Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Chapter 32: Untitled

I couldn't figure out a good name for this one. So it's just Chapter 32... Enjoy!
Can't wait to hear from you guys in the comments section*

Sid opened his eyes, blinking a couple times and looking around the room. He and a few of the guys had helped her move everything that had been at her mom’s house. One woman should not have that much stuff. But she did. With all of her things, plus everything that Tanger’s girlfriend brought from Montreal... most of the house was already full of stuff.

The library was coming along nicely. He’d already spent some time in there, relaxing on the window bench while Mel tried to sort out a system for stacking the multitude of paperbacks that she just had to keep.

Turning, he expected to see her all curled up under the blankets, but the other half of the bed was empty. Looking around, he finally took in the sound of water running. Smiling to himself, Sid flipped the covers over and swung his legs off the bed, heading toward the bathroom.

He looked back at the iron bed frame once more, images of the first night spent in that bed. With the four posters… it was perfect for putting ‘the kit’ to good use once again. That was how they had spent the first night in the house. Only this time, this time he’d been the one unable to move.

It was scary to trust someone like that, but so worth it.

With a smirk, Sid pulled off his shorts and opened the bathroom door. He could see Mel through the steamy shower door. Stepping over her pajamas, he opened the glass, stepped in and shut the door before placing a hand on her shoulder.

Whirling around, Mel let out a scream and her fist flew out, clocking him in the jaw and sending his feet slipping until he landed on the wet floor of the shower.

“Oh Jesus! Sid, I’m so sorry!! I thought… I don’t know what I thought! But I’m sorry! Are you okay?!”

He was still so stunned that when she straddled him, his eyes didn’t take in the warm, soapy feeling of her skin. All he could do was stare at her, holding his jaw with one hand.

“What the hell were you thinking sneaking in on me?! You know that’s not a smart idea! After we spent the night watching horror movies… Geez! Let me see your face.”

He felt her pull his hand away and then she turned his face, getting a better look at where she’d hit him.

“You should be fine, it doesn’t even look red. Either you have a really strong jaw or I hit like a girl…”

Finally recovering, he took in Mel’s words and chuckled.

“Thank god,” she said. “I thought I’d knock your brain out or something!”

“You hit me.”

“Thank you Captain Obvious. I’m pretty sure I realize that since my knuckles are throbbing like a bitch!”

“Hey now Lieutenant Sarcastic. I’m the one who should be complaining. We have season tickets to deliver today and I’m gonna look like I got in a bar brawl!”

“Big baby… I barely touched you…”

“It still hurts…”

“Come here, I’ll make it better.” Sid smiled as she pressed a kiss to his chin. He drew in a breath as her teeth nipped at his lips and her fingers curled in his hair. “Mmmm, how soon are they picking you up at Mario’s?”

“Nine.” He pulled her closer, feeling her body slide against his. She was cradling him between her thighs and all he’d need was to lift her body up slightly. “Tell me again, how long does it take you to get to the school from here?”

“Seven minutes.”

“Plenty of time,” he said against her lips as he shifted their bodies and brought her down hard. The water from the shower was hitting the wall above his head and Sid could feel the spray sloshing down the wall. Grabbing onto her hips, he helped control the tempo, lifting Mel up and down like a rag doll.

He let go of one hip and flipped a chunk of hair around his fingers, tilting her head back as he assaulted her neck. His lips moved quickly over the moist skin, his teeth nipping at her collarbone.

“Touch yourself,” he growled against her throat. She did as he asked and Sid watched her eyes glaze over as she brought herself closer to that sweet release that made her scream his name. Whether she was still hot from last night, or reliving the memories they’d made, she swiveled her hips a few times and then he felt her body go taut, her back arched and her breasts pressed almost in his face. As her mouth opened in a moan of completion, Sid drew one nipple into his mouth, sucking hard as he thrust his hips up twice more before his orgasm took control.


Mel kissed Sid once more as she ran out the door. He held her tightly against him as he plundered her mouth, his tongue sweeping between her lips. She finally pulled away, her body already turned toward the driveway.

“Mpgh, Sid… I gotta go!”

Sid chuckled and she laughed back as he nuzzled her neck. She finally wrenched herself from his grasp and jogged to her car. Thank god it’s Friday and I can wear jeans and a school t-shirt! As she pulled out of the driveway and headed down the street she waved to Kris and Lexie who were on their way back to the house.

When she got to the school, Mel grabbed her two totes and headed inside, pausing to tell a few students ‘good morning’ as she made her way to the office. After picking up her mail and the morning teacher announcements, she wove through the throngs of students to her room.

Unlocking the door, she flipped the lights on and smiled. Her own classroom. She’d spent an extra day in here, setting up the desks the way she wanted and getting all of her things placed throughout. You could definitely tell it was a history class. She had posters on the walls, cutouts standing in the corners. There was a giant globe that Trina and Troy had bought at a flea market, and… Pens gear. There was a one side wall completely dedicated to the Penguins.

She had the students bring in pictures of themselves in jerseys, at the arena, with the guys. With her and Sid standing by the Cup in the center. Mario had given her one of the street banners to hang and it was perfectly sized for the wall. She’d also taken quotes from some of the guys and stuck them by photos she’d taken of them.

Godsy was giving a thumbs up, Jordan and Brooks were high-fiving one another. It was a great idea. It made the kids think history was cool because the guys thought so. Mel was staring at the picture of her and Sid when she heard a knock at the door. Turning, she saw one of her favorite students.

“Good morning Nate! What brings you by so early?”

“Remember how you were telling us that we should try to find a way to make a difference this year? Even if it was something small?”

“Yes. Have you been thinking about it?”

“I have. And I know what I want to do Ms. Huston.”

Mel slid around the desks and walked to the front of the classroom where Nate was still standing in the doorway. He was such a sweetheart. Senior this year, played football and baseball for the school, and hockey in his free time.

“Well, have a seat and tell me all about it.”

He sat down and explained how he’d heard about how the Pens always went to the children’s hospital around Christmas time to give presents and spend a day with the children. But that was just one day. What about all the other days when the only people who came in were the doctors and nurses. Nate said that over the weekend his cousin in California had been diagnosed with some sort of illness, he wasn’t sure what it was… but she would be hospitalized for awhile.

“I’m so sorry Nate. That’s got to be hard on her and her parents.”

“It is. And she’s like a little sister to me. And I can’t be out there to visit her a lot. So I’ve decided that I’m going to go to the children’s hospital here. And I’m going to volunteer a few days a week to go hang out with the kids. That way, I’ll know how to deal with a child in the hospital and when I visit her during Christmas Break I won’t freak out if she’s got tubes everywhere. And, I’ll be putting a smile on someone’s face when I’m visiting the kids here. Is that something like what you wanted us to do?”

“That is perfect Nate. Absolutely perfect. Those children at our hospital would love having someone like you to hang out with for a few hours. And your cousin will love the visit when you go out there.”

He smiled and stood up, telling her he’d see her in class later that day. After he walked out, Mel rummaged through her bag and found her phone. She sent Godsy a quick text and waited for a reply. She didn’t have to wait long, and she smiled at the response.

Of course I’d come in and give the kid a couple tips. Can I do it today??

She made plans to have him stop by during fifth period, when she had Nate in class. She got the okay from the principal to have Nate and Eric talk in one of the rooms in the main office area.

The day flew by and when Nate came into class with his pass from the office, Mel didn’t think his smile could get any bigger. He lingered for a second when class was over and thanked her for helping him. She just smiled and told him not to forget his homework for tomorrow.

When the day was over she packed up and headed out the door with her nice stack of papers to grade. There goes my Friday night and half of my Saturday. She was almost there when she saw a sign for the annual corn maze near them. A light bulb went off and she detoured over to the maze, hopping out to look over the map of the maze.

With all the twists and turns it spelled out the word ‘SAFARI’ and you could see how it shaped up like some safari animals. It was perfect for what Sid had been talking about the night before. A team bonding exercise. In a corn maze. It was kind of lame, and they’d probably have no issues with it, but it was fun and light-hearted.

Mel took a pic on her phone and sent it to Sid with the title “Bonding.” Getting back into her car, she finished her drive home, pulled in the driveway and dragged her bags inside. Lexie was sitting at the bar in the kitchen, looking through a catalog of some sort.

“Bonjour Melany. How was your day?”

They fell into a relaxed conversation as Mel pulled this and that out of the fridge. She was feeling domestic tonight and decided a good home-cooked meal would be nice for a change. After making sure Lexie and Kris would be there, she grabbed a couple mixing bowls and a couple plastic spoons. Setting everything out on the counter, Mel made sure she had all of her ingredients. She was just getting ready to start when Lexie spoke up.

“Don’ you need to get the measuring cups and spoons?”

“No, I’ve made this a million times. I just throw in the different spices and stuff and it comes out fine. It tastes a little different each meal, but still delicious!”

“What exactly are you making?”

“Meatloaf, cheesy potatoes and biscuits.”

“All three with no recipes??”

“Yep, wanna help?”

“No, I’ll mess it up for sure! Maybe if you were using an actual recipe…”

“I’ll grab the book if you would like to make the dough for the biscuits. You can follow it step by step and use the exact measurements,” Mel said with a smile. Lexie laughed and nodded. Turning, she perused the line of cookbooks near the stove. Grabbing one she held it out to Lexie.

