Monday, April 26, 2010

Chapter 21: Game Two, The Aftermath

Mel released a deep sigh as Sid pulled the duvet over them, slipping his arm over her waist as he hugged her sweat-slicked body closer to his. They had a few more hours before they actually needed t o get up, and he wanted to hold her tight until Flower came to pick him up. Coach had changed the schedule, deciding to leave a day early so that the team would have more practice time at Joe Louis Arena. Those damn boards were a pain in the ass. And this year, this year he didn’t want to give them a lead going into games three and four.

As he pressed his face against her neck, breathing in the smell of her skin mingled with her shampoo, Sid couldn’t help but cling to her like he was in the middle of the lake at his summer house and she was his life preserver. The pressure was back… could he handle taking the team into the Finals again this year? Would he be able to bring the Cup to Pittsburgh? Was he really that good?

Last year, the media had been all over him. In the end, he was glad that they had lost. He’d never admit that to anyone, other than the woman in his arms. She’d been the best listener over the past few days. He couldn’t have asked for a better person to share himself with. When he wanted to talk, she listened. And when he needed her, she opened herself up to him.

She’d taken him back to the hotel the other night and shown off each piece of lingerie that the girls had gotten her until his cock was ready to burst at just the sight of her skin, barely covered by the vibrant patches of satin and lace. Sid ran his thumb over the light blue material of the bra she had on at the moment. It was one of the new sets from her birthday. The first one she had put on for him.

‘Okay baby, here’s the first one. Ready?’

‘I’m ready.’

‘Are you sure?’

‘Melany…’ he growled impatiently.

‘I just want to make sure that you can handle this little peep show.’

‘If you don’t open that door and bring your ass out here now…’ His words caught in his throat and he tried to close his mouth but he knew that he was going to be a goner tonight. Melany walked through the bathroom door, her fingers running through her hair as she twirled around once, slowly.

‘What do you think of it?’

It’s very blue.’

‘Is that bad?’

‘God no…’

‘Then why are you just staring?’

‘I can’t think…can’t find words,’ he whispered. She looked so beautiful. The blue with yellow embroidery was a drastic contrast against her lightly tanned skin. He’d never make it through two more sets like this and the two chemises. ‘Will you show me the others please?’

Melany had smiled at him, nodding and turning back around. Even the panties made his breath catch. After the other two bras and panties had been shown, she came out in a pale pink robe. He crooked a finger, beckoning her over to him. His fingers pulled at the sash until it came undone. Shaking slightly Sid parted the folds of the robe and touched the matching silk underneath. There was a strip of lace in the center, and two ties that laced between it.

‘It’s beautiful Melany. You’re beautiful.’

‘Wait until you see the last one.’

‘Do it quickly because I don’t think I can keep my hands off you much longer,’ he growled. Then he laughed as he watched Mel’s eyes go wide and she backed away, fleeing into her makeshift changing room. She popped her head back out about thirty seconds later.

‘You should take some clothes off Sidney, because I don’t want to have to deal with taking them off of you. And you may not be able to function properly when I walk out. I’m told Max had a hand in this one.’

Sid stood up and ripped his shirt apart, pulling it and his undershirt off. Next he unfastened his pants, letting them fall to the floor. Then he bent over, shucking off his shoes and socks. After pushing everything away from the foot of the bed he took a deep breath and sat down on the edge once more. As if she had been listening, the door opened and he saw an arm appear.

‘I don’t know how much I like this one,’ he heard her say, laughter in her voice. Then she stepped out.

‘Fuck me, Max…’

‘You see this and you want to fuck him instead of me. His taste must be fading,’ she chuckled.

‘Come here,’ was all he could manage to rasp out. He stared at the vision before him. The satin ran down the middle of the nightie. And on each side there was a fine black mesh. The seams had black lace that ran from the bottom up to the seam that separated the cups from the rest. Her breasts looked like they would spill out at any moment, more black lace running over the top of the material. She did a little pirouette and he noticed that the back was similar to the front.

‘Do you like it Sidney?’ Mel purred at him when she came to a stop in front of him.

He thought hard about what he could say that would make her understand how he felt at that very moment. But nothing felt like it would suffice. Instead, he stood up and pulled her against him, his lips crashing down on hers as she let out a startled gasp.

Sid poured all of the love and desire he was feeling into the kiss, his tongue seeking, no, demanding entrance before sliding inside her mouth, mimicking the actions he planned on doing in about three seconds. Hearing her moan, her hands fisting in his hair, Sid took initiative and picked her up, throwing her onto the bed behind him before leaning down and crawling up beside her.

His lips skimmed over her, his tongue tracing over the mesh along her hip and then the satin that covered her breast. He pulled her nipple into his mouth, sucking both her flesh and the material before biting down. When she moaned his name Sid brought one hand up her leg and under the material. Wasting no time he plunged two fingers inside, listening to her gasp of pleasure as she lifted her hips, fucking herself against him. Something was different though.

‘Oh god Sid, please baby… don’t tease this time. I want to feel you deep inside me, please.’

It was that second breathy please that did him in. with a growl he released the flesh he’d been sucking on and pushed the flimsy material up to her waist. Obviously she and the girls had had a lot of fun the day before he thought as he stared at her lower lips, completely free now of even the trimmed hair that she’d had Friday morning.

‘Do you like?’

He didn’t answer her. Instead, going against her wishes, he slid back down and pressed his lips against the smooth flesh between her legs. As his tongue slipped between her folds he could taste her juices and feel how ready she was for him. Sid flicked his tongue against her clit a couple times and then chuckled as she shuddered and tried to pull him up by his hair.

‘Someone seems a little greedy tonight.’

‘Fuck. Me.’

He chuckled once more as he pushed his briefs over his hips, taking his cock and placed it against her wetness. As he pushed himself between her thighs they both let out a contented sigh. She pulled him down for a kiss and Sid wondered briefly how she felt tasting herself. Her hips lifted against his as he slammed into her over and over.

Bringing his hands down he held tight to her backside, grinding his pelvis against hers as he stayed deep inside. Mel was moaning in his ear, praising him and telling him how much she loved him. Those were the sweetest words anyone could’ve told him at that moment and as she raked her nails down his back Sid brought his hands around, unhooking her legs from his hips and spreading them as he started thrusting again.

They worked each other’s bodies into a frenzy until she screamed his name a final time. As she trembled in his arms he came, whispering how much he loved her as he felt himself come inside her.

They’d tried out some of the other goodies that their friends had found so amusing to give to her after a brief rest. That first night was spent decorating one another with the chocolate paint. That was a new experience for him, and he couldn’t wait to buy more. She was the best chocolate-coated snack he’d ever tasted.

The second night… it had been so intense. Mel promised him that she would tell him if she got uncomfortable at any moment. Sid remembered the slight tremor he had felt course through her as he clicked the handcuffs around her wrists.

Mel brought her hand up ran it through his ever-growing curls, ending his reverie. She massaged his scalp and told him to get to sleep while he still could.

“I keep thinking of things.”

“Hockey things?”

“No,” he answered in a husky tone. He couldn’t go again, he wasn’t sure if he could ever go again after the night he’d had. But as his hand roamed down Mel’s body and he felt her hips move to grant him permission, Sid started to remind her of his favorite parts of that night not too long ago. “I keep hearing that beautiful voice of yours, begging me to do…things.”

“Well, maybe you shouldn’t have teased me so much.”

“You asked for it. You were so… I can’t even explain it. But I knew that we were going to have a really. Good. Time.” He felt her shudder as his fingers found her sweet spot once again.

“Sid… I seriously can’t go another round baby.” His mind registered the sleepiness in her voice and he could practically feel the exhaustion coming off of her body. Bringing his hand back up, Sid curled his fingers around her hip. He heard her sigh and felt her body relax as she started to drift off to sleep. His mind started wandering once again but he didn’t realize it until Mel grabbed his hand.

“Sidney Patrick… Now I know you’re thinking of Detroit. Go to sleep!”

“I’m not… I’m not doing anything…”

“You’re going to rub my skin raw if you don’ stop soon! It’s like pacing, only with your fingers.” He laughed lightly as Mel twisted around and then curled up against him, snuggling into his chest. “If you’re going to take your stress out on me, at least make it a decent massage,” she joked.

Sid bent his head and caught her lips in a quick kiss. He knew that he really needed sleep. But she was in his arms, and he couldn’t seem to remember what he was and wasn’t supposed to do when that happened. And for once, playoffs be damned, he was going to make love to his girl until she couldn’t get out of bed!

Rolling onto his back, Sid brought Melany up, dragging her up his body until she was centered over top of him, her legs on either side of his. He heard her laugh before she ran her fingers over his chest, tweaking one of his nipples. He gasped and jerked against her.

“Not gonna lie, I love doing little things like that to shock you,” she laughed as she bent over him and took that same nipple between her teeth. He shivered as her tongue ran over his skin before she trailed soft kisses up his throat and over his jaw. “Didn’t I tell you that I couldn’t even go again?”

“You did.”

“Then why are you pushing me down along that hard length of yours… again…”

“Why are you rubbing against my cock and toying with my nipple? And kissing me? And looking at me like you want to devour me?”

She laughed and nibbled on his ear before bringing her mouth down on his, running her tongue along his lower lips before she started nibbling on it. He’d found that she had this weakness for his lips. And he planned on using that to his advantage if he had to. Sid laughed to himself at the thought of pouting to get her to fuck him once more.

“Don’t you even think of sticking that lower lip out at me Sidney Crosby. It won’t work. Besides, like you really need to make those lips any bigger. Now, move those damn boxers so that I can get what I want!”

“Yes ma’am,” he told her as he did as she asked. He gasped as she lifted her hips and then sunk down over him, his hands gripping her waist as he filled her. Sid groaned as she tightened around him after only a few thrusts of his hips. God, she is so fucking responsive to me. He brought his hands up and roughly pawed at her tits, still encased in bright blue. When they were done, once again, he smiled as she collapsed on top of him as they both tried to draw in enough breaths to calm down once again.

“I’m going to miss not having you in bed with me for the next couple nights,” he mumbled against her temple.

