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Chapter 13 : A Little Healthy Competition
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I know! I'm so sorry. I didn't realize when I posted the last chapter that I had written my last planned chapter. I wasn't going to extend this story, but I love it too much and I finally realized where I wanted it to go. I just hope you don't hate me too much when you finish this chapter!
Also, the chapter image is the men of the story. From L to R- Healer McCoy, Oliver, Daniel Deveraux. What do you think?
Please comment and let me know what you think. How do we all feel about Daniel? Isn't he a beautiful human being? Talk and update soon!
I am a professional. Really, I am, I swear, but damn does Oliver Wood look good. I would have willingly locked the doors and closed the blinds for the rest of the day just to stay in bed with that gravely voice and chiseled body. Unfortunately, we both knew that the open practice coming up was too big of a deal to do that. We both needed to make good impressions on the public. Why do I have to care so much about my job?
Ellie arrived shortly after Oliver and I pulled ourselves out of the bed and tossed our clothes back on sloppily. She was in work mode and very ready to head to the pitch to speak with managers, security and staff about the reception area and party that would be following the open practice. The only sign that she hadn’t been up and planning for hours was the cup of coffee she clasped like a life line in her right hand.
She gave me less than five minutes to gather my bag and necessities before popping away with Carlie loaned out and on her heels. At least I knew that, if Carlie was with Ellie, no one would gawk at her like Oliver did that morning. She needed to stay focused and it was obvious that male attention didn’t do much to help with that.
Oliver and I apparated away a few minutes and a quick snog session later directly to the hallway outside of the locker rooms.
“Oi! Wood! I’ve got your new broom and robes!” A voice behind us called in a hurried tone.
We turned and as Oliver stretched out his hand to take the items, I froze. The man standing before me wore a slim fitting suit with a dark tie that could only be described as being perfectly tailored to his clearly chiseled body. His dark hair lay in waves that were just long enough for the front pieces to have fallen down on the sides and serve as a gorgeous frame for blue eyes that made me a little weak in the knees. I had seen handsome men before. Hell, I had just gotten tangled up in sheets that morning with one, but this man didn’t have a single physical quality that didn’t demand your attention. It wasn’t until he had turned to me, flashing a brilliantly white smile and spoken something my ears couldn’t be bothered to hear that I felt Oliver’s hand on my elbow, lightly nudging me.
I turned my head down and laughed lightly before pushing my bangs behind my ear demurely. What was this? I have never once been this shy around a man before. Although, to be fair, I haven’t been this blindsided by a man before either. What? Oliver was a mess when we first met. I blinked, holding my eyes closed for a second longer than necessary and cleared my head quickly before holding out a hand for him to shake.
“Sorry about that, my mind was elsewhere. I’m Adelynn LaVoie.”
“Oh right, I know who you are. From what I hear, you and I are going to be working together quite a bit over the next few weeks. My name is Daniel Deveraux.” He said, added another of those dashing smiles for emphasis, “The team likes to call me the equipment manager because I’m responsible for all of our equipment sponsorships. You and I are supposed to go through a list of possible companies soon so that we make sure all of our deals are with reputable people.”
“Well then, it’s very nice to meet you, and I look forward to working with you, Mr. Deveraux.”
“Call me Daniel.”
It wasn’t a question, or a suggestion and he emphasized that by added a small wink and smirk to the end of his sentence. Our hands were still clasped together and I could feel the blush rising in my cheeks when I heard Oliver clear his throat. I pulled my hand away quickly and bit my lip slightly before looking up to see Oliver’s face twisted in to an angry frown.
Daniel glanced between us and accurately read the tension. He excused himself quickly but not before reaching out and tucking a loose strand of hair behind my ears. I’m sure that action alone is what caused Oliver’s entire body to tense up. I wasn’t even touching him and I could feel it happen. When I was finally brave enough to look over his fists were clenched and his jawline was set in a hard line. Okay, I probably could have handled that better.
Oliver turned and stalked off, leaving me to choose whether or not to follow or to just run off and find Ellie. It was probably better to let him simmer a bit, because honestly, it frustrated me a little that he had acted that way. What right did he have to act that way? I certainly wasn’t his girlfriend and I was certainly allowed to speak with other men. That included men with captivating blue eyes, and handsome, square jawlines and impeccably broad shoulders and... yeah, I needed to find Ellie. These Puddlemere men were distracting. I guess I can’t blame Carlie for losing her focus.
I found Ellie in the main banquet area on the top floor of the stadium, near the VIP boxes. She was barking orders about where to place certain name cards and who could not possibly sit next to whom because of the incredible cheating scandal and how could these idiots not know about those types of things. I laughed quietly and walked up to stand beside her.
“I’ve got that wispy intern of yours running around getting the correct colored table cloths. Some idiot sent royal blue instead of navy. How would it look if I had royal blue linens at a Puddlemere event.”