“How do you remember which book it’s in,” Lexie asked as she took the book from Mel’s hand.

“That one is always covered in flour,” Mel laughed.

They worked together, listening to music, and dinner was almost done when the guys came in. Kris wrapped Lexie up in his arms, attempting to drag her away.

“No! Kris… I’m trying to make these! Ahhh!”

“But you don’t cook.”

“Mel is going to teach me, right Melany?”

Mel nodded her head yes and laughed when Kris came over, hugging her and yelling he loved her over and over. They all laughed and Mel shooed the guys out so they could finish.

“Go set the table or something you goofballs!”

Sid jogged over for a quick kiss. He tasted like strawberries and she knew he had gotten into the dessert she had made the night before.

“I loved the idea. I told Disco and he thought it was great too. We’re going to close it down tomorrow morning and have it to ourselves.”

“That’s great! I’m so amazing,” Mel laughed.

“Yeah, I guess so.”

“Get out of here before I hit you with a frying pan!”

“Ha ha, love you,” Sid yelled as he grabbed plates and headed into the dining room.

The biscuits turned out great, and Lexie was already asking what Mel was going to teach her next. After dinner Sid grabbed the totes of assignments to be graded and took them up to the attic. Mel grabbed a couple bottles of Gatorade and headed up too. He had things spaced out on her desk when she got to the top of the stairs.

“I’m going to grab a book and read while you grade, okay?”

“You don’t have to stay up here Sid. Go downstairs and watch a movie with the others. Or turn on the TV in my room.”

“I don’t think that I want to be down there right now… Kris has some plans for her tonight… And I don’t mind just hanging out up here for now.”

“Well, okay then. Here,” she said with a smile, “I brought you a drink.”

He smiled as she chucked the flavored water at him and then they sat in companionable silence for what seemed like hours. Mel was smiling at one of the papers she was grading when she heard a thunk. Turning around, her smile grew wider as she stared at the sleeping man in the double papasan chair, a gift from Vero.

Looking back at her papers, she felt like the giant heap that she’d gone through was good enough for the night, and she’d be able to get the rest done tomorrow while the guys were ‘bonding.’ Mel stole a glance at the clock on the wall. Twelve-thirty, four hours of grading, two-thirds of the way done. Yes, time to relax.

She stretched and stepped over to the pull out couch that they’d decided to set up in the library as well. Smiling to herself, Mel tossed the cushions to the side and flipped out the mattress before sending Lexie a text that they may not want to come up for the night. There was a response quickly sent back that was a mix of English and French so she figured either Tanger had written it, or he was having a good time and Lexie couldn’t think straight.

Mel grabbed a couple pillows from the big window and one blanket, tossing them haphazardly on the bed, before setting her phone alarm so that Sid wouldn’t be late. Then she walked alongside the chair and ran her fingers through his hair. Leaning down, she whispered for him to get up and come to bed. His eyes opened briefly before closing again and Mel giggled as she pulled him to his feet.

They made it over to the couch and she told him to get in bed with a gentle shove. He must’ve been more awake than he was letting on because he grabbed her hand and hauled her with him. They tumbled onto the mattress together and she slid the blanket over them as he tucked her into his arms.

“Good night Sidney. I set the alarm so that you’d have plenty of time. And no one will come up here tonight so we can just rel--”

He tilted her head back and kissed her. Mel gave in to her feelings and just let go. Besides, Kris would end up waking him if the need arose.


“But do you think she’d go for it Lynn? I don’t want her to freak out. Especially not after the house.”

He smiled as he listened to Mel’s mom. She was a riot. And she told him, in no uncertain terms, that her daughter might say that she’s bothered by things. But that he shouldn’t take no for an answer.

“You realize this is kind of a big deal though. And she’s got one already.”

“So get rid of it. Make it so she has to take it.”

“What do you want me to do? Rip it apart?”

“If that works. Now, go wake her butt up and put her on the phone. Have fun at your bonding exercise!”

Sid laughed as he walked over and roused Mel from her sleep. He waved the phone in front of her face and mouthed ‘mom’ before kissing her forehead and heading downstairs to grab something to eat.

He and Tanger left together, picking up Geno and Gonch along the way. They pulled into the field, parking next to Max and went up to the entrance of the maze where Dan was talking with a couple of the new guys.

“Ahhh, here are our three leaders, a quiet one and the class clown,” Sid heard Dan say with a smile.

Sid shook hands with the two guys and they started chatting while they waited for the rest of the team to arrive. Mike was a giant. He was going to give Staalsy a run for his money, and Brent was easy going but kind of quiet. So different than our other goalie, that one doesn’t shut up. After everyone had finally arrived, Dan stood up on a hay bale to get everyone’s attention.

“Alright, we’re going to split up into small groups. Go in one at a time. We’re going to see who can do this the fastest. You won’t get the map until you enter the maze, and your time will start at that moment. You will have a card to punch at the twelve checkpoints. You don’t have to go in order, but you can’t cheat because each checkpoint has a different-shaped punch. And gentlemen, no cutting through the corn. Stay on the path.”

He started calling out names of groups and the guys all paired off. Two of the guy couldn’t make it, so that left them with twenty players in four groups of five.

“Dupuis, Fleury, Letang, Talbot, Crosby.”

“What?! Why do I have to be with all the Frenchies??”

“Just the luck of the draw kid,” Dan said with a wink.

Sid just groaned as Max slipped an arm around his shoulder and directed him over to a bale of hay where the others were already standing.

“Come mon ami, it will be a true test of your patience.”

“Seriously. They stick me with the ADD goalie, one who is incessantly picking on the other, and you,” Sid laughed.

They were the final group to go and Geno’s group had just burst through the end, falling down and trying to catch their breath. But the running had shaved off some time because they had beaten the other groups by ten minutes, with a time of 52:43.

“We can beat that with no problem,” Flower chimed in.

“Really? And just how do you plan on that?”

“I can guide us.”

“You’re going to guide us through a very complex maze?”

“Oui. Do you doubt me? I swear I can get us through this in thirty minutes. Maybe a few more.”

“Maybe with we were going at the speed of light and never took a wrong turn.”

“Do you trust me Sid?”

Sid stared at his friend. Marc had never been anything other than honest with him. he knew that in a pinch there was no other guy he’d want between the pipes. And they didn’t need to win this. it was just for fun. But this was a bonding exercise. In order to bond with the guys, he needed to trust them completely.

“I do.”

“Then once we get in there, give me a second to look over the map. Then follow my lead. D’accord?”

Sid just nodded his head. The five of them walked up to the entrance and he took a deep breath. They entered and Marc took the card with the map. Disco hit the timer and Sid itched to start moving forward. Marc’s eyes darted around the card and then he looked up with a giant smile.

“ Allons-y,” he yelled and took off running. Sid stared at the others and laughed before chasing after Flower. They were taking twists and turns and before he knew it, they were at the first checkpoint, punching a hole through the 1 on the card. One more glance and Marc took off again.

“What the hell? Do we have our own personal ‘Rain Man’ or something?!”

The guys were chuckling and then Max yelled from the back of the group.

“Now, aren’t you glad you were stuck with us?”

Seven checkpoints later, Sid was standing with his hands on his thighs as he bent over to catch a couple big breaths. They were making amazing time, at least he thought they were. And there were four checkpoints left before they could head for the exit.

“Ready to move on,” Marc asked with a smile.

“Yeah, I’m good. Guess I didn’t train enough over the summer.”

“Well, I would think with all the time you spent in the bedroom these past few months, your cardio would be amazing!”

“Flower… you’re dead!”

“You must catch me first mon ami!”

Sid laughed as his friend turned and sprinted off toward the next checkpoint. The rest of them began chasing him. after the final punch, flower told them it was three turns and then a straight shot out.

“I say we do an easy jog until we hit that final turn. Then we sprint tow the end. Agreed?”

“You’ve gotten us this far,” Duper said as he chucked a couple kernels of corn at Tanger.

“Tabernak! Stop that! When we get out of here…”

“Guys! Let’s focus on getting out of here first,” Sid said. “Alright Flower. You’ve gotten us this far, let’s finish this.”

They all turned and started jogging down the path. Marc yelled that they were coming up on the final turn. Sid took a deep breath and as they made the left he saw the straight shot to the finish line. He couldn’t hear the others though. It’s a trap.

“It’s a trap! Guys, they must wait--”

Everything else he was going to say was cut short because as they ran through the finish line, they were pelted with water balloons and super soakers! Everyone was running around, it was like a giant group of teenagers had been let loose or something and somehow Sid got a giant squirt gun in his hands.

They were all chasing each other, using trees and fences as cover. He laughed as Disco dove behind a stack of hay bales. None of the guys could afford to dive like that, in case of injury, but it was nice to see the coach joining in the insanity. After all the guns were empty of water, and all of the balloons had been thrown, Sid came out from behind the giant oak he’d been using as a hiding spot.

Flower and Tanger were sitting against the bales Dan had jumped over and a giant group of the guys were stretched out in the sunlight, wet streaks and splotches covering their clothing. Tossing the gun aside, Sid plopped down beside Max, stretching his hands behind his head and bringing up his knees. He heard Dan asking if everyone was alright, making sure no one had been injured in the fray.

“You had a good thought mon ami,” Max said. Sid kept his eyes closed and just grunted. He knew he should make sure they knew that Mel had concocted this. Well, she hadn’t thought of the battle, but… wait a minute.

