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Playoff Pot Luck (IC)

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Sunday, January 20th, 2013


Kyle stood on the curb just outside his apartment building, a pair of paper shopping bags at his feet. The light breeze caught his duster's hem, pulling it off to the side as he checked the time on his phone. Since he had it in his hand, he dialed his friend Mack's phone number. Two rings later his former teammate picked up, "Hey man. Just waiting on my ride. Yes I have the drinks. And the salads the girls asked be added to the menu." Spotting a red BMW SUV slowing down he added, "Okay, see ya in about twenty."

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Megan was in a good mood as she made her way towards Kyle's apartment. Last night the two had dinner at a great Chinese restaurant recommend by one of Kyle's friends and then gone to the Blues Brothers musical. And then there had been the rather long kiss goodnight after the taxi had dropped them off at her apartment in the Wading Way.

Spotting Kyle standing along the Megan slowed down and pulled her BMW SUV up alongside, rolling down the window as she did. "Hey, hope you haven't been waiting too long." She said with a warm smile. The attractive young blonde was dressed in a pair of dark blue jeans and a red cashmere sweater. In the backseat she had a couple of bags from a bakery in Kingston, filled with some deserts, including some that were low-fat variety.

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Smiling, Kyle picked up the paper bags. "Not terribly long. Besides, with a nice heavy coat you can barely notice the chill." He moved around to the back, placing his bags next to Megan's bakery bags filled with boxes of diabetically delicious goodies.

Climbing into the passenger seat, he unbuttoned his coat to allow the heater to hit his chest easier. The heavy leather slide across a black dress shirt that worked well with the black sneakers and blue jeans he was wearing. After a brief look around the interior he deadpanned, "It's moments like this I regret not getting a driver's license. This car is probably bigger than my first apartment."

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Megan's smiled widened slightly at Kyle's comment about regretting not having a driver's license and the size of the SUV. "Well, it is never too late to get one." She stated. Once Kyle had his seat belt on, the blonde pulled the vehicle back into traffic to continue on towards their final destination.

"I had considered getting something smaller and sportier," Megan continued, "but all this space has come in handy a number of times. In high school I was often driving around a number of the other girls on the cheerleading squad, and since starting college, it has allowed me to more easily make the trek back and forth between here and New Haven."

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Massaging his knee, he shrugged, "Maybe. Though most of my assignments are in town, which has possibly the best public transportation in the country, or I'm sent covering things like sporting events or conventions, which generally means two cab rides or a shuttle bus. Besides, if I bought a car, I'd have nowhere to park it. I rent my off-street parking spot to a neighbor's kid."

"So, vehicular commentary aside, you're looking as lovely as ever," he said with a grin.

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Megan listened while Kyle explained why he really did not need a car, giving a little chuckle as he mentioned renting out the empty parking spot that he got with his apartment. "Very good business sense there." She replied with a small smile. "Finding a way to generate cash flow with an asset that would otherwise go unused."

"Thank you." She then replied to his compliment. "And you are looking ruggedly handsome, as usual."

She paused a brief moment, then continued. "So, anything in particular I should know before I meet these friends of yours?"

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Taking his hands from his knee he rubbed his chin and the bit of stubble that had grown overnight he smirked, "Well, I was going for the scruffy nerf-herder look. Sorry, been on a Star Wars kick after picking up one of the expanded universe books at that convention the other day."

"Not really, though unless you have a gamer streak you've neglected to mention, try and avoid the subject of video games with Nick. He was the computer nerd of our circle of friends and that interest has taken him far. Or it will if the company he's trying to launch ever releases their game."

After a pause he added, "Also, If you mention having been a cheerleader at North Bay Academy, don't be surprised if Mack or Adam ask if you still have the uniform somewhere. I know it's something I've been wondering myself." His last words were delivered in a flirtatious tone and with a sly grin.

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Megan smiled slightly as Kyle talked about getting a Star Wars book at the convention he had covered earlier in the week. They had talked about what had happened during the convention last night during dinner, as well as her own experience with being almost caught in the crossfire of some gang war in the Fens the following day (or at least that was the story she had been telling people), so she did not bring it up again.

She then listened as he talked a bit about some of his friends. When he mentioned wondering about if she still had her old cheerleading uniform, Megan glanced over, arching one eyebrow slightly. "Have you now?" She asked with clearly feigned shock.

