Tuesday, January 26, 2010

New Story

Hey there folks just thought I'd let you know I've posted a new story here:


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Chapter 39

It was hard to watch but Sidney could hardly take his eyes off of the Cup as Jonathan Toews lifted it over his head and spun to face his teammates. He even winced when the young forward pressed his lips to the cup, hoping it wasn’t his name that the kid was kissing.

It could be worse, he thought. It could have been Ovie. At least the Hawks had taken care of that particular foe.

“Maybe next year,” Max said simply, reading his mind as he so often did. Sidney shrugged and took another sip of his beer, remaining silent. It was hard enough to watch, he didn’t think he could talk about it too. “Face it Cap, we’re lucky to have gotten as far as we did this year,” Max added, to which Sidney could only shrug in reply. That was a sentiment upon which the two men differed. It had been in them to repeat, Sidney had felt sure about that at the beginning of the year, if everyone had put their best into it. That hadn’t happened.

Not that he blamed Max. Max was one of those guys who did give it their best every night, even if his best this season hadn’t been as good as it had been last season. There were other players that he could and had laid the blame directly on. Players like Geno.

“Okay enough of that. Turn that shit off,” Jordan grabbed the remote from the arm of Sid’s chair and turned the television off. “We’ve got places to go, people to see, Jello shots to shoot,” he added with one of those patented Staal grins that could only mean one thing – trouble.

“What have you done?” Sidney turned to see Max smiling back at him wearing that lopsided – c’mon buddy, don’t you trust me? - look on his face. “What are you two up to?”

“And why would you think it was just those two?” Sidney spun to see two of his other best friends appear through the doorway and was torn. Part of him was happy to see them and part of him knew that because they were there at that moment, nothing good could come of it.

“Bergy...Army...what the hell is going on?”

“Oh c’mon, it’s the night before the big event. You didn’t honestly think we’d let you get tied down without giving you one last kick at being a swinging single guy did you?” Army asked, that big shit eating grin that everyone loved so much on his face. Sidney shook his head. Visions of Colby’s own out of control bachelor party still caused him to wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat.

“No, no, no,” he put his hands up in self defense but there were more of them and despite his own strength, they were already dragging him out of his chair and towards the door. He felt the cold steel of handcuffs settling on his wrists and began to squirm in earnest.

“Ne tu inquiétes pas,” Max laughed, slapping Sid’s back. “We’ll take good care of you.”

“That’s what I’m afraid of,” Sidney groaned as they dragged him, kicking all the way to the van waiting outside in the drive way.

“We’ll get you to the church on time, promise,” Flower added as he jumped into the back behind where Jordy and Max had flung Sidney, head first.

“We’re not getting married in a church,” Sidney groaned, apprehension sitting in the pit of his stomach like a lead weight.

“Don’t worry Creature,” Max grinned, looking a little too happy, “I’m the best man remember? I can’t promise what shape you’ll be in, but we’ll get you there on time.”


“Another tat?” Tish laughed as Mya looked up in the mirror to see who had come through the door. “You’re gonna look like that Kat Von D chick pretty soon.”
“Three tats. Three small tats,” Mya corrected her, “I don’t think so.”

“Do you even know if Sid likes these tats of yours?” Vero asked as she perused one of the art books that sat at the front desk. Mya grinned to herself but bit down on the inside of her cheek to stop herself from laughing.

“Yeah he does and that’s all I’m saying,” she mumbled, closing her eyes again as tried to find her happy place so she could shut out the pain. She concentrated on the buzzing of the gun and tried to shut out the chatter of her friends. The new tat was a sort of gift, to Sidney as well as to herself. Some might think it bad luck or even that it was tempting fate but Mya was throwing caution to the wind and having his number engraved in her skin on the nape of her neck. It wasn’t his number, not exactly, or at least not as it appeared on his jersey. It was highly stylized with two intertwined hearts making up the eight and a hockey stick standing in for the seven.

“And if Max does his job tonight,” Marti added from the seat next to the one that Mya was hugging where another gun was buzzing away “Sid will have his own ink by morning.”

“Sidney? Our little Sidney getting inked? No way,” Tish whooped, dropping the book she was paging through, which caused the artist to dig painfully into Mya’s neck. Gritting her teeth Mya shot Jordy’s wife a dark look and readjusted her position, once more closing her eyes.

“Maybe next time someone says something about a soother he can flash his ink and ask Ovie to man the fuck up,” Mya added, which caused everyone to laugh, including the woman holding the gun, though she was re-inking and wiping down at the time.

“Okay, okay girls, calm the fuck down or I’ll be giving her Kane’s number and I’m betting that won’t go over well.”

“Yeah, shut the fuck up so we can get this over with and then start drinking,” Marti added.

“What do you mean start?” Mya asked, grinning as she lifted a bottle of JD to her lips, taking a long swig before the gun began buzzing again.

Mya stared at the reflection in the mirror and didn’t recognize the woman staring back at her. The woman in the mirror seemed taller, longer and leaner. She looked like a model in Vogue. The heavy silver satin halter dress draped close to her figure, leaving her back bare, showing both of her tattoos, pooled around her feet and trailed at least three feet behind her.

“Honey, I don’t think you need the veil,” Tish sighed, from where she stood behind her, staring at the same reflection that Mya couldn’t take her eyes off of. “I mean...damn woman, if you get through your vows before that boy pops a chubbie....”
“Gee thanks for that image,” Mya cracked a smile as she shook her head at her friend.

“Well if it stops you from blubbering like an idiot,” Tish grinned back at her before handing her a glass of something pink and bubbly, “then I’ve done my job.”

“I might still blubber,” Mya decided as she sipped at the sweet champagne. “Especially if Troy keeps looking at me like he wants to rip my head off and shit down my throat.”

“Well you have the wedding license already, you’ve signed the damn pre-nup, what the fuck else does that loser want?” Marti asked, tugging at the rouched bodice of her matching black satin tie neck halter dress.

“Well at least I know that Max will be too busy drooling to cause trouble,” Mya sighed, shaking her head as she watched Max’s girlfriend struggle to keep her ample cleavage from spilling over. “As for my soon to be father in law, I’m not sure anything is ever going to please that man, aside from a grandson guaranteed to be an even better goaltender than Patrick Roy,” Mya added with just a hint of a smile.

“So are you next on the list? Will you be elbowing all the other girls out of the way when it comes to tossing the bouquet?” Tish asked, producing a roll of double sided tape from her purse and handing it to Marti. The room fell silent and Mya found that she wasn’t the only one staring at Vero who was now standing silently staring at the toes of her perfectly pointed stilettos. “Sorry Ver, you know I didn’t mean it,” Tish hissed, reaching for Vero who pushed her hand away. “We all just forget you’re not already married,” Tish added, wrapping her arms around the tall, thin dark haired girl.

“She’s right,” Mya added her own arms and soon they were all hugging Flower’s steady home town girl. “You two are so perfect together. We all think of you as the old married couple.”

“He’s the sweetest,” Tish added, glancing hopefully across at Mya who could only shrug in response. No one wanted a tearful bridesmaid but short of going out and strong-arming Marc Andre into doing the right thing by the cheerful but shy small town girl, there was little any of them could do to make this any easier on her.

“She’s right,” Mya agreed, lifting Veronique’s chin and grinning at her, hoping the grin would be infectious. “He’s the catch. Marc would never cheat on you and at least there aren’t whores all over the country begging him to marry them. You don’t have to put up with that, or a bunch of half retarded brothers,” Mya added, raising her eyebrows and glancing hopefully at Tish who laughed out loud.

“Christ yes. Has MAF ever shot you in the ass with a paintball? I didn’t fucking think so,” Jordy’s wife moaned, shaking her head. “And he’s a nice enough kid but you know, it could be worse, you could be dating TK,” Tish tried which did win a smile from the dark haired Quebecoise.

“And he’s not all furry,” Marti added with an absolutely straight face, which made them all laugh.

“But you like that Max is furry,” Vero sniffed, wiping at her tears as they all laughed.

“I like Max,” Marti corrected her. “The back hair...I could do without,” she admitted as she picked up her purse and pulled out a cold wax strip kit, “and when he’s good and drunk later...ziiipp!”

“Okay, I just want it on record, any screaming later is not necessarily me,” Mya laughed, choking on her champagne before she raised her glass to all of the women. “To the WAGs.”

“To the WAGs,” they all chimed in, raising their glasses together and clinking them hard enough to cause the bubbly to spill over.


“She’s not coming,” Sidney mumbled under his breath as he stared at the house, willing the doors from the kitchen to open.

“I haven’t heard any squealing tires,” Max whispered back, looking a little too pleased and a little too awake which still pissed Sidney off. He’d barely managed to shower and shave and get into his suit in time. There hadn’t been any golf game or fishing or even a street hockey game to calm his nerves.

“Then why hasn’t she come out yet?” Sidney hissed, checking his watch for what seemed like the hundredth time.

“Because she’s making you sweat,” Jordy shrugged nonchalantly. “It’s what they do. Something about women’s prerogative or some shit like that,” he added, fussing with his tie as if it was choking him. Sidney had a brief thought about choking the smug look off of the tall blonde’s face. After all, he had been the one toss him into the van sometime in the early hours of this morning, right on a certain very new, very tender, spot on his body and he hadn’t managed to quite forgive any of them for that yet.

“If you’re in that much of a hurry I’m sure we can go out to the driveway and find some willing girl to take her place,” Max offered, nudging him and giving him a wink which only made Sidney scowl. “Then chill Cap. When she’s ready she’ll....” Max’s voice slid away as the first notes of ‘You Picked Me’ by a Fine Frenzy filled the air. Sidney turned to see Max and Flower’s girlfriends appear through the doorway in their black dresses and though it wasn’t quite the sight he had been waiting for, his breath caught in his throat all the same.

He brushed his hands down along the thighs of his tuxedo pants and whetted his lips. Any minute now, he told himself as Tish appeared in a red satin dress that matched the style of the other bridesmaid’s dresses. He heard Jordy clear his throat and his heart beat doubled.

So softly
Rain against the windows
And the strong coffee
Warming up my fingers
In this fisherman's house
You got me
Searched the sand
And climbed the tree
And brought me back down

And all I can say
Is you blow me away

And she did, she blew him away.