“Whose idea was it to have a water battle?”

All of the guys were shrugging their shoulders and looking between one another. They all looked guilty. But if it had been one of them, they would’ve taken the credit. It didn’t add up. If they hadn’t planned it, then who did? Max was trying to hide a smile. He knows.

“Spill it Max. You know,” Sid said with a gleam in his eye.

“I do, but I promised the person I wouldn’t give them up. I was just part of the chain. The mastermind behind it all sent a text to me, and I was to tell certain people. She said that the others would be tak--”


“Tabernak! I say too much already!”

Sid went over to the table where they’d stowed their phones before going into the maze, it made more sense now as to why they’d done that. It wasn’t about cheating at all. It was so they wouldn’t be ruined when they exited. Picking his up, he dialed Mel’s number.

“Did you make it through the maze in one piece,” came the lilting voice on the other end of the phone.

“I’m very wet.”

“Did it start raining?”

“No, I got doused with water guns and balloons.”

“You don’t say! That’s just weird.” He heard her chuckle and knew that she had been the one to construct it all. He laughed too, sending up a prayer that he had someone like her to look out for him and keep him normal.

“We’re going to dry some and then go out to lunch, I’ll get you when I get back to your house.”

“The reservations for the Cheesecake Factory won’t wait for you to dry. I bet if you turn around, the others will be changed into street clothes.”

You’ve gotta be kidding me. Turning his head, he saw that most of them were now in clean clothes, some still pulling polos and things over their heads.

“What am I supposed to wear?”

“Look in Max’s trunk. I bet there’s a pair of jeans, polo and socks and shoes. If they really got you though, you’ll have to go commando! Love you, bye!”

Sid stared at the phone, amazed that she’d been able to go behind his back about everything. But when would she have had the chance to get clothes to Max? He’d been waiting for them here. How could he… Walking over to the car, he grabbed all of the clothes out of the trunk. He was in mid change when it hit him.


Geno, who’d been in a discussion with Brooks about something, lifted his head and beamed a smile at him. Then he went back to his conversation. I’ll be damned. He was in on it too. Sid finished changing and went over to the group. They were all smiling now.

“Okay okay, it was funny. Everyone was in on it. you all suck.”

“Did she confess,” Max asked.

“More or less. She’s going to be the death of me!”

“But you will die happy,” his friend stated and Sid smiled.

Yeah, he would.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Chapter 31: Home-Coming Parties & House Hunting

What?! Two chapters in like a week?! I'm on fire!! Enjoy!

“Oh my god… I’m going to go C-R-A-Z-Y searching for a house!!”

Mel dropped the different brochures onto Sid’s bed and flopped down beside them. Sid made some muffled comment from the bathroom and she rolled her eyes even though he couldn’t see her. Why he had to talk from within there, when she obviously couldn’t understand him, was beyond her comprehension.


“I said,” Sid started as he opened the door, “that you could still just move in here. With me.”


“You’re stubborn. You know that right?”

“Hello kettle, hello pot. Wow, you’re black,” she quipped with a smirk. He chuckled because she’d used her hands like they were the two pieces of cookware talking to one another. Mel shrieked as his shirtless and slightly sweaty body fell on top of her, his lips finding her neck as he growled.

“You’re an animal! Get off me you goober!” But she laughed and held onto him, silently communicating that she didn’t mind that he was still gross from his workout. A few of the boys had come over to go on a run with him, then to work out some in the basement.

It was great that the season would be starting up soon. They were all getting antsy, and she missed her girls. Vero had sent her a few pictures of the honeymoon she and Marc had taken to Mexico. They’d stayed at the same resort she and Sid and the others had gone to at the beginning of summer. And Kelsey was huge and planning a baby shower as she and TK hurriedly got everything together for the nursery.

Amanda had taken her out to lunch earlier, and promised to help her with the chore of house-hunting the next day. The only person she hadn’t seen yet was Erin. She and Geno were due to fly in at the end of the week.

“Earth to Melany…”


“I asked you if Tanger had talked to you yet. He said he wanted to discuss something with you while we were all running.”

“Oh, no he didn’t say anything when I came in. But he was on the phone so that’s probably why. I’ll go see if he’s still downstairs,” Mel said as she tried to slide out from underneath Sid’s muscles.

“No leaving until I get a proper ‘hello’ kiss,” he said as he grabbed a hold of her body and twisted on the mattress, pulling her on top of him and holding her tightly in his arms.

“You’re such a goofball! But you’re my goofball… so I guess I can give in this one time.” He smiled and Mel leaned down, rubbing her nose against his in an ‘Eskimo kiss’ before gently pressing her lips to his. “Hi there,” she murmured as she pulled her mouth away.

“Hi back,” he said as he released her. She dropped one more quick kiss on his lips and then pushed off, sliding down his chest, a trail of kisses following her path. She nipped at the taut skin below his belly button, right above the button of his jeans and heard him suck in a breath.

“Be back in a jiffy,” she said as she quickly lifted her body from the mattress and ran to the door. Hearing him groan and call her a tease, Mel blew him a kiss, which he promptly caught in the air and shoved down his pants. “Horndog.”

“Wanton harlot.”

“Awe, love you too babe,” she called as she shut the door on his resounding laughter. Jogging down the stairs she found Max and Kris in the kitchen, their heads bent together as they plotted something.

“Gentlemen? Can I interrupt your little plotting time? Sid said you wanted to talk to me Kris.”

“Oui. Have you found a house yet? Are you going to need roommates?”

“Well, Amanda and I are going to look at more places tomorrow. And a couple of them are very nice, and I would have to consider at least one roommate, if not two. Why, do you guys wanna live with me? I’ll cook you dinner,” she said with a smile and a wiggle of her eyebrows.

“Actually, my… my girlfriend is going to be coming to Pittsburgh to stay. But she doesn’t want to stay with me. I mean, she wants to stay… but it’s wrong. I’m not making sense,” Tanger said as he ran a hand through his hair. Inwardly, Mel itched to run her fingers through that hair too. It was sex hair, plain and simple, and she would have to be dead not to want to touch it.

“Ummm, when did you get a girlfriend Tanger?”

“I’ve known her forever. We tried to date once before, but thought maybe we were better off friends. Well, she thought that. I wanted her still.” He took a deep breath. “She is Luc’s sister.” Mel nodded, remembering the night Tanger had opened up about Luc to her. It was the first time they’d really talked outside of the lounge or a party one of the guys had thrown.

“So you rekindled the romance this summer?”

“Yes. And I want her to come here. She wants to come too. But she thinks it would be wrong for us to live together unless we were married. And I respect that, but I don’t want her all the way in Montreal. I want her close. So…”

“So you were thinking that if we got along, she might want to live with me?”

“Oui. What do you think?”

“Would I get along with her Kris? I mean, I haven’t had any issues yet with a WAG, but this girl won’t know any of us. And you’d be bringing her into a new city, where she knows you and… who?”

“She knows me,” Max chimed in.

“Would I get along with her Max?”

“Yes. She’s quiet like Tanger here, but she’s fun. And she’s nice. And don’t let this whole living in sin thing bother you. It’s just how she was raised. Sex before marriage went out the window, but living with the guy… it’s just ingrained in her mind to be a bad thing.”

“Is there a way I could talk to her? Could you call her for me Kris?”

Kris nodded and whipped his cell phone out of his pocket. Dialing a number very quickly, he held the phone to his ear and waited for the person on the other end to pick up. After a sweet ‘hello/hello’ he explained that there was a possible roommate situation, but that the other person wanted to talk to her. He smiled and handed Mel the phone.


“Hi. Melany, non?”

“Yes, and you are?”

“Seriously? He did not tell you my name even?? That man, he and I are going to have words once you and I are done. He’s such a pain sometimes! Oh goodness, this is not how I wanted to start this conversation! I’m so sorry!” Mel just laughed and wandered away from the guys so she could have a little more privacy.

“No worries. Kris was a little nervous I think. So, I hear you wanna move here and be with him.”

“I do! And I know it’s stupid… the whole no living together thing. But I didn’t want to jump into a marriage. I want to make sure I can hack it as a partner of a hockey player. After my brother… Well, you must know all the facts, being so close to them. After Luc died, I didn’t want to deal with hockey players ever again. But there’s something about Kris that makes me want to throw every caution to the wind. Does that make any sense?”

“I know exactly how you feel! Now, tell me… would you be okay with living with someone that you don’t know anything about?”

“Oh, I know plenty about you Melany. Oh god, that sounded so creepy, didn’t it?!”

“Just a little,” Mel said with a laugh. Two minutes on the phone and I already have the perfect nickname for her! “I should’ve figured that Kris would tell you about me since he knew that I was searching for a place. Do you have any specific questions for me?”

“Do you smoke?”


“Have any pets?”

“Not at the moment.”

“Would you mind having a roommate?”

“Goodness no! I was actually thinking that it would be helpful if I had another person living in a house. Or two! We can split the cost of the bills, the cost of food… which will probably be small since the guys are always buying food for me to cook!”

“I have heard that you are a good cook! Maybe you can teach me some things, for when Kris and I have our own place.”

“That would be fun! Can I ask a personal question?”

“But of course.”

“Okay… please don’t be offended… how would you be paying for things?”

