Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Chapter 3-My Funny Valentine

“I don’t know, man,” Jordin told Wade as they skated around the rink, “I don’t want her to feel obligated to go out with me.”

Wade laughed, “It’s Valentine’s Day, and she hasn’t had a date on Valentine’s Day since you met her.”

“I just don’t want her thinking I expect something from her though.”

Wade smirked, “You sleep in the same bed she does every night but you are worried about taking her out for a nice dinner? Grow some balls man, how old are you? Next thing I know, you’ll be writing a note that says, ‘Be my Valentine: Check yes or no!’

Jordin laughed, “Dude, shut up!”

Mike Fisher noticed the men bantering back and forth, “What are you two going on about?”

“Eskimo kisses over here won’t ask his girl out on Valentine’s Day,” Wade said causing Jordin to whack him in the shin with his stick.

“I thought she left you,” Mike said, “You can’t go back to her; she’s going to set you back. Paige will kill her. Don’t do this to yourself or Paige. Carrie loves Paige.”

Jordin laughed catching Mike off guard, “What are you laughing at?”

“Wade wasn’t talking about Brooke,” Jordin said, “I live with Paige.”

“HA,” Wade yelled, “You admit that she’s your girl. I knew it! I knew it! You like her.”

“Someone care to fill me in here,” Mike asked.

“Paige lived with her roommate before she got married. After that, Paige lived on her own. Long story short, Paige moved in with me after I went to rehab. She visited me in the rehab center when she could and then I offered for her to move in with me because her lease on her apartment was almost up, and I didn’t want to live alone, so I offered her a place to live. She put her life on hold for me and wants nothing but the best for me. She knows where I’m coming from; she used to be addicted to cocaine. She went to rehab when she was 16.”

Mike and Wade watching Jordin drift off and laughed as he suddenly became defensive, “You Bastards,” he said as he skated a lap around the rink.”

“How much do you want to bet they end up getting married,” Mike asked.

Wade laughed, “Jordin needs to nut up first and tell her how he feels. They’ve been friends for almost four years, his ex-left because she didn’t want to be with a ‘junkie.’ Paige has supported him; they clicked instantly when they met. Kellie even made that song about him and Paige because she thought Jordin cheated on her with Paige.”

“What song,” Mike asked at the mention of one of his wife’s friends.

“I think it’s called ‘Best Days of your Life,’ or something like that,” Wade replied, “Totally not true, Jordin left Kellie because of his addiction.”

“I’ll have to tell Carrie, that’s ridiculous. Let me be honest, I always thought Kellie was a slut anyways. Total harlot with an annoying voice,” Mike said causing Wade to laugh.

“Preach on my brother,” Wade said lifting his hand in the air and bowing his head.

Mike laughed as their coach blew the whistle and started going over drills on the wipe off board. Jordin looked into the stands where the press was and saw Paige. He nudged Wade and Wade smirked, "She cares."

Jordin smiled as Paige gave a small wave but turned away to finish listening to the play that was being drawn up. After practice ended, Paige was standing in the hallway talking on her cell phone. Jordin laughed when he heard Kayden's name and "no" leave her lips countless times.

"Hey," he whispered kissing her cheek.

Paige smiled before returning to her phone call, "Kayden, I am not buying you a new Xbox. I don't care if daddy said no. No, you are not asking Jordin. Yes you can come to the game. I'll ask Jordin. I love you too. Goodbye."

Jordin smiled as Paige rolled her eyes while shoving the iPhone into her pocket.

"You looked good out there," she said, "I'm excited to see you back out there."

"I'm nervous," Jordin admitted.

"You'll be fine," she promised, "I believe in you."

Jordin smiled before opening the door to the locker room, "I'll be out in 20 minutes. Do you have to go back to work?"

"I'm done for the day; do you want to go get some lunch?"

"Lunch sounds good," Jordin replied, "I'm a little hungry."

"Meet me in the parking lot and we'll go."

"Well," Wade asked as Jordin entered the locker room, "Did you ask her?"

"I'll ask her tomorrow."

"No, you're asking her tonight and I mean it."

