Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Chapter 18: Making A Memory

So I couldn't figure out a title for this one... so I went with a song. It's by the Plain White T's and as you read you'll understand*
And just to give you a little background... John comes into play in this chapter. He's Mel's ex and best friend. He's in the military and the one guy she'd probably give up Sid for. Okay, happy reading!!!

Sid couldn’t stand to listen to the crap anymore. He didn’t know where this was coming from, but it was going to stop. Right now.

“No, it isn’t the fucking right thing to do! Why would you think that??” He watched as she jumped off the stool and faced him. Max just smiled and walked past him, stopping in the doorway.

“I think that I’ll let you two talk about this. And I’ll keep everyone out of here. I’ve seen how you guys get in other people’s kitchens.” Cocky French bastard. Good thing I like him so much. After Max left he closed his eyes, not wanting to start off on the wrong foot.

Sid turned as he heard one of the stools scrape over the floor. He watched Melany as she settled herself onto the one beside it. He stepped over and sat down. He didn’t have any idea what he should say, just that he didn’t want her to think that she wasn’t wanted, especially by him. Luckily, she started talking first.

“How much did you hear?”

“All of it. I was… well, it’s not that I didn’t trust Max… I just, didn’t trust him. And I knew you’d been acting odd. I wasn’t expecting to hear what I did, and I know that you had no idea I was standing there. But why did you think you couldn’t talk to me about what you were feeling. And did my dad have anything to do with this?”

“You’ve got so much on your mind right now, what with the conference finals and all. And I didn’t want to burden you with… feelings of inadequacy. It’s not that I feel worthless or anything. But… you’re Sidney Crosby. And no, it’s not your dad. It’s me this time.”

“That’s the second time you’ve said that. Yes, that’s my name, but that’s not who I am.”

“You aren’t really Sidney Crosby?” Sid shot her a bit of a glare.

“Don’t be a smartass Mel. You know what I mean.” He picked up her hands in his. “I’m not some mighty hockey god. I know it seems like that, but I swear I’m not. I’m just a hot-blooded male who’s in the most serious relationship he’s ever had. And I don’t know how to do this any better than you do. But I need you to know that you can tell me when something is bothering you. I’m learning, from you, that there may be other things in life that could matter more than hockey. I’m still not one hundred percent on this, but I’m pretty sure that I’m falling for you too. So cut me a little slack. I’ve never been in this whole ‘sharing the feelings’ situation, but I won’t be able to do it either… not if you don’t talk to me.”

“How do you do that?”

“What?” He tried to go over what he’d just said. Had he said the wrong thing?

“Make it seem so simple.”

“I’m pretty sure it really is that simple.”

“Nothing with you can ever be simple Sid. Look at who you--”

“Don’t say it.” He sighed and dropped her hands, running on of his through his hair. Did I not just explain this? “You’re very stubborn, you know that?”

“I’ve been told that a few times.”

“Well, listen to the next person who tells you. Because they’ll be telling the truth. Don’t you understand me woman? I… I care about you. You’re turning my world upside down, and instead of being mad or scared, I can’t wait for the next time we’re together. I’m pretty sure that I’m losing my mind and figuring out the secret to life at the same time. It’s very confusing. You’re very confusing. But for some reason, I don’t want to miss a chance to feel the way I do when I’m with you. So, could you please forget for a moment that I’m who I am, and just think of me as your boyfriend. Your boyfriend who would very much like to just take you home and keep you in bed until you understand that you are completely worthy.”

“I don’t want this,” she pointed between the two of them, “to get in between you and your dad’s relationship. Or hinder your hockey career. Then I’d have to deal with the entire city of Pittsburgh, and probably all of Canada.”

“Forget about Pittsburgh and Canada. Call me Jack from now on if you want to. I don’t care. I just want you to know that I’m not going anywhere. You’ve gotten under my skin in the best way imaginable. And as for my father… he and I need to have a little conversation about what’s appropriate and not. Because right now, making you feel like crap, that is not what he should be doing.”

“I think I make him nervous.”


“As you’ve stated, I’m stubborn. I’m also independent, and I think I’ve confused him. Because I don’t want you for your money, or because you’re famous. I don’t think he can wrap his head around that. Then I went and said that I didn’t know what I wanted to do for a living. That was probably the wrong thing. Because I’m pretty sure he saw that as ‘I’m going to mooch off your son,” instead of ‘Hey, I’m only twenty-two, almost twenty-three, and I don’t know if teaching is what I’d excel in.’ So he thinks once again that I’m a gold-digging whore.”

“Well, Mom likes you. And Taylor says good things about you. She told me the other day that I found a smart girlfriend. I’m pretty sure that you can just ignore my dad. I try to do that a lot. It seems to work well for me.”

“But he loves you no matter what. Me… probably not so much,” she told him with a small smile. Sid knew his dad could be a bit… overbearing.

“If you can handle the press babe, you can fend off my dad.”

“Oh, that was sneaky Crosby… very sneaky.” Sid chuckled, knowing he was winning this battle.

“I can be like that when I have to be. Now… can we please go back out where everyone is? Have I put your fears to rest? I don’t like seeing your upset, but neither do I want to have this conversation ever again. I chose to be with you. And if things get more serious, then they will. I’m open to this possibility, hell… I’m actually hoping for it! But I’m not going to push you or myself into something that down the road we can’t handle. So, we’ll take it slow like we have been. Having fun, making love, and just enjoying one another. Deal?”

“Deal,” he heard her whisper.

“Good, now, seal it with a kiss,” he told Melany as he grabbed her and planted a sound kiss on her lips. He felt her pulse jump where his fingers wrapped around her wrist. He heard her moan as his tongue swept across her lower lip. And he felt her tremble as he nipped at that lip. “I should stop before we actually do end up in the same situation as Geno’s.”


“M’hmm,” Mel mumbled as she wrapped her arms around his neck. She had lifted up on her tip toes to be more level with him and in turn found his hands splayed across her back. He was warm and inviting. And he was right. With an unknown amount of self-control, Mel pulled away from him, burying her head in his neck. “You’re pretty perfect ya know.”

“Nope, not at all. Got tons of faults. I just don’t want you to see them all at once,” he teased. They were walking out of the kitchen and Mel screamed as the back door fell open and four bodies fell in a heap when she turned the handle. Jordan lay on the bottom with Marc, Jared and Max on top of him.

“Staalsy… what on earth are you doing?!” Mel asked as she stared at them.

“Well… you see… Max said we needed to give you guys alone time to talk. And then he mentioned something about you and kitchen counters. And I remembered the marks I’ve seen on Sid…” Mel glanced up at Sid, a blush staining her cheeks, and saw that he was doing the same thing.

“So you decided to listen to if you could hear us getting busy??”

“Well… no… umm… yes?”

“Thank god Eric has some sort of manners.” She heard laughter coming from the side of the house as the eldest Staal and Tanger popped around the corner. “Oh no, not you too!”

“We couldn’t see anything, but I could get a pretty good earful of what you guys talked about.”

“Jesus,” she all but screamed, “it was meant to be a private conversation!! Sid, help me out here!”

“Deep breath babe… think of it as a paparazzi experience.”

“Papa… Heather! Tanya!” She watched as Eric’s face paled and Jordan scrambled out from underneath the pile of people. They took off running into the house as their significant others came over. “Your two Staal’s are evil… pure evil.”

“Yes,” Tanya agreed, “but you have to love them.” Heather nodded her head and they both had their own secret smiles. Mel buried her face in her hands with a groan.

“You guys are no help! You know that right?” Everyone started laughing and Sid pulled her against him, an arm securely set around her waist. “I don’t like your teammates.”

“No, you love us!” Jordan had only his head out the door, a giant smile on his face.

“Yeah, yeah… paparazzi… ugh.” The two brothers came out and enveloped her in a hug. The others joined in and soon Melany felt like she was going to die, being squished in between all those hockey bodies. “Guys… Having. A little. Trouble. Breathing.” There was more laughter as everyone meandered over toward the little patio area.

Eric was helping to try and explain the life of being with a hockey player, but Mel couldn’t stop glancing Sid’s way. He kept wiggling his eyebrows at her and making her smile as she made a horrific attempt to listen to Eric. Jordan pulled a hot pink iPod out of his pocket and put it in a docking station. Mel quirked an eyebrow at him.

