.” My hands went to my waist while I waited for him to say something, anything, that he agreed this plan was insane, but instead of agreeing with me he leaned further into the couch and smiled at me.

“Honey, you are over-exaggerating. I would never put you in any danger. You know this. And besides”—he hugged the back of the couch—“we do random drug screening.”

I stood as I looked at him, my mouth open, no words coming out.

“Where is the little girl who wanted to save the world? Just think about it. You could make this into the best turnaround story out there.”

I glared at him and crossed my arms over my chest. I knew what he was doing. He was baiting me. I’d never turned down a challenge, another thing I got from my father. He got me to stick to my eight thirty bedtime till I was fifteen on a dare. A fucking dare.

“I want a contract,” I informed him. “And an out clause.” I pointed my finger at him. “If at any time I say ‘I’m out,’ then I’m out.”

He nodded at me.

“No objections to that.” He smiled at me. He knew full well he had won. “We can even include a signing bonus.” He leaned forward as he placed his hands on his knees and smiled.

I rolled my eyes at him, and as I was about to tell him to hush his mouth, the knock on the door stopped me. Alice walked in followed by Robert, the general manager of the team.

“Karrie.” He approached me as he put his hand out and shook mine. “I didn’t know you’d be here.”

Alice placed a brown deli bag down on the table, along with a couple cans of soda.

“I asked her to come over to discuss Grant. Robert, meet his new chaperone.” My father pointed to me.

“Are you serious?” Robert looked shocked, to say the very least. “I thought more of a man who is eighty and has wrinkles.” He placed his hands into his pockets.

My father shook his head. “No one’s better than Karrie. Set up the meeting for tomorrow and let's get this show on the road. I have to head down to California in two days. I want everything worked out by then. I want him on the ice on Saturday when we face Pittsburgh,” my father ordered.

It wasn’t an option at this point, so Robert just nodded.

So now here I am as I get ready for tomorrow. I’ve been staying at the W for the last two days while they paint the brownstone and turn his room into what they are calling a ‘man cave.’ As I’ve been told. I get up from the floor and make my way over to the shower, opening it on cold. I need to cool down. Jesus, if he was hot in pictures, it is nothing compared to what is in the flesh.

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