The Twilight Twenty-Five
Prompt: Bound (Explanation: Bella's bound to her father even though she abandoned him. Does that make sense?)
Pen name: ladyinblue6
Pairing: Canon and non-canon
I never thought I'd see the day. I was leaving Phoenix and my mother to go to Forks and my father. Sometimes I hated myself for being so selfless.
"Bye, Mom," I murmured into her sandy hair. "I'll phone you when I land, okay?"
She nodded and sniffled, squeezing me tightly once more before letting me go. "I love you."
"Love you, too."
I boarded my plane and sighed, already saying goodbye to the sunshine and warmth. I was off to a town that was under a constant cover of clouds.
What the hell was I getting myself into?
When I finally got to the Port Angeles airport, I began looking for my dad, Charlie. Last time I talked to him, he said he'd be waiting for me. I couldn't see him anywhere in the crowd. Instead, I saw my name on a piece of cardboard with a young man in a police uniform behind it. Typical. Send the rookie to pick up the baggage. Real mature, Charlie.
"Hey," I greeted when I made my way to the poor guy. "I'm Bella."
"Oh, hi, Bella," the rookie greeted. "Your dad's at hockey tryouts today, so he couldn't come. He's sorry."
"S'okay," I mumbled.
The ride back to Forks was boring. The rookie didn't like talking and the country music on the radio was depressing.
Hockey always came before family in Charlie's life. That's why I wasn't a part of one big, happy family. Charlie had been a good hockey player. He played on the national team for World Juniors in the eighties and then got drafted to the Montreal Canadiens, where he won the Stanley Cup alongside Wayne Gretzky. Gretzky still sent Charlie a Christmas card every year.
Charlie picked up Renee back when they were in high school. Renee said that there had been a time when Charlie had loved her more than hockey. I found that hard to believe. Hockey was my dad's life.
Charlie got traded to Calgary, which was slightly closer to home, in 1992, when I was a year old. Renee said that she wanted Charlie to choose between her and hockey, and he obviously chose hockey without missing a beat. Charlie played until 1995, when he finally retired and moved back to Forks.
Technically, I'm a Canadian native because of my dad. I'm a hockey baby. I was like the sweetheart of the team. Renee said that all the boys from the Canadiens got their picture taken with me after I was born. I got my picture taken with the Wayne Gretzky when I was only a day old.
So, yeah, I was used to being put on the back burner for hockey. I almost expected it now.
"Can you take me to the rink?" I asked when we passed the "Welcome to Forks" sign.
"Oh, yeah, sure," Rookie answered.
I was left at the front door, facing a giant sign that read "The Charlie Swan Rink. Home of the Kings of Forks." The Kings were my biggest competition in life. They took away attention from me. It was like having twenty brothers, all of which Charlie loved more than me. At least that's what it felt like sometimes.
The suitcase I brought to Forks wasn't very big, thankfully. I had to haul ass up a bunch of stairs into the gigantic, pristine rink that was Charlie's home away from home.
The shuffling of my feet and the rolling of my suitcase were the only sounds in the room. I walked up to the plexi-glass and watched at least fifty guys do starts and stops on the clean sheet of ice. Then I saw Charlie, standing on near the penalty box on his skates with his hands on his hips. He was watching the boys with a scowl on his face, his assistants chatting amongst themselves and pointing out at the kids on the ice.
I knew hockey better than a lot of people. Charlie talked hockey all the time and eventually, I picked it up. There had even been a period in my life when I followed hockey religiously. My favourite team is still Montreal, even though they've fallen behind in the past few years. My new favourite player was Sidney Crosby because a) he was damn good and b) he was hotter than Ovechkin. I still looked at stats for Forks every year, picking out the players that I thought would make it farther than AAA Midget, and I was usually right.
Even though hockey had ultimately broken my family apart, I still loved it. I went to games in Phoenix all the time with Renee's new husband, Phil. I wasn't a huge Coyotes fan, but just being a regular at an NHL game made me feel closer to my dad. I could almost understand why he chose hockey over Renee and me when I watched the game.
This was going to be a good year for the Kings. They hadn't lost a lot of talent last year, minus they're fantastic goalie. But that wouldn't matter when you had a brick wall like Emmett McCarty standing between the opposition and the goalie. I tried picking out which of the bodies belonged to Emmett on the ice.
Charlie blew his whistle. I wondered how long they had been doing the drill. Some of the kids looked like they were going to hurl all over themselves. I sat down. I knew I would be waiting for a long time.
Charlie explained the next drill while I called Renee.
"Hey, Bella," she greeted.
"Hi, Mom," I replied. "Just letting you know I'm in Forks."
"Have you settled in yet?"
I sighed. "I haven't even set foot in the house yet."
"Oh, no," Renee gasped. "You're at the rink, aren't you?" I didn't need to answer, Renee already knew. "That ass! He knew you were moving today. Why couldn't he have had tryouts tomorrow?"
"It's okay," I assured her. "I asked the rookie to drop me off here."
"Well, okay, then," Renee said reluctantly. "Tell Charlie to phone me when you guys get home."
"Bye, I love you."
I snapped my phone shut. They had split the team up in half. There was a goalie in each net. They were doing shootouts. I leaned forward. Would anyone be able to replace Mark Smith?
The goalie farthest away from me was decent. He got deeked out a few times, but I had to give the guy props. He was doing damn well for the very beginning of the season.
But the goalie closest to me was nothing short of amazing. There hadn't been a puck in the net yet. Even our top scorer from last year, James Hunter, couldn't get anything past him. I wished I had a program. The extra goalie last year had been absolute shit. Who was this guy?
Charlie was grinning as he watched the goalie. Charlie hardly ever smiled at players. This guy was damn good and there's no way in hell Charlie would cut him.