“Kris won’t let me pay for anything. He goes all caveman and just grunts that I’m his and he will take care of me. It’s annoying and so helpful at the same time!”

“Well, I’m going to look at more places tomorrow. Do you have any other big questions for me?”

“I don’t think so. I’ve heard many good things about you Melany. And if you’re willing to take a chance on me, I promise, you and I will get along just fine! I don’t smoke, I don’t make giant messes, I don’t have any really weird habits. And I’m not a murderer, unless plants count. I’m not the best at growing those!” Mel couldn’t help but laugh at that comment. She had a hard time keeping plants alive as well.

“You sound normal to me! And if Kris and Max speak highly of you, I’m sure that we would get along as well. They’ve never led me astray before! I just have one question for you.”


“Well, when I make the ‘Welcome to Pittsburgh” cake, I want the right name on it,” she said, smiling into the phone. “So, what’s your name?”

“Alexis, but you can call me Lexie,” the voice said with a laugh. Mel smiled and promised to give Kris any news to pass along if house-hunting went well tomorrow. They hung up and she took the phone back into the kitchen where Sid now sat with the two Frenchmen. Kris looked up expectantly and she gave him a thumbs up.

“If I find a place, Lexie is more than welcome to stay with me. I can’t wait to meet her dude!” Tanger snatched her up in a hug that surprised her.

“You are the greatest girl ever,” he said as he twirled her around a couple times, before setting her back on her feet. She slid backwards into Sid’s arms and smiled.

“I know that! Tell me something I didn’t know,” she said with a laugh.


Max and Tanger left and, after grabbing a snack at the house, Sid and Mel drove over to visit with Amanda and Brooks for a while. They were all going to Duper’s house later for the first of many ‘Welcome Back’ parties, but Mel had said she was in desperate need of some ‘Triple Threat’ time, even though Erin wasn’t back. Sid just hoped that when they got to Brooks’, either Erin and Geno weren’t there already or that they had hidden the car.

Erin had called him that morning to make sure he kept Mel out of the loop. They wanted to surprise her. So Sid had played it off like it was his mom or someone when Mel had asked who was calling so early. As he pulled into the complex where Brooks lived, he was trying to look for Geno’s porche without making it obvious that he was looking for something.

He didn’t see it, but he noticed that both Amanda’s car and Brooks’ car were in the lot. That left the garage empty. He was about to text to see if he needed to blindfold Mel or something when a ding came through on his phone. Pulling into a spot, he put the car in park and grabbed his phone, opening the msg.

They’re hiding in the kitchen.

Sid smiled and deleted the message. Mel was looking at him strangely so he mumbled something about Pascal making fun of Tanger again and she shook her head as she hopped out of the car. They walked up the sidewalk and knocked on the door. Brooks opened it before they’d even finished knocking.

“Good grief Brooks, were you watching out the window for us or something,” Mel asked with a smile. Brooks laughed and ushered them inside. Sid laughed as she practically ran and tackled Amanda in a hug. The two were giggling about something when he saw Erin out of the corner of his eye. She put a finger to her lips and he nodded.

As Mel was animatedly explaining something to Amanda about the lake house, Erin was creeping up on her step by step. Mel was wrapping up the story now, and she was just about to turn when Erin yelled ‘Gotcha!’ and grabbed her shoulders.

Mel jumped ten feet in the air and let out a horror movie-worthy scream as she turned to see who had just scared her. The scream stopped instantly as her eyes lit up and she beamed a smile, tackling her other friend in a hug. The three of them were laughing and almost crying as the three guys stared at them.

“You knew about this, didn’t you Sidney?!”

“I plead the fifth,” he chuckled as she came over and pretended to fight him. Before she could attempt a good attack though, Geno came rushing out of the kitchen and wrapped her in his arms.

“Mel! We miss you! Well, Erin miss you more, but I miss cooking. You cook now, yes?”

“No I’m not cooking now you oaf! Let me go, I’m trying to fight Sid!”

“Fight Sid? No, not good idea. Come, we go cook!”

Sid started laughing as Geno practically hauled her away amidst everyone’s laughter. Mel was yelling for Erin to help her, and asking why all Sid’s friends kept hugging her, but her friend just shrugged her shoulders and told her she had to fend for herself. There were a few bangs and clangs from the kitchen, and what Sid was pretty sure was a curse in Russian, before Brooks rolled his eyes and jogged into the other room.

Erin and Amanda turned toward Sid as soon as his friend had hit the doorway.

“So, did you ask her? Did she say yes? Should we be looking at clearing our schedules?”

“Ladies, calm down. The only thing I asked her this summer was if she’d move in with me. And you know the answer to that.”

“Well, you can’t really blame her, can you? I mean, it’s not like you guys would have total privacy,” Amanda said.

“I know that. And I think it was more a heat of the moment question. I am glad she said no. I don’t want her to feel uncomfortable. And now that she got that second offer, from the school in Sewickley, she’s looking at houses that are closer to me than before.”

“Yeah, Erin is coming with us tomorrow as well when we look at houses. I hear she’s got at least one roommate booked.”

“Tanger’s girlfriend, yeah. They worked that out this morning and, I haven’t met her yet, but I’m told she’s a great girl. I wouldn’t expect anything less from Kris. So,” Sid started to tell them about the ring he had hidden in Mario’s safe but he stopped as the trio from the kitchen came back into the room.

“So Erin, does this mean you’re coming shopping with me tomorrow?”

“Why you shopping,” Geno asked.

“I’m looking for a house now that I’ve got a great job that I start in a couple weeks. I got a teaching job in Sewickley, so I’m moving up here to be closer to you guys!”

“You no need house. You live with us. Plenty of room in my house!”

“Geno, if I wouldn’t move in with Sid, I wouldn’t move in with you either. Besides, you’d just want me for my cooking!”

“Shhhh, don’t tell everyone!”

“What the heck,” Erin said. “Is my cooking chopped liver or something?”

“No! Yours great too. But two women under same roof who cook, even greater!”

Before Geno could get himself in a deeper hole, Amanda moved everyone over to the dining room. She pulled out a deck of UNO and tossed it onto the table. Then she and the girls went to the kitchen to grab drinks for everyone as Brooks shuffled the cards and dealt the first hand.

Two hours later Sid was ready to call it quits. He had won maybe two rounds, and Mel seemed to be great at getting the turn-rotation reversed so that he always got her +2 cards or the +4 wilds. Thank god they decided not to keep track of points or he’d probably have thrown the cards by now.

“You’re like a damn sniper on the ice,” he whispered in her ear. “Whenever I think I’m safe you throw down a card to ruin my hand. I’ll remember this,” Sid added as he gently blew his breath against her ear. Mel tightened her hold on her cards and as he pulled away he noticed her eyes were closed and the pulse at her neck was beating wildly.

“Oye! Stop distracting her with your sex words Sid. I don’t want to have to wash these friggin’ chairs because you got her all hot and bothered!”

“Yes Amanda,” he smirked and Mel glared at him, promising retribution.

They were on probably the millionth round when Sid’s phone beeped. He read the text and announced that Duper said it was safe to come over now that all of the kids were dressed and ready. He called out ‘time to go’ and tossed his cards down. The others followed suit and the girls ran to the bathroom for a quick touch-up.

Then they all made the quick jaunt over to Duper’s house. The weather was perfect for the short five-minute walk tonight. They saw Eats, his wife and their two little girls walking from the other direction, and they looked for Kuni. He was the other one who lived in the same general area.

The music was already going at the house, and Sid waved at Flower, Max and Kris who were on the porch with drinks of some sort. Duper came out the door to greet them and held up Mel’s hand for inspection.

“I half expected to see some giant rock on your finger Mel. Did you turn him down?” Sid slid an arm around her waist as she smiled up at him.

“I could never tell him yes when my heart belongs to you!” Teammates 0 – Melany 1. They all laughed and even though he was ready to pop the question, he was glad that she wasn’t pushing him. He still hadn’t figured out why she seemed to be against getting engaged, aside from the whole ‘short-time’ issue.

“Well, inside everyone... straight through really. Food’s cooking out back,” Duper said as he held the door open for everyone. There were burgers and hotdogs, and every topping you would need. And, in true French-Canadian fashion, there were all the fixin’s for poutine. Personally, he thought they were delicious but Mel had some weird aversion to it.

On the other table were a variety of cookies and desserts. Probably the last really bad food he could have for the season, unless you counted the times he’d have his girlfriend for dessert. Drop that idea for now, just enjoy time with your friends. He turned when Max asked if anyone else was planning on coming and dropped his drink in the lawn.

“Sid? Mon ami? Ahhh, it suits her, no?”

Sid just nodded as he watched Mel twirl Duper’s little boy around in the grass. The tunes had turned softer and as she spun with the little one in her arms, Sid felt his stomach clench. This was what he’d dreamed about over the summer. She brought the child to her right hip and grasped his little right hand in her left one, like they were at a formal dance. Her hips swayed innocently, but Sid almost drooled at the seductive sway of her hips.

He continued to stare as he heard Mel’s laughter carry over to him, wrapping him in his own dream-like cocoon. He didn’t know how he managed to stay standing with the drunk feeling that came over him. Then she finished the dance by dipping Duper’s son and bringing him up quickly. As he squealed in joy she placed a gentle kiss on his forehead.