"Oh, I believe it is around somewhere." She stated as her expression returned to normal and she focused back on the road. "And I am positive it still fits." She added with a mischievous grin that Kyle was likely able to see.

It was right about then that they reached the house his friend Mack was renting and Megan found a place along the curb to park.

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"What can I say, there's something about cute women in those uniforms every guy responds to," he said with a flirtatious smirk, "Besides, in all honesty, North Bay Academy's were considerably nicer looking than my high school school's."

After Megan parked her SUV neatly along the curb, Kyle buttoned his coat back up and slipped out to grab all of the bags from the rear. Carrying the collection of salads, sodas, booze, and baked goods to the door he nodded slightly, "Would you be so kind as to ring the bell? I'm afraid if I move the bags too much the bottles of Jack and Captain Morgan will rip trough."

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Megan smiled slightly as Kyle came back with a rather tactful response to her comments about her old uniform. "They were nicer, weren't they?" She stated in regard to the comparison of their two schools' cheerleading uniforms.

With Kyle taking all the bags from the back of the SUV, Megan simply walked alongside him as they made their way to the door. She chuckled slightly as he asked her to get the doorbell. "I suppose I can, since you were such a gentleman and carried all those bags."

Ringing the doorbell, she looked back over to Kyle as she waited for their host to answer. "Are you sure I can't help you with some of those?"

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"No thanks, I'm good. I just regret that I forgot to grab my grocery carabiner. If the bags aren't over loaded, I can carry about fifty pounds of groceries with one hand."

After a minute or so, the door opened to reveal Mack wearing a pair of blue jeans and a Baltimore Ravens jersey. Smiling he said, "Hey guys, come on in." He gave Megan a quick once over as they passed him for the kitchen before saying quietly, "I can see why you won't shut up about her man. You lucky jerk."

Giving his former teammate a wink the reporter moved into the kitchen and started putting away the game-time goodies. "So, when can we expect Adam, Nick and their dates to arrive?"

"Nick's stopping by the store for some extra pizza fixings, Adam and the ladies are checking out the home theater I just finished putting in downstairs. Want to check it out? Only thing it's missing from the full experience is some jerk in the seat in front of you texting."

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"Hmm, nice and strong. I will have to remember than next time I want to go clothes shopping" Megan teased with a little smile when Kyle mentioned lifting groceries as she reached up to give one of his biceps a small squeeze.

When the door opened, Megan gave Mack a warm smile. "Thank you, very nice to meet you Mack." She said as she made her way in, starting back towards the kitchen after Kyle indicated the way.

Once inside, she helped Kyle with putting away the food and drinks they had brought as she listened to him and Mack. Smiling slightly as their host described his new home theater system, she glanced a Kyle a moment before replying. "Sounds like the perfect system to watch the games on."

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With Megan's hand on his arm, the older of the pair suddenly wished he did not have all that pesky leather and cloth between their flesh. Easy Kyle, don't let your instincts run things, he admonished himself, taking a slow breath. Plastering a sly smile across his face he replied, "That must be a lot of clothes. But I think I can be persuaded into being a Sherpa."

Mack nodded, "Yep, I went all out on the place. Leather recliners and loveseats, snack vending machine, even a popcorn machine. And then there's the ninety inch LCD screen. The back wall has space for the food and drinks to be spread out and I've got some TV trays so we're not holding grease covered goodness in our laps."

"The man thinks of everything," Kyle replied, "And now we know where the paychecks from those couple seasons with the Ravens are going huh?"

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"That must be a lot of clothes. But I think I can be persuaded into being a Sherpa."

"And shoes as well." Megan stated with a grin. She was about to suggest that playing Sherpa had its benefits, but stopped herself. Let’s not get too carried away with the flirting. She thought to herself.

Mack nodded, "Yep, I went all out on the place. Leather recliners and loveseats, snack vending machine, even a popcorn machine. And then there's the ninety inch LCD screen. The back wall has space for the food and drinks to be spread out and I've got some TV trays so we're not holding grease covered goodness in our laps."

"The man thinks of everything," Kyle replied, "And now we know where the paychecks from those couple seasons with the Ravens are going huh?"