Jordin quickly showered and got dressed. He pushed his wallet into his back pocket and Wade smiled, "I mean it, tonight."

Jordin nodded and headed out of the locker room. Paige was sitting in her car in the garage. Jordin climbed in next to her but before Paige could put the car in reverse, he grabbed her hand.

"What," she asked.

Jordin panicked suddenly unable to speak. He felt his face grow hot but didn't know what to say.

"What are your plans on Monday," he asked finding his voice.

Paige turned her head and smiled, "I was going to spend the day with Kayden but I'm open to suggestions."

Jordin smiled, "This sounds so cheesy but be my Valentine? It'd mean a lot to me if you were."

"Of course," Paige smiled leaning over to kiss his cheek. Jordin turned his head to say something and their lips met. Paige's eyes widened but Jordin brought his hand up to cup her cheek. Paige kissed him back and got lost in her own little world. Jordin pulled away smiling and Paige sighed.

"I'm sorry," Jordin said.

"Don't be," she smiled.

"I'll pick you up from work on Monday. Dress nice, it's all about you on Monday."

Paige still high from kissing Jordin smiled, "Sounds good."

The two of them drove to the Denny's in a comfortable silence. They didn't know where they stood after their accidental kiss but neither one of them wanted it to end.

The two of them talked about Kayden over lunch with Jordin laughing at Paige telling him how Kayden wanted to stay over every weekend.

"He can stay over whenever he wants, it'll give them a break."

The rest of the day flew by without Jordin saying a word. That night, Paige went out with one of her friends from work to a jazz club leaving Jordin home alone. She felt bad but he insisted she go.

Josh Walker called Jordin when Paige didn't answer her phone, "Hey Jordin," he greeted when Jordin answered, "I hate to do this but I couldn't get a hold of Paige."

"What's wrong," Jordin asked.

"One of Megan's cousins were in an accident at work and we need to head back to New York for a couple of days. Can you guys watch Kayden?"

"We'd love to," Jordin said, "We were just talking about him today."

Josh sighed in relief, "Thank you so much," he said, "We'll be there in fifteen minutes."

"No problem, see you then."

Jordin placed the phone in his pocket and walked upstairs. Walking into the guest room, he made the bed for the small boy before plugging in the night light.

Jordin was making food for Kayden when the doorbell rang. Jordin turned off the stove before answering the door.

"Hey buddy," Jordin said to the small boy who was in his father's arms.

"Hi," he whispered sleepily.

"Thank you for doing this," he said, "Megan and I are grateful."

"Anytime," Jordin smiled taking Kayden from Josh.

"Be good for Jordin and Aunt Paige," Josh Walker said to his son before shaking Jordin’s hand.

Josh left and Jordin smiled as Kayden woke up on the couch, “Can we watch a movie he asked?”

“What do you want to watch,” Jordin asked.

“Toy Story 3,” Kayden replied, “Daddy packed it in my bag.”

Jordin nodded his head as Kayden jumped up from the couch and ran over to his bag to grab the DVD. Jordin put it in the DVD player and sat on the couch next to Kayden. Kayden curled up next to him and Jordin wrapped his arm around him.

The movie continued to play but Kayden soon fell asleep. Jordin didn’t notice since he fell asleep as well. When Paige arrived home she saw the TV in the living room rolling the credits playing “You Got a Friend in Me.” Paige shook her head thinking Jordin watched the movie himself but as she rounded the couch, she saw Kayden tucked in Jordin’s arms as they both slept. Paige smiled and gave Kayden a kiss on the forehead before kissing Jordin’s cheek. Paige got ready for bed. Paige was out as soon as her head hit the pillow.

Paige woke up the next morning to Jordin turned away from her and she smiled to herself. They still didn’t talk about the kiss that they had the day before but Paige wasn’t complaining. Things weren’t awkward with them, they were best friends.

Before Paige knew it Monday had arrived and she was running around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to get dressed. Jordin had told her to dress nice but she didn’t know what he meant by that.

Paige called him to ask him and he told her that nice meant her wearing a dress and heels. Paige sighed as she fixed her make-up and hair before throwing on the black dress trimmed in red and the red high heels.

