Chapter Twenty Five

The night time air was soothing upon my skin as I sat on the bench of the outdoor ice rink. My head was tilted back, resting on the back of the bench as I stared up at the night time sky. It was cloudy tonight, so I couldn't see the stars, but just sitting here in the peacefulness was relaxing enough. My hands were resting, clasped in my lap. I closed my eyes, exhaling through my mouth.

So many things to consider. The future was beckoning morosely. I was feeling overwhelmed by it all. I knew I should be focusing on tomorrow, on the last few games that the team had to play but my attention was elsewhere. It was hoisted up on expectations, and my own idiocies.

I nearly hadn't used protection last night. I'd nearly gotten so swept away in the chemistry of the moment that I could have helped ruin both of our lives. I hadn't been thinking, and I needed to get a grip on that. So much was at stake here. There were too many choices to be made, too many options to choose. Who knew what was right and what was wrong?

I rubbed my hands over my face. Jesus, I hadn't had to worry birth control for over a year now. I'd stopped taking the contraceptive pill after Patrick and I had broken up and I had been accepted to help out with the team.

I was lucky to have people watching out for me, especially against Brett who seemed to have made it his personal mission to sabotage my career. Too many ways to slip up and get caught out, I thought.

Yet Doc had always said that life was about taking chances.

Wasn't that what I was doing now?

Jesus Christ I knew I was falling, I knew it the first time Jimmy's smile had lit up the room for me. I was powerless to stop it, if he came to my room tonight I would barely be able to deny him any more than I had last night. When he kissed me it was everything I had waited for my whole entire life and more. Jimmy made me feel like I was home. He was the warm, fuzzy feeling you got when you walked into your house after along trip away. I welcomed the way he made me feel, because I was alive again. I felt like I was breathing for the very first time in a long time.

I felt the bench creak at the same time I felt his presence lingering by my side. The weight of the bench shifted to accommodate his hockey player's physique.

"What are we looking at?" Jimmy asked complacently, his head resting next to mine.

"We were trying to look at the stars, but it's clouded over." I told him, keeping my eyes still closed.

"So now we're cloud spotting?" he asked, his warm fingers slipped between my mine.

My hand curled round his automatically. It seemed like getting close to him was instinctive now.

"Not any more." I murmured. "My eyes got tired."

"Ah." he said before falling silent.

I tilted my head to rest it on his shoulder. He smelled fresh, like he had just stepped out of the shower. Jimmy's lips grazed my hairline, he had shaved since this morning and his smooth skin felt good against my own. He was everything to me. Just having him here with me quietened all the doubts that echoed through my mind.

"You worry too much." he said completely out of the blue.

"Huh?" I asked, raising my head in shock and staring at him alarmed.

"Kat, I can read you like a book." Jimmy reminded me, rolling his eyes humorously. "You come out to the rink to think, so something is bothering you. You're feeling insecure because your trying to figure out what happens after the Olympics."

"Your stealing the thoughts right out of my head." I accused him.

Jimmy smirked, a knowing, dirty smile that made the heat rush to my cheeks. His finger tips reached out and brushed the stray curl away from my cheek and back behind my ear. His thumb toyed with the loose curls at the nape of my neck, the gesture was soothing. I felt myself beginning to unwind as his fingers massaged the knots in the curve of my shoulder.

"Your tense." he remarked quietly as I groaned out loud.

"Hm, not so much when you're doing that." I said, exhaling deeply.

"Tell me." he requested.

His hands were gentle and tender as I altered my position so he could work his magic a little better.

"I've had some job offers." I conceded.

"That's good." Jimmy approved, using just the right pressure on my shoulders.

"I have no idea what to do, what to chose." I told him honestly.

"You need to choose what's right for you." he said in a matter of fact manner.

"What about what's good for us?" I asked, turning my head so he could see the profile of my face.

"Kat." Jimmy sighed. "This isn't about us, this is about you. You can't sacrifice parts of yourself for this relationship when we've barely had time to build a foundation. I wouldn't ask that of you."

"I just don't want this to be over before it's had a chance to begin." I said quietly, fidgeting with my bracelet.

"You need to have a lot more faith in the two of us." Jimmy told me, guiding me backwards so my back was resting against his chest.

My head was tucked under his chin as he wrapped his arms around my waist and held me close. I relaxed into his hold, feeling safe and now secure in his arms. There was truth in his words, I had never considered just riding this out. The idea of simply having faith was alien to me.