“It’s Heather’s…”

“Uh-huh,” she replied before giggling. Music started playing and some people started dancing. A few songs in and she felt someone pulling her away from her mini lecture. As the tempo slowed, she turned and burrowed against Sid’s chest. He held her tightly as the lyrics started playing.

“This is rather appropriate isn’t it,” he whispered into her hair. Mel focused on the words coming out of the speakers.

You're upset and I don't know what I said
But I'm sorry
Don't you give up on me?
Take off your jacket
Don't walk out that door
You and me
We should be
Making a memory whenever we're together, yeah
Look at me
Can't you see
We were meant to be
Making a memory
Don't pretend you're not smiling again
Let's just leave it
You know I didn't mean it
Don't know why we put up such a fight
Over nothing
When we could still be something

As they swayed to the music, Mel felt everyone and everything around them disappear. She breathed in his scent, felt him shiver as her fingertips brushed along the back of his neck. She smiled as Sid pressed his forehead to hers. He tunneled his fingers through her hair and tilted her head, his lips pressing gently against hers. They fed off each other and soon she could feel his desire taking over as he groaned, his tongue dueling with hers. Pulling away to gather some air back into her lungs she heard the whistles and turned, smiling sheepishly as she noticed almost everyone was staring at them. Yeah, I could fall for him so easily.


I’m falling so easily. Sid smiled to himself as he thought about the woman in his arms. She was unsure of herself, but he couldn’t blame her. Not really. She was being thrust into a crazy situation. But she didn’t seem to mind the fact that he was who he was. No, she was more concerned that she wasn’t good enough to be with him. More concerned that she might be a bad thing for him.

He hadn’t been lying when he’d told her before that he’d never done this relationship thing. But even he could tell that when someone was more concerned about your feelings than theirs, that was someone you wanted to keep around. Not because they made you feel important, but because they made you feel wanted, and cared for, and… loved. It kept coming back to that. Love. It was going to bug him now. How soon can you fall in love with someone? How do you know if it’s real love or just infatuation? Once you’ve figured out the difference, if it’s real, how do you keep it?

He could hear Melany humming the melody of the song as she tapped the beat on his shoulder. He didn’t think she even realized she was doing it. Another little quirk that he was finding out about her. Earlier tonight he’d learned about her aversion to redheads and green vegetables. It amazed him that she and Erin were such good friends when Erin was, in fact, a ginger as Mel liked to call them.

“You wanna get out of here babe?”

“Sure. Back to Mario’s?”

“I was thinking Geno’s for a bit if he and Erin aren’t busy. I know she’s been staying there the past couple of days.”

“Yeah, I’ll give her a call,” Mel told him as she disengaged herself from his arms. As she walked away, phone to her ear, Sid was oblivious to everything else. So when Eric popped up beside him it literally made him jump in surprise.

“So, the Kid has found himself a girl… how did that happen?”

“I almost hit her with my car… twice. And then I hit her in the head with a puck.”

“Certainly a way to make sure you got her attention. And injuring her was probably an easy way to get her name. When Jordy mentioned a girlfriend, I just about flipped. I couldn’t believe that Sidney Crosby had finally grown a set and asked someone out! She’s funny. Smart aleck too.”

“Yeah, she keeps me on my toes,” he said, realizing for the first time how right that statement was.

“How’s she handling the pressure?”

“Surprisingly well. The only rough patch so far has been my father.”

“No… really??” Eric put a hand to his chest and pretended to be shocked. Sid just laughed and then nodded as Melany gave him a thumbs down.

“Funny… really. Well, looks like we’re headin’ home for the night. I’ll probably see you at the rink tomorrow.” They shook hands and Sid and Mel told everyone goodbye before heading out to the car and going back to Mario’s. Falling asleep that night, Sid watched her for a while before he finally dozed off.

When he woke up he heard Mel talking to someone. He felt for her beside him but finally noticed, when he opened his eyes, that she was over by the window, phone to her ear and a smile on her face as she laughed at whatever the person on the line was saying.

“… yeppers. I’ll be home in a bit… I know, I miss you too! It seems like forever!” Sid sat up, hearing the excitement in her voice. Who the hell was she going to see with a voice that happy? “Haha, I know… it just seems like less of a hassle… Alrighty… Yeah… no, I believe he’s waking up. Love you too Mom.” Oh, her mom. Way to freak out. He heard the phone snap shut as he relaxed, folding his arms behind his head and sort of propping himself up.

“Going home to see your mom for the day?”

“Actually, I thought I’d stay there for a couple days, come back on Thursday for the game.”

“Would she like to come? To the game I mean. Is it something she’d be interested in?”

“I’m sure she’d be thrilled! I’ll talk to her about it when I get there!” They showered and got dressed, actually keeping their hands to themselves for once. They had breakfast with Nathalie before Sid threw her bags in her trunk and walked over to stand by her door.

“Ok, so you’ll talk her into coming to the game?”

“I’ll do my best.”

“Good. This is going to be a little weird. You’ve been with me for what seems like forever.”

“Yeah, my mom was starting to think I’d forgotten about her. I guess we should work on your sharing skills. Maybe this is actually what we needed. A couple days without each other,” she said with a small smile. He smiled back. It wasn’t like she was going to run away from him.

“Yeah, you were becoming a pain anyway.”

“I can be pretty annoying.”

“Get going before I tie you up and throw you in my closet,” he growled as he pulled her in for a kiss. Sid felt her melt against him. She had just wound her arms around him when her car alarm went off. They both jumped and separated as Nathalie laughed from the front door.

“You forgot your keys my dear,” she said as she continued to chuckle until tears ran down her cheeks. Sid looked over at Mel to apologize but he saw she too was bent over, laughing rather loudly. He finally joined in too. That was how Mario found them, him and Mel leaning against her car and Nat against the doorframe, all trying to get their breathing under control again.

“Are you three okay?”

“No sir,” Melany said, “No we’re not.” And they all burst into another fit of hysterics. Mario just smiled and shook his head, murmuring something about wanting to stay out of the insanity loop. Sid wrapped an arm around Mel’s waist, before turning her and enveloping her in a hug.

“I’ll see you Thursday.”

“Sounds like a plan.”

Nathalie had regained her composure as well and stepped down to hand Mel her keys. He watched as she whispered something before tugging his girlfriend into a giant hug. Then, after pulling away she slid a hand to Mel’s cheek, smiling and turning away to go back inside. He watched as Mel wiped her eye and came over to him.

“You okay?”

“Yep,” she replied shakily. But the smile was genuine. Women.

He watched her drive off and waited about two minutes before calling her cell to tell her he missed her. Nathalie came running to the open door, a phone blaring in her hand. Shit.


As Mel pulled up in front of her mom’s house she smiled. So many memories here. And she’d gone off on her own… only to find herself back here. In less than a week she’d be 23, and living with her mom once again. Maybe this would be different though. It wasn’t like she would be treated like a child. Hell, even when I was a child I wasn’t treated like one. She shook her head at her thoughts and opened her car door as he mom came out to greet her, the phone against her ear.

“Yes actually, she just pulled in. Why yes, it’s nice to talk to you as well. And I would love to come to the game with her! I’ll probably hop a ride with Erin unless she’s staying at Geno’s… oh they are… Oh no, I couldn’t. Are you sure? My daughter’s right, you have wonderful manners. I can’t wait to meet your mother.” Mel watched her mom laugh. “Yes, she is giving me that look. Wait, I think it’s dawning on her.” Mel grabbed her purse and sifted through it, smacking her palm to her forehead. “She realizes now. Hold on,” her mom smiled. Coming over for a much needed mother/daughter hug, smiled at the kiss on the cheek and handed Mel the phone. “I believe it’s that young man of yours.”


“I think you forgot something,” she heard him chuckle.

“I think you’re right. Will you just turn it off and put it somewhere safe for me until I get back.”

“I will. You have a text from John though. I didn’t read it. I just saw who it was from.”

“Really?” She couldn’t keep the excitement out of her voice. It had been so long since she’d talked to him. She had yet to tell him about Sid. Maybe he’s coming home soon. “Will you open it up for me??”