Jordin smiled as he saw Paige come down the stairs, “Wow,” he said handing her the bouquet of red roses, “You look gorgeous.”

“Thanks,” she smiled, “So do you.”

They went to dinner at Valentino’s on West End Avenue. Paige smiled as they joked about how Kayden should just live with them since he was always with them lately.

After dinner, Jordin took Paige to a small jazz club. Jordin felt weird being in an atmosphere like that, but Paige kept whispering how proud of him she was and he felt better about himself. When they left they headed home and Jordin desperately wanted to tell her how he felt but everything was still new to him including his sobriety and he had to hold it off for another day. Kind of funny considering Valentine’s Day was the day for lovers but some things are better left unsaid.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Chapter 2-All I Ever Wanted

"Jordin," Paige said walking into his bedroom, "Jordin, wake up."

"What," he mumbled as he rolled over to face her.

"I am going back to work today and you have practice."

Jordin smiled brightly, he had been dying to get back on the ice.

"Want me to drop you off on my way to the arena?"

"I have to stay late for a meeting, so I'll take my car. Do you want to meet me for dinner later or do you want me to cook when I get home?"

"I'll meet you for dinner, where do you want to go?"

"Demo's okay?"

"Sounds good to me, call me and let me know what time to meet you."

Paige looked at her watch, "Shit, I have to go. I'll call you later. Have a good practice."

Jordin smiled as she leaned down to kiss his cheek, "Have a good day at work."

Paige smiled before heading out of the door to head to work. Pulling out her phone, she searched through her phone for Wade's number.

"Hey Paige," Wade said as he answered his phone, "What's up?"

"Can you do me a huge favor and pick Jordin up on your way to practice? I know I sound overprotective but I just want to make sure he's okay."

"Relax," Wade replied, "He's picking me up on his way to the arena."

Paige breathed a sigh of relief that she didn't know she was holding, "Thank you, Wade."

"Anytime," he replied, "I'm here for you guys."

"I'll let you go; I'm on my way to work."

"Have fun!"

"Eh, work is work. Have a good practice."

"Thanks! Bye!"

"Bye Wade," Paige said ending the call on her iPhone.

Pulling into work, she grabbed her bag and purse out of the trunk before swiping her ID badge to get inside.

Paige smiled as she walked into her office and saw the vase full of roses sitting on her desk. Setting her bag and purse down on the floor, she opened the card that was in front of the vase.

Paige smiled at the image on the front of a small dog holding a heart. She felt herself tear up as she read the words that Jordin wrote on the inside.

Although it may not seem like much, I just wanted you to know how thankful I am that you have been there for me. I could not have asked for a better person in my life, you showed me that there were people in my life who need me and I am forever grateful that you are my friend. We'll beat this together, I know we will. Thank you for putting your life on hold to help me through it, I will never be able to repay you. You will never know how much you mean to me.


Paige wiped the tears away from her eyes and dialed Jordin's number from the phone in her office. When she got his voicemail, she decided to leave him a message telling him how beautiful his gesture was.

The work day was going slow but luckily, Mrs. Fisher herself, Carrie Underwood was stopping by to speak with Paige about her upcoming performance, "How come you're not at practice with that adorable friend of yours," Carrie asked as she sat down in front of Paige's desk.

"I had to come in and catch up on work. I took two week's vacation to take care of him, and I was far behind so I came back to work. There's only so much my assistant can do."

"Mike told me everything and how Brooke left him, he needs someone like you in his life."

"I hope everything works out for him; I'm his sponsor for AA. We have our first meeting on Monday morning."

"Mike can fill in for you if you need to come here."

"I appreciate the offer but I don't want to let Jordin down."

Paige and Carrie fell into conversation about Jordin and Mike going on the road in a week's time. Carrie reassured Paige that Mike would keep an eye on Jordin. Carrie finished her rehearsals and told Paige she'd give her a call sometime.

Paige sighed as her work day came to an end at 8 o'clock that night. She wasn't used to working 12 hour shifts. Sure, she worked long work days but she was exhausted as she drove to the restaurant where Jordin was meeting her.

"Long day," he asked as she sat down at the table in front of him.