“Ghastly I’m guessing. I’m glad you’re putting Carlie to good use though.”
“Why, so you can have time to put Oliver Wood to good use while she’s not around?” She smirked and raised an eyebrow as she glanced at me. “Your hair was a mess when I got there this morning and his shirt was on inside out.”
I smacked her lightly in the arm, knowing that, if anyone would have caught on to that it would have been her.
“Hey, I’m not going to deny it. Just like you aren’t going to deny that my owl had to fly back to my flat because you weren’t home, but when I sent him to Eric’s flat you got the letter just fine.”
Ellie blushed slightly but regained her composer quickly.
“Come see the view from our box; it’s spectacular.”
We walked in to the owner’s box and I was floored by the décor Ellie had put together. The owner was to hold an invitation only press conference before the open practice in this room so Ellie had spent great time and given great care to make sure the previously drab, beige room was picture ready and adorned in plenty of navy and gold glory. The Puddlemere crest was shown proudly on banners hanging from the ceiling and the large windows were framed by sheer Navy curtains, held back with golden sashes.
The view of the pitch really was amazing. Not only could you see the whole pitch quite clearly, but also there were four flat screen televisions posted above the windows. Each one was linked to a camera that had been charmed to follow a specific group of players. One for the seeker, keeper, chasers and beaters. Wherever the action was, we wouldn’t miss it. Oliver must love knowing that he has a camera trained on his every move throughout the game. From what I’ve heard, he’s quite the showoff.
We glanced out the window to watch the team warming up. Oliver was posted by the goals smacking away quaffles. He still held a rather angry look on his face, and, even though this was just a warm up, he was swatting away quaffles like his life depended on it.
“What’s wrong with him? Did you two have a lover’s quarrel? Did you express dissatisfaction in the sack?”
“What? Ellie!” My face was beet red as I scanned the area to see if she had been overheard. “Can you please warn a girl before you say things like that!”
“I’ll make up more things if you don’t spill. I can tell there’s something.”
I sighed heavily, “Fine, I met Daniel Deveraux today. He’s in charge of…”
“Oh, he’s something to look at isn’t he? I met him the other afternoon. Had to ask if we were allowed to use a certain brand of beer or if it conflicted with a sponsorship. What does that have to do with Oliver being a grouch?”
“Would you let me finish?” I fussed before continuing, “I guess you could say that he is something to look at, and I definitely looked. Oliver wasn’t pleased with the attention I gave to Daniel, and probably wasn’t crazy about the attention he paid me either.”
“Ah, the green eyed monster already? I didn’t know you two were exclusive.”
“That’s the problem, we’re not.”
The more I thought about it, the more upset I got. Why in the world was he still upset? He was on his broom again. He was preparing for his first open practice after this crazy accident and he was sitting up there seething because I found another man attractive or, heaven forbid, another man found me attractive. That is just foolish. We would definitely need to talk about that soon.
I would have continued fuming, had the stadium speaker system not interrupted my train of thought.
“ADELYNN LAVOIE, YOU ARE REQUESTED IN MR. DEVERAUX’S OFFICE.”
I watched Oliver as the announcement boomed. It was the first quaffle I had seen him miss all afternoon.
I finally found the large door with Daniel’s nameplate on it after searching for around 20 minutes. Upon opening the door, it became very clear to me exactly how important Daniel was to Puddlemere.
His office was massive and had view that directly overlooked the pitch. Everything in the office was in a well-kept order and it was clear that he spent many long hours here because there was a well-stocked mini-fridge and a throw blanket tossed over the small couch in the room. He greeted me warmly and offered me a seat.
“I figured you hadn’t left the stadium yet, so I wanted to call you up here to talk about a few things.” He started seriously, and then smiled brightly.
I melted, hopefully not noticeably, at his smile. I won’t lie.
“Then I realized that it is the day before a massive publicity event and you probably have thousands of things to attend to before heading home.”
“As much as I would love to stay and chat with you, you’re right.”
“I thought so. Would it be possibly to meet tomorrow evening then? I have a few contracts that I’d like you to look over that need to be sent out by tomorrow at midnight.”
The open practice was tomorrow. The confusion must have read like a book across my face, because he immediately added to his statement.
“After the practice of course. It should be over between 5 and 6, so I was thinking we could have a working dinner at a restaurant in London.”
“Oh, yes, that should be fine.” I added a smile that I hoped was as charming as his. “I’ll put you in my calendar.”
I stood waving slightly as I walked to the door. Daniel stood and made his way to the door as well. Leaning against the doorframe, I saw a smirk that I thought only Oliver Wood was capable of.
“Excellent, it’s a date.”
I didn’t correct him.
Oliver would be furious.
If I told him, that is.
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