“Nervous?” Becky turned to look at the young woman. The pair were riding the elevator up to the 5th floor conference room.
“Yeah. It’s been a while.” The brunette did her best to still her trembling knee.
“Relax kiddo. You deserve to be here. We all know it.” Becky wrapped an arm around the midfielder’s shoulders.
“But what if I get hurt again?” The tremble in her voice betrayed the lingering fear.
“Then you will be devastated. You will mourn and cry and be upset with the world. And that is ok. Your family will be there to help support you and prop you up until you can stand on your own again. We would get you through the required rehab and back on the field again. We will always have your back Andi.”
“Thanks momma.” Andi leaned her head on the blonde’s shoulder for the duration of the ride.
The two women stepped off the elevator and headed down towards the conference room. The murmur of multiple conversations floated through the cracked door to meet them. The pair halted just outside it.
“Absolutely.” Andi was ready to surprise her special someone. Jill had agreed to not add her to the roster until the meeting had taken place. How Becky convinced her, Andi will never know. On second thought, Andi wasn’t sure she wanted to know.
Becky smiled and entered first. Andi heard the chorus of “Hey Broon” as the women noticed her arrival before returning to their own conversations. The midfielder counted to 30 to give the older woman time to sit before she stepped inside.
“Sunshine!” Andi’s eyes went straight to the source of the voice. They always did. Blue eyes locked onto green ones. It took only a moment for Jane to snap out of her stupor and clamber over Megan and Taylor to get to her. Jane wrapped her girlfriend in a bear hug and refused to let go.
“Aww that’s adorable.” Abby sighed as she leaned on Sammy. “Why don’t we have moments like that?”
“Because we are with each other all of the time. Literally. We play for the same teams and there is no offseason.” Sammy deadpanned.
“You certainly have picked up Carli’s dry sense of humor.” Abby huffed playfully before snuggling into Sammy’s side. She wouldn’t change the midfielder, Carli imitation and all.
Jane only released Andi when she suspected that Andi was running out of fresh air. The blonde couldn’t stop grinning. She knew Andi was coming along in her rehab and even played a bit for Stanford, but Jane didn’t expect Jill to call her back up so soon.
“What are you doing here?”
“Joining camp. Dawn and the medical staff have been in close contact with Stanford about my recovery, fitness level, and playing time. They thought I was ready to get back into camp and possibly see some minutes depending on how practice goes.” Andi grinned as she spoke. It was the best news she could dream of after a long, arduous recovery.
“And you didn’t tell me? Me? Of all people?!” Jane huffed and crossed her arms, hurt that Andi kept this large of a secret from her.
“Calm down. I didn’t tell you because I wanted to surprise you and the team. The whole staff, Becky, and Lys were in on it.” Andi tried to sooth Jane’s ruffled feathers as she placed a hand on her girlfriend’s forearm.
“Sorry babe. I just can’t believe you are here.” Jane grinned again. She couldn’t stay mad at her sunshine no matter how hard she tried.
“You’re forgiven. Let’s go sit.” The brunette had caught the look Jill shot her. The coach wanted to start her meeting.
The reunited lovers made their way back towards Jane’s seat. Andi made sure to wave at Becky and Alyssa as they passed by them. Both women returned the gesture. Seeing Andi happy made them happy.
Jane pulled Andi onto her lap as Jill started speaking. Truthfully the young goalkeeper was only halfway paying attention to anything her coach was saying. She had rested her head on Andi’s shoulder and was basking in the smell of Andi’s coconut perfume. The brunette was doing her best to pay attention, she truly was. It was her first time back with the team in months and she didn’t want to start off on the wrong foot when things originally started so well. But her girlfriend’s fingers had snuck under her Stanford hoodie. Andi’s body was reminding her it had been a very long time since Jane had touched her.
Jill droned on about the expectations at camp and how they needed to beat South Korea soundly now that the men had not qualified for their World Cup. Not like the team needed any extra pressure or anything. Still, both women listened as best they could to the speech. It wouldn’t do any good to upset Jill. Not if they wanted to see the field again.
For Jane, the coach finished speaking not a moment too soon. As soon as they were dismissed to head to the field, she tried to stand up. Andi shrieked as she caught onto the back of Pinoe’s chair and stopped herself from knocking heads with the older blonde.
“In camp for only 45 minutes and you already have her screaming. That is my girl Jane!” KO’s loud praise brought a red tint to the blonde’s cheeks.
“Really Kel?” Christen sighed as Pinoe and Kelley high-fived.
“You bet Chris. Every time.” Kelley snickered. A hand on her thigh from Julie stopped her fellow Red Star from snapping off a reply. It would only encourage her fellow Stanford alum.
“Sorry babe. You ok?” Jane grabbed onto Andi’s waist to make sure she didn’t take a tumble.
“Yeah just warn me next time stud, ok?” The brunette maneuvered out and stood to the side of the row of chairs.
“Sure thing, sweetheart.” Jane ruffled her hair as she followed Andi. Her girlfriend reached up and smoothed down the bright blonde locks. Jane’s eyes fluttered closed at the gentle caress of her girlfriend’s hands. She had missed Andi’s touch this season. Houston was a long way from Stanford.
“Come on love birds, we have practice.” Casey nudged Andi, who at this point was blocking the exit of the aisle. She needed to get them moving before KO could tease them again.
“Practice. Right.” Jane forced her blue eyes open and again she grinned at Andi. “I get to see you after this one.”
“Yes you do, stud.” Andi leaned up on her toes and kissed Jane’s cheek. “Go catch up to with Lys and Ash. I will be watching you.”
“Yes ma’am.” Jane spun on her heels, grabbed her bag, and jogged after the two older keepers.
“You’ll be watching? Did you forget we have practice too now that your ACL has healed?” Casey cocked an eyebrow at the midfielder.
“No, I didn’t forget. But Jane works harder if she knows I’m watching. Even if it is only for a moment or two when we are hydrating.” Andi grabbed her own gear and started walking out towards the elevators with the defender.
“Aww you are trying to pump her up. That’s sweet.”
“She can hang with the two of them when she doesn’t get in her own head. If I can help give her a little extra push, I will. I’m also being a little selfish…I want to play with her again. The best chance of that happening are her shining at practice and convincing Ellis to give her a chance.” The younger woman confessed as the elevator moved down to the first floor.
“Aww Sully that is adorable! Just umm…let me know if I need to go hang with Lynn or Sofia or someone for a few hours. Jane is my roommate this camp.”
“I would uh…go ahead and plan on it.” Andi fought back a blush. “It has been a while since we have seen each other and my knee is fully healed…”
“Consider it done.” Casey chuckled as Andi fanned her cheeks as they walked out the doors of the hotel towards the field. “You two deserve some happiness after all this. Just keep it down or Pinoe and KO will not let you hear the end of it.”
“Right. That is the last thing we need.” Andi mumbled under her breath. Jane wouldn’t forgive her if the two pranksters got started on their love life again.
The two women got to the field and began changing into their cleats for the day. Andi glanced up and spotted Jane stretching out with Alyssa and Ashlyn. The blonde never failed to take her breath away, no matter what she was doing. Jane’s beauty shone from within – that is what captivated Andi every time. Jane glanced up and caught the green eyes she felt on her. She winked at her girlfriend before jogging behind Alyssa and Ash to get loose.
“Best surprise ever.” Jane murmured.
“Just wait kid. It only gets better.” Alyssa told the blonde as they turned the corner of the 18-yard box.
“Then I can’t wait.” Jane grinned. If life with Andi in it was already this sweet, time would only make it sweeter.