“Hello,” Linda Staal said answering the phone.
“Hey mom,” the voice of her second oldest son said from the other line.
“Marc, how’s my baby?”
“I’m fine mom,” Marc laughed, “Are Jordan and Eric home yet?”
“They just got here not too long ago, Jared is on his way back right now. When are you coming home?”
“I’m actually sitting in the airport right now waiting for my flight to be called, listen mom, is it alright if I bring a friend home,” Marc asked unsure.
“Sure honey, is this friend one of the guys from the team? I hope it’s not that guy who wears the women’s clothes, your brothers hate him,” Linda rambled.
Marc couldn’t help but laugh at his mom, “No mom, it’s not Sean, it’s actually a girl that I met a couple of months ago outside of MSG. She’s having a rough time with her parents right now and needs to get away for a while, is it okay if she comes to stay with us for the summer?”
“Oh honey, that’s no problem,” Linda beamed, “I didn’t know you were involved with someone.”
“I’m not, mom, she’s just a friend,” Marc said sighing, “I just don’t want her here by herself, it’s not my place to tell you why she’s coming back home with me but she just needs to get away.”
“I understand completely, honey,” Linda reassured her son, “I’ll give your father and your brothers a warning so they can behave themselves with another female in the house, you know how they get.”
Marc laughed as he looked up at Cheyenne who was walking towards him from the Starbucks in the airport, “Hey mom, I have to go, our flight should be leaving any minute now. I will call you when we land.”
“Okay honey, I love you, have a safe flight.”
“I love you too mom, bye,” Marc replied ending the call on his Blackberry.
“Did you tell her I’m coming home with you,” Cheyenne asked.
“Yeah I did, she’s completely cool with it. She said it’ll be nice having another female in the house since it’s always been just her in the house with five males.”
Cheyenne laughed as their flight was called, “That’s cool, I guess,” she said with a shrug of her shoulders.
“Chey, she’s going to love you, I promise. You don’t have anything to worry about,” Marc said putting his arm around her waist and giving her a kiss on the forehead.
Cheyenne just smiled as they boarded the plane bound for Ontario, they were driving to Thunder Bay from the airport since there wasn’t a direct flight to Thunder Bay.
Marc and Cheyenne didn’t say a word to each other the entire flight from New York to Ontario, Cheyenne and Marc both fell asleep fifteen minutes in and woke up just in time to fasten their seatbelts for the landing at Toronto Pearson International.
“Chey, we’re here,” Marc whispered to Cheyenne as she slowly sat up from the passenger seat.
“Sorry, I slept so long, I didn’t mean to not keep you company,” she replied in a worried voice.
“It’s okay, Cheyenne,” Marc said rubbing her arm reassuringly, “You were tired, there’s nothing wrong with being tired.”
“DUDE, MARC’S HERE,” Jared shouted from the chair behind the fire that was currently burning in the Staal’s backyard. Eric and Jordan were in the house getting beer while Linda was cooking dinner and Hank was in town doing errands.
“Who’s the chick with Marc,” Eric said to Jordan who shrugged his shoulders as they looked out of the kitchen window.
“I think mom said it’s a friend from New York that he brought with him because she got into a fight with her parents or some shit like that, honestly I have no fucking idea,” Jordan replied.
“Jordan Lee Staal, watch your language,” Linda said scolding her son.
“Yes mom,” Jordan replied defeated and Eric laughed.
“Eric, stop laughing at your brother,” Linda warned and Eric rolled his eyes as Jordan chuckled low enough for only him and Eric to hear.
“Fuck you,” Eric hissed and Jordan opened his beer and headed out into the backyard where Marc and Cheyenne were now currently sitting with Jared.
“Eric, can you please be nice to your brothers and Cheyenne while you’re home this summer? I don’t know what her situation is but Marc asked me to ask you and your brothers if you could be on your best behavior in front of her this summer.”
“Really,” Eric asked, curiosity was getting the best of him.
“Don’t say that I told you anything, I promised Marc I wouldn’t.”
“I’m not going to say anything but I wonder what’s wrong with her.”
“I don’t know, just try not to fight with your brothers and make her feel welcomed here, please,” Linda asked her oldest son.
“I will, mom,” Eric smiled at his mother before he gave her a kiss on the cheek and walked outside to join his brothers and Cheyenne.
“Hey Eric,” Marc said hugging his brother.
“Hey man, how are you?”
“I’m good, just glad the season is over, it feels good to be home.”
“It really does, the season dragged on forever this year because of the Olympics and whatnot.”
“Eric, this is Cheyenne, Cheyenne, this is my brother, Eric,” Marc said introducing his brother and his friend.
“It’s nice to meet you,” Eric said smiling sticking out his hand.
Cheyenne threw Marc an unsure look causing him to just nod his head. She shook Eric’s hand and smiled, “Marc has told me so much about all of you guys and how proud he is of each of you, it’s nice to finally meet you in person.”
“So, Cheyenne, what brings you to Thunder Bay,” Jared asked and Cheyenne immediately tensed.
“I just needed to get away from the city for awhile,” she lied, “So Marc asked me to come here for the summer with him, I’ve never been anywhere but New York so it’s nice to finally just get away from it for a little bit.”
“That’s cool,” Jordan said and Eric couldn’t help but catch onto to the fact that Cheyenne was lying.
“Out of all the people in New York, you chose to be friends with this asshole,” Eric said pointing to Marc while trying to lighten the mood.
“Oh, fuck off, bro,” Marc fired back laughing and Cheyenne smiled.
“You can tell you guys try to hate each other but you all will be there for each other no matter what, it’s really nice that you show your love for each other,” she said and Eric felt his heart flutter with her words.
“That’s what I’ve been trying to tell them for years,” Linda said coming out of the house carrying a tray of food, “But no, I’m just their mother, what do I know?”
The four brothers rolled their eyes at their mother and Eric just stared at Cheyenne as she followed Linda into the house.
“Dude, you’re staring,” Marc said nudging Eric causing him to break out of his trance.
“What’s wrong with her,” Eric asked?
“It’s not my place to tell you, maybe she will once she gets to know you and she learns to trust you, she will tell you everything. It took me a while just to get her to trust me.”
“She isn’t comfortable around us, is she,” Jordan asked.
“She looks afraid to even say anything in front of us,” Jared asked, “It’s almost as if she thinks if she says the wrong thing we are going to hit her or call her stupid or something.”
“Just let it go,” Marc warned his brothers as Cheyenne returned helping Linda carry the food.
Eric couldn’t help but notice how nervous Cheyenne got as soon as Hank came home from running his errands. Like Marc said she just needed time, but Eric was determined to get to know her better. She was like a puzzle to him and he was dying to put her together.