“Sure thing babe.” She heard a thunk and pictured him dropping onto his bed. Her lips curled up as she pictured him there, relaxing against his pillows. “Hey, it’s great news! He and Jessica got married! That’s great. Who’s Jessica?”

“He… He… MOM!!!” The phone dropped out of her hands and hit the sidewalk. Before she could blink, Mel was on the ground. Her body was practically shaking and the tears were streaming down her cheeks. She sensed her mom beside her, and she could hear Sid yelling over the phone. “John… he, he got… he and Jessica got married! How, how could he??” The shock fled and anger replaced it quickly.

“How can he just go and get married?! He’s supposed to be one of my best friends! He knows how much I care about him!” Mel could feel her mom holding her as she sobbed. Somehow she recalled Sid was still on the phone. Leaning over, she grabbed it and held it to her ear. “I’m gonna… have to call… you back…”

“Just answer me this… please. Are you… are you angry he didn’t tell you, or that it’s not you?” She heard the fear in his voice. God, I’m an idiot for making him freak out.

“That he didn’t tell me… please. I’ll call you back as soon as I calm down. Everything between you and I is still there. I just, I need to process. Bye.”

She heard him mutter a goodbye too, and then she was wrapped in her mom’s arms and sobbing. She hadn’t even known that he was back with Jess, and now they got married! Taking a couple shaky breaths, she laughed as her mom used her own shirt to dry her eyes.

“There, there sweet pea. It’s going to be okay.”

“But, we were supposed to be there for each other’s weddings. We promised to stand up there for one another. He’s my damn maid of honor! Why would he hide it from me until after it happened??”

“Why don’t you call him and find out?”

Mel looked at her mom, nodding, before they both got up and walked into the house. She sat down on the coffee table in the living room and punched the familiar number. He picked up after three rings.


“What the fuck??” Smooth Mel, smooth.

“Not exactly the reaction I was hoping for. And what took you so long to respond?”

“I left my phone at Sid’s! How could you Johnny? I was supposed to be there. We… we promised each other…”

“We just woke up a couple weeks ago and said ‘Let’s get married!’ and that was it. I didn’t know how to tell you, and I didn’t figure you could just drop everything and fly out. So we went to the courthouse and signed the paper. We don’t even have rings yet. I just… it felt right Mel. I’m sorry, okay? I am. I know how much it would’ve meant to you to be here. If it makes you feel any better, Jess has been on me for the past week, she thinks you’re going to hate her.”

“Her? God no! You, you I may bash in the head. Or get one of my new buddies to beat you up. Just promise me that if you two decide to reproduce, I’ll know about it before the kid turns eighteen.”

“That’s my girl. Now, who is this Sid person and your new buddies??” She couldn’t stay mad at him, ever. When they had dated and thought they’d be together forever and then broken up, she wanted to hate him. They hadn’t spoken for awhile, then one morning at breakfast in the cafeteria they had started talking. After that, it was smooth sailing. He was her constant rock.

“Well, I’m seeing someone. We’ve been dating about six weeks. And he’s… amazing. Intelligent, funny, sweet, thoughtful, talented, athletic. He’s even a little bit of a celebrity around these parts.” And the rest of the country. And all of Canada.

“I see. Have I ever met him? Can he get me tickets to a Steelers game the next time I’m in town and they’re playing?” She heard him chuckle and couldn’t wait to shock the hell out of him. Serves him right for this little stunt of his.

“No, you’ve never met him. And I’m almost positive he could hook me up with a couple tickets. John, you aren’t going to believe it… but I’m dating Sidney Crosby.”

“Hahahahaha!!! Oh man, this is your way of getting back at me for hiding something from you? I’m pretty sure you could’ve thought of something more believable!! You and Sid the Kid?! Puh-leeze!”

“I’m serious!”

“Yeah, sure. And you just happened to leave your phone there? So, if I were to call your cell, he would answer?”

“If he saw it was you calling, probably. We were talking when he read me your text and I had a meltdown… Ass.”


Sid stared at the phones in his hands. He’d heard the freak out, and wished he could’ve helped. She sounded so hurt and so confused. He knew he shouldn’t have asked her what he did. He still felt like a bit of a jerk, but he’d needed to hear her say that she was upset because of what the guy had done, not because of whom he’d picked. Did that make him selfish, probably. Did he care, not in the least. This John character lost his chance, he shouldn’t get another one.

Mel’s phone started ringing and he looked down and read the screen. Johnny. Against his better judgment he hit Send.


“Ok, so who did she put up to this? Who are you?”

“This is Sidney. Is this John?”

“Cut the crap. I know you aren’t Sidney Crosby. Is Mel sitting there laughing over her little joke?”

“No, the last time I talked to Mel she was freaking out and crying because I’m pretty sure you just broke her heart a little. And this most certainly is Sidney Crosby.” Sid heard the intake of breath and the curse that was muttered.

“Ok, then how about we play a little game?”

“Fine by me.” This prick wanted to try and quiz him, let him take his best shot.

For the next twenty minutes Sid sat on the edge of his bed answering question after question about his life, his career, and a couple personal questions about Mel that made him blush. This guy could certainly interrogate with the best of them. No wonder they made him a Marine. He heard the man sigh on the other end of the line.

“I still don’t know if I believe you. But can you answer me one more question?”

“Why not… shoot.”

“Do you make her happy?”

“I’m certainly trying to.”

“Good, because if you really are Sid the Kid, I’d hate to have to come home and kill you because you hurt my best friend. And believe me, I know enough ways to do it that I don’t think I’d get caught. Or if I did, I’m sure I could use the self-defense plea.”

“How about the four of us have dinner together the next time you’re in town?”

“I’m coming in for her birthday. Kind of a surprise…”

“Hate to burst your bubble, but she’s coming to Carolina with me,” Sid practically crowed with victory. It wasn’t that he didn’t like the guy, he just… didn’t like the guy at the moment.

“Then I guess I’ll see you in Raleigh.”

“Yep. I’ll have Mel text you the details for the bash. It’s going to be Saturday night, after the game.”The two exchanged rather stressed goodbyes and Sid called Mel at her mom’s right away.

“Hi you.”

“Hi babe…”

“Did you two play nice?”

“I don’t think he believed me.”

“Probably not. He can be tough… He’s beeping in. Hold on.” Sid sat there and waited, wanting to go through the phone and punch this so-called friend. “Sorry, I told him I’d call him back. Just didn’t want him to think something was up. So, he didn’t believe you?”

“No, and at the risk of him actually punching my lights out, you should call him back, because he’s got some more news for you.” He heard her groan and chuckled. “It’s nothing bad don’t worry. I’ll talk to you later.”

“Ugh… fine. Turn off my phone please. Toodles.” Sid just shook his head and turned the phone off. no more insane calls from ex-boyfriend/best-friend/military people. He threw on some clothes and was just headed out the door to go crash at Flower’s for awhile when his cell vibrated.

“That didn’t take too long. Miss me that much?”

“HE’S COMING TO RALEIGH?!” Ok, I’m pretty sure I’m deaf now.

“I just told him that you wouldn’t be in town, so if he wanted to celebrate with you, he’d have to come there.”

“Are you two gonna have some weird pissing contest… all macho man and shit?”

“No, I don’t plan on it anyway.”

“Ok. I guess that’s all. I’m going to stop calling you every five minutes, I promise.” Sid just laughed and put the car in drive as they talked aimlessly for a few moments until he heard her mom in the background.

“Go spend time with her. And don’t let her take no for an answer. She can stay here after the game. Gotta go.”

“What? Okay, bye.” He turned the music up and jammed the rest of the way to Flower’s. Vero was out with a couple of the girls so a few of the guys had deemed Marc’s house as the hang out spot. They were going to be immature and play games for a few hours. It would be good. He was doing his thing and Mel was doing hers. He glanced down at the clock on the radio. Is it time for her to come back yet?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Chapter 17: Dinner At Staalsy's

There were some difficulties with this chapter... I planned on soemthing completely different. And as I started writing, this is what came out. No lie, it just sort of wrote itself. Then I had some problems making everything fit! So I enlisted the help of my wonderful 'editor' and she made it run together so much better! I hope you guys like it!! If not, you can totally blame qfd* :) Love ya Mer!

