Before the Prescott family became big in the hockey world, there was just Noah Prescott, fighting for a spot on an NHL roster. Never did he imagine a simple note from a shy fan would speed up his world.
Ryleigh Scott had an issue talking to men, but she knew she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to talk to Noah — potentially negative labels, be damned. Never did she imagine a simple note would start what could only be described as the beginning of the rest of her life.
This is Noah and Ryleigh — before the NHL contract, before the kids, before going back home.
This is Noah and Ryleigh from the beginning.
Of all the stupid, juvenile things I could have done, that certainly put the icing on the cake.
I turned at the top of the stairs just in time to see my best friend slide the folded piece of paper into number eleven’s gloved hand. Writing the note had been fun and sure, the idea of him reading it had been thrilling.
Now I just wanted to hurl.
How the hell did I allow Savannah to talk me into this? This… wantonness… was not me. I didn’t write random men random notes, and I sure as hell didn’t give said notes to them. Especially when the man on the receiving end was a professional athlete!
They had terms for girls who did things like that:
The nauseous feelings were swirling again; I took a deep breath to try and calm the pounding in my chest. I was pretty sure that if I held my hands out in front of me my fingers would be trembling. The only difference between me and the women who threw themselves at Noah Prescott was I kept my cleavage covered, my legs crossed, and my eyes down.
Even if I were willing to take on the ‘puck bunny’ label, I’m pretty sure Noah had a type and I was not it. I’ve seen him around town with willowy blondes with hair down to their bottoms.
Every team had its gorgeous player. Noah was the Enforcers’. Hell, I even heard an older gentleman make a comment on it once, stating, “That Prescott boy’s a good looking fellow.”
A grinding left wing for the Beloit Enforcers, an American Hockey League team playing in its inaugural season, Noah was one of the few veterans on the team. The majority of the players were rookies and the team usually played like it.
In most cases, one could look at a team and see what experience the players had. A true fan could look and see where the depth was.
The depth on this team wasn’t all that deep.
I averted my eyes to take in the arena, most of which had already cleared. To be honest, it started clearing in the middle of the third. While the arena could sit a good ten thousand people on any given day, the Enforcers were lucky to fill a quarter of the place. It was generally the away teams that filled the seats. I’m sure all the negative energy affected the players. How could it not?
I saw the potential in this team, though. I saw the drive of the players. This team could become something in time.
Like the majority of Enforcer fans, I hadn’t even been a hockey fan before they came to town. Going to games was something I could do in a city I was new to. Earlier in the year, I came to Beloit when I was offered a permanent substitute teaching position at the local elementary school. My real passion was photography, but I knew I had to have a consistent income before I even thought about making the transition to self-employed.
With the ‘big girl job,’ I moved into a cute new apartment complex just on the outside of town and fell in love with the smaller-city feel.
My friend Savannah, the culprit in this mess I found myself in at the moment, was all about finding odd things to do. Just prior to the season opening, right after San Diego labeled Beloit as their new farm team, she heard about the team’s “Family Night” and dragged me along. It was a pretty fun night. There had been a skills competition between the prospects, followed by a scrimmage. The event mainly served as a showcase for the men vying for a spot on the roster, with ultimate goals of eventually moving up the ladder to San Diego.
After the scrimmage, there’d been an autograph line. It was in line that I first truly got a glimpse of Noah Prescott and like that, my nerves had been fried. I pulled Savannah out of line and begged to go home.
I wasn’t quite sure what drew me to Noah. Like many females, I was drawn to handsome men. But like I said, I knew I could never compete with the women an athlete looked at. I’m a pretty level-headed girl in that regard. I don’t bother wasting energy on something I know I cannot complete. For whatever reason though, my eye always went to Noah – on the bench, on the ice, in the post-game interviews. In some weird sixth-sense sort of way, I always knew where to find him before even looking. The sane part of my mind, which I certainly hoped was the majority of it, labeled the whole thing as weird.
Just plain weird.
However, that ever slight crazed part of my mind had me looking up Noah’s profile that first night. According to the team’s roster and stats, Noah was only a few years older than my twenty-three. His picture hadn’t been the best, but the part that continued to stay with me was his eyes.
I was a sucker for eyes. It wasn’t just the color I found myself attracted to, but the shape, the youthfulness, the ability to read… I couldn’t be sure of Noah’s eye color, I tended to lower my eyes whenever his locked with mine, but they had a nice shape to them. More than that, you could see his youthfulness and joy for playing the sport.
It didn’t matter if I found a guy attractive though, professional athlete or not. I rarely talked to a guy I didn’t know further than hello. I blamed it on the absenteeism of my father.
“He took it,” Savannah said as she climbed the stairs two at a time, interrupting me briefly from my thoughts. Savannah was the poster child for what a female should be like. Confident, gorgeous… all the qualities I could only wish I had. Instead, I tended to be cynical toward myself and could hardly say I had a confident bone in my body. The last time I could recall being comfortable and confident was when I’d been in a relationship…
Five years ago.
I know, I know, you shouldn’t be in a relationship unless you truly liked and accepted yourself, but I seemed to appreciate myself more while in a relationship.
Where Savannah looked cool and calm in jeans and a hoodie, I wasn’t rocking similar attire nearly as well. I could pass for pretty, I’d give myself that, but gorgeous? That was a stretch. I had a face that was a bit more square-shaped than I cared for, my hair an accidental shade of auburn I hadn’t been prepared for, and eyes a weird shade of blue that actually passed more for grey. My hair color was naturally a golden blond, but a depressed day had me running to a salon for a total change.
Well, change I got.
The dark shade had the blues popping out more, so that was kind of cool.
“He looked pissed,” I said, looking past Savannah again only to catch Noah walking into the tunnel…
But not without first looking up the stairs toward me.
About Mignon Mykel
Mignon is a twenty-something (…getting awfully close to thirty-something) who resides in Wisconsin. An avid reader since her preschool days, she ‘blames’ her mother for teaching her to read during that all-important time during a forming brain. Some of her earlier memories of reading include her mother buying her a book at the mall — and finishing the book before they even returned home.
Writing happened soon after the reading started. Her first writing piece can be found in a box of other important papers from growing up. It’s about an apple who was her friend, but she had to eat.
The first series Mignon started to write was about a close family of one brother and his three younger sisters. She started writing this family and their friends in 2005, but as soon as the Prescott family took over her mind, the Ashbys fell silent. Maybe someday we’ll all hear from the Ashbys, but those Prescotts…. The Prescotts are excited to have their stories told.