"You have no idea," she replied taking a drink of the water in his glass that he had held out for her.

"I ordered already, I hope that's okay."

"It's fine," Paige replied, "Thank you."

"Did you get your flowers?"

Paige smiled, "I did, and they’re beautiful. Thank you, very much. I will always be here for you, Jordin."

Jordin leaned over and gave her a hug, "I don't deserve a friend like you."

Paige kissed his cheek, "No Jordin, I don't deserve a friend like you."

Jordin smiled slightly, "I ordered your usual."

"Thank you, I'm glad because I'm starving."

Their food came and they ate while making small talk about Jordin's excitement for his comeback came in the coming nights.

"You'll be there, right," he asked as they walked to their cars.

"Of course, I will," Paige smiled when they got to her car first.

"Meet me back at the house," Jordin said, "I don't want to go home yet. Drop your car off at the house and we'll go see a movie or something."

"Okay," Paige agreed, "See you there."

Jordin watched as Paige pulled into the garage and returned talking on her cell phone. She smiled as she opened the passenger side door, “Hold on one second, I’ll ask him,” she said turning to Jordin while pulling the phone away from her ear, “Josh and Megan need a babysitter this weekend for Kayden. The girl that usually babysits has the flu and no one else will do it on such short notice, is it okay if he stays with us until Monday night?”

Jordin smiled, “Of course.”

“Have him ready;” Paige said returning to the phone call, “We’ll be there in ten minutes.”

“He’s going to freak out when he sees me, isn’t he,” Jordin asked causing Paige to laugh.

“He’s seen you a million times but yes, he will freak out for the first five minutes.”

Jordin laughed lightly as they drove to Paige’s brother’s house to pick up her nephew. Jordin pulled into the driveway and parked behind Josh’s Hummer. Following Paige into the house, Jordin shook her brother’s hand before hugging her sister-in-law. Josh and Jordin fell into conversation about Jordin’s comeback game and Josh informed him that he’d be taking Kayden and a client and their children to the game that night. Megan Walker offered to sit with her sister-in-law so that she wouldn’t be alone.

Kayden’s footsteps could be heard running down the stairs as Jordin and Paige stood up to leave as soon as he reached them. Jordin couldn’t believe that the shy four year old child that he had met in the locker room was now almost seven and was a firecracker compared to the shy child he once was.

“PAYPAY,” He shouted running into his aunt’s arms, “I miss you.”

“I miss you too little man,” she said kissing his cheek before picking him up. Kayden wrapped his legs around her waist and buried his face into her neck.

“JORDIN,” he yelled excitedly and reached out for Jordin to take him.

“Hey buddy,” Jordin said as Kayden wrapped his arms around his neck in a hug, “How are you?”

“I hear you were sick,” Kayden said, “Are you feeling better?”

Jordin smiled at the young boy, “I feel much better. Your aunt is taking good care of me.”

Kayden smiled as Paige grabbed his bag and his coat, “Put your coat on and give mommy and daddy a kiss.”

Jordin nudged Paige and watched with amusement as Kayden excitedly buttoned his coat and ran off to give his parents a kiss goodbye.

“I’ll call you if he needs anything but we should be fine,” Paige said as she hugged her brother and her sister-in-law, “Call me if you need to see if he’s okay.”

“We know he’ll be fine,” Megan said, “We’ll call anyway though.”

Jordin shook Josh’s hand and gave Megan one last hug as they headed towards the black Tahoe.

Kayden buckled himself in the backseat excitedly as Jordin and Paige shut the doors behind them, “Are we going to Aunt Paige’s house or yours?”

Jordin looked at Paige who was silently cursing herself for not preparing her nephew for the information she was about to tell him. Paige smiled and Jordin braced himself for the screaming.

“I live with Jordin now, so you’ll be staying with us this weekend.”

“ARE YOU SERIOUS,” he shouted and Jordin laughed.

“Yep, she lives with me now, so you’ll get to hang out with me all weekend.”

“THAT IS AWESOME,” Kayden shrieked, “Can we go skating?”

“You can go skating when you and Paige come to practice with me tomorrow, how’s that? You can skate with me and the guys; do you have your hockey equipment?”