The media circus actually wasn’t that bad to deal with. Mel found that she was actually getting used to waiting around while Sid dealt with the scrum of armchair quarterbacks with all their lights and cameras and microphones. In fact, a few of them actually acknowledged her on their way in and out of the dressing room now and that gave her a little thrill.

The crazed fan girls…that was a whole other topic, and they were more than a little scary. Mel wasn’t sure how Sid dealt with it every time he arrived or left the arena. They were always screaming his name, telling him what they’d give for a kiss, and tonight one woman with her daughter said she’d pay him to sleep with either of them. It was a little disturbing. But Sid didn’t even look up as he pulled her behind him towards the spot where his Rover was parked.

They were on their way right now to have dinner with the Staal family. She had met Henry and Linda at Game 1, and had also been introduced to Marc and Jared at other games. The only one she hadn’t met that night was the elusive Eric and now he too was in town.

She’d been told that after the drinking game incident at Geno’s, that Eric was interested in meeting her. Sid had offered to introduce her to him after the game, but she’d been too nervous. The Canes had lost and she knew how competitive boys could be after a loss… so when a casual dinner at Jordan’s the next night had been suggested, she’d jumped at the chance to be included, even though it made her stomach do horrible flip floppy things to think about it.

Although she’d never admit it to Heather and Jordy, Mel was a little star struck by the Staal’s eldest. Not wanting to make any major faux pas she’d even gone so far as to pull Heather aside in the locker room the night before and asked how to go about not making a complete idiot in front of the entire Staal clan. Heather had just laughed and told her just to be herself and as far as Eric went, just to treat him like she did Sid. While she knew that what Heather had meant was to treat him like anyone else, to be as normal as possible with him, all Mel could think was’ Yeah, if I act like he’s Sid I’ll push him against the wall and rain kisses all over his face. And I’m guessing his wife wouldn’t appreciate that.

Shaking her head, Melany bit her lip to keep from laughing at the images her brain was coming up with while she was sitting with the guy that really made her insides go to jelly.

Besides getting an up close and personal look at her secret crush, Mel was hoping that this dinner would help give her some insight into what it might be like to live with a professional hockey player. She’d had the opportunity but hadn’t wanted to talk to Nathalie about what it was like to be married to Mario. The woman had been nothing but a saint and part of her knew that if she actually got the courage to ask, Nathalie would probably answer anything, but how do you bring up the question of ‘do you think I’m good enough for him’ without seeming like a whiny insecure brat but these questions kept coming into her head and they were beginning to crowd out the good thoughts.

Mel thought about the time they’d spent together since they met. They had a lot of fun together and Mel liked to think that when they were together, it gave Sid a chance to just be normal, whatever that was for him, and he certainly seemed like he wanted to be with her, which made her feel like the luckiest girl on earth but….

She sighed, thinking back on her last talk with his dad. That had definitely not ended well, not when she’d told him that she didn’t know what it was that she truly wanted to do with her life but it had been honest and Sid seemed to value that and yet….

Sid grabbed her hand, his other tapping on the steering wheel while they paused at a stop light, a few blocks from the house.

“You’re awfully quiet tonight babe. Are you gonna be okay? Because I’ll defend you against all four of them if I have to,” he added, being cute and adorable and she knew, trying to raise her spirits.

“I just…,” she glanced down at their entwined hands and then up at his easy smile. “You’ll think it’s stupid.”

“Try me babes,” he grinned back at her, and there it was again, the why me thought when he looked at her that way.

“Just remember, you asked,” she warned him. Now wasn’t the time to bring up the talk with his dad, which would just get him all worked up when they were supposed to be looking forward to a night of fun and relaxation. So she opted for the Staal talk. Turning slightly in her seat she chewed on her lip for another second. “I’m nervous,” she admitted and then thought how funny it was that that small statement covered so many bases.

“About what? You’ve met them all before. Everyone likes you, right?”

“But… I haven’t met Eric,” she pointed out to which he could only shrug.

“He’s pretty much the same at the others. He’s kind of a mix of Marc and Jordy but just a couple years older.”

“But he’s… he’s hot, with a capital H!” Mel waited for him to laugh or get mad, do something, show some kind of reaction negative or positive but Sid just did his usual Sid thing and remained even keeled about it.

“So that makes the other three chopped liver?”

“Well… Jared’s just a baby, he doesn’t count yet and I know Jordan and you know how I think he’s mentally unbalanced,” she said with a smile. Sid laughed at her and shook his head though she knew that he liked that she was comfortable enough to tease his friends. “And Marc… well, you know my stance on him. Ginger,” she said in a stage whisper. Sid looked like he was going to hurt himself trying to keep his laughter reined in.

“Have you told anyone else about your stance on these… gingers?” he asked, giggling like a girl.

“God no! I can’t have it get out that I’m racist against gingers, they’ll band together and get me.”

“Have you listened to yourself?”

“Don’t you judge me Crosby,” she warned, feeling better and more relaxed now that they were teasing one another.

“Never,” he said seriously. She saw the twinkle in his eye as he winked at her while pulling into the driveway of Jordan’s. “Now, listen. Just remember Eric’s a great guy, just like the rest of the family. I won’t tell him about your little crush, and I’ll try not to get too jealous if you drool over him.”

“Why, you curly-headed--”

“Ah ah ah… be nice Melany, or I’m going to get them to help me lock you in a room with Marc all night.” Mel stuck her tongue out at him and he leaned forward, his hand in her hair and his forehead against hers. “Don’t stick that tongue out unless you’re going to use it,” he growled, smiling.

“You remember what Disco said, you guys are supposed to be cutting back on the… extra-curricular activities.” While she was sure it was hard on him Mel personally felt like she was dying a little from lack of… action. She wanted him all the time but there was no way she wanted to be blamed for Sid the Kid not being up to snuff as Coach had put it.

Not that Sid seemed overly concerned with actually going along with the no nookie rule. His excuse last night had been rather imaginative she thought. He was hard no matter what, and he was going to have to take care of it one way or another… why not help him, so he didn’t strain himself? What a load of bullshit, but sex with him after a game was so intense it was hard to say no to.

Not that she really ever did, even though she’d told herself that the no nookie in the playoffs rule might be a good thing for them, that they might be able to develop the rest of their relationship instead of having it all just be sex, sex, sex all the time.

Maybe that’s what she was here for, she thought dimly, just a bit of a fling before he found that right woman.

“I have curbed my… appetite. I can’t help it if you attack my body in the middle of the night,” he replied as he kissed her forehead and hopped out of his vehicle. Melany shook her head, smirking. Then she hopped out of her side, grabbed the pie she’d baked, and together they walked up to Jordan’s door.

She could hear yelling and stomping and she had to jump back when the door flew open and two blonde giants came rushing out, laughing and yelling at one another, landing in a heap in the front yard like a couple of puppies. Doing her best not to get landed on, she leaned back and lost her balance and started to fall, the pie flying into the air as she fell backwards. Throwing her arms out, Mel braced herself for a fall that never came.

Opening up one eye she stared into a beautiful set of blue eyes and then noticed lips that were as full and sensuous as Sid’s.

“Pillow Lips,” she said breathlessly. A strawberry blonde eyebrow quirked up and she clearly heard Sid snorting in the background. Shaking her head Mel came to her senses and stood up slowly, leaning around the oldest Staal to where Sid and Jordan were standing together clearly amused by the show. She glared at them both but it didn’t improve things. Sid was almost doubled over with laughter and Jordan winked dramatically at her, the pie ‘safe’ and in his grubby little hands.

“Eric actually. You must be the Kid’s girl. Nice to meet you,” Eric helped Mel right herself and then offered his hand. “So, what is this game I keep hearing about?”

“Uhhh… Melany. Nice to meet you too. And, the Staal Brothers Drinking Game is a great way to get totally blotto during a game.” He asked her to explain it more as they wandered into the house and she had just started into a full-blown explanation when Linda and Heather came around the corner with a third woman in tow.