“Oh yeah, I’m gonna like not having to move that big butt of yours onto your side of the mattress,” she teased.

“You always end up curled on top of me, so I should be the one complaining. I always wake up with drool on me!”

They both laughed and then he traced little circles on her back as she snuggled against his skin. He fell asleep hoping that he could come home to her with at least one win under his belt.



Mel hopped off the couch as she cursed the hockey gods. The announcers broke for the second intermission of Game 2 and Mel was pacing the floor of Geno’s media room. Two periods in and the score is the same as Game 1. C’mon boys, get your heads out of your asses.

“They still have twenty minutes,” Erin said, trying to put a lot of pep in her voice and Amanda was smiling and nodding her head. Mel wasn’t fooled. They were going down the same path as last year, and she knew that the three of them were thinking the same thing. If they lost tonight, they’d be coming back to the Mellon with a two-game deficit. They had just swept their conference team. They aren’t even playing as a team!

“Just think,” Amanda chimed in, “it’s not as bad as last year. We’re scoring goals.” Mel knew she was right, but it didn’t make her feel any better. She gave a small smile and nodded, wanting to make sure that her friends knew that she was trying to be optimistic. It wasn’t like her to be in a bad mood of negative. And she knew that Erin would give her a ‘talk’ if she didn’t start the peppy-pep.

Mel wandered around the room for a moment before pulling the darts out of the board along the side wall. She walked over to the spot that was designated as ‘the spot’ to throw the darts from. Lining up her shot, she threw the dart with all the force she could muster, letting all the frustration flow through her arm as the pointed tip headed toward the cork.

About thirty minutes later Erin was beside her, taking the darts from her hands before she could try and throw them again. One of them was stuck in the cork that surrounded the board and try as she might, she couldn’t get it to come out. As the minutes had ticked down on the time clock, the force of the throws had gotten harder and harder. Erin turned her around and gently pushed her toward the door.

“Uh, why don’t you go outside for a moment and walk around. Let out some of that anger. If the gym was fully done, I’d tell you to go there. Just… take a few deep breaths and look at the stars or something. Come back when you’ve, kind of, calmed down.”

She knew Erin was right. They weren’t planning on meeting the boys at the airport, Sid didn’t even know she was in the area. He was going to be stressed enough, if he felt the tension that was pouring off of her, it would do no good whatsoever. If she could calm down, then she could go with Erin and Amanda to meet the guys and surprise Sid. That would make them both feel better!

Grabbing her iPod out of her bag, Mel took off toward the back door. She heard Erin yelling something about the porch light, but she just slipped her sneakers on and headed out the door. Before she stepped off the porch she shoved the buds in her ears and turned on her playoffs mix. Letting the first song blare into her brain she started down the couple steps and began tromping through the yard. She knew if she went down toward the stone patio she could sit for a few moments.

‘Bang the Doldrums’ was playing through the headphones and she was stomping in time with the beat when she tripped over something and went tumbling. She rolled a couple of time before her body came to a stop about twenty feet from where she’d tripped. Her knee was throbbing right away and her clothes felt caked in dirt in a few places. No doubt she’d have grass stains on her jeans as well. Next time, I’ll turn the damn light on.

Moving to her side, Mel surveyed the damage in what she could see with just the moonlight. There was indeed dirt all over her jeans and a grass stain on her left knee, which was starting to hurt a little less. Running her fingers over the denim-clad joint, it didn’t hurt when she poked at it so Mel figured that she had only twisted it slightly.

Then she felt a twinge in her cheek and, bringing a hand up, she realized that in one of the tumbles she had scraped or cut her face on something. Probably a tree branch or something. Mel let out an exasperated sigh and turned her iPod off while whipping her phone out of her pocket. She hit 5 on her speed dial and waited for the voice to come on the other line.

“Why are you calling me? Did you get lost in the back yard or something?”

“Har har. Could you please come turn on the fucking porch light? I need some assistance…”

“Assistance… Mel, do we need an ambulance or something?”

“Just grab Amanda and come out back. You’ll see,” she told Erin. Then she flipped the phone shut and leaned back on her elbows, testing her knee. She could bend it without feeling anything.

Bright light bathed the yard a second later. Rolling her head to the side, Mel glared at her friends who were laughing in the doorway.

“I’m glad you two find this so fucking amusing.”

They tried to calm themselves but even as they were helping her up, Mel could feel their bodies quaking in silent laughter. She knew that she looked a complete mess and at that point she just didn’t care. They were going to the airport, together, and they were going to talk with a certain group of men. She leaned against the island in the kitchen.

“We need to run to Wal-Mart to grab a brace for this,” Mel said as she pointed at her knee. Amanda touched the area on her cheek that hurt.

“You may wanna get a couple of those butterfly bandages for this too. Unless Geno has some.”

“He’s a hockey player,” Erin said with a laugh. “Of course he’s got those. I’ll run up to the bathroom and grab them.”

“Great. Then we’ll go to the airport and wait for the guys.” That stopped Erin in her tracks.

“I thought you weren’t telling Sid you were here.”

“Yeah, and I was just going to go meet Brooks at his place.”

“Fuck it. I know they’re going to be pissy… but now I am too. And someone needs to tell them to fucking shape up. This isn’t going to be a pep talk ladies, I’m thinking more of a swift kick in the ass.”

“I know you’re upset about the losses, and now falling… but maybe you should just stay here and wait to see him until morning. This might not be the smartest thing for you to do.”

“Oh, you’re going to help me! I’m not doing this alone. Don’t tell me you aren’t mad…”

The two of them looked at her and slowly nodded in agreement. They told her that she was going to be the one to break it to them though. Mel didn’t have a problem with this. The three of them were getting into Erin’s car when Mel’s phone started ringing.

“Hi Hun… are you guys getting ready to take off?”

“Almost, yeah. And I know you weren’t planning on coming back to Pittsburgh until tomorrow, but I could really use some support right now.”

“I was actually going to surprise you,” she said with a small smile. We thought we’d come give a little pep talk to the weary travelers.”

“Pep talk? That sounds good. We could use some love from you ladies. Gotta go, love you.”

“Ditto.” Let him think it’s a happy pep talk. If he knew what she was planning, he’d just get upset. She had put her phone in her purse when she heard Amanda snort in the back seat.

“Pep talk my ass. That’s the farthest thing from your mind right now.”

“Yeah, well… he’ll get over it… I think.” They all chucked as Erin pulled into the parking lot of Wal-Mart.


Sid stepped off the shuttle and looked around for Melany. She’d said they were going to give them a pep talk. He’d told the guys while they were flying and they had all agreed to stay and listen to what the girls had to say. His eyes lit up as she hopped out of the passenger seat. Then he noticed her slight limp. Glancing down her saw her left knee wrapped in a black brace. Looking back up at her face, he saw two butterfly band-aids over a scratch on her cheek.

“Mel, what the hell ‘appened to you,” Max asked as he came to a stop beside him. Sid was wondering too, and he quirked an eyebrow, waiting for her response.

“Well, you see… I was a little stressed earlier tonight. And after taken my aggression out on Geno’s dartboard for thirty minutes,” he watched her give Geno an ‘I’m sorry’ look, “Erin told me to go for a walk. So I did… and I tripped over something and fell. Now, here I stand, and let me tell you… I. Am. Not. Amused.”

“Baby, let’s get back to Mario’s and relax for a bit. I promised the guys that your ‘pep talk’ wouldn’t last too long. We could sure use the pick-me-up right now, but I think we’re all pretty exhausted.”

“Yeah, well… you probably aren’t going to like my pep talk.”

“Say what?”

“You need to get your fucking heads on straight and learn to play some damn hockey!” He stood there, staring at the little spitfire in front of him. She’d never made any type of comment like that before. She’d never complained about their game…

“Are you drunk?”

“No , I’m not fucking drunk! You are going to listen to what I... we… have to say! I don’t care how tired you are. I don’t know what Disco has been telling you guys, but it obviously isn’t working. So let’s all gather ‘round like one big happy family and you can open up your ears and take what we say to heart.”

Sid was still just staring at his girlfriend. He was completely shocked. She was always so understanding and so willing to just let him vent. Never once had she said anything that might make him think she doubted he could do anything. And here she was, telling him that she was mad because he hadn’t won the games. Max started grumbling about this being the worst pep talk ever when Amanda surprised them next.

“Oh stuff it Talbot. You don’t deserve to talk right now. Now, I’m sure that you’re getting crap from your coaches, the media, each other… well, now you get to add your girlfriends to the list! We have sat in those boxes, in the stands, at each other’s house, even out on the lawn, just to support you guys! We’ve cheered out hearts out, made you good luck cookies and played out our own set of hilarious superstitions. All in hopes that when it came down to game time, you guys would fly out onto that ice, bring you’re a-game, and kick the shit out of Detroit! But you haven’t…”

He shifted his eyes from Amanda to Mel. She was standing there, very still, as if waiting for him to stop their little tirade. But he knew that they were right, at least on some level. And he knew that this was something that they needed. They needed to hear from the most important fans they had that they were idiots. He looked at Erin.

“Well, you might as well start bitching at us too.”

“Fine. They got some lucky breaks. They got the goals and you didn’t. Well, tough shit. You got lucky breaks in other games. And you know what, I did not introduce Mel to this wonderful sport so she could sit there and watch you and the rest of this team go down in a flaming pile of crap! Amanda was right. You haven’t been playing like you want the Cup… and it needs to stop. For some reason you got to the Finals and it’s like you decided to go back to the team you were in the winter. You’ll get swept in this series if you keep it up!”

He looked around at the guys. Most of them had their heads down, almost like they were ashamed. He had withdrawn into himself after the first game, and he knew that he wasn’t doing his duties as captain as well as he could have. These weren’t just his teammates, they were his closest friends. He felt the anger coursing back through his veins. He couldn’t believe that he’d been so stupid. Sid felt someone in front of him and opened his eyes to find Mel standing in front of him. She looked around and then back at him before bringing a hand up to cup his cheek. He closed his eyes, relishing her touch as she started talking in almost a whisper.