“It’s in his bag,” Paige whispered, “I think he planned this.”

Jordin laughed once again as Kayden rambled on and on about how he was going to score on a breakaway against Pekka when he suddenly grew quiet. Paige turned around to see if he was okay, and he was sound asleep on Jordin’s backseat.

“He’s out like a light,” she said to Jordin as they pulled in front of their house.

“We’ll put him in your room and you can stay with me,” Jordin said, “If he wakes up, he can come sleep with us.”

“I can put him on the couch. That kid will sleep anywhere,” Paige said, “It’s no big deal.”

Jordin sighed, he had gotten used to Paige spending the night in his room and he liked waking up in the morning next to someone. It helped him sleep knowing he wasn’t alone, he didn’t feel so alone anymore and he had Paige to thank for that.

“Let him sleep in a bed,” Jordin said, “You’re sleeping with me.”

Paige sighed in defeat, “Fine, you get your way but you better share the blankets because I’m tired of waking up cold.”

“Deal,” Jordin said unbuckling Kayden’s seatbelt to carry him into the house.

Paige unlocked the door and turned the light on that led to their game room from the garage. Jordin carried Kayden upstairs and laid him in Paige’s bed gently. Jordin carefully removed his coat and his boots before tucking him into the blankets leaving the small light on next to the bed.

Paige shuffled through her drawers and pulled out at a pair of yoga pants and an old cut off sweatshirt before disappearing into her bathroom. She took a quick shower and went to Jordin’s room. She found Jordin sitting on the bed shirtless in a pair of sweatpants watching Dexter.

“Is it this week’s episode,” she asked climbing into the bed next to him.

“Yeah, it just started,” Jordin replied.

“Good, we both missed it.”

The episode finished and they both decided to watch Kick-Ass until they fell asleep. By the time the movie was over, they were both asleep. Kayden woke up a short while later and walked to Jordin’s room, “Jordin,” he whispered shaking him awake, “Jordin.”

“What,” Jordin asked half asleep, “You okay?”

“I have to go to the bathroom,” Kayden whispered and Jordin sat up taking the blankets off himself.

“You can use mine,” Jordin said standing up and taking Kayden’s hand in his, “I’ll wait out here.”

Jordin turned on the light and closed the door. Kayden flushed the toilet and opened the door, “I need help washing my hands, the sink is too high.”

Jordin smiled and followed him in, lifting him up, Jordin turned on the faucet as Kayden pumped the soap into his hands. Jordin sat him back down on the floor and handed him a wash cloth to dry his hands with.

“Thank you,” Kayden said smiling.

“You’re welcome, buddy,” Jordin whispered as they walked back into his room, “Do you want to stay here with me and Paige?”

Kayden nodded his head and climbed into bed behind Paige, “Goodnight, Jordin,” he whispered hugging him.

“Goodnight,” Jordin replied returning the hug as the small boy nestled into his side. Jordin missed this most about his little brother. Kayden was going to help in Jordin’s recovery too by being the child that Jordin set an example for.

Paige woke up the next morning and found the bed empty. After using the bathroom, she walked into her room and saw that Kayden was not in bed either. Hearing laughter coming from downstairs, Paige walked down and saw Jordin and Kayden eating bowls of cereal at the table.

“Good morning,” Paige said as she took a seat across from Kayden.

“Hi Paypay,” Kayden said as Jordin ruffled his hair.

“He slept with us last night, he woke up to go to the bathroom and I didn’t have the heart to let him walk all the way back down the hall.”

Paige laughed, “I was wondering why I had a small foot in my face at five in the morning,” she joked as she poured a glass of orange juice, “What time are we leaving for practice?”

“It starts at noon, we’re leaving at 11 so eat up,” Jordin smiled as he grabbed his and Kayden’s bowl and walked them to the kitchen.

Paige looked at the clock that read 9:30; she had an hour and a half to get herself and Kayden dressed and ready to go. When they were ready to go, Jordin let Paige drive his car and they headed to Bridgestone Arena.