“Mel! You made it,” Heather smiled as she pushed the new addition forward. “This is Tanya, Eric’s wife.” They shook hands and Mel couldn’t help but think that they were a great looking couple, sort of the perfect Barbie and Ken. “I thought you and Sid were coming together.”

“He’s… He’s with Jordan. And my pie! Crud… Jordan will have half of it gone if we don’t find them soon! Excuse me everyone, I have a pie to rescue,” she said as she took off searching through the house, eventually finding Sid and Jordan in the kitchen, forks in hand. Jordan was just about to dig in when Mel yelled at him. “JORDAN! Fork down! Now!”

“But, it’s homemade… Sid said so. And it’s apple, I love apple pie. You know you made it just for me, can’t I try just a little bite?” Jordy tried to blink his big baby blue eyes at her and look innocent but Mel knew better.

“You’re idea of a little bit is bigger than the damn fork. Put. It. Down.” She smiled with satisfaction as he put the fork down and grudgingly pushed the pie toward her end of the kitchen island. “Thank you.”

“Nice mom voice,” came a deep voice from her left. Turning, she found Eric, Tanya, Heather, Linda and Henry smiling at her.

“It’s not a mom voice. It’s a teacher voice. I’m a substitute. But I know it works!”


Jesus, it was a zoo with all four Staals at once under the same roof and as much as he would usually enjoy their company and their rough and tumble exuberance and humor all Sid could think was… I’m going to die. I just want to drag her out of this room and find some place quiet to make sweet love to her over and over again.

Sid glanced to his left, taking Melany’s hand in his as she continued talking to Tanya about the baby she and Eric were expecting this fall. The two had hit it off right away. Not that he’d expected anything else. She seemed to be able to make friends with everyone she met. Even his dad spent time with her now and that was a miracle in itself. But he refused to put too much stock in what it could mean. He was only twenty-one. That was too early to settle down right? How can I even think about that right now? He turned when he felt her squeeze his fingers.

“You okay?”

“Yeah, why?”

“You looked… lost. No hockey thoughts right now Sid. Just… enjoy a night off.”

“It wasn’t hockey, for once,” he replied honestly.

“Well, whatever it was made you look unhappy you need to just push it out of that head of yours. Don’t worry about things you have no control over for now. You can start fretting over god knows what tomorrow.” He smiled at her, knowing that she was right. They had plenty of time to figure out what they wanted from one another… after the playoffs. Until then, all they had to do was just enjoy one another’s company. He could do that.

“I promise not to think about it again until the season ends.”

“Good! Now c’mon, that food smells great,” Mel said, smiling brightly at him and he couldn’t help but return the same happy grin. Actually that was another thing about her that he loved.

“Mmmm, food. Good, I’m famished! Someone kept me up late last night!” Sid added, leaning in close to her, his lips pressed against her temple.

“I don’t remember hearing any complaints from that pretty mouth of yours.”

“That because it was full of--”

“Mon dieu! Get a room or something! I don’ need to ‘ear that kind of talk before I eat!” Sid whirled around to find Max and Kris standing behind the couch they were currently sitting on.

“MAXIMUS,” Melany cried beside him, launching herself over the sofa and into his buddy’s arms. Someone else might have been jealous at the display of affection she so readily shared with his teammates, but Sid had come to realize that this was just how she was so instead of letting it eat at him he just pulled himself off the couch and walked around to where she stood, an arm around each of his friends.

“Are you trading me in woman?” he asked as she smiled brilliantly back at him.

“No… well, maybe…. See these two seem to be able to pull off the whole facial hair during playoffs thing that you all have going on but they make it look…roguishly handsome. And then we’ve got the Staal twins in there that look like they’re going Amish. Your look sweetie is… well, let’s just say it’s different.”

“You’re going to give me grief about this like they do? Really?? Does everyone have to give me a hard time about this?”

“Don’ worry mon ami,” Max said. “I don’t think she’s a big fan of facial hair anyway. So you should be happy about you’re pathetic growth because there’s not enough of it to bother her that much!”

“I don’t know whether I feel better or insulted. Now get your grubby hand off my woman before I tell Eric you’re hitting on his pregnant wife.” They all laughed as Max dropped his hand from Mel’s as if he’d been burned and wandered away, muttering something about being innocent until proven guilty under his breath. Kris just shook his head and told them to be on the lookout for Flower and Vero before he headed off toward the porch where the food was being set out. “Ready to eat?”

Melany smiled at him and nodded. They had started toward the door when she stopped him, a hand on his chest.


“Okay… what’s up?”

“I’m sorry,” she said as she rubbed two fingers along his jaw line. “I don’t think it’s bad. I just miss you clean-shaven. Alright?”

“Why are you apologizing?”

“Well, you’re right. You do get enough ribbing from them. I guess I didn’t need to add to it.”

“Hey,” he said, tilting her face up to look at him, “you can tease me anytime you want, you know that,” he grinned, before tilting his head to one side and looking at her consideringly. “Are you ok?”

“I…” she paused, “I think it’s just hitting me that it’s almost my birthday and you guys will be in Carolina.” That’s not what she wanted to say. He knew it. Sure she’d been happy and gregarious so far tonight, almost her usual fun self, but there was definitely something on her mind tonight. But if that’s the way you want to play it….

“Oh shoot… I hadn’t thought of that! Come with us! I’ll call Geno and Brooks and see if they can talk those two into coming. And we can talk to Heather and V… would you like that?” He watched as her eyes lit up. Ok, that’s a good sign.

“That’s the greatest idea ever! When you guys win Game 3 we can celebrate that along with my birthday at a club!”

“Pretty cocky girlfriend ya got there Kid.” Sid turned to see Eric leaning in the doorway, a teasing smile on his face. “Food’s done. Ya’ll comin’?”

“Actually I’m not cocky,” Mel grinned back at the eldest Staal brother. ” I just have faith in my boys.” I like seeing her all feisty like this. Sid laughed to himself as he grabbed her hand and they walked out back.

If something was on her mind, he knew this would at least be a momentary distraction. She was always saying how she was amazed at the amount of food they could all consume.

Vero and Marc finally showed up about fifteen minutes after they started eating, and then Tyler, Kelsey and Gogo appeared. It ended up being a great little gathering of people, and for a while, they all put hockey aside, and just enjoyed each other’s company.


Mel had seen Eric studying her while they ate. That’s why she wasn’t surprised at all when he came up to the porch and sat down beside her. He was big, just like all of his brothers, that was for sure, but he had an easy smile that put her at ease at once.

“Why, hello Mr. Staal. What can I do for you?”

“First off, Mr. Staal is my father… so if you don’t mind, it’s just Eric. And second, just so you know, I don’t hold that whole I’m going to lose thing against you,” he added with a grin. Mel felt a bit relieved. It had occurred to her that he might, even though he hadn’t seemed to.

“Look at them,” she threw her head to where the guys had set up a circle to kick around a soccer ball. All of the guys were taking part in the game, just like before a game. “You’ve had a turn. Now it’s theirs. Yes, they’re a young team. Yes, they’re under the direction of a new, younger coach. And I know I haven’t followed the sport all my life like you, and most of them… but that group of guys, minus your other brothers of course, they have given everything to get here. Not that you haven’t,” she added hurriedly when he started to object. “But we have this video, and it says that ‘Now Is Our Time,’ and I fully believe that. They came so close last year, they want it so bad. And as much as I may like you, I just felt like it was my duty to let you know, you’re going down Pillow Lips.”

“I see Sid’s found himself a very spirited woman… but I thought he said you liked me so this whole smack talk thing… and what is with this Pillow Lips thing?!” Eric made little quotations in the air as he said the name.

“Thank you. You guys are my guilty pleasure of the Eastern Conference. And as for the name… I read it on this blog that I follow. And it sort of stuck. I mean, you have to admit, they are very pouty,” Mel teased, nudging him with her shoulder. “And my friends and I have now given all four of you names. Pillow Lips,” she pointed at him, then at each of his brothers. “Baby Staal, the Ginger, and Staalsy Butt.”

Eric let out an enormous belly laugh and she blushed as everyone turned to see what had caused his outburst. Tanya, who’d been talking with V and Kels, came up beside him.

“What’s so funny my dear?”

“Apparently I have been given a nickname, as have all of my brothers.”