“They’re just a fucking hockey team. They aren’t unstoppable. They aren’t unbeatable. And if you hit them, I’m pretty sure they’ll bleed, just like you.” Her voice got louder, like she was now talking to the whole team. “You guys are acting like they’ve already won the series, like they’re going to hoist the Cup next Thursday. I mean… I know this is the Finals, so there’s a lot more pressure. But you guys seem to thrive on all that! I know you want to win, to prove that you are worthy of that stupid trophy. But what if you didn’t win?! What then??”

He opened his eyes once more as she pulled away from him. Stepping backward to her friends, Mel looked as if she wanted to slap them all. He wouldn’t be surprised if she attempted it.

“I know you can come back from this, but I can only cheer so much. You have to believe that you can too though. You’ve come so far! I would hate to think that you’ve lost your spirit now… You took Philly out in six games, proving again that the Battle of Pennsylvania belonged to you. And Maximus even tried to fight…”

“ No listen, I knew what I was doing when I talked ‘im into that!”

“Yeah yeah, we know Max,” Amanda laughed. “What about Ovie? Huh? It took you seven games, but you proved that you could personally take them on. Sid, you got a fucking hat trick… in Washington! And then Game 7… Man, you all blew them out of the water! Marc, that save, EPIC!!”

“And what about Carolina?? It was like they were having some Cinderella story or something, and you swept them! We thought that they were going to be the hardest team you had to face, and you spanked them!” Erin sidled over to Geno as she spoke. “And you got that hattie. I was so proud of you. But now, it’s like you and Sid are being covered better than fresh meant in a whorehouse! So, it’s time for EVERYONE to come alive.”

Sid noticed that Erin stayed over near Geno, and that Amanda was walking toward Brooks. They must be wrapping up their speech. He felt empowered. They were right, he knew that they were. And he could hear the guys murmuring agreement all around. He was staring at Mel as he heard Amanda speak once more.

“Now, we have all the faith in the world that you could lose this next game, be down in a 3-game deficit and win the final four games straight. But there’s no need for that. Instead, you could just win these next four games,” she said with a smile. Sid watched Brooks laugh and lean down to kiss her senseless.

“And we know that they’re a different team that Washington, Carolina and Philly. And we know that they’re the champs from last year. We know the team is stacked with veterans, and everyone thinks you’re nothing but a punch of punk kids, but look at what you’ve managed to pull of this season when it looked like you were done for. Then you switched coaches, came back and finished fourth in the conference. You’ve taken out everyone that has stood in the way so far. And now you’re only four games away from the most coveted trophy in sports!”

“So, what we’re trying to say,” Mel chuckled as she came back to stand and lean against him, “ is that we believe in you. And yes, there’s a lot of pressure on you right now. The media is doubting you at every turn, the fair-weather fans are out by the thousands and just think of what it will be like if you guys can’t come out on top in the end. Imagine how bad it’s going to be then! You don’t want that, right? Start psyching them out like you seem to be doing to yourselves!”

Sid kissed her forehead as he held her tightly.

“Are you guys done? I don’t know how much more we can take,” he said with a laugh.

“I think so. We really do believe in you, you know what right?”

“I do now. I don’t think anyone but true fans would have enough courage to tell us that we suck.”

“You don’t suck,” Erin said as she and Geno were walking past them. “You just needed a little butt whooping. And I’m glad that Mel talked us into doing this. You’ll win Tuesday and Thursday night! That will cover two of the four wins that you need. You’ll win Game 6 here at home too.”

“And hopefully,” TK said, “we’ll take Game 5 in Detroit!”

“But if you can’t, then you’ll take Game 7! Either way, you’ll need to take home a win at the Joe. Think you can do that?”

“If it means no more so-called pep talks then we’ll all score goals… every night!” Sid laughed at Duper as he through his fist in his air while he yelled. The rest of the guys were all in agreement and there was a ‘3 cheers’ chant for the ladies.

“I love you. And thank you,” Sid whispered as he and Mel walked back to his car after promising to meet at Geno’s for lunch tomorrow. Mel would need to get her bag anyway. He held her hand as they sat in his vehicle, staring at one another. She was the most amazing woman that he had ever met. And she had great friends who would help her stand up to them. When he had first got off the bus, all he could think about was taking out his frustrations on that supple body of hers. Now he wanted to take her home and just bask in the fact that he was in love with a woman who loved him enough to tell him when he was being stupid.

“Let’s go home baby. I’m pretty wiped out. Didn’t realize how much a pep talk would tucker me out!” He laughed and crooked a finger at her. When she leaned over and whispered ‘yes?’ he bent his head and kissed her until she was breathing hard and a small moan escaped. He pulled back with a smile.

“Yeah, let’s go get some sleep,” Sid said as he winked at her.

They really did collapse as soon as they hit the bed, still dressed in the clothes that they’d met up in.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Chapter 20: The Big Birthday Bash

Hope you guys like it!
It's uber long, but I couldn't find it inside myself to split it up!

And I really wanna hear what your favorite parts are*

“I told her I loved her,” Sid blurted out to Max as they walked down the corridor of the hotel.

“C’est de bonnes nouvelles,” Max exclaimed. Sid tried to smile back at his friend’s happy expression. “Wait, why do you look so unhappy? This is a good thing, right? We can all see how you two feel about each other, oh wait, is it your dad?”

“No… it’s just… she didn’t say it back. In fact, she didn’t say anything at all.”

“What?!” Max slid his room key into the slot and when the green light came on he opened the door, ushering Sid in before him. “Come on, get in and tell me everything!”

Sighing, Sid let himself be manhandled and reluctantly he crossed into the room and sat down in the chair that was pulled away from the desk. Max flopped down onto the edge of the bed closest to him, scaring the crap out of Flower who must’ve been napping. The curses flew back and forth for a moment in French until Max explained why they were here. At the mention of ‘I Love You’ Marc sat up, his back against the headboard, and they both looked at Sid, waiting and willing him to explain himself.

With a deep breath, he started talking. It wasn’t that he was embarrassed, but he didn’t normally talk to the guys, or anyone else, about this kind of stuff, about his personal life. This was the kind of stuff that he normally kept to himself, but these guys were two of his closest friends on the team, and the fact that she hadn’t immediately returned the sentiment was eating at him.

Sid went through the conversation with the moms and then what happened in his room, and what he’d said. He looked up when they both groaned in unison.

“What?” He glanced from one to the other until Max spoke up.

“Oh my mon ami. You did not tell me… that, that was not what I thought you meant.”

“I told you that I told her I loved her.”

“But I was under the impression that you said it at the right moment.”

“Well, when was the right moment?”

“Honestly, I don’t know… but that was definitely not it. I doubt she even took that seriously.”

“Why not?” Sid thought back to what he’d said. He didn’t get what Max meant. I love you means I love you, doesn’t it? Marc ran his hands through his hair with a sigh before trying to explain what Max seemingly could not.

“Sid, you said that in a moment of passion. Whether you meant it or not is unimportant. What happened after you said it?”

“She didn’t say anything,” Sid replied glumly.

“Nothing at all??”

“No!” How many times do I have to repeat that?!

“Did she stop you?”

“Come again?” Max hadn’t really just asked that, had he?

“Did she push you away? Leave you high and dry?” Max smirked while id clenched his fists.

“Not that it’s any of your damn business Max… but no, she did not push me away, why?”

“So was she as good as usual? Have you got the scratches to prove it?”

“Maaaaxxx,” Sid bellowed. He’d come seeking advice. He was not going to sit here and brag about how good his girlfriend was in bed. And he was about one more sentence away from punching Max in the face. Flower stepped in, trying to calm the situation.

“What our hairy friend is trying to ask is, did she act any differently… during… or maybe after?” Now they were getting somewhere or at least past the snarky remarks from the ‘legend in his own mind’. Sid thought back to what had transpired the other morning.

“No. She…well she….,” Sid stuttered for a second, his cheeks flaming. Not able to keep eye contact with either of them, he dropped his head before he continued. “She came. Twice. I came and then we laid together for a moment. I had my stuff almost packed so we grabbed a shower, together. She wished me luck for tomorrow, kissed me goodbye and said she’d see me after the game.” He finally looked back up at Flower and Max and the two were smiling. Now he was truly confused.“Ok... why are you smiling? I’m not smiling.” Flower laughed before he started to explain.

“She’s in love with you too, dummy.”

“How do you figure? She said nothing until I was leaving. And then it was just good luck.”

“But listen to what you said. She didn’t pull away after the words were out. When you were… finished… she didn’t freak out. She snuggled against you. I bet she was the one who suggested showering together, wasn’t she?” Sid nodded, still unclear as to how this was showing she loved him. Flower threw his hands up in the air. “Oh my god… she showed you with actions idiot!”

“Then why didn’t she just say so, if that’s the way she feels?”

“She probably thinks you didn’t mean it! I mean, you tell her you love her as you start fucking her; and this comes like three days after you find out that the guy she used to love just got married. I wouldn’t be surprised if she thought that you were just saying it to say it, or to try and keep her from dwelling on this ex of hers. I mean, do you really love her?” Once again, Max had him clenching his fists.

Why did they keep asking him that? He wouldn’t have said it if he didn’t mean it, right?

Sid sat there, processing the conversation. He also went over the details of Melany’s actions. Had he really fallen in love that fast? Was there a problem with that? All of the memories of the past couple of months came rushing back and he felt his lips curl into a smile.

“Yes Max, I am really in love with her.”

“Bon! Now, we just have to get her to admit, out loud, that she’s in love with you! Piece of cake, non?” The two of them had big, easy smiles on their faces, like this really was going to be simple.

Only one problem, Sid was beginning to realize that when it came to Mel, nothing was ever simple.


“Okay… what is your deal? Who are you and what have you done with Mel?” Amanda asked.

“Yeah! Why are you not being all happy, peppy, nothing-bothers-me Mel?” Melany turned around toward Erin. She, Amanda and Vero were all staring at her.