Listening to Mack talk about his entertainment system and Kyle mentioning his playing for the Ravens some, the young blonde had to fight her instinct to start talking about investmenting that was now part of her daily routine at Summit. Instead, she smiled widely, as she started, "Well, we definitely have to see it then. Besides, I need to meet the others. And speaking of playing pro, you two will need to be sure to point out any of your former teammates for me, just so I know who I should be rooting extra hard for to have a good games."

As the three started towards the basement, Megan looked back over to Mack. "You played at North Bay Academy right?" She asked, though she knew the answer. "You might remember my sister, Samantha. She was study body president during the two of yours Senior year. And my brother, Jason, would have been two years behind you."

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Mack's left eyebrow quirked, "Hold on a second, you're Sam Howell's little sister? Do me a favor, tell her thanks again for all that tutoring back in our freshman and sophomore years. She, in a sense, is responsible for my career. ...She isn't seeing anyone is she?"

Kyle let his face into his palm, "You just don't have an off switch for trying to secure a date, do you?"

"Nope," the former quarterback smirked, leading his guests down the stairs and through a door to a large, windowless room. The walls were covered in curtains similar to an actual theater's. The black leather furniture looked comfortable and inviting, while in the back corner a vending machine stood next to a popcorn cart.

Looking around, Kyle noticed three shapes in the dim light laying back in their seats. Without looking, the single male form raised a hand, "Hey. Mack, I was just looking over your game collection. You are aware there's more to gaming than Call of Duty and Madden right?"

To Megan he whispered, "Better grab a seat, they do this pretty much every time he comes over."

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Megan gave a small smile. "I will be sure to thank her for you next time we talk. I am sure she will be happy to hear how the tutoring helped." The blonde's smile broadened slightly at the banter between Kyle and Mack regarding his question of whether her older sister was seeing anyone.

"I don't think she is seeing anyone at the moment." Megan replied. "But then she is pretty busy with her family medicine residency through the University of Washington in Seattle."

As they reached the basement room, Megan looked around the dim room at the home theater set up. "Wow, very impressive." She commented, before one of Kyle's other friends called out to their host about his limited selection in video games.

Megan smiled slightly at Kyle's comment, moving over with him towards one of the empty seats that would be large enough for the two of them. Taking a seat, she glanced over at the other two women present, giving them a warm smile. "Hi, I'm Megan."

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Mack gave a small, wistful smile, "Wish I'd known a few months back when I was out there covering a Seahawks game." At Nick's comment on his collection the two started a conversation that from their tones had been an oft held one between the two.

As Megan approached the other women, their own conversation paused. The one sharing the love seat with Nick, a woman with olive skin and jet black hair dressed in a pair of black jeans and San Francisco jersey, eyed her before nodding. Her companion, a white woman wearing a black skirt and dark blue sweater started the introductions. "Hey, I'm Amanda and this is Yasuko. So, you're the mystery woman Mack said Kyle was coming with?"

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As Kyle had predicted, Nick and Mack began to continue their longstanding conversation regarding video games and what truly constituted a proper video game collection. Megan instead focused talking with Amanda and Yasuko.

Megan's smiled widened slightly at being termed the "mystery woman." "Yes, that would be me. It's very nice to meet both of you." She replied in a good natured tone. "To tell the truth, I believe both of you were at the Millennium when Kyle and I met. It was a couple of weeks ago when Adam got his headline in the sports section and a front page blurb. I had just finished my first week at my internship and was there with some of my co-workers."

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As Megan, Amanda and Yasuko settled in to a comfortable conversation on night clubs, college, and their jobs, Kyle retreated back upstairs to the kitchen to grab Megan and himself a soda. He thought about mixing some Jack Daniels in but thought better of it, figuring that waiting until the games began before partaking was a good idea.

Half an hour later, Adam had returned and, after finishing the cooking of the pizza and wings, joined the group downstairs. Grabbing a seat with Amanda he asked, "So, do we have any pre-game bets? I've got twenty riding on Leon with the Pats."

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Having pretty much always been an outgoing person, it was not at all difficult for Megan to quickly get her conversation with Amanda and Yasuko, even if Yasuko appeared a little bit quite at first. When Kyle returned, the young blonde gave him a warm smile as he handed her a drink. She then returned to talking with the other women about some of the nightclubs she had visited in London while she had been studying at Cambridge last year.

When Adam arrived as the game was about to start, Megan simply sat back in the couch next to Kyle. "I think I'll pass. I am afraid I have not tried to follow either team very closely this year, so any bet I made would just be a wild guess."

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