There were no words to express what he’d felt just now. Then Mel turned, the smiling boy clutching her arms and wanting to be dipped again, and caught his eye. She stopped moving too, her eyes widening at the expressions that were probably still written all over his face. Then she looked around before nodding toward the backdoor. She passed the boy back to his mom and quickly, but calmly, made her way up the porch stairs and slid between the screen door.

Glancing around, Sid looked to see if anyone had paid attention to their little interaction. Max was smirking at him. Damn. Then his friend looked away and whistled like he hadn’t seen anything. Sid chuckled as he stepped past him and Max mumbled that he better make it up to him sometime.

Stepping through the door, he wondered where he’d find her and almost screamed when a hand shot out and grabbed him. Mel was smiling and looking at him like she wanted to devour him. He smiled back and followed as she dragged him through the kitchen and dining room and shut them both in the half-bath under the stairs.

“Really, you don’t wanna take the time to find a bigger room?”

She just shook her head and pushed him backwards, motioning for him to sit on the toilet. Sid reached for her, pulling her astride his lap and holding her head, his tongue plunging between her lips as he tried to devour her mouth. She ran her hands down his tee and grabbed his belt, undoing it quickly. His pants were next, the button popped and the zipper down before he could blink. He could feel himself pressing against the fabric of his briefs, wanting the release he’d find within her.

“Quick and dirty then?”

“Yes,” she hissed in his ear before sucking the lobe in her mouth, her teeth biting gently on the fleshy lobe. He groaned against her neck and pushed her backwards, keeping a grip on her so she wouldn’t fall to the floor.

“Are you sure the door is locked? The last thing we need is someone, one of the kids, opening it up.”

Mel stepped off of him and turned, making sure the lock was turned. Then she turned back to him and stood against the door. He crooked a finger at her and she stepped over to him in three strides, leaving him looking up at her smiling face.

“Are you even wearing any underwear under this skirt,” he asked. She nodded yes and Sid reached a hand down, pulling the layers of cotton up until he was face-to-face with a pair of flimsy silk panties. The red fabric with three little rhinestone hearts winked back at him. Dragging the whisper of silk down her legs, he held her steady as she stepped out of the material. His fingers pulled her close and he brought his lips to her hip, pulling on her skin and leaving a puckered mark from the suction.

“Sid,” she whispered. He fished himself out of his pants and pulled her onto his lap again. As she sat her body down on top of him, he gritted his teeth and hissed a breath through them as he was enveloped in her slick heat.

“Fuck, you’re so wet baby.” Sid had his hands full, her ass between his fingers as he let her control the pace, loving how she twisted on top of him, her hips gyrating as she sunk down on him time after time. What I wouldn’t give for a giant bed and at least twenty-four hours.

“I want it harder Sid… please, mmm…”

“Do you want what we had in the pool house a few months ago Melany? Fast-paced, hard, against the wall?” He growled as he lifted his hips up to meet her downward thrust and was pleased when she brought her hand up to cover her mouth, barely keeping the scream from coming forth. “Stand up for me.”

Sid wanted to cry out when he lost the warmth of her body leave him. He flipped her skirt up and turned her over the sink. Bringing one hand down on her ass, he chuckled at the yelp that she couldn’t contain. He slid back inside her depths, grabbing onto both of her hips as he thrust deeply.

“Yes, yes like that, oh god… I love it!”

“Shhh, keep it down or everyone is going to know what we’re doing in here,” he chuckled.

As he pistoned in and out of her folds he could feel her try to keep him within, her muscles clenching around him. She was going to come, and he was going to follow. Slipping on hand down, he rubbed quickly over that little bundle of nerves and was rewarded with a gasp and curse as she found release, her body trying to keep him deep within her.

Thrusting a couple more times, Sid saw a blinding white light as her muscles milked his orgasm from his body until he was slumped against her, his lips pressed against the nape of her neck as they both tried to catch their breath. Turning her head, Mel kissed him, her breath still ragged as she sought his lips.

“I’ll go clean up in the main upstairs bathroom while you get… situated.”

He watched Mel nod her head in the mirror before he slipped out the door, holding his pants together and praying no one found him before he could get into the other bathroom. He was washing his hands when his phone went off, telling him he had a new message. After drying his hands he opened the text.

Coast is clear love, come back out and play.

Sid made sure his pants weren’t messy or anything and practically skipped down the stairs in his haste to get back to the group. As he stepped onto the porch everyone broke out into a round of applause, along with a couple whistles.

He saw Mel over to the side with Vero and Erin, her face bright red. He should’ve known it would be obvious what happened. Teammates 1 – Melany 1.Sid walked down the steps and grabbed a beer from the cooler, trying to ignore them all. Max came up and held his hands up in defense.

“I said nothing Sid, I swear! When Mel came out, Duper asked if she’d seen you and her blush gave it away! Speak of the devil… how are you mon chere?”

Mel slid into Sid’s side, her face still red. But she was smiling, so he figured she wasn’t too embarrassed. Besides, she could hardly expect anything different from the guys. That was just another reason why he loved her. She took the ribbing from the guys, and she could hold her own and give it back just as good if she needed to.

“I’m just peachy Max. My ass is sore on one side, but other than that… I can’t complain.” Zing! Teammates 1 – Melany 2.

For the next few hours Sid kept her out on the grass, their makeshift dance floor. She was swaying in his arms to some slow song in French when he looked down and noticed she seemed to be almost asleep while they danced.

“Ready to go back to Mario’s? You have a busy day tomorrow.”

“Mmmmm,” was all he heard in response. Laughing at her exhaustion over seeing everyone again, Sid swooped her up in his arms and bid everyone a good night. He whispered for her to say goodbye and chuckled as she grunted and threw a hand up in the air as a farewell.

She woke up enough to walk to the car on her own. And when they got to Mario’s she made it up to his room but before he could even attempt to get her to get ready for bed she had crashed out on top of the mattress and was snoring softly into the pillow. Sid pulled off her shoes and changed into shorts, climbing onto the bed beside her and pulling her against him.


“Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.”

Mel groaned and pushed at the face near her ear that was making that horrible racket. The voice stopped and she heard a chuckle before she felt lips press a kiss to the area where her wrist and palm met. Opening her eyes she growled at Sid and pushed him, her body covering his.

“Why are you waking me up jerk?”

“Time for breakfast and then house-hunting. You have a list of houses, and you need energy for this.”

“Why don’t you just find a house and we’ll live together?”


“Okay, okay… maybe toward the end of the season?”

“Definitely more of a possibility.”

“I love you and your insane superstitions.”

“I love you. Now c’mon sleepyhead! Go get a shower and I’ll cook breakfast!”

“You mean you’ll go downstairs and talk to Nathalie as she cooks breakfast?”

“Don’t make me start tickling you…”

Mel gasped and jumped off of him, bounding for the bathroom before he could make good on his promise.

She grabbed a quick shower and changed into a comfy yet classy outfit of dressy jeans and a light-knit, short-sleeved sweater. The weather had started to cool down and she could feel the itch for hockey to start just as much as the guys. Slapping on a quick coat of eye shadow and mascara, she tucked her feet into her shoes and headed downstairs.

Erin and Amanda were in the kitchen, each of them at a station, doing something to help breakfast move along smoothly. Sid was sitting at the table with Geno, using the salt and pepper shakers and some silverware to plot out a new play or something.

After waffles, eggs and bacon the girls walked outside to figure out who was driving. Mel looked around for Erin’s car because it was like they always drove her car on little trips, but she didn’t see it. She didn’t see Amanda’s either. The only thing she saw was a shiny silver Acadia. Exactly like Erin had talked about getting.

“Ahhhh! Where is the blue baby?! What… what is this?? Erin!”

“I thought you’d be excited, why are you freaking out?!”

“I didn’t get to say goodbye! You… you really got rid of the blue one?”

“I did. Well, it wasn’t really my choice. When we were coming home from the airport, it sort of died. And it was going to cost more to fix it than I felt it should. And Geno said I should just buy a new one.” Mel looked at her skeptically. “Okay, fine. He wanted to buy me a new one. Now, get in the front seat like you always do and shut up. You’re going to love it.”

And she did. It was a great vehicle and by the time they had arrived at the first listing, Mel was certain that she’d fallen in love with a vehicle. They stepped out of the vehicle and looked at the house in front of them. The listing said it was a great deal, worth the price you had to pay, and it was right in Sewickley, within walking distance to her new school.

But she didn’t feel a thing when she looked at it. And she’d always felt that when she found the house that she wanted, she’d know it just by looking at it.

The same thing happened with the next four houses they pulled up to. They were all nice, all within the price that she wanted. But none of them felt like home. She couldn’t picture herself and the others sitting around the dining room table for dinners, couldn’t imagine having a cookout with some of the guys on the weekends before winter hit, couldn’t imagine falling asleep with Sid in any of the bedrooms.

As they drove away from the final house on the list, Mel sighed in frustration. Amanda leaned forward and rested her chin on the seat.

“What’s wrong Mel? You’ve seen a bunch of houses today, and I know you liked them or you wouldn’t have wanted to look at them in the first place.”

“You’ll think it’s stupid…”

“Try me.”

So Mel explained what she was feeling as the trio headed back toward Mario’s. They were halfway between Geno’s house and the Lemieux’s when Mel caught a glimpse of another Howard Hanna sign. She felt a little tingle and asked Erin to turn right at the road. Five houses down, on the left, stood the house that was for sale.