Mel had decided to go up during the intermission and grab some food since they hadn’t eaten since lunch, and it was no obvious that they’d all been talking about her while she was gone. First no one would tell her what to expect after the game and now they were following her to the fast food stand, and most of the Wags never went near food, never mind the loaded nachos she was craving.

“You aren’t concerned about the party, are you? Not expecting a lot of drama, right?” Vero stood there, a hand on her hip, the bossy Vero taking over for the usually quiet Vero. Mel smiled at her interrogator though this was the last conversation she wanted to be having here.

“Oh sorry, I didn’t realize I was being such a drag,” she replied, trying to joke her way out of the issue that had yet to be discussed, even though she was yearning to ask the advice of the women who might actually be able to answer the question that was burning in the back of her brain.

Amanda put an arm around her shoulders. “What’s up then Buttercup?”

“It’s not something that I can really explain. And I would rather do it somewhere… a little less public… since you all might make a scene. Besides, I’m pretty sure it was nothing.” She placed her order and moved down the line when she heard Vero gasp.

“Oh my god, he said…” Mel whirled around and clamped a hand over her friend’s mouth, pleading silently for her to stop talking. Vero just nodded and pretended to lock her lips. Letting out a ragged breath, Mel turned once more to her three companions.

“Listen, there may have been something that was said yesterday, but I don’t think it was meant for me to hear. I’m pretty sure he wishes that he kept it in his head. Nothing was said after his little outburst, he didn’t add to it or try and explain it. And I didn’t say it back because I figured it was just the heat of the moment.” She met the gaze of each of her companions individually to see if they understood, not that she was about to elaborate in the halls of the arena.

“Wait, are you saying that he said THAT and you said absolutely nothing back?!” Erin had that look on her face, the one that said she was going to start yelling at her.

“Bingo. Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner,” Mel pronounced as they headed back to the elevator and back to the safety of the box, before anyone said or heard anything more.

“But you’re in love with him,” Erin whispered harshly.

“Well, duh, I know that. And you guys know that. And after what happened I figured he’d realize it too. I mean, I wasn’t heartless. I didn’t push him away. And I may not have said it back, but I showed him… I just don’t think he actually grasped that.”

“He’s a hockey player, of course he didn’t. You have to speak plain, simple words to them. They’re very…basic like that,” Vero exclaimed.

“Well, it’s too early for that anyway. I just gave him an out for something that I don’t think he really meant. That was the right thing to do. It’s too soon for all of this… right?”Mel asked, looking at each of her friends who all shook their heads in unison and stared back at her like she was the one who’d just let the L-bomb drop prematurely.

“No,” came the resounding reply from all three. Erin reached out and grabbed her hand.

“Listen dear heart, it’s falling in love. There is no right or wrong time. Normally, it happens out of the blue, and all you can do it go along for the ride and pray that it lasts. When you find it though, you should embrace it at all costs. Everyone can see that he’s got it bad for you, and we all know you’re the same way. So, excuse the term but man up and just tell him.”

“Does Geno say it?”

“What he and I may or may not say doesn’t matter. We aren’t you two.”


“No buts.”

“Mel, no one says I love you at the same time in their relationship. Marc and I waited almost a year. We knew it was there, but we were both so young, and we were each afraid that the other would just laugh it off. Then, after his first loss, he came off the ice and no one could get through to him. I was down there, and they asked me to talk to him, try and make him see that it wasn’t his fault.”

“What happened?” Mel asked, knowing how hard Flower could take a loss.

“Well, he was sitting outside the room. I sat down in front of him and leaned my forehead against his. He was all sweaty and gross and still in his uniform but I knew he was listening as I told him how proud I was, no matter how the game ended. Then he grabbed me, whispered he loved me in French, and ran into the room with the guys.”

“What about you?” Mel asked as she looked at Amanda. She and Brooks had only been seeing each other for a couple weeks, but they could barely keep their hands off one another.

“We just have hot sex!” They all laughed at that. “He told me he adored me the other night. It caught me by surprise. I mean, I liked it, but it’s not something that I would expect him to say, ya know. At least not out loud. And he had the crazy eye look when he said it, so, actually it was slightly creepy.”

She made her best impression of Brooks’ look and said ‘I adore you’ in a deep voice. The four of them started laughing uncontrollably after that, and it wasn’t until the arena announcer came on with a special birthday announcement that any of them were able to focus.

“We have a special birthday shout out tonight folks. I have a note here that says ‘Happy Birthday Melany. Hope you’re enjoying the game and I’ll see you when the final buzzer sounds. S.C.’ Well, that’s a little cryptic, but if you think about it, I bet we can figure out who that’s from. And even though she’s in enemy territory tonight, let’s all wish her a happy birthday!”

The boys were coming back out onto the ice as the crowd started singing as the organist played Happy Birthday for her. Mel stood there in shock as she heard a chorus of thousands join in. She was hiding her face in her hands and shaking, with nerves as much as with laughter.

When the song ended she waved to everyone before looking down to where he was standing on the bench.

Sid smiled, that boyish grin that was all dimples and teeth, and winked at her. It turned her knees to jelly, just like it had the first time. She shocked herself, and him, by winking back at him. She saw Billy elbow him and say something that had them both laughing and before she could stop herself, Mel blew him a kiss when he glanced up at her a final time. His eyes widened but he brought up a gloved hand, pretending to catch the kiss. Then he put his hand to his heart.

Mel thought her knees might give way beneath her. She didn’t trust herself to move, she could barely breathe. Even as the period got underway, she found herself still standing there at the edge of the box, staring down at him circling centre ice.

“Yeah, he’s not in love with you at all,” Erin whispered sarcastically in her ear.

Smiling to herself, Mel made up her mind to tell him how she felt by the time they got to the party.


“Ok Flower,” Sid said as he skated by the goalie, “We’ll try to keep the puck in their end for the rest of the period.”

“Sounds good Sid. You keep scoring goals, and I will stop anything else that comes at me. That second goal was one too many for them to get.”

“Don’t worry. We’ve got your back.” Sid tapped his stick against Flower’s pad and then skated over for a faceoff. They weren’t going to lose this game. He was focused intently on the puck when he heard one of the Canes talking trash.

“Better keep your lady away from us tonight ‘Cindy,’ or we’ll show her how real men celebrate all night long!” He gritted his teeth and watched as the puck came down. As they shot off toward the neutral zone he saw Geno come on the ice. Disco wanted the Two-Headed Monster tonight. Gonch yelled something in Russian and as Sid skated down the ice he watched Geno demolish a player in the corner. Billy shot the puck and Ward deflected it up into the netting. As the whistle blew Geno came over beside him.

“I take care of big mouth.”

“I wondered what Gonch was yelling.”

“Erin very good friend with Mel. I like her too. No one talk badly about her, or they face my wrath.”

“I’m very glad we’re on the same team man.” The Russian just smiled and looked up toward the girls. Sid did too and he saw Mel holding out her hand like she wanted to fist bump. He looked at Geno and laughed as he did the same thing and they exploded in the air even though they couldn’t actually touch.

The rest of the period they dominated the game. Three more goals, a little feisty rough stuff around the end, and they were one win away from sweeping this series.

They got into the locker room and talked quickly about the party before the reporters came in. Everyone was in agreement that they’d meet up at the club, and Max had promised to make sure everything was set up correctly. He was as giddy as a schoolgirl.

Sid had just taken his shoulders pads off when he heard the doors open for the media. He took a big sip of water that someone tossed to him and sat down in his stall, waiting for the swarm of questions. The first two were about the game, then the personal questions started. He’d known they would come tonight, there was no way to avoid them after the big p.d.a., but that didn’t mean he wasn’t nervous about talking about his life. In the ‘Burgh the media was pretty good about keeping out of his personal life but he’d always known that it would start, sometime.

“Even though it was implied, will you comment on whether or not you were the one who sent out the birthday wish?”

“I was.” There was a second of dead silence, and then they were all asking questions at once, everyone wanting to know everything. Sid held up his hands to ask them to calm down.

“You all probably already know that I’m dating someone. Her name is Melany, if you weren’t listening to the announcement during intermission. We’ve been seeing each other since April. She’s a substitute teacher from Ohio. Yes, it’s exclusive. Yes, it’s serious and no, I will not share any more personal details except that yes, today really is her birthday and no it wasn’t a stunt or a joke.”

“And did you score that goal for her tonight?”

“No, I scored that goal because that’s my job. As captain I’m supposed to lead my team. That’s one of the many ways I do my job. But I’m definitely proud we could get a win on her birthday.”

“Were you excited to get a win tonight though?”

“Of course. It’s one step closer to getting to the finals.” He was going to tell them all to get lost when Dan Potash popped in with the mic, smiling. Why FSN was even here was beyond him, but he would never turn down a DJPo interview. Everyone on the team liked the man too much!

“And how does she feel about dating the most eligible bachelor in Pittsburgh, Sidney?”

“Ha,” he laughed at Dan. “She likes to remind me every now and then about how lucky I am that she puts up with me and all my crazy superstitions!”

“And are you guys going to celebrate the win tonight?”

“Among other things Danny,” he replied with a wink. He excused himself and went to the showers. After drying off he grabbed his clothes. At first they had decided just on wearing their suits, but they were all leaving from the underbelly of the arena, so it wouldn’t matter if they just wore something comfortable. He pulled on his jeans and grabbed that tee that had driven her crazy before. He was surprised to find no one else there but the coaches when he came out.

“Hey Coach, is everyone seriously gone already?”

“Oh yeah, they booked it out of here. Something about party preparations of some sort. You may want to be on your guard. I’m just saying, Max and Geno had that gleam in their eyes.” He said the last part with a smile, but Sid took the warning seriously. Those two are always up to something.

Shaking his head, Sid walked through the door and found her standing on the other side of the room with her girlfriends. Flower was still here, which meant there was no one with the guys to stop them from going insane or worse – doing something insane.

He was just about to tell him to hurry up and head out when Mel turned toward him. She was wearing a strapless little sundress, black with a bright yellow belt. His eyes roamed down her body, taking in the bare legs and yellow heels. She had this thing about dressing in Pens colors, and he loved it. He loved her. Striding over to where she stood he grabbed her, pulling her into his arms as his hands cradled her face.

