Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Chapter 41: Another Run at Glory

I don't know what happened today at work, but I couldn't stop writing* Enjoy!


Mel dragged her tired body to the door and leaned against it as she tried to make the key work properly. I’m going to tell Sid that we want key cards and slots like in hotels. Yes, it was a stupid thing to wish for, but at the moment she just didn’t care. Erin beeped her horn once and as the lock finally came undone Mel threw up a hand to wave her home before stumbling through the door.

“Fucking Ottawa bastards.”

The boys had fought so hard tonight. They could have ended it multiple times but things just didn’t connect. So after sixty minutes of play, they went to the locker room to have some food and get ready to end it in over time. Twenty minutes after that they were back in the locker room, having pizza and working out a plan to end it in the second over time. Another twenty minutes and once again, they were in the locker room.

Sid had called her that time. He sounded so tired. But she could also hear the drive and fight in his voice. She heard laughter in the background and thought that it was probably the best thing they could be doing right now, laughing. If they got too serious then it would be over before they could skate back out onto the ice for yet another overtime period.

And she thought they were going to do it. She was convinced that they would put the puck behind the goalie and end this thing on home ice. It would’ve been great. To see all those people in the white out shirts screaming as the Pens knocked the Senators out of the playoffs. But then that jerk got one by Flower and there was a collective sigh from the arena.

In fact, most people were probably just glad they could finally leave.


Mel kicked off her shoes and made her way to the kitchen. Sid would be another thirty minutes at least. He was going to go over game tapes and stuff with Disco and a couple of the other guys. And she was just too keyed up to fall asleep. Which made no sense since she was practically falling over from exhaustion.

After she walked into the room, she decided to bake some cookies. The guys could eat them on the flight tomorrow. Grabbing a bunch of stuff from the fridge and the cupboard beside it, she laid everything on the center island and then turned on the oven.

Memories filtered through her mind of previous encounters in the kitchen. She blushed at the images in her head and then heard the doorbell. Looking at the clock on the stove, she wondered who would be on her doorstep so late. She grabbed a dishtowel and then padded over to the front door. Peering through the window she quickly unlocked the door.

“Erin? Vero?! What are you two doing here?? Is everyone okay? Did something happen to one of the guys? What in th…”

“I couldn’t sleep,” Erin interrupted. “I got all the way home and couldn’t even go inside. Geno’s staying at the arena with Sid… I didn’t want to be alone.”

“Marc is there as well… Erin called… we decided to come over. Keep you company. Unless you are going to bed…”

“I can’t sleep either. I was going to bake some cookies. Wanna help?”

The two of them agreed wholeheartedly and as she shut the door, Mel whipped out her cell phone and sent out a mass text to the other girls, telling them all to come over if they wanted to. It wasn’t long after that Amanda and Tori showed up, and Kelsey brought over Jackson. He was out like a light, but she was wired like the rest of them.

For the next hour and a half they mixed and stirred and baked. There was flour all over the floor, chocolate chips littered the counters and there was peanut butter on the one cupboard door. After the final tray had been taken out of the oven and placed on the cooling racks the group filed into the dining room and sat around the table, nursing cups of hot chocolate, coffee or tea. Mel lifted her head from her arm and looked around the table.

“Did anyone tell their men where they’d be?”

There was a collective groan and a couple muttered curses. Mel snorted into her arm and got smacked in the forehead with a marshmallow. She glanced up and saw Erin trying to look innocent.

“You’re lucky there’s a child in your belly that I want to spoil or I’d hurt you right now.”

Erin let the threat roll off her shoulders and stuck her tongue out.

“Mature Mrs. Malkin. Very mature.”

Mel pulled out her phone to send Sid a text. She knew he was busy, but if any of the guys left and didn’t know where their counterparts were… things were tense and tempers could flare quickly.

Warn 1/29/44/48/71 their women are here. baking. Might crash. Oven is off, no worries!

“I want a cookie,” Vero said. Then her stomach grumbled and they all laughed. Getting up, Mel grabbed a gallon of milk from the fridge. Tori snagged some high ball glasses, Kelsey checked on the little one while Erin and Vero piled from of the goodies onto a plate. They met back up at the table and were all munching on a cookie when the door opened and there stood six very tired looking men.


“Wanna just ride together to the house,” Sid asked the guys. He didn’t know who still had a car here but there would be someone around to watch it until they got back. Or until one of the WAGs came and picked it up.

“I think I’m the only one with a car here still,” Brooks said. “How about we split up into two groups and meet there?”

Nods and grunts of agreement echoed as they all walked down the walkway toward the parking lot. Disco popped his head out of the door and hollered for them once more. Sid didn’t know whether he wanted to strangle the man or kiss him for the help he’d offered after the loss.

“Yeah Coach?”

“Be careful going home. Someone let me know when you’ve made it safely so I don’t worry, okay?”

“Yeah Coach.”

Sid opened the door and unlocked his car. Johnny and Marc were riding with him and he could hear them mumbling about who was riding shotgun. They finally settled on playing Rock, Paper, Scissors and he heard Marc swear in French when Johnny’s rock crushed his scissors. Shaking his head, he climbed into the vehicle and laughed as he looked in the rearview mirror and saw Flower pouting like a child.

“Dude, you’re just mad because I get to control the radio now.”

“You suck. I don’t think I like you.”

Johnny and Sid started laughing as they pulled out of the parking lot and headed in the direction of home. When they pulled into the crowded driveway, they waited until Brooks pulled in before getting out and stumbling up the steps to the door. Sid unlocked it and pushed the heavy wooden door open and had to laugh at the sight that greeted him.

There, seated around the table, were the girls. And they all had a cookie paused at their mouths.

“Peanut butter blossoms,” screamed Flower as he pushed past them and ran to the table. Sid watched as he picked up one of the little cookies with a Hershey’s kiss on top and shoved the entire thing in his mouth.

Sid walked over and stood beside Melany, his fingers itching to haul her upstairs. He settled for sitting beside her and going against the rules by having a couple late night crumbles.

Tyler and Kelsey were the first to leave. Sid felt a pang of jealousy as he watched his teammate carry his sleeping son out the door. Brooks had to drag a very sleepy Amanda out before she wound up crashing on the couch for the night. And as Erin and Geno left, the pang came back. Geno, big lug that he was, had turned out to be the most attentive soon-to-be dad in the world.

Tori and Johnny decided to just sleep it off in her old bedroom and said their ‘good nights’ before climbing the stairs. It left four of them at the table. Vero and Mel were talking about the upcoming nuptials and Marc popped another cookie into his mouth, this time in bites.

“You want me to start putting the cookies in containers for tomorrow? I’m guessing that’s why you made them.”

Mel nodded and Sid dragged his friend into the kitchen to help him. The kitchen that looked like a damn war zone.

Marc laughed and tiptoed around the splotches of flour that were all over the floor. Sid just shook his head and grabbed a few containers from the cabinet under the island. They packed away the goodies for the flight in the morning… later today… god was it really 2a.m.?!

“I’ll grab V and we’ll get going. Make sure you don’t forget these, okay? I might have to hurt you.”

“Why don’t you just stay here?” Sid turned at the sound of Mel’s voice. “It’s already late. And why drive if you don’t have to. You can stay in one of three places, four if you wanna sleep downstairs. It’s not like we don’t have the room. The Wilkes-Barre boys are still in their playoff race, so the space is plentiful. You can leave in the morning and pack your bag and stuff.”

Sid saw the uncertainty on his friend’s face. Flower was very particular about things. He didn’t like to change his routines… at all. And especially not during the playoffs. But one look at Vero and he was nodding his head.

The two of them walked up to the guest room to grab sheets out of the closet while Mel and V put as many of the dirty dishes in the dishwasher as they could. Sid heard the creak in the stairs and told Marc good night as he stepped across the hall, shut the door behind him, and stared at the woman by the bed.

“Long night, eh Captain?”


“Well, come to bed then. Sleep. I’ll make breakfast when you wake up. What time are you guys leaving?”

“Gotta be there at eleven.”

“See, plenty of time.” She met him halfway across the room and sank into his arms. He sighed as she ran her hands over the muscles in his back. “Come on, I’ll get those knots out before you fall asleep.”

He just nodded and pretty much collapsed on the bed after shucking out of his suit, throwing on a pair of sweats and brushing his teeth. If she was going to be touching him, there was no point in pulling a shirt over his head anyway.


Mel heard the bed squeak as he flopped onto the mattress and she spit into the sink before hitting the light switch and walking slowly over to their bed. She threw her hair into a ponytail and crawled on the mattress until she straddled him, resting herself on his ass.

“Want me to start at the top or the bottom?”

“Top,” he said into the pillows.

She opened the relaxing oil from beside her and smoothed some between her fingers. Then she started at his shoulders and kneaded the tense muscles there. He groaned as she worked through all the kinks. And there were definitely a lot of them. Things were so stressful for him right now. she knew it, and she wanted to help.

Placing the heel of her palm in between his shoulder blades, she told him to take a deep breath and then breathe out. As he exhaled she pushed down and up and listened to his bones pop and release. He groaned again. Mel worked her way down his spine, alternating between massaging the muscles and cracking his back. After she was finished with her task, she went back to just rubbing his shoulders gently.

Leaning down, she noticed his eyes were closed and his breathing had evened itself out. He literally fell asleep to my touch, how sweet. She slid off of him and lay down beside him, her body curling itself against him. she heard him sigh and then he brought his arm around her, dragging her into his embrace as he turned to his side.

Mel made sure the alarm was set to give them enough time for breakfast and then she closed her eyes, breathing in the relaxing scent and Sid. When the beeping started a few hours later she felt surprisingly refreshed. Sid was still deep in dreamland so she lifted his arm and slipped from the bed, heading down to start cooking.

Tori was making a pot of coffee when she walked into the kitchen. The floor was swept and the counters cleaned.

“Doing some housework for me, cousin?”

“Non, that was all me. I could not sleep any longer. The light came in and I was up. I am too nervous for Marc anyway.”

The three of them worked together, making omelets and waffles for the guys. Tori juiced some oranges and made a new pot of coffee while Vero ran around, setting the table like she’d lived there all along. They were just putting the final set of waffles on a plate when Mel heard the stomping of three hungry men coming down the stairs.

Breakfast was lively, the guys all recharged for their trip to the Great White North. Mel made plans to go shopping with Vero the next day, telling Sid she needed a new celebration outfit. She knew he got nervous when she talked like that, but she knew they could pull it off. As she kissed him goodbye, she made him promise to have fun.

“Good luck on Saturday babe. You’re gonna do great things.”

“Me personally?”

“I don’t know… hopefully! But you come back to me with the series finished. You got me Crosby?”

“Is that a ‘come back with a win or don’t come back at all’ speech?”