Sidney watched, struck dumb as Mya carefully navigated the stairs down to the dock. The light was just right, the last golden light of sunset was disappearing behind the trees around the lake and the first lilac hues of twilight made her silver gown shimmer.

The lake was dead calm around them, turning from green to black in the changing light. The tiki torches around them that a moment ago had seemed only to be annoying and smoky were now softly flickering in the half light, turning her pale skin to gold as she walked towards him. His heart beat in time with every step she took and he was sure everyone could hear it, despite the music, despite the soft whispers of those around them which he could only just hear but didn’t matter, because no one and nothing else mattered, no one but Mya.

Like a shell upon a beach
Just another pretty piece
I was difficult to see
But you picked me
Yeah you picked me

She mouthed the words to him as she took the final steps that brought her to him and Sidney felt the small hairs on the back of his neck stand up on end as she turned to hand her bouquet of roses to Tish before she placed her smaller hands in his.

“You’re so beautiful tonight,” he whispered as he undid the tie around her neck, letting the satin loops fall onto her bare shoulders, following their soft caress with one of his own. He pressed his lips to her fragrant skin as he reached for the zipper on the back of her dress. He slid it down, slowly, carefully, the back of his hand brushing her spine. He watched with a mixture of fascination and pleasure as goose-bumps rose where he touched and his lips curled into a smile when she let out a contented sigh.

“Do you like it?” she asked reaching up to sweep her hair up and away from her neck. He’d let it down while they were dancing. He liked it down, preferred it curling around her shoulders in soft waves that he could run his fingers through. He brushed the new tattoo with his fingertips, mindful of the rawness of the new wound.

“I do,” he whispered, not for the first time this night. He pressed his lips above the top heart and below the bottom, upside down heart that made up the eight before carefully and lightly tracing the exaggerated hockey stick that made up the seven of his jersey number. It was exceptionally good work, very detailed, down to the Reebok logo and twined hockey tape just that perfectly mimicked the way he taped his stick.

“I know there are other girls…women with your number on them but…,” he kissed the twined hearts gently and chuckled. There would always be other women, girls with their signs and other tats, but there would only ever be Mya for him.

“Mine,” he whispered, digging his teeth into the curve of neck. “This says you’re mine,” he added, brushing his lips once more over the tattoo, making her shiver, maybe with pain but with need too.

“Yes, that too,” she replied, turning around to face him, one hand holding her dress modestly over her chest, the other hand turned so that the thin gold band on her ring finger caught the flickering light of the candles that surrounded the bed.“This,” she whispered, as he caught her hand in his and brought his lips down to the back of her hand. “This says I belong to you.” He smiled, thinking of the tiny black letters that were now hidden beneath the gold band and how his breath had caught in his throat when he’d seen them. S. P. C. Three little letters etched forever onto her ring finger that told him that she was his and his alone, forever.

“Mine,” he whispered back, turning her hand over and pressing his lips into her palm and then her wrist and the bend of her elbow. “Mine,” he repeated as her dress slipped from her grasp and pooled around her feet. Cupping her breasts in his hands, he lowered his head to suckle at her nipple while she raked her fingers through his hair.

She tasted of honey, sweet and warm he thought as he swept her up into his arms and carried her to the bed. Her skin glowed golden like honey as he laid her in the circle of flickering candle light.

She lay there, bare to his greedy gaze, relaxed and smiling and Sidney thought that he could never remember feeling this happy. Winning the Cup had been...amazing but bitter sweet and it hadn’t just been losing Randi that had made him feel that way. The Cup was a fickle mistress. His one day, some other man’s the next.
Mya was his and his alone, for now and forever.

“I love you,” she whispered, holding her hand up to him, beckoning him to join her in the soft warmth of their bed.

“More than words,” he added, tugging his tie loose and unbuttoning his shirt before wrapping her soft smooth body around his.

“Speaking of words,” she giggled, grabbing a hold of his belt and deftly undoing it with a quick flick of her wrist and a hard pull. “Let’s see.”

“Wait, wait,” he inched away from her, but she was too quick, her legs wrapped around his waist and in the next breath she had him pinned and Sidney was grateful for the thick down duvet beneath them. “You have to promise not to laugh.”

“Laugh? Why? What did Max do now?” she asked, grabbing the waist of his pants and dragging them down, as he rolled onto his stomach to better display the painful handiwork on his left butt cheek. He heard her make a sound that was somewhere between a hum and a muffled laugh and closed his eyes, inwardly wincing.

“Okay, I’m a pussy. Go ahead and say it. I’m sorry, I couldn’t take it.”

“I have a short name babe,” she chuckled, tracing the single letter that still made him drag a ragged breath through his teeth as her fingernail traced its’ edges.

“I don’t have a high pain threshold okay?” Sidney grumbled, thinking of all the ink Max already had and how Jordy had been able to joke around and hadn’t even seemed to notice the needles digging into his lily white skin while he had had to stuff his own t-shirt in his mouth to stop from crying like a baby.

“Well I guess it’s a start,” Mya giggled before bringing the flat of her hand down against his ass, causing him to let out a yelp he was sure that the entire house could probably hear. Once he’d regained his senses and stopped seeing stars, he grabbed her by both arms and rolled her beneath him, pinning her to the bed.

“I’ll tell you what’s a start, Mrs. Crosby,” he grinned down at her, holding her beneath him even as she wriggled to get free. “I’m going to start as I mean to go on, and I mean to make love to you every night that I can,” he added, leaning forward to press his lips over hers’, long and hard. He felt her relax beneath him and he eased himself down over her.

“Well you’ll have to do that while you can,” she whispered back, nipping at his earlobe as he kissed his way down her neck. “Because I mean to get pregnant and start having your babies as soon as possible,” she added, her hand sliding down between them and guiding him inside of her slick, hot entrance.

“Yeah?” he pushed himself up on his elbows and stared down at her, his heart fluttering nervously in his chest. She smiled up at him, candlelight turning her eyes a deep emerald green.

“The doctor says we can start trying again...if you want to,” she added, glancing away from him, suddenly the truly blushing bride.

“Yes I want to,” he groaned, wrapping her up in his arms and kissing her thoroughly. He hadn’t been sure before but he’d decided that had just been cold feet. Once he’d decided he wanted her, he’d decided that he wanted it all; her, a family, a home and a life – together and as he said it now he knew without a shadow of a doubt that he meant it, from the bottom of his heart. “I want us to have it all My, the house, the kids, the fucking picket fence, the dog...everything. I want all of that with you...if that’s what you want,” he added, searching her gaze for one long moment before she grinned up at him and started to laugh.

“I carved your number on the back of my neck. I put your damn initials on my ring finger. Yeah I fucking want it Sidney Patrick Crosby. Of course I do. I love you,” she laughed, pulling his lips down to hers’ and wrapping her legs around his to bring him deeper inside of her.

“Then let’s make a baby,” he whispered against her lips, cupping her face in his hands as he moved inside of her, feeling her muscles clenching around him and at that moment a cool breeze blew in from off of the lake and made all the candles flicker and pause at once and Sidney held his breath, waiting for the candles to go out, but they didn’t and for just a moment he thought he could see a figure standing near the window framed in the moonlight, a beautiful girl with green eyes smiling back at him and he smiled at her and knew that everything really was going to be alright.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Chapter 38

“So how long have you two been back together now?” Tish asked as she reached over to steal a chip out of Mya’s nachos, which she’d ordered without that foul smelling street paint they tried to sell as cheese as the concession stand. Mya preferred to sit in the stands with the real fans rather than up in the box with the rest of the WAGs and Tish never complained so she assumed that she did too.

“I dunno, a month,” Mya replied chewing thoughtfully on a warm chip as she watched Sidney glide to a stop at center ice and hunch over with his stick pressed to his knees, ready to rush the net with the rest of his teammates, which was usually the last thing they did during warm up.

“So how are things?” Tish asked, reaching over to take another chip. Mya slapped her hand away without looking.

“You said you didn’t want anything when I went,” she reminded her friend, moving the chips over to her other hand and further away from Tish’s reach. Not that that would stop her if she was determined, Mya knew, but it was worth a shot. “And things are fine. Good. We’re talking about finding a place together after the season.” Tish nodded but made one of those sounds that made Mya stop chewing and turn to look at her friend who was still staring straight ahead but there was something in the way her lips were pursed that made Mya certain that she wasn’t exactly concentrating on the game. “What?”

“Hmm?” Tish glanced over and then wrinkled her nose when she saw the chips had been moved out of her reach. “Oh, nothing,” she added as she turned her attention back to the game.

“Right,” Mya sighed, rolling her eyes as she offered the chips to Tish and then waited as Tish took a handful with a grin and began chewing noisily. “So...you were going to say?” Mya asked again, ignoring the sounds of pucks hitting the glass in front of them as she waited for the other shoe to drop. If Jordan wanted his wife’s attention, he could just whistle instead of trying to flip a puck up and over the glass.

“Oh...just wondering if you two had talked about the whole engagement thing yet, that’s all,” Tish shrugged, her gaze actually following the play out on the ice, as if she was not at all interested in what Mya’s answer might be. Mya glanced down at her bare hand and slumped down in her seat. The lack of a ring on her finger was actually a sore topic, though she tried not to think about it. He had said that he’d asked her because it’s what he wanted not because she had been pregnant and yet, even though they spent nearly every night together, he’d never brought it up again. She didn’t even know where the ring was or even if he still had it and yet she was determined not to be the one to bring it up. “I’ll take that as a no,” Tish finally continued at the next whistle. Mya only shrugged. “And I’ll take that as a sign that you’re not particularly thrilled about that fact.”

“I’m fine with it,” Mya lied. The last thing she wanted was for it to get back to Sidney through Jordan that she wanted him to give her the ring back. If he was going to put it back on her finger, he was going to do it of his own volition, because he wanted to, not because he felt like he had to. “Honest,” she continued, smiling at Tish who narrowed her eyes as she scanned Mya’s face.

“You were practically married and now you don’t even have the ring and you’re okay with it?” Tish tipped her head to one side and considered Mya for a long moment before shrugging and turning back to the game. “You can talk to me you know. I don’t tell Jordan everything.” This made Mya smile, though she was still had no intention of complaining and whining to anyone so she kept silent and turned her own attention to the ice. With the first round of playoffs under their belts, it was just possible that all of Sidney’s attention was on the ice or the games ahead and any thoughts of rings and weddings were probably pretty far back on his list of priorities and if there was one thing she’d figured out, it was that when it came to Sidney, hockey always came first.