The kiss was meant to be innocent, a quick little ‘hey, missed you’ peck. But once he tasted her lips, Sid couldn’t manage to pull himself away. She tasted like nachos and orange pop and he heard her gasp as his tongue swept along hers. Dragging his mouth away with a great degree of difficulty, he stared down at her sparkling eyes.

“I’m in love with you.”


Mel couldn’t help but laugh as she held on tightly to the front of the jacket he had on. He was wearing that damn shirt again, the one that made her weak at the knees. It had come out at the same time, and they had both just both admitted how they felt about one another and it didn’t matter that she could hear the girls giggling and ‘awwwwwing’ in the background, this was going to go down as one of the best moments in her life.

“I meant it when I said it before,” he began. “And I realize that I didn’t say it at the most appropriate time, but I did mean it.”

“I wanted to say it back,” she told him shyly,” but I won’t lie. I was scared.”

“Are you scared anymore?”

“Nope! And this is like the beset birthday ever,” she told him as he rested his forehead against hers.

They talked quietly for a couple more minutes and when they finally separated, they were alone in the lounge. Joking about being fashionably late for her own party, Mel let Sid lead her out of the arena and toward an awaiting limousine. By the entryway to the arena there was a little boy and his dad. The man was wearing a Canes jersey, but the little guy was proudly rockin’ a white Crosby jersey.

As she watched Sid wave at the boy, she saw the look of excitement cross his face as he waved back enthusiastically. Sid was about to open the door to help her get in the car and Mel watched the boy’s face fall. She opened her purse and grabbed the Sharpie that she always carried with her now. Then she tapped Sid’s shoulder.

“What’s up, babe?”

“Go make his day. You know you want to!”

“You’re amazing,” he said as he kissed her cheek. “I’ll be two seconds! I promise!”

“Yeah, you’ll be five minutes,” she laughed. Then she smiled at him and he jogged over to the father and son. He signed the back of the jersey and was talking for a moment when he laughed loudly and nodded his head before turning toward her.

“Babe, can you please come over here for a minute?” What does he need me for?

“Good evening,” Mel said as she walked over, a curious look on her face.

“Damien here would like to get his picture with us, both of us.”

Both of us?” she repeated as he laughed and nodded.


“Ummm… okay. Why though?” Damien chose to answer this time.

“Becuz you’re Sidney’s girlfwend and I wanna be the fiwrst to get a picture wiff the two of you!” Mel looked up at Sidney with an astonished expression, but he just smiled and gave her one of those heart melting winks that he really should patent she thought. She knelt down carefully, not wanting to show anything that would end up on the tabloids, and flashed a big smile at the little guy.

“Well, let’s get this little photo shoot underway before Sid and I have to leave, tiger!” And she hoisted him up in her arms, laughing at the little squeal of excitement. Sid moved closer, sort of beside her, yet behind Damien. The boy’s father took a photo and then Mel handed him her phone. She made Damien’s day when she said that she also wanted a copy of this first photo.

Sid put his arm around her waist again and she glanced into his face as he curled his fingers around her hip. She didn’t hear the man say ‘Cheese,’ she was caught up in the look that Sid was giving her. It wasn’t until the tyke said thank you that she even remembered where she was. She gave her little fan a hug and kissed his cheek before placing his feet back on the ground.

As he ran to his dad the man shook Sid’s hand, thanking him about a million times. Sid just laughed, telling them both good night as they started back toward the limo. They were just getting to the door when she heard Damien call her name. She looked up to see him waving frantically.

“Happy Birfday Mewany!” She laughed at the adorableness of his words and blew him a kiss before stepping into the car. She heard him telling his dad that he got a kiss just like Sid.

“Oh my gosh, he was too precious,” she gushed as the car pulled away from the arena. “Wasn’t he adorable?”

“He was. I’m pretty sure you made his night.”

“No, you signing his jersey did that. I’m just the eye candy to go along with you,” Mel said with a wink.

“I don’t think so. I think we just met your biggest fan, aside from maybe… me.”

“Aw…,” she leaned against him in appreciation. “I love children. I can’t wait to have two or three of my own,” She sighed, thinking about the tyke’s big eyes and happy grin, before her heart literally stopped in her chest as she realized what she’d said and stuttered to cover her outburst. “I mean, I am completely not ready for it, but in the future, with the right guy… oh fiddle sticks! Just push me out the next time we go around a bend!” Sid just chuckled and she felt her face turning bright red.

“Don’t worry, I know what you meant. And I want a couple three little ones as well. And like you, just not right now. But I think we could practice the art of making babies,” he added with a wiggle of his eyebrows. Mel crawled across his body, her legs on either side of his, sitting atop his lap and facing him. He played with the hem of her dress as she put one had on the seat back and the other against his chest as she leaned down. Flipping her hair out of the way, she licked his earlobe.

“You wanna practice making babies right now?” Mel felt his hands dig into her hips and his entire body tensed. She continued nibbling on his earlobe as she toyed with the hair that nearly touched his shoulders.

“I’ll do anything you want if you tell me we can skip this party and I can take you back to my hotel room.”

“I don’t think that would be a very nice thing to do. Not after all the hard work Max seems to have put into this shindig.”

“Then you should probably stop grinding on top of me before I embarrass us both.”

“Do you need a little relief baby?”

“That’s not even funny Melany.”

“Who said I was joking?” she asked, and just to prove her point, Mel ran a hand down his chest and between their bodies, cupping him through his dress pants. She could feel how hard he was already, and smiled at the effect she had on him. He sucked in a breath and exhaled harshly, growling her name.

“Melany… it’s your birthday, I’m supposed to be pleasing you.”

“This is true, and having you in my mouth will please me. Now, you just sit back and relax and let me enjoy my present.” Grabbing his hands, she released his grip and pulled away before coming down on her knees in the spacious car. Wasting no time, Mel got his belt open and his pants unzipped. Fishing his dick out of his pants, she swirled her tongue along the tip before plunging over his length, trying to shove the entire thing her throat.

“Fucking hell woman, warn a guy first!” Sid’s hands went for her hair and Mel pulled her mouth off quickly.

“Don’t you mess up my hair Sidney Crosby, or I’m going to be very upset. And then everyone will know what I was doing on this car ride.” He grumbled something before dropping his hands to his sides where he gripped the edge of the seat instead. She chuckled, wondering how long that would last.

Five minutes later he was cursing and his hands were clenched in fists as his breath hissed between his teeth. Mel hummed lightly as she tightened her lips around him, moving her head quickly. She honestly didn’t know how long with would take to get to the club, and she didn’t want to embarrass either of them. She felt one hand slide through her hair at the base of her neck and she moaned an ‘uh-uh-uh’ and gently dragged her teeth over his hardness.


Sid jerked as he felt her teeth scrape lightly and he felt her throat constrict around him. It was an unbelievable feeling and he lifted his hips so that it would happen again. He moaned her name and felt his balls surge. He tried to warn her but no words came out of his mouth. There was a roar in his ears and he realized it was his own voice as he felt the first jet of come shoot out, followed by a couple more.

He wasn’t expecting to find release so quickly and he was slightly embarrassed that he’d lasted such a short time. He let his head relax against the head rest as his cheeks flamed. Melany cleaned him off with her tongue and tucked him back into his pants, zipping them up and refastening his belt. Then she hauled herself back onto the seat beside him, fiddling with her purse until she pulled out a piece of gum and a bottle of water.

“Hey… Sid… are you okay? Baby, you’re really flushed.”

“I’m so sorry.”

“What on earth for?” She took a couple gulps of water before popping the gum into her mouth. Then she dropped her head to his shoulder.

“I… did just sort of blow my load like a virgin…”

“Oh Sidney… I was trying everything I could think of to make that happen. I figured we wouldn’t have a lot of time and,” she looked up as the car came to a stop and seconds later there was a light knock on the door, “and I was right. Besides, I know you aren’t normally like that. Now stop pouting and go out first!” He laughed and pressed a chaste kiss to her lips.

“I love you,” he whispered.

“I love you.”

He stepped out of the car and held out a hand. She dipped out gracefully, looking stunning as she came to a stand beside him. There were only a couple cameras and reporters outside the entrance. They both smiled as the flashes went off before walking past the bouncer. Inside the music was up, but it wasn’t too loud. Sid saw the guys up in what must be the VIP area. Max noticed them first and ran over to the DJ before coming to a stop in front of them.

“What are you up to Max?” His friend looked at Melany with the biggest fake innocence ever.

“I don’ know what you mean mon chère!”

“Liar,” she laughed. Then the music died out and a voice came through the speakers.

“Well, well, well. It looks like the birthday girl has finally arrived!! Everyone! Please put your hands together for the captain of the Penguins and his blushing girlfriend, Miss Meelllllaaannnnyyyyy!” There was an instant applause that was tinged with a few boos but all Sid saw was the smile on Mel’s face. That combined with the little blush on her cheeks made him want to find a dark corner and make up to her for what had happened in the limo.

They followed Max over to a roped off area. Most of the guys were there, along with her girlfriends. And there was a couple sitting on one of the couches that he didn’t recognize. They were talking to Amanda and he figured this was John. Mel had said that the three of them had all gone to school together. The guy had this look on his face that was a mixture of shock and amusement, and his wife just looked lost.

“I think your soldier boy is here,” he whispered as he leaned his lips against Mel’s ear.

“Don’t ever let him hear you say that. Marines are completely different from soldiers. He knows like fifty-six ways to kill you with his hands, I wouldn’t try it.” He saw her lips curling into a smile, but he still tensed a little. They made their way over to the couches and Sid watched John stand up. His face was now unreadable, and Sid wondered what he was thinking.

Mel was standing beside him, her hands on her hips. She had a glare on her face that Sid had never seen before and all of the guys must’ve noticed as well. The conversations almost died out and Jordan, Max and Geno came to stand near them.

“Mel, were we wrong to let him come in,” Max asked. Mel didn’t answer. Jordan tried to talk to her, still no response. Sid was just about to grab her and haul her away when Amanda flicked John in the head and his stony expression faltered for a split second.