“You mean, other than what I call you?” Mel giggled as she watched the blush rise up his neck and high-fived his wife. “Don’t let him fool you girl,” Tanya whispered. “He’s a pushover.” Then she shrieked with laughter as Eric grabbed her and started blowing raspberries all over her cheek. “Ahhh, stop it you dork! God forbid your son turn out anything like you!”

“Son??” Mel watched as he held Tanya out at arm’s length. “You’re having a boy? I’m going to have a son?”

“Oh crud… I wanted to surprise you,” Mel heard her say. She watched as Eric crushed his wife against him, murmuring words of love and that he was glad that she had accidently spilled the beans.

Leaving them in their tender moment, Mel walked over to where Kelsey and Vero were relaxing in lounge chairs. Dropping down to the ground she turned toward Kelsey.

“So, speaking of babies, how did Tyler take the news?”

“Oh lord… he yelled like he’d just scored a game winner in OT, picked me up, and proceeded to spin me around while telling me how much he loved me. Then he held my hair back and apologized over and over while I puked from all the spinning!” The three of them got a good chuckle out of that. Mel was so happy for her. Kelsey said they were planning on a quiet little wedding after the playoffs, back in the Sault. Of course, the guys and their significant others were invited, but other than that… just close family. Mel wondered if Sid would ask her to come along. That would be a big step in her eyes. A trip, a vacation, just the two of them. It was something that serious couples did, right? That’d be, hopefully, mid June… a little over two months from when they met. Was that enough time to form a bond like that?

“Mel, are you okay?”


“You were like…a million miles away just then,” Kelsey said. Mel looked up and found her and V staring.

“Sorry. I’m just wondering if Sid will want to bring me along.”

“Why wouldn’t he? You guys are practically inseparable lately.”

“Yeah, but it hasn’t been that long. And sure we have great sex… sorry… and we talk. But… blah, just ignore me. I’m bringing down the little pow-wow with my insecurities… Are you guys going to find out the sex of the baby?” Mel asked, quickly changing the subject. Much to her relief, Kelsey smiled and launched into a brand new conversation. She saw Vero eyeing her, but just shook her head. Maybe she’d talk to V later, in a more private setting. That woman had been with Marc for so long that Mel wasn’t sure she’d be much help in the whole relationship advice thing. That and she didn’t even know what her problem was. It just seemed like things were starting to go really well, but of course that’s when Mel always expected the other shoe to drop.

Feeling someone looking at her, she turned her head toward the group and, instead of Sid, saw Max staring at her. He looked over at Sid and then back. So, he can tell too. Ugh, what’s wrong with me? Why can’t I just enjoy hanging out with our friends?

She excused herself and went to grab a drink. She was shutting the door to the refrigerator when Max popped into view. He had his hands on his hips and he was staring at her.

“What is wrong with you? Why do you not look like a woman falling in love?”

“Love?? Jesus Max… don’t use that word within a hundred feet of me!”

“Why? Anyone can see the way you two look at each other. You’ve both got it bad. We’re all thrilled. At least, I am. Mon cap-i-tan needs the right woman by his side right now.”

“But how do you know I’m that woman? How do you know that this isn’t just some fluke and he’s not going to wake up tomorrow and realize that what his father said when he met me is correct? That… that I’m not good enough for him??”

“Where is this coming from mon chère? You’ve been nothing but the dutiful girlfriend for the last month. You’ve never said the wrong thing in front of the media. All of us love you and I can tell you that Sid’s falling head over heels…”

“That’s just it. I don’t always say the right thing!” She looked at Max, hoping he’d get it. She could tell by the look on his face that he didn’t so she took a deep breath and started talking.


Of course he didn’t totally trust Max, so when he’d seen his wing mate follow Mel inside, Sid strolled into the house too, but paused in the doorway when what he’d expected to hear turned out to be a serious conversation. He felt bad, listening in, not letting her know that he was standing there but he couldn’t believe what he was hearing.

“I’m not perfect. This past month… I’ve had to watch everything I say or do. I don’t want to make waves around anyone. I’ve kept my mouth shut at games, not cheering the way I usually do… just the happy clapping when we score. I want to yell so badly though. But I know that would make Sid look bad. And I don’t want to do anything that would cause him more stress. And now, now I can’t relieve my stress in the one way that was making me happy, because you guys need to stay in top performance for the rest of the playoffs. I mean, you’re doing so well this year. God, I can’t imagine what it’d be like if Sid wasn’t 100% because I couldn’t keep my hands off of him and then it would be my fault and then his dad would so totally be right and plus it would make me like some kind of selfish whore and I couldn’t live with myself either.” She plopped down on a bar stool there at the island and dropped her head into her hands.

“What does Sid think of your concerns?” Max asked, closing the distance and putting his hand on Mel’s shoulder.

“Oh, I’d never burden him with my insane ramblings… first off, I wouldn’t add to the pressure and stress he’s got right now. And second, that’s not something you throw at a guy you’ve been seeing for like 6 weeks.” He couldn’t’ see her expression to know what Mel was thinking but he could see that Max was just as surprised as he was.

“When is the right time to start having serious conversations with him then?” Max asked, slipping onto the stool beside her and draping his arm around her shoulders.

“I don’t… I don’t know. After playoffs I suppose. He’ll have a couple months to not worry, as much anyway, and maybe I’ll find the courage to talk to him then. Besides, he’ll have the summer to decide where we go from here.”

“You’ve lost me again.”

“Well, he’ll be up at his lake house this summer, so he’ll be able to think about what he may or may not want from me.”

“You aren’t going to go up to the house?”

“Oh, I’d love to. If he invited me of course I’d stay all summer with him! Wow, that sounds crazy, doesn’t it?” Max laughed and shook his head before pulling Mel into a hug.

“Let me tell you something. I’ve played with that guy for his entire NHL career. I’ve never seen him go half-assed at anything he wanted. He wants you. You’re the first woman he’s ever brought around the guys more than once. And his family likes you. I’m surprised he hasn’t stuck a ring on your finger already!”

“Oh god Max… that’s just insane. You don’t do that after a month. Besides, he’s Sidney Crosby. He’ll marry a girl from Canada or at least some…celebrity or at least someone with an important job or something. I’m just the local girl who happened to snag his affections until the right girl comes along. His dad’s right. I’m not what he needs. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’d love to be more than anything in the world. But I’m not going to… well, I am going to fall in love with him, I know that. I mean, let’s face facts. I’m pretty much there already. But I know that sooner or later he’ll wake up, and I’ll be out the door.” She looked up at Max and he had the funniest expression on his face. It was a cross between sympathy and consternation. “Max, it’s ok. I know that’s how the world works. It’s like…if I end up with someone like you or Gogo one day, that’s okay because you’re like, famous, but not, you know, the face of hockey. But him, he’s got the whole world watching him. So, when the right woman comes along, I’ll step aside. And I’m trying to be ok with that which is the right thing to do… isn’t it?”

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Chapter 16: Another One Bites The Dust

I've gone over this in my head... if you feels it's missing something I apologize, but after consulting my wonderful 'editor' we both decided it's up to snuff* Hope you all enjoy!

She stood there dancing around the living room with Erin, Amanda, Vero, Kelsey and Heather. This was her third meeting with more than just one of the WAGs and she was surprised and comforted by the fact that they seemed to be such down to earth women. There hadn’t been any snide remarks, and Mel knew that she had Vee to thank for that! She hadn’t had the pleasure of meeting Brooks’ ex, but had heard enough to know that she was glad the greedy little skank was gone.

Mel was seriously hoping to hook Amanda up with Brooks, but ever since that night when she and Sid were still in Philly, she and Amanda hadn’t been able to really connect aside from the occasional txt. Tonight was the first night that everyone had been able to be in the same place at once! And they were celebrating more than one thing. As they all stood around cheering and laughing Mel thought about when she had arrived earlier that evening.

“Hey ladies!!! Guess who’s going to be moving home in a we… Oh god! What’s wrong?!” Vee and Kelsey had tears in their eyes and Heather was holding Kel’s hand. Mel noticed that Erin and Amanda weren’t present. “Is it Erin and Amanda?? Did something happen?”