"Your used to working hard to get what you want. You don't need to do that with me." he murmured, dropping a kiss onto the back of my head. "So basically relax, and just let things happen."

My shoulders slumped wearily as I sighed.

"You know if this is serious, I can't be your doctor any more. It's extremely unethical." I ventured before coming more confident. "We have to tell them. At the very least Doc and Herb have a right to know. Craig already knows. You were not as discreet as you thought."

Jimmy let out a sigh of exasperation.

"It was meant to be a good night kiss." he informed me, slumped backwards onto the bench.

"Uh huh." I responded, feeling my body tense at the memory.

"Your worried about how this is gonna effect your job." Jimmy remarked, crossing his arms over his chest as I shifted into my sitting position beside him.

"No..."

Jimmy tilted his head towards me, his eyebrows raised.

"Yes." I corrected. "Not the one right now, the ones after this."

"You think that this..." Jimmy used his hand to gesture between us. "Is gonna effect that."

I rubbed my face with hands, trying to figure out a way to break it to him gently. He could be so naïve at times, but then again he was still a college hockey player, he hadn't stepped into the big, wide world yet. He didn't understand the stigma that the four year age difference would cause.

"When this comes out." I caught the expression on Jimmy's face and corrected myself. "This will come out."

"I'm not worried about that." Jimmy said dismissively.

I rolled my eyes at his juvenile response. He hadn't thought through this relationship at all, and really who could blame him. He took everything at face value, the acceptance we received through the team would be real and it was all that Jimmy was seeing. The team and his family were the only people that were important to him and part of me thought maybe I should take a leaf out of his book and not be concerned about people's thoughts, yet part of me was irate at the fact he didn't understand the ripples that this would cause outside of the team.

"Well I am. You don't seem to understand what this is going to do to my reputation. I am giving up a lot for this relationship. No one's going to hire a doctor whose been sleeping with one of her patients, especially on a sports team. Nobody's going to want to give me a job after this."

I could see all the pieces snapping into place as he considered my words, each one of them fuelling the cogs whirring in his head.

"So what are you saying?" Jimmy asked, his voice hoarse, his body wrought with tension.

"If we are serious, if we really are going to make this work we need to tell people like Doc and Herb sooner rather than later, so that I have a fighting chance to retain some professionalism after this." I informed him.

"Ok, if that's what you think we need to do, we'll do it." Jimmy said,running a hand through his hair.

"I do." I told him, both hands pressed between my knees as I shivered against the cold. "I really do."

Jimmy reached out and clasped my hand tightly with his warm fingers.

"Your freezing." he muttered tugging me to my feet.

"Let's get you inside before you catch hypothermia." I complied willingly before Jimmy used his hands to rub up and down the arms of my jacket, using the friction to generate some heat.

"You know you need to get some warmer places to think." he told me half serious as he looked down into my eyes.

My breath caught in my throat as I became lost in an ocean of blue. Jimmy pursed his lips together, his large hands coming to rest on my shoulders. I felt exposed, like he was staring into my soul. I was baring all for him and his expression said he was seeing all of me for the very first time. His hands slid down from my shoulders, along the length of my arms before the fingers of both hands entwined in mine.

"Let's get this over and done with." he said his voice husky with emotion. I swallowed hard, finding my lips apart but no words leaving my mouth. I'd seen him now too and it was... Jimmy was stunning. There were no other words to describe the connection that ran so strong between us.

"Thank you." I managed to whisper.

"We'll take the punches as they come." he assured me.

Just listening to him talk settled all the fears and doubts that I had come out here to the rink with. With him holding my hand I knew I could do anything, and this relationship it didn't have to be a burden. It was something inspiring, something beautiful.

So this, I realized, was what it was like to find your soul mate.


Yo guys! Sorry it's been a while. I have been mega busy with my NY fic, and of course RL. It had been turbulent and busy but it's looking up! So thankies to the people who are still reading this. I can't tell you when I'll update next but I promise at some point this story will be finished.

Soccer: Jesus, I wouldn't mind that kind of wake up call from Eddie Cahill, I don't think I'll be able to kick the guy out of my room, for Hockey Practice or not.

Lori: I wanted to address issues that other fics didn't. It's not as easy as the two of them just getting them together, there are other factors at work.

Kiwi: I hope you continue to enjoy it!