“Ahhh! I finally beat you!” Sid jumped as Mel screamed and then took two steps, jumping into the man’s arms. He watched as she was spun around a couple times and then placed back down on her feet. She kissed him on the cheek and then grabbed the woman beside them, hauling her into a giant hug and telling her congratulations.

“I was a little concerned…” the woman started but Mel shook her head. She said something that he couldn’t hear but they both looked at him before hugging once again. Then Mel turned and, with one on each side, introduced Sid to the man that he wanted to be insanely jealous of.

“Sid, I am very pleased for you to meet two people that I have known for a long time. This is John and Jess. Guys, this is my wonderful boyfriend, Sidney.”

“It’s a pleasure to meet you Sidney,” Jess said timidly. She had a small smile on her face and he couldn’t help but return it. John’s hand came out for him to shake and Sid took it gladly. They briefly shook hands and he knew they were sizing one another up, then John shocked the hell out of him.

“You really are Sidney fucking Crosby! Dude, I’m sorry I gave you so much shit the other day! It was just a little hard to grasp that Mo here snatched up the captain of my favorite hockey team.”

“Mo?” Sid asked, completely confused, as he heard Mel groan.

“Please don’t bring that up…”

“No, no,” he said, “I want to hear this. no one has told me any stories about you yet!”

“Oh man, I’ve got tons of stories, don’t I Mo?”

“I’ll kill you.”

“You’d never make it, I have the reflexes of a Ninja.”

They went back and forth a few more times and Sid watched, amused and at ease as his girlfriend bantered with one of her closest friends. Once they’d gotten that initial meet and greet over with, Sid was thinking that he really didn’t have anything to worry about. He was laughing at the frustrated look on Mel’s face when she finally let out a frustrated growl and in two seconds had John spun around and in a headlock.


“Tell me you’re sorry Johnny.” She felt him tense completely, his body rigid as he thought about his options. His hands came up to grab at her pressure point on her wrist so Mel tightened her arm around his neck and his hands came back down. “Say it,” she practically whispered in his ear.

“I’m sorry,” he said and she could practically see him rolling his eyes. He must not have realized that in her heels she was at a better height for this though. Bringing her other arm up she moved the way he’d taught her and heard his breath catch. “I’m fucking sorry.” Mel released him completely and watched him turn and pretend to be hurt.

“Suck it up Jarhead. You’re fine.”

“Remind me, why did I ever agree to teach you that?”

“Because I asked nicely, and you love me!” They were laughing together when Sid stepped tentatively by her side. She beamed a smile up at him but he looked slightly nervous.

“Ummm, should I be concerned?”

“Huh? Oh… that? No, he taught me a couple self-defense moves when he graduated from Parris Island. Don’t worry, I’d never do anything like that to anyone other than him unless it was seriously needed.”

“Okay, so… if I ask about some funny stories, are you gonna make me pass out?”

“Heavens no! Is Mr. Big Hockey Man scared of lil’ ol’ me,” she asked as she batted her eyelashes.

“Hell yeah!” But then he smiled and Mel kissed him as she promised him once more that she wasn’t the dominant type. Her voice took on a husky tone as she stared up into his eyes. “Trust me baby, I’m the one who likes to be tied up,” she whispered. She watched his nostrils flare as her words sunk in. He tilted her chin and ran his thumb over her lips.

“I’ll keep that in mind,” he murmured. They were as close as possible and she was about to kiss him when she was whisked away and found herself in the arms of a Staal, and not the one that played for them.

“Eric! You came!”

“Of course. I even brought you presents!”

“PRESENTS,” Max yelled. “Sweet, time to open presents!! Mel, table, now!” She laughed as she was ushered to the middle of a table that was set up for presents and cake. It was the first time she’d even noticed the cake. It was, she stared at the ice rink-shaped cake. It was then tiered, with sticks, pucks and a jumbo-tron as the top tier that had a Happy Birthday iced-cookie sticking out of it. There were caricatures everywhere, literally all the guys were on it. She was so shocked at the amazing job that had been done.

“Where… how… when did you… SID!”

“I’m right here, you don’t need to break an eardrum babe.”

“I love it! How did you get this done in such a short amount of time??”

“I didn’t do it.”

“You didn’t?”

“Nope. I honestly didn’t do a lot of the planning. That was Max, Jordan and Tanger.”

“Seriously? They did all of this for me? Why??”

“They like you,” he stated, like it was the more commonly known fact in the world. “Max was in charge of the cake, Tanger did guests and Jordan found the place, through Eric.” Mel blinked back tears. These guys were seriously the greatest group of friends in the whole world. Sure, the cake had more to do with them than her. And sure, she didn’t play hockey. But it was perfect.

“MAX!” She hollered for him and he came running over from the side of the VIP area.

“I didn’ do it! Whatever is wrong, it’s not my fault!”

“Thank you,” she blurted out as she put her arms around him. “I love the cake. It has nothing to do with me, but I love it!”

“Ahhh, I’m very glad chere. I was hopin’ you would find it amusing. Wait until you taste it! But first, you must open your presents!”

Max yelled for a chair to be brought up and Mel found herself sitting with colorful presents on her left. And a very large box. She opened things one by one. The first bag was bright red with black tissue paper. It had to be Eric’s gift. She pulled the paper out and felt material. He wouldn’t. She looked in the bag and then shot her head up to find the eldest Staal. He was standing by his brother with a huge ass shit eating grin on his face. Oh shit, I guess, he would.

“I don’t think I should let anyone see this present,” she said with a laugh. Sadly the guys thought that it meant lingerie and practically started a chant for her to whip out what she was hiding. “Okay, you asked for it!” She winked at Eric before pulling the red material out of the bag. The response was instant.

She laughed as the guys all started booing and ragging on Eric. He took the ribbing like a gentleman, laughing along with them. He had to yell over the group for her to look at his number. She turned it around and read the special message by the signature. To my favorite fan. Love, Pillow Lips. She started laughing so hard she thought she was going to pee her pants.

The rest of the presents were opened without protests or anything. And as she got through more of the pile, the racier the gifts became. There was chocolate body paint, furry handcuffs, six different kinds of lube, flavored massage oils, even a beginner’s bondage kit. Mel found herself blushing like crazy as she thought about what she’d told Sid earlier. She met his gaze and knew he was thinking the same thing.

She was down to three gifts.

The first was actually a set of boxes that were all tied together into a pyramid. The tag on the top box read, Dear Melany, We hope you have as much fun wearing these as Sid will have wanting to peel them off of you! Love, Your Girls A.K.A. Erin, Amanda, Vero, Kelsey and Heather. She knew what was going to be inside the packages. And she knew it was highly inappropriate to open them now. But she tore at the paper of the first box.

One by one she opened them up and looked at the bright colored bras and panties. There were also a couple nighties and robes, along with a French maid costume. Max had a running commentary on each piece of satin or lace. His favorite was the black and violet combo. She couldn’t help but giggle as he made dirty comments that had Sid blushing. He must’ve lost it finally because he came up and begged her not to show them anything else that was inside the boxes.

“Okay baby, no more sexy lingerie. I’ll only show it to you. Deal?”

“I like that idea. Now, will you please stop fueling Max’s fire and open the final two gifts?”

She smiled and nodded her head as Max handed her a little bag. Inside were an envelope and a card. She opened the extremely perverted card and laughed as she read the signature. To our newest WAG, have fun with our captain! Love, the guys (Mainly Max and Jordan!). Mel grabbed the envelope and ripped it open, reading the paper in her hands. They’d gotten her and Sid a room at the swankiest hotel in downtown Raleigh.

“Sid, I love your teammates,” she told him as she gave him the confirmation page to hold onto.


Sid stepped back down, standing by Flower.

“Are you alright Sid? You aren’t angry with us all are you?”

“No, but if I see one more scrap of lace I’m going to pile everything into the limo and ravish her until she can’t move.”

“Well, now you can take her to the room instead!”

“Marc… If she doesn’t wrap this up soon, I’m just going to take her into the bathroom and… Well, let’s just leave it at that.” Flower just laughed at him clapped his shoulder.

“Your present is last. Are you sure this is what you should’ve done?”

“No, I’m not. But I think she’s going to love it. Either that, or she’s going to kill me with it!”

“Let’s hope it’s the former and not the latter option.” They both turned their attention back to Melany who was holding onto the giant box, reading the note that he’d tied to the ribbon. Sid watched her smile and knew, in that moment, that she was going to like what he was giving her; it was personal, it was meaningful, and it would light up her face.

She finished reading the note and looked up at him. Sid thought maybe he saw tears. Shit, I didn’t want her to cry.

He started forward but she shook her head. Ripping the ribbon off, she folded the note and slipped it into her bag. Then she tore the wrapping paper off and opened the lid off the box. She stared down at the item for a moment before her lips curled into a full smile. Then she started to laugh as she picked up the gift for everyone to see.

He watched her toss the box to the ground and she walked over to him, holding the hockey stick in both hands. When he’d been asking her mom what she’d like, Lynne had said something that had stuck with him. She’d said that Melany would love anything he got her, but gifts with meanings would appeal to her more than jewelry or flashy things.

In his life, the most meaningful thing had always been hockey. And even though she didn’t understand all the rules, and she had only been on skates once in her life, Mel was quickly becoming a true hockey fan. She didn’t pretend to like it because she wanted to be with him. No, if he was ever asked, he'd say that she was with him because she loved the sport.

“You have a one track mind,” she said as he leaned down for a kiss.

“No,” he said against her lips. “Not anymore.”

He kissed her once more before she pulled away. Then she stepped back up by the chair and asked for everyone’s attention. She started to speak and then stopped. He watched her place her hands on the top of the stick and cock one foot out.

“Okay, not that I’ve got his pose down, and a stick to really work it, I want to make a little speech. Aside from Johnny and Jess, you all know about how Sid and I met. And while I loved all the presents you guys got me, this is by far my favorite!”