It had almost a cottage-like look to the outside, but it was two stories, with a three car garage and driveway. She was out of the car before Erin could actually shut the thing off and she was walking up the driveway when she heard another car pull in behind them.

“Ms. Martinez?”

Mel pulled her gaze away from the structure in front of her and looked back to see who was calling her name. The real estate agent, Ms. Hastings, who had tried to help her all morning was standing there, a small smile on her face.

“I was trying to call you, this place just went on the market today, and I hadn’t been notified that it was on my list. I was coming with the keys to give it a ‘once-over’ when I saw the vehicle here. I haven’t been in yet, and I don’t normally do this but… would you like to look inside?”

Mel felt her face break out into a huge smile and she nodded as the woman came up to her.

“Is it… is it in my price range?”

“It’s a little more than you were looking at. But from what I read, the previous owner could be willing to negotiate. Now, let’s all have a look before we worry about anything else.”

As they all walked up the driveway and then the small concrete path to the front door, Mel looked around at the outside. There were two small sections on each side of the stoop where it looked as if there were about a million different plants trying to grow at once. But with a little trimming and weeding, it would look just like a picture in a gardening magazine. And there was a doorbell, along with an old-fashioned knocker on the front of the giant wooden door.

Ms. Hastings unlocked the door and pushed it open, stepping inside and holding it as Mel and her friends crossed the threshold. Ms. Hastings flipped the light switch and the house brightened up. Heading straight for the kitchen, Mel let out a breath as she stared at the plethora of counter space, modern and matching cupboards, and all stainless steel appliances.

“Is everything in here included? The fridge and dishwasher? The dual ovens??”

She heard papers shuffling as the agent searched through the information she’d been given. But even as she heard the sheets of paper, Mel was imagining the big dinners she could cook for, the fun times while whipping up something small for her and Lexie, the sex she could have on the center island… Face it, you know that’s what you really want to do first instead of cook.

“Ms. Martinez?”

“Hmmm? I’m sorry, what?”

“Okay, everything in here is included. And the range is being replaced next week. It’s going to be one of those new ones that just looks like it’s sitting on top of the counter. The counters are being refinished and the backsplash is getting redone. This is what it’s going to look like in the end.”

The woman handed Mel a photo and she smiled as she looked it over. It was just like a kitchen she’d seen the last time she had dragged Sid to IKEA. She held it up in the doorway and laughed.

“It’s perfect,” she said so quietly that she didn’t think anyone else heard her. Ms. Hastings slid up alongside her and smiled. “Can I see the rest now?”

“Certainly. Come on, we’ll explore the place together.”

They started down in the basement. It was finished, carpeting and a bar area. There was a room that was empty that had laundry hook-ups, and a small bathroom containing a shower stall, toilet and sink. And the main room had enough space to make it a downstairs den, or perhaps a game room. She’d take pictures after she saw the entire place and talk to Lexie. Kris had said she was coming in tomorrow.

Next, they toured the rest of the first floor. There was a dining room, living room and a media room. It came furnished with a screen and projector, but the furniture was going to be leaving with the person who put the house up for sale. There was a half-bath to the side of the kitchen, and a pantry that looked as big as Erin’s new car!

“All of the bedrooms are bare right now. So you’d have to furnish them all.”

“That’s fine. How many are there?”

“There are four bedrooms on the second floor. The master has a multi-room bathroom attached to it with a Jacuzzi and shower. Two of the other bedrooms have bathrooms attached to them and the final one is smaller, probably for like a nursery or office. And there’s a separate bathroom beside it.”

“Good grief. That’s a lot of bathrooms,” Amanda exclaimed.

“It is, but if you have other people living here, especially girls, it’s going to be nice to all have your own bathrooms. Now, before we look at all of them, there’s also an attic that is furnished.”

“A furnished attic?” Mel quirked an eyebrow at her friends. They both shrugged and so she turned to the agent. “A furnished attic?”

“Yes. Oh! That must sound odd… ummm, it’s more like finished than furnished. It could be used as yet another bedroom, or maybe an upper little rest area. Come on, I’ll show you.”

They bypassed the bedrooms for now and headed through a door in the middle of the hall. A set of wide stairs led them up to what Mel instantly thought of as the library. There were built-in shelves all along the front wall, some built onto the two side walls, and the back wall that faced the backyard was almost floor-to-ceiling windows.

A row of benches lined the window sill and she could see big, fluffy pillows to lean back against. There were electrical sockets for lamps and laptops. A desk could be put on one or both of the side walls. And the staircase was wide enough that you could bring a few large, over-stuffed chairs up, or a long couch.

“It’s a library.”

“You could definitely use it as that. Want to finish up with the bedrooms and garage. And if you look out the window you can see the backyard.”

The bedrooms were amazing as well. The master one, the one she would have, had a closet that look like it was big enough to hold a small army. And each of the other two bedrooms with attached baths had big closets built for women.

The garage was finished, and three door openers lay on a shelf by a door that leads to the kitchen. Each one only opened a certain door, so it would be like having your own personal parking space. There was a patio off of the dining room, and plenty of space for a grill and/or fire pit. Space to play in the yard meant they could get a dog, or would have room if the guys brought over their kids.

“It’s perfect Ms. Hastings.”

“Rachel. Please, call me Rachel.”

“It’s perfect Rachel.”

“Well, let’s get into some details then. No one else knows about the house yet, and if we can get the owner to come to an agreement, then no one else will.”

“I have one roommate right now. Everyone else that I know is comfortable where they are. What’s the price they’re asking for the house?”

Rachel bit her lip and slid the top paper over to Mel. Glancing down, she felt her heart sink. It was definitely more than she had planned. Kris had already said that he’d pay Lexie’s part in full when they came to a decision. And if he did that, then she could pay off almost half of it. But if the owner wanted it all at once…

Amanda came up beside her. Turning to her friend she held tears in check.

“I don’t think I can do it. Not if they want it all at once. Not with just two of us.”

“Call Sid.”

“No. I won’t do that.”

“But he’d give you the money in a heartbeat if he saw your face. You love this house. It was like you were pulled here or something. You can’t walk away.”

“He already wants to buy me a friggin’ house. I’m not a piece of furniture he can play house with though. I don’t want to owe him this money.” Erin came over and threw in her two cents.

“Sid wants you to be happy. He knows how much you’ve wanted to be closer to him. And this house has everything you want and more. Call him. Tell him to come meet you here. Maybe he’ll love it as much and want to move out of Mario’s.”

“No, he won’t move until at least the end of this coming season. It’s some crazy superstition of his. You know how hockey players are. You’re both with one too!”

“Excuse me, Melany… I just got a call. I need to run over to another listing for an emergency. I can be back in twenty or thirty minutes. Would you like to stay and look at things, think it over for a while longer?”

“Could we? That would be wonderful.” Rachel smiled and left and Amanda pushed Mel’s cell at her across the table.

“Call him.”

Mel sighed and hit his speed dial. He answered on the second ring and she could hear a couple of the guys in the background.


“Hey babe. Did you find a house you liked?”

“No, I found the perfect house.”

“That’s great!”

“No, it’s not. It’s not one of the ones I picked out. We just sort of found it. And it’s got… Sid, it has everything. And then some. But it’s…”

“More than you wanted to pay.”


“Let me help you.”

“I don’t--”

“Listen, let me and Geno come over. We’re at his place right now. Where are you? Are you still in the middle of town?”

“Actually, we’re a lot closer to you guys.” She rattled off the address and hung up the phone. They pulled in the drive a few minutes later. Erin went to the door to let them in and Mel felt him come up behind her.

“Okay babe, show me the house.”

“Are you sure that yo--”

“Give me the grand tour.”

Mel stood and grabbed his hand. As she guided him through the floors, her excitement grew with each step. She told him of her ideas for the basement, explained how the kitchen was being redone and pointed out the possibilities for the backyard. They breezed through the bedrooms, and Sid commented on the fact that everything but the bathrooms and basement had the hardwood floors that she loved.

“I know! Now, we have one more room. The attic.”

Dragging him by the arm, Mel took Sid up the stairs and asked him what he thought of when he looked around.

“A library. You could have a library for all of your books at your moms.”


“Melany… please, let me.” She knew what he was offering, knew she wouldn’t have to ask him. But this was big.

“But what if…”

“What? What is your main worry?”

She sat down onto one of the benches and stared out the window. She didn’t really know. It wasn’t that she was afraid that they wouldn’t make it and he’d take the house. He wouldn’t. even if they did break up, he’d never do something like that.

“I don’t know. I just… it’s a lot of money for you to spend.”

“Have you seen the size of my bank account?”

“No! That’s not my business. And I know it’s probably not a lot to you…”

“Are you worried that something could happen between us and I’d take it?”

“Oh god no! I plan on stickin’ with you forever. You know that. Just like I know that you love me.”

“Then let me buy the damn house.”

“Are you sure?”

“I wouldn’t have offered if I wasn’t. Now, give me a kiss and nod your head yes when I ask you. Okay?”

She nodded.

“Good. Now… will you let me buy this house that you’ve already fell in love with?”

Once more, she nodded.

“And can we move your stuff in before Lexie gets here and christen each room?”

This time she shook her head no.

“We can’t?”