“No, you come back no matter what. But bring home the win as a bonus!”


“FUCK! Come on ref! Call something why don’t you?!”

Sid watched as Gonch wrapped his stick up in one of the Sens and the ref’s arm came up.

“Oh sonofa…”

“You got your call Doofy.”

Sid turned and glared at Billy. They were down 3-0 in the second period. After a successful penalty kill the lines were a little off. Coach yelled for Duper to get out there with Jordan and Cookey and Sid watched them race into the zone. Come on, come on, come on.

They went into the locker room down by two goals instead of three. That was a plus. They had twenty minutes to tie it up. Another plus. They could do it. He took the ice after a pep talk from Coach and went out to center ice for the opening faceoff of the period.

Five minutes later they got a break. An interference penalty that was probably questionable. To hell with it, I’ll take it.

Disco yelled for the second power play line to start off and Sid bided his time, watching the dynamics between the two d-men on the PK. They had a small chink in their defense, and he passed the word down to Billy and Geno. If they stuck Geno on the half wall, Billy in front of the net… Ottawa shot the puck down the ice and he jumped over the boards with the rest of the first unit.

Getting back into the offensive zone, Sid went down low with the puck. While two guys came at him he saw Geno to his right, completely clear. He wrapped the puck behind him, shooting it out to the Russian. With seemingly no clear shot, Geno passed it to Goose for a one-timer. Billy stayed planted in front of the net and watched as Goose shot it wide on purpose. With his stick out he deflected it in and past Leclaire.

Two down, one to go.

It was when he found himself out on a line with Cookey and Poni that Sid started to question his coach’s mind set. This wasn’t a line. It wasn’t any type of combination they’d ever worked. But he went with it. and the even-up goal that Cookey got had to have been the luckiest shot in the world.

He pretty much tackled Matt as he hollered in triumph. They had tied it up. now they just needed to get that one shot to end the series and move on to the next one. It would have to be in overtime though. As the buzzer sounded and they made their way back to their stalls, Sid fought himself to keep from checking his phone.

There would be a msg on there from her. he knew there would. But he kept his hands away from his bag. He went over the possible scenarios in his head. Who could pull of the goal, how they would celebrate. It never entered his head that they wouldn’t win. And so they trudged back out for yet another game of overtime, sudden death hockey.

The hits came harder, the tension hung thicker. Each side knew that the first goal in could determine the end of a season. And neither team wanted that to happen to them. Sid just remembered what Mel had told him. have fun.

He did. He played for the love of the game and soared in on net, deke to the left, deke to the right, pass, skate. He was kept off the score board but he knew he’d worn down their defense. A few more shifts a piece and then he was screaming and racing out to tackle Duper.

The cheers and jeers died away. The roaring in his ears dominated any other sound. They had done it. they had moved on once again. And as they shook hands with the Senators, his mind was already on who they might face next.

He didn’t remember what he said to the media, hopefully it wasn’t anything stupid. He just wanted to get on the plane and get home. after the media was sent away, they all sat in their stalls, no one wanting to break the tranquility of the moment. Brooks was the first one to speak.

“It’s far from over.”

They knew it was true. There would only be so many lucky breaks, so many times when the puck went their way. The second and third seeds had been knocked out already. And so now it was time to play the ‘Waiting Game’ until the series between Washington and Montreal ended.

The series had been a solid 3-1 with Washington looking to end it all in Game 5. And then Montreal had found their second wind or something. They won Game 5 and last night they had won Game 6. Now they played Monday night to see who would end who. Washington had taken the regular season by storm, and Sid didn’t know how they had let it come to a Game 7, against the eighth seed in the conference.

As he crawled into bed late that night with Mel, he smiled in the dark. For once, he wasn’t worried about whether or not they would go all the way again this year. He was honestly just tired. Two finals in a row had left them without a lot of recovery time. IT had shown on some of them already. Max hadn’t had the return he expected, a couple of the older guys were lagging… hell, he felt a couple times like he just wanted to sit and rest for five minutes. Holding her close, Sid fell asleep to the sound of Mel’s even breathing.

“Congratulations Captain,” came a soft voice in his ear the next morning.

Sid blinked his eyes and squinted against the light coming in from the windows. It couldn’t be morning already, it had to be a dream. but when he opened his eyes more and looked around, everything looked the way it should. He groaned and snuggled his body close to Mel’s, listening to her giggle as she wrapped her arms around him.

“Wake up sleepy head.”



“Not hungry.”


“I’m clean enough.”

“Wedding stuff?”


He chuckled as Mel poked him repeatedly in the side, trying to get him to wake up. finally relenting, he flung the blankets backward and stared down at her. how can she look so sexy in an old t-shirt and my shorts??

He rolled back over and fell on top of her, hearing her whoosh of breath since he’d surprised her. then he slid his hands under her shirt and ran them lightly up and down her sides. She shrieked with laughter and jerked, trying to escape him. it didn’t work though, and he refused to release her until she threatened to pee the bed if he didn’t stop and let her up.

They had some granola and yogurt and pretended to do stuff throughout the day. They went over more plans for the wedding. She was getting fitted later that week for her dress. And Erin’s dress was being tailored already. The colors were set, the flowers picked, the caterer knew what to make and had a staff picked out already.

“What else is left?”

“Who’s your best man?”


“Does he know yet?”

“No… I’ve kind of been putting it off…”

“Why? He’s going to be so excited!”

“If I tell him… what will the others think?”

“They won’t think anything. It’s your choice of who you want to stand up there with you. The rest of the guys won’t care Sid. Besides, they know who your close with, they know who has been there for you. Heck, tell them I wanted it to be Max!”

He smiled at that. If she could’ve, she’d have had Max on her side.

“Fine, I will go call him right now.”

“No need.”


“He’ll be over in like an hour anyway.”

“What? Why?!”

“He’s helping me with my vows.”

“We’re allowed to get outside help?? Why didn’t I know that?!”

“Well, you can’t ask Max now. I already did. And if you ask him to help you, then it’s like he’s working both sides. And that’s not fair.”

“Ugh… I’m calling Flower then!”

Mel just smiled at him and went off to grab a shower.

The next day, at Geno’s party for the deciding game, they announced what everyone already knew. Erin and Max would stand up with them at the ceremony. He added that he hoped no one was offended by it. Geno dumped him in the pool.

They all settled in for the game and Sid couldn’t decide who he was rooting for. If Washington won, it meant possibly facing them somewhere in the future and that they’d be taking on Boston. And if the Habs won then they’d be facing a Cinderella team like last season when they took on the Canes.

When the final buzzer rang, Sid took a deep breath. Up next, Montreal. And they’d just fought back from a 3-1 deficit to knock out the top seeded team in the conference. And their goalie was standing on his head. This was going to be a tough series.

Chapter 40: Laying Down the Foundation

So, I didn’t realize how much time had gone by! I got so caught up in these Christmas challenge stories… and I guess, deep down I just didn’t want to work on it, because I don’t want it to end! But there are less than a handful of chapters left! And I’m going to try and have them, and my Christmas story done by Christmas itself!!
Comments will be greatly appreciated like always, and I hope you ladies love it!!


“Sid, come on, come to lunch with us!”

Looking up at his teammates, Sid just smiled and shook his head.

“No freakin’ way. Mel’s had this appointment for almost two weeks. If I flake out on her, she may literally kill me. And then you would have no captain for the playoffs. Do you want that?! Do you want her to kill me??”

They all laughed and continued to change from practice. Max grumbled something about him being wrapped around her finger and he honestly couldn’t find fault in that statement. Max was probably right. But that didn’t matter to him.

Grabbing his jacket, he wandered out toward his car. There weren’t a lot of people lined up outside Southpointe and he unlocked his phone, dialing Mel’s number.

“Hey there stranger.”

“Hi to you too.”

“All done at practice already?”

Sid nodded like she could see him and got in his car.

“M’hmm. And there’s not many people here so I shouldn’t be late or anything. You need me to bring anything?”

“Nope. I gotta go, there’s someone coming that I wanna talk to!”

Sid laughed and hung up the phone before backing his car out of the spot and cruising slowly up to the beginning of the line of fans. He had just scribbled his autograph for a little boy when the next person in line practically shoved their head through his window. Jerking back, he looked up with startled eyes.

“Whoa! What in the…”

“Lookin’ for a good time sugar?”

Mel was standing there, leaning against his car, her head on her hand, and her arm on the door.

“Well, I don’t know… are you expensive?”

“Ha! Honey, I don’t think you could begin to imagine.”

“I’m willing to give it a shot. Why don’t you hop in?”

Mel smiled and ran around to the other side of his car. He heard two teenage girls giggling about how cute they were together. He smiled and signed the final couple things in front of his window before hitting the button to roll up his window. They pulled out of the lot and Sid navigated his way back to their house.

He had his own house now.

Well, technically he’d bought the house a while ago but… Mel grabbed his hand as they drove in a comfortable silence. She had her window open some, the wind blowing her hair around her face in a way that made him want to twirl it in his fingers before dragging her lips to his.

“So, this lady is good at making weddings happen?”

“Ha ha ha. No, she’s great at planning the weddings the way people want them. But the two people getting married have to make it happen.”

“Okay okay… but she is good at planning sort of high profile, kind-of-short-notice weddings?”

“Give me some credit here Sid…”

“I know… I’m just nervous. What if she doesn’t think she can help us?”

“Then we’ll do it ourselves. You worry too much. How about after the meeting, we just relax for the rest of the day? Tomorrow is going to be insane.”


Tomorrow was the last regular season game that would ever be played at Mellon Arena. He didn’t know whether to be excited or depressed. They’d secured a spot in the playoffs again. He was feeling pretty positive about the final three games. Tomorrow would be against the Islanders, then there was Atlanta and finally… the Islanders again.

“Thinking about tomorrow night?”

Sid jerked at her question and looked up to see the red light they’d been sitting at had turned green. He just smirked before gunning it and getting on the highway. When they pulled into the driveway at the house, he tugged on Mel’s hand, bringing her close.

“Do you think Kris and Lexie will be okay living together?”

“I do. And you’re okay with Tori staying with us?”

“Of course. This is your house, I’m just moving into it,” he said with a smile. “Besides, I don’t see her staying too much longer.”

“Oh, and why do you think that? What do you know that I don’t know?”

“Are you kidding me?? Johnny has been itching to get her to move in for the past couple months. When I said I was moving in he practically did a cartwheel… in his pads!!”

Mel laughed and told him to shut up and get out of the car. They walked into the house and as he turned the corner to head up to the bedroom he heard a noise on his left. Mel came up behind him and let out a scream.