Paige and Jordin walked down the halls and Jordin told her where to sit. Grabbing Kayden’s hand, she lead him to the area that was reserved for the press. Paige took a seat with Kayden on her lap as the guys skated out one by one.

Jordin was in a trance after looking up seeing Paige in the stands with Kayden on her lap. Jordin pictured her sitting in the same spot with a small child dressed in his jersey while all bundled up so he or she didn’t get sick. Wade snapped Jordin out of his thoughts as he swatted him in the leg with his stick, “What are you thinking about?”

“My comeback game,” Jordin lied.

“You’re thinking about Paige, aren’t you?”

Jordin sighed, he couldn’t lie to one of his best friends, “She’s really been there for me, man. I’m grateful to have her in my life.”

“Hold onto her, Jordin. You won’t always have me here,” Wade said, “I’m trade bait at anytime.”

Jordin didn’t want to think about losing Wade but there was always that nagging possibility. Right now, all Jordin wanted was Paige in his arms because living with her without being able to kiss her was driving him crazy. She may have been helping him with his addiction but his addiction was slowly becoming her.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Chapter 1-A Blast from the Past

I'll never forget the phone call that I had received from my best friend two days after Christmas. He was going to rehab for his addiction to alcohol.

I knew Jordin had a problem but I didn't think it was this bad. I went to rehab myself when I was 16 for drugs abuse. I was scared for Jordin but I knew he'd fight it, he was strong and I was going to be there every step of the way.

Jordin and I met at the Grand Ole Opry while I was interning there in the Marketing Department. He was there to watch his girlfriend perform.

We talked briefly in the green room before Kelly took the stage. I met him again a couple of times after that night at various events, then, a year later at a practice that I had attended with my four-year old nephew when my brother had to back out at the last minute, because of an important meeting at work. My brother Josh was the owner of One on One Fitness Inc., a sponsor of the Nashville Predators.

Kayden and I were the special guest at practice that day since my brother had just signed a new contract to remain their sponsor through 2014.

Kayden's eyes lit up as he saw Steve Sullivan step off of the ice, Steve was one of his favorites along with Jordin and Pekka Rinne.

"Can we go meet them now," Kayden asked and the security guard chuckled at his excitement.

"Ten more minutes buddy then you can go in," the guard smiled and Kayden groaned.

"Be patient, Kay."

"Ten minutes is FOREVER," he said causing me to laugh as I leaned down and tickled his neck.

"Stop," he giggled as I scooped him up and kissed his cheek before setting him back down. Kayden grabbed my hand and we waited against the wall talking to the guard. Kayden's eyes lit up as he talked to him about who his favorite players were and why.

"I like Tootoo because he kicks...he kicks the bad guy's ass sometimes," Kayden said causing the guard to laugh as my eyes went wide.

"KAYDEN ANTHONY WALKER," I scolded, "Language."

"Sorry, Paypay," he said calling me the nickname he's called me since he was a baby. He couldn't say Paige, so I was "Paypay" to him ever since.

"You're free to go back, have fun," the guard said as we walked down the hallway.

"You must be Mrs. Walker," David Poile said as we approached the locker room.

"I'm Paige Walker, Joshua's sister. He couldn't be here today because of a very important meeting," I said shaking his hand.

"My apologies," he smiled, "This little guy must be Kayden."

Kayden stood behind me poking his head out. I grabbed his hand and pulled him out from behind me. I bent down to place him on my hip as we entered the locker room.

"That's Pekka," he whispered with wide eyes as he watched the Finnish man with the hilarious name finish his interview.

I stood in front of the door somewhat star struck myself. I brought Kayden to Predators games all of the time and these guys were beginning to be a pretty big deal around town.

The door opened behind me, knocking me out of my trance.

"Shit," the voice swore, "I'm so sorry."

I looked up and saw the familiar face of Jordin Tootoo, "Are you okay," he asked.

I laughed lightly, "I'm fine, the door barely touched me."

He stared at me for a second before he spoke again, "It's Paige, right?"

"That'd be me," I replied as Kayden stared in admiration at his hero.

Jordin smiled, "Fancy seeing you here."