“All but the spare bedrooms with bathrooms. One of those will belong to her. And that’s just mean.” They both started laughing and then headed back to the table where Rachel sat with Amanda, Geno and Erin. Geno looked up with a smile on his face.

“Mel, why you no tell me this your agent? She help me buy my house!”

“I didn’t even think of it Geno,” she said with a smile. Rachel was laughing too.

“If I would’ve listened more to you three talking today, I would’ve picked up on the million hockey references you kept making. I can’t believe I didn’t put two and two together! Well, have you decided on anything? Would you like to make a bid?”

Mel looked up at Sid as she wrapped an arm around his side. He smiled down at her before he turned to Rachel.

“Ms. Hastings. Call the owner, forget all this bidding, I want to buy it outright, this very minute."

Friday, September 3, 2010

Chapter 30: Spending The Day With Stanley

“Sidney we have to leave to meet the Cup soon! You have 30 minutes to be down at this front door! Melany, get him out of that bed before I have to come in there! I’ll do it, you just watch!”

Sid tried his best to ignore the booming voice outside his bedroom door. Especially since there was closer, female voice that was whispering to him. Her words were laced with sexy innuendo, each syllable barely registering to his sleep-deprived brain. God, she’s insatiable.

Opening his eyes, Sid looked at the woman kneeling on the bed beside him. She was all wrapped up in a satin robe, every inch of her body covered. He didn’t like that. He didn’t like that at all. Stretching his hand out to pull the material apart, Melany moved out of his reach, shaking her head.

“Are you awake now baby?” She was still whispering, and he couldn’t figure out why. His dad had been yelling loud enough to wake his neighbors so he would know that they were both up now. He shook his head and sat up on his elbows as she slipped off the edge of the bed.

“Why are you whispering,” he asked in a hushed tone, wondering what kind of game she was playing. He moved his body down until his feet were hanging over the edge of the mattress and the fabric of the sheet was covering him modestly.

“Shhhh… remember, you have thirty minutes. We don’t want you to be late birthday boy,” she said quietly. “Now, try and stay focused.” With a wink, she started singing Happy Birthday in a voice that would make Marilyn Monroe jealous! And with each breathy note, the robe came undone.

And oh what a happy birthday. As his member started to harden under the sheet, Mel was rocking her hips back and forth to her little tune. He chuckled when the sides of the robe were completely open and he was staring at a very Marilyn-esque nightgown, stark white against her tanned skin and the midnight black robe that was now falling off her shoulders.

As she got to the climax of the birthday wish the robe fell to the floor and she moved in front of him. He slid his fingers up her legs, over the material, and along her hips until he could grasp her waist and pull her down. He trapped her in his arms, the rumpled sheet the only thing between them, unless her panties were literally painted on.

“Are you ready for the most intense birthday you’ve ever had?”

“I am. Are you ready for it?”

“I don’t know. I think I need something to really get me in the mood,” she chuckled against his neck. Sid slid on hand down over her ass and held tight as he flipped them both. He leaned down, catching a nipple in his mouth, his tongue soaking the fabric as he busied himself lower, divesting himself of the fabric barrier and moving the flimsy skirt out of the way as well. Slipping two fingers over her pussy, Sid felt the heat and wetness and knew she was already ready for him.

“Someone got worked up in a hurry.”

“Someone was worked up by the time she put this friggin’ piece of satin on and tied the sash of her robe.”

“Well, let me help you work that frenzy out,” Sid replied in a gravelly voice as he placed the tip of his cock against her opening and slid home. He groaned at the tightness at engulfed him, felt her muscles squeezing him as her nails dug into his biceps.

“Oh fuck Sid! Mmmm, fuck me hard!”

“Shhh, you’re the one who said he have to be quiet,” he whispered against her ear. Then, covering her mouth with his, Sid thrust hard and swallowed her scream with a kiss.

This is already so much better than my last birthday.

Sid got lost in her eyes, the gold flecks practically glowing like molten metal as he rocked his hips against her, pushing her into the mattress with each thrust. Mel clung to him, one hand tangled in the hair above his neck and the other clenched against his side. He brought his head down, his tongue and teeth feasting on the flesh of her collarbone.

She whispered dirty thoughts in his ear, things that only made him move faster against her, his body now slamming into her. His fingers dug into her hips as he gave in to her bidding and moved the way she was begging him to. Hearing the hitch in her breathing, Sid knew she was getting close. He wanted to feel her come around him when he lost control.

“Yes Sid, yes. So close. Don’t. Stop.” Her voice came out as a strained whisper as her legs wrapped around his waist. She was meeting him thrust for thrust and he could feel her muscles quivering. As Mel’s hips lifted off the bed and her head tilted back against the pillows Sid held her tight, feeling everything between the two of them tighten quickly and release.

Her name left his lips in a low groan as he jerked and bottomed out, his body twitching as he found his own release deep inside her. She was whimpering, a satisfied smile on her face and when he felt capable, Sid lifted himself from her, hearing the breath hiss through her teeth as he pulled out.

“Now that… that had to have been the best birthday present ever!”

Sid chuckled as he sprawled out on the bed beside her. There was a loud banging on his door not more than two seconds later.


“Oh for the love of… Stay away from that door knob or I will quick hockey tomorrow and move to Hawaii lay on the beach for the rest. Of. My. Life.” There was dead silence.

“Consider yourself lucky that I don’t know when you’re kidding anymore,” came the muffled reply, followed by “Just try not to make it much longer. I’d like to not have to make a thirty minute drive in fifteen.”


“Trina, are you sure I should be riding in the car with you guys?”

“Well, where else would you be dear?”

“I just thought… maybe I should just head over to tennis courts now. Make sure everything is set up properly and stuff…”

“You are so like Sidney sometimes.” Mel looked at Trina, seeing Sidney’s smile reflected on his mom’s face. “It’s a good thing,” she laughed.

“Is it?”

“You both feel uncomfortable to be in the parade. He hates the spotlight. Seems like you do as well. But you have to remember that you’re important in all of this as well.”

“Oh puh-leeze. I am not the captain of the team, or the Boy Wonder of Canada. My job is infinitely less stressful than his,” Mel said as she looked over at Sid. He and Max were goofing off while Troy stood beside them. He was attempting to look stern, but she could see the smile threatening to come out.

“But not any easier dear. You not only have to keep yourself sane when you’re with him, you have to keep him sane as well. And my son thinks the world of you.” Trina replied quietly, bringing a hand up to cup Mel’s cheek. “Now, go give him a kiss and then get your ass in the vehicle. I don’t want to hear any other complaining.”

Mel laughed and gave her a quick hug. Trina Crosby was a force to be reckoned with. Thank goodness she likes me! Watching Sid’s family getting ready to start the ball rolling for Sid’s day with the Cup, she didn’t hear anyone come up behind her.

“Psssst,” came a whisper, making Mel jump. Two arms wrapped around her and she could feel the slight pressure of a chin on her shoulder.

“Sweet Jesus! Give me a heart attack why don’t you! I swear Sidney, sometimes I think you’re pretty lucky that I lo--”

His arms tightened around her before he picked her up and made her scream as he spun her around a couple times. When Sid let her down she turned into his arms. He was looking down at her, smiling that hundred-watt smile that melted her to the bone.

“I’ll see you at our first stop. Have fun with Taylor!”

“I’m going to remember this. I hope all that cake you’re going to be eating goes straight to your ass. Then you can give that thing its own zip code!” He laughed and then leaned down, his lips pressed against her ear.

“You know you like it. You’re always grabbing it to take me deeper into yo--”

“SHHHHHHHHHHH!” Mel smacked him in the chest as she blushed a million shades of red. “Go… go get in that damn tank or whatever it is and away from me! You’re incorrigible!”

“L-A-V woman, light-armored vehicle,” laughed as he gently grabbed her neck, forcing her to look up at him once more. His eyes flashed desire and Mel wondered who would miss them if they snuck away for a moment. Sid must’ve been able to tell what she was thinking because he brought his forehead against hers.

“If we could escape, I would. We’ll have fun later, I promise.”

Then he chastely kissed her lips and jogged off to get in the military vehicle. Mel sighed happily before walking over to the other LAV and hopping in. Taylor was looking at her, smiling.


“I didn’t want to like you, you know. I wanted to hate you just like I’ve hated any other girl that I’ve ever met who has had any connection to my brother. But I couldn’t. From the moment we met… I couldn’t help but like you!”

“What makes me different?” She couldn’t wait to hear this, because she’d never gotten a vibe from Taylor that was anything other than friendly.

“My brother loves you.” It was a simple sentence. Four words. But it made Mel want to cry. “The way he looks at you, the way he is when the two of you are together… that’s what I want when I grow up. I want the fairytale love like you guys have.”

“You think we’re a fairytale?”

Mel quirked an eyebrow at the younger Crosby and Taylor giggled like all teenagers do.

“Okay, maybe not a fairytale. Life isn’t that simple, is it? How about a really good romantic comedy?”

“Ahhh, now that’s got some potential!”

The two were laughing as Trina and Troy joined them. They both had questions written all over their faces and Mel tried to stifle the bubbling laughter that was pouring out of her mouth. But, like always, she ended up snorting in her attempt to calm down and both she and Taylor were practically roaring as the LAV came to life.

