Eleanor “Elli” Fisher didn’t understand why she was so forgetful. She was convinced that if her ass wasn’t attached to her, she would forget it at home too. But really? How in the world did she forget all the bulbs for her light stands?!
Elli stood in the entrance of the Luther Arena, waiting for Harper Allen, her assistant, to bring the bulbs back from her studio on the western side of Nashville. This was one of the most important days of her career and she forgot the bulbs.
God, I am an idiot.
How did she manage this? She ran her hand through her unruly brown curly hair, sighing. As if forgetting the bulbs wasn’t enough, she was also having a really crappy hair day. This was her first year with the Nashville Assassins. She couldn’t blow it. Being chosen to be the photographer for a hockey team was huge, but when it was for the team that just won the Stanley Cup and had the prospect of winning again? Hello, it was HUGE.
When she saw Harper running into the arena with the bulbs in hand, she let out the breath she had been holding. Damn, that was fast.
“For Christ’s sake! It’s a mad house out there!” Harper complained in her thick southern accent. Her hair was in spikes this week. The spikes were also purple, which made it even more interesting. Hadn’t she discussed with Harper how they needed to keep a professional image? Yes, purple was a team color.
“I know, come on. Let’s go put the bulbs in.” She didn’t have time to have it out with Harper right now; she had to get to the ice. They all but ran towards the entrance to the ice. Once there, she was greeted by the Assassins’ PR rep.
“Ms. Fisher, how do you do? Are you ready?”
Melody Yates was intense. That was the only way Elli could describe her. She was from New Jersey, and had been converted into a Southerner. And that made no damn sense to Elli, but whatever, this was her boss. So she flashed a huge grin and turned on her southern charm.
“Yes, ma’am. Let my assistant put these bulbs in, and we can get started.”
“Good, the boys will be out soon. Then we’ll go downstairs for the other shots we need.”
Harper ran ahead of them and started setting everything up. Elli took in a deep breath. She had been photographing weddings almost her whole adult life, and now she was moving to sports. She had always wanted to do sports photography, partly because she had such a love for hockey, but she never could get an opportunity. Now, thanks to a job opening, and being related to the owner of the Assassins, here she was.
This was her chance.
A big one.
Harper handed Elli her camera with a big smile. Harper knew how important this day was, and also how nervous Elli was.
“Go on over there and let me test shoot, Harp.” Harper started towards the goal and turned with a stick in her hand, making a stern face. It brought a smile to Elli’s face. Harper was a dork, but God, Elli loved her. After fixing the aperture on her camera, Elli called Harper over as the guys started skating onto the ice.
“Good golly, Miss Molly! Look at them! Good Lord! They are gorgeous!” Harper whispered as all the guys came out and sat on the bench. Elli took her time looking the guys over. They were gorgeous, alright. But she already knew that, since she never missed a home game. Sometimes she thought it was the uniforms: bright purple and black, with a masked man on the front of the jerseys that brought out their good looks. But nope, even with the helmets off, these men were just plain gorgeous.
Getting back in the zone, she called for the coaches first. Trying to bottle her nerves, she got started. After shooting the coaches, it was on to the team. Each player came out in front of the goal, striking his pose. Elli zoomed in, taking a head shot before taking one with him holding a stick. After that picture, each lined up for an action shot, which consisted of skating towards her while shooting a puck. During all of this, Harper offered up commentary.
“For the love of God, El, that dude is hot!” Elli rolled her eyes, taking the shots she needed.
“No, really. Like, please, can I hit on one of them? Just one?”
“You’re no fun.”
Elli laughed it off. She was starting to get into her groove, just as the captain and the alternate captains came off the bench.
“Oh, to hell with what you say. Number two is mine, after this!” Elli gave her a pointed look as Jakob Titov, the Assassins’ leading scoring forward, skated in front of the goal. Jakob was extremely good looking, with hard lines to his face, bright green eyes, and dark brown hair. He was a looker, but not Elli’s type.
He reminded her too much of her ex-boyfriend.
“Hush, Harper!” Elli said as she took the shots she needed. What she didn’t need was Jakob making eyes at her assistant, which he did. And, of course, Harper returned them. She didn’t know why it bothered her so much that Harper always flirted with the clients. It didn’t matter how old they were or what they looked like, or even if they were the groom. She always found something in them that she liked. It was probably the fact that they all had a penis.
Elli loved Harper, but Harper was a little promiscuous and didn’t care who knew. Guys had no worth to her unless they were naked and inside her, as she always said. Elli always wondered what made Harper that way. It made no sense. There had never been a guy who had done Harper wrong in the twenty two years they had been friends. Her parents were good people. So Elli really didn’t understand where it came from. And, of course, guys liked Harper. She was wild, beautiful, skinny, and amazing.