Sid watched in amused horror as Tori and Brent dove for cover, pulling at an afghan from the couch they had been… occupying. He turned toward Mel and burst out laughing at the shocked look on her face. He wasn’t sure why she was so shocked… how many times had the two of them almost been caught by either one of her roommates or one, or more, of the guys?

“What on earth is going on? Why don’t you guys have any clothes on?!”

“It won’t happen here again,” came a muffled and feminine voice from under the blanket. Then the corner flew back and Sid saw the giant smile on his teammate’s face.

“Does that mean you’re saying yes??”

“Yes! I’d love to!”

The blanket started to fall from Tori’s torso and Sid spun around quickly. He grabbed Mel before she could argue and they ran through the doorway and around the corner. Then he hollered in the direction of the lovebirds.

“So Johnny… did you finally ask her that question you’ve been dying to ask her?”

“I did!”

“Well, once you put some pants on I’ll come congratulate you guys!”

“What am I missing here,” Mel called out.

“I’m moving in with Brent!”


“Oh, that’s so great!”

Completely forgetting the fact that her cousin and her boyfriend were naked, Mel ran back into the living room and pulled Tori into a hug. The two of them were smiling and giggling when she heard someone clear their throat. Looking up, she saw Sid standing there, his hand over his eyes and a bit of a blush staining his cheeks. She nodded as Tori and Johnny, wrapped in afghans, made their way out of the room and up the stairs.

“Oh for the love of… you’ve seen Brent naked plenty of times!”

“Yes, but Tori has never shown more than a bit of thigh, maybe her stomach when I run into her after a run or something…”

“Jeez-oh-pete you’re a wuss. I can’t believe I’m marrying such a pansy.”

“You want me checking out your cousin?!”

Mel laughed again and told him to stop being so special and put his hands down. He did, but his eyes were shut as tight as possible.

“Babe… they aren’t even in the living room anymore.”

“What do you mean they aren’t… Hey, where’d they go?”

“Never mind about them. We need to get ready for the meeting. She should be here in like twenty minutes.”

Twenty-five minutes later the doorbell rang and Mel almost ran to open it. She beamed at the woman standing there, smiling back at her. She showed her inside and brought her into the dining room where Sid was sitting at the table, surrounded by notebooks, note cards, drawings and bridal magazines. He looked like she did when she was writing a term paper in college.

“Sid, I’d like you to meet our wedding planner, Mrs. N…”


“Hey kiddo. Is your brain fuzzy from all these choices yet?”

Mel almost laughed at the look on his face. But she couldn’t really blame him. she hadn’t told him the name of the person she had asked to help her plan this. But when she had started thinking of who to go to, who to ask all those questions about how to pick the right wedding planner… she’d gone straight to Mario. And Mario had passed her along to Nathalie, who had told her, in no uncertain terms, that she would be honored to do the job herself.

And really, why not? Nathalie knew what it was like to be married to a hockey player. And she had planned her and Mario’s wedding. Plus, Mel knew that Nathalie wouldn’t lead her astray, or try to talk her into something overly extravagant.

Turning to Sid, she noticed that he was still just sitting there, his mouth kind of open and his hand paused in mid-page flip. She exchanged a glance with Nathalie and then they laughed as he shook his head and finally seemed to come out of his trance.

“You hired Nathalie??”

“Well, I wouldn’t really call it ‘hired’ since she refuses to let me pay her. At all.”

“As I told you, we’ll call this my wedding present.”

The ladies sat down at the table and the three of them started laying out the groundwork for the wedding, starting with the date. Luckily, that had been one of Sid’s tasks. And it had been the one that he’d had no problem figuring out.

“June 12.”

“Are you serious?”

“Damn straight.”

“You don’t think that will take away from the Cup? From the fact that it was exactly one year to the day from when you guys beat Detroit?”

Sid shook his head. She could tell that he was definitely serious about this, that he’d thought it through. Smiling, she wrote the date at the top of the ‘Wedding Binder’ that Nathalie had brought with her. They spent the next hour writing down guest lists, flowers, and possible places since they were going to have the wedding in Pittsburgh. That had been Sid’s choice as well.


“This is where I wanna get married. I don’t wanna go back to Nova Scotia, to Cole Harbor. I’ve been thinking about it… and I’d like to get married at the house, if it’s okay with you and Mario,” he said, turning to Nathalie.

He’d been thinking about it for the past week, ever since Mel had told him what his jobs were. Just figure out the date, if you want to have the ceremony here or in Canada, guests other than the boys and their families, and who you want to stand up there with you.

“Really?” He looked up to see his previous landlord standing in the door. “Sorry, the door was open and I didn’t want to disturb the ‘work-in-progress’ that’s going on in here. I brought lunch for the four of us.”

Mario held up a brown bag from Applebee’s and then laughed when Mel shot out of her chair and ran into the kitchen to grab plates and silverware. She had this addiction to their fajitas and Mario knew it. Taking a break from all of the decisions, the foursome sat together and enjoyed their food. Mel finally broke the silence.

“Babe, are you sure about having it here? I told you, this was your choice… I don’t want you thinking that you have to have it here because I had said I’d like that.”

“No, I’m sure on this. What do you guys think?”

Mario nodded and smiled and Nat clapped her hands together and started bouncing ideas off a mile a minute. Mario excused himself from the table and motioned for Sid to follow. Nathalie was already writing down key things they would need to throw all of this in motion and Mel was laughing and naming flowers and places to put reception tables.

Coming to a stop beside his former captain, teammate and landlord, Sid waited for Mario to speak.

“You really want to have the wedding at my house?”

“Bossman, I have a lot of fond memories from your house. And this past year with Mel has brought on a solid chunk of them. And honestly, there’s no place I’d rather go. I know it’ll hold all the guys, plus a couple others. Mom, Dad and Taylor will be in for playoffs… it just seems right.”

“Well, I’m truly honored Sid. I want you to know that. I’ve watched you grow up in front of my eyes these past few years. You can’t imagine how I felt when you said you wanted to do everything here. You tell that woman of yours that anything she wants for the wedding, she’s to have. I don’t care if it’s trained monkeys that bring the rings down the aisle for you two!”

“I think that’s a little ostentatious, don’t you Sid?” He felt Melany come up and slide her arm around his waist. “Besides, they totally need to be baby elephants! And they can shoot the rings out of their trunks and they’ll land in our hands!”

The laughter and jokes went on like that for about twenty minutes before Mario had to leave for an owners meeting. Nat was going to pick up the kids from school, and so once again, the house was quiet. Sid grabbed some Gatorade out of the fridge and brought it out onto the back porch where his fiancée was sitting.

“Can you believe that this house is going to only be housing the two of us?”

“I know. It’s way too much room!”

“I know that some of the Wilkes-Barre guys are going to be brought up for the playoff run again this year…”

“Oh yeah? Well, we could house a couple of them. That way they don’t have to stay in a hotel.”

“I was thinking the same thing. And you can practice some more recipes. I’m loving this home-cooked meal deal that we have whenever it’s not game night!”

“I’ll see what I can do! Wanna have some people over tonight?”

“Nah, let’s just be you and me tonight. Johnny’s gonna keep Tori with him, and Kris and Lexie are having their first real day/evening together.”

And now that they had pinned down the necessities for the wedding, they both needed to call their parents and let them know what was going on. He could tell all the guys tomorrow, and that would cover their families as well. So really, Lynn and his parents were the only other people who needed to be told.

“I’m going to go call my mom and tell her the good news! Why don’t you call yours and then we’ll meet in the bedroom in ten minutes for a movie?”

She wiggled her eyebrows at him and pressed her lips to his quickly before sauntering off toward the stairs. That woman will be the death of me.

Dialing up his parent’s, he waited for one of them to pick up the phone. When no answer came he sighed and went to work trying both of their cells. Still having no luck, he headed up to their bedroom as he dialed the house number once more. When the answering machine kicked in he opened the door and stopped in his tracks.

“Oh fuck m--- hey mom, dad… ummm… crap… I was just calling to… I mean I, listen it’s not an emergency so… you know what, just call me tonight sometime. Love you guys. Bye.”


I hope he likes this.

Mel heard him coming up the steps and glanced in the mirror once more to make sure her hair looked sexy. The new outfit was pleasing enough, but when she styled her hair in that ‘just-got-out-of-bed, night-of-sex’ sloppy ponytail, it drove Sid crazy for some reason. She straightened the garter belt and leaned against the bed frame as the door swung open.

She heard him stutter into the phone and then he laid it down on the dresser. Coming toward her, each step he took he undressed. First his shirt, then his shoes. His socks were gone next and by the time he stood in front of her he was clad in nothing but dark grey boxer briefs.

“Hey there stud, see anything you like?”

“When did this come in?”

She shivered as his finger traced the strap of her bra, over the cup and then between her breasts. She started to answer him but the words came out more like ‘oomph’ as he dragged her against him and claimed her lips.

One or both of them still tasted like their drink and the fruity flavor lingered on her lips as Sid pulled away and blazed a trail of moist kisses down her throat and over both satin-covered mounds. They celebrated the new found empty house, her with screams of his name and him with grunts and one guttural cry before they both collapsed on the bed, sweaty arms and legs entwined together.

“I’ll buy you a new bra…”

“You could’ve just unhooked the back you know?”

“Too much time.”

“Now you have to shell out money for another one though.”

“Totally worth it. I think I’ll have this one framed… stick it in my stall at the new arena.”

Mel sat up and whacked him with a pillow. He just laughed and pulled her back down on top of him. They stretched out together, neither one really wanting to move from the comfort of the plush mattress that was beneath them. All too soon reality called and his phone started ringing though.

Sid grumbled and rolled over to the edge of the bed and stood up. As he stretched his muscles she bit her bottom lip. God he’s gorgeous. He was watching her face and smirked at the look that must’ve been on her face. So when he turned to get his phone she swung her hand, leaving a perfect palm print on that huge ass of his.

He actually yelped.

Letting out a fit of giggles, she tried to hide her face in a pillow to drown out the sounds. She knew she’d failed when he answered the phone and told whoever it was that he had a new pet hyena. Wrapping her sheet around her body, Mel held up a hand in forgiveness and made her way down to the kitchen to start something for dinner.

Tucking the sheet into a faux toga, she sent out two texts to make sure her soon-to-be ex roomies were really staying out for the night. Setting up the ingredients for steak salads, using leftovers from the night before, the only thing she needed to actually cook would be some French fries, because you couldn’t have a steak salad without hot, tasty French fries and loads of ranch dressing. Well, Sid could, but she couldn’t. Checking her inbox and seeing two confirmations from the girls, she popped the oven on and let it warm up.

Sid made it down as she was placing the fries in the oven and she turned to find him wearing nothing but a pair of workout shorts. Just staring at his defined chest and hip indents… those things were evil. They pointed right to what she wanted to play with while dinner was working. He started to harden under her gaze and when she looked back up into his eyes, she blushed.