Mya watched with a certain amount of jealousy as Jordan picked his wife up off the ground and planted a kiss on her lips in front of everyone. Even if Sidney managed to finish with the media before his teammates were already dressed and heading out to the parking lot, Mya couldn’t foresee a time when there was ever going to be that kind of public display of affection towards her. The most she could hope for was a wink over the shoulder of the cameraman or, if she was really lucky, a quick and discrete squeeze of her hand as he passed by.

It made her pine for the time when everything had been on the down-low, before other people knew about their relationship. Now, as she stood leaning against the cool concrete trying not to watch the doors to the room, she felt conspicuous and more than a little envious of the other women going in and out of those same doors, especially the ones with their little ones in tow.

That hurt. Mya squeezed her eyes shut and tried to hold back the tears, wondering if it would ever stop hurting.

“Pinch me.”

Blinking, Mya looked down at the hairy forearm thrust in front of her and then up into a pair of sky blue eyes filled with mirth that were watching her intently, waiting for her reaction.

“What? What did you say?” she asked, finding herself suddenly smiling, despite the dark mood she was in.

“I said pinch me, because I must be dreaming,” Shane replied, pushing his arm towards her again. “I mean, how else can I explain the vision of loveliness in front of me?” Mya shook her head and laughed but reached out and grabbed an inch of skin and pinched, hard.

“That’s what she said,” she added, as he winced and pranced around as if he’d just been hacked across his wrists by a two handed slash.

“So,” he sighed, leaning his hand against the wall just behind her head, putting his body into close proximity to hers’, “are you stalking me or what?”

“That’s what she said,” Mya replied, laughing when he made a face and rolled his eyes. “Well? I mean this isn’t exactly your back yard, is it? " she added, wondering exactly when the funk of sweat and musty hockey gear had become one of her favorite smells.

“Well, you could have just suddenly realized that playing hard to get wasn’t working that well for you,” he suggested, raising his eyebrows, his grin growing when she rolled her eyes at him.

“That must be it,” she replied, shaking her head. “It couldn’t possibly be that you have no game.” His free hand rose and he slapped it hard against his chest, as if he’d been shot, his head falling back as he groaned out loud.

“Ouch! You’re killing me. Oh the light...I can see the light....I’m dying,” he groaned, staggering forward as if he was going to fall against her, except he never got the chance.

One minute Shane was leaning precariously close to her and the next his body was slamming against the opposite wall and Sidney had his forearm pressed to the big defenseman’s windpipe. For one brief moment, Mya couldn’t help but smile and think, how cute. Her white knight had ridden to the rescue. But then she had another thought and her smile completely disappeared.

“Let him down,” she sighed, leaning once more against the cool concrete wall. This time she crossed her arms over her chest and waited while her boyfriend took a deep breath before taking a half a step back which was enough to allow Shane to gasp for breath, his usually pale face having turned a dangerous color of crimson. While Shane grabbed at his throat and coughed, trying to catch his breath, Sidney turned, his hazel eyes flashing a warning that was usually levelled at opposing players.

“Who is this guy to you?” Sidney snarled through clenched teeth, to which Mya could only shake her head. If he didn’t know her better than that by now....

“Sidney Patrick Crosby...you don’t get to play the jealous boyfriend when you aren’t possessive in the first place,” Mya snapped back at him, pursing her lips and narrowing her eyes. “Some wise woman said if you liked it then you should have put on a ring on it. Or should I say, if you’re going to question my fucking integrity then put the ring back on it.” She turned on her heel, intending to leave, to at the very least make him chase her down the hall, but she never made it.

She felt her heart stop. She felt her breath catch in her throat. She felt her knees buckle and all she could think was ‘no, no it’s not fair’. She couldn’t say it out loud because she couldn’t breathe and she couldn’t breathe because of the military officer in his dress uniform standing at the end of the corridor. She might have been able to breathe, might have been able to fool herself that he was just some soldier that had been given tickets to the game, if he hadn’t been standing next to Mario and if Mario hadn’t been wearing that serious expression on his face.

She hadn’t even told him, she thought as she reached out for something or someone to hold her up. She’d been so self-absorbed, been so worried about herself. There’d been emails but...she hadn’t even told him and now...and now.....

“Miss Fraser?” He was saying her name. Oh god he was saying her name which meant he was asking for her which meant that the yellow piece of paper in his hand, the cable, was for her. She shook her head, pleading silently with him not to say it, not to say the words out loud because if he didn’t say them out loud then it wouldn’t be true. “Miss Fraser I have some...unfortunate news,” he began again and Mya shook her head, feeling the tears running down her cheeks as she looked down at the yellow paper the soldier was clutching in his white glove covered hands.

“No,” she said quietly, reaching out to cover his hands with hers, to force them down when he tried to give her the piece of paper that would make it official, that would make it true. “No. Please no,” she asked, feeling her knees give way at last and a pair of strong arms holding her up, turning her and holding her close.

“I don’t know what to do. She’s just staring...I don’t know what to do,” Sidney reiterated as he stood helplessly by his hands opening and closing uselessly at his sides.

“You suck at this, you know that?” Tish sighed, looking down her nose at him as if he was something that had gotten stuck on the bottom of her shoe. “The girl is in shock, she needs a little sympathy. God, what is it with you and bad news?” Sidney shrugged because that was the only answer he could give. He didn’t know what caused it. He only knew that when it came to dealing with the worst possible news, he froze. Give him a power play, losing a game...those were things he could deal with. Those were things he knew how to deal with, had the tools to deal with. This...this just made him feel helpless.

“All you have to do is hold her,” Jordan suggested quietly, giving him a gentle shove in the direction of his own girlfriend. His legs felt like lead weights, like his feet had grown roots and it was going to take more than just willpower to make him move forward. “God man, it’s not fucking rocket science. All you have to do is hold her fucking hand.”

“It doesn’t seem like enough,” Sidney mumbled, his gaze still focussed entirely on Mya’s empty gaze.

“Yeah well, it’s better than standing here,” Tish snarled, giving him a harder push than her husband had. Sidney stumbled forward, nearly tripping out of his yellow crocs as he forced himself to put one foot in front of the other in order to make his way to where Mya sat on the bench of the dressing room, staring blankly at the opposite wall.

He clenched and unclenched his hands, not knowing whether to or even how to touch her. Would he startle her? Would she even know he was there or worse, would she push him away? Half of him wanted to turn around and leave, after all, she clearly wanted to be left alone but he knew if he did turn around that Tish would probably break a stick over his head. So he forced himself to sit beside her and reach over and take her hands in his.

“I didn’t tell him,” she said quietly, almost under her breath, without even looking over at him. She continued to stare across the room, in complete silence. “I didn’t want him to worry, you know?” she continued at long last, finally dropping her gaze to where his hands covered hers’. “I just...I wanted him to concentrate on what he had to do there. I mean...I was going to tell him. I was...eventually,” she added, tears streaming down her face. “Do you remember...I wanted him to give me away and then...,” her voice trailed off and he squeezed her hand, letting her know that he knew what she wasn’t saying so that she didn’t need to say it. “I thought that he’d have another chance now you know? And now...now...,” her voice broke and Sidney wrapped his arms around her and held her close, rocking her like a child as she cried. “I’m sorry,” she sniffed, pushing him away and wiping angrily at her tears.

“For what?” he asked, trying to manoeuvre her back into his arms but she resisted and turned her face away, as if to hide her tears, to hide from him.

“No, no. You hate the crying thing,” she mumbled, reaching for her purse and pulling out a wad of very questionable looking tissues. “I’m so weak,” she added, sniffing. “I mean, with my mom, and my aunt and my bastard of a father, you’d think I’d be a little stronger but....”

Things suddenly fell into place for Sidney and he grabbed her face in both of his hands and kissed her, fiercely, passionately. He tasted her tears and probably snot as well and he didn’t care. He kissed her until her couldn’t breathe, and then kept kissing her until she forced him away, digging her fists into his chest.

He looked into her trusting but quizzical face then and cursed every single time his father had ever tied his skates for him and every time a coach blamed someone else on the team for a loss and his agent for making his life run too damn smooth.

I’m sorry,” he whispered, still holding her face in his hands, smiling at her as if he’d just scored an overtime goal which is almost what it felt like to suddenly realize why he’d been running. “I’m sorry I haven’t been grown up enough to handle all this shit. I’m sorry that I’ve always had someone take care of all my shit and that every time something bad was happening to me I’ve had a bunch of people to help take care of it. I’m sorry that I’ve been so fucking sheltered that I don’t know....that I haven’t had the tools to help you when you’ve needed me but My...I don’t ever want you to apologize for being upset and I sure as hell don’t want you to ever apologize for needing me. I mean...damn, I should be happy. This is supposed to be my fucking job. I’m the fucking man here,” he added, bringing her to him and pressing his lips firmly but gently to her forehead. “I’m sorry I’ve been such a spoiled brat. I promise to do better,” he added quietly, wrapping her in his arms as he let out a long sigh. “And I know Tanger isn’t much of a substitute for your Uncle babes, but...if you’ll still have me, believe me I still want you, forever.”

“Forever?” she whispered, wriggling in his grasp until she could look up into his face.

“I thought I needed some space,” he explained, wiping at her tears with the pad of his thumb before placing a gentle kiss on each of her eyelids. “I thought...no, fuck it doesn’t matter what I thought. Life’s too fucking short. I want you. I love you My. I’m fucking terrified something will happen to you but...I can’t let that get between us like this. Sometimes you just have to fucking shoot, even if there isn’t a lane you know?” he added, a hockey analogy that he knew would make her smile. She was always remarking on how, for him, everything was always about hockey. “I’m sorry, I don’t even have the ring and this is probably not the time to ask you this when you’ve had this news and....” She was kissing him before he could even get the words out and when he felt her body melt against his, when she felt her lips open beneath his he knew what the answer was even though he hadn’t asked the question.

She was his and he was hers’ and that was just the way it was going to be.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Chapter 37

“We’ll talk more, later, after the game. I promise,” he continued, his cheek resting against the top of her head, his arms still wrapped, vice-like around her.