The two teams started playing shinny after the shootout. The team with the good goalie dominated. They had James, Emmett, and two of the starters from last year. They also had someone I didn't recognize. He might have been an underplayed rookie last year. He was good. Quick as a whip with a mad wrist shot. Left-handed. I would be surprised if he didn't make starting line.
After an easy six-zero win, everyone took a knee and removed their helmets. Charlie started talking, cracking jokes with his boys. He was in his element out there. I smiled fondly as he clapped with his assistants as the boys hit the showers. That's when Charlie finally noticed me. He smiled sheepishly at me, giving me a quick wave. I waved back, trying to hold back a big, stupid grin. I was meant to be Daddy's little girl, but I never really got the chance.
The booth window opened and my stomach growled as the deep fried, greasy good smell wafted throughout the lobby. One by one, the boys came up to the booth, talking to the moms and dads as they ate their delicious rink food. I was too scared to approach the booth. There'd be fifty boys, many of them good looking, staring at me, wondering who I was and why I was here. I didn't want to attract unwanted attention.
Unfortunately for me, my dad's oblivious to this fact.
"Bella!" he yelled from the opposite end of the rink. "Come give your old man a hug!"
A pathetic "Oh God" left my lips as I buried my red face in my hands before standing up, an embarrassed smile spreading across my lips.
The entire lobby was silent. Every single person watched me stand up and walk over to Charlie before getting pulled into a quick squeeze of a hug.
"Boys, this is my daughter, Bella," Charlie announced, his arm thrown around my shoulders. "Bella, these are all the guys trying out for the Kings."
"Hi, Bella," one of the players at the back yelled.
Charlie chuckled while I waved to everyone. They started talking again, and I knew all the chatter was about me. People knew that Charlie had a daughter, but I hardly ever made an appearance in Forks. For most of these people, it was the first time they'd ever seen me or even heard me name.
"Now, how about we eat some rink food?" Charlie suggested with a smile. "When's the last time you've eaten at a rink?"
"Uh, March, I guess," I told him. "But it was in Phoenix, so the food wasn't nearly as greasy."
Charlie chuckled. "Well, be prepared to suffer from a heart attack, Bells. This stuff is deadly."
We grabbed cheeseburgers and fries before sitting down at a table with all the assistants. I recognized some of these people at least. There was Carlisle Cullen, the trainer; Jack Stanley, the stats man; and Lyle Weber, the assistant coach.
"Who's the new goalie?" I asked while the guys scarfed down their burgers.
"Jasper Whitlock," Lyle answered. "Just moved here from Houston, Texas. I thought we'd never find anyone half as good as Mark. That was a stroke of luck, I tell ya."
"And who's the guy with the killer wrist shot?" I asked while dipping my fry in the lake of ketchup I'd created on my tray.
Carlisle chuckled. "That's my son, Edward."
My eyes got wide. "Really? Wow, I didn't really recognize him." Edward hadn't even made the team last year or the year before that. He must have settled for AA, maybe even a rec team.
"He's improved a lot," Charlie commented. "He'll make a good left wing."
"I think he's better than James," I murmured before popping another fry in my mouth.
They all smiled at me.
"It's good to have you back, Bella," Jack said. "I forgot how observant she was."
Charlie messed up my hair. "She knows her hockey."
My cheeks lit up like light bulbs. I continued eating in silence, listening to the guys discuss the cuts. They were announcing them tonight. They had an exhibition game in two weeks. That was when the final cut was going to take place.
I grabbed everyone's garbage so they could keep talking and ventured into no man's land. All of the players stared at me while I walked to the garbage can. I felt like a piece of meat being dangled in front of a pride of lions.
"So, you're the Chief's daughter," one of them said. It was the boy with the bronze hair and mischievous green eyes. It was Edward Cullen, the wrist shot kid. Definitely one of the hot ones. I could almost feel my tongue tying itself in knots. I nodded. "Well, welcome to Forks, baby."
My cheeks blazed while the guys all laughed. I hurried back to my sanctuary. My dad was grinning at me, his eyes twinkling with delight. He probably wanted me to end up with one of these guys. Hell, he'd probably sell me to the highest bidder if it meant me finding a good hockey player with a straight shot into the NHL. That kind of worried me.
I sat with my suitcase while Charlie did cuts. I heard the occasional curse, but nothing too serious. I think most of them expected it. The thing I hated the most was the disappointment clouding their faces after their names had been called. I automatically felt guilty, no matter how terrible the player might be.
"Alright, that's it," Charlie finally announced. "Next practice is on Wednesday for those of you still on the roster. See you then, boys."
People started leaving the lobby. I grabbed my suitcase and rolled it over to my dad. He threw his arm around me.
"Bella, I really am glad you moved back to Forks," he murmured.
"Thanks, Dad," I replied quietly as I watched the guys slowly leak out the rink, most of them winking and/or smiling at me, some of them even mouthing the words "Call me." Charlie chuckled. I nudged him playfully with my elbow.
"Let's get you settled in, Bells."
I'm not claiming to be an expert on hockey, but I do know quite a bit. I grew up in a hockey town. Correction, I am growing up in a hockey town. Hell, a hockey province. I have two NHL hockey players that live in my town; one of them was my best friend from elementary and middle school's dad. Anyone know of Selmar Odelein? Maybe Lyle Odelein? Yeah, I know them. Selmar's awesome, Lyle's a horny douche. IMO.
Anyway, I'm not doing research. I'm going strictly off of my own knowledge, which, I think, is pretty vast. My best guy friend plays AA hockey, and I've been to almost every home game since he started three years ago.
Lots of these experiences will be personal. Some of them are hilarious, some aren't. I'll let you know what's from real life for me.