"You wanna tell me what's up with you and Robbie?"
Jim ran a palm down his face and let out a deep breath before turning his head to face her. "To be honest, I don't know," he replied exasperatedly. "He's been weird with me this whole leg. I was actually hoping that you'd know what's up."
His eyebrows shot up when Frankie sighed dejectedly beside him. "What?"
"He hasn't talked to me," she whispered. "And considering that he's rooming with OC for this road trip, I find it bad that he hasn't attempted to sneak out of their room and barge into mine."
Jim's eyes blinked rapidly, a clueless expression on his face as he tried to comprehend what was going on. For several days, he had been getting the cold shoulder from Mac, with no idea of the reason why. He had hoped that Frankie had something that could shed light to the situation, only to find out that she hasn't talked to the forward either.
"Don't know what to say?"
"Did you two fight before we left Minnesota?"
"Last I talked to him was the day of the Gopher game and he seemed fine," she answered. "You? You didn't steal his socks or anything, did you?"
"Why would I steal his socks?" the goalie asked.
"Figured I'd make a joke," she shrugged. "It's pretty depressing that we don't know what's up with him and he's been great at avoiding us thus far."
"Not really avoiding, since we're either cramped on this bus or on the ice," he began, sending her a sideways glance. "It's just hard to try to talk to someone when there are too many ears listening."
"What do you think Buzzy?" she said with a smirk.
Jim chuckled as Frankie grinned when they felt the bump against the back of their seats. The two craned their necks upward when Buzz popped his head from his seat behind them.
"I hate when you do that," he grumbled while looking at their team manager. "Anyway, I think I know why but I don't think it's my place to say. Of course, I also doubt that he'll say anything any time soon or at all, so I'm really in a debate with myself on whether or not I should tell you, but like you said, there are too many ears. Right Rammer?"
"You just had to bring me into this," the young defenseman said from his seat across theirs. He glowered at Buzz before turning his gaze on Frankie. "I'll come to your room when we reach the hotel. We'll talk then."
"Are we having a slumber party?"
"You're not invited Verchota."
"We can manage, don't worry."
Some of the players looked up when they heard Herb's voice as he stepped out of the coach's office with Frankie.
"I'll still be taking notes though," she said with a single nod, holding up a clipboard to emphasize her point.
"You do that," her uncle said with a pat to her shoulder. "Go on then."
She smiled up at him before flashing a grin at the players who were looking on, giving a small wave as she turned to walk out the door.
"Where's Colt going?" Craig asked.
"She'll be in the stands. She said she wanted to keep Jimmy's dad company."
As their coaches began to talk about the upcoming game, Rammer, Buzz and Jim exchanged glances. Their eyes drifted to Mac as he began his ritual of taping his stick with a glower on his face.
The looks didn't escape the notice of the rest of the team, though no one spoke for fear of an argument breaking out. Everyone was well aware about the cold shoulder the forward had been giving their goalie and team manager, as well as the reason for it. They all knew that Mac was already frustrated, but hearing where Frankie was headed more than likely made him more sensitive. As much as Jim wanted to talk to him, he knew it wasn't the time or place, opting to just focus on the game they were going to have against Harvard in a matter of minutes rather than his brooding teammate.
"You were awesome tonight, man," OC practically gushed, clapping a hand against Mac's shoulder as they walked out into the chilly November night.
"Thanks Boston boy," Mac replied with a cocky grin, earning a few chuckles from some of their teammates who saw the exchange.
A few others gave the Minnesota forward some recognition of his great game, Magic even smiling like a fool as they heard Herb and Craig talking about being kept on the same scoring line. The jovial atmosphere fell however when they spotted Frankie standing off to the side of the building with Jim and his father. With a snort, Mac stalked off towards the bus, hurtling his hockey bag into the boot and stomping his whole way onto the vehicle.
"He really needs to get over himself," OC grumbled.
