Set me free, leave me be
I don't want to fall another moment into your gravity
Here I am, and I stand
So tall, just the way I'm supposed to be
But you're on to me and all over me
It was summer. Connor’s bags were all packed. Biosteel camp was just around the corner. He couldn’t wait to get away from Edmonton - away from everything. The end of the season had been a right mess. The Oilers had missed the playoffs, again, and it was hard on all of them. Especially with all the trade rumors going around. Then there was also the mess with Ryan…
Connor’s thoughts were interrupted by the taxi honking outside. He straightened up, took his bags, and walked out the door. Taylor wasn’t home, so there was no one to say goodbye to. He didn’t look back.
When Connor looked out the airplane window two hours later he finally allowed himself to think about all the things that had gone wrong. It all started with Connor’s stupid crush. He had never expected to become so attached to Ryan, and soon their friendship had blossomed into something more - at least for Connor. There was only one problem; Ryan already had a girlfriend. Kelly was blonde, smart and had curves in all the right places. Connor understood why Ryan was in love with her, but it didn’t make it hurt any less. For a while Connor had been able to pretend, to hide his feelings, but when he came back from his injury it became too much. After many long nights of facetiming Dylan and getting some much-needed pep-talks, he finally confessed. Ryan had looked surprised.
“Are you sure, Davo?” He had asked, and Connor had nodded.
“Yeah, I’m sure.”
“You know…” Ryan had sighed, “You know I can’t… I’m in love with Kelly. Connor, I’m…”
“I get it.” Connor had shrugged, blushing in embarrassment.
“Maybe we should just… pretend this didn’t happen?” Ryan offered.
Connor had nodded again, putting on a brave face when all he really wanted was to cry.
“What’s up boys?!” Taylor suddenly interrupted, and Connor had never been more grateful for his lack of manners.
“Nothing.” Ryan quickly replied. The word hurt like a knife to Connor’s chest.
After that things were awkward. They didn’t talk about it, didn’t talk much at all. Ryan spent all his time with Kelly, or at least that’s what Connor assumed. Then, at the end of the season, Ryan showed up at Connor’s door, eyes red from crying.
“Davo.” He said, with a broken voice, “It’s over.”
“What?” Connor gasped.
“Me and Kelly broke up.” Ryan sobbed.Connor didn’t know what to think. He had dreamt of this moment so many times, and just as he started to get over Ryan, it happened. He didn’t have time to react properly before Ryan stepped closer, their lips mere inches apart.
“Connor…” Ryan began, but Connor pushed him away.
“Nuge, I can’t.” He whimpered, “I can’t be just your rebound. I… I need to think.”
“But, Davo… What about the things you said? I thought…”
Connor’s expression grew cold.
“Maybe we should just… pretend this didn’t happen?”
The first time Connor met Tyler Seguin he felt something he hadn’t felt since he met Ryan. But this time he decided not to read too much into it. He was going to enjoy Biosteel camp to the fullest. Besides, Tyler didn’t leave much room for Connor to over-think things. When they weren’t training Tyler, and the other guys, kept him busy with wild nights of clubbing. At first, Connor was hesitant.
“Come on, Davo!” Tyler grinned mischievously, “That’s what they call you, right, Davo? I like it.” Connor felt something tingle in his chest at the way Tyler threw an arm around his shoulders. When Tyler pulled him along by the hand Connor found it extremely difficult to say no.
Dylan threw him weird looks now and then, but Connor didn’t care. Tyler was fun to be around, a lot more fun than sitting around thinking about his own fucked up life. The days went by fast. They all trained hard, and left the ice soaking with sweat. Connor caught himself staring as Tyler stripped in the locker room more than once. It wasn’t Connor’s fault Tyler was such a show-off. Sometimes when Connor came out of the shower he swore he saw Tyler looking at him, too. But maybe that was just wishful thinking.
One day, as they were leaving practice, Connor’s phone rang. He caught the name on the display and froze. It was Ryan. Connor was just about to answer when he felt someone come up behind him, putting their arm around his shoulder.
“Hey, Davo, you coming?” He asked, looking down at Connor’s phone. He snorted. “No need to think about Edmonton when you’re here,” He flashed a cocky smile, “With me.” He added, and Connor blushed. He put his phone on silent, forcing any thought of home, and Ryan, out of his mind.
It was the last night of the camp and the guys had all decided to go out clubbing. Connor didn’t have much experience going out, and had spent the afternoon wondering what to wear. Dylan had sat on the edge of his bed, rolling his eyes constantly.
“Why do you even bother?” He asked, only for Tyler to barge into the room with a knowing smirk.
“Easy for you to say, when you’ve got a boy back home… That Marner kid, right?” He winked, towards a flustered Dylan. He then proceeded to let his eyes wander over Connor’s half-dressed body. “Wear something tight.” He purred.
The music pounded in Connor’s ears. The club was packed with people, and maybe Connor had had one drink too many. Dylan was laughing at some lame joke, and Connor laughed with him. He looked around, and suddenly realised that Tyler was gone. Connor’s eyes swept across the room, finally spotting the older man.
Tyler was on the dance floor, one girl on each arm. His shirt was missing its top three buttons, and his chest was glistening in the dim light. The way his hips were moving was absolutely sinful. Connor felt his mouth go dry, and his already tight pants grow tighter. He had never seen someone look so at home in a club before. Ryan never really liked clubbing. He would always make excuses to stay at a table, nursing a beer, while the rest of the team was dancing. The very thought of Ryan made a lump form in Connor’s throat. Before he could think any further, however, he was interrupted by the feeling of someone watching him.
Connor looked up to meet Tyler’s dark eyes. They were challenging him. Before Connor knew it he was on the dance floor, replacing one of the girls at Tyler’s side. Soon, Tyler’s hips were grinding against his. Connor felt light-headed, so he grabbed onto the closest thing he could find for balance, which turned out to be Tyler’s thigh. The glint in Tyler’s eye told him not to let go.
“You’re doing great, babe.” Tyler half-shouted into Connor’s ear. The endearment made Connor blush.The song changed into a much slower one, and it brought them closer. So close Connor could hear Tyler’s voice clearly when he asked;
“Have you ever considered coming to Dallas?”
“What do you mean?” Connor gasped.
“I’d love to play with you, Davo…” Tyler paused with a smile, “Babe.”
Connor didn’t know what to say, so instead he put his head on Tyler’s shoulder as they swayed with the music. They kept dancing all night, stopping for a few more drinks, even ignoring when Dylan, and some of the guys, left early. For the first time in a while, Connor didn’t think of Ryan at all.