“It’ll have to be your place,” Mya sighed as he finally unwound himself from around her and stepped back. “Paying my heat and electric bills weren’t exactly on my priority list,” she added with a shrug and a meek smile that he returned with a grin as he reached out to brush a strand of hair from her cheek where it had no doubt become stuck in the tracks of her tears.

“I’ll take care of it,” he offered, ever the magnanimous good Canadian kid with the heart of gold. “It’s the least I can do,” he quickly added before she had a chance to complain. “Considering...,” he added, his voice turning soft as his hand cupped her cheek. “You have keys. Go to my place, let yourself in. Get warm. I’ll be there as soon as I can. Mya nodded though she felt her cheeks heat as his adoring and indulgent gaze began to work its magic and turn her knees to honey. “I’m just glad you came home,” he added, leaning in to press his lips once more to the spot on her brow between her eyes.

Mya allowed herself to lean into him once again, finding the familiar heat of his body and the scent of well worn hockey gear, mingled with sweat and mildew oddly comforting. Her solace only lasted another minute or so before they could both hear the shuffle of bodies in the hallway, the familiar banter of ‘let’s go boys’ and ‘let’s do this’ indicating that the line up before the team took the ice for the anthems had already begun.

“You have to go,” she whispered, turning her face up to his to find his eyes closed and a dreamy smile on his face that seemed to say he too had been luxuriating in the nearness of her.

“I know,” he sighed, once, heaving his shoulders before he opened his eyes and looked down at her. “I love you My. You do know that don’t you?” he asked, suddenly deadly serious. She nodded, blinking back tears. This time they were tears of relief; maybe even tears of joy. He nodded once, as if to assure himself of this, and then he turned and bent to pick up his discarded gloves and stick, turning back only once as he walked through the doorway.

Mya merely stood where she was and watched him go before wiping away her tears, squaring her shoulders and heading out into the hallway herself, turning to go the other way, towards the exit telling herself that the last thing she wanted to do was distract him further.


She turned at the sound of her name, knowing full well it wasn’t Sidney calling after her. Though he was always one of the last of the Pens players to hit the ice, the line had already begun to shuffle down the short walk way underneath the stands and she knew that once he had joined his teammates Sidney would never look back.

“Kristopher,” she smiled, finding herself face to face with the long haired defenseman who was standing in the hall, his jersey half tucked in, his hair dishevelled, his helmet in one hand, his gloves and stick in the other.

“So...you’re back?” he asked quietly with a quick, furtive look around to see who might be overhearing their conversation.

“I think so,” she shrugged, glancing towards the dark corridor and then back at his young, troubled face. “Thank you, by the way, for the flowers...and the card. At least I knew someone cared,” she added, giving him a smile that she hoped was as sincere as her words were. The delivery had been an unexpected surprise but a welcome one. “And I’m sorry about the wedding. Do I owe you anything for renting a tux or...?” His quizzical expression made the words dry up in her mouth and Mya found herself staring at a man who wasn’t just passing the time of day.

“I was worried for you, we all were,” Kris assured her seriously, his dark gaze searching hers before he too turned to gaze towards the dark hall down which the rest of his teammates had already disappeared. Mya sincerely hoped he wasn’t supposed to be in the starting line up out on the ice. “He’s been miserable,” he added, turning back to her with a sly grin that was more like the witty young Francophone she’d known, “and I don’t just mean his stats.” Mya could only nod, her voice caught beneath a ball of emotion in her throat. She wondered if it would always be like this between them, strained and yet...sweet. “He loves you, he really does,” Kris added softly, dropping his gaze shyly from hers’ for one long moment before he turned those dark chocolate eyes up to hold hers’ captive. “If he didn’t...I would have killed him for what he did.”

Kris didn’t wait for her to respond, he only leaned forward and pressed his lips briefly but insistently against hers’ before turning and heading down the hall, pressing his helmet down over his head and disappearing from her view.


He stood at the end of the bed, watching over her sleeping form, thinking to himself that all was right with the world. His scoring draught was over and his woman was in his bed. He’d been longer than he’d have liked after the game but after a five game losing streak and an even longer streak of mumbling three word answers to the press, he’d felt he’d owed them something so he’d stayed until the bitter end.

He didn’t mind one bit that Mya had decided to slip into one of his t-shirts and curl up and go to sleep. A fuzzy, happy sort of warmth spread through his gut and chest at the idea of her feeling at home enough to do so.

That or she was just that knackered and had passed out from sheer exhaustion. Sidney knew how hard it had been for him to be without her but then she’d had so much more than him to worry about, he thought as he sat down on the edge of the bed to tug off his socks. The baby hadn’t really felt real to him, not yet. He hadn’t felt it move, hadn’t felt it kick. It was an idea, an exciting, exhilarating idea, but no more than a concept. Not to him anyway. To her...Sidney turned look down at his sleeping girlfriend and the sheets tugged away from her torso.

She was lying on her side, facing away from him. She was wearing one of his grey t-shirts, the one from the last years run to the cup and a pair of his boxer shorts, both too big for her so that the t-shirt rode up and the boxers had slipped down, leaving the small of her back bare. His breath caught in his throat, the memory of the fine, lace-like spider web pattern that had been in the same place on Randi’s back stealing his breath. But this was not like that. This was small and dainty and it stole his breath in an entirely different way.

It was a tiny pair of angel’s wings on either side of a golden halo. Inside the halo was a date. Sidney’s hand wavered in the air above the small of her back, not wanting to wake her and at the same time, wanting very much to run his fingertips over that date the way he always ran his fingertips over Randi’s name on the marker on her grave.

That was all they’d ever have, he thought as he gently traced the halo with the tip of his finger. There would be other chances, he knew, and children, he felt sure of that. But this had been their first.

Tears sprang to his eyes for the first time since it happened. He hadn’t ever really cried about it. It hadn’t seemed real enough, not present enough to grieve over. But this...this drawing, etched in the back of the woman he loved brought it home and crashing down all around him.

Mya sighed in her sleep and brought her knees up but didn’t wake. Sidney wiped at his tears and shook his head at himself. He’d almost lost her. Everything happened for a reason, that’s what Natalie had kept saying to him and he believed it. He’d loved and lost Randi so that he would know love when he felt it again. He’d lost her so that he would know he didn’t want to lose anyone that close to him every again and he’d almost done it anyway. He’d been an incredible ass. He’d been thinking so much about himself, been trying so hard to protect his own feelings he hadn’t been able to see hers at all.

“I’m sorry,” he whispered, bending to press his lips to the tiny halo decorating the small of her back. She made a small humming noise but didn’t wake, so Sidney pressed his lips to each wing in turn and then began to kiss his way up her spine, pushing the thick cotton of his own t-shirt up by inches as he did so.

He knew when she woke, when her warm, languid body went rigid, just for a moment and then she scooted back towards him and Sidney couldn’t help but smile as he slid his hands around to cup her heavy breasts as he laid another kiss between her shoulder blades.

She could have tortured him, he knew as she pressed her round ass against him. She could have made him grovel, made him beg and he’d have done it. She could have kept her distance and he would have respected that. He would have allowed her the space and waited until she was ready, but that wasn’t Mya. When she gave, she gave everything and held nothing back. When she loved, she didn’t hide away pieces of herself. She didn’t pretend and hide behind a facade. It had been that way from the very first. It had been part of the immediate attraction he realized now as rolled her nipples between his thumb and forefinger and listened to her whimper. She’d never pretended to be anyone or anything other than who she was and she never failed to give him less than one hundred per cent of herself.

“God I missed you,” he whispered into her ear, his lips brushing through her floral scented hair as he slid his hand down over her hip, over her warm, smooth skin and down into his boxer shorts. She gasped as his fingers slid between into the soft velvet of her wet cleft. Her back arched, her head thrown back to rest on his shoulder as his fingers found the hard little pearl within her folds that made her entire body shiver when he touched it. “Do you want me?” he asked, half afraid her answer would be no. He told himself not to be disappointed if she did refuse him, though his mind had already raced ahead and he could nearly feel the hot wet heat that would engulf him and his body ached with the need to become one with her.

“Yessss,” she hissed, her arm snaking back over his to brush the front of his suit pants, making his cock twitch uncomfortably in the confines of the briefs he was wearing. “Take me, hard, now,” she insisted in a hoarse whisper, her hand sliding over his hip so that her fingers could dig into the meat of his ass, pressing him closer. “Just...you have protection right?” she asked in a smaller voice, reason taking hold as he slid away from her to drag his pants down over his hips. She turned then to look up at him where he kneeled above her, pain making her eyes bright in the dark. “I just...I don’t want to go through that again. At least...,” she glanced away from him, hiding her face from his. “At least not until we’re sure about...about things.”


Mya could feel him staring at her and the silence grew between them until it was so heavy and so present it felt like a great iron wall had grown in the few inches between them on the mattress. She was holding her breath, waiting for his reply. Her heart was racing and not from his touch, although that had done its work as well.

Would he be angry to be reminded of his cowardice? Would he be hurt? Would he turn from her now and the pain start all over again?

It was only as his strong, solid and warm body curled around hers and his arms pulled her close that Mya allowed herself to breathe again. The width of his chest pressed tightly to her back and his thickly muscled leg even wrapped around hers as he molded his body to hers.

“I’m sorry,” he said again, his breath warm against her cheek as his cheek rested against hers. “I understand if you don’t trust me. I’ll earn it again My. I’ll make you see how much you mean to me,” he promised, pressing his lips against her neck. “I’ll make it up to you. You’ll see. I promise, you’ll see.”

She felt tears welling in her eyes and squeezed her eyes shut, willing them back. Now was not the time to cry, to allow herself to fall apart. Now he needed the reassurance of her body as much as she needed the safety of his arms.

Not trusting herself to speak, Mya only reached for the drawer on the bedside table and dug around in it until her fingers found the smooth cello packs with their hard little rings and pulled one out, reaching back blindly to hand it to him. She listened to him fight with it, a little smile tugging at the corners of her lips as he swore under his breath once, twice before he managed to tear the packet open.