“Did you read the inscription?” Max asked. Sid was hoping that she would notice it. He sent Max a silent thank you as he watched Melany read the words on the silver strip he’d had screwed onto the stick. When she finished she looked up at him, tears in her eyes once again while she smiled. He heard one of the girls shout for her to read it aloud. Sid heard her clear her throat before she started to speak.

I’ve never been so happy to miss a goal in my life. Luckiest shot I ever took. Happy Birthday. Love, Sidney.”

There was a chorus of sighs from her friends, and Jordan made a gagging noise. He laughed as she threatened Staalsy with the stick before Max announced it was cake time. She refused to cut it until there were probably twenty photos of it from every angle imaginable. Then she still looked unsure.

“It’s a cake babe, it’s meant to be eaten.”

“I know… but it’s so amazing! Ugh… okay, give me the damn knife.” He laughed as he handed her the big knife. She cut away the slice that had his face on it and placing it on a plate. Max started to take it and she pointed the knife at him.

“Put it down Talbot. No one eats Sid but me!” The entire group started laughing at that and it became a joke to see who was going to eat who. They were sitting there, all talking and laughing when Sid saw a shadow above him. Johnny and Jess were getting ready to head out. It had been a long day for them, most of it spent in airports, and they were headed to their hotel.

Sid shook his hand, his feelings toward the man now a complete 180 from when he’d met him earlier. Mel asked how long they were staying as she hugged them both. Turns out he was on leave for a couple weeks, and they were using this as a sort of honeymoon, and going to visit everyone back in Ohio in a few days.

“You guys should come to the game,” he offered.

“Really?” John asked.

“Yeah, I know Mel would love it. And we could always use a few more fans for away games!”

“Well, that’s awesome! If you can get us two tickets, I’ll get you the money on game day.”

“No way! Consider it… ummm…” He looked at Mel as he thought of a way to just give them the tickets. Mel came through for him with a wonderful idea.

“Consider it a wedding present,” she said with a smile. John laughed and tried to dissuade her. The look on her face made Sid think that he should just stop trying to argue. Jess laughed and put a hand on her husband’s arm.

“I would give up dear. We both know how stubborn you both are. This could go on all night. Sidney, it’s a wonderful present and we’ll be happy to come on… when is it?”


“Thanks. We would love to come to the game on Tuesday. Now, say good night Johnny.”

“But…” Sid laughed when Jess leveled her own glare at the man. He was down 2-0.

“I’d just give in dude. I know how this one can be,” he said as he pointed his thumb at Mel. “And I’m guessing that your wife here can be the same way. Why don’t we all meet for lunch tomorrow and sort out the details. I’d like to get out of here myself.”

Fifteen minutes later the extra cake was packed in containers, the gifts were all piled together, and Sid and Mel were stepping into the limo. They headed off for the hotel that the guys had bought for tonight and tomorrow night.

“Did you have a good time,” he asked as he nuzzled her neck.

“It was amazing! So, what are we gonna do at the hotel?”

“I want to see you give a fashion show with all the new gifts you got tonight! And maybe we can break in that new kit. I’ve had visions of you tied to the bed ever since you held it up for me to see!”

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Chapter 19: The Geno

So, I know that once you all read this, you're probably going to want to beat me for the way I ended it... but you shall just have to deal*
And the next chapter promises to be a riot*
p.s. Thanx Mer... you've helped me out of a pickle with a couple parts! And I hope you all will leave me some feedback, I need to gauge your liking and such for Sid and Mel*

"Oh my god, did you see that?? I mean, did you honestly see that?!" Mel just shook her head in amazement as her mom nudged her arm before chanting `MVP, MVP, MVP' along with the other 17,000 fans in the Igloo. Yeah Geno, you deserve this buddy. She heard Sid's dad calling out her mom's name.

"Lynne! Lynne! Here, throw this," he yelled as he handed her a hat. "Toss it toward the ice like everyone else!" She smiled as her mom chucked the hat as far as she could.

"Why did I just throw a hat?" she asked with a serious face. Mel and Erin were almost in tears, laughing as hard as they were. The faces Mario and Troy were making were too much. And they were both looking at her mom like she'd grown a second head.

"It's a hat trick Mom," she said in between laughs. "When a player gets three goals in one game, it's called a hat trick. And to show your support, you throw a hat down on the ice."

"But why is it called a hat trick?"

"Because… well, actually, I don't know. Gentlemen?" She turned back to Mario and Troy who smiled and set into an explanation. They had both been wonderful all night. It wasn't that her mom didn't understand the game, exactly, but she was very inquisitive when it came to the rules and terms. Trying to get her not ask things during play had lasted all of the first five minutes of the first period. Fortunately no one in the box seemed to mind her constant questions. In fact, they seemed to like that she was so interested in the sport. Plus, Nathalie and Trina had asked her to share embarrassing stories about her daughter during intermission.

Fortunately Mel knew she'd been a good kid, for the most part, so while it had made her squirm in her seat to have her mother gush while she pulled what seemed like a never ending stream of grammar school photos out of her purse. She'd been thankful when the buzzer had sounded and play had resumed. Now, she shook her head, smiling, as she and Erin stared down at their men as they milled on the ice, watching the ice cleaning team.

"So Troy… I hear my daughter put you in your place after you insulted her." Oh for crying out loud, get these hats cleared up and resume play! Mel begged silently. Thankfully he just let out a big belly laugh and then, nearly making Mel jump out of her seat, he put his big hand on her shoulder.

"I see where you get your spunk from," he said with a teasing smile. Everyone got a chuckle out of that.

It seemed like the rest of the final period was going to be uneventful, until TK scored to add insult to injury. And then there was an insane scrum with only about a minute left. It seemed like you could never expect a team to go away quietly.

After the game ended Mario led them down to the locker room to meet some of the guys. Mom was more excited to meet Cookey than anyone else. For some reason she'd taken a liking to him. Mel introduced her to his wife first, and the two hit it off right away.

Then Max walked out of the locker room. He came over and wrapped Mel in a hug, planting a raspberry on her cheek. Laughing as she pulled away, she introduced the smiling Frenchman to her mom's questioning gaze.

"Mom, this is Maxime Talbot. Maximus, my mother Lynne." Max grabbed her mom's hand and bowed as he kissed her knuckles.

"It is an honor and a pleasure to meet you Mrs. Huston. Your daughter is a magnificent woman and I feel like I'm a better man, just by knowing her." God, could he lay it on any thicker? She thought while reminding herself to I'm poke him in the eye later. "You did a wonderful job raising her by yourself." Then, with that cheeky smile and a nod, he sauntered off toward a group of guys, tackling Kuni in a bear hug.

Her mom was staring at her and Mel just shrugged. He was being silly and just wanted to tell Sid that he made a better first impression. Then he'd be able to tease Sid about it for the rest of his life. A few of the others came over to say hello and Mel could tell her mother was a little overwhelmed by all the giant players telling her good things about her daughter.

"What can I say Mom?" Mel said with a smile, placing her arm around her mom, "I guess I'm pretty amazing!"

"Hey Mel, party at my house tonight! You come! Bring Sid!" She turned at the sound of Geno's heavy accent.

"Well hey Mr. Amazing!"

"Erin tell me that you mother come tonight."

"That's right… Mom, I'd like you to meet tonight's number one star." Her mom smiled and wrapped the big guy in a hug, exclaiming how proud she was that he was able to score all three of those amazing goals. He laughed as she released him and apologized for trying to tackle him.

"No worry Mel's mom… I am ire- irressa- irresistible!" Mel could tell by the look on his face that he was extremely pleased with himself for being able to get that word out. Her mom just continued to gush over him and Erin as well for getting stuck with him. They were laughing when Erin nodded almost invisibly that Sid was finally coming.


Sid answered Dan Potash's final question before heading to the showers. After changing back into his suit he grabbed a Gatorade and headed out to where Mel had promised to be waiting with her mom. She had told him not to be nervous, that her mom was going to love him, but he could keep his palms from sweating. Walking through the doorway, he paused. This is crazy, he thought to himself. But then he'd never met a girl's mom before. Please don't let me make a fool of myself.

Taking a deep breath he walked through the door. He spotted Mel first and she turned as if she'd felt him coming. Flashing him a hundred watt smile that he couldn't help but return, she motioned for him to come over. He took a deep breath and started over to where Geno, his arm wrapped securely around Erin, was attempting to talk with a woman that reminded him of his own mother. He knew that Geno was working on his English with Erin and by the woman's smile, she could understand him just fine.

"Mom," he heard Mel say. "There's one more person that I'd like you to meet."

"It was a pleasure to meet you Evgeni. You played wonderful tonight, just wonderful!"

"Call me Geno… please," his teammate said with a shy smile. Then he and Erin excused themselves, wanting to head out since there was now going to be a party at Geno's and they needed to grab some supplies. Sid held out his hand and then they both laughed as their fists bumped and `exploded.' He was still smiling when Mel's mom turned her attention on him.

"Good evening Sidney."

"Mrs. Huston… it's, it's a pleasure to meet you," he said nervously, realizing his hands had begun to sweat as he wiped them on his pants.

"Lynne, please."

"Lynne," he said, grinning. "I'm sure you've heard this a lot tonight, but you have an amazing daughter. And thank you very much for letting me monopolize a lot of her time recently."

"Nonsense, she's old enough to fend for herself. And besides, she wouldn't spend all that time with you and the boys if she didn't want to. Now tell me something Sidney… how did a young man with such talent like yours, manage to hit my daughter with a puck?"

Sid's face turned beet red and he stuttered as he tried to find an answer. He glanced anxiously at Melany, but she wasn't going to be any help. She was giggling, her face hidden in her hands as she snorted in between the laughter that was bubbling from her mouth. Oh, she's getting it later.

"Well, you see… it was really all Max and Tanger's fault!" Before he could continue he noticed the smile on Lynne's face, and the laughter in her eyes. She was teasing him! Like mother, like daughter I guess! He finally relaxed and started to laugh as he shook his head. "I guess it was just a lucky shot."

