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Worlds Collide

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            “These are your seats Ms. Morgan,” the usher said, holding out his hand to indicate their seats inside the theater.

            “Thank you!” Allie replied quickly as she took in their surroundings. She nodded approvingly and pointed to the third seat in from the aisle. “There you go Worms.”

            “Why do I have to sit on the inside? You sit on the inside!” Kelley replied and shot her a look.

            “Sorry, nope. I need some screen time and you know the camera loves our good friend Janice, so I need to be the one sitting next to her. In you go,” Allie ordered and pointed again at the seat. “Plus, I think the row in front of us is Hilary’s team, so no one will notice your drooling if you sit there.”

            “Ugh,” Kelley scoffed and Alex laughed. Kelley just shook her head and moved down the row to the third seat. At least they weren’t in the middle. That would have been unbearable.

            “Not to worry Kell, I bet the camera will still find you,” Alex smiled and winked at Allie.

            “Awesome, I get to be the derpy one next to you two. Just like outside. I think I’m still blind from all the flashbulbs,” Kelley replied as she pulled out her phone to check it. She tried not to let her sigh of disappointment show as she stared at her notificationless lock screen.

            “Oh stop, you look amazing. We all look amazing. See? Aren’t you glad we got to benefit from Alex’s glam squad? I know you didn’t want to do your make up yourself,” Allie said, raising a slender eyebrow in challenge.

            “Yeah, you do go a little overboard with the smoky eye sometimes,” Alex snorted a laugh.

            “Dude that was one time! And I didn’t even do it! Syd did!” Kelley shot back at her with a death stare.

            “Oh yeah,” Allie giggled. “That’s what you get for letting Syd do your make up.”

            “Exactly,” Alex agreed as her eyes scanned the rows in front of them. Suddenly they lit up and she smirked, “Don’t look now, but there’s your girl.”

            “Oh damn, she lookin’ fione too. Mm, girl you better look,” Allie said, raising her eyebrows in appreciation.

            “Fucking A, you guys are obnoxious. Why did I…” Kelley trailed off as turned to look down the group of women filing into the row in front of them. They were laughing in that familial way of teams. Her eyes drifted toward the end of the row on the opposite aisle where Hilary stood waiting for the rest of the team to be seated. She laughed as her teammates bickered about the seating arrangement. Just like Alex, she would be the main attraction for the cameras in her section. Kelley’s breath caught as Hilary’s eyes drifted her direction. Kelley smiled and nodded inconspicuously as Hilary made eye contact. Hilary’s responding smile and mischievous wink nearly stopped her heart.

            Her trance was broken only when Allie grabbed her arm and muttered, “Oh shit, oh shit! Alex did you see that? It’s on! It’s so on! Oh my god!”

            “Damn I was a little skeptical, but I’m now a believer. Kell, she winked at you. Did you see that?” Alex added, smacking Kelley on the leg.

            “Who winked at who?” a voice behind them asked before Kelley could respond.

            All three turned around suddenly and Kelley shook her head. “Nothing Pinoe. I didn’t know you were coming. How did you end up behind us?”

            “Oh me? I didn’t get an invite. Just like you, I am a date. Unlike you, my date actually likes me,” Pinoe teased, a smirk lighting up her face.

            “Hey I like her!” Allie said in mock offense.

            “Oh honey, you’re a date too. AMorgs over here is the real star. The sooner you recognize that the better,” Pinoe replied as her smile widened.

            “What’s up Pinoe? Where’s Sue?” Alex asked looking back up the aisle.

            “Hey ladies. I’ve missed you all, you know that? Sue’s presenting first so she actually had to go backstage. You get just me for a bit. But back to the matter at hand, who are you guys trying to hook little Miss O’Hara up with?” Pinoe asked, looking up at the rows in front of them.

            “No one, they’re not trying to hook me up with anyone,” Kelley replied shaking her head.

            “Yeah actually, she’s doing a pretty damn good job so far,” Allie said with a shrug. “And it’s Hilary Knight.”

            “Shut the fuck up!” Pinoe gasped, clasping her hands in front of her face in excitement. Kelley rolled her eyes and turned back around. “I love an intersport relationship! And she’s hot too.”