He didn’t say anything. He just walked around the kitchen, dropping the blinds in all the windows and pulling the curtain across the sliding glass door. He came back over to where she was standing and pushed her against the kitchen island. Mel gasped as he lifted her up, sitting her on the granite surface and stepping between her legs.

Their mouths melded together and sparks flew as his fingers ran down her arms, goose bumps following in their wake. She growled into his mouth and dug her nails into his sides. As he pulled back with a hiss, he grabbed the tucked-in end of the sheet and pulled it away, unwrapping her under his hungry stare.

“Dinner will be done soon.”

“I’m famished.”

“Fries will be don…”

“I’m hungry now.”

“Right now?”

“Right now.”

As he spoke the two words, Mel felt him pushing her backward. As she lay back on the countertop, her shoulders jerked at the cool, smooth feeling under her body while his mouth on her thighs made her want to grab the fire extinguisher and spray herself.

He dove right in, his tongue pushing between her drenched folds and savoring each lick and swipe he made. She grabbed for something to hold onto, but found nothing, nothing but the edges of the countertop itself above her head. Beggars can’t be choosers.

As his hands spread her thighs farther apart, his mouth found her hot button and his teeth nipped it gently, eliciting a scream of pleasure from her throat. He just chuckled when she cursed him and sucked the little nub between his lips, tugging as he slid two fingers inside her. He moved a maddeningly slow pace, leaving her hot, bothered and craving the punishing thrusts that she knew he could give her with another part of his body.

“Sid… Sid… Sidney!”

He didn’t move his head, but he hummed in a questioning way and she growled.


No real response but the hummed ‘uh-uh’ made her almost scream in frustration.

“Puuhhh-llleeezzzeeee,” she moaned and he pushed hard twice, his tongue flicking quickly over her clit. “Yes! More!”

Slow thrusts and barely there licks were his response to her demands. Gripping the counter above her head, Mel wondered if she could break out into ‘Hulk strength,’ rip a piece of the granite and crack him up the side of his head.

“Sidney, if those fries burn because you wanna play games… AH! Fucking hell! Why did you stop?!”

“I’m going to make sure nothing can interrupt me.”

She came up on her elbows and watched him walk over and turn the dial down on the oven.

“But I want…”

He dropped the briefs.

Mel stared at him as he stalked back to her, pulled her legs until her ass was sitting on the edge of the counter and then shoved himself inside her with one thrust.


“Me. You want me.”

Sid listened to her moan as he held her hips. As he began to move within her, he moved his thumb over, pressing it back and forth over her clit as his hips bucked toward her. She was slick and hot and as their bodies came together he couldn’t think of anyone, or anything, that had ever felt this good.

After a few more punishing twists of his hips, Sid pulled her close, bringing her arms up and around his neck. Then he pushed the sheet to the floor and sank down slowly until his body was covering hers completely and he could feel her nipples pressed to his chest. He pushed her legs up so she’d wrap them around his body and then he braced his hands by her head like he was going to do push-ups.

“Tell me.”

“I want you,” she breathed out.

“Only me.”

“Only you.”



Sid dropped his head and kissed her as he slid back inside her. He wore himself out with an increased tempo but it didn’t matter as he felt her muscles tighten around him and heard her cry out his name as she neared the finish line. Sliding to his knees and gripping her hips, he brought her against him hard with each stroke and the sound of their bodies slapping together had him in the final stretch as well.

Leaning his body over hers, Sid groaned as she bit his shoulder before running her tongue over the little marks. Her voice broke as she sobbed out his name once more and her back arched, body taut and he held himself deep inside and growled her name. He felt as if he emptied his soul inside her before he collapsed.

Holding the corner of the sheet he turned them both so it covered the vital parts. As he gazed down into her glazed eyes, he watched a single tear fall and noticed her lip quivering.

“Babe? Melany?! Fuck, did I hurt you?”

She just shook her head and took a couple deep breaths.

“I j-just got caught up in the moment. You can be extremely i-intense when you want something.”

He chuckled quietly and nuzzled his face in the crook of her neck.

“You’re no better,” he quipped and felt her laugh.

They relaxed for a few more minutes before the floor became cold and uncomfortable. Then, grabbing the menu from the fridge, Sid carried her up the stairs and they decided on Chinese takeout for dinner. He ordered while she hopped in the shower. Then he showered while Mel waited for the food.

When he came downstairs she had two places set at the table. They ate in companionable silence until it came time to open the cookie. He broke his open and got ready to read it.



“You have to eat the cookie first, before you read the fortune, or it won’t come true.”

Sid wanted to laugh, but he’d heard her tell Tori that same thing many times. So, popping half the cookie in his mouth, he chewed it and the other part before he flipped the little piece of paper over. Staring at the words, he bit his cheek.

“Well, what’s it say?”

“Yours first.”

“Ugh… men…”

He poked her in the side with a chop stick and just laughed when she stuck her tongue out at him.

“C’mon, read yours or you won’t hear mine.”

“Fine,” she grumbled. She finished the second half of her cookie and held the scrap of paper between her fingers. “If you want the rainbow, you must put up with the rain.

“We’ve had our fair share of showers I think.”

She just smiled and pointed to his fortune. He held it up and cleared his throat.

Even the grandest building will fall without a solid foundation. You think we’re pretty solid?”

“As a rock.”

Sid brought her hand up to his lips before they headed back upstairs for a quiet movie night. And later, while she lay sleeping in his arms, he thought back to the words on the fortune. And he agreed. What they had wasn’t perfect, but it was strong and durable, and it would last them a lifetime. Now they just had to get to the part where they merged their lives. And after the playoffs, that moment would come.


“So, we’re planning on a June 12th wedding. And I know that you will be a big as a blimp but… OW!”

Erin pointed a finger at her, but said nothing. Then she put her hand back on her expanding stomach. The two were waiting for the other girls to get to the arena. Mel had taken the day off from school… again. Her seniors were almost done anyway. She’d already turned in their grades. They were just watching movies or working on other work anyway.

“Hey, earth to Mel?”


“I lost you for a minute. You okay? You’ve been distracted lately. School keeping you busy?”

“They told me that they wouldn’t be asking me to come back next year. Supposedly it’s due to cut backs and crap. But I know that’s not it. it’s Sid.”

“Sid? I don’t follow.”

“I keep taking days off… and as a first year teacher… even with the recommendations from the Lemieux’s and stuff… the principal told me that he thought maybe I needed to get my priorities straight. I met with him this morning when I called off. I just have to go in tomorrow and get all my stuff. They’ll have someone watch my students for the final three days that they’re in classes.”

“Oh my gosh. I had no idea. I’m so sorry!”

“I’m not. I made a difference, at least with some of them. But maybe it’s not what I’m supposed to do, ya know? And this next season is going to be a stressful time anyway. If I had term papers and things along with hockey again… I’d probably burn the candle at both ends so fast…”

“Have you told Sid yet?”

“No… do you think I should tell him now, or wait until after the season is completely over?”

“Do it now. one less thing to worry about then, right?” Mel nodded and watched Erin wince and glare down at her stomach. “She thinks that she’s going to play soccer or something.”

“Ha! She’s delusional! She’ll be on skates at Christmas!”

As the rest of the team and WAGs showed up, Mel pulled Sid aside and told him about how she would be free from teacher obligations by the time he got back from the final road trip. She could tell that he was secretly, or not so secretly, excited about it. And she had to admit that, while she would still demand her independence and things, it would be fun to be his wife. But she wouldn’t just be Mrs. Sidney Crosby.

She kissed him, told him good luck and went to her seat. She watched her boys win their final home game. They trounced the Isles 3-7 and took off for Atlanta.

The next day she went in and her students all helped her undecorated her room. It was a lot quicker to dismantle everything with other people helping all day. She got email addresses for most of them, promised to keep in touch, even figured she’d add them on facebook if they requested her. They were all going off to college now.

Erin popped by at the end of the day to help her get everything into the car. Relaxing back at the house, she brought up the fact that now the two of them would have all the time in the world together.

“I know. What if now that we have time for ourselves, we drive one another crazy?”

“You survived last summer at his house didn’t you?”

“Good point. And now I know that his family likes me! What about you? Are Mama and Papa Malkin coming in soon?”

“Yeah. They should be in this next weekend. She called this morning and promised to bring me the best baby gift ever… I’m a little scared!”

The two laughed and Mel told her more of what they figured out so far.

“We just mainly need to figure out who’s walking with who… and who’s walking me down the aisle.”

“Why not just walk by yourself like I did?”

“I have an idea of who I’d like to do the honor… I’ve just been avoiding asking him…”

Erin caught on quick. She nodded her head and then stared at the phone.

“You haven’t spoken to him in a month or so. You need to talk to him anyway.”

“I know how he’s doing. Jess and I email one another every couple of days. He’s walking again. Slowly… with a cane… he’ll never agree to it if he can’t just walk upright, on his own.”

“Then maybe this is what he needs to get himself out of his funk.”

“He was seriously wounded you know.”

“Yeah, I know... but…”

“But he’s acting like a victim and not a survivor. I’ll call him this weekend.”

Erin smiled and decided to head out. The next few days flew by quickly. The boys couldn’t get a win in Atlanta, but Sid didn’t sound too down when he called. They talked until neither of them could say a sentence without yawning. They had a practice day in New York and then the final game of the season the next day.

The morning of the game was bright and sunny. Mel picked up her phone and dialed John’s number. He picked up on the third ring.

“Long time no hear…”

“I know Johnny… I know. How are you?”

“I feel like I’ve been shot… and blown up.”

“Way to be honest with me… that’s good actually. Because I have a very important question to ask you, and I need that honesty again.”

“What’s shakin’ bacon?”

“Sid and I are getting married. We want you and Jess to be there.”

“Wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

“Good.. it’s going to be in June.”

“What aren’t you telling me?”

“Johnny… John… I want you to walk me down the aisle like you promised.”

“Fuck Mel… really? Of all the things you’ve ever asked me to do… Why not tell me to turn water into wine?!”

“You could do it! I know you! You’re just feeling sorry for yourself. Jess says you can walk with the cane, slowly… it’s not like I’m asking you to run a fucking marathon!”

“We’ll be there, but i… I just don’t think I can do it Mel. I’m sorry. I know I told you I’d do that for you… but you understand, right?”

“I understand that my best friend is being a complete jackass. And a coward.”

“I will not stand there and have everyone look at me with pity!”

“It wouldn’t be like that at all… and you know it!”

“You don’t know what it’s like!”

“Because you won’t talk about it! You won’t even talk to Jess Johnny! Fuck… I didn’t call to fight.”

“Listen, I don’t want to cause you any problems. Maybe we’ll just stay down here, not worry about the trek.”