“No, it’s nothing bad,” Kelsey said while she wiped the tears away with her free hand. “Just, look.” Mel grabbed the paper. She skimmed over the contents. There were different percentage levels and words she didn’t understand. But she caught the words amniotic fluid, weeks along and call for ultrasound. Then she saw Kelsey’s name at the top of the paper.

“Oh holy shit, you’re pregnant!!!!! Does anyone else know yet? Does Tyler know? Ahhh…. CONGRATULATIONS!!!” She quickly, but carefully, dove onto the couch and tackled them all in a fierce hug. Kelsey just laughed as the tears started to fall again. They were all sitting there hugging when the doorbell rang and Mel heard her friends hollering through the wooden barrier. Vero yelled for them to come in and five minutes later they were already set up in the dining room.

The damn table looked like a command center for a military base and each girl had some sort of book in their hands, be it baby names, shower themes, nursery palettes, etc. Kel was fourteen weeks along and had no idea how she hadn’t realized before. But with the boys in and out so much, she’d barely had two words with TK since the playoffs started, and had just attributed no monthly visit as a side effect of stress for him. When he called right before the game, Heather had to threaten that Jordan would beat TK up if Kel told him anything.

Now, waiting for phone calls and texts, they were all relaxing in the living room. Kelsey had just run to the bathroom with a bout of late night morning sickness when her phone started vibrating on the coffee table. Heather took the initiative and answered it for her. After telling TK that she had just ran to the bathroom and that she’d have her call back, her phone rang. It started a chain reaction, and soon everyone was talking. Everyone but Amanda. Melany kept the call short, telling Sid to enjoy the celebration and get home quickly. He just laughed into the phone and promised her a fun late night or early morning romp. As she hung up, she crossed the room to where her friend was standing.

“Have you guys talked since that night?”

“Nah, I don’t even know if he remembers what happened. He was pretty wasted.”

“Maybe you should just text him and congratulate him.”

“We had crazy sex Mel, we didn’t pour our hearts out to one another and exchange phone numbers.”

“Oh… well… you should come with us to the airport! That’ll jog his memory!” She nudged Amanda’s shoulder, adding a look that screamed ‘you know you want to.’ “C’mon… do it… come with us. I refuse to take no for an answer.”

“God you’re annoying… you know that right?”

“I do. And you love me regardless!”

“True. I don’t know why I stick around with you though, you’re kind of hopeless.”

“No, I’m a hopeless romantic. And I know that when Brooks sees you his brain’s gonna go ‘click’ and he’s going to drag you off!” She didn’t tell Amanda that Sid had mentioned that Brooks wanted to see her again. That he remembered everything. And that he was pissed that she’d just left that morning without waking him. They were both in for a surprise. And Mel couldn’t wait to see how it ended. “Now, let’s get you ready chica!”

Vee had already gone upstairs to change, deciding that another dressed up welcoming party was the perfect idea. In no time at all they were ready and waiting for the txt that said they were getting ready to land. Once those messages came everyone hopped into separate cars except for Amanda, who rode with Mel, and they made a caravan to the airport parking lot. They were almost there when Amanda turned toward her.

“This is a bad idea.”

“No it’s not. Why would you think that?”

“He’s not going to remember me, and then what am I gonna do? I can’t just go home with you and Sid. Or anyone else… this is stupid!”

“Hey, have I ever led you down the wrong road before?”

“… No…”

“Then shut up, and just wait and see what happens.”

They pulled up beside Erin’s car and got out to talk with the ladies, still pouring over Kelsey’s good news. When they saw the bus coming with all the guys onboard, Mel felt Amanda grab her arm. She gave her a smile and then had to force herself not to run to the doors as Sid stepped off. He was talking to Tanger, and then looked up, a huge smile beaming from ear to ear.


“Hey woman! Why aren’t you running over here to me,” he yelled playfully. Tonight couldn’t have ended sweeter! He was so happy to be back, and when he got off the bus he felt her gaze roaming over him. Tanger elbowed him. “What?”

“She’s yelling back at you,” Tanger told him. Sid looked up and saw Melany standing there, a hand on her hip, staring at him with that fake annoyed look. He bumped fists with Kris once more before dropping his bag and jogging over to where she stood.

“Hi there stranger,” he heard her squeak out before he collected her in his arms and picked her up, spinning her around and listening to her laugh. “Put me down you fool! We need you healthy for the conference finals!” He just laughed back and placed her on her feet once again, relishing in the feel of her still pressed close to his body. He was about to kiss her senseless when he heard the yelling start. Looking up he saw Brooks towering over a blonde who was staring daggers at him. His buddy had his hands clenched in fists as he barked at the woman.

“Of course I remembered! Why wouldn’t I?

“You were shitfaced!”

“I wasn’t that drunk!”

“Oh please, you called me by her name… twice!”

“You called me by his too ya know!”

“It was a complete accident…”

“So was mine! Now, we’re gonna go talk about this!”

“There’s nothing to talk about you stupid jerk!” Sid watched as Brooks’ eyes glittered with challenge and he pulled this Amanda to him, pressing his lips to hers in a demanding kiss. No one moved. No one made a sound. Even Coach was waiting to see what happened. As Brooks pulled away it was like he noticed for that they were all here and he was in a public place.

“Tell me again that we have nothing to discuss,” he bit out as an almost challenge. Then, moving quicker than Sid had ever seen, Brooks threw her over his shoulder and stalked to his car. Sid heard Amanda cursing him to the depths of Hell for embarrassing her like this and he took a step toward his teammate. He felt a hand on his arm. Looking down he saw Melany shaking her head, biting her lip to keep from smiling too big.

“She’s fine.”

“He can’t get really…”

“No, she’s perfectly fine. Trust me. Take a closer look.”

He did. He watched Amanda’s face as she was man-handled by the big brute. She was smiling! Well, I’ll be damned! Boy, he’s gonna be in for a big surprise! He turned back to his girl, wrapping his arm around her waist.

“Okay, so now that the excitement is over, let’s go home babe. He’s given me my own ideas to try out on you.” He heard Mel laugh as they started back toward the vehicle. He nodded at Flower and Vero as Melany waved at Geno and Erin. He spotted her car for the first time when they came to a stop beside it. “Why didn’t you just drive my Range Rover?”

“There’s no way I’m driving that thing right now! Could you imagine if I wrecked it or something? No one really knows about us yet… that would cause a nice big stir!”

“Okay, okay… you’re right. So can this thing get us back to the house quickly?”

“Of course,” she smiled at him. “I’ll have us back in no time.”

True to her word, she had them in the driveway in seventeen minutes. Sid had his hand on the dashboard and was staring at her with wide eyes.

“Do you drive for NASCAR on the weekends or something?!”

“Nope. I learned to drive on back country roads. And since I’ve been going back and forth between here, Flower’s and Geno’s… I’ve figured out the bends here.”

“I want to meet the person crazy enough to ride in that vehicle when you were learning.”

“That would be my mom,” she laughed out loud.

“Good. I wanted to meet her anyway,” he quipped. And he surprised himself that he truly meant it. He had learned a lot about Melany during their hotel encounter, and he wanted to meet the woman who’d raised her to be this zany, fun-loving person that he was pretty sure he was falling for.

“Hmmm, do you think you can at least wait until morning? You told me you had some idea or something.” He saw the look in her eyes as she ran one finger down his tie.

“That’s right. I do.” Sid stepped out of her car and waited patiently while Melany did the same. She stepped around toward him and he grabbed her, capturing her lips in a kiss that in no time had her melting against him. He crushed her to him, enveloping her in his arms. Sid felt his cock hardening quickly in his pants and he honestly didn’t think he would be able to make it all the way to his room.

Listening to her growl and claw at his jacket, he didn’t know if she’d make it either. But they couldn’t just rip each other’s clothes off here in the driveway… He saw the pool house to his right and took a page from Brooks’ book, tossing his girlfriend’s pliant body over his shoulder and trying to walk calmly toward the little bungalow. He didn’t see Mario & Nathalie standing at the window, nor did he see the thumbs up and laugh they let out when Mel smacked his butt.


She flipped her hair over her head and winked at the Lemieux’s before she let loose and smacked her palm flat against one of those fabulous ass cheeks. She heard Sid gasp and then growl as his grip tightened on her thighs.