            Kelley felt her phone buzz in her bag. She fished it out and felt a smile bloom across her face. She quickly swallowed it down and read the message. Hey how’s the view from back there?

            Kelley fired off a quick reply, It’d be a whole lot better if you were sitting next to me.

            She quickly stuffed it back in her bag and looked up to find all three of her teammates grinning at her. “What?” she asked, feeling her cheeks heat up.

            “Hmm mh mh, what is that look O’Hara?” Pinoe asked, her eyes lit up in amusement.

            “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Kelley shrugged and avoided eye contact by scanning the room. She felt her bag vibrate again, but resisted the urge to check it.

            “So Worms,” Allie said, resting her chin on her hand and staring intently at Kelley. “Who ya texting? Was it who I think it was? Please tell me it was.”

            “It was my mo-“ Kelley started but was quickly cut off.

            “Kell just stop. Nobody smiles like that for their mom. Please just let us all live vicariously through you and tell us it was Hilary,” Alex said, raising a slender eyebrow.

            “Fine, it was Hilary,” Kelley sighed a pained sigh and pinched the bridge of her nose.

            “Yaaaaaasssssss,” Allie whispered, waving her hands in the air in celebration.

            “Girl, were you flirting with that brunette beauty?” Pinoe asked, leaning forward conspiratorially.

            Kelley took a deep breath and rolled her eyes, “I guess.”

            “What do you mean you guess? Let me see your damn phone,” Allie demanded, grabbing at Kelley’s bag.

            “No!” Kelley exclaimed, swatting away Allie’s hand. “Yes, ok, yes I was flirting with her.”

            “That’s my girl!” Pinoe smiled and raised her eyebrows suggestively. “So you gonna get with that hottie or what?

            “Oh my god Pinoe,” Kelley muttered as she took out her phone again.

            “Oh we gon try,” Allie nodded. “This is for all of us.”

            “You guys are impossible,” Kelley scowled at them. She checked her phone and tried to keep her smile under control. She ignored the teasing of her teammates as she read the text from Hilary.

            I agree.

***

            “Worms, where are you going? Don’t get lost ok?” Allie slurred slightly, grabbing her arm. “We still gotta find your girl.”

            “I am just going to get a drink on the balcony. It’s really hot in here,” Kelley said patting Allie’s arm.

            “Kay, come back soon Wormy Worms. I’ll miss you,” Allie said, releasing Kelley from her grip.

            Kelley smiled and shook her head as she made her way to the rooftop balcony bar. This was their fourth stop of the night and Kelley was feeling more than ready to go home. She’d met a lot of people, but seemed to have just missed the women’s hockey team everywhere they went. She asked the bartender for a glass of water and then made her way to the railing that overlooked the sparkling downtown.

            Kelley took a deep breath of warm night air and took in the twinkling skyline around her. She got so lost in the urban scene that she didn’t hear when someone joined her at the railing.

            “So how’s the view?” Hilary asked, leaning against the railing with a smile.

            Kelley swallowed her surprise and let her eyes meet Hilary’s for a second before responding, “It’s a whole lot better now.”

            Hilary laughed and then smirked, “Wow, that was really smooth. Kudos for the follow up on your text. Have you been planning that line all night?”

            The corners of Kelley’s mouth quirked up as she shrugged and replied, “Maybe.”

            Hilary snorted a laugh and shook her head, “You’re cute, you know that?”

            Kelley took a sip of water from her straw to hide her betraying smile and then replied, “So I’ve been told.”

            Hilary raised an eyebrow and sucked in her lower lip. Kelley took another sip of water and raised her eyes in challenge. Hilary released her lip from between her teeth and cleared her throat. “So,” she started, but then stopped and looked out at the cityscape.

            Kelley noticed Hilary’s nervousness and replied, “So, congrats to you and the team.”

            Hilary turned back to her and nodded as her arms leaned over the railing, “Thanks. The girls are stoked.”

            “Well you guys deserve it,” Kelley said and then added. “Hey how did you find me? We haven’t seen your team all night.”

            “Oh yeah, your friends told me you were out here. We had to hit up a few places as a group and then some of us went home. I ran into Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird at the last party. They said you were here. So, I, uh…” Hilary explained, but then trailed off, as if searching for the right words.