"My brother owns the gym that sponsors you guys and he's in a very important meeting, so I brought his son for him"

Jordin smiled once again, "Hi buddy, what's your name?"

Kayden buried his face in my shoulder causing Jordin to laugh, "His name's Kayden," I replied for my nephew, "I'm sorry, he's really shy."

"I have a one year old brother, so I know how that is."

David Poile appeared in the room again when the media left the locker room, "Gentlemen, we have some special guests with us today. Meet Paige and Kayden Walker."

"Hi," they all said in unison.

I smiled as Kayden gave a small wave before putting his head on my shoulder.

"She's Josh Walker's sister and Kayden is Josh's son. In case you all were wondering, Josh owns One on One Fitness Inc., which is one of our sponsors. Josh couldn't be here today so Miss Walker brought the little guy. We have set up a VIP lunch in the conference room down the hall so please make them feel welcomed. Paige, Kayden help yourselves."

"Come on," Jordin smiled, "I'll show you the way."

Jordin sat with Kayden and I during lunch. Jordin was really down to earth, something I didn't expect from him but I should have since he was a sweetheart at the Opry.

After Kayden finished getting his jersey signed and got done taking pictures with the guys, he and I left. He was spending the night at my house and all he talked about was his day with the guys. I enjoyed myself too, a lot more than I thought I would.

A couple of weeks later, I was in my office at the Opry working on editing TV commercials for CMT of our filmed events when the receptionist downstairs informed me that I had a vistor.

"Miss Walker, there's someone here to see you."

"Send them in," I replied endinf the call.

A few minutes later, Jordin and Wade walked in.

"Hi Paige," Jordin smiled.

"Hey guys," I replied, "What are you doing here?"

"We were touring the Opry with the team, so we thought we'd come visit when Jordan mentioned you worked here," Wade smiled.

I looked at Jordin who blushed, "He's the one who insisted we'd come here," Jordin said and I laughed before we fell into conversation until they had to leave.

Wade invited me out to have drinks with them at The Camel Pub, a local bar that was a popular hot spot.

After that night when I agreed to go, Jordin and I kept in touch. He had a new girlfriend named Brooke, and he was happy to be out of a Star Magazine relationship. Jordin and I became good friends and that's what brings me here today.

Jordin is finished with his rehab. I gave up my apartment to live with him full time, so I can keep an eye on him. The newly acquired Mike Fisher agreed to help while they are on the road.

I'm sitting on the couch with Jordin who has his head on my lap as I run my fingers through his hair.

"I can't believe she left me," he says above a whisper and I want to kill Brooke for leaving. She was going to mess up his recovery and I knew I had to do everything in my power to stop it.

"She's not worth it, Jordin," I said as he looked up at me before nodding his head, "If she loved you, she would have been here to support you."

"I don't understand why you've stayed by me," he admitted, "You could leave if you want and I'd understand."

"Jordin," I began, "Please don't start that again. I can help you stay sober, I was in rehab at 16 for cocaine. You're my best friend and I care about you. I don't want to lose you, Jordin. You got your whole life ahead of you and a little brother that worships the ground you walk on that needs you. You lost a brother, imagine how he would feel if he lost you."

Jordin smiled before wiping away the tears from his eyes that formed at the memories of his brother, "Thank you," he whispered as I leaned down to kiss his forehead.

"Anytime," I smiled. I don't know how long we stayed up just enjoying each other's company but I enjoyed it and I could tell it made Jordin stop thinking for a while.

I slept in Jordin's room that night to keep an eye on him. I didn't want to be a pest but he was my best friend and I wanted to protect him.

Jordin woke up in the middle of the night and saw Paige sleeping soundly next to him. It was good to be home and it felt good to not have to get high to feel something. Paige mumbled in her sleep causing Jordin to laugh before he got out of bed to use the bathroom.

As he made his way back to bed after taking a hot shower to clear his head, Jordin kissed Paige on the lips knowing she wouldn't know. He loved her more than she could ever imagine. He didn't want to scare her off by telling her, he needed her. If she left, he was afraid he'd lose all control again. Jordin sighed before wrapping his arm around Paige's waist before he fell asleep dreaming of the day Paige walked into his life.