Then he pressed her down into the mattress and the pillows, face down, his hands digging almost painfully into her hips as he pushed his way inside of her. Mya’s fingers dug into the sheets, scratched at the headboard as he pulled her hips back, his pelvis pressing into her ass he pounded his body into hers’, filling her, reaching deep inside of her, pushing the air out of her lungs so that all that she could do was open her mouth and howl soundlessly.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Chapter 36

Mya cast a careful glance down the row of seats and then down at her ticket again. She’d paid the scalper well over two hundred for the ticket and they’d let her past security with it, but you could never be too sure. Still the seat was empty and another surreptitious glance around told her that none of the WAGs or immediate family members were nearby to tip him off as to where she was sitting because this was a test. Just as keeping away from her phone when she’d returned to the ‘Burgh last night had been. It had been tempting, very tempting, to go straight to his apartment and fall into his arms. The phone had been an enticing alternative when she’d got back to her own apartment, just to hear his voice, to hear him say that he still loved her would have been enough to make her fall happily into a dreamless sleep.

As it was, she’d lain wide awake staring at the ceiling for hours going over the conversation she knew had to come in her head.

Because she had to know, had to hear his explanation and a promise, a sincere promise the bottom of his heart that he’d never, ever desert her like that again. That was the pea beneath her mattress, the one that had her tossing and turning and waking up in a cold sweat.

Still, her heart hammered in her chest and tried to claw its way out from beneath her skin as he jumped out onto the ice in full stride. It didn’t matter that the young girls around her squealed like stuck pigs and jumped up and down with their ‘Marry Me Sidney’ signs. As much as her disappointment and anger sat in the pit of her stomach, like a lead reminder keeping her anchored to her seat, just the sight of him flying around the ice like he had rockets on his skates still made her heart flutter.

Her hands clenched and unclenched, alternatively folded and balled into fists on her lap as she watched and waited for the right moment, that moment in the warm up when he would do what he always did because he, more than any other of the players on the ice, was a creature of habit. He was worse than Flower, and in the world of hockey players, being more superstitious than the goalie was truly saying something.

When he at last slid to a stop at center ice and took a knee, shook off his gloves and dropped his stick down beside him parallel to the boards, and leaned down over his skates to re-tie them, she stood and waited because the next thing he would do was go to the bench for a water bottle. Her hands clenched and unclenched nervously at her sides as she waited none too patiently for him to finish with his skates. She focussed on his hands as they tugged at the laces off his boots and forced herself to breathe deeply.

Look up, she willed him silently. See me.


Sidney tugged at his laces hard enough that the thick cotton bit into his fingers and made him wince. Coming back she’d said. On the next flight she could get she’d said. He’d been waiting all day, staring at his phone and still not a call, not even one single fucking text.

He’d even phoned once but only got her voice mail. He’d convinced himself that meant she was on the plane and he’d soon be getting that call from the airport, ‘come get me’. Except he hadn’t got that call and he was beginning to get more than a little worried. He’d even done what he’d never, ever done and probably would have lost his mind at any teammate who would have dared to do it. His phone was sitting on the bench. No one said a word to him of course. They all knew that his head would finally get back in the game if Mya would just give him the word that everything could go back to normal.

Of course her coming back should have done that, Max had told him, but then Max was all fucking loved up lately with his stripper girlfriend and was suddenly seeing the world through rose coloured fucking glasses. Sidney wasn’t the type of guy to see the glass half full all the time and right now he’d be willing to smash the glass to fucking smithereens if it meant that he could just see her.

Pushing himself up to his feet, Sidney grabbed his gloves, stuck his stick under his arm and skated towards the bench and then almost fell to his knees.

“Mya.” He stumbled, dropped his gloves and reached for the boards in front of him. He stared at where she stood, two rows behind the bench, in a plain white dress that immediately made him wonder if this was her way of waving a flag of truce or if it was her way of reminding him that he’d asked her to marry him. Either way she looked some sort of biblical angel. He just wasn’t sure what kind, an avenging angel, here to break his heart or a seraphim, here to sing sweet words in his ear. Either way it was going to totally fuck up his game. “Scott...can you do me a favour?” Sidney grabbed the arm of the head trainer as he moved to hand Sidney his water bottle, as was customary for him at this time during the warm up.

“What’s up Sid?” he asked, his usual easy grin fading at the edges as Sidney brushed the bottle aside, something he never did.

“Do you see that girl?” Sid pointed at Mya who was still standing there, unmoving, not giving him a sign of which way they’re reunion was going to go. Scott glanced over his shoulder and then back at Sidney, his eyes narrowed.

“Your girlfriend...yeah?” he asked, clearly confused.

“Can you just get her down to the training room, please,” Sidney mumbled, remembering to say please, despite the fact that his heart had now made its way into his throat and was making it very hard for him to breathe. Scott nodded, still eyeing his charge with a wary suspicion that Sidney ignored, pushing off and forcing himself to skate away from the boards, to take a lap while he tried to gather his thoughts.

Part of him wanted to head down the hall immediately but the other part of him knew that pacing the hall wasn’t going to help him think any clearer. Besides, he knew that skating was more likely to ease the sudden overwhelming tension in his muscles.

If she’d just given him some sign, he rages as his skates dug into the fresh ice. If she’d only given him a smile, or even a frown, just so he’d know if she was going to break up with him for good or not. If it was one thing that made him crazy it was not being prepared to go into battle. With hockey, he could watch hours of tape, slowing down and speeding up plays, analyzing player’s tendencies, bad habits and skills until he felt like he knew them inside and out.

With Mya, he felt like he was treading on quick sand. Either he was going to get across with some difficulty which he deserved for stepping into the quicksand in the first place, or he was going to drown. Either way, he hated not knowing what he was going to face down that hallway. Should he prepare to grovel? He was willing to. He was willing to crawl through broken glass if that would make things better between them.

It had to be bad news though, he decided, as he gave up and skidded to a halt before the doors that would lead him under the stands and towards the dressing rooms. If it had been good news she would have given him some hope. Even a Mona Lisa smile was better than the blank expression that had met his when he looked up at her. Better to get it over with quick then, he thought to himself as the doors swung shut behind him and he felt the grip and clutch of reaching fingers. He didn’t high five any of the fans as he passed beneath him, however. His heart wasn’t in it.

The sound of his skates on the rubber mats seemed inordinately loud as he walked head down along the dimly lit corridor. With every step he felt like he was getting closer to the firing squad and his stomach rolled accordingly. He couldn’t think the last time he’d actually felt like this. Maybe game seven against the Caps, maybe, which made him wonder, albeit half heartedly, what it was going to take to pull this one out of his ass.

Taking a deep, steadying breath Sidney pushed open the door to the trainer’s room to see Mya sitting on the edge of the desk, ankles demurely crossed with a pair of silver high heeled sandals dangling from her toes. She looked up at him and for just one, fleeting, moment he thought he had detected just the hint of a smile and then it was gone.

He wanted to say he was sorry. He wanted to cross the room and toss down his stick and gloves and grab her and kiss every inch of her beautiful face. He wanted to promise that he’d never, ever be such an enormous jack ass, ever again.

Instead, he stood there in the doorway and waited, because it felt like she had the floor, like she had to make the first move before he could even draw a single breath.


It wasn’t fair.

Mya thought that every time she saw him he seemed to be even more handsome than the last time. Maybe he was a more gaunt than he had been, she thought as her gaze swept over his face. His cheeks were hollow, his skin sallow and he looked tired. She knew what that felt like. Mya could hardly remember the last time she’d actually slept through the entire night without being woken by nightmares, or at the very least, gripped in a cold sweat at the thought of never being held in his arms again.

That was what she wanted as she watched him standing there in the doorway in full uniform. She wanted him to cross the floor to where she was perched on the trainer’s desk and pull her into his arms, hold her against the width of his chest so she could hear his heart beat and feel him breathing. She wanted him to say her name in that way that made her stomach do a little flip flop of excitement. She waited and the silence in the room grew heavy with all the words that needed to be said and he didn’t move.

Taking a deep breath, Mya dropped her gaze to a spot on the floor and asked the question that she’d asked a hundred times or more as she’d sobbed into her pillow.

“Why?” she asked quietly, forcing herself to look up at him, to see her words hit him like an open handed slap. “Why did you leave me after the miscarriage? Am I that much of a disappointment to you?” He shook his head and his wide shoulders shrugged. She waited, but the waterfall of words she’d expected didn’t happen. She waited, but he didn’t explain. “So...is that it then?” she asked, her voice pitching higher as her emotions began to get the better of her, constricting her throat and making it hard for her to speak. “Was I really just a rebound? Are you...are you still in love with her?”

Mya felt tears beginning to fill her eyes and tried to brush them away with the back of her hand but for every one she dashed away, ten seemed to come behind it. She couldn’t decide if she was more hurt or angry but more than that she felt humiliated as she slid from the desk only to find him shaking off his gloves, the clatter of his dropped stick on the concrete floor echoing loudly in her ears as she watched him walk towards her.

“No,” he said simply as he took her in his arms, brushing his hand through her hair as he pressed his lips to her forehead. “It’s not that...not...it is but....Fuck!” He cradled her face in his hands and looked down at her, a melange of emotions swirling in his eyes, the most prominent of which was a fierceness that made her want to shrink from him. “Don’t...just don’t ever think I don’t love you,” he hissed before pressing his lips firmly over hers’ in a bruising open mouthed kiss that matched the ferocity in his eyes. “I may be fucked up and confused about a lot of things but that’s not one of them. That’s never been one of them.”

God it felt good just to hold her, Sidney thought as his mouth moved hungrily over hers’. Just the scent of her was intoxicating and was quickly chasing away all of his insecurities and all of the dark thoughts that had been chasing around in his head for weeks.

“I’m sorry, so, so sorry,” he whispered against her cheek when he at last gave in to the need for oxygen. “I fucked up. I’m an asshole. I’m sorry.”

“Just tell me why,” she whispered, her voice sounding strangled as she turned her tear filled eyes up to meet his. “Why would you just walk away from me like that? Why did you leave me to go through that all on my own?”

“I don’t know,” he replied simply, pressing his lips to her brow, feeling a weight lift off of his shoulders. Just holding her again, just his much was almost more than he’d hoped for. “That’s the god’s honest fucking truth. I think I just...no I know that I just freaked out at the thought of losing someone again.” His own voice caught in his throat as he looked down into her emerald green eyes, so similar to Randi’s yet with a light all their own. “I can’t fucking lose you My...please.”