Mel gasped and fought back the tears that were threatening to spill down her cheeks. She didn’t think there was anything worse he could ever say to her.

“You won’t even come up to see the ceremony?”

“It’s best this way Kid.”

“Fine. I’ll see you… sometime.”

“Aww shit, Mel don’t end it like this.”

She clicked off the call and let the tears fall. The one thing he’d promised her after the whole Jess thing was that he’d stand beside her or walk her down the aisle. She’d chosen aisle. And now he was backing out on the deal. Sid called to talk before his nap and she hid her hurt. No sense stressing him out before the final game.

And after the game, after the win, when he called and said he was coming home to her… she told him about the conversation. She cried into her phone and listened as he comforted her through the airwaves. A few hours later she woke up to him sliding into bed with her, whispering those comforting words again.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Chapter 39: Life After You

Okay ladies, this one took me a few days longer, because I didn't know where I wanted to go with this... well, I know what I want to happen, but writing it all out was more difficult than I had thought! Hopefully this shorter, but emotional, chapter will hold you over until I can get the final few done*

Putting the last of the dishes away, Sid grabbed Mel’s hand and whisked her off to the front porch. The weather was nice today, starting to warm up a little.

Playoffs are just around the corner when the weather starts to get warmer.

They were rocking back and forth on the new porch swing she’d bought when they started talking about the wedding. She said she didn’t care where it happened, just so long as she got to say ‘I do’ and kiss him. Sid laughed, knowing she was telling him that to take some of the burden off his mind. He hadn’t confided it to her just yet, but he was worried about the playoffs this year.

They were the same, but different than last year’s team. And it’s not probable to win the Cup back-to-back… but he wanted to believe that the guys this season wanted it as badly as the team from last year. He was lost in his own thoughts that he only caught the tail end of what Mel was saying, and he didn’t like it.

“… can plan for the end of May, since that’s when my school year ends. Then, if we need to, we can bump it back until the Finals are over.”

“Oh, so you don’t think that we’re contenders again this year?”


“Well, you obviously don’t think we’re going to win the Cup, right? That’s what you were saying?”

“No, weren’t you listening to what I said?! Of course I think you have a shot.”

“Have a shot, not that we’re going to win.”

He stared out into the yard. The sun was shining and one of the neighbor boys rode by on his bike. Everything was bright and cheery, everything but his mood. He felt Melany pull away from him, but he didn’t stop her. He turned and saw her staring at him from the opposite end of the swing.

“Sid, what the heck?! Why are you twisting my words around?”

“You just wanna sit here and plan this big wedding… I’ve only got three weeks before we have to buckle down and really focus. Three weeks until the dates and teams are set for the quarterfinals. I shouldn’t be worrying about flowers and cake flavors.”

“Excuse me?? Ummm, I told you that I’d be happy with just a small ceremony. Maybe at the lake house this summer. You wanted the whole white wedd…”

“You said that. But you don’t mean it. Every woman dreams of the perfect storybook wedding. It’s what they all want, deep down, no matter what they say.”

And he just didn’t want to have to add all the worries to his plate.

“Are you kidding me right now?? Like, are you even listening to yourself?! The way you’re talking, you make it sound like you’re disgusted with the whole idea. Why did you propose if you don’t want to get married?”

“Of course I wanna get married to you! But I have so much to deal with right now… the guys are counting on me to keep the team together. You don’t know what it’s like to have to deal with that, the media circus, and then come back here and worry about what color dresses you think your bridesmaids should have.”

“Well, if that’s how you feel, maybe I should just plan everything on my own.”

His eyes did light up at that. If she handled everything, she could just tell him what they were going to do. He trusted her, she’d make it great. Look what she’d done with Erin and Geno.

“Really? That would be so helpful! Put it all in a notebook or something, like you did with Erin’s. Oh, I bet she could come help you with this. I’ll just give you my credit card and you…”


“You’re kidding me… Is that really how you think this wedding stuff works?”

“Isn’t that why people hire wedding planners? I mean, that way they don’t have to deal with all of the insignif…”

“Get out.”


“Sid… you… you don’t get it right now. I don’t know if you even realize that what you’re saying right now is hurtful. I think you should leave before one of us says something that they’re seriously going to regret.”

“I don’t understand…”

“I know that. Please just go.”

Mel felt like her heart was ripping down the middle. If he didn’t get what it meant to have him helping her with wedding details, how would he be at dealing with things once they were married? He looked crushed, he really did. And that hurt her even more.

Sid went inside to get his keys and when he came back out, she refused to even look at him. If she did, she’d run into his arms and try to explain what she was feeling. But that wouldn’t do any good. He needed to be able to figure out these things.

“I’ll see you at the game tomorrow,” he said as he walked to the car. Mel turned sideways on the swing, pulling her knees up and wrapping her arms around them. Suddenly it didn’t matter that the day was turning out to be nice. She ran her hand through her hair, her ring catching on some strands.


“Hey Sid, where’s Mel? I tried to call her earlier but she didn’t answer.”

Glancing up at Erin, Sid had no answer. She’d never missed a game that she could attend. There had been two, three times tops that she hadn’t been able to make it. And it was Saturday, in the afternoon… he’d said he’d see her. She hadn’t said she wasn’t coming.

“I’m sure she’s just stuck in traffic.”

“Probably. But she hasn’t sent you a text yet or anything?”

Sid just shrugged and shook his head. Maybe she was more upset than he thought. But he didn’t understand what he’d said to make her so angry. It wasn’t like he didn’t want to be a part of things… but she was asking him to help plan things during the busiest time of the season. She of all people had to know that he had enough on his plate already.

By the end of the game, he was feeling pretty crappy himself. He hated losing in overtime. Hell, he hated losing at all. After some questions and a quick shower he stepped out into the lounge expecting to see Mel. But she wasn’t there. He checked his phone, no messages.

They were leaving for the airport in two hours. He hadn’t packed yet, but he could throw everything together quickly and pop by before he flew out. Deciding on that course of action, he drove to Mario’s and jogged up to his room. Shoving his shampoo, a couple pairs of shorts and tees into his duffel bag, he grabbed his suit bag, picked out something quickly and then he was back in his car, driving to Mel’s.

When he stepped out of the vehicle, he was planning on what he’d say when she opened the door. He rang the bell. Then he rang it again. No answer. He was getting ready to use his key, afraid that she was in there, unconscious, or worse, when he heard a car pulling into the driveway. Tori hopped out, giving him a strange look.

“Hey Sid, what are you doing here?”

“Just needed to see Mel before we left.”

“See Mel… she went to visit her mom, didn’t she tell you that after the game?”

“I didn’t see her at the game.”

“Really? We talked until the third period ended. She said she was gonna go away for a couple days while you guys were out of town. Any of this ringing a bell?”


He thanked Tori for the news and walked back to his car. Once inside, he let out a string of swear words. How could she not talk to me about this?!He didn’t understand. It was one thing to be angry, but she just ran away from the issue and didn’t even tell him.

Stewing about it the entire flight, by the time they landed in Michigan he was royally pissed off. As soon as he could, Sid dialed her number. It rang only once before it went to her voicemail. The only reason that would happen was if she had hit the ignore button. She’s ignoring me?!

He didn’t leave a voicemail.


“Who was that on the phone?”

“What… oh no one. It wasn’t important.”

“So, when are you going to tell me why you’re here?”

“Geez Mom… I’m not allowed to just come visit you?”

“Of course dear. But I think there’s a definite reason behind this visit. Do you want to talk about it?”

Mel sat down at the kitchen table. She’d spent many nights here, studying for tests, writing out college applications. Don’t forget the nights you came home from disastrous dates. Mom would make her giant mugs full of hot chocolate, no matter the season. That sounded pretty fantastic right now.

Taking a deep breath, she relayed the events of the previous day. Even as she got to the end of the story, her eyes were burning from holding in her tears. She asked her mom to give her some insight, give her advice on what to do.

“Am I making a mountain out of a mole hill? Did I do the right thing? What should I do?”

“Well, that’s up to you really. You can take care of everything, just make sure that he shows up to the designated spot on time. Or you could make him a part of it. Make him see that his input is valuable. But it’s your decision to make.”

“I just want him to make a couple decisions. Pick the place for the reception or decide on where we’ll have the actual ceremony. That’s not too much to ask, is it?”

“Of course not. But you’ve said yourself that he’s never really been in a serious relationship like this.”

“No, but we’ve never had communication problems like this.”

“Then instead of running away, you should’ve hashed it out yesterday, not just make him leave.”

“You’re supposed to be on my side you know.”

“Honey, I love you… but he’s such a wonderful man. Maybe you should compromise a little, get his input on some things. But don’t make him have to pick a bunch of things. Or get a wedding planner. That would take pressure off you both.”

“You’re right, I know you’re right. I’ll talk to him the next time he calls.”

But he didn’t call again that night. He didn’t call the next day. He didn’t call after the loss to the Wings, didn’t call after the shootout loss to the Caps. Mel had gone back to her house before they played in Detroit. She waited to hear from him. She refused to call him, but she got more and more worried as the days went by and he didn’t call her. He didn’t even send her a text. She was moping around the house, walking into the kitchen, when she heard Tori whispering on the phone.

“No, I don’t know what happened between them. She won’t tell me anything. Is he saying anything?”

Stopping in the doorway, Mel found herself holding her breath so that her cousin wouldn’t realize she was there. She must be talking to Brent.

“You guys are flying home tonight right? Well, maybe see if you can get him to come over here. I know she wants to see him.”

Mel clenched her hands into fists. Please let Johnny be able to talk him into coming over.

“No. I don’t think she’s mad. Whatever they fought about last weekend… she’s not angry. Right now she’s just sad. Miserable really… it hurts me to watch her. Just… just talk to him.”

Stepping back into the hallway, Mel climbed the stairs and got ready for bed. They were obviously back in town. Sid hadn’t bothered to get in touch with her. Was this what it felt like to end a relationship?


Last time we talked, the night that I walked
Burns like an iron in the back of my mind
I must've been high to say you and I
Weren't meant to be and just wastin' my time

Oh, why did I ever doubt you?
You know I would die here without you

All that I'm after is a life full of laughter
As long as I'm laughin' with you
I'm thinkin' that all that still matters is love ever after
After the life we've been through
'Cause I know there's no life after you

Sid sighed in disgust and ripped his headphones out of his ears. Fucking Daughtry and his lyrics that were perfect for the way he felt right now. Mel would laugh at him and call him a girl. What’d he’d give right now for the sound of her laughter.

“So… you going over to Mel’s tonight, after we get back?”

Sid looked up at Johnny. The goalie was staring at him, trying to read his face.

“I hadn’t thought about it yet.”