“I don’t know,” Mel heard Troy say to his wife. “And I don’t want to.” But even he was smiling. As she brought her breathing back under control, Mel caught his eye and winked at him. Then she chuckled when she heard him snort and shake his head. Then they were off, driving behind Sid and Max, on their way to their first stop.

After spending some time, but not enough according to both she and Sidney, with the young patients of the IWK Health Centre the little entourage made its way toward Cole Harbour. Mel was a little saddened by the fact that they were now going to be in plain old convertibles. She had gotten used to the giant metal vehicle.

“Pfft. How come he gets the fire truck and we have to be in cars? So not fair,” she said with a smile. “Are you sure we can’t keep the LAVs?” They all shook their heads no. “Oh fine. Can I at least ride with Max? Taylor is way too much trouble!”

Taylor yelled in mock outrage and started after Mel. Being the adult in the situation Mel did the only thing she could think of… She ran! They were chasing each other in between the cars and Mel was laughing and running around the back bumper of the car she’d be sitting in when she spotted Sid and Max together. They were over by a few trees and away from most of the people. She took off sprinting and practically tackled Sid in a hug before using him as a shield.

“What in the—“

“No fair! You can’t use him for protection!”

“Oh, I totally can,” she retorted. She could hear Max laughing and wondered if Sid found this as amusing as the rest of them.

“You know Taylor, I know a quick way to end these shenanigans.” Mel was about to tell him not to have a cow, that they were having fun, when he grabbed one of her wrists and maneuvered her in front of him. His grip tight, Sid quickly had both of her hands captive. “She’s really ticklish on her sides and behind her knees,” he yelled to his sister.

“Sid! No! C’mon! Ahhhh! Taylor, no! You guys! This isn’t funny,” Mel let out a little shriek as Taylor attacked her ribs. “Max! Help!”

“I do not think so chère. You wouldn’t want me to hurt my healing shoulder would you,” he asked, flashing a conspirator smile.

“Jerk! Hahahaha! Oh, so unfair!” She laughed until her stomach hurt and she had tears in her eyes. Sid had released her and was helping his sister attack as many ticklish spots at once that they could. “Oh my god, I’m gonna puke if you two don’t stop soon!”

The words came out choppy and breathless and were completely ignored by the siblings. They were laughing as well, all three of them acting like they were five. Suddenly Taylor squealed as she was pulled away. Mel could hear her laughter get more high-pitched and turned to see Max finally come to her rescue, his hands poking at Taylor’s sides, retaliation for the torture that she had just endured at the teenager’s hands.

Sid was still attacking her, but the movements felt more like smooth caresses over her body. She was still laughing, but with each swipe of his fingers he left her more and more breathless.

“You had better stop before I take you into those bushes and have my wicked way with you again,” Mel whispered. Sid paused, as if weighing his options, then smirked and leaned back on his heels, holding out a hand to help her up.


With one more kiss he turned and walked away with Max. Stopping beside the convertible that Max would be in, Sid looked at his friend.

“I’m going to do it tonight.”

“Good it’s about time you lost your virginity!”

“Har har. No, seriously… I’m asking her tonight.”

“Don’t Sid, don’t ask her that. Not now.”

“Why not?!”

“Because you aren’t ready.”

“But I want her to kno-”

“She knows you love her. We can all see that. But believe me, it’s too soon.”

“Why? Brooks did it. TK took the plunge. Even Flower, and you know how he was about marriage.”

“Really… are you listening to yourself? You want to marry her because that’s what everyone else is doing. Trust me mon ami, you’ll ruin everything you two have.”

Sid huffed and turned away, walking toward the fire truck. What did Max know?! He was the biggest player out of all of them. He talks like he knows where I’m coming from, but he’s never been in a serious relationship. Until April though, neither had he. Maybe Max is right.

Sid put his hand against the box in his pocket. It was a simple ring. Nothing flashy. But that wasn’t his style. And he knew it wasn’t Melany’s either.

Climbing onto the truck, he nodded toward the driver and the parade began. As they turned the first corner, Sid forgot about his personal dilemma and just stared at the throngs of people. There were so many.

Sid felt his eyes water with tears of pride. It had been these very streets that he’d ridden his bike down on the way to practices. The same streets his mom had driven him down when he’d gotten hurt at a game. To see all of the people out here five, six rows deep along the pavement. It humbled him.

He laughed as he saw a few signs letting him know that the person holding it was celebrating his or her birthday as well. It was amazing to see all of the people who took the time out of their day to come see him. Come cheer for him.

As the parade ended and he stepped up onto the podium by the mayor, Sid stole a glance at Mel again. She was leaning against Max, a huge smile on her face as she stared up at him. He winked at her and she blew him a kiss. It reminded him of the first time they’d done that at a game. Should I wait?

His thoughts there cut short as the mayor announced that today would be titled ‘Sidney Crosby Day.’ The crowd went completely ape shit and Sid struggled to keep from jumping at the sheer volume. He listened to the mayor say a few words and then it was his turn. He cleared his throat and smiled to the sea of people.

"I know there's a lot of young kids here that are watching and seeing the Stanley Cup up close. I'm sure a lot of you are dreaming of winning it yourself, either go through it when you're playing road hockey or when you're on the rink. I just want to let you know that I did the same thing and the proof is right here that you can do it, so go for it!" The roar of the crowd made him smile. Throwing a glance at the Stanley Cup he had helped capture, finished his mini speech. "I would love to be able to say that this is something that's going to happen every year, and I really hope it happens again sooner than later. For everyone here, and for me personally, this is something I'm going to soak up and enjoy. Enjoy every second of it."

Another birthday cake was brought out and he laughed as his family came up on stage with him. Snaking an arm around Mel’s waist, he refused to let her try to escape. He knew she wasn’t sure how to act still, not around all these people. So he held her close, showing her what he wanted from her. They all had a bite of cake and he held himself in check from licking a swipe of icing off the side of her mouth.

More pictures were taken with eighty-seven lucky fans, and then, as the Cup and other trophy were wheeled into the center, Sid and some of his friends from his younger years set up the stage for a roller hockey game. He saw Max’s eyes flash an instant of jealousy before he gave that trademark smile and promised to keep Mel company.

“I’m sorry man. I wish you could come out here and play with us.”

“As do I mon ami. As do I. But I want this damn thing to heal properly,” Sid heard his friend say. But he could still see the want in his eyes. Fist-bumping, Sid ran over to don his equipment. As he always had during these pick-up games when he was little, he was going to play goalie. He saw Melany raise an eyebrow and pointed to his dad.

As his father winked Mel burst out laughing and then sat down with them. Sid hoped he’d be able to keep all of the shots out. He knew it wasn’t probable to get a shut out, but he wanted to win. Of course. And win they did, 7-3.

The rest of the night flew by and Sid could only smile as he stretched out in bed beside his woman. They had been running around all day and he still had some time with the Cup the next day. The perks of being captain. Pressing a kiss to the side of her head, Sid listened to the even breathing, realizing she was asleep.

“Hey,” he whispered, seeing if she would rouse from her slumber. “Mel? Are you still asleep?” Nothing, No response. It amazed him that she slept like the dead, but she said she’d brown up near train tracks and barges. He tried once more to wake her, and when it didn’t work, he smiled in the darkness as he stared at the ceiling.

“I’m glad you sleep so heavily, because I want to tell you a couple things, but I don’t want to scare you. And if you were awake, you’d probably try to shut me up. But I need to get a few things off my chest.”

Instead of a response, he felt her burrow deeper into his neck, her lips brushing against his throat in her sleep. And even the innocent touch made him semi-hard.

“I can’t believe how strong my feelings are after such a short time. I guess I should since I’m pretty intense when I want something. I want to be with you Melany. I want all of you. I want to wake up with you every morning that I can, fall asleep with you every night that I can. I want to throw parties with our friends, live together, maybe even get married someday soon. I don’t care if someone thinks it’s too early for that. I know what I want.”

She blew a breath out against his skin and Sid froze, thinking she would awaken and tell him he was a fool. After a moment, with no more movement, he continued his late-night ramblings.

“I want to be there when all those life-altering moments occur. See the smile on your face when we say ‘I do.’ Feel our baby kick in your belly. I’ve seen it already in a dream. Our little boy. He looks like me, but he acts just like you. I want that. I want it badly.”

“Sid?” He choked on the next words he’d been about to say. As the moonlight came through his windows, Sid looked down into Mel’s eyes. They were still cloudy with sleep and he prayed she hadn’t heard him. “Sid? Are you awake? I thought I heard a voice.”

“I was just talking to myself since I couldn’t sleep.”

“You did have a lot of sugar today,” he heard her say with a smile. Flipping them over, Sid stared down at her face as one of his hands pushed beneath the waistband of the shorts she’d borrowed from him. Sliding a hand against her pussy he heard her quiet moan.

“Maybe you can help me burn off this excess energy then,” he chuckled. Mel laughed along with him and Sid smiled as he kissed her. He would take his time her before finally falling asleep. And then he would have more time with the Cup. Then soon enough they would heading back to Pittsburgh so that she could go house-hunting and he could get some training in.

As he slid her shorts down and slid his shorts down, Sid wondered if she ever thought about their future. Wondered if she ever dreamed about a life with him forever. For the first time in a while, he did more than help her find release, he made love to her. And afterwards, as they lie there in the pre dawn hours, Sid tucked her into his arms, whispering words of love and hearing the smile in her voice as she whispered them back.