“How do I...how can I trust you again?” she asked, her gaze earnestly searching his.
“Honestly...I guess all I can tell you is that I don’t want to lose you and that that scares me more than anything else right now. Just...just give me another chance and...I can’t promise to be perfect My but I swear I’ll fucking try.” He tried to smile but his face felt frozen, and he couldn’t breathe, not until she said she was coming back to stay. “Please My,” he whispered, a sort of pain building in his chest as she remained still and silent in his arms. “Please don’t give up on me.”

“I love you,” she whispered in reply, at long last, though her small hands were balled into fists and pressed against his chest. “You hurt me Sidney. You really fucking hurt me, but I love you and that’s why I came back. I love you and maybe right now I wish I didn’t but I do so...promise me you won’t do it again. Promise you won’t walk out on me again.”

“I promise,” he sighed, leaning his forehead against his and letting a sense of relief flood his tense muscles. “I’m here. I’m right here and I’m not going anywhere. I promise.”

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Chapter 35

She sat in the rusty little Acadian she’d had since high-school in her father’s driveway, the engine idling noisily, puffs of smoke filling the air behind the car with two options in mind. Go to GM place, sign the contract and take her chances with the cramped studio apartment downtown or drive to the airport.

Mya’s hands gripped the steering wheel so hard that her knuckles had turned white and she was beginning to get pins and needles in her fingertips. She stared at the front door of her father’s suburban home and repeated the same two words to herself, over and over again, like a mantra.

Stay or go? Stay or go?

She hadn’t slept all night. She’d lain awake in her bed in her old room and stared at the ceiling with the same two words running through her bed, chasing away the sheep she needed to count in order to float away to the land of nod.

Stay or go? Stay or go?

If she stayed...if she stayed in Vancouver then it was all over with Sidney. There would be no going back and that thought made her chest ache. She loved him, or she had loved him, right now she wasn’t sure which it was. It was difficult to tell exactly how she felt about him without seeing him, in the flesh.

But then the thought of seeing him, of looking into those hazel eyes framed by their long black lashes, made her eyes fill with tears and her heart squeeze painfully and her breath catch in her throat. There was anger, there was no doubt at all about that. He’d left her, walked away from her on what had definitely been the worst of all of the days of her life. Worse even than the day her mother had looked at her, her own daughter, across the table and said ‘who are you?’

There was also that image of him, of those wide round shoulders and the naked muscular breadth of his chest moving over her and of the look in his eyes then, so focussed, so present and so full of passion that it literally made her weak. Just the thought of his lips moving over hers as he moved within her caused Mya to press her forehead to the steering wheel and hiss a string of epithets. She was under no illusions that he had been the best and there would never be another to make her feel what she felt when Sidney made love to her.

But was it love, she asked herself as she sat there in her car, Ville Valo’s husky voice filling her car with dark images and growled curses. Could he love her and walk away from her when she needed him most? Or were they both fooling themselves? Had it only been sex all along? Was it only the heat of passion and nothing more?
“Fuck it,” she snarled, peeling her fingers from around the steering wheel and reaching down to release the hand brake before throwing the tiny old red car into reverse and backing down the driveway, turning right and heading out of the subdivision at break neck speed.

“Hey stranger.”

Sidney looked up from the autograph table to see Mario’s eldest, the reason he’d left their house, Lauren, staring across the table at him. She’d grown since the last time he’d seen her. Her hair was longer. She was wearing one of those spring dresses with the spaghetti straps that left her tanned shoulders and arms bare. She was growing into a quite a beauty.

“Hey Lauren. Visiting your dad?” he asked in a non committal voice as he went back to signing the varied items on the table.

“Sort of,” she replied casually as she moved closer to him, perching on the edge of the table and picking up one of the jerseys he’d just signed. “We miss you around the house,” she added, folding the sweater carefully and putting it back on the table, running her hand over his signature and then looking up at him, catching him looking at her. “Especially Austin. When’s the last time you went to one of his games?”

“I’ve been kinda busy,” Sidney grumbled, injured by the thought that he’d let the little guy down in any way.

“So I’ve heard,” Lauren mused, getting up and moving around the table, slowly, deliberately walking towards him, the click of the high heeled sandals she was wearing echoing loudly in the concrete hallway. “But not as much lately, or so I’ve been told.” Sidney winced, as if punched, wondering which of his teammates could possibly have been talking about his personal life to Mario’s daughter.

“Of course we’re busy now. We’ve got games every other night,” he corrected her, moving sideways and away from her as he leaned towards another jersey, signing along the top of the seven in his number.

“I mean after the games,” she breathed in his ear, sending a shiver down his spine, concentrated by the feel of her fingertips brushing along his arm. “A little bird tells me Mya’s run off and left you...all alone.” Sid’s eyes squeezed shut as he felt the pointed tip of her tongue brush the shell of his ear. He took a deep breath in and told himself not to react but his body wouldn’t listen. The nearness of her, the warmth of her body pressed against his, the sweet floral scent of her had his head reeling and his cock hardening despite the desperate pleas his mind sent racing down to it. She wasn’t even eighteen, not yet and besides she was Mario’s daughter. He didn’t want this. He didn’t.

“Lauren...give me some space,” he asked, hating that his voice sounded hoarse, or that he couldn’t look her in the eye and mean it.

“Oh poor Siddy, you need a little...T.L.C.,” she whispered, walking her fingers down his arm until her hand was flat over where he was gripping the edge of the table. “I can take good care of you. I promise you won’t be disappointed.” His breathe caught in his throat and for one minute, one uncontrollable minute, he imagined her young, lithe body moving beneath his.

“No. Lauren. No,” he said and meant it, dragging his hand from beneath hers’ and backing slowly away. As soon as that sweet floral scent was no longer filling his lungs, his brain, he could think more clearly. “You need to stop this. This...,” he met her gaze, her smouldering, bemused gaze, “is never...ever going to happen.” He wanted her to look hurt. He wanted her to do what she’d always done when he’d rebuffed her. He wanted her to turn tail and run.

She didn’t. Instead she sat there, perched on the table, her long legs crossed so that her insubstantially flimsy dress pulled up, revealing a tantalizing look at a line of long, bare thigh.

“You know what they say about never Sidney darling,” she purred, tilting her head to one side so her long hair fell over her shoulder and the barely there spaghetti strap fell over her shoulder and made the smocked top of her dress gape. “Never say never.”


“Everything happened so fast,” Mya said out loud as she paced the floor, clasping and unclasping her hands. “It was like...trial by fire or something, like being dipped in liquid heat. You know you’re going to get burned but it feels so...I don’t know,” she sighed, stopping in front of the window, the same window her mother had been staring blankly at since she’d arrived. She couldn’t...or wouldn’t talk to Bridgette and she couldn’t make her mind up to take the job with the Canucks, not yet. She needed to talk to someone, someone who didn’t have an agenda, an angle. It was just fortunate her mother was having one of those “bad” days where she didn’t seem to know anyone was there at all. “I feel like I need him...like I can’t really take a deep breath without him. But on the other hand, I just feel so angry, like I want to claw his eyes out, like I want to spit at him or something. I mean, how dare he just walk away and....”

“Mya Angeline Fraser, you’re always too quick to think everyone will think the way you do.”

Mya froze, her breath caught in her throat as the soft, almost strangled voice floated and hung there in the air around her. Slowly she turned and stared at the woman sitting in the high backed chair, her lap covered by a thread bare throw, her eyes no longer glued to the window and the gray day outside.

“Mom? Mommy?” she whispered, not daring to hope for one of those lucid moments when her mother actually knew her. She half expected to see a nurse in the hallway, or someone she knew standing in the room behind her, but there was no one else. No one else but her mother and her shrewd blue grey eyes were trained on her daughter, knowledge and love flaring behind them.

“Come here.” Her mother patted her lap and Mya unquestioningly slid onto her mother’s lap and felt the frail arms cradle her close to the warmth of her chest. She smelled faintly of moth ball and antiseptic, but underneath of that she could smell the white linen and sunshine smell of her mother’s favourite perfume and it made her wonder who had put it on her and who had brought it to her. “You always were too quick to jump head first into things, my impetuous daughter,” her mother cooed affectionately. “You’ve always been too quick to trust people.” Mya cried silently, clinging to her mother, trying to remember the last time her mother had been present enough to give advice. At least she was here when she was needed, she thought bitterly.

“I thought he loved me mom,” she sniffed, ignoring the fact that big, fat cold tears were dripping off her nose and chin and onto her mother’s blouse. Mother’s never minded that kind of thing.

“He does love you baby,” her mother said sternly but quietly, pushing her up so that she could look into her daughter’s eyes. “The way he looked at you...the way you looked at him.... You love him and he loves you. Don’t doubt that sweetheart.” Mya didn’t ask how her mother had seen them, how she must have been looking at them with two sets of eyes and what that must feel like to be trapped in uncomprehending body and mind. Just thinking about it made her head swim and made her want to scream in terror.

“But he left me mommy. He left me when...when....” Mya’s voice trailed off. She still couldn’t say it out loud. Or at least she couldn’t now. It made her chest too tight to speak, stole her breath from her lungs whenever she even thought about how it had all just...stopped, ceased to be, disappeared. Her eyes shut tight against the sudden onset of pain that threatened to rip her into a thousand pieces. She would not miss this moment with her mother. Lucid moments, real moments were so very few and far between now.

“You don’t know what was in his mind baby,” her mother scolded her, gripping her arms tightly so that her fingernails dug into the flesh of Mya’s arms. “They aren’t the same as us. You should know that. Of anyone, you should know that baby. Do you think your father was always so distant?” Her mother’s grey blue eyes searched hers and Mya could only shrug. That was exactly what it seemed like to her. “Of course he wasn’t baby. He isn’t. But they feel things differently. They deal with pain... differently. They keep it all inside,” she added, pressing one long finger into Mya’s chest, where the pain seemed worst. “Here. They keep it all inside. They can’t be like us. They can’t give up. They have to be strong. You can’t blame him for not showing his pain like you do baby. That’s not his fault. He’s a man. That’s just the way they are.”

“But he left me mom. He just...left,” Mya argued as she sobbed, bending her head to press her forehead into the curve of her mother’s neck where the comforting scent of her mother’s perfume was strongest. She could feel the strong, steady beat of her mother’s heart there and felt her own fall in time with it.

