Part 3: You've Got Mail

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After they ate, they had a quick match of rock, paper, scissors to decide who got the single room across from mine on the third floor. Finn won. Nova and Goose would share the empty second floor bedroom. They picked up their bags and headed upstairs to crash for a few hours. None of them had slept all night and by the time breakfast was over, they were clearly dragging.

It was funny how similar they all were. The hockey coach was pretty strict with his players so they all had short hair and were clean shaven. They were tall, within a few inches of each other, but varied in build somewhat. Nova and Finn were leaner, while Goose and Fish were heavily muscled. Jack fell somewhere in between. Eddie, as a football player and injured, wore his hair long enough to flop around even though it was curly, hadn't shaved in weeks, and had the build of an ogre. It was a little intimidating to be surrounded by so much masculinity, but I would just have to deal. At least I still had Brie for girl-talk.

I looked at Fish and Jack. "Are you guys moving in, too?"

Jack didn't hesitate, "Damn right. I don't mind my girl in a house with Fish and Eddie. They're good guys and look out for her. But with these other guys in the house? Not a chance. I'm going to pick up some of my stuff later, but I'm here as long as they are."

Brie tried to look mutinous, but her pale green eyes were far too happy for her to be serious about it. Not for the first time, I was envious of her looks. Her father was Irish, her mother African-American. The combination left Brie with light-coffee skin, luminous green eyes, and lovely curls she kept trimmed super short. She looked like a supermodel, just waiting to be discovered.

Fish was a bit more reserved and looked at Eddie, "I don't know. Am I?"

Eddie looked at Fish and grinned, "Might as well, everyone else has. We've been talking about it, so why not?"

Fish smiled at Eddie in a slow, almost secret way. They were so gone for each other, but they tried to keep it private in front of other people. It was obvious Fish was thrilled but trying to be cool about it.

"Then I'll go get my stuff when Jack does. Maybe you can drive us in that monster SUV of yours and we can be done in one trip?"

"You got it." Eddie kissed Fish in a rare show of affection. I couldn't help but grin at the two of them. Then something Jack had said clicked in my head.

"Jack, why are you worried about the other guys being here?"

Jack looked at me, his grey eyes serious. "Because Brie is my everything. I'm not taking any chances with her. They may be my teammates, but that doesn't mean I trust them with my girl. Do you know how Nova got his nickname?"

How would I know that? At least half of the hockey players had stupid nicknames. I was now living with guys named Fish and Goose, in addition to Nova.

"Uh, no. Why do you guys call him Nova?"

Fish spoke up, "It's short for Casanova, the legendary lover. The first couple years of school, Nova was the king of the one-night stand. Never the same girl twice. He got a hell of a rep. Some girl tried to pin her baby on him, but the paternity test said it wasn't his. I haven't seen him with anyone in a long time, though. He cut that out after that baby mess. Then the NHL scouts started coming to games. He's been really serious about school and hockey ever since."

"Not taking a chance with my girl," Jack replied. "As long as they're in the house, so am I. Unless Brie wants to move into my dorm room."

Brie wrinkled her nose, "No, thank you. I am not sleeping in a single bed with you. We can share my Queen upstairs."

"Okay, that explains Nova. What about you, Fish? And why do you guys call Goose, Goose?"

Fish laughed, "My last name is Fisher. I've been Fish my whole life. No one uses my given name except my mother. Rumor has it, Goose picked up his nick in high school. His mom told one of his friends he didn't have the common sense that God gave a goose. Next thing you know, all his friends are calling him Goose."

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