Gabe couldn't help but glance up towards the wives' room again. It was the fourth time in 2 periods he'd glanced up there, and the first time he'd looked up, he'd scored a goal after he'd won the faceoff. When he promised Kate a good ticket, he'd really meant good. If he would've gotten her a regular seat, she probably would've spent the entire game signing autographs, and he knew what it was like to have people constantly around him, and figured for her, it would be multiplied by her larger fame. A box would have been okay, but he figured that if he was going to be seeing her, he might as well go ahead and throw her to the sharks. He'd spoken to Megan, who swore she'd take care of Kate for him, and promised to get the other ladies to act appropriately around such a celebrity.
By the time second intermission had come around, Coach Boucher had noticed Gabe looking up approximately three of the five times he'd done it. "McCall, what the hell were you doing?" Coach barked as he stood in front of Gabe.
Gabe was about to tell him off, before he remembered what Kate had said about him. "I happened to look up before my first goal. Thought I could repeat it. Sorry."
"Well, just because you have a girl up there – and don't tell me you don't, because my wife saw her – doesn't mean you should be paying more attention to her than your game."
"It won't happen again," Gabe shrugged, not meaning it at all.
"And the rest of you idiots," Coach Boucher continued, moving out into the center of the room, "why don't we all try to contribute something, huh? Let's not leave the fate of the game on Gabe's weak goal, and Aleksei's stellar goaltending? Get back out there and keep this game. We can't afford to blow this one."
Gabe was feeling sufficiently pissed off as the Mustangs took to the ice again, and channeled his energy into kicking ass. He scored another goal and set Owen up for one, before netting himself an empty netter and securing his first hat trick in well over a year. As the hats fell around him on the ice, he stole a glance first at the wives' room where he knew Megan would be going nuts, and hoped that Kate was, too, then he glanced at Coach Boucher, where he swore he saw a faint smile.
Coach took him aside after Gabe had finished the cursory interviews and had changed back into his suit, and pulled him just out of earshot of the others. "I should piss you off more often," Coach smirked. "Good game, McCall. Play like that more often and maybe I'll believe it wasn't just because you're Coach McCall's son that got you that captaincy."
That was about as close to a compliment as he could expect from Coach Boucher. Gabe headed out towards where the ladies waited for their husbands and boyfriends, and couldn't help but laugh as Kate faux-bowed to him, smiling. "Good game, Captain," she smiled, as she came forward and took his arm, placing a soft kiss on his cheek. "That seemed rather inspired."
"Well," he shrugged, smiling at her, "honestly, it's the first time I've seen any girls in a long time, and I didn't want to look like an ass. And Coach treated me like shit."
Kate laughed. "Oh, okay, so it was the Coach Boucher is an asshole game. Yeah, that tends to work on people. What'd he tell you, that you're a piece of crap or something?"
"Nah, he called my first goal weak and told me to pay more attention to what I was doing. So, I showed him that I'm worth it."
"I don't think anybody – him included – thinks that you aren't."
"Well, thank you," Gabe smiled again, rolling his eyes a little as he pushed past the typical press, including Wanda's old cameraman. "Would you like to get a drink with me and the guys?"
"I'd love to," she smiled, as she allowed Gabe to lead her once again to his car.