Liar. You were willing the plane to fly faster the entire time.

“Well, I know it’s none of my business… and you’ll probably tell me I’m reading too much into it… but I hope that you two can work out this difference… she seems pretty perfect for you.”

Sid nodded and stepped off the bus, walking to his car. He drove out of the airport parking lot and before he knew it, he was pulled up right outside her house. Would she be glad to see him? He was slowly walking up to the door when it opened and he was staring at Tori.

“Is… is she home?”

“She is. I believe she actually went to bed. Listen, I don’t know what happened between the two of you… and she’ll kill me for this… but she’s been miserable. I hope you’ve figured out how to fix this.”

“I’m certainly going to try.”

Tori nodded and stepped back so that he could get inside. Sid looked at the stairs, his feet rooted to the ground. Taking a deep breath, he turned and made his way up to Mel’s room. When he opened the door, he noticed there were a couple candles burning. It smelled like a cookie factory. Mel was lying in bed, her hair spilling over a pillow and her blankets tucked under her arm.

He stripped down slowly, leaving him in nothing but his boxers. Stepping up to her bed, he pulled the covers back enough to crawl in beside her. Pulling her back against him, Sid felt sweet relief at her body instinctively seeking his warmth. As she twisted around, facing him, he held his breath. Then she snuggled herself close, burying her face into his chest.

“Mmmm, Sid,” she murmured. He didn’t know if she was awake or not, so he just pulled the blankets up and fell asleep with her in his arms. The next morning, when he woke up, she was sprawled over his body. He ran a hand through her hair and stared down at her, willing her to open her eyes and realize that he was really here. When her eyelids fluttered open, he held his breath, unsure of what her reaction would be.


God I miss him. I miss him so much that I dreamt that he was here with me. Even now I feel like I’m lying on his chest and…

Mel opened her eyes and looked up into his hazel ones. She blinked a couples times, trying to figure out if he was real or not. She poked his chest and watched a slow smile spread across his face.

“Sid? What are you doing here?”

“I got home from a road trip last night.”

“But why are you here, in my bed?”

“Because I love you… And I needed to tell you that I was sorry.”

“What exactly are you sorry for?”

“Sorry that I made it seem like I didn’t care. About the wedding and everything. I do. I want to be a part of the planning. I just don’t want it to take over our relationship. Does that make sense?”

“It does. I’m sorry too.”

“What on earth are you sorry for?”

“I should’ve tried to explain myself better. I just got angry, and then I let that anger get the best of me. It’s been a while since we’ve had a fight or anything… I’d forgotten how much they suck. But I’d rather fight with you than not talk to you at all.”

“I’d rather fight with you too.”

Mel snuggled into his embrace, sighing. Sunshine and roses was nice, sure, but the simple art of making up… it had its benefits as well.

“So, what are we doing now?”

“Right now we’re going to go downstairs and get some food before I have to leave for practice. Then, once I’m done, I’ll come back here and you can show me what you have so far for ideas on the wedding. And I’ll try to add some valid input.”

Mel laughed and burrowed against him. No relationship was perfect, but what she had with Sid seemed to be the real deal. And she meant what she’d said. Sure, fighting sucked, but if they could work through their problems, then they would be okay in the end.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Chapter 38: And A Baby Makes Three??

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! Gobble gobble! Enjoy yet another chapter this week! And for a certain part of this chapter, you can find the corresponding story in my Hockey Short Stories blog. It's titled Melting A Heart of Ice*


Mel had been on Cloud Nine ever since she walked off the plane in the Pittsburgh airport and Sid was waiting for her at the terminal gate. His flight had arrived a mere twenty minutes before hers, so he had settled in and found her gate. She saw him sitting there, waiting for her to disembark from the airplane. Max was waiting for them in the Arrivals parking area. He was leaning against his car, scowling at the two of them when they walked out the automatic doors.

“How could you propose without us all there?!”

Sid immediately asked how he knew about the ring and Max snorted.

Flower called me last night. Why did he know?!”

Mel dropped her bag and hugged him tight.

“Good to see you two Maximus. And as for Marc… he was standing there, like thirty feet away from us. He saw Sid holding the ring and saw me leap into his arms. It wasn’t rocket science.”

“But why did it not happen here, when all of us could see it??”

“I don’t think that you guys were on his priority list of ‘people being around when the question is popped.’”

She could tell that Max wasn’t satisfied yet. She turned toward Sid and gave him a ‘help me out here’ look.

“Actually, I didn’t really plan it. It just… happened.”

“So, you just happened to be carrying the ring in your pocket, just in case?! That’s a load of bullsh--”

Mel shushed him by putting her hand over his mouth.

“Honestly Max, it wasn’t planned. Stop acting like a spurned lover and congratulate me! I’ll tell you all about it and what he said if you promise to be nice and not harp on not being there.”

Seeming appeased for now, Max nodded and the three of them walked to his car. She smiled as Sid grabbed her hand, his fingers lacing with hers as they walked. Even as she retold the story, the smile wouldn’t fall from her face. Tossing their suitcases into the trunk, Mel climbed in the backseat, anxious to get home and relax.

When they got to Mario’s house, Sid looked like a little kid. And a scared one at that, like he’d ran away and was now being brought back to await his punishment. Mel wondered briefly if he really would be punished. But they had done nothing wrong. They were in love, and he’d done the natural thing… she didn’t feel guilty. Did he?

“Sid… are you afraid that Mario is going to be angry with you for asking me to marry you?”

“What?? God no! I don’t want to go in there because Nathalie’s home and she’s going to freak out on me for not wining and dining you before I got down on one knee with the restaurant musicians behind me and said the perfect thing before slowly sliding that ring on your finger.”

“I liked how you did it much more,” she chuckled form her seat.

“Mon ami, you need to just go in there. I bet it’s not as bad as you are thinking it will be.”

When Sid still hesitated, Mel threw her hands in the air and opened the door.

“Thanks for the ride Maximus! I owe you one! I’m going inside now Sid, hope you make it in sooner or later.”

Without bothering to get anything but her purse, Mel shut the car door and skipped up the steps to the front door of the house. Knocking in a musical way, she waited until the door opened. Nathalie threw the door open and immediately grabbed for her left hand.

“Let me see! Let me see! Oh my god it’s so beautiful! Where did he find this? Is it a family heirloom? I bet his mom gave it to him! How did she know he was going to propose? You look so happy! Oh my god I’m so excited!”

Mel stood there, dumbfounded, as she tried to process all of the questions that had just been asked. She opened her mouth to speak and heard Mario laughing as he came in from the dining room.

“Good grief Nat, let her breathe!”

Nathalie acquiesced but she still had a hold of Mel’s hand, examining the ring. It fit perfectly on her finger. That in itself was amazing. The stone in the center shone as it caught a beam of light. It wasn’t a classic engagement ring, that was for sure. There were diamonds, but they weren’t the focal point. No, the center stone was a beautiful marquise cut sapphire. There was a ruby on one side of the stone, an emerald on the other. And then, placed throughout the band were tiny diamonds.

Whoever had made this ring had certainly put a lot of time into it. And thought. She had googled the meaning behind all of the stones this morning before she’d boarded the plane for home.

Sapphire: Truth, sincerity, commitment, loyalty
Emerald: Patience, understanding, foresight
Ruby: Love, success, integrity, passion & promise
Diamond: Invincibility, clarity, purity, eternal love

Everything she wanted in a man, everything she wanted in a marriage… all those things were now represented on her finger. Nathalie was still gushing, refusing to release her hand, and Mel just laughed as the woman started making lists of everyone they needed to call, everything that needed to be done for the wedding.

“We haven’t picked a date yet Nathalie, and I still have to tell my parents.”

Mel looked up, finding Sid in the doorway, an amused smile on his face. She broke out into a fit of giggles when Nathalie jumped up and ran over to him, hugging him as she gushed about how happy she was for him, for both of them, and how excited she was. And she was just positive that Troy and Trina were going to be ecstatic.

Mario asked if he’d told his agent yet. Sid shook his head and Mario promised to make the call right away, one less thing that he would have to deal with. Mel was surprised really that it wasn’t all over the internet already. Then again… there had been thousands of people in Vancouver, and it was darker. Maybe no one actually saw what happened in the midst of the ceremonies.

“I should call my mom!”

Pulling out her phone, Mel dialed her mom’s number and waited for her to pick up the phone. Sid was already talking to his mother, she could tell by the look on his face that it was her. If it was Troy, Sid’s face probably wouldn’t have been so calm. She stopped eavesdropping when she heard her mom’s voice.

“Did you make it home safely?”

“I did… Momma… I have something to tell you.”

“Oh do you? Will I be happy when I hear this?”

“I think so. I’m happy about it!”

“Well, then you should come visit soon so that I can see the ring and how beautiful it is!”

Letting out a startled laugh, Mel promised to get together in a couple days. She was promising to call later that night when she heard Sid laugh and promise to give ‘the little lady’ a kiss. Then he asked to talk to his mom.

Wait a minute, he’d been talking with his dad this whole time?! Troy said to give me a kiss?? Say what?! AWESOME!

She put her phone in her purse and leaned against Sid, smiling as he rested his chin on her forehead. They stayed that way until he hung up and then she led him to his room, showing him once more how much she loved him.

She drove home, showing off the new accessory to Lexie and Tori, and then she laughed when Sid showed up on their doorstep, flowers in his hand. They spent the evening just relaxing and vegging out. Turning in early, Mel set her alarm so that she’d have plenty of time to get ready for work. That morning, she felt like hell.

It was the start of a sickness that hit her so hard that she made a doctor appointment after a week of barely being able to function as a human being, let a long a high school teacher. Whatever she picked up in Vancouver didn’t want to go away.


Sid heard the buzzing off in the distance. It got louder and louder, but he couldn’t find it in him to open his eyes and figure out what was making the damn noise. Trying to ignore it, he turned over in Mel’s bed, his head burrowing under the covers.

“Sid, answer your fucking phone before I flush it down the toilet!”

He shot up at the yell. It was coming from the bathroom, and the person the voice belonged to sounded horrible. It had been almost two weeks since the return from Vancouver, and Mel didn’t seem to be the only one who came down with something.

A couple of the guys were sick too. It had started a few days after they arrived back home. A flu bug that wouldn’t go away. Or a virus of some sort. She was going to the doctor’s today. And from the sounds of it, she’d been tossing her cookies already this morning.

His phone started blaring again and he reached out, hitting Send and barking into the device.

“This had better be good because…”

“Alex is getting married!”

“What?! Alex who?? Ovechkin?”

“No Doofy, not Ovechkin. Our Alex… Goligoski…”

“Goose is getting married?! I didn’t even know he was dating anyone seriously!”