“It’s hard on them too, you know, to lose a baby. It kills them inside when they can’t protect you. It makes them feel weak, useless. It’s hard on a man’s pride baby and they’re nothing if not creatures of pride and he’s a strong one, your man. They blame themselves sweetheart, they feel...inadequate and scared, like little boys. You may have needed him baby, but he needed you too. Did you go to him? Did you hold him?” Mya shook her head and felt her mother’s arms wrap tighter around her, even as her chest rose and fell in quick little bursts, as if she was laughing. “Don’t be too hard on him Mya. He’s only a man and god knows, they aren’t equipped to deal with grief. That’s what we’re for.”

“Are you saying...,” Mya’s sat upright and looked down at her mother who returned her gaze with a beatific, motherly smile that made her heart feel like warm, melted honey. “Are you saying I should go back? That I should...should I marry him?” Her mother sighed and reached up to cup her child’s cheek.

“Ask yourself one question baby. Do you love him? Does he make your heart sing?”

“I’ve seen the way you look at me Sidney Patrick Crosby. Those veiled looks that you think I don’t see,” she said, pursing her lips as she hopped off of the table and strutted towards him like a run way model, or like Mya had, on the cat walk at Blush. Like a big cat, circling her prey. “I know you think about me,” she added as she reached him, reached out toward him to run her finger beneath his chin. “I know you’re undressing me right now in that twisted mind of yours,” she added, her full lips so close to his as she smiled, baring her teeth at him like a tigress about to strike, about to rip his jugular vein out of his neck. “I know you want to...fuck me.”

“You’re wrong,” he hissed, shutting his eyes and turning his face away from her. He didn’t want her, no matter how his body was reacting to her. It wasn’t about her. It was about...it was Mya’s fault for leaving. He hadn’t even been able to give himself relief since she left. His gut twisted and turned on itself as her breath fanned his cheek. He could smell peppermint and cinnamon.

“I don’t think I am,” she murmured, her hand sliding down his chest, down, down until she was cupping his erection through his track pants. “No, I don’t think I am at all.”

“Stop it Lauren,” he growled, pushing her arm away, putting her at arms’ length as he wished he could put the proof of his words into his eyes. He didn’t want her. Not her. His body wanted something, someone but he wasn’t about to explain that to her. He heard her giggle, a cruel sound that echoed in his ears, that made him blush to the roots of his hair.

“I don’t think you want me to stop, do you Siddy?” she asked, invading his space again, this time pushing her hands up under his shirt, the cool palms of her hands pressed flat against his stomach. “Do you know what I think you want?” she whispered, her lips brushing lightly against his cheek.

“You have no idea what I want,” he replied, his voice catching in his throat as her hand slid beneath the waist band of his track pants, down, down until her fingers were curling around him.

“Oh I think I do,” she purred, her tongue flicking out to lick his bottom lip before her teeth dug into his full lip and tugged. “I’m not a little girl anymore Sidney,” she added, stroking the length of his need, making him moan out loud. “I can do for you what any woman can,” she added, pressing her body against his, brushing her chest against his arm so he could feel how hard her nipples were. “But I know you Sidney. I know how passionate you are. I know you were afraid of hurting me, of being my first. But you don’t have to worry about that anymore baby. I got someone else to take care of that, so now you can just take me the way you want to,” she whispered, her other hand reaching for his and leading it to her hip, using his hand joined with hers to pull her dress up by degrees. “Any way you want to baby,” she added, pressing his hand against her bare hip, trying to press it lower.

“Lauren, don’t,” he begged, shaking his head, trying to make himself breathe, but not pulling himself away from her.

“I’m not wearing any panties Siddy. You can have me right here,” she whispered, pushing his hand lower, lower. “Right now,” she added, her voice husky in his ear as she licked her way around it.

“No, fuck. Stop it!” he snarled, gathering his wits about him finally and pushing her away, peeling her fingers painfully from around his now throbbing hard on.

“Oh Siddy baby. You don’t have to fight it anymore. There’s no one here to see us. Come here baby, come take me,” she pouted, sliding her now free hand down into the smocking of her dress and freeing her breast, revealing it as her thumb slid slowly over and around her nipple. “You want it baby, you know you do.”

“No, no I don’t,” he insisted, his voice shaking as he turned away and told himself to walk and keep on walking.

“You’ll come back Siddy baby. You want me. You can’t run forever,” she called after him.

“Watch me,” he muttered as he continued to walk, heading for the showers, fully intending to soak himself down with icy cold water.

That had been close. Too close. This was insane. This whole situation was insane. He had to get Mya back, had to make her talk to him. There had to be some grand gesture, something he could say, something he could do to make her see how much he needed her because if she didn’t come back....

He shook his head. It didn’t bear thinking about. He’d take one of those desperate girls who waited out by the barricades in their too short skirts and push up bras before he’d fuck Lauren Lemieux.

“Where have you been tos grand idiot? Your phone has been ringing like crazy,” Max grinned at him as he turned into the dressing room. “It’s Mya,” he added, slapping Sidney on the shoulder. “She’s coming home.”

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Chapter 34

The air was crisp and cold but the sun had begun to peek through the clouds with the promise of a better afternoon. The ground was moist and damp and Sidney could feel the moisture seeping through his jeans as he knelt in the grass in front of the brass plaque now set deeply in the grass. He pulled at a few blades, tugging them clear of the edges, wishing he’d brought something to cut them back with. The grass having grown around the name plate was not only a reminder that the snow had only recently receded but that he hadn’t been here. Not for a long while.

Not that it seemed that long ago, Sidney realized as he ran his fingers lovingly over the smooth letters that made up her name. This time last year he and Randi had been making love at her apartment. She’d been getting better, or so he’d thought. The whole world had seemed to be coming to life and getting better every day.

Nothing like now, he thought grimly as he closed his eyes tightly against the tears that had begun to flow. Now everything was turning into one gigantic fucked up mess.

He’d rushed things with Mya. Of that he was now sure, now that he’d had some time to think, to get his bearings. It seemed that when it came to women rushing things was definitely a problem he suffered from.

Max had probably been right. He should have played the field. He should have dated and avoided getting serious except that wasn’t the tune that Max or any of the other guys on the team were singing now. Not since Max had started dating that girl from Blush, the sexy little Latina that seemed to be at all the games and all the practices these days, a fact that only made him miss Mya even more.

“What the fuck am I doing Randi?” he asked, pressing his hand flat against the grave marker while wiping at his eyes with the other. “I want her, I don’t want her...I don’t know what to do.”

That was the truth. When it came right down to it, he didn’t want to make the decision. He wanted everything to go back to the way it was before she’d gotten pregnant and things had got so squirrely and out of hand. Not that he didn’t feel strongly about her and not that he hadn’t imagined them being together, forever, but now that he’d had the time and space to look back on it, he just didn’t know what all the rush had been about.

He couldn’t blame her either. He knew that. She’d never once asked for him to propose. She’d never asked about moving in or babies or any of that and now that he’d gotten some perspective, it would have been better just to ask her to move in. Mya wasn’t the kind of girl who needed the flowers and the bridesmaids and the dress and the flashy ring. She would have been happy with just being with him; all of the rest of it...that was on him.

He’d been worried about how it would look. The good boy from a small town, the good Canadian kid having a child out of wedlock; it would have been in the papers here and back home. But it hadn’t just been about the child. He’d already had the ring. He hadn’t wanted to do to her what Flower was doing to Vero. They shared a house, a life, but they weren’t married and didn’t have any plans to get married and that had seemed fine, at first. But now, it had been years and it was just getting...weird.

He’d wanted to do the right thing by Mya. He didn’t want her to have any of the questions he knew the other WAGs constantly harassed Vero with: the ‘when is he going to propose?’ and the ‘when are you getting married?’ and the ‘when are we going to hear the pitter-patter of little feet?’ Plus there was just going to be all the media attention once the word got out. People would want to know who she was and he’d thought it would be so much easier for her if they were married.

Now, of course, none of that mattered because she was more than half a continent away and, at least according to Tish, had no plans to return to Pittsburgh. She was even going for job interviews Tish had told him in that way that he knew was meant to put him in his place and it had. It had put a knife right through his heart.

After all, if she was putting him behind her and she had every right to, he couldn’t blame her. Not after what he’d done, walking away from her when she needed him most.

“If she knew...if I could explain,” he whispered, tracing the letters on the brass plaque with his fingertips. “If she knew what seeing her in the bed did to my head...if she knew how helpless I felt...how I just can’t lose anyone else...,” his voice trailed off as the wind picked up and sent a crumpled piece of paper rolling over his hand. It was one of those booklets, those folded pieces of paper you get at a memorial service.

There was a picture of a young girl on the front, maybe thirteen, maybe older. Around Taylor’s age he thought as he turned flattened out the paper and turned it over and the lyrics on the back made his heart race.

So far away
I wish you were here
Before it's too late, this could all disappear
Before the doors close
And it comes to an end
With you by my side I will fight and defend
I'll fight and defend

Keep holding on
'Cause you know we'll make it through, we'll make it through
Just stay strong
'Cause you know I'm here for you, I'm here for you
There's nothing you could say
Nothing you could do
There's no other way when it comes to the truth
So keep holding on

'Cause you know we'll make it through, we'll make it through

He knew the song, but had never really listened to the lyrics before. It was one of those songs on his iPod, one of those songs wasn’t really his taste, wasn’t really something he’d have chosen for himself. Maybe if he had listened a little more closely to it before....

“Okay Randi...okay. I get it. You don’t have to tell me, I know,” he whispered, his voice thick with emotion. “I’ll try harder.”

“Thanks for your time, I appreciate the opportunity,” Mya held her hand out towards the young man in the suit who took it in both of his, clasping her hand rather than shaking it.

“We’ll be in touch,” he promised with a genuine smile. “Can I walk you out?” he offered, maybe a little too solicitously. Mya shook her head, feeling her phone vibrate in her bag at her hip, and not for the first time during the interview. She was glad she’d remembered to put it on vibrate but couldn’t help but wonder if it was obvious and if this jumped up mid-level executive thought it was rude that she had it on at all.