“I’ll remember that Melany.”

“Oh, that’s what I’m hoping Mr. Crosby,” she replied, laughing lightly as he jostled her with each step. What she really wanted was a repeat of that morning in the shower when he lost it. And with all that energy in his system from the win tonight… hell, she could practically feel the excitement pouring off of him in waves.

As they burst through the entrance Melany felt light-headed as Sid flipped her back over to her feet before closing and locking the door. Then he took her hand and shoved her up against the wall, his hands working her jeans apart as he attacked her neck with a vengeance. She didn’t know if he took her whimper as good or bad, but he released her skin and ran his tongue over the outside of the bruise that had to be forming on her neck already. Making sure he knew she was enjoying it, she pushed his head toward her breasts, moaning as he nipped through the layers of clothing.

“Mmmm… Sidney… stop being a fucking tease.” Melany felt him chuckle as he pressed his lips back against her neck before whispering in her ear.

“You don’t like it when I tease you? Do you just want me to take you?” He reached up with one hand, taking one of hers from his head and bringing it down, holding it against his thickened length. “Is this what you want baby?” Sid closed her fingers around him and she felt him shudder. “Tell me you want me.”

“Yes, I want you.”

“Tell me what you want from me.”

“I want to feel what we felt that morning in the shower. I want your damn control to vanish and for you to take me, these hips slamming into mine as you fuck me. You get all domineering like when you’re on the ice and I just los--” Before she could finish her little taunt Sid had her spun around, her tits against the wall and his cock pressed against her ass.

“So you like it when I do things like this,” he said into her ear as he ground against her.

“Yeesss,” Mel moaned, her fingers fisting and unfisting like a cat that was being rubbed in all the right places. He must’ve noticed because the hands that were glued to her hips came up, taking her hands and linking them around his neck. She smiled, knowing why he’d done that. Now her back was bowed, her ass pushing against him more. He trailed his fingers to the hem of her shirt, shoving it up and pulling her bra down, her breasts spilling free. He roughly pawed at her flesh, all the while still grinding against her.

Melany knew that he knew the affect he had on her, but she couldn’t stop the chills that ran down her spine as Sid shoved a hand down the front of her jeans, under her panties. She heard the low chuckle.

“God, you’re so fucking wet.”

“Only for you,” she moaned as he rubbed lazy circles over her clit. “Oh, mphhh, Sid…”

“So wet,” he murmured again as he slipped two fingers in-between her folds. Melany dug her fingers into the back of his neck as she bit her lip to keep from screaming for him to just fuck her already. “Hmmm, does my little slut like this?”

Instead of being insulted at his words, she shivered again. He didn’t really think that of her, Mel knew that. She moaned again, knowing that he had felt how she’d spasmed around him when he’d said that quietly. He stopped his ministrations, leaving his hand and pushing her back against the wall again.


Sid wanted nothing more than to tear her pants off and push deep inside her sweet depths, but he had to make sure that she knew he didn’t… that he wasn’t…

“You know I don’t honestly think that about you, right?” His voice was rough with need, but he wouldn’t do this unless he was positive that she understood it wasn’t real, it wasn’t what their relationship really was.

“Of course.”

“But you want it, don’t you? You gush when I talk like that…”

“Sidney… what I want is for you to fucking fuck me!” He laughed, his face buried in her hair. He started moving his hand again, sliding back and forth of that little bundle of nerves, enjoying the gasp and then moan that escaped her lips.

“Oooo, such a good slut. So responsive to my touch. And so demanding. What do you want from me?”

“Your cock,” she whispered.

“And where do you want it?”

“Inside me,” he heard through her clenched teeth. Sid knew she was working her way toward an orgasm as she spasmed around him again, shudders racking her body. But he wanted to hear her say it.

“Inside you where?”


“Tell me where Melany.”

“”Pleaaassseee,” she moaned as she humped against his fingers.

“Be a good little slut and I’ll give it to you… just tell me.” He knew she was gonna break soon, so he used his free hand to unzip his pants. He didn’t waste time actually dropping them to the ground, just fished his throbbing hardness out, praying she gave in sooner rather than later. “Melany…”

“God, put your fucking dick in my pussy!”

Sid pulled his fingers from her pants and grasped the belt loops of her jeans with both hands, shoving them and whatever flimsy panties she had on down to her knees.

“Hands against the wall,” he ordered as he removed them from his neck. When she did as he asked Sid gripped her hips. Then, with both of them still mostly clothed, he stepped behind her, shoving himself between her slick lips. Groaning, he felt her stretching around him. “God, you are so damn tight!”

Sid lost himself inside her, relishing in the friction caused every time he moved in and out. He set a rough pace, the sound of his hips smacking against her ass a constant pattern. Knowing he wasn’t going to last nearly as long as he wanted, Sid moved one hand back to her clit, her screams and moans like music to his ears.

“Such a dirty girl, loving me just taking you here against a wall. You’ve been thinking of nothing but having me inside you since I called, haven’t you?” When she didn’t respond he pulled his hand away, smiling when he heard her moan of protest. He brought his hand down on her ass, the sound echoing through the room. Sid felt her tense and wondered if maybe he’d gone too far.

“Do it again,” he heard her whisper.

“Did you like that,” he asked, his palm making contact once again.

“Fuck yes… spank me…”

Sid’s hand rained down, peppering her right cheek repeatedly as he stared down at the red-tinged skin as he sawed in and out.

“You’re so beautiful.”

“Well, that wasn’t very nasty,” she said playfully, her eyes boring into his over her shoulder. She wants nasty, I can be nasty.

“Turn the fuck back around then and we’ll see how nasty we can be.” He saw her smile as she turned back around, splaying her fingers against wall and pushing out her ass. Taking her hips in his hands, Sid thrust deep. He thought about this series, the battles that they’d gone through to take it to seven games. Then the blowout tonight. They had been a force to be reckoned with. He remembered the feeling as time had run out. All those emotions, he funneled them into his thrusts, his movements fast and hard. He could hear her babbling incoherently, her screams bringing him back to the present.

Sid could feel his release creeping up as he pistoned against her. He felt her tighten around him and he pulled Melany back against him. He jerked as his he came hard. He sunk his teeth into her shoulder a little harder than normal, using it to try and keep down her name as it poured from his lips.


That’s gonna leave a mark. Every time that Sid lost control, he got physical. And it was glorious. Not that she was in pain or anything. No, he’d never hurt her, she was sure of that. But this dominance and masculinity… it literally made her tingle with pleasure. Some day though, we’re switching places.

Even now, after the rough and tumble way he’d taken her, Sid was gently caressing the area he’d bitten. His hand moved under her shirt, the tips of his fingers rubbing over the marked skin as he brushed his lips along her jaw, apologizing repeatedly.

“Really Sid, I’m okay. Hell, that was amazing if you ask me!”

“Well, I enjoyed myself thoroughly as well…”

“Then shut up,” Melany laughed. She felt him sigh as he held her, mumbling something about hard-headed females that made her chuckle. Then, slowly, Sid retracted himself from her body and Mel had to bite her lip to keep from moaning and starting the process all over again.

Sid helped her out of her pants, his lips brushing her hip. She couldn’t stop the shiver that ran down her spine. Melany felt his breath lightly caress her as he snickered. He stuck his tongue out and traced the rigging that ran to the masts of the ship tattooed on her side. She tunneled a hand through his hair as she watched him, his fingertips moving almost reverently over the ink. Next he stood, his hands going around to undo the clasp of her bra. After pulling her shirt over her head he slip the straps of lace down her arms. She stood in front of him, feeling extremely underdressed.

“Why am I the only one naked?”

“I was just enjoying the view.”

“Well, I think you should stop ogling me and get to stripping.”

They both laughed as Melany helped him out of his suit. She smiled as Sid grabbed a blanket off the chair by the door and wrapped it around them both. He suggested they catch some sleep but she felt like she was too keyed up to crash. Five minutes later she was lying on top of him, almost passed out as he drew lazy circles across her back. She wished it could be like this all the time. But, with the conference finals looming in the distance, and the possibility of another Cup run… things were only going to get more stressed-filled.