“Remember that girl we’ve been telling you about? Maggie? Well, he asked her this morning, she said yes, so they’re getting married!”

“This is the season of love I guess! Well, have they set a date then?”

“Yep… today.”

“WHAT?! We have to fly out to Carolina today!”

“Not until the afternoon. And besides, I have it all figured out. I only need you to do two things. First, I need your support, 110% support with no questions asked, and secondly… I need to you take him to the jewelers.”

“That’s it?”

“That’s it. Case closed.”

“What are you planning Bill?”

“Just come to the arena as soon as possible. Bring your suit. Tell Mel to come too if she’s feeling up to it.”

“She’s got an appointment at 8:30. But if she gets done in time, I’ll make sure she’s there. Should I be scared?”

“Hello no! You don’t trust me?”

Sid heard him laugh after he asked the question. Of course I do, but I’m still worried! Bill was up to something huge, and it was going to be insane. Sid was sure of that fact. But promising to be in, he hung up and got out of bed, going over to the bathroom door. Mel was brushing her teeth.

“Goose is getting married. Today. I’m supposed to tell you to come to the arena after your appointment if you can. I don’t know what the old man is planning, but it’s going to be epic. I can tell.”

Mel nodded her head as she continued to run the toothbrush over her teeth. He jumped in her shower quickly, actually getting through in lightning time since she wasn’t in there to distract him. Thirty minutes later he was driving to the arena, his suit laid out over his backseat. When he got into the locker room, most of the guys were there already.

“Okay, what is this all about? Billy… BILLY! Where are you?!”

“Right here Junior. No need to yell. Alex should be here in a few moments. You’re going to take him to the jeweler’s and then straight back here. We’re on a bit of a time crunch, and this needs to go off without any real problems. And no rings… that’s a problem.”

Alex came in a few minutes later. Sid could see the shock on his face. He looked at his watch, noting the time.

“Hey Alex, we need to leave. You only have a certain amount to time before we have to leave. Let’s get to the shop!”

Goose let Sid lead him out of the locker room and toward his car. He finally woke up out of his day dream and when they got to the little shop, he wasted no time in finding a ring for himself. But the panicked look on his face when the man asked him what Maggie would like… fuck.

“Alex, think about it… what would she like. Close your eyes. Okay, you’re down on one knee, she’s smiling, you pull the box out of your pocket and open it… what’s it look like?”

Goose opened his eyes a second later, a huge smile on his face. He picked out a beautiful set, content to hand the man his card without even asking the cost. Sid knew the feeling. He would’ve paid any price when looking at rings if his mom hadn’t thought of the heirloom. He laughed to himself as he recalled calling his folks.

“Good afternoon son. Make it back to Pittsburgh safely?”

“Yeah, and I got some great news! I… I’m getting married.”

“To Melany?”

“No, to some stranger I met on the plane ride back. Yes to Melany!”

“Are you sure about this?”

“I am. And no, I’m not changing my mind.”

“Well, I like her too… so if you’re going to go through with this, you have my blessing!”

“You don’t know how great that sounds coming from you Dad.”

“Give the little lady a kiss from me. I’ll let you tell your mother. And we’ll be down for the final home game.”

His mom had cried. She tried to tell him she hadn’t, but he heard the sniffles. She wanted to know all about it, did it fit, did Mel cry. Taking a deep breath, Sid looked up as Alex was grabbing the bag from the salesman. They were back in the bar and on their way back to the arena when Alex started talking about her, about Maggie. He told Sid about her signs, the Gold Medal game and how psyched he was for today.

“She makes these hilarious signs for the games that she’d been to. The first one she ever made was for you. It said ‘Sidney Makes Me Howl At The Moon’ and she said that she swears you fought because of it. That the guy you went rounds with made a comment on it or something.”

“Was that the game right before Halloween, against the Wild??”

“Yeah! She’s brought other signs though, normally creative things. She’s got them all in her bedroom at the townhouse she was previously living in. I told her I was going to frame mine from Valentine’s Day,” his friend said with a laugh.

“Valentine’s Day… wait... NO! You’re marrying the sign girl?! For real???”

“I am! She’s so great Sid. You should tell her about your amusement with her sign. She’d die of embarrassment, it’ll be amusing. You were the first one she ever made a sign for.”

“Are you sure you want me talking to her then? Don’t wanna cause a rift between you two on your wedding day. That would be real good… ‘Bride objects to own wedding to D-man of the Pens, tackles captain of the team instead.’ Could you imagine??”

“No worries... we’re… I don’t know how to explain it… connected I guess. You know what I mean. Look at you and Mel.”

Sid nodded thoughtfully and as they pulled into the parking lot again, he grabbed his phone and texted his woman. She should be at the doctor’s office by now, maybe she already had news on what was going on. He slid his cell back into his pocket and walked inside with Alex. They were all getting dressed, putting on suits, and Sid saw the anxious look on his face when they got to the rink itself.

Billy has outdone himself.

Sid sat in the second row, saving a spot for Mel. She’d sent him a text, explaining that she was on her way now and should be there before the ceremony started. He glanced back, happy that they’d been able to do this on such short notice. Mel popped her head out onto the ice and he waved her forward. She walked carefully in her heels, dressed in that yellow dress from her birthday last year.

I love that dress. Such memories.

She plopped down beside him, her hand finding his and she gave it a squeeze.


“So, what did the doctor say?”

“They took blood and stuff, just to rule out all kinds of things. He said that they should know within 48 hours for sure just what is wrong with me.”

Sid smiled and kissed her cheek. She smiled back, but it didn’t reach her eyes. The one thing she knew for sure already was that she wasn’t pregnant. With the way she’d been feeling for the past week alone…

I thought that was it, I really did.

It was true that she wasn’t just sick in the morning, but that sometimes happened. They called it morning sickness, but it was possible for it to be other times. Heck, Erin hadn’t really had any sickness at all. Turning, Mel found her friend in the crowd. Erin waved and then popped what looked like an animal cracker between her lips.

Pregnant women and their cravings.

Mel shook her head and went back to listing the reasons why she thought she’d been pregnant. She’d missed her last period. Looking back now, she had been really stressed last month. Getting everything ready for her sub, making sure the students were comprehending everything, dealing with Sid. He was worse than an entire class full of students sometimes.

She wasn’t feeling any hungrier than normal, but her breasts had been so freaking sensitive the past two nights… every touch from Sid had made her scream. Which had spurred him on and… Mel shivered from the memories of how he stroked and licked her body. Sid placed his arm around her shoulders.

“Are you cold babe? Maybe you should’ve brought more than a short-sleeved sweater, especially since you aren’t feeling well.”

“I’m fine Sid.”

Just not pregnant with your child.

She should’ve been thrilled when the doctor came in and smiled, telling her that was one thing they could definitely cross off the list. Instead of joining in with his jovial mood, hers had plummeted. And she hadn’t realized until he said ‘negative’ just how much she had been hoping it was ‘positive.’ Sid had already shown interest in that area.

She’d seen the look on his face when he’d thought that earlier this year. When she’d told him that she was moving here for a job, not carrying his future son or daughter. Of course he’d been happy, but he’d been disappointed as well. Now she knew how he felt.

Pasting a smile on her face, she attempted to pay attention throughout the ceremony. She couldn’t believe that Goose was getting married, but just looking at the two of them standing there… they were so precious together. There was laughter throughout the entire thing. Max was in charge though, so she didn’t expect anything less.

Her stomach started twisting again as the rings were exchanged. She took Sid’s hand, squeezing and looking at him. Her face had to be pale, and the thought that she would vomit during the wedding made her mentally sick. Taking a few deep breaths, she closed her eyes and willed herself not to lose the crackers she’d managed to get down on the drive over. Sid massaged the base of her neck, promising to get her out of there as soon as the bride and groom walked down the aisle. Mel smiled at him, his thoughtfulness.

Max pronounced them ‘Mr. and Mrs. Goooose’ and she stood with everyone else, applauding the happy couple as they walked down the carpet and toward the locker room. Sid put an arm around her waist and gingerly walked her with the rest of the group. He sat her down in his stall and she leaned back as he ran over to grab her a Gatorade.

By the time he returned she was feeling somewhat better. She’d already talked to Tori. Since Johnny had picked her up, she would take home the Denali and Sid could just drive her to the house. He agreed wholeheartedly and they told the newlyweds ‘Congrats’ once more before heading out. The guys were leaving later for Carolina and Mel didn’t want him being late because of her.

When they pulled into the driveway of the house, Sid surprised her by telling her to stay in the car while he unlocked the door, then he came back and carried her in and up to her room. After placing her on the bed, she curled around a pillow as he searched for something more comfortable for her to wear. He helped her change and tucked her under the covers.

“Are you sure this isn’t something more serious Mel?”

“I honestly don’t know what it is. I just feel like shit. And everyone else who seemed to have what I have… they’re all better again.”

“But we’re hockey players. We get the best drugs known to man!”

She knew he was trying to make her laugh, and even though she didn’t want to admit it, that last line made her smile.

“You suck. Don’t make me laugh, it makes my stomach hurt. Now get outta here.”

“I can stay for a while. I don’t have to leave right this second.”

“No, go now. Or I’m going to beg you to stay. And you can’t, so don’t make the words come out. Please.”

Hating the weakness in her voice, Mel frowned and buried herself deeper under her blankets. Sid made sure she had liquid beside her bed, and a bucket, and then he pressed his lips to her forehead and left for the airport. She felt the first tear fall after she heard the front door close.

Fuck, I hate being sick. It fucks up my emotions. She didn’t even know why she was crying! Bullshit, you know why. You’re feeling sorry for yourself, because everyone you know is pregnant or has kids. It was stupid, and she knew that she should be immensely relieved that there wasn’t going to be a Baby Sidney coming out to greet the world in about eight months. But for the past two days, she’d had herself talked into the idea.

Sid called her from the hotel that night. She tried to be peppy. It didn’t work. Instead, she ended up picking a stupid fight with him about needing to plan for the wedding. As if he could tell that there was something else bothering her, that the fight wasn’t something she really meant, Sid calmly told her he didn’t want to fight, said ‘I love you’ and hung up. She cried herself to sleep.

The next morning started a nine-day road trip. Five games separated her from Sid. It seemed like a lifetime. She went to work, came home for games. The doctor’s office called Monday morning to tell her that she was suffering from the flu. They called in a prescription for meds that would kick the sickness to the curb.

The school year was coming to a close as well, and right now… her students needed her. A bunch of them would be graduating in a little over a month. There were final exams to make, early term papers to grade. Group projects to assign for extra credit. Her mind was already in teacher mode, only half listening to Sid’s voice at the other end of the line when he called her after the school day had come to a close.

“.. and I miss you. Did the doctor call you today? Do you know what’s wrong?”