They talked for a while longer before his parents came over to say they were getting ready to head back to Mario's if Lynne wanted to ride with them. Sid grabbed for Mel's hand as he tensed up. Here he was, standing amidst his parents, his `other parents' and her mom. But his mom and Lynne were talking with Nathalie about having tea when they got back to the house, and Mario and his dad had those looks that said `do not get into any trouble tonight.'

His eyes widened in surprise when Lynne pulled him into a hug. He dropped Mel's hand as he returned the affection. She had made him feel welcome from the moment she met him. Yeah, like mother like daughter for sure.

"It was wonderful to meet you Sidney. I can see why my daughter is falling for you," she whispered. As she released him Sid could see the honesty in her gaze. "Don't let her get away my dear. And I'm not just saying that because I'm her mother."

"Yes ma'am, I'll do my best," he told her seriously. After making sure she'd talk to him sometime tomorrow about a birthday present for Mel, the two headed out to his car as the `adults' all piled into Mario's vehicle. Mel told him to stop so they could grab some stuff so her to whip up something for a crowd of hungry players.


Mel opened her eyes, squinting against the bright light that shown through the window. Sid's body was draped over her like a blanket and she snuggled into his chest. He mumbled something unintelligible and she just burrowed into him, inhaling his smell. Whatever he used made her want to attack him. Well, she was pretty sure that she had done that last night after they'd had a couple drinks with everyone else.

Well, they'd had to at least make it look like they were up for a party. Of course, the entire time, all she'd wanted to do was tear that suit off his body and have her wicked way with him. Fortunately she'd gotten the chance when they snuck up the stairs about a half an hour after they arrived.

Mel knew they wouldn't have more alone time until he got back from the two Carolina games, even though she and the girls were flying down for Saturday night's celebrations, and she was about to wake him up for a second round of steamy passion when Max poked through the door and put a finger to his lips. Mel knew she should stop him, or at least wake up Sid, but she bit her lip and nodded gently. Max beamed that grin that she knew meant trouble was coming and he disappeared for a second. Before long he was pushing open the door to their room and coming in. He was followed by Geno, Flower, and Tanger.

Flower had lids for pots, like a pair of cymbals. Geno had a whistle between his lips, Max had a bull horn and Tanger had a video camera. Where did they find a bullhorn?? Why am I even surprised about that? She thought as she watched the gang surround the bed. Max put the thing between his legs and used his hands to ask, rather perversely, if they were clothed. She quirked an eyebrow at him but he just pointed at Tanger, and the camera. She nodded in understanding and rolled her eyes. Mel told him to wait a moment as she brought her hands up to cover her ears and then Tanger hit RECORD.

"SIDNEY CROSBY! WAKE THE FUCK UP DUDE!!!" Max yelled through the bullhorn as the rest of the group made noises with their little toys. She felt Sid jerk and he rolled in confusion, pulling the blankets with him as he fell off the bed and hit the floor with a loud thunk. She heard him cursing through the duvet and couldn't help the laughter as it came forth.

"Good morning mon ami. Breakfast is downstairs," Max said a little quieter and with a smile before he started laughing. Sid was sitting there, his hair an unruly mass of curls and sticking out everywhere and a glare on his face.

"Max," he growled. Mel knew that tone. It was one that promised retribution. She watched him stand up and stretch, and she noticed his stance. He was ready to go after Max. And poor Max was bent over laughing, completely clueless and entirely defenseless. Sid started toward him, hands curled into fists, and Mel decided to warn Max, even though she wasn't sure if he deserved it.

"Run Max!" He looked up and Sid took off, promising to get her later for helping him. They both ran through the door and down the hallway. Tanger followed hot on their heels and the rest heard a crash and a curse in French. Flower tugged Geno out of the room and Mel sat back against the headboard. She heard someone clear their throat and she looked up at Vero. V just shook her head, making a `boys will be boys' face.

"I didn't understand the curse… no one got hurt did they?"

"No, Max was just calling Sid a curly-headed fuck… I'm pretty sure he learned that term from you, didn't he?" The two laughed as V came over and sat down on the edge of the bed. As she stopped laughing, Mel saw the serious look that came over her friend's face. It spoke volumes.

"Alright V, spit it out. What's going on?"

"Are you still in love with him?"

"Still, how can I still be in love with him?"

"Not Sid… this John that I heard about."

"How did… who said anything… Sid talked to Marc didn't he?"

"Oui. I think it was just because Marc and I have been through so much, and been together for such a long time. He just wanted to get the perspective of someone who's been in a serious and committed relationship. It's not that he doesn't trust you, and I don't think he's upset or anything. I think he's just nervous that when you see this guy tomorrow night… I do not know. Perhaps he thinks that you will remember all those feelings that you used to have for him and then Sid will lose you. And I don't believe that's something he wants. So, I ask again… are you still in love with him?"

"Vero… I have been through so much with John. He was my first boyfriend, my first love. And later on… later on I thought that I was still in love with him, but the romantic feelings that had been there " Mel wasn't sure how to put it into words, the way her feelings had just…changed. "I guess my feelings just had tapered out. I wasn't feeling…like I had to have him, you know…the way you just need someone? I wouldn't say that I look at him as a brother now because that would just be creepy… he's more than a friend but he is still just a friend. I mean, yeah, he's that one person that I've always felt I could count on and he's been there for me through a lot of stuff in my life so I guess you could say he's my best friend. We'll always have each other's backs you know? But Sid doesn't have anything to worry about if that's what you think. John married Jess… that's like you and Flower. They'd been together so long. I mean, they broke up, which you guys never will! But they worked it out, and they got married. Now I'm trying to find my own Marc."

"Do you think it's Sid?"

"I don't know," Mel replied honestly.

"Well, I suppose it is a little early to be wondering about that," Vero laughed. "Okay, I promise, no more talk about this. I need to quiz you so that I know what to get you for your birthday. I hear we're having a party!"

"We are! I'm so glad you're coming! Kelsey can't make it, and Heather said she's going to stay up here with her. So I'm really excited that you're coming down! I was thinking it would be a lot of fun for you, me, Amanda, and Erin to stay together. We'll get a big room like the one Sid and I had in Philly!"

"Oh, I love that idea! We could stay until after Game 4! This is going to be fun! And there's no way I could miss the fireworks when Sid meets this man! Now, let's go find out what happened with those two!"


"Say uncle!"

"Get off me!"

"Not til you give up!"

"Get. Off. Me."

"What are you two, twelve?" Sid twisted his head and glanced up at Mel and Vero who were standing in the doorway. Max tried to turn as well, but Sid kept his head pressed to the carpet with his knee.

"Mon chère, please get your boyfriend to move his giant ass so that I can get up!"

"You think he's going to listen to me? I'm the one who helped to give you a chance of escape! It's not my fault that you ran the wrong way!"

She was looking at him and Sid couldn't help but smile at her. With a wink he released Max and wandered over to her, and then, placing his hands on either side of the door she was standing against, he leaned into her, his lips brushing over her forehead.

"Good morning babe."

"Forgive me for helping Max?"

"Of course. I'd have felt bad if he didn't stand some sort of chance."

They were all laughing when Erin yelled down from the dining room that they had better get downstairs or she was going to throw everything in the trash. Geno yelled `We come woman!' which garnered him a cold look from his girlfriend when they had all shuffled down the stairs. Geno just flashed that smile that he always used when he was in trouble.

After eating the group split up. Sid and Melany had gone back to Mario's and everyone else had gone to their respective homes so that they could pack for the road trip. Coach had said the plane was leaving at three o'clock and the girls were flying down later that night. They pulled into Mario's and started up to his room when they were stopped by a trio of voices.

"So how long have they been dating?"

"Oh, since about the beginning of April."

"They really are adorable together."

"Do you think it'll turn more serious?"

"He's taking her to North Carolina for her birthday."

"But it's not a couple's thing, there's a big group."

Sid pulled Melany to him and kissed her before heading to where the voices were. He needed to talk to her mother about a present. Clearing his throat he stepped into the kitchen, where the three women stood talking about his relationship.

"Good morning ladies. Sleep well?" Lynne was the first one to speak up.

"Like the dead! Have you thought more about what you want to get Melany for her birthday?"

"Yes," Nathalie exclaimed, "You should get her some jewelry!"

"She's not that big of a jewelry fan actually. Not that she'd complain, but it's just not her thing."

"What does she like?" his mom asked. Sid turned to Lynne, expectation clearly written on his face.

"Oh my, well, she'll love anything you get her. My daughter's not a snob or anything. If it's thoughtful she'll appreciate it. You could make her a card and she'd love it as much as if you bought her a car. With her, it's the thought that counts."

"But, what does she like? What do I get her that's better than John flying in to surprise her??"

"Is that what this is about? Johnny?" Lynne shook her head and he felt an embarrassed blush rise up to his cheeks.

"Well, I just… I want to… I want to give her something that might… make her feel about me the way I feel about her. I care about her, a lot. And I've never bought things for a woman before. I know that the girls are pitching in together to get her something. And Max has taken it upon himself to be in control of her gift from the guys… which has me very concerned, because it's Max."

"Should I be concerned about this teammate of yours?" Lynne asked with a pointed look. "He seems very charming and rather sly…"

"Ha! Max is one of a kind Lynne. But your daughter is a smart woman. And Max, as flashy and insane as that boy can be, he's one of the most trustworthy guys that I've ever seen my son befriend." Sid smiled a thank you at his mom.

"Alright ladies, I'm going to go… pack. But Lynne, if you could help me think of something that she'd like, please let me know!" He told them all goodbye and took the steps two at a time to get to his room. Checking his watch, he saw that they had a few hours before he needed to leave, and he'd already packed everything but the suit he was planning on wearing.

Opening his door he smiled at the scene in front of him on his bed. Mel must've realized the time they had too. It was that, or she didn't care about making him late. Either way, he planned on giving his woman as much pleasure as he could as an early birthday present. As he stepped over to his bed he pulled his shirt off, trying to quickly match her lack of clothing.

"I set the alarm to give you twenty minutes to pack," she purred as he covered her supple body with his own.

"God, I love you," he breathed into her ear as he sunk inside of her.