"That and they all need to just talk," Magic continued. "They have the rest of us walking on eggshells coz of him, and it's just bad timing for Jim."
"I feel bad for Colt, really," Buzz said, joining in on the conversation as they put their hockey bags in the boot.
"We all do," OC said. "I don't think anyone really asks to be in the middle of this mess and Mac's not doing her any favors."
"No getting mad and throwing punches," Buzz joked, trying to lighten up their talk. "Magic can't lose his best winger right now."
"Not that I don't like sitting next to you but I thought you said you were gonna sit with Mac," Jim said as he plopped onto the empty seat beside Frankie.
"I was," she replied. "But then he sent me a scowl. It's pretty clear that I'm not wanted right now."
"And it's really not the right place to talk," Rammer interjected.
"Case in point," Frankie said dryly, earning a sheepish smile from the younger man.
"You can talk to him tonight," Jim said. "A couple of our buddies invited us BU guys out for a few drinks at a watering hole near the hotel. Rizzo said he'll come to your room and walk you in when he gets OC."
"Planned everything, did we?" she asked, cocking up an eyebrow as she eyed the goalie.
"It's better than waiting for Mac to do something," Buzz piped up.
"You guys really need to stop eavesdropping," she whined.
"Now where's the fun in that?" Rammer quipped.
The short ride to the hotel was filled with light banter among the four, effectively getting rid of the tension they were feeling. But as soon as Frankie walked into her room, the feeling of helplessness crept back in. Attempting to gather some courage, she thought of what she needed to talk to Mac about and tried to prepare what she was going to say, hoping that whatever plan the Boston boys hatched would work and he'd hear her out. Different scenarios ran through her mind as she paced back and forth, jumping slightly when a knock sounded against her door.
"Hey Riz-" she began to say. "You're not Rizzo."
"I'm glad that your eyesight hasn't been shot to hell," Herb mused. "Why exactly were you expecting Rizzo to have been on the other side of your door?"
Frankie looked back at her uncle with a blank expression knowing full well where his thoughts were headed. "He was supposed to come by before he left with the BU guys to confirm tomorrow's schedule so he knows what limit to put on OC and Silky's fun time."
"They shouldn't even be going out," Herb grumbled.
Before he could go on a tangent about stricter curfews, she interrupted by asking why he had knocked in the first place.
"I need to talk to you about something," came the reply. "Do you mind coming to my room? Doc and Craig would be by in a bit as well."
Frankie saw Rizzo freeze from the corner of her eye. She turned her head slightly and gave him a somber smile. "No problem, coach," she answered. "Just let me grab my room key. I'll be by in a bit."
"We leave at 8AM, Rizzo," Herb reminded the captain as he walked past on the way to his hotel room. "Make sure you boys are back no later than midnight."
"Yes, coach," he replied with a nod. He turned his head around when he heard the soft click of a door closing and sighed when he saw Frankie making her way over. "I thought for sure that it was gonna work."
"It's not like we could avoid each other until the Olympics," she tried to joke. "Besides, if Doc and Craig are going to Herb's room too, it must be important. I should really do my job."
"Magic says he'll try to talk to him when we leave," Silky said as he walked up. "We heard your uncle. Our door wasn't closed."
Frankie couldn't help but chuckle. "This team is filled with gossips. Does everyone know what's going on?"
"It's really hard to keep things under wraps for long when we're pretty much all attached at the hip," he replied with a shrug. "Don't stress out too much about it, alright?"
"Right now, I'm more worried about what my uncle wanted to talk about," she confessed. "And that I should really head over there before he decides to lead a search party."
"You do that," Rizzo said with a short laugh.
"You guys have fun."
"Thanks Colt," they chorused.
AN: I know, I know. I suck at updating.
Anyway, thanks to phoenixfire53 for and to the 2 guests for the reviews on the last chapter. Welcome to the new followers as well! :) I hope you'll spare some time to not only read but also leave a review. They might make me want to update faster, just saying. :p