“I think I can find my way out,” she smiled, withdrawing her hand carefully and successfully fought the urge to wipe it on her skirt. Turning she walked down the hallway, feeling his eyes on her back the entire way. She made herself turn as she put her hand on the handle of the door to the stairs and wave. This would be a good job, an amazing job, if low paying and if she was going to stay here, she was going to need a job like this to get back into the business because there were two things she was sure of right now.

One, she wasn’t going back to stripping and two, she wasn’t going to get any kind of reference from the station back in the ‘Burgh.

The young man in the cheap suit with the pathetic attempt at a moustache waved his fingers back at her, like she was five and grinned in that sort of way that said he was already imagining her naked. Mya wanted to wretch but kept the smile on her face long enough to get through the door before stopping and finally allowing a shudder to engulf her entire body. Was the job really worth being pawed like that, she wondered as she reached for the hand rail and began to head down the stairs. Was it really going to be any better than stripping? At least when she was stripping she was making three times what the Canucks were offering for the position of media relations officer.

“Well it’s that or go back to Pittsburgh,” she told herself firmly, putting one foot in front of the other which is what she felt like she’d been doing for weeks now, just putting one foot in front of the other, mindlessly, walking around in a daze.

The station didn’t even call anymore to see if she was coming back and Sidney...well, there hadn’t been a single word from him.

“Are you following me around?” Mya dragged her attention off of the toes of her black boots to look up into a pair of familiar blue eyes. She couldn’t help but smile as she shook her head.

“I think you’re following me around Shane,” she replied, adjusting the strap of her purse as her phone buzzed in her purse again.

“Nope, it’s got to be you. This is my house,” he replied with a confident and sassy grin that made it hard for Mya not to be affected by the warmth in his smile.

“I guess it is,” she shrugged as she looked down at him. He was a few stairs lower than her, wearing a dark blue t-shirt that only seemed to deepen the blue of his eyes. The thin cotton clung to the width of his chest and Mya caught herself imagining what the muscles of his chest would look like slicked with sweat and closed her eyes, trying to shake the image out of her head.

“Well you’ve found me now...Mya, that’s right isn’t it?” he asked, running his hand through his dark hair, making it stand up on end. “I hope you’re not going to run out on me this time,” he added with a wink that made her laugh.

“Does that work on all the girls?” she asked, unable to stop herself from comparing him to Max, the ‘ladies man’. They were both charming, in a disarming sort of way. But it was an obvious sort of charm. It didn’t have the same effect as the shy boy thing that both Sidney and Tanger had.

“Oh come on now, I’m not that much of a playa,” he grinned, taking two steps at a time until he was only a couple of stairs lower than her, which made him just a little taller than she was. “Besides, other girls aren’t as pretty as you,” he added, reaching out to tilt her chin up with one finger. Mya looked up into those sea blue eyes and wondered how easy it would be to let herself drown in them.

“And I bet you say that to all the girls too,” she added, forcing her gaze down and away from those deep blue eyes which only brought her gaze directly down to where his t-shirt was sticking to his broad, round shoulders.

“Do you always have such a hard time listening?” he asked, his whole hand now cupping her chin, gently forcing her to meet his gaze again. “I keep trying to tell you, I think you’re a hell of a lot prettier than anyone I’ve met in a while.” Mya felt her heart flutter in her chest as he leaned towards her, his gaze focussed on her mouth. He was intent on kissing her, but she had no intention of being kissed. Not now and if she had anything to say about it, not for a long time.

“I don’t date hockey players,” she whispered as she pressed her hand flat against his sternum and giving a solid push that didn’t even move him an inch. He let out a groan but when he met her gaze again, he was grinning.

“I like a challenge,” he smiled at her, his sapphire eyes dancing as he withdrew, just enough to hold his hand out to her. “Phone,” he said simply, his long, thick fingers waving in the air between them.

“Phone?” she asked, confused as she stood there, staring at his hand because it was better than looking into his eyes.

“Yes, your phone, so I can give you my digits. That is, assuming you’re not going to give me yours,” he added with a playful grin. Mya reached into her bag and drew out her phone, telling herself that if it shut him up it was worth it. She was never going to call him so it didn’t matter if she had his number in her phone or not. He took her phone and Mya couldn’t help but notice how small it looked in his hands as he added his number to her address book. Her hand shook as he handed it back to her, making certain that his fingers brushed hers as he placed it in her hand. “I don’t suppose it’s any use asking you to dinner?” he asked, looking hopeful. Mya shook her head and forced her feet to move, placing one foot in front of the other, walking down the stairs, making sure to give him a wide enough birth that their bodies didn’t so much as brush against one another’s.

“I don’t date hockey players,” she reiterated as she continued to walk carefully down the stairs, knowing with absolute certainty he was enjoying the view of the way her hip hugging pencil skirt tugged across her ass.

“We won’t call it a date,” he called after her, laughter ringing in his voice. “We’ll call it a prelude to the best night you’ve ever had.”

“Prelude huh?” she laughed, turning to look up at him as she rounded the corner to the next set of stairs. “I bet that’s a big word for you. Am I supposed to be impressed?”

“If you want to be impressed,” he laughed, deliberately lifting the hem of his t-shirt to wipe the sweat off his face, giving her a very good view of his six-pack and just a hint of the goody trail leading down into his shorts. “I’ve got lots of ways to do that babe, I can promise you that much,” he added with another wink that sent a shudder down her spine. Mya shook her head and turned, keeping eyes front and deciding it was best not to get sucked in to that entire discussion.

After all, she wasn’t going to date a hockey player. Not now. Not ever again.


Sidney snapped his phone shut with a growl. She hadn’t picked up, not once. All he was getting was voice mail and it was beginning to piss him off.

“She could have her phone off,” Flower suggested quietly, which startled Sidney. He’d been pretty sure the young goaltender had been deep in sleep beside him on the bus. Flower often took a power nap on the bus ride to the arena when they were on the road. “Or maybe the battery is dead and she left her charger here,” he added, opening one eye to glance over at Sidney, probably to see if he needed to duck yet, which almost made Sidney smile. “Or maybe it’s down the back of a sofa,” he added before opening the other eye and raising a single eyebrow as he waited for Sidney’s response.

“I guess so,” Sidney growled and flicked his phone open again, staring down at his call display, willing his phone to ring, or at least for a text to appear.

“Also, what time is it there? Peut-être...je ne sais pas...peut-être elle dort?” Flower suggested quietly, closing his own eyes again and settled back into his seat.

“It’s the middle of the afternoon,” Sidney sighed, shutting his phone again and forcing himself to put it back in the pocket of his suit jacket. He could see the arena in the near distance. “She’s probably at one of those job interviews that Tish was talking about.”

“Ou elle pourrait ignorer vos appels,” Marc-Andre corrected him quietly, telling him what he already knew was the most likely reason his calls were ending up in voice mail, over and over again. He could see her doing it, pressing ignore, or worse, having blocked his number entirely and could he blame her? No, he thought to himself as he slid down in his seat. She had every right in the world to hate him now. He hated himself a little bit.

No. Scratch that. He hated himself a lot and it was showing out on the ice.

If she’d just call him back, if she’d only listen to him for five minutes, he thought hopefully, closing his own eyes and sending up a little prayer to the only gods he really believed in; the hockey gods. Just make her give me five minutes, that’s all. Five minutes and I swear, I’ll make her understand. I’ll make everything go back to the way it was and then I won’t feel so much like I’m skating through wet cement, he thought as he tried to make his tense muscles relax.

Maybe she’s over me, he thought resignedly, but I’m not over her. Not by a long shot.


Mya, it’s me and....Look, I know I’ve been an ass. No, fuck that. I’ve been a complete asshole and you’re probably pissed at me and I get that. No. I fucking deserve that but...just come home and....And we’ll work things out. I promise I can explain everything and....Just come home. Please. I love you.

Mya saved the message and then played it back again.

There they were. The words that she had wanted to hear but three weeks ago.
Screwing her eyes shut tight, she listened to the message for a third time and felt her teeth grinding together in frustration.

If only he’d said those words a day after, two days. Hell even a week after she probably would have been on the first flight out, even if it hadn’t been a direct flight. She’d have taken any flight that would have got her within driving distance of him.

But now? Mya snapped her phone shut and dropped it onto the kitchen table and put her head in her hands. Now she’d all but accepted the job with the Canucks. She was supposed to go back in the morning to look over and sign the contract. She’d even gone to look at a small studio apartment downtown near the rink...and now this.

“Go. Whoever he is...if he wants you, just go.” Mya raised her head and stared at her father’s too young girlfriend. “You’ve been sitting around here, staring at the walls for weeks. Whoever he is, you obviously want him. So go back to him.”

“Gee Bridgette. Want me out of the way much?” Mya grumbled, narrowing her eyes at the result of her father’s cradle robbing antics.

“What I want doesn’t matter. What’s good for you...that would make your father happy and what makes your father happy....”

“Ugh...spare me the details,” Mya moaned, closing her eyes again and trying very hard not to think of what her happy daddy would do to perky Bridgette once she was out of the house. The very thought that they may or may not have been doing anything sexual while she was in the house made her feel dizzy and sick to her stomach.

“You don’t know anything about my life,” Mya snapped and it was true. She hadn’t told her father why she had run back home; not exactly.

“Do you think I don’t recognize a broken heart when I see one?” Bridgette sighed dramatically and rolled her baby blues at Mya in a way that said she clearly thought she was speaking to either a child or someone with inferior intellect and that...well that made Mya furious...and made her laugh at the same time.

“Like I said, you don’t know anything about me or my life so...why don’t you do me a favour and go back to chewing your gum or whatever it is you do around here,” Mya snarled and pushed her chair back, scraping it across the floor until it fell over backward and left them both staring at it.

“You’re right. I don’t really care about you or how you feel, but I do care about your father and he’s worried about you so I’m willing to do whatever it takes to make it so that he doesn’t worry anymore. Get it?” Mya stared at her father’s teenage girlfriend and wanted to say something sarcastic and nasty, but nothing came to her. Instead, she stared at the beautiful blonde and felt her carefully built protective wall begin to crack. “So, this guy. Do you love him?” Mya stared and refused to answer. “Alright, don’t answer me. You’re right, it doesn’t matter what I think and you don’t have to tell me anything but if you love him, then you should go back to him.”

Bridgette shrugged and turned and walked away and Mya watched as she went with that question hanging in the air – did she still love him and should she go back to Pittsburgh?