            “You…,” Kelley supplied, enjoying Hilary’s nervousness. She found it an adorable attribute that Hilary got nervous around her. “Decided to come find me?”

            “Um,” Hilary bit her lip as she tried to hold in her smile. Her cheeks pinked as she avoided Kelley’s cocky gaze. “I, yeah. Ok, yeah, I came here hoping to find you.”

            “Mm,” Kelley replied, holding in a smile of her own and nodding her head nonchalantly. She put her glass down on the ledge of the railing and faced Hilary.

            Hilary took a deep breath and turned to meet Kelley’s eyes. Kelley’s heart skipped a beat at the intensity of her gaze. “Hey so,” she started softly and then swallowed. “I’m not really great at this part, but I think you’re really awesome and really cute, well more than cute, you’re really hot actually, and funny and I really just, uh-“

            “Hilary Knight are you asking me to prom?” Kelley interrupted, her hand rising to her chest in mock surprise.

            Hilary laughed and shook her head. Her eyes lit up in amusement as she replied, “Yes. Kelley Maureen O’Hara, will you go to prom with me?”

            “Oh Miss Hilary, I thought you’d never ask,” Kelley said batting her eyes and turning on her Georgia charm. She took a step forward to close the gap between then. Hilary’s eye widened and Kelley heard her breath stop. She leaned up closer to the hockey players lips and whispered, “For the record, I’d totally go to prom with you.”

            “Yeah?” Hilary whispered thickly against Kelley’s lips, her eyes closing in anticipation.

            “Mhm,” Kelley murmured as her lips met Hilary’s. The hockey player moaned quietly and leaned into the kiss. Her hand came up to cup Kelley’s face.

            A buzz in Kelley’s bag brought her back to reality and she slowed drew away from the kiss. She cleared her throat and looked up at Hilary. “So. Question,” Kelley said, holding in a smirk.

            “Mhm?” Hilary replied, blinking away the remnants of the kiss.

            “How do you know my middle name?” Kelley asked with mock seriousness, her smile betraying her the whole time.

            Hilary laughed as a nervous glow crept through her cheeks, “Um, Wikipedia?”

            “God you really are a stalker,” Kelley teased and then tilted her head up to kiss Hilary again.

            “Damnit, you found me out,” Hilary murmured against her lips and then wrapped her arms around Kelley’s shoulders. Kelley’s phone buzzed again, twice this time. Hilary pulled back from the kiss and looked down at Kelley, “You know that’s probably your friends, right?”

            “Yeah,” Kelley said with a sigh. She gently pulled back from Hilary’s embrace and took her phone out of her bag. She’d missed three texts in the last half hour.

            One was from Pinoe that read, Just saw your girl. I sent her your way. You can thank me later. You fucking owe me beeyotch! Luv U!

            Alex’s said, Just saw you and Hilary! Get it girl!

            Allie’s text made her laugh out loud, YAAAASSSS GUUUURRRLLLL! Kiss that woman. Smooch smooch smooch!!! Of course, Allie had also added no less than 23 kissy face emojis.

            “So are your friends ok?” Hilary said, her eyebrows raised and a smile still on her slightly plumped lips.

            “Yeah they’re fine,” Kelley said waving her phone. She started to put it away and it buzzed again.

            It was from Allie and Kelley smiled mischievously as she read it, The room is yours Wormy Boo. I’m gonna stay with Janice. MAKE SURE YOU ARE READY BY 9AM OR OUR ASS IS GRASS! Ok that was Alex’s message. Just get some ass babes. You deserve it. Loves and kisses. Heart you Worms!

            She looked up at Hilary, who was looking back at her inquisitively. “Mm, you’re cute too, you know that?” she asked the taller woman.

            Hilary smirked and her eyebrows bounced as she replied, “So I’ve been told.”

            Kelley laughed and took her hand. She reached up on her tiptoes and slowly kissed Hilary again. When she pulled back, she asked, “So, you want to get out of here?”

            “Mhm,” Hilary nodded and bit her lip.

            “Good,” Kelley said and pulled Hilary away from the railing. “Let’s go.”