“I have the flu. They got me a prescription this morning. I thought I sent you a text, I’m sorry.”

“Don’t worry. I’m just glad it was nothing more serious.”

“What do you mean?”

Her voice had come out sharper than she’d planned, but the way he said that… it sounded like he was happy that pregnancy wasn’t an option. He started to explain that he’d just meant he was happy that she wasn’t dying or anything like that. She started to smart off about something when he interrupted her.

“Melany… what’s really going on? This is the second time you’ve tried to ‘pick a fight’ over the phone. What’s wrong?”

“Why do you automatically think something is wrong?”

“Because you aren’t acting like yourself.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she bit out as her hand slid over her stomach. Why was she being so snippy. It really wasn’t like her. She started to apologize but Sid cut her off.

“Listen, something is bothering you. And you obviously don’t want to talk about it over the phone. Let’s just wait until I get home Thursday night. I’ll come over and you can tell me what’s wrong. We’ll just talk then, okay?”

“Yeah, that’s fine. Are you going to call me at all?”

“I don’t think that would be smart right now. You’re worked up over something, and I seem to be bringing it out… I’ll call you Thursday when I leave the airport. I love you.”

“Love you too.”

Hitting END, she threw the phone onto the desk and sprawled out on the couch in the attic. She had three days before he’d be at her house, wanting to talk.


Sid locked his car and jogged up to the front door. Using the key she’d given him, Sid unlocked the door and stepped inside the darkened house. He’d talked Johnny and Tanger into having the other two ladies meet them at their places tonight. It was just he and Melany. This seemed like the best option, all things considered.

Now, let’s see what’s bugging her.

Sid kicked his shoes off, leaving them at the bottom of the stairs. He took off his jacket and laid it over the banister of the stairs. He took them two at a time, getting up there as fast as he could. Knocking softly, Sid opened the door and peered inside. Mel was lying on the bedspread. She had a book in her hand and he pulled it away gently before leaning down and whispering in her ear.

She shot off the bed like the house was on fire. Glaring for a second in his direction, she grabbed his shirt and tugged, smiling into the pillow as he fell beside her. His weight dipped the mattress and she rolled closer, aligning her body to his.

“Okay, now… I’m home… please tell me you are okay.”

“I’m fine. Just a bug like I told you. I just… I thought it was something different, okay?”

“Did you think you were pregnant?”

He saw a single tear float down her face.

“Oh babe… come here.”

Pulling her into his arms, he ran his hands up and down her back, rocking her gently as she sniffled into his shirt. He’d wondered the same thing, but given his penchant for jumping to conclusions, this time he’d kept his mouth shut. He hadn’t realized she was thinking along the same lines.

“I’m sorry. I hate being sick,” she grumbled into his chest. “It throws my emotions off kilter and I cry at the slightest thing!”

“Ha! Are you sure you’re not pregnant?”

He’d meant it as a joke, a way to get her to smile. But when he looked down, there was a mask of pain on her face. She started crying again and, not knowing how to comfort her, he just rocked her some more while she let it all out. They stayed like that for awhile, and then he could hear her breathing even out, the soft puffs blowing against his neck from when she’d crawled up his body in an effort to be as close as possible.

Sid wished he had known the right words to say. It was obvious from the way he’d brought on the waterworks that he needed to work on comforting banter. She looked peaceful now though. The frown was gone and her cheeks were dry. Shuffling them both, he sat up against the headboard, nestling her in the crook of his arm like you would a child.

He ran his thumb over her forehead, back and forth. His mom had done that when he was younger, it was a soothing, lulling motion. Now that she was asleep, and he had time to think, he had plenty to say. Well, if I tell her when she’s out like this, it gives me preparation to say it when she’s awake and I’m not nervous.

“I’m sorry it wasn’t what you thought. But maybe this is a good thing. It gives us a chance to be together, just be a couple, before we start a family. We have all the time in the world for that actually. I don’t plan on letting you go anytime soon.”

He fingered the ring on her left hand.

“I had my suspicions as well. But I didn’t wanna jump to any conclusions. Not like the last time. So, maybe we should count our blessings now. We’ll plan the wedding, not have to rush things around, and then we’ll just flow with it. See what happens. I’d kind of like to have you to myself for a while before we’re staying up every night with feedings and diaper changes.”

He chuckled as he thought about what Geno was going to do in a few months. It shouldn’t actually be too difficult. He’d been living with Gonch for a while before Erin came along, and they had the little girl. So Geno knew what it was like.

“I’m not saying I don’t want a handful of kids with you, because I do. But let’s not put the cart before the horse on this one… I’m glad you’re asleep right now. I don’t think I could’ve gotten all that out without you yelling at me.”

Stretching his arms over his head, Sid yawned and got ready to lift her and move her down the bed.

“I love waking up to you talking to me while I’m sleeping. I bet you do it a lot.”

He jumped at her voice. Looking down, he noticed first the smile on her lips. Then he saw the love in her eyes. No sadness, no half smiles. His Melany was back. He bent down and kissed her softly, barely moving his lips over hers.

“I talk to you when you’re asleep so I can get a word in edgewise,” he told her jokingly. She poked him in the side and laughed along with him. “Do you wanna talk some more?”

Mel shook her head before slipping off his lap and rolling to her knees. Then she slid one leg over him, sitting on his lap and facing him. Two fingers crept up his shirt until they were running back and forth along the collar. She undid the top two buttons, her fingers skimming over the neck of his tee under his dress shirt.

“I think we’ve talked enough. And we’ve got the house to ourselves for the night, don’t we?”

“I... I don’t know… maybe…”

“Oh, I was under the impression that you asked Kris and Brent to keep the girls away. Was I mistaken?”

Mel was placing feather-light kisses along his jaw. She nipped his chin, soothing the mark with her tongue. She did the same thing along his neck, first one side, then the other. Sid groaned, these light touches more of a torture than when she just pounced on him. He started to tell her that very thought when she dropped one of her hands and ran a finger over his cock. The quivering length under the two layers jumped at the slight touch and he gasped.

Over a week with no one touching him… he hadn’t even whacked off. Most of the guys at least did that, some found female company. But he’d kept his hands to himself, taking out his sexual frustrations on the ice, the puck, the opposing players. Now he was back home, and Melany was in his arms.

“Someone seems needy,” she breathed in his ear as his hips lifted, craving more of her touch.

Sid growled and grabbed her hands. Holding them behind her back, he buried his face between her breasts. He couldn’t get too much of her skin, not with the tank top covering her, but what he could see he teased with his lips and tongue. Moving her arms closer together, he held both wrists in one hand and then used his free one to lift the material.

Pulling it up to bare her breasts, he brought his lips down over one nipple, tugging on it with his teeth as she gasped and arched into his mouth. She cursed and thrashed but he held her to him, sucking hard on her flesh, tasting the body he’d been craving since he flew out.

Releasing her wrists, he brought both his hands up, pushing her tits together and using long, slow licks over both hardened tips, drawing a moan from her lips. Her fingers came up and she sunk them in his hair, managing to hold onto him even though he’d gotten it cut while they’d been in Florida.

“God Sid, you don’t know how much I’ve missed you.”

“You only want me for my body.”

“Never. That’s a bonus. Now shut up, you talk too much.”

He chuckled as Mel undid each button of his shirt before pushing it off his shoulders. He shrugged it off, lifting his arms then so she could pull his t-shirt off as well. She ran her hands over his chest, purring as her fingers touched each muscle over his stomach. They clenched and trembled under her touch. She bent backward slightly and went to work on his pants.

As she opened them, pulled down his briefs and wrapped her fingers around his throbbing cock, Sid closed his eyes and shuddered. She laughed and slowly slid her hand up and down a few times, jerking him off as she sat on his thighs.

“No,” he growled. Then, shifting quickly, he tossed her backward, hearing her intake of breath. She loved his dirty side. Sure, she loved romance, he knew that. But he knew what his dominant side did to her as well.

Sid stared down at her. Flushed face, shirt up to her chin, her breasts bouncing as she settled onto the mattress. He grabbed at her sweats and pulled, jerking them to her knees. Mel went to make a kicking motion to help him but he grunted and kept her legs together, bending them back. He needed this too much to waste time taking her pants off all the way.

Falling over her, Sid slung both legs over his shoulder and guided himself inside her. She was already wet and ready for him. So easy to get her warmed up, so lucky for me. He pulled back and thrust forward again.

Twisting her legs, he groaned as he sunk himself balls deep into her pussy, her body tighter because of the position. She felt fucking fantastic. Her cries of passion as he humped against her stroked his ego. Watching her through his hooded gaze as she clawed for purchase against the bedspread made him want to pound into her even harder.

“I’m not going to last long sweetheart. Sorry if you don…”


Redoubling his efforts, he pushed her legs backward, pressing them almost to her chest as he ground his pelvis against hers. She called his name over and over, mingling ‘yes, oh god and Jesus’ time and again. He could feel his release churning in his balls, felt the heat of the moment almost there, creeping up his neck.

He was sure that his face was red, he felt sweat drip down his temples. She twitched beneath him, her mouth opening in a silent scream. He watched her head tip back and she jerked once before an actual screamed ripped from her throat. He felt her wetness cover him as he pistoned in and out. Holding onto her hips he bottomed out once more and let loose a guttural cry as he emptied himself inside her clenching muscles.

Sid managed to pull himself out of her sweet depths and tugged her pants back up to at least cover her for now. He flopped down beside her on his stomach, his face pressed into the duvet as he breathed in her scent through the blanket. He heard her gasping for air, and then she started giggling. Finding a burst of energy, he lifted his head up enough to ask her what was so funny.

“Well, you know… I am on birth control, but if we do want to wait a little longer, you should probably try to contain the number of times you let loose your demon seed inside of me.”

He barked out a laugh and pulled her into his arms, smiling as she giggled again and told him to get his sweaty body off of her. They lay there for a few more moments before standing and stripping. She crooked a finger at him and led him into the bathroom, where she showed him, once again, just how much she missed him.

They fell asleep, arms and legs entwined, and when the morning broke and the sun started shining in her window, Sid smiled down at the sleeping woman in his arms. Tucking a stray hair behind her ear, he thought to himself about when they finally did have a baby.

I’m a liar. I would be completely content if she got pregnant now. Okay, after we get married. Maybe right before.

He stopped thinking about it when she woke up, smiling up at him.

“Wanna make breakfast for a bunch of the guys? Let your roommates actually come back to the house?”

“Mmmm, sounds good. You call everyone. I’m going to grab another shower and then I’ll head downstairs and start cooking.”

A couple hours later they were all sitting around the table, laughing and talking about funny moments from the road trip. He could feel the excitement in the air already. The season was almost over and playoffs were coming up. They had a solid chance to